Americas

We publish here a second round of May Day reports, from Pakistan, Indonesia, El Salvador and Nigeria. In all these countries, the on-going capitalist crisis has led to great exploitation and injustice, and workers are engaged in struggles on several fronts for decent wages and living conditions. Many are drawing radical conclusions, and responded very well to our comrades’ message of revolutionary class struggle!

On 6-8 May, Cuba will host for the first time an international event on the life and ideas of Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky. The academic event reflects the growing interest in the ideas of Trotsky on the island since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Just before dawn on 30 April, the Venezuelan opposition launched yet another attempt at a military coup. By the end of the day, the botched coup attempt seemed to have failed, with one of its leaders seeking refuge in the Spanish embassy, 25 of the soldiers involved requesting asylum at the Brazilian embassy and Juan Guaidó in hiding or on the run.

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.

In the last week of March, the global capitalist crisis was expressed in the fall in value, over two consecutive days, of the most important stock exchanges in the world. Added to this is the collapse in the currencies of the so-called emerging economies and the deepening trade war between China and the United States. Although still in its early stages it is set to be a shock to the global economic system. In short, we are in the throes of a recession and are yet to witness its full extent.

The arrest of Julian Assange is a vicious assault on basic democratic rights. Through WikiLeaks, Assange has exposed the hair-raising crimes of US imperialism and its allies, including the UK. While war criminals like Bush and Blair walk free, Assange now faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a US prison. A defence of Assange is a defence of the right to freedom of expression and the right to information, against imperialist aggression.

The President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, is threatening to expel whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been for the last nine years, “within hours or days”. Moreno has accused Assange of leaking photos of the president and his family, along with intercepted private calls and correspondences. Moreno claimed on national radio that there were even “photos of my bedroom”, but has provided no evidence to substantiate his claims. This threat of expulsion is an assault on freedom of expression and should be

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In the past week, two separate attempts were made to shut down events by the IMT in Canada, Fightback, using violence and intimidation. The first incident, involving a group of about five individuals, occurred at a Fightback event at Carleton University, in which our activists and attendees were harassed, our materials were thrown to the floor and stamped on, and an attempt was made to destroy our banner.

The Rio de Janeiro Homicide Police and the Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime have arrested retired military police sergeant Ronnie Lessa, and expelled military police officer Elcio Vieira de Queiroz for involvement in the murder of PSOL councillor Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, in March 2018.

Thousands of Ontario post-secondary students walked out of their classes Wednesday, 20 March in protest against Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to student funding. The walkout, called for by the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), involved 17 campuses, including in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor, and London. The action was also joined by hundreds of high school students, who staged spontaneous protests in support of university and

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The last six months have seen a qualitative turning point in the political situation in Brazil, with the election of Jair Bolsonaro as the 38th President of the country in October 2018. This is a fundamental shift in the bourgeois-democratic regime established by the 1988 Constitution after the fall of the military dictatorship, together with the social pact that it was based on.

Boeing is in trouble. The American aviation giant finds itself in the middle of a storm that has culminated in the worldwide grounding of its latest aircraft model, the 737 MAX. There is an emerging picture of a major manufacturer botching a new aircraft design, with more than 300 people dead as a result. This follows two fatal accidents in the space of five months that seem to have occurred under similar circumstances.

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.

The 2020 presidential election has started. The fact that the Democrats won forty additional seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections has many of them smelling Republican blood. A number of candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Corey Booker, have already launched their campaigns. Now Bernie Sanders has become the 10th official candidate—with many more yet to come—to announce his run for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

The last couple of months have seen a ramping-up of attempts by the US to launch a coup in Venezuela. Under orders from the White House, Juan Guaidó declared himself “president in charge” at a street tally. Immediately, the rogue’s gallery of Trump, Bolsonaro, Macri and others recognised Guaidó, then called on the Venezuelan army to declare itself loyal to this new ‘president’.

On the latest episode of Out of Left Fieldpodcast, Elias, a leading comrade of Lucha de Clases (Venezuelan section of the IMT) is interviewed about the ongoing, US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela by Juan Guaidó, self-declared 'President in charge' for the reactionary opposition.