October 21, 2017 - No. 33

Second Anniversary of Election of Liberal Majority Government

Liberal Hypocrisy Causes
Grave Harm on All Front


Government Reaffirms Harper Era
Handover of Decision-Making to U.S.

- Charlie Vita -
Clause-by-Clause Study of Bill C-49  Reveals Duplicitous
Attack on Workers' Dignity and Rights

- Pierre Chénier -

Round 4 NAFTA Negotiations
Alternatives to Submission to U.S. Imperialism Must Be Found
The Peoples Have a Right to Decide the Matters
that Affect Their Lives! Withdraw from NAFTA!

- Enver Villamizar -
Behind the Scenes Harmonization and Annexation
There Can Be No Cure from the Gods of Plague!

Mexicans Oppose Trudeau Government's Hypocrisy
Canadian Mining is Dispossessing Indigenous Peoples and Campesino Communities in Mexico
- Mexican Network of Mining Affected People -
Frivolous and Disappointing
- Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara -

Hands Off Venezuela!
Oppose Sanctions Against Venezuela!
- Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) -
Statement of the Government of Venezuela in Response to
Sanctions Imposed by Canada

Broad Participation in Regional Elections Rebukes
Interventionist Forces

- Yi Nicholls -

Dirty Work of U.S. and Its Allies
Desperate Attempts by Imperialists to Prevent Political Solutions
Canadian Government's Disgraceful Position
- Margaret Villamizar -
House of Commons Passes Motion Favouring Regime Change
Canada, Illegitimate Sanctioner and Villainous Poisoner of Peoples
- Herman Mena Cifuentes -

Canadians Oppose Interventionist Stands

Second Anniversary of Election of Liberal Majority Government

Liberal Hypocrisy Causes Grave Harm on All Fronts

October 19 marked the second anniversary of the election of the Trudeau government. In the days before the 2015 Federal Election, polls showed that over 70 per cent of Canadians wanted a change from the neo-liberal agenda of the Harper Conservatives. For the political and economic elite the primary concern was how to control the desire and demand for change, how to steer the working people away from occupying the space for change with their striving for a pro-social direction of the economy, politics and country. This is what the election of a Liberal majority was all about.

The election of the Trudeau Liberals transferred power within the cartel party system without reversing any aspect of the neo-liberal agenda for the economy and international relations. Since then one duplicitous measure has been taken after another. Talk about middle class prosperity has failed to cover up brutal measures which have deprived the working class of pensions, benefits, compensation and security. Talk about peace has been accompanied by deeds of war, with one decision after another increasingly placing Canada on a war path under U.S. command. Talk about looking after the environment and concern over climate change has rung hollow as fracking and other destructive practices continue with monopolies entitled to regulate themselves. Talk about righting historical wrongs against the Indigenous peoples while the resulting conditions and wrongs persist has merely exposed that the Trudeau Liberals seek to carry on with the theft of Indigenous lands and extinguishment of Indigenous hereditary rights as every government before them has tried to do. All in all, Liberal hypocrisy is causing grave harm on all fronts.

A principle aim of the Trudeau government has been to make sure the working class and people do not organize themselves as an independent political force on the basis of their opposition to paying the rich and the integration of Canada into Fortress North America. It aims to obstruct the working class and people from advancing their pro-social program for the recognition and realization of the rights of all and for a foreign policy based on peaceful resolution of conflicts and recognition of the sovereign rights of all nations.

One of the Trudeau government's most insidious methods to realize this aim is to "frame choices" for the people based on preserving the overall direction that has already been decided by the rich and the U.S. imperialists and then use the vast resources of the state and public relations campaigns to push for those choices. This was seen in its failed campaign to convince Canadians to line-up behind the Liberals' preferred method of counting votes through ranked-balloting. The Liberals dedicated millions of dollars to the cause of generating popular support for the idea that people can be empowered by changing the method through which one cartel political party is chosen over another and all that remains is the unity of the cartel party system to fight out the issue of which party will really deliver electoral reform.

This experience of the Liberal-led electoral reform exercise has shown how the ruling capitalist elite do not want to lose control over the polity. They have developed the electoral system as one that reduces people's participation in politics to choosing a cartel political party that will control politics and deal with the country's affairs in ways that favour certain monopolies and their private interests.

Liberal hypocrisy, more exposed with every passing day, is being left completely naked with the impact of the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the deepening integration of Canada into Fortress North America. The phony "choices" the Liberals put forward under the hoax of "sunny ways" camouflage and obfuscate anti-social decisions that are taken when Trump refuses to play ball and simply declares "take it or leave it." Canada has been so deeply integrated into Fortress North America that the only option the Liberals take is the one the U.S. imperialists will permit. One result is that the Liberals are having ever greater difficulty legitimizing their rule. The U.S. decision-making that rules in Canada today is the path of aggression and war and, within that, the Trudeau Liberals are deeply involved in the factional fights within the U.S. ruling class.

As the Liberals' hypocrisy is exposed and rejected, their politics of diversion persist to make sure the working class does not take up its own independent nation-building politics. Two years of Liberal rule has demonstrated the necessity for democratic renewal and for the working class to step up its work to advance its own independent politics. Only with its own thinking, theory, and practical politics can the working class overcome the manoeuvres of the ruling elite and bring into being democratic renewal, political empowerment of the people and a consistent pro-social direction for the economy and country with the power to restrict monopoly right and humanize the natural and social environment. For the working people, security lies in the fight for the rights of all.

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Government Reaffirms Harper Era
Handover of Decision-Making to U.S.

On October 9 the Liberals announced consultation on a new draft Cabinet Directive on Regulation. The new draft follows the previous directive put in place by the Harper Conservative government in 2012 which was to be reviewed in five years.

One of the major focuses of the ruling elite during the Harper reign was to use the Conservative majority dictatorship in the House of Commons and Senate to put in place new arrangements to politicize private interests by destroying remnants of a social contract which served what was understood to be the public good. The Conservatives' brazen destruction of the Canadian Wheat Board is one example.

They used their legislative power to change the purposes of various laws and definitions within them in a manner which gave the government strengthened arbitrary powers to do as they please without threat of legal challenge. This was required to ensure that regulations passed as guidelines or Orders-in-Council which uphold monopoly right or serve foreign interests are not in direct contempt of the law. For example the Harper government changed the purposes of the International Transfer of Offenders Act from rehabilitation and the administration of justice to include "public safety." This was used to legalize Canada's refusal to grant a request to transfer Omar Khadr back to Canada from the U.S. torture camp in Guantánamo, as well as other Canadians held in U.S. prisons, if the U.S. did not want them transferred. The nebulous criterion of "public safety" allows the government to claim a person is a threat and block their transfer.

In another example the Harper government issued guidelines changing the definition of State or Government Owned Enterprises in the Investment Canada Act to block  increased investment in Canada's oil sands from certain monopolies mainly from Asia and China in particular.

At the same time, changes were made to the way in which regulations are issued, particularly in regards to harmonizing standards between Canada and the U.S. Amongst other methods, standards were eliminated through the passage of the Harper government's "One-for-One" rule which came into effect in April 2012 and required that for each new regulation an existing regulation had to be eliminated. This enabled the government to arbitrarily eliminate existing standards at their pleasure. Later, in April 2013, the Harper government passed the Incorporation by Reference in Regulations Act. "Incorporation by reference" is a drafting technique to include text, materials and concepts expressed elsewhere (for example, in the legislation of another country) without reproducing it in the text. This Act made it legal to delegate and sub-delegate regulatory authority. This means that once regulatory authority is delegated to a foreign decision-making body, the regulations can be left "open" so that that body can eliminate or change the regulation and the change will be de facto applied in Canada.[1]

At the time the Harper government was changing the regulatory regime, a number of Senators raised serious concerns. Liberal-appointed Senator Mac Harb noted: "Open incorporation by reference amounts to a sub-delegation of the regulation-making power, which is contrary to our Constitution and our statutes. [...]

"[S]ince 2007, the Conservative government has used open incorporation by reference at least 300 times. One reason the Conservatives introduced Bill S-12 in the Senate was to put an end to the debate and legitimize their way of doing things. The bill would authorize the regulatory authorities to sub-delegate the regulatory power without needing to obtain Parliament's authorization. [...]

"The Parliament of Canada will lose a portion of its control over regulations, since foreign entities will sometimes be deciding the content of our regulations. In other words, Canada will lose a portion of its sovereignty when the documents incorporated by reference come from entities outside Canada. The sovereignty we lose will be gained by others, like our principal trading partner, the United States. We quite often have to coordinate our regulations with that partner, but this bill means that it will sometimes be our neighbour that will decide the content of our regulations directly, without any participation by the Canadian government."[2]

During debate in Parliament, Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti gave the Liberals' official position at the time, echoing Harb's concerns and the likely unconstitutional nature of the legislation. He added:

"We believe that Parliament, which represents all Canadians, cannot agree to sub-delegation of the regulation-making power such as is permitted by Bill S-12, unless it has expressly authorized it when the regulation-making power was delegated in enabling legislation."

Now that the Liberals are in power they are singing a different tune. They have deliberately not changed any of the laws which permitted the delegation and sub-delegation of regulatory powers nor the One-for-One rule nor any other arrangement which hands over decision-making power to private interests and a foreign power. They are in fact going further. While the Harper and Obama governments established the Regulatory Cooperation Council as a supra-national body through which private interests are given decision-making power over North American regulations in coordination with the ministries and departments of the national governments, the Trudeau government wants this extended to include Mexico so that any regulatory changes or elimination of regulations will be "harmonized" for all of North America.

Cabinet Directive on Regulation

The Liberals' current draft Cabinet Directive on Regulation reaffirms the overall direction set by the Harper government. It is in line with all the legal changes made under Harper to politicize private interests and hand over decision-making to foreign entities. In particular, like the policy under Harper, it requires that by default any new regulations should be aligned with "other jurisdictions, domestically and internationally." Furthermore, it requires all government departments and agencies to cooperate with foreign countries to assess "the feasibility of aligning regulatory approaches and/or outcomes with key trading partners, in order to reduce the regulatory burden on Canadian business, while maintaining or improving the health, safety, security, social and economic well-being of Canadians, and the environment."

The destruction of the Wheat Board at the behest of giant foreign agro-businesses and the elimination of environmental regulations on hundreds of waterways are good examples of how such weasel words are used to conceal the interests behind the cartel party system, to cloak where the decisions are actually made. They use their power to impose the reduction of any standards protecting "health, safety, security, social and economic well-being of Canadians, and the environment" while claiming that it favours Canadians and the environment if they are "competitive" and "flexible." What the Trudeau government has done differently from Harper is to include requirements for all departments and agencies to: 1) use "modern, digital, accessible and secure platforms" for consultation when making new regulations; 2) carry out an assessment of potential effects on the environment for each regulatory proposal, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals; and 3) "undertake an assessment of social and economic impacts of each regulatory proposal on diverse groups of Canadians, in accordance with the Government of Canada's commitment on implementing Gender-based Analysis."

Through the use of these high-tech consultations the Liberals hope to institutionalize their ability to frame "choices" within the neo-liberal framework so that the overall direction is not challenged and they can "nudge" people to their preferred option. Meanwhile by including talk about the environment, Indigenous peoples and a "Gender-based Analysis," they hope to divide Canadians on every basis possible so that the sell-out of the country, its resources and people is not challenged.


1. See "Harper Government Seeks to Change How Regulations Are Made and Who Can Make Them," TML Weekly, April 20, 2013.

2. Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, Lib), Hansard, February 13, 2013.

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Clause-by-Clause Study of Bill C-49 Reveals Duplicitous Attack on Workers' Dignity and Rights

On October 3, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (TRAN) held a clause-by-clause study of Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and other Acts respecting transportation and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.[1] The Committee's meeting was an exercise by the Liberal government in duplicity bordering on the criminal, designed to cover up the reality of what is happening in the railway industry and make railway workers the target of espionage and criminalization by the railway monopolies.

As was the case during the Committee hearings, September 11 to 14, much of the time during the clause-by-clause study was devoted to the section of the bill that deals with locomotive voice and video recorders (LVVRs). If passed, the new law would make it mandatory for rail companies to install LVVRs and would allow them access to the recordings. Although railway workers strongly oppose this as an attack on their privacy and dignity, and made their views clear at the hearings, the Committee endorsed this section without amendment at the clause-by-clause study.

When asked by a member of the Committee why, in addition to the Transportation Safety Board, the audio-video recordings have to be made available to the railways (and Transport Canada), Associate Deputy Minister of Transport Helena Borges said:

"This comes from the recommendation that the [Transportation Safety Board] has made that safety is paramount and in the rail system there are three parties that have a big role in safety. One is the Safety Board because it provides recommendations to us on how to improve safety, based on the accidents that happen. The other one is Transport Canada because we set the legislative and regulatory regime for rail safety. The third party is the actual railways themselves and they have the safety management systems that help build a culture of safety."

This is the kind of fantasy world the Trudeau government describes to justify providing a new layer of police powers to the railway monopolies. It is impossible that a person such as the Associate Deputy Minister, who according to the Transport Canada website has been a senior official in the Department of Transport since the early 2000s, does not know that workers speak of a "culture of fear" in railway monopolies and not a "culture of safety." Workers particularly blame the Safety Management Systems -- systems of self-regulation by the railway monopolies -- for the lack of railway safety. These systems are so problematic that the railway workers -- the men and women who operate the trains -- do not even have the right to know what the system is, although their safety and the safety of the public depend on their actions.

The government is openly saying that it is going to be a part of the secretive Safety Management Systems! This government claims to be concerned by the situation facing the workers. However, it does not even acknowledge that the organized collectives of the railway workers -- those who do the work -- are raising serious issues about rail safety and are opposed to these new measures. The government does not conclude that these concerns should be seriously examined in light of what is actually going on in the railways. It is eager to use the power structure of Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board and the rail monopolies (those parties that "have a big role in safety") to provide new arbitrary powers to the rail monopolies that will put the workers in a situation where they have even less peace of mind at work and less control over their day-to-day work. To say that this amounts to greater safety in the rail system is pure deception.

The Associate Deputy Minister went on and on about the "safeguards" that will be put in the legislation through regulations regarding the workers' right to privacy. She said there will be limits on how data are selected and treated, who in the companies can access the data, how the data are stored, when they are to be deleted, etc.

This amounts to nothing because the fact remains that the rail monopolies are being provided with the arbitrary power to spy on the workers with LVVRs. Once the recordings exist, their content can be used in any way, even without referring to them explicitly. These arrangements too will be made behind the backs of the workers, by those who have the power to decide what goes on and when and how to target the workers.

The part of Bill C-49 that says workers can be disciplined if the recordings reveal a "prescribed threat to the safety of railway operations" was also left unchanged by the Committee.

Meanwhile the actual reckless potentially life-threatening activities of the rail monopolies, such as using office people to drive trains in order to attack the workers' struggles and reduce the unionized workforce, are not even discussed and are considered legitimate private business decisions that Transport Canada and the Transport Safety Board, the other two parties that have a "big role in safety," have no business interfering with.

This says a lot about the state of affairs of workers' rights and the usurpation of public authority by global private monopolies and the need for workers to step up their fight for their rights and reverse the situation in a way that benefits the people.


1. For more information on Bill C-49, see "The Real Aim of Bill C-49," Workers' Forum, September 28, 2017.

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Round 4 NAFTA Negotiations

Alternatives to Submission to U.S. Imperialism
Must Be Found

The ongoing NAFTA negotiations make it more and more obvious to many that alternatives to submission to the U.S. must be found. Instead of exploring this as a viable route, the ruling circles and their media focus on generating fear by focusing on Trump's "bomb shells." Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif compared Trump's decision not to re-certify the U.S. as a party to the multilateral Iran nuclear deal to the NAFTA negotiations and other international agreements:

"This administration is withdrawing from everything. Somebody called it the 'Withdrawal Doctrine,' for this administration. It's withdrawing from NAFTA. It's withdrawing from Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's withdrawing from UNESCO.

"So people cannot trust anymore the word of the United States. You see, in order to bring United States on board for many of these international agreements, a lot of people make a lot of concessions. Now nobody is going to make any concessions to the United States because they know that the next U.S. president will come back and say, 'It wasn't enough'."

The crisis for the Canadian ruling elite who benefit from annexation to the coattails of U.S. imperialism, has been amplified with the factional infighting of the U.S. ruling class. This has generated fear amongst the Canadian ruling elite and their mass media that the situation is spiralling out of control, a fear they seek to impose on the thinking of the working people.

Expressing the conundrum facing the U.S. imperialists and the "bomb shells" from their leadership, one journalist writes:

"Trade negotiators and policy makers should understand their countries' transgressions and exposure to counter measures. If the U.S. pushes too hard the reaction will not be benign."[1]

The journalist gives the following examples from the agricultural sector:

"The U.S. swine herd has hit record levels -- and strong demand is essential to clearing the inventory.

"The 9 per cent decline in pork exports to Japan in August is significant. The E.U. and others with preferential access will leave U.S. hog farmers scrambling for new access for the record herd.

"Granting preferences in Japan to Canada would not help Trump's stock with American hog farmers. Mexico is the largest volume destination for U.S. pork and ranks second to Japan in export value. There are other potential suppliers.

"Brazil recently supplied large volumes of corn to Mexico. The U.S. has been seeking assurances that their dominant supplier position [for corn to Mexico] will not be eroded.... It could continue and expand its exports to Mexico. Soybeans too could be on the list for finding friendlier suppliers.

"The U.S. is the largest supplier of dairy products to Mexico. Is special tariff-free quota access to Mexico for Canadian dairy products out of the question under TPP of the Eleven [excluding the U.S.]?

"Mexico's Finance Minister José Antonio Meade said the government was working on plans to alter tariffs and identify substitute markets in case the NAFTA talks failed."

It confirms that there is nothing free about free trade. It is inter-monopoly and inter-imperialist factional fighting. The working class cannot allow the ruling imperialist elite to embroil it in the factional fighting and crises of their own making because, under all conditions, workers' interests are sacrificed on the altar of capital. Workers and their organizations must take up elaborating their own stands and fight for a new pro-social direction for the economy. Canada's vast natural and human resources must become available for a new nation-building project of the working people's own making.

Let the workers not fear for an instant the collapse of these NAFTA talks or be cowed by the crisis facing the U.S. imperialist system. Let the working people of North America become their own champions for a new society of their own making!

Withdraw from NAFTA and the U.S.-Dominated Imperialist System of States!
Our Security Lies in Our Fight for the Rights of All!
One Humanity! One Struggle!


1. Peter Clark, "NAFTA 2.0 -- Opening Pandora's Box," National Newswatch, October 13, 2017.

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The Peoples Have a Right to Decide the Matters that Affect Their Lives! Withdraw from NAFTA!

With the conclusion of round four of NAFTA negotiations in Arlington, Virginia on October 16, a salient feature that has emerged is that the few directly participating are deciding what happens to over 450 million people living in North America, with the people affected reduced to uninformed spectators. This spectacle of secret NAFTA negotiations reveals the importance of new and modern constitutions for all three countries to end the situation where there are those who are ruled and those above them with privilege and decision-making power. Decision-making must be in the hands of the working people and modern constitutions must enshrine their right to decide all affairs which affect their lives.

The working class produces all the social wealth necessary for a modern society but is deprived of its right to decide its direction. The contradiction of the social nature of the modern economy and the society stuck under the control of a small gang of wealthy elite serving their own narrow private interests must be resolved. The working class is the only social force capable of doing so.

Disinformation Used to Disorient and Confuse

The NAFTA round ended with reports citing anonymous sources "with direct knowledge of the talks" saying this and that and nothing, which can only be characterized as gossip. News from those shadowy sources, which amounts to rumours and hearsay illustrates the complete disempowerment of the hundreds of millions of people whose fate and livelihoods are being wheeled and dealed behind closed doors.

This is not a modern way to organize the affairs of a nation and engage in state-to-state talks. It highlights the marginalization of the people from the affairs of state, which are run by a small elite serving private interests. No modern political mechanism exists for debate, discussion and information to harmonize the individual and collective interests, mobilize public opinion and decide what needs to be discussed at the state level with other states and the arrangements necessary to facilitate trade for mutual benefit and development. The present situation leaves people in the dark about what is being discussed regarding an international agreement that has long been pilloried as serving the global monopolies and which the peoples throughout North America never wanted in the first place.

The NAFTA negotiating circus and rumour mill are meant to disinform the people and destroy any public opinion or coherence as to what is really going on and what is at stake. It smacks of desperation to mask that the rich and their monopolies are organizing to destroy any semblance of sovereignty of the three countries. They are conspiring in the service of the rich and powerful behind the backs of the people and against their interests and rights. To illustrate this, the Hill Times quotes a former high-ranking Canadian diplomat turned consultant who informs that there are a number of "advisory groups" from various business sectors sitting in wait outside of the negotiating rooms, who likely have their own lawyers looking at the language of the deal, aware of the "sensitivities." What the sensitivities are and for whom is not discussed. "That's why these things run over three or four days, because you are constantly checking back to verify," the consultant said.

Trump's Vision for National Humiliation and
Monopoly Rule over North America

The fourth round has been touted as presenting a full U.S. imperialist vision for a renewed NAFTA. This vision is a demand of complete submission by Canada and Mexico into Fortress North America dominated by the most powerful monopolies.[1]

The main proposals formally tabled by the U.S. imperialists are:

- A five-year NAFTA sunset clause.

- Destruction of Canada's system of supply management in dairy by increasing U.S. imports beyond what the Liberals and Conservatives agreed to in the Trans Pacific Partnership, and a demand that Canada give the U.S. a veto and decision-making role in future regulations governing the dairy sector.

- Rules of origin in the automotive sector requiring all vehicles sold without tariffs in North America to include 85 per cent North American content and 50 per cent U.S. content, plus an elaborate listing of parts that did not exist in 1994 when NAFTA was introduced.

- Broadening U.S. ability to go outside of WTO rules on pricing of certain goods.

- Making dispute resolution panels for Chapters 11, 19 and 20 dealing with investor-state and state-state dispute resolution either non-binding or voluntary. These enforceable dispute resolution measures are often cited as a lynch pin for Canada agreeing to the existing NAFTA.

The monopoly media focus on these proposals is meant to obscure the whole, evoking a feeling of "not being able to see the forest for the trees." This saturation coverage of these issues in the media and by commentators of the ruling elite is similar to the U.S. election campaign that brought Trump to power. His wild and egregious statements were made the main news so as to prevent any political atmosphere from taking hold in which people could have a calm and rational discussion about what is taking place and what to do about it.

The ruling elite in Canada are using Trump's demands to eliminate NAFTA to rally working people behind the Canadian state. Chicken Little screams that the sky is falling and we all must rally to save NAFTA, as if that has a connection with affirming Canada's sovereign rights and well-being and the rights of its workers. The Liberal government farce hopes to create an atmosphere of doom and gloom so that the working people will not for a second think they can live without their U.S. and European overlords hatching deals to resolve their fights over the social wealth produced by the workers themselves. Such deals include the European Airbus aerospace monopoly seizing control of Bombardier's aerospace division for nothing, further embroiling Canadians in the inter-monopoly fight for control of this sector of the global imperialist economy.

The NAFTA rumour mill and sources now chirp louder that Trump is deliberately trying to cause a crisis, set up the negotiations to fail and either walk away or, like a hero, piece it back together on a bilateral or multilateral basis. Speculation abounds in the media over what will happen.[2] The people are to sit in suspense waiting for the climax of some drama out of their control and cheer from their seats for a champion to emerge to save the day.

Prime Minister Trudeau says that Canada intends to "stick it out" and "seriously consider" the U.S. proposals. The media present an image of him as a responsible statesman representing Canada's interest in contrast to that wild man in Washington. This hides the class interests both defend and why Canada wants to "stick it out" and the U.S. wants a better deal or none at all.

Instead of mobilizing Canadians to discuss what alternatives exist to national humiliation and subjugation to monopoly rule, Trudeau and the media argue that Canada is so integrated and subservient to the U.S. a terminated NAFTA would hurt the oppressor just as much as it would hurt Canada. The only real problem they suggest is Mexico. So if the U.S. monopolies think they can rule better without NAFTA, then the Canadian ruling elite say with a wink and faint smile maybe the U.S. and Canada should come to some bilateral free trade agreement and unite forces to attack Mexico.

The entire NAFTA farce has nothing to do with nation-building in the modern era. The people are witness to global empire-building in the service of the monopolies feasting on the wreckage of sovereign nation-states. The time is now to move on to something new, to a nation-building project that serves the people through a self-reliant all-sided national economy and political empowerment of the working people with modern methods of governing and a constitution that guarantees the well-being and rights of all.


1. The three countries have agreed to "having a longer intersessional period before the next negotiating round to assess all proposals."

Mexico will host the fifth round of talks in Mexico City from November 17-21, 2017 and additional negotiating rounds will be scheduled through the first quarter of 2018 extending negotiations past the arbitrary December deadline set by the Trump government.

2. Peter Clark, National Newswatch: "The predicted nightmares are becoming reality."

CBC: "The No. 1 discussion topic at this current round is whether [U.S. Chief Negotiator] Melle's team is being ordered to sabotage the talks, so President Donald Trump can declare NAFTA has failed."

Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press: "the U.S. team has unfurled a half-dozen bombshells so far beyond the realm of what's palatable to the other parties that have all but exploded earlier hopes of a quick, easy negotiation."

CBC, quoting an anonymous source: "The [U.S.] negotiators are like lawyers who hate their clients."

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Behind the Scenes Harmonization and Annexation 

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said at the end of NAFTA negotiations round three that while a media focus is on "poison pills" to kill the deal, the actual negotiations over further integrating Canada into Fortress North America through harmonizing all standards and regulations to those of the U.S. are proceeding swiftly behind the scenes. This is why the Trudeau government speaks about "sticking it out."

"I think Canadians might get the impression that we're not talking about everything yet; that is not the case. We have 28 tables where people are actively negotiating and working. We really are right now working on all areas of the negotiation," Freeland told reporters.

She continued, "We have been making some good progress this round on some of the real bread-and-butter economic issues which I heard about from Canadians in the negotiation.

"These might not be the most sexy issues, but they are the issues that really matter to Canadian business people, things like electronic forms, like automatic declarations of origin, like harmonizing regulation. These are the things that make a trade agreement and in particular an agreement like NAFTA really work. This ... really is important.

"These are the things that really are at the heart of talking about modernizing NAFTA.... This is going to make the lives of Canadian business people a lot easier."

It should be noted that harmonizing regulations means changing Canadian, U.S. and Mexican laws, without the participation of the elected bodies of those countries, to serve the rich and their monopolies. The matters affected include everything from workers' health and safety standards, to what is permitted in our food and water, to how pensions should be structured. Those are all measures that express the sovereign decisions of a government. Yet their change or elimination at these supra-national levels with corporate lobbyists circling hotel rooms to have their say is presented as "bread and butter." These changes to Canadian laws and how they are made are being put in place whether a new NAFTA is signed or not.

For example, two days after this round of NAFTA negotiations ended on October 18 the Canada Food Inspection Agency and the United States Food and Drug Administration signed an agreement on "information sharing" and "collaboration on research projects." Included in the memorandum is a provision requiring the parties to consult one another on any potential regulatory action or decisions based on information shared that "would affect the other Participant's country prior to implementation." This is part of the U.S. government's demand in these negotiations for "transparency" such that the U.S. gets given a role in the development of Canadian regulations and a de facto veto such as their most egregious demands tabled to oversee Canada's dairy regulations.

These issues lie at the heart of the program to negate Canadian sovereignty and annex the country into a monopoly-controlled and dominated Fortress North America, which the people do not accept whenever they have been asked.

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There Can Be No Cure from the Gods of Plague!

The official spokespersons for the working class, at least designated as such by certain leaders, are deeply integrated with the Canadian and U.S. governments. This is cause for concern as it is a means to enforce the anti-social preoccupations and outlook of the ruling class onto the people and their defence organizations and stifle any independent working class outlook and preoccupations. In their official positions they are embroiled in campaigns to have "their workers" act as cheerleaders for their respective governments.

These official spokespersons cannot bring themselves to break with the positions of the ruling imperialist elite. With this practice, they divert the workers with whom they have influence from activating themselves as an independent force with their own thinking, demands and agenda. Many working people in both countries think that it is high time these official spokespersons stop this nonsense and rally the workers to take a pro-active approach to defending their rights. This would break with the prevalent passivity of the working class, which makes it susceptible to the threats and blackmail of the monopolies and their political representatives. The blackmail is being ramped up, with NAFTA's possible demise as an excuse to throw in the towel on any independent working class position in defence of rights and pro-social nation-building.

Taking as a starting point the preoccupations and outlook of the ruling elite can be seen in Unifor's call for rallies across Canada on October 20, to drum up support for the Canadian government's secret proposals allegedly to "improve" NAFTA and make it "progressive." The proposals would solidify the hold of the global monopolies over the unions and what role they play in the life of the working class and society, dictating an imperialist conception of what constitutes workers' rights as well as standardizing North American regulations regarding the environment. In the absence of independent positions of the working class, these proposals are used to create the illusion that workers' rights and the environment can be defended by the gods of plague.

This negates the working class as an independent social force with its own interests in opposition to those of the imperialist employers and dictators. It obscures and blocks workers' own thinking, outlook and pro-social agenda. How insulting for proud Canadian workers to be used and abused as cheerleaders for the ruling elite. It must not pass!

The Unifor appeal says: "Negotiations for a renewed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are heating up. Canada has taken a principled stand for improved labour and environmental standards in any new deal, and clauses dealing with gender and Indigenous issues but we need to keep pushing.

"Join us as we urge MPs to ensure that Canada remains committed to improving NAFTA for all working people. A better NAFTA is one that builds strong communities and a more equitable society."

"A better NAFTA" implies the present one is either a good NAFTA or at least one worth keeping. Who authorized such a change in the stance of the Canadian trade union movement, which long held the view that NAFTA was a tool of the monopolies to dictate their narrow private interests over Canada, Mexico and the United States and destroy any remaining sovereign rights to govern their own affairs?

Meanwhile the gods of plague now openly claim they are directly representing the workers, leading some of these leaders to drink the Koolaid.

Peter Clark of National Newswatch reports U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer told "auto industry power brokers and leaders he is in this negotiation for the workers."

Are workers to believe that someone deeply involved in the U.S. ruling elite has anything in common with the working class? The U.S. government website says in part, "Robert E. Lighthizer was chosen by President Trump to serve as USTR.... [For over 30 years he has worked to ensure] businesses [around the world] in the heavy manufacturing, agricultural, high-tech, and financial services industries opened markets to U.S. exports.... [He] was a well-known advocate for the type of 'America First' trade policies supported by President Trump.... [He] served as Deputy USTR for President Ronald Reagan. During his tenure, he also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.... [Prior to that he] was Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance for Chairman Bob Dole. In this position, he was a key player in enacting the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which was the most significant tax reform in decades, as well as the other basic elements of the Reagan economic program."

Some champion of the working class and the rights of peoples around the world!! This man has been a bulldog for U.S. imperialist penetration in every country, trampling on their rights and demanding they submit or be crushed.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters sent representatives from its U.S. and Canadian policy divisions to Washington to "track and influence" the negotiations "on behalf of several top Teamster priorities, including highway safety, dairy supply management and worker rights."

The Teamsters indicate that General President Jim Hoffa and Teamsters Canada President François Laporte, "express support for U.S. and Canadian negotiators on these and other issues." In particular, the Teamsters applaud the decision by the U.S. Trade Representative (Robert E. Lighthizer) to fix the NAFTA cross-border trucking provision. The decision itself is only known to Hoffa and those he has told."

"The Teamsters and our allies among independent truckers and highway safety advocates will be pleased with the U.S. position on cross-border services," Hoffa explained. "The USTR approach is a creative solution to this long-standing controversy. Without getting into the details of the proposed text, I am satisfied that the U.S. position will permit Congress and the Dept. of Transportation to safeguard the livelihoods of American truck drivers and the personal safety of American families on U.S. highways under NAFTA 2.0."

"Under the Ambassador's leadership, the USTR staff has proposed a bold revision to the substantive scope and jurisdiction of these controversial corporate courts," Hoffa said. "The reported 'opt-in' provision is a good step to fulfilling the USTR's promise to remake the investment chapter."

"We note with approval the corporate consternation from the chambers of commerce over this important and overdue reform," Hoffa added. "The vehemence of the opposition from the employer community is an indication of just how unused they are to not getting their full agenda into trade deals, and it's about time!"

Teamster's Canadian President François Laporte said, "Minister Freeland and Canadian negotiators have a progressive, pro-worker influence on these talks. We hope that the other parties will commit to a strong and enforceable labour chapter, grounded in the initial Canadian proposal, which would serve as a model for protecting workers' rights in future trade agreements."

Laporte then shifted to the specific U.S. demand to destroy supply management in dairy and give a U.S. veto over Canadian regulations: "The United States launched a violent assault on Canada's dairy supply management system. Tens of thousands of jobs will be in jeopardy unless the Trudeau Government continues its defense of dairy workers and farmers.... Don't be surprised if U.S. dairy proposals derail these NAFTA talks. An unstoppable force is meeting an immovable object."

United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard welcomed a sunset review for NAFTA, telling reporters that had the original deal included such a clause, the trade pact would not be in effect today. The NAFTA renegotiation "needs to have a sunset review because if it doesn't meet the commitments, it ought to go back to the drawing board or it ought to die," Gerard said.

Workers must deeply ponder why these official spokespersons are speaking on their behalf. Their words and deeds stand opposed to the emergence of an independent working class movement with its own voice and agenda for pro-social nation-building projects in all three North American countries.

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Mexicans Oppose Trudeau Government's Hypocrisy

Canadian Mining is Dispossessing Indigenous Peoples and Campesino Communities in Mexico

View of Los Filos open pit mine in Guerrero, Mexico.  (C. Leyva)

On the occasion of Justin Trudeau's state visit to Mexico, the Mexican Network of Mining Affected People demands he put a stop to the Canadian mining companies' invasion and calls for their withdrawal from our country

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has presented himself on the international stage as a democrat, a supporter of human rights and freedoms, and committed to fulfilling the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Although on this latter point it is important to mention that the government has taken a weak position, limiting its support for the declaration to what falls within the scope of the Canadian constitution, which is not a minor matter, particularly if Canada continues to refuse to ratify Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization [Indigenous and Tribal Peoples' Convention, 1989 -- TML] and fails to respect the self-determination of Indigenous peoples in practice.

Trudeau's visit to our country has been announced as an opportunity to strengthen commercial ties between Mexico and Canada, which is bad news for those peoples and communities who have been seriously affected by Canadian mining activities. Today, Canada has become the biggest source of foreign investment in mining around the world and in Mexico, to such an extent that 65% of foreign mining companies in Mexico are listed in Canada. For Canada, Mexico has become the second most important destination for Canadian mining investment abroad, after the U.S., such that 11.3% of Canadian mining assets are in Mexico.

The power that Canadian mining wields in Latin America has been openly and arbitrarily promoted by Canada's entire diplomatic corps along the lines of its "economic diplomacy" policy through its embassies. Like good colonialists, they continue to propagate racism and hatred toward Indigenous peoples and campesino communities when they encourage mining investment in an area such as Guerrero  -- where there is tremendous Canadian mining investment -- and then issue alerts to Canadian tourists to avoid traveling to the same place,[1] given the violence and risks that people live with there.

The political and financial weight of Canadian mining companies and the government is a reality that has been used to influence the promotion of constitutional reforms, laws and regulations in the extractive sector to help facilitate foreign investment, as well as to weaken or do away with redress for harms, the payment of taxes, or any other condition that might affect company profits.

In Mexico, this has led to an unconstitutional legal framework that violates human rights because, among other things, it gives mining priority above all other activities, which despite being undertaken pretty much exclusively by private companies is considered to be in the public interest. This has meant dispossession and forced displacement of legitimate landowners, who when they try to defend their rights, these are denied by the very same companies, either directly or through the structures of their illegal armed groups, or in collusion with different actors in the Mexican government.

Health harms, environmental contamination and destruction, criminalization of social protest, threats, harassment, smear campaigns, persecution, arbitrary detentions and the assassination of defenders are the formula for progress and development that Canadian mining investment has brought to our country. To counteract its brutality, in the media and in the spheres of power, companies gloat about their corporate social responsibility, clean industry certification or safe cyanide use, or their adherence to absurd standards of "conflict free gold" that are supported and certified by organizations largely created by the very same corporate sector. To substantiate claims of dispossession, pillage, displacement and violence caused by Canadian mining companies, it is enough to visit the communities of Carrizalillo[2] and Nuevo Balsas[3] in Guerrero, Chalchihuites[4] and Mazapil[5] in Zacatecas, the northern highlands of Puebla,[6] Tetlama in Morelos,[7] or Sierrita de Galeana in Durango,[8] as well as Chicomuselo, Chiapas,[9] where Mariano Abarca was murdered for his opposition to a Canadian mining company, prior to which the Canadian embassy in Mexico was alerted to the risks he faced as they monitored the conflict.

The abuses of Canadian mining companies have been ongoing, repeated, and have violated human rights such as rights to territory, property, a safe environment, participation, consultation and consent, lawfulness and legal security. For example, we have seen the same company (Goldcorp) following a pattern of cynically and repeatedly breaking the law by purchasing collectively owned lands, first in Carrizalillo, Guerrero and then, three years later, in Mazapil, Zacatecas. Today in Mexico, Canadian companies are operating 65% or over 850 mining projects at different stages from exploration through to construction and extraction.

It is important to mention, Mr. Justin Trudeau, that the only thing that mining investment from your country guarantees us is dispossession and the risk that thousands and thousands of communities and persons could lose their culture and identity as a result of the destruction of their territory; the arrival of organized crime (whether or not companies are signed up to the bombastic conflict-free gold standard); as well as the escalation of violence, repression and criminalization of those who defend their territories and life.

In this context, REMA demands that the Canadian government stop the institutional and political support provided through its diplomatic apparatus to enable private Canadian investors to accumulate wealth through dispossession. We also demand that it stop promoting policies and weak laws that legalize the activities of these mining companies, among them voluntary codes of conduct known as Corporate Social Responsibility, in place of mandatory compliance. Instead, corporate accountability is urgently needed to put a stop to the ongoing atrocities and illegalities that violate the human rights of Indigenous peoples and campesino communities.

In addition, beyond the positive accounts of the business sectors and government officials in defence of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it is important to mention that this pact has only helped to legalize dispossession, enable more wealth to be accumulated by already wealthy sectors and give rise to the gradual displacement of local products and economies to stimulate a new form of accumulation and control of capital and an increase in the deregulation of land ownership so as to water down protections of the public interest and public good, further enabling private pillage. In sum, the principal objective of NAFTA has been to disappear the countryside and campesino farmers.

Finally, Mr. Trudeau, we would like to remind you that well over a year ago, on April 26, 2016, shortly after you had assumed your mandate as Prime Minister when you committed yourself and your party to support human rights, various organizations including ours sent you a letter[10] in which we requested your attention to the context of human rights violations by Canadian companies in Mexico and Latin America. To date, we have not received a response to this letter, nor seen any concrete actions to protect human rights.

Canadian Mining Investment Is Destroying Our Country
Canadian Mining Companies Violate Human Rights
We Will Fight for Territories Free of Mining!

Mexican Network of Mining Affected People (REMA)


1. http://www.radioformula.com.mx/notas.asp?idn=681829&idFC=2017

2. http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/nacional/oro-y-narco-aumentan-violencia-en-guerrero.html

3. http://suracapulco.mx/2/instalan-pescadores-de-nuevo-balsas-un-segundo-bloqueo-a-la-mina-media-luna-%20para-que-los-indemnice/

4. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/01/31/estados/025n1est

5. http://ljz.mx/2016/10/07/indolencia-institucional-violencia-una-lucha-la-vida-en-mazapil/

6. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/07/03/sociedad/032n2soc

7. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/estados/2016/07/26/advierten-danos-ambientales-en-morelos-porminera-alamos-gold

8. http://www.animalpolitico.com/2016/07/pueblo-seco-la-plata/

9. http://www.proceso.com.mx/341143/embajada-canadiense-encubrio-a-minera-vinculada-a-asesinato-demariano-abarca

10. https://miningwatch.ca/sites/default/files/letter_to_trudeaueng_0.pdf

(October 11, 2017. Translated from original Spanish by Mining Watch Canada and TML)

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Frivolous and Disappointing (Extract)

... [I]t was Harper who brought to its full splendour the use of his country's diplomacy to benefit Canadian mining corporations scattered primarily throughout African and Latin American territories. One of the most scandalous cases occurred in 2009, when Canadian diplomacy moved through the sewers of Mexican corruption under the PAN [National Action Party] to crush the victorious legal struggle of citizens in defence of the historic and environmental heritage of the San Luis Potosí Valley. After years of resistance, in November 2009 Potosí civil society had obtained a final judgment that forced [the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources] to notify Canadian New Gold-Minera San Xavier (MSX) that its predatory project at Cerro de San Pedro was illegal given that it had been cancelled since 2005. At the same time, on the night of November 27, Mariano Abarca Roblero was shot to death in Chicomuselo, Chiapas for his fight against another Canadian mining company, Black Fire.

In response, Canadian authorities and their mining lobby, through Guillermo Rishchynski, Canada's ambassador at the time, coordinated with Felipe Calderón[1] and his partners to circumvent the legal order for the immediate closure of MSX and do damage control after Abarca's assassination. Just a few days later, on December 6, the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, arrived in Mexico. Calderón publicly declared to her that Mexico and Canada were in agreement about protecting the environment. On the last day of her visit Michaëlle Jean was welcomed by Margarita Zavala[2] in the Basilica of Guadalupe to show her the image of the Virgin. Days later, the mysterious miracle occurred: a Circuit Court in San Luis Potosí granted MSX a legally baseless injunction suspending the mine's closure pending an appeal of the project's definitive cancellation. The most deplorable aspect of the case was that since July of that year Margarita Zavala had the evidence in her hands of the illegal operation of MSX, and how Vicente Fox[3] and Marcelo de los Santos[4] (current ally of Zavala) had been involved in that illegal activity since 2005. Despite this, Calderón guaranteed that absolute impunity would continue for the looting and destruction in the Potosí lands.

Margarita Zavala, however, was not the only one aware of MSX's criminal operations. Since 2007, opponents of the mining project had on a number of occasions visited the Canadian parliament in Ottawa to inform and solicit support from various Canadian political actors. At the end of 2008 the activist Enrique Rivera, who had taken refuge in Montreal after being persecuted by MSX and its allies in San Luis Potosí, informed Justin Trudeau directly of the serious violations of human rights and the law that Canadian mining companies were engaging in with impunity in Mexico (see a fragment here -- minutes 4:48 a.m. 5:30). The then Liberal Party MP responded that, "Although we put forward bills against these companies, things are not going to change. We need a government that's willing to intervene. Are these problems going to be addressed under this Conservative government? I don't think so."

In November of 2015 Justin Trudeau was invested as Prime Minister of Canada, arousing great hope in movements in the Americas defending their territories against the advance of mega-mining. Regrettably, after two years in power Justin Trudeau maintains a complicit inaction in the face of the death and destruction caused by Canadian mining firms, ever effective in their dispossession thanks to the help they receive from a legion of corrupt individuals specialized in the sale of our biocultural heritage. Faced with this, the path to follow has already been traced; there are already many peoples in Mexico who have organized to declare their territories free of mega-projects of death, including mega-mining. From Justin Trudeau we should not expect anything anymore, other than the enormous disappointment he provokes.


1. Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa -- Former President of Mexico for the PAN (2006-2012).

2. Margarita Zavala de Calderón -- Politician, member of the PAN, wife of Felipe Calderón and former First Lady of Mexico (2006-2012). In October 2017 Zavala registered as an independent candidate for the presidency of Mexico.

3. Vicente Fox Quesada -- Former President of Mexico for the PAN (2000-2006).

4. Jesús Marcelo de los Santos Fraga -- Former PAN Governor of the state of San Luis Potosí (2003-2009).

Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara is a researcher at El Colegio de San Luis.

(La Jornada, October 13, 2017. Translated from the original Spanish by TML.)

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Hands Off Venezuela!

Oppose Canadian Sanctions Against Venezuela!

On September 22, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that effective immediately Canada was applying targeted sanctions against Venezuela, specifically against "members of the Maduro regime and those closest to it." Among the 40 individuals named are President Nicolás Maduro, Executive Vice-President Tareck El Aissami, recently elected members of the National Constituent Assembly, including its President and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodriguez as well as its Vice-Presidents. Also targeted are officials from the National Electoral Council, the Bolivarian Armed Forces, several Supreme Court judges and others. The sanctions criminalize any dealings by Canadians "in any property [...] or providing financial or related services" to those listed.

CPC(M-L) resolutely condemns this act of aggression against the Venezuelan government and attack against the right to conscience and freedom of association of Canadians. The sanctions are an effort to criminalize Canadians' support for the sovereign right of a fraternal people to decide their own affairs and instill an atmosphere wherein Canadians are to be subjected to spying and police actions for political actions.

Such sanctions constitute open aggression by the government of Canada against a fellow UN member state for the sole reason that it will not submit to the dictate of the U.S. or Canada whose aim is to carry out regime change to seize the territory and wealth of the Venezuelan people and use it as a base for war and further aggression in the Americas, to undermine it as the base for unity and integration of the peoples that it has become.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Freeland said, "Canada is a country that has a strong reputation in the world as a country that has very clear and cherished democratic values, as a country that stands up for human rights. To be sanctioned by Canada, I think has a real symbolic significance."

The fact that these pompous words come from the mouth of an open admirer of Nazi collaborators, who agitates for war and interference in tandem with U.S. imperialism in every corner of the globe, shows the content of Canada's "defence of human rights and democracy around the world." Furthermore, the "human rights and democracy" which the Foreign Minister holds up as a model are Canada's anachronistic 150-year-old constitutional arrangements that enforce the rule of a foreign Queen over her subjects, colonial relations with Indigenous peoples and ever-increasing powers for state security agencies to criminalize political opinions and organizing.

It is clear that Trudeau's mea culpa at the UN for the Canadian state's crimes against Indigenous peoples was to lay the groundwork for attacks on other countries as well as Canadians in the name of "democracy and human rights." Trudeau said as much to reporters after his speech when asked why he chose to address Canada's shameful treatment of its Indigenous peoples at the UN: "In conversations over the years, when I've suggested that certain countries need to do better on their own human rights, their own internal challenges, the response has been, 'Well, tell me about the plight of Indigenous people.'"

Just as Canadians do not accept the U.S. government's hostile actions against the fraternal people of Cuba they do not accept meddling in the affairs of Venezuela or any other country to serve U.S. imperialism's hegemonic aims.

All Out to Oppose Canada's Sanctions Against Venezuela!

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Statement of the Government of Venezuela in Response to Sanctions Imposed by Canada

1. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects the Government of Canada's decision to impose unlawful sanctions on senior officials of the Venezuelan State in flagrant violation of the aims and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the OAS Charter, international law, and the norms governing relations of friendship and cooperation between States.

2. Venezuela denounces before the international community these unfriendly and hostile measures which violate, among other things, the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of States, and are intended to undermine the peace and social stability achieved in our nation after the installation of the National Constituent Assembly, as well as the continued efforts of the National Executive in favor of dialogue and political understanding among the different sectors of our country. These sanctions aim to undermine the efforts of the Venezuelan government and opposition to engage in dialogue supported and accompanied by some members of the international community.

3. The objective of this aggression is to disavow the Venezuelan State institutions and to continue to support the violence of extremist groups that the Canadian government itself has protected and fostered in international fora. Since peace was achieved by means of defeating the violent actors, anti-national interests have been trying to manufacture a crisis from abroad. On September 5, 2017, the Canadian government established an abhorrent association of subordination with President Donald Trump's administration with the explicit purpose of overthrowing the constitutional government of Venezuela, employing economic sanctions as a political weapon.

4. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in exercise of its sovereign rights, repudiates the imperial behaviour of States that believe they have the power to violate international law and denounces the false progressive rhetoric of the Canadian government, which has entered into a partnership with the most retrograde spokesman of U.S. white supremacism who is attacking the majority of the countries in the hemisphere. This decision of the Canadian government deeply harms the bonds of friendship and respect that for years have guided the relations between our countries and consequently, Venezuela will consider all necessary measures to defend its national interest and sovereignty.

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Ministry of the People's Power for External Relations, Caracas, September 22, 2017

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Broad Participation in Regional Elections
Rebukes Interventionist Forces

An atmosphere of calm prevails on regional election day in Venezuela, October 15, 2017.

Venezuelans from all parts of the country and representing broad sections of the people cast their ballots in an atmosphere of calm on Sunday, October 15 to elect their 23 state governors. The turnout was an unprecedented 61.14 per cent, with over 11 million of Venezuela's 18,094,065 registered electors participating. This is a notable increase from the 53.9 per cent turnout in the last regional election in 2012, showing that the Venezuelan people are in motion to affirm their right to decide their own affairs free from foreign interference. This was also the first regional election since the tragic death of Comandante Hugo Chávez who passed away on March 5, 2013 and is a testament to his confidence in the Venezuelan people and to his leadership.

Upon announcing the turnout and preliminary results the night of October 15 with 95.8 per cent of the votes counted, Tibisay Lucena, President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) said the people of Venezuela had sent a powerful message about what they stand for -- peace, sovereignty, democracy and dignity. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro later affirmed that "peace, the fatherland, Bolivarian Venezuela have won," adding, "I called for peace for I believe it is the only way to gain back economic prosperity and social stability."

The broad participation in these regional elections follows the trend set in the July 30 election for the 545 sectoral and territorial representatives to the National Constituent Assembly, showing that the Venezuelan people have opted to resolve their differences politically. The turnout was roughly 3 million more than participated in the Constituent Assembly election two-and-a-half months ago that was held amidst an opposition boycott accompanied by violence and sabotage. Voter participation this time has been reported as a record for regional elections in the country. The high turnout is thanks in no small part to the work of the patriotic and revolutionary forces, who right after the Constituent Assembly was established began a broad mobilization of the people on a door-to-door basis to make sure the regional elections became a rejection of foreign interference and took place in a political rather than a violent atmosphere.

Click to enlarge.

The results of the vote indicate that the Bolivarian forces held their ground in spite of the all-out campaign of violence, disinformation and economic warfare waged by the U.S. and its allies inside and outside Venezuela. Candidates of the party led by President Nicolás Maduro, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, were backed by other parties belonging to the alliance known as the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) and were elected as Governors in 18 of the country's 23 states.

In Venezuelan elections, political parties have the option of appearing on the ballot with their own unique candidate, or with some other candidate they (and other parties) may have decided to unite around and endorse. This mechanism, which has no equivalent in Canada's electoral system where the aim is for each party to try and win power for itself, was utilized successfully by the GPP. Member parties were able to maintain their independence while channeling their votes to a joint candidate to more effectively defend the gains of the Bolivarian revolution in the elections.

The MUD coalition was unable to unite its forces in the same way. Some of its member parties presented candidates who were backed only by certain other members while still others boycotted the election and called for people not to vote. The parties Democratic Action and Justice First won four and one governorships, respectively, a net gain of two states.

The GPP's candidates accounted for 54 per cent of all votes cast while opposition candidates obtained 45 per cent. The GPP ended up with just two fewer governorships than it had going into the election. Their unseating of the Governors of Miranda, Lara and Amazonas, states considered to be part the opposition's power base, represents a particularly significant victory for the revolutionary forces.

With opposition forces unable to make significant headway and having failed time and time again to organize a coup d'état internally, violent sections will be even more desperate to create chaos and instability as the pretext for stepped-up U.S. aggression, even a military intervention against the Bolivarian government. Those opposition parties that did participate in the election were unable to come close to replicating the performance of the MUD coalition in the 2015 legislative election that won a majority of seats in the National Assembly. Unsurprisingly, not long after the CNE's announcement of the preliminary results the MUD declared it would not recognize them, insinuating without any evidence the results were fraudulent. Anticipating this game plan, President Maduro had already called for a complete audit of the vote to dispel any doubts. The days since the election have seen some winning and losing opposition candidates accept the election results, while others continue to echo the claims of their patrons in Washington, Ottawa and some European capitals that the election was not "free and fair." They are also split on whether or not their five governors should agree to be sworn in by the Constituent Assembly, a requirement for assuming their posts, given that the MUD and its interfering foreign backers dismiss that body as "illegitimate."

The Venezuelan people and their leadership are to be congratulated on their victory in mobilizing the people on the basis of finding political solutions to their differences. CPC(M-L) has joined calls for Canadians to step up their support for Venezuela by demanding that Canada respect the results and stop meddling in that country's internal affairs at the behest of the United States and the private interests it represents.

(Photos and graphics: TeleSUR, VTV, Venezuelan Embassy)

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Dirty Work of U.S. and Its Allies

Desperate Attempts by Imperialists to
Prevent Political Solutions

Venezuelans continue to work to resolve their problems internally through political means, including through the dialogue President Maduro announced would continue following the regional election between his government and members of the opposition coalition. However, the U.S. imperialists are becoming more desperate to impose their dictate on Venezuela and divert attention from their own crisis at home. They continue to use the Organization of American States (OAS) and its Secretary General Luis Almagro's abuse of his office to spread disinformation and outright lies about the situation in Venezuela.

The imperialists are now attempting to set up a "government in exile" starting with the judiciary. The aim is to rekindle an atmosphere of anarchy and violence after the calm that has prevailed since the installation of the National Constituent Assembly and its work to involve the people in resolving Venezuela's economic and political problems.

A ceremony was held at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC on October 13, in which Almagro figured prominently, to "swear in" a "Supreme Court of Justice in Exile" made up of judges the opposition forces had tried to appoint inside Venezuela, but could not.

Neighbouring Colombia is also being mobilized as a base to attack the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan people's sovereignty, as this fraudulent Supreme Court will reportedly hold sessions in Colombia as well as at OAS headquarters. In the days before the October 15 regional elections in Venezuela, Colombia was said to be preparing for a "refugee crisis" as part of creating the impression that Venezuela is falling apart, persecuting its people and forcing them to flee, opening the door for a so-called humanitarian intervention.

(Photo: El Nacional)

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Canadian Government's Disgraceful Position

Canada has refused to recognize the official results of Venezuela's October 15 regional elections issued by that country's National Electoral Council (CNE) but is instead simply repeating spurious and unsubstantiated claims about irregularities. The results rebuke Canada's longstanding attempts to claim that the Venezuelan people are oppressed by their government and live in a "dictatorship."

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland claimed that the "elections were characterized by many irregularities that raise significant and credible concerns regarding the validity of the results.

"The irregularities demonstrate that the CNE does not act as an independent institution for elections, but rather entirely according to the wishes of the government.

"Venezuelans have a constitutional right to choose their leaders through free, fair and transparent elections. We congratulate the Venezuelan people who were able to vote and exercise their democratic rights despite the many obstacles they encountered.

"Canada will continue to stand for the Venezuelan people and for the defence and restoration of democracy in Venezuela."

These weasel words hide the crisis faced by Canada. Freeland's statement congratulates those who voted "despite the many obstacles they encountered," claiming without evidence that "irregularities" took place, then asserts that Canada has "credible concerns" about the results. Freeland and others have been forced to resort to such baseless claims because Canada, the U.S. and its other allies, whose sole aim is regime change, have been utterly discredited by the broad participation of the people and inability of their proxy forces in Venezuela to gain ground.

Minister Freeland's hyperbole and outlandish statements have nothing to do with concern about Venezuelans or their well-being. They serve to cover up Canada's leading role in hiding the hand of the U.S. imperialists as they continue their campaign to engineer regime change in Venezuela by fomenting counterrevolution or even an outright U.S. invasion.

Toronto Meeting of Lima Group

On October 26 in Toronto, Canada will host a meeting of the "Lima Group." The 12 countries of the Lima Group were assembled by the U.S. to do its bidding after it failed to get enough votes inside the Organization of American States (OAS) to isolate Venezuela and impose its will by invoking the Inter-American Democratic Charter. With the positive election result for the Bolivarian Revolution on October 15, this group remains isolated and now continues to push a parallel process outside the OAS to achieve regime change.

Later that same day, Global Affairs Canada will host a meeting arrogantly called "Resolving the Venezuelan Crisis" with Chrystia Freeland and former Liberal MP Irwin Cotler as keynote speakers. Cotler is a self-described advisor to the Venezuelan opposition forces who has been appointed by the OAS Secretary General to an OAS Panel of "Independent International Experts." This panel has been holding public hearings in Washington said to be for the purpose of investigating the "possibility of crimes against humanity" being committed in Venezuela and whether the information collected should be sent to the International Criminal Court. The spectre of "crimes against humanity" is raised self-righteously by the imperialists to justify a "humanitarian intervention."

Canadians reject with utter contempt the ongoing attempts to meddle in Venezuela's affairs. It is to the Trudeau government's everlasting shame that it champions the imperialist foreign policy of the United States as its own.

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House of Commons Passes Motion
Favouring Regime Change

On September 27, the Liberals and Conservatives passed the following motion on the heels of the Canadian government's sanctioning of 40 high level Venezuelan government and state officials:

"That, in the opinion of the House, the extreme socialist policies and corruption of President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor President Hugo Chavez have imposed considerable suffering on the people of Venezuela and therefore the House call upon the government to:

"(a) develop a plan to provide humanitarian aid directly to Venezuela's people, particularly with respect to alleviating the severe shortages of food and medical supplies;

"(b) condemn the continued unjust imprisonment and treatment of political opponents who, as reported by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States on March 14, 2017, 'fear repression, torture, and even death';

"(c) call upon the Government of Venezuela to respect the right of the people of Venezuela to hold a free and fair election to restore democratic rule in their country; and

"(d) recognize that Canada's foreign policy should always be rooted in protecting and promoting freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law."

The motion, tabled by Conservative MP Peter Kent, constitutes unacceptable interference in the affairs of a peaceful and friendly country at the behest of forces taking their direction from the United States. It shows the extent to which the Canadian House of Commons has become a venue for attacking norms of international relations and debating how best to have Canada operate as a weapon of the U.S. imperialist program to attack all those who do not submit to its dictate.

The original motion was amended in response to an objection raised by NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière on June 1 when it was first tabled. Laverdière said her biggest problem with the motion was that by calling for a recall referendum as opposed to an election, it would, if successful, result in Venezuela's Executive Vice President Tareck El Aissami taking over as President, whom she slandered by repeating the U.S. accusation that he is a "drug lord." This baseless accusation has been used by the U.S. to place El Aissami on its list of sanctioned persons as part of its all-sided attempt to isolate and attack the Bolivarian Revolution and justify a military intervention.

Laverdière's advice to call for a new election rather than a referendum was taken up by Conservative MP Erin O'Toole who put forward the amendment. All but two NDP MPs voted in favour of the regime change amendment.[2] Ultimately, NDP, Bloc Québecois and Green Party MPs opposed the amended motion. No one from any party spoke in opposition to the motion.


1. See "Hands off Venezuela," by Margaret Villamizar, TML Weekly, February 25, 2017.

2. Those who voted against the amendment were: Don Davies (NDP, Vancouver Kingsway ), Fin Donnelly (NDP, Port Moody -- Coquitlam ) and Elizabeth May (Green Party, Saanich -- Gulf Islands).

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Canada, Illegitimate Sanctioner and
Villainous Poisoner of Peoples

2012 protest against Canadian mining companies in Guatemala. Banner reads
"Canadian mining companies destroy the social fabric."

Just as there are birds that mimic the talk of humans, there are states that mimic others, as Canada did on [September 22], imitating the United States (USA), its master, and the rest of that legion of Latin American and European vassal states that have imposed sanctions against the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela for supposedly violating human rights, when it is they who flagrantly violate them every day.

Canada does so in a most cruel way as the world's number one mining power, with dozens of companies exploiting the wealth of gold, silver and other metals and minerals, poisoning the Indigenous peoples of Canada in their ancestral lands and thousands of inhabitants of the Caribbean, Latin America and other regions of the planet with the lethal chemicals they dump in their forests, lakes and rivers.

It is a silent death that slowly reaps lives despite the complaints of local leaders and the towns and governments where these mining companies operate under the nose of a lax Canadian government that plays blind, deaf and dumb, since putting an end to it would mean giving up the large tax revenues they receive from the Canadian transnationals.

Or is it that their protests are directed at those who really don't care about serving them and seeking the solutions that those making the demands have so much right and reason to do?

And then, as Wikipedia explains, "The Canadian monarchy is a parliamentary monarchy system in which the British hereditary monarchs are the sovereigns of Canada, which is why they currently have Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch and head of state."

The Canadian government has the mentality of the governors of those colonies of old, docilely obedient to their master, though Canada does it symbolically, worshipping a foreign sovereign.

What a strange form of sovereignty, and how cruel the inhuman way in which Canadian mining companies have murdered and continue to murder the Aboriginal peoples of the country and the peoples abroad where they operate.

Anyone who reads Hidden from History, a book that chronicles the genocide perpetrated by the mining companies against Canada's Aboriginal peoples in complicity with the government, will be horrified by the martyrdom suffered by that people, a crime that remains to this day unpunished, which was hidden from the world until the publication of that work which exposed that act of extermination, a "final solution" in the best Hitlerian style.

It is a genocide that continues to be committed and that has spread from Canada to Latin America, the Caribbean and other countries of the planet, where hundreds of human beings perish daily, victims of the poisons that flow out of the mines exploited by those companies that silence with bullets the voices that protest and are stifled without anyone being able to rescue them from that silence.

The Canadian government is complicit with this silence, a silence that allows those who die to take their denunciations to the grave along with their rights, heard only by some defenders of human life. Meanwhile, organizations with scant resources, facing risks and dangers, denounce the crimes of mining companies that have paid assassins to silence those who dare denounce them.

"The Trail of Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America" is a report by the non-governmental organization the Observatory of Mining Conflicts in Latin America (OCMAL) which, among other complaints, states that "the extraction of minerals by powers external to the region is something that has always been present in Latin America. Nowadays, Canadian mining companies are a big source of mining in the region. [...]

"In Latin America there are many conflicts because of communities' resistance to mining models that affect the environment and violate human rights. [...]

"Of these, 39 are in Peru, 37 in Chile, 37 in Mexico, 27 in Argentina and 20 in Brazil."

In Peru, in September 2013, the Ombudsman's Office recorded 107 social conflicts in the mining sector out of a total of 148 socio-environmental conflicts. Canadian mining companies operate in all these countries. Between 50 and 70 per cent of the mining activity in Latin America is by Canadian companies.

In another similar work, OCMAL notes that the international expansion of Canadian mining companies was one of the pillars of the foreign policy of the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. These companies have the strong support of Ottawa while taking advantage of loopholes in the law in Latin American countries to increase their profits.

"As the [Due Process of Law Foundation] Report points out, Canadian authorities are aware of the problems, but continue to provide political, legal and financial support to companies that commit or tolerate human rights violations."

"The Government of Canada does not investigate nor make the powerful mining companies in the country responsible for human rights violations in Latin America," activists decried before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

An article by Leonora Chapman, written in July 2015 for Radio Canada International, states that "Canada's reputation as a global human rights leader has taken a big blow."

"A 10-year study by the UN concludes that Canada is not only failing to meet international goals and obligations but more and more is going backwards." With what moral authority, since it has none, does the Canadian government dare to sanction the Venezuelan government, where the Bolivarian Revolution -- the political and ideological project of Hugo Chávez continued by Nicolás Maduro, his political son and heir of his freedom-loving legacy -- is advancing against the winds and the tides, in fulfilment of the mission outlined by the eternal supreme commander: to bestow the highest degree of happiness to the people? The worker-President is fulfilling this task in spite of the demented action of the empire and its European and Latin American lackeys and the Canadian government. Like the birds that mimic human speech, they mimic their master, sanctioning the Bolivarian government, while like dogs they howl at the moon at the passing of the triumphant caravan of the Bolivarian Revolution.

(Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, September 26, 2017. Translated from original Spanish by TML.)

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Canadians Oppose Interventionist Stands

On October 18, following the Venezuelan regional elections, militant actions were held by Canadians to say: Hands Off Venezuela! to the governments of Canada and the U.S. Lively rallies were held at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and the Toronto constituency office of Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Foreign Minister. The Toronto action, organized by the Venezuelan Solidarity Committee, also received warm and broad support from passers-by. They demanded that the Canadian government end its meddling in Venezuela's internal affairs and accept the results of the regional elections.

Toronto, October 16, 2017

In Ottawa on October 15, many people stopped at the picket to take photos and pick up a copy of a statement from the Hugo Chávez Peoples' Defense Front.

Ottawa, October 15, 2017

Windsor Workers Take Opposition to
Ontario Federation of Labour Convention

On September 11, the Windsor and District Labour Council voted to submit the following resolution to the 14th Biennial Convention of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) being held in Toronto, November 20-24:

"Be it resolved that the OFL oppose any interference by the Canadian government in the internal affairs of Venezuela, including any support for invoking the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States against the country;

"Be it further resolved that the OFL encourage its affiliates and the [Canadian Labour Congress] to speak out against the Canadian government's attempts to justify regime change in Venezuela in the name of human rights or ''stopping a humanitarian crisis.'"

The resolution reflects the position adopted by the Labour Council at its monthly membership meeting in May 2016 and reaffirmed in May 2017 in view of Canada's active support for anti-government forces in Venezuela calling for foreign intervention and regime change. Both times the Labour Council wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as leaders of all other parties in the House of Commons and local Members of Parliament to inform them of the Labour Council's stand.

Reportbacks from "Todos Somos Venezuela" World Solidarity Summit

World Meeting "All of Us Are Venezuela: Dialogue for Peace, Sovereignty and Bolivarian Democracy," in Venezuela, September 16-19, 2017.

Two Ottawa-area activists, Maricarmen Guevara and Don Foreman, were sent as delegates to the "Todos Somos Venezuela" (We Are All Venezuela) World Summit in Defence of Peace and Democracy in Caracas, September 16-17. They were two of the 200 delegates from 60 countries that took part in the summit, which deliberated on and agreed to a plan of action to tell the peoples of their countries the truth about Venezuela, mobilize support for its right to independence and sovereignty, and oppose those conspiring to intervene in its internal affairs.

Ottawa reportback, October 12, 2017. Top: Don Foreman; bottom left: Maricarmen Guevara;
bottom centre: His Excellency Wilmer Barrientos, Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada.

Don Foreman took part via Skype in a reportback at the Greater Sudbury Public Library hosted by the Ad Hoc Committee to Found the Sudbury Peace Council on October 10. He and Maricarmen Guevara also spoke at the Friends House in Ottawa on October 12. The Ottawa event featured an interview conducted by the Canadian delegates with Venezuelan political theorist and historian Luis Britto, who eloquently described the current state of affairs in Venezuela, and the work of the people and their government to defend their sovereignty. In attendance at the meeting was His Excellency Wilmer Barrientos, Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada. Participants discussed how to build the solidarity movement and expressed confidence that Canadians will respond positively when presented with actual information about Venezuela.

World Days of Solidarity with Venezuela

In conjunction with the "Todos Somos Venezuela" World Solidarity Summit in Caracas, several Canadian cities took part in the World Days of Solidarity with Venezuela on September 16 and 17.


In Ottawa on September 16, members of solidarity groups, political parties and others, from Gatineau, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto took part in a meeting at the Venezuelan Embassy hosted by His Excellency Wilmer Barrientos, Venezuelan Ambassador to Canada. The Ambassador provided an update on the situation in Venezuela and the government's battle against U.S. threats, sanctions and interference, and in defence of national sovereignty, which is being led by President Nicolás Maduro. Faced with this situation, Ambassador Barrientos pointed out how Venezuela stopped accepting U.S. dollars for its oil on September 14, and instead is now conducting its oil trade using other currencies. He also fervently denounced the broad campaign of misinformation and double standards against Venezuela and called for strengthening the ties between the Venezuelan Embassy and the various solidarity groups. Participants then discussed taking initiatives to strengthen and develop the work of the Venezuelan solidarity movement.


Over one hundred people demonstrated at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto on September 16, in conjunction with the World Summit in Defence of Peace and Democracy taking place in Caracas. Speakers denounced the threat of military intervention, along with the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government against Venezuela. They also decried the support of the Canadian government for these measures and demanded that Canada oppose U.S. efforts to bring down the elected government of President Nicolás Maduro. Following the speeches and songs, the crowd marched up and down University Avenue, returning to the Consulate for a final round of chants and slogans and the singing of The International.

Actions also took place in Halifax, Montreal, Windsor, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.







(Photos: TML, Venezuelan Embassy, Colombia.info, Fire This Time)

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