Americas

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.

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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Queda claro que en las últimas semanas el imperialismo estadounidense y sus países lacayos han aumentado la agresión contra Venezuela. El objetivo es público y declarado: propiciar un golpe de estado que derroque el gobierno del presidente Maduro y permita a la oligarquía capitalista volver a tomar control. Es necesario responde con medidas revolucionarias que golpeen el poder económico de la oligarquía, los agentes del imperialismo el país.

It is clear that US imperialism and its lackey countries have increased aggression against Venezuela in recent weeks. The aim has been declared publicly: to trigger a coup d'etat against the government of President Maduro and allow the capitalist oligarchy to take control again. It is necessary to respond with revolutionary measures that strike a blow at the economic power of the oligarchy: the agents of imperialism in the country.

As with all production under capitalism, scientific production is not democratically controlled by the working class. We argue that the workers can and should be the drivers of scientific advancement.

Como hemos venido señalando, específicamente en nuestro artículo “Venezuela: crisis, saqueos y hambre ¿Cuál es la salida?”, la actual crisis que atraviesa el país ha golpeado principalmente a las masas trabajadoras. Esta, enmarcada dentro de la crisis del capitalismo mundial, afecta principalmente a los países que, como el nuestro, se insertan en la economía mundial de forma dependiente, haciéndonos el eslabón más débil de la cadena. El aumento de la oferta mundial de crudo –principalmente en EEUU–; sumado a la desaceleración de la economía de China, y como

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Tom Trottier examines the rise and fall of the Labor Party, which was founded by an alliance of unionists in 1996 and won some support, but rapidly declined in the late-90s and early-2000s. Tom explains why the Labor Party failed and why Marxists must draw lessons from the past to start laying the foundations and framework for a future mass, working-class, socialist party in the United States.

The struggle of the masses, opened after the elections in Honduras, is only comparable to the strike of 1954 and the movement against the coup d'état in 2009. It is one of the greatest instances of class struggle in the history of the country. This can only be explained by the great contradictions concentrated in society, which have placed the country on the verge of revolution. In spite of all that revolutionary impulse, Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) has just been sworn in as president, although he was met with protesters demanding his resignation. This is a highly discredited and weak government that will be subjected to the pressure of the workers, who can prevent JOH from completing

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The year has barely started and we’ve already seen large popular demonstrations all over Iran. Demonstrations, that had started with economic demands, developed into a revolt against the reactionary Islamic regime. In Tunisia, the youth have taken to the streets demanding employment and an end to IMF-imposed austerity policies. These two cases bring to mind, once again, the political instability that is spreading throughout the world and revolutionary explosions that may be detonated by little sparks.

Interest in socialism has skyrocketed over the last two years. Millions of people yearn for change and want to fight back against capitalism. They are looking for ideas and an organization that can help them do just that. But there is as yet no viable point of reference, no mass socialist party, no clear and confident exit indicated out of the burning building. As a result, most people doubt whether a serious challenge to the system and its institutions can be mounted, let alone its total overturn. This explains the revival of interest in reformism.

Recent independence movements, most notably those in Scotland and Catalonia, have caused many people to draw parallels between them and Quebec. This, combined with the identitarian turn that the mainstream Québécois nationalist parties have taken recently, forces us to return to the basics and re-evaluate the Marxist approach to this question.

The student loan industry's parasitism is matched by the Democratic Party's unwillingness to take them on. Martin Scorsese’s classic 1991 film Goodfellas lays bare the basic operations of the mafia. In a classic scene, narrator and mobster Henry Hill describes the fate that befalls those who partner with the mob.

The economic situation facing the masses in Venezuela has suffered a sharp turn for the worse over the Christmas period. The problems that already existed have worsened, with prices spiralling out of control, a further collapse of the transport system and an aggravation of scarcity (of food, fuel and cash). This has led to scattered protests and incidents of looting.

Venezuela en los actuales momentos es escenario de un proceso de descomposición social sin parangón en la historia nacional. Problemáticas como la brutal escasez de productos de primera necesidad, la hiperinflación y la insuficiencia de los salarios, combinadas a su vez con el colapso generalizado de los servicios públicos, han alcanzado niveles tormentosos e insoportables para las familias trabajadoras cuya capacidad para seguir resistiendo los embates de la crisis económica comienza a agotarse. Tanto los días finales del 2017 como los primeros del año que recién comienza, han estado marcadas por innumerables protestas, tomas de carreteras y conatos de saqueos, en innumerables ciudades

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 Neither taxation nor privatization will keep our water clean, bridges safe, or roads intact. Taking control over these essentials means a fight against those who hold them–and us–hostage under a failing system.

En las últimas dos semanas, olas de protestas heroicas se han extendido rápidamente por los pueblos y ciudades de todo Irán. Esta fue una erupción espontánea de rabia por parte de la juventud de clase media-baja y de la clase obrera contra la pobreza, el aumento de los precios y la indigencia, así como contra la riqueza y la corrupción de la élite iraní, en particular del clero. Se estima que 21 personas han muerto en las protestas hasta ahora y más de 1.700 han sido detenidas. Inmediatamente, los líderes occidentales desde Washington a Londres levantaron un coro defendiendo los derechos humanos del pueblo iraní.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will stop research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and is expected to lay-off 300 research and development staff in Massachusetts and Connecticut, in a move that could severely hamper progress towards effective treatments for these illnesses – proving that critical medical research cannot be left in the hands of capitalist profiteers. Corporations like Pfizer should be expropriated and their assets, data and equipment placed under democratic control, to be used for the betterment of mankind.

Following huge protests against counter-reform of the pensions system in Argentina in December, the right-wing Macri government has launched an offensive of repression and criminalisation against left-wing organisations and activists. Two members of the Partido Obrero (Workers’ Party) have been arrested, and several activists from other organisations (including members of parliament) have been indicted. The International Marxist Tendency expresses its solidarity with the comrades, demands the end to all repression and calls on working-class and solidarity activists internationally to show their support.