An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was
convened late in the day on November 29, following the missile test by
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) earlier
that day. A statement from the DPRK government on the launch
that the ICBM flew for 53 minutes to an altitude of 4,475 km and
a distance of 950 km, landing in the open waters of the East Sea
of Korea. Despite the short distance, the high arc indicates that
the Hwasong-15 has a range that would enable it to reach mainland U.S.,
as the statement points out. The statement
reiterates that the DPRK's ICBMs "are to defend the sovereignty
and territorial integrity of the country from the U.S.
imperialists' nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat, and to
ensure the peaceful life of the people, and therefore, they would
not pose any threat to any country and region as long as the
interests of the DPRK are not infringed upon. This is our solemn
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
Feltman, in his briefing to the Council, stated, "Given the grave
risks associated with any military confrontation, in exercise of
its primary responsibility the Security Council needs to do all
it can to prevent an escalation. Unity in the Security Council is
critical." Feltman blamed the DPRK's nuclear and missile tests
over the past two years for creating "great tension on the Korean
Peninsula and beyond [...] stressing that this dynamic must be
reversed and the solution can only be political," the UN News
Centre reports. "Security Council unity would create an
opportunity for sustained diplomatic engagement -- an opportunity
that must be seized in these dangerous times to seek off-ramps
and work to create conditions for negotiations," he added. Showing the
inability of the United Nations Security Council to address the matter
in a manner that would contribute to a lasting peace, Feltman did not
call for an immediate end to U.S.-led war exercises in and around Korea
so that the DPRK would have less reason to prepare itself for a
possible U.S. invasion.
Earlier that day, a spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement in which he condemned the missile test. He called it "a clear violation of Security Council resolutions, showing complete disregard for the united view of the international community."
"The Secretary-General urges the DPRK to desist from taking any further destabilizing steps. [He] reaffirms his commitment to working with all parties to reduce tensions," the statement concluded.
Feltman informed he had called a meeting with Ja Song Nam, the DPRK Permanent Representative to the UN to deliver the UN Secretary-General's message. During the meeting, Mr. Feltman stressed that "there is nothing more dangerous to peace and security in the world than what is happening now on the Korean Peninsula." The UN News Centre report says nothing about any views or objections from the DPRK's ambassador.
The U.S. used the occasion to persist in its disinformation, with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley claiming that, despite the Korean War and 60 subsequent years of aggression and provocations aimed at eliminating the DPRK, the U.S. has "never sought war with north Korea, and still today we do not seek it. If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday ... And if war comes, make no mistake, the north Korean regime will be utterly destroyed." Haley also said the U.S. has asked China to cut off oil supplies to the DPRK and that more sanctions are pending.
Ambassador Ja was present at the meeting, yet was not invited to address the Council. Despite all the calls for diplomacy and "working with all parties to reduce tensions," the DPRK has been reduced to receiving whatever punishment the Security Council has in store.
Also on November 29, Chinese President Xi Jinping told U.S. President Donald Trump that denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, and preserving peace and stability in Northeast Asia are China's unswerving goals. He said China would like to keep up communications with the United States and all other related parties, and jointly push the nuclear issue towards the direction of peaceful settlement via dialogue and negotiation.
For its part, Russia condemned the missile launch, blaming tensions on the Korean Peninsula on the DPRK. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, "No doubt, another missile launch is a provocative step, which sparks a further rise in tensions, and which moves us away from beginning to settle the crisis. We condemn this launch and hope that all the respective sides will manage to keep calm, which is very necessary to prevent the worst-case scenario on the Korean Peninsula." Regarding the roadmap drawn up by Russia and China ostensibly aimed at resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, Peskov noted that "there is no reason for any significant optimism now."
Neither country saw fit to hold the U.S. to account for its role in initiating and sustaining the crisis.
(With files from UN News Centre, Xinhua, TASS.)
U.S. Must Immediately End Its Provocations
In October, Joseph Yun, the U.S. State Department's top official on the DPRK told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations that if the DPRK halted its nuclear and missile tests for 60 days, the United States would resume direct talks with Pyongyang, according to the Washington Post. The DPRK's previous test had been September 15, but instead of the U.S. opening talks with the DPRK on November 15, it has ramped up military exercises and sanctions. ZoominKorea reports that earlier in November, the U.S. "sent three aircraft carriers -- the USS Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz -- and their multi-ship strike groups as well as B-1 bombers to the area to participate in four days of exercises with south Korea and Japan. Next week, the air forces of south Korea and the United States are scheduled to hold another exercise. Vigilant Ace, which will run from December 4 to 8, will deploy six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and F-35 aircraft. About 12,000 U.S. personnel will participate with south Korean troops while 230 aircraft will be flown at eight U.S. and south Korean military installations," according to a news statement released by the U.S. Seventh Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps and Navy troops will also participate.
On November 20, the U.S. re-added the DPRK to its list
"state sponsors of terrorism," despite the U.S. being the biggest state
sponsor of terrorism the world over and the DPRK having attacked no
one. The next day,
the U.S. announced additional sanctions against individuals and
groups involved in trade with the DPRK, including several Chinese
The DPRK tested its Hwasong-15 intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 29 as part of its program to boost
its national defence, which is its right and responsibility. This is
being labelled provocative which ignores the real threat posed to the
DPRK and the entire world by U.S imperialism.
The issue of the DPRK's rights to independence and
self-defence -- or that of any country -- is a matter of
principle, and any principles worthy of the name cannot be
compromised. There is no shortage of examples from recent history
of countries that were not able to block U.S.-led foreign
intervention, and the loss of millions of lives that have resulted from
brutal invasions, war, occupation and subsequent
chaos, violence and anarchy. Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are
just a few. The U.S. refusal to accede to the historic
verdict of World War II that crimes against the peace are the
most serious violation of international law and to sort out its
disputes with other countries using peaceful diplomatic means has led
to the present crisis. It refuses to accept the repeated entreaties
from the DPRK to
sign a peace treaty, which is what is required at this time.
To contribute to a diplomatic and peaceful resolution all peace-loving people must demand that the U.S. immediately end its war exercises in and around Korea to create conditions to sign a peace treaty so that its troops can be withdrawn along with its arsenal of nuclear weapons and military hardware from on and around the Korean Peninsula. This will contribute to the possibility of normalizing diplomatic relations with the DPRK. This would immediately de-escalate the situation and permit the Korean people in the north and south to sort out their differences between themselves so as to achieve their ultimate shared goal of national reunification. This would take pressure off of China and Russia, who are also the targets of U.S. striving to dominate Asia and whose interests would be served by a U.S. withdrawal from the Korean Peninsula.
In Canada, more and more
people are taking up the work
popularize the Canadian Peace Petition Against War and Aggression
on the Korean Peninsula, with pickets taking place in Vancouver,
Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. TML
Weekly encourages everyone to sign the
petition and take it far and wide, hold public meetings or
other activities to inform their friends, families, coworkers and
others of the truth about what is happening on the Korean
Peninsula. This will help to ensure that people do not fall
sway to imperialist disinformation about the crisis on the Korean
Peninsula and take an active role to prevent Canada becoming embroiled
in U.S.-led aggression against the DPRK. This is especially important
given the recent
announcement that Canada will co-host a U.S.-led meeting in
Vancouverto mobilize support for aggression against the DPRK and the
militarization of Canada. All of this is an important contribution to
anti-war government in Canada that reflects the people's striving to
make Canada a Zone for Peace.
(Photos: SPARK, TML.)
On November 29 Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada will host a meeting on the "north Korean crisis." This is presented as a response to the DPRK's latest missile test, however, this is not the case. According to reports the meeting has been under discussion for weeks between Minister Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the test is being used as an occasion to justify Canada playing a lead role in Korea at the behest of the United States. Showing this, both Freeland and Tillerson hypocritically repeated that diplomatic solutions are crucial and are still on the table while they actively engage in threats and war exercises. Diplomacy necessarily requires all parties involved to take part, in this case at least the U.S. and the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). Pointedly, the DPRK will not be amongst the up to 16 foreign ministers rumoured to be meeting in Vancouver in January. The aim of the Vancouver meeting, which Canada will officially co-host with the U.S., is clearly not diplomacy. Freeland later told reporters that Japan, south Korea and China would be among those invited to the meeting, which she said will be "an important step in terms of showing the unity of the international community in applying pressure on north Korea."
From the facts that Canada is co-hosting with the U.S. the January meeting, and that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has fallen in line behind her U.S. counterpart, it is evident that Canada is headed in lock-step with the United States towards nefarious ends. The aim may be to legitimize another police action on the Korean Peninsula -- a military action undertaken without a formal declaration of war -- like the one that led to the Korean War. This must not pass! Another aim may be to further till the soil for the U.S. to demand the takeover of Canadian territory for the placement of U.S. ballistic missiles and sensors. Canadians must not permit Canada to be used as a tool of U.S. imperialism to wage war on the Korean people or any other people! Make Canada a zone for peace, not war!
Vancouverites declared their city a nuclear weapons free zone in 2009. They are a proud contingent of the international anti-war movement. If such a meeting is held in Vancouver, or anywhere else, Canadians must make clear that they do not want U.S. missiles in Canada, nor U.S. or Canadian warships or any other military hardware and troops in Korea. TML Weekly is confident that Canadians will take a stand against the dangerous path down which the Trudeau Liberals are taking Canada with its participation in such devious conniving against other countries and peoples. Canadians want Canada to play a dignified role as a genuine force for peace in the world.
(Photos: Radical Citizen Media, RH.)
Protests continue on Jeju Island, the "Island of Peace," off the southwest coast of Korea, to demand the closure of the U.S. naval base there and an end to provocative visits by U.S., Canadian and Australian warships. Islanders are also demanding that the U.S. remove its troops, close down its bases and remove all its military assets from the Korean peninsula.
On November 24, Save Jeju Now, the mass anti-war organization on the island, issued a statement denouncing the arrival of the nuclear submarine USS Mississippi at the south Korean deep water naval base on the island. The base, constructed under pressure from the U.S. imperialists, is located close to China and the disputed waterways of the South China Sea, where the U.S. is literally fishing in troubled waters. The cost of the base was borne by the south Korean people.
According to a 2011 Foreign Policy in Focus article, only 87 of the more than 1,000 eligible voters were present at the vote to approve the building of the base on Jeju Island, and the affirmative "decision" was based on applause. Since then, the Jeju Islanders have interrupted construction of the base seven times.
Save Jeju Now noted that the unannounced arrival of the
USS Mississippi marks the first time that a nuclear submarine
arrived at the port. They denounced this as a provocation and a
threat to peace and stability in the region and are demanding
that the submarine leave immediately.
The organization also notes that in 1992 an agreement was signed between the north and south that neither side would introduce nuclear weapons onto the Korean Peninsula. Yet several times in the last decade, the south Korean government has permitted the docking of nuclear powered submarines capable of delivering nuclear warheads, particularly at the naval bases in Jinhae and Busan, thus nullifying the agreement.
Save Jeju Now is demanding that the U.S. immediately remove the USS Mississippi from their island and stop all further docking of U.S. warships and submarines on Jeju. They are also calling for all foreign warships to be banned from Jeju, pointing out that on June 22, Canadian warships HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Winnipeg docked at Jeju and on November 3, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta from the Australian navy also docked there. These ships were part of the U.S.-south Korea-Japan joint military exercises engaged in war preparations against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The protesters want an end to all U.S., Canadian, Australian and any other warships and submarines to be prohibited from Jeju, and are determined to end the decades-long U.S. military occupation of Korea and secure peace and Korean reunification.
Jeju Islanders have a heroic record of resisting U.S. military occupation in their country. They boycotted en masse the bogus "democratic" elections that the U.S. imperialists imposed on them through the UN in May 1948 aimed at installing a U.S. puppet regime under Syngman Rhee. The islanders carried out guerilla warfare for more than five years to oppose the U.S. military occupation of Korea at the cost of more than 20,000 Islanders' lives, and thousands of others jailed and exiled in that period.
(savejejunow.org. Photos: H.Y. Choi, S.H. Choi.)
It is with sadness that the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist) received the news of the passing of Comrade
Armando Hart Dávalos in Havana on November 26. CPC(M-L) extends
condolences to the Communist Party of Cuba and its leadership as
well as to the comrades and family of Armando Hart and the Cuban
people on the loss of this outstanding member of the historic
generation of the revolution.
On November 27, Granma wrote: "The outstanding revolutionary combatant Armando Hart Dávalos died yesterday afternoon, November 26, as a result of respiratory failure.
"Hart was born June 13, 1930 in Havana, and as a student at the university here, held numerous positions of responsibility in the Federation of University Students and the Orthodox Youth. He graduated with a PhD in Law in 1952 and took a firm position in opposition to the Batista dictatorship, joining the National Revolutionary Movement led by Rafael García Bárcena. When this leader was accused of conspiracy in 1953, Hart defended him in court, asserting the people's right to rebel.
"He was imprisoned on several occasions during this period.
"He was a founder of the July 26 Movement and part of the original leadership alongside Fidel. He participated in the Santiago de Cuba uprising in November of 1956, working closely with Frank País, was arrested and imprisoned, but escaped to return to underground work in support of the Rebel Army in the Sierra Maestra, and went on to serve as National Coordinator of the July 26 Movement, before being arrested again in 1958. He remained imprisoned until the dictatorship was defeated.
"After the triumph of the Revolution, Hart took on
responsibilities and was a member of the Communist Party of
Cuba's Central Committee from its foundation in 1965 until 1991.
He was a member of the Council of State from 1976 until 2008 and
a deputy to the National Assembly of People's Power, from its
constitution until his death.
"As director of the Martí Program Office and president of the José Martí Cultural Society, in recent years, he devoted his efforts to disseminating the life and work of Cuba's national hero.
"His extensive intellectual work, deeply rooted in the ideas of Martí and Fidel, is considered among the best of Cuban revolutionary thought.
"Hart was known for his modesty; his absolute loyalty to Fidel and Raúl; his consistent defense of unity among revolutionaries; and his lifelong devotion to whatever work the Revolution required of him."
A public wake took place at the Center for Martí Studies from the evening of his death until 10:00 am on November 27, when a final honour guard was held.
Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of Cuba's Councils of State and Ministers, who was accompanied by other members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, headed the final honour guard. The main remarks at the funeral were delivered by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers.
Vice President of the José Martí Cultural
Society and decorated Hero of the Republic René González
Sehwerert observed that "Not a single generation of Cubans is missing
here. The parents, children, and grandchildren of the Revolution are
here, honouring a man who was instrumental to achieving the
Revolution's greatest prize: the Cuban of today. Hart led the enormous
effort to educate a people, and later the effort to make us cultured,
and this people has come to pay tribute because of everything he
represented. The Revolution's most beautiful works would not have been
written without this man who was consistently faithful to
Martí's thought, Armando Hart."
Compañero Army General Raúl Castro Ruz
Eloisa and Hart family members
Compañeros and Compañeras
We have come together in this institution over the last hours to pay tribute to one of the essential figures of the Cuban Revolution.
The brilliant intellectual and revolutionary Armando Hart Dávalos leaves to present and future generations an extraordinary example of loyalty, the spirit of sacrifice, firmness and absolute adherence to principle.
Hart's trajectory in the service of Cuba began in his early youth, with his denunciation of the corrupt governments of Grau and Prío. Martí's sense of ethics invariably guided his conduct -- always transparent, always implacable in the face of those who used the Homeland as a pedestal. For that reason he resolutely opposed the March 10, 1952, military coup and went on to confront the Batista tyranny from then on. He was a member of the National Directorate of the July 26th Movement and actively participated, along with Frank País, Haydée and Vilma, in the uprising of November 30, l956 in Santiago de Cuba in support of the Granma landings. Endowed with great personal courage, he suffered persecution and imprisonment. He became National Coordinator of the July 26th Movement. The Revolution's triumph caught him by surprise while he was in the Modelo prison in the Isle of Pines.
Hart was a true founder. As Minister of Education of the first revolutionary cabinet, he directed the Literacy Campaign and the admirable educational and cultural work that transformed our country in those early years. A decade later, he assumed the leadership of the newly created Ministry of Culture, where he rectified errors and distortions, restored communication with the intellectual vanguard, promoted Arts education and designed an institutional system that turned the people into leaders of the cultural processes.
It is necessary to highlight the important responsibilities he assumed as a member of the leadership of our Party during his fruitful life.
In the last stage of his work, he devoted himself to one of his central passions: the study and dissemination of the life and work of José Martí. He was convinced that in Martí the Cuban ideology of emancipation, justice and anti-imperialism had reached its highest point. At the same time, guided by Fidel, he understood and knew how to defend the organic connection between the thought of Martí and of Marx.
Hart, the follower of Martí, became a fervent Fidelista. Ever since first meeting Fidel, he followed him unconditionally. He was a permanent student of his action and his ideas. Among these, was a cardinal principle of Fidel's: the preservation of unity. Hart repeated that the classic adage of "divide and conquer" must be countered with Martí and Fidel's "unite to win." This was the basis of what he called "the art of doing politics," something that he applied with particular interest in his dialogue with young people.
He did remarkable work as an essayist and in the field of journalism. Some of his books at the time represented very innovative contributions in matters of cultural policy and the creation of a new consciousness in socialism. They continue as essential references today. The tribute paid to him at the last Book Fair, where readers were presented with many of his unpublished writings, was justified and beautiful. Throughout that event, the affection and admiration the Cuban people feel and will continue to feel for Hart was in evidence.
Until the last of his days he was a tireless intellectual and political fighter. He admirably confronted the moral blow suffered by the left after the collapse of socialism in Europe and worked hard to create, in the face of barbarism, an international front of ideas based on the thought of Fidel, Martí and Marx.
On behalf of the family and the leadership of our Party and Government, we thank you for your presence here and the many expressions of solidarity and affection received since the news was disseminated.
"Death is not real when one's life's work has been well fulfilled."
To this phrase of Martí, Hart would add: "Hasta la victoria siempre."
(Translation from the original Spanish by TML.)
On November 26, the first anniversary of the passing of
the historic leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, Cuba held
the first stage of its 2017-18 general elections with a vote to select
delegates to the country's 168 Municipal Assemblies of People's Power.
The second stage, to elect representatives to the Provincial Assemblies
and National Assembly for a five-year mandate will be announced later
in the year. The electoral process will culminate with the election of
the country's new president by the National Assembly on February 24,
The country's National Electoral Commission (NEC) reported that 82.05 per cent of the more than 8 million registered voters participated in voting at more than 24,300 polling stations on November 26. As a result of bad weather, especially in the regions of Cienfuegos, Camagüey, Villa Clara and Santiago de Cuba, voting was extended by one hour to 7:00 pm so that everyone who wanted to participate could.
The level of participation in the election in spite of bad weather and difficulties that remain as a result of Hurricane Irma shows the determination of the Cuban people and electoral authorities to make the vote an expression of their unity and sovereignty. Originally scheduled for October 22, the election was postponed to November 26 to allow for recovery from the hurricane.
A total of 11,415 delegates were elected across the
constituencies of the country. The remaining 1,100 constituencies
will go to a second round vote, set to take place December 3, as
there was either a tie or no candidate received more than 50 per cent
the valid votes cast. Of the delegates elected in the first
round, 35.47 per cent are women and 14.36 per cent are young people.
NEC President Alina Balseiro informed that the nomination process for delegate candidates saw more than six million Cubans participate in neighbourhood assemblies for this purpose, more than the previous time the process was held, with more than 60,800 proposed nominees.
Of the 27,221 individuals nominated as candidates, 35.4 per cent were women and 19.4 per cent youth. The majority had secondary and higher education levels, and workers from production and services, as well as administration sectors were the most widely represented, although there were also non-state sector workers among the candidates.
At each polling station voters could read the biographies of the candidates and check their own details on the electoral register.
Some 12,000 youth, members of the Federation of Secondary Education Students and the Federation of University Students (FEU) participated in the voting process. Prior to voting President of the FEU Raúl Alejandro Palmero Fernández indicated that "young people will supervise each polling station to ensure the legality, transparency and quality of the process, as well as compliance with the principles of our electoral and political system, and respect for the regulatory standards established by the National Electoral Commission." He noted that this "is a sign that we can continue to count on young people to undertake the tasks of utmost importance in the country."
Palmero also called on "all Cuban youth to join in tweeting as invited by the Electoral Commission, this November 24 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm using the hashtags #PorCuba and #Cuba, so that this is also a massive movement and shows the world the joy with which Cubans go to vote."
"A year ago, we swore allegiance and commitment to Fidel's Concept of Revolution. The best way to honour this figure on this first anniversary of his death is to attend the polls en masse," he stressed.
The FEU said it would also "guarantee the participation of 300,000 young people," he noted, "who for the first time will exercise their right to vote."
(Granma, Prensa Latina, CubAhora. Edited slightly for grammar.)
November 29 is the International Day of Solidarity with
the Palestinian people. It is an occasion to draw the attention of the
international community to the fact that the Palestinian question remains
unresolved and to affirm Palestinians' inalienable
the right to self-determination without outside interference;
- the right to national independence and sovereignty; and
- the right to return to one's home and recover one's property.
All Out to Support the Just Cause of the Palestinian People!
Website: www.cpcml.ca Email: firstname.lastname@example.org