Attempted Coup in Brazil: Red Review New Year Edition -- International Left and Labour News
With news from the People's Republic of China, Cuba, the DPRK, the USA and elsewhere. There is a section related to the attempted far right coup in Brazil as well as New Year greetings from Communist and Workers' parties from Swaziland, Ireland, Greece and elsewhere.
Brazilians march in defense of democracy after the far right coup attempt, January 9 -- image via Twitter
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, demanded more targeted efforts to carry out patriotic health campaigns and concrete actions to protect people's safety and health.
Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the instruction concerning the 70th anniversary of the patriotic health campaigns.
Xi hailed the important role of patriotic health campaigns over the past 70 years in improving urban and rural environmental hygiene, effectively dealing with major epidemics, and elevating the level of China's health work. He acknowledged the approach of putting people's health at the center and taking prevention as the priority that the campaigns uphold under the leadership of the CPC.
A supermajority of workers at Activision Blizzard’s Proletariat studio have announced that they are forming the Proletariat Workers Alliance/CWA and have filed for a union representation election with the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to filing for an election, the workers asked that management voluntarily recognize their union and respect their right to organize without retaliation or interference. The company has not said whether or not they will recognize the union.
The Proletariat workers are the third group of Activision Blizzard workers to file for a union representation election with CWA. The 57 workers in the unit include animators, designers, engineers, producers and quality assurance workers. Earlier this year, quality assurance workers at Activision’s Raven Software studio in Wisconsin and Blizzard Albany won their union elections, despite Activision Blizzard’s repeated attempts to prevent workers from voting.
A meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has stressed striving in unity to implement the major decisions and plans made at the 20th CPC National Congress.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered an important speech when presiding over the meeting of criticism and self-criticism held from Monday to Tuesday.
The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has issued a circular urging Party organizations at all levels to visit and provide care for retired Party members and cadres, as well as those facing difficulties during the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays.
The circular ordered enhanced communication with retired Party members and targeted solutions for their practical difficulties.
Party organizations should reach out to those who registered as Party members before the founding of the People's Republic of China, and special care should be given to grassroots Party members, especially those working at the frontline on urgent, tough and dangerous tasks.
Party organizations should also visit those who have been awarded national honorary titles, as well as the relatives of those who died in the line of duty, the circular said.
December 27 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Juche-oriented Socialist Constitution by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). A ceremony was held on Monday at the Mansudae Assembly Hall.
Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the DPRK attended.
Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva has said that he will appoint an advocate against Amazon deforestation as the head of the country’s environment ministry, marking a sharp departure from the outgoing government of Jair Bolsonaro.
Lula announced his final batch of cabinet appointments in a press conference on Thursday, ahead of his January 1 inauguration. One of the most prominent names was Marina Silva, who will join the cabinet as environment minister.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -- the world's first workers' socialist state -- on December 30, 1922. We have translated this statement from the original Spanish by the Communist Party of Chile in honour of this momentous event:
Moroccan forces illegally occupying the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) have come under repeated bombardment by the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Moroccan forces currently occupy over 80% of SADR, also known as Western Sahara, which remains classified by the UN as among the last countries still awaiting decolonization.
On Friday, December 30, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense of SADR, the SPLA “targeted the trenches of the occupation soldiers in several areas of the Mahbas sector.” The SPLA bombarded the positions of occupation forces in this region, in the northwest of occupied territory, for the third consecutive day on Friday. Attacks were also reported on December 28 and 29, inflicting “heavy losses in lives and equipment along the wall of humiliation and shame.”
In a statement on the developments in Kosovo, the Press Office of the CC of the KKE stresses the following:
“The confrontation of imperialist interests in the Balkans is intensifying. Greek troops must immediately withdraw from the NATO force based in Kosovo.
The escalating tension in Serbia-Kosovo relations and the general unrest in the Balkans are dangerous developments for the peoples. They are a continuation of the Euro-Atlantic intervention, NATO bombing, and break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the creation of the protectorate of Kosovo, and the general change of borders in the Balkans.
The current escalation of Serbia-Kosovo tensions, amidst the imperialist war being waged in Ukraine and the promotion of the so-called “Euro-Atlantic integration” plan in the Western Balkans, reflects the competition of the bourgeois classes and the confrontation of the US, NATO, and the EU with Russia and China for the expansion of their interests in the region.
The joint US-EU statement, which supposedly expresses the “concern” of these imperialist powers, which bear heavy responsible for the situation, seeks to pull the wool over the peoples’ eyes. No one can rely on the so-called “guarantees” of the USA-NATO-EU, which in the case of Kosovo are tantamount to the iron fist in a velvet glove approach in order to promote their own anti-popular interests and plans.
The policy of involvement in the imperialist plans pursued by the New Democracy government, together with PASOK and SYRIZA, is engaging our people in great adventures.
The struggle for disengagement must be intensified, the Greek troops must withdraw from the NATO force based in Kosovo and from all imperialist missions.”
In Kyrgyzstan, for the second time, an attempt is being made to carry out total rehabilitation of the "victims of Stalinist repressions" of 1918-1953 through the adoption of a special law on the initiative of deputies of pro-government parties and Speaker of Parliament Nurlan Shakiev. Participants of anti-Soviet uprisings (Basmachi), militants of the Turkestan Legion of the Wehrmacht and Eastern Muslim SS units may fall under the action of this law, as well as last time.
It should be noted that the Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Nurlan Shakiyev, a few months ago advocated renaming the Soviet names of Bishkek districts and demanded the complete decommunization of the republic, based on the fact that all names should be only Kyrgyz.
This is the second attempt to carry out total rehabilitation, since in October 2019, 15 deputies from six parties represented in the then parliament of the country had already put forward a similar bill. Then the initiators and developers of the bill were the Soros Foundation – Kyrgyzstan and the Open Government, funded by the USAID in the republic.
Then, only as a result of active public indignation, statements by various organizations and parties, as well as a negative reaction in many media outlets, the bill was postponed indefinitely. Now this bill has been taken out again and presented in a new wrapper in parliament on December 23, counting on the fact that no one will notice this before the New Year holidays.
The three largest Venezuelan opposition groups voted to eliminate the so-called “interim government.”
On Thursday, Democratic Action (AD), Justice First (PJ) and A New Era (UNT) followed through on their pledge to put an end to the bureaucratic apparatus led by self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaidó.
The decision was taken during a virtual session of the defunct, opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN) elected in December 2015. Though its term ended in January 2021, the main anti-government parties boycotted the December 2020 legislative elections and instead kept a largely ceremonial parallel parliament by unilaterally extending its mandate on a yearly basis.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on Saturday, December 31, asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to provide an opinion on “Israel’s prolonged occupation, settlement, and annexation of Palestinian territory.”
The resolution was adopted after 87 countries voted in its favor, with 26 countries opposed and 53 abstaining. All the Arab countries, including those that have “normalized relations” with Israel, voted in favor of the resolution, along with China and Russia.
The resolution was opposed by Israel, the US, and European allies including the UK and Germany. France, India, and Brazil were among the 53 countries that abstained.
Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was sworn in as president, again, on Sunday, Jan. 1.
In his first address, the new president, more commonly known as Lula, expressed optimism about plans to rebuild the country while pledging that members of outgoing Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right administration will be held to account.
Lula is assuming office for the third time after defeating incumbent Bolsonaro’s re-election bid following a tight run-off victory on Oct. 30 last year.
“Our message to Brazil is one of hope and reconstruction,” Lula said in a speech in the Lower House of Congress after signing the document that formally gives him the presidency.
Solidarity statements for the 64th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution from the Communist parties of Ireland, Greece, Turkey and the Netherlands.
January 1 marked the 64th anniversary of the victory of the Cuban Revolution. The Communist Party of Chile -- which recently released a remarkable statement in honour of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the USSR -- has released another amazing statement hailing this tremendous victory for the peoples of the Americas.
We have translated it from the Spanish.
2022 is done and what a complicated year it was. There was the imperialist war in Ukraine, the uprising in Kazakhstan, victories for the left in Colombia and Brazil, the coup in Peru, the reactionary and dangerous "Freedom Convoy" in Ottawa, the inspiring Starbucks and Amazon campaigns in the USA, the ongoing courageous resistance of Socialist Cuba, the 100th anniversary of the formation of the USSR, the 50th anniversary of the expulsion of the Waffle from the Canadian NDP and many other events of note.
We looked at these events and many more on The Left Chapter.
Every year we do a post looking back over various pieces and contributions.
COLOMBIA and Venezuela reopened a key bridge linking the countries that had been closed for almost seven years amid political tensions.
The opening follows improved relations between the two countries after the election of Gustavo Petro as the president of Colombia last year.
Delegations led by Colombian Trade Minister German Umana and the governor of Venezuela’s Tachira state, Freddy Bernal, met in the middle of the “Tienditas” bridge which links Tachira and Colombia’s Norte de Santander state for the opening ceremony.
The Levica (Left) party in Slovenia has reiterated its resolve to push and quickly implement reforms in the governance of national public broadcaster RTV Slovenia (Radio-Television of Slovenia). Last week, the leadership of Levica—which is part of the incumbent coalition government in the country—claimed that the current executives of RTV Slovenia have been trying to resist progressive changes proposed by the government to ensure independence and editorial autonomy of the public broadcaster.
The law proposing amendments to the governance structure of RTV was passed in the National Assembly of Slovenia and approved by the people in a referendum held on November 27. On December 29, Minister of Culture Asta Vrečko, from Levica, stated that “opposition parties and the current politically set leadership of RTV are trying by all means to prevent the legal changes with which we want to remove party politics from the management of the public broadcaster.”
The United States Department of Justice, on Wednesday, January 4, reported through a press release that Bolivia’s former government minister Arturo Murillo had been sentenced to 70 months in prison for “conspiracy to launder bribes he received in exchange for corruptly helping a US company win a lucrative contract from the Bolivian government.”
According to the statement, “Murillo received at least $532,000 USD in bribes from a Florida-based company in exchange for helping it secure an approximately $5.6 million USD contract in 2019 to provide tear gas and other non-lethal equipment to the Bolivian Ministry of Defense.” The statement added that “Murillo and his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of the bribery scheme through the US financial system, including bank accounts in Miami, Florida. Murillo received approximately $130,000 USD in cash bribe payments at a family member’s home in Miami.”
Murillo was arrested in the US in May 2021, after fleeing Bolivia in November 2020. He pleaded guilty to the crimes of bribery and money laundering on October 20, 2022. His co-conspirators – his former chief of staff Sergio Méndez, and businessmen Luis Berkman, Bryan Berkman, and Philip Lichtenfeld – also pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme in September 2021. They were sentenced to between 26 and 42 months in prison in June 2022.
Murillo and Méndez, who served in the coup-installed regime led by Jeanine Áñez (November 2019-October 2020), are fugitives from Bolivian justice in the same case, among other corruption and human rights violation cases.
The Brazilian government of progressive President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on Thursday, January 5, reported that it had decided to rejoin the regional integration bloc, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The development came four days after the leader of the Workers’ Party of Brazil (PT) took office.
The Brazilian Foreign Affairs Ministry, through a statement, reported that the government had “communicated to the member countries of the CELAC, through the appropriate diplomatic channels, the reincorporation of Brazil, in a full and immediate manner, to all instances of the mechanism, both political and technical in nature.”
It's been 90 years, but socialism is back in the Wisconsin Legislature.
After taking their oaths of office Tuesday, two freshman Assembly members made it their first order of business to revive a socialist caucus that has been dormant since the 1930s.
As self-identified democratic socialists — a movement that has been regaining popularity in the U.S. with the help of young Democrats — Reps. Ryan Clancy and Darrin Madison plan to hold their own meetings to advance their policy goals while also caucusing with Assembly Democrats.
Up to 1,000 bus drivers across Adelaide have gone on strike, demanding safer conditions and better pay.
Bus drivers began their action at 3am with the strike expected to last for 24 hours, impacting up to 80 per cent of bus services across Adelaide.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Monday stressed the need for ceaseless efforts to promote full and rigorous Party self-governance and ensure the implementation of decisions and plans made at the 20th CPC National Congress.
Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while addressing the second plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
Attempted Coup in Brazil:
Supporters of the former president Jair Bolsonaro invaded the Supreme Federal Court, National Congress, and the Planalto Palace, the office of the president, this Sunday January 8, breaking through the blockade of the Military Police and the National Security Force of the Esplanade of Ministers in Brasília.
The Planalto Palace, where the cabinet of the President also works from, was one of the key targets of the Bolsonaristas. According to CNN, there were members of the government in the building, that awaited rescue inside.
Dozens of buses had arrived on Saturday January 7 to the Federal District to carry out the coup actions. Estadão estimated that 100 buses and approximately 3,900 people had traveled to the capital.
On Saturday January 7, the Minister of Justice and Public Security Flávio Dino had authorized the use of National Force as security in the capital in light of the threat of violent actions.
On Sunday January 8, supporters of former far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro invaded the Supreme Federal Court, the National Congress, and the Planalto Palace, the office of the president, breaking through the blockade of the Military Police and the National Security Force at the Esplanade of Ministers in the capital Brasília. After invading the headquarters of the three branches of government, the violent groups vandalized the buildings, looted the armory at the Planalto Palace, and caused tremendous damage to public institutions.
Following the acts of violence, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva condemned the situation, criticized the complicity of Brasília’s public security forces in the attacks, and decreed federal intervention in public security of Brasília until January 31.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court justice Alexandre de Moraes, suspended the governor of the Federal District of Brasilia, Ibaneis Rocha, for 90 days. Moraes determined that Rocha was aware of the preparations for the violent actions, and such events could only occur with the consent and effective participation of the authorities in matters of security in Brasília.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro emphatically denounced a violent coup attempt against his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva after followers of former President Jair Bolsonaro attacked several buildings in the Brazilian capital on Sunday.
“We categorically reject the violence generated by Bolsonaro's neo-fascist groups that have assaulted the democratic institutions of Brazil,” read a statement issued by Maduro.
Demonstrators who falsely claim that Lula’s 2022 election was fraudulent descended on Brasilia and called on the Armed Forces to intervene and oust the democratically elected government, which took office on January 1. The right-wing mob, through the complicity of the capital’s security forces, invaded various government installations in Brasilia, including the Government Palace, the Supreme Court and the National Congress.
UNI Global Union and its affiliates, which represent more than 20 million workers around the world, vehemently condemn the acts of political violence and destruction of public property witnessed this Sunday, January 8 in Brasilia. UNI condemns this attack, carried out by terrorists and the extreme right-wing supporters of former President Bolsonaro. This was a blatant attack against Brazilian democracy, and it is another disgraceful addition to the global trend of election denial and the undermining of democratic institutions that we have seen too often around the world in recent years.
We fully support the demand that the government of the Federal District, its security forces and the commanders of the military police be held accountable for what happened. We also condemn the complicity of those in positions of power around the country who continue to allow these anti-democratic and terrorist acts to continue.
We demand the full application of the law, and appropriate punishment and sanction, for all those who take part, lead and finance these acts, disrespecting the popular will of the 60 million Brazilians who elected Lula president.
We reinforce our commitment to continue supporting our affiliated unions in Brazil, as well as all the actions promoted by the government of President Lula da Silva that seek to support the poorest people in society, reinforce respect for labor rights and protect the environment. The Brazilian people, and especially the poor and workers, have suffered greatly since the 2016 coup and there is no more space in the country for actions that openly create instability in the process of rebuilding Brazil and its image to the world.
UNI calls upon all authorities to respect democracy and the democratically elected government, and we will continue to act to protect our rights and freedoms in Brazil and around the world.
Coup d’état never again!
New Years Greeting from Communist and Workers' Parties:
'The Communist Party of Britain sends New Year greetings to workers and peoples across the world who are fighting exploitation and oppression', CP general secretary Robert Griffiths declared on Wednesday evening (January 4).
Addressing the party's political committee, he expressed solidarity with 'nurses from Britain to New York, people resisting the CIA-backed coup in Peru, the courageous women of Iran and their supporters, Palestinians confronting the far-right and murderous regime of Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Ukrainian civilians under bombardment from Russian invaders and the NATO-backed Kyiv regime'.
Welcoming the resurgence of strikes in Britain, Mr Griffiths described mass coordinated action as the 'most direct and effective weapon the working class has in response to a "cost of capitalism" crisis that is plunging millions more families into poverty'. He urged trade unions to work together and present a united response to the new anti-strike legislation being prepared by the Conservative government.
Turning to the crisis in the NHS, the CP leader blamed 'decades of underfunding, privatisation and mismanagement under both Tory and Labour governments'.
'Staff vacancies, waiting lists, training levels and A&E and GP services demonstrate the breadth and depth of this emergency, made all the worse by the impact of the same right-wing policies on social and community care services', he added.
As an immediate response, Britain's Communists called for private sector hospital and medical facilities to be requisitioned by the state and put at the service of the NHS.
'All health facilities and services should be planned and coordinated in a unified system that puts public health before private profiteering', Mr Griffiths insisted, pointing out that most private sector medical staff were trained at public expense and still work in the NHS.
The CP political committee urged socialists, workers and NHS campaigners to attend the People's Assembly and Stop the War trade union conferences on January 14 and 21, respectively.
As we leave 2022, we witness a world of exploitation, inequality and injustice, environmental degradation and imperialist war. Our own state is unable to provide secure affordable housing for its people, timely access to appropriate healthcare or support for children with additional educational needs. We have some 595,000 people living in poverty and 63,000 children living in consistent poverty. Over 3000 children are homeless. In 2022, housing was officially classified as “severely unaffordable” by the State’s Parliamentary Budget Office. House prices rose 77% between 2012 and 2020.
We have witnessed the blatant inequality in our education system that sees top fee-paying schools dominating the most sought-after courses in key universities. Participation in third level education is determined by class. Students in Ireland continue to pay the highest fees in the EU. Rural Ireland is confronted with serious problems in job creation and service provision for an ageing population.
In Northern Ireland we have families that cannot afford to heat their homes, children going hungry, queues at foodbanks, part-time, precarious employment and a culture of zero hours contracts. We have working people depending on benefits to top up their wages, thousands of workers on picket lines in defence of jobs, services, pay and conditions, and we have large companies and corporations posting obscene levels of profits and making huge pay-outs to their shareholders.
The destruction of the national health service, the assault on social security, the increasing privatisation of the public sector, the development of the Private Finance Initiative, public expenditure cuts, the abandonment of the elderly and the homeless, the attack on labour and employment rights, the assault on pay and conditions and the reliance on a model of low pay, jobs without specified working hours, jobs without pay and jobs without rights characterise this failed system.
The Communist Party of Pakistan congratulates all its members and sympathizers on the occasion of the New Year 2023. The communist party wishes all the workers of the world, oppressed people, and the people struggling for self-determination a new year that will bring success in our struggle. We reiterate our determination that in this new year, we will be ready more than ever to fight hard against imperialism, dictatorships, and all oppression under the banner of the Red Flag on socialist ideals of Marxism-Leninism with a true passion for peace and socialism.
We firmly believe that every coming year is paving the way for socialism by lowering the age of capitalism, so we must pledge at the beginning of this new year that we will follow the philosophy of Karl Marx, the founder of communism. We will use all our abilities to make this world a better place to live. The Communist Party of Pakistan red salutes all its comrades and revolutionary comrades who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for socialism.
Long live Communist Internationalism!
To All Fraternal Communist, Socialist, Workers Parties, Trade Unions & Peace Movements
Best Comradely Wishes
For a Happy New Year 2023.
Towards Further Successes in the Joint Struggle
For Peace, Democracy, Social Progress & Socialism
SOCIALIST WORKER`S PARTY OF CROTIA
On behalf of the Workers’ Party, the Ard Chomhairle and Party President Michael McCorry would like to wish a prosperous 2023 to all workers and their families as we enter into the New Year.
2022 has been a tough year for working people. Just as it appeared that we were exiting the COVID-19 pandemic, we found ourselves thrust into an increasingly worrying cost-of-living crisis, with the price of essentials such as food, energy and fuel all rising.
The response from the Government has been half-hearted and short-sighted. The increase in the minimum wage announced in Budget 2023, for example, failed to catch up with inflation. The subsidies and once-off social welfare payments, while no doubt temporarily helpful, simply do not address the fundamental problems which have led to the crisis.
The government has, unfortunately, refused to entertain the idea of bringing energy back into public ownership, despite the fact that this could bring bills down for working families. A state-owned energy company could focus on providing workers with the basic necessity of heating and electricity on an affordable basis, instead of leaving it up to the price gouging profiteers of the private market. The price fluctuations of the international markets show the urgent need for Ireland to develop energy independence through a state led and owned nuclear power programme.
TKP had announced that they would pay a “New Year’s visit” to the TUSİAD in İstanbul, and had prepared “gifts” for the bosses on the morning of December the 30th. In the afternoon of the same day TKP members and workers gathered in front of the headquarters of the largest association of the capitalists in the country, carrying banners and shouting the following slogans: “TUSİAD as the murderer!”, “TUSİAD as the robber!”, “Workers will call the capitalists to account!”, “We breathe down the bosses’ neck!”.
Following the slogans, TKP member and metal worker Aydaner Aktaş made a statement for the press. The statement of TKP briefly announced their dedication for taking everything the bosses have stolen from the people back.
See the full statement.
Year 2023 will be a time of hard and persistent struggle by the CPS and the democracy movement in our country to advance the gains of the recent period, where we have seen the Mswati dictatorship increasingly on the back foot. The regime is resorting to more desperate tactics to hold on to power in the face of a more confident and determined opposition by our people. Increasingly, our calls for Democracy Now and a national democratic revolution to put an end to the autocracy of royal dictatorship are seen within the country and outside as the only viable way forward for Swaziland. Increasingly, the dictatorship is finding the country harder to govern as the people, not least the youth, see the reality of oppression before them and the ways to end it.
This ungovernability needs to be stepped up and this needs strong organisation of the oppressed people with resistance capacity. Organisation building owes to the hard work of patiently and tenaciously recruiting, educating and motivating people from the ranks of the workers and poor but also from all walks of life to develop a mass movement for democratic revolutionary change. While more and more of our people see that the situation of dictatorship and its thin veils of pretend democracy are both hopelessly inept at running a country but are viciously oppressive and draining Swaziland of a wealth that should be available to the benefit of all, it is only through sustained, organised opposition by a politically and class-conscious majority of citizens that will tip the ideological battle in favour of radical change.
The CPS aims to devote itself to work on the ground in our communities to further develop this unity in action. We must work harder in all our communities to deepen the call for Democracy Now, and this entails what we call 'political consciousness’ – the awareness that feudal royal autocratic rule is not a matter of cultural legacy and value, but a subversion and denial of freedom, progress and nation building.