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The Ecuadorian election on 7 February produced a clear victory for the left-wing candidate Andrés Arauz, but not enough to prevent a second round. There is a very close tie for the second position between the capitalist oligarchy’s preferred candidate Guillermo Lasso and the “indigenous” candidate Yaku Perez. 

The Marxist Student Federation in Britain invites you to the online MSF Conference 2021 this Saturday! The past six months have seen enormous students struggles emerge, with the biggest University rent strike movement in forty years foremost amongst them. We have also seen the government's attempt to write anti-capitalism out of schools, which the MSF answered with its Tell the Truth campaign. All this and more will be discussed. Buy your ticket now!

In the last few weeks, there has been an escalation in the verbal attacks from the Venezuelan government against the revolutionary left. These attacks, by president Maduro and National Assembly speaker Jorge Rodríguez, have been directed particularly at the APR: the Popular Revolutionary Alternative, a political platform that gathers several parties and organisations to the left of Maduro’s government. Very serious allegations have been made, including the charge that the left opposition to the government is acting in cahoots with US imperialism.

The Portuguese presidential election saw a collapse of the left vote. This was due to a number of factors. On the one hand, there was the tacit support given to the centre-right candidate, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, from the right wing of the Socialist Party (PS). On the other, the candidates themselves competed knowing that they would not win. This was the case with Marisa Matias, the candidate for the Left Bloc (BE), who recognised the victory in the first round by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and for that reason applied with the sole “mission” of “defeating fascism.” 

At the end of January 2021, we arranged an interview with comrade José Salas, a communist worker, who told us about the origins of the San Rafael neighbourhood in La Pintana, the fight against Pinochet's dictatorship, and the Hugo Manascero Soup Kitchen. In the Octubre group of the International Marxist Tendency in Chile, we consider it very important to give a voice to working-class activists, contributing their experience to historical memory.

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Santiago Rising, the new Alborada Films documentary by Nick MacWilliam, is a powerful portrayal of the insurrectionary uprising that shocked Chile at the end of 2019, Diego Catalán writes.

On 13 February, the Marxist Student Federation will host a screening of Santiago Rising followed by a Q&A session with the director, Nick MacWilliam, and Carlos Cerpa (from the IMT Chile-Octubre).

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto established the first digital bitcoin transaction by mining the so-called genesis block. This was to be the beginning of a new era for money and the payment system, but the story did not develop according to the original aims of the pseudonymous bitcoin creator. Digital currencies really have the potential to change the economic landscape. The problem is that, under capitalist conditions, they will not be used to help ordinary people, but rather, the profiteering bankers. Note: this article was written in December 2020.

On 24 January, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the independent Portuguese presidential candidate, was re-elected in a landslide victory, with 61 percent of the vote. Whilst he was the centre-right candidate, he had the tacit support of the ruling Socialist Party. The election has attracted some interest internationally because of the fact that Chega, the far-right party, won 12 percent of the vote, up from around 1 percent in the parliamentary elections of 2019. The real winner in these elections, however, was not Marcelo, but ‘none of the above’.

Only a month into 2021, this year is turning out to be, if not a turning point in the modern history of Russia, then certainly a year of tremendous importance. No matter how much the authorities may wish it was so, the start of a new year doesn’t herald a new beginning or a fresh slate as far as the accumulated contradictions of Russian capitalism are concerned. On the contrary, these contradictions are being sharpened by the day, raising more and more sharply the question, “socialism or barbarism?”