October 21, 2017 - No. 33
Election of Liberal Majority Government
Grave Harm on
Reaffirms Harper Era
Handover of Decision-Making to U.S.
- Charlie Vita -
• Clause-by-Clause Study of Bill C-49
Attack on Workers' Dignity and Rights
- Pierre Chénier -
Round 4 NAFTA
• 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
- Enver Villamizar -
• Behind the Scenes Harmonization
• There Can Be No Cure from the Gods
• 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
- Yi Nicholls -
Dirty Work of U.S. and
• 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
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
The election of the Trudeau Liberals transferred power
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
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
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
This experience of the Liberal-led electoral reform
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,
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.
Government Reaffirms Harper Era
Handover of Decision-Making to U.S.
On October 9 the Liberals announced consultation
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
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
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
At the time the Harper government was changing the
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
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
"The Parliament of Canada will lose a portion of its
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."
During debate in Parliament, Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti
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
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
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
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
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
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
and Who Can Make Them," TML Weekly,
2. Massimo Pacetti
(Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel, Lib), Hansard, February 13, 2013.
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
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. The Committee's meeting was
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
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
When asked by a member of the Committee why, in
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
"This comes from the recommendation that the
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
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
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
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
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
This says a lot about the state of affairs of workers'
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
1. For more information on Bill C-49,
see "The Real Aim of
Bill C-49," Workers' Forum,
September 28, 2017.
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
multilateral Iran nuclear deal to the NAFTA negotiations and
other international agreements:
"This administration is withdrawing from everything.
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
Expressing the conundrum facing the U.S. imperialists
"bomb shells" from their leadership, one journalist writes:
"Trade negotiators and policy makers should understand
countries' transgressions and exposure to counter measures. If
the U.S. pushes too hard the reaction will not be
The journalist gives the following examples from the
"The U.S. swine herd has hit record levels -- and
demand is essential to clearing the inventory.
"The 9 per cent decline in pork exports to Japan in
significant. The E.U. and others with preferential access will
leave U.S. hog farmers scrambling for new access for the record
"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
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
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
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
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
One Humanity! One Struggle!
1. Peter Clark, "NAFTA
2.0 -- Opening Pandora's
Box," National Newswatch,
October 13, 2017.
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
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
Disinformation Used to Disorient and Confuse
The NAFTA round ended with reports citing anonymous
"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
This is not a modern way to organize the affairs of a
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
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
Trump's Vision for National Humiliation and
over North America
The fourth round has been touted as presenting a full
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.
The main proposals formally tabled by the U.S.
- A five-year NAFTA sunset clause.
- Destruction of Canada's system of supply management
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
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
- Broadening U.S. ability to go outside of WTO rules on
pricing of certain goods.
- Making dispute resolution panels for Chapters 11, 19
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
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
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
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
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
Instead of mobilizing Canadians to discuss what
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
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
whether [U.S. Chief Negotiator] Melle's team is being ordered to
sabotage the talks, so President Donald Trump can declare NAFTA
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.]
like lawyers who hate their clients."
Behind the Scenes Harmonization and Annexation
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
Teamsters Canada President François Laporte, "express support
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
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
"We note with approval the corporate consternation from
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
Teamster's Canadian President François Laporte
"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
Laporte then shifted to the specific
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
Workers must deeply ponder why these official
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.
Mexicans Oppose Trudeau Government's
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
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
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
matter, particularly if Canada continues to refuse to ratify
Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization [Indigenous and
Tribal Peoples' Convention, 1989 -- TML]
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
The power that Canadian mining wields in Latin America
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,
given the violence and risks that people live
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
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 and
Nuevo Balsas in
and Mazapil in
Zacatecas, the northern highlands of Puebla,
Tetlama in Morelos, or
Sierrita de Galeana in Durango,
as well as
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
The abuses of Canadian mining companies have been
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
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
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
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
Finally, Mr. Trudeau, we would like to remind you that
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
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
Canadian Mining Investment Is Destroying
Companies Violate Human Rights
We Will Fight for Territories Free of Mining!
Mexican Network of
Mining Affected People (REMA)
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,
In response, Canadian authorities and their mining
through Guillermo Rishchynski, Canada's ambassador at the time,
coordinated with Felipe Calderón
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 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
and Marcelo de los Santos
(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
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
In November of 2015 Justin Trudeau was invested as
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
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
First Lady of Mexico (2006-2012). In October 2017 Zavala
registered as an independent candidate for the presidency of
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
Juan Carlos Ruiz
Guadalajara is a researcher
at El Colegio de San Luis.
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.
condemns this act of aggression
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
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
Speaking to media on the sidelines of the UN General
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
The fact that these pompous
words come from the mouth
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
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
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
2. Venezuela denounces
before the international
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
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,
Broad Participation in Regional Elections
An atmosphere of calm prevails on regional election day in Venezuela,
October 15, 2017.
Venezuelans from all parts of the country and
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
Upon announcing the turnout and preliminary results the
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
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,
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
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
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
Work of U.S. and Its Allies
Desperate Attempts by Imperialists to
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
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
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
Neighbouring Colombia is also being mobilized as a base
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.
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
"elections were characterized by many irregularities that raise
significant and credible concerns regarding the validity of the
"The irregularities demonstrate that the CNE does not
an independent institution for elections, but rather entirely
according to the wishes of the government.
"Venezuelans have a constitutional right to choose
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
"Canada will continue to stand for the Venezuelan
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
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
"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
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
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.
House of Commons Passes Motion
Favouring Regime Change
On September 27, the Liberals and Conservatives passed
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
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
Venezuela's people, particularly with respect to alleviating the
severe shortages of food and medical supplies;
"(b) condemn the continued unjust imprisonment and
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
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
rooted in protecting and promoting freedom, democracy, human
rights, and the rule of law."
The motion, tabled by Conservative MP Peter Kent,
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. 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
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).
Canada, Illegitimate Sanctioner and
2012 protest against Canadian mining companies in Guatemala. Banner
"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
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
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
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
The Canadian government has the mentality of the
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
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
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
It is a genocide that continues to be committed and
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,
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
"The Trail of Canadian Mining Companies in Latin
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,
Argentina and 20 in Brazil."
In Peru, in September 2013, the Ombudsman's Office
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
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
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
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
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
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
Canadians Oppose Interventionist Stands
On October 18, following the Venezuelan regional
elections, militant actions were held by Canadians to say: Hands
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
Peoples' Defense Front.
Ottawa, October 15, 2017
Windsor Workers Take Opposition to
Ontario Federation of
On September 11, the Windsor and District Labour
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
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
"Be it further resolved that the OFL encourage its
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
The resolution reflects the position adopted by the
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
World Meeting "All of Us Are Venezuela: Dialogue for
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:
bottom centre: His Excellency Wilmer Barrientos, Venezuelan Ambassador
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,
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,
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
of Solidarity with Venezuela on September 16 and 17.
In Ottawa on September 16, members of solidarity
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
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.
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,
Calgary and Vancouver.
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