March 16, 2019 - No. 9

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Growing Opposition in Ontario as
Ford Government Intensifies
Anti-Social Offensive

United We Resist -- Mass Rally for Public Education
Students Step Up the Fight Against Anti-Social Measures
and Launch "We the Students" Campaign

Disinformation Over What's at Stake

Attacks Against Huawei Have Nothing to Do with Rule of Law

- Louis Lang -

Unfolding Events in Venezuela

Venezuelan People Stand Firm in Face of
Escalating U.S. War Threat

- Margaret Villamizar -
Cuba Condemns Terrorist Sabotage of Power
Supply System in Venezuela

- Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs -

Second DPRK-U.S. Summit

U.S. Undermines Principle of Action-for-Action
- Nick Lin -

Spirit of March First Movement for Independence

Lives On in Korea

- Philip Fernandez -

Celebrations of International Women's Day 2019

Women All Over the World Fight for Empowerment

56th Anniversary of the Founding of The Internationalists

The Question of Ideology at the Centre of the Work of
The Internationalists in the Sixties and of the Party Today

- Pauline Easton -


20th Anniversary of NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia

NATO War Crimes Committed Under Humanitarian Pretext

Matters of Concern to the Polity

Growing Opposition in Ontario as Ford
Government Intensifies Anti-Social Offensive 

Defend and Invest in Public Health Care!

On March 15, the Ford government in Ontario announced massive changes to Ontario's education system. These include increasing high school class size averages from 22 to 28 students, making changes to the sex-education curriculum and Indigenous studies content, imposing a "back to basics" approach to the math curriculum, instructing schools boards to implement a hiring freeze, and enabling principals and vice-principals to hire teachers on "fit" and "merit" criteria. The government claims that the current system of hiring places too much emphasis on "seniority, rather than specific skills or previous performance, as the most important criteria in hiring.”

The proposed changes will cut an estimated $1.4 billion from the public education system. Education Minister Lisa Thompson had the gall to divert attention from the issue of the conditions the government is imposing on the teachers and students by declaring that in this plan not one teacher will lose their job.

Since coming to power in June 2018, the Conservative government has stepped up the all-sided anti-social offensive against the people of Ontario under the same fraudulent pretexts as those used by Mike Harris in 1995 -- opening Ontario for business, cutting red tape and reducing the deficit. Now as then, these are pretexts for changing the state structures in order to politicize private interests. The result is to create the legal framework and arrangements which enable narrow private interests in the highly lucrative education, construction, and transportation sectors, amongst others, to put the state at their disposal.

While claims are made that the measures taken are to reduce deficits and pay down debts, the debt balloons as a result of neo-liberal governments' pay-the-rich schemes. Under the Ford government, investments in education, health care and other social programs affecting the most vulnerable, such as funding for autism programs have been cut back. Minimum wages and other workers' rights have been rolled back. The right to unionize and to union representation has been eliminated for a host of yet-to-be specified government construction projects while arrangements which permitted union representation in the nurses and teachers colleges have been eliminated. The cost of post-secondary education is being further transferred onto the backs of students. Less funding available in the form of grants means more student debt, even retroactively for some. New legislation will also further privatize health care -- all this in the name of "cutting red tape," "keeping Ontario open for business," "reducing the deficit" and "balancing the budget."

This pay-the-rich direction set for the economy of Ontario is not sustainable and is being resolutely opposed by Ontarians.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) President Harvey Bischof called the government's new announcement a "sledgehammer blow" to the education system in Ontario. He said it could result in the potential loss of more than 5,500 high school teaching jobs in Ontario, including those of over 3,600 OSSTF members. Bischof pointed out that the government's change to class size will create an "impasse" at the next round of negotiations. Bischof said it will foster conflict. The resistance from teachers to this dictate would be "massive," he said.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association projected that the announced changes will result in job losses for some 5,000 Catholic teachers.

Health care workers in Ontario, their unions and the Ontario Health Coalition are organizing to protest the Ford government's People's Health Care Act, Bill 74, which was introduced in February 2019. This omnibus health legislation will dismantle the 14 Local Health Integration Networks, which oversee home care and manage nursing home care at the local level. It will merge six health agencies -- including Cancer Care Ontario and eHealth Ontario -- into one central "super agency" called Ontario Health. Under this new centralized super agency, some 50 regional Ontario Health Teams will be made responsible for the health care of as many as 300,000 patients each to "connect health care providers and services around patients and families." The goal, according to a Ministry of Health press release, is "to better facilitate patient transitions between various local health care providers -- such as hospitals and home care providers -- and streamline health records and care plans."

These changes do nothing to address the actual problems of Ontario's health care system and so-called corridor medicine, which can't be fixed without addressing the shortage of staff and available beds. They do however concentrate authority in fewer hands with arbitrary powers which enable global monopolies engaged in for-profit health care industries to capture more of the provincial health care budget, while criminalizing workers' resistance and depriving them of any decision-making.

On March 7, unions defending health care workers held a press conference at the Ontario legislature demanding that the Ford government hold public hearings on Bill 74 before proceeding any further. Michael Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE, representing more than 35,000 hospital and long-term care nurses and support staff asked: "How can the government claim it is creating health care 'teams' when the organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members of that "team" have never been consulted? Equally importantly, the public has never been consulted. Communities stand to lose virtually all remaining local control of their health care services, yet the government is pushing their new law through the legislature with reckless speed."

The Ontario Health Coalition has launched a series of Town Halls across the province to involve the people in discussion on how to hold the Ford government to account for these massive assaults on public health care in Ontario. A province-wide rally is being planned for April 30 at Queen's Park to oppose the Ford government's anti-social measures.

Protest against cuts to autism program, March 13, 2019, outside Premier Ford's press conference in Cambridge.

One of the most active groups in action against the Ford government's anti-social offensive are the parents and guardians, therapists and support organizations for the 23,000 children waiting for autism therapy. They and the umbrella group Autism Ontario have held protest actions across Ontario including a massive rally at Queen's Park on March 7 to demand that children with autism receive the proper funding supports to live their lives. The Ford government has limited the level of funding received by families of children with autism to a lifetime maximum of $140,000 per child between two and 18 years of age, while it can cost up to $80,000 annually per child for the therapy they need. Even under the current regime only some 25 per cent of children are adequately funded. The new measures mean that all autistic children will be deprived of their ability to realize their potential. It is a criminal move.

Queen's Park demonstration, March 7, 2019, protesting Ford government's cuts to funding
of autism programs.

The Ford government is also pushing ahead with its appeal of the Ontario Superior Court ruling in December 2018 which said that annuity payments from the Robinson-Huron and Robinson-Superior Treaties signed in 1850 must be increased. Annuities paid to the 30,000 members of Anishinaabe communities in Ontario under the Robinson-Huron Treaty have not increased above the $4 per person set in 1874.

The Ford government, along with the federal government, is also facing stiff opposition over its refusal to uphold the rule of law with respect to General Motors breaking its contractual agreements with Unifor and shutting down production at its plant in Oshawa.

This escalating anti-social offensive by the Ford government jeopardizes the future of public health care and public transit, and the right to public education and public services that serve the most vulnerable. The militant protests by students and teachers at the convening of the Legislature, the actions by health care workers and families of children with autism, as well as other collectives of the people is evidence that the people's striving for empowerment must address the structures of the state which permit such impunity. The cartel party system protects the private interests which have usurped power. This problem needs to be addressed in the course of the militant resistance to the anti-social measures.

(With files from Government of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Labour, Ontario Health Coalition, CBC, TML archives. Photos: Protest Autism Cuts, A. Jagessar, A. Noonan)

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United We Resist -- Mass Rally for Public Education

Despite a winter storm and blowing snow, hundreds of teachers, education workers, parents, students and supporters of public education rallied out front of the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke on February 27, to protest cuts in funding of public education in Ontario. The occasion for the action was a $250-$1,600 a plate fund-raiser for the Ontario PC party where Premier Doug Ford was the keynote speaker.

The United We Resist Education Mass Rally was initiated by the Elementary Teachers of Toronto. They organized carpooling and shuttle buses from across the Greater Toronto Area, bringing in contingents of teachers and their students and parents. They were joined, banners and flags in hand, by Toronto education workers (CUPE Local 4400), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), Toronto transit workers with ATU Local 113, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), and a contingent from CPC(M-L).

The spirit of the people standing up for public education was incredible. Everyone brought their concerns, printed on banners and hand-written on placards and signs. They called on those supporting the Ford government cuts to spend a day in their schools; they condemned the negative impact of increased class sizes and called for full funding for all-day kindergarten, and proper funding of autism programs. University students joined in the action demanding cuts to OSAP be repealed. Singing, stamping feet and marching along the hundred-metre entrance road, and picketing the entrance to the parking lot, the rally was very successful at slowing access to the fund-raising dinner. In many cases it took a car 45 minutes or more to get from the street to the parking area. Where possible, participants engaged those in the cars in discussion of their demands and concerns.

Leading up to the rally, the Elementary Teachers of Toronto posted that "Ford's assault on public education in declaring a strip of four per cent from education by removing class caps, dismantling full-day kindergarten as we know it and slashing millions from critical programming is beyond reprehensible." They pledged to "build our mass and resist in power." This mobilization by the Elementary Teachers of Toronto is a harbinger of the organized resistance of the people that is coming in Ontario to the anti-social cuts of the Ford government.

(Photos: TML, Elementary Teachers of Toronto, Durham Designated Early Childhood Educators, K.B. Campbell)

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Students Step Up the Fight Against Anti-Social Measures and Launch "We the Students" Campaign

The First Session of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario convened on February 19 following the winter break that began December 6, 2018. The new session was met with a militant student action at Queen's Park, confirming that the people of Ontario will continue to organize and resist the anti-social attacks the Ford government is carrying out in the name of "the people."

Students from as far as Kingston came to join the action to protest the Ford government's cuts to education funding of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), attacks on their associations and clubs in the name of giving students the "choice" of "opting out" from paying ancillary fees, and to call for increased funding for public education, among other demands.

The action was organized by the Ontario Student Action Network with the support of the Canadian Federation of Students, the Ontario Federation of Labour, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and others.

The action was characterized by the determination of the students to fight for their rights to education and a society where everyone can live with dignity and security. Various speakers pointed out that the students from colleges and universities that are affected by the changes to OSAP are not taken in by the Ford government's bogus claims that its 10 per cent cut to the tuition fees will make post-secondary education more affordable. They pointed out among other things that the small cut to tuition fees does not affect the poorest students who are saddled with tuition fees which have increased three times on average from two decades ago. They also noted that foreign students still have to pay three to four times the high fees imposed on Canadian students, and will not be eligible for the 10 per cent cut. Speakers also noted that the cuts to tuition, even though limited, would mean shortfalls in university and college operating budgets to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, which will then force these institutions to cut back on staff and teaching personnel, further damaging the working and learning conditions on campuses.

Speakers also denounced the Ford government's move to impose "opt-out" choices for the funding of student unions and clubs, and emphasized that this was a politically motivated attack to silence students' right to dissent and political organizing. It is an attack on democracy and freedom of speech aimed at splitting and dividing the students to atomize their resistance. They pointed out that student unions and clubs play an important role in enabling students to organize in defence of their independent political voice and organizing, as well as providing important campus services such as supports to Indigenous students, national minority students, LGBTQ students and students with specific needs.

A group of students from the Hamilton Students Mobilization opposed the increased police presence on their campuses and stated that this was being done to intimidate students and criminalize their assemblies. They denounced the police presence at the rally at Queen's Park and stated that they will not be criminalized for taking their political stands against the anti-student, anti-worker, anti-Indigenous Ford Conservatives.

Various union representatives also spoke at the rally in support of the students organizing against the Ford government. In particular Harvey Bishof, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, told the students that they can count on the support of teachers and workers in their fight. He said that "we have a government that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing" and affirmed that increased investments in education are needed in Ontario to preserve and expand the quality of education for all students.

The action also officially launched the "We the Students" Campaign. The campaign has five demands:

1. Grants, not Loans
2. Eliminate Tuition Fees for All Students
3. Increase Public Funding for Public Education
4. Protect Students' Independent Voices
5. Defend the Right to Organize

The organizers of the action called on everyone to join with them and support their campaign and demands. They ended their action by affirming that they will not be silenced and expressed their determination to defeat the Ford government and its anti-social policies.

(With files from Ontario Student Action Network.)

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Disinformation Over What's at Stake

Attacks Against Huawei Have Nothing
to Do with Rule of Law

The attacks against Huawei and individual officers of the company come at a time when inter-monopoly competition in the high-tech communications sector becomes fiercer each day. Invoking the rule of law to justify Canada's arrest of a Huawei executive rings hollow when we see the elaborate international U.S. campaign to discredit and undermine Huawei. This includes international political and military threats designed to intimidate countries to stop them from incorporating Huawei technologies in their 5G networks.

The latest example of this vast U.S. campaign was on evidence at a recent international technology show held the last week of February in Barcelona, Spain. Called MWC Barcelona, it is a four-day industry show of mobile devices and innovations with over 100,000 visitors.

It has been reported that the U.S. government sent a large delegation to Barcelona to warn international telecom executives not to trust Huawei. A report on the CTV News website, titled "U.S.-China battle over Huawei comes to head at tech show," quoted one of the participants, who expressed his concern as follows:

"The geopolitical tensions between the USA and China will undoubtedly be a hot topic at MWC, particularly in the context of Huawei," said Shaun Collins, CEO of research firm CCS Insight. "There is little doubt that operators around the world are concerned that draconian sanctions on their ability to use Huawei's 5G infrastructure could have detrimental effects on their 5G roll-out plans."

The report went on to describe the work of U.S. representatives behind the scenes to suggest that Ericsson of Sweden and Finland's Nokia should be the preferred suppliers of 5G equipment.

Huawei also had a very large presence in Barcelona and promoted its equipment by drawing attention to its lower cost 5G networks with the promise of "lightning fast download speeds and less signal lag -- advancements that will help develop self-driving cars, factory robots and remote surgery."[1]

It is clear that this belligerent activity of the U.S. is becoming more and more aggressive and is interfering in the right of countries to decide for themselves, based on their own situation, the kind of telecommunications system that best serves their needs. The U.S. has been justifying this blatant attack on Huawei by claiming threats to its national security, accusing the telecom company of enabling Chinese espionage all over the world. This amounts to nothing more than the pot calling the kettle black.

It is a fact that since the end of WWII the U.S. has systematically established a vast worldwide espionage network. The creation of a National Security State became a priority of the Truman administration to defend the U.S. against the "communist threat" from the USSR which was described at the time as not only a threat to U.S. national security but a threat to "civilization itself."[2]

The National Security Council (NSC) was created in July 1947 as part of a general reorganization of the U.S. National Security Apparatus. The function of the NSC, as outlined in the 1947 Act was to advise the President on integration of domestic, foreign and military policies relating to national security and to facilitate inter-agency cooperation.

In addition to the establishment of systems and organizations of international espionage (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) was created in 1952 to provide signals intelligence (SIGINT) and security for computer network operations (CNO), which is now known as cyber security.

At the time President Truman denied that this would involve espionage and covert operations to support foreign policy objectives, but these types of activities were undertaken on an ever broadening scale. In fact one of the first actions of the NSC was to authorize covert interference in the Italian election in April 1948.

The formal institutionalization of covert actions was established as NSC 4 in December 1947 and NSC 10/2 in June 1948.

The National Security State has since grown to include at least 17 different agencies, which have been responsible for countless criminal actions that include acts of state terrorism to impose U.S. imperialist interests in country after country throughout the world.

Although the spying activities of U.S. security forces on its own citizens and against people fighting against colonialism and imperialism worldwide have been exposed on many occasions, the extent of U.S. espionage activities was fully revealed in 2013 by Edward Snowden.

Snowden, a former CIA employee and contractor for the U.S. government, copied and leaked millions of pieces of highly classified information from the National Security Agency. The documents revealed not only the activities of the NSA but also included the Five Eyes -- U.S., Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand -- and shed light on the vast, secret, mass surveillance programs and its capabilities.

Many of the documents initially released by Snowden and reported on in mainstream media contained details on the SSO unit, a division of the NSA. In particular, under the PRISM program, service providers -- including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, YouTube, PalTalk, AOL and Yahoo -- allowed the NSA to collect communications data for analysis. Also part of SSO are the programs which tap fibre-optic cables around the world -- at least some of the access to these fibre-optic cables is achieved through industry cooperation. Other operations are undertaken without the knowledge of the companies involved.

Another category of documents reveals NSA operations that compromise smartphones and calling patterns. Location data enables the agency to discern previously unknown relationships between individuals using its CO-TRAVELER system. Cookies and data from mobile apps are targeted by a number of NSA tools. Text messages are also routinely collected.[3]

U.S. claims that Huawei is a threat to national security are not only to benefit private interests among the telecom oligopolies with an unfair advantage in competing with Huawei technology. Just as important, if not more, it is desperately trying to protect its cyber espionage network and maintain U.S. domination of surveillance and spying all over the world.

The U.S., through its Five Eyes partners, which include Canada and its Communications Security Establishment (CSE), have been working systematically for years to destroy Huawei. A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, reports about a meeting in Nova Scotia in July 2018 of spy chiefs from the Five Eyes. Apparently Prime Minister Trudeau attended some of the meeting. The title of the article is, "How the 'Five Eyes' Cooked up the Campaign to Kill Huawei." There were no reports about this meeting in Canada.

The article points out: "In the months that followed that July 17 dinner, an unprecedented campaign has been waged by those present -- Australia, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and the UK -- to block Chinese tech giant Huawei from supplying equipment for their next-generation wireless networks."[4]

Since the meeting in Nova Scotia, intelligence officials have given a series of public speeches as part of a coordinated effort to ban Huawei from 5G networks. The article goes on to report that, "Mike Burgess put Huawei back on the national agenda when on October 29 he became the first Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate to make a public speech in the organization's 70-year history."

The coordinated activities of the Five Eyes countries clearly shows that the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou had little to do with the "rule of law in Canada" but more to do with continued attacks against Huawei.


1. "U.S.-China Battle Over Huawei comes to head at tech show," Kelvin Chan, CTV News, February 25, 2019.

2. "NSC 68: United States Objective and Programs for National Security," April 14, 1950.

3. "NSA Prism Program Taps in to User Data of Apple Google and Others," Glenn Greenwald and Ewen Macaskill, Guardian, June 7, 2013.

4. "How the Five Eyes cooked up the campaign to kill Huawei," Sydney Morning Herald, Chris Uhlmann and Angus Grigg, December 17, 2018.

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Unfolding Events in Venezuela

Venezuelan People Stand Firm in Face of
Escalating U.S. War Threat

Government workers in Venezuela demonstrate their support for the Maduro government,
March 14, 2019.

Over the past ten days the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian government have worked together as an organized force to resist and overcome the effects of a massive attack on the country's electricity system.

"Electricity War"

Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant (Guri Dam) located in Bolívar State, the fourth largest such installation in the world, provides 70 to 80 per cent of Venezuela's electricity supply.

On Thursday, March 7 at 5:00 pm, Venezuela's electricity system was brought down in most of the country, causing a blackout in 18 of 23 states. The effects were widespread, affecting everything run by electricity including water pumping facilities, subways and trains, the electronic means of payment widely used in the country and many other features of daily life. The outage continued for five days, as new attacks followed while repairs were in progress the first two days. The Venezuelan government has determined the blackout was caused by sabotage originating inside as well as outside the country.

The government immediately established a plan to protect the Venezuelan people from harm, and facilitate services being restored as quickly as possible. The first priority was monitoring the functioning of hospitals and clinics; next was delivering drinking water and gas to neighbourhoods and ensuring the continuation of the Local Supply and Production Committee (CLAP) program which delivers staple food supplies to some six million households. Workplaces were closed and workers given four days off, with schools closed for just over a week.

Workers prepare to restart the water system in Caracas, March 12, 2019.

According to investigations carried out so far, the Venezuelan government has reported that the sabotage was carried out by a combination of cyber, electromagnetic and physical attacks. The first cyber attack was directed against the computerized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system at the massive Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant (Guri Dam) which provides 70 to 80 per cent of the country's electricity. Less than two days later a second cyber attack shut down what is said to be the "brain" of the transmission system, in Caracas. These attacks originated in the U.S., according to the government. The electromagnetic attacks were said to have been carried out using mobile devices to deliver high frequency pulses to knock out main transmission lines in some parts of the country. As well, a number of electrical sub-stations were attacked with explosives and set on fire in a further attempt to collapse the system and maximize the damage.

In what surely was no coincidence, on Wednesday, March 13, there was an explosion and fire in two oil storage tanks belonging to the state oil company, Pétroleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA), in the Orinoco Belt region of the country.

Thanks to the Herculean effort of the country's electrical workers and all those who worked in an organized way under difficult conditions to ensure the basic needs of the population were met, and thanks to the Venezuelan people themselves who faced the adversity with patience and a spirit of helping one another -- instead of turning against their government as the likes of Mr. Juan Guaidó and his puppet masters in the White House called for them to do -- the storm was weathered and another criminal scheme to create a pretext for a "humanitarian" intervention was foiled.

On March 15, President Nicolás Maduro announced that electricity had been fully restored, with public transportation and drinking water being progressively restored as well.

Addressing the situation of the past week, Maduro said sabotaging the country's electricity system to generate civil unrest and using the occasion to call for an attack on the political power of the country has a name: terrorism. He said international experts were being asked to assist different ministries and institutions of the Bolivarian government to carry out an investigation into the attack and how it was carried out, adding that a number of countries and private actors had already offered to help strengthen the electricity system and ensure it is fully recovered.

While the legitimate government of the Venezuelan people did its utmost to repair the damage, restore services and put in place measures to minimize harmful effects on the health and well-being of the entire population -- not just its supporters -- the usurper Guaidó and his White House handlers jumped for joy at the opportunity to heap blame on "Maduro" for causing the power outage and exacerbating the "humanitarian crisis" they cynically hope to use as a pretext to call for the U.S. to intervene militarily.

President Maduro announces the complete restoration of electrical service and the progressive restoration of drinking water and public transit throughout Venezuela, March 15, 2019.

U.S. Puppet Feigns Control, His Masters Rattle Their Sabres

On March 11, Guaidó summoned his illegitimate court, otherwise known as the National Assembly, which like him recognizes no other branch of the government and takes its direction from Washington -- to approve a decree declaring a "state of alarm" in the country, allegedly due to the blackout. This is intended to serve as a prelude to manipulating Article 187 of the Bolivarian Constitution, intended for no such purpose, to call for a foreign military intervention. On the same day he issued another hollow decree -- prohibiting the shipment of Venezuelan oil to Cuba. News reports indicate that what will be introduced next for approval by the same body are proposals for the restructuring and privatization of PDVSA.

After Guaidó issued his decrees, Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton took the reins in his own hands, putting insurance companies and flag carriers "on notice" that there would be consequences if they facilitate the shipment of Venezuelan crude to Cuba. He also warned India that if it bought oil from Venezuela it could be hit with sanctions as well.  On March 12, Elliott Abrams announced that "significant" new sanctions were coming against Venezuela and international financial institutions. The day before Donald Trump requested of Congress that the State Department be allowed to transfer up to $500 million from other funds to "respond to the crisis" or "support a democratic transition" in Venezuela during the coming year. That same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that all remaining U.S. diplomatic personnel would be withdrawn from Venezuela. While this was ordered by Venezuela, and in the past Pompeo had made a point of saying the U.S. did not recognize the government of Nicolás Maduro and would only act on the orders of its puppet Guaidó, this time he made a point of saying the decision came from the U.S. because of “the deteriorating situation” in the country and because diplomatic staff at the embassy had “become a constraint on U.S. policy,” leaving it to the imagination what that meant. This week the State Department also advised all U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Venezuela that they “should depart” the country.

Fresh drinking water was delivered by truck to neighbourhoods and hospitals.

Taking everything into consideration, including historical precedents from the U.S./NATO bombing and invasion of countries like Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya which were subjected to similar all-sided attacks: sanctions to wear down the population, a media war to disseminate lies and demonize their leaders, and sabotage operations against their national infrastructure -- there is good reason not to be lulled by the failure of the U.S. and Canada’s "peaceful transition" fiction.  Military intervention has never been taken off the table. Especially now, with the civil war sharpening between rival factions of the U.S. oligarchy and many of their junior partners in the Lima Group also sinking in their own crises of legitimacy, launching a war for "humanitarian" ideals or to "protect" a civilian population could be seen by these reactionary forces as a way to distract from their own problems.

Stand with the Venezuelan People

Graphic announces a celebration, March 16 of the Venezuelan people's victory in defending their nation. (click to enlarge)

The time is now to step up actions of all kinds in defence of the Venezuelan people's right to solve their own problems without foreign interference and threats of any kind, in a way that upholds their sovereignty and right to self-determination. Now is also the time to demand that the Canadian government stop lending itself to the illegitimate, lying schemes of the U.S. warmongers about "restoring democracy and human rights" in Venezuela, including the demand that the May 2018 presidential election won by Nicolás Maduro be repeated. The real aim of the U.S. and those appeasing it has everything to do with violating the rights of the Venezuelan people, not upholding them. The global oligarchy wants to seize control of Venezuela's vast riches from its people and put an end to their Bolivarian revolution and the economic, social, political and cultural gains it has brought to the working people. U.S./Guaido’s plan will return the people to being impoverished and deprived as their public assets and services are privatized, social programs cut and other harsh austerity measures are imposed on them, dictated by the lords of international finance that run the IMF, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and other such institutions. It is a recipe for disaster.

Hands Off Venezuela Day of Action, Los Angeles, California, March 16, 2019.

(With files from Reuters, Venezuelanalysis, Prensa Latina, teleSUR, AVN. Photos: Min Mujer, AVN.)

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Cuba Condemns Terrorist Sabotage of
Power Supply System in Venezuela

The Revolutionary Government strongly condemns the sabotage perpetrated against the power supply system in Venezuela, which is a terrorist action intended to harm the defenseless population of an entire nation and turn it into a hostage of the non-conventional war launched by the government of the United States against the legitimate government headed by comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic and military union of the Bolivarian and Chavista people.

Several U.S. politicians have rushed to celebrate an action that deprives the population from an essential basic service; leaves hospitals without the power they require to work; disrupts other basic services which are indispensable in the everyday-life of people, such as food, water supply, transportation, communications, public safety, trade, bank transactions and payments using credit cards. Such an action affects work in general and the proper functioning of schools and universities.

The sequence and modality of these actions remind us of the sabotage perpetrated against the oil industry back in 2002 by a U.S. company that owned and operated the automated system that controlled the production, refining, transportation and distribution of hydrocarbons.

This adds to the ruthless economic and financial warfare imposed on Venezuela with the clear intention to subjugate, through shortages and deprivations, the political and sovereign will of a people that has not been brought to its knees.

This is an escalation of a non-conventional war led by the U.S. government against that sister nation, which is taking place after the failed provocation orchestrated on February 23 with the intention of carrying by force alleged humanitarian aid into Venezuela, thus challenging the legitimate authorities of that country and violating International Law and the principles and norms of the United Nations Charter, with the purpose of causing widespread death and violence as a pretext for a "humanitarian intervention."

The experience of Cuba's own history and the history of other countries in the region show that these actions are a prelude of violent acts of a larger scope, as was the case of the armed invasion through Bay of Pigs in 1961. The international community has accumulated sufficient evidence to be on the alert.

The usurper and self-proclaimed "president" made in the U.S. has publicly said that, when the time comes, he would invoke Article 187 of the Constitution to authorize the use of foreign military missions in the country and has repeated exactly the same phrase used by his American mentors: "All options are on the table."

He just needs to receive an order from Washington, since it is known that, during his tour around South America, he already asked certain governments to support a military intervention in his country.

The offensive launched against Venezuela has been accompanied by a ferocious campaign of McCarthyist propaganda and lies coordinated by the National Security Advisor of that country, John Bolton, as a pretext to apply by force the Monroe Doctrine, for which he has counted on the active participation of the anti-Cuban Senator Marco Rubio, who has frantically resorted to social networks, thus evidencing his interest and personal and conspiratorial involvement in the maneuvers perpetrated against Venezuela.

One of the most relentless and shameless statements made has been the slanderous assertion that Cuba has "between 20 and 25 thousand troops in Venezuela" which "exercise control" on that sister and sovereign nation and "keep" the members of the glorious and combative National Bolivarian Armed Forces "under threat." Cuba categorically rejects that lie and equally strongly refutes any insinuation that there is some level of political subordination by Venezuela to Cuba or by Cuba to Venezuela.

John Bolton is a well-known liar, whose trajectory goes back a long way. He was the U.S. government official who, back in 2002, accused Cuba of having a program to develop biological weapons, a fallacy that was publicly denied by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was his superior back then; and by ex President James Carter. This falsehood also forced Bolton to undergo a U.S. Congress investigation.

Back in 2003, Bolton was also among those who disseminated the lie that the government of Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and a program to develop them. Such a lie, after being repeated at every level of the U.S. government and magnified by the big media, served as a pretext for the aggression and military occupation of that Middle East country by the United States at a cost of almost one million deadly casualties and millions of displaced Iraqis, plus thousands of U.S. soldiers killed and wounded during a military campaign whose goal was also oil.

As has been publicly announced and is known by honest and well-informed persons, the bilateral relations between Cuba and Venezuela are based on mutual respect, true solidarity; a shared commitment, based on the ideas of Bolívar, Martí, Fidel and Chávez, with the integration of an independent and sovereign "Our America;" the willingness to practice complementary cooperation among all the peoples of the South and the common effort to implement and defend the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

The projects contained in the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement that was signed between both countries involve the participation of a little more than 20,000 Cubans, most of them women. Ninety six per cent of them are devoted to the provision of health services to the population. Others work in other sectors such as education, culture, sports and agro-food production.

Just to mention some figures, the historical impact of that cooperation in Venezuela has been reflected in the 1,473,117 human lives that have been saved; the 717,029,310 medical diagnoses made; the medical assistance received by 62,031,309 persons suffering from eye problems; the 12,915,648 vaccines against measles and tuberculosis administered to people; and the 3,095,564 persons who have been taught to read and write.

It is absolutely not true that Cuba is taking part in operations carried out by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces or the security services. This is a slanderous rumor deliberately disseminated by the government of the United States. When Bolton as well as other politicians and officials of the U.S. government rely on such rumors, they are deliberately lying to pursue aggressive political purposes. They have sufficient data and information and know the truth.

Cuba does not interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela, just as Venezuela does not interfere in Cuba's internal affairs.

Unlike the United States, which has about 80 military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the one that is usurping the Cuban territory in Guantánamo; and around 800 in the entire planet, with more than 250,000 quartered troops, Cuba does not have any base in any country; or specialists in torture and police repression; or secret prisons; or naval or air forces prowling around the coasts or the immediate air space of sovereign States; or satellites watching every single detail.

It was through the use of lies that imperialism promoted the bloody coup d'état of Augusto Pinochet in Chile and many other coups and repressive dictatorships in the region. It was through the use of lies that more than 10,000 defenseless citizens were assassinated during the military invasion against Panama in December of 1989. It was through the use of lies that the military aggression and destabilization of Libya was perpetrated.

It was with lies that the United States and other powers fully supported, all the way until the very last minute, the opprobrious apartheid regime in South Africa.

The Revolutionary Government warns and denounces that the tendency of the government of the United States to lie without any limit or restraint whatsoever has already had dangerous consequences in the past that could replicate in the present.

(March 11, 2019)

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Second DPRK-U.S. Summit

U.S. Undermines Principle of Action-for-Action

The Second Summit between Chairman Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and President Donald Trump of the United States which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27 to 28, ended unexpectedly without an agreement.

News reports immediately prior to the summit suggested that the working-level meetings leading up to the summit had tentatively reached agreements to sign a symbolic declaration of peace that would conclude the Korean War; for the DPRK to repatriate further remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War; and for the DPRK and the U.S. to set up joint liaison offices in each other's countries. Regarding the nuclear issue and sanctions, it was said that the DPRK would suspend production of nuclear materials at the Yongbyon reactor in exchange for the U.S. urging the UN Security Council to provide the DPRK with partial sanctions relief, that would facilitate inter-Korean economic cooperation. None of this came to pass.

Recent developments indicate that a change in tactics by the U.S. to unilaterally undermine the principle of action-for-action necessary for these negotiations, in favour of an "all-or-nothing approach," prevented a further agreement from being reached at the Hanoi Summit.

As much as both sides said at the close of the Hanoi Summit that no doors have been shut to resolve their differences through negotiations, departing the summit on good terms and openly stating their disposition toward future talks, it has now become clear that as things currently stand there is objectively no basis on which the DPRK can take part in negotiations when the U.S. is dictating terms.

In that vein, the DPRK's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, at a briefing for diplomats and foreign media in Pyongyang on March 15, said the DPRK was deeply disappointed by the failure of the two sides to reach any agreements at the Hanoi Summit, the Associated Press reported. She said the DPRK now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the U.S. takes measures that are commensurate to the changes the DPRK has taken -- such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests -- and changes its "political calculation." She suggested that while Trump was more willing to talk, even highlighting the warm chemistry between the two leaders as "mysteriously wonderful," an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust was created by the uncompromising demands of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. She noted that statements by senior Trump advisers since the summit have further worsened the climate. "Whether to maintain this moratorium or not is the decision of our chairman of the state affairs commission," she said, adding that this decision will be made shortly.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and south Korea announced that on March 2, U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and south Korean Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo decided to end the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle series of military exercises, according to a Pentagon statement, in an effort to "achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

The main factor not to be forgotten in all this is the role of the Korean people and their initiatives to strengthen inter-Korean relations. They remain the crux of resolving the intertwined issues of peace (including the removal of the U.S. nuclear threat) and reunification. The Korean people and their leadership have astutely assessed that inter-Korean relations should develop at the pace they themselves set, and are not tied to the development of DPRK-U.S. relations and its requirements.[1] Inter-Korean relations will continue to develop despite the truncated Hanoi Summit, and will surely contribute to the conditions needed for the DPRK and the U.S. to return to the table to make the required progress.

Proceedings of the Summit

The first day of the summit began with President Trump and Chairman Kim shaking hands and exchanging greetings, with some brief informal remarks to the press about 6:30 pm local time. This was followed by conversation, and a short one-on-one summit, before the two sides met for dinner at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Also present at the dinner were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on the U.S. side, and Workers' Party of Korea Vice Chairman and United Front Department Director Kim Yong Chol and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the DPRK side.

President Trump and Chairman Kim began the second day of the summit with a one-on-one meeting, followed by an expanded meeting. Altogether the meetings lasted about four-and-a-half hours. A working lunch had been scheduled for noon, with a signing ceremony for an expected agreement to follow around 2:00 pm. Trump was to give a press conference at 4:00 pm.

Around 12:30 pm, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that the summit would be wrapping up in the next 30 to 45 minutes, and that Trump's press conference had been moved to 2:00 pm. "No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future," Sanders added.

U.S. Closing Press Conference and Stands Taken After Hanoi Summit

Trump said of the summit: "We had a really, I think, a very productive time. We thought, and I thought, and Secretary Pompeo felt that it wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. I'm going to let [U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] speak about it. [...] We spent pretty much all day with Kim Jong Un [...] And I think our relationship is very strong. But at this time -- we had some options, and at this time we decided not to do any of the options. And we'll see where that goes. But it was a very interesting two days. And I think, actually, it was a very productive two days. But sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times. And I'll let Mike speak to that for a couple of minutes, please."

Secretary Pompeo remarked in a similar vein: "We had been working, our teams -- the team that I brought to bear, as well as the north Koreans -- for weeks to try and develop a path forward so at the summit we could make a big step -- a big step along the way towards what the two leaders had agreed to back in Singapore, in June of last year.

"We made real progress. And indeed we made even more progress when the two leaders met over the last 24, 36 hours. Unfortunately, we didn't get all the way. We didn't get to something that ultimately made sense for the United States of America. I think Chairman Kim was hopeful that we would. We asked him to do more. He was unprepared to do that. But I'm still optimistic. I'm hopeful that the teams will get back together in the days and weeks ahead, and continue to work out what's a very complex problem.

"We have said, since the beginning, that this would take time. Our teams have gotten to know each other better. We know what the limits are. We know where some of the challenges are.

"And I think as we continue to work on this in the days and weeks ahead, we can make progress so that we can ultimately achieve what it is that the world wants, which is to denuclearize north Korea, to reduce risk for the American people and the people all around the world." In a March 4 speech in Iowa, Pompeo said that he hoped to send a team of negotiators to Pyongyang in the coming weeks, although he had yet to hear back from the DPRK on the matter.

Answering a question from a reporter about the possibility of a third summit, Trump replied, "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that. [Emphasis added.] They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that. So we continue to work, and we'll see. But we had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that."

Trump's claim that the DPRK had requested something the U.S. could not accept was later revealed to be the opposite of what took place. In fact it was the U.S. that requested full denuclearization by the DPRK before it would consider providing any sanctions relief, which the DPRK clarified in its own press conference later that day (see below).

Remarks by U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen E. Biegen following the Hanoi Summit indicate a significant change in the U.S. position that undermines the requirement for a mutual step-by-step/action-for-action process by both sides as the basis for trust and progress in DPRK-U.S. relations, a change from the position he gave not long before the summit.

In a January 31 speech at Stanford University, Biegun remarked, "For our part, we have communicated to our north Korean counterparts that we are prepared to pursue -- simultaneously and in parallel -- all of the commitments our two leaders made in their joint statement at Singapore last summer, along with planning for a bright future for the Korean people and the new opportunities that will open when sanctions are lifted and the Korean Peninsula is at peace, provided that north Korea likewise fulfills its commitment to final, fully verified denuclearization.


"Chairman Kim qualified next steps on north Korea's plutonium and uranium enrichment facilities upon the United States taking corresponding measures. Exactly what these measures are, are a matter I plan to discuss with my north Korean counterpart during our next set of meetings. From our side, we are prepared to discuss many actions that could help build trust between our two countries and advance further progress in parallel on the Singapore summit objectives of transforming relations, establishing a permanent peace regime on the peninsula, and complete denuclearization."

On March 11, Biegun, speaking at the 2019 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, stated, "We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally. The President has been clear on that and that is a position around which the U.S. government has complete unity. Our goal, our objective is the final fully verified denuclearization of north Korea." Biegun went on to repeat the disinformation that an unacceptable position for full sanctions relief by the DPRK had blocked negotiations, and that nonetheless the U.S. would remain engaged diplomatically.

The U.S. refusal to reciprocate on the principle of action-for-action inherent to negotiations regarding the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is what undermined the 1994 Agreed Framework and the 2005 Six-Party Talks.

DPRK's Clarification and Assessment of Summit

On the final day of the Hanoi Summit, DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho held a press conference to clarify his country's position and gave an assessment of how the proceedings went.

DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho

"We aren't asking for all the sanctions to be lifted, but only some of them. We're asking for relief from five of the UN Security Council's 11 sanctions resolutions, the ones adopted between 2016 and 2017, and in particular the aspects of those sanctions that interfere with the civilian economy and the people's livelihood," Ri said, as quoted by the south Korean newspaper the Hankyoreh. "We made a realistic proposal during this summit according to the principles of a step-by-step solution and confidence building that were jointly elaborated during our first summit in Singapore in June 2018," he added.

"Our proposal was that, if the U.S. lifts some of the UN sanctions, or in other words those aspects of the sanctions that impede the civilian economy and the people's livelihood, we will completely and permanently dismantle the production facilities of all nuclear materials, including plutonium and uranium, in the Yongbyon complex, through a joint project by technicians from our two countries, in the presence of U.S. experts," Ri said. "Given the current level of trust between our two countries, that's the biggest step toward denuclearization that we can take at the present moment."[2]

He went on to explain that, "What's even more important when it comes to us taking steps toward denuclearization is the issue of a security guarantee. But since we thought that the U.S. wasn't comfortable yet with taking military measures, we suggested partial relief from sanctions as a corresponding measure."

"During this summit, we also expressed our willingness to make a written pledge to permanently halt nuclear tests and long-range missile test launches in order to assuage the U.S. concerns," he noted.

Regarding how future talks might proceed, Ri stated, "When we move through the phase of confidence-building, we'll be able to make faster progress in the denuclearization process. But during the talks, the Americans never stopped insisting that we should do something in addition to shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, and as a consequence, it became clear that the U.S. wasn't prepared to accept our proposal. It's difficult to say at this moment whether a better agreement than the one we proposed can be reached at the current stage. Even this opportunity might not come again. This principled position of ours won't change in the slightest degree, and even if the Americans propose negotiations again, there won't be any changes in our plan,"

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, taking questions from reporters after Minister Ri's remarks, went on to remark that Chairman Kim was not satisfied that conditions to sign an agreement had been met. Choi went on to say, as quoted by the Hankyoreh, "As Chairman Kim saw how the Americans were unwilling to even provide partial relief from sanctions resolutions on the civilian economy, I got the impression that he may have lost some of his excitement about making a deal with the Americans in the future."

She added, "In my observation of the summit, I got the feeling that Chairman Kim found it a little hard to understand the way the Americans make their calculations." She explained that the DPRK's offer was to "irreversibly and permanently shut down the Yongbyon nuclear complex in its entirety with all its nuclear facilities, including all the plutonium facilities and all the uranium facilities, in the presence of U.S. experts." Choe noted that this was an unprecedented offer and expressed concern that the U.S. had missed an important opportunity by not accepting it.


1. See "Deepening of Inter-Korean Relations," TML Daily, February 25, 2019.

2. The Security Council sanctions, among other things, ban the sale of dual-use technologies, vehicles, machinery and metals to the DPRK; freeze the financial assets of individuals in the DPRK accused of being involved in that country's nuclear program; ban the export of electrical equipment, coal, minerals, seafood and other foods from the DPRK, as well as agricultural products, wood, textiles and stones. The sanctions also ban the sale of natural gas to the DPRK and restrict its fishing rights. The sanctions have caused the DPRK decades of hardship, deprived it of trillions of dollars in lost trade revenue, and imposed collective punishment on its peace-loving people.

(With files from the Associated Press, Hankyoreh,,, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, KCNA,

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Spirit of March First Movement for
Independence Lives On in Korea

Commemoration of the centenary of the March 1 Movement in Seoul.

On March 1, the Korean people marked the centenary of the March First Movement. This movement that began March 1, 1919 was a turning point in their national struggle for independence and self-determination against the Japanese imperialist occupation. It galvanized their struggle for emancipation and finds expression today in the fight for peace and national reunification of Korea.

In the early morning of March 1, 1919, Korean students and activists gathered in the capital Seoul and declared the independence of Korea from Japan. The movement spread to all corners of the peninsula and continued for a full year. In his book Korea's Fight for Freedom, eyewitness Frank McKenzie noted: "Large numbers of copies of the declaration of independence were ready. These were circulated, usually by boys and schoolgirls, sometimes by women, each city being mapped out in districts. It was soon seen that every class of the community was united. Men who had been ennobled by the Japanese stood with the coolies; shopkeepers closed their stores, policemen who had worked with the Japanese took off their uniforms, and joined the crowds, porters, and labourers, scholars and preachers, men and women all came together."

Some 2,000,000 Koreans participated in more than 1,500 demonstrations in that period. They were met with brutal repression by the Japanese military. It is estimated that 7,000 patriots were killed by Japanese military and police and some 16,000 people were wounded. Almost 46,000 people were arrested and many were jailed, tortured and killed. More than 700 private homes, many churches as well as schools were burned to the ground by the Japanese in an effort to quell the rising tide of the Korean people's fight for freedom and independence. Even though the Japanese military occupiers were able to suppress the protest movement of the people for the moment, the seeds of national liberation took hold. Political activists forced into exile formed their own organizations in China, Russia and elsewhere to continue to agitate for freedom. Later on, guerrilla movements also were launched from China and Manchuria against the Japanese in the 1930s, including the North East Anti-Japanese Army led by Kim Il Sung, the founder and first leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. These armed struggles ultimately led to the defeat of Japan and the liberation of Korea on August 14, 1945.

The Japanese occupation of Korea was a consequence of Japan's rise as an imperialist state in the late 19th century. After defeating Russia in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, imperial Japan laid claim to Korea. In a secret deal between imperialists in 1905 called the Taft-Katsura Agreement, the U.S. "recognized" Japan's claims to Korea while Japan "recognized" U.S. claims to Hawaii (an independent kingdom annexed by the U.S. in 1898) and the Philippines (taken as spoil of war by the U.S. in 1899 after prevailing in the Spanish-American War).

In November 1905, Japan imposed the Eulsa Treaty on Korea that deprived the latter of her sovereignty and made her a protectorate of Japan. The Korean people resisted this act of aggression. They took up resistance in many forms, including guerilla warfare involving thousands of fighters called the "Army of the Righteous" against Japanese troops which continued for the next five years until the armed struggle went into retreat and Japan formally annexed Korea in April, 1910.

What followed was a reign of terror over the Korean people. Their lands were confiscated and handed over to Japanese farmers, and many lost their livelihoods. Almost 100,000 landlords and farmers were moved from Japan to Korea. Koreans were forbidden to speak their language and were forced to learn Japanese and take on Japanese names. Korean cultural treasures were looted and taken to Japan. Tens of thousands of Koreans were forced to flee or were recruited as slave labourers in Japanese industry. Political dissent was suppressed. Japanese manufacturing companies set up shop and exploited the rich natural resources of Korea. In this way, the Japanese imperialists sought to assimilate Koreans into their empire.

The Korean people, with their long and glorious history of resistance to Chinese, Russian, and U.S. aggression against their country, were not about to permit the Japanese militarists to do the same. At the end of the First World War, inspired by the Russian revolution and the striving of the colonial peoples for their rights, some 600 Korean students living and studying in Tokyo, Japan held a secret meeting and then proclaimed the Independence of Korea in a public demonstration in February 1919. The students were successful in secretly sending their declaration to Seoul which became the inspiration for the March First Movement.

The opening of the March First Declaration of Independence reads:

"We herewith proclaim the independence of Korea and the liberty of the Korean people. This we proclaim to all the nations of the world in witness of human equality. This we proclaim to our descendants so that they may enjoy in perpetuity their inherent right to nationhood. Inasmuch as this proclamation originates from our five-thousand-year history, inasmuch as it springs from the loyalty of twenty million people, inasmuch as it affirms our yearning for the advancement of everlasting liberty, inasmuch as it expresses our desire to take part in the global reform rooted in human conscience, it is the solemn will of heaven, the great tide of our age, and a just act necessary for the co-existence of all humankind...."

This same spirit inspires the Korean people's movement today to re-unify their divided nation, establish peace on the Korean peninsula and take their place as one independent nation among the nations of the world.

Seoul, March 1, 2019

(With files from,, Photos: Republic of Korea, Wikipedia.)

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Celebrations of International Women's Day 2019

Women All Over the World Fight for Empowerment

Toronto, March 9, 2019.

One hundred and eight years ago, International Women's Day was first celebrated to highlight the fight of women for the right to vote, to fully participate in the political affairs of their countries, and to take their rightful place in the vanguard of all fields of human endeavour.

Since then, women everywhere have stood in the front ranks of the struggle for empowerment and this year was no different. Activities took place across Canada to mark March 8 and mass actions could be seen around the world, as women asserted their claims to a say and control over all the affairs of society. A society's progress is measured by the degree to which women have won their emancipation, which goes hand in hand with the emancipation of the working class.

In Canada, at rallies, marches and gatherings of all kinds, women discussed their concerns and reiterated their demands for an end to the brutal neo-liberal anti-social offensive and that the government take up its responsibilities on such questions as workers' rights, housing, health care and childcare. Importantly, they demanded an end to Canada's participation in U.S. imperialist aggression and specifically that it keep its "Hands Off Venezuela!" Participants demanded status on arrival for migrant workers and stood with the courageous Indigenous women demanding the situation where women and girls are considered a legitimate target of attack must be made a thing of the past.

In the U.S., International Women's Day meetings and gatherings followed the mass actions organized on January 19 in support of women's rights and against the Trump presidency and what it stands for, organized on the two-year anniversary of Trump's inauguration.

In Cuba, the 10th Congress of the Cuban Women's Federation held in Havana March 8 to 10 was attended by some 360 delegates and 40 guests. The Congress summed up the progress made since the ninth Congress in the level of women's participation in leadership positions and seats in parliament -- where women are now 52.3 per cent of the National Assembly of People's Power. Also reported on was the progress made in involving many thousands of youth in the work of the Federation, ensuring its continuity. The Federation adopted a declaration of solidarity with the women of the world on the occasion of International Women's Day.

Venezuelan women, standing second to none in defending their homeland from aggression and the attempted regime change by U.S. imperialism and its allies, this year celebrated International Women's Day with an anti-imperialist conference in defence of peace, sovereignty and independence organized by Unamujer, the national women's union. Sending greetings to women marching in the streets, President Maduro stated: "My greatest acknowledgement of the patriotic women who have taken to the streets of Caracas this March 8 to celebrate their day and to express their profound rejection of the imperial aggressions against the Homeland of Bolívar and Chávez. You are the soul of Venezuela."

In Brazil, demonstrations took place in many cities nationwide as women mobilized against the Bolsonaro regime. In Rio de Janeiro, and other cities, women carried portraits of the late city councillor Marielle Franco and demanded answers as to who ordered her brutal execution on March 14 last year.

In Bolivia, President Evo Morales, speaking alongside representatives of women's rights groups at an International Women's Day program in La Paz, announced a number of government measures to improve women's wages and conditions of work, and to curb violence against women.

Mass actions marking International Women's Day took place in many countries of Europe and Asia, including Norway, Italy, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In Spain, many thousands poured into the streets in Pamplona in the north of the country. Many of the actions focussed on the right of women to participate fully in the society without the threat of violence.

On International Women's Day in the Philippines, thousands of women organized in their national women's organization Gabriela, took to the streets of Manila and other cities against the Duterte government. Participants expressed their determination to resist the government, one of the worst violators of women's rights in the region, whose neo-liberal tax reform law in particular further impoverishes women and their families. Gabriela also celebrated the advances made in mobilizing women across the country against Duterte, which has led to the passage of a law extending maternity leave that came into effect March 8, and to successes in advancing other legislative measures to address the worsening violence and abuse against women and children.

A national meeting in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was held at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang to celebrate the occasion and women's full participation in all aspects of the life of the country. In Seoul, Republic of Korea, a mass demonstration organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions took place demanding the improvement of women's working conditions.

TML Weekly salutes the fighting women of the world for their courageous leadership in advancing the fight for their rights and the rights of all at a time counterrevolution has the initiative worldwide, with its vicious neo-liberal anti-social offensive, privatization of public assets, aggression and war. Women's further development of their leading role is one of the most important contributions to the emancipation of all working people, the end of imperialism and war and the creation of a society that recognizes the rights of all by virtue of being human.


Dartmouth, NS

Montreal, QC

Ajax, ON

Barrie, ON

Brampton, ON

Toronto, ON

Winnipeg, MB

Edmonton, AB

Calgary, AB

Prince George, BC

Vancouver, BC

Victoria, BC

Asia and Oceania

Pyongyang, DPRK

Seoul, Korea

Beijing, China

Manila, Philippines

Delhi, India

Karachi, Pakistan

Lahore, Pakistan

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Kabul, Afghanistan

Beirut, Lebanon

Melbourne, Australia


Mombasa, Kenya

Latin America

Havana, Cuba

Puerto Rico

San Salvador, El Salvador


Caracas, Venezuela

Bogotá, Colombia

São Paulo, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Feira, Brazil

Recife, Brazil

La Paz, Bolivia

Lima, Peru


Olso, Norway

Berlin, Germany

Falkirk, Scotland

Dublin, Ireland

Madrid, Spain

Pamplona, Spain

Milan, Italy

Istanbul, Turkey

(TML, PSAC Atlantic, OFL, Unifor, Calgary Women's Centre, Vancouver Cuba Solidarity, B. Ma, A. Dvies, Yonhap, Xinhua, Bulatlat, F. Koofi, George, Rania, Ny Nia, akawire, Cuba Debate, D. Alvarez, Min Mujer, Brazil de Fato, Rzaconeta, Thiago, G. Pardo, Derv Berlin, B. Harkin, E. Cremaschi)

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56th Anniversary of the Founding of The Internationalists

The Question of Ideology at the Centre
of the Work of The Internationalists in the
Sixties and of the Party Today

Meeting in Toronto, March 16, 2013, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of
The Internationalists.

The Internationalists, the precursor organization of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), was founded at the University of British Columbia 56 years ago, on March 13, 1963. A central feature in the work of The Internationalists was to put consciousness at the centre of their activity. In opposition was the implementation of the U.S. imperialist thesis that the world can exist without ideology, that there is no need for ideological considerations, no need for theory, and that ideology and theory are mere encumbrances against greater unity between nations. Today too the pretense prevails that political parties which espouse neo-liberalism have no ideology, or that only what are called parties of the extreme left or right are ideological. The corollary is that parties which espouse neo-liberalism are moderate, inclusive, pragmatic and viable while others are doctrinaire and only seek to impose their beliefs on everyone else.

This fraud began in the 1950s when Anglo-American imperialists advanced the thesis for "the end of ideology." The so-called elimination of ideology in the world began in earnest. Instead of contention in the field of ideas on theoretical grounds, the entire world was filled with all kinds of slanders, especially personal slanders. The pinnacle of calumnies were the attacks on the personality of J.V. Stalin by Nikita Khrushchev and others. Since that time, people hear more about the corrupt practices of presidents and prime ministers than they hear about the disasters of their policies, and the disasters which they are organizing with their programs so that they do not organize for an alternative. In Canada what is called the news cycle is filled with stories of how the Prime Minister and the Privy Council handled the former Attorney General. These stories ignore the need to hold SNC Lavalin, with its long history of bribery and corruption, to account. More importantly, the stories are told in a way which does not permit the drawing of warranted conclusions which show the corruption of the state itself in its service of the likes of SNC Lavalin. The need to develop the ways to hold the government itself and the Privy Council to account are not even raised. In the United States, the tales of bribery at the highest echelons involving both highly placed individuals and companies which are given government contracts are too many to keep track of.

When the founder of The Internationalists Hardial Bains addressed this topic on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Founding of the Irish Internationalists in Dublin, Ireland on December 9, 1995, in his opening remarks he said, "This replacement of sharp ideological battles on the basis of theory, that is on the basis of recognizing that there are certain facts which need to be recognized if debate and discussion are to take place, has been widespread. These facts that need to be recognized in legitimate debate have to be facts of life, not categories conjured up through one's mind. It can be said that this was the single most important weapon in the hands of imperialism which led to the collapse of Eastern Europe. The final days were facilitated by Mikhail Gorbachev, who, in the true liberal style, presented the thesis that there are such things as 'universal values.' Universal values are synonymous with the dark ages, with medievalism. Scientists do not speak about universal values. Science, by definition, signifies a body of knowledge about a subject or a field which then one debates. One is obligated to provide full knowledge as to what has been achieved up to this point, and what has to be achieved from that point on. In this respect, the work of Karl Marx in the sphere of philosophy, political economy and socialism is a very good example of scientific work. In the same fashion, there are many others who carry out this scientific work today. Yet, the opposite is widespread. For example, economists abound who claim that their economic theories work, but in their own countries there is complete dislocation of the economy and ongoing crisis."

Science also delimits what is precisely known and what is to be further discovered, Hardial Bains pointed out. He cautioned that as one lives and participates in life, all kinds of things spontaneously arise in one's head and that these things are not so powerless. "However, there are things which happen because of us and our conscious activity. These things that happen because of us, because we are human beings, are not spontaneous. These things that happen because of us and our conscious activity can only be conceived scientifically; they can only be conceived as a science. They cannot be conceived otherwise. There are things that have come into being independently of us, and there are those things that have come into being because of us. This is the dialectic that operates, which lives. Under all circumstances and conditions, the presupposition is that this dialectic does not exist if you eliminate human society. If one accepts the logic of today's capitalist leaders, who should correctly be described as modern-day slave-drivers, they put forward very strongly that human society does not exist. What exists for them, at least according to them, is merely 'family values,' not even the family as such, but family values. It is not possible to conceive of any progress for humanity if one dismisses the existence of society and replaces it with 'family values.'"

Addressing the source of modern-day ideological struggle, Hardial Bains traced it to the time of the struggle against medievalism. The ideology which arose at the centre of the dispersal of medievalism was that human beings had superiority over any ideas or anything existing beyond their grasp. This ushered in a period when human beings, their material-sensuous activities, their lives and work, their theories and ideas, have more and more taken centre-stage. This has been the period in which one God after another, one supernatural power after another, held over the heads of the people like the Sword of Damocles, has fallen. The last God to fall is the one which defines rights based on private ownership of property. Once that takes hold, Hardial Bains pointed out, the dark period of medieval obscurantism which continues to linger, will end, and with it so too the organization of society, its state and governments based on privilege, not rights by virtue of being human, will fall. "Finally human beings themselves will make their history consciously. It is precisely this consciousness which The Internationalists championed," Hardial Bains said.

Hardial Bains explained further: The moment the struggle against medievalism began, there also arose an ideology against it. The material conditions for this ideology had to already exist, at least in their initial stage. This struggle against medievalism has taken many shapes and forms but the fact is that an ideology has come into being which will put an end to medievalism. Against this, there is also the degeneration of the bourgeoisie which wants to revive medievalism, to bring it back in forms of obscurantism. This gives rise to intense ideological struggle. Today, it presents itself as a matter of outlook. Is the outlook forward-looking? Does it put the humanization of the social and natural environment at the centre of its attention, or is it self-serving and narrow, seeking to legitimate practices that cannot be justified?

The ruling class likes to pretend that it has no ideology but the issue of ideological struggle is not a minor question. James I of England in the early seventeenth century declared that the issue is not whether the sovereign is right or wrong. No, he said, that is certainly not the issue. The issue is, how dare you even raise the question. That is the issue. You cannot even raise the question about the sovereign, specifically what the sovereign should or should not do.

And this is what we hear argued once again today in how the Privy Council handled the SNC-Lavalin case. It is the Prime Minister's prerogative to appoint ministers, give them their mandates and expect them to follow, whether or not it violates their conscience to do so, and with no accountability in terms of social responsibility. So said the Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick and so said the Prime Minister's former secretary Gerald Butts.

But, objectively speaking, as concerns the views of James I in the 17th century, the world did not agree with his dictate and gave their views as to what the sovereign should or should not do, and revolutions took place. His son Charles I was beheaded. Now we have come this far that the imperialists are trying to suggest that there are values which cannot be questioned. It is the basis of what is now called a rules-based system of law to make believe it is the same as what constitutes Rule of Law -- whether nationally or internationally. This is what has been enshrined in decisions taken by the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Paris Charter which claim certain values that cannot be questioned. And they demand adherence to these values if they are to permit a country to join their so-called community of civilized nations or an individual to become a citizen. This is now being pushed to extremes with the demand that they will allow individuals to participate in elections so long as they adhere to these values. Today, before all else, countries and individuals are told that they must agree with these values or be destroyed. In other words, they are saying a country or a person cannot question what the U.S. presidency or the European Union or Canada or NATO should or should not do. This is the way imperialism speaks.

The question really boils down to this: the time has come to adopt a modern definition of sovereignty -- a definition which admits that no power can stand above the people, and no authority can question what the people can or cannot do. The people must speak out in their own name. What is presented to the people is that they must accept the will of the financial oligarchy that is being imposed on the whole world. This the people will never do.

This financial oligarchy has the state in their hands; they have their armed forces; they have their police forces, intelligence agencies and political police. Governments are brought to power and declare whatever they like in the name of high ideals in the fashion of James I. See what the Government of Canada is doing nationally and internationally and what the Premiers are doing. See what the corporations do when they demand "the right" to hire and fire human beings at will. Monopolies close, open and downsize at will, affecting thousands of workers and whole communities. Such a dictatorship is considered normal. It is so widespread and so contemptuous of the needs and requirements of a modern human society but this is considered normal. The financial oligarchs and their institutions hold the decision-making power above the people. This shows us that the ideological question is very much tied up with the fundamentals of democracy. Today, for democratic rights to have meaning, individuals must exercise the right to question what "the sovereign" can or cannot do. The so-called rules-based law which those who have usurped power over others declare consummates itself and disappears when the people themselves become decision-makers in their own right. Then they become sovereign as a people. That sovereignty is not a matter of elections or Parliaments or referendums. It has to be brought into being and recognized as a fact through the creation of new forms and new institutions and new arrangements which enshrine this modern democratic personality which speaks in its own name.

One of the ways ideological struggle began in the 1960s was with the questioning of professors, of what they were saying. An atmosphere existed that was unacademic. A student could not question a professor. The Internationalists smashed this atmosphere which went against learning, against thinking and in various places professors were confronted and the students directly challenged them. The students brought out what was really at stake: outlook and ideology. At the centre of the struggle was the rising tide against U.S. imperialist cultural aggression, whether in Canada, England or Ireland. At the centre of this storm was the issue of ideology. So too, when dealing with the decadent educational system, ideology was central.

Hardial Bains always stressed that if the role of ideology is downplayed, or worse, is denied, what is left? The people are left with plaintive cries. Appeals are made to one almighty lord or another to have mercy on us, and when it suits the ruling circles, those who have usurped the sovereignty which by right belongs to the people, they speak about some crumbs trickling down so that a mythical middle class can realize their dreams. They arrogantly dismiss even the objective existence of a society which exists in concrete forms and push medieval notions where everyone is disposable and at the mercy of a lord and master.

Under the rule of the representatives of finance capitalists, those things which the medievalists used against the people in their day are used against the people at this time. For example, the struggles waged by the workers and people for justice and the realization of their claims on society, are declared problems of law and order. Today this is done in the name of national interest, economic prosperity, freedom, democracy, peace and other high-ideals. How can what the people say and do to realize their claims on society be a law and order problem? Prime ministers and the parliaments simply pass a new law and declare regulations as they wish, with impunity. Permitting corporations to act with impunity, reducing and cutting off unemployment payments, leaving injured workers to fend for themselves, cutting off funds for autistic children, making it impossible for professionals such as nurses and teachers to uphold the dignity of their professions because they are no longer permitted to have a say over their working conditions -- none of this is considered illegal because laws have been passed to declare whatever the oligarchs demand legal! Whose ideas are to prevail? Those of the people or those of the oligarchs? It is a serious question.

When the people are told that such things are done without ideology and ideology loses its importance at the insistence of the financial oligarchy, this causes grave harm to the people. A human person must have ideology. If a person does not have ideology, then that person is no longer given due recognition as part of the polity or even the human race. It is that important. Hardial Bains pointed out that for progressive people not to have ideology is to trivialize everything. He strongly said that what differentiates Marxist-Leninists from others is that they set their activity only on the basis of ideological considerations, no other considerations are present. To act merely by virtue of habit, instinct, nature goes against the human quality of abstracting absence, of activity planned on the basis of ideological considerations.

Vital to the work of The Internationalists in the conditions of the sixties, ideology is also essential for the entire historical period so that the historic successes achieved by the democratic revolution against medievalism are turned into historic victory. For this, every effort must be made for the democratic personality to emerge all over again and this can only be achieved by putting the question of ideology at the centre of the work of the Party as The Internationalists did during their lifetime.

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