Americas

The United States was founded in the cauldron of a revolutionary war against British rule between 1775 and 1783. Almost a century later, in 1861, the country was plunged into a bloody civil war, which Marxists see as the second American Revolution. This podcast, created by our US comrades at Socialist Revolution, explores this dramatic chapter in world history from a Marxist perspective.

The victory of Pedro Castillo in the Peruvian presidential election is a major political earthquake, which reflects the enormous social and political polarisation in the Andean country. The ruling class has been dealt a massive defeat by the masses, who have rallied behind a militant teacher trade unionist at the head of a party, Perú Libre, which calls itself Marxist, Leninist and Mariateguist (after Mariátegui, the founder of the Peruvian labour and socialist movement).

The Communist Party of Cuba held its 8th congress in Havana from 16 to 19 April, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of the revolution on the eve of the attempted invasion of Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs]. The congress was the culmination of the process of replacing the historical leadership in a context of serious economic crisis and of dangerous economic reforms.

In the following polemic, Jorge Martin (editor for marxist.com) responds to a pair of articles in a Cuban magazine, which mischaracterise the 27N movement as being left wing. In fact, this movement of artists and intellectuals for ‘democratic freedoms’ is liberal at best, and openly counterrevolutionary at worst. We also include a letter by Martin, addressed to the Comunistas blog, laying out our differences and calling for communists to stand unequivocally on the side of defending the Cuban Revolution and its conquests.

With just a few days until the second round of the presidential election in Peru, Pedro Castillo has only a very narrow advantage over his rival, Keiko Fujimori. The election reveals the enormous political polarisation in the Andean country, which has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

mass grave containing the remains of 215 children, some as young as three years of age, was discovered at the end of May on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, Canada. The grisly discovery, the result of a search organized by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation using ground-penetrating radar, confirms what the survivors and families of victims of the residential school system have known for years—that many of the children forced into

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One century ago, on 31 May and 1 June 1921, a so-called “race riot” erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Despite a brave attempt by black residents of Tulsa to fight the pogromists, an estimated 300 black people were murdered in those events. The true history of these events has been airbrushed to this day. They represent the horrific fruit of centuries of divide and rule by the American ruling class.

California, the breadbasket of the United States, is facing devastation as a centuries-long drought cycle coincides with the ongoing effects of man-made climate change. Rather than mitigating the catastrophe through rational planning, the short-term profiteering of capitalism – and agribusiness in particular – threatens to create an even greater catastrophe. It will be workers, in California and far beyond, who will be made to pay. It has never been clearer that if our planet is to remain habitable for human beings, capitalism must die.

All over the world, solidarity protests have been organised in support of the Colombian workers and youth, who are locked in battle with the reactionary regime of Iván Duque. Comrades of the IMT have intervened in these demonstrations to show their support for this inspiring struggle.

Colombia’s national strike has been ongoing for 13 days now and has managed to secure Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla’s resignation and the withdrawal of the tax reform. It is still going strong in the streets, its lungs filled with fresh air. The government attacks the movement in an attempt to destroy it, but it is all in vain; every injury it sustains arouses its fury, develops its consciousness and intensifies its resolve. It is a movement filled with the energy of change that draws strength from the dignity the people have been deprived of for so long.

The movement in Colombia that successfully beat back Duque’s tax theft is at a crucial juncture. Our Colombian comrades have written the following 10 theses for how the struggle must proceed. The logic of this fight is a struggle for power with the regime. The main slogan must be: Duque Out!

The Bolsonaro regime’s handling of the pandemic in Brazil has been catastrophic. 400,000 people have died (officially), the healthcare system is collapsing and now hunger is rampant. The wretched capitalist system in Brazil has created a humanitarian nightmare and an ideal breeding ground for new, more dangerous variants. Even the ruling class is beginning to distance themselves from Bolsonaro as the mood in society turns to bitter anger against the regime.

The Chilean bourgeois institutions, like an old rickety wardrobe, creak through all their cracks at the slightest breeze. This last month, these failing institutions have been brought to their knees, as the result of a bill that would authorise, for the third time, a withdrawal of 10% of pension funds by contributors from private pensions. President Sebastián Piñera was defeated on this issue and once again, it was the organisation of the working class that was the driving force of his defeat, expressed in a formidable mobilisation of dock workers and the threat of a general strike.

Image: La Riposte sindicale

After a five–day strike that began on April 26, the Trudeau government deprived the dockers of CUPE 375 of their right to strike through passing back–to–work legislation. The union executive chose not to defy the law and agreed to return to work on Sunday, May 2. Even if the dispute is not settled, this government of the bosses has taken away these workers’ best weapon. At some point, someone, somewhere, will have to dare to challenge the use of unjust and undemocratic back–to–work legislation.

Yesterday, on 3 May, Alberto Carrasquilla, the main proponent of the Tax Reform, exited through the back door, resigning with Vice Ministers Juan Alberto Londoño (Finance) and Juan Pablo Zárate (Treasury). The pressure from the national strike – which has now gone on for six days – and the total bankruptcy of the Duque-Uribe government, have put these pen-pushing officials to the test. In underestimating the power of the masses, they have been utterly scorched by it.

After five days of furious protests across 23 cities in Colombia against Ivan Duque’s tax bill (an austerity package meant to make the workers pay for the results of the pandemic), the government has withdrawn the bill. This is an overwhelming victory for the working class. For five days, more than 50,000 protestors took to the streets of Bogotá (these are official numbers and are probably an underestimation), with the rest of the nation following suit, in protest against a law that would worsen the conditions of daily life.

The national strike movement of 21 November 2019 has resurfaced like a revived giant as of 28 April, initiating what is becoming one of the greatest struggles of this period: the National Strike against the Tax Reform. The principle demand arose from exasperation caused by this obnoxious law presented by the Ministry of Finance. But behind it, there runs a deep discontent fomented by a long list of abuses against the ever–more impoverished masses at the hands of the Duque government. With each passing day, the strikers are adding new demands, whether or not they appear on the official list of demands.

The mobilization of the dockers at the Port of Montreal is reaching a critical point. With the strike only beginning, the Trudeau Liberals, with the full support of the CAQ at the provincial level, are moving to take away the democratic right to strike. We cannot let another strike be crushed through the use of back-to-work legislation.