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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review #100 -- International Left and Labour News

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

With news from India, Cuba, Greece, France, Sudan, Swaziland, South Korea, Kenya, Brazil, Venezuela and elsewhere.

Over 25,000 peasants led by the All India Kisan Sabha march in Maharashtra State, India May 30 -- image via the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

May 24:

The former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, on Wednesday, May 24, condemned the Chilean government’s decision to support Peru’s de facto government in demanding the transfer of the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance. Morales pointed out that the decision was especially concerning because it had come at a time when the Peruvian Congress had approved the entry of US troops for training activities in the country.

“We are very concerned about the decision of the president of Chile, brother Gabriel Boric, to support the illegal and illegitimate government of Dina Boluarte for the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance just when the US military intervention in Peru has been authorized,” said Morales in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel reaffirmed Wednesday that the economy is a priority in the actions promoted by both the leadership of the Communist Party and the government.

Addressing the deputies of the National Assembly of People's Power (Parliament), during the day before the second extraordinary session of the tenth legislature, the president described the tense economic and social situation of the island.

May 25:

The Sudanese Communist Party has condemned what it is calling a "cowardly" attack on its headquarters in Khartoum on May 25. Communist and workers' parties around the world are also adding their voices in condemnation after "fully armed military groups belonging to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) stormed and occupied the headquarters" and "broke down the doors of all offices and halls in the party’s HQ, and carried out extensive acts of vandalism, damage, and looting of all the contents and property of the place."

Kerala will frame a Bill for the protection of domestic workers’ rights, the first such policy by a State in the country, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the International Labour Conclave organised by the Labour department and the State Planning Board to mark the 100th anniversary of cooperation between the State and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) here on Wednesday.

He said that since 1957, when the first State government came to power, a rights-based strategy had been implemented to accommodate the requirements of workers in the formal and informal sectors.

Resolution 1:

In solidarity with the Communist Party of Sudan and the Sudanese people, the Communist Party of Kenya affirms its support for their ongoing revolution against the reactionary class. We recognise their struggle for social justice, equality, and the liberation of the Sudanese people. We pledge our commitment to collaborate and share experiences in advancing the cause of the African working class and the revolutionary movement.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday urged Latino voters not to back Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the next U.S. presidential election, accusing the Republican politician of trying to win votes at the expense of migrants.

DeSantis said Wednesday he would seek the 2024 Republican nomination for president and vowed to build a wall on the Mexico border, the latest in a series of hardline comments on immigration that he says resonate with Latino voters who want strong enforcement.

López Obrador dismissed those comments.

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel said Thursday that the country can serve as a bridge between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Latin America.

At a meeting of the Supreme Economic Council of Eurasia, the dignitary stressed, via teleconference, that Cuba has important and diverse links with Latin American and Caribbean nations, and with the EEU states that would allow forging solid and profitable ties between the countries of both regions.

He added that the countries of the integration association are interested in increasing exchanges and that there is an opportunity to do so.

"As an observer member of the EEU, Cuba considers that the satisfaction of the growing and diverse needs of our countries can only be resolved through the deepening of trade and cooperation ties according to the potentialities offered by each country," Díaz-Canel stressed.

The decision by the South African Reserve Bank announced on Thursday, 25 May 2023, to hike interest rates by 50 basis points will badly hurt families by raising the cost of living and will immediately increase household debt for those who are repaying mortgage bonds, vehicle finance and other loans.

By raising the cost of capital, the SA Reserve Bank will continue to suffocate the already struggling and stagnant economy through suppressing productive capacity expansion in industry and agriculture.

The SACP reiterates its call for a change in monetary and other economic policies with the creation of sustainable, long-term employment, a fundamental target explicitly included in the mandate of and accountability by the SA Reserve Bank.

Radical reduction of poverty and inequality and building and raising the levels of national production to industrialise the economy towards employment creation must be fundamental targets as well.

May 26:

May 28:

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for early general elections on July 23 after his social democratic party, PSOE, and its major ally, Unidas Podemos, suffered heavy losses across the country in regional and municipal elections.

On the other hand, the conservative opposition (Partido Popular) and the far-right (Vox party) posted powerful gains in polls. In total, Partido Popular gained more than 7 million votes (31.53%), which is almost 2 million more voters in relation to 2019 elections, while PSOE social democrats received 6.3 million votes (28.1%). A disturbing feature is the rise of the far-right Vox, which received 1.6 million votes, related to 812 thousand in 2019.

Although it didn't win any seats in regional and municipal parliaments, the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE) increased its electoral power, consolidating even further its political presence as the party of the Spanish working class. Despite the negative correlation of forces and the absense of any media coverage, the PCTE managed to gain positive results. In Madrid, for example, the PCTE received more than 2,000 votes, almost tripling its percentage since 2019.

May 29:

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro participated in a joint press conference on Monday May 29 from the Planalto Palace in Brasília and highlighted the importance of the neighboring countries resuming ties. The press conference was held following a bilateral meeting between the heads of state ahead of the South American Presidents’ Summit.

Lula told national and international media that, “This is a historic moment. After eight years, President Nicolás Maduro is back to visiting Brazil and we have recovered our right to have a foreign policy with the seriousness we have always had, especially with the countries that border Brazil.”

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro traveled to Brazil as part of an official visit to meet with his counterpart Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva where the pair discussed regional and international cooperation, including the potential entry of Venezuela into the BRICS bloc.

“This is a historic moment. After eight years, President Nicolás Maduro is back to visiting Brazil and we have recovered our right to have a foreign policy with the seriousness we have always had, especially with the countries that border Brazil,” said Lula in a press conference from the capital of Brasilia.

It is with the deepest regret that the Workers Party of Ireland announces the passing of our friend and comrade, Francie Donnelly. Comrade Francie was a comrade who dedicated a long life of service to the Party and who courageously represented the Party in many elections for over 30 years, serving as a representative of the Party at local government. He was a Councillor on Magherafelt District Council and contested elections at local government, Westminster and European level.

He was a man who was deeply committed to the struggle for peace, equality and socialism and he was not afraid, even in the darkest and most dangerous days of our history, to make a stand for what he believed.

Thousands of commuters were stranded in the city on Monday evening with the members of the DMK-affiliated Labour Progressive Front, CITU and other unions resorted to a flash strike protesting the engagement of drivers on a contract basis in the MTC bus depots. MTC had awarded a contract to an agency to engage drivers on a contract basis for operating the buses in its depots during the night time for parking, maintenance and refuelling activities. However, after all the trade unions strongly objected to the appointment of drivers on a contract basis, MTC had assured that it would not engage the drivers for the time being. The CITU-led union had served a strike notice opposing outsourcing in April.

May 30:

Disneyland Paris are out on strike for the second time in a week demanding higher pay to help with the soaring cost of living and inflation, double pay on Sundays, better working conditions and more flexible hours.

In the early hours of Tuesday, hundreds of people began to mobilize in support of the protests called by the Puno Neighborhoods Union and the Education Workers Union.

On Tuesday, Peruvian President Dina Boluarte ordered the deployment of over 4,000 police officers to the southern region of Puno, where citizens will carry out a 24-hour strike.

The demonstrators demand the resignation of Boluarte, the closure of Congress, and the calling of general elections. These demands were also raised in the massive protests that took place between December and March, when police brutality left at least 77 dead.

In the early hours of Tuesday, hundreds of people began to mobilize in support of the protests called by the Puno Neighborhoods Union and the Peruvian Education Workers Union (SUTEP).

May 31:

Thousands of members of a labor union held large-scale rallies in multiple locations in downtown Seoul on Wednesday as tensions between the union and the Yoon Suk Yeol government continue to escalate.

Some 20,000 union members joined the rallies to protest against the government's labor policies, paralyzing traffic and bringing some 5,000 riot police to control the protest sites.

Members of the Korean Construction Workers’ Union (KCWU), under the umbrella of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), gathered near the presidential office in Yongsan District, central Seoul, asking for President Yoon Suk Yeol’s resignation.

The blockade causes humanitarian damage, suffering, deprivation and anguish. It is not just a violation of international and humanitarian law but also an act of war in peacetime," said the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs before the National Assembly of the People's Power.

All the measures of the U.S. blockade have been effectively designed to harm the economy and generate humanitarian damage. Photo: Estudios Revolución

The economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States the government on Cuba has caused losses that exceed 150.41 billion dollars in accumulated damages. If the depreciation of the dollar against gold is taken into account, the figure reaches one trillion dollars.

The member of the Political Bureau of the Party and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla revealed while speaking at the Second Extraordinary Session of the National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP in Spanish), in which he reviewed the impact of this hostile policy against the island during its more than six decades in force.

Hundreds of Amazon workers in Seattle are planning to walk out on the job Wednesday, according to a report from the Washington Post, as well as walkout organizers.

The lunchtime walkout will begin at noon, according to organizer Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. It will happen in front of the Amazon Spheres on Seventh Avenue, near the company’s South Lake Union offices.

The Post cited internal messages shared by employees over Slack and email, which listed Amazon’s return-to-office mandate, climate commitments, and recent layoffs among the reasons for the walkout.

Paramedics and other health workers have walked off the job at some NSW hospitals as they escalate a push for a pay rise.

Health Services Union ward workers, security, cleaning, allied health, administration staff, radiographers and paramedics walked off the job on Wednesday at Sydney’s Westmead and Blacktown hospitals at midday to attend stop work meetings.

Staff at Nepean Hospital stopped work from 2pm while those at John Hunter Hospital and Morrisett Hospital walked off from 10am. Staff at other hospitals also imposed work bans.

The union wants a 6.5 per cent wage increase and an end to the state government’s 3 per cent public sector wages cap – a key promise of Labor’s election campaign.


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