Americas

[Note - 01/12/22]: Since the publication of this article, in a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives has voted 290 to 137 for Biden’s scandalous legislation to ban rail workers from striking over the holiday period. Virtually all the Democrats in the House voted to steal the right to strike from rail workers, including “left-wingers” such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

1,200,000 people flooded the streets of Mexico City, according to government figures. The given figure does not seem to be an exaggeration. People from all over the country, and even Mexican migrants living in the US, gathered in the country's capital in response to Andrés Manuel López Obrador's call for a march on the fourth anniversary of his taking office.

A debate has opened up within the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) about the question of whether it should enter the Lula-Alckmin government. The following open letter was drafted by our Brazilian comrades of Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left), calling on the National Leadership of the PSOL to reject the decision of its National Executive to enter the Lula-Alckmin transition team, a first step towards entering a government that has committed to carrying out attacks on the working class in the name of ‘fiscal responsibility’.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, the bargaining team for 55,000 Ontario CUPE education workers agreed to a tentative agreement with the Ford Conservatives, canceling their planned strike. The agreement, which will be put to members for a vote this week, has been widely criticized by hundreds of members of our union, as it only contains a $1 annual wage increase over four years.

55,000 education workers in Ontario, Canada (organised by the public sector union CUPE) are waging an inspiring struggle against the rotten provincial government of Doug Ford. Defying legal threats and dirty constitutional attempts to force them back to work and impose wage cuts, the workers are on indefinite strike action to protect their living standards against soaring inflation. This example is drawing other layers into the fight, and there is talk of an Ontario-wide general strike.

Image: Esquerda Marxista

Bolsonaro’s defeat is a victory for the working class and the youth that opens up a new political situation in the country. Popular hatred for the reactionary government overcame the widespread and brazen use of the state machine in the electoral contest; the fake news; and the policy of class conciliation on the part of Lula and the PT.

Faced with a fuel blockade by the country’s most powerful gang and with a mass movement demanding solutions to the growing economic crisis, the Henry regime in Haiti is hanging by a thread. Led by the United States, the imperialists are openly discussing a military intervention to defend the Henry regime and restore order. An intervention and occupation by imperialist troops will be a disaster for the workers and poor of Haiti, and must be opposed.

Negotiations have broken down between the Ontario government and 55,000 education workers. Even before a strike has been launched, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has tabled draconian legislation to take away the democratic right to strike of education workers. Going one step further, the government is also using the notwithstanding clause to eliminate collective bargaining rights altogether and impose a rotten contract on education workers who are among the poorest unionised workers in the province.

On Sunday, Lula of the Workers’ Party (PT) narrowly defeated the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro (50.9 percent to 49.10 percent) in the second round of the presidential elections. While workers and youth are rightly celebrating this result, we should also note that Bolsonaro exceeded expectations, and managed to increase his vote by over 6 million between the two rounds, compared to an increase of 2.6 million for Lula.

The following is a statement by our Brazilian section, Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left) offering solidarity with worker, youth and neighbourhood activists who have resolved to break up road blockades by hardline Bolsonaro supporters, refusing to accept the result of Sunday’s elections. Our comrades will participate in these efforts, and call for the main left and trade union organisations to back them.

Canada, the United States and the United Nations (UN) are openly discussing a new intervention in Haiti.

On October 7, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry officially called for foreign military intervention in his country under the pretext of fighting the gangs. A few days later, Canadian and American military aircraft coordinated the arrival of Canadian-made armored vehicles to reinforce the Haitian National Police (PNH). 

The midterms used to be a banal affair that received little attention and voter turnout, in which the opposition party would typically retake control of Congress without much uproar. But the traditional dynamics of US bourgeois politics have been entirely upended in the last period, as the systematic crisis of world capitalism wreaks havoc on political stability across the globe. This year’s midterms will provide a partial snapshot of the political mood in American society at the halfway point of Biden’s presidential term.

The first round of the Brazilian elections are over. Our priority and central struggle now is to help the working class defeat Bolsonaro at the polls on 30 October. For this, first of all, it is necessary to understand the real proportion of votes in the first round. The 57.2 million votes for Lula and the 51 million votes for Bolsonaro correspond to 48.4 percent and 43.2 percent of the so-called “valid votes”. However, when we consider the total of 156.4 million voters eligible to vote in Brazil, it is clear that Lula received a vote of 36.6 percent of them and Bolsonaro only 32.6 percent, that is, less than a third.

On Tuesday 27 September, the Category 3 Hurricane Ian hit Cuba, lashing the island for seven hours with winds that reached gusts of 200 km/h. The eye of the cyclone was for an hour and a half over the city of Pinar del Río, capital of the province of the same name, which was the most affected by the hurricane, leaving scenes of widespread devastation.

On 6 August 2022, Jamaicans celebrated 60 years of formal national independence from British rule. The parasitic Jamaican ruling class attempted to use the pomp, ceremony and spirit of national fervour to distract from worsening economic and social crises. But the fact is that the tasks of Jamaica’s independence struggle have not been completed.

At the end of July, a series of economic measures were announced in Cuba, amongst them opening up the retail sector to foreign investment and the opening of a new official currency exchange rate. In order to comprehend the meaning of these measures and their possible impact and consequences, we need to understand the background to the very dire economic situation in the island.

Editor’s note: At the eleventh hour, after 20 hours of talks lasting late into the night, President Biden and numerous officials in his administration convinced union leaders to accept a tentative agreement, averting an imminent national railroad strike. However, the terms of the “Presidential Emergency Board” constitute an effective wage cut over the next five years when factoring in inflation, as detailed in the article below. The ranks of the dozen railroad unions representing 115,000 workers must now vote to ratify the deal. At least one of these unions, the International Association of Machinists, has already voted to reject the terms of the Presidential Emergency Board agreement,

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