Interviews from Quito – “Die Linke” Party Co-Chair Bernd Riexinger

In this program our host Gregory Wilpert interviews Bernd Riexinger, the co-chair of the German Left Party “Die Linke,” the result of the unification of the Party of Democratic Socialism in East Germany and a split-off group of the German Social Democratic Party of West Germany. The two first discuss Riexinger’s motives for touring Latin America, which include deepening relations with leftist parties that have come to power and expanding cooperation with them. Despite different situations, different continents, different levels of economic development, Latin America is the only continent resisting neoliberalism, says Riexenger, and a German leftist party can learn much from these efforts. He notes that key countries in Latin America are engaged in the re-appropriation of natural resources; gaining national sovereignty; using resources to combat poverty and provide health education; expanding public infrastructure; and fostering participatory initiatives, grassroots mobilizations, and the self empowerment of marginalized people. The interview also raises the issues of whether or not the consequences of neo-liberalization could spark the rise of the European left, the best strategy in Europe for challenging neoliberal hegemony, what’s behind the difference in the right wing in Europe and Latin America, the position of the European left towards the European Union, and whether or not Latin American alliances based on cooperation offer an alternative for Europe.


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