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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review #54 -- International Left and Labour News

With news from Cuba, Nicaragua, Greece, the USA, Mexico and elsewhere.

Evo Morales with Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez in Cuba, April 23

April 18:

Wang Wenbin, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of the People's Republic of China gave a powerful response on April 18 when asked a question at his regular press conference about the recent shooting of Patrick Lyoya.

Lyoya, who was Black, was shot in the back of the head by a white police officer while lying facedown on the ground after a confrontation stemming from a traffic incident in Michigan. This was confirmed on April 19 after an independent autopsy was performed.

On Monday, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez said that his government wishes to re-establish diplomatic relations with Venezuela as part of its rapprochement policy with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

A judge has ruled Amazon must reinstate a former warehouse employee who was fired in the early days of the pandemic, saying the company “unlawfully” terminated the worker who led a protest calling for Amazon to do more to protect employees against COVID-19.

The dispute involving Gerald Bryson, who worked at an Amazon warehouse in the New York City borough of Staten Island, has stretched on since June 2020, when Bryson filed an unfair labour practice complaint with The National Labor Relations Board, claiming Amazon retaliated against him.

April 19:

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) lambasted on Tuesday Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for opting for more expensive American Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

“The government, taking advantage of the occasion and the sanctions against Russia, is promoting the extremely expensive American LNG, which the Greek people will pay for at a time when Greek shipowners are making a fortune from its transportation,” KKE pointed out in announcement on Tuesday regarding statements made by Mitsotakis at the Revithoussa LNG Terminal.

“All this dispels the myth that the increase in energy is an ‘imported problem’ as Mitsotakis repeated today, since all the Greek governments faithfully implemented the ‘liberation’ policy in the name of a nominal ‘green transition’, turning natural gas into a strategic transition fuel,” added the communist party.

Workers at COSCO piers II and III are expressing their determination to sign a decent Collective Labour Agreement with a substantial pay rise, staging a 24-hour strike since midnight on 19 April.

April 20:

On Wednesday, April 20, leaders and cadre of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [(CPIM)] and other left parties physically blocked a bulldozer commandeered by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to stop the illegal demolition drive targeting small shops, mostly owned by Muslims, in Jahangirpuri, a working class neighborhood of India’s capital.

Despite the Supreme Court’s order against the demolition earlier in the morning, the NDMC, controlled by the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is also in power in the Center, continued the demolitions for around two hours. It was supported by the Delhi police, which is controlled by the Home Ministry of the central government.

Workers at an Apple Inc (AAPL.O) store in Atlanta on Wednesday filed a petition to hold a union election, seeking to become the company's first U.S. store to unionize amid a wave of labor activity at other major firms.

April 21:

Mexico has officially nationalized its lithium industry. On April 21, the bill, proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), that modified the mining law to give the state the exclusive right to explore, exploit and use the valuable metal entered into force. According to the law, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation, the executive or the president now has 90 days to create a decentralized state company that will deal with all lithium-related matters.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), on April 21, ruled in favor of Nicaragua and against Colombia in a maritime case called “Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea.” With ten votes in favor and 5 against, the majority of judges at the ICJ sided with Nicaragua, ruling that Colombia violated Nicaragua’s sovereign rights by trying to control fishing activities and interfering with maritime research in parts of the Caribbean sea that are within Nicaragua’s exclusive economic zone. The United Nations’ court, by 9 to 6 votes, also ordered Colombia to immediately cease patrolling and other activities in Nicaraguan waters.

April 22:

On Friday, April 22, thousands of workers demonstrated in major cities across Belgium protesting the worsening cost of living crisis and calling for a rise in wages. The call for the mobilization was given by major trade unions like the General Labor Federation of Belgium (ABVV/FGTB), Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (ACV/CSC), General Confederation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium (ACLVB/CGSLB), and political parties including the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA). Various student/youth groups expressed support and solidarity with the workers’ mobilization. The protesting workers have called for a revision of the 1996 Wage Margin Act. The act establishes a strict procedure for the Belgian social partners to negotiate a maximum average wage increase and thus effectively prevents any real increase in wages in the country.

April 23:

"Very glad you are here." That was the state of mind shared on Saturday afternoon with the friend Evo Morales Ayma, by the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who received the special visitor at the Palace of the Revolution.

In the company of Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, as well as Eugenio Martínez Enríquez, director general of Latin America and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba (Minrex), the dignitary thanked the former president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia for his presence at the thirty-third International Book Fair of Havana, which gains in importance, The president valued, for "the book that you are going to present."

April 24:

The government of Nicaragua has announced the expulsion of representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the closure of its offices in the country. “We will not have a presence in any of the instances of that diabolical instrument of the misnamed OAS (..) neither will this infamous organism, consequently, have offices in our country. Its local branch has been closed” reads the communique released by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) backed the Nicaraguan government’s decision to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) and close the offices of this organization in its country.

Germany's Left party said Sunday that it will hold a leadership vote in June amid a series of internal spats including over the handling of sexism allegations.

Co-leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow resigned Wednesday, citing the sexism spat and unfulfilled hopes for the party's renewal.

April 25:

On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez condemned that the U.S. excluded Cuban specialists from the expert team that elaborates a regional health plan proposal to be discussed at the 9th Summit of the Americas, which will be held in Los Angeles in June.


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