Pirates of the Caribbean

Published by Verso, 2006 (new and updated edition 2008)

A fiery polemic on Latin America’s challenge to US-led neoliberalism

The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela has brought Hugo Chávez to world attention as the foremost challenger of the neoliberal consensus and American foreign policy. Drawing on first-hand experience of Venezuela and meetings with Chávez, Tariq Ali shows how Chávez’s views have polarized Latin America and examines the hostility directed against his administration. Contrasting the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutionary processes, Ali discusses the enormous influence of Fidel Castro on Chávez, President of Bolivia Evo Morales and, in this fully updated edition, the newly elected President of Ecuador Rafael Correa, the latest addition to the “Axis of Hope.” Infused with references to the culture and poetry of South America, Pirates of the Caribbean guides us through a world divided between privilege and poverty, a continent that is once again on the march.

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From the archive

  • ‘The Spirit of Cricket’

    July 11, 2011

    ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ by Tariq Ali for the London Review of Books blog, July 7, 2011

    ‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?’ The Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara, giving the Spirit of Cricket lecture at Lords a few days ago, answered this question – first posed by C.L.R. James in Beyond a Boundary half a century ago – at length and in some detail. It was a virtuoso performance that linked cricket to the history and politics of the island. It was witty, intelligent and, above all, courageous. Sangakkara’s assault on the cricketing establishment (the Ministry of Sport) of his own country is a model for others to follow. Listening to the speech I wondered whether there was any other practising cricketer in the world today who could have made it. Not a single  …

  • ‘Solidarity with Lebanon and Palestine’

    August 3, 2006

    ‘Solidarity with Lebanon and Palestine’ with Tariq Ali among the signatories, August 3, 2006

    The US-backed Israeli assault on Lebanon has left the country numb, smoldering and angry. The massacre in Qana and the loss of life is not simply “disproportionate.” It is, according to existing international laws, a war crime.

    The deliberate and systematic destruction of Lebanon’s social infrastructure by the Israeli air force was also a war crime, designed to reduce that country to the status of an Israeli-US protectorate.

    The attempt has backfired, as people all over the world watch aghast. In Lebanon itself, 87 percent of the population now support Hezbollah’s resistance, including 80 percent of Christian and Druze and 89 percent of Sunni Muslims, while 8 percent believe the US supports Lebanon.

    But these actions will not be tried by any court set up by  …