Americas

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 is one of the most significant events of the last 50 years. The elimination of capitalism and landlordism and the introduction of a nationalised, planned economy allowed collosal advances to be made. But the disappearance of the USSR has had catastrophic consequences for the Cuban economy. David Rey looks at the current perspectives and the tasks of revolutionaries.

Amid a renewed wave of stock collapses on Wall Street and the continuing accounting scandals involving a greater and greater number of big corporations, President Bush has appealed to the nation's capitalists to use "honest" accounting methods in order to calm investors. This is like trusting the fox to guard the henhouse!

On June 29 a million and a half workers marched on the streets of Caracas to show their support for the government and to warn reaction that "if there is a new A11 there will be a new A13" (in reference to the coup and counter-coup in Venezuela in April). The stories and pictures of the demonstration leave no room for doubt: the Venezuelan working class is ready to fight against reaction.

More than 50,000 people marched in Buenos Aires on Thursday, June 27 to the Plaza de Mayo to protest against the brutal police repression meted out to the piqueteros on the previous day, and especially the cold blooded murders of Maximiliano Costequi and Darío Santillán by the forces of the state.

After a week of protests and virtual uprising in the south of Peru, the government has backed down on its plans to privatise the water and electricity in the region.

On May 31, 26 peasants were ambushed and murdered in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. They belonged to the community of Santiago Xochiltepec, and the authorities initially blamed the massacre on intercommunity conflicts. However there have been allegations concerning the role of logging companies that operate illegally in the area and receive protection from state and paramilitary forces.

The anti-war mobilizations in Washington DC, San Francisco, and elsewhere were the first mass protests against government policy since September 11. Many groups were represented, but all of them had one thing in common - opposition to the so-called War on Terrorism. The anti-globalization, anti-war, and labor movements need to unite under a working-class leadership to fight for a socialist solution to the problems facing working people in the US and internationally.

Today marks the anniversary of the defeat of the coup that attempted to remove President Hugo Chavez from power in 2002. Within less than 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 published on April 14, 2002.

David Rey reports from Argentina on the current economic and political situation. The economic plight of the workers has got worse since the events of last December, and the initial euphoria has given way to a more sober attitude. The streets are still in the hands of the masses, whilst the representatives of the capitalist system keep their heads low to avoid retribution. But the movement remains as strong as ever. Duhalde is very weak, trapped between the demands of the IMF and those of the masses. As the situation worsens, Argentina is headed for another upsurge.

On March 30, 1982, in response to Argentina's deepening economic crisis, and the repression of General Galtieri's military-police dictatorship, the workers had taken to the streets of Buenos Aires. The regime was staring overthrow in the face. It responded by starting a war, one of the principal aims of which was to distract the attention of the masses.

"Raise Hell! Raise Hell!" came the repeated shouts of the assembled delegates in response to speeches calling for class action.

On February 23, 2002 an estimated fifty thousand people gathered on the lawn of the British Columbian Legislature to express their opposition to the right-wing BC Liberals. The Liberals have been consistently and systematically attacking the working class of British Columbia ever since their election last spring. They soared to victory on a platform that was a pack of lies and now the people of British Columbia are angry. Betrayed by the government, workers are demanding action.

Since day one of the "Klein Revolution" it seemed obvious that eventually something, someone, somewhere, would break. The unions were caught unawares and stood idly by as welfare and unemployment benefits were slashed. Soon public utilities were sold off and threats were levelled against our sacred healthcare. Teachers and nurses bought into "fiscal responsibility" and took pay cuts to help advance the assault against the institutions their unions and associations had fought hard to establish just 40 years ago. Now after ten, or twelve, or fifteen years of Tory rule (how long has it been anyway?), and continuous cuts to education and health, we can see the results of this fiscal

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The events of last December are a warning of what will happen in one country after another in the coming period. The Argentine revolution is a complete answer to all the faint-hearts, cowards, sceptics and cynics who doubted the ability of the working people to change society. It deserves the most careful study by all workers. As events unfold there will be periods of ebbs and flows, victories and defeats, before a decisive settlement is reached. But sooner or later, the question of power will be posed, and must be solved.

On September 11, 2001, our country - for just a moment - stopped functioning. In the wake of the attacks on lower Manhattan, amid the smoke, fires, stench, and rubble, those who were left breathing staggered to their feet, emerged from the subway, or sank to their knees, depending on their proximity to the World Trade Center. Across the river in New Jersey, everybody watched in disbelief as the city seemed to cave in on itself. The rest of the country was glued to their TV sets in shock and horror. It was in those few seconds after the second tower fell that New York City was silent for the first time.