Americas

The government of Brazil, headed by Michel Temer of the right-wing PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), is deeply unpopular. Meanwhile the PT (Workers’ Party), which has traditionally been the main Left party in Brazil, is mired in corruption scandals.

On April 28 we saw a massive general strike in Brazil, the first in over twenty years, which we reported on, but before this, in Argentina there were dramatic events during a mass trade union rally where the union leaders were booed and shouted down and had to escape the wrath of the workers, escorted by security guards - “unprecedented” for a trade union rally in Argentina. The reason for the anger was the refusal of the leaders to fix the date for a general strike. In both Brazil and Argentina the working class is on the move. Here we provide a report from our comrades in Argentina.

El Primero de Mayo, cientos de miles de personas marcharon en Caracas en defensa de los derechos de los trabajadores y la revolución bolivariana. Los medios de comunicación internacionales, que han prestado mucha atención a Venezuela y tenían corresponsales en Caracas ese día, fueron unánimes en su silencio. Ni una sola mención a la manifestación. Aquí va mi crónica.

On May Day, hundreds of thousands marched in Caracas in defence of workers' rights and the Bolivarian revolution. The mass media internationally, which has been paying a lot of attention to Venezuela and had correspondents in Caracas at the time, was unanimous in its silencing of this demonstration. Here's my account. 

El presidente Maduro ha convocado a la realización de una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente. ¿Qué papel jugará este proceso en la actual crisis que vive la Revolución Bolivariana? Permitirá la Constituyente radicalizar hacia la izquierda de manera definitiva la revolución, derrotando así a las fuerzas de la reacción burguesa e imperialista de una vez por todas, o será este nuevamente un proceso político estéril, como ocurrió con el Congreso de la Patria? El siguiente artículo constituye el primer pronunciamiento oficial de la Corriente Marxista Lucha de Clases sobre la convocatoria a Constituyente, las tareas de la revolución y las perspectivas para la lucha de clases en Venezuela.

The student movement in Canada is going through an important development that has been prepared over the last six years. Beginning in 2011, revolutionaries organized with Fightback/La Riposte socialiste magazines have been engaging in systematic organizing on university and college campuses across the country. These efforts have resulted in the establishment of active groups on over 15 campuses, with plans to expand further.

Durante su discurso en una masiva manifestación bolivariana el 1º de mayo, el presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, ha anunciado la convocatoria de una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, que describió como una asamblea obrera y comunal. La oposición venezolana ha rechazado inmediatamente esto como parte del “golpe de estado del régimen” y ha hecho un llamamiento a favor de una escalada de las protestas.

During his speech at a massive Bolivarian May Day rally, Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, has announced the convening of a National Constituent Assembly, which he described as a workers’ and communal assembly. The Venezuelan opposition has immediately rejected this as part of the “regime’s coup” and has called for an escalation of protests.

De nouvelles révélations montrent que la corruption coule dans les veines de la politique brésilienne. Une enquête portant le nom « Opération Lava Jato» - un réseau de blanchiment d'argent et de corruption lié à l'entreprise publique Petrobras et à un certain nombre de politiques - est en cours depuis 2014. Pas plus tard que la semaine dernière, cette enquête a mené à une nouvelle vague d'accusations contre d’autres membres du Congrès. Tous les partis politiques sont impliqués dans le scandale. La gangrène de l’Etat brésilien est claire pour tout le monde.

April 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Fought as part of the larger British-led Battle of Arras during the First World War, the battle was the first instance in which all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) fought together. The success of the unified Canadian Corps in capturing the ridge from German troops, after failed efforts to do so by British and French forces, has steadily grown in significance in recent decades to attain the status of a founding myth, in which Vimy represented Canada’s birth as a nation. This mythologized narrative obscures the true nature of an imperialist war that led to the death of millions, while furthering

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We live in an epoch of instability, austerity, war, crisis, revolution, and counterrevolution. Sharp and sudden changes that erupt seemingly out of nowhere are implicit in the situation. Capitalism is at an impasse on a world scale and can no longer meaningfully develop the means of production or improve the quality of life of the majority. The crisis is expressed in every country and at every level of society, with intense polarization to both the left and the right.

Ha habido nuevas revelaciones sobre la corrupción que corre por las venas de la política brasileña. Una investigación sobre lo que se conoce como 'Operación Lava Coches' (Lava Jato) –una red de lavado de dinero y soborno con enlaces con la petrolera estatal Petrobrás y una serie de políticos– ha estado en curso desde 2014. En fecha tan reciente como la semana pasada, esta investigación ha producido una nueva ola de acusaciones contra más miembros todavía del Congreso de todos los partidos políticos. La suciedad avariciosa que salpica al Estado brasileño es clara para que todo el que la vea.

“C’è stato un colpo di stato in Venezuela! Maduro ha cercato di prendere tutto il potere!”. A pochi giorni dal quindicesimo anniversario del colpo di stato (di breve durata) contro Chavez il presidente democraticamente eletto (11-13 aprile 2002), gli stessi che avevano portato avanti quel glope (ovvero l’oligarchia venezuelana e i loro padroni di Washington con il proprio seguito di tirapiedi a Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Santiago del Cile e Lima, applauditi da quel branco di lupi che sono i media a Madrid e negli Stati Uniti) ora gridano e urlano come iene contro un presunto “auto golpe” del presidente Maduro.

There have been fresh revelations about the corruption coursing through the veins of Brazilian politics. An investigation into what has become known as ‘Operation Car Wash’ (Lava Jato) - a money laundering and bribery scheme with links to state-owned oil company Petrobras and a number of politicians - has been ongoing since 2014. As recently as last week, this investigation has produced a fresh wave of allegations against even more members of Congress from all political parties. The money-grubbing filth with which the Brazilian state is spattered is clear for all to see.

“Freedom is the goal, and struggle is the method”, says Lucy Dias, a university student and revolutionary activist from the organisation Liberdade e Luta (Freedom and Struggle), “but there can’t be real freedom under capitalism”. We’re sitting, along with 1500 other young socialists and political activists, in a vast warehouse in the old port district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Defiant slogans decorate the walls and the building is awash with militant singing and lively drum beats. This is an international camp for young people who want to fight for their future, organised by Juntos!, a broad youth organisation. Here, there’s no doubt that spirit of freedom and struggle is

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To say that the American healthcare system is criminally expensive and convoluted would be an understatement.

French Guyana has recently seen the largest mobilization in the history of the country. Last Saturday, 37 unions organized in the Union of Guyanese Workers (UTG), decided to call for an unlimited general strike starting on Monday, March 27th. The general strike involved almost all of the workers from the various industries.

“There’s been a coup in Venezuela! Maduro has carried out a power-grab!” Just a few days before the 15th anniversary of the short lived coup against the democratically elected president Chavez (11-13 April, 2002), those who carried out that coup (the Venezuelan oligarchy, their masters in Washington and its lapdogs in Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Santiago de Chile and Lima, cheered on by the media wolf pack in Madrid and the US) are now shouting and screaming like hyenas against an alleged “self coup” by president Maduro.

The moment that everyone was waiting for has finally arrived: On Thursday, March 9th, Gabriel-Nadeau Dubois, the celebrated student leader from 2012, announced that he will be joining Quebec solidaire. He will be the candidate for the party in the riding of Gouin and also desires to become the male spokesperson for the party. He said he wants to get rid of the "political class" that has governed for 30 years and has "betrayed Quebec".

In certain conditions, all things can turn into their opposite. Prior to the arrival of its latest resident, the White House had long been a symbol of the immense stability and confidence of the USA’s political regime. Today it stands at the centre of an almighty political crisis.

This article was originally published in Spanish in the runup to the a strike in Mexico on 17 March.

The Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress suffered defeat as their proposal to “repeal and replace Obamacare” disintegrated. Historically speaking, a new President has the most momentum in his first 100 days. Trump has been president less than 65 days—with no victories and now a major defeat.

Five years have passed since the heroic struggle of the students during the “maple spring.” This magnificent movement shook the Canadian province of Quebec to the core and ended with the defeat of the Liberal Party and the cancelling of the tuition increase. However, five years later, austerity continues at a steady pace and the Liberals seem to be comfortably seated in power. The fifth anniversary of the maple spring is an occasion for us to revisit those historic events and to highlight the lessons of this fantastic movement.

Almost a year and a half after the Federal NDP’s disappointing election result, the party leadership race has begun in earnest. Four candidates have declared so far: Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron, and Peter Julian. What is notable is that at the March 12th leadership debate none of the candidates defended the Mulcair legacy of moving the party to the right, and all appeared to be turning towards the left to some degree or another. This represents an interesting dynamic and is reflective of broader class polarization and radicalization in society.

In classic "divide and rule" fashion, Donald Trump seeks to drive a wedge into the working class. By giving tiny crumbs to a few and scapegoating others, he hopes to distract us from the real source of the problems faced by all workers: capitalism.

46 years ago during Salvador Allende’s government, the Chilean Congress voted unanimously for the nationalization of Chilean copper. During the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, the road was open for foreign investment, which in actuality takes more than two thirds of the benefits produced by the exploitation of this resource and those who work it. Nevertheless, what is left over, still constitutes 13% of Chile’s GDP, and has been called ‘the salary of Chile’. While the state company CODELCO is the largest producer of mine copper in the world, the surface mine with the largest copper production in the world is Minera Escondida, controlled by BHP Billiton.

Elections in Ecuador on February 19 were seen as a test both for Rafael Correa’s “Citizen’s Revolution” and for the general trend of the right wing winning elections and coming to power in several Latin American countries. Here are some initial comments from José Pereira from Lucha de Clases Bolivia. At the time of writing it was not clear whether a second round would be triggered, which is now the case.

The seventh annual Montreal Marxist Winter School, held this past weekend (February 18-19), was a resounding success! Attendance at this year’s school was almost double that of last year, with some 200 people from countries such as Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Mexico attending and participating. In fact, this was one of the largest revolutionary Marxist meetings held in Canada for many, many years.

On November 25th 2016, Fidel Castro passed away in Havana, Cuba. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement expressing his “deep sorrow” with the death of this “legendary revolutionary” and “remarkable leader” who “made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.”

The new and completed edition of Stalin, which Leon Trotsky was working on at the time of his death, was officially launched in Canada at a meeting in Toronto this past Thursday, February 16.

The Bolivarian Revolution is at one of its lowest points since President Chávez’s electoral victory in 1998. On top of the defeat in the December 2015 National Assembly elections, the aggravation of the economic situation is impacting the mass of the working people—who are the base and support of the revolution. It is time to draw a serious balance sheet.

When Steve Bannon took over as the head of Trump's floundering, disorganized, and underfunded campaign, electoral victory seemed a dim possibility. The Republican establishment, in their panic, went into damage-control mode: prominent figures such as Mitt Romney scathingly criticized their candidate in public, while House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed that his priority was to preserve the Republican majority in Congress rather than putting effort into supporting the presidential campaign. The Democrats simply gloated, confident of their victory.

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec was the victim of a brutal atrocity, a bit before 8pm Sunday evening, where one man opened fire, killing six people and wounding a further eight. The thirty-nine other people who were gathered for a night prayer were unharmed. Fightback strongly condemns this cowardly attack on the Muslim community and we offer our condolences and our solidarity to the victims and their families.

It's been a stormy week for America's CEO: a flurry of calls and meetings, a whirlwind of Tweets and press conferences, a blizzard of executive orders flying off his desk. In just a few days, Trump has set his stamp on US and world politics, economics, and relations. It was not mere hyperbole when the Marxists said that sharp and sudden changes were on the order of the day, that the process of crisis and class struggle was accelerating, that this was merely the beginning of the beginning of a new era.

Over 100 people gathered on U.S. Inauguration Day for the United Against Trump Town Hall held at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. The event was hosted by a coalition of organizations led by the Canadian section of the International Marxist Tendency, Fightback. Others who supported the event included the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW), the Canadian Federation of Students Ontario (CFS-O), the Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario (CUPE) and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).

And so begins the Trump era: with worldwide protests, pessimism, and polarization.The carefully stage-managed inaugural spectacle had to be protected by 28,000 law enforcement officers. Militarized police kept people waiting for hours at vehicle checkpoints, going so far as to confiscate any fruit they found, lest the presidential motorcade be pelted on live television. In 2008, nearly two million Americans flocked to see Obama after his promise of "change we can believe in." In 2012, after four years of bitter disappointment, over a million turned up. Trump, who claims to have the support of a majority of Americans,

Since President Peña Nieto and his EPN government have implemented energy reforms, which focus on the increase of the price of petrol, there has been ongoing public outcry and nationwide mass demonstrations against it from the beginning of the New Year.

As with many other trends in our crisis-ridden capitalist world, the term “alt-right” meteorically arose from obscure corners of the internet to one of the most discussed political phenomena in the US. Donald Trump’s appointment of former Breitbart media executive, Steve Bannon, first as his campaign manager, then as his White House chief strategist, is interpreted by many as the alt-right’s entrance into the mainstream. Frenzied liberal media point to the alt-right as akin to Donald Trump’s brownshirts or stormtroopers, perpetuating the unscientific conclusion that Trump took power on the basis of a ...

At 10.29 pm on Friday, November 25, the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died at the age of 90. His brother Raul Castro announced the news to the Cuban population and the world around midnight in a televised speech. His death was not unexpected, as he had been ill for a number of years and had already stepped down from his formal political responsibilities, but still it came as a shock to both friends and enemies.

Electoral results provide an important, albeit imperfect snapshot of the mood in society at any given time. Although they cannot reflect the full complexity of the subterranean changes taking place, they do provide valuable insights. Processes that have been quietly evolving over years and decades suddenly surface and take form. In these results, over time, you can trace the demographic, economic, social, and ideological changes taking place beneath the surface of society, as reflected at the ballot box.

The massive wave of defiance against Donald Trump’s election shows that millions of youth and workers will resist his government. Trump cannot resolve the crisis of capitalism and the poverty, bigotry, and instability that come with it. The Democrats and labor leaders have rolled over and offered to work with him. The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) has a different perspective. We are confident that Trump’s anti-worker agenda can be stopped in its tracks. This is our proposal for a program to fight and beat Trump.

On Wednesday 9th November the “free world” woke up to find it had a new leader. Donald J Trump had been elected the 45th president of the United States of America. The shock waves immediately spread across the world at this news, which contradicted all the confident expectations of the polls.

In the aftermath of Donald trump's selection as President of the United States of America, cries of “fascism!” again fill the air. However, as we shall see, although Donald Trump is a crass, bigoted, billionaire businessman, he is not a fascist. The secret to his win is not that he rode a mass fascist movement to power, but that the lesser-evil policy of the labor leaders and the “left” ran out of steam. With no class-independent alternative provided by the unions or Bernie Sanders, uninspired Americans stayed home in droves and the balance of victory was handed to Trump by rust-belt workers sick and tired of the decades of betrayals by the Democrats.

Nearly seventy comrades and contacts converged on the National Center of the US Section of the IMT in Brooklyn, New York for the 2016 Northeast Regional Marxist School. Held just days after Donald Trump’s stunning election victory over Hillary Clinton, it was a standing-room-only crowd as comrades from New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Louisville, KY, Toronto, Montreal, and London assembled for what proved to be a weekend of passionate political discussion. In addition, over 3,700 people from around the world tuned into the four sessions via live stream on Facebook.

On the day after the election, Americans woke to find themselves in a "strange new land." The Washington Post called Trump's victory a "cataclysmic, history-making upset." According to insider reports, the Republican National Committee and even Donald Trump himself did not expect the result.