of 42nd Parliament
First Week of 42nd Parliament
New Liberal Government's
"Different Style of Leadership"
The first week of sitting of the new Parliament from
December 7 to 11 was used by the government to pass one motion: a ways
and means motion to adjust income tax brackets and rates, and Bill C-3
to authorize spending for costs associated with resettling Syrian
refugees in Canada. The
also established one committee, Procedure and House Affairs, which met
December 8 and December 10. The government attempted but failed to
establish a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the
of Commons to make recommendations on a response to the Carter v.
Canada Supreme Court ruling on physician-assisted suicide.
consent was required to establish committees during the short timeframe
December sitting. Attempts to establish the membership of the Finance
Committee and to hold its first meeting December 11 also did not
unanimous consent. The next opportunity to strike this and other
will come when Parliament returns on January 25, 2016.
The government's first attempt to receive consent for
the committee on physician-assisted suicide failed on December 10. The
Bloc Québécois, which under standard practice will not be
allowed to sit on committees as it fell below the 12-MP threshold,
pointed out that the issue which the committee will be reviewing is
significant in Quebec and that they should be represented and did not
give consent. For this the Liberals castigated the Bloc MPs calling
them "completely irresponsible" and "not honouring the leadership of
Quebec," presumably meaning the Couillard Liberal government.
Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc accused the Bloc MPs of
preventing Canadians from being heard on the issue as the government
says it intends to consult on the issue. After this attempt to cajole
MPs into giving consent LeBlanc then said he was "surprised" that Bloc
MPs were still asking to sit on the committee, even as non-voting
members, and said that MPs could take part in a future debate in the
House of Commons on any legislation the government proposes.
The House of Commons Procedure and House Affairs
Committee met on
December 10 but failed to form its steering committee, the Subcommittee
on Agenda and Procedure. One of the
Vice-Chairs, MP David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP) proposed a
motion that would see the
steering committee composed
of the Chair, two Vice-Chairs and one, rather than two government MPs.
would mean that besides the Chair, there would be one MP each from the
Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic parties. Christopherson said
would encourage the steering committee to operate by consensus rather
having final decisions made by the ruling party. Christopherson also
to the presence of Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the
in the House of Commons Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North) at the
December 10 meeting, saying he was there "to ride shotgun on behalf of
PMO to make sure this committee does exactly what the Prime Minister
The government's motions to attempt to
establish committees were all introduced by noting that "There have
discussions among all parties and I believe you will find unanimous
for the following motion." Notably these discussions did not take place
Parliament or in any public forum and imply that the basis for the new
government's image of cooperation and a new tone for Parliament is
deals in which some quid pro quo
takes place about which Canadians are not
4 and 11 government MPs stated at least eight times that there had been
"discussions among" or "consultations with" other parties to reach an
agreement but not once did any MP reveal the content of those
where they took place and who participated.
Whatever the content of these backroom deals, they were
during the three days of attempts to establish the Finance Committee
government said it intended to present a report on pre-budget
than February 5, 2016. No MPs came forward to discuss openly the
for giving or refusing consent to the committee and what they may have
holding out for.
Inside the House everything has carried on the same way
the previous Parliament: Opposition parties attempt to catch or
government on various topics to which government MPs reply with
insinuations that the other parties are sore because they did not win
election, talk about how bad the previous government was, and stock
answers while congratulating themselves on being open and transparent.
promised zero-tolerance for heckling from Speaker Geoff Regan hardly
the length of the speech and was not to be seen again.
Different Style of Leadership
In the government's mandate
letters released November 13 Ministers were told they would be held
accountable for the Liberals' "commitment to bring a different style of
leadership to government." This is said to include "close collaboration
your colleagues; meaningful engagement with Opposition Members of
Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and the public service;
dialogue with Canadians, civil society, and stakeholders, including
organized labour, the broader public sector, and the not-for-profit and
charitable sectors; and identifying ways to find solutions and avoid
The Conservative opposition
announced with glee the end
of the Liberals'
"sunny ways" 25 minutes into the first regular session of Parliament on
December 7 when things descended into a back and forth over the record
the previous government. The same wisecracks about "sunny ways" were
another dozen times or so over the week but they mistook the meaning of
Liberals' sunny ways.
Wilfrid Laurier's "sunny ways," referred to by the new
Liberal government comes from Aesop's fable, "The Wind and the Sun." It
tells the story of
and the wind arguing over who was more powerful based on which one
convince a traveller to shed his coat. The wind proceeds to try to blow
coat away. But the harder the wind blows, the tighter the traveller
himself inside the coat. The sun decides to do the opposite and shine
and warmly on the traveller. The sun soon succeeds in getting the
remove his coat, winning the contest.
The "sunny ways" are a claim that things can be
accomplished on the basis of negotiation and reaching reasonable
accommodations. This is said despite the fact that this is a period of
monopoly rule, where the social contract which accommodated various
interests is a thing of the past. There is a notion that the Liberals
will be popular and that the problem with the Conservative government
was the arrogant manner it used to implement the agenda of the
monopolies, not the agenda itself. The Harper government's arrogant
imposition and "stormy ways" are presumably to blame for its defeat. In
fact, everything about the "sunny ways" is fraudulent. The Liberals
have no intention of negotiating anything because their agenda is
also all about imposing the will of the most powerful monopolies. The
first week of Parliament provided ample examples that the
Liberals' "sunny ways" or "different style of leadership" are also
going to fall flat. When it does, Canadians can expect to see
themselves blamed for the failures on the basis of a refusal to
cooperate with the "sunny way" of doing things.
Meanwhile, the sectarian party system of government has
degenerated into a mafia cartel party system where nobody is
interested in sorting out the contradictions in the ruling class as
represented by the
in Parliament except by establishing the hegemony of the factions they
represent. The dictate of the ruling elite over the working class
people must be exposed and fought.
No amount of backroom deals under the guise of "collaboration" and
"meaningful engagement" or "constructive dialogue" with sectors of
who have opposing interests will harmonize these interests or eradicate
people's striving for empowerment.
The mandate letters imply that the Liberal government
will hold its own
Ministers to account but what is missing are the mechanisms for
hold governments to account. In this regard, Canadians should go all
2016 to build the movement for democratic renewal and to strengthen
social forms for empowerment.
House of Commons Adopts Neo-Liberal Changes
to Income Tax
The House of Commons adopted a ways and means motion on
9 to amend the Income Tax Act. Immediately after, the
government introduced Bill C-2, An Act to amend the Income Tax
Act, which details the amendments to the act. Although Bill C-2
only advanced to First Reading the ways and means motion ensures the
changes are implemented beginning January 1, 2016 and do not have to be
adopted in the Senate. The ways and means motion and bill change the
boundaries of income tax brackets, introduce one new tax bracket,
income tax rates for two of the income tax brackets and make several
changes to the Act.
Bill C-2 is the first legislation proposed by the new
government, as Bill
C-1 is a customary, pro forma bill introduced at the opening
each session of Parliament. The vote for the bill was split along party
with 230 MPs from the Liberal Party, NDP and Bloc
Québécois in favour and
95 Conservative MPs against.
The changes to income tax rates in Bill C-2 have
a lot of attention
and the Liberal government is calling it a "middle class tax cut."
The 15 per cent income tax
rate ceiling has been raised to $45,282 in
annual earnings, up from $40,726. The next tax bracket is now defined
earnings greater than $45,282 but equal to or less than $90,563. The
for this bracket, which the new Liberal government calls "middle
lowered from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent. The boundaries for the next
bracket now range from above $90,563 to equal or less than $140,388 in
annual earnings and the income tax rate remains 26 per cent. The fourth
bracket, which used to apply a tax rate of 29% to all annual earnings
exceeding $126,264, is now $140,388 to $200,000 in annual earnings and
tax rate remains 29 per cent. The new fifth tax bracket introduced in
applies an income tax rate of 33 per cent to anyone earning more than
$200,000 per year.
There are no income tax rates in Canada that deal
specifically with those
who earn in the millions. A "basic personal amount" of income for which
income taxes are refundable after an individual files a federal tax
currently stands at $11,138 and was not changed in the ways and means
motion or Bill C-2.
The government's stated reasons for the change in tax
brackets and rates
was so that "middle class Canadians have more money in their pockets to
invest, and grow the economy." The government intends to offset the
revenue with the new tax bracket, which it calls "[asking] the
percent of Canadians to give a little more."
The changes deepen the incoherence of Canada's archaic
tax system, which
uses convoluted formulas to derive state revenue from individuals
direct claims on value produced in the economy. According to the Canada
Revenue Agency around two-thirds of Canadians who file tax returns earn
than $45,000 and are therefore in the lowest tax bracket and see no
a result of Bill C-2.
The Liberal changes to tax
rates are not intended to solve any problem facing working Canadians.
State revenue will continue to be raised primarily on the backs of
working people, whose added-value created during their working lives is
already claimed in large part by private capital. Much of the same
state revenue derived from taxing working Canadians is then given to
private monopolies, a trend set to accelerate under the Liberals'
infrastructure investment schemes.
Because of the convoluted nature of the income tax
system the tax rate reduction for what the Liberals call the "middle
class" will also benefit those in the higher tax brackets of $90,563
and above. This is because tax will be paid on income between $45,282
and $90,563 at the reduced rate of 20.5 per cent regardless of the
individual's total annual income, in the same way that tax paid on the
first $11,138 in earnings is considered refundable regardless of final
1. Finance Minister William Francis Morneau published an
document, Explanatory Notes Relating to the Income Tax Act,
much of which deals with how Bill C-2 affects private corporations,
investment income and dividends. It can be found here. A
changes to the Income Tax Act were introduced in the bill,
of which reflect the changes to tax brackets and income tax rates such
changes to split income taxation and taxes payable by trusts and
bill also reduces the annual contribution limit for Tax Free Savings
Individuals whose annual taxable income exceeds $200,000
eligible for a 33 per cent donation credit for donations to registered
in excess of $200. The act also "imposes an additional amount of
tax... on investment income of a Canadian-controlled private
(CCPC)." The Department of Finance says this is intended to "reduce
income tax deferral possibilities that individuals earning investment
directly might otherwise obtain by earning such income through a CCPC."
dividend refund rate for private corporations is similarly increased.
The explanatory notes from Morneau explain the tax
credit changes in the
"For example, in the case of an individual that has
$215,000 of taxable
income and makes $20,000 in total gifts in 2016, the individual's tax
under subsection 118.1(3) is calculated as the total of:
"- $30, being 15% of the first $200 of total gifts;
"- $4,950, determined as 33% of $15,000, being the
"- the amount by which the individual's total gifts
"- the amount by which the individual's taxable income
"- $1,392, determined as 29% of $4,800, being the amount
by which the
individual's total gifts for the year ($20,000) exceeds the total of
$200 and the
amount of the individual's gifts to which the 33% rate applied
"In this case, the individual's 2016 tax credit for
gifts would total $6,372
($30 + $4,950 + $1,392)."
Debate on Electoral Reform
In the Parliament this week a great diversion took place
on the issue of the Liberals' proposal to reform the electoral law.
Instead of discussing the urgent need for democratic renewal, the
Liberals repeated their electoral promises to reverse the changes
brought in by the Conservatives and the process the Liberals will
follow to change the voting system. The Conservatives' attacks
on the government
focused on requesting that the government hold a referendum of
the changes they propose to make. This is beyond hypocritical
given the Conservatives' approach to electoral reform while in
government where the most
spurious changes were made to the electoral system in the most
surreptitious ways. The Conservatives ran roughshod over every attempt
made to stop them from introducing these changes to the law, including
opposing court challenges and decisions of the courts.
Now that they are in power, the Liberals are hoping to
re-establish what are called "free and fair elections." The fact that
there is nothing fair or free about the electoral system, as its aim is
in fact to disempower Canadians, is ignored but must be addressed. So
too must the fact that it was the Liberals who started the current
spate of reforms in the early 1990s which increasingly enshrine
privilege and seek to cover up the corruption of the political parties
with seats in the House of Commons.
In their platform the Liberals promised to "end
system and explore alternative options." Nothing more was stated. The
mandate letter the Prime Minister provided to the newly-appointed
Democratic Institutions mandates the Minister, amongst other things, to:
"Bring forward a proposal to establish a special
to consult on electoral reform, including preferential ballots,
representation, mandatory voting and online voting.
"Introduce amendments to the Canada Elections Act
the Commissioner of Canada Elections more independent from Government.
In addition, repeal the elements of the Fair Elections Act
makes it harder for Canadians to vote and easier for election law
"Bring forward options to create an independent
commissioner to organize
political party leaders' debates during future federal election
a mandate to improve Canadians' knowledge of the parties, their
their policy positions.
"Review the limits on the
amounts political parties and third parties can
spend during elections, and propose measures to ensure that spending
elections is subject to reasonable limits as well."
The Conservatives were clear in their interventions
on electoral reform that they support the
Liberals' view that it is the government that should put
choices Canadians would vote on in a referendum. They do not support
involving Canadians in studying alternatives and proposing the system
which to elect their government, and then voting on that in a
they want to keep in the hands of the government and the "special
parliamentary committee" that will decide how to consult Canadians and
choice to be put to them in a referendum.
For their part the Liberals responded by attacking the
refusing to consult Canadians on anything. They claim that their
victory means they have a mandate to change the system as they see fit.
said they will consult Canadians, which involves establishing the
special parliamentary committee." They have not explicitly ruled out a
referendum, although there is no indication that they will hold one
However they seem to want to avoid having a process where
of the electorate selected by the people themselves, not the parties,
and decide how to proceed with electoral reform. Instead it appears
to keep this fundamental question in the hands of the cartel parties
benefited from the system as it currently exists, and disregard the
opinions of the broad masses of the people.
The exchanges which took place during the first week of
the new Parliament gave Canadians a good example of the way in which
the very real need for the renewal of Canada's democratic institutions
will be dismissed by the new government with the help of the Opposition. TML
will be dealing with this in detail in the New Year and calling on
Canadians to engage in the discussion and not leave it in the
Legislation Before the Parliament
There are 27 pieces of legislation before the 42nd
Parliament as of the
close of its first week. Three are government bills: two were
introduced in the
House of Commons and one in the Senate. Of the 24 private member's
13 are from Liberals (all are Senate bills), six from Conservatives
them is a Senate bill), four from the NDP, and one is from an
the Senate. Bills C-1 and S-1 are considered pro forma bills
open each session of Parliament and do not proceed beyond first reading.
Bill C-2, Appropriation Act No. 4, 2015-16 was
considered by a committee of the whole and passed third reading on
10 before receiving royal assent on December 11. The bill was adopted
vote of 228 to 96 in the House of Commons, with votes split along party
and all parties supporting the bill besides the Conservative Official
Bill C-3 is intended to provide funding for the
of 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of February 2016, with a
$810,104,813 authorized. It was originally passed without the required
schedules that detail the amounts of the government's supplementary
for spending. This was discovered after the bill had passed first
Senate and the proceedings had to be declared null and void and the
reintroduced with schedules before proceeding to the next stages and
Royal Assent. It was not reintroduced in the House of Commons.
All other legislation is at the first reading stage.
The way in which the numerous private members' bills and
forward by opposition parties are dealt with will provide an example of
the government intends to proceed with its parliamentary reforms and
tone it says it will set. The Liberal platform said that they will
a stronger voice in the House of Commons by limiting the circumstances
which Liberal Members of Parliament will be required to vote with
or in other words "make free votes in the House of Commons standard
practice." The stated exceptions to this as a standard practice are:
implement the Liberal electoral platform; "traditional confidence
the budget"; and "those that address our shared values and the
guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
In past Parliaments opposition private members' bills
have typically been
defeated by the party in power or"left to die on the order paper,"
never came to a vote. When private members' bills are adopted it is
result of backroom deal-making between parties in the Parliament which
in compromises or pledges of support for other initiatives, with
then voting according to the decision of the party caucuses. Meanwhile
government does not yet have a majority in the Senate. Parliament
final week of January.
Bills Before Parliament
C-2, An Act to amend
the Income Tax Act
- Amends the Income Tax Act to correspond to
changes in tax
brackets implemented by the government in a ways and means motion on
C-201, An Act to amend the Payments in Lieu
of Taxes Act
(independent assessment), Matthew Dubé (Beloeil--Chambly,
- Amends the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act to
third-party assessment of property value of national historic sites.
C-202, An Act to establish a Canadian
of Rights and to make a related amendment to another Act, Linda
Duncan (Edmonton Strathcona, NDP)
- Establishes a Canadian Environmental Bill of
provisions apply to all decisions that emanate from a federal source or
related to federal land or a federal work or undertaking."
C-203, An Act to amend the Supreme Court Act
(understanding the official languages), François Choquette
- Amends the Supreme Court Act to introduce "a
requirement for judges appointed to the Supreme Court to understand
and English without the assistance of an interpreter."
C-204, An Act to amend the Canadian Human
and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression),
Garrison (Esquimalt--Saanich--Sooke, NDP)
- Amends the Canadian Human Rights Act "to
identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of
"amends the Criminal Code to include gender identity and
expression as distinguishing characteristics protected under section
318 and as
C-205, An Act to designate the month of June
Month, David Tilson (Dufferin--Caledon, Conservative)
- Designates the month of June in each and every year as
[amyotrophic lateral sclerosis] Month.
C-206, An Act to amend the Criminal Code
vulnerable persons), Jim Eglinski (Yellowhead, Conservative)
- Specifies that the age of a victim 65 years and over
or an individual
dependent on others for care be considered an aggravating circumstance
sentencing for physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse.
C-207, An Act to establish National
Day, Todd Doherty (Cariboo--Prince George, Conservative)
- Designates the third day of March in each and every
year as a day "for
the people of Canada to express appreciation for the heroic work of
of the Canadian Forces and emergency response professionals, including
officers, firefighters and paramedics."
C-208, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence
(interpretation of numerical dates), Todd Doherty (Cariboo--Prince
- Amends the Canada Evidence Act to direct
courts on how
to interpret a numeric date that is in dispute.
C-209, An Act to amend the Corrections and
Release Act (high-profile offenders), Todd Doherty
- Amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act
require the Correctional Service of Canada, in certain circumstances,
disclose details of the statutory release of a high-profile offender by
them on its website and to provide a written notice of the disclosure
information to the victim."
S-201, An Act to prohibit and prevent
discrimination, Sen. James S. Cowan (Nova Scotia, Independent
- Prohibits any person from "requiring an individual to
undergo a genetic
test or disclose the results of a genetic test as a condition of
or services to, entering into or continuing a contract or agreement
offering specific conditions in a contract or agreement with, the
and makes similar amendments to the Canadian Labour Code, Canadian
Act, Privacy Act,
and Personal Information Protection and Electronic
S-202, An Act to amend the Divorce Act
plans), Sen. Anne C. Cools (Ontario, Independent)
- Amends the Divorce Act "to provide for
parenting plans that
set out the responsibilities and authority of each spouse with respect
care, development and upbringing of a child of the marriage."
S-203, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and
(ending the captivity of whales and dolphins), Sen. Wilfred P.
(Nova Scotia, Independent Liberal)
- Amends the Criminal Code to create offences
cetaceans in captivity, amends the Fisheries Act to prohibit
of cetaceans and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and
of International and Interprovincial Trade Act to prohibit import
export of cetaceans.
S-204, An Act to amend the Financial
(borrowing of money), Sen. Wilfred P. Moore (Nova Scotia,
- Amends Part IV (Public Debt) of the Financial
Act "to restrict the circumstances in which the Governor in
authorize the borrowing of money without legislative approval."
S-205, An Act to amend the Canada Border
Agency Act (Inspector General of the Canada Border Services Agency) and
make consequential amendments to other Acts, Sen. Wilfred P. Moore
(Nova Scotia, Independent Liberal)
- Provides for the "appointment of an Inspector General
of the Canada
Border Services Agency with the authority to report on and make
recommendations concerning the Agency's activities and the capacity to
receive and investigate complaints about the Agency."
S-206, An Act to amend the Criminal Code
children against standard child-rearing violence), Sen.
Hervieux-Payette (Quebec, Independent Liberal)
- Removes "the justification in the Criminal Code
to schoolteachers, parents and persons standing in the place of parents
force as a means of correction toward a pupil or child under their
S-207, An Act to modernize the composition
of the boards
of directors of certain corporations, financial institutions and parent
corporations, and in particular to ensure the balanced representation
women and men on those boards, Sen. Céline Hervieux-Payette
(Quebec, Independent Liberal)
- Incrementally requires federally-regulated
corporations to "ensure that the
proportion of directors of each sex on their board of directors is not
40 per cent and that shareholders may vote against a candidate for a
S-208, An Act respecting National Seal
Sen. Céline Hervieux-Payette (Quebec, Independent Liberal)
- Designates May 20 as "National Seal Products Day."
S-209, An Act to amend the Official
(communications with and services to the public), Sen. Maria
(Manitoba, Independent Liberal)
- Amends the Official Languages Act to
"introduce the concept
of equal quality of communications and services offered by federal
in each official language," and "specifies the locations where federal
institutions have a duty to provide communications and services in both
S-210, An Act to amend An Act to amend the
and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal
and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, Sen. Mobina
Jaffer (British Columbia, Independent Liberal)
- Amends An Act to amend the Immigration and
Act, the Civil Marriage Act and the Criminal Code and to make
amendments to other Acts "by repealing its short title," which was
Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.
S-211, An Act respecting National Sickle
Day, Sen. Jane Cordy (Nova Scotia, Independent Liberal)
- Designates June 19 as "National Sickle Cell Awareness
S-212, An Act for the advancement of the
languages of Canada and to recognize and respect aboriginal language
rights, Sen. Serge Joyal (Quebec, Independent Liberal)
- "Recognizes the right of the aboriginal peoples of
Canada to use,
preserve, revitalize and promote their languages, and expresses the
of Canada's commitment to preserve, revitalize and promote aboriginal
languages in Canada by protecting them and using them where
S-213, An Act to amend the Constitution Act,
1867 and the
Parliament of Canada Act (Speakership of the Senate), Sen. Terry
Mercer (Nova Scotia, Independent Liberal)
- Amends the Constitution Act, 1867 to provide
election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Senate by secret
and to limit the ability of the Senate speaker to vote except as a
S-214, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs
(cruelty-free cosmetics), Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen (New
- Amends the Food and Drugs Act to prohibit
testing and the sale of cosmetics developed or manufactured using
S-215, An Act to amend the Criminal Code
violent offences against Aboriginal women), Sen. Lillian Eva Dyck,
(Saskatchewan, Independent Liberal)
- Amends the Criminal Code to require a court,
imposing a sentence for certain violent offences, to consider the fact
victim is an Aboriginal woman to be an aggravating circumstance."
Canada's Reactionary Stands on
Opposition Motion on Canada's Role in Iraq and Syria
On December 10,
Conservative Foreign Affairs critic Tony Clement (Parry
Sound-Muskoka) tabled the Conservatives' first Opposition motion for
in the House of Commons. The Opposition resolution
called upon the
government to maintain the air-combat mission of RCAF CF-18 fighter
that are participating in Canada's Operation IMPACT which is part of a
coalition of countries led by the U.S. operating in Iraq and Syria
known as the
Middle East Stabilization Force.
The resolution stated: "That, given that ISIS has taken
recent deadly attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Africa, and has declared
Canada, this House: (a) acknowledge that now is not the time for Canada
step back and force our allies to take on a heavier burden in the fight
ISIS; (b) remind the government of its obligation to our NATO partners
its responsibility to protect the freedom, democracy, safety, and
Canadians; (c) call upon the government to maintain the air-combat
of the RCAF CF-18 fighter jets; (d) express its appreciation to the
of the Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in the fight
and (e) reconfirm our commitment to our allies to stop ISIS.
Representatives of the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP
all spoke to the
motion including the Minister and critics for Foreign Affairs as well
In his remarks on his motion, Clement repeated the
that underlay many of the questions from Conservative MPs throughout
first week of Parliament: by committing to withdraw Canada's CF-18s at
point in the future the Liberals are leaving Canada's allies in the
stepping back from the fight against ISIS. He presented the Harper
government's participation in bombing Syria and Iraq, by contrast, as
shoulder to shoulder with Canada's allies to defeat ISIS. He cited
crimes and linked these to killings in California, France, Lebanon,
Yemen as a preface to his call for Canada to maintain its direct
missions. He then referred to other allies that are stepping up their
Iraq and Syria.
"The international community
and our allies are at one. Here is what some
of the leaders around the world, our coalition allies, have to say
about the fight
against ISIS. David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
stated: ISIL has brutally murdered British hostages. They have inspired
worst terrorist attack against British people since 7/7 on the beaches
Tunisia, and they have plotted atrocities on the streets here at home.
November last year our security services have foiled no fewer than
different plots against our people, so this threat is very real. The
this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat,
and do we
go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are
plotting to kill
British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?
"The President of the French Republic, François
Hollande, has had quite
a bit to say about this. He has said that France would battle ISIS
respite, without a truce... It is not a question of containing but of
this organisation.' President Obama stated, 'ISIL is the face of evil.
as I've said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this
terrorist organization.' It is evidently clear where our allies stand
on this issue,
but, sadly, Canada's position, once clearly defined under our previous
Conservative government, is now hazy and hesitant."
Responding with questions, Liberal Minister of National
Sajjan as well as Party Whip, former Canadian General Andrew Leslie
on asking why the Conservatives did not pre-empt ISIL's formation when
was emerging and why the Conservatives did not prefer Canada to focus
involvement in training "indigenous forces" in the countries it is
order to achieve its goals for those countries as Canada did in
"My question is, where was the previous government's
identifying the threat when ISIL was a small organization?" Sajjan said.
In defending Canada's intention to focus on training,
rhetorically "why the previous government chose not to deploy CF-18s to
Afghanistan and instead focused the overwhelming majority of its
training indigenous forces" there. He had already referred to it as
Sajjan later explained the Liberal government's view on
how the problem
of ISIS/ISIL poses itself, focusing on the need for a "multi-layered
response: "The attacks we have seen most recently in Beirut and Paris
a unified response, and Canada will play a role in this fight. The
how we will confront this challenge." He said:
"To destroy ISIL and its
twisted ideology over the long term, we will need
a local force professionally trained and ready to defend its territory.
ISIL is a complex, interconnected threat, in addition to its military
seeks to inspire terrorist attacks for the mass displacement of
refugees and for
the intimidation of others. These separate problems are all part of the
threat, ISIL, but none of them can be defeated with military power
combat these threats, we need to be flexible and measured and have a
multi-faceted approach, an approach that will continue to battle ISIL
multiple fronts and which addresses the political, social and economic
fueling the conflict in Iraq and Syria. These approaches include
flow of foreign fighters, addressing the humanitarian needs, and
financing and funding."
He then referred to bringing Syrian refugees to Canada
as part of the fight
against ISIS, falsely linking the refugees with "Muslims" and the need
to show Muslims they have a place in "our society" by welcoming these
refugees with open arms. According to this logic, presumably the
Canada are at risk of being radicalized and welcoming refugees from
will serve to counteract this. In this way Canadians are divided on a
basis, with Muslims in particular singled out, hiding that many
where the majority of the citizens are Muslims have been destroyed by
U.S. and its NATO allies.
"We are taking important steps on these fronts, not the
least of which is
the acceptance of 25,000 Syrian refugees. As the Prime Minister
yesterday in the House, the first such refugees will be arriving
Toronto, with more coming on Saturday in Montreal," he said.
"The best way to show Muslims that they have a place in
our society is by accepting these refugees with open arms, as we did
with the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s and the Kosovars in the
late 1990s," he said. Neither the Opposition nor media pointed to the
fact that the Kosovar refugee crisis was also fabricated by the NATO
powers including Canada to suit their purpose of dismembering
Yugoslavia, while the Vietnamese boat people were created when the aim
to divide Vietnam so as to stop it being ruled by the Vietnamese people
Citing Canada's experience in Afghanistan Sajjan added,
"This change in
approach [training rather than focusing on bombing. TML Ed
Note] is no different from the decision our country faced in 2011
we shifted from our combat mission in Afghanistan to one where we
on training. That mission was known as Operation Attention. It was a
successful one for both Canada and Afghanistan. Over three years, our
trained 116 Kandaks or battalions in everything from basic military
advanced techniques. The expertise we acquired during that mission, not
in the skills that we were passing on but in how best to teach them to
is exactly what is needed in the fight against ISIL right now. Our
forces are more than capable of carrying on this mission. They are some
most highly trained and knowledgeable soldiers in the world. By
number of advisers, which is one option that has been suggested, we
turn citizens bravely fighting to protect their loved ones into
soldiers, people expelling this cancer from their midst and preventing
By sleight of hand Sajjan indicates that training means
means special forces. Canadians are supposed to believe that Canada's
will not mean Canada participating in a war on the ground in Syria
government and people as well as forces linked to ISIS.
To round out the pro-regime change, pro-war consensus
that to all
appearances is being established in Parliament, NDP critic for Foreign
Hélène Laverdière in her questions, blamed the
Syrian government for being
the main cause of the refugee crisis. "I was struck by the comment my
colleague made in his speech about how all the refugees that we are
take in are people who are fleeing ISIS. Is my colleague aware that
not most, of those refugees are fleeing Bashar al-Assad's regime, not
he also aware that many coalition members are not participating in the
bombings? Finally, why is he so convinced that bombing is going to
problem, when there are so many examples of conflicts in that region
such action did not lead to a peaceful solution?"
The NDP Foreign Affairs critic waded further into the
abyss trying to
justify interference in Syria's affairs in violation of international
law in her
response to a question from Conservative Environment and Climate Change
critic Michael Chong (Wellington--Halton Hills). Chong invoked the
interventionist, pro-imperialist "responsibility to protect" doctrine:
"It was a previous Liberal government, under Minister
that was critical in establishing the responsibility to protect
doctrine in the
aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. It is clear that the Islamic State
committed many atrocities, arguably some of the worst and most
atrocities in recent memory. We do not need to enumerate them here. My
question is this. If the atrocities committed by the Islamic State are
to trigger the responsibility to protect doctrine by the current
kinds of atrocities do we need to see before it will invoke that
doctrine? If it
is not willing to invoke it in this situation, does that really mean
that it is
abandoning that very basic humanitarian approach that would prevent
genocides like that of Rwanda from taking place around the world?"
Laverdière responded by reinforcing the pro-war
position whereby either
an ambiguous UN Security Council resolution or at least an endorsement
NATO is needed to justify wars of aggression that violate the UN
international peace and security, as was the case in Libya: "Invoking
responsibility to protect has been discussed at length. That having
it is important to remember that the responsibility to protect is not
that one country can invoke. There are clear criteria in the doctrine.
intervention must be approved by the UN Security Council. Therefore, we
cannot invoke R2P, the responsibility to protect, unless there is a
the UN Security Council. In this case, we obviously do not have either
Security Council endorsement or a NATO endorsement. That lack of
endorsement by a multilateral body is a further problem with the
The NDP position will face more questions as both the
Conservatives will begin to claim that there is in fact UN Security
support for war against Syria.
1. Opposition motions have precedence over all
motions on Supply days (also called "allotted" days). Members in
to the Government can propose motions for debate on any matter falling
within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada, as well as on
reports concerning Estimates. There are a total of 22 allotted days
Supply in which the Opposition can put forward motions. All motions are
voted upon unless the sponsor of such a motion has designated it
2. Reports indicate that the Liberals have only
committed to ending the
bombing runs of Canada's CF-18s in Iraq and Syria. Other Air Force
which assist the U.S., Britain and others in bombing Iraq, and in the
Syria that assist the opposition to the Syrian government, may stay.
Besides the CF-18s, Canada also has two Aurora
surveillance/reconnaissance aircraft, two transport planes and a
refuelling plane contributing to the coalition carrying out the bombing
and Syria. The government has refused requests to confirm whether those
aircraft will remain in the skies over Iraq and Syria.
"We're still not able to outline exactly what the
contribution to the
coalition against ISIS will entail," said Tina Crouse, a press
secretary with the
Department of National Defence temporarily assigned to assist with
queries for the Minister's office. "The government will make that
announcement in due time."
According to the Department of National Defence,
Canada's Joint Task
Force-Iraq is made up of "approximately 600 CAF personnel," who are
deployed to provide "planning and liaison personnel to work with the
other coalition partners; command and control, and logistics; and an
"As part of Joint Task Force-Iraq, Air Task Force-Iraq
to coalition air operations against the so-called ISIS.This mission
expansion allows the CAF to strike the so-called ISIS targets in both
Syria. The use of air power contributes to the destruction of the
infrastructure and equipment, denying them the military means to attack
security forces or coalition assets.
"The ATF-I includes: six CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft;
Polaris aerial refueller to support coalition air operations; two
Aurora surveillance aircraft to contribute to coalition intelligence,
and reconnaissance capabilities; and aircrew support elements."
It may well be that like in the third war on Iraq led by
George Bush Jr.,
Canada will provide planes that assist U.S. and other forces in
hitting their targets, and possibly also planes to refuel those doing
under the weaselly logic that this is not really participating in the
Indefensible Stand on UN Votes on Palestine
On November 24, the UN General Assembly adopted five
non-binding resolutions on Palestine. Canada voted against all five,
status as as lapdog for the United States and Israel and its contempt
the Palestinian people and international law. The only major states
against all five were the USA, Canada and Israel.
"Responsibility to Protect" doctrine was used to embroil
Canada in U.S.-led wars against the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan,
Libya and now Syria, while avoiding any "responsibility to protect"
Palestinians from Israeli occupation and war crimes or to uphold
law. It is coupled with the corollary that long-term military presence
Middle East is a matter of Canada's national security, and that Canada
not "stand on the sidelines" while "our allies" are involved in
These wars, including three on the Palestinians in the past nine years,
unleashed the massive human suffering, destruction and refugee crises
have witnessed over the last twenty years and which we see today. This
mantra of the Liberals and the drama staged around Syrian refugees
of their homeland by a foreign-sponsored, funded, organized and manned
reactionary civil war cannot hide the reality that over 5 million
involving three generations are already refugees from their homeland
forcibly denied the right of return and their right to be.
No attention whatosever is paid as to why the rights of
the people to
self-determination, to sovereignty and to live in peace are principles
international law. Today we are facing the unacceptable situation when
legal norms are being intentionally trampled on. This is a committed
the U.S. and NATO aimed at creating a parallel international law to
Trudeau Liberals adhere like white on rice.
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of
Palestinian People (A/70/L.10)
"Requests the Committee to continue to exert all efforts
to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian
including their right to self-determination, to support the achievement
delay of an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and of the
two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders..."
- 102 in favour
- 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of
Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States)
- 57 abstentions
Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat
"Considers that, by providing substantive support
to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
People in the implementation of its mandate, the Division for
Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a most useful and
contribution to raising international awareness of the question of
- 99 in favor
- 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of
Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States)
- 59 abstentions
Special information programme on the question of
Palestine of the
Department of Public Information of the Secretariat (A/70/L.12)
is very useful in raising
awareness of the international community concerning the question of
- 155 in favour
- 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia,
Israel, Marshall Islands,
Nauru, Palau, United States)
- 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua
Paraguay, South Sudan, Tonga)
Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine
"Expressing grave concern about the extremely
detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and
activities in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including on
contiguity, integrity and viability of the Territory ..."
- 155 in favour
- 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of
Marshall Islands, Palau, United States)
- 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Nauru, Paraguay,
South Sudan, Togo,
"Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by
Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and
administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore
void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to
cease all such illegal and unilateral measures."
- 153 in favour
- 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia,
Israel, Marshall Islands,
Nauru, Palau, United States)
- 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Panama, Papua New
Paraguay, South Sudan, Toga, Tonga)
Unacceptable Canadian Human Rights
Resolution Against Iran
On November 19, the Third Committee of the United
Assembly passed Resolution L.45: Situation of Human Rights in the
Republic. This resolution was drafted and introduced by Canada as part
ongoing attacks by the Canadian state against Iran that are aimed at
and destabilizing that country in the service of Anglo-American
These attacks include the unilateral severing of diplomatic relations
on September 7, 2012, and putting Iran on a spurious list of states
terrorism. One of the pretexts given for these actions at that time was
accusation that Iran was the biggest human rights violator in the world.
This hooligan behaviour was once again on display when
introduced its resolution on November 5 at the Third Committee. This
the 13th year that Canada has introduced such as resolution at the UN.
should be recalled that Canada broke off diplomatic ties with Iran in
after the latter had hosted a successful meeting of the Non-Aligned
that exemplified the isolation of the Anglo-American imperialist system
Resolution L.45 is a blatant violation of the
sovereignty of Iran and based
on Cold War definitions of human rights. As TML Weekly
out at the time of Canada's review by the UN Human Rights Committee
earlier this year:
"The concepts of rights and so-called universal values
promoted by Canada
originate with the U.S. imperialists, specifically the 1991 'Paris
essence of the Paris Charter is to declare any country which does not
market economy, human rights and elections of a kind which suit the
the big powers of old Europe a pariah state that requires regime
change. It is
this Cold War definition of human rights that Canada and other
are part of the U.S./EU imperialist system of states use to berate
It calls on the Iranian government to uphold the rights
of women and
minorities, political opponents of the regime, to end torture and other
punishment, as well as arbitrary detention among other things -- rights
the Canadian state violates at home with impunity.
When the resolution was introduced on November 5, the
the Iranian delegation pointed out that it was regrettable that Canada
fit to put forward this resolution at a time when Iran had recently
a nuclear deal based on diplomacy and negotiations carried out in a
mutual respect. She also pointed out that Canada's defence of human
rights is suspect given its treatment of Indigenous peoples. She stated
that she hoped
that the new Canadian government would help undo some of the damage
has been done vis-à-vis Canada-Iran relations in the
Many countries including Nigeria, Ecuador, Cuba,
Belarus, the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea, Syria and Bolivia, spoke against the
Among other things, they highlighted that the resolution was
to advancing human rights and that it violates the UN Charter by
in the internal affairs of another country. They also rejected the
of human rights by singling out certain countries for sanction while
countries with dubious human rights records are immune. Iran's
said that resolution was based on fabrications and speculation. He said
outrageous that some of the co-sponsoring countries were dictatorships
no human rights could be found anywhere, while others were countries
are recruiting, sheltering and arming terrorists to carry out attacks
peoples of the world.
It is clear that many of the countries which voted with
the resolution were
coerced to do so by the Anglo-American powers. The vote of 76 for, 35
against and 68 abstentions shows slightly less support than last year's
which received a vote of 78 for, 35 against with 69 abstentions.
All peace- and justice-loving Canadians must oppose this
against Iran. It does not serve the cause of human rights anywhere. The
Canadian state which violates human rights with impunity at home does
have the credibility to speak about human rights anywhere else.
Weekly, July 11, 2015 - No. 28.
Defend the Bolivarian Revolution! Not One Step Back!
Final election rally of the patriotic forces before
the election, Caracas, December 3, 2015. (AVN)
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) extends
support to the revolutionary workers and people of Venezuela and their
leadership following the takeover of the National Assembly by the
the U.S.-backed oligarchy in the elections of December 6, 2015.
reiterates its confidence in the irreversible Bolivarian process which
the Venezuelan people affirm their rights against the forces of
slavery and monopoly right who usurped power by force and seek to do
same again today.
CPC(M-L) salutes the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
and its leader,
President Nicolás Maduro who affirmed that Venezuela's struggle
is just beginning and the necessity to start afresh to defend the
the forces of counter-revolution. "It's not a time to cry, it's a time
said Maduro. The Venezuelan people and their organizations in the
neighbourhoods, workplaces, collectives, social missions and political
are now preparing to defend themselves and their revolution in the
the state terror the oligarchy and finance capital are planning to
CPC(M-L) condemns the economic war and electoral coup
over the course of recent years by the U.S. imperialists, rulers of Old
and Canada, the privileged elite of Latin America and their agents.
unbridled arrogance these forces are now wagging their jaws about the
they have in store for Venezuela and its workers, women, youth and
Indigenous peoples. Chief among these is the repeal of Venezuela's
Labour Law, which protects the rights of workers, and the Law of Fair
which has worked to defend the people against economic terrorism. The
oligarchy has pledged to go further to oust President Maduro and
Venezuelan Constitution, an historic achievement in defence of the
Any new attempts by the Canadian government to use the
results of the elections in Venezuela to stir up divisions amongst the
Venezuelan people so as to undermine their ability to solve their
problems in a manner that serves their interests and not those of the
monopolies must also be condemned.
CPC(M-L) rejects the comments of Foreign Affairs Minister
Stéphane Dion which attempt to resurrect the imperialist
"Inter-American Democratic Charter" which was imposed by the U.S.,
Canada and its allies through the Organization of American States and
use it to interfere in Venezuela's affairs as the oligarchy uses their
majority of seats in Congress to try to undermine the Venezuelan
constitutional order and its Bolivarian character.
Canadians, Quebeckers and Indigenous peoples have always stood shoulder
to shoulder with the people of Venezuela in our common fight for a new
direction for the Americas in which public right is upheld not monopoly
right. This is all the more the case today. Our fight is one fight
against the imperialist neo-liberal agenda and its expression in our
Oligarchy Captures Majority in Legislative Election
The preliminary results of the December 6 Venezuelan
were announced by the President of the National Electoral Council
Tibisay Lucena, early December 7. The "Roundtable of Democratic Unity"
(MUD), a coalition of right-wing opposition parties, won the majority
in the National Assembly (109). The Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), a
including President Nicolás Maduro's United Socialist Party of
(PSUV) now holds 55 seats and there are three indigenous
CNE announced that 13,742,974 (74.17%) of the 19,540,000 registered
A simple majority gives the
MUD authority to remove or censure vice-presidents and ministers. With
more than two-thirds of the 167 seats they would have authority
to modify laws, remove Supreme Court magistrates and convoke a
One hundred and thirteen seats in the National Assembly
are elected in a
first-past-the-post system from Venezuela's 87 electoral districts,
while 51 are
elected from a closed list by proportional representation based on the
23 states plus the Capital District. The three seats reserved for
peoples are elected by those communities.
Venezuelan President Maduro spoke early December 7 and
country's electoral system and the large turnout. "The constitution and
democracy have triumphed, we recognize and accept these results," said
Maduro. "We have lost a battle today but the fight for a new socialism
barely begun. We see this as a slap to wake us up to act," he said,
not a time to cry, it's a time to fight."
President Maduro speaks at an election rally of the
Pole, December 3, 2015.
The President called for "a new stage of the revolution"
from the base." He stated that "a counter-revolution won, not the
but that the "struggle for socialism is just beginning." Maduro pointed
the Venezuelan people are "experts in starting over. We came from the
we are the people of difficulties," he said.
December 6 was the twentieth occasion on which
Venezuelans have voted
since the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution, and one of the few
where the movement, founded and led by Commander Hugo Chávez,
suffered an electoral defeat. After the results were announced, many
out that previous election results with victory for the Bolivarian
called frauds by the U.S. imperialists and Venezuelan oligarchy but
result was not questioned. This time too U.S. officials and Venezuelan
opposition figures had said they would consider any result on December
their favour fraudulent. Venezuelans have been defending themselves in
long-term economic war waged by the U.S. and regional oligarchy to
destabilize Venezuela and protect the historical privileges of the
bourgeoisie and local ruling elite.
TeleSUR reports, "Amid news of political infighting, on
the MUD published on its website a list of laws its lawmakers plan to
once they come into office Jan. 5, including revoking price controls
kept basic goods affordable; privatizing key enterprises and services;
foreign companies concessions for infrastructure works; strengthening
police forces; and making public media "independent," or private."
Representatives of the oligarchy have declared that
major priorities include
"attracting foreign investment" from global monopolies and repealing
Price Law, which worked to defend the Venezuelan people from the
economic war of the U.S. and Venezuelan oligarchy by limiting profits
punishing hoarding and price gouging. A leaked phone call in October
revealed that Venezuelan opposition figures are calling for the return
International Monetary Fund to Venezuela and "economic restructuring."
Patriotic Forces Pledge to
Defend the Revolutionary Gains
People in Caracas participate in street assemblies to
discuss how to
defend their revolutionary gains, December 9, 2015.
Following the victory of the reactionary opposition
forces in the December
6 legislative election, the patriotic forces in Venezuela are soberly
of their defeat -- the first since Hugo Chávez was elected in
organizing to see that the revolutionary gains are defended against the
neo-liberal forces that are backed by U.S. imperialism. The Democratic
Roundtable (MUD), that joins the main right-wing parties in Venezuela,
the majority of seats in the National Assembly (109), against the 55 of
Great Patriotic Pole and the three Indigenous representatives.
President Maduro Calls for Debate and Action
election, the Venezuelan president and chief representative of the
Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Nicolás Maduro, called for
to rebuild the revolution's strength because "the Venezuelan right wing
one program: to destroy the Bolivarian revolution." Maduro announced a
of discussion in order to come up with a united strategy for the
"Unity should be the main aim," he said, adding, "Nobody should be
by an adverse situation."
On December 7, President Maduro met with Bolivarian
ministers. In the evening, he spoke to the Venezuelan people via a
address and called for a range of consultation methods to "strengthen"
Bolivarian movement. He said that discussion and reflection were
to come up with a plan of action among the social movements, the United
Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and other parties and
back the Bolivarian revolution. "This oligarchy will never represent
told the people.
as part of a people’s street parliament, December
The President said that after an all-day meeting,
reflecting on the results
that saw the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition coalition
a significant majority in parliament, his cabinet had made a number of
decisions and come up with a timeline of action.
"We won 43 per cent of the votes and the
yesterday, for now," he said, using former President Hugo
phrase to qualify that the loss is only short-term.
"They have come for the neo-liberal restoration of the
far right," he said,
arguing that a defence of the revolution's gains was necessary.
Maduro said it is important to come up with a "central
document for the
Bolivarian revolution" and to create a separate commission for the
Assembly, which will work to defend the workers' rights law (the
Labour Law), the social movements and other
On December 8, the President held a special meeting of
organizations and parties that make up the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP),
umbrella group of all those who support the revolution. The special
was part of a series convened by President Maduro to strengthen
unity of the movement and develop strategies to invigorate the
Revolution after the parliamentary elections. The plenary gathered 842
delegates representing all territorial regions of the party, the
leadership, 43 militants from the Francisco de Miranda Front and
deputies from the current National Assembly.
The meeting looked at the report of the 2015
which set up 11 working groups "to discuss and analyze the political
the views and actions of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela facing
new horizon of the Bolivarian Revolution."
Maduro Announces Proposals to Renew the Revolution
Venezuelan President and chief representative of the
PSUV Maduro, announced on December 10 the
of his party's third Socialist Congress held on December 8 to protect
ideas and national sovereignty.
Among other things, the December 8 meeting resolved to
do the following:
1. Hold a meeting with the Presidential Councils of
Maduro announced a December 12 meeting to develop a
and strategic framework and map out strengths and weaknesses.
The presidential councils were created for the people to
policies and projects, with the support of the national executive, and
transformation and defence of the country. Those councils were elected
by the bases to
Indigenous people, workers, youth, women, and other social sectors.
2. Set up the Economic Congress of Socialist Thought
"Economics is not a speech," said Maduro, "I felt alone
in this battle
against imperialism, in this economic war." He proposed to convene a
triumvirate meeting on December 16 and establish the Economic
of Socialist Thought. The project will aim to address the crisis
the economic war. Nine hundred delegates of the PSUV will evaluate the
plans and create proposals, he said.
The Venezuelan president noted that in 2015, Venezuela
suffered a 68
percent drop in oil revenues, despite no cuts in social investment.
He added that the
blockade, part of the economic war, made debt refinance especially
3. Invoke a Permanent Working Session for the
The counteroffensive must go beyond politics and
transcend the human,
"popular, spiritual, territorial, economic, military," said Maduro. "A
revolutionary counteroffensive (must be) comprehensive because we are
a counter-revolutionary crisis."
He commended the efforts of the PSUV in the legislative
battled like soldiers of Bolivar, you are heroes of the people," he
emphasizing that, "the people are not demoralized or beaten."
4. Update the Government Efficiency in the Streets
Maduro said he requested support to begin a new model in
government efficiency in the streets, to be deployed in the next four
program was launched to work on security and peace, revolutionary
economics, social work, people's power, electricity access and
He suggested that each state's proposal must be concrete
and establish new
methodologies to boost economic and social sectors.
5. Renew Revolutionary Communication
"We have to renew our discourse, form, content and
media," the president
proposed. He urged members of the PSUV's Commission of Propaganda,
Agitation and Communication to review the discursive strategies and
currently implemented. He further proposed establishing communication
channels in favor of the Bolivarian Revolution.
6. Reinvigorate Reform at All Levels
Maduro called to propel reconstruction of the majority
repolarization, repoliticization and reunification.
He also denounced the media onslaught launched by the
international extreme right that has sought to undermine the
morale of the people. Their media, he said, works in the service of the
imperialist and oligarchical elite.
Renewal of the PSUV
The leader called for an immediate renewal and
strengthening of all
national, regional and municipal management of the United Socialist
Venezuela. In light of the declared restructuring, he called on the
Patriotic Pole to help propose names for the renewal process of the
Economic Coup Continues
The Venezuelan leader repeated that Venezuela is
suffering from an
international financial blockade that impedes both the progress of the
economic system and the fight against the economic war waged by the
Venezuelan right, backed by foreign powers.
"It's indirect blockade, an internal boycott of
commercialization and pricing," he said.
He added that imperial powers "have decided to destroy
the inclusive and
egalitarian model of the Revolution. It's a class struggle between the
bourgeois elite and the people."
Following the meeting with the organizations of the GPP
on December 8,
in his regular weekly address, Maduro announced an upcoming cabinet
indicating he had asked ministers to submit their resignations. He
ministers for their contributions and pledged that the socialist
"continue in the battle with humility" with a focus on the people.
Revolutionary Optimism Prevails
Despite the blow of defeat,
all those who have given their
blood, sweat and tears to build the Bolivarian revolution refuse to
feelings of self-pity, news agencies report. Instead, they humbly view
the outcome of the
an opportunity from which a lesson can be learned, the revolutionary
movement reinvigorated and the necessity of the revolution reaffirmed
renewed mass work amongst the Venezuelan people, TeleSUR wrote.
Several such people spoke to TeleSUR after the election:
"Luciana Vazquez is the coordinator of the Barrio
Tricolor mission in the
Caracas district of Mamera. The program, first created by Hugo
relaunched under President Nicolás Maduro, aims to transform
and use planning and infrastructure to bring dignity to neighbourhoods.
emphasis is on the community, and on power and decisions from the
up. Luciana told TeleSUR English that the loss of the National Assembly
an opportunity to deepen the revolutionary process in Venezuela.
"'The time has come to radicalize the revolution, to
work to guarantee a
new victory, in the legacy left by (former president) Hugo
'No one said that the path of constructing, edifying and consolidating
revolution was easy, and less so if this happens ... under a bourgeois
capitalist system. We continue together with the dream of constructing
socialist Venezuela. The new revolutionary offensive has begun.'
"She admitted the current situation was difficult.
Although the opposition
has at times claimed it wouldn't dismantle the social missions, she
of her resources could be in danger. But she said that the results
the social movements have a lot of room for improvement.
"'We would improve, looking at the weakness we had, to
ourselves and continue organizing, training ourselves, participating.
course planning to improve even more and to continue working on the
complete transformation of the barrios,' she said, before quoting
fight continues. The barrios cannot be destroyed, they have to be
"Pacha Catalina Guzman, who works with Antimantuanos, an
organization unifying communal councils with musical and sporting
said that she was not expecting the opposition to gain so many seats in
"'But we see it as an opportunity, not as a defeat. This
is a historic
moment to deepen our work with communities. We will work harder in
communities,' she said.
"Pacha wanted to emphasize that a political loss was not
a defeat for
socialism in Venezuela. 'Yesterday the people voted. One political
one political party lost. But our purpose is still intact,' she said.
situation obliges us to articulate what is people's power, and what we
achieved in the last 15 years.'
"With the whole world watching and waiting for some kind
of fraud or
outrage to be committed, Venezuelans voted peacefully and calmly, and
Venezuela's electoral body said that there were no irregularities.
that even though the outcome had not been what they had been hoping
process changed international perception of the left in Venezuela.
"'For us, the election was an opportunity to show other
countries that there
is democracy in Venezuela. It was won by a sector that if they lose,
violence. We lost, and we respect the result, and we are calm. I want
that the elections were a demonstration of democracy. We respect the
without resentment or violence. We continue building,' she concluded.
"Pierre Marais [...] works for the municipality with
social missions on
planning with communal councils. Pierre said that the 'surprise' result
reflection and analysis.'
"'For me the most important thing to learn was that the
same people who
voted for Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro also voted for
vote,' he said. 'We Chavistas, we are very sure of ourselves. Too
Maybe there was a lack of understanding, so the government needs to get
closer to the neighbourhoods.'
"But aside from the initial shock, Pierre understood
that now is a time for
action. From tomorrow, he will be holding debates around neighbourhoods
under the three pillars: revision, reformation, remotivation."
"'Now we have to deepen our confrontation of the
economic war. We have
to work harder, be more efficient. We have to work more with educating
who voted to punish the government, who may not know the consequences
their actions,' he said."
Elsewhere across Venezuela, elected neighbourhood
councils and other
grassroots organizations are convening themselves to take stock of the
and see how to proceed. In 2006, the Chávez government passed a
empower local citizens to form these elected councils which exercise
decision-making at the community level in favour of the people's
people's organizations such as these are a cornerstone of the
Reactionaries Announce Counter-Revolutionary
Jorge Rodriguez, head of the socialist party's campaign
Venezuela, praised the country's rich democratic tradition that saw the
opposition win control of the National Assembly for the first time in
years, but warned that supporters would not tolerate any attempts by
assembly to roll back the gains achieved since 1998.
"The people showed that Venezuela is a country of peace,
which has one
of the strongest democracies in the world and rejects violence," said
Representatives from MUD said they would use their
majority in the
assembly to repeal critical laws such as the Law of Fair Prices, which
important commodities are affordable for the entire population, and the
Organic Labor Law.
"The annulment of the law would lead to the dismissal of
will not allow that. Here we have a dignified people, a Chavista
a revolutionary government that will protect the people," stated
Rodriguez also called on the newly-elected assembly
members to respect
the constitution, approved under the late President Hugo Chávez
referendum in 1999 with over 70 per cent support. Henry Ramos, the
general-secretary of one of the parties within the MUD, has already
comments attacking the constitution.
Officials from the MUD have also said they would attempt
President Maduro from his post. The Venezuelan constitution allows for
National Assembly to recall the president without a prior consultation
plebiscite if two-thirds of the assembly votes for it.
Amongst other nefarious plans, reactionary forces have
also floated the
idea of using their legislative majority to push through an "amnesty
release their counterparts who are imprisoned for serious crimes
Maduro said that he plans to veto any proposals for an
amnesty law for
those opposition forces spuriously refer to as political prisoners,
such as jailed
opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whose charges came down in September.
Lopez is imprisoned over charges of public incitement of violence and
association with crimes committed during opposition protests and
barricades, known as "Guarimbas," that killed over 40 people in 2014.
"I will not accept any amnesty law, because they
violated human rights,"
Maduro said. "They can send me a thousand laws but the murderers have
be prosecuted and have to pay."
1. Organic laws are: 1) those enacted to organize public
powers or develop
constitutional rights, 2) those which serve as a normative framework
laws, or 3) those identified as such by the constitution. With the
the last category, any bill for the enactment or amendment of an
must first be accepted by a two-thirds vote of the National Assembly,
be sent, prior to promulgation, to the Constitutional Chamber of the
Tribunal of Justice for a ruling on the constitutionality of its
("An Introduction to Venezuelan Governmental Institutions and Primary
Sources, " Antonio Ramirez, May 2006)
Spurious Impeachment Proceedings
Against President Rousseff
Brazil's social movements
are mobilizing to defend democracy and
oppose a coup against President Dilma Rousseff.
Impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President
Dilma Rousseff of
the Workers' Party (PT) were officially initiated on December 3. The
for this move is the federal audit court's (TCU) October 7 ruling to
government's 2014 accounting. The ruling is non-binding and does not
constitute a conviction of any wrongdoing. The accounting issue
steps taken by the Rousseff government to maintain social programs for
Brazil's poor, such as the Bolsa Familia, under the current economic
difficulties affecting Brazil.
The move to impeach is an attempt to orchestrate a coup
Rousseff and the PT. It is an act of sheer political opportunism by the
opposition forces and the right-wing of the Brazilian Democratic
Party (PMDB) which is part of the governing coalition with the PT.
forces have been pushing for impeachment for the past few months and
now made their move for reasons that have nothing to do with ensuring
well-being of the Brazilian people.
The Rousseff presidency has upheld the pro-social
established by the PT and the presidency of Luiz Inácio "Lula"
(2003-2011) that opposes neo-liberalism and has worked diligently to
people's well-being, especially the poor. The Rousseff and Lula
have been an important part of the bloc of progressive governments in
region that are working for integration based on cooperation and mutual
benefit and that form a bulwark against U.S. imperialism and the
and reactionary opposition forces aligned with it.
Several opposition motions to impeach had been tabled in
the lower house
where the Speaker is Eduardo Cunha of the PMDB. Cunha has been under
investigation by a congressional ethics committee for corruption and
laundering after it was proven that he had secret Swiss bank accounts
allegedly set up to receive bribes. "Several defendants in a massive
investigation of bribes and kickbacks paid from overpriced contracts
state-run oil company Petrobras have said in plea bargain statements
Cunha received a $5 million bribe in connection to contracts for two
built for Petrobras," Reuters reported in September. A group of several
have submitted a formal request to the committee that Cunha be removed
his post. After the PT indicated it would support Cunha's removal, the
made his move against President Rousseff and the PT.
In response President Rousseff stated, "I have received
the decision by the head of the lower chamber to [launch] the
process," adding that, "There is no wrongful act committed by me, nor
there any suspicions that I have misused public money." The PT censured
Cunha's decision, which it termed unfounded and announced the intention
seek an annulment of the impeachment process at the Supreme Federal
Rousseff also condemned the activities of the opposition
aggravate the economic situation and isolate the PT by passing bills to
increase government costs so as to later make accusations of financial
Former President da Silva denounced the activity of
Cunha and the
opposition parties as a coup attempt and called for the progressive
throw their support behind President Rousseff. He called Cunha's move
irresponsible act of revenge. Lula highlighted the PT's achievements in
12 years, including the creation of 10 million jobs, bringing more than
million people out of abject poverty, eliminating hunger, fighting
developing the country and giving the people a sense of dignity and
Several other political parties -- the Socialism and
Liberty Party (PSOL),
the Democratic Labour Party (PDT) and the Sustainability Network (Rede)
spoke out against the attempt to impeach as did Leader of the PDF
Lupi. The PDF leader pointed out that someone being investigated for
corruption and money laundering lacks the moral authority to remove
power a president elected by a popular vote.
One-third of those
on the impeachment commission are under investigation for criminal
activity, showing the unprincipled and self-serving nature of this
The election of a 65-member impeachment commission began
December 8. Only 39 members had been selected when Supreme Court
Luiz Edson Fachin suspended the work of the special committee that
This was in response to a request from the Communist Party of Brazil
(PCdoB), questioning the legality of the secret voting procedure
Cunha in the Chamber of Deputies which the PCdoB alleges was used to
the committee against President Rousseff.
Amongst other manoeuvring taking place, Rousseff's
Michael Temer has given strong indications he will not stand by the
Meanwhile, Leonardo Picciani, who backs Rousseff and until December 9
the leader of the PMDB in the lower house, was forced out and replaced
Leonardo Quintao, who is pro-impeachment. TeleSUR points out, "The
PMDB, a big tent party composed of a wide-variety of ideological views,
split on the question of impeaching President Rousseff."
TeleSUR also explains that if the commission proceeds
impeachment, the Chamber of Deputies will then vote on whether to begin
formal impeachment, which requires two-thirds support or 342 votes out
513 to go to the next stage. Should that threshold be met, Rousseff
forced to temporarily step down while the Senate deliberates over
impeachment. For the president to be permanently removed, the Senate
also need two-thirds of its members, in this case 54 votes, to vote for
removal. In the event that impeachment proceedings begin in the Senate,
Rousseff would be replaced by Vice-President Temer.
Lack of Legal Basis for Impeachment
On December 7,
President Rousseff met with a group of jurists who advised that the
impeachment lacks a legal basis.
Professor Luiz Moreira Gomes Junior, former member of
Public Prosecutor's Office and Professor of Constitutional Law stated
that it "is
very clear to the Brazilian legal community" that there is no
basis for the request and that Cunha lacked credibility and suitability
the motion to impeach to proceed. Moreira characterized the situation
According to the Brazilian lawyer and PhD in political
Cardoso, the impeachment process must be based on the commission of a
crime, which is lacking in this case.
Professor Francisco Queiroz Cavalcanti of the Federal
Pernambuco pointed out that the financial adjustments made by the
government were warranted given the severe financial situation facing
country, and noted that the President did not appropriate for herself
Doctor of Law Marcelo Labanca further pointed out that
the threshold for
impeachment "requires fraud, a dishonest intention. There has not been
any act that would lead the president to lose her mandate. The law is
manipulated for political purposes," he said.
Broad Support from Social Movements and Unions
December 8, social movements, rural groups, and political parties
in the Popular Front called for united action to reject the impeachment
The Popular Front announced a national day of action for
to mobilize social movements and to ensure that any vote for
"If the conservative sectors want power, they must wait
until the next
elections in 2018 and ensure democratic consolidation, which is in
these blundering [impeachment] attempts," the Popular Front said in a
On December 10, members of Brazil's labor union central
the CUT rallied
to oppose the impeachment proceedings and to discuss the country's
economic and political tensions. During the event, officials called on
Brazilian lawmakers to overcome their political differences in order to
the country's struggling economy.
"Brazil needs tranquility in order to resume economic
development and we
are laying out the path to recovery by discussing alternatives to
crisis," said Vagner Freitas, President of CUT.
Within this situation, the PCdoB is playing an important
role by organizing
its forces to contribute to the mass work required to politically
attempt to overthrow the Rousseff government and reverse its important
The PCdoB is adamant that the coup, which targets Brazil and its
people, must be defeated, that there is no middle ground in this fight
for democracy, and that the only way to overcome the economic crisis
presently facing the country is to preserve institutional stability and
democracy. The party also points out that the broad spectrum of those
taking a stand to support democracy is growing quickly.
On December 4, the party
convened a forum of its social movements at the headquarters of the
Committee in São Paulo.
President of PCdoB Luciana Santos opened the meeting
saying that the
times demand a spirit that is characteristic of communists to take the
to the streets.
"Our main weapon is our conviction," said Santos. "We
need more than
ever to exercise it. Talk and compare the PSDB [Brazilian Social
Party] government with the transformation that Brazil has undergone
progressive process of the coalition led by Lula and Dilma," she urged.
The national secretary of the PCdoB social movements
proposed that the party leaders and members be guided by a work plan
would include the holding of plenaries in 100 Brazilian cities.
"From these strategic locations, the movement can be
activated in smaller
towns and incorporate other sectors such as intellectuals and social
to enlighten and mobilize the people," explained Tokarski. He also
that the party's publications be used as important instruments to
clarification and material support in the work to oppose the attempt at
PCdoB's national secretary for international affairs
José Reinaldo Carvalho
stated that the great battles to come will require raising the
ideological and organizational level of the party and renovating the
the social movements.
"A victory of the right would be devastating. So we need
to loudly sound
the democratic and patriotic alarm. It is illusory to think that this
will reverse this situation through democratic means," said Reinaldo.
PCdoB activists together
with other progressive forces work out a plan to defeat the coup,
state, December 7, 2015.
Jamil Murad, president of PCdoB municipal committee of
Sao Paulo, said
it is necessary to make the connection between the effects of
damage to the people's interests. "We will not get out of this
situation if the
workers are not incorporated into this process," he said.
Maria Jose Lia, who represents the National
Confederation of Community
Associations (Conam), stressed the need to clarify the situation for
and mobilize them against the impeachment. Popular material for the
public would be of great assistance in the work, she added.
Guilherme Boulos, National Coordinator of the Homeless
Movement (MTST), said the worsening political situation of the country
requires breaking the "media monopoly in Brazil that
more than it informs."
Carina Vitral, president of the National Union of
Students (UNE), stated
that the unity of the social movements will be fundamental to the
demonstrations. "While we are on the streets, the progressive forces
to stop the impeachment in the national congress," she said.
Jamil Murad expressed enthusiasm about the unity between
movements and unions in the struggle for democracy and against the
According to Murad, this movement can set a new direction for Brazil.
Guantanamo Seminar for the Abolition of
Foreign Military Bases
Two hundred delegates from 30 countries gathered in
easternmost province, from November 23 to 25 for the IV Seminar on the
Abolition of Foreign Military Bases. The seminar was organized by
the Cuban section of the World Peace Council.
Delegates gave their firm support to Cuba's demand for
the return of the
U.S.-occupied territory that covers roughly 120 square kms in
province and the closure of the U.S. naval base and prison and torture
on this Cuban territory. The naval base at Guantanamo, first
1898, is the oldest U.S. overseas base. Along with ending the economic,
financial and commercial blockade of the country and other unjust U.S.
policies, the return of Cuban territory in Guantanamo is one of the
fundamental demands for proceeding with the normalization of relations
Emphasis at the seminar was also given to the status of
Latin America and
the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace as declared at the 2014 Community of
American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Havana. In defiance of
the declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.S. continues
operate at least 70 military bases in the region, including in Antigua
Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic,
Salvador, French Guyana, Grenada, Guadalupe, Guyana, Honduras,
Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Puerto Rico. France and Britain have
their own bases in the region, while Canadian forces are present in
and Haiti, along with other countries, and have a permanent naval
under the U.S. Southern Command. U.S. army, navy and air force troops
also stationed in Canada.
Opening session of
Seminar, featuring Dr. Nancy Acosta Hernández,
President of Provincial Assembly of People's Power in Guantanamo
On the opening day, delegates were greeted by Dr. Nancy
Hernández, President of the Provincial Assembly of People's
Guantanamo who explained the history of the province and some of the
of the U.S. occupation. Among other things, the 120 square kms occupied
the U.S. has been hit with the pollution left by the U.S. war machine
more than a century the local population has had no access to the bay
its beaches and surrounding territory. This has limited the growth of
population and economy of Guantanamo, which nonetheless has one of the
youngest populations in Cuba and has made great strides in public
Billboard: In Guantanamo, Yes We Can!
Guantanamo Bay is one of
the largest in the hemisphere, and the second
largest in Cuba after Nipe Bay in the north of the island. Dr. Mario
of the University of Guantanamo explained to the seminar participants
U.S. occupation has led to significant negative ecological change. For
the long-term maintenance of a huge fleet of ships, planes and other
of war generates enormous waste, including oils, solvents and expended
materials that pollute the waters. Dr. Montero identified negative
soil, plant and animal communities, geology, hydrology and the
landscape alterations, the depletion of fisheries, loss of culture and
settlements for study.
The message of Dr. Acosta Hernández, Dr. Montero
representatives of the province to delegates was: Guantanamo is Not a
They deplored the fact that the name of their province and its capital
become synonymous with the U.S. "war on terror" and torture. A cultural
called My Guantanamo Is Not a Naval Base, was held the
of November 23, showcasing the rich and varied culture of the province
its capital, including the influence of the Haitian origin of much of
population. The event was opened by Fernando González,
the Cuban Institute of Friendship of the Peoples (ICAP).
Cultural Gala: My
Guantanamo Is Not a Naval Base!
Also taking part in the seminar was Comrade José
Cabrera, head of the International Relations Department of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and a member of its
Comrade Balaguer Cabrera reiterated that territory occupied by the U.S.
be returned to Cuba because it is an affront to the sovereignty of its
It constitutes one of the most important impediments for the
relations between Cuba and its neighbour to the north," Balaguer said.
of this, in Cuba Guantanamo province is known as the first trench in
struggle against imperialism.
Balaguer pointed out that the seminar and visit to
Guantanamo were taking
place in the context of the resumption of diplomatic relations between
and the U.S. "[The resumption of diplomatic relations] has as its basis
indomitable firmness that for the last 50 years our people have
the face of all governments in Washington and their attempts to defeat
triumphant process that started in 1959 and to return the country to
situation before that date," said Balaguer. "They didn't actually do it
been forced to acknowledge their failure. Today a new strategy begins,
intended for the same goals; to reverse the political, economic and
which the Cuban people, without any external mandate, chose for
And they will not succeed in that attempt," he said.
Members of the U.S. delegation.
Among the other speakers at the seminar were
María Do Socorro Gómez,
President of the World Peace Council and former member of the Brazilian
parliament; Edgar Ponce, Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador in Cuba;
and Palmiro León Soria Saucedo, Ambassador of the Plurinational
of Bolivia in Cuba. There were speakers from the U.S. opposing the U.S.
government's refusal to recognize Cuba's sovereignty and right to
self-determination. Others, from Japan, Mexico and elsewhere spoke on
U.S. military presence and dirty wars the people are subjected to.
Visit to Caimanera
On November 25, delegates
visited Caimanera municipality which stands
adjacent to the Cuban territory occupied by the U.S. The people of
are direct witnesses of the U.S. occupation on a daily basis, as it
occupation border at its northern point in the middle of the bay and a
of U.S. installations.
The people of Caimanera met delegates as they arrived
greetings and thanks for standing with Cuba in affirming that the
Guantanamo is a matter of international significance. The people of
showed how they are militantly resisting the occupation today by
bright future for themselves and defending the gains of the revolution.
Caimanera provides more than 70 per cent of Cuba's salt production.
population of 11,091, Caimanera has a polyclinic with 13 specialists,
doctors and five pharmacies; education from the daycare to university
one hundred per cent electrification; eighty per cent paved streets;
buses; seven cultural facilities; and two sports facilities and 25
other areas of
play. Caimanera is 87 per cent self-sufficient in vegetable production
limited in agricultural growth due to soil salination. Elected
Party leaders in Caimanera explained that one of the most important
accomplishments in the municipality has been a zero infant mortality
four years and a life expectancy of 78 years.
View of Cuban territory cccupied by U.S. naval base.
Delegates visited a vantage point from which a number of
sites could be seen across a range of hills. The same view can be found
a number of apartments and other buildings in the municipality. It
stark example for all those gathered of the reality and scale of the
occupation and the need to step up the work for the removal of the U.S.
imperialist military from all countries. Delegates were then invited to
at a square in Caimanera where they were greeted by a representative of
local mid-level students' federation who affirmed that her home is not
military base and presented the demands of the people for the U.S. to
Gathering and celebration
Coming Events -- Lift the Blockade on Cuba!
Pickets are taking place in
several cities on December 17 following the
Guantanamo seminar in Cuba, attended by delegates of thirty countries,
demanding the return of U.S.-occupied territory to
Cuba. Actions are calling for an end to the illegal U.S.
blockade against Cuba, a
return of occupied territory in Guantanamo and the abolition of unjust
U.S. laws targeting
Cuba. They take place on the one-year
anniversary of the beginning of "normalization" of relations between
Cuba and the U.S.
5:00 - 5:30 pm
In front of St. James
United Church, 463 St Catherine St West
(near St. Alexandre St.)
6:00 - 6:00 pm
In front of the U.S. Consulate, St.
Alexandre St. & René-Lévesque
Organized by: Table
de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba
Click image for
-- 4:00 pm
Embassy, 490 Sussex Drive
by: Ottawa-Cuba Connections
Click image for
-- 4:00 pm
by: Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade
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