March 5, 2016 - No. 10
March 8 --
International Women's Day
Victory to the
Struggle of Women for
We will not back down."
Workers Must Lead the Struggle for Renewal
• Condemn the Assassination of
Honduran Leader Berta Cáceres!
Resolving Refugee Crisis
• The Working Class Must Take the Lead in
Defending the Rights of All
• Canada's Syrian Refugee Settlement Program
on Matters of War and Peace
• The Anniversary of the First Gulf
• Canada's Attempts to
Peace Process in Syria
• Plans to
Aggression Against Libya
• Why We Say No to the
- Toronto Coalition to Stop the War -
• Cessation of Hostilities in Effect
• Third Anniversary of the Passing of
President Hugo Chávez Commemorated
• President Maduro
Socialist Enterprise System and
Calls on Workers to Resist
• U.S. President Renews
Order Labeling Venezuela
Threat to National Security
"Iron Curtain" Speech
• 70th Anniversary of the Cold War
• Pravda Interview with
- March 14, 1946 -
105th Anniversary of International
Victory to the Struggle of Women for
One hundred and five years ago, the first
Women's Day was celebrated to focus on the call for peace
issued by women in Europe prior to World War I. Already at that
time, working women were becoming conscious of the need to
coordinate their struggle and express unity for their cause
worldwide. On February 28, 1909 women textile workers issued a
call for an international day of action of women workers. A meeting of
the Socialist International held in December 1910 reiterated this
demand. In a short time, March 8 became the day when women of all
countries would express their unity with one another in their struggle
Today, on a world scale women are participating in the
society in unprecedented numbers. Everywhere, they are in the
forefront opening a path for the progress of society. In almost
all countries, women's rights have achieved formal recognition
and the need to provide women and children with all that they
require to flourish is considered to be one of the most important
problems of our times. This is because women themselves have
always embarked on affirming their rights in a concrete way not
as a mere policy objective. It can be said that the fact that
women's rights are on the agenda, even in international fora, is the
greatest achievement to date of the women's movement for emancipation.
In Canada, as elsewhere, women are in the forefront of
struggle against the anti-social offensive. At the same time they
are involved in finding solutions for some of the most important
problems facing society, whether of poverty and unemployment,
education and health care, escalating social violence or specific
women's issues. The demand for justice for the families of Indigenous
women and girls who have been murdered or are missing is one of
the most significant in Canada today to advance the cause of the
people against the continuation of colonial relations and the
misery this causes. The involvement of women in the vanguard of
the struggle is one of the most important positive developments
in the effort to open the door for the progress of society. It is
also one of the most important steps women have taken towards
their own affirmation.
TML Weekly hails the women of Canada and the
the occasion of International Women's Day which is one of the
most important occasions for the entire humanity to remind itself
of all that needs to be achieved in the immediate future. Women's
rights must be recognized by providing the conditions they
require, as well as constitutional guarantees in all
countries, just as they must be put foremost in international
covenants. Unless this is done, the emancipation of women will
not become a fact of life. Only once women achieve their rights
will the world be able to celebrate the emancipation of the whole
Hail March 8 -- International Women's
Women Workers Must
Lead the Struggle for Renewal
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) greets
March 8, International Women's Day, with full confidence that
women workers will continue to take the lead in the work to renew
the political process and the society. Communist women have
proven in this period, as in the past, that they take up the
question of gender discrimination as a question of emancipating
the working class. The mobilization of women workers for the
renewal of the political process is a step in this direction.
The present period is one
of retreat of revolution in which
the working class has not lost its leading role. Far from losing
its leading role, it is the working class which has to provide an
alternative to the retrogression which is being imposed on the
society. Women workers have a crucial role to play, first and
foremost, by ensuring that they do not get diverted or dissipate
their energies on issues which do not put them at the
centre-stage of the developments. They must, as is the case with
all the workers, be political, work out their program, and take
the same to all sections of the society.
This year on International Women's Day we call on all
women workers to pledge their adherence to the cause of their class. In
the course of the developments since the onset of
the anti-social offensive in 1989, no women with positions of
power and privilege have advocated for women in a meaningful
manner. On the contrary, while women suffer the most in the war
zones, the plight of oppressed and exploited women is used to
serve the war agenda of the ruling class. In the name of opposing
discrimination, religious persecution, rights, womanhood and any
other high ideal, successive Canadian governments pick and choose
which women and causes to support. The imposition of American-style
democracy in the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the
Caribbean has increased their enslavement. So too the working people in
the former Soviet Union and eastern European countries are no better
off as a result of this "democracy." The so-called democracy movements
are mere pretexts
to increase the takeover of these countries and bring about
regime change. Women workers must not merge with such movements
and waste their energies.
Women workers must raise
their own demands within the
struggle for the emancipation of the entire working class. Only
in this way can all women be emancipated. Advanced women workers
should join the Party, organize basic organizations for the
emancipation of women at the workplace, inclusive of all fellow
workers, irrespective of gender, and excel in the taking up of
political affairs under the banner of the democratic renewal of
the political process.
CPC(M-L) takes this opportunity to express its full
support for all women fighting for emancipation across this country and
on the world scale and to hail the increasing participation of women in
political affairs. The Party condemns the hypocrisy of the government
of Canada that picks and chooses which women and causes to support but
continues to cover up the treatment it reserves for women and in
particular Canada's Indigenous women. CPC(M-L) condemns all acts of
oppression and humiliation of women, rape and other forms of brutality
and terror which continue thanks to the conditions of capitalist
exploitation and wage slavery and the vicious anti-social offensive
that seeks to take away all vestiges of the right to redress for crimes
committed against women. All those committing crimes against women must
Women Workers, Together Let Us Achieve a
Society that Defends the
Rights of All by Leading the Struggle for Renewal!
Condemn the Assassination of
Honduran Leader Berta
Cáceres in Intibuca, Honduras, January 2015. (T. Russo)
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
condemns the assassination of Honduran Indigenous rights activist Berta
Cáceres. Cáceres, co-founder of the Civic Council of
Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) was shot by
gunmen who broke into her home in the early morning hours of March 3. A
tireless fighter for the rights of the peoples, she was a leader of the
Lenca people of the Rio Blanco area of Honduras. Most recently, she was
leading the fight against the Honduran government's violation of
Indigenous title and in favour of the requirement to obtain the free,
prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples for any proposed new
hydroelectric projects on their territories.
CPC(M-L) sends its condolences to Cáceres'
in Honduras and to the heroic Honduran people who refuse to
submit to the dictate of the private monopolies that have taken
over the Honduran government by force. CPC(M-L) places the blame
for her murder squarely on the Honduran state and all its
backers, including Canada. Following the U.S.-orchestrated coup
d'etat in 2009, the Honduran state has operated on behalf of the
monopolies, passing laws in their favour and placing its police,
military and paramilitary forces at their disposal to repress the
people's resistance with impunity. Canadians have not forgotten that
the Canadian state led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper was one
of the first to recognize the illegitimate coup government
installed after the overthrow of the government of Manuel
Cáceres had received repeated death threats as
constant judicial and administrative harassment ever since the
2009 military coup, attesting to the state of anarchy and
violence the U.S. and the Honduran oligarchy have imposed on the
country through the coup. According to Global Witness, Honduras
is the most deadly country in the world for land and
environmental defenders. It reports that at least 109 people were
killed between 2010 and 2015 for taking a stand against
destructive dam, mining, logging and agriculture projects. Of the
eight victims whose cases were publicly reported in 2015, six
were from Indigenous groups. Canadian companies are knee deep in
such projects and this may be one of the reasons the Trudeau
government will avoid any investigation into Canada's role in
Cáceres' murder follows the murders of other
members of COPINH and community members in areas where COPINH has led
the people to affirm their rights. Cáceres in particular was
active not only in defence of the rights of Indigenous peoples to say
No! to monopolies which have been given a free hand in the exploitation
of Honduras' natural resources and land, but also in the political
fight of the people to overturn the coup and take the Honduran state
out of the hands of the Honduran oligarchy and their foreign backers.
Cáceres is most well
known for leading a
against one of Central America's biggest hydropower projects, the
Agua Zarca cascade of four giant dams in the Gualcarque River
basin. As a result of the people's resistance the project had to
be stopped in 2013. However, since that time death threats against
Cáceres and others in the Rio Blanco area have been stepped up.
Honduran state intervened directly to have her arrested and
imprisoned on bogus charges at a time that members of the
community where the dams were to be located were being killed,
disappeared or beaten.
In 2014, the Lenca people of Rio Blanco discovered that
dam project, the Canjel River Hydroelectric Project was being
started on their lands without their knowledge or consent. A
U.S.-based private equity firm Capital III, together with a
Canadian company, Hydrosys Consultants, had begun building the
Canjel Dam in violation of International Labour Organization
Convention 169, as the Lenca communities in the area were once
again never consulted. In September 2014, COPINH filed denunciations
with the Special Prosecutor for Indigenous Peoples
of Honduras against government officials for failing to consult
the Lenca people for a total of 40 dam projects.
Capital III is planning to finance four dams in
Honduras, three of which
COPINH has denounced. One of the larger ones, the Zompopero
Hydroelectric Project, impacts three Honduran states and is a
$50-million project. Additionally, Hydrosys Consultants, the Canadian
company in charge of the construction, permits, and engineering
of the Canjel Dam, was involved in at least five dam projects in
Honduras in 2014. TeleSUR reported on March 4 that Cáceres made
statements last April claiming that "men close to Blue Energy,"
or people "close to politicians" and "death squads promoted from
government policies" were behind the death threats leveled
against her. TeleSUR reported Blue Energy as being "a
transnational Canadian company looking to build a dam in the Rio
Blanco area in western Honduras."
Cáceres' mother and daughter have both said they
companies behind the dam projects in Rio Blanco and the Honduran
government responsible for her death.
Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández, whose
was subject to an order issued by the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights requiring it to take special precautions to
guarantee the safety of Cáceres, did nothing to inspire
confidence that a cover-up would not be the result when he
announced that an investigation was currently underway "in
coordination with the support of the United States and other
countries to find the culprits."
Cáceres' family have called on the Honduran
protect witnesses to the murder and prevent evidence from being
contaminated and have joined COPINH in calling for an
independent, international investigation not led by the Honduran
government, the Organization of American States, or the
newly-launched Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption
and Impunity in Honduras backed by the OAS.
CPC(M-L) calls on the Canadian working class and people
to demand justice for the murder of Beta Cáceres and all those
murdered in Honduras for affirming their rights and the rights of all!
Canada's Contribution to Resolving
The Working Class Must Take the Lead in
Defending the Rights
As of February 28 more than 25,000 Syrian refugees have
to Canada. A little over half came as government-assisted
refugees with the rest having private or semi-private
sponsorship. In this issue TML Weekly is providing
information about the conditions of Syrian refugees who have
settled in Canada, the settlement process and related
What is clear is that while the government gives the
impression that it is defending the rights of Syrians in Canada and
abroad this is not in fact the case. By having refugees sponsored
privately or semi-privately, the onus to uphold various standards is
put on various individuals, families and non-government organizations
while how they are to be cared for is handed over to private interests
and police forces. The unfolding events show
that now is the time for the working class and its organizations
to take concrete measures to make sure the rights of refugees are
upheld in the context of defending the rights of all. This is the
conclusion the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
thinks is warranted from its assessment of how the new arrivals
have been placed in various communities, how their disposal is
treated by the ruling circles and the pressure they are under. It
is all the more important given that private monopolies and
organizations connected with the Syrian opposition are working to
make sure that the arrival of Syrians takes place in a way that
benefits their vested interests.
The new arrivals have been divided into several
categories: government-assisted refugees (GAR), Blended Visa-Office
Referred (BVOR) and privately-sponsored refugees (PSR). Once they are
categorized they are no longer referred to as human beings, all of whom
should be government-assisted but they become defined by their
"category." What authority is to advocate for them as human beings with
their particular needs? What authority is overseeing these needs as
they go from one stage of settlement to the next? The entire matter
seems to have become a pragmatic affair of disposing of them as quickly
as possible. Phrases are bandied about: "they are lucky to be here,"
"they should be grateful," "everyone is doing their best," "they have
been screened and Canadians have nothing to be afraid of." And that is
But what are the different categories all about?
individuals who fall into what is called the
government-assisted category have come from Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey
and have been settled for the most part in major cities in Canada.
These individuals, as well as those in other categories, were already
registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and have gone
through six levels of screening: identification and referral to
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; immigration and security
overview by visa officers from Canadian embassies and high commissions;
identity and document verification and biometric and biographic data
collection (which involves that data being obtained and verified by the
RCMP, CSIS, border services and U.S. security agencies); health
screening; identity confirmation prior to departure; and identity
verification upon arrival. Approximately 290 Canadian Armed Forces
personnel (as well as a number of RCMP officers and staff) traveled to
Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan to take part in the administrative
processing of refugee applications, including the collection of
biometric data; provide support for medical screening; and provide an
armed forces "command and control element."
1,000 government-assisted refugees are in Toronto, Ottawa and
Vancouver respectively. Forty-eight per cent are said to be without
permanent housing at this time and many are in hotels or other
temporary housing, some for months. Temporary housing, such as hotels
are paid for by the government outside of the standard refugee income
assistance. Refugees in temporary housing are given a $10 per day per
adult food allowance and a $50 per minor flat fee (not per day). Once
permanent housing is found refugees must pay for housing from standard
government income support for refugees, which lasts up to one year or
less if it is deemed that they can support themselves. It is not clear
how this determination is made.
The support is delivered by government-funded private
agencies and it can include funds for housing, clothing, food and
other basic items and assistance in finding employment. The
maximum amount provided is $25,000 per family, including a
one-time "start up" payment and monthly support. The amount
however is tied to provincially-determined welfare rates and
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told media that the
average for Ontario, for instance, is closer to $11,281 but
varies depending on family size.
The provincial and federal governments have stressed
refugees will not receive more than the existing welfare rates.
The BC Ministry of Social Development told the CBC in response to
questions that an adult on welfare would receive $610 per month
in income assistance, with $375 for shelter and $235 for food and
other support. "Government-assisted refugees...," said the BC
ministry in an email to CBC News, "do not receive more monthly
support than people on income assistance."
The category called "Blended Visa-Office Referred" is
comprised of individuals identified for resettlement by the United
Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) who have private sponsors in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says the
goal of the program is "to engage in a three-way partnership
among the Government of Canada, the UNHCR, and private sponsors."
Those in the category are entitled to receive government support
for six months, rather than a year. After six months private
sponsors are to provide "another six months of financial support
and up to a year of social and emotional support." Sponsors must
be individuals or government-certified "Sponsorship Agreement
Holders" most of which are religious organizations.
Individuals in the "privately-sponsored" category do
receive government support but are to be looked after by
individuals or by Sponsorship Agreement Holders.
Privately-sponsored refugees can also seek help from recognized
Service Provider Organizations.
The government currently recognizes 1,248 of these
Provider Organizations, including school boards, NGOs, libraries
and private social service organizations but also employment
agencies, economic development corporations and private training
schools. Privately-sponsored and blended visa-office refugees
from Syria, unlike government-assisted individuals are dispersed
throughout Canada, with many outside major cities and others
dispersed in small numbers or on a family basis in particular
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says
a private sponsor supports a refugee for 12 months, starting from
the refugee's arrival in Canada or until the refugee becomes
self-sufficient, whichever comes first." Private sponsorship of
refugees in Canada began only in 1978 in the context of the
so-called boat people coming to Canada from Vietnam.
Like other refugees who enter Canada in one of the
above categories, the Syrians became permanent residents upon
arrival. To keep this status, they must reside in Canada for two out of
every five years and not be convicted of a serious crime or be found to
have provided false information on certain paperwork. Refugees who do
not receive automatic permanent residence upon arrival are those who
enter Canada before claiming refugee status or seeking asylum.
In the opinion of CPC(M-L) all of this is very
Where will the responsibility lie for all these vulnerable
people? All of it seems to be based on an outlook that treats
human beings as "a problem" to be dealt with in a manner which
causes the least inconvenience and expense to the public
treasury. What will happen if these human beings do not perform as
"expected" and this "problem" becomes an "inconvenience"?
Immigration Minister John McCallum spoke at a
"Welcoming Syrian Refugees" forum held on December 1, 2015 by the
Governor General to discuss the disposal of the refugees on their
arrival in Canada. He said that there is "a possibility of a social
backlash" against Syrian refugees if "Canadians see them as being
don't want Canadians to think we are giving refugees everything
and not accommodating the needs of our own people," he told the
forum. McCallum said one challenge is to keep Canadians "on
side." He said "we have to reassure Canadians on the security
front, that's an ongoing challenge, but the good news is we have
the RCMP, CSIS and Canadian border people saying they are
satisfied with our methods."
European Council president Donald Tusk expressed the
anti-human outlook which blames the refugees for their own plight
on March 3 when he warned them and those he called "potential
illegal economic migrants," to "not come to Europe. Do not
believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It
is all for nothing."
It is already clear that the security aspect gives
priority to dealing with refugees on a law and order basis. The work of
them for their arrival in Canada seems to have been left in the
hands of police forces which screened them prior to their being
accepted. News reports quote RCMP officers who traveled to Jordan
to interview the refugees as having told them that in Canada, unlike
Syria or the countries they had been residing in, their rights
will be defended by the police. "If you come to Canada and you
feel vulnerable, or being taken advantage of, do not fear
contacting the police," one RCMP officer said. "There isn't
corruption as there are in other places in the world," she said,
"the police don't get any of those special privileges and there
isn't that corruption..." In other words, the responsibilities of
government towards the settlement of refugees are not a matter of
public discourse, but imbuing them with what are called "Canadian
values" and prejudices is considered newsworthy.
Meanwhile, right from the beginning the government has
appealed to private monopoly interests to get involved in the
settlement of the new arrivals. Certain industries have expressed
particular interest, such as the meat packing industry centred around
Brooks, Alberta and those who need farm labour in places like
Leamington, Ontario. There seems to be a concerted push by private
monopoly interests to place people in rural areas where it is claimed
there is "a labour shortage." In this regard, private monopoly
interests have expressed an interest to have refugee labour as a more
permanent pool of cheap labour in lieu of the guest foreign workers
whose visas expire.
A representative of the Canadian Meat Council took part
the Governor General's December 1 forum and stated that the
industry has a chronic labour shortage. "Not enough Canadians are
willing to accept job offers for vacancies situated often in
smaller, more distant and rural locations," he said. He called on
governments to encourage settlement in places where his industry
needs more labour at a standard below that which is acceptable.
At the same meeting Susan Scotti of the Canadian Business Council
spoke about how many of its member companies are involved in
settling Syrians in Canada at every stage.
This is portrayed as charity and humanitarianism
although the motives are clear given the complaints from these monopoly
interests about the difficulties they have with the temporary foreign
worker program and the need for workers who will do "jobs that
Canadians are not willing to do." This is presented as a "win-win" for
private interests, Canadians and Syrians who need jobs. This alone
should put the working people on alert. The working class and its
organizations must play their role to make sure the thousands of
Syrians who have come from hardship and strife are not made targets of
attack now and when they fight to defend their rights. Foreign "guest
workers" who fight for their rights are often repatriated. What will
Canada do with Syrian refugees who refuse to compromise their
Just as private monopoly interests came forward to
"welcome" the refugees to Canada, so too, private organizations with
vested interests are working with the government to "welcome" the
Syrians. Some claim to represent democratic Syrians in Canada but in
fact represent only those who have been pushing for “regime change” in
that country and are connected to international efforts to interfere in
Syria's sovereignty. Such groups have
been given preferential status such that in some cities they are
large and leading role in looking after the new arrivals. Will the
refugees have to adhere to the beliefs of these organizations to get
satisfactory housing, medical attention, education and jobs? If they
speak their mind in a manner which does not adhere to what are called
"Canadian values" will they be subjected to "deradicalization" and
In Windsor, Ontario a local group affiliated to the
Canadian Council has been given a prominent place in coordinating
settlement efforts with refugee and immigrant service providers
and other local organizations who want to assist refugees upon
their arrival. An event sponsored by this group and the business
World Water Operator Training Company to welcome refugees was
attended by local MPs and MPPs and other officials. The event
prominently displayed not the flag of Syria but one with a green
stripe used by certain opposition groups who have been pushing
for regime change with the support of the U.S., Canada and other
The "Syrian Canadian Council" has been ceaselessly
for U.S.-NATO regime change in Syria while agitating against the
Syrian government and army as well as Iran, Russia and the
Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah. They show no concern for
the involvement of the U.S. and its allies and their sponsorship
of atrocities including ISIS.
There are a number of reasons why Syrians have had to
country since 2011 but high on the minds of many are the
consequences of efforts by the U.S. and its allies Turkey, Saudi
Arabia and Israel to funnel money and arms to groups in Syria
trying to repeat the crime that devastated Libya. One does not
need to look further than the great fleets of Toyota Trucks
driven by ISIS which a U.S. Congressional study found to have
been originally purchased by none other than the U.S.
But these are not the issue when it comes to the
of new arrivals. The issue is that settlement should be in the hands of
a public authority that is not involved in sectarian activities of
any kind, whether political, religious or any other.
Governor General David Johnston said the settlement of
refugees in Canada is "an opportunity to reimagine how we take
care of the most marginalized and vulnerable among us." It is now
revealed that this "reimagining" means turning over the
settlement to private interests which does not bode well for
either the new arrivals or Canadians as a whole. It shows the urgent
need to step up the fight for a public authority which takes
up its social responsibility to defend the rights of all and
implement all the measures required by those who are the most
vulnerable at any given time.
CPC(M-L) wishes the Syrian refugees all the best as
strive to make a new life for themselves and their families in
Canada and calls on all the working people to be vigilant and
make sure their rights are defended in the context of defending
the rights of all.
Canada's Syrian Refugee Settlement Program
On February 28 the government of Canada announced that
that date 25,323 Syrians have been brought to Canada as refugees
and been given permanent resident status, meeting the Liberals'
own February 29 deadline. Of those 14,418 were
government-assisted refugees (GARs). Meanwhile, 2,179 were Blended
Visa-Office Referred (BVOR), meaning the government will provide
support for the first six months, following which private
sponsors will provide support for another six months. The
remaining 8,726 were completely privately sponsored.
Initially, the Liberals had said they would bring
25,000 Syrians to Canada by the end of 2015 under the GAR program that
sees the government take on the full cost of a person or family's
resettlement for twelve months. The Liberal campaign platform said they
would work with private sponsors to do even more. The original total of
privately sponsored refugees was to be 10,000. Following the election
the Liberals changed the deadline to resettle that many GARs by the end
of 2016. They then set a new target of resettling 25,000 people in
total from all three refugee categories by the end of February 2016.
While the government has said it intends to achieve its initial target
of bringing 25,000 government-assisted refugees to Canada, it has not
yet announced a cap on how many private sponsorship applications it
In addition to Syrian refugees who had arrived in
of the end of February the government announced that there were
also 12,098 refugee resettlement applications in progress and
another 3,123 that had been finalized, with none of these having
yet come to Canada. This could make for roughly 15,000 more
Syrian refugees potentially coming to Canada. The government did not
indicate what portion of these were government-assisted and which were
partially or completely privately sponsored.
Canada's program for selecting GARs
has focused on refugees currently living in Jordan, Lebanon and
Turkey. In Jordan and Lebanon, Syrians living in refugee camps
have been registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) and referred for possible resettlement in
Canada. In Turkey it is the government of Turkey that is
responsible for registering and communicating with Syrian
refugees referred to Canada's program. One of the requirements
for refugees who eventually come to Canada as government-assisted
refugees is that in addition to being unable to return to their
country of origin, they must also be without a reasonable
prospect, within a reasonable period, of a durable solution in a
country other than Canada.
Concerns Over Housing
At the February 28 announcement, Immigration, Refugees
Citizenship Minister John McCallum indicated that one of the big
issues that led to (so far) four new communities being designated
as Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) centres and therefore
eligible to receive GARs is that finding
housing, especially for large families, is a problem.
Forty-eight per cent of Syrian refugees in Canada are
to still be without permanent housing. Some have been staying in
hotels for months in what appears to be a permanent holding
pattern while they wait for housing. "[In] some parts of Canada,
80 per cent or more [Syrian refugees] have received permanent
housing, but the lowest number are Toronto and Vancouver, the two
biggest cities, and that is why we are enlisting other cities and
towns to be more active in British Columbia, in Ontario, to
reduce the pressure on those two cities," McCallum said.
While affordable housing is already an
issue in most Canadian cities, it is much worse for families
with more than two to three people. It is unclear how the
government plans to resolve the problem. One issue with the
increased number of privately-sponsored and BVOR refugees
is that the sponsors are responsible for almost all aspects of
settlement such as housing and food.
McCallum announced that settlement service provider
organizations in Leamington and Peterborough, Ontario and Brooks,
Alberta have been selected as new Resettlement Assistance Program
providers, enabling those three communities to start receiving GARs.
This brings the total number of
communities serving as destinations for GARs to 37 across the country.
Situation in Quebec
In Quebec the total number of Syrian refugees of all
categories that had arrived by February 28 was 5,199. Of these
only 848 were government-assisted while 4,351 were privately
sponsored. Asked specifically why so few GARs had arrived in
Montreal, a spokesperson for the Quebec Immigration Department
told the Montreal Gazette that since Montreal was already
receiving so many privately sponsored refugees -- many of whom
were being sponsored well before Trudeau took over the Prime
Minister's Office -- the GARs were mostly sent elsewhere. He also
said Quebec's plan was to spread the GARs it did receive among 13
destination cities in the province. Montreal is reported to have
the largest Syrian community in Canada -- some 17,000 people,
representing 40 per cent of all Syrian Canadians.
Overall Immigration Targets to be Released March 9
The high number of Syrian refugees could displace other
classes of immigrants attempting to come to Canada, news reports
say. In its 2015-2016 immigration plan, the previous Conservative
government planned to take in up to 285,000 immigrants. Targets
included up to as many as 186,700 economic immigrants, up to
68,000 family class and 30,200 in humanitarian streams that
include refugees. Asked how the possible increase in those coming
from the humanitarian stream would affect the total number of
immigrants Canada will admit in the coming year, McCallum said
there were limits to how much "the pie" could be expanded and so
there would be tradeoffs. The Liberals' immigration targets for
2016-17 are expected to be tabled March 9.
The Globe and Mail reported that McCallum's
to increase the total number of immigrants in order to account
for Syrian refugees this year "could make the Trudeau government
the first to admit more than 300,000 new immigrants in one year
since 1913." In 1912 and 1913 Canada accepted 375,756 and 400,870
immigrants respectively. However, the total population of Canada
during those years is estimated at 7,389,000 and 7,632,000
respectively. The Canadian population as of October 2015 was
Locations of Settlement
Those brought to Canada as GARs and BVORs have been
initially placed in 37
designated cities where there is an existing Resettlement
Assistance Program Service Provider Organization (or Quebec
equivalent). These organizations provide immediate and essential
specialized services for refugees. When communities that have
received privately-sponsored refugees since November 4 are added,
the total number of communities that have received Syrian
refugees increases to roughly 270.
For a chart showing the locations of settlement as of
February 28 for
refugees in Canada where more than five people have settled,
1. For background on the Canadian
and the selection and screening process established for Syrian
refugees see TML Weekly,
2. Of note is that besides
having government funded settlement services, Leamington is a centre
for the greenhouse and vegetable packing industry while Brooks is a
centre for beef processing which also has employed temporary foreign
workers as well as many new immigrants. Both have used many temporary
foreign workers in the past and the lack of long-term workers has been
a concern raised by companies in both industries as after four years
permits for what are called low-skilled temporary foreign workers
expire and workers status is in limbo. Thousands of these workers
status expired in April 2015, the deadline for expiration set by the
Liberal Government's Shameless Hypocrisy
on Matters of War and Peace
The Anniversary of the First Gulf War
Toronto, March 30, 2003. One of many actions across Canada opposing
the Second Gulf War and demanding Canada not intervene.
The government of Canada is once again praising the
intervention of Canada on the side of the U.S. imperialists in
the first Gulf War in 1991.
The Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan,
the "contributions of the CAF during the First Gulf War are an
important reflection of the values of freedom and democracy we
carry with us today." General Jonathan Vance, the Chief of the
Defence Staff, and Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West said that
while "two World Wars and more recent operations such as those in
Afghanistan may take prominence when we look back at past
conflicts involving the CAF, the First Gulf War dominated our
thoughts from the summer of 1990... Canada's contribution to this
quick and successful outcome was remarkable." Vance and West
point out the mission led to Canadian armed forces being based in
Kuwait to this day, where they are deployed as part of the
U.S.-led mission in Iraq. Veterans Affairs said that more
than 4,000 Canadians were involved in the first U.S. Gulf War in
roles including transport, the air campaign, ground assault and
Despite attempts to praise the war and Canada's role
the opposition of the Canadian people to that war and the crimes
committed as a result of it were such
that when the Second Gulf War was launched on
March 19, 2003, the Chrétien Liberal Government wisely decided
not intervene -- at least not openly because it did in fact
intervene as part of integrated U.S. forces and in other ways
behind the backs of the people. Has this Liberal government
forgotten what happened at that time or does it believe that the people
have a short memory? Perhaps it thinks this is a good opportunity
to ingratiate itself with veterans of the First Gulf War or
present itself as a peace-loving government to justify its
interference in the affairs of sovereign nations in West Asia and
Whatever the case may be, the fact is that this
emerging as even more dangerous than the Harper government. More
than half of Canadians voted to remove the latter because it was
despised, not least of all for being a war government.
In 1991, the president of Iraq at that time, Saddam
invaded Kuwait which he claimed was in fact Iraqi territory. He
did so at the instigation of the United States. However, it was a
set-up and he was to pay dearly for committing aggression against
a sovereign country. George Bush Sr. who was the president of
the U.S. at that time claimed that Saddam Hussein was a new Adolf
Hitler and hysterical calls were given that no one should appease
him. He said that those who did not oppose Iraq's annexation of
Kuwait were appeasers and that he did not want to be an appeaser.
This was the argument given to justify intervention in the
The fundamental question arose: How is it possible to
appeasement unless we know who is the aggressor at a particular
time? It became evident once again in history that unless there
is a grasp of the cause of the problems, there cannot be a proper
attitude to finding a solution for them.
The leader of the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist) Hardial Bains wrote at the time: "It is very
true that people do not want war. But if there is no appreciation
of the causes of war, there can't be a solution. In the context
of the present world system in which aggression and appeasement
go hand in hand, the cause of unjust wars, aggression and
intervention can only be the striving for domination. The U.S.
has declared it has 'vital interests' all over the world. Canada
and others have done the same and so does the Soviet
Union. It is the
system of economic enslavement and domination which is the basis
for both political domination and war which are the means
employed to bring it about. War, it is generally acknowledged, is
the continuation of politics by other means.
"The bipolar division of the world ended last year but
it follow from this that all strivings for world domination have
ended? No, it does not follow. What will happen is that the
redivision of the world into new spheres of influence will begin
once again in all earnestness. The crisis in the Gulf region is
the first example of this since the bipolar division of the world
-- the division between the Soviet and American blocs -- was
ended. The U.S. wants to not only preserve its influence in the
Gulf region but also to extend it. It has strategic interests in
the region. Iraq wants this region to be its own zone of
influence and Iran wants to establish itself as the dominant
power in the region with whom others negotiate its fate. Germany,
France, Japan and others also have interests in
the region and so has the Soviet Union. In other words, there is
a clash of interests and the ending of the bipolar division of
the world has not put an end to such clashes.
"Another important aspect to consider is that we must
look at the U.S. and the Soviet Union from the perspective of
short-term policy as some do. We should also look at their
long-term aims. Are we to suggest that the long-term aim of the
U.S. and the Soviet Union is freedom and not domination? To think
that freedom is their aim would be to make a fatal error. Their
aim remains world domination and this striving continues under
the new conditions. This is why they commit aggression against
others while they are appeasers towards one another. If the U.S.
and the Soviet Union were to go to war against each other, this
would not mean that they would no longer be appeasers. On the
contrary, it would mean that they could no longer serve their
interests without settling the matter of which one of them is
going to dominate the world and that war would be the means used
in order to decide this.
"People must not underestimate the possibility of war
the big powers. If it does not take place between the U.S. and
the Soviet Union, it could take place between others with the
U.S. and the Soviet Union taking the same or opposite sides. As
long as the striving for world domination exists, the danger of
war will exist. This danger can only be averted by people
opposing both aggression and appeasement. Not to oppose the U.S.
intervention in the Gulf region is to encourage the U.S. to carry
on along its aggressive war-mongering path. It would amount to
the same thing if Iraq were not opposed or the Soviet Union's
enslavement of nations within its political set-up were not
opposed. Aggressors and appeasers go hand in hand. The Canadian
government, because of its membership in NATO and NORAD can be
called both an aggressor and an appeaser. Workers and all
justice- and peace-loving people should demand that the Canadian
government oppose both aggression and appeasement. In other
words, one of the key ingredients in the creation of a new world
order is the opposition to all aggressors and appeasers without
any hesitation whatsoever. This is the requirement of lasting
peace and international democracy as well."
1. Demographer Osborne Daponte
estimated that 13,000
civilians were killed directly by American and allied forces
during the war on Iraq that lasted from August 1990 to February
1991, and about 70,000 civilians died subsequently from
war-related damage to medical facilities and supplies, the
electric power grid, and the water system, she calculated. In
all, 40,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the conflict, she
concluded, putting total Iraqi losses from the war and its
aftermath at 158,000, including 86,194 men, 39,612 women, and
More than 1.7 million died as a direct result of the
genocidal sanctions imposed by the U.S. The U.S./ UN sanctions on
Iraq of the 1990s, which interdicted chlorine for much of that
decade and so made water purification impossible, are estimated
to have killed another 500,000 Iraqis, mainly children. (Infants
and toddlers die easily from diarrhea caused by gastroenteritis,
which causes fatal dehydration). U.S. Secretary of State Madeline
Albright was interviewed on CBS-TV on May 12, 1996, on the fact
that half a million children were killed and she replied "we (the
U.S. government) think the price is worth it."
2. The Soviet Union was
dismantled in December 1991.
3. "Appeasers" by Hardial Bains,
Daily, Vol. 21, No.
6, January 15, 1991
Canada's Attempts to Derail
UN Peace Process in Syria
Right in the midst of UN-led peace talks to try and
Syrian forces together to establish a political resolution to the
conflict, Canada announced it was providing technical and
advisory support to certain groups in the negotiations instead of
supporting the peace process itself.
Then on February 24 Minister
of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion met with one of the main
foreign backed self-proclaimed opposition groups in Syria, the National
Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, also known as
the Syrian National Coalition.
In the meeting the group advocated to Canada to
ensure that regime change would be the outcome of any political
transition process in Syria.
A release from the Coalition about its meeting with
stated that the "cessation of hostilities" agreement reached
between the United States and Russia "would be meaningless unless
it led to a real political transition in Syria." The Coalition
said, "the agreement must set the stage for a political
transition that ensures ending the rule of the Assad family and
achieving the Syrian people's aspirations for freedom and
dignity," and called on the Canadian government to "support the
efforts aimed at bringing about a real political transition in
Syria without Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle."
Clearly, the aim of regime change from outside is being
imposed on a process which is supposed to lead to a transition
decided by Syrians themselves.
1. On December 11, 2012 U.S.
President Barack Obama recognized the coalition as the "sole
legitimate representative of the Syrian people," and 100
countries followed on the day after at the Friends of Syria
Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco. The Coalition claims that it is
recognized as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people
by 120 countries. In a fact sheet from its website it has also
established itself as the interim government which will take
power following what they call political transition in Syria by
which they mean the overthrow of the Syrian government. It also
operates closely with, if not as part of, the Free Syrian Army.
Plans to Embroil Canada in More Aggression
On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the 2011 NATO
aggression against Libya which destroyed that country the
government of Canada is looking at how to join a new U.S.-led
later, far from sorting out any problems Libya is still suffering
from the anarchy and violence of the NATO assault and its people,
if they remain in the country, are living under the rule of
warlords, including ISIL affiliates, whom the intervention put in
The U.S. began bombing Libya again in 2015 with strikes
June and November and the most recent taking place February 19.
The U.S. Department of Defence said in January that special
forces are also present in the country. The U.S. says it is
attacking "ISIL camps." ISIL's headquarters in Libya is said to
be in Sirte, a coastal city in the middle of the country and the
city most brutally devastated by the NATO intervention. Its basis
is those who fought on behalf of the U.S. and NATO against the
Libyan government in 2011, many of whom then travelled to Syria
in hopes of repeating the same there.
The U.S. is also flying combat drones to Libya based at
Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily. An Italian Defence
Ministry official told media that the drones should only be used
for "defensive purposes" to protect U.S. special forces on the
Discussions among military and political figures in
countries indicate that there are plans to stage a larger
operation soon, possibly in March. The CBC reported on February
13 that according to Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan
"Canada could soon join a military coalition to take on ISIS in
"I had a good meeting with my counterpart, the minister
defence from Italy, [on military intervention in Libya]," Sajjan
said. He said "Italy is willing to take the lead on this; once we
have a good understanding of the political situation, that will
allow us to figure out what we need to do." The CBC says that
according to Sajjan "any military action in Libya would be based
on lessons learned from Canada's experience in Afghanistan."
UK foreign office minister Tobias Ellwood said in
February that RAF warplanes have also returned to Libya. The
UK Sunday Telegraph reported on February 27 that British
special forces have been deployed and are "working alongside
their US counterparts in the city of Misrata." Le Monde in
France similarly reported that French special forces and members
of the Directorate-General for External Security intelligence
agency are also on the ground in Libya again.
1. On March 2, 2011 Canada
frigate HMCS Charlottetown to the coast of Libya.
Then-Minister of National Defence Peter McKay said, "[w]e are
there for all inevitabilities. And NATO is looking at this as
well ... This is taken as a precautionary and staged measure."
Fifteen days later on March 17 the UN Security Council approved a
"no-fly zone" over Libya which marked the official start of the
military intervention led by NATO.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al
stated on February 25 that "complete impunity" prevails in Libya
today. There is no national government and armed groups control
various parts of the country. The High Commissioner's Office
notes "unlawful killings, including executions of people taken
captive, detained, abducted or perceived to be voicing dissent;
indiscriminate attacks on highly populated residential areas;
torture and ill-treatment; arbitrary detention; abductions and
disappearances; and gender-based violence and discrimination
Al Hussein notes that today Libya "only sporadically
the headlines." In 2011, after U.S.-sponsored forces staged an
uprising to overthrow the Libyan government, the monopoly-owned
media and NATO governments went into overdrive to promote the
wildest claims to justify intervention which later turned out to
have no basis in fact. Crimes of epic proportions were then
committed by the U.S., Canada and other NATO members and their
forces on the ground. What had been described as a "no-fly zone"
to protect Libyans turned out to be a ruthless bombing campaign
against the Libyan army, whole cities and patriotic Libyan
civilians who took up arms to defend themselves.
For more information, see articles on the fourth
of the NATO war against Libya in TML Weekly, March 21, 2015
- No. 12.
Why We Say No to the War in Iraq and Syria
- Toronto Coalition to Stop the War -
|Join in Anti-War Actions to Mark
the 13th Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq and to
Oppose Canada's Involvement in Wars of Aggression!
March 19 -- 2:00 pm
1888 Brunswick Street
(outside of Liberal MP Andy Fillmore’s office)
March 19 -- 1:00 pm
200 René-Lévesque Blv O.
Place d’Armes or Place des Arts metro stations
March 19 -- 1:00 pm
York and Sussex St.
Picket at the Office of Minister of International Trade Chrystia
March 19 -- 1:00 pm
344 Bloor St. W. (near Spadina
The Trudeau government has decided to recall Canadian
from Iraq and Syria. This is a good step but the plan to triple
the number of troop trainers on the ground is a dangerous example
of mission creep and must be opposed.
Troop trainers are combat troops. Canadian soldiers have
in many firefights while on training missions including one fight
which killed Canadian soldier Andrew Dorion. Canadians were also
in combat just last December while on a training mission.
The West has spent 15 years and more than $25 billion
train troops in Iraq and all of these attempts have been a
failure. This is not because they haven't tried hard enough. It
is because the Iraqi people have a deep anger and distrust of
western military interventions. More training missions won't
solve that underlying problem.
This war is a product of the illegal and immoral US
of Iraq in 2003 that killed over a million people and created the
conditions for ISIS and other militias to rise up in the first
Each western military intervention in the region has
more terror -- not less. Our political leaders are simply doing
the same thing over and over again expecting different results
In Libya NATO bombing led to the complete collapse of
state and the rise of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Now the west is looking
at further bombing missions in Libya to clean up the mess they
made with the previous bombing campaign.
It is an open secret that our "allies" in the region,
including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, have been supporting
ISIS. It is shameful that Canada has decided to arm those same
This war has created a refugee crisis with millions
flee the war zones. The refugees are the victims of this
perpetual war -- not the perpetrators of the conflict yet
they are paying the price again with racist border controls and
inadequate supports when they do arrive in Canada.
This perpetual war also creates a backlash against
Canada and justifies the suppression of civil rights in the name
of the fight against terror. Bill C-51 is only the most recent
example of that curtailing of our rights.
Expanding the mission will only fuel the cycle of
and racism. It has to stop.
We call on the government of Canada to:
- Immediately remove all Canadian troops and planes
- Cancel the $15 billion arms shipment to Saudi Arabia
all other dictatorships around the world.
Cessation of Hostilities in Effect
As of February 27 a cessation of hostilities began in
The agreement applies to the parties to the Syrian conflict that
indicate their commitment to and acceptance of its terms. It does
not however apply to "Daesh," "Jabhat al-Nusra," or "other
terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council,"
which is part of the reason it is referred to as a cessation of
hostilities rather than a ceasefire. The terms were submitted to
the UN Security Council for approval by Russia and the U.S. in
their capacity as co-chairs of the International Syria Support
Who is and who isn't a
terrorist continues to be an
which is causing problems for the imperialists. As an example,
while Canada's new mission fighting ISIS includes training,
assisting and equipping the Kurdish Peshmerga militias in
Northern Iraq, Canada's NATO ally Turkey had been demanding that
Kurdish forces in Syria should be excluded from the cessation of
hostilities agreement on the basis that they are terrorists.
Responding to the announced agreement prior to its implementation,
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would not
comply. He compared the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG)
and its affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), with ISIS,
claiming that if Daesh and the al-Nusra Front are kept outside
the truce, "then the PYD-YPG must similarly be excluded from the
ceasefire for it is a terrorist group just as they are." Prior to
the cessation of hostilities, the Turkish military had been
openly shelling positions of the Kurdish forces in Syria. On
March 2, despite the cessation of hostilities being in place,
Turkey continued to shell inside Syria claiming that it was only
attacking ISIS positions. Meanwhile Turkey is also being accused
of smuggling weapons into Syria in humanitarian aid
With the cessation of hostilities in place, the U.S.
and its allies' attempts to use proxies in Syria to bring about regime
change through the use of force have been curtailed. This is likely why
the U.S. is now talking about a "Plan B" for Syria. To be a party to
the agreement armed groups must
commit to the full implementation of UN Security Council
Resolution 2254 and "readiness to participate in the
UN-facilitated political negotiation process." They have to cease
attacks against the Syrian Armed Forces and "any associated
forces;" in return, they will not be subject to attacks by the
armed forces of the Syrian government "or other forces supporting
them," Russian armed forces or those of the U.S.-led Counter-ISIL
Coalition. The agreement is overseen by a Ceasefire Task Force
co-chaired by Russia and the U.S. and its secretariat is the UN
Office of the Special Envoy for Syria.
After six days UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de
said the cessation of hostilities is holding but remains fragile.
"The situation therefore could be summarized as fragile, success
is not guaranteed but progress has been visible," de Mistura told
reporters. The Russians report that there have been breaches of
the agreement 52 times by some "terrorist organizations."
"The important thing is to start the momentum reaching
point when the political aspect will be addressed because that is
what will make the endgame a stable one in Syria," the UN Syria
De Mistura announced that he plans to hold a meeting of
Syrian groups on March 9 aimed at paving the way for formal peace
talks to restart.
Canadian Journalist Shelled
It is reported that Radio-Canada correspondent Raymond
Saint-Pierre was injured in Syria on March 1 when the group of
journalists he was travelling with came under bombardment near
the Turkish border in the Syrian village of Latakia. Saint-Pierre
told CBC News that the bombardment might have come from Turkish
forces or al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters that are active in the
area. The group had been flown from Moscow to Syria for a tour
organized by Russia's defence ministry. No comment has been
released on the matter by Canadian officials.
Syrian Government to Hold Elections
On February 22, the same day the terms for the
hostilities agreement was announced, Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad issued decree No. 63 which set Wednesday, April 13,
2016 as the date for elections for members of the People's
Assembly. The total number of the members is 250 and those
elected sit for a four year term. By the close of nominations on
March 2 the total number of candidates who submitted their
applications reached 11,341 according to the Higher Judicial
Committee for Elections.
In the last election the National Progressive Front,
by the ruling Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and made up of six other
political parties, gained the most seats with 168, while the
Popular Front for Change and Liberation made up of two political
parties won five seats and 77 independents were elected.
U.S. Muses About "Plan B" If No Regime Change
Speaking to a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
February 23 following the release of terms for the cessation of
hostilities, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated: "We are
going to know in a month or two whether or not this transition
process is really serious. Assad himself is going to have to make
some real decisions about the formation of a transitional
governance process that's real. If there is not... there are
certainly Plan B options being considered."
Kerry stressed that the partitioning of Syria was part
Plan B if the cessation of hostilities fails to hold. Clearly the
U.S. does not consider that the requirement for committing to a
political resolution of the conflict in Syria applies to itself.
Kerry stated at the Committee, "This can get a lot uglier and
Russia has to be sitting there evaluating that too. It may be too
late to keep it as a whole Syria if it is much longer."
1. In a joint
statement on February 22, the U.S. and Russia
as co-chairs of the ISSG state: "The primary functions of the
Task Force are, as provided in the ISSG Statement of February 11,
to: a) delineate the territory held by 'Daesh,' 'Jabhat-al-Nusra'
and other terrorist organizations designated by the United
Nations Security Council; b) ensure communications among all
parties to promote compliance and rapidly de-escalate tensions;
c) resolve allegations of non-compliance; and d) refer persistent
non-compliant behavior by any of the parties to the ISSG
Ministers or those designated by the Ministers to determine
appropriate action, including the exclusion of such parties from
the arrangements of the cessation of hostilities, and the
protection it affords them."
The joint statement goes on to say that the ISSG
Task Force was established under UN auspices and that the UN
Office of the Special Envoy for Syria, the entity charged with
facilitating the UN-sponsored intra-Syrian talks that remain
suspended, serves as its secretariat. The agreement calls for the
U.S. and Russia along with other members of the Ceasefire Task
Force to "develop effective mechanisms to promote and monitor
compliance with the ceasefire both by the governmental forces of
the Syrian Arab Republic and other forces supporting them, and
the armed opposition groups."
Strikes will continue against organizations designated
UN Security Council as terrorist as they are excluded from the
cessation of hostilities.
Third Anniversary of the Passing of President Hugo
International forum on "Chávez: A Leader of the 21st Century and
Latin American and Caribbean Unity" at the Teresa Carreño Theatre in Caracas,
Venezuela, March 5, 2016
The third anniversary of the untimely death of
President and leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Hugo
Chávez on March 5, 2013 was marked with ceremonies and
gatherings in Venezuela and around the world.
In Venezuela, events will take place from March 5 to 15
began at 10:00 am with the lighting of a torch in honour of
President Chávez. Brigadier General Carlos Rodriguez
Vencomo said the torch will remain lit for the 365 days and tour
"neighborhoods, streets and towns." The torch began its journey
in the 23 de Enero neighbourhood in the Libertador Bolivarian
municipality west of Caracas, the capital.
Regional leaders also travelled to Venezuela March 5 to
tribute alongside Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
These included Bolivian President Evo Morales, Nicaraguan
President Daniel Ortega, Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez
Ceren, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph
Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbadu Gaston Brown,
Prime Minister of the Dominican Republic Roosevelt Skerrit and
Cuban Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
They joined prominent Venezuelan personalities and
leaders, as well as representatives of the military and other
sectors of the Venezuelan people to visit the Cuartel de la
Montaña (Mountain Barracks), a military museum which is
now a mausoleum for Chávez's remains.
President Maduro and his counterparts then participated
international forum at the Teresa Carreno Theatre in Caracas
entitled "Chávez: A Leader of the 21st Century and Latin
American and Caribbean Unity."
In Ecuador, a ceremony was held on March 4 before the
of Simon Bolivar in the capital Quito, followed by a religious
ceremony at the Basílica del Voto Nacional. A concert was
held in Chávez's honour on March 5 at the Chapel of Man in
Argentinians gathered on March 4 in Rivadavia Park in
capital, Buenos Aires, in front of the statue of Simon
In Bolivia, the Venezuelan embassy began activities on
February 29 including a photo exhibition, concert and exhibition
of commemorative coins marking Hugo Chávez's 59 years of
Cuba marked the anniversary on March 4 with floral
organized by the embassy of Venezuela and the Cuban Institute for
Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) at the Avenue of the
Presidents in Havana.
In Cuba, Venzuelan medical students and members of the Bolivarian Armed
Forces commemorate Hugo Chávez at the Latin American School of
Medicine in Havana, March 5, 2016.
Nicaraguan youth rally in Managua in memory of Hugo Chávez,
March 5, 2016.
Third Anniversary of Chávez's Death Commemorated
His Excellency Wilmer Omar Barrientos Fernández, Ambassador of
Venezuela in Canada, addresses the commemoration in Gatineau, March 4,
In Canada the legacy of President Hugo Chávez was
marked by an official ceremony held by the Embassy of Venezuela
in Gatineau, Quebec as well as events in other cities.
The interreligious ceremony in Gatineau brought
people from all walks of life, including religious and political
leaders, friends of Venezuela and members of the diplomatic corps
of various countries. It also featured musical performances from
a local children's choir and Venezuelan artists. Christian and
Islamic leaders made special note of President Chávez's
fidelity towards the plight of the poor and oppressed and how he
worked selflessly to improve their conditions. Speeches from the
ambassadors of Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia to Canada paid tribute
to Chávez's role in uniting the peoples of Latin America
and the Caribbean and opposing neo-liberal free trade pushed by
the U.S. in favour of trade and relations on the basis of mutual
benefit and respect.
Ambassadors to Canada of the member nations of the Bolivarian
for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
Finally, His Excellency
Wilmer Omar Barrientos
Fernández, Ambassador of Venezuela in Canada spoke on the
significance of Chávez. Barrientos remarked that he first
met Hugo Chávez when he was 17 years old and both served
in Venezuela's armed forces. He said the themes taken up by
Chávez continue to be of utmost significance: dignity,
sovereignty, peace, homeland and love.
"Our Commander is remembered by millions because he was
humble man striving for justice and the good of the people, and
for new relations among human beings," Ambassador Barrientos
said. He also drew particular attention to the anti-imperialist
character of the Bolivarian Revolution and President
Chávez's undying support for the cause of the Palestinian
people, for the self-determination of the Puerto Rican people and
for peaceful resolution of international disputes. President
Chávez's legacy carries on in the work of President Maduro
and in the important institutions he helped build, such as ALBA,
UNASUR, CELAC, BancoSUR, TeleSUR and Petrocaribe, Ambassador
President Maduro Initiates New Socialist Enterprise
and Calls on Workers to Resist Privatization
At a meeting with workers at the Ana Maria Campo
Petrochemical Complex in Zulia state on February 22, Venezuelan
President Nicolás Maduro announced the creation of a National
Productive Corporation as part of a new socialist enterprise
system aimed at coordinating efforts among state, communal and
The Corporation will be headed by National Telephone
(CANTV) President Manuel Fernandez and will coordinate between
key public firms. President Maduro also said the new body will
fight against "the corruption that has entered all levels of the
distributive process like a cancer."
Maduro also announced the establishment of a new
management school for public employees to provide technical
education and a workplace culture guided by "a vision towards
At the same time that the government is taking measures
against the economic war of the oligarchy and to strengthen the
national economy, the oligarchic parties in the National Assembly
are attempting to privatize public assets and attack the rights
Legislation was introduced in the National Assembly on
2 which has the stated purpose of "strengthening national
production." United Socialist Party of Venezuela legislator
Hector Rodriguez pointed out, "when you start to read the law,
what the law sets out is the privatization of land, basic
industries, recovered (expropriated) state corporations and the
flexibilization of labour laws."
President Maduro said the law is "attempting to take
land from the campesinos, from the Indigenous. It's absolutely
illegal, immoral and unconstitutional." Maduro denounced the new
legislation and urged workers to mobilize in defence of the
"It's a law to privatize and plunder the country like
did when they used to govern, when they privatized SIDOR, CANT,
VIASA and put an end to the economic structure of the country,
[National Assembly President] Ramos Allup and company."
"The working class must take to the streets to confront
defeat [the law], you can count on my support to defeat it," he
U.S. President Renews Executive Order Labeling
Threat to National Security
An executive order imposing sanctions against Venezuela
first issued by U.S. President Barack Obama in March 2015 has been
renewed for another year. The decree states that Venezuela is "an
unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and
foreign policy of the United States." In an April 2015 interview
Obama admitted that Venezuela did not pose a threat to U.S.
security but stated that labelling it as such was necessary to
The executive order was
condemned by all 33 members of
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and by
the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
A unanimous statement issued by CELAC called on
government to reverse the decree and, with the government of
Venezuela, "launch a dialogue, under the principles of respect
for sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of the
states, the self-determination of the peoples and the democratic
and institutional order in line with international law."
In statements posted online on March 4, UNASUR stated,
renewal of U.S. unilateral measures against Venezuela is a
disappointment for the 12 UNASUR member states because it
violates the principle of non-intervention, as agreed upon at the
Ministerial Meeting held on March 9, 2015."
Venezuela's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Delcy
pointed out that the U.S. order "incites anti-democratic and
violent factors of Venezuelan opposition, to undermine the
country's institutions and its legitimate and constitutional
authorities." Rodriguez added that the decree seeks to create the
conditions for the restoration of neo-liberalism throughout Latin
America and the Caribbean.
Rodriguez announced that as a result of the extension
executive order, Venezuela will undertake a review of its
relations with the U.S. "When we review what has happened in the
last year we know that a disproportionate offensive has been
deployed against the progressive and revolutionary governments of
the region," she said. Rodriguez pointed out that this now
involves so-called soft coups such as the economic war against
Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech
70th Anniversary of the Cold War
On March 5, 1946, the former British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill was invited to Fulton, Missouri by U.S. President
Harry S. Truman where he delivered his "Sinews of Peace" speech, in
which he claimed that the Soviet Union had imposed an "iron curtain" on
Europe. Churchill prepared his speech in Washington, DC and discussed
it at length with U.S. president Truman who accompanied him on stage in
Fulton. The Churchill Centre in Downers’ Grove, Illinois, U.S. also
indicates that Churchill sought input from Canadian Prime Minister
Mackenzie King. King sent the Canadian Ambassador to the United States,
future Prime Minister Lester Pearson, who recommended that Churchill
not refer to the Second World War as "The Unnecessary War" as he was
accustomed to doing for fear of providing fuel for U.S. isolationists.
Churchill delivers his infamous "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton,
Missouri. At right, U.S. President Harry Truman.
The first recorded use of the "iron curtain" metaphor
used by Churchill was by the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph
Goebbels during the war. In his speech, Churchill condemned the
communist system of states and called for an alliance of the
"English-speaking nations" to save the world from Soviet domination and
communism. All of it was to accuse communism of violating the right to
conscience so as to present it as an ideology of enslavement. In fact
communism is the condition for the complete emancipation of the working
class and, as such, a condition for the emancipation of all humanity.
It cannot be communism unless it establishes the condition for the
complete emancipation of the working class.
Because of the great prestige communism enjoyed after
War II, the Anglo-American imperialists needed a justification to
smash the anti-fascist alliance. Winston Churchill's "Iron
Curtain" speech was an important rationalization of the
Anglo-American imperialists for attacking the anti-fascist united
front, claiming that there now existed two worlds, one called
"free" and centred around the U.S., the other called "enslaved,"
centred around the Soviet Union. Churchill, along with others,
called for a grand Anglo-American strategy (including
geo-political considerations and war aims) linked to notions of
laws and values to combat this development. The Soviet Union
subsequently conciliated with the notion of two worlds and on
this basis a bipolar world order was created.
Winston Churchill's formal declaration of the Cold War
"Iron Curtain" speech put
the right to conscience in utter disrepute in the post-war
period. In this way, in the years which followed World War II,
first the U.S. and then the Soviet Union raised their hand
against the right to conscience. This right was held in such
contempt that it was "granted" only on the basis of which camp an
individual or a country belonged to.
U.S. President Truman proceeded to demonstrate the
this when he convinced the U.S. Congress to send more than $400 million
to support the fascist forces in Greece. The aim was to
restore the monarchy linked to Queen Victoria's dynasty so as to
ensure the defeat of the democratic struggle which was underway
in Greece and thereby guarantee the geo-political interests of
the U.S. over western Europe as well as position it to take over
eastern Europe. By this act, not only was Greece deprived of the
right to self-determination but the Greek people who refused to
renounce the anti-fascist resistance were accused of being
communists and kept in concentration camps established by the
British for forty years. All over Asia and Latin America
communists were slaughtered in the name of this high ideal.
In the late fifties and thereafter, the world was to
the Soviet Union also defining what was progressive on the basis
of whether the country, organization or individual in question
was its friend or enemy. No sooner had the Cold War officially
ended in the 1989-91 period with the demise of the Soviet Union
than it became quite clear that under the U.S. striving to become
the sole superpower, the right to conscience was again to be made
the target of attack. Today, the U.S. imperialists and their
allies continue to trample it underfoot in the name of defending
the national interests of the big powers, as they once more
attempt to redivide the world between their own spheres of
In this issue, TML Weekly reprints the Pravda
with Soviet leader J.V. Stalin in which he gives his assessment
of Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" speech delivered in
Pravda Interview with J.V. Stalin
- March 14, 1946 -
On March 16, 1946, a Pravda correspondent requested
that J.V. Stalin clarify a number of
questions connected with Mr. Churchill's speech at Fulton, U.S.A.
Below are J.V. Stalin's replies to the correspondent's
appraise Mr. Churchill's latest speech in the United States of
Answer: I appraise
it as a
dangerous act, calculated to sow the seeds of dissension among
the Allied States and impede their collaboration.
Question: Can it
considered that Mr. Churchill's speech is prejudicial to the
cause of peace and security?
unquestionably. As a matter of fact, Mr. Churchill now takes the
stand of the warmongers, and in this Mr. Churchill is not alone.
He has friends not only in Britain but in the United States of
America as well.
A point to be noted is that in this respect Mr.
his friends bear a striking resemblance to Hitler and his
friends. Hitler began his work of unleashing war by proclaiming a
race theory, declaring that only German-speaking people
constituted a superior nation. Mr. Churchill sets out to unleash
war with a race theory, asserting that only English-speaking
nations are superior nations, who are called upon to decide the
destinies of the entire world. The German race theory led Hitler
and his friends to the conclusion that the Germans, as the only
superior nation, should rule over other nations. The English race
theory leads Mr. Churchill and his friends to the conclusion that
the English-speaking nations, as the only superior nations,
should rule over the rest of the nations of the world.
Actually, Mr. Churchill, and his friends in Britain and
United States, present to the non-English speaking nations
something in the nature of an ultimatum: "Accept our rule
voluntarily, and then all will be well; otherwise war is
But the nations shed their blood in the course of five
fierce war for the sake of the liberty and independence of their
countries, and not in order to exchange the domination of the
Hitlers for the domination of the Churchills. It is quite
probable, accordingly, that the non-English-speaking nations,
which constitute the vast majority of the population of the
world, will not agree to submit to a new slavery.
It is Mr. Churchill's tragedy that, inveterate Tory
is, he does not understand this simple and obvious truth.
There can be no doubt that Mr. Churchill's position is
position, a call for war on the U.S.S.R. It is also clear that
this position of Mr. Churchill's is incompatible with the Treaty
of Alliance existing between Britain and the U.S.S.R. True, Mr.
Churchill does say, in passing, in order to confuse his readers,
that the term of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance and
Collaboration might quite well be extended to 50 years. But how
is such a statement on Mr. Churchill's part to be reconciled with
his position of war on the U.S.S.R., with his preaching of War
against the U.S.S.R.? Obviously, these things cannot be
reconciled by any means whatever. And if Mr. Churchill, who calls
for war on the Soviet Union, at the same time considers it
possible to extend the term of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty to 50
years, that means that he regards this Treaty as a mere scrap of
paper, which he only needs in order to disguise and camouflage
his anti-Soviet position. For this reason, the false statements
of Mr. Churchill's friends in Britain, regarding the extension of
the term of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty to 50 years or more, cannot
be taken seriously. Extension of the Treaty term has no point if
one of the parties violates the Treaty and converts it into a
mere scrap of paper.
Question: How do
appraise the part of Mr. Churchill's speech in which he attacks
the democratic systems in the European States bordering upon us,
and criticises the good-neighbourly relations established between
these States and the Soviet Union.
Answer: This part
of Mr. Churchill's speech is
compounded of elements of slander and elements of discourtesy and
tactlessness. Mr. Churchill asserts that "Warsaw, Berlin, Prague,
Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia -- all these
famous cities and the populations around them lie within the
Soviet sphere and are all subject in one form or another not only
to Soviet influence, but to a very high and increasing measure of
control from Moscow." Mr. Churchill describes all this as
"unlimited expansionist tendencies" on the part of the Soviet
It needs no particular effort to show that in this Mr.
Churchill grossly and unceremoniously slanders both Moscow, and
the above-named States bordering on the U.S.S.R.
In the first place it is quite absurd to speak of
control by the U.S.S.R. in Vienna and Berlin, where there are
Allied Control Councils made up of the representatives of four
States and where the U.S.S.R. has only one-quarter of the votes.
It does happen that some people cannot help in engaging in
slander. But still, there is a limit to everything.
Secondly, the following circumstance should not be
The Germans made their invasion of the U.S.S.R. through Finland,
Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary. The Germans were able to
make their invasion through these countries because, at the time,
governments hostile to the Soviet Union existed in these
countries. As a result of the German invasion the Soviet Union
has lost irretrievably in the fighting against the Germans, and
also through the German occupation and the deportation of Soviet
citizens to German servitude, a total of about seven million
people. In other words, the Soviet Union's loss of life has been
several times greater than that of Britain and the United States
of America put together. Possibly in some quarters an inclination
is felt to forget about these colossal sacrifices of the Soviet
people which secured the liberation of Europe from the Hitlerite
yoke. But the Soviet Union cannot forget about them. And so what
can there be surprising about the fact that the Soviet Union,
anxious for its future safety, is trying to see to it that
governments loyal in their attitude to the Soviet Union should
exist in these countries? How can anyone, who has not taken leave
of his wits, describe these peaceful aspirations of the Soviet
Union as expansionist tendencies on the part of our State?
Mr. Churchill claims further that the
Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous, wrongful
inroads on Germany."
Every word of this is a gross and insulting calumny.
Outstanding men are at the helm in present democratic Poland.
They have proved by their deeds that they are capable of
upholding the interests and dignity of their country as their
predecessors were not. What grounds has Mr. Churchill to assert
that the leaders of present-day Poland can countenance in their
country the domination of representatives of any foreign State
whatever? Is it not because Mr. Churchill means to sow the seeds
of dissension in the relations between Poland and the Soviet
Union that he slanders "the Russians" here?
Mr. Churchill is displeased that Poland has faced about
her policy in the direction of friendship and alliance with the
U.S.S.R. There was a time when elements of conflict and
antagonism predominated in the relations between Poland and the
U.S.S.R. This circumstance enabled statesmen like Mr. Churchill
to play on these antagonisms, to get control over Poland on the
pretext of protecting her from the Russians, to try to scare
Russia with the spectre of war between her and Poland, and retain
the position of arbiter for themselves. But that time is past and
gone, for the enmity between Poland and Russia has given place to
friendship between them, and Poland -- present-day democratic
Poland -- does not choose to be a play-ball in foreign hands
any longer. It seems to me that it is this fact that irritates
Mr. Churchill and makes him indulge in discourteous, tactless
sallies against Poland. Just imagine -- he is not being
allowed to play his game at the expense of others!
As to Mr. Churchill's attack upon the Soviet Union in
connection with the extension of Poland's Western frontier to
include Polish territories which the Germans had seized in the
past -- here it seems to me he is plainly cheating. As is
known, the decision on the Western frontier of Poland was adopted
at the Berlin Three-Power Conference on the basis of Poland's
demands. The Soviet Union has repeatedly stated that it considers
Poland's demands to be proper and just. It is quite probable that
Mr. Churchill is displeased with this decision. But why does Mr.
Churchill, while sparing no shots against the Russian position in
this matter, conceal from his readers the fact that this decision
was passed at the Berlin Conference by unanimous vote -- that
it was not only the Russians, but the British and Americans as
well, that voted for the decision? Why did Mr. Churchill think it
necessary to mislead the public?
Further, Mr. Churchill asserts that the Communist
which were previously very small in all these Eastern States of
Europe, have been raised to prominence and power far beyond their
numbers and seek everywhere to obtain totalitarian control.
Police governments prevail in nearly every case, and "thus far,
except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy."
As is known, the Government of the State in Britain at
present time is in the hands of one party, the Labour Party, and
the opposition parties are deprived of the right to participate
in the Government of Britain. That Mr. Churchill calls true
democracy. Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Hungary are
administered by blocs of several parties -- from four to six
parties -- and the opposition, if it is more or less loyal, is
secured the right of participation in the Government. That Mr.
Churchill describes as totalitarianism, tyranny and police rule.
Why? On what grounds? Don't expect a reply from Mr. Churchill.
Mr. Churchill does not understand in what a ridiculous position
he puts himself by his outcry about "totalitarianism, tyranny and
Mr. Churchill would like Poland to be administered by
Sosnkowski and Anders, Yugoslavia by Mikhailovich and Pavelich,
Rumania by Prince Stirbey and Radescu, Hungary and Austria by
some King of the House of Hapsburg, and so on. Mr. Churchill
wants to assure us that these gentlemen from the Fascist backyard
can ensure true democracy.
Such is the "democracy" of Mr. Churchill.
Mr. Churchill comes somewhere near the truth when he
of the increasing influence of the Communist Parties in Eastern
Europe. It must be remarked, however, that he is not quite
accurate. The influence of the Communist Parties has grown not
only in Eastern Europe, but in nearly all the countries of Europe
which were previously under Fascist rule -- Italy, Germany,
Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Finland -- or which
experienced German, Italian or Hungarian occupation -- France,
Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Yugoslavia, Greece, the Soviet Union and so on.
The increased influence of the Communists cannot be
considered fortuitous. It is a perfectly logical thing. The
influence of the Communists has grown because, in the years of
the rule of Fascism in Europe, the Communists showed themselves
trusty, fearless, self-sacrificing fighters against the Fascist
regime for the liberty of the peoples. Mr. Churchill in his
speeches sometimes recalls the plain people from little homes,
slapping them patronisingly on the back and parading as their
friend. But these people are not so simple as may at first sight
appear. These plain people have views of their own, a policy of
their own, and they know how to stand up for themselves. It was
they, the millions of these plain people, that defeated Mr.
Churchill and his party in Britain by casting their votes for the
Labourites. It was they, the millions of these "plain people,"
who isolated the reactionaries and advocates of collaboration
with Fascism in Europe, and gave their preference to the Left
democratic parties. It was they, the millions of these "plain
people," who after testing the Communists in the fires of
struggle and resistance to Fascism, came to the conclusion that
the Communists were fully deserving of the people's confidence.
That was how the influence of the Communists grew in Europe.
Of course Mr. Churchill does not like this course of
development and he sounds the alarm and appeals to force. But
neither did he like the birth of the Soviet regime in Russia
after the First World War. At that time, too, he sounded the
alarm and organised an armed campaign of 14 States against Russia
setting himself the goal of turning back the wheel of history.
But history proved stronger than the Churchill intervention, and
Mr. Churchill's quixotry led to his unmitigated defeat at that
time. I don't know whether Mr. Churchill and his friends will
succeed in organising a new armed campaign against Eastern Europe
after the Second World War; but if they do succeed -- which is
not very probable because millions of plain people stand guard
over the cause of peace -- it may confidently be said that
they will be thrashed, just as they were thrashed once before, 26
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