Americas

The new labour minister, Rolando Castro – a former unionist – has started a crusade against the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security Workers’ Union STISSS. Using the state apparatus and with “legal” manoeuvres, he has organised a coup d'etat against the union's leadership. The leadership that was elected in a general assembly in 2018 has been dismissed and expelled from the organisation. Based on an “assembly” that never took place, and with the backing of “legal” accreditations from the Ministry of Labour, a gang of puppets commanded by Ricardo Monge (an old trade union bureaucrat) has arbitrarily taken control of the union's leadership.

Yes! It’s true! You did read that right. President Donald Trump has sacked his National Security Advisor, John Bolton, telling him his services are “no longer needed”.

“Money is the universal self-established value of all things. It has, therefore, robbed the whole world – both the world of men and nature – of its specific value.” – Karl Marx (1843)

From space, in various satellite images, you can see columns of smoke and suspended particles ascending above the most extensive and biologically diverse tropical forest in the world: the Amazon.

The fires in the Amazon and central-west regions of Brazil were felt in São Paulo. The sky darkened at 3pm and many people did not understand why. Then the news came, explaining that, besides the cold front, this was caused by the ground-clearing fires used in “slash-and-burn” agriculture. And then, a general commotion was stirred up on social media, in the newspapers, and across the international media. The environmental problem, which did not seem to be a major focus of public indignation, become a new point of expression for widespread dissatisfaction and government crisis. This issue fed the anger and resentment against the Bolsonaro government, which responded with nothing but

...

The Chiquitania region of Bolivia has been on fire since early August. The wildfires started on 2 August both west and east from San José de Chiquitos in woodland areas and dry woods, reaching Roboré later on. Prime Minister Quintana accused the right-wing of provoking the fires for political and electoral purposes. Until he can prove this, we’ll have to take his statement as an assumption that the wildfires did not spread from Brazil, as the government initially claimed. Rather, the cause of this disaster is to be found inside Bolivia’s borders.

Stock markets have experienced a roller-coaster ride over the past two months, as Trump’s erratic trade policy has brought the world economy to the brink of recession. In the latest move, Trump yet again partially postponed the introduction of new tariffs, which he announced two weeks ago. This temporary reprieve will do little to solve the conflict.

People around the world have once again been shocked by a wave of shootings perpetrated by far-right extremists. The shootings in Gilroy, California and El Paso, Texas, were carried out by individuals who shared fascist manifestos, detailing their beliefs prior to the attacks, which claimed the lives of 25 people. You would have to

...

On 5 August, the Trump administration took yet another step in escalating imperialist aggression against Venezuela by imposing an economic embargo. The current regime change offensive against President Maduro has so far failed miserably. Incapable of using direct military means to remove the Venezuelan government and impose one of its liking, Washington has decided to further tighten the economic screws on a nation already suffering a catastrophic economic crisis, which previous sanctions have only aggravated. We fully reject this new act of outrageous imperialist meddling.

On 6 August, several leftist organisations gathered in Plaza Morelos in Caracas, Venezuela to support the peasants’ claim for land that is rightly theirs. More than 300 people, many from the interior of the country, gathered together to march to Miraflores Palace and demand the fulfilment of the agreements signed with the president a year ago.

The American labour movement has had a rough few decades. After peaking at 34.8 percent in 1954, just 10.5 percent of US workers are in a union today and only 7.2 percent of private sector workers. With corporate profits, capital accumulation, market indices, and wealth inequality reaching mind-boggling levels, many shortsighted individuals gave up the ghost and conceded defeat to the capitalists. The best we could do, in their view, was roll over and beg for a few crumbs off their table. But “the darkest hour is before the dawn.” The US working class has not gone down for the count—not by a long shot—and we’re coming for the crumbs, the pie, and the table.

After ten days of stormy mass protests and a general strike that brought the whole island to a standstill, the hated Puerto Rico governor Roselló was forced to resign. As the slogans on the streets are saying: “No renunció el pueblo lo sacó” (“he didn’t resign, the people kicked him out”). This is a first and very significant victory of the mass movement, which now wants to overthrow La Junta itself.

Today marks the tenth consecutive day of protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rosselló. Hundreds of thousands have filled the streets of San Juan and surrounded La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion. The spark for the protests was a leaked Telegram chat that revealed large-scale government corruption as well as the most abhorrent language and disgusting jokes, revealing the complete disdain of the government towards the people of Puerto Rico.

In recent months, we have witnessed a noticeable deceleration of inflation. In February and March, we saw the prices of many goods and services remaining relatively stagnant, or even falling briefly. The behaviour of prices in June has been similar, coinciding with a seasonal period where several items (such as cheese, various vegetables, and some fruits) tend to be produced in greater quantity than during the rest of the year.

Sheltered in the darkness of the night, in the early hours of 28 June 2009, hundreds of soldiers entered the presidential residence and captured José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, the legitimately elected president of Honduras. While still in his pyjamas, he was forcibly exiled to Costa Rica. A letter by Zelaya was issued, in which he resigned the presidency in order to avoid further bloodshed. The ousted president denied the letter was his.

On the weekend of June 29-30, Fightback held its first-ever Marxist Summer School in Edmonton, Alberta. Mirroring our annual Marxist Winter School in Montreal, close to 60 people attended the school, making this the largest Marxist gathering in Alberta in recent memory. People attended not just from Alberta, but many came all the way from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and the United States. The resounding success of this inaugural Marxist school proves that there’s a genuine thirst for revolutionary ideas in Alberta.

On Monday, the Chilean teacher's strike entered its fifth week. More than 70 percent of the teachers voted to reject the latest government offer and want to continue the national strike indefinitely. The strike has involved hundreds of thousands throughout the country, with particularly active participation in the regions. For her part, the education minister Marcela Cubillos has shown great arrogance, and only last week agreed to dialogue amidst controversy over police brutality. After large marches of tens of thousands in the past weeks marked a milestone in the teacher’s movement, the high point was the cacerolazo (banging on pots and pans as a political protest) of the patipelados

...