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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal seeks to promote the exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of "socialism" that arose in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela, as well as the continuing example of socialist Cuba, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is a journal for "Socialism of the 21st century", and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.

Links is also proud to be the sister publication of Green Left Weekly, the world's leading red-green newspaper, and we urge readers to visit that site regularly.

Please explore Links and subscribe (click on "Subscribe to Links" or "Follow Links on Twitter" in the left menu). Links welcomes readers' constructive comments (but please read the "Comments policy" above).

This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.

Cricket, excess and market mania

By Srinivasan Ramani

The Indian Premier League is seen as a bonanza for cricket viewers, players and corporate owners, but hidden behind the glitz is the fact that it represents a distorted form of commodity and consumer excess. The Indian Premier League (IPL), a corporate-driven tournament featuring a set of city teams playing Twenty20 cricket, has made news with a multimillion dollar player auction. Players from various cricket-playing nations were ``bought'' and ``sold'' through bids made by the corporate-owned teams (the franchisees).

Cricket in India has become the only sport that has captured widespread mass and media attention. The popularity of the sport has increased in leaps and bounds, and the way the sport has been managed and administered has reflected the dominant mode of economic transactions in the country.

Video: Evo Morales on the Emergence of Bolivia's Indigenous Movement

Click here to watch Bolivia's President Evo Morales on the emergence of Bolivia's Indigenous movement.

Thanks to http://boliviarising.blogspot.com

Pakistan's struggle for democracy: The lawyers' movement one year on (+ video)

By Farooq Tariq, Lahore

March 7, 2008 -- 2008 will be a year of decisive struggle in Pakistan. Over the past year an advocates' (lawyers') movement rose to confront the dictatorship of President Pervez Musharraf. Its aim is to create an atmosphere where the judiciary can work independently, without being under the influence of any regime, whether military or civil.

Only a year old, it has achieved impressive results.

The movement began on March 9, 2007, when the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chaudhry, responded negatively to the request from five generals -- including Musharraf -- that he voluntarily resign. Offered several other lucrative posts, he responded with a firm ``No'', resulting his immediate arrest and termination from the Supreme Court.

Video: interview with Farooq Tariq

Indonesia: Students launch nationalisation campaign

By Katarina Pujiastuti

March 1, 2008 -- Beginning last Monday, the National Student League for Democracy (LMND) held two-day demonstrations in Jakarta to campaign for the nationalisation of oil, gas and mining industries. On the first day, about 150 students representing several campuses in Java and Sumatra protested against ExxonMobil in front of the commercial building that houses its headquarters.

The richest energy company was targeted because it recently attacked Chavez's anti-imperialist government by taking legal action to freeze the assets of the Venezuelan state's oil company, PDVSA. ``Therefore, LMND made a good decision in protesting in front of Exxon's headquarters, as the company rightly symbolises foreign corporation in the extractive sector'', said Rudi Hartono, an LMND leader.

Malaysia: Socialist Party wins two seats

By Peter Boyle

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) won two of the four seats it contested in the general elections on March 8. Dr Jeyakumar, a central committee member of the PSM defeated a senior leaders of the ruling Barisan Nasional, Minister of Works Samy Vellu, in the seat of Sungai Siput in Perak. Last August I visited Sungai Siput with Jeyakumar and other PSM comrades. Their strong base among plantation workers (mostly descendants of indentured labourers brought from India in the British colonial era) was very obvious.

PSM president Dr Nasir Hashim won the state Legislative Assemby seat of Kota Damansara in Selangor. “Today is a great day for all Malaysian opposition parties including PSM”, declared the party’s website.
See http://www.parti-sosialis.org

US/Colombia hands off Venezuela and Ecuador! Act now to stop war in Latin America

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

March 5, 2008 -- What only a few days ago seemed like a remote prospect has suddenly become a real possibility. The Colombian military’s brutal massacre of 21 (at last count) guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -– Peoples Army (FARC-EP), including Raul Reyes, the FARC's chief negotiator and spokesperson, in Ecuador on March 1 marks a dramatic leap in the United States' plan to potentially trigger off an armed confrontation between Colombia and Venezuela.

These events should be of major concern for all supporters of the Venezuelan revolution, and anti-war and peace activists the world over.

Repression in Peru intensifies

By Hugo Blanco

March 4, 2008 -- Not long ago repression in Peru was more a matter of laws than actions. Now, however, APRA's legislation (APRA is President Alan García's party), with basic support from the ultra-rightist Unidad Nacional party, and from the party of Fujimori, who is now being tried for massive crimes, and with no consequent parliamentary opposition, is being used to launch a full assault against the people.

India: CPI (M) -- Reconciling `anti-imperialist' rhetoric with `neoliberal constraints'

Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist (Liberation)

March 5, 2008 -- The draft political resolution released by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for its 19th Congress provides quite a revealing commentary on the opportunist political trajectory of the party. The resolution is characteristically elaborate about the description of the international and national situation. But when it comes to spelling out the concrete positions and role of the party, the resolution is rather vague and evasive. And as for the debate that the party now increasingly faces in its own circles, the resolution dismisses everything as a big anti-CPI(M) conspiracy!

Cuba: Prelude to succession

By Nelson P. Valdés

The transfer of political power away from Fidel Castro was planned years ago. Preparation for it went into effect when he fell ill, and by the end of July 2006 Fidel provisionally delegated power to his brother Raúl. What had been provisional became permanent on February 18, 2008. But this was no longer a personal delegation of power; rather, the decision would depend on what elected officials at the National Assembly decided.

Over the years, there has been much speculation, and many imaginary scenarios have been concocted, regarding the end of the charismatic leader's rule. But what these various alternative scripts did not consider was the possibility of several preludes to succession.

History calls for a broad left party

By Vaughan Gunson and Grant Morgan -- March 2, 2008 -- In 2006, the neoliberal maniacs at the World Bank ranked New Zealand as No.1 in the world for doing business, out of 200 countries surveyed. And a recent government report titled Wealth Disparities in New Zealand showed that 95% of New Zealand’s net wealth is owned by half the population. The other half is left with the crumbs -- a mere 5% of the country's wealth. Two decades of neoliberal polices have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, increasing the rage, frustration and alienation at the base of New Zealand society.

In recent years Socialist Worker-New Zealand (SW-NZ) has recognised that this discontent is being combined with signs of self-activity among grassroots people, which is causing them to be more open to alternative political ideas. The rise of a global social justice movement has been influential. There have been bursts of union militancy, along with mass movements against imperial wars, GE foods and government injustices against Maori [New Zealand’s indigenous people]. In combination this points towards a political stirring at the grassroots of New Zealand society which socialists must relate to.

Kosova and the right of oppressed nations to self-determination

By Michael Karadjis

This is the second in a series of articles looking at aspects of the issue of the recently announced semi-independence of Kosova [Kosovo], which has produced markedly different reactions among left-wing and socialist movements around the world. (Click here for the first article in the series.)

Towards a new anti-capitalist party in France

By François Duval, LCR National Leadership -- February 28, 2008 -- In January, a vast majority of the delegates at the 17th national congress of the LCR [Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire; Revolutionary Communist League] approved a new political perspective: the building of a broad anti-capitalist party. This decision is intimately related to the analysis of the political situation since the election of [right-wing candidate] Nicolas Sarkozy as president. There are three main reasons:

Venezuela: Socialist Tide (Marea Socialista) activists on the referendum defeat and the PSUV

Federico Fuentes, part of the Green Left Weekly/Links Caracas bureau, spoke to two of the key leaders of Socialist Tide (Marea Socialista), asking them their opinions on the PSUV and its founding congress, particularly in light of the defeat of the December 2, 2007, referendum on Chavez’s proposed constitutional reform.

Statement of the POR, Spanish state: `We welcome an independent Kosovo!'

Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Workers Party, Spanish state (POR)

February 19, 2008 -- The independence of Kosovo was necessary. This independence has come after 1989, when Milosevic suppressed the autonomy of the region, and after 1999, when Milosevic started a war of ethnic cleansing. When Serbia lost the last Balkans war, it was a fact that the people of Kosovo would fight to get ride of the Serbian boot.

Before all that, there was an idea of some sort of Democratic Republic of the Balkans, but this idea was wiped out by the reactionary, militarist pan-nationalism of Milosevic's Great Serbia, supported by Russia. Also, Germany and the NATO favoured the dismantling of the Yugoslavian Republic into Slovenia and Croatia. The European powers created this ``balkanisation'' to bring the Balkan peoples into conflict.

The legal and official side of this independence gets sealed now. But the POR welcomed that independence in 1999, and does it again. Long life to a free and independent Kosovo!

Kosova declares (semi-) independence: Yes to full self-determination for Kosova. No to continuation of colonial-ruled state

By Michael Karadjis

This article is the first in a series that will look at different aspects of the issue of Kosova’s declaration of independence, which has produced markedly different reactions among left-wing and socialist movements around the world.

Venezuela: Danger signs for the revolution

By Kiraz Janicke & Federico Fuentes, Caracas

February 22, 2008 -- In recent weeks, external and internal pressure against Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, as the process of change led by socialist President Hugo Chavez is known — has intensified dramatically. It is clear that US imperialism and the US-backed Venezuelan opposition see the defeat of Chavez’s proposed constitutional reforms on December 2 as a green light to push forward their plans to destablise the government.

Capitalism is no solution to problems facing humanity: Tribute to Cde Fidel Castro

By Blade Nzimande

February 20, 2008 -- Tributes are not meant only for the departed, but are also befitting to living revolutionary legends who have served the cause of humanity with distinction, like Cde Fidel Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba! Cde Fidel, as he is affectionately known in Cuba and throughout the progressive and socialist world, was until earlier this week, the President of the Socialist Republic of Cuba and Commander of the Armed Forces of the Cuban Revolution.

Pakistan: A golden opportunity to oust Musharraf

By Farooq Tariq

The masses have spoken once again. They do not like the military dictatorship. They want Musharraf out. They have acted in their own manner to express their hope to oust Musharraf. The massive anti-Musharraf vote across Pakistan on February 18 speaks for itself.

Anyone who seemed to be supporting the military dictatorship has been punished. The pro-Musharraf Muslim League Q (PMLQ) lost badly despite pre-poll rigging. The religious fundamentalist parties taking part in the elections were the worst hit. It was an electoral revolution against the military dictatorship, thanks to the advocates' [lawyers'] movement that has spearheaded the struggle against Musharraf in a different arena.

Revolutionary appreciation & respect to Comrade Fidel Castro

Below are salutes to Cuban President Fidel Castro following his announcement on February 18 that he will not stand for the position again. The first is from Australia's Democratic Socialist Perspective, followed by a message from the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

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