April 21, 2018 - No. 15

Ontario General Election to Be Held June 7

Intervening in the Ontario Election


Learning from Experience -- the 2014 Provincial Election
- Mira Katz -

Speaking Out in Northern Ontario

Our Resources Stay Here!
- David Starbuck -
Ring of Fire Chromite-Nickel Deposits

Coming Events

Earth Day 2018
All Out to Humanize the Natural and Social Environment!

Opposition to Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project
No Consent -- No Pipeline!
- K.C. Adams -
Who Decides? The People Decide!
- Peggy Morton -
Canadians Stand Together with One Voice

Cuba Holds Opening Session of Newly Elected
National Assembly of People's Power

Congratulations to the Cuban People on the Successful
Culmination of Their Historic Electoral Process

Revolutionary Continuity, Renewal and Unity
- Isaac Saney -
Celebration of 57th Anniversary of Proclamation of
Socialist Character of the Cuban Revolution

"El Ultimo Mambí," a Song for Raúl

Ontario General Election to Be Held June 7

Intervening in the Ontario Election

Ontarians are once again on the eve of a general election. A scenario not dissimilar to the one imposed in the 2014 election is unfolding. The track record of the Liberals in Ontario has caused so much damage that the Liberal Party has to pull out all the stops to get itself re-elected while newspapers quote polls to show the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) in the lead. The Liberals are once again pointing to the dangers of electing the PCs who now have Doug Ford, known as a right-wing fanatic, as their leader. The spectre is raised of a Donald Trump for Ontario and all that that is supposed to entail. There is no dearth of media opinion and polls which present his victory as a done deal, especially since the so-called alternative is divided between the Liberals and the NDP.

As a result, once again attempts are being made by Liberals with the help of social forces at their command within the workers' and people's movement, to discredit and get rid of the NDP. Provincially, as is also done federally, the Liberals are adopting positions put forward by the workers' movement often associated with positions of the NDP, such as the demand for universal pharmacare.

The Liberals see the NDP as splitting the "left-wing vote." This suggests that the Liberals are "left of centre" to cover up that, right down the line, their positions are straightforward neo-liberal pay-the-rich corrupt scams that systematically destroy social programs or privatize them, destroy manufacturing, sell out the resources of the province and integrate Ontario into the U.S. war machine.

The NDP, for their part, are accused of betraying NDP values. An example of this is the accusation that they forced the 2014 Ontario election by turning down a fraudulent "progressive" Liberal budget. Federally in 2015 they campaigned to balance the deficit. They are now trying to outflank the Liberals by promising to go even further than them by expanding neo-liberal versions of pharmacare and childcare and introducing new programs such as publicly-funded dental care. Commentators claim this shows that the NDP is "going back to its left-wing roots" to get elected and that given Wynne's unpopularity as a leader it could work or position the NDP as the "left-wing" in a PC minority government. The Liberals have yet to release their platform but will no doubt seek to do what they can to pursue "an affirmative action" program to not be outflanked.

The ruling elite continues to create a feeling that if there were only two parties, a straightforward two-party contest could be held and stability restored. In this framework, getting rid of the NDP is a must for Premier Kathleen Wynne just as it is for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau federally. To achieve this, a discourse is pushed that the Liberal Party stands for social justice, that it is a party which "balances" the interests of the rich and those of the poor and that on this basis, the interests of what is called the "middle class" are somehow served. It also allegedly "balances" the interests of the economy and those of the environment, as well as security and rights. Thus, the rich, the poor, the middle class, activists for social justice and the environment and those who uphold the restoration of inherent Indigenous rights -- in short, everyone -- should vote Liberal because that is the "balanced approach," the sensible way to go. And, more and more, this approach is said to be in the national interest.

This is countered by the PCs who point to all the Liberal corruption and opportunism, which working people hate, and declare that they will do what it takes and make the hard decisions required for the economy to thrive. The fact that their policies are lethal and in the service of the same neo-liberal supranational interests which the Liberals serve, is totally obscured. Both parties pursue privatization to benefit private interests in health care, education, social housing and other public services, presenting this as a solution, while eliminating regulation and information which serve the polity.

Discussion on what to do about this, how to empower the working people so that they can exercise control over the economy and the decisions that affect their lives, is obscured by the overall framework provided by the ruling class and the electoral system. This framework creates an outlook which claims that if people want to make their vote count, they must choose one of these parties of the rich to represent them. That is what freedom is all about.

Today, the Marxist-Leninists repeat the call they gave in 2014 for the working people to stand for their own independent politics by supporting candidates who represent their demands and contribute to expressing a collective rejection of the anti-social offensive. They should not line up behind party platforms they have played no role in setting and will have no control to apply.

In 2014, the Marxist-Leninists explained that the alternative at that time was "to make sure that while the PCs could not form any government, the Liberals could also not form a majority government." This was grasped by those forces that clearly activated the human factor/social consciousness in the election. Those forces took a vigorous stand against the austerity agenda of both the Liberals and PCs and, because they intervened as an organized force, they were able to combat the disinformation campaign that sought to sow confusion as to how they should cast their ballot. Instead of following these parties, they cast their ballot in a manner that favoured their interests to hold governments to account.

So too today, the Marxist-Leninists are calling on the workers to champion their own demands in the elections. Work inspired by the experience of different sectors of the working class is being carried out in the form of meetings, open mics, panels, articles and all kinds of activities where the working people speak for themselves about the matters which concern them. This will go a very long way to not permitting the self-serving political parties and media to declare that these political parties' platforms represent what people want. Let the people speak for themselves without being humiliated, reduced to begging the parties to integrate their demands into their platforms.

Besides calling on Ontarians to go all out to make these actions successful, the Marxist-Leninists also call on Ontarians to go all out to support independent candidates who are coming forward to champion the real demands of their collectives. Ontario's working people are making many efforts to empower themselves to oppose the vicious destructive anti-social offensive which leaves them fending for themselves. It is these efforts which represent something new and fresh and deserve everyone's support.

Let us put our full weight behind this movement for empowerment which will culminate in the democratic renewal of the political process so that the people become those who hold the decision-making power and can wield it in their favour.

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Learning from Experience --
the 2014 Provincial Election

The last Ontario general election was held on June 12, 2014. In that election the Liberals obtained the votes of only 20 per cent of total eligible voters but captured 59 seats and formed a majority government.[1] They won the election by mobilizing the Liberal social base in the workers' and people's movement to raise the spectre of a kind of armageddon should the Progressive Conservative Party led by Tim Hudak win the election. In other words, it was presented as a fight between good and evil, a matter of life and death. The threat of 100,000 public sector job losses if Hudak was elected was used to terrorize the electorate, and especially public sector workers, into giving up their own thinking. This hysteria was viciously pushed in the workers' movement by Liberal moles to stampede working people into voting on the basis of fear, rather than in a manner that affirmed their rights. Coupled with the demonizing of the NDP as traitors to the cause of social justice for not supporting the billions of dollars in infrastructure spending and expansion of Ontario's private debt in a fraudulent Liberal minority budget, thus forcing an election, created a framework for claiming that the only viable choice for working people was to elect the lesser of evils, Kathleen Wynne.[2]

Following the election, the Marxist-Leninists pointed out Kathleen Wynne won the election "because the ruling circles decided she was their best bet to keep the working class in check in the coming period." They explained how this win was achieved by the ruling elite.

The endorsements [for the Liberals] of prominent members of the ruling elite,[3] coupled with a massive disinformation campaign by the Liberal base within the workers' movement resulted in the Liberals receiving their majority government. The disinformation campaign promoted Kathleen Wynne as the alternative to Tim Hudak. It declared the Liberal budget to be progressive and Andrea Horwath as betraying NDP values for forcing the election by turning down a 'progressive' budget. All the crimes of the Liberal McGuinty/Wynne government as concerns the privatization of social and public services, attacks on public workers, especially teachers and education workers and continuous pay-the-rich schemes magically disappeared and were attributed to the Hudak PCs.

These Liberal government crimes greatly contributed to the destruction of manufacturing in Ontario. Its attacks on the wages and working conditions of teachers and education workers, health care providers and other public sector workers, as well as against the most vulnerable, including injured workers are tearing apart the social fibre of the province, wrecking the economy and pushing down the living and working conditions of the working class. The disinformation campaign turned the reality upside down creating a singular spectre of Hudak as the enemy and presenting the Liberals as the saviours of Ontario working families. A kind of Stockholm Syndrome gripped these Liberal social forces within the workers' movement. They promoted affection for the Liberal government, which just months earlier was assaulting the working class movement and during the election campaign kidnapped a section of the working class movement on behalf of the ruling class. They called on everyone to fall in love with their kidnappers who would save them from the evil of the Hudak Conservatives.

Before and during the election, the Marxist-Leninists worked hard to oppose this disinformation that the role of working people was to pick "a lesser of two evils." They pointed out that all year long, the people unite in action to press their own demands and do their utmost to defeat the anti-social offensive and turn things around so that the crisis is resolved in their favour, not in favour of the private interests of the rich. Then, come an election, the people are supposed to lay aside their demands and split along the lines of the sectarian interests of parties, over which they exercise no control whatsoever. The parties do not in fact represent the demands of the people but reduce the electorate to a role of lobbying them and pleading with them to include at least one of their demands in their election platforms. It is absurd.

The Marxist-Leninists called on the people not to split their ranks along party lines but to vote in a manner which expressed their opposition to the anti-social offensive. In the 2014 election, this meant not permitting the Liberals or the Conservatives to form a majority government. By so doing, the point would be underscored that no party which serves the rich could claim a mandate for its pay-the-rich schemes and the people would stand a better chance to hold them in check.

This call was very successful where it was taken up as a guide to organizing the working people to take up their own independent politics as in Windsor. In Windsor-Essex, a former Liberal stronghold, not a single Liberal was elected and the Liberal Cabinet Minister who was promoted as a star candidate was defeated in the riding of Windsor West -- the only Liberal incumbent to have lost a seat in that election. Attempts to split the workers' movement, to keep the Liberals in power, with threats and blackmail that without a Liberal government the sky would fall were routed and the vote of a majority of workers, no matter which party their unions or others were calling on them to side with by voting "strategically" to defeat Hudak's PCs, expressed a collective opposition to the anti-social offensive.

This anti-social offensive has been pushed by every party in power and in the opposition since the neo-liberal anti-social offensive was unleashed and Mike Harris of the PCs declared Ontario "Open for Business." It is important this history be reviewed to debunk the fraud once and for all that these parties in the service of the rich represent the public interest in any way and that they give the workers a choice between progressive and reactionary called "left" and "right."

In government each of these parties has in its own way destroyed any vestiges of a public authority with the exception of its police powers. Police powers refer to the concentration of power in the hands of an executive to decide whatever they want with impunity. The parties form a mafia-style cartel which divides the polity by providing everyone with an identity to which they allegedly belong. The identities are based on all kinds of criteria such as social status, national origin, religion, gender, colour of skin, state of health and abilities, union affiliation -- anything but being citizens who belong to a polity. Thus profiled, what opinion is held by each of these ghettoized collectives is declared on their behalf.

All of it covers up that equality can only exist if equal membership is recognized in a body politic and the people can speak for themselves about the matters which concern them and what they think should be done about them. In the absence of addressing the body politic and its concerns and involving the membership of the polity in discussion on the aim they want for society, the system which brings political parties to power pits all individual and collective interests against each other and against the general interests of society. The contest for power becomes cutthroat and individuals and their collectives who resist this dictate are criminalized.

The working people must not permit political discourse to be shut down. They can do so on an even broader scale by speaking out about their own concerns. The working people must act in their own name, not mark their ballot so that others are authorized to act in their name.

Develop the Independent Politics of the Working Class!
Empower Yourself Now!


1. In the 2014 election, the Liberal Party went from a minority government with 49 seats to a majority government with 59 seats. Voter turnout was 51.3 per cent, with 4,705,484 citizens who were eligible to vote abstaining. The Liberals were elected with 20 per cent of eligible votes. Most of the Liberals' 10 new seats were gained at the expense of the PC Party which went from 37 to 27 seats. However it also came at the expense of three key NDP seats in downtown Toronto (Trinity-Spadina, Davenport, and Beaches-East York). The NDP was able to maintain its 21 seats as a result of taking two PC incumbent ridings in addition to the defeat of a Liberal cabinet minister in Windsor West.

Elections Ontario indicated following the 2014 election that unofficial results showed that 29,442 voters opted to formally decline their ballots at the polling booth, the highest number since 1975. It also said that 12,124 citizens cast unmarked ballots, while 22,687 ballots were rejected by officials at the time of counting.

In that election, 3,816 Ontarians voted for 14 independent candidates, a drop from the 9,021 who voted for 36 independents in the 2011 provincial election.

2. See report on 2014 election results in Ontario Political Forum, June 13, 2014.

3. For example, Wynne received an 11th-hour personal endorsement from Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods and a Royal Bank board member, amongst other positions he holds. In a letter to the Globe and Mail (where the Thompson clan had officially endorsed Hudak), McCain made it very clear where the ruling circles stand.

McCain wrote, "As a pragmatic business leader who cares about our social commitments in addition to fiscal responsibility, I am prepared to be clear that a more balanced approach is warranted. [...] The PCs 'million jobs plan' just isn't credible, and won't have a positive outcome for the Ontario economy. In fact, I believe it is dangerous."

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Speaking Out in Northern Ontario

Our Resources Stay Here!

Working people in Ontario are discussing those things which concern them that should be issues in the upcoming Ontario elections. Open mics, discussion forums, articles, op-eds, panels and meetings are being held in various places to discuss matters which are really important to the working people.

One of the matters of concern to Ontarians as the June election approaches is how politicians of the rich are jumping on the resources in the region of Northern Ontario called the Ring of Fire to announce all sorts of pay-the-rich schemes, that go against the peoples' interests. The Indigenous peoples' right to decide what happens on their territories is summarily dismissed. So is the right of the people of Ontario to set the direction they want for the economy. This includes the fundamental issue of how to engage in economic development that benefits the people, and what should be done with Ontario's plentiful resources while respecting Indigenous peoples' hereditary rights and protecting the natural environment.

For communities in Northern Ontario, the natural resources of the region are a part of everyday life and integral to the economy of the region, as are the questions of who controls those resources, how they are to be developed and used, and for what purpose. This is the case with the mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire, and chromite -- a key component of stainless steel production -- in particular. While various people with agendas that serve private interests claim to defend the interests of Northern Ontario, only discussions amongst the working people themselves are legitimate forums to work out what needs to be done. Instead, working people are reduced to the role of spectators to the shenanigans of so-called major political parties competing for their votes.

In this vein, the newly-elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives (PCs), Doug Ford, in a conference call March 16 with the Sudbury Star, said that the PCs will "stand up for the North" by rapidly developing the Ring of Fire.

"We are going to start building the roads and the infrastructure," said Ford. "There's billions of dollars waiting up there. If I have to bring in the first bulldozer with Vic [Fedeli, Nipissing PC MPP] on it, I will do it ... It's going to benefit [not just] local people, but all people in Ontario. This is equivalent to the oil sands in Alberta. We have chromite waiting to be mined and we can't get to it ... It's beneficial for everyone -- the First Nations, other towns across all the North ... Everyone is going to benefit. Everyone is going to see the prosperity from building the infrastructure, our ability to put in the roads, get the roads built and the infrastructure ... Let's cut all the red tape, the bureaucracy, and get shovels in the ground."

As quoted by Soo Today, Ford said developing the Ring of Fire would be a new PC government's first priority. "I come from the private sector. You have to deliver a project, have to achieve it on time ... Everyone understands the urgency of this. There's a mine up there with $60 billion [worth of chromite and other minerals] in it. We're going to start working on this immediately."

Noront Resources, the largest mining company active in the Ring of Fire, is planning to build a ferrochrome refinery to process concentrate from the Ring of Fire, which would create 350 direct and 150 indirect jobs. It has invited Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Thunder Bay to put forward proposals to build the refinery in their cities, in effect creating a bidding war amongst these cities as to which one can offer Noront Resources the greatest incentives to locate in their community.

KWG Resources is another mining exploration company with an extensive stake in the Ring of Fire. It says the way to get the project to proceed is to locate the ferrochrome refinery in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (across the St. Marys River from its Canadian namesake) and  integrate the Ring of Fire into Trump's war preparations and program to "Make America Great Again!"

The company attempted to hold an event in Toronto on April 5 "to review the virtues of making ferrochrome in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, for a new North American stainless-steel supply joint-venture with Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario." Ontario PC Party Leader Doug Ford, Conservative MP and Critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Maxime Bernier, and Missanabie Cree Chief Jason Gauthier were invited. However, conflicts among competing monopoly groups and their political representatives, prevented the event from taking place.

KWG Resources President Frank Smeenk, media earlier reported, said that the protectionist attitude of U.S. President Donald Trump "provides a good opportunity to look at options of joining forces to make stainless steel and stainless steel primary products there [Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan] because we have advantages to other places in the world." Locating a plant in the United States would ensure the U.S. government would provide a market for the raw materials and deals could be brokered for the benefit of the U.S. and for Ontario, Smeenk said.  With the proximity of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to the United States, it makes sense to have some of the processing completed in the United States, he argued. "This is not untypical of trade between our countries and that in turn translates to billions of dollars to make the business go and that is something we should keep in mind," he said.

KWG Resources is interested in partnering with the United States to take advantage of President Trump's "America First" approach to international trade. Smeenk wants Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford to take up the concept and talk to Trump. "We're looking at the big picture. Now is the right time for an eventual new premier of Ontario to talk to the president of the United States who has a different attitude on how to trade with the world and see what we can do to get Wall Street engaged in the Ring of Fire, on a much bigger picture than was originally contemplated," he said. Smeenk said he believes creating a value-added plant on the U.S. side of the border will engage Trump. "I anticipate there would be some enthusiasm on Trump's part. He's a deal maker and you have to be prepared to negotiate deals."

Officials of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario deny knowledge of KWG Resource's plan. Mayor Christian Provenzano said "nobody has any idea what this project is and there has been no discussion with us about a joint venture ... To me, if you're going to have an event like that you should be reaching out to the people who are stakeholders and we haven't heard from anybody ... From the city's perspective, the city is of the opinion that it would be in the best interest of Northern Ontario that production happen in Northern Ontario."

The attitude of politicians like Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford and capitalists like Frank Smeenk is typical of the age-old attitude of private monopolies and their political representatives to the land, resources and people of Northern Ontario. The monopoly capitalists and their representatives in government see only great wealth that can be torn out of the ground and taken to southern or foreign markets without regard for the welfare of the people of Ontario -- Northern Ontario in particular -- or the environment. To them, Northern Ontario is not a home to be protected, merely a place where, as Doug Ford says, "There's billions of dollars waiting up there."

This outlook has been true since the days of the Hudson's Bay Company, which made their employees return to England at the end of their careers; through the time of the Montreal Mining Co. (mainly British capital), which in 1849 began mining operations without a treaty authorizing them to operate on Indigenous lands; and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Northern Ontario in the 1880s to link the infant Canadian state with the West and the Pacific Ocean without regard for the interests or concerns of the people of Northern Ontario, particularly the Indigenous peoples; and throughout the 20th century when foreign monopolies like Inco and Falconbridge (now Vale and Glencore) extracted hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth. The promise that this wealth would "trickle down" to the people of the North never materialized and the cost to the health of miners and to the natural environment has been enormous.

Doug Ford and Frank Smeenk promise more of the same at an accelerated pace. They are encouraging the further integration of Canadian mineral resources into the U.S. war machine. In this, they are echoing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who pleaded, successfully, for an exemption to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum on the grounds that the Canadian steel and aluminum industries constitute part of U.S. national security interests and Fortress North America. Construction of the ferrochrome refinery on U.S. soil to process Canadian chromite greatly reduces the possibility of a strategically important metal going to China, and provides a secure source of chromium, a key war commodity, to the U.S. war machine, which has no other source of chromium in the Americas.

There is absolutely no mention of Ford planning to consult with Indigenous peoples in the region or to respect their wishes. He wants to get on with developing the Ring of Fire "immediately." He wants to "cut all the red tape, the bureaucracy, and get shovels in the ground." We can conclude that Doug Ford would be a premier who will run roughshod over the rights of Indigenous peoples without taking the time to consult and accommodate because the private interests he represents want to speed up the process of their expropriation. He has no regard for the right of Indigenous communities to free, prior and informed consent, grounded in international law, in respect of decisions affecting their homelands.

The decision on whether and how to proceed with the development of the Ring of Fire belongs to the people of Ontario on the basis of their right to be informed about how decisions affect the people of the North, both the Indigenous peoples and the peoples from all lands who have come to live and work in the North. An extremely important part of those decisions is how to develop the Ring of Fire resources to benefit the people of the North and their social and natural environment. Clearly, exporting chromite concentrate (the least processed form which can be economically transported) for refining in the U.S. does little to foster the economic development of Northern Ontario or the rest of the province. The main potential value in a resource is in its refining and in the manufacture of finished goods. Export of chromite concentrate adds very little to the economy of Ontario or Canada while it opens up the North to environmental degradation and the disruption of traditional ways of life.

Our Resources Stay Here!

(With files from TML Weekly, Sudbury Star, Sault Star and SooToday)

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Ring of Fire Chromite-Nickel Deposits

Click to enlarge (M. Lehan)

The rich and their political representatives continue to covet the "Ring of Fire" chromite-nickel deposits in Northern Ontario. The Ring of Fire is said to possess more than $100 billion in mineral resources. The cartel parties vying for election in Ontario see this as a huge bonanza, an opportunity for Ontario to get out of crisis. A chromite refinery was to be built north of Capreol, in the City of Greater Sudbury, and Sudbury-based mining supply companies would use the development of the Ring of Fire as part of their expansion in the global mining industry.

The development of an inorganic resource such as chromite -- from extraction to processing to its manufacture into finished goods -- can only take place once. Finished products can be recycled but this will not assist to develop a long-term viable industry in the region if the products are exported and recycled elsewhere. An inorganic resource is limited and once exported cannot support further generations of workers. This is unlike the development of organic resources such as forests, farms and fisheries. In the case of those endeavours, with careful husbandry, crops can be taken year after year, and an economic base can be developed that will support generations.

The fact that mineral ores can only be developed once means that it is vital for the Ring of Fire to be developed right, and not necessarily quickly, if the people of Northern Ontario are to reap any economic benefit from the development.

First, none of the parties that are so eager to develop the Ring of Fire mention that chromium is a strategic materiel and that the development of the Ring of Fire serves the interests of the U.S. war machine. Chromium is vital in producing stainless steel and superalloys which have significant military applications, including armour and jet engines. There is no commercially viable source of chromium in the Americas and the main producing countries (Kazakhstan, India and Zimbabwe) are not securely in the U.S. zone of control. The establishment of a large-scale chromium production facility in the Ring of Fire and Northern Ontario solves this supply problem for the U.S. imperialists and facilitates their ability to wage a protracted war.

The alternative is to develop the Ring of Fire in the service of civilian production to meet the material needs of people in the course of their daily lives.

Second, the lands on which the Ring of Fire lie and the lands needed to access these mineral riches are the traditional territories of several Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous peoples in this part of Northern Ontario are isolated and suffer numerous social and economic difficulties as the old traditional economic base and social structure has been displaced. The mineral riches of the Ring of Fire provide an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to find a path to economic renewal but their rights must be respected. There can be no legitimate economic development of the Ring of Fire without the informed consent of the Indigenous peoples of the area. This includes the right of the Indigenous peoples to veto the development if they do not believe that it is in their interests.

Third, the Ring of Fire must be developed in harmony with the natural environment. The development of the Ring of Fire opens up access to a huge area totalling half of the landmass of the province. This land consists of sub-arctic tundra transitioning to pine forests. It is environmentally sensitive and the construction of mines and transportation facilities, as well as the release of oil and chemicals, constitute a long-term risk to the environment.

Fourth, the workers of Northern Ontario, especially those in the small towns and isolated communities in which so much of this economic activity will take place must also have their rights and interests protected. This not only includes establishing Canadian standard wages, benefits, pensions and health, education and social services but also finding ways to ensure the long-term viability of these communities once the Ring of Fire is played out. This necessitates long-term planning to ensure that some of the benefits arising from the Ring of Fire are used to establish new, sustainable industries in the area that will support the population.

In order for the people of Northern Ontario to ensure that the Ring of Fire is developed in the interests of the people of Northern Ontario, Canada and indeed the world, the people of Northern Ontario must become the decision-makers.

(TML archives)

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Coming Events

Ontario Elections

The Role Workers Are Playing to Empower
Themselves in the Upcoming Ontario Election

Sunday, April 22 -- 1:00-4:00 pm
Organized by Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L), for information 416-253-4475

Speakout on Matters
of Concern in Ontario Election
Thursday, May 17 -- 5:00 pm
Painswick Branch, Barrie Library -- 48 Dean Ave.
Hosted by the Barrie District Injured Workers' Group

May Day


Speaking for Ourselves -- Annual Workers' Roundtable

Sunday, April 29 -- 10:00 am-4:00 pm
547 Victoria Ave
Hosted by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation District 9,
and Greater Essex Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Rally and March
Tuesday, May 1 -- 5:30 pm
City Hall Square

It Is Time to Put Workers First in CCAA Law -- Rally
Tuesday, May 1 -- 3:30 pm
Federal Building, 55 Bay St. N.

May Day Project (Bill Good and Friends)
Tuesday, May 1 -- 5:00 pm
Play at This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N.
Local 1005 MANA Workers have been locked out for five years

For information: uswa1005.ca

Street Festival

Tuesday, May 1 -- 1:00-2:30 pm
Pearson International Airport -- Terminal One Departures Level
Organized by Toronto Airport Workers' Council

2018 Justice Bike Ride
Organized by Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups

Elliott Lake

Welcome Reception
Friday, May 25 -- 7:00-9:00 pm
Lester B. Pearson Civic Theatre

Jim Hobbs Memorial Ride & Presentation
Saturday, May 26 -- 7:00 am-3:00 pm
Ride from Elliot Lake Miners' Memorial Park on Highway 108 North
to Massey and District Arena, 455 Government

For information on all Justice Bike Ride events click here.

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Earth Day 2018

All Out to Humanize the Natural
and Social Environment!

On Earth Day, the world comes together to demand that proper attention be paid to Mother Earth. Measures must be taken to overcome the destructive effects of climate change and end destructive practices of the monopolies such as clear cutting, abusive mining practices, contamination of lakes and oceans, the privatization of water and all the other abuses which are increasing as a result of neo-liberal anti-social and anti-national agendas.

The urgent need is to reverse this alarming destructive trend. It can be done by restricting and depriving the monopolies and the governments in their service of their ability to pollute, destroy, super-exploit, trample on the sovereign rights of Indigenous peoples and wage war for self-serving aims. The working people must unite people from all walks of life to become an organized force which takes stands in defence of the rights of all. To make sure the working people do not become an organized force, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will guarantee Kinder Morgan's investment to remove the "legal uncertainty" it says it faces. He declared that guaranteeing foreign investments in Canada is a matter of national interest and that his government will "balance" the environment and the economy. All of it serves to make sure the people cannot organize effective resistance to the private interests that show no concern for the environment, the rights of Indigenous peoples and the people's right to decide.

 The "balance" the Prime Minister talks about is smoke and mirrors because the interests of the natural environment can only be protected by the people, not private interests. The natural and social environment cannot live in harmony without opposing government pay-the-rich schemes.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) opposes the use of the serious issues of the environment and the economy to justify expropriating the Indigenous peoples and going against the expressed desire of the people on projects such as Kinder Morgan, especially when it is done in the name of "national interest." This association is to make sure the people play no role in determining the decisions which affect them and so that the issue of climate change is also not sorted out in favour of humanizing both the natural and social environments. There is no Chinese Wall between the interests of the environment and the economy but they cannot be harmonized by continuing the expropriation of the Indigenous peoples who are the stewards and protectors of Turtle Island and holders of sovereign rights to this vast land. The Indigenous peoples have never relinquished their sovereign hereditary rights and bravely continue to defend Turtle Island from the indignities of colonial pillage and ruin. On Earth Day let everyone demand that governments enter into new arrangements that honour Indigenous peoples' sovereign rights to the land of their ancestors.

Mother Earth is one of the two pillars of all social wealth, the other being the work of working people. Modern society cannot be built without consciously upholding the dignity of both. Harming either Mother Earth, working people or Indigenous peoples leads to the ruin of society.

To uphold the dignity of Mother Earth means to bring social consciousness to the fore within the socialized economy. Activating the human factor/social consciousness to negate the anti-human factor/anti-consciousness is the order of the day. Only if working people themselves have a say-so and control over the production and distribution of social product can the serious problems facing Mother Earth and our societies be provided with solutions.

A significant act on Earth Day is also to denounce the U.S.-led wars of aggression and occupation, and the U.S. war industry which is the biggest polluter in the world. Denounce the Canadian ruling elite which has deployed the men and women of Canada's military to participate in the U.S. wars of occupation and NATO and UN missions carried out in the name of peace and peace-keeping.

The federal and provincial governments, no matter what party is in power, have shown that they fully identify with the narrow stance of private interests and the demands of the war government in the United States. To serve these interests and speak about concern for the environment in the same breath is absurd. It means that concern for environmental degradation and ruination of Mother Earth must be consciously expanded into a movement to empower the working people, to put them in the forefront of all economic, political and social decision-making.

CPC(M-L) supports all the actions of the working class, people and Indigenous peoples which restrict the monopolies in their claims and in their ruinous activities. The secret agenda of the monopolies and governments in their service in the socialized economy and for war must cease. Everything regarding the socialized economy must be public and exposed for all to see and evaluate. Working people must persist in stating their concerns and demands which is the first step to establishing a real hold on political and economic power so they can bring to the fore the human factor/social consciousness and lead the movement to humanize the social and natural environments.

The people must become the decision-makers and set the direction of the economy in a manner that protects the environment and affirms the right to be of the peoples of the entire world.

Humanize the Natural and Social Environment!

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Opposition to Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project

No Consent -- No Pipeline!

Protesters block the gates of Kinder Morgan's Burnaby Mountain facility, March 17, 2018.

Kinder Morgan, the biggest pipeline monopoly in the U.S., announced on February 8 a halt of all non-essential work on the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline project from the Alberta oil fields to Vancouver. The company said legal uncertainty surrounding the project posed an unacceptable risk to investors.

Within days, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government would do whatever was necessary for construction to proceed this summer, including possible financial support. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley added that her government was looking into purchasing the pipeline, which would mean paying off Kinder Morgan. The two governments are engaged in secret negotiations with company executives.

The Trudeau and Notley governments declare the pipeline will be built despite the determined opposition and lack of consent from broad sections of the people especially in the lower BC mainland, among those concerned with the natural environment, many affected Indigenous peoples and BC municipalities, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the BC government. The federal and Alberta governments claim they are defending the "rule of law" and the existing "constitutional arrangements," and that the pipeline is both in the national interest and crucial for the Canadian economy.

No one doubts that governments can and do act to impose the will of the global financial/industrial cartels against the public interest. The will and private interests of the financial oligarchy have become in Trudeau's words the "national interest" to negate the public interest, and for the federal and Alberta governments what is good for the energy cartels is good for the economy.

The executive police powers of the state represent the conception of national interest Trudeau advocates. These police powers are mobilized to criminalize the opposition to the schemes of the financial oligarchy. Already over 200 arrests of people protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline have occurred with hundreds and possibly thousands more expected if construction proceeds without the consent of the people. With the strident words coming from the federal and Alberta governments and the unleashing of police powers, an  issue that should belong to the polity to decide has been turned into a matter of law and order and the criminalizing of those who refuse to submit, including two elected members of Parliament.

In this case, the federal and Alberta governments are going all out to inflame passions, set the people against each other and create a level of hysteria of the kind usually associated with acts of war and aggression. This includes accusations against the BC government that it opposes the "rule of law" because it announced the pursuit of a legal reference from the BC Court of Appeal regarding its provincial authority to restrict economic activity if it fails to meet environmental conditions established by the province. In this regard, the BC government has already received the vocal support of the government of Quebec. One commentator in the mass media now says the Kinder Morgan pipeline issue has created a crisis of federalism of the same proportion as the Meech Lake Accord constitutional crisis in 1987. This ignores that much has changed in Canada and the world since that time. The competition over power by the global imperialist cartels has increased immensely under the neo-liberal anti-social offensive and imposition of free trade under the domination of the financial oligarchy.

The contradictions within Canada and the world have become a clash of authorities representing private interests, a clash of police powers. No role is accorded to the United Nations or federal, provincial and municipal jurisdictions or anything for that matter, such as school boards, that may or may not interfere with the most powerful private interests and their financial/industrial/military cartels that own and control the Canadian and global economy within the U.S. imperialist system of states.

In this instance when Trudeau speaks of the national interest or Premier Notley cries out that the sky will fall without the pipeline, they are announcing their intention to use the state treasury to guarantee Kinder Morgan's investment and to use police powers to enforce the will of the powerful private interests without the consent of the people.

The authorities seek to negate the human factor and its social consciousness of its right to decide and control those affairs affecting the people, their economy and Mother Earth. This negation cannot and will not be accepted. The consent of the governed is required in all instances and that consent must not and cannot be coerced with police powers and disinformation. The people will stand firm in defence of their right to decide. 

(Photos: Coast Protectors, R. Rowland, C. Latimer)

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Who Decides? The People Decide!

Protest at Kinder Morgan Burnaby tank farm, April 7, 2018.

The Indigenous peoples and people of British Colombia have not given their consent to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and shipment of bitumen in tankers through the Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea. The organized workers' movement in Alberta has long taken the stand of opposing the shipment of raw resources such as bitumen and dilbit out of the province, as that is no way to develop an economy. However, now that Alberta has an NDP government doing the bidding of big oil, huge pressure has been exerted on the workers to remain silent, while they continue to be excluded from all decision-making about the economy. This cannot be considered consent with the present direction of the economy.

The Trudeau government claims it conducted an extensive and "robust" review of the pipeline, fulfilling its duties to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples. It also suggests that actions by provincial or municipal governments requiring Kinder Morgan to comply with provincial law or municipal bylaws prior to construction are infringing on federal jurisdiction.

The Trans Mountain Project has not received free, prior and informed consent from the Indigenous peoples affected by the project which is taking place on their unceded lands with many rejecting the pipeline outright especially in the Lower Mainland. Many in the interior have accepted a financial payment for use of their territory if the pipeline is built but this does not constitute consent. All this is a clear violation of international law, as well as decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada requiring full prior consultation and accommodation. It denies the right of the Indigenous peoples to govern themselves and decide what takes place on their territories according to their own law, and violates the principles of nation-to-nation relations.

Heavily redacted memos released through a Freedom of Information request show that department officials informed Minister of Energy and Resources Jim Carr prior to the pipeline's approval that 59 of the 114 Indigenous groups affected by the pipeline needed more time for adequate consultations. Civil servants also informed Carr that the government would face criticism for giving Indigenous peoples only two weeks to revise and provide comments on a massive report on the consultations that had taken place.[1] The memos show that the government ignored the warnings of its officials that a hasty approval was not going to fly.

Instead of bringing itself into conformity with its legal obligations, the Trudeau government then established a Ministerial Panel in May 2016, tasked with engaging with local communities and Indigenous peoples and a mandate to "identify gaps and/or issues of concern of which the Government should be aware before deciding the fate of the pipeline proposal." The Ministerial Panel was given extremely short time lines to conduct its work, which resulted in short or no notice of hearings, failure to notify Indigenous peoples, and failure to hold hearings in some communities impacted by the project.

Sham public consultation on Kinder Morgan pipeline denounced in Victoria, August 23, 2016.

In spite of the impediments, some 2,400 Canadians attended the public meetings, 650 people made direct presentations, and 35,259 people responded to an online questionnaire. The Report of the Ministerial Panel was delivered on November 2, 2016 and provided detailed information of the concrete concerns and unanswered questions brought forward by participants. The Panel in their Report noted, "The issues raised by the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal are among the most controversial in the country, perhaps in the world, today: the rights of Indigenous peoples, the future of fossil fuel development in the face of climate change, and the health of a marine environment already burdened by a century of cumulative effects."[2]

The government has given no indication that it paid the slightest attention to the Panel's Report or addressed any of the concerns raised. On November 29, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that he had given approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The decision has been challenged by seven Indigenous peoples, the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, as well as two environmental groups. The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Stk'emlupsemc Te Secwepemc and Sto:lo have challenged the decision on the basis that the government failed to properly consult with their individual nations before approving the expansion. The challenge was heard in October 2017, but the court has not yet made a decision.

In 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the government had failed to properly consult Indigenous peoples affected by the Northern Gateway pipeline.[3] The government had the option to return to the table, but instead declared Northern Gateway dead while throwing its support behind Trans Mountain.

More recently, the government of BC has said it is proceeding with a reference to the BC Court of Appeal for a legal judgement on provincial jurisdiction with regard to Trans Mountain and environmental concerns. Trudeau as well as his Finance Minister Bill Morneau have said they will not ask the Supreme Court for a reference, a route that many commentators have argued would bring the quickest legal decision.

With or without any action by the BC government, "uncertainty" about the project -- in the face of the failure to respect Indigenous rights and broad opposition by the people of BC -- is not going away. In addition, the permitting process is a complex one, and includes the need for consultations with Indigenous peoples.[4] This raises the question of what Kinder Morgan is up to. It appears to many that it has seized on an opportunity to enrich itself through blackmail using the desperation of the Notley government, which has convinced itself that its re-election stands or falls on whether it can get this pipeline built, and the compliance of the Trudeau government.

Turning real concerns of the people into a matter of law and order is not going to make the issue of Who Decides? go away. The crisis is not a dispute between the people of Alberta and BC, or the federal and provincial governments, or even one provincial government set against another. The crisis engulfs the existing political institutions and the negation of peoples' right to exercise their sovereignty and decision-making authority. Canada needs new constitutional arrangements. Canadians and Indigenous peoples are not going to agree to be marginalized and removed from the decision-making process, while governments submit to the direct rule of foreign financial/industrial cartels like Kinder Morgan and energy monopolies that demand everything serve their private interests and empire-building. This is the 21st century. To open society's path to progress, the people's demand for empowerment to decide the direction of the economy must prevail.


1. National Observer, January 22, 2018.

2. Report of the Ministerial Panel.

3. The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines was a project to build a twin pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat on the north coast of BC. The eastbound pipeline would import natural gas condensate and the westbound pipeline would export diluted bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands to the marine terminal in Kitimat.

4. By law the permits must conform with 37 conditions outlined in BC's environmental certificate and the 137 conditions detailed in the National Energy Board's approval. However, much evidence exists that the National Energy Board's record of ensuring compliance with its directives and conditions is abysmal. For example, Kinder Morgan proceeded to sign contracts to manufacture pipe, which then began even before the required permits were issued.

BC's Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Ministry reports that the project requires 1,187 provincial permits, many of which also require Indigenous consultations. BC also has a constitutional and moral obligation to fulfill its duties to consult and accommodate potentially affected Indigenous peoples before issuing provincial approvals and permits. Trans Mountain has to date submitted 587 provincial permit applications, of which 201 have been approved and 386 are under review.

(Photos: 350 Canada, J. Foy, M. Hudema)

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Canadians Stand Together with One Voice

Left to right: Squamish Nation Councillor Dustin Rivers (Khelsilem); Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of Union of BC Indian Chiefs; NDP MP Kennedy Stewart; Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan; Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer; Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of Union of BC Indian Chiefs; and Tsleil-Waututh Nation members William George and Amy George attend news conference in Vancouver, on April 16, 2018, to voice their opposition to the
expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Indigenous leaders together with representatives of the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby held a news conference on April 16 to reaffirm their continued opposition to expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said the opposition to the project is broad-based and entrenched. Grand Chief Phillip emphasized that Indigenous peoples have a constitutional and legal right to protect the health and well-being of their loved ones and if ever there was a spill of bitumen on land or water it could be catastrophic.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan told the news conference that the city is continuing to use all legal avenues available to oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Mayor Corrigan said the expansion project short circuits the legal process and civil disobedience against the pipeline will only continue to grow. The existing Kinder Morgan pipeline has already burst within Burnaby city limits causing a terrible mess and that was not bitumen but heavy oil.

Speaking later on the CBC radio program The Current, UBCIC Vice-President Chief Bob Chamberlin said the opposition to the pipeline is in part related to "recognizing the human rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada." Chief Chamberlin pointed out that the Canadian government has informed the international community that Canada unequivocally embraces the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration clearly upholds the right of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent with regard to development on their territories. The government must take an entirely new approach, and cannot pick favourites in order to divide and conquer, Chief Chamberlin said.

Indigenous leaders have repeatedly denounced the Trudeau government for refusing to recognize the right of Indigenous peoples to give or not give consent to development on their territory. The government only agrees to a fraudulent process of consultation after having already submitted to the demands of the global monopolies. This fraudulent process of consultation goes on all across the country not just with regard to the Kinder Morgan project. The government sets a bogus agenda of how and when consultation will take place, decides when its duty to consult has been fulfilled, and declares at that point it can now impose the plans of the global monopoly with impunity using police powers and criminalizing the opposition.

Fifty-nine Indigenous groups affected by the Kinder Morgan pipeline have made clear that adequate consultations have not taken place and they cannot give their informed consent. Many other Indigenous peoples along the Kinder Morgan pipeline route have accepted a financial compensation package, which they emphasize is not consent but merely to have one in place if the expansion pipeline is forced through.

The Trudeau government in the face of those insisting on their rights has already unleashed court injunctions and a massive police presence to arrest demonstrators in Burnaby and elsewhere and crush those who refuse to give their consent. This must not pass! No consent -- no pipeline!

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Cuba Holds Opening Session of Newly Elected
National Assembly of People's Power 

Congratulations to the Cuban People on
the Successful Culmination of Their
Historic Electoral Process

Constituent Session of the 9th Legislature, April 18, 2018.

On April 18, as their first act at the inaugural session of Cuba's 9th Legislature after being sworn in, 604 deputies of the National Assembly of People's Power unanimously re-elected Esteban Lazo Hernández as President, Ana María Mari Machado as Vice-President and Miriam Brito Sarroca as Secretary of the National Assembly. Following this, deputies nominated from their ranks and elected the 31-member Council of State, including its President, five Vice-Presidents and Secretary.

On April 19, on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of Cuba's historic defeat of the U.S. invasion at Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs), the president of the National Electoral Commission announced the results of the previous day's election for the Council of State and presidency of the Council of Ministers, saying that Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez had been elected President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba. Salvador Valdés Mesa was elected as First Vice-President of the Council of State and was then approved as First Vice-President of the Council of Ministers as well. Eleven of those elected to the Council of State are new members. A proposal to constitute the Council of Ministers at the next session of the National Assembly of People's Power scheduled for July was approved by the deputies. The Council of Ministers is the highest ranking executive and administrative body of the government of Cuba.

Incoming President of Cuba's Councils of State
and Ministers, Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (left), congratulated by outgoing President Raúl Castro.

In accepting the Presidency of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel said that the Cuban people, who massively participated throughout the entire electoral process begun in November 2017, were conscious of its historic importance and exercised their right as citizens by proposing, nominating and electing their representatives to the different bodies of government based on their identification with them, their merit and ability to represent their communities and social sectors and the collective interest, done without advertising campaigns subject to the power of money, politicking or fraud, corruption or demagoguery. Citizens have elected humble, hard-working people as their genuine representatives, he said, to participate in the approval and implementation of the country's policies, contributing to the consolidation of unity in Cuba.

In his speech Díaz-Canel also acknowledged the difficult situation internationally, saying it was characterized by growing threats to peace and security, wars of intervention, dangers to human survival and the unjust and exclusionary international economic order. Within this he emphasized that Cuba's foreign policy would not change, that Cuba will not make concessions where its sovereignty and independence are concerned, nor will it negotiate its principles or accept conditions being put on it. Cuba will never give in to pressures or threats, he said; the changes that are necessary will continue to be decided on a sovereign basis by the Cuban people.

The first session of the 9th Legislature closed on April 19 with a speech by outgoing president Raúl Castro. Raúl said Miguel Díaz-Canel's election as Cuba's new president was no accident, but was based on the former first vice-president's merits demonstrated over the years: his maturity, capacity to carry out work, ideological solidity and political sense, and his commitment and fidelity to the Revolution.

Raúl also used the occasion to outline some of the challenges the new National Assembly will have to address in the coming period, especially those of an economic nature due to the continuing U.S. blockade and all-round hostile policy towards Cuba. A new constitution must also be drafted, he said.  He concluded by saying that the complex international situation confirmed the validity of what Fidel said in his Political Report to the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in 1975, that as long as imperialism exists, the Party, the state and the people will have to give utmost attention to the country's defence services. Our revolutionary guard can never be let down. History eloquently teaches that those who forget this principle do not survive their mistake.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) congratulates the Cuban people on the successful culmination of this historic electoral process that marks the continuation of the Revolution and the reaffirmation of its socialist character. Thanks to the Revolution, Cubans have a leadership that is a part of them, not above them, as an expression of the people's power exercised through the National Assembly which does not split the polity between those who govern and those who are governed. This is what has allowed the Cuban people to work as one mighty force in overcoming every manner of challenge, whether posed by the hostile policy of U.S. imperialism towards the island and its people or by the destructive forces of nature.

On this momentous occasion CPC(M-L) also sends its revolutionary greetings to Comrade Raúl Castro who, as he said he would, completed his second and last term leading the state and the government. He has fulfilled his revolutionary duty with honour, especially at a time the Cuban people have suffered the loss of Fidel and continue to suffer the consequences of the criminal U.S. imperialist blockade. His leadership has clearly shown that Cuba dares to chart its own course and that the next generation of leadership is coming forward on an organized and planned basis as a result of the participation and empowerment of the people of the entire country. This gives great confidence to the Cuban people and to people the world over in the Communist Party and its decisive role in empowering the people and providing them with the consciousness and organization they need to unite around and defend their own nation-building projects.

(Cubadebate, Revista La Bohemia, Granma. Photos: Granma)

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Revolutionary Continuity, Renewal and Unity

On April 18, Cuba's newly elected National Assembly of People's Power, the island's parliament, inaugurated a new sitting of legislators, the Constituent Session of the 9th Legislature. Guided by the mandate bestowed by the people of Cuba, the National Assembly initiates a new stage in the history of the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban nation. With the election of a new president and Council of State, the revolutionary torch will be passed from the historic generation that made the Cuban Revolution to the new generations born during and within the Revolution.

The international monopoly media is awash with much malicious speculation. They fail to realize, they refuse to acknowledge and cannot accept, that it is the same Revolution, the same Party, the same legacy of Fidel, the same revolutionary people that continue on the path of independence, sovereignty, social justice, self-determination and human dignity.[1]

The Cuban Revolution is the vehicle for the realization and consummation of these historical aspirations. Cuba's system of governance provides the means by which these historical aspirations are expressed in a political consensus to defend, strengthen and perfect the revolutionary project.

Extensive democratic popular participation in decision-making is at the centre of the Cuban model of governance. Cuba's organs of government are the municipal, provincial and national assemblies of the system of Poder Popular (People's Power), whose delegates are directly elected by the Cuban electorate. These bodies are augmented by a very active and vibrant civil society. A critical aspect of the Cuban political system is the integration into political activity of the mass organizations which incorporate every sector of the people who participate in life in Cuba. No new policy or legislation can be adopted or contemplated until the appropriate organization or association representing the sector of society that would be directly affected has been consulted and involved in its elaboration.

Moreover, Cubans are not preoccupied with a mere mechanical implementation of a rigid, unchanging model. Contrary to dominant misconceptions, the Cuban political system is not a static entity. Cubans periodically renovate and renew their political system to make sure it is consistent with the needs of the times and fulfills its aim -- to empower the people.

The National Assembly is the sole body with legislative authority. The National Assembly chooses from amongst its members the Council of State, the President and Vice-Presidents, all of which are accountable to the National Assembly. The Council of State carries out the duties and responsibilities of the National Assembly when it is not in Session, such as the passage and implementation of decrees. There are also ten permanent standing commissions of the National Assembly that meet and work throughout the year, discussing and debating a wide range of topics, including, among many others, the economy, foreign investment, industry, the environment, constitutional and legal affairs, education, culture, science and technology.

The historic nature of the 9th Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power lies in its affirmation of the historical continuity and renewal of the Cuban Revolution. The deputies of the National Assembly begin this new stage firmly rooted in socialist society and guided by revolutionary principles. As Fidel expressed in his last public intervention on April 19, 2016 before the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, "We will continue on the march forward and we will perfect what we should perfect, with utmost loyalty and unity just like Martí, Maceo and Gómez, in an invincible march."

Long Live the Cuban Revolution! Long Live Cuba!


1. Comment by Cuban citizen Ventura Carballido Pupo, Cubadebate, April 17, 2018.

Isaac Saney is National Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba

(Photos: Granma)

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Celebration of 57th Anniversary of Proclamation of Socialist Character of the Cuban Revolution

57th anniversary of Fidel's proclamation of the socialist character of Cuba's Revolution
celebrated in Havana, April 16, 2018.

On April 16, the victory of the defeat of the U.S.-led invasion of Cuban mercenaries at Playa Giron, the Bay of Pigs, was celebrated in a political and cultural event held at the historic corner of 23rd and 12th Streets in the Vedado neighbourhood of Havana where, 57 years earlier, Fidel Castro proclaimed the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution.

On April 15, 1961, as a prelude to the CIA-organized invasion of Playa Giron, camouflaged U.S. planes bombed three Cuban airfields, killing seven people and injuring more than 50 others. The next day Fidel addressed a crowd of militia fighters with rifles in hand, ready to combat the invasion they knew was coming, and that they would put down in less than 72 hours.

Fidel addressing militia fighters in Havana on the eve of Bay of Pigs Invasion, when he
proclaimed the socialist character of Cuba's revolution, April 16, 1961.

In his historic speech April 16, 1961, three days before handing the U.S. its first major defeat in Latin America at Playa Giron, Fidel declared to those gathered and the world: "Compañeros workers and peasants, this is the socialist and democratic revolution of the humble, with the humble and for the humble and for this revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble we are determined to give our lives."

This sentiment was militantly reaffirmed by those who came out to celebrate the anniversary this year, just days before the opening of the new National Assembly of People's Power and the election to replace outgoing President of Cuba's Councils of State and Ministers, Raúl Castro Ruz.

Mailin Alberti, First Secretary of Havana Provincial Committee of the Communist Youth Union.

Left: Mirtha Brossard, President of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students who defended Cuba's dignity at Summit of the Americas in Lima. Right: Retired Captain Jorge Ortega Delgado speaking on behalf of militia fighters who courageously fought off U.S.-organized mercenary invaders at Playa Giron.

(Photos: Granma, Cuba Debate)

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"El Ultimo Mambí," a Song for Raúl

Singer-songwriter and newly-elected deputy in Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power, Raúl Torres, has composed a song, "El Ultimo Mambí," in tribute to outgoing Cuban President Raúl Castro. The song speaks of Raúl, the General who has stopped being President, but does not abandon the Cuban people, guiding now from his responsibility as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba the most important political decisions of the future of the Island.

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