Americas

This article was written on 10 May, prior to Andres Manuel LopezObrado (AMLO)'s election as President of Mexico. However, we think it is still relevant after the Mexican elections as it reveals the brewing conflict between AMLOand the Mexican ruling class.

It was not supposed to happen. Incumbent New York Congressman Joe Crowley—the head of the Queens County Democratic Party machine, slated to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, should the Democrats retake the majority—was soundly defeated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old activist who identifies as a socialist and is a member of DSA.

Yesterday, on 2 July, there was massive participation in the Mexican general elections, in which there were 18,229 public positions at stake. However, by far the most important was the presidency. With more than 89 million voters registered, the level of participation – according to the available data – was one of the highest in the history of Mexico.

Lenin once wrote an article entitled Combustible Material in World Politics. But the amount of combustible material in the present world situation dwarfs anything the Bolshevik leader might have had in mind. Everywhere one looks there is instability, turbulence and convulsion: the conflict between Russia and Ukraine; the bloody Civil War in Syria; the conflict between Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia; the unresolved question of Palestine; and the long-drawn-out and equally unresolved war in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration laid out its proposed 2019 budget. Although it sets out increased spending to address the national opioid epidemic, it includes drastic cuts to national public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, and Section 8 public housing. This will strike a major blow at millions of families whose main source of security is through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and other forms of public assistance. Given the stricter eligibility guidelines and $213bn in cuts over the next ten years—30 percent of current levels—some four million Americans will immediately lose access to SNAP benefits.

The second round of the presidential election in Colombia on 17 June delivered a victory for the right-wing, reactionary candidate, Ivan Duque (backed from behind-the-scenes by former-president, Alvaro Uribe), who received 54 percent of the vote (10m votes). However this was the first time in history that a candidate attacked by the ruling class as a dangerous “Communist”, Gustavo Petro, made it to the second round, and he received a very respectable 42 percent (8m votes).

On the 1 July, Mexicans will go to the polls in a crucial election. All opinion polls show that a victory for the candidate of Morena(Movement for National Renewal), Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is quite likely. However, nothing is certain in Mexico. The ruling class has already used election fraud to cheat AMLO out of winning the elections twice and will certainly try a third time. In this article, the comrades from the Mexican section of the IMT – La Izquierda Socialista – explain why they advocate a critical vote for Lopez Obrador, address the limitations of his programme and assert the need to organise to struggle against capitalism (read the ...

The Venezuelan elections on 20 May were merely an episode in a long saga of imperialist aggression, economic crisis and the deterioration of living conditions for the working class and poor. The reelected Maduro government has continued its policy of making concessions and appeals to the capitalists. If it wasn’t for the escape valves provided by subsidised food parcels, migration and the dollar-based economy, the situation would have led to a social explosion already. The mood of the chavista rank-and-file is increasingly angry and critical of the leadership.

John Wight of Sputnik Newsinterviewed Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign, to discuss the significance of President Maduro's re-election, given the crisis afflicting the Bolivarian Revolution and the nefarious influence of western imperialism.

The Doug Ford Conservatives have won the 2018 Ontario election. This represents a victory for right-wing populist reaction in Canada’s largest province. It also represents class polarization and the collapse of the “middle”. The Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has been demolished, and has lost official party status. On the left, the New Democratic party, historically based on the trade unions, won its second best result in history. A period of intense class struggle opens up and there is no time for complacency.

Three months of strike by lecturers and teaching assistants at York University has created a deep crisis at the institution. Most classes during the winter term were not in session, and now the summer term has been shortened and course offerings heavily cut down. This is no surprise as most of the teaching at the university is done by striking members of CUPE 3903.

With less than a week to go in the Ontario election, the Liberals have collapsed. On June 2, Premier Kathleen Wynne even made an announcement conceding that she would not win the election, and appealed to voters to leave the Liberals with enough seats to prevent the formation of a majority government. After 15 years of Liberal rule in the province, voters are tired of a party they see as disingenuous, corrupt, and part of the elite establishment.

On Thursday the deadline passed for an agreement between Trump and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the EU on trade. Failure to reach an agreement meant that the steel and aluminium tariffs threatened by Trump came into force. With this, Trump has begun the process of unravelling globalisation. On Saturday, the G-7 finance ministers met and the 6 non-US ministers came together against the US, expressing their “unanimous concern and disappointment” over the US decision.

The electric mood that filled the US IMT Congress flowed from the political confidence of the comrades in our ideas and in the revolutionary destiny of our class. Nine months before the Bolsheviks successfully led the working class to power and established the first workers’ state, Lenin addressed a gathering of socialist youth in Zurich: “We of the older generation may not live to see the decisive battles of this coming revolution.” In the forty weeks that followed, the Bolshevik Party proceeded to grow from a membership of 8,000 to 250,000 and won over the vast majority of the working class to the program of socialist revolution.

On 23 May, more than 70 students and workers gathered at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada for Fightback’s event on the Sexual Revolution in the Soviet Union. Presenting on the topic was Fred Weston, editor of the In Defense of Marxism website and author of a recent series of articles on sexuality in the USSR. While over 100 years later the social advances made by the Russian Revolution of 1917 are still widely misunderstood, if not entirely erased by mainstream and pro-capitalist versions of history, Fred’s presentation cut through all the misinformation and laid bare both the real gains and limitations of the revolution. He explained that to learn the real lessons for the struggle

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Jorge Martin appeared on Chicago-based radio station, This is Hell!, reporting on the re-election of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, amidst a history of US influence in the elections and a deepening economic crisis, and examining the two futures for the Bolivarian revolution: forward and beyond the Maduro government's aims, or backwards into the hands of oligarchs.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Argentinian peso has fallen 30 percent against the dollar, reaching 25 pesos per dollar. The severity of the crisis has forced the government to raise interest rates to 40 percent. Seeing that this didn’t help, the government has taken steps to ask the IMF for a multi-billion-dollar loan to prop up the faltering economy. Seemingly coming like lightning from a clear blue sky, what this pending disaster really reveals is the fragile state of the Argentinian and world economy.

More than 140 revolutionaries gathered in Toronto, Canada on the May long weekend for the 18th annual congress of Fightback/La Riposte Socialiste, the supporters of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in Canada and Quebec. Fifty years since the May 1968 revolution in France, workers and youth from Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, London, Waterloo, and Oshawa discussed the possibilities for a new revolution. The record turnout, up from 110 in 2017, marked yet another advance for the forces of Marxism. The rapid growth of Fightback in the last period was highlighted by the fact that when we asked which of our attendees had joined the movement in the past two years, more than half the

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US-sponsored terrorist Luís Posada Carriles has died today in Florida. He never paid for his many crimes thanks to the support he received from Washington. This is what Alan Woods wrote about his track record in 2007 when a US court decided to release him.

Nicolas Maduro was re-elected for another term of office in the Venezuelan presidential election on Sunday 20 May. The majority of the reactionary opposition, with full support from Washington and Brussels, had called for a boycott, which led to a very low turnout in the middle-and-upper-class areas of the main cities. Their demand that the elections be cancelled was echoed by right-wing governments in the region. This meant that many in the working-class and poor areas turned out to vote as a way of rejecting brazen imperialist meddling. However, even here turnout was visibly lower than in previous elections. The deep economic crisis is the major issue in people’s minds and many are

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The serious representatives of capitalism are petrified that the ongoing trade dispute between China and America could erupt into a full-blown economic war. In a recent editorial for the Financial Times, associate editor Martin Wolf described US President Donald Trump’s latest plan to reduce the $337bn US-China trade imbalance by imposing $200bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods (over two years) as a “crazy” act of “fiscal irresponsibility”. But there is method in Trump’s madness. He is predictably applying his particular art of negotiation: threaten, bully and bluster – then strike a deal. However,

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Venezuela is being bombarded from all sides by imperialist intervention and the impacts of the world crisis of capitalism. But the current leadership of Maduro and the PSUV bureaucracy is not offering a way forward. The Bolivarian revolution needs a new leadership, forged from the mass movement of workers and peasants, and based on a genuinely socialist programme.

As the Venezuelan presidential election on 20 May draws closer, the campaign of imperialist aggression by the US and its allies intensifies. The aim is clear: to implement regime change. At the same time, the economic crisis gripping the country has reached intolerable levels for the workers and the poor, and the government’s policies are impotent to resolve the situation. A revolutionary alternative is required, one capable of fighting the right wing andshowing a real way out of hyperinflation, scarcity and economic depression.

The 2018 midterm elections are already upon us and 2020 will be here before we know it. Although the left and labor leaders seem to have blanked 2016 from their memories, the takeaways from that earthshaking political cycle are clear: 1) People are fed up with the status quo; 2) Interest in socialism is skyrocketing; 3) You can’t fight evil with more evil. How can we combine all of this to fight and defeat Trump and everything he represents?

Alan Woods editor of In Defence of Marxism discusses Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear dealand reintroduce sanctions. In taking this step, the US President is throwing a lit match onto an already highly-flammable situation. In the process, Trump has stomped on the interests of the Europeans and instead allied himself to the most reactionary regimes in the region: Israel and Saudi Arabia. Far from bringing stability or security to the people of Iran and the wider Middle East, Trump's actions will only add fuel to the

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Yesterday, Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. In a speech filled with lies, distortions and crude hypocrisy he announced that his administration will reimpose the “highest level of economic sanctions” on Iran.

At 1:30 in the afternoon of Monday, April 23, a man deliberately drove a rental van into pedestrians in the Yonge and Finch area of Toronto. At the time of writing 10 people are dead, while 15 are in hospital, some in serious condition. The injured and dead are men, women, possibly children, out walking in what is known as Toronto’s “north downtown”, a busy retail area. How can we understand such violence and hate?

Teachers are on the move around the United States. By shutting down schools in every county in the state of West Virginia—even defying anti-strike laws that prohibit public sector employees from taking such action—teachers and other education workers have provided an exemplary lesson in class struggle for the labour movement to follow. Their inspiring victory has now set off similar actions in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and other parts of the country.

In Canada, the revolutionary socialists of Fightback and the International Marxist Tendency are leading the way and giving a Marxist perspective on current politics. More and more youth and workers are adopting a Marxist analysis of the capitalist crisis. We present Fightback's 2018 Perspectives: the need for a militant workers’ movement as a discussion document for all those who aim to link revolutionary theory with the real life movement of workers, youth, and the oppressed.

Today marks the anniversary of the defeat of the coup that attempted to remove President Hugo Chavez from power in 2002. Within 48 hours, reaction was defeated by a magnificent movemenet of the Venezuelan masses. Here we reproduce the analysis of those events written by Ted Grant and Alan Woods, originally published on 14 April 2002.

There has been a four-week long strike by teaching assistants and sessional lecturers at York University. This strike by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3903, which is made up primarily of graduate students as well as sessional lecturers, had the effect of inspiring a movement among undergraduate students. The strike is going through a challenging period, and now a witch-hunt by secrtarian elements, aimed against our comrades at York, threatens the entire movement.

50 years ago, on 4 April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – the leader of the civil rights movement in America – was shot dead in cold blood. On that day, Dr. King was in Memphis, Tennessee, to lead a demonstration and rally in support of a three-month-long fight for trade union recognition by 1,300 local refuse collectors.

On 28 March, a decision was made at a Special General Members Meeting of CUPE 3903 (TAs and sessional lecturers at York University) to ban Fightback from picket lines and all spaces associated with CUPE 3903. We are shocked by this decision which was based on misinformation and innuendo. We publish here, Fightback's response to this decision.

A series of school walkouts in the United States has given voice to a range of social demands that go beyond the typical gun-control debate that has prevailed in Washington and the media. More than a million high school, middle school, and even elementary students on over 3,000 campuses across the US staged walkouts on 14 March—exactly one month after 17 students and staff were killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The Parkland, Florida shooting marks a tipping point, transforming the shock and grief of thousands of students into outrage and a vow to put an end to the horrific pattern of school massacres.

In the last week, US President, Donald Trump announced his intention to raise tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, threatening to start a dangerous trade war with the rest of the world. This could plunge the world economy into another deep slump.

Este año Colombia elige Presidente de la República, Vicepresidente, Senadores y Representantes a la Cámara: prácticamente  dos tercios del poder político oficial que rige al país. Llama la atención de todos los sectores de la política nacional el ascenso en encuestas de Gustavo Petro. El país que una vez fue llamado “el Israel de Suramérica” ahora parece buscar un giro a la izquierda que atemoriza a la burguesía.

Han pasado cinco años desde la muerte de Hugo Chávez. Lo conocía desde hacía casi diez años y sentía un gran respeto por su valor, honestidad y dedicación en la lucha contra la opresión y la explotación. Por esto se ganó el odio de todas las fuerzas de la vieja sociedad: los banqueros, los capitalistas y terratenientes, los imperialistas, la CIA y, por supuesto, la llamada "prensa libre" que no es más que la boquilla servil de la antigua orden.

Five years have passed since the death of Hugo Chávez. I had known him for almost ten years and had an enormous respect for his courage, honesty and dedication to the fight against oppression and exploitation. For this he earned the hatred of all the forces of the old society: the bankers, capitalists and landowners, the imperialists, the CIA and of course the so-called ‘free press’ that is merely the slavish mouthpiece of the old order.

The Montreal Marxist Winter School has become the biggest Marxist meeting in Canada, but this year's event was something special. There was record attendance at the school, with close to 230 people participating. People were present from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, Mexico, France, Britain and Switzerland. Two hundred years after Karl Marx’s birth, the 2018 Marxist Winter School has shown that Marxist ideas are advancing across the board.

En los primeros días de febrero la Corriente Socialista Militante, Sección Argentina de la Corriente Marxista Internacional realizó un nuevo Congreso anual partidario, sesionando en Rosario los días 3 y 4 de febrero. La caracterización de la Situación Internacional, su expresión en la región, la etapa que atravesamos de la lucha de clases, el salto cualitativo en la conciencia y en la lucha de masas contra los embates del gobierno de Macri Cambiemos, el papel de los Jefes Sindicales y otros temas fueron motivo de este valioso y rico encuentro entre los camaradas de la CSM. Las conclusiones y la construcción de un Partido de clase y nuestra construcción fueron el cierre de las jornadas

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