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For International Working Women’s Day on 8 March, the unions have once again obtained legal notice for the general strike called by the feminist movement. For several months, preparations have been underway in all parts of the Spanish State for what is to be an even more successful protest than that in 2018.

A century ago, on 2-6 March 1919, the first congress of the Third International took place in Moscow. This marked the birth of the Communist International, which became a vital school of revolutionary ideas and strategy. Rob Sewell (editor of Socialist Appeal, British journal of the IMT) looks back on this momentous event.

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.

Today (6 March), the judge of the Multan High Court granted bail to Rawal Asad after hearing his case. This has proved once again that the decisions of the lower courts were illegal and biased. It also clearly reveals that they were subject to external influence.

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 recent Nigerian elections reveal how discredited the two parties of the establishment have become after 20 years of bourgeois ‘democracy’, laying bare the ruling elite’s inability to solve any of the fundamental problems of society. While the APC has almost exhausted the overwhelming goodwill it enjoyed during its initial entry onto the stage, the PDP has equally proven incapable of overcoming the shock it received when it was booted out of power in 2015.

On 1 March, the Exit Theatre group in Tehran, Iran organised a very successful conference on the relevance of Marxism in the modern era as a part of their “Exit discussion” series. The meeting, which was focused around Alan Woods’ book, The Ideas of Karl Marx, was opened by screening the teledrama “Marx in Soho”, a 2018 production by Exit Theatre, written by American historian Howard Zinn.

The Finnish Revolution is a proud chapter in the history of the international working class. Tragically, despite the tremendous energy expended by the masses, their leaders vacillated and betrayed the revolution. The forces of counterrevolution unleashed a bloodbath, which physically annihilated the flower of the working class, contributing to the encirclement and isolation of the Russian Revolution.

The so-called “February 28th Incident” (228, 二二八事件) is most remembered for the days of indiscriminate killings and repression that the Chinese bourgeois dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his KMT forces unleashed on Taiwan in 1947. Thousands of civilians were murdered in cold blood. It marked the beginning of a long-standing sentiment for Taiwanese national self-determination that permeates a large part of Taiwanese masses to this day.

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.

On 30 January, nurses and midwives across Ireland staged their first walkout in 20 years over the question of patient safety and pay. Of more than 40,000 nurses organised in the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 95 percent voted in favour of strike action. They were joined by the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA).

Image: Òmnium

On 12 February, the trial of the 12 Catalan political prisoners began, with the state prosecutor asking for sentences of between 11 and 25 years. The body in charge of passing judgment is the supreme court, which will consider the accusations presented by the prosecutor's office of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement. Their crime: having organised the 1 October 2017 referendum on Catalan independence.

Jeremy Corbyn has promised the possibility of a second referendum in an attempt to pacify the Blairites. But such compromises will only embolden the Labour right wing. These careerists must instead be shown the door.Brexit is beginning to take its toll on Britain’s political parties. Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are desperately attempting to hold their parties together in the face of irreconcilable divisions. But neither leader will be able to appease their rebels. Splits and shocks are the order of the day.

On Saturday, 23 February, HOV secretary Jorge Martin was interviewed about Venezuela by Andrew Castle on the British LBC radio station, setting the record straight about the attempts of US imperialism and its Latin American agents to impose its will on the country under the cover of providing "humanitarian aid".

Tensions are running high between Venezuela and the US, as the latter is continuing its efforts to topple Venezuela's democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro. We publish here a radio debate between, Jorge Martin, secretary of the Hands off Venezuela campaign and editor of www.marxist.com, and Fernando Cutz. Cutz is a former Director for South America to President Obama and President Trump. In fact he is the only top official to have worked for both the Obama and Trump administrations. He has played a key role in designing the sanctions against Venezuela which started under Obama in 2015.

The dramatic "standoff" between US President Donald Trump and the Democrats over border policy is a cynical charade between two parties that represent one and the same class. Shortly after the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in the midterms, Nancy Pelosi issued a defiant pledge, promising not to give Trump “one dollar” for his wall.

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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