South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign and Anti-Privatisation Forum have won gains against commodification and corporate globalisation

By Committee with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)(USA)

Recent polls in El Salvador show that the leftist FMLN party is 15% ahead over the right-wing presidential candidate from the ruling party. This only confirms what Salvadorans in the social movement, members of the FMLN, and the general public have been saying all along: El Salvador is the next in line to join the Latin American shift to the left!

The Committee with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) has a long solidarity relationship with the Salvadoran people. One way CISPES continues to support real democracy in El Salvador, opposing US economic, military, and political intervention, is by bringing international observers delegations to El Salvador. You too can support free and fair elections and learn about the current situation in El Salvador by joining the CISPES delegation from March 9-19, 2009.

By Javed Ahmad

December 20, 2008 -- While the danger of war between India and Pakistan is accelerates, a peace demonstration in Lahore on December 20 demanded no war between the two countries. More than 100 activists of the Labour Party Pakistan and the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP) demanded an end of war fanaticism.

The demonstrators chanted the slogans: "We want peace", "Peace not war, bread not bombs, jobs not bombs", "No to imperialism and no the religious fundamentalism", "Long live the friendship of peoples of Pakistan and India", "Labour against war, people against war". They were holding banners and posters.

By Gonzalo Gomez

December 17, 2008 -- During 2008, our revolutionary process has had its ebbs and flows. Overall, we had significant progress, especially in the recuperation of sovereignty, with the nationalisations and the electoral victories in the great majority of governorships and mayoralties. The right-wing also had its successes, as it managed to retain and seize several strategic places. The process is not linear, but the revolution needs to move forward in a permanent manner or the hangover of a counterrevolution will raze the achievements obtained, including the crushing of the vanguard.

You cannot build socialism in the bowels of capitalism. It requires qualitative leaps, in a timely manner and in accordance with the correlation of forces, to enable the break with capitalism and initiate a real transition to socialism. In capitalism there is no solution for the exploited masses; it undermines any economic, social or political conquest of the people, if they are not used to promote the deepening of the revolution, with the organisation and mobilisation of the workers, peasants and popular [sectors].

Some of the presidents of the ALBA bloc.
Aftermath of Mugabe's 2005 Operation Murambatsvina.

By Patrick Bond

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari (left)

By Farooq Tariq

December 22, 2008 -- Instability, price hikes, growing unemployment and rising debts are the hallmarks of the first nine months of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government. There are daily demonstrations across Pakistan around one or another of these issues.

There is a real danger of a war between Pakistan and India after the Mumbai terrorist attack on November 26. The statement by Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari about the doubtful Pakistani identity of Ajmal Qasab, the only terrorist captured alive, did not go down very well within the Indian establishment. The joint war-room meeting of all the Indian government's important officials is a very serious matter.

December 21, 2008 -- This is an appeal in defence of Nicaraguan sovereignty, in opposition to an imperialist destablisation campaign to undermine, and possibly topple, the Sandinista government. The pretext, phoney as usual, is the claim that the municipal elections in November were rigged.

But the real aim of this phoney campaign is to blackmail and intimidate the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government to back down -- and override the will of the majority as expressed in the election and as recognised by the Supreme Electoral Council that includes both FSLN and opposition party supporters. The heavy armament of the campaign is the blocking and withdrawal of important international aid, especially on the part of the USA and some European countries.

The letter below will be presented at the official celebration of the anniversary of the inauguration of the current president on Janaury 10, 2009.

To give your support to this letter, send an email to carta@tortillaconsal.com

Sydney, October 2, 2008. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By Martin Khor

By Papernas (National Liberation Party of Unity, Indonesia)

December 18, 2008 -- About 1000 thugs sent by PT Arara Abadi and directly led by 500 police, under Riau regional police commander Alex Mandalika, unsparingly attacked, destroyed and burned houses using napalm bombs in Suluk Bongkal village, Riau Province, Indonesia. A two-year-old girl died in the attack.

The attackers said the villagers were newcomers who must be evicted. They were also falsely accused of having ilegally cleared state-owned forest. According to our information, Suluk Bongkal village has been legally acknowledged in the state map made after the Dutch cooperated with the Siak kingdom (around 1940), and in 1959 (after independence) the area was designated as customary rights forest (for Sakal tribe); Suluk Bongkal was included in it. Suluk Bongkal villagers have lived peacefully with the other citizens and surrounding tribes.