According to investigations carried out so far,
Venezuelan government has reported that the sabotage was carried
a combination of cyber, electromagnetic and physical attacks. The
cyber attack was directed against the computerized Supervisory
and Data Acquisition system at the massive Simón
Hydroelectric Plant (Guri Dam) which provides 70 to 80 per cent
country's electricity. Less than two days later a second cyber
shut down what is said to be the "brain" of the transmission
Caracas. These attacks originated in the U.S., according to the
government. The electromagnetic attacks were said to have been
out using mobile devices to deliver high frequency pulses to
main transmission lines in some parts of the country. As well, a
of electrical sub-stations were attacked with explosives and set
fire in a further attempt to collapse the system and maximize the
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.
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
without foreign interference and threats of any kind, in a way
upholds their sovereignty and right to self-determination. Now is
the time to demand that the Canadian government stop lending
the illegitimate, lying schemes of the U.S. warmongers about
democracy and human rights" in Venezuela, including the demand
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
not upholding them. The global oligarchy wants to seize control
Venezuela's vast riches from its people and put an end to their
Bolivarian revolution and the economic, social, political and
gains it has brought to the working people. U.S./Guaido’s
return the people to being impoverished and deprived as their
assets and services are privatized, social programs cut and other
austerity measures are imposed on them, dictated by the lords of
international finance that run the IMF, World Bank,
Development Bank and other such institutions. It is a recipe for
(With files from Reuters, Venezuelanalysis, Prensa Latina, teleSUR, AVN. Photos: Min Mujer, AVN.)
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)
Second DPRK-U.S. Summit
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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, whitehouse.gov, state.gov, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, KCNA, www.korea.net)
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
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
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.
(With files from www.declarationproject.com, www.britannica.com, www.korea.net. Photos: Republic of Korea, Wikipedia.)
Celebrations of International Women's Day 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.
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
(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)
56th 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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