Halifax will soon be the launching pad for one of the largest naval exercises in Canadian history. Twenty-two NATO-aligned warships will be involved in Cutlass Fury 2019. The exercise runs September 9-20 with the area of operation being approximately 50-100 nautical miles southeast of Halifax Harbour.
Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany are expected to take part. These warships will begin arriving the first week of September.
The exercise will see most of the 22 warships departing Bedford Basin on Monday, September 9. In Cutlass Fury 2016 there were two nuclear submarines docked at CFB Shearwater which joined the war fleet as it left the harbour and this is expected again this year.
Cutlass Fury 2019 will be the largest Canadian-led anti-submarine warfare-centric event of its kind conducted on this side of the Atlantic in over 24 years. It will involve a series of exercises focusing on tactical training and will facilitate anti-submarine warfare training in a joint environment. Air defence, amphibious operations and support to special operations forces is also part of the exercise training regime.
Cutlass Fury 19 says something about how the Canadian Armed Forces and other militaries view the current global situation. It is the revival of a level of training that was routine during the Cold War. Naval action is no longer just about anti-terrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster response and the conduct of maritime intercept operations. This is a return to practicing what some may call classic naval warfare. It comes at a time when more than one-half of the main U.S. naval forces are at sea.
In mid-July the Commander of the U.S. Navy's Second Fleet was in Halifax along with representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard to finalize instructions and plans for Cutlass Fury 2019. While Canadian-led, it is clear that this is part and parcel of the war preparations of U.S. imperialism and is one more step in integrating the Canadian Armed Forces into the U.S. war machine.
Various levels of government and private industry are facilitating Cutlass Fury 2019. Halifax Regional Municipal Council has approved the war games and authorized a September 9 flyover by a Cyclone helicopter from Shearwater, four CF-18 Hornets from CFB Bagotville, two Alpha Jets from Top Aces Inc., and a CP-140 Aurora from CFB Greenwood.
Dartmouth-based LeeWay Marine has been awarded a contract worth over $231,000 to supply a "vessel of interest" for Cutlass Fury 2019. LeeWay Marine provided similar service to Exercise Frontier Sentinel 2019 in early April.
The Trudeau Liberal government dispatches our navy and CF-18s around the world as part of the U.S. and NATO's aggressive policies. Our army is posted in far flung places such as supporting the neo-fascist regime in Ukraine. Canada has 850 military personnel in Iraq with this mission being extended until the end of March 2021. Canada has about 450 soldiers along with armoured vehicles in Latvia as part of an enduring NATO presence in Eastern Europe. The list goes on.
Regardless of this country's actual defence needs, Canadian forces as an instrument first and foremost of NATO are eternally being prepared to join, backstop or even lead aggression against U.S.-selected targets anywhere on the planet. Far from protecting Canadians from the danger of war, NATO exercises such as Cutlass Fury 2019 further integrate our country into the U.S. war machine.
Halifax and its harbour have long held strategic significance for the imperialists and their monopoly interests. It is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and is North America's easternmost port of call with transcontinental rail connections.
The people of Halifax have long rejected the use of their city and harbour to embroil Canadians in imperialist adventures abroad. They have vigorously opposed the "visits" of U.S. and other foreign warships as well as the use of the Canadian Navy in U.S. and NATO led aggressions against the world's peoples.
Canada must not participate in U.S. imperialist
preparations and must also defend its sovereignty
in a meaningful
This means not permitting the U.S. imperialists to exercise command and control over Canada's air, land, water and government and military assets. We must withdraw from NATO as well as NORAD and work for an independent foreign policy.
This means removing all Canadian soldiers, ships and equipment from foreign territory. Most importantly, it means that Canadians must prepare to establish an anti-war government.
No U.S. or Other Foreign Warships
News in Brief
"The felling and burning of trees, under the tolerant inefficiency of the government, represent an assault on national sovereignty as serious as the sale of Brazilian strategic public companies such as Petrobras, which are expected to take place in 2022," Rousseff denounces in a signed article, published on the web page of the Workers' Party of Brazil.
It must be kept in mind that environmental catastrophe and privatization are dangerous, because while some economic decisions can be reviewed and cancelled, the extinction of the world's largest rainforest and the sale of the seventh oil company in the world are irreversible.
Rousseff points out that "it is no coincidence that on the same day, the neo-fascist government accused social organizations that defend the Amazon of instigating the forest fires, and announced the privatization of 17 public companies as well as the sale of Petrobras, the largest Brazilian company."
She points out that it is a project for the destruction of Brazil, both of its companies and its natural wealth.
For the ex-president (2011-2016), "the defence of the Amazon has become an urgent, immediate problem that must be addressed before it is too late. In one year, more than 72,000 fire outbreaks were recorded in the environmentally rich region of Brazil." In just one week, she adds, there were 68 major fire outbreaks in Indigenous and protected areas, verified by satellite imagery, an increase of 70 per cent over last year.
"The defence of the Amazon is a fundamental issue. At this time, the heart of the planet is burning and bleeding; it needs to be protected from its enemies, among them, surprisingly enough, the current Brazilian government. So we have to go out into the streets for the demonstrations scheduled for this afternoon in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília and other cities in Brazil and around the world."
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he is "deeply concerned" about the fires that are devastating significant areas of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and that Brazilian and Peruvian towns are covered with smoke.
"In the midst of the global climate crisis, we
afford more damage to an important source of
biodiversity," he said on Twitter. "The Amazon
(Photo and article: PT of Brazil)
On July 29, the Canadian government announced that its embassy in Havana would be reinstating some of the services suspended abruptly on May 8 with the closure of the embassy's visa processing section. Suspension of those services forced most Cubans to travel to a third country to obtain the visas required for them to visit, study or work in Canada. As of August 1, Cuban residents are once again able to get their fingerprints and photos taken, as well as drop off their passports and pick up visas at the embassy in Havana.
Despite the restoration of certain in-country services, there are still barriers, including delays and prohibitive costs, for those applying for permanent residency, for spouses and close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who must still travel outside of Cuba for any required medical exams and interviews. Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Mexico City are the only available options for interviews. Added to the cost of airline tickets and accommodations, Cuban citizens must obtain a visa in order to travel to Mexico.
In January, Ottawa reduced staffing at its embassy in Havana by 50 per cent, citing "safety" issues, after a number of its personnel reported experiencing symptoms of an undetermined origin, not unlike those previously reported by some U.S. embassy personnel in Havana. In spite of no evidence regarding the source of the symptoms being uncovered by extensive investigations carried out by U.S. and Cuban experts, the Trump administration claims its diplomats suffered health "attacks" for which Cuba is to blame and has withdrawn all but a handful of its embassy staff and discontinued all visa processing for Cubans in Havana. Given that this occurred right as Trump was reversing initiatives begun under the Obama administration to normalize relations with Cuba, and acting to further attack Cuba in different ways, including for its support of Venezuela, there were concerns about the Trudeau government's motive for following the U.S. lead in drastically cutting embassy staff and closing its visa office in Havana.
Canada's decision to partially restore the
visa processing services on
August 1 follows a public outcry. Within two days
of the announcement
being made the
Canadian Network on Cuba issued a statement
expressing concern over
what it said were
hostile actions on Canada's part and calling for
the visa office in
Havana to be reopened. The
Canadian Association for Latin American and
Caribbean Studies wrote to
three distinguished Cuban scholars who were unable
to attend their 50th
conference in Toronto because they never received
their visas despite
having applied more
than three months in advance and having paid for
all their travel and
lodging expenses. The
letter said the Canadian government's conduct in
this matter did not
"meet the standards we
expect and demand from the Canadian public
In May and June, protests were held in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto by friends of Cuba and Cubans resident in Canada. Opposition was also expressed by people in Cuba. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and Ambassador to Canada Josefina Vidal made a strong case in their meetings with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and other Canadian government officials about there being no justification for closing the visa office in Havana. Ambassador Vidal said at a public meeting in Toronto that the Canadian government should reconsider its decision so it would not be remembered as the government that ended Canada-Cuba people-to-people relations. Initiatives were also taken on social media. One of these was a video featuring people in Cuba and Canada giving personal testimonials about the hardship and distress the Canadian government's drastic action was causing them.
On July 17 a national day of action was held and a petition launched by the Canadian Network on Cuba to demand the government reopen its visa office and fully restore all visa processing services in Havana. People were encouraged to use the day to raise the same demand with elected officials by phone, email and on social media with the hashtags #CdnVisasforCuba, #UnBlockCuba and #NoMasBloqueo. Less than two weeks later, the government announced it was restoring some of the services it said on May 8 would no longer be offered at its embassy in Havana.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces and strongly condemns the United States government's recent aggression against Cuba through a USAID program to finance projects and seek information to discredit and sabotage Cuba's international health care cooperation in dozens of countries, benefitting millions of people. This plan joins the disgraceful pressure exerted on several governments to hamper Cuban cooperation, and previous attempts with the same purpose such as the special "parole" program meant to rob human resources trained in Cuba.
The core of this immoral slander is the totally unfounded allegation that Cuba is involved in the trafficking of persons and practices slavery, attempting to denigrate the meritorious work done voluntarily, over a long period of our history, by hundreds of thousands of Cuban health professionals and technicians in many countries, especially in the Third World.
This is an attack on bilateral programs and inter-governmental cooperation projects, all legitimately established by the Cuban government and those of dozens of countries, adhering to United Nations guidelines regarding South-South cooperation and meeting health standards sovereignly defined by the governments involved.
This is an attack against acts of solidarity that have been recognized by the international community and praised specifically by the highest authorities in the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization.
These lies reveal the base morality of the U.S government and politicians dedicated to the business of aggression against Cuba. The campaign is funded with millions of dollars and enjoys the complicity of several mass media outlets, in particular, of unscrupulous reporters who sacrifice their supposed impartiality and objectivity to serve the political interests of the U.S. government.
For decades and today, in nations with unfavorable economic conditions, this cooperation has been, and is, provided as a gesture of solidarity, with costs covered practically in their totality by Cuba. Likewise, in line with United Nations conceptions on cooperation between developing nations, services are offered in several countries on the basis of complementarity and partial compensation.
This exchange is completely fair and legitimate among developing countries, many of which have natural riches, economies, and industrial development greater than Cuba's, but lack the human resources our state has been able to create -- disinterested, humanist professionals willing to work under the most difficult conditions, of their own free will; and a conception of health care coverage that years of experience have allowed us to construct.
Cuban technicians and professionals who participate in these programs do so absolutely freely and voluntarily. During the fulfillment of their missions, they continue to receive their full salaries and additionally receive a stipend in the destination country, along with other forms of compensation.
In those cases in which Cuba receives compensation for the cooperation provided, these collaborators are meritoriously making a highly valuable, fair, and totally legitimate contribution to the financing, sustainability, and development of our massive, free health care system that is accessible to each and every Cuban, as well as cooperation programs that are carried out in many parts of the world.
Access to health care is a human right and the United States is committing a crime when it attempts to deny or obstruct its provision for political reasons or as an act of aggression.
(Havana, August 29, 2019)
Cuba Celebrates 66th Anniversary
On July 26, 1953, a group of courageous young men and women -- led by Fidel Castro -- attacked the Moncada Barracks in the city of Santiago de Cuba, and the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks in Bayamo, in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. supported puppet dictator Fulgencio Batista. As the island's second largest military garrison, the Moncada Barracks was critical to Batista's military control of southern Cuba. The goal was to seize the weapons and distribute them to the people and spark a national uprising that would not only overthrow the Batista dictatorship but also establish Cuba's independence and sovereignty. This heroic act is annually commemorated all over Cuba as the beginning of the movement and struggle that laid the foundation of the Cuban Revolution.
This year's commemorations are imbued with a
poignancy; it is the second without the physical
presence of the
historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel
epitomized the unbending commitment to Justice,
Independence that has characterized Cuba since the
triumph of the
Cuban Revolution. Fidel's living legacy continues
in the work of
the Cuban Revolution. Fidel's example and fidelity
continue to inspire the Cuban people, who continue
on the path of
independence, self-determination and human
The attacks were carried out by an organization that was created in 1952, under the leadership of Fidel Castro and Abel Santamaría, and comprised of young workers, students, artisans, peasants and landless farmers. It had around 1,500 members and affiliated itself with historic Cuban national liberation figures such as José Martí and Antonio Maceo. Around 120 youths were part of the attacks, approximately 70 of whom were killed, with many being tortured and executed after the attack. The survivors, including Fidel Castro, were subsequently put on trial and given lengthy prison sentences. Most, including Fidel Castro, were released after an amnesty in May 1955. This amnesty was the result of the mass mobilization of Cubans in support of the imprisoned rebels. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, the July 26th Movement galvanized Cubans, ultimately leading to the victory of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959.
While the Moncada attack failed in fulfilling its
objective, it was central to the Cuban people's
national affirmation and social emancipation.
Cubans have always
placed Moncada in a broad historical context,
viewing it as a
crucial link in the century-long striving of Cuba
to free itself
from Spanish colonial domination and U.S.
tutelage, and then,
establish authentic independence. At his trial
delivered a speech that eventually became the
manifesto of the
movement to overthrow the Batista tyranny. It was
published as La
Historia Me Absolvera (History Will Absolve Me)
and laid out the
national and social goals of the revolutionary
eventually triumphed on January 1, 1959. Today,
the Moncada and
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks, now a school
and a museum,
stand as concrete symbols of that successful
Since the Cuban people embarked on the road paved by Moncada, Cuba has refuted and continues to refute the colonialist mentality and practice of foisting on independent countries imperial arrangements and dictates that they resoundingly reject. The Cuban Revolution has refused to renounce its right to self-determination and its principles, principles forged in the crucible of Moncada.
History has given its judgment, vindicating the attack on the Moncada Barracks!
Long Live the Martyrs of Moncada!
Long Live the Cuban Revolution!
25th São Paulo Forum
The delegates to the 25th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum, gathered in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, cradle of the Liberator Simón Bolívar and of his worthy follower, Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of his birth, have reached the following conclusions:
One year after the 24th Meeting in Havana, the multifaceted reactionary offensive of U.S. imperialism and its oligarchic right-wing allies has deepened. But at the same time, Latin America and the Caribbean are also the scene of important popular struggles and triumphs that have halted the imperial offensive. The recent cases of Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico confirm this.
It is urgent to retake the initiative with more vigour and efficiency. This is possible "when there is unity, determined and capable political leadership, clear objectives of struggle, combat morale and [the struggle is] rooted in the popular classes." This view, approved by the 24th Meeting last year, remains totally valid.
Despite the fact that the negative effects of the concentration of property, power and wealth in the hands of the usual privileged minority continue to deepen, in the countries of the region where this has happened social protest is growing, while the left, popular and progressive forces, especially in the sphere of social and popular movements, are putting forward anti-neoliberal proposals that we must encourage and resolutely support.
The international right does not cease in its subversive plans; it operates in a coordinated manner to divide and/or weaken our national States; it aims to annihilate or delegitimize any project of social change that seeks to advance along non-capitalist or simply post-neoliberal paths; it works tirelessly to erode our national identities, as well as the cultural values that give us social cohesion; and it is accelerating its efforts aimed at dividing us on every terrain.
Let us oppose the disintegration program of the right with the sovereign integration program that is worthy of our peoples. Faced with the free trade agreements promoted by the United States, let us strengthen sovereign integration projects such as CELAC, Alba-TCP, Mercosur and other popular and autonomous integration initiatives.
The Trump Administration, the perfect expression of the Yankee Empire and transnational financialized capitalism that prevails today, seeks to reverse, with increasing violence in all spheres, its declining relative power as the hegemonic centre of the international right. United, let us prevent it from achieving its historic goals of domination over the lands of Our America. We are obligated with our peoples to prevent the Monroe Doctrine from achieving its interventionist aims. The Bolivar Doctrine to face the Monroe Doctrine.
The political experience of the left and of the popular and progressive forces from 1959 to the present multiplies the hopes for maintaining that it is possible to defeat any imperial offensive. This is demonstrated today by the Bolivarian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution itself, the successful Bolivian political experience and Sandinista Nicaragua.
Let us strengthen the struggles for justice for all, for social emancipation, for full political sovereignty, economic independence and the self-determination of our peoples.
Let us continue to build the broadest anti-imperialist anti-neoliberal unity with respect to the diversity of left and progressive political parties and forces, the social and popular movements that unite them, and the left and progressive governments, to defeat the imperialist offensive and the deepening and/or restoration of neoliberalism.
Faced with these realities, the 25th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum calls with a sense of urgency, to strengthen the world movement in defence of peace, democracy and the social gains that have been achieved. The aggressive and irresponsible international conduct of the current Trump Administration demands it.
It calls for the promotion of the broadest worldwide solidarity with the defence of the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people, and their right to live in peace.
It supports the dialogue between the Bolivarian Government and the opposition tendencies promoted by the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro, as it is a genuine expression of the current democracy and freedoms in Venezuela, which is why it is supported by the majority of the Venezuelan people for settling differences constitutionally and peacefully, without foreign interference.
It energetically rejects the threats of military intervention against Venezuela and condemns all aspects of the economic, financial, commercial blockade and diplomatic siege of the government of the United States.
The preservation of peace in Venezuela is the preservation of peace in the region and one of the priorities of the parties that make up the São Paulo Forum.
It reaffirms the just causes approved in the 23rd and 24th São Paulo Forum Meetings, considering them to be valid. Accordingly, this 25th Meeting calls to:
Emphasize, as a common goal, the defence of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, approved at the 2nd Summit of CELAC. This is urgent and vital.
Defend CELAC as the greatest unitary development of the last 200 years and spread the notion of integration among our peoples.
Repudiate the dangerous military presence of the United States and its NATO allies in the Caribbean and the Atlantic for clearly aggressive purposes and putting pressure on our nations.
Vigorously reject the Monroe Doctrine and all notions of the U.S. about Latin America and the Caribbean being its "backyard."
Organize actions in every space possible to oppose the domination of Yankee Imperialism in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Be rigorously acquainted with how the international, regional and local right operates against this continent that we defend and will defend.
Reaffirm the importance of the São Paulo Forum's relations with the left parties of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Denounce the interfering role of the OAS in the service of the USA. It continues to operate as a faithful U.S. ministry of colonies, symbolized by its Secretary General Luís Almagro, pawn of the Empire.
Condemn the unconventional war being waged by the United States against governments that do not bow to its orders and interests.
Vigorously confront the right's advance over our peoples. Evidence of this is the recycled, authoritarian and pro-fascist neoliberal governments, such as those of Bolsonaro in Brazil, Iván Duque in Colombia, and Mario Abdo Benítez in Paraguay, Mauricio Macri in Argentina, Lenin Moreno in Ecuador and Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras, which destroy democracy and social rights that have been won.
Support the Honduran people for their persistent and courageous struggle in defence of their rights, against neoliberal policies and the corruption that characterizes neoliberalism, and in favour of the construction of an alternative that prioritizes the interests of the majority of the people. The struggle of the latter, led by the LIBRE party, is an example to be followed by those who suffer the disastrous consequences of neoliberalism.
Strongly condemn the permanent genocide committed by the governing ultra-right in Colombia against any organized expression of the social and popular movement, through the unacceptable systematic assassination of social leaders, former guerrilla fighters and their families. Demand, in addition, the freedom of Simón Trinidad and the ex-guerrilla fighters who remain in jail.
Demand that the Colombian government fully comply with the Peace Accords, which are vital to ensure that our continent continues to be a zone of peace. Likewise, we support the FARC party for its persistent defence of the Agreements and its compliance with them, which constitutes an invaluable contribution to the struggle for peace. To achieve this peace, we demand the immediate resumption of talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Denounce the intervention of the United States in Nicaragua against the Sandinista Revolution, through an unacceptable coup attempt, defeated by the Nicaraguan people, whose right to peace must be defended by all. The United States will not succeed in defeating the heroic people of Sandino with economic sanctions
Offer all solidarity to the FMLN, whose membership and people are victims of aggression and revanchism on the part of the local right, at the service of the U.S., through the violation of rights that were won and to delegitimize them through the courts, as is happening with grave acts of political persecution and violation of human rights in Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina. The imprisonment of Lula and Jorge Glas demonstrates this, as well as the judicial persecution of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Rafael Correa and Ricardo Patiño. And we demand the freedom of all political prisoners.
Support the candidacy of Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera in Bolivia, who with the support of the majority of their people are betting on developing the "Bicentennial Agenda" in their fourth term of office, with the objective of settling the outstanding historical debts of the 19th and 20th centuries and facing the tasks of the 21st century in conditions of economic independence and full political sovereignty.
Support the proposal of Daniel Martínez for president and Graciela Villar for vice-president of Uruguay, whose triumph would guarantee the continuity of the policies in favour of the Uruguayan people, and the laws that benefit historically neglected sectors such as domestic workers, rural workers or trans people. And the defence of sovereignty and democracy in Uruguay that governments of the Frente Amplio are carrying out.
Support the popular movement in Argentina that has managed to form a unitary alliance in the Frente de Todos, which has Alberto Fernández as its candidate for president and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as its candidate for vice-president, to confront Macrism and its policies of hunger, indebtedness, repression and the surrender of sovereignty in the next electoral contest in October. The defeat of Macri and neoliberalism in Argentina would be a triumph for Our American integration and would once again encourage struggles and resistance in the rest of the countries.
Reject Washington's policy of criminalizing emigrants, especially those from Central America. In this sense, we condemn and reject the immigration control agreement between the United States and the government of Guatemala, a country whose sovereignty is violated and whose territory, with such an agreement, would be transformed into a virtual prison for those who wish to enter the United States; and their intention to do the same with Mexico.
Support the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose triumph, with massive popular participation, demonstrated that there is no end to the progressive cycle; it opened up perspectives of change in favour of the great majorities with the programme of the Fourth Transformation and could give a new impulse to the processes of the autonomous and sovereign regional integration of our peoples, in keeping with the principles of the self-determination of peoples, non-intervention and the peaceful solution of conflicts.
Reject all forms of racism, social discrimination and discrimination based on sexual orientation. In this sense, support the agenda of struggle for the rights of the LGBTTI community.
Demand respect for the human rights of women, violated by neoliberal policies. Defend the role of Latin American and Caribbean women as fundamental builders of emancipatory change processes, as well as of active resistance to the neoliberal counteroffensive and the loss of rights that have been won. Support the massive feminist mobilizations underway in the continent. Without the contribution of women it will be impossible to advance towards the true independence of our nations. Understand that the struggle for gender equality can only succeed if we take up the struggle for class equality. Only by banishing capitalism will it be possible to eliminate patriarchy.
Condemn all forms of discrimination and violence against women, exclusion, the trafficking of women and girls, sexual exploitation, femicide, and demand greater support and protection of women's sexual and reproductive rights.
Condemn drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism in all its forms.
Defend access to water as a human right and as a right of peoples to develop their agricultural activity, a source of wealth and work that ensures food sovereignty, as well as defend the environment, land and territories.
Support the demands of the Caribbean Island States to be compensated for the damage caused by slavery.
Demand the unconditional, total and definitive
government's criminal and increased economic,
financial blockade against Cuba, which constitutes
obstacle to the economic and social development of
and a flagrant and massive violation of the human
Cubans. As part of their siege of Cuba, along with
measures, they are applying the Helms
Act and have
activated Title III, ...
Demand the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base to Cuba.
Support Argentina's historic claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Argentine Antarctica and the surrounding maritime areas. Also challenge the agreement known as "Foradori-Duncan" between the current government of Argentina and the United Kingdom that was concluded in September 2016.
Support the right of Bolivia's sovereign return to the Pacific Ocean through the dialogue between the Chilean and Bolivian peoples, and the achievement of an agreement based on solidarity that will allow Bolivia access to a sea and might make an improvement in the lives of the population possible by facilitating the exploitation of maritime resources, the export of organic products and an encounter with cultures from around the world through a sovereign port.
Defend, respect and guarantee the rights and culture of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.
Demand the decolonization of the Caribbean and firm support for the Independence of Puerto Rico. We salute the multitudinous demonstrations of the Puerto Rican people against the corruption of the colonial and annexationist administration of Ricardo Rosselló and in defence of borinqueña dignity.
Demand the immediate release of Lula, victim of an abusive, illegal and outrageous exercise of judicial power against him.
Reject the U.S. empire's policy of describing Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as members of a so-called axis of evil.
Defend, as one of the central objectives of the São Paulo Forum, the construction of anti-imperialist anti-neoliberal unity as the tactic and strategy for victory, in defence of sovereignty, independence, democracy, self-determination and human rights in Our America, with real political leadership by its peoples.
The entire political spectrum of the São Paulo Forum is a prioritized target of the destabilizing strategy aimed at defeating left, popular and progressive governments, destroying their political and social forces, and criminalizing and prosecuting their leaders and social protest.
The São Paulo Forum's identity -- we reaffirm it -- must continue to be anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal, with militant support for all left-wing, popular and progressive governments that are under siege, and support for the just causes of the peoples.
"Actions speak louder than words." Based on this maxim of Martí, we propose to concentrate the efforts of the São Paulo Forum in the following main directions in the coming months:
-- Strengthen [São Paulo Forum] as an instance of concerted efforts, cooperation and mutual solidarity among our parties and social movements. To this end, it will be fundamental to support, as a new occasion for global exchange, the Anti-Imperialist Encounter of Solidarity, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism that will take place in Havana, Cuba, between the 1st and 3rd of next November, as agreed by the Working Group in Managua. Likewise, we call for transforming the regional secretariats of the São Paulo Forum into much more effective instruments of coordination and communication among our members.
-- Multiply the actions of mutual solidarity with initiatives that demonstrate the strength of our organizations and peoples. In this area, we propose to increase active solidarity with the peoples and governments of the left that are the subject of stepped-up stalking by the United States and the continental right. At the same time, we call for making solidarity with all the leaders of the left who are currently imprisoned or persecuted a matter of principle. The case of Lula shows what we can do in that sense.
-- Turn the tasks of improving political communication and training of our cadres and militants into prioritized fronts of work by means of coordinated actions among our forces, as agreed by the Working Group in Managua. Resume the study and updating of the Consensus of Our America that condenses the values and programmatic guidelines shared by this Forum, which will be an opportune time for the bases to debate and enrich it.
Hasta la victoria siempre!
(Translation from the original Spanish by Internationalist 360°, edited for publication by TML.)
Aim of Falsifications of the Origins of the Second World War
On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union signed what is now known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact with Germany. The agreement stipulated that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union would not attack Germany. Future events proved the farsightedness of Stalin in signing the pact which was the best of all available alternatives. It provided the Soviet Union with 22 months of peace so as to prepare herself to withstand the inevitable German invasion which Hitler had foreshadowed in his 1925 book, Mein Kampf, when he openly declared that Germany needed to "turn our gaze to the lands in the east." The pact also put an end to the Anglo-American and French policy of egging Hitler toward the East so that an isolated Soviet Union would end up facing massive German forces.
The Nazis did eventually invade the Soviet Union as expected but not until June 22, 1941. It was the largest German military operation of the war. The heroic and protracted Soviet resistance against the Nazi hordes for almost two years culminated in the great Soviet victory at Stalingrad on February 2, 1943 that concluded with the encirclement and surrender of a German army of 300,000 troops. That was the turning point of the entire war. Stalingrad was followed by another decisive Soviet victory in a tank battle at Kursk. These triumphs began a powerful counteroffensive that drove the German Hitlerites steadily backward until the final demise of the Third Reich in Berlin. On May 9, 1945, the anti-fascist allied forces of the world, with the Soviet Union and communists of all lands at the head of the Resistance Movement, declared victory over the Hitlerite Nazis. Fascist Germany acknowledged defeat and declared unconditional surrender.
move through Pruzhaney in western
Belarus, June 1941, as the Nazi
invasion of the USSR begins.
Completely ignoring these undisputed facts, the reactionaries of today use the anniversary of the non-aggression pact to promote self-serving disinformation which presents Russia as their enemy and seeks to invite the peoples of what are called the Western democracies to once again engage in a campaign to isolate Russia, as well as China. They present themselves as the architects of the great victory of the world's people over Nazi Germany. Again and again, they slander the great deeds of the Soviet Union by making the same claims that Goebbels made in 1939. One of the main ways this is done is by ignoring what the British and French, supported by the U.S. industrialists, did at Munich and instead declaring: "On August 25, 1939 the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which led to the Second World War, the killing of millions of people and the Holocaust." This big lie that blames the Soviet Union for the war is aimed at concealing the real facts, which are that the two main factors leading to the world war were the huge U.S. investments in the German economy, beginning with the 1924 U.S. Dawes Plan, which financed the rebuilding of their industries, especially their war industries, and the policy of appeasement of Germany by renouncing collective security that was consummated in Munich on September 29, 1938.
The big lies about the so-called Soviet-German alliance began in January 1948 with the U.S. publication of material from the diaries of Hitlerite officials, in collaboration with the British and French foreign offices, which left out any mention of what happened in Munich! This began a fresh wave of slander and lies in connection with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact. The German documents were all written from the standpoint of the Hitler government without the documents seized by the Soviets or the Soviet documents. They were published as a deliberate Cold War campaign against the Soviet Union on the part of the Anglo-American imperialists. The Soviet Information Bureau immediately published a very important document titled "Falsificators of History" to refute them. These same lies about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact are repeated including by the government of Canada, which in 1939 used them to vilify the Canadian communists it had interned. By declaring the Soviet Union an enemy, it began treating the interned communists as agents of an enemy of Canada. Today, the aim of propaganda about foreign interference in elections is to create a climate which will assist a foreign policy which does not favour the people of Canada or the world. It is no accident that some of those carrying out this propaganda today are descendants of the very same Nazi collaborators that spread death and destruction across Europe in the Second World War.
One specific falsification is the suggestion that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not a non-aggression pact but a "military alliance." This deliberately tries to convey the lie that the pact included an agreement that under certain conditions the communist Soviet Union and the anti-communist Nazi Germany could take joint military action against some third country. But the pact contained no such agreement. As previously stated, the agreement was only that the two countries would not attack each other. Even hard-core reactionaries are now forced to admit that "the Soviet Union eventually played a major role in helping defeat the Nazis." Nonetheless, they still allege that prior to joining the war on the Allied side, Stalin was "helping Hitler." This is said to divert attention from the fact that the British and French were "helping Hitler " when they signed such pacts a year earlier and refused to sign a collective security pact with the Soviet Union. It is also significant that these same official circles never once mention how U.S. corporations, such as General Motors, Ford, and Standard Oil, supplied the Nazi war machine with essential materials that enabled their invasion of Europe.
As for the lie that Stalin's signing of the non-aggression pact with Germany was the cause of the Second World War, it should be noted that Britain and France had already issued a joint declaration of non-aggression with Germany in 1938, not to mention signed a "Pact of Accord and Cooperation" in 1933 when Hitler came to power. Poland signed a non-aggression pact with the Nazis in 1934, five years before the Soviet Union did. Of all the non-aggressive Great Powers in Europe, the Soviet Union was forced into a pact with the Germans as a result of the rejection of collective security by Britain and France.
"The history of events in 1938, both before and after Hitler's occupation of Austria in March show that the Soviet Union, as it had done in earlier years, made many efforts to persuade Britain and France to maintain collective mutual assistance and in particular to carry out their undertaking to defend Czechoslovakia against aggression.... The Soviet Union was not only willing to join forces with France to defend Czechoslovakia, if France would keep her word, but was prepared to defend Czechoslovakia on her own, even if France refused."
Joseph Stalin at meeting of the Supreme
All the efforts by the Soviet Union to build collective security failed. The British and French refused to sign any collective mutual assistance pact with the Soviet Union. Instead, they signed the September 29, 1938, Munich Pact with Germany and Italy which permitted Germany to incorporate the Sudeten, ordered the Czechs not to resist Nazi aggression, and gave the Nazis the green light to launch their attacks across Europe. Of course, the reactionaries never want to discuss the Munich Pact because it was such a blatant betrayal of the world's people that even Winston Churchill accused British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in the British Parliament: "You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war."
It is indisputable that faced with the British and French betrayal, the Soviet Union had no choice but to take whatever measures it could to defend itself and the cause of peace.
Just to give one example of the policy of appeasement of Hitler, Memo #8604, which was sent to Moscow by Russian intelligence from Prague several days before the signing of the Munich Agreement, reads: "On September 19, British Ambassador Newton and French Ambassador De Lacroix conveyed to Milan Hodza (Czechoslovak prime minister in 1935-1938) the following on behalf of Chamberlain and Daladier, respectfully: 'Guided by the lofty principles of preserving peace in Europe, they consider it necessary for Germany to incorporate the Sudeten region. A system of mutual aid pacts with other countries should be cancelled.'" They claimed that this betrayal of the Czech people which led to German occupation was "guided by the lofty principles of peace." Yet, within a year of marching into Czechoslovakia, Germany had invaded Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Britain.
Another oft-repeated lie is that in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany agreed to "divide Poland," again falsely implying that the pact included a commitment to joint military action against a third country. While it is true that the Nazis invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, committing one of the worst war crimes the world has ever seen by killing about 6 million people including most of the Polish intelligentsia and sending its workers who were not killed into slave labour camps, the role of the Soviet Union was entirely different. The Soviet Army marched into the territory of Poland on September 17 after the Polish state had collapsed, the Polish army had disintegrated, the government had ceased to function and its aristocratic leaders had fled. Further, also to protect itself and the people of these countries the Soviet Union marched into the territories of the Ukraine and Byelorussia that Poland had forcibly annexed from the Soviet Union during the Polish-Russian War of 1919-20, when Poland was one of the 14 invading imperialist countries that attempted but failed to strangle the newborn Soviet socialist republic. Only about eight per cent of the people in the Ukraine and Byelorussia were of Polish origin.
What was the result of the Soviet Army marching into Poland?
"As a result of the Soviet Union's timely entry into what had been territories of the Polish state, Hitler was forced to accept a line of demarcation between his troops and the Red Army, a long way west of the then Polish-Russian frontier." The Red Army saved millions of people inhabiting the Ukraine and Byelorussia from the fate which Hitler reserved for the Polish people. Even Winston Churchill publicly justified the Soviet march into eastern Poland as necessary not only for the safety of the people of Poland and the Soviet Union but also of the people of the Baltic states and Ukraine. On October 1, 1939, Churchill said in a public radio broadcast:
On October 1, 1939, Churchill said in a public radio broadcast: "That the Russian armies should stand on this line (Curzon) was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace. At any rate, the line is there, and an Eastern Front has been created which Nazi Germany does not dare assail. When Herr von Ribbentrop was summoned to Moscow last week it was to learn the fact, and accept the fact, that the Nazi designs upon the Baltic states and upon the Ukraine must come to a dead stop."
The nefarious actions of the Anglo-Americans and the French behind the back of the Soviet Union destroyed the existing elements of the collective resistance system against Nazi Germany. It was the Munich Pact signed by Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy which was the final cowardly act that triggered the Second World War, the killing of millions of people, and the European Holocaust. The judgment of history points to the truth about the Anglo-American and French betrayal of the world's people and to the truth about the heroic role of the Soviet Union and J. V. Stalin in defeating the Nazis. No falsifiers of history can change those facts.
"In the end, the resistance of the Soviet peoples led by Stalin and the Communist Party broke the back of the Nazi aggressors. Some 50 million people died and another 35 million were seriously wounded during the Anti-Fascist War, with the peoples of the Soviet Union bearing the brunt of the casualties."
For Canadian officials to promote lies about the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, to the extent that the Parliament of Canada declared August 23 "Black Ribbon Day," is unacceptable. Anti-fascist Canadians will never accept warmongering in the name of peace.
100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles
One hundred years ago on June 28, the Versailles Treaty that ended the First World War was signed in Paris between Germany and the allied powers of the United Kingdom, France, and the U.S. All of these countries had played major roles in provoking and unleashing this catastrophic four-year long war that was aimed at redividing the world among imperial powers and resulted in the slaughter of an estimated 15 to 19 million military personnel and civilians. In addition to the deaths, approximately 23 million were wounded, and millions died from war-related famine and disease.
The Versailles agreement followed months of
amongst the big powers which, for the most part,
Germany. The newly-formed Soviet Russia was also
excluded even though
Russia had been forced to give up large
territories, resources and
population to Germany during the war and the
Treaty. Other smaller and weaker countries, like
Canada, which had
fought on the allied side during the war, were
allowed a token number
of seats in the negotiations, but there was no
doubt that the "big
three" victorious powers -- the UK, France and the
U.S. -- were in
charge and out to wreak vengeance on Germany and
its allies including
the Ottoman Empire.
Germany signed this flawed, predatory agreement under extreme duress, the allies having issued a statement that if Germany refused to sign the document it would be invaded within 24 hours and the war would resume.
The agreement, which included 15 parts and 440 articles, was particularly harsh and draconian. Indeed, the terms were read out to the German representatives in a humiliating way with no discussion or even questions allowed. New boundaries were drawn up that handed over or ceded substantial territories previously situated within Germany's boundaries to France, Belgium, Poland and other countries. All told, Germany lost 65,000 square kilometres of territory and 7 million people. In addition, it was stripped of most of its colonies, had severe restrictions imposed on its military, and had to accept responsibility for the losses and damages of the allies.
Under the agreement, Germany was required to pay a staggering 132 billion marks (roughly U.S.$442 billion) in reparations, an amount that Germany, in severe economic distress after the war, was unable to pay. For their part, the victorious allies were deeply divided over the extent that Germany should be punished, with France wanting to permanently cripple Germany on the economic, political and military fronts, while the UK aimed to keep Germany afloat just enough to play it off against post-war competitor France.
Across the ocean, the U.S. looked to use the treaty to expand its imperial influence in Europe, as well as collect on huge debts owed to it by European countries, incurred during the course of the war. In the end, the victorious powers came to a compromise with which no one was happy and that sowed the seeds for further colonial expansion and aggression to divide up the world, eventually resulting in the rise of Nazism and fascism, and the outbreak of the Second World War.
There are those who make the curious claim that
token participation in the Versailles Treaty
somehow was a "defining
moment" in Canadian history where Canada "stood on
its own" for the
first time as an independent country, and achieved
big power status.
Such chauvinistic statements are part of the
about World War I which claims that terrible
conflict was part of the
struggle to save "western civilization" and "end
completely obscuring the fact that the war broke
out because of the
aggression and predatory aims of the same big
powers, such as Britain
and France, with which Canada was allied.
Far from establishing independent nationhood, Canada participated in the First World War as part of the British Empire. It was given a lackey role in the Versailles Treaty negotiations which underscored its service to empire and the big powers of the day. Canada's subservient role continues to be a main feature of Canada's foreign policy to this day. Then as now, Canada's role in imperialist aggression is in serious contradiction with the desire of working people for Canada to be a country that upholds international peace and defends its own sovereignty and that of all others.
With a view to the upcoming federal election, TML Weekly and Workers' Forum will suspend publication until after the October 21 election. Starting on Labour Day, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada will publish Renewal Update on a regular basis to keep readers informed about unfolding events and to make sure the working people have a paper which publishes what they have to say about the matters of concern to them.
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