2017 has been rich in political earthquakes and we have yet another to add to the list. Doug Jones has become the first Democrat in 25 years to win a US Senate seat for Alabama, a traditionally safe Republican seat with a predominantly white, religious and conservative electorate. Alabama will now have a Democrat in the US Senate. This is an outcome that would have seemed all-but-impossible a year ago and still seemed unlikely even as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, given the flaccid and unispiring campaign waged by the Democrats, who have learned nothing from 2016 and have shifted even further to the right.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump declared that he would officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This reveals the real nature of the so-called peace talks. In a speech delivered at the White House, Trump said, “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering. My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

On 26 November, national elections were held in Honduras. The election was divided into two camps: those who supported current President Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH), who is seeking re-election, and those who supported the candidate of the Alliance Against the Coup, Salvador Nasralla. The first block consists of the most reactionary forces that seek to maintain their privileges, starting with the National Party, the main political force of the oligarchy. The latter comprises the masses of workers, peasants, unemployed, students, housewives...who can no longer stand their exploitation, poverty, violence and lack of democracy and aspire to a profound change in society.

 The fact that the main Venezuelan opposition parties have decided to boycott the December 10 municipal elections has opened the space for candidates representing the revolutionary wing of the Bolivarian movement to stand against official hand picked candidates from the ruling PSUV party. The bureaucracy and the state have responded by using all sorts of tricks to prevent them from running. The campaigns of Eduardo Samán in Caracas and Angel Prado in Simón Planas (Lara) have brought out the simmering contradictions within chavismo.

Last month the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (“PSUV”) won a decisive electoral victory in the face of an extremely difficult economic and political situation. However, despite temporarily stabilising the political situation in Venezuela, this victory has done nothing on its own to alleviate the growing tensions in Venezuela. Meanwhile, the pressures of inflation and the shortage of goods which have been weighing heavily on the masses for several years require an urgent solution.

We publish here a collected series of articles on the 1837-1838 Rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada (original available at Fightback). It is important that Marxists understand the place of these important events in the history of the class struggle in Canada and Quebec.

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