Imperialism

The Dutch King has apologised for violence committed by the Netherlands during Indonesia’s independence struggle. The crocodile tears of hypocritical elites do not make up for 300 years of brutal subjugation. The only real justice and road forward can come from the expropriation of Dutch capital: the common enemy of the Dutch and Indonesian workers.

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. Prior to this denouement, from 30-31 January 1968, 70,000 North Vietnamese soldiers, together with guerrilla fighters of the NLF, launched one of the most daring military campaigns in history. The Tet Offensive was the real turning point in the Vietnam War. In 2008, on its 40th anniversary, Alan Woods analysed the events that led to the Vietnam War and the significance of the Tet Offensive in bringing about the defeat of US imperialism, and drew some parallels with Iraq.

This article was produced in Spanish some weeks before the coronavirus pandemic, which has obviously affected the situation in Haiti. There are around 70 confirmed cases in the country, and its fragile healthcare system means the virus could have a catastrophic impact if it takes hold. The hated president Jovenel Möise declared a state of emergency and lockdown in March. Protests continued all the way up to the lockdown, and violent clashes between the army and police over pay disrupted carnival in February, showing splits in the repressive state apparatus. Clearly, none of the fundamental issues have changed since this piece was written.

The coronavirus pandemic is a turning point in history. The world economy is receiving one savage blow after another. Healthcare systems are totally overwhelmed in the advanced capitalist countries as a result of decades of attacks on living standards. The inefficient and ghastly nature of capitalism is in full display in the west, where people until recently enjoyed at least a semi-civilised existence. In Africa, Asia and Latin America the consequences of a full-scale outbreak will be catastrophic.

Millions of ordinary people in Indian-occupied Kashmir are facing an unprecedented situation amidst the coronavirus lockdown imposed on the whole of India for 21 days. Kashmir was already under a strict curfew and has faced brutal repression since 5 August 2019, when a draconian law was passed by the Modi government changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir as a separate state, dissolving its state assembly by presidential order and relegating it to a union territory directly controlled by the central government.

Amidst the global turmoil unleashed by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. has decided to ramp up its imperialist aggression and interference in the Venezuelan government. On Friday, 27 March, the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges of drug trafficking, corruption and the promotion of terrorism against Nicolás Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and 13 high-ranking state officials, all in an attempt to legitimise any future acts of intervention and insurgency in Venezuela. On 25 March, Jorge Rodriguez, Minister of Communication, also presented the country with evidence of a new conspiracy, organised in Colombia, to traffic arms into Venezuela,

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On 10 December, Aung San Suu Kyi, also known by some western commentators as ‘South East Asia’s Nelson Mandela’ appeared in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN’s highest court, which is famous for trying war criminals and genocidal leaders. However, the saintly Aung San Suu Kyi was not, as you might expect, here to condemn Myanmar’s military junta, which for so many years oppressed her, but to defend it against accusations of the genocide of the Rohingya people. On 23 January 2020, the court reached a unanimous decision that Myanmar does have a case to answer, rejecting Aung San Suu Kyi’s arguments, and concluding that the 600,000 or so Rohingyas that remain in Myanmar are

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Early Friday morning (3 Jan 2020), in an act of supreme arrogance the Trump administration carried out the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as top Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in Baghdad airport. Yet again, US imperialism is adding to the instability in the Middle East.

Note: this dramatic development means we have postponed Alan Woods’ new year article, which will be published tomorrow.

A series of attacks on Saudi oil installations have set sparks flying once again in the Middle East. Only months after a last-minute cancellation of a US strike on Iran – and weeks after reaching out for talks without any preconditions – US President Donald Trump is yet again filling the twittersphere with threats and intimidation. Meanwhile, oil prices shot up by 20 percent and the ripple effects are already working their way through the sensitive oil and currency markets.

After Donald Trump came into office, Washington’s position on the Cuban Revolution has become ever-more belligerent, in a radical change of policy from that followed by President Obama. Although the ultimate objective of both administrations was the same – the destruction of the Cuban Revolution – Obama recognised that the politics of direct aggression had failed, and so pursued the same goal in the economic sphere instead. The objective was to restore capitalism through the penetration of the market into the Cuban economy. Trump, it

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The self-proclaimed “Interim President” of Venezuela Juan Guaido is attempting to carry out a military coup, “Operation Freedom”, as he has named the “final phase” of his attempt to remove Maduro. He is joined by Leopoldo Lopez, who was freed by a handful of police and armed forces from house arrest early this morning. It is “an all-or-nothing move”, as some have described it.

Libya is gripped by civil war. General Haftar has launched an offensive to oust President Fayez al-Serraj and his Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognised by the UN. The offensive began on the same day that the General Secretary of the UN, António Guterres, arrived in Tripoli to secure a national reconciliation conference, scheduled on 14 April. His visit was useless, as the UN has been in Libya since 2011.

There is a certain trend of opinion amongst the liberal left, particularly in the US, which never felt very comfortable with the Bolivarian revolution. Now, in the midst of a serious and well-organised attempt by Washington to remove Maduro’s government, they insist on equally blaming both sides for the crisis, one which in their view can be resolved through “negotiations between the government and the opposition”. A chief representative of this point of view is Gabriel Hetland, who has written several articles on Venezuela for The Nation, Jacobinand other left-wing publications.

The failure of the 23 February “humanitarian aid” provocation on the Venezuelan border was a serious blow for Trump’s ongoing coup attempt. There were mutual recriminations between self-appointed Guaidó, Colombian president Duque and US Vice-President Pence. The US could not get a consensus from its own Lima Cartel allies in favour of military intervention.

In the aftermath of recent elections in Cameroon, instability has increased, with a factional struggle opening up between different sections of the ruling class. President Paul Biya of the ruling CPDM, who retained power in 2018, has ramped up political repression, arresting opposition leader Maurice Kamto and intensifying his suppression of the country’s Anglophone minority.

Militias marching

So, 23 February came and went. This was the day that had been billed by the US and its local puppets as D-Day, when "humanitarian aid" was supposed to enter the country against the will of the evil Maduro, something which, as even the BBC correspondent admitted, had little to do with aid and everything to do with defying the authority of President Maduro.

Mass protests and a general strike against growing poverty, corruption, and demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse have shut down Haiti for the past two weeks. This mass movement is a direct continuation of the general strike that erupted last summer against proposed increases to the cost of fuel as well as the mass protests that took place last November in relation to a corruption scandal involving PetroCaribe funds.

Nigerians woke up on Saturday, 16 February 2019, to the shocking news of the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, scheduled for that day. But what class interests lay behind this decision? The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement a few hours before the opening of the polls. This was after he had been repeatedly assuring Nigerians and international observers that the elections were going ahead.

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