January 20, 2018 - No. 2
Ushering In the
The Importance of
on Political Affairs
• Greetings of the Marxist-Leninist Party of
Quebec for the New
Meeting on Korea
• No Good Will Come from Considering
the DPRK an Aggressor
- Pauline Easton -
• Actions Uphold the People's Demand for
Peaceful Means to Resolve Tensions in Korea
• Peace Proposals Advocated by
China and Russia
• Final Statement of Vancouver Women's Forum on
Security on the Korean Peninsula
• Korean Unification Flag to Lead
Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
Anniversary of Donald Trump's Administration
• Shutdown Shows Need for New
- Voice of Revolution -
• Trump's Threats to Use Nuclear
- Voice of Revolution -
Brazilian People Fight
Against Constitutional Coup d'État
• Lula Has the Right to Be a
Candidate for President
• In Defence of Lula
- Statement of Workers' Party of Brazil
Senators and Deputies -
• An Election Without Lula Is a
- Manifesto and Petition, Projeto Brasil
Fight for the Right to Decide
• People Courageously Stand as One Against
• Discussion on Economic Affairs
Ushering In the New Year
The Importance of Discussion on Political Affairs
The national and international situation is becoming
complicated, dangerous and out of control. This week, January
23-28, the sixth Round of the renegotiations on the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) begins in Montreal. The
negotiations bring to the fore the problems which arise when
decisions by supranational bodies supersede workers' rights. How
should the workers deal with this?
Demonstrations have been called in Toronto, Ottawa and
Montreal to raise some of the concerns about NAFTA. These actions will
culminate with a rally in Montreal at noon on Saturday, January 27,
organized by the Réseau québécois
sur l'intégration continentale, in
front of the Bonaventure Hotel (990
La Gauchetière near
subway station) where the negotiations are taking place.
On January 29, the winter
session of Parliament will be convened. Its agenda includes Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters,
itself is resorting to
police powers in the name of protecting democracy and Canadian values,
which are put on par with national security and the national interest.
Reform of electoral laws will also take place against a backdrop of
national security hysteria about the need to protect elections from
“foreign influence,” while the Communications Security Establishment
secret police is already charged with monitoring electoral discourse to
this end. This theme will be pushed further to justify changes to the
election law that will suppress freedom of speech. Information
available thus far indicates that criticism of NATO, its dangerous
encirclement of Russia or of Canadian policy in Ukraine will be equated
with treason under the hoax that such opinions are the work of foreign
Unacceptable limitations on speech during elections that contradict
people's understanding of political discourse amongst members of the
polity will only deepen the crisis in which the system of
representation is mired. CPC(M-L) will affirm the principle that the
right to speech is a human right that must be affirmed in order to
empower the people and make sure they cannot be dispensed with at a
whim of an arbitrary power.
In this session of Parliament, the Trudeau government
is also sure to keep pushing its foreign policy which, in the name of
high ideals and women's rights, increasingly embroils Canada in the
U.S. imperialist war preparations. This means that the public
against Canada's submission to the U.S. imperialist striving for world
domination and its war preparations will also find increasingly
meaningful expression as the need to avert the dangers which lie ahead
becomes ever more evident. This requires debunking the Cold War
outlook, which defines the U.S. as the "indispensable nation," making
all other nations dispensable, and the conception of the national
interest within that framework.
This week is also the
first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald
Trump as President of the United States. Even though his main
duty as president is to preserve the union and perpetuate the
Republic -- i.e., avert civil war -- factions are at war with
each other within the United States as to who will control the
political power. This makes Trump ineffective to preserve the
union because he champions private interests which are tearing it
The anniversary of Trump's inauguration is accompanied
by a "government shutdown" --
which Trump said was a "present" to him. Voice of Revolution,
newspaper of the U.S.
Marxist-Leninist Organization, explains:
When Trump was elected, it was said that since
Republicans controlled the House and Senate
and presidency, Trump would have no difficulty imposing his dictate.
Instead, the year has
been marked by the increasing dysfunction of Congress, including the
inability to pass major
legislation such as that on immigration and healthcare. The dysfunction
stems in part from the
fact that the Democrats and Republicans no longer exist as political
political interests. Instead the vying factions among the rulers
operate as cartels, contending
and colluding to protect private interests. They are using violence
against the peoples abroad
and at home while also threatening open violence against each other.
Alliances shift, with
various forces included or excluded in the office of the presidency,
which is the main prize as
it is where power is concentrated.
What stands out is the public
good, public interests are not part of the equation. It is partly
for this reason that the various headlines read that the public will
not be impacted by the
shutdown, even though hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be
forced to work, or
be laid off -- without pay. This includes the various health and safety
workers and first responders
working over the weekend. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security --
that is, the most
vulnerable -- will all be impacted. The effort is to dismiss the public
interests and focus
attention on the cartels.
Great pressure is being
exerted to draw people into a false debate as to whether Republicans
or Democrats are to blame, followed by calls to elect one or the other
in 2018. Everyone is to
ignore the reality that the current system of representative democracy
no longer functions. As
the past year indicates, with open contention within and between the
military, presidency and
intelligence agencies, it cannot resolve the conflicts among the
rulers, and it cannot provide
legitimacy in the eyes of the people. The dysfunctional congress,
elimination of political
parties and efforts to eliminate politics more generally, the great
power concentrated in the
presidency with a government of police powers instituted, all indicate
that the current set-up
can solve no problem. It is finished and new institutions must be
brought into being.
The people need to put in
place a democracy that empowers them to govern and decide, that
puts guaranteeing the rights of all at the center. This is where
discussion must go. The
upcoming (mid-term) elections are an opportunity not to join in
reinforcing the old, dysfunctional system,
but instead to raise this necessity for the New and discuss and debate
advancing the struggle to
bring it about.
This civil war to control
the political power of the United States extends into the international
domain where marauding cartels also collude and contend for domination.
The people need to get involved in analyzing the
situation so as to not fall into the trap laid by the warring cartels,
to side with this one or that one at any particular time, by giving up
their own interests. On this occasion, TML Weekly is carrying
two articles published by the U.S. Marxist-Leninist
Organization on the shutdown and the U.S. stand on Korea.
This week Canadians and the peoples of the world will
also witness the spectacle of the Davos World Economic Forum. A TML Weekly Supplement on the
economy carries an article which discusses the Forum and its agenda and
the profound concern of the people to change the direction of the
All these matters are of profound concern and the people
have the right
and duty to deliberate and speak about how to turn the situation around
in their favour. CPC(M-L) is organizing political affairs discussion
across the country to provide forums where people can bring forward
their concerns and together workers and people from all walks of life
can think things through and exchange experiences and ideas with the
aim of drawing warranted conclusions. This will help those who are
trying to intervene in a manner that favours the people.
Marxist-Leninists in Quebec Usher In the New Year
Pierre Chénier, leader of
the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ), presented the Party's
greetings for the New Year at a get-together held in
Montreal on January 6. He welcomed the workers present from
various sectors of the economy -- construction, the post office,
transportation, retail, agriculture, education, health care and
the public service -- as well as youth and students and people from
various communities. He welcomed the Consul General of Cuba in
Montreal, Mara Bilbao Díaz and members of the consular
staff as well as the representative of the Farabundo
Martí National Liberation Front of El Salvador-Montreal.
On the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the triumph
of the Cuban Revolution, Pierre reiterated that Quebeckers stand
firmly with the Cuban people and their leadership in the pursuit
of its revolution, to which the crowd responded "Viva Cuba!" and
"Thanks to the Revolution, Cubans have a
leadership which is a part of them, not above them, and they work
as one mighty force in the recovery work from Hurricanes Irma and
Maria. It is a great feat which shows the whole world the
miracles that can be performed when the separation of the polity
into rulers and ruled is ended and a system is brought into being
where the political power resides in the people and the people
rule themselves," he said.
Pierre strongly condemned the brutal U.S. blockade and
measures taken by the present U.S. administration to strengthen
it. "The defiance of this brutality by the Cuban
people inspires us to step up our work at their side in the
coming year. The PMLQ calls on everyone to lend a hand at the
monthly pickets held in front of the U.S. embassy on the 17th of
each month. It is an opportunity to condemn the blockade and
demand it be ended and that Guantánamo be returned to Cuba," he
He reiterated what Comrade Raúl Castro,
President of the Republic of Cuba, said in
the National Assembly in December: "The Cuban Revolution has
withstood the onslaught of 11 U.S. administrations of different
kinds and here we are and will remain, free, sovereign and
Pierre announced that the Party will organize meetings
CEGEPs and universities on solutions the Cuban people are finding
to the problems they face as a result of the blockade to preserve
free health care, education and to make sure nobody is left
"Together with Cuba's internationalism, which is
to the nth degree, so too at home Cuba's social policy is
profoundly humanitarian and shows that an alternative exists to
the brutal anti-social offensive waged in Quebec," he said. He
added that these meetings "will be useful for workers and
youth working hard to find solutions to the problems they face
here to defend the rights of all. The conditions in Quebec and
Cuba are not the same, but we are all human beings capable of
sorting out the problems we face in a manner that favours us. We
have a lot to learn from one another and experiences to exchange
as we build our people to people friendship," Pierre concluded to
shouts of Viva Cuba!
With regard to the work for the new year, Pierre said
the Party intends to focus its energies on stepping up the work
to mobilize the people to resolve problems in their favour.
Within that context, the Party is involving members and
supporters in discussion on how the workers can intervene in the
general election to be held in Quebec in October. These elections
must not be another occasion to authorize others to act in our
name, in defence of a political power that is not ours, Pierre
said. How to involve the working people in politics so that we
ourselves can find solutions to the serious problems facing
Quebec is the crux of the matter, Pierre said.
After informing of upcoming
meetings of the PMLQ's National Council, Pierre proposed a toast to the
success of this
work and everyone's endeavours in 2018, to which everyone joined
in and applauded warmly. A delicious buffet was accompanied by
lively discussion. A slide show reviewed
actions carried out by the workers and all sections of the
people in 2017. The scope of the struggles and
positions taken by the people of Quebec in defence of their
rights was greatly appreciated.
At the request of all, the Patriots' song of 1837-1838 La
Canadienne was performed, along with the poem Un Canadien
call-and-response songs followed, to everyone's delight.
The evening was a great success all round -- the
intervention on the need to step up the work for the New, the
exchanges throughout the evening, the pleasure of being together,
the good food, the music. It was a good way to usher in the New
Greetings of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec
for the New Year
the occasion of the New Year, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec
(PMLQ) sends its greetings to
Quebec workers who are fighting to defend their rights as workers
within their collectives and to make the defence of rights the
goal for society as a whole.
Our greetings also go out to the Quebec youth engaged
struggle to defend the rights of all in all their spheres of endeavour.
Besides fighting to make sure human beings are at the centre of
solutions when it comes to the economy and social and cultural
affairs, they also stand second to none when it comes to
defending the natural environment. Their spirit is that It Can Be Done!
It Must be Done!
This New Year, the PMLQ also salutes the work carried
out by the representatives of many communities which make Quebec a
dynamic place in which we live and work. We are fighting as
one to oppose the state-organized racist attacks and laws which
divide the people in the name of high ideals, including
ironically in the name of unity. The more discredited the old
policies of divide and rule become, the more the people are
blamed for xenophobia and narrow nationalism and racist mafia
gangs are unleashed against them. The aim is to justify the use of
police powers to criminalize sections of the people as well as speech
and dissent and to block resistance and the building of the New. In
this regard, one aim is to divert the people from acquiring an outlook
that identifies solutions to the problems which face them and their
society and natural environment.
At this time we also salute the
Indigenous peoples whose territories we inhabit. The fight of the
peoples to seek justice for murdered and missing women and girls and
abuse by the authorities as well as to establish relations on a modern
nation-to-nation basis is courageous and deserves the support of all.
At this time a
is being waged in Quebec against the creation of governments of
police powers, which impose unacceptable conditions on the people.
Workers, among others, are deprived of what belongs to them by
right and, like the youth and minorities, and the Indigenous peoples,
they are marginalized and their right to speak is
denied, either directly or through disinformation.
The PMLQ is
determined to make headway on this front in 2018. Freedom of
speech is far more than a civil right which can be limited and
taken away. It is a human right, which means people have the
right to discuss and inform themselves about their conditions and
with an argument on how to move forward. To divert attention from
the need to find the real problems they and their
collectives and society as a whole face and what to do about
them, attacks are launched against the workers using laws and the
courts, while state-organized racist attacks against minorities
are blamed on the people. The policies of divide and rule have
the aim of not only dividing the people but also diverting the
working class and people from sorting out the problems they and
their society face in a manner that favours them.
an election year in Quebec and in the Party's opinion it is our
duty together to oppose sectarianism and find solutions to the
serious problems facing Quebec, Canada and the social and natural
environments. The Party will deploy its best efforts to involve
the people in politics and to not permit their political
movements to be smashed by sectarianism and disinformation. We
call on everyone to see what can be done so that elections,
expected to be held in October, are not an occasion to merely
authorize others to act in our name in defence of a political
power which is not ours. In the coming year the workers and youth
will be paying first-rate attention to intervening in the
elections in a manner which favours them.
Our working class is a contingent of the Canadian and
international working class. Our future lies not in the 19th
century values of the British empire and 20th century values of U.S.
imperialism and their current incarnation, called Canadian or Quebec
values. These values stand for divide and rule on the basis of communal
considerations, gender, religion and every other aspect of
future lies in uniting on the basis of our fight for rights by
virtue of being human. We are one human race! Together we can tackle
challenges posed by the anti-social offensive and the creation of
governments of police powers which seek to destroy any united
response to any situation.
We must also deal with the war dangers
posed by the U.S. imperialists in which Canada is more and more
embroiled. Quebeckers are used as special detachments of the
Canadian armed forces but they have also always been in the
forefront of the anti-war movement. Let us proudly uphold our
fighting traditions and use our speech to make sure Quebec cannot
be used successfully as a base for war and that our youth are not
used as cannon-fodder against their counterparts in other
year we are also duty-bound to smash the disinforming outlook
about what the U.S. imperialists and their allies in countries
such as Canada are doing in Venezuela, Honduras, Brazil, and
other places. We stand with the movement for the unification of
Korea without foreign interference and we demand that the U.S.
sign a peace treaty with the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (DPRK) and stop its war exercises and threats against the
Korean people. We also demand that Canada stop participating with
the U.S. and Japan in war exercises that target the DPRK.
Nuclear blackmail must be countered by opposing any attempt to use it
to threaten those who refuse to come under U.S. control.
support the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, under vicious
attack in which Canada is taking a leading role, and we stand as
one with the peoples of all of Latin America and the Caribbean.
We have a particular responsibility and commitment towards the
people of Haiti with whom we share weal and woe here in Quebec,
and to ending the U.S. imperialist blockade of Cuba.
The National Council of the PMLQ is meeting before the
January to review and assess the work which the Party and
fighting forces in Quebec carried out in the past year and set
the Party's work for this year. The General Assembly of Party
members will also be held in good time prior to the elections,
which are expected in October if the ruling party abides by the
intent of the law on fixed election dates. Meanwhile, the
organizations of the Party are holding discussions amongst Party
members and with the workers and youth to make sure everyone is
part of the decision-making process, informed through their
active participation and involved in implementing the decisions
they themselves take.
We must counter all moves
to destroy the human factor/social
consciousness by affirming it. This is what imbues the movement
with optimism and confidence that things can be turned around in
favour of the people.
At this time, the dangers going forward are
great. The U.S. imperialists and other great powers have
politicized private interests that are marauding around the
world to bring everything under their control.
Upholding the sovereignty of the nation state and serving the public
interest is not what motivates the cartels, made up of oligopolies, as
they seek hegemonic power in a desperate effort to avert their own
demise. They wantonly destroy whatever they cannot control.
theirs is not the only power that exists. Human beings are
capable of controlling the products of their own creation and
making history in a manner which puts them, not private
interests, at centre stage. If you look beyond the anarchy and
chaos which prevails, you will see the face of the New, of the
human factor/social consciousness striving to break through the
darkness and shine. You see it in the struggles of our people and
the working class of Canada as a whole to find a solution to the
problems that society faces. You see it in the defiance of the
Cuban people and their struggle to defend their nation-building
project which puts human beings at centre-stage. You see it in the
striving of the Venezuelan people, the Honduran people, the Palestinian
and Korean people and the peoples all over the world who are trying to
create a climate of peace to sort out problems against the violent
methods used by the counter-revolutionary forces. The battles to
defend the rights of all show us the face of the New striving to come
As we focus all our energies to mobilize the people to
the New in this country, we call on everyone to step up the tempo
of their work by applying the method of educating the educators
and mobilizing others to carry out work alongside us, not by
exhausting themselves. For this, they must use their speech to
provide an argument so that others come forward to author the
decisions themselves and join in together to create successes.
This is the first step required to oppose the old forms of
decision-making and organization whereby people are to elect
representatives to act in their name. These old forms are being
manipulated today to sanction governments of police powers said
to act in our name. It must not pass. We must act in our own name
and create the kind of democratic personality which corresponds
to the requirements of the times.
We wish everyone success in this endeavour.
in Quebec and Across Canada and the World
Fighting to Build the New!
Let Us Together Make Headway in Our Fight to Defend the Rights of All!
Vancouver Meeting on Korea
No Good Will Come from Considering
the DPRK an Aggressor
The meeting of the "Vancouver Group," comprised of the
states which made war against the Korean people in 1950-53, took place
on January 16 in Vancouver. From
the point of view of its stated aim -- to find a diplomatic
versus military solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula --
the Vancouver meeting was as unproductive as expected. It could
not have been otherwise given that the participants did not
include the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which is the
target of UN sanctions that the meeting sought to strengthen,
nor China or Russia, two parties which border the DPRK. The "Vancouver
Group" seeks to circumvent the UN Security Council, which is still
regarded as the organization entrusted to safeguard world peace, and
the UN General Assembly, which is said to represent all the countries
of the world.
Canada and the U.S., as co-hosts of the meeting, Japan,
Republic of Korea (ROK) and Britain spoke at the opening press
conference in the most hooligan manner. All in all, the summary
produced by the co-hosts after the meeting merely shows how vengeful
they are and that the fight of the U.S. to impose their control
on the situation is not only genocidal but that it poses ever
greater dangers to the cause of world peace.
The hypocrisy of the
Liberals' "humanitarian" imperialism was on full display. In her
opening remarks Canada's Foreign Minister
Chrystia Freeland declared:
"The states represented at this meeting harbour no
to North Korea. On the contrary, we seek neither a regime change
nor a collapse."
She then gave the imperialist line of peace through
strength to serve what is deemed to be the national interest of
countries thousands of miles away without regard to the fact that these
countries attacked Korea in 1950, using weapons of mass
destruction at that time. In
the case of Japan, which is next door to the Korean Peninsula,
this is a country that committed grave crimes against the Korean
and Chinese people and other peoples of Asia during World War II
whom it has never compensated. On the contrary, it is now claiming the
DPRK represents the biggest security threat to Japan "since WWII." This
as it praises its criminal actions in WWII while coming forward to
Freeland presented the victim as the biggest threat to
peace by speaking as if the national and collective interests of the
aggressor states are equivalent to peace: "We are working to resolve
this crisis and are aiming for what is in our collective best interest:
security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the
She then repeated that the very same fraud which led to
commission of grave crimes against Iraq and Libya will sort out
the Korean crisis: "We know this to be true: A decision by the
North Korean regime to verifiably abandon all of its weapons of
mass destruction will contribute to North Korea's security and
economic development, leading to a better, brighter, safer, and
more prosperous future for the North Korean people. It is now up
to North Korea to choose the future it wants for itself."
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refused to even
the inter-Korean talks to which Freeland paid lip service. The
aim of the meeting, he said, "is to improve the effectiveness of
the maximum pressure campaign and combat North Korea's attempts
to evade sanctions. The United States looks forward to hearing
from all participants on how we can best do that."
He said, "We all must insist on a full enforcement of
UN Security Council
sanctions, as this is the letter of the law. We especially urge
Russia and China in this matter." What this "insistence" will
consist of Tillerson did not say. He continued:
"We all must work together to improve maritime
operations. We must put an end to illicit ship-to-ship transfers
that undermine UN sanctions. And third, there must be new
consequences for the regime whenever new aggression occurs."
The mention of "new
aggression" reveals exactly where this
exercise is going and Canada's nefarious role. The DPRK has never
committed aggression against anyone but the U.S. is continuing
the same Cold War narrative that the DPRK is an aggressor that it has
carried since the
U.S. launched its war of aggression under the UN flag in 1950. Now,
in desperation, it is upping the ante by declaring that every
defensive measure the DPRK takes to check the provocations of the
U.S. military and those of the south Korean armed forces under its
command, are "aggression."
Any incident is assailed as "North Korean aggression"
and then used to justify continued U.S. presence on the Korean
Peninsula as well as provocations to scuttle attempts at dialogue
towards re-unification. The Cheonan
case in 2010 is but one example of many where the DPRK is accused of
aggression, even terrorism, based on lies to prove fairy tales and hide
the crimes of its accusers. In March 2010 the south Korean navy
corvette the Cheonan that was
part of a naval formation
participating in joint south Korea-U.S. war exercises sank in the
Yellow Sea. Over 40 of the 104 personnel on board perished. The
U.S. and south Korea claimed the ship had been hit by a torpedo
fired from a north Korean submarine and used this to institute a
number of new hostile measures and threaten the DPRK with war.
The DPRK said the claim was a fabrication. Subsequent
investigations by experts did not substantiate the claims of the
U.S. and south Korea.
The Japanese Foreign Minister was particularly vicious.
cover up Japan's criminal past, especially in Korea, and that it
is re-embarking on the same road today, he used the method of
attempting to sow doubt in the DPRK's intentions. He said: "I am
aware that some people argue that now that North Korea is
engaging in inter-Korean dialogue, we should reward them by
lifting sanctions or by providing some sort of assistance.
Frankly, I think this view is just too naive. I believe that
North Korea wants to buy some time to continue their nuclear and
missile programs. They simply want to get something out of this
dialogue. I would, therefore, argue that this recognition should
be the starting point of today's discussion."
The last to speak at the meeting was British Foreign
Minister Boris Johnson. This is a man who claims to represent
the people of Britain. What a fraud! The British people fought
hard and without letup against former Prime Minister Tony Blair's
warmongering in support of George W. Bush's phony war on terror.
He was caught lying and committed outright crimes to support
George W. Bush's lie about weapons of mass destruction to attack
and destroy Iraq. The anti-war stand of the British people is
legendary but Boris Johnson spoke like a mafia hitman:
"Our job collectively now
is to send out a very clear
that we want to intensify that pressure, and we need to sharpen
the choice for him and for the people of North Korea. They can --
he can continue on a path of provocation and equipping his
country with nuclear weapons that will lead to further isolation,
further economic pain and hardship for his people, or else he has
the opportunity to go down a path that can lead to greater
well-being for the people of North Korea and a chance to emulate
the astonishing achievements of the republic."
The thrust of the opening
remarks made it clear that whatever
was to be "discussed" at this meeting will have disastrous
consequences for the cause of peace and the peoples of the world
must speak out with all their might. The naval blockade and
sanctions regime must be opposed and support must be voiced for
the inter-Korean peace process and demand that the U.S. sign a
permanent Peace Treaty with the DPRK and get out of the Republic
of Korea and surrounding seas.
Reports of the Meeting
As for reports about the meeting, it is noteworthy that
whatever pledge these countries signed on to as concerns the
naval blockade the U.S. declared on the eve of the meeting, was
not questioned or even formally "adopted" to make it the
"position" of this albeit illegitimate group of countries. In
fact, the meeting did not give rise to any joint communique of
any kind. The summary of the meeting, presented by the co-hosts, states
that "the Ministers acknowledged" various things. These include
slanders such as:
"North Korea has long covertly trafficked conventional
weapons in order to raise revenues for its own illicit programs and
undermine the global non-proliferation regime. As North Korea feels the
impact of sanctions, it will become more reliant on state-sponsored
criminal activity, including through cyber operations, to help fund its
[weapons of mass destruction (WMD)] programs...."
The narcissism of those who attempt to criminalize the DPRK for
so-called covert trafficking in weapons and other criminal activity is
such that they forget they are speaking about themselves, not the DPRK.
The U.S. is the biggest arms trafficker in the world and they
engage in buying and selling arms as normal business in today's world.
To portray the DPRK as if it were some kind of narco-state belies that
it was former U.S. President Ronald Reagan who presided over the Iran
Contra scandal, where drugs were sold for weapons to illicitly
establish the mujahadeen in Afghanistan and defeat the Soviets; or the
evidence that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is involved in the
drug cartels to cause chaos in Mexico for nation-wrecking aims.
The summary "noted the ongoing human cost of the frozen
conflict on the Korean Peninsula, including on divided families,
as well as abductees and their families. Regrettably, North Korea
continues to prioritize its WMD and ballistic missile programs at
great humanitarian cost."
The co-hosts paid lip-service to the women's peace
which came to urge a different path. The summary "noted the
critical role women and women's organizations can play in
contributing to conflict resolution and enduring peace." (See
women's statement posted below.)
Referring to the states gathered as the so-called
Group, the summary "stressed their collective resolve" to
undertake the following concrete actions:
- support progress in the
inter-Korean dialogue, in hopes
that it leads to sustained easing of tensions;
- maintain readiness to
support a political solution, and
recognize China's special role and responsibility to contribute
to this effort;
- work closely with partners
in the region and globally,
including China and Russia, to ensure full and effective
implementation of existing sanctions on North Korea, particularly
through enhanced information sharing and expanded support to the
UN Panel of Experts, to combat sanctions evasion;
- further strengthen the
international pressure campaign
through diplomatic advocacy with states that lack the political
will to implement sanctions;
- help to build global
capacity to effectively implement
sanctions and prevent proliferation financing, including from
criminal activities and cyber operations;
- sever financial lifelines
for all of North Korea's WMD
programs, including through enhanced coordination within the
region and internationally;
- counter North Korea's
maritime smuggling in accordance
with relevant UNSC resolutions, including measures to stop its
illegal use of 'ship-to-ship transfers;'
- agree to consider taking
steps to impose unilateral
sanctions and further diplomatic actions that go beyond those
required by UN Security Council resolutions;
- undertake preparatory
efforts to outline principles and
requirements for a verification mechanism sufficient to guarantee
the complete and irreversible dismantlement of all of North
Korea's WMD programs and related delivery systems.
The first of these actions, to "support progress in the
inter-Korean dialogue," itself shows what is being covered up. Other
than Tillerson, who represented the country that wanted the meeting in
the first place, each Minister that spoke in the opening press
conference feigned support for the talks. However, they want to decide
the outcome of this dialogue rather than permit Koreans to determine
the outcome themselves. The inter-Korean talks have objectively eased
tensions through re-establishing communications and creating enthusiasm
for joint efforts at the Olympics, while this Vancouver meeting of
aggressors has set a tone for stepped-up threats and blackmail,
something which only threatens "sustained easing of tensions."
Ultimately the meeting did not resolve any matters nor
establish any legitimacy for whatever it is the U.S. with the aid
of Canada, Britain and Japan in particular are preparing to
enforce next. Reports and editorials on the meeting all express
confusion as to what was achieved as well as concern over the
consequences of sanctions or a naval blockade.
U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson, in responding to a
question regarding enforcement
of sanctions, raised the issue of maritime interdiction as an
illustration of the "voluntary" nature of states enforcing the
sanctions, qualifying this as the situation at present, but
hinting that more coercive measures may be required: "So at this
point it's required very little military activity to enforce the
sanctions other than we do share -- we have information sharing so
that we all understand what are the proper procedures to
implement the sanctions and stay fully compliant with
international laws, norms, and standards."
Calling sanctions voluntary hides what this
means. The U.S. blockade against Cuba with its extraterritorial
provisions shows what voluntary means when companies
and other entities that may not agree with the U.S. blockade are hit
with fines and prohibitions if they deal with Cuba
or Cuban entities. It is worth noting here that one of the things
participants agreed to was taking steps to impose unilateral
sanctions that go beyond those required by UN Security Council
The extraterritorial reach of the blockade against Cuba
explained in The Bossuyt Report: The
Adverse Consequences of
Economic Sanctions, produced for the UN Economic and Social
Council in 2000:
"[T]he United States has attempted, through various
passed in the past decade, to extraterritorialize its own foreign
trade policy. Through a system of secondary sanctions, the United
States has tried to force third-party countries into embargoing
Cuba as well. This is not only a violation of trade law, but also
an attempt to turn a unilateral embargo into a multilateral
embargo through coercive measures, the only effect of which will
be to deepen further the suffering of the Cuban people and
increase the violation of their human rights." 
Some note that if the aim was diplomacy and peace, so
the DPRK, Russia and China are not in attendance, this is
unproductive. One need only look at the bellicose and
inhumane actions they call for and already are taking against
the DPRK and its people, which they refer to as "diplomacy" to see
that the meeting had nothing to do with diplomacy, let alone
Neither are the U.S. and
Canada talking about peace when they
say their aim is "denuclearization." The denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula is a profound desire of the Korean people, the
American people, Canadians, Brits, the Japanese and peoples of
the world who want peace. But the more the U.S., Canada, Britain,
Japan and supporting actors reveal to the world through their
actions that their aim is not peace, the more their talk about
"denuclearization" leads people to question what they are talking
about. What kind of denuclearization is it that does not include
the United States, which is the only country that has ever used
nuclear weapons and is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons
and other weapons of mass destruction on land, sea and air, and
uses them to target Korea, China and Russia, amongst others.
Schemes to control the Korean Peninsula so as to
China and Russia which, to boot, greatly endanger the cause of
peace, are not what the people consider working for peace.
Not a word was uttered at the meeting about what the
people want, which is inter-Korean talks without foreign meddling,
peaceful re-unification of their nation and an independent Korea.
The countries attending this meeting may believe that the aim of
"denuclearization" forgives everything but it does not. The U.S.
nuclear power's demand for denuclearization coupled with its
branding of DPRK as aggressor does not have to do with ending the
use of nuclear weapons but with who has a monopoly on first
News Analysis and Media Reports
News analysis and media reports are proposing all kinds
alternative ways to treat the Korea crisis but most of them are
framed by Cold War premises, many falling for the trap laid by
the U.S. president who is trying to establish a "tripolar"
balance between the U.S., China and Russia.
Suggestions are being made that Canada's role should be
come to terms with China as concerns North Korea to serve its
national interest and as an alternative to dependency on the U.S.
This too is a path which people need to discuss so as not to fall
into the trap of thinking that peace can be safeguarded if only
proper alliances are made. In this regard, the reference point
most often accepted is the tri-polar division of the world based
on playing off the geo-political interests of China against those
of the U.S. and Russia versus those of Russia against the U.S.
and China or those of China and Russia against those of the
United States. This is a dangerous game and is not the road to
A new equilibrium can only be established in
affairs by the peoples of the world affirming their desire for
peace in effective ways by standing for what they want, not
positioning themselves within what the imperialists and big
and Lee Myung Bak Group Fabricate Ugliest Conspiratorial Farce in
DPRK's History -- Inspection Group, DPRK National Defence
Commission," October 2010," TML Daily, November 5, 2010.
2. According to studies conducted by Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the U.S. was the
world's largest arms supplier during the period 2012 to 2016,
accounting for 33 per cent of international arms exports. Saudi Arabia,
the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey were listed as its biggest
buyers. The UAE, which ranks among the top 15 arms spenders in the
world according to Business Monitor International (BMI), is an active
aggressor in the Saudi-led and U.S.-backed "coalition" waging war
against the armed resistance of the Yemeni people. Turkey, a NATO
member, has long served as a base for U.S. aggression and illegal
activities in the region, including attempts to destabilize Syria by
arming terrorist forces to wreak havoc in the country.
In the final days of 2017, Canada announced its own new
Defence Cooperation Agreement with the UAE. In December as well, around
the same time the U.S. authorized sending new lethal weapons to
Ukraine, Canada added Ukraine to the list of countries to which it may
sell light weapons. Ukraine is currently engaged in a civil war in
which the Canadian government backs the government forces that usurped
power through a coup, using Georgian military officers and some
Lithuanians as snipers -- to massacre people in
Maidan Square, and the fascist paramilitary forces allied to it.
Canadian arms manufacturers will now be able to sell their weapons to
other countries or paramilitary forces through Ukraine, itself a major
arms merchant, which they might not otherwise be able to do because of
Canadian export restrictions and public opposition.
3. The Adverse Consequence of
Economic Sanctions, Marc Bossuyt, June 21, 2000. To see
full report, click here.
Actions Uphold the People's Demand for
Peaceful Means to Resolve Tensions in Korea
January 15 and 16, various actions were held in Vancouver, Edmonton,
Toronto, Montreal and Seoul, Korea and elsewhere to coincide with the
meeting of foreign ministers of the aggressor nations in the Korean
War. They reiterated the people's demand for peaceful means to resolve
the tensions in Korea, that put the Korean people from north and south
at the forefront of this work.
A candlelight vigil is held in advance of the "Vancouver Group" meeting
Women peacemakers and others meet with Foreign Minister Chrystia
at a "civil society roundtable."
Activists hold an early morning "Witness for Peace" event outside the
foreign ministers' meeting to underscore that peaceful means must be
used to resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
An anti-war picket is held outside the convention centre later in the
Women peacemakers hold an afternoon forum to elaborate their call for
peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Mobilization Against War and Occupation holds a public meeting
Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research.
Information pickets and petition signings are held in Toronto (shown
here), Montreal and
Edmonton, to ensure Canadians are informed about events on the Korean
and Canada's dangerous role.
Picket at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul opposes the
aggressive and hostile
policy toward the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Peace Proposals Advocated by China and Russia
Both China and Russia have made public proposals on how
peace can be achieved on the Korean Peninsula. Both countries have a
direct interest in making sure peace prevails as U.S. war exercises,
and preparations to impose a naval blockade, not to mention the
possible outbreak of a new Korean war, are all also aimed at them.
China made public a proposed "double suspension"
March 8, 2017. Referring to it as a "suspension-for-suspension"
formula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this proposal
would lead to the de-escalation of tensions on the Korean
peninsula. He said, "As a first step, the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities
in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of
Korea military exercises." "We may follow the dual-track approach
of denuclearising the peninsula on the one hand and establishing
a peace mechanism on the other," he said.
Describing the approach as trying to address all
concerns in a "synchronized and reciprocal" manner, Wang said,
"This suspension-for-suspension can help us break out of the
security dilemma and bring the parties back to the negotiating
Then on July 4 Russia and China put forward a joint
with a further proposal.
That plan consists of three
stages. In the first stage,
"double freeze" is proposed: the DPRK would renounce carrying out
new nuclear tests and missile launches, while the United States
and its allies would renounce conducting large-scale exercises in
The second stage would see the establishment of direct
between the United States and the DPRK on the issues of peaceful
coexistence and mutual recognition. In that same stage, the
inter-Korean dialogue could be resumed.
The third stage would see the launch of multilateral
negotiations on complex issues and mechanisms of peace and
security in Northeast Asia. At this stage, issues of
denuclearization and demilitarization of the Korean peninsula
could be discussed.
The proposal was submitted by Russia to the U.S. and
in September 2017 and not rejected. Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Igor Morgoluv, speaking at a conference on November 27,
said the DPRK had respected the code of silence on the proposal
for two months, in fact following the roadmap. The Deputy Foreign
Minister explained, however, that the decisions taken by the U.S. in
October and November regarding unscheduled exercises made it very
difficult to use the roadmap for a peace settlement.
Positions on Meeting of the "Vancouver Group"
On the occasion of the Vancouver Meeting Chinese Foreign
spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing that the absence of China and
Russia rendered the Vancouver Meeting without legitimacy and not
"Since this meeting does not have legitimacy or
representativeness, China has opposed the meeting from the very
beginning," he told reporters during a briefing in Beijing.
"While countries are committed to finding a proper
for the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear
issue, some parties hold such a meeting in the name of the
so-called United Nations command during the Cold War era," Lu
Kang said. "We do not know what the purpose of convening such a
meeting is," he added.
Russia's Foreign Ministry released a statement which
"Regrettably, we have to state that such events which
conducted hastily and which have a negative effect on functioning
of proven multilateral formats, do not contribute to the
normalization of the situation around the Korean Peninsula, but,
on the contrary, aggravate it."
"The 'decision' of the participants to consider
unilateral sanctions and other diplomatic measures seems
completely unacceptable and counterproductive," the statement
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that
would be prepared to support direct contacts between the United
States and North Korea on the Korean Peninsula's nuclear problem,
including those within six-party talks by North Korea, China,
South Korea, Russia, the United States and Japan.
"As you may know, Russia and China have a joint
for transition from confrontation to a political settlement of
the problem that emerged on the Korean Peninsula. For a start we
suggest everybody should calm down and freeze any confrontational
actions -- in the first place, military activities, be it missile
launches, nuclear weapons tests or large-scale exercises, which
the United States has held and still holds in the region jointly
with the Republic of Korea and Japan," Lavrov said.
"When such a freeze, a moratorium on unfriendly and
confrontational steps takes effect, we will actively support
direct contacts between the parties most concerned. As far as the
nuclear problem is concerned, I am referring to Pyongyang and
Washington in the first place, but we will be prepared to
accompany their bilateral dialogue within the framework of the
six-party process with Russia, China, Japan and the Republic of
Korea taking part," he said.
"As I've already mentioned, the United States has come
close to saying bluntly a military solution will be inevitable.
Everybody understands the disastrous consequences of such an
adventure. In a situation where conditions for starting a dialogue
emerged, most often provocative actions, such as ever larger
military exercises around North Korea followed only to trigger
another spiral of tensions," Lavrov said.
After the Vancouver Meeting issued its "Summary" of
discussions, China reiterated its objections to such a meeting. Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang stated at his January 17 press
briefing, "We all know that the so-called UN Command, as a product of
the Cold War era, has long lost its relevance. As initiators of the
meeting, the U.S. and Canada co-hosted the meeting under the banner of
the so-called UN Command sending states. That is Cold War mentality
pure and simple, and will only drive a wedge among the international
community and undermine the concerted efforts to seek proper settlement
of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. When major parties to the Korean
Peninsula issue are not present, such a meeting will not contribute to
properly resolving the issue, as it shall be approached and addressed
mainly through the framework of the Six-Party Talks and the UN Security
Council. That is why, from the very beginning, the legality and
representativeness of this meeting is extensively questioned by the
In a statement on January 17 the Russian Foreign
Ministry stated "The results of the January 16 meeting in Vancouver
outlined in the statement by its co-chairs -- the United States and
Canada -- confirmed our doubts regarding the usefulness of this
event.... We regret to state that such events held hastily and
adversely affecting the work of tried and tested multilateral formats,
do not contribute to the normalization of the situation around the
Korean Peninsula, but, on the contrary, exacerbate it."
Final Statement of Vancouver Women's Forum on Peace and
Security on the Korean
The Vancouver Summit on Korea missed a critical
opportunity for peace. Instead of supporting the reduction of
tensions on the Korean Peninsula that began with the inter-Korean
dialogue and the Olympics truce, the Foreign Ministers chose to
further isolate and threaten North Korea.
We urged Foreign Ministers to prepare the table for
with North Korea. Instead, they chose to obstruct the path for
peace being laid by North and South Korea.
The U.S.-led "maximum pressure" approach has utterly
halt North Korea's nuclear and missile program. Seventy years of
sanctions and isolation of North Korea have only furthered the
DPRK's resolve to develop its nuclear arsenal.
A maximum pressure campaign is not diplomacy that will
to peace. Increased sanctions hurt ordinary people.
U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson's depiction today of
flights as potential targets of North Korea's missile tests is
reminiscent of Colin Powell's UN presentation about Iraq's
"so-called" weapons of mass destruction. This provocative effort
to demonize North Korea sets up justification for even more
extreme measures against the DPRK, such as a naval blockade, which
will be viewed by North Koreans as a war-like action.
We are profoundly disappointed by the Foreign Ministers
representing countries with a commitment to peaceful diplomacy
and feminist foreign policies. At a time of great global
instability, we looked to them for leadership for true global
peace and security.
We are resolved to build a global campaign to challenge
sanctions that we know have cruel and punishing effects on
ordinary North Koreans, to strengthen our feminist peace
movements to challenge the drive for war, and to work towards the
formal resolution of the Korean War.
Our commitment to peace is unshaken.
Korean Unification Flag to Lead Delegation at
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea first
compete together under the unification flag at the Sydney Olympics in
(ROK) for Korean
athletes to march in the opening ceremonies at the 2018 Winter Olympic
Games in PyeongChang on February 9 under the Korean Unification flag.
Athletes from Korea marching in the ceremonies will wear a special
uniform with the flag on it. Korea will also have one unified women's
hockey team, the first time the two National Olympic Committees have
formed a unified sports team.
will compete in: figure skating, short track speed skating, cross
country skiing and alpine skiing. Skiers from north and south will
no later than February 1.
Peninsula, and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope.
that will go from PyeongChang to the world."
First Anniversary of Donald Trump's
Shutdown Shows Need for New Arrangements
The U.S. Senate failed in efforts to provide funds to
the U.S. government operating. The government shutdown begins at
12:01 am Saturday, January 20. It immediately impacts federal
government workers, such as health care and first responders, who
are forced to work without pay over the weekend. If it persists,
hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be laid off or
forced to work without pay. Social Security, Medicare and
Medicaid will all be impacted, as will all the various federal
agencies, some worse than others.
Government shutdown is a serious concern among the
but considered a "present," by President Trump. He, like others --
including New York Senator Schumer, a main player in
negotiations, see the shutdown as a bargaining chip, a means to
secure particular private interests. Schumer claims he is
defending the undocumented youth brought here as children. But he
is the one who has pushed for immigration legislation that
includes biometric ID for all workers requiring an FBI and
Homeland Security background check. It is a means to further
control and regiment the workforce, giving some ID and not others,
forcing them potentially into slave labour camps. He is
striving to position himself as a champion of immigrants in part
so he can further such legislation. Careful attention is needed
as these various forces do not favour the people.
As well, while all the contending factions claim to be
concerned about the public, the readiness of all to use the
shutdown indicates that the public interest and public good are
expendable. The federal workers, those reliant on federal
services, are expendable as the factions contend for their own
private interests, be it funding for border wall construction, or
biometric IDs, or more weaponry and detention centres.
Contention among the various forces is such that Trump has
intervened, saying he was both for and against the same
proposals. It appears that his main aim was to secure the
shutdown, this "present" as he calls it, to further discredit
Congress, while positioning himself to have greater leverage. It
remains to be seen if that will be the case, as for many across
the country, all of government is discredited and dysfunctional --
sharply posing the need for new arrangements, a new set-up that
favours the people.
This concern about dysfunction has been underlined by
fact that there have already been three "stopgap" short-term
budget measures. Congress has been unable to pass a budget, one
of its most important responsibilities, for fiscal year 2018,
which began in October 2017. The stopgap measures provide funds
for a very limited period of time. This current one, which had
passed in the House and provided funding for another month,
failed in the Senate. The Senate requires 60 votes to end debate,
and these could not be secured.
More time is not the problem. Even if yet another
measure is passed over the weekend, it will not overcome the
dysfunction. The dysfunctional government reflects the fact that
politics are being eliminated and the two parties of the rich no
longer function as political parties but as cartels, like
gangsters contending and colluding. Trump is head of a government
of police powers, which acts with impunity against the people and
without concern for legitimacy. It is a government where rule of
law has been eliminated and thus bodies that legislate law, like
Congress, are largely eliminated. The budget is one key issue
that remains, so having Congress unable to pass a budget further
supports the notion that the president alone should rule.
The "blame game" now underway is a means to divert from
reality. It is a means to involve those concerned about the
rights of the people abroad and at home in the contention among
the cartels. Instead, given that existing institutions no longer
function, attention must be given to the development of new
institutions that do serve the people and guarantee their rights.
A new electoral set-up, a new constitution, new forms of
governance are the order of the day.
Voice of Revolution is
a publication of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization.
Trump's Threats to Use Nuclear Weapons
Before Donald Trump became President of the United
he campaigned against war, yet the first anniversary of his
inauguration is marked by the open and repeated threat to use
nuclear weapons against Korea, an open-ended military presence in
Syria, where the U.S. now has about 2,000 troops, and continued
war against Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. The drone warfare
broadly increased by President Obama has been further intensified by
involving far more bombings in dozens of countries.
The wars being waged are not for political purposes,
rather for destruction of human productive powers. And because
they are wars of destruction, the politics of negotiating peace
treaties are absent. For the U.S., whatever cannot be controlled
is to be destroyed. Indeed, nuclear weapons are solely for that
It is said that President Trump's threats to use
nuclear weapons are
different than those of past presidents. In fact this threat and
use of nuclear blackmail have been used by U.S. presidents since
nuclear weapons were developed. Truman not only used nuclear
weapons against Japan but as a means to terrorize the world. When
he was asked at a press conference in November 1950, during the
U.S. war against Korea, if nuclear weapons would be used, he said
all weapons were on the table. This is the phrase repeated by
presidents ever since, including George W. Bush, Obama and now
The Pentagon has repeatedly developed plans to use
weapons, against Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc. The main difference now is
that Trump is open about these plans. Coupled with this
is the fact that in the war games against Korea, it is made
public that attacks using nuclear weapons are practised, which means
the U.S. can no longer deny these plans.
In the current situation, the U.S. is striving to make
the aggressor. While it is the U.S. that has a massive nuclear
arsenal, plans to use it and a history of aggression, it is
said the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the problem.
The monopoly media consistently
leave out their stand and long practice, which is that they do
not engage in aggression and will not use nuclear weapons unless
attacked. Faced with this, Trump has repeatedly tried to provoke
the DPRK into taking action first, so as to justify U.S.
aggression. It is a dangerous game of brinkmanship, one widely
opposed by Koreans and the peoples of the world.
On the first anniversary of the Trump administration,
stepping up opposition to the growing danger of war is one of the
main concerns of many. It is the peoples of the U.S. and the
world, that are decisive in blocking war and securing the peace.
A recent conference to strengthen united efforts, here and
abroad, to close all U.S. foreign bases and bring troops home is
indicative of the reality that the people of the U.S. stand as one
with the peoples of the world against U.S. aggression and wars.
The call for a new direction for the country, for an anti-war
government and peace economy, is being heard. On the occasion of
this one-year anniversary of the Trump administration, many actions are
place across the country to raise the just demands of the people
against war and for rights, abroad and at home.
Voice of Revolution is
a publication of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization.
Brazilian People Fight Against
Constitutional Coup d'État
Lula Has the Right to Be a Candidate for President
Rally "In Defence of Democracy and Lula," Rio de Janeiro, January 16,
In July of last year, Luiz Inácio "Lula" da
President of Brazil from 2003-2010, was sentenced to nine years
and six months in prison after being convicted -- without any
evidence -- of receiving an apartment from Brazilian
construction company OAS in return for helping it win contracts
with state oil company Petrobras. Lula immediately filed an
appeal which is set to be heard on January 24 by the 4th Federal
Regional Appeals Court in Porto Alegre, in the state Rio Grande
It is widely accepted that these and other "corruption"
charges and investigations to which Lula has been subjected for
more than three years are part of an attempted judicial coup by
some of the same forces that impeached President Dilma Rousseff
in a 2016 parliamentary coup and installed the unelected current
president, Michel Temer, in her place. These same coup forces are
intent on preventing Lula from running for president in 2018,
which he intends to do as the candidate of the Workers' Party
(PT). Hence the attempts to get a conviction and make it stick so
Lula can be barred from running by the time the election takes
place in October.
World Days of Solidarity with Lula
The battle to defeat the attempts of these coup forces
to prevent Lula from once again running for president is in high gear
as the date of his appeal hearing approaches. Caravans from all over
Brazil, as well as international delegations will converge on Porto
Alegre from January 22 to 24 to participate in a program of activities
organized by the Brazil Popular Front, a coalition of political
parties, unions and people's movements. Organizers report that 225
caravans are coming from different states in Brazil with others
arriving on their own.
Support rally for Lula, Brasilia,
January 18, 2018.
A communique from the International Relations
the PT indicates that there will be public lectures, vigils,
debates and interventions of different kinds taking place around
Porto Alegre during the Days of Solidarity. There will be a March
for Democracy the night before Lula's trial and a vigil at the
courthouse starting at 8 am on Tuesday, January 24. Actions and
vigils will also be held in front of federal courthouses in all
states, with demonstrations taking place internationally as well.
Messages of solidarity and in support of Lula's right to be a
candidate have been received from political parties and
personalities around the world. These continue to be welcomed, along
with participation in the PT's social media campaign.
The PT also reports that more than two thousand
committees have been formed all over Brazil in recent years as
part of a broad network to publicize the abuses taking place in
the justice system, lawfare, media persecution and politics
promoted in recent years against Lula and the Brazilian left.
Defending Lula's right to be a candidate, it says is
ensuring that the coup is not consolidated and so the country can
resume the path of social and economic development that was
interrupted in 2016. Given that the Brazilian mainstream media is
totally partisan, the PT argues, it is fundamental that the truth
about the political persecution of President Lula through legal
proceedings be divulged abroad to break through the blockade of
the Brazilian mainstream media. During Dilma's impeachmenet trial
this was fundamental for unraveling the true face of the what was
a parliamentary, judicial, and media coup against her, it
Residents of Altamira form a Popular Committee in Defence of Democracy
and Lula, January 18, 2018. Similar committees are forming across
1. On 22 and 24 January, between
noon and 2 p.m. (Brasilia
time) support messages will be posted with the hashtags:
#EleicaoSemLulaEFraude #JusticaPorLula #CadeAProva
- Post support videos for Lula:
We ask you to send
more than 30 seconds) that include: name, organization, country,
importance of the defence of Lula and democracy for the continent
and peoples from all over world and a call to participate and
publicize the campaign "Election without Lula is a fraud." These
videos should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Take pictures with posters in defence of Lula and
in Brazil and post them through your networks. Here you may find
- In defense of democracy
- In defense of
right to be a candidate
- Pursuing Lula is to attack the rule of
- Lula's crime: taking 36 million people out of poverty
- Defending Lula is to defend democracy
- Justice for Lula
identify yourself when sending your photo: name, organization and
country. Enter one or more hashtags: #EleicaoSemLulaEFraude
- Promote acts and activities in front of Brazilian
and/or consulates on the subject of justice as a tool for
political persecution and Lula's defence. Send a report and
photos of these activities to: email@example.com
Mobilizations will happen through the accounts below.
invite you to follow them:
Twitter: @ptbrasil and @lulapelobrasil
@pt13_oficial and @luizinacioluladasilvaoficial
@pt.brasil and @Lula
In Defence of Lula
President Lula is being subjected to judicial
that is unprecedented in Brazilian history. This persecution has
a clear goal: to prevent Lula from being elected again to once more
deliver the economic, political, and social gains
the Brazilian people require to increasingly stand ever more proud
Banner hanging outside the National Directorate of the Workers' Party,
January 13, 2018, reads "Elections without Lula are fraud!"
A warning is in order: there is no evidence of any
committed by Lula in these lawsuits. And there is no evidence
because there was no wrongdoing! In the meantime,
evidence of his innocence is ignored and dismissed.
No one has ever been more fully investigated in all
years. No one has ever been so fully exposed and had their lives
more thoroughly probed than Lula. Yet they could find nothing. No
foreign account, no concealed assets. Nothing more than partisan
convictions, unsubstantiated theories, arbitrary hypotheses, and
intense political rivalry as the justification and basis of the
lawsuits against him.
At a juncture when, in Brazil, conservative politicians
acquitted and rescued and criminals released to spend their
millions abroad despite substantive incriminating evidence,
convicting Lula, the most popular leader in our history, without
a shred of evidence, amounts to dealing a fatal blow to Brazil's
justice and democracy.
It is unacceptable that the justice system should
with an obviously political action to convict an innocent person
with the clear intention of interfering in the electoral sphere
to keep Lula from becoming a candidate. With this deliberate
conduct, rife with extralegal and biased interests, and driven by
countless violations of rights and guarantees enshrined in the
legal order of the Democratic Rule of Law, the trials Lula is
being submitted to contravene the Brazilian constitutional system
and international human rights treaties. By convicting Lula, they
convict democracy and attempt to subjugate the will of the
So much arbitrariness has been inflicted on Lula
these tortuous inquests and trials. It suffices to mention the
unlawful and shameful operation that took him into custody in
March 2016 or the ridiculed public PowerPoint presentation
-- riddled with assumptions, photo montages, and sound bites -- for
the evident purpose of embarrassing the former president and
submitting him to public humiliation, clearly offending the
fundamental principles of the dignity of the human person.
Another extremely serious fact was the leaking by the
himself of recorded conversations between former President Lula
and the then-President Dilma Rousseff, the illegality of which
was ultimately acknowledged by the Brazilian Federal Supreme
Court (STF), upon whom it is incumbent to safeguard the
Constitution. So far, however, the STF's ruling has not led to
the punishment or removal of the offending judge, who
demonstrates that he lacks the impartiality to try President
Moreover, among other demonstrations of the persecution
is being subjected to is the arbitrary decision of another judge
prohibiting, without any plausible reason, the activities of the
Lula Institute, without there even being any petition filed
thereto by the public attorney's office, just for the sake of
public exposure and humiliation. So outrageous was the decision
that it was rapidly overturned by a higher court. Still, it reveals the
various measures being taken by part of the
judiciary against former President Lula for the sole purpose of
The so-called "criminal law of the enemy," the legal
practice of identifying beforehand and fully criminalizing a person,
regardless of and even before the existence of any crime being
established, was adopted against Lula. In the words of renowned Italian
lawyer Luigi Ferrajoli in a public analysis delivered last April 4 in
the Parliament in Rome, when it comes to Lula, they act like the
"referee who doesn't want to lose the game." Everyone in Brazil knows
that the judicial persecution against Lula -- actually a form of "legal
warfare" dubbed "lawfare" -- has been part of the political agenda of
the Brazilian coup d'état since long before any legal action was
It is imperative to understand that the actions against
former President Lula are being conducted by prosecutors and
judges who have made a clearly ideological and partisan choice,
publicly expressed on social media. These prosecutors and judges
have allied themselves with the conservative media, dominated by
a small oligarchy of powerful families, with the political aim of
persecuting and humiliating former President Lula and the
Brazilian left as a whole. For this reason, these prosecutors and
judges have adopted the criminal tactic of producing selective
leaks of the investigations -- a clear affront to Brazilian law
-- to disseminate their absurd theories that Lula was the
"commander" of a sweeping corruption scheme. This dirty tactic,
typical of authoritarian regimes, seeks a public conviction,
disregarding due process and the principle of the presumption of
It is also for this reason that this branch of the
Brazilian judiciary adopted the tactic of abusively using pre-trial
detention as a form of psychological torture to force those charged
into plea bargains in return for testimony against the former president
-- an affront to the Constitution, but also to international human
rights treaties. It is well known that in Brazil the chances of a
person with charges against them being released from detention or
getting their sentence reduced increases exponentially if they testify
There is, therefore, obvious political selectiveness on
part of the Brazilian judicial system. While politicians with
ties to Brazil's traditional oligarchies are protected or
released, even in the face of substantive evidence like
recordings and suitcases full of illegal cash, Lula is convicted
in the absence of any evidence.
The Brazil Popular Front calls on the judiciary to stop the coup
against Lula at a rally
in Aracaju, January 16, 2018.
The appellate court that is to review Lula's case, the
Region Federal Regional Court (TRF/4ª), has scheduled Lula's
trial for January 24, 2018, record speed in Brazilian
history. This trial is being held in half the time required to
schedule the fastest trials ever held in that Court. It must be
noted that Carlos Eduardo Thompson Flores Lenz, presiding justice
of the TRF/4ª, stated even before the case arrived at his court,
that the ruling handed down by Judge Sérgio Moro sentencing
former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to nine-and-a-half
years' imprisonment in the Guarujá (SP) triplex case was
"technically flawless." So this is about playing cards with a
stacked deck, where the political aim is to prevent the candidacy
of a great popular leader.
Even the prosecution's petition recognizes there is no
substantial evidence against the former president, aside from the
deposition of a plea bargainer who was sentenced to two years in
prison and who knew he could be released or have his sentence
shortened should he accuse Lula. This has become customary in
trials involving judges and prosecutors who, as a rule, act in a
clearly selective and partisan way and simply on the basis of
conjecture, probabilities, and arbitrarily constructed hypotheses.
According to Brazilian law, plea bargains are invalid in the
absence of substantive evidence.
Yet, given the paradoxical reasoning that prevails in
Kafkaesque trials against popular leaders, absence of evidence
becomes proof of guilt.
In the specific case of Lula's conviction, it should
added that not only was there no evidence of his culpability,
there was substantial evidence of his innocence, such as the fact
that Lula never enjoyed the use of the apartment that, in the
delirious allegation of the indictment he had received as a
"bribe," and that the construction company always had ownership
of the property. This would be the only case of the metaphysical
ownership of a physical asset. Nonetheless, substantive evidence
of his innocence was ignored in the purely political trial the
former president was subjected to.
Lula represents everything the reactionary and
anti-democratic oligarchy hates the most, for his personal
struggle is intertwined with the collective struggle of the
Brazilian people and of many oppressed peoples in the world.
Lula is a genuine creation of the Brazilian people.
their face and their heart. Lula is in the son of the bricklayer
who became a doctor; in the mother who can afford to feed her
children today; in the waters that today irrigate the
northeastern semi-arid outback; in the light for those who, in
the 21st century, lived in darkness, without electricity. Lula is
in MERCOSUR, UNASUR, ECLAC, the BRICS. Lula is in the G-20, in
the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Lula is in the solidarity
with Africa. Lula's example is in every international program
designed to fight hunger and poverty.
Lula is the hope of reconciliation for Brazil. Only
elections with Lula's participation will be able to overcome the
country's extremely serious political, economic, and
institutional crisis. Incarcerating Lula means keeping Brazil in
an insoluble crisis. It will mean worsening the conflict-ridden
state that imprisons the country.
And Lula is also a symbol in a world lacking world
truly committed to fighting the gaps between countries on this
planet. Lula embodies the dream of equality and hope of a less
asymmetrical world, a world oriented to satisfying the needs of
the people, not dedicated to the maintenance of the privileges of
the few who control globalized finances.
This dream cannot be imprisoned, this hope cannot be
We will react, we will fight back. Now, more than ever
before, we will dedicate our strength to acquit Lula. In every
sphere and every court, in Brazil and abroad, we will denounce
this scandalous injustice, this new coup against Brazilian
democracy. We will declare that without Lula, the only leader
capable of opposing the destructive agenda of the ongoing coup,
the next Brazilian presidential election will be a big fraud.
Without Lula, there will be no democracy in Brazil. Without Lula,
the hopes of a better world dwindle.
We are certain of victory. We are -- with Lula and the
people -- on the right side of History!
An Election Without Lula Is a Fraud
Lula receives support from Brazilian artists and intellectuals, Sao
Paulo, January 18, 2018.
An expedited appeal hearing for Lula scheduled to take
place January 24 is without any legal basis and purely an act of
persecution of the most popular Brazilian
leader. It is to try to prevent his candidacy in the 2018 presidential
election, especially because the coup against President Dilma
Rousseff did not give rise to a stable regime capable of winning
The strategic plan underway following Dilma's removal
been one of violating workers' rights, threatening public
pensions, privatizing Petrobras, Eletrobras and public banks, and
abandoning the country's active and proud foreign policy.
Labour reforms and the freeze on public spending did
attract the promised foreign investments to support the campaign
for a neo-liberal government in 2018. In the face of their
unpopularity, these sectors have so far failed to come up with a
viable candidate for president.
Lula's popularity grows in all the polls for the first
second rounds of the next election, suggesting he could even win
in the first round. An overwhelming victory by Lula would mean
failure for the coup and would enable the opening of a new
Hence, anything goes in the plot to prevent Lula's
candidature: condemnation in the Porto Alegre court, creation of
a semi-parliament and the postponement of the elections. None of
these are out of the question. An evil arsenal is being built up by
political forces that do not value democracy.
Lula's is an entirely political persecution that will
defeated politically. This is more than a tactical or electoral problem
victory or defeat in this fight will have strategic and long-term
Brazil is at a crossroads: social rights and the
rule of law will either be restored or they will be defeated,
allowing the final implementation of an unregulated capitalist
society based on the super-exploitation of workers.
That kind of society requires a state reinforced with
instruments [for rule by] exception to suppress the universities,
intellectuals, workers, women, youth, the poor, blacks --
ultimately, all the exploited and oppressed who rise up against
the new system.
Thus, the issue of the persecution of Lula is not just
issue for the Workers' Party and the left, but for all Brazilian
citizens. As never before in our generation of fighters, what is
at stake is the future of democracy.
To sign this petition (also available in Portuguese,
Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Turkish and
German), click here.
Honduran People's Fight for the Right to
People Courageously Stand as One
Protest denounces the U.S. role in the electoral fraud, Tegucigalpa,
January 5, 2018.
On January 27, Honduran president Juan Orlando
Hernández is poised to be sworn in for a second term amidst
widespread demands from the people that he vacate the presidential
palace. There is plenty of credible evidence to back up their claims
that Hernández (often referred to just as JOH) "won" the
November 26 presidential election only because the country's electoral
authorities tampered with the results to ensure that Salvador Nasralla,
candidate of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, did not
Tegucigalpa, January 7, 2018
Hondurans took to the streets in cities and towns across
the country as well as to social media as soon as they sensed an
electoral fraud in the making. They denounced it, with "Fuera JOH!"
("JOH Out!") as their battle cry. In retaliation Hernández
decreed a state of emergency, suspending constitutional rights,
imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and authorizing the military and police
to use force against protesters. The people's forces have been
violently attacked with impunity ever since.
Within a month more than 30 people had been killed,
many by U.S.-trained military and police forces. On January 16, the
Opposition Alliance coordinator, former president Manuel Zelaya,
announced on television that 45 people had been killed and many more
injured and/or arrested on trumped up charges -- most of them youth --
in the 45 days since the election.
Pedro San Sula,
January 6, 2018
But neither state terror, nor the pressure put on the
people's forces in other ways -- through attempts to divide them or by
the U.S. and Canada's haste to recognize a president Hondurans refuse
to accept -- has dampened their spirits. They continue to protest in
the streets to demand an end to the negation of the people's will, to
the assassinations, violence and the taking of political prisoners by
the state. A week-long national strike has been called to begin January
20. There are plans for daily mass actions and blockades in the
streets, in front of the National Congress, at the airport in
Tegucigalpa and on January 27, surrounding the national stadium where
Hernández is to be sworn in. In addition, the Opposition
Alliance has called on Hernández and his National Party to
participate in an internationally mediated dialogue to seek a way out
of the crisis. They say it should include discussion about conducting a
forensic analysis of the election results and either a second round
between Nasralla and Hernández or a new election altogether.
They are also calling for a constituent assembly in order to
reconstitute the state and its institutions on the basis of the rule of
law instead of arbitrariness and dictatorship.
If no agreement can be reached and Hernández
assumes office for a second term -- something not permitted by the
constitution but which a compliant Constitutional Court nevertheless
allowed -- opposition forces vow to continue resisting and pushing
their demands. In an interview on UNE TV January 16 Manuel Zelaya
pointed out that according to the country's constitution no one owes
obedience to a usurping government and that the people have the right
to rebel against a government that has rendered itself illegitimate
through usurpation of their sovereignty.
U.S. and Canada Weigh in
On December 17, three weeks after the election and with
the blessing of the U.S. ambassador, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal
announced its decision that Hernández had won the election. Even
the Organization of American States, known for pushing U.S interests in
the region, said it could not vouch for the results owing to the many
irregularities and improbabilities, and recommended the holding of a
Canada was among a handful of countries that quickly jumped in to
follow the U.S. lead, posting on the Global Affairs Twitter account
that it "acknowledged the confirmation of Juan Orlando Hernández
as President of Honduras." It did so at virtually the same time as the
U.S. State Department released its statement congratulating
Hernández. As if Hernández and his government were not
the ones responsible for unleashing state terror to silence the people
and crush their resistance, in its tweet Canada urged the Honduran
government to "protect human rights and ensure those responsible for
violations are held responsible."
In Honduras, as it has done since the
coup removed President Manuel Zelaya in 2009, Canada acts to
maintain in power a government imposed on the people against
their will. In Venezuela where it is actively intervening to
try to overthrow a democratically elected government, the aim is
the same: negation of the people's will and violation of their
sovereign rights. In this regard, Honduras and Venezuela are two fronts
of one fight by the peoples to assert their sovereignty and their right
to decide their own affairs free from outside interference, whether
delivered through force or the "help" of condescending saviours.
TML Weekly calls on
Canadians to support the mass actions and
initiatives of the Honduran people to affirm their
rights, and to make it clear that the Canadian government is not
acting or speaking in their name, but pursuing a self-serving
agenda against the interests and human rights of the Honduran
Prevent People of Other
Countries from Deciding Their Own Destiny," TML Weekly,
December 9, 2017.
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