Americas

Trump has been summarily banned from Twitter and a host of other major social media platforms after he encouraged supporters to storm the Capitol building last week. While there is a gratifying irony in this, Marxists must soberly consider the implications of this move by the Big Tech capitalists. 

2021 has kicked off with a bang. If anyone had any remaining doubts, yesterday's events exposed the depth of the crisis of US capitalism—and it is only the beginning. Even in the turbulent years before and after the US Civil War, we have never seen the US Capitol building breached by protesters—and encouraged by the sitting president! Anti-terrorist attack emergency protocols were activated as tear gas wafted through the corridors, and at least one person was shot and killed. As former president GW Bush put it, these are the scenes one would expect in a “banana republic"—i.e. in a country ravaged by US imperialist intervention, not in the belly of the beast itself.

On Monday, it was announced at the Old Bailey that Julian Assange would not be extradited to the US to face charges of endangering the lives of informants in Afghanistan, and for collusion with Chelsea Manning to hack US government computers. This news has rightly been greeted with enormous relief from Assange’s supporters. Yet there is a caveat. The British court’s ruling was based on concerns that the US prison system would be incapable of preventing Assange from taking his own life. In fact, the court ruled in favour of the prosecution, stating that Assange should be extradited to the US. The message is clear: the British judicial system is subservient to the whims of US

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Argentina’s approval of a one-off wealth tax has been presented as a model by some on the left in Britain, as well as in other Latin American countries – where the idea is very popular. What is its real content, however, and is it a useful proposal to deal with the crisis of capitalism and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The crisis that began in 2008 exposed capitalism. It started a process in which millions of young people and workers began to challenge, not just so-called ‘neoliberalism’, but capitalism itself. Yet this crisis of capitalism, rather than propelling the left to power, has pushed the left into crisis. Superficially, this is a contradiction, but if we look beyond the surface, we see it flows from the limitations of reformist politics in a period such as the one we are living through.

The 6 December National Assembly elections in Venezuela were marked by a low turnout in the midst of imperialist aggression and a deep economic crisis. The US and the EU had already announced in advance they would not recognise the results, but the Guaidó card is exhausted. The PSUV victory announces a deepening of its rightward political shift.

Joe Biden beating Donald Trump in the race for the White House shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, his opponent was an incompetent reality TV star presiding over a devastated economy and an uncontrolled pandemic. Just a few months earlier, the Commander in Chief had been forced to hide in a bunker in the face of the most massive protest movement in the country’s history. What is surprising is that the result was ever anything but a foregone conclusion.

On 15 October, retired General Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested when he arrived with his family at the Los Angeles airport. The US authorities took him into custody under serious accusations of money laundering and drug trafficking. This was no ordinary arrest. Cienfuegos had served as head of the armed forces and Mexico’s Minister of Defence under Peña Nieto’s presidency in 2012-18. This incident unleashed a major diplomatic crisis between Mexico and the United States. The prestige of the Mexican army (and much else besides) was put at stake. On 20 November, the General Attorney of the United States withdrew the charges and repatriated Cienfuegos to Mexico. He has since remained

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For months, the bourgeois press has gushed over Joe Biden’s supposedly progressive climate plans. A headline in the New York Times tells us, “Biden Plans to Move Fast with a ‘Climate Administration.’” The article goes on to paint a glowing picture of a visionary “Climate President” boldly changing course after four years of Trump’s climate denial and environmental rollbacks. Taking the Biden campaign at face value, many climate ...

Nineteen years after the approval of the Agricultural Land and Development Law promoted by Hugo Chavez in 2001, land reform remains an unfinished task in Venezuela, with tendencies seeking to reverse Chavez’s expropriations of large non-productive farms. These expropriations initiated the process of land socialisation and its transfer to those who work it.

On the morning of Thursday, 19 November, organisations that make up the People’s Revolutionary Alternative (APR) protested in repudiation of the media censorship of this left-wing coalition, carried out by public and private media during the electoral campaigns for the parliamentary elections on 6 December. This demonstration took place in front of the Venezuelan Television Corporation (VTV), and was attended by numerous candidates and leading figures of the alliance.

On 12 October, the Cuban Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández appeared on the television programme Mesa Redonda [Round Table] to talk about the economic strategy “to boost the economy and overcome the global crisis caused by COVID-19." A central part of it is the "monetary reorganisation" that has generated so many rumours and uncertainty in Cuba in recent months.

[The approval by Congress of a budget of cuts, at 5.30 am on 17 November, has unleashed a wave of protests in the Central American country. A section of the ruling class opposes the budget as it increases the country’s indebtedness. The vice-president broke ranks with president Giammattei and asked him not to ratify the budget. 

Yesterday, the Peruvian congress elected a new leadership headed by Francisco Sagasti, who will be sworn in as the new country’s president today. The election of Sagasti (Partido Morado) at the head of a list composed exclusively of congressmen who did not vote for the impeachment of president Vizcarra on 11 November is a desperate attempt to maintain the continuity of the institutions of discredited bourgeois democracy and to rebuild their legitimacy.

Events are moving very fast in Peru. On 9 November, the president Martin Vizcarra was removed from office; a week later the new Merino government has fallen under the pressure of the mass movement unleashed in recent days. The crisis in the bourgeois state has opened the floodgates of the class struggle in the streets and the working class and the youth have defeated the regime in this first battle.

The upcoming municipal elections in Brazil are being seen as a litmus test of Bolsonaro's electoral support following two years of chaos, demagogy, attacks on the working class, and now the disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is clearly a desire for radical change in Brazil, despite the shameful policies of class collaboration by leaders of the left.

In the evening of Friday 7 November, 20-year-old Bianca Alejandrina, known to friends as Alexis, did not return home after she had gone out to sell electronic cigarettes in the suburbs of Cancún, in Quintana Roo, southeast Mexico. On Sunday, her dead body was found. She had been quartered. Her remains had been put in plastic bags. Thousands of youths took to their streets of Cancún and other cities to protest against this brutal murder.

Joe Biden has been named president-elect, though Donald Trump is still refusing to concede. What will the 2020 election results mean for the US working class? What should socialists be doing in the aftermath? Join our US comrades at Socialist Revolution for a two-day online event, providing a Marxist analysis of the elections and the path to revolution in the USA. International participants welcome! Register now using the form on this page or by visiting our US comrades' registration site!