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The Latin American Revolution

A four-part radio documentary about the remarkable process of progressive social change taking place in Latin America.

Listen and download here

Written by Asad Ismi

Produced by Kristin Schwartz

Narrated by both

First aired in July 2010. Most of the interviews were recorded at the 2009 World Social Forum held in Belem, Brazil.
Translation by Susy Alvarez, Sara Loureiro, Cristina Maria Santos, Dr. Maria Paez Victor, Dr. Carles Muntaner, Robin Nieto and America Maldonado. Voice-over by Raul Burbano, Michael Brito, Dr. Maria Paez Victor, Robin Nieto, Susy Alvarez, Amandeep Panag, Naushad Ali Husein, Rachel Warden and Roger Langen. Special thanks to Susy Alvarez, Sara Loureiro, Aline Santos and to Danae Peart and Kevin Shaw at CHRY 105.5 fm in Toronto for studio facilities.


With 10 left-wing governments in power today in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cuba, Latin America is leading the world in implementing progressive social change. This is happening not just within countries, but also on a continental level. Demonized by the North American mainstream media, a revolution is taking place in Latin America as many governments reject U.S. imperialist domination and neoliberalism in favour of socialism, social democracy and regional integration.

From the 1950s to the 1990s, the U.S. subjected Latin America to 18 military dictatorships and neoliberalism. The dictatorships killed about one million people and neoliberalism impoverished many countries. The Latin American Revolution is the people’s answer to these U.S. imperial strategies. This remarkable process is the culmination of decades of struggle by political parties and social and guerrilla movements inspired by both Latin America’s liberator Simon Bolivar and its best-known revolutionary, Che Guevara.

Episodes (close to 30 minutes each):

1. “Venezuela”. Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez has been a leader of the Latin American Revolution. This episode focuses on how the Chavez government has transformed Venezuela through its Bolivarian Revolution. With President Hugo Chavez, Clara Herrera, America Maldonado, Santiago Arconada Rodriguez, Adedue Kawa and Julio Chavez.

2. “Bolivia”. Bolivians have elected Latin America’s first indigenous President, Evo Morales who has brought profound social changes to his country. This episode describes the Bolivian Revolution. With President Evo Morales, Cynthia Cisneros, Rosemary Irusta, Sabina Gonzalez and Tomas Huanacu.

3. “Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador”. Cuba has inspired the Latin American Revolution while Nicaragua recently celebrated 30 years of the Sandinista Revolution. In 2009, El Salvador elected the first left-wing government in its history. This episode looks at the revolutionary process in all three countries. With Dr. Aleida Guevara, Professor Luis Rene Fernandes Tabio, Doris Miranda and Mercedes Umana.

4. “Integration: Towards a United Latin America”. Many Latin American countries are coming together to create a continental community based on socialism and taking care of human needs. The last episode examines this inspiring integration and its importance as a model for global development. With Presidents Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez and Joao Batista Lemos, Sonia Fleury, Rosemary Irusta, Sabina Gonzalez, Lilian Celiberti, Ramon Cardona, Julio Chavez and Doris Miranda.


1. “A remarkable achievement. I was moved and informed by the care and truth telling in this revolutionary radio documentary. This is journalism which has entered the revolutionary movement in a significant way. Not muzzled by the imperialist assault on the truth or the enfrenzied propaganda of the capitalist corporate press, it provides clear, concise, necessary and accessible information to millions of people about the origins and significance of the on-going Latin American Revolution and the principle of the integration of states and peoples for the common good of all. I will certainly recommend this to my students, friends and readers.”
—Dr. Arnold Itwaru. Dr. Itwaru created and developed the anti-imperialist and anti-racist Caribbean Studies Program at New College, University of Toronto. He is the author of 15 books, and has edited the recently published work of activist scholarship, “The White Supremacist State.”

2. “A wonderful and richly produced series. A wide array of recorded voices, music, and analysis tell the story of political developments in South America, offering us North Americans a thorough introduction. I was fascinated.”
—Ursula Ruedenberg, Pacifica Affiliates Coordinator, Executive Producer of “Sprouts: Radio from the Grassroots”,Pacifica Radio Network, U.S.A.

3. “Schwartz and Ismi’s documentary is a solid piece of independent journalism that captures the stunning revolution in politics, education, health care and the economy sweeping across Latin America. The episode on Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador is a valuable primer that grounds the Bolivarian Revolution in those historic struggles. Informative and inspiring, this series is definitely worth a close listen!”
—Lorraine Chisholm, Redeye Collective, Vancouver Cooperative Radio–CFRO 102.7 FM, Vancouver, BC.

40 Radio stations have broadcast “The Latin American Revolution”, 30 in the U.S., nine in Canada and one in Europe. The stations are:

United States:
1. KPFK 90.7 FM–Los Angeles, 98.7 FM–Santa Barbara, 99.5 FM–China Lake and 93.7 FM–North San Diego, California.
2. KCSB 91.9 FM–University of California, Santa Barbara, California
3. KDRT 95.7 FM–Davis, California
4. KIDE 91.3 FM–Hoopa, California–Indigenous Radio
5. Free Radio Santa Cruz 101.1 FM–Santa Cruz, California
6. WDFH 90.3 FM–Ossining, New York
7. WXOJ-LP 103.3 FM–Valley Free Radio, Northampton, Massachusetts,
8. WERU-FM 89.9–Blue Hill and East Orland, Maine
9. WPRR 1680 AM and 95.3 FM–Public Reality Radio–Grand Rapids, Michigan
10. KPFT 90.1 FM–Houston, Texas
11. KFAI 90.3 FM–Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul, Minnesota
12. WCRS 102.1 and 98.3 FM–Columbus, Ohio
13. KGNU 88.5 FM–Boulder, 1390 AM–Denver, 93.7 FM–Nederland, Colorado
14. KSVR 91.7 FM–Mt Vernon, Washington
15. KYRS 92.3 FM–Spokane, Washington
16. KPOV 106.7 FM–Bend, Oregon
17. KSKQ 94.9 FM–Ashland, Oregon
18. KRFP-LP 92.5 FM–Radio Free Moscow, Moscow, Idaho
19. Boise Community Radio 89.9 FM–Boise, Idaho
20. KSUA 91.5 FM–University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska
21. KWMD 104.5 & 87.74 FM-Anchorage, 90.7 FM-Kasilof, 107.9 FM-Mat-Su, Alaska
22. KRCL 90.9 FM–Salt Lake City, Utah
23. WRFN-LP 98.9 FM–Radio Free Nashville, Tennessee
24. KKFI 90.1 FM–Kansas City, Missouri
25. KZGM 88.1 FM–Cabool, Missouri
26. WRFG 89.3 FM–Radio Free Georgia–Atlanta, Georgia
27. MAIN-FM 103.5 LP–Asheville, North Carolina
28. Journey Radio––St. Louis, Missouri (internet radio)
29. Radio Phoenix––Phoenix, Arizona (internet radio)
30. Progressive Blend Radio––Washington, DC (internet radio)

31. CKDU 88.1 FM – Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
32. CKUT 90.3 FM–McGill University, Montreal, QC
33. CHRY 105.5 FM–York University, Toronto, ON
34. CHRW 94.9 FM–University of Western Ontario, London, ON
35. CFRC 101.9 FM–Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
36. CFRU 93.3 fm–University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
37. CKUW 95.9 FM–University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB
38. CJSF 90.1 fm–Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
39. CFRO 102.7 fm–Vancouver Cooperative Radio, Vancouver, BC

40. Radio LoRa 97.5 MHz–Zurich, Switzerland


The Latin American Revolution was funded by:

Canadian Union of Postal Workers (National)
CUPW Local 576 North Bay
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation
Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
Canadian Union of Public Employees–Local 3903
CUPE Local 1281
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Toronto
Continuing Education Students Association of Ryerson
Centre for Women and Trans People