August 31, 2019 - No. 25

In the 2019 Federal Election

All Out to Build the New!

Canada "Open for Business"

Crude Battle Cry of the Rich

Ontario Government's Pay-the-Rich Schemes

Why Not Declare a Moratorium on Debt-Servicing Payments
and Increase Investments in Social Programs

Bill 124 Broadens the Anti-Social Offensive Against the
Public Sector and Its Workers

Spirited March and Rally in Mackenzie, BC

Workers and Community Stand Up for Jobs and a
New Direction in Forestry

Speak Out in Defence of Mackenzie's Workers,
the Community and the Rights of All!

- Statement of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada -

No Harbour for War! Make Canada a Zone for Peace!

No to Cutlass Fury 2019! No U.S. or Other Foreign
Warships in Canadian Waters!

- No Harbour for War -

News in Brief

Militant Opposition Expressed Against Meeting
of G7 in France

Mexicans Oppose U.S. Demand to Impose
"Safe Third Country" Status
Ottawa Picket Denounces U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela
as a Crime Against Humanity

The Amazon Burns

Canadian Government Reinstates Some Visa Services for
Cubans at Embassy in Havana

U.S. Government Allocates Millions of Dollars to
Obstruct Cuban Medical Cooperation

- Statement from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs -

Cuba Celebrates 66th Anniversary of July 26 Movement

Assault on Moncada Barracks Affirms History, Independence
and the Cause of Peace and Justice

- Isaac Saney, National Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba -

25th São Paulo Forum

Final Declaration

Aim of Falsifications of the Origins of the Second World War

Significance of the Non-Aggression Pact Signed by the
Soviet Union with Nazi Germany

- Dougal MacDonald -

100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles

Self-Serving Inter-Imperialist Treaty for Redivision of the World

Readers Note

In the 2019 Federal Election

All Out to Build the New!

- For a New Direction in the Economy, Stop Paying the Rich!
- Humanize the Natural and Social Environment!
- Uphold the Rights of All!

The old arrangements on which the economy and political institutions are supposed to function are crisis-ridden. Crises have emerged on every front. The reason for this is the clash between the modern social conditions and an obsolete authority that wants to control everything for narrow private gain. The old authority and its institutions refuse to allow a new authority to come into being consistent with the needs of the times.

The modern social conditions have created a human productive force of immense capacity and potential. Of necessity, this human productive force must control the fruits of its production so that the social conditions are brought under its control and official policies conform to its needs. In opposition to this historic necessity to build the New, the financial oligarchy has seized control of the state and its institutions to ensure society is not provided with a modern aim to meet the needs of its members and a new authority under their control. The financial oligarchy uses the crisis-ridden old institutions and the social wealth it has seized from the working people to obstruct anything that stands in the way of its private interests.

The modern conditions of a completely socialized economy on which all people rely for their existence cry out for a new authority consistent with those conditions. They cry out for new arrangements that conform to this reality. A modern authority would recognize and guarantee the economic, social and political rights of the people, which are rights they possess by virtue of being human.

The conditions of a socialized economy and humanity require that working people control their means of production and distribution for the good of all, to meet and guarantee their economic, social and political rights and well-being. In opposition to this historic necessity stands a financial oligarchy in control of the socialized economy and political institutions, and obsessed with using them for its private sectional interests.

Instead of upholding social responsibility towards all members of society, the ruling authorities throughout Canada continue to deprive the people of their economic, political and social rights. The neo-liberal, anti-social and anti-national offensive has resulted in gross economic inequality and the denial of basic needs to thousands of Canadians. The financial oligarchy has used its authority to privatize social works so as to seize enterprise and interest profit for its narrow interests. War and policing have become means to enrich the few through the production of more weapons and, with the employment of mercenaries on every front, the ruling elite foment wars and crime instead of using the enormous productive capacity of modern production to resolve problems in the social and natural conditions.

Oppose Canada's Integration into U.S. Homeland Security!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!

The modern conditions have given rise to a great opportunity for the advance of international relations amongst all humanity based on mutual benefit, development and friendship. Successive governments in authority have deprived Canada of this opening for modern international relations. Instead, they have surrendered Canada's sovereignty to U.S. Homeland Security and submerged the country into what the U.S. authorities call their "indispensable" nation privileges and hegemony worldwide, allowing the financial oligarchy to profit from the wars and destruction the "indispensable" U.S. empire has unleashed.

Governments of Canada succumb to the behest of the U.S. authority to destroy competitors in all spheres of the economy, which causes great harm to Canadian manufacturing, social programs, communities and the way of life of Indigenous peoples. For governments to act as lapdogs of the U.S. and integrate the economy and foreign affairs into U.S. imperialism's warmongering drive for global hegemony is not an option for Canada. To end this state of affairs, Canadians must build a powerful movement to oppose Canada's integration into U.S. Homeland Security to Make Canada a Zone for Peace.

All Out for Democratic Renewal!

In the upcoming federal election, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, the name under which the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) is registered with Elections Canada, will continue to organize Canadians to take up the battle for democratic renewal, Empower Yourself Now.

Speaking out on the conditions of work and life and discussing solutions to the problems people face is a new arrangement. Speaking out in your own voice cuts through the attempts of the cartel parties to make working people passive observers to the electoral shenanigans and obsolete system that brings elites to power to "represent" the people, speak in their name and rule over them.

Working people can and should reject the path of dividing themselves behind this or that cartel party and their promises, which narrow private interests and their electoral machines have decided are the issues. Those electoral machines are themselves powerful international private consortiums that engineer electoral results for the narrow interests of those who employ them. The people can embark on a new path to serve their interests by exercising direct control over the decisions they take and speaking in their own name on those issues that affect their lives. This includes, importantly, what to do in the 2019 election itself.

Within the fight for a modern democratic personality to emerge, speaking in one's own name is decisive. In taking up the battle for democratic renewal of the political process, the working people and youth can learn what has to be done to stop the retrogression engulfing them. By joining with others in this endeavour, they can provide society with an aim that upholds the well-being of all, humanizes the natural and social environment, gives meaning to people's lives and provides them with stability.

The most crucial new arrangement is for people to establish their own political organization that enables them to work out their own stands and speak independent of the cartel parties and the narrow private interests of the financial oligarchy they serve.

For us, accountability begins at home! Let us speak out against social irresponsibility, nation-wrecking, environmental degradation and preparations for war. Let us oppose the fast-talk of the ruling elite that seeks to justify making the rich richer in the name of the middle class "getting ahead" or "choosing forward" in order to receive a greater piece of the social product the working people themselves produce and should control.

Conceptions of rights and consultations over which the people exercise no control are phony. Say No! to all that is phony and counterfeit in these obsolete institutions of the old authority.

All Out for Democratic Renewal!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
Empower Yourself Now!
All Out to Build the New!

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Canada "Open for Business"

Crude Battle Cry of the Rich

Governments are usurping power in Canada claiming that their provinces are now "open for business" as opposed to under previous governments; never mind that each serves the financial oligarchy. For their part, the working people are certainly not opposed to economic development or investment. But, inevitably it turns out that the phrase "open for business" is simply code for governments to launch fresh attacks against workers and their communities on behalf of the financial oligarchy and then claim the attacks are what the people want! Indeed, the phrase is a crude battle cry of the rich and their governments to seize yet more added-value and social wealth from the workers who produce it.

Those who own and control the enterprises of the socialized economy and their political representatives in government, the self-titled "job creators," vulgarly describe the working people, those who produce social product in the form of goods and services while transforming the bounty of nature, as a "cost of production" and "burden" on the rich. As such, wide-scale class war must be waged against workers in general, the "burden and cost of production," as they are the ones supposedly constituting the problem economically and fiscally with their claims on what they produce. In that regard, premiers such as Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and François Legault present themselves as "saviours" of the rich in their respective provinces, and the same nonsense goes on at the federal level. The period in the run-up to the October federal election has seen vested interests representing their benefactors who are vying to win control of the political power, each claiming they represent what the people want while hiding their true intentions.

It is farfetched indeed to believe that Canadians are fooled that this assault on the working people under the slogan "open for business," "getting ahead," or "choosing forward" will result in the social wealth under the control of the rich oligarchs -- which by the way has all been produced by the working class -- becoming so great that crumbs will fall off the table and trickle down to the floor for workers to scavenge as their reward for tightening their belts and supporting what are called austerity measures to balance the books.

Experience shows who benefits from whatever the ruling oligarchs dish out. Experience shows how the working people are blamed as the source of all the problems in the economy and are made to pay through cutbacks, closures and layoffs. It is outrageous. The workers do not impose the boom and bust cycles, which especially devastate resource communities such as is now occurring in the BC forest sector. Nor do they foster the one-sided, skewed economic model such as in Alberta that thrives off unemployment and sees the rich taking money out of the province when oil prices and markets are strong, and, when the "inevitable" crisis occurs for the umpteenth time, the ruling elite drive down wages, benefits and pensions, undermine health and safety, slash jobs, social programs and public services and generally make life unbearable for many.

How can the working people who do the work and produce social value when called upon, and who have no political or economic power be the cause of the problems in the economy? Within this situation, how can the code words "open for business," which essentially means more of the same, be a solution?

The financial oligarchy dismisses out of hand any talk of workers resisting the anti-social offensive. It wants them to believe their protests will be futile, that they will fall on deaf ears and, if they persist in raising their demands, they will be treated as criminals and suffer the consequences through anti-labour legislation, as is being currently imposed in Alberta, Quebec, Ontario and elsewhere.

The financial oligarchy's dismissal of the concerns of working people for a new direction for the economy is arrogant and out of touch with reality. Workers, as producers of all social wealth, must lay their claims to what belongs to them by right and organize and fight for it, if the door to progress is to be opened. The battle for the rights of all humanizes the social and natural environment and creates an opening for a new pro-social direction without recurring crises. Under the banner of the human factor/social consciousness, the defence of the rights people have by virtue of being human is a cause that all Canadians can unite around, leading to empowerment of the people, stabilization of communities, nation-building and a new direction for the economy.

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Ontario Government's Pay-the-Rich Schemes

Why Not Declare a Moratorium on
Debt-Servicing Payments and Increase
Investments in Social Programs

In a backgrounder seeking to justify its proposed new Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019, the Ford government admits forecasting $13.3 billion in interest payments to the financial institutions holding Ontario's debt for fiscal year 2019-20 alone. The backgrounder says this amounts to "$1.5 million of interest paid every hour of every day."

The government makes clear that those who hold Ontario's debt are the priority and must receive their pound of flesh before "a single dollar can be spent on schools, hospitals or transportation." Making the big financial institutions a priority is presented as "making Ontario fiscally sustainable" and a justification for the anti-social offensive and attack on workers' rights. In fact it reveals that the rights and claims of Ontarians are subject to how much is left over after paying interest on the debt and other claims of the financial oligarchy. This is a form of the neo-liberal trickle down theory that demands the aim and direction of the socialized economy be to pay the rich and not meet the claims of the people and society.

The backgrounder ignores how the provincial debt came into being and for what reasons, why the government borrowed money from private moneylenders in the first place when it has its own financial means, and how much of the private debt has already been repaid over and over again through the magic of compound interest.

If the backgrounder were really meant as a source of information and not disinformation it would itemize how much of the borrowed money from private financial institutions went straight back to them in pay-the-rich handouts, bailouts, subsidies, loan guarantees, tax cuts and other schemes -- usually called incentives to invest, and how much of the initial debt has already been repaid in full. The pay-the-rich direction for the economy with its trickle down nonsense is not sustainable and needs a new direction to meet the claims of the people and society.

An example of how these odious public debts are racked up in order to pay the rich is the recent write-off of $3 billion dollars by the federal and Ontario governments to auto monopoly Fiat Chrysler. The Ontario government wrote off its share, a $445 million loan, saying it had "no legal recourse" to collect it while the federal government wrote off their $2.6 billion share prior to this in March, also claiming that it could not be collected. The loans were issued by the governments of Canada and Ontario in 2009 as part of getting autoworkers to accept massive concessions.

Chrysler was subsequently given to Fiat without Fiat paying a cent and all its main debts covered by government bailouts to a spun-off "old Chrysler." A spokeswoman for Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips told Postmedia that “because of the way government financing works, we can’t pursue, and the Feds either can’t really pursue, something that doesn’t exist anymore [...] and because it was a joint-structured funding bailout [...], once the feds made the decision they were writing it off, the province also cannot recover the funding.”

Sustainability for the Ford PC government means, in practice, that money must be taken from social programs and public services, and from the workers who provide them, to sustain debt servicing payments to the biggest financial interests and to provide pay-the-rich incentives for those same private interests to invest.

Not surprisingly, political representatives of the financial oligarchy are the very ones in government bleating about cutting social programs and public services, the necessity to violate the rights of public sector workers, and above all else "sustain" the current pay-the-rich direction for the economy. They are placed in positions of authority to decide government policy either as Ministers of Finance or government-appointed consultants.

To give a few examples, former Liberal Finance Minister Charles Sousa worked at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Financial Group for more than 20 years, primarily as Director of Commercial Banking and Director of Marketing at RBC Dominion Securities. Don Drummond, appointed by the McGuinty Liberal government to advise how to restructure public services to ensure payments on the debt and deficit were sustained, was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for the TD Bank from 2000 to 2010. Much of the direction he set out in his Commission for the Reform of Public Services is what is now being taken up by the Ford government, especially as concerns the restructuring of wages and benefits throughout the public service and increasing class sizes in education.

The more the Ford PC government presents its anti-social measures as aimed at saving the province from financial ruin, the more it exposes itself as unfit to govern and incapable of finding or even thinking about any alternative to the unsustainable pay-the-rich direction of the economy. Taking into account all the facts makes a pro-social alternative to the government's "solution" and priorities apparent. Why not declare a moratorium on debt-servicing payments and increase investments in social programs instead of cutting them?

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Bill 124 Broadens the Anti-Social Offensive
Against the Public Sector and Its Workers

The Ontario PC government tabled Bill 124 on June 5. Known both as Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 and An Act to implement moderation measures in respect of compensation in Ontario's public sector, the act takes aim at the public sector and its employees.

Bill 124 seeks to impose government dictated "moderation" periods of three years for non-union and unionized employees of the Ontario government and its Crown agencies as well as the broader public sector and a whole range of other organizations. In addition to public servants employed directly by the government, the moderation periods apply to sectors such as K-12 education, post-secondary education, health care including long-term care homes, the Ornge air ambulance service, Children's Aid, Ontario Provincial Police, Ontario Power Generation and any other "authority, board, commission, corporation, office or organization of persons that is not-for-profit or received at least $1,000,000 in funding from the Government of Ontario in 2018."

The moderation period does not apply to a municipality, a local board as defined by the Municipal Act, 2001, any entities appointed by or under the authority of a municipality, or an organization that operates for profit. The bill would permit the government to also exclude employees or classes of employees by regulation.

The PC majority government says once Bill 124 becomes law it will take effect back to the day of its tabling, June 5. This means any collective agreements negotiated or arbitration awards issued after June 5 would be subject to the act's dictate and provisions, and the approval of the President of the Treasury Board. If an employee group is negotiating a collective agreement as of June 5, the moderation period will begin the date the agreement begins and last for three years.

Moderation Period Imposes Limitations on Salary Increases

During the moderation period "salary increases are limited to one per cent for each 12-month period of the moderation period." The limit of one per cent per year also applies to "existing compensation entitlements and new compensation entitlements." Compensation is broadly defined to include "anything paid or provided, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of an employee, and includes salary, benefits, perquisites and all forms of non-discretionary and discretionary payments."

To enforce this limit on investments in public services and social programs the government has given the President of the Treasury Board extraordinary powers to decide if a collective agreement or arbitrated award fits the government's parameters. If the Minister decides it is not consistent with the act then the agreement or award becomes null and void. A union representing workers or an employer may appeal the President's decision but the act explicitly states that the President has the sole discretion to decide.

The legislation gives the government broad ability to obtain any and all personal information it demands from an employer on its employees or operations "that the Management Board of Cabinet considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act."

The authority to obtain personal information under Bill 124 is deemed to be in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and the Protection of Privacy Act. The government seeks to exempt itself from provisions of those two acts, which require that an individual be informed their personal information has been requested and provided. The section "No notice to individual required" of Bill 124 states: "(4) Subsection 39(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and subsection 29(2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act do not apply with respect to any personal information disclosed or collected under the authority of a directive."

Measures to Avoid Government Accountability and
to Violate Rights with Impunity

To shield itself from any accountability for violating workers' rights, the government is attempting to limit the ability of any body below it to slow or stop the application of the act. Neither the Ontario Labour Relations Board nor an independent arbitrator would be permitted "to inquire" or make a decision on whether any provision of the act is constitutionally valid or violates the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Going further, in an attempt to prevent the courts from rendering any verdict on any violation of rights carried out using the legislation, the bill asserts that no legal action or "proceeding" can be taken against the Crown or current or former ministers, agents, appointees and employees or an employer to whom the act applies, or a current or former director, officer, or employee to whom the act applies. Having learned from the experience of the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal government which faced a court ruling against it for similar legislation violating collective bargaining rights, the bill goes even further, seeking to specifically limit any legal action that would require a remedy or relief or any other form of damages as a result of the violation of rights in the act.

In other words, the Ford government clearly knows the legislation violates rights and is setting out to do so, and has included within the act measures to ensure no legal recourse is available for those whose rights have been violated. This amounts in practice to a form of opting out of the government's legal duty to be accountable to the people for its actions and violating the rights of public sector workers with impunity. The act uses a variation of the fraud of reasonable limits on people's rights and the notwithstanding clause found within the Canadian Constitution and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Spirited March and Rally in Mackenzie, BC

Workers and Community Stand Up for Jobs
and a New Direction in Forestry

A thousand people marched and held a spirited rally in Mackenzie, British Columbia, concerned about the future of their community in the wake of the downturn in the Interior forest industry. Mackenzie, a town of about 3,300 people 180 km north of Prince George, has been hit especially hard in the last few months with Canfor closing its sawmill, citing high costs and adverse market conditions, and with production being curtailed at the Conifex sawmill and Parallel 55 fingerjoint mill.

All told, about 400 jobs have been affected by these closures, which amounts to about 20 per cent of the local workforce. In addition, there are fears that the Mackenzie pulp mill could close because of lack of access to residual fibre from the other mills.

The rally was organized by the MackenzieMatters Committee with support from the Public and Private Workers of Canada (PPWC), Unifor and United Steelworkers (USW) unions, local businesses and other volunteers. Participants carried signs through town stating: Our logs, our jobs! Save our jobs! United we stand! Keep our logs in Mackenzie! Our voices need to be heard! and others.

The rally comes at a time when there have been many mill closures and curtailments across the province in forestry-based communities. Companies have blamed these shutdowns in large part on a dwindling fibre supply as a result of the massive pine beetle epidemic and recent catastrophic forest fires.

However, Mackenzie mayor Joan Atkinson explained that there is not a fibre supply problem in the Mackenzie region, yet forest companies are shipping logs out to other parts of the province while mills in the town sit idle. She argued that forest policy has to change in the province, that it is "time for all of us to work collaboratively and identify what is not working and what is needed to fix it," and that the people of Mackenzie were ready to stick together and meet the challenges head on.

Kim Guthrie, a local realtor and chair of the MackenzieMatters Committee, said: "We would like our logs to stop leaving the community. We would like our sawmills to be able to run and the bottom line is we'd like them to change the legislation so logs have to stay in the community and be milled here."

Chris Dixon, who chaired the rally, began by stating, "We are here to let government know that forest practices must change. The big corporations and the government of British Columbia have to wake up and realize that small hardworking communities matter, that Mackenzie matters."

Speakers at the rally included representatives from local, provincial and federal governments in the region; local businesses; unions, including PPWC, Unifor, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and USW; and community organizations, including Stand Up for the North Committee and North Matters.

Common themes that emerged in the presentations and from participants in the rally included criticism of forest practices in the province and the need for a new direction in forestry, criticism of runaway companies, the need for more processing and getting more value out of the wood, utilizing wood waste, economic diversification, transition support and retraining services, economic development funding, concerns about the mountain caribou program, and settlement of the Softwood Lumber dispute with the U.S.

One overarching theme, palpable in the march, rally and discussions among participants, was a call for more empowerment of rural regions: to listen to the voices and expertise of forestry workers and community members; and to develop policies based on the needs of workers and communities rather than big corporations and top government officials.

The government spokespersons and politicians representing parties that form a cartel party system designed to keep people out of power delivered their pro-forma messages which either promise pie in the sky and/or blame others. These messages have nothing to do with involving the workers and community in finding concrete solutions to the problems they face. In his presentation, BC Forests Minister Doug Donaldson talked about how the BC government was engaged in a consultation process across the province to develop a new vision for forestry. This is a denial that the crisis in forestry is longstanding and the only "new vision" forthcoming has been the one that exports raw logs and serves the narrow interests of the oligopolies which manipulate state policy. In addition, the Minister said, the government is working to make sure that the Conifex mill opens in September which would alleviate some of the unemployment problem as well as make residual fibre available for other mills. What this means remains to be seen.

He also made sure to point out that the current NDP government was "cleaning up a mess" from the previous Liberal government "that wouldn't exist if action would have been taken ten or even five years ago, to diversify and get more value from the trees that are harvested." Such attempts to divide the people behind one or another political party stops the problems being put on the table for solution.

For their part, the Liberal MLAs who spoke, which included Mike Morris, John Rustad and Donna Barnett, criticized what they characterized as a slow response to the forestry crisis by the Forests Minister and the need for action not more talk. They pledged to keep "biting at the Forests Minister's ankles" to make sure that worker and community support gets carried out. In other words, the people should depend on condescending saviours and remain at their mercy.

In closing, MackenzieMatters' Kim Guthrie, thanked all the speakers and participants in the rally and called for a longterm forestry plan to be developed for community success and sustainability. The people of Mackenzie are proud and determined, she said, and will definitely not be going away.

(With files from TMLW Correspondent, Prince George Citizen, PG Daily News, My PG Now, CBC News. Photos:PPWC)

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Speak Out in Defence of Mackenzie's Workers,
the Community and the Rights of All!

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada thinks the mill closures in Mackenzie affecting hundreds of workers directly and hundreds more indirectly are unacceptable. The economic collapse in the forestry sector underscores the irresponsibility of those who wield political and economic control of the decisions which affect people's lives, a situation that must change. Within these conditions, not only do the working people exercise no control over the productive forces on which their lives depend; they have no control over the politics of the province and country either. Confronting this difficult situation, they are determined to make informed decisions as to what should be done. Their August 22 Mackenzie Matters rally and meeting made the views of the workers and community known. Their aim is to find a way forward that favours them.

The workers' lack of political and economic control over the decisions that affect their lives has a direct bearing on the fate of the community and the well-being of all. By speaking out, we can make a crucial difference because it holds those who control the direction of the economy to account. Governments must also be held to account because the political decisions are taken to favour narrow private interests. They must also not be permitted to spout false promises or make statements intended to fool the gullible. Are they or are they not taking up social responsibility for the consequences of the mill closures?

Mackenzie Matters. That is a fact which concerns who we are as a people, as a nation.

Stand with the working people of Mackenzie who are determined to defend their community and organize the defence of the people's livelihoods and rights. By upholding their right to be informed, to be properly consulted and decide and be in control of their lives, a way forward which favours them will emerge.

To consider that people's lives can be abused and that what belongs to them by right does not have to be respected and provided with a guarantee is not an option. Social wealth and positions of power should not determine whether a worker and their family and community have the means to be stable, healthy and educated. The behemoths which own the mills in this day and age seize plenty of social wealth from the productive work and natural resources of the people and if they are to close these facilities they must take up their social responsibility. This is a fundamental question. It must be addressed in a manner which favours the people who created that social wealth in the first place.

To suggest that BC lumber is not needed in Canada, China, Japan or elsewhere is ludicrous. The world as a whole is modernizing and needs housing and other facilities and Mackenzie has the wood fibre, expertise and facilities to deliver them.

Destruction of productive forces -- including communities, schools, health facilities and local social organization -- are anti-social and anti-people. They are also irresponsible nation-wrecking which leaves Canadians adrift, even as claims are made that the economy is thriving and that Canada is a paradigm of democracy and human rights.

In the 21st century, how to have a sustainable forestry and sustainable communities is well known. That is not the problem of the 21st century but how the people can exercise control over their lives is. In this regard, the Mackenzie Matters rally and meeting show the determination of the people to speak out in their own name and organize to make sure their rights are not sacrificed on the altar of profits. Their right to a livelihood which provides security belongs to them by virtue of being human. If that is taken away through no fault of their own, guaranteeing their security and that of their families falls to society, and governments are duty-bound to uphold this. They must hold those who control the forestry industry to account and get their priorities straight.

Canfor and the government must be put on notice that the people cannot to be trifled with and that, no matter the circumstances, they must be cared for properly; their rights must be upheld. Furthermore, the people must be consulted on all potential investments and avenues which are being explored so that they can have their say and not be made targets of constant worry, false promises and fraud.

For their part, the working people of BC and the entire country must make sure the community's dignity and honour, which are our dignity and honour, are not trampled in the mud.

All Out to Uphold the Rights of Mackenzie!

(Photos: PPWC, Stand Up for the North)

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No Harbour for War! Make Canada a Zone for Peace!

No to Cutlass Fury 2019! No U.S. or Other
Foreign Warships in Canadian Waters!

Sunday, September 8 -- 1:00-3:00 pm
Victoria Park, Spring Garden Rd. at South Park St.

Halifax will soon be the launching pad for one of the largest naval exercises in Canadian history. Twenty-two NATO-aligned warships will be involved in Cutlass Fury 2019. The exercise runs September 9-20 with the area of operation being approximately 50-100 nautical miles southeast of Halifax Harbour.

Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany are expected to take part. These warships will begin arriving the first week of September.

The exercise will see most of the 22 warships departing Bedford Basin on Monday, September 9. In Cutlass Fury 2016 there were two nuclear submarines docked at CFB Shearwater which joined the war fleet as it left the harbour and this is expected again this year.

Cutlass Fury 2019 will be the largest Canadian-led anti-submarine warfare-centric event of its kind conducted on this side of the Atlantic in over 24 years. It will involve a series of exercises focusing on tactical training and will facilitate anti-submarine warfare training in a joint environment. Air defence, amphibious operations and support to special operations forces is also part of the exercise training regime.

Cutlass Fury 19 says something about how the Canadian Armed Forces and other militaries view the current global situation. It is the revival of a level of training that was routine during the Cold War. Naval action is no longer just about anti-terrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster response and the conduct of maritime intercept operations. This is a return to practicing what some may call classic naval warfare. It comes at a time when more than one-half of the main U.S. naval forces are at sea.

In mid-July the Commander of the U.S. Navy's Second Fleet was in Halifax along with representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard to finalize instructions and plans for Cutlass Fury 2019. While Canadian-led, it is clear that this is part and parcel of the war preparations of U.S. imperialism and is one more step in integrating the Canadian Armed Forces into the U.S. war machine.

Various levels of government and private industry are facilitating Cutlass Fury 2019. Halifax Regional Municipal Council has approved the war games and authorized a September 9 flyover by a Cyclone helicopter from Shearwater, four CF-18 Hornets from CFB Bagotville, two Alpha Jets from Top Aces Inc., and a CP-140 Aurora from CFB Greenwood.

Dartmouth-based LeeWay Marine has been awarded a contract worth over $231,000 to supply a "vessel of interest" for Cutlass Fury 2019. LeeWay Marine provided similar service to Exercise Frontier Sentinel 2019 in early April.

The Trudeau Liberal government dispatches our navy and CF-18s around the world as part of the U.S. and NATO's aggressive policies. Our army is posted in far flung places such as supporting the neo-fascist regime in Ukraine. Canada has 850 military personnel in Iraq with this mission being extended until the end of March 2021. Canada has about 450 soldiers along with armoured vehicles in Latvia as part of an enduring NATO presence in Eastern Europe. The list goes on.

Regardless of this country's actual defence needs, Canadian forces as an instrument first and foremost of NATO are eternally being prepared to join, backstop or even lead aggression against U.S.-selected targets anywhere on the planet. Far from protecting Canadians from the danger of war, NATO exercises such as Cutlass Fury 2019 further integrate our country into the U.S. war machine.

Halifax and its harbour have long held strategic significance for the imperialists and their monopoly interests. It is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and is North America's easternmost port of call with transcontinental rail connections.

The people of Halifax have long rejected the use of their city and harbour to embroil Canadians in imperialist adventures abroad. They have vigorously opposed the "visits" of U.S. and other foreign warships as well as the use of the Canadian Navy in U.S. and NATO led aggressions against the world's peoples.

Canada must not participate in U.S. imperialist war preparations and must also defend its sovereignty in a meaningful way.

This means not permitting the U.S. imperialists to exercise command and control over Canada's air, land, water and government and military assets. We must withdraw from NATO as well as NORAD and work for an independent foreign policy.

This means removing all Canadian soldiers, ships and equipment from foreign territory. Most importantly, it means that Canadians must prepare to establish an anti-war government.

No U.S. or Other Foreign Warships in Canadian Waters!
Get Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!
Work for an Anti-War Government!

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News in Brief

Militant Opposition Expressed Against
Meeting of G7 in France

March against the G7 from Hendaye, France to Irún, Spain, August 24, 2019.

Militant opposition  accompanied the 45th G7 summit held August 24 to 26, 2019, in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. Thousands  of activists from different countries, generations and sectors participated in the mobilizations held prior to the summit, which culminated with a demonstration on Saturday, August 24 against the Summit and one on August 25 against the "Bunkerization of Biarritz."

The four-kilometre march on August 24 departed before noon from Hendaye, a town in the French Basque country, and ended in Irún, in neighbouring Spain.

Flags, banners, slogans, music and the effigies of the seven G7 country leaders (Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) raised demands for peace, harmony with the environment, solidarity, tolerance and inclusive development.

French riot police fired tear gas at protesters in Bayonne, a town eight kilometres from Biarritz, the luxury resort where the G7 Summit took place. The gendarmes were reported to have used GLI F4 grenades to disperse the crowd and police also used water cannons on demonstrators in the planned marches. The police were described as having "lost all abandon" in their assaults on the protestors, as helicopters whirled overhead. More than 13,000 police officers were employed to guard G7 leaders, turning Biarritz  into a fortress.

Earlier, thousands of environmental activists, human rights defenders, social activists, people from the Basque Country and Yellow Vest protesters marched peacefully across France's border with Spain to demand action, from climate change initiatives to anti-neoliberal programs.

The Gipuzkoa Fairground (Ficoba) in Irún was the centre of the counter-summit held the week prior to the G7 Summit. The counter-summit in which hundreds of activists participated, included dozens of conferences and workshops that facilitated debate on the nefarious consequences of the neo-liberal offensive of moribund capitalism, the impact of transnationals on people's lives  and the actions of struggle to seek an alternative world. Climate change, wars, economic and social crises, forced migration and inequalities were  some of the problems that  the more than 100 organizations present addressed. At the opening of the counter-summit, the participants declared that the few should not continue to assume that they can govern the destinies of the international community.

Counter-summit in Irún, Spain centred around the Gipuzkoa Fairground.

Hendaye and Urrugne, another town in the French Basque country, also hosted activities which rejected the G7 meeting in Biarritz.

(Photos: G7 EZ, Global Project, Y. Levi, H. Lucas, Breakaway)

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Mexicans Oppose U.S. Demand to Impose
"Safe Third Country" Status

The President of the Political Coordination Board of Mexico's Senate, Ricardo Monreal, informed that he has sent a letter to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, to notify him, "with full forcefulness," that the Legislative branch will not endorse Mexico becoming a safe third country. In July, the Trump administration declared Mexico a "safe third country" to which all migrants who attempt to enter the U.S. through Mexico must apply for refugee status before applying for asylum in the U.S. and requested that Mexico sign on to a "safe third country" agreement to that effect.

"We cannot accept pressure from Donald Trump; it would have negative consequences for Mexico," said the coordinator of the MORENA senators.

In the letter he stressed: "in advance, the Political Coordination Board expresses its unity around the absolute rejection of such an agreement, and its members will ensure that no member of this Legislature will cast a single vote in favour of Mexico becoming a safe third country."

He noted that the approval of the Senate is required for it to happen, and that the benches he has consulted on the subject have expressed "their resounding rejection" of it. "That is, there are no conditions for it," he said.

"I understand that Donald Trump (president of the United States) is tightening immigration policy to force Mexico to accept being a safe third country (but) we cannot accept it, we will not accept it," he added.

In the same way, he said, we cannot accept pressure from the United States to achieve its aim, as it will have negative consequences for our country.

"That is why, from now on, we have told the Foreign Minister not to even think of signing on as a safe third country, because the Senate will not ratify it," the MORENA legislator said in an interview.

Ricardo Monreal said this was also communicated to the U.S. Congress, "that the Mexican Senate would not ratify Mexico as a safe third country, definitely. It's a domestic issue for Donald Trump, the Republicans and Democrats."

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Ottawa Picket Denounces U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela as a Crime Against Humanity

On August 21, 2019, ALBA Social Movements Canada, Ottawa Chapter held an information picket in front of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. It  denounced the latest actions of the Trump administration to increase illegal sanctions and impose a full blockade to punish the Venezuelan people and pursue attempts to remove the constitutionally elected Government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Leaflets were handed out, entitled, "U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela Are a Crime Against Humanity." The leaflet pointed out that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela prevent the country from purchasing urgently needed medicines, food and spare parts to maintain the infrastructure of Venezuela. It also explained, "These sanctions and the blockade are a violation of the Charter of the UN, of the OAS Charter and the Vienna Convention on the conduct of war. The collective punishment of populations, in this case, the Venezuelan people, is a crime against humanity."

Many people passing by took the leaflet and stopped to congratulate the picketers for taking this action to denounce the criminal U.S. actions and for standing in support of the right of the Venezuelan people to choose their own government and social system without any foreign interference.

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The Amazon Burns

Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, in the third week of August, stated that the devastation of the Amazon rainforest is a terrifying face of the destruction of national sovereignty and a crime against the country committed by the government of Jair Bolsonaro.

Satellite data released by the National Institute for Space research (Inpe) shows an increase of 85 per cent this year in fires across Brazil, the majority in the Amazon region.

"The felling and burning of trees, under the tolerant inefficiency of the government, represent an assault on national sovereignty as serious as the sale of Brazilian strategic public companies such as Petrobras, which are expected to take place in 2022," Rousseff denounces in a signed article, published on the web page of the Workers' Party of Brazil.

It must be kept in mind that environmental catastrophe and privatization are dangerous, because while some economic decisions can be reviewed and cancelled, the extinction of the world's largest rainforest and the sale of the seventh oil company in the world are irreversible.

Rousseff points out that "it is no coincidence that on the same day, the neo-fascist government accused social organizations that defend the Amazon of instigating the forest fires, and announced the privatization of 17 public companies as well as the sale of Petrobras, the largest Brazilian company."

She points out that it is a project for the destruction of Brazil, both of its companies and its natural wealth.

For the ex-president (2011-2016), "the defence of the Amazon has become an urgent, immediate problem that must be addressed before it is too late. In one year, more than 72,000 fire outbreaks were recorded in the environmentally rich region of Brazil." In just one week, she adds, there were 68 major fire outbreaks in Indigenous and protected areas, verified by satellite imagery, an increase of 70 per cent over last year.

"The defence of the Amazon is a fundamental issue. At this time, the heart of the planet is burning and bleeding; it needs to be protected from its enemies, among them, surprisingly enough, the current Brazilian government. So we have to go out into the streets for the demonstrations scheduled for this afternoon in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and other cities in Brazil and around the world."

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he is "deeply concerned" about the fires that are devastating significant areas of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and that Brazilian and Peruvian towns are covered with smoke.

"In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to an important source of oxygen and biodiversity," he said on Twitter. "The Amazon must be protected."

(Photo and article: PT of Brazil)

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Canadian Government Reinstates Some Visa
Services for Cubans at Embassy in Havana

Montreal demonstration, June 9, 2019, demands Canadian government restore consular
services at its embassy in Havana.

On July 29, the Canadian government announced that its embassy in Havana would be reinstating some of the services suspended abruptly on May 8 with the closure of the embassy's visa processing section. Suspension of those services forced most Cubans to travel to a third country to obtain the visas required for them to visit, study or work in Canada. As of August 1, Cuban residents are once again able to get their fingerprints and photos taken, as well as drop off their passports and pick up visas at the embassy in Havana.

Despite the restoration of certain in-country services, there are still barriers, including delays and prohibitive costs, for those applying for permanent residency, for spouses and close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who must still travel outside of Cuba for any required medical exams and interviews. Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Mexico City are the only available options for interviews. Added to the cost of airline tickets and accommodations, Cuban citizens must obtain a visa in order to travel to Mexico.

In January, Ottawa reduced staffing at its embassy in Havana by 50 per cent, citing "safety" issues, after a number of its personnel reported experiencing symptoms of an undetermined origin, not unlike those previously reported by some U.S. embassy personnel in Havana. In spite of no evidence regarding the source of the symptoms being uncovered by extensive investigations carried out by U.S. and Cuban experts, the Trump administration claims its diplomats suffered health "attacks" for which Cuba is to blame and has withdrawn all but a handful of its embassy staff and discontinued all visa processing for Cubans in Havana. Given that this occurred right as Trump was reversing initiatives begun under the Obama administration to normalize relations with Cuba, and acting to further attack Cuba in different ways, including for its support of Venezuela, there were concerns about the Trudeau government's motive for following the U.S. lead in drastically cutting embassy staff and closing its visa office in Havana.

Public Outcry Demands Reopening of Visa Office

Toronto picket June 9, 2019, demanding consular services resume at Canadian embassy
in Havana.

Canada's decision to partially restore the suspended visa processing services on August 1 follows a public outcry. Within two days of the announcement being made the Canadian Network on Cuba issued a statement expressing concern over what it said were hostile actions on Canada's part and calling for the visa office in Havana to be reopened. The Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies wrote to complain about three distinguished Cuban scholars who were unable to attend their 50th anniversary conference in Toronto because they never received their visas despite having applied more than three months in advance and having paid for all their travel and lodging expenses. The letter said the Canadian government's conduct in this matter did not "meet the standards we expect and demand from the Canadian public service."

In May and June, protests were held in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto by friends of Cuba and Cubans resident in Canada. Opposition was also expressed by people in Cuba. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and Ambassador to Canada Josefina Vidal made a strong case in their meetings with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and other Canadian government officials about there being no justification for closing the visa office in Havana. Ambassador Vidal said at a public meeting in Toronto that the Canadian government should reconsider its decision so it would not be remembered as the government that ended Canada-Cuba people-to-people relations. Initiatives were also taken on social media. One of these was a video featuring people in Cuba and Canada giving personal testimonials about the hardship and distress the Canadian government's drastic action was causing them.

On July 17 a national day of action was held and a petition launched by the Canadian Network on Cuba to demand the government reopen its visa office and fully restore all visa processing services in Havana. People were encouraged to use the day to raise the same demand with elected officials by phone, email and on social media with the hashtags #CdnVisasforCuba, #UnBlockCuba and #NoMasBloqueo. Less than two weeks later, the government announced it was restoring some of the services it said on May 8 would no longer be offered at its embassy in Havana.

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U.S. Government Allocates Millions of Dollars
to Obstruct Cuban Medical Cooperation

Cuban doctors return home from Brazil in 2018 -- some of thousands of Cuban health
professionals and technicians working in many countries around the world.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces and strongly condemns the United States government's recent aggression against Cuba through a USAID program to finance projects and seek information to discredit and sabotage Cuba's international health care cooperation in dozens of countries, benefitting millions of people. This plan joins the disgraceful pressure exerted on several governments to hamper Cuban cooperation, and previous attempts with the same purpose such as the special "parole" program meant to rob human resources trained in Cuba.

The core of this immoral slander is the totally unfounded allegation that Cuba is involved in the trafficking of persons and practices slavery, attempting to denigrate the meritorious work done voluntarily, over a long period of our history, by hundreds of thousands of Cuban health professionals and technicians in many countries, especially in the Third World.

This is an attack on bilateral programs and inter-governmental cooperation projects, all legitimately established by the Cuban government and those of dozens of countries, adhering to United Nations guidelines regarding South-South cooperation and meeting health standards sovereignly defined by the governments involved.

This is an attack against acts of solidarity that have been recognized by the international community and praised specifically by the highest authorities in the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization.

These lies reveal the base morality of the U.S government and politicians dedicated to the business of aggression against Cuba. The campaign is funded with millions of dollars and enjoys the complicity of several mass media outlets, in particular, of unscrupulous reporters who sacrifice their supposed impartiality and objectivity to serve the political interests of the U.S. government.

For decades and today, in nations with unfavorable economic conditions, this cooperation has been, and is, provided as a gesture of solidarity, with costs covered practically in their totality by Cuba. Likewise, in line with United Nations conceptions on cooperation between developing nations, services are offered in several countries on the basis of complementarity and partial compensation.

This exchange is completely fair and legitimate among developing countries, many of which have natural riches, economies, and industrial development greater than Cuba's, but lack the human resources our state has been able to create -- disinterested, humanist professionals willing to work under the most difficult conditions, of their own free will; and a conception of health care coverage that years of experience have allowed us to construct.

Cuban technicians and professionals who participate in these programs do so absolutely freely and voluntarily. During the fulfillment of their missions, they continue to receive their full salaries and additionally receive a stipend in the destination country, along with other forms of compensation.

In those cases in which Cuba receives compensation for the cooperation provided, these collaborators are meritoriously making a highly valuable, fair, and totally legitimate contribution to the financing, sustainability, and development of our massive, free health care system that is accessible to each and every Cuban, as well as cooperation programs that are carried out in many parts of the world.

Access to health care is a human right and the United States is committing a crime when it attempts to deny or obstruct its provision for political reasons or as an act of aggression.

(Havana, August 29, 2019)

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Cuba Celebrates 66th Anniversary of July 26 Movement

 Assault on Moncada Barracks Affirms History, Independence and the Cause of Peace and Justice

Ottawa Moncada Day celebration 2019

On July 26, 1953, a group of courageous young men and women -- led by Fidel Castro -- attacked the Moncada Barracks in the city of Santiago de Cuba, and the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks in Bayamo, in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. supported puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista. As the island's second largest military garrison, the Moncada Barracks was critical to Batista's military control of southern Cuba. The goal was to seize the weapons and distribute them to the people and spark a national uprising that would not only overthrow the Batista dictatorship but also establish Cuba's independence and sovereignty. This heroic act is annually commemorated all over Cuba as the beginning of the movement and struggle that laid the foundation of the Cuban Revolution.

This year's commemorations are imbued with a particular poignancy; it is the second without the physical presence of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro. Fidel epitomized the unbending commitment to Justice, Dignity and Independence that has characterized Cuba since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Fidel's living legacy continues in the work of the Cuban Revolution. Fidel's example and fidelity to principle continue to inspire the Cuban people, who continue on the path of independence, self-determination and human dignity.

Toronto, Moncada Day 2019

The attacks were carried out by an organization that was created in 1952, under the leadership of Fidel Castro and Abel Santamaría, and comprised of young workers, students, artisans, peasants and landless farmers. It had around 1,500 members and affiliated itself with historic Cuban national liberation figures such as José Martí and Antonio Maceo. Around 120 youths were part of the attacks, approximately 70 of whom were killed, with many being tortured and executed after the attack. The survivors, including Fidel Castro, were subsequently put on trial and given lengthy prison sentences. Most, including Fidel Castro, were released after an amnesty in May 1955. This amnesty was the result of the mass mobilization of Cubans in support of the imprisoned rebels. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, the July 26th Movement galvanized Cubans, ultimately leading to the victory of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959.

While the Moncada attack failed in fulfilling its immediate objective, it was central to the Cuban people's struggle for national affirmation and social emancipation. Cubans have always placed Moncada in a broad historical context, viewing it as a crucial link in the century-long striving of Cuba to free itself from Spanish colonial domination and U.S. tutelage, and then, establish authentic independence. At his trial Fidel Castro delivered a speech that eventually became the manifesto of the movement to overthrow the Batista tyranny. It was published as La Historia Me Absolvera (History Will Absolve Me) and laid out the national and social goals of the revolutionary movement that eventually triumphed on January 1, 1959. Today, the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks, now a school and a museum, stand as concrete symbols of that successful struggle.

2019 Moncada Day celebrations in Calgary (top) and Vancouver

Since the Cuban people embarked on the road paved by Moncada, Cuba has refuted and continues to refute the colonialist mentality and practice of foisting on independent countries imperial arrangements and dictates that they resoundingly reject. The Cuban Revolution has refused to renounce its right to self-determination and its principles, principles forged in the crucible of Moncada.

History has given its judgment, vindicating the attack on the Moncada Barracks!

Long Live the Martyrs of Moncada!
Long Live the Cuban Revolution!

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25th São Paulo Forum

Final Declaration

The delegates to the 25th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum, gathered in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, cradle of the Liberator Simón Bolívar and of his worthy follower, Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of his birth, have reached the following conclusions:

One year after the 24th Meeting in Havana, the multifaceted reactionary offensive of U.S. imperialism and its oligarchic right-wing allies has deepened. But at the same time, Latin America and the Caribbean are also the scene of important popular struggles and triumphs that have halted the imperial offensive. The recent cases of Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico confirm this.

It is urgent to retake the initiative with more vigour and efficiency. This is possible "when there is unity, determined and capable political leadership, clear objectives of struggle, combat morale and [the struggle is] rooted in the popular classes." This view, approved by the 24th Meeting last year, remains totally valid.

Despite the fact that the negative effects of the concentration of property, power and wealth in the hands of the usual privileged minority continue to deepen, in the countries of the region where this has happened social protest is growing, while the left, popular and progressive forces, especially in the sphere of social and popular movements, are putting forward anti-neoliberal proposals that we must encourage and resolutely support.

The international right does not cease in its subversive plans; it operates in a coordinated manner to divide and/or weaken our national States; it aims to annihilate or delegitimize any project of social change that seeks to advance along non-capitalist or simply post-neoliberal paths; it works tirelessly to erode our national identities, as well as the cultural values that give us social cohesion; and it is accelerating its efforts aimed at dividing us on every terrain.

Let us oppose the disintegration program of the right with the sovereign integration program that is worthy of our peoples. Faced with the free trade agreements promoted by the United States, let us strengthen sovereign integration projects such as CELAC, Alba-TCP, Mercosur and other popular and autonomous integration initiatives.

The Trump Administration, the perfect expression of the Yankee Empire and transnational financialized capitalism that prevails today, seeks to reverse, with increasing violence in all spheres, its declining relative power as the hegemonic centre of the international right. United, let us prevent it from achieving its historic goals of domination over the lands of Our America. We are obligated with our peoples to prevent the Monroe Doctrine from achieving its interventionist aims. The Bolivar Doctrine to face the Monroe Doctrine.

The political experience of the left and of the popular and progressive forces from 1959 to the present multiplies the hopes for maintaining that it is possible to defeat any imperial offensive. This is demonstrated today by the Bolivarian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution itself, the successful Bolivian political experience and Sandinista Nicaragua.

Let us strengthen the struggles for justice for all, for social emancipation, for full political sovereignty, economic independence and the self-determination of our peoples.

Indigenous delegates at the Foro de São Paulo

Let us continue to build the broadest anti-imperialist anti-neoliberal unity with respect to the diversity of left and progressive political parties and forces, the social and popular movements that unite them, and the left and progressive governments, to defeat the imperialist offensive and the deepening and/or restoration of neoliberalism.

Faced with these realities, the 25th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum calls with a sense of urgency, to strengthen the world movement in defence of peace, democracy and the social gains that have been achieved. The aggressive and irresponsible international conduct of the current Trump Administration demands it.

It calls for the promotion of the broadest worldwide solidarity with the defence of the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people, and their right to live in peace.

It supports the dialogue between the Bolivarian Government and the opposition tendencies promoted by the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro, as it is a genuine expression of the current democracy and freedoms in Venezuela, which is why it is supported by the majority of the Venezuelan people for settling differences constitutionally and peacefully, without foreign interference.

It energetically rejects the threats of military intervention against Venezuela and condemns all aspects of the economic, financial, commercial blockade and diplomatic siege of the government of the United States.

The preservation of peace in Venezuela is the preservation of peace in the region and one of the priorities of the parties that make up the São Paulo Forum.

It reaffirms the just causes approved in the 23rd and 24th São Paulo Forum Meetings, considering them to be valid. Accordingly, this 25th Meeting calls to:

Emphasize, as a common goal, the defence of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, approved at the 2nd Summit of CELAC. This is urgent and vital.

Defend CELAC as the greatest unitary development of the last 200 years and spread the notion of integration among our peoples.

Repudiate the dangerous military presence of the United States and its NATO allies in the Caribbean and the Atlantic for clearly aggressive purposes and putting pressure on our nations.

Vigorously reject the Monroe Doctrine and all notions of the U.S. about Latin America and the Caribbean being its "backyard."

Organize actions in every space possible to oppose the domination of Yankee Imperialism in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Be rigorously acquainted with how the international, regional and local right operates against this continent that we defend and will defend.

Reaffirm the importance of the São Paulo Forum's relations with the left parties of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Denounce the interfering role of the OAS in the service of the USA. It continues to operate as a faithful U.S. ministry of colonies, symbolized by its Secretary General Luís Almagro, pawn of the Empire.

Condemn the unconventional war being waged by the United States against governments that do not bow to its orders and interests.

Vigorously confront the right's advance over our peoples. Evidence of this is the recycled, authoritarian and pro-fascist neoliberal governments, such as those of Bolsonaro in Brazil, Iván Duque in Colombia, and Mario Abdo Benítez in Paraguay, Mauricio Macri in Argentina, Lenin Moreno in Ecuador and Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras, which destroy democracy and social rights that have been won.

Support the Honduran people for their persistent and courageous struggle in defence of their rights, against neoliberal policies and the corruption that characterizes neoliberalism, and in favour of the construction of an alternative that prioritizes the interests of the majority of the people. The struggle of the latter, led by the LIBRE party, is an example to be followed by those who suffer the disastrous consequences of neoliberalism.

Strongly condemn the permanent genocide committed by the governing ultra-right in Colombia against any organized expression of the social and popular movement, through the unacceptable systematic assassination of social leaders, former guerrilla fighters and their families. Demand, in addition, the freedom of Simón Trinidad and the ex-guerrilla fighters who remain in jail.

Demand that the Colombian government fully comply with the Peace Accords, which are vital to ensure that our continent continues to be a zone of peace. Likewise, we support the FARC party for its persistent defence of the Agreements and its compliance with them, which constitutes an invaluable contribution to the struggle for peace. To achieve this peace, we demand the immediate resumption of talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Denounce the intervention of the United States in Nicaragua against the Sandinista Revolution, through an unacceptable coup attempt, defeated by the Nicaraguan people, whose right to peace must be defended by all. The United States will not succeed in defeating the heroic people of Sandino with economic sanctions

Offer all solidarity to the FMLN, whose membership and people are victims of aggression and revanchism on the part of the local right, at the service of the U.S., through the violation of rights that were won and to delegitimize them through the courts, as is happening with grave acts of political persecution and violation of human rights in Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina. The imprisonment of Lula and Jorge Glas demonstrates this, as well as the judicial persecution of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Rafael Correa and Ricardo Patiño. And we demand the freedom of all political prisoners.

Support the candidacy of Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera in Bolivia, who with the support of the majority of their people are betting on developing the "Bicentennial Agenda" in their fourth term of office, with the objective of settling the outstanding historical debts of the 19th and 20th centuries and facing the tasks of the 21st century in conditions of economic independence and full political sovereignty.

Support the proposal of Daniel Martínez for president and Graciela Villar for vice-president of Uruguay, whose triumph would guarantee the continuity of the policies in favour of the Uruguayan people, and the laws that benefit historically neglected sectors such as domestic workers, rural workers or trans people. And the defence of sovereignty and democracy in Uruguay that governments of the Frente Amplio are carrying out.

Support the popular movement in Argentina that has managed to form a unitary alliance in the Frente de Todos, which has Alberto Fernández as its candidate for president and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as its candidate for vice-president, to confront Macrism and its policies of hunger, indebtedness, repression and the surrender of sovereignty in the next electoral contest in October. The defeat of Macri and neoliberalism in Argentina would be a triumph for Our American integration and would once again encourage struggles and resistance in the rest of the countries.

Reject Washington's policy of criminalizing emigrants, especially those from Central America. In this sense, we condemn and reject the immigration control agreement between the United States and the government of Guatemala, a country whose sovereignty is violated and whose territory, with such an agreement, would be transformed into a virtual prison for those who wish to enter the United States; and their intention to do the same with Mexico.

Support the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose triumph, with massive popular participation, demonstrated that there is no end to the progressive cycle; it opened up perspectives of change in favour of the great majorities with the programme of the Fourth Transformation and could give a new impulse to the processes of the autonomous and sovereign regional integration of our peoples, in keeping with the principles of the self-determination of peoples, non-intervention and the peaceful solution of conflicts.

Reject all forms of racism, social discrimination and discrimination based on sexual orientation. In this sense, support the agenda of struggle for the rights of the LGBTTI community.

Demand respect for the human rights of women, violated by neoliberal policies. Defend the role of Latin American and Caribbean women as fundamental builders of emancipatory change processes, as well as of active resistance to the neoliberal counteroffensive and the loss of rights that have been won. Support the massive feminist mobilizations underway in the continent. Without the contribution of women it will be impossible to advance towards the true independence of our nations. Understand that the struggle for gender equality can only succeed if we take up the struggle for class equality. Only by banishing capitalism will it be possible to eliminate patriarchy.

Condemn all forms of discrimination and violence against women, exclusion, the trafficking of women and girls, sexual exploitation, femicide, and demand greater support and protection of women's sexual and reproductive rights.

Condemn drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism in all its forms.

Defend access to water as a human right and as a right of peoples to develop their agricultural activity, a source of wealth and work that ensures food sovereignty, as well as defend the environment, land and territories.

Support the demands of the Caribbean Island States to be compensated for the damage caused by slavery.

Demand the unconditional, total and definitive end of the U.S. government's criminal and increased economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which constitutes the main obstacle to the economic and social development of the country and a flagrant and massive violation of the human rights of Cubans. As part of their siege of Cuba, along with other hostile measures, they are applying the Helms Burton Act and have activated Title III, ...

Demand the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base to Cuba.

Support Argentina's historic claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Argentine Antarctica and the surrounding maritime areas. Also challenge the agreement known as "Foradori-Duncan" between the current government of Argentina and the United Kingdom that was concluded in September 2016.

Support the right of Bolivia's sovereign return to the Pacific Ocean through the dialogue between the Chilean and Bolivian peoples, and the achievement of an agreement based on solidarity that will allow Bolivia access to a sea and might make an improvement in the lives of the population possible by facilitating the exploitation of maritime resources, the export of organic products and an encounter with cultures from around the world through a sovereign port.

Defend, respect and guarantee the rights and culture of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

Demand the decolonization of the Caribbean and firm support for the Independence of Puerto Rico. We salute the multitudinous demonstrations of the Puerto Rican people against the corruption of the colonial and annexationist administration of Ricardo Rosselló and in defence of borinqueña dignity.

Demand the immediate release of Lula, victim of an abusive, illegal and outrageous exercise of judicial power against him.

Reject the U.S. empire's policy of describing Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as members of a so-called axis of evil.

Defend, as one of the central objectives of the São Paulo Forum, the construction of anti-imperialist anti-neoliberal unity as the tactic and strategy for victory, in defence of sovereignty, independence, democracy, self-determination and human rights in Our America, with real political leadership by its peoples.

The entire political spectrum of the São Paulo Forum is a prioritized target of the destabilizing strategy aimed at defeating left, popular and progressive governments, destroying their political and social forces, and criminalizing and prosecuting their leaders and social protest.

The São Paulo Forum's identity -- we reaffirm it -- must continue to be anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal, with militant support for all left-wing, popular and progressive governments that are under siege, and support for the just causes of the peoples.

"Actions speak louder than words." Based on this maxim of Martí, we propose to concentrate the efforts of the São Paulo Forum in the following main directions in the coming months:

-- Strengthen [São Paulo Forum] as an instance of concerted efforts, cooperation and mutual solidarity among our parties and social movements. To this end, it will be fundamental to support, as a new occasion for global exchange, the Anti-Imperialist Encounter of Solidarity, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism that will take place in Havana, Cuba, between the 1st and 3rd of next November, as agreed by the Working Group in Managua. Likewise, we call for transforming the regional secretariats of the São Paulo Forum into much more effective instruments of coordination and communication among our members.

-- Multiply the actions of mutual solidarity with initiatives that demonstrate the strength of our organizations and peoples. In this area, we propose to increase active solidarity with the peoples and governments of the left that are the subject of stepped-up stalking by the United States and the continental right. At the same time, we call for making solidarity with all the leaders of the left who are currently imprisoned or persecuted a matter of principle. The case of Lula shows what we can do in that sense.

-- Turn the tasks of improving political communication and training of our cadres and militants into prioritized fronts of work by means of coordinated actions among our forces, as agreed by the Working Group in Managua. Resume the study and updating of the Consensus of Our America that condenses the values and programmatic guidelines shared by this Forum, which will be an opportune time for the bases to debate and enrich it.

Hasta la victoria siempre!

(Translation from the original Spanish by Internationalist 360°, edited for publication by TML.)

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Aim of Falsifications of the Origins of the Second World War

Significance of the Non-Aggression Pact Signed by the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany

Great Soviet victory against the Nazis at Stalingrad (left); Hoisting the Banner of Peace and Democracy: Red Army soldiers raise the red flag over the Reichstag in Berlin, May 2, 1945, signifying victory over fascism in Europe (right).

On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union signed what is now known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact with Germany. The agreement stipulated that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union would not attack Germany. Future events proved the farsightedness of Stalin in signing the pact which was the best of all available alternatives. It provided the Soviet Union with 22 months of peace so as to prepare herself to withstand the inevitable German invasion which Hitler had foreshadowed in his 1925 book, Mein Kampf, when he openly declared that Germany needed to "turn our gaze to the lands in the east." The pact also put an end to the Anglo-American and French policy of egging Hitler toward the East so that an isolated Soviet Union would end up facing massive German forces.

The Nazis did eventually invade the Soviet Union as expected but not until June 22, 1941. It was the largest German military operation of the war. The heroic and protracted Soviet resistance against the Nazi hordes for almost two years culminated in the great Soviet victory at Stalingrad on February 2, 1943 that concluded with the encirclement and surrender of a German army of 300,000 troops. That was the turning point of the entire war. Stalingrad was followed by another decisive Soviet victory in a tank battle at Kursk. These triumphs began a powerful counteroffensive that drove the German Hitlerites steadily backward until the final demise of the Third Reich in Berlin. On May 9, 1945, the anti-fascist allied forces of the world, with the Soviet Union and communists of all lands at the head of the Resistance Movement, declared victory over the Hitlerite Nazis. Fascist Germany acknowledged defeat and declared unconditional surrender.

Panzer units move through Pruzhaney in western Belarus, June 1941, as the Nazi invasion of the USSR begins.

Completely ignoring these undisputed facts, the reactionaries of today use the anniversary of the non-aggression pact to promote self-serving disinformation which presents Russia as their enemy and seeks to invite the peoples of what are called the Western democracies to once again engage in a campaign to isolate Russia, as well as China. They present themselves as the architects of the great victory of the world's people over Nazi Germany. Again and again, they slander the great deeds of the Soviet Union by making the same claims that Goebbels made in 1939. One of the main ways this is done is by ignoring what the British and French, supported by the U.S. industrialists, did at Munich and instead declaring: "On August 25, 1939 the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which led to the Second World War, the killing of millions of people and the Holocaust." This big lie that blames the Soviet Union for the war is aimed at concealing the real facts, which are that the two main factors leading to the world war were the huge U.S. investments in the German economy, beginning with the 1924 U.S. Dawes Plan, which financed the rebuilding of their industries, especially their war industries, and the policy of appeasement of Germany by renouncing collective security that was consummated in Munich on September 29, 1938.

The big lies about the so-called Soviet-German alliance began in January 1948 with the U.S. publication of material from the diaries of Hitlerite officials, in collaboration with the British and French foreign offices, which left out any mention of what happened in Munich! This began a fresh wave of slander and lies in connection with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact. The German documents were all written from the standpoint of the Hitler government without the documents seized by the Soviets or the Soviet documents. They were published as a deliberate Cold War campaign against the Soviet Union on the part of the Anglo-American imperialists. The Soviet Information Bureau immediately published a very important document titled "Falsificators of History" to refute them.[1] These same lies about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact are repeated including by the government of Canada, which in 1939 used them  to vilify the Canadian communists it had interned. By declaring the Soviet Union an enemy, it began treating the interned communists as agents of an enemy of Canada. Today, the aim of propaganda about foreign interference in elections is to create a climate which will assist a foreign policy which does not favour the people of Canada or the world. It is no accident that some of those carrying out this propaganda today are descendants of the very same Nazi collaborators that spread death and destruction across Europe in the Second World War.

One specific falsification is the suggestion that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not a non-aggression pact but a "military alliance." This deliberately tries to convey the lie that the pact included an agreement that under certain conditions the communist Soviet Union and the anti-communist Nazi Germany could take joint military action against some third country. But the pact contained no such agreement. As previously stated, the agreement was only that the two countries would not attack each other. Even hard-core reactionaries are now forced to admit that "the Soviet Union eventually played a major role in helping defeat the Nazis." Nonetheless, they still allege that prior to joining the war on the Allied side, Stalin was "helping Hitler." This is said to divert attention from the fact that the British and French were "helping Hitler " when they signed such pacts a year earlier and refused to sign a collective security pact with the Soviet Union. It is also significant that these same official circles never once mention how U.S. corporations, such as General Motors, Ford, and Standard Oil, supplied the Nazi war machine with essential materials that enabled their invasion of Europe.

As for the lie that Stalin's signing of the non-aggression pact with Germany was the cause of the Second World War, it should be noted that Britain and France had already issued a joint declaration of non-aggression with Germany in 1938, not to mention signed a "Pact of Accord and Cooperation" in 1933 when Hitler came to power. Poland signed a non-aggression pact with the Nazis in 1934, five years before the Soviet Union did. Of all the non-aggressive Great Powers in Europe, the Soviet Union was forced into a pact with the Germans as a result of the rejection of collective security by Britain and France.

"The history of events in 1938, both before and after Hitler's occupation of Austria in March show that the Soviet Union, as it had done in earlier years, made many efforts to persuade Britain and France to maintain collective mutual assistance and in particular to carry out their undertaking to defend Czechoslovakia against aggression.... The Soviet Union was not only willing to join forces with France to defend Czechoslovakia, if France would keep her word, but was prepared to defend Czechoslovakia on her own, even if France refused."[2]

Joseph Stalin at meeting of the Supreme Soviet in 1938.

All the efforts by the Soviet Union to build collective security failed. The British and French refused to sign any collective mutual assistance pact with the Soviet Union. Instead, they signed the September 29, 1938, Munich Pact with Germany and Italy which permitted Germany to incorporate the Sudeten, ordered the Czechs not to resist Nazi aggression, and gave the Nazis the green light to launch their attacks across Europe. Of course, the reactionaries never want to discuss the Munich Pact because it was such a blatant betrayal of the world's people that even Winston Churchill accused British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the British Parliament: "You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war."

It is indisputable that faced with the British and French betrayal, the Soviet Union had no choice but to take whatever measures it could to defend itself and the cause of peace.

Just to give one example of the policy of appeasement of Hitler, Memo #8604, which was sent to Moscow by Russian intelligence from Prague several days before the signing of the Munich Agreement, reads: "On September 19, British Ambassador Newton and French Ambassador De Lacroix conveyed to Milan Hodza (Czechoslovak prime minister in 1935-1938) the following on behalf of Chamberlain and Daladier, respectfully: 'Guided by the lofty principles of preserving peace in Europe, they consider it necessary for Germany to incorporate the Sudeten region. A system of mutual aid pacts with other countries should be cancelled.'"[3] They claimed that this betrayal of the Czech people which led to German occupation was "guided by the lofty principles of peace." Yet, within a year of marching into Czechoslovakia, Germany had invaded Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Britain.

Another oft-repeated lie is that in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany agreed to "divide Poland," again falsely implying that the pact included a commitment to joint military action against a third country. While it is true that the Nazis invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, committing one of the worst war crimes the world has ever seen by killing about 6 million people including most of the Polish intelligentsia and sending its workers who were not killed into slave labour camps, the role of the Soviet Union was entirely different. The Soviet Army marched into the territory of Poland on September 17 after the Polish state had collapsed, the Polish army had disintegrated, the government had ceased to function and its aristocratic leaders had fled. Further, also to protect itself and the people of these countries the Soviet Union marched into the territories of the Ukraine and Byelorussia that Poland had forcibly annexed from the Soviet Union during the Polish-Russian War of 1919-20, when Poland was one of the 14 invading imperialist countries that attempted but failed to strangle the newborn Soviet socialist republic. Only about eight per cent of the people in the Ukraine and Byelorussia were of Polish origin.

What was the result of the Soviet Army marching into Poland?

"As a result of the Soviet Union's timely entry into what had been territories of the Polish state, Hitler was forced to accept a line of demarcation between his troops and the Red Army, a long way west of the then Polish-Russian frontier."[4] The Red Army saved millions of people inhabiting the Ukraine and Byelorussia from the fate which Hitler reserved for the Polish people. Even Winston Churchill publicly justified the Soviet march into eastern Poland as necessary not only for the safety of the people of Poland and the Soviet Union but also of the people of the Baltic states and Ukraine. On October 1, 1939, Churchill said in a public radio broadcast:

On October 1, 1939, Churchill said in a public radio broadcast: "That the Russian armies should stand on this line (Curzon) was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace. At any rate, the line is there, and an Eastern Front has been created which Nazi Germany does not dare assail. When Herr von Ribbentrop was summoned to Moscow last week it was to learn the fact, and accept the fact, that the Nazi designs upon the Baltic states and upon the Ukraine must come to a dead stop."

The nefarious actions of the Anglo-Americans and the French behind the back of the Soviet Union destroyed the existing elements of the collective resistance system against Nazi Germany. It was the Munich Pact signed by Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy which was the final cowardly act that triggered the Second World War, the killing of millions of people, and the European Holocaust. The judgment of history points to the truth about the Anglo-American and French betrayal of the world's people and to the truth about the heroic role of the Soviet Union and J. V. Stalin in defeating the Nazis. No falsifiers of history can change those facts.

"In the end, the resistance of the Soviet peoples led by Stalin and the Communist Party broke the back of the Nazi aggressors. Some 50 million people died and another 35 million were seriously wounded during the Anti-Fascist War, with the peoples of the Soviet Union bearing the brunt of the casualties."[5]

For Canadian officials to promote lies about the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, to the extent that the Parliament of Canada declared August 23 "Black Ribbon Day," is unacceptable. Anti-fascist Canadians will never accept warmongering in the name of peace.


1. Soviet Information Bureau, Falsificators of History (Moscow, 1948).

2. Stalin "planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed to the pact": Stalin was "prepared to move more than a million Soviet troops to the German border to deter Hitler's aggression just before the Second World War," Nick Holdsworth, Telegraph, October 18, 2008.

3. Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Declassifies Munich Agreement Papers, Valery Harmolenko, RIA Novosti, September 29, 2008.

4. Bains, Hardial, Causes and Lessons of the Second World War (Toronto: MELS, 1990).

5. "The overthrow of the imperialist system is the only guarantee for peace," The Marxist-Leninist Daily, May 11, 2010.

Article 14 - 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles: Self-Serving Inter-Imperialist Treaty for Redivision of the World

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100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles

Self-Serving Inter-Imperialist Treaty for
Redivision of the World

One hundred years ago on June 28, the Versailles Treaty that ended the First World War was signed in Paris between Germany and the allied powers of the United Kingdom, France, and the U.S. All of these countries had played major roles in provoking and unleashing this catastrophic four-year long war that was aimed at redividing the world among imperial powers and resulted in the slaughter of an estimated 15 to 19 million military personnel and civilians. In addition to the deaths, approximately 23 million were wounded, and millions died from war-related famine and disease.

The Versailles agreement followed months of negotiations amongst the big powers which, for the most part, excluded defeated Germany. The newly-formed Soviet Russia was also excluded even though Russia had been forced to give up large territories, resources and population to Germany during the war and the subsequent Brest-Litovsk Treaty. Other smaller and weaker countries, like Canada, which had fought on the allied side during the war, were allowed a token number of seats in the negotiations, but there was no doubt that the "big three" victorious powers -- the UK, France and the U.S. -- were in charge and out to wreak vengeance on Germany and its allies including the Ottoman Empire.

Germany signed this flawed, predatory agreement under extreme duress, the allies having issued a statement that if Germany refused to sign the document it would be invaded within 24 hours and the war would resume.

The agreement, which included 15 parts and 440 articles, was particularly harsh and draconian. Indeed, the terms were read out to the German representatives in a humiliating way with no discussion or even questions allowed. New boundaries were drawn up that handed over or ceded substantial territories previously situated within Germany's boundaries to France, Belgium, Poland and other countries. All told, Germany lost 65,000 square kilometres of territory and 7 million people. In addition, it was stripped of most of its colonies, had severe restrictions imposed on its military, and had to accept responsibility for the losses and damages of the allies.

Under the agreement, Germany was required to pay a staggering 132 billion marks (roughly U.S.$442 billion) in reparations, an amount that Germany, in severe economic distress after the war, was unable to pay. For their part, the victorious allies were deeply divided over the extent that Germany should be punished, with France wanting to permanently cripple Germany on the economic, political and military fronts, while the UK aimed to keep Germany afloat just enough to play it off against post-war competitor France.

Across the ocean, the U.S. looked to use the treaty to expand its imperial influence in Europe, as well as collect on huge debts owed to it by European countries, incurred during the course of the war. In the end, the victorious powers came to a compromise with which no one was happy and that sowed the seeds for further colonial expansion and aggression to divide up the world, eventually resulting in the rise of Nazism and fascism, and the outbreak of the Second World War.

There are those who make the curious claim that Canada's token participation in the Versailles Treaty somehow was a "defining moment" in Canadian history where Canada "stood on its own" for the first time as an independent country, and achieved big power status. Such chauvinistic statements are part of the massive disinformation about World War I which claims that terrible conflict was part of the struggle to save "western civilization" and "end imperial aggression," completely obscuring the fact that the war broke out because of the aggression and predatory aims of the same big powers, such as Britain and France, with which Canada was allied.

Far from establishing independent nationhood, Canada participated in the First World War as part of the British Empire. It was given a lackey role in the Versailles Treaty negotiations which underscored its service to empire and the big powers of the day. Canada's subservient role continues to be a main feature of Canada's foreign policy to this day. Then as now, Canada's role in imperialist aggression is in serious contradiction with the desire of working people for Canada to be a country that upholds international peace and defends its own sovereignty and that of all others.

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Reader's Note

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