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US imperialism

Patrick Bond: Doha climate talks another ‘conference of polluters’

Professor Patrick Bond.

By Busani Bafana

November 27, 2012 -- Inter Press Service -- There is no political will among rich nations to find funding for developing countries experiencing the brunt of changes in global weather patterns, and the current climate change conference will fail to do so, according to Professor Patrick Bond, a leading thinker and analyst on climate change issues.

“The elites continue to discredit themselves at every opportunity. The only solution is to turn away from these destructive conferences and avoid giving the elites any legitimacy, and instead, to analyse and build the world climate justice movement and its alternatives”, Bond, a political economist and also the director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, told IPS.

Cuba: The legacy of the October 1962 Missile Crisis

By Ike Nahem

[This is the third in a series of articles by Ike Nahem. The first can be found HERE and the second HERE. For more articles on Cuba, click HERE.]

October 22, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- October 1962 marks the 50th anniversary of the so-called “Cuban Missile Crisis”. The last two weeks of that October was the closest the world has come so far to a widespread nuclear exchange.

Solidarity statements: 'A vital victory for Chavez, Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution'

Brigadistas from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade get ready for the massive march in Caracas, October 4, 2012. For eyewitness accounts from AVSN members, join the AVSN Facebook page.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network statement on the October 7, 2012, presidential elections

October 9, 2012 -- AVSN/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Three days after more than 3 million people took over the streets of Caracas in a huge show of support for Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez and his socialist platform, Chavez has won the October 7 Venezuelan elections with more than 55% of the vote, against right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’ 44%. A record 81% of the 19,119,809 registered voters in Venezuela participated in the election.

Washington in Africa, 2012: Who will Obama ‘whack’ next?

Graphic from the Economist.

By Patrick Bond

[Address to the Muslim Youth Movement 40th Anniversary Conference, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, September 30, 2012. Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.]

At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends. – Former US president Jimmy Carter, 25 June 2012, New York Times

Colombia peace talks: Interview with FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko)

Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko).

September 27, 2012 -- The following interview with top comandante of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples’ Army) Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko) was conducted by Carlos Lozano, editor of the Colombian weekly newspaper VOZ. It was translated into English by John Catalinotto for the US-based socialist newspaper Workers' World. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of informing the discussion around the peace talks in Colombia.

* * *

“The President repeats that he is not thinking of repeating the mistakes of the past and we hope this is so. You know that the biggest mistake of all the earlier peace processes has been to come to the table to demand we surrender”, Comandante Timoleón Jiménez told the editor of VOZ.

Tariq Ali on Syria: 'Total solidarity with the people, down with the dictatorship. This remains my position'

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff.

Click HERE for more by Tariq Ali. For more on Syria, click HERE.

By Tariq Ali

September 16, 2012 -- CounterPunch, via Green Left Weekly -- Angered by the non-stop, one-sided propaganda on CNN and BBC World, usually a prelude to NATO bombing campaigns (including the six-month onslaught on Libya, the casualties of which are still hidden from the public) or direct occupations, I was asked to explain my views on RTV [Russia Today].

I did so, denouncing the promotion of the Syrian National Council by Western media networks and pointing out that some of the armed-struggle opposition were perfectly capable of carrying out their own massacres and blaming them on the regime.

There were doubts at the time about who was responsible for the massacre in Houla in May. No longer. It’s now clear that the regime was responsible.

Report to the UN: Cuba and the world versus the US blockade, 2012

September 21, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For 21 consecutive times a resolution titled “The necessity of ending the financial and commercial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba” will be voted on by the United Nations General Assembly at the end of October 2012.

"The blockade is a unilateral policy, rejected both inside the United States and by the international community. The United States must lift it, immediately and unconditionally. Once again, Cuba appreciates and requests the support of the international community in order to put an end to this unfair, illegal and inhuman policy”, states the report.

Cuba appreciates the denunciation of the blockade and asks for your solidarity. For more information visit http://www.cubavsbloqueo.cu. For comments and support you can join Twitter #cubavsbloqueo (https://twitter.com/cubavsbloque).

Sincere regards,

Abelardo Cueto Sosa, ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in India

* * *

UN General Assembly's adoption of Cuba's resolution against the blockade between 1992 and 2011

Colombia: What prospects for the peace negotiations between FARC and government?

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fighters walk in San Isidro, Colombia, May 30.

See also "Colombia: The end for guerrilla warfare?" For more coverage of Colombia, click HERE.

By Anthony Boynton, Bogota

September 12, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The government of Colombia on September 4 announced that it had begun peace negotiations with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia (FARC, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The news was quickly confirmed by the FARC. Although FARC still leads thousands of armed fighters and has the financial resources to continue fighting, the decimation of its leadership combined with its political isolation has brought it to the point of no return. It has entered a new peace process with the government of Juan Manuel Santos with far less than it had to bargain with when it sat down at the negotiating table with the government of Andres Pastrana more than a decade ago.

La campaña contra Wikileaks debilita las campañas contra violaciones

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3000.]

Por Ash Pemberton, traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

29-08-2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- La odisea personal del jefe de WikiLeaks Julian Assange se ha utilizado para eclipsar el innovador periodismo de WikiLeaks que sacó a la luz los secretos de gobiernos y corporaciones de todo el mundo.

Unos cables diplomáticos australianos obtenidos por el Sydney Morning Herald en diciembre revelaron: “WikiLeaks es objetivo de una investigación criminal ‘sin precedentes’ por parte del gobierno de EE.UU.” A pesar de esto, el gobierno australiano sigue argumentando públicamente que no tiene conocimiento de una campaña estadounidense contra Assange –editor y fundador del sitio– e incluso argumentó que era muy improbable.

No es sorprendente que el mayor incriminado por las publicaciones de WikiLeaks –el gobierno de EE.UU.– se proponga estatuir un ejemplo con los involucrados. Uno de los miles de correos electrónicos hackeados de la firma de espionaje privada Stratfor publicados por WikiLeaks en febrero dice que EE.UU. tiene una acusación en firme contra Assange.

Anti-Wikileaks crusade undermines anti-rape campaigns; George Galloway wrong on rape

By Ash Pemberton

August 24, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- The personal saga of Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been used to overshadow the ground-breaking journalism of Wikileaks in exposing the secrets of governments and corporations around the world.

Australian diplomatic cables obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald in December revealed, “WikiLeaks is the target of an 'unprecedented' US government criminal investigation.” Despite this, the Australian government continues to argue publicly that it has no knowledge of a US campaign against Assange — the site's editor in chief and founder — and even argued it was highly unlikely.

It is unsurprising that the main party incriminated by Wikileaks' releases — the United States government — is out to make an example of those involved. One of thousands of hacked emails from private spy firm Stratfor released by Wikileaks in February said the US had a sealed indictment against Assange.

Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador on August 16 after staying in Ecuador's British embassy since June to avoid extradition to Sweden. He remains in the embassy in a stand-off with British police who have backed down on their threat to raid the embassy.

The geopolitics of the Syrian uprising/insurgency

[Click HERE for more analysis of the situation in Syria.]

By Michael Karadjis

August 13, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The continuing mass uprising against Syria’s Bashar Assad dictatorship on the one hand, and the growing intervention by the reactionary Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with Turkey, on the side of the growing armed insurgency on the other, has led to a situation where many on the left are sharply divided over who to “support”.

Some claim the Saudi-led covert intervention requires support for Assad’s bloody regime as a lesser evil “secular” alternative to what they believe is an inevitable “jihadi” regime, given the rise of a vicious Sunni sectarian aspect to the civil war and the Saudi-led backing of such forces. Also, given the largely verbal (until recently) support given to the Gulf states’ intervention by the US and other imperialist states, support for Assad against this allegedly “imperialist-backed” assault on Syria is necessary to prevent the destruction of the Syrian state, which they allege imperialism desires due to Assad’s alleged anti-imperialist credentials (which even most of these writers, however, admit is very tenuous at best).

Syria: Assad regime near end amid rising violence

[Click HERE for more analysis of the situation in Syria.]

By Tony Iltis

August 12, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- The 50-year rule of the Ba’ath Party in Syria looks to be effectively over. In the past month armed clashes have spread to the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the largest city, Aleppo. Armed opposition forces have taken control of several border points. On August 6, Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to the opposition.

The regime of Bashar al-Assad — who inherited the presidency in 2000 from his father, Hafez al-Assad, who seized power in a 1970 military coup — no longer controls the country.

However, an end to the violence, which has claimed 20,000 lives since the uprising that broke out in March last year against Assad, looks far away. So, too, does the realisation of the uprising’s original aims: democratic rights and economic justice.

The regime has indicated it will cling to whatever power it can with counter-offensives in Damascus and Aleppo. Western demands that Assad face an international war crimes trial, and the nastier fate of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was brutally murdered after his overthrow and capture by NATO-led forces, has given Assad no incentive to compromise.

Thomas Sankara: Revolution and the emancipation of women

"The revolution and women’s liberation go together. We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or out of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph." -- Thomas Sankara

By Amber Murrey

August 2, 2012 -- Pambazuka News -- The life and work of Thomas Sankara can be taken as a reminder of both the power and potential for human agency to enact transformation. I would like to situate my ideas within the geopolitical context of the popular uprisings that continue to take place around the world as people organise against neoliberal policies of advanced capitalism and their resultant gross inequalities in wealth, health and education.

Accompanying the intensifying neoliberal crises -- manifested through the financial crisis, food security crisis, and struggles over land reform and landed property -- is an ever expanding militarisation. The US military now has more bases and more personnel stations in more countries than ever in its history. The US Africa Command is one component of the US military’s current phase of expansion, including millions of dollars of military equipment, arms and training in African nations.

Richard Seymour: The Syrian revolt enters a new phase

Anti-Assad protest in Syria organised by the Local Coordinating Committees. Some 300 LCCs have refused to recognise the imperialist-backed Syrian National Council.

[Click HERE for more analysis of the situation in Syria.]

By Richard Seymour

Washington and the Cuban Revolution: Ballad of a never-ending policy -- triumph and reaction


[This is the second in a series of articles by Ike Nahem. The first can be found HERE. For more articles on Cuba, click HERE.]

By Ike Nahem

July 22, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On January 1, 1959, Cuban revolutionaries, led by Fidel Castro, swept into power and established a provisional revolutionary government across the length of the island, overthrowing the exceedingly venal military regime of Fulgencio Batista.

The revolutionaries (including such remarkable figures as Juan Almeida, Raul Castro, Camilo Cienfuegos, Ernesto Che Guevara, Armando Hart, Celia Sanchez and Haydee Santamaria) marched into Havana, culminating a three-year campaign that combined rural guerrilla war with a vast urban revolutionary underground.

Book excerpt: Barry Sheppard on the triumph and defeat of the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution

The Nicaraguan people celebrate victory over the Somoza dictatorship in central Managua, July 20, 1979.

By Barry Sheppard

July 19, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal --The following are two chapters from volume 2 of my political memoir about my time in the US Socialist Workers Party (SWP). They give an overview of the triumph and eventual collapse of the Nicaraguan revolution (1979 through the 1980s) under the blows of US imperialism’s war against the small and impoverished country.

It is important for socialists today to not forget the victories and defeats of the past, and their lessons for the future. One of the lessons of the Nicaraguan revolution, like the Paris Commune, the Russian, Chinese, Yugoslavian, Vietnamese and Cuban and other revolutions, as well as revolutionary upsurges that didn’t take power, like the German one (1917 to 1923), the May-June 1968 near revolution in France, the Portuguese revolutionary events of 1974-1975, the Prague Spring of 1968, the rise of the Polish workers in 1970, etc. is the power of the workers and peasants when they enter the stage of history in their own name and interests.

Paraguay: Coup at heart of struggle over Latin America

By Federico Fuentes

July 15, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- The June 22 coup carried out against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was an important blow to progressive movements across Latin America. The struggle against the coup is far from over, but learning the lessons of it are important. This requires placing the coup in the context of the turbulent process of change occurring in Latin America

Latin America is in a period of transition. It is characterised, on the one hand, by the decline of the United States' influence. This is particularly the case with the unravelling of the neoliberal model implanted that was more firmly implanted more firmly in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s than in any other region of the South.

On the other hand, left and progressive forces have made significant advances, including winning government in some cases. This has been accompanied by a growing process of political and economic integration of the region.

Rise of the new left

Syria: No to Western intervention, no to illusions in Assad

Tariq Ali on Russia Today, July 13, 2012: "We have a very grim, polarised situation in which the choices are limited: either a Western-imposed regime composed of sundry Syrians who work for the Western intelligence agencies ... or the Assad regime. It's clear the people of Syria want neither ..."

By Phyllis Bennis

June 28, 2012 -- Znet -- Fifteen months on, the short Syrian spring of 2011 has long since morphed into a harsh winter of discontent. Syria is close to full-scale civil war. If the conflict escalates further, it will have ramifications far outside the country itself. As former UN Secretary-General and current envoy of both the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan put it, “'Syria is not Libya, it will not implode, it will explode beyond its borders.”

Washington and the Cuban Revolution: Ballad of a never-ending policy – the myth of the ‘Miami Lobby’

Passengers prepare to board a flight to Cuba from Fort Lauderdale."Ever-growing numbers, at or near majority levels, of Cuban-Americans favour normal relations with Cuba and an end to economic and travel sanctions. It is precisely the growing pressure from Cuban-Americans that led the Obama administration to lift the travel restrictions on that (and only that) section of the US population."

By Ike Nahem

June 15, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The essential continuity of US anti-Cuba policy under the US President Barack Obama’s administration has been a source of mystery and confusion to many who oppose US sanctions. Within the US academic, think-tank and media meritocracies – who often go in and out of government office – many are frustrated, even embarrassed, by Washington’s continued pariah status over Cuba in Latin America and internationally, as registered in annual lopsided, humiliating votes against the US policy in the United Nations General Assembly.

Paraguay: Obama’s second Latin American coup; left governments condemn coup

June 25, 2012, Democracy Now! report on the coup against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo. Transcript available here.

By Shamus Cooke

June 23, 2012 -- Workers Action -- The coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population who supported and elected President Fernando Lugo, whom they see as a bulwark against the wealthy elite who’ve dominated the country for decades.

[Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was ousted in what he has described as a parliamentary coup. On June 23, the Paraguayan Senate voted 39-to-4 to impeach Lugo, saying he had failed in his duty to maintain social order following a recent land dispute that resulted in the deaths of six police officers and 11 peasant farmers. A former priest, Lugo was once called the "Bishop of the Poor" and was known for defending peasant rights. Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay have all condemned Lugo’s ouster.]

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