May 4, 2019 - No. 16
to the Polity
• Together as One Humanity Take Action
Against Human Trafficking
• Status for
All Migrant and Temporary Workers in Canada!
Participation in Human Trafficking!
- Philip Fernandez -
• Reject Attempts to Blame the Peoples for the
Global Migration Crisis
- Diane Johnston -
Nature of Recruitment of International Students
and the "International Mobility Program"
- Peggy Morton -
Opposition to State-Sanctioned
of Lawyers Opposes Coercive Measures
Seeking to Immigrate to Quebec
• Abuse of Migrant Workers in
Food Processing Sector
• The Ordeal
of Gemma Concepcion's Family
Ontario Rally Defends Public Health
Demand Ford Government Improve Not Cut
Investments in Health
Human-Centred Solutions Demanded
• Rally for
Kashechewan First Nation Demands Federal and Provincial Governments
Permanently Relocate Community
Defence of the Principle of Sovereignty of All Countries
• Cuba and
Its Friends Boldly Affirm Its Right to Be
Standing with Their Bolivarian Government and
Armed Forces Repel
Opposition Coup Attempt
- Bolivarian Government of
Vietnam Ancestral Global Day and
National Reunification Day
May Day Around the World
Actions Defend Rights and Uphold the Dignity of Labour
Trafficking in Canada
The United Nations defines human trafficking "as the
recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of
persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or
coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labour or
The International Labour Organization (ILO) reported
2016 more than 40 million people were living in conditions of
modern slavery, with the majority having been victims of human
trafficking. The report said 25 million of those workers were
providing slave labour in construction, manufacturing,
agriculture and domestic work. Another 5 million, the majority
young women and girls, were victims of sexual slavery.
Canada was one of the leading
states involved in creating the 2000 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress
and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children,
Supplementary Legislation to the Convention Against Transnational
Organized Crime, known as the Palermo Protocol, which Canada ratified
in 2004. However, when it comes to enforcement of the Protocol,
Canada is an example of how false pretenses are used to provide cheap
labour and enforce the anti-social offensive whereby the standards of
all working people are lowered. Human traffickers, known as recruiters
of labour in foreign countries, are readily accommodated. Both workers
and students are recruited by extorting large sums of money under the
hoax that they will have a chance after two years to apply for
permanent residence. This has led to hundreds of thousands of workers
being denied their basic rights as workers and human beings, as well as
deported along with their families if found to be "illegal" in any way,
mostly through no fault of their own. It also swells the ranks of
so-called undocumented workers whose conditions of life and work are
the worst. Even though Canadian laws actually facilitate human
trafficking, the government insists it is illegal and that it upholds
the rule of law.
In a report entitled Trafficking
Statistics Canada notes among other things: "By its very nature,
trafficking in persons is difficult to measure. Statistics
Canada, through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, collects
information on incidents of human trafficking violations which
come to the attention of Canadian police. These are Criminal Code offences and an
offence under the Immigration and
Protection Act which targets cross-border trafficking."
The report points out that between "2009 and 2016, there
a total of 1,220 police-reported incidents of human trafficking"
in Canada and that the number and rate of human trafficking
incidents have steadily increased since 2010. It cites as well the
Trend Database, which found that of the 1,099 police-reported
incidents of human trafficking incidents dating between 2009 and
2016, 55 per cent of the cases were reported in the years 2015 and
Between 2009 and 2016, of reported human trafficking
per cent were from Ontario, 14 per cent from Quebec, and 8 per
cent from Alberta. The other 12 per cent of cases were spread
over the rest of Canada. Statistics Canada notes that the vast
majority of trafficked persons are women.
The report underscores the fact that the vast majority
human trafficking crimes are not reported in Canada. Human
trafficking victims are made vulnerable by their very condition
and become afraid to seek help because the Canadian state
declares them illegal and without rights as humans.
Human trafficking cases are underreported with very few
convictions in Canada even though the former Harper regime called
it "one of the most heinous crimes imaginable." The Statistics
Canada report notes, "Due to challenges in prosecuting human
trafficking cases, prosecutors will often proceed with other
complementary or less serious charges. [...] This may explain the
large proportion of human trafficking cases resulting in
decisions of stayed or withdrawn."
The low rate of reporting and low conviction rate in
prosecutions shows that the entire murky system dealing with
migrant workers that the Canadian state has created is to ensure
a cheap and plentiful supply of workers for Canadian monopolies
and other businesses that profit from their work, not to speak of
the unconscionable thievery of those who directly traffic human
beings in a modern version of the global slave trade.
The Temporary Foreign
Worker Program (TFWP), through which
businesses that show a need for foreign workers are allowed to
recruit overseas, and the more than 50-year-old
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), plus other worker
recruitment programs such as those run by the provinces, have
created the conditions for human traffickers to operate with
impunity within the legal margins of these programs.
The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) has been at the
forefront of the fight in defence of immigrants and refugees for more
than 40 years. It notes in an April 2018 submission to the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on their study
of human trafficking in Canada that while some cases of human
trafficking are being prosecuted in the courts, Canada is doing very
little to protect the victims of human trafficking. The CCR states:
"Notably, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
provides no legislated protection to trafficked persons. The only
reference to trafficked persons in the legislation is the provisions in
the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which makes the
fact that a person is being trafficked a factor in favour of
The CCR also wrote in its submission that even the
Residence Permits (TPRs), which are the only tool available for
the protection of human trafficking victims who have come
forward, hardly meet the need. The CCR says, "There are very few
TPRs issued annually and they pose limitations even when issued. [...]
In the period 2011 and 2015, between 5 and 22 new TPRs were
issued per year. These numbers seem particularly low considering
that Canada has been identified as a destination country for
trafficking, and some 80,000 Temporary Foreign Workers enter
Canada every year."
Furthermore, the CCR notes that even with the few TPRs
by the government, they are not extended to family members.
In another of its reports, Evaluating Migrant Worker Rights in
Canada, the CCR in 2018 highlights the role Canada plays in
creating the conditions for the displacement of people around the
world, citing the Philippines, Guatemala and Mexico, where
Canadian private mining companies have displaced entire
communities, forcing people to look outside their countries for a
livelihood and therefore becoming vulnerable to human
trafficking. The CCR also cites Canada's trade agreements, such as
NAFTA which has been responsible for forcing Mexican farmers,
whose livelihoods have been destroyed, to seek work in Canada as
migrant agricultural workers and thus become targets of human
Canada's participation in wars of aggression,
economic blockades, sanctions and other acts of interference in
the internal affairs of countries, such as it is doing right now
to organize a coup and regime change in Venezuela, has
contributed to a large number of people becoming refugees and
migrants. The UN pointed out in a report in 2018 that the
refugee crisis internationally has made entire populations
vulnerable to human trafficking, which generates a criminal
profit of approximately $32 billion annually.
In participating in this modern day slave trade, the
government, while shedding crocodile tears for human rights and
trafficking, has failed to address the problem. A simple proposal by
the CCR and others that migrant workers to Canada be provided some
stability and legality through an open work permit that enables them to
leave an exploitative and abusive work environment has so far been
ignored. Similarly, the government has ignored proposals by the CCR and
others to regulate the recruitment of migrant workers to ensure that
their rights are protected and, given that migrant workers are needed
to perform work in Canada, they should be granted immigrant status to
permanently settle, if they wish.
The Trudeau government, when it came to power in 2015
said it would act to stop human trafficking, but has not done so, just
as it has failed to resolve the serious issue of murdered and missing
Indigenous women many of whom are also victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking and the plight of refugees and migrant
workers who are victims of this and other crimes are a problem
confronting Canadian society. Refugees and migrant workers, including
victims of human trafficking, belong to our one humanity and, more
precisely, our one Canadian working class. This working class -- by
mobilizing its independent thinking, organization and numbers -- must
seriously step up the work in defence of the rights of all. While it is
the working people who are blamed for being anti-immigrant and
xenophobic, in fact it is narrow private interests that are traffickers
of human beings who are "anti-immigrant." They blame the people to
divide the people's resistance struggle to the anti-social offensive,
while they change citizenship and immigration laws to facilitate the
importation of temporary foreign workers, many of whom have to pay
enormous sums to so-called recruiters to acquire work permits under the
hoax that when their term is finished they can apply for permanent
residence. Others in Canada on temporary work permits are exploited to
the bone and have no access to services because their status is made
semi-illegal at the best of times, such as when they are forced to work
with borrowed names and social insurance numbers on pain of deportation
if they do not accept. The movement to defend the rights of all seeks
to put an end to this system of modern day slavery not only in Canada
but by taking action here to contribute to resolving the problem
The government must be held to account for its role in
creating a temporary foreign worker regime that employers use to
provide cheap workers for themselves. Through this and other programs
that deprive temporary workers of their rights, the government also
enables private agencies to profit from recruiting and often outright
robbing the foreign workers they traffic to employers.
The unjust treatment of
migrant workers shows that Justin Trudeau's claim to champion the cause
of women's rights is also bogus in practice. The Trudeau government has
not sorted out the trafficking and killing of Indigenous women and
girls. Likewise it does not protect and defend the rights of temporary
foreign workers, the majority of whom are women.
people demand justice and a guarantee of the rights of all. The
state-organized deportation of the Concepcion family on January 27 (see
below) and other attacks against migrant and foreign temporary workers,
in many cases suffering abuse from employers and human traffickers,
An example of such abuse is the criminal case recently
concluded, after six years, against Hector Mantolino, the owner and
operator of a company in Halifax. On March 1, Mantolino was sentenced
years in jail for violating the Immigration
in which 56 charges originally filed in 2013 were ultimately rolled
into one indictment. Over the years, Mantolino brought 28 workers from
the Philippines under a foreign worker program. He was found to have
underpaid his workers and exploited them. The case revealed that he
threatened workers and told them that if they complained about their
situation to others then the Canadian government would deport them back
to the Philippines. Documents estimate that Mantolino paid them at
least $500,000 less than their total reported salaries. According to
local media, one of these workers, Liza Alcantara, was told by
Mantolino that "she would have to pay Mantolino $2,000 for air fare and
$100 a month for her rent. Alcantara said she was also told that her
real salary would be $500 for 134 hours worked ($3.75 per hour) with
only $5 for overtime."
The government takes no responsibility for contributing
to and parasitizing off of the situation of an economically depressed
and oppressed Philippines. Colonial plunder and control have left the
Philippines destitute and severely underdeveloped, forcing some 12
million Filipinos to leave their homeland and live abroad seeking a
better life for themselves and their families.
Filipino workers who have migrated abroad collectively
contribute some $30 billion annually to the foreign-dominated
Philippines economy. ExPress Money, which many Filipino migrant
workers use to transfer funds to their families in the
Philippines, noted in 2016: "Money transfers from Filipinos
working all over the world account for at least 10 per cent of the
country's GDP, the second largest source of foreign capital after
value-added exports like electronic components, and a major
source of private consumption which in turn accounts for
75 per cent of the GDP."
Successive governments in the Philippines, including the
present Duterte regime, have done nothing to extricate the
Philippines from the U.S.-dominated imperialist system of states.
The regime actively encourages the out-migration of workers from
the Philippines, while providing no protection for them from the
abuse and thievery of unscrupulous human traffickers and foreign
regimes, such as in Canada, that facilitate this inhumanity.
An Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
backgrounder dated December 10, 2018 states, "In response to the
Syria refugee crisis and increasing movements of refugees and
migrants, the UN General Assembly in 2016 adopted the New York
Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. That declaration launched
separate processes to create two non-binding international
agreements: one for refugees (Global Compact on Refugees) and one
for migrants (the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular
The backgrounder informs that the estimated 258
international migrants worldwide represent a 49 per cent increase
compared with the number in the year 2000, and 3.3 per cent of
the world's total population.
The GCM says, "[It] seeks to reconcile tensions
international migration, including national security concerns,
human security, dignity and rights." It concludes: "The
successful negotiation of the GCM in the current global climate
related to migration and sovereignty underscores the value of
multilateral dialogue on critical global issues and the role the
UN can play in supporting a rules-based international
An attempt to give credence
to a rule of law that in practice
no longer exists has become a matter of very serious concern.
Various forces have come forward to defend liberal democratic
notions of peace, order and good government, enshrined in the
rule of law, as if this were the solution to the very serious
abuses of power we are witnessing today. However, each passing
day reveals that the system called liberal democracy is precisely
what has collapsed into the anarchy, violence and chaos that is
carrying out abuses and condoning them and has proved incapable of
developing a pro-social alternative.
Louise Arbour, a Canadian who is the UN's Special
Representative for International Migration, reports that the GCM
initiative "emerged from the intolerable sight of large numbers of
migrants losing their lives, and of a growing perception that
governments had lost control of their borders." This way of speaking is
devoid of context and gives governments which pursue the neo-liberal
anti-social offensive a way to justify these actions and use the issue
of migration to foment social division. Human trafficking today is the
consequence of creating what are called prosperous economies by
upholding so-called market economies, human rights and multi-party
systems. The rich have become richer and the poor poorer but
nonetheless the architects and promoters of this system are let off the
The loss of migrants' lives and the loss of control of
borders is not accidental but rather the double-edged sword of
imperialism. Migrants and refugees are the canaries in the mine,
victims of the neo-liberal assault on the international rule of law and
nation-building, which arose from the ashes of the great victory over
fascism in 1945 and now lie ruined from the attacks of imperialist
Except in rare examples, U.S.-led imperialism has
breached the borders of many countries to gain control over their
economies, politics and all aspects of life, including culture and
ideology. In the case of those countries that imperialism has been
unable to overwhelm, it has resorted to destruction through predatory
wars, financing of mercenaries to foster regime change, economic
sabotage, blockades and sanctions to cripple a targeted economy, such
as that of Venezuela. The attacks create refugees and an outward
migration of desperate people seeking a life as they have every right
The "estimated 258 million migrants" have become an
international reserve army of unemployed workers willing and able
to sell their capacity to work at almost any price to gain a
foothold towards a better and stable life. How convenient for the
big powers to find millions of global unemployed at a time when
their own populations of working people are shrinking because of
a falling birth rate.
Imperialism of the big powers is the force behind the
nation-wrecking agenda of unjust wars, regime change, big power
interference in other country's internal affairs, economic
sabotage, blockades and sanctions, the out-of-control pillage of
natural resources, and the instability and environmental degradation
and climate change provoked by corporate greed, beyond the reach
of any rules or regulations. The lack of control over the affairs
that affect the lives of working people is the challenge they
face and which they must organize to change.
The financial oligarchy deals with migration in the most
self-serving way possible, namely, to blame migrants for their plight
and divide the working people of the countries which are using these
migrants as cheap labour. It is important that working people in Canada
not fall prey to this propaganda that does not serve their interests.
The governments in these countries that serve the interests of the rich
then bemoan the fact that as human beings migrants must be provided
with the essentials of life at the standards of living the various
countries have attained. Thus, the plight of migrants and their role in
the economy is presented as the "inability of governments to control
their borders and stop the flow of migrants" because private interests
have been politicized. The old democratic forms no longer exercise
authority because the conditions they were designed to deal with have
The means used to defend what is called the national
interest in no way restores a national authority but on the contrary
turns people into categories to be criminalized. Heightened border
control and a fight against organized crime and gangs consider, as a
premise, migrants and refugees illegitimate usurpers, who must then
prove themselves worthy. The Trudeau government equates any
nation-building in opposition to imperialist control as an attack on
the peace, order and good government of the liberal democratic order.
Nonetheless, the plight of those forced into migration today compels us
to act to build the New, not to defend an order which no longer exists
and is therefore incapable of sorting out any problem in the present.
Many migrants, after a
treacherous journey they never wished to
make in the first place, end up living and working underground as
undocumented cheap workers, fearing arrest and deportation each
and every day. They suffer abuse at the hands of human
traffickers and unscrupulous employers. They work to send money
home to their families and provide a life for the next
order that has fallen apart under the aegis of
the global financial oligarchy. They are part and parcel of the great
sea of humanity which forms one working class worldwide striving to
empower itself so that it can humanize the natural and social
environment. Defending the rights of all, especially by speaking out
against the abuse of fellow human beings and against their
enslavement and plight, is to assume social responsibility and take
concrete action to take control of our own lives and nation-building.
they speak up to defend the rights of all in their own
name, and do not let others with agendas speak in their name, as is
done all too often at this time.
The number of international students in Canada has
expanded as the desperation to use them for private profit
were 572,415 international study permit
holders, up from 412,101 two years earlier in 2016. India is now the
largest source at 172,625, a dramatic increase from 76,289 in 2016.
China comes next at 142,985, up from 131,740 two years earlier,
followed by south Korea at 24,195, France at 22,745 and Vietnam at
20,330. In addition, in 2016, there were 20,679 from the United States
and 12,649 from Nigeria.
35,303 are ages 30-40 and 17,707 are
under 15 years old.
Approved institutions are now listed by name on the
Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees Canada website. This
listing follows a number of scandals where schools and
"immigration consultants" defrauded students by claiming that
their institutions qualified when they did not. Generally the
institutions that qualify include degree granting universities
and colleges, technical colleges which offer degrees, diplomas
and certifications, as well as flight schools, bible schools and
other religious institutions. Some of the universities listed are
not known or do not have recognized names. In some cases the
institutions are approved only for specific courses -- for example,
offer a flight school program that may qualify but other programs
There is an "International Mobility Program" which
open work permits rather than employer-specific work permits.
This includes the working holiday portion of International
Experience Canada, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program,
spouses/common-law partners of highly-skilled foreign workers and
international students, and certain foreign nationals who are
already in Canada waiting for the finalization of their
applications for permanent residence.
Recruitment policies of public institutions and their
interaction with human traffickers, and the growth of private
colleges and even universities that recruit international
students at exorbitant fees while working with immigration
consultants are not readily made known to the public. It is
known, however, that the level of abuse practiced is predatory
and unconscionable. "Immigration consultants" promote becoming a
student and then receiving a post-graduation work permit as a way
to achieve landed status for foreign youth and workers within the
country who have become undocumented or those whose work permits
are ending. This method is also promoted for educated people
coming to Canada for the first time and wishing to emigrate.
A study permit allows the holder to work part-time while
studying and full-time when school is not in session. The number
of international students who work while studying is not
published with the other stats, and may not even be collected, as
a study permit allows the student to work, and they do not need a
work permit until after graduation.
A post-graduation permit is only available after
from an approved institution. Many of the people find themselves
in institutions which do not in fact qualify and they are
therefore not eligible. Post-graduation employment is the largest
single category in the International Mobility Programs with
101,386 permit holders on December 31, 2016.
Post-graduation work permits are good for eight months
years, with longer times for post university degrees at three
years, and shorter programs given less time. People working under
a post-graduation permit can be "invited" to apply for landed
status or simply have to leave. They have no rights of any
1. Data tables on
study permit holders are found here.
2. The list of approved
province can be found here.
to State-Sanctioned Human
The Association des avocats et avocates en droit de
l'immigration (AQAADI) appeared before the Quebec National Assembly's
Committee on Citizen Relations on February 26, to discuss Bill 9, An
On behalf of AQAADI, immigration lawyer Guillaume
Cliche-Rivard opposed the government's planned use of coercion against
workers seeking to immigrate to Quebec, as this would place people in a
insecurity as to whether they would be able to maintain their permanent
resident status. "A foreign national becomes a permanent resident of
all of Canada, not of a city or of a profession," he stated. Rendering
permanent residency conditional based on regionalization or sectoral
labour needs would violate Article 6.2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
whereby permanent residents have the right to move to and to take up
residence anywhere in Canada, he added.
Cliche-Rivard continued, saying the same right applies
person's job. People cannot be forced to take a job or be
threatened with losing their status upon losing their job. "The
potential withdrawal of residency will affect children, families,
people who may have to leave Quebec because they no longer
respond 100 per cent to your conditions," he said.
Members of the Association des avocats et avocates en droit de
before the Quebec National Assembly's Committee on Citizen Relations.
Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette argued
prior to 2016, conditional permanent residency had existed in Quebec's
immigration law. "For a people, for a nation, it is fundamental
that it has its say with regard to immigration to Quebec.
Therefore as of the time that a person is selected, based on
Quebec criteria, obviously Quebec is able to impose certain
conditions, as is the case with the federal government when
someone is granted citizenship. And that is a choice that we make
[...] to re-introduce an article that was part of the powers of
the Quebec government."
Acknowledging nonetheless that a permanent resident
be forced to settle in a specific region, the Minister suggested
that such power could be exerted in the case of a business for a
person accepted as an immigrant-entrepreneur, forcing the person
to establish that business in various Quebec regions. The measure
"could be used to ensure that people know French," he added.
Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette before Committee.
Cliche-Rivard replied by pointing out the government's
contradictory claim that its conditions do not impose localization:
"Read your own words because that is precisely what you are saying: 'We
are placing conditions in order to ensure [...] the meeting of regional
and sectoral labour needs.' Now if that is not an imposition of
localization, then please explain to us what is meant by 'the regional
or sectoral creation of enterprises.'"
The Minister did not reply.
The AQAADI also challenged the Minister regarding the
of 18,000 applications for permanent residency. The AQAADI
has successfully obtained a temporary injunction in the Superior
Court of Quebec forcing the Minister to continue dealing with
these files. The demand requires the government to finish
handling the paper applications, involving some 4,500 files sent to the
Ministry before December 2015, as these
files are complete. It then suggests that the 3,700 internet
applications from those presently residing in Quebec be dealt
with, as these are people on a work or study permit who directly
correspond to the needs of the labour market and have already
demonstrated their capacity to integrate. Regarding the remaining
10,000 applications, pointing to the fact that there are at
present 120,000 jobs to be filled in Quebec, AQAADI proposes that
a quick evaluation be made as to how many qualify based on the
evaluation grid currently in use, last modified in August 2018.
Migrant workers and their supporters are speaking out
the dire situation these workers face when they are recruited to
come to Canada, and putting forward their demands to
Leny Simbre, Migrante Ontario Chairperson stated that
organization has three demands: "First, we seek the
implementation of a policy that will mandate all foreign
recruitment agencies to obtain a licence from Employment
Standards. Second, we demand that all employers wanting to
recruit foreign workers in Ontario be registered with Employment
Standards. Third, we demand for the Province of Ontario to
advocate to the Federal Government to provide Permanent Residency
on landing for all migrant workers coming to work in Canada."
At an April 10 press
conference in Toronto organized by
Migrante Ontario, Ontario-based migrant workers Maila Ceguerra,
Lourdes De la Pena, Jesse Veneranda and Marisol Bobadilla, spoke
out about their exploitation by recruitment agency
Link4Staff Inc. and their former employer Sharon Mushroom Farm,
and the case they have filed against the agency and the employer
at the Ontario Small Claims Court. They were joined by those
fighting for the rights of migrant workers to call on the Ontario
government to license recruiters, register employers and hold
them jointly financially liable for the fees paid by the workers
to come to Canada. They also called on the federal government to
ensure these workers receive permanent resident status on
The four migrant workers have launched a petition to
foreign recruitment agencies and employers hiring migrant
workers. To read and sign the petition, click
Since May 2018, these workers have been speaking out and
mounting legal complaints against recruitment agencies and their
employers. As a result of their organizing, Lily Miranda, a
recruiter for the firm A&L Hammer, and Laxman Marsonia, owner of
Sharon Mushroom Farm, were charged by the Canada Border Services
Agency with human trafficking and misrepresentation-related
offences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
A year later, the Ontario court ordered A&L Hammer to pay back
illegally charged recruiter fees to the migrant workers. The
recruiter Miranda has not been convicted.
Migrant workers in Ontario face a particular situation,
distinct from other provinces, because of non-enforceable provincial
laws and federal temporary immigration programs which favour
exploitation and human trafficking. Manitoba, Alberta, Nova Scotia and
British Columbia have recruiter registries which are said to create an
awareness of migrant worker employers. However, employer specific work
permits and temporary immigration streams create worker precarity,
limiting workers' ability to assert their rights and allowing for
In December 2018, TML
Weekly spoke with a trade union organizer about what monopolies
in the food processing sector are doing with the Temporary Foreign
Worker Program (TFWP).
He said that federal regulations limit
the number of foreign workers to 10 per cent of the workforce in a
given plant, a cap set by the Harper government.
He explained that monopolies in the food processing
sector use the TFWP in different ways. They develop business links
within the federal and provincial government at several levels related
to the program to establish, among other things, which country is
favoured for a particular type of employment. For example, he explained
that to find truck drivers to work in Quebec, France is a first
option because the workforce is trained and the workers come from a
developed country and are familiar with modern production. This is what
are looking for because the workers require only a minimum of training
and are ready to produce quickly. The relationship with France is
not the same as with a developing country.
Once the links are made,
the monopoly can go through recruitment agencies, which he outright
calls human smugglers. He considers this practice a form of modern
slave trading. These smugglers deal with a monopoly's offices in a
particular country to provide workers.
However, he explained, a monopoly typically establishes
networks of contacts and does its own interviews, hiring directly,
without going through agencies. In this process, there would be several
selections of candidates to come to Canada. Criteria for
selecting workers are not spelled out, he said, but they are often
linked to the racist policies of the country in question. For example,
Jamaica will send more Haitian Jamaicans than so-called old-stock
Jamaicans. The criteria will depend on the country and its conditions.
When the selection is made, the contracts are signed and the workers
are divided among the various factories of the monopoly. Generally
speaking, the contract is a two-year contract, but there may be
exceptions, he said.
He added that monopolies in this sector are lobbying
governments to lighten and deregulate the TFWP because it serves them
He explained that after a worker completes his or her
contract and returns to their country, if they are later rehired by the
company, they start from scratch without any seniority, including
wages. There may also be
provisions that permit a monopoly to lay off foreign workers if it
longer needs them, no matter the reason, whereupon they would be
subject to deportation.
He recounted some horror stories in which foreign
are outright scammed. A stipulation of TFWP is that before the
workers arrive in Canada, the monopoly must guarantee they have a
place to stay. Unscrupulous companies often house workers in
their own buildings and charge them very high rent, forcing many
live together in a single place. Unions have filed grievances
against this, but without success. He concluded by saying that much
more needs to be
made known about the conditions in which so-called foreign workers are
forced to live and work.
build a productive life for herself and her family
in Canada came crashing down at the hands of a Canadian state that can
only be characterized as inhuman. Her struggle is not unique and
relates to the imperialist control of the world, including Gemma's
native Philippines. Workers in this imperialist world are deprived of
the rights they possess by virtue of being human. Gemma's case is a
striking example of how working people must unite and organize to
deprive the ruling imperialist elite of their power to deprive people
of their rights.
imperialists and their local flunkies forced her to leave her home.
Western and Japanese imperialists have colonized and plundered the
Philippines for hundreds of years, stripping it of its social wealth
blocking it from developing a modern socialized economy of industrial
mass production under the control of Filipinos in opposition to
imperialist dictate. Canadian mining monopolies have long been directly
involved in the theft of the Philippines' mineral resources, engaging
in displacement of local people and expropriation of their lands and
natural resources, particularly the local Indigenous people, called the
Concepcion's Struggle for Her Rights as
a Worker and Human Being
$14,000, which she raised
through the sale of part of her family's land.
leaving her "undocumented."
classrooms and studios.
targeted as children of undocumented workers.
provincial affiliate of Migrante Canada.
against Gemma. In the meantime, Migrante Ontario organized fund-raisers
and public meetings to bring attention to Gemma's case.
same day, her lawyer heard the outcome of
an application made to the Supreme Court of Canada to have the
deportation order stayed was unsuccessful.
Emergency rally held in Toronto in support of the Concepcion family,
January 25, 2019.
Denial of Their Rights
Canadian authorities turn a blind eye to the
shattered lives of victims who are criminalized and deported.
Gemma is not being
assisted to have the $14,000 stolen from her returned
or to receive any benefits for the more than a decade of hard work both
she and her
husband did in Canada. Needless to say, resettling in the Philippines
will be difficult especially for the two children who have been torn
away from their school and friends.
known because various organizations stood
behind her and championed the justice of her case. Many other migrants
are just picked up, detained and deported as if they are ghosts and not
human beings with rights and historical and personal reasons for their
plight. Speaking at the January 25 rally for Gemma and her family,
pointed out that when the Liberal government was elected in 2015,
Justin Trudeau publicly stated that he was opposed to human trafficking
and pledged to do something about it. Scott called on Trudeau "to do
the right thing" in the here and now and stop the CBSA deportation
proceeding against the Concepcions, which he refused to do.
view them as disposable objects
to exploit. The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on
all Canadians to unite and work together for a new direction for the
country, where the rights of all are guaranteed without exception. We
are one humanity! The rights of all are inviolable! Organize and fight
for the New!
Ontario Rally Defends Public Health Care
Some 10,000 health care workers and people from all
of life, from cities and towns around Ontario, converged on Queen's
Park April 30 to demand the Ontario government stop its planned
draconian cuts to public health care.
Buses came from across
southern Ontario and as far away as
Ottawa, Timmins, Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. The Ontario Council
of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
alone brought 35 buses. Many took time
off work to be there.
There were contingents at the rally from health care
locals of OCHU/CUPE, the Ontario Nurses' Association, the Ontario
Public Service Employees Union, the Service Employees International
Union, Unifor and the Carpenters' Union. They
represented many fields in the sector from nurses to paramedics and
other first responders to personal support workers, along with students
in nursing and other fields. All came to make their voices heard.
They spoke of the difficult situations they already face
to understaffing and lack of funding of public health care and
affirmed their determination to prevent further cuts and
privatization and to fight to protect and expand public health
care. The health care system belongs to the people of Ontario and
we must have a say in how it is run, speakers emphasized.
Health care workers were joined by contingents of other
representing steelworkers, elementary and secondary school
teachers and education workers, postal and food workers and many others.
People who, following the last round of restructuring,
formed citizen's committees to save their local hospital services told
the crowd that they face a far bigger threat now. The Ford government
has pushed through a new law giving the government and their appointees
to the new health care super agency extraordinary powers to
restructure, cut, transfer, close and privatize health services. They
vowed to stop any new attempts to dismantle their services. A number of
the speakers were patients who spoke to their experience with and
concerns over mega-mergers and health restructuring.
The Ontario Health Coalition
gave the call for the rally and organized townhalls in a number of
cities to mobilize for it. "For the first time, more than 150,000
health professionals, nurses, support workers, doctors and tens of
thousands of patient advocates are joining together in a health action
day, unified in their deep concern that the Ford government intends
unprecedented health care privatization," the coalition said in a
Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health
Coalition stated at the rally "Doug Ford's government has no mandate to
cuts and privatization of public health care. Not a word of this
was breathed in the election." Further she said "Health care belongs to
the people of Ontario, we fund it, and we have worked in our
communities for a century to build our public hospitals and local
health services. Mr. Ford, we are demanding that you improve it
as you promised. No to cuts, privatization and mega-mergers. If
you try to close down or privatize our local health care
services, we will fight these in every community, every step of
Human-Centred Solutions Demanded for
Quebeckers fight back the flood waters.
Devastating floods have seriously affected regions of
New Brunswick and Ontario. A provisional report published by
Urgences Québec on April 28 said that in Quebec, 6,424
homes were flooded, 3,508 dwellings isolated by water and 9,522
had been evacuated. In New Brunswick, the province's Emergency
Management Organization reports that as of May 2, 518 households
(1,262 people) have registered with the Red Cross and 141
households (410 people) are being sheltered. In Ontario, while
the province itself does not appear to have released any overall
figures, federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale stated on
April 30 that about 1,600 people had been evacuated from their
homes, most of whom are from the northern Ontario Kashechewan
First Nation on James Bay (see item below).
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources map,
showing flood warnings and watches issued across the province, May 2,
(click to enlarge).
Affected areas in New Brunswick
are concentrated along the Upper St. John River in the north of
the province, and also the Lower St. John River in the south,
including Fredericton and Moncton. In Ontario, affected regions
include much of the eastern part of the province, especially the
Ottawa Valley along the Ottawa River. Quebec has been hit the
hardest, with the most affected regions being the Laurentians and
the Outaouais. Other affected regions include the Quebec City
area, Centre-du-Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches,
Estrie, Lanaudière, Laval, Mauricie, the
Montérégie and Montreal. In the Laurentians, the
number of people affected jumped due to the rupture of a dike in
Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, which flooded one-third of the
municipality. Many emergency measures are being taken by various
public services in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick to alleviate
the situation and assist the victims.
Tremendous social solidarity is being expressed by the
of these areas and from elsewhere in Canada to help the affected
populations and to limit the scope of the floods as much as
possible. This inestimable solidarity in this urgent situation
shows the character and sentiment of the people to unite and take
care of the well-being of all, demonstrating how the people unite
to face adversity.
Water levels are now starting to recede in all three
affected provinces, however the process of recovery will be arduous,
and the situation made more difficult by cynical calculations of
governments, and politicians who approach these disasters in a
self-serving manner. For example, Quebec Premier François
Legault used the tragedy in people's lives to say that asking taxpayers
to foot the bill for disaster relief is unacceptable. Once a certain
threshold of financial assistance is exceeded, he said, the victims
should move and get out of harm's way. He totally ignored the economic
circumstances of many of the victims as well as the role unscrupulous
land developers often play in building homes in areas which are flood
plains. It is known that some people have not even overcome the effects
of previous floods. Not only must everyone receive the help necessary
but measures must also be put in place to protect the shoreline
municipalities as much as possible so that they can maintain themselves.
The social solidarity, measures to protect the low-lying
communities near rivers and lakes from the effects of climate
change, disaster relief efforts and the fight against climate
change together make up an integral part of modern living that
puts the well-being of all in first place.
The Chaudière Bridge, one of five bridges connecting Gatineau to
Ottawa, has been closed since 6:00 am on April 28, 2019. The oldest and
lowest of the inter-provincial bridges, it will only be reopened once
the waters recede enough to assess damage from the high and fast-moving
Transport Canada photo of flooding in Pointe Gatineau at the confluence
of the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers.
and federal governments in 2017.
uprooted as they are
scattered to various evacuation centres across Ontario. Other speakers
expressed their profound sympathies with all those facing the flooding
in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Another underscored the urgency
of the situation, pointing to the youth, who were supposed to be in
school, who every year have their education disrupted and now have had
to travel to Ottawa to demand that the promises made to them be
respected and that they be treated with the dignity they deserve.
from melting snow is increasing. The people have to
declare a state of emergency due to spring floods and be evacuated, as
they have done every year for the past 17 years.
most vulnerable residents to other northern
communities, such as Timmins, Wawa, Smooth Rock Falls, Fort Frances,
Matachewan, and Kapuskasing, some as far south as Stratford. Typically
they are unable to return home for weeks or even as long as two months.
In 2014, it was estimated the evacuation operation cost $21 million.
This figure does not include the funds spent on the inspection,
cleaning and repair of buildings damaged in the flood.
Anglicans went to the north. In 1957, an Indian Agent arrived and
"recommended" that those on the north shore relocate themselves, closer
to the Hudson's Bay store and so that barges bringing
supplies could more easily reach them. This "recommendation" was
rejected because, as Cree elders pointed out, that "recommended"
location was the
lowest point in the area and was known to flood. The government
nonetheless began to build a settlement at this low point. Two months
later, the government sent in the RCMP to enforce the
The people of Kashechewan have faced the danger
of spring floods ever since.
2017, the government of Canada, the government of Ontario and
Kashechewan First Nation signed a framework agreement for relocation of
the First Nation Community, to move them up river. A majority of the
community had voted in favour of such an agreement before it was
signed. According to a press release issued on the day of the
agreement, "the tripartite agreement commits the parties to the
development of an action plan to support the short-, medium- and
long-term sustainability of the community, with a focus on improving
outcomes in priority areas including housing, socio-economic
sustainability, health programs and facilities, infrastructure
development, and schools and community facilities.
on the progress made
under this Framework Agreement."
saying that the
federal government is working to secure the land from the Ontario
provincial government. Once that task is complete, a road into the site
will have to be built and a survey of the land completed. That will be
followed by a consultation period, during which plans for the new town
will be drawn up.
have to be displaced year in and year out as a result of the
flooding and the location that community currently is in." No actual
information on that plan has been forthcoming.
can be the result of flooding.
Meanwhile, to say the youth are having their education disrupted by the
spring floods is a severe understatement. Faced with the impoverishment
and hopelessness imposed on them by Canada's colonial relations with
the First Nations, youth in Kashechewan, like other Indigenous youth
across the country, often resort to suicide to escape their pain.
to account for this criminal negligence.
and Mail, November 4, 2005.
Answers on a Troubled Reserve,
Alexandra Shimo, Dundurn Press (Toronto, 2016).
Defence of the Principle of Sovereignty
of All Countries
As the U.S. government steps up its irrational attempt
to isolate and suffocate Cuba, the revolutionary Cuban people and their
friends from around the world rallied on the occasion of May Day to
affirm that no matter what, Cuba is not alone, and the U.S. will never
achieve its reactionary aim. This militant stand by the Cuban people
and the fraternal support of the peoples of the world is more important
than ever as the U.S. imperialists unleash a new campaign of hostility
against Cuba and Venezuela.
The highlight of May Day was the iconic million-strong
convergence and march to Revolution Square in Havana, as well as the
May Day marches along central avenues and plazas across the country.
The marches reaffirmed workers' support for the socialist character of
the Revolution, agreements reached at the 21st Congress of the
Federation of Cuban Workers, as well as the new Constitution proclaimed
on April 10 before the National Assembly of People's Power. Also
celebrated this year is the 500th anniversary of Cuba’s capital Havana.
Across the country, health care contingents led marches
in recognition of the results they achieved in 2018, including an
infant mortality rate of 4.0 per 1,000 live births, revitalization of
the family doctor program with a return to its foundational concepts,
and a life expectancy of close to 80 years. Included in these
contingents were the nearly 8,000 medical professionals who served in
the Brazilian Mas Médicos program until they had to return home
after being attacked by President Jair Bolsonaro. Bringing up the rear
of the contingents were professors and students from medical schools,
including the Latin American School of Medicine that trains so many
youth from other countries.
Santiago Badía González, Secretary General
of the National
Union of Health Workers, explained to Granma
May Day is a workers' celebration and that health care contingents
and other workers "are going to march in defence of our
achievements, as a reaffirmation of socialism, and support for
the historic leaders of the Revolution and President Miguel
21st Congress of Federation of Cuban Workers
Session of 21st Congress of Federation of Cuban Workers, April 23, 2019.
In the days leading up to May Day, representatives from
than 16 countries and some 30 organizations with ties to the
Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) participated in activities
leading up to May Day and the 21st Congress of the Cuban trade
union movement in Havana from April 20 to 24. In addition to
listening to the discussion of labour issues and concerns, they
completed a full schedule, including visits to production
facilities to interact directly with workers.
CTC Secretary General of the Ulises Guilarte
(second from left) and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel next to
him, at the CTC Congress, April 22, 2019.
"Our main objective is to bring people to see how we are
developing the country and the circumstances in which we are doing it.
We hope they pass along what they have learned, because news about Cuba
is scarce and what is published is against the Revolution," Secretary
General of the CTC, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento told the press.
He added that the main goal is to show how workers
union rights and that visitors freely roam the streets, listening
to Cubans' opinions. "We want them to see the damage caused by
the criminal economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed
by the United States, mainly in the shortages the population
faces and the lack of resources."
Guilarte, also a member of the Communist Party of Cuba
Political Bureau, noted that every year, solidarity groups around the
world organize actions in support of Cuba, demanding that their
governments vote for an end to the blockade in the United Nations
General Assembly, given the impact suffered by the Cuban people in
terms of supplies, means of production, raw materials, and spare parts.
He noted that recently the tone used by interventionist
President Donald Trump has risen, with new sanctions imposed on
governments seeking to build anti-capitalist societies. He mentioned
the sanctions announced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on 34 vessels
owned or operated by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA that
transports oil to Cuba, as well as two additional companies.
Guilarte said the CTC Congress succeeded in generating
to improve efficiency, the indispensable basis of economic
progress in Cuba. He highlighted the official statement issued by
delegates in solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution in
Venezuela, with all peoples around the world fighting just
causes, for peace, independence, sovereignty and against the
neo-liberal and discriminatory policies imposed by the U.S.
World Solidarity Meeting
On May 2 at the Palace of Conventions in Cuba, more than
1,000 activists from Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa,
Asia, the U.S. and Canada converged for the World Solidarity Meeting
Ulises Guilarte, Secretary General of the CTC, in his
remarks to the gathering said that coming to Cuba in these times
is a test of courage and political commitment, noting that some
had "violated" the extra-territorial laws of the U.S. blockade to
be there. He highlighted the interventionist actions of the U.S.
government and the intensification of the economic, commercial
and financial blockade against Cuba, with the enforcement of
Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. He stressed the
importance of maintaining and defending "our social projects and
not bend to the orders of the empire."
During the meeting, which
this year was directed against war and for world peace, Guilarte
reiterated Cuba's steadfast solidarity with Venezuela, while demanding
the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da
Venezuela's Ambassador to Cuba Adán Chávez
affirmed that in spite U.S. interference in his country, Venezuelans
have resisted and will continue to resist.
Fernando Gonzalez, President of the Cuban Institute of
Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), stressed the importance of
activists who organize international solidarity with Cuba, and that
Cuba is relying on these friends during the current circumstances. He
also invited those present to take part in the Hemispheric
Anti-imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and Against
Neo-Liberalism in November in Havana, that will call on solidarity
movements, trade unionists, youth, and students, as well as all sectors
committed to blocking reaction and retrogression in the region.
The international delegations shared their just demands
social justice and spoke out against the U.S.-led aggression
against Venezuela, and media campaigns designed to undermine the
Sandinista government of Nicaragua. They also expressed
solidarity with Argentine trade unions in their fight against
neo-liberalism, and called for the freedom of former Brazilian
President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva.
May 1, 2019 rally in Caracas, Venezuela.
On May 1, it was reported that hundreds of thousands of
Venezuelan workers and supporters of the Bolivarian revolution
filled the streets of cities around the country in what is
reported to have been one of the country's biggest mobilizations
in years. May Day took on extra meaning this year coming just one
day after the people's forces played a decisive role in repelling
the latest attempt by foreign-backed opposition forces to
overthrow the country's constitutional government, coming out in
their tens of thousands to surround the presidential palace and
seat of the Bolivarian government as soon as news broke that a
coup attempt with the involvement of military forces was
In the early hours of April 30 the opposition leader and
self-proclaimed "president" Juan Guaidó sent out a message
calling his supporters into the streets, making it sound like a
significant section of Venezuela's military had switched sides
and taken over a military base in Caracas. But the truth was
something else. Except for a very small number of officers who
broke ranks, the Bolivarian Armed Forces stood firm in defence of
the constitution and remained loyal to their Commander-in-Chief,
President Nicolás Maduro. What's more, the handful of senior
officers involved in organizing the mutiny lied to their
subordinates to trick them into taking part in their treasonous
mission, claiming it was for a different, legitimate purpose.
When it became clear to those being manipulated what they would
be part of, the vast majority wanted nothing to do with it, and
took off. One National Guard member was filmed testifying about
what had taken place and who put them up to it.
The response of the working people to the treachery that
unfolded on April 30 was swift and decisive. They rose to
repudiate the coup forces and their foreign sponsors by
surrounding Miraflores Palace, determined to defend the right of
all Venezuelans to live in peace, as a sovereign and independent
people, free to elect governments of their choosing and to chart
their own course without bowing to imperialist threats and
In response to attempted coup April 30, 2019, working people surround
The only liberation that ended up taking place as part
of "Operation Freedom" as the coup attempt was called, was that of
Leopoldo López, Juan Guaidó's mentor and leader of the
Popular Will party that both belong to, who was sprung from house
arrest, allegedly with the help of turncoat officers of the National
Within a few hours of being summoned to the streets, a
crowd of opposition supporters that gathered in an affluent area
of Caracas had dispersed, being blocked from marching on
Miraflores to confront government supporters and security forces
By early afternoon a handful
of renegade armed forces
a few opposition politicians and a couple of hundred vandals
commanded by López and Guaidó, having seized control of
found themselves alone and cut off on the overpass of a freeway,
some firing weapons, others hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails
at the nearby military base before scurrying off to save their
skins. The escaped convict López first headed for the Chilean
Embassy then to the residence of the Spanish ambassador where he
and his family remain as "guests." Twenty-five members of the
military took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy.
Despite the debacle he presided over on April 30,
called on his supporters to rally in the streets again on May 1
and every day after that to continue with the "final phase" of
"Operation Freedom" saying they should stage rolling strikes
building to an eventual general strike. While an opposition
counter-demonstration to the massive Workers' Day march led by
President Maduro did take place on May 1, it was reported by
observers to have fallen far short of being the "largest march in
Venezuela's history" that Guaidó called for.
What the call for ongoing opposition street actions
signals, despite the rhetoric of Guaidó and those he takes
direction from about a "peaceful transition," is that the foreign
and domestic oligarchs behind the cruel hybrid war being waged
against the Venezuelan people are planning to unleash a new round
of destabilizing street violence like the deadly "guarimbas" of
2014 and 2017. The aim will be to generate casualties so Nicolás
Maduro can be blamed for "brutally repressing peaceful democracy
activists"-- no matter what the facts are -- to provide a
justification for whatever new aggressive moves the U.S. and its
appeasers decide to make.
U.S. Responds to Failed Coup Attempt
Bolivarian armed forces ratify their allegiance to President Maduro,
May 2, 2019.
The Trump administration showed itself to be intimately
involved with the coup attempt in many ways. When its efforts
failed to produce the desired result, with Venezuela's Minister
of Defence and other high officials spurning U.S. attempts to buy
them off as if they were mercenaries with no honour, the White
House ramped up its psychological warfare. The serial liars John
Bolton and Elliot Abrams began spinning stories of a "deal" they
had allegedly gotten for Maduro to step down until Russia stepped
in and told him not to, and other tales about widespread mistrust
and looming betrayals in government and military circles.
For his part, President Trump chose to blame Cuba for
inability of the U.S. and forces it commands to make headway in
overthrowing the government of Nicolás Maduro. He threatened
with a "full and complete embargo" and "the highest-level
sanctions" if it did not stop what he called its "military
interference" in Venezuela, ignoring what Cuba has declared many
times over: that it has no troops in Venezuela, and that there
are no Cubans taking part in military or security operations
there, which, it adds, U.S. intelligence agencies well know.
Lima Group Responds
The illegitimacy and gangsterism of the Lima Group and
members, including Canada, has also been on full display. After a
hastily organized teleconference on April 30, ten of its members
plus Guaidó's envoy claiming to represent Venezuela, issued a
statement expressing their "full support for the constitutional
and popular process undertaken by the Venezuelan people, under
the leadership of the interim president, Juan Guaidó, to restore
democracy in Venezuela," insisting that the attempt by Guaidó
Leopoldo López to put themselves at the head of an armed
insurrection to overthrow the country's
constitutional government, and possibly incite a civil war, could not
considered a coup d'etat!
A second statement, issued at an emergency meeting held
3 in Lima, following the same twisted logic, claims that the
failed coup was undertaken to "peacefully restore the rule of
law" in Venezuela. It also attempts, without evidence, to
associate the "regime" of Nicolás Maduro as well as his family
members and supporters with all manner of criminal activity,
including being a "threat" for supposedly offering protection to
"terrorist groups operating inside Colombian territory." The
statement goes on, obviously trying to portray Venezuela as an
outlaw state and make a case for the UN Security Council to
authorize action against it, alluding, without any evidence, to
Venezuela supposedly attempting to "destabilize Colombian
institutions," "threaten the life and safety of President Ivan
Duque" and to "undermine regional security." Venezuela's Foreign
Minister Jorge Arreaza recently warned about Duque attempting to
mount a "false positive" against Venezuela in this way -- the
implication being that it would be used to justify a military
intervention against Venezuela.
A new element introduced in the Lima Group's May 3
is its agreement "to undertake all necessary actions in order for
Cuba to participate in the search for a solution to the
Venezuelan crisis." The same day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
posted a news item on his web page indicating that he had on
behalf of the Lima Group discussed "the ongoing crisis in
Venezuela" with President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, and
"underscor[ed] the desire to see free and fair elections and the
constitution upheld." Referring to their discussion about
Venezuela, President Díaz-Canel said, "I emphasized the need for
dialogue with President Maduro based on respect for the
sovereignty of Venezuela and international law, without threats
or foreign intervention."
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) also released a
May 3 in which it said "[T]he solution to the crisis in Venezuela
should be a peaceful internal process that avoids the threat or
use of force." It said CARICOM "will continue to monitor the
situation and remains convinced that the principles of
non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states,
respect for sovereignty, the constitutional framework, adherence
to the rule of law, and respect for human rights and democracy
must be upheld."
CARICOM said it would continue to support diplomatic
such as the Montevideo Mechanism and would also continue to be in
contact with other interested parties to encourage efforts to
bring a peaceful solution to the crisis.
"Adios OEA" rally in Apure, April 27, 2019, celebrates Venezuela
leaving the Organization of American States.
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,
loyal to its republican and democratic principles, and in respect
to the National Constitution and International Law, announces to
the international community and the peoples of the world, the
breaking of the chains that bind us to the dictatorship imposed
by the United States within the Organization of American States
With the denunciation of
the Charter of the Organization of
American States made by the government of the Bolivarian Republic
of Venezuela, on April 27, 2017, in the framework of Article
143, as from today, no instrument signed and/or issued by the OAS
shall have any legal or political effect for the Venezuelan State
and its institutions.
The Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, in exercise of
political independence and its sovereign rights, has denounced to
the international community the dysfunction of the OAS, which is
characterized by the infringement of International Law; the
systematic transgression of its founding Charter; the procedural
fraud, political subordination of its bureaucracy to the
interests of the United States administration; the programmed loss
of the political pluralism in the American continent, under a
colonial and supremacist vision; and the permanent injury of the
principles of sovereignty and self-determination, among others,
of its member States.
A group of satellite governments, led by the United
has sacrificed the fundamental Charter of the OAS that rules the
relations among the countries of the hemisphere, and violated all
its historical operation rules and practices. As a result, a
dictatorship has been imposed within the OAS, violating the
rights of its 34 member States and allowing, promoting,
facilitating and actively participating in the destabilization of
the Venezuelan democracy.
Such group, which violated the OAS rules, has validated
foreign aggression, the illegal implementation of unilateral
coercive measures, the threat about the use of force by third
States, the economical sabotage and suffocation against our
nation and the seizure, forfeiture and plundering of the
Also, said group of
satellites governments has instigated the
repudiation of the National Constitution, the democratic
institutions and legitimate elected authorities, inciting
violence, chaos and trying to provoke a civil war in our nation,
by corrupting the OAS to the extent of making of it a conspiracy
instrument for a foreign military intervention against our
The dictatorship within the OAS is a threat against the
regional and international peace and security. In this context,
the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela alerts the
international community on future actions that such warmongering
group intends to execute against our nation, in open violation of
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is grateful to an
important group of countries within the Organization that
rejected the abuses and violations perpetrated by a dictatorial
group, and showed respect to International Law in defense of
sovereignty, self-determination and independence of all States.
We assure to these sister nations that our government and people
shall not rest in the defense of their freedom and assurance of
Today, the people and government of Venezuela break the
of the racist Monroe Doctrine and ratify that the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela is irrevocably free and independent, and
its moral heritage, as well as its values of freedom, equality,
justice and international peace have their roots in Simón
In Caracas, Cradle of
Liberators, the 27 of April, 2019
Vietnam Ancestral Global Day and National
Society (CVS) and the York Centre for Asian Research hosted a one-day
conference on April 30, called "Vietnam: Tradition and Development," to
Ancestral Global Day.
Ancestral Global Day is commemorated in Vietnam to honour the
Kings, who founded
the Vietnamese nation almost 4,000 years ago and to celebrate their
legacy in the modern
Vietnam today. This year, besides in Canada, the commemoration was held
in France, Laos,
Poland, Japan, Thailand, Russia and other countries.
The event was held at York
University. Dr. Julie Nguyen, a CVS board
everyone and informed those attending that this was the first time that
a celebration to
commemorate the Hùng Kings is being held in Canada, making it an
historic occasion. She
pointed out that Vietnam Ancestral Global Day not only marks the
historical beginnings of the
Vietnamese nation, but celebrates the achievements of modern Vietnam,
and in Canada it
highlights the friendship between the Vietnamese and Canadian peoples.
She announced that
the conference would begin with a ceremony to honour these ancestors,
followed by two
panel discussions: the first "Local History, Global
Future" and the second,
"Canada-Vietnam Business and Educational Co-operation."
Dr. Julie Nguyen introduces the second panel.
Dr. Phouc Dang, the Chair of the CVS board, read a
powerful poem to
open the conference
which pays tribute to the Hùng Kings and pledges the
present generation of
Vietnamese in the homeland and in the diaspora, to uphold their legacy
of the independence
and sovereignty of Vietnam. He later presented a slide show, providing
overview of Vietnam
history and the role of the Hùng Kings.
In the first panel, a member of the Canada-Vietnam Trade
highlighted the emerging
areas of the Vietnamese economy today and the increasing trade
relations between Vietnam
and Canada. She pointed out that Vietnam is a highly educated society
with a hard-working
people, and given that it is Canada's largest partner in ASEAN, there
are many more
opportunities for business collaboration. She hoped more trade and
opportunities for both
Vietnamese and Canadians will emerge with the recent Comprehensive and
Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Speaking on behalf of the CVS, Philip Fernandez
friendship between the
Canadian and Vietnamese peoples and noted that this relationship goes
back to the time of
Vietnam's national liberation war and the fight to reunify the country.
He denounced the Journey to Freedom Act adopted by the Harper
2015 which distorts
and falsifies the history of the heroic Vietnamese people and their
defeat of the U.S.
imperialists. He also expressed the support of CVS for the initiative
of the Vietnamese
Women's Entrepreneurial Association to oppose the flying of the
colonial flag of the defeated
U.S.-puppet south Vietnamese regime as a provocation against the
Canadian and Vietnamese
In the afternoon panel, Dr. Lorna Wright and Dr. Elena
Caprioni from the Schulich School of Business at York provided
information of the various projects being undertaken to foster academic
collaboration between the two countries. Dr. Wright also expressed hope
that the current volume of Vietnam-Canada economic activity, valued at
$6 billion, can be further developed and enhanced, given the economic
stability and opportunity that exists in Vietnam.
Lily Tang, Executive Director of the Vietnamese
stated that Vietnam is a society of young people who have great
entrepreneurial spirit. She
noted that the more than 20,000 Vietnamese students studying in Canada
are looking to make
contributions to their own country and to Canada while they live here.
This spirit, she said,
bodes well for the future of both countries and peoples.
The organizers of the conference thanked everyone for
participation and expressed
enthusiasm for the strengthening of relations between Vietnam and
Presentation by Dr. Phuoc Dang on the Four-Thousand
Click image to view the
presentation in your browser as a PDF.
The national flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is raised at the
Hiền Lương-Bến Hải historic site in Vinh Linh District, Quảng Trị. The
Bến Hải River, located at the 17th parallel, was part of a
that separated the country during the U.S. War in Vietnam.
A flag-raising ceremony was held at the Hiền
Lương-Bến Hải historical relic site in Vĩnh Linh district, the central
province of Quảng Trị, on April 30 to mark the 44th anniversary of the
Liberation of South Vietnam and National Reunification Day (April 30,
As part of the national reunification festival
co-organized by Nhan dan (People's) Daily, the Vietnam News
and the People's Committee of the provincial committee of the
Communist Party of Vietnam, the event also celebrated the 65th
anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory which in 1954 ended French
rule in Vietnam and the 47th anniversary of the
liberation of Quảng Trị (May 1, 1972).
The event was attended by Politburo member and Deputy
Minister Truong Hoa Binh; Secretary of the Communist Party of
Vietnam Central Committee (CPVCC) and Head of the CPVCC's
Commission for Internal Affairs Phan Dinh Trac; Nhan Dan
Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Vietnam Journalists'
Association Thuan Huu; and VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi,
Hiền Lương Bridge that spans the Bến Hải River, which
North and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, is only 178 metres
long but it took 21 years for Vietnamese people from the North
and the South to be united. The bridge is witness to the
Vietnamese people's fierce but glorious struggle and a reflection
of their desire for and belief in victory. Relic sites located on
both banks of the river have been recognized as special national
Quảng Trị was one of the most devastated localities
war, by thousands of tonnes of bombs and shells. The province was
also well known for the fierce 81-day-and-night battle at the
ancient Quảng Trị Citadel.
In his opening remarks, Secretary of the provincial
Committee Nguyen Van Hung highlighted major achievements Quảng Trị has
recorded over the past years across spheres, from economy
to social affairs and national defence and security.
The flag-raising ceremony was followed by a Bai Choi
performance at the southern bank of the Hiền Lương-Bến Hải
special national historical relic site, a boat race on the Bến Hải
River and an inaugural ceremony of the project to upgrade the
southern bank of the site.
Delegates paid tribute to fallen soldiers at the
9 Martyrs' Cemetery, Truong Son Martyrs' Cemetery.
The evening of April 29, an art program entitled
"Aspiration for Unification" was held at the historical site.
On this occasion, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi
presented 1.8 billion VND (U.S.$77,400) to Quảng Trị to build
three classrooms at the kindergarten in Trieu Tai commune, Trieu
Nhan Dan newspaper and the Vietnam Electricity
presented 1 billion VND (U.S.$43,000) to local social policy
Addressing the event, Thuan Huu, who is also deputy head
the CPVPCC's Communication and Education Commission, said that
the Geneva Agreement defined the Bến Hải River on the 17th
Parallel to be the temporary military division line 65 years ago
and Quảng Trị was an extremely fierce battlefield.
The people of Quảng Trị had to endure many sacrifices
hardships. Forty-seven years after Liberation Day, people in Quảng
Trị have promoted their resilient tradition to build a more
prosperous province with remarkable achievements in economics,
society, and security and defence, he noted.
The art program featured songs and dances to honour the
fighting spirit of the Vietnamese army and people and the
aspiration for national unification.
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