Americas

The last couple of months have seen a ramping-up of attempts by the US to launch a coup in Venezuela. Under orders from the White House, Juan Guaidó declared himself “president in charge” at a street tally. Immediately, the rogue’s gallery of Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and others recognised Guaidó, then called on the Venezuelan army to declare itself loyal to this new ‘president’.

On the latest episode of Out of Left Fieldpodcast, Elias, a leading comrade of Lucha de Clases (Venezuelan section of the IMT) is interviewed about the ongoing, US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela by Juan Guaidó, self-declared 'President in charge' for the reactionary opposition.

On Saturday, 23 February, HOV secretary Jorge Martin was interviewed about Venezuela by Andrew Castle on the British LBC radio station, setting the record straight about the attempts of US imperialism and its Latin American agents to impose its will on the country under the cover of providing "humanitarian aid".

Tensions are running high between Venezuela and the US, as the latter is continuing its efforts to topple Venezuela's democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We publish here a radio debate between, Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands off Venezuela campaign and editor of www.marxist.com, and Fernando Cutz. Cutz is a former Director for South America to President Obama and President Trump. In fact he is the only top official to have worked for both the Obama and Trump administrations. He has played a key role in designing the sanctions against Venezuela which started under Obama in 2015.

The dramatic "standoff" between US President Donald Trump and the Democrats over border policy is a cynical charade between two parties that represent one and the same class. Shortly after the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in the midterms, Nancy Pelosi issued a defiant pledge, promising not to give Trump “one dollar” for his wall.

Comrades and supporters from around the world are continuing to put pressure on the Pakistani state to release the Marxist student activist, Rawal Asad, who is still being held on the scandalous charge of sedition and has been denied bail. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in Pakistan, where comrades, students and workers are demanding that Rawal be immediately released.

Militias marching

So, 23 February came and went. This was the day that had been billed by the US and its local puppets as D-Day, when "humanitarian aid" was supposed to enter the country against the will of the evil Maduro, something which, as even the BBC correspondent admitted, had little to do with aid and everything to do with defying the authority of President Maduro.

Mass protests and a general strike against growing poverty, corruption, and demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse have shut down Haiti for the past two weeks. This mass movement is a direct continuation of the general strike that erupted last summer against proposed increases to the cost of fuel as well as the mass protests that took place last November in relation to a corruption scandal involving PetroCaribe funds.

A Marxist student comrade of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Rawal Asad, remains in jail on the charge of sedition, having had his bail hearing rejected. In addition to continued protest in Pakistan against this injustice, messages and photographs have been pouring in all week from all over the world demanding our comrade's release.

“You are risking your future and your lives,” said Trump to Venezuelan military officers in a war-mongering speech in Miami on 18 February. “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything,” he added, perhaps frustrated that there have been so far no significant cracks in the Venezuelan armed forces, a month after the beginning of the ongoing US coup attempt. 

In the news coverage, public statements, and official explanations surrounding the coup attempt by Donald Trump and Juan Guaido, the liberal hypocrisy of the ruling class is breathtaking. How can a country like Spain, where hundreds of Catalan civilians were physically beaten to suppress the 2017 independence referendum, demand that “fair, free and transparent elections” be held on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? How can a man like Emmanuel Macron, deeply

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The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

An international solidarity campaign has been launched to demand the release of comrade Rawal Asad, who was arrested in Multan for the 'crime' of attending a protest. He faces a scandalous charge of sedition, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and a judge has now officially denied his application for bail. In addition to demonstrations in Pakistan, comrades from all over the world have been protesting outside of Pakistani embassies, and sending pictures and messages of support calling

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Once again this year, the Montreal Marxist Winter School was a smashing success. We had a record 235 registrations, the largest number ever to attend! Participants came not just from Quebec and Ontario, but also from Western Canada, the United States, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Haiti and Algeria.

On Saturday, February 16, over 100 students representing Marxist Societies at over 30 universities across Britain met in London for the Marxist Student Federation national conference. One of the points of the agenda was the current ongoing Trump coup in Venezuela.

The International Marxist Tendency rejects the current attempt by US imperialism to carry out a coup in Venezuela. What we are witnessing is a blatant attempt to remove the Venezuelan government of president Maduro by a coalition of countries, led by Trump. This is the latest episode in a 20-year campaign against the Bolivarian Revolution, a campaign that has involved military coups, paramilitary infiltrations, sanctions, diplomatic pressure, violent rioting and assassination attempts.

The fightback against the capitalist crisis in education has now spread from West Virginia and Arizona to California. 30,000 teachers in Los Angeles, represented by UTLA, were recently on strike, and in Oakland, nearly 2,400 teachers represented by Oakland Education Association, who have been without a contract since 1 July 2017, are on the verge of strike action.

Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism and founding member of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, was interviewed on teleSUR English about the ongoing, US-led coup attempt in Venezuela. Alan condemns the position of the UK government which is supporting the coup and withholding billions in Venezuelan gold. Alan also denounces the threat of military aggression which is being prepared under the guise of 'humanitarian aid'.

On 22 November 2018, Bhaskar Sunkara and John Peterson participated in a panel organized at Temple University in Philadelphia by the Temple Marxists, YDSA, and the Utopia Film Club. The editors of Jacobin and Socialist Revolution gave their definitions of socialism, analysed the current state of the socialist movement in the US, and provided their views on the perspectives for a socialist future. The discussion covered a wide range of basic topics of socialist theory and politics, such as the nature of the capitalist state, the role of the Democrats and the two-party system, the state of the US labor movement, and more.

Even though the ongoing imperialist coup in Venezuela has not yet succeeded, the impression one gets is that there is an inexorable march forward in its implementation, which is pushed mainly from forces abroad rather than from within Venezuela itself. The next step in the plan is the use of “humanitarian aid” as a provocation on the border with Colombia.

On Tuesday, 29 January 2019, the MAP (Maghreb Arabe Presse) announced that the Kingdom of Morocco expressed its official support for Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself “interim president” of Venezuela. By doing so, Morocco became the first country in all of Africa and the second in the Middle East to express its support for the American-backed coup against the democratically elected President Maduro. Israel (headed by the child-murderer Netanyahu) has also recognised Guaido as a "legitimate president", just because he declared himself so.

Washington's efforts to remove the Venezuelan government, an imperialist coup attempt, proceed apace. On 26 January, the US announced sanctions on PDVSA and seized assets from the Venezuelan oil company. This is a very serious blow to the Venezuelan economy and government. It is clear that the Trump administration thinks it has a window of opportunity and it is going in for the kill.

The United States has decided it is time for “regime change” in Venezuela, and is acting in a relentless manner to achieve it. The imperialists have appointed an “interim president” and rallied the “international community” to recognise him. They have seized Venezuelan assets in the US and the UK and imposed economic sanctions. They are calling on president Maduro to step down and on the Venezuelan Army to oust him if he refuses. This is an imperialist coup attempt, which any socialist and even consistent democrat is duty-bound to oppose.

On 25 January, 48 “maquila” companies installed in Matamoros, Tamaulipas were hit by strikes. This is not a minor movement, we are talking about 45,000 striking workers. In the past several days, the workers revolted against their inert labour leaders and their bosses. The workers partially paralyzed some factories. Under pressure, several people went to work, but most refused. Massive, daily assemblies have been held in the public square.

Jorge Martín explains that what is really happening in Venezuela is an ongoing imperialist coup attempt organised by Trump, Bolsonaro and Almagro; and why and how we should fight it.

As we have reported previously, a coup d'état is underway in Venezuela, promoted by imperialism and its lackeys of the Lima cartel; and executed by its puppets in the opposition. On 23 January, the coup entered into a higher phase of its execution when deputy Guaido took an oath as “president in charge of the republic”.

The ongoing attempt by Washington and the reactionary Venezuelan opposition to remove President Maduro will reach a key stage today. The opposition have called for mass protests and Mike Pence issued a public statement giving the green light for “regime change”. As we have explained before, in Venezuela, there is an ongoing attempt to remove president Maduro through a military coup instigated by Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and Almagro.

On 11 December 2018, the official Weibo account of the US Embassy in China published a blog post entitled “American University Marxist Students Show Solidarity for Unionization and Strikes” (美国大学生马克思主义社团声援工人组织工会和罢工). In it, the embassy referred to the activities of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) comrades in the Marxist Student Association (MSA) and their political work in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mexican workers from 45 "maquiladoras" (factories) in Matamoros, Tamaulipas have gone on strike, having received no information from trade union leaders linked to the Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) concerning negotiations over annual salary increases. The workers demand an increase of 20 percent and a compensation bonus. On Sunday 13 January, 2,000 workers in Sonora called a strike because their employer, the Levolor company, did not respect the wage increase decreed by the federal government in its adjusted salaries and benefits.

The glory days of American capitalism are over. Long gone are its youthfulness, enthusiasm, and idealism. The signs of extreme decay and senility are everywhere as the divisions within the ruling class are put on public display. The longest partial government shutdown in US history is just the latest example.

An imperialist coup d'état attempt is underway in Venezuela. On 10 January, President Maduro was sworn in for a new term of office. He had won the election on May 20. At that time, one section of the opposition decided to participate and another to boycott the elections. On 11 January, Juan Guaidó, the president of the opposition National Assembly (in contempt since 2015), refused to recognise President Maduro and declared himself willing to assume the presidency “with the support of the armed forces, the people and the international community.”

The victory of the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, or Coalition for the Future of Quebec) in the 1 October elections in Quebec marked the end of an epoch in the province. The Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ) who had held power interchangeably for nearly half a century were pummeled at the polls, receiving their worst electoral results in history. The political landscape in Quebec is increasingly polarised on the left with Québec solidaire and on the right with the CAQ, while the establishment parties in the “centre” have been punished.

On Monday, 26 November 2018 Canada’s post-war social contract finally died, after a long period of ill health. At her bedside were two who were present at her birth, Oshawa auto workers and striking postal workers. Her passing was due to systematic abuse and abandonment by corporations and government. She is survived by a labour relations regime of naked class war. In lieu of flowers, bring picket signs and burn barrels.

In the vicinity of Ercilla, in the Araucanía region in southern Chile, 24-year-old indigenous Mapuche, Camilo Catrillanca, was murdered by members of the so-called Comando Jungla of the Chilean national police. The young man, a nephew of the local Mapuche chief of Temucuicui, leaves behind his pregnant wife and a daughter of six. Camilo was driving a tractor and was accompanied by a 15-year-old minor when they were showered by bullets, one of which found its way to the back of his head. This is just one more case in the brutal history of police assassinations against the Mapuche people. The lives of dozens of youth and minors are being taken. Meanwhile, the authorities are quick to deem

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On 20 October 2018, the White House published a document, entitled ‘The Opportunity Costs of Socialism’, which recognises the rising popularity of socialism in the United States (particularly amongst the young) and attempts to provide a scientific rebuttal in favour of capitalism. Alan Woods replies to this document’s slanders, and investigates why socialist ideas are gaining ground in the United States of America.

In the final installment of Alan Woods' reply to the White House's slanders against socialism, he discusses the terrible financial and human cost of American capitalist imperialism. He points to the clear superiority of a planned economy, and explains that a transition to socialism in America (given its vast productive forces) would be far easier than in backward countries like Russia in 1917, and would be a colossal advance towards the goal of world socialism.

Late on the night of Sunday, 25 November, rumours began to trickle out about the impending closure of the Oshawa General Motors plant. The following morning the terrible news was confirmed to be true. In response, workers of Unifor Local 222 staged a spontaneous wildcat walkout. The closure is a massive blow to the working class of the city and the province which cannot be allowed to stand. The capitalists have shown themselves to be incapable of providing decent employment. It is up to the workers to take action to defend their jobs and union.

On 22 November, at the Leon Trotsky House Museum in Mexico City, Alan Woods began his talk on the English Revolution by saying that, while postmodernists claim there are no laws in history and that it is impossible to understand, there are recurrent processes and even familiar characters across the centuries. Similar material conditions provoke historical phenomena with certain similarities.

50,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have been on rotating strike since 22 October. The Trudeau Liberal government has tabled so-called “back-to-work” legislation, that will make this work stoppage illegal. Increasingly, the right to strike in Canada is not worth the paper it is written on. As soon as a strike becomes effective, it is declared illegal. However, the postal workers are angry and there is a real opportunity that they will defy the legislation. Solidarity is urgently needed to let the CUPW workers know they are not alone, and that workers in Canada and internationally support their fight.

On Monday, dozens of young people and workers assembled in the auditorium of the Leon Trotsky House Museum to listen to a speech by Alan Woods, leader of the International Marxist Tendency. The event was about the ideas of Karl Marx, 200 years since his birth. The day (November 20), could not be more appropriate, as it also marked the anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution.

In the third part of Alan Woods’ reply to Trump’s advisers’ so-called empirical critique of socialism, he addresses their gross mischaracterisation of the Nordic economies, Venezuela and the USSR. Alan also refutes the accusation that socialism will inevitably lead to food shortages and economic ruin; and responds to the falsehood that socialists want to “nationalise everything”.

On 27 October, Robert Gregory Bowers, a far-right activist, gunned down 11 people at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh while yelling "All Jews must die!" This was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. A few days before the Pittsburgh attack, pipe bombs were mailed to prominent critics of US president Donald Trump, including Hillary Clinton, George Soros and members of CNN’s New York bureau. While these events are shocking, they should not surprise anyone. This is just the most recent on a growing list of atrocities committed by the far-right

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On 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King Jnr. was assassinated: shot in cold blood whilst standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. 50 years on, speaking at the recent Revolution Festival in London, Fred Weston looks at Martin Luther King's life and ideas, and discusses the way forward today in the fight against racism and for liberation.