January 25, 2020 - No. 1

All Out for the January 25 Day of Action

No War on Iran!
All Foreign Troops Out of Iraq!

• Actions Across Canada and U.S. Condemn
Targeted Assassinations and the Threat of War

Urgent Need for People's Empowerment and
a New Direction for the Economy 

• Davos Summit and the Growing Impoverishment
of the World's People 

Uphold Hereditary and Human Rights
of Indigenous Peoples of Canada 

• Organize Broad Support and Public Opinion for the
Just Struggle of the Wet'suwet'en People!

• Wet'suwet'en People Continue to Say No!
to Coastal GasLink Pipeline on Their Territory
- Philip Fernandez and Barbara Biley -

• Canada Must Respect the Right of Indigenous Nations
and Peoples to Sovereignty and Self-Determination

• Statement of Solidarity
- University of Northern BC Faculty and Staff -

• Thirty Years After Delgamuukw

• Actions Across Turtle Island and Beyond
Stand with Land Defenders

Mass Incarceration of Indigenous Peoples

• Statement by Chief of Human Rights Commission

Latin America and the Caribbean 

• In 2020 Step Up Anti-Imperialist Solidarity
with the Peoples of Our America!

- Margaret Villamizar -

61st Anniversary of Cuban Revolution

• Cuba Marches On! Cuba Resists! Cuba Wins!
- Isaac Saney, Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba -

• U.S. Interferes (Again) to Save Guaidó
- Misión Verdad -


• Solemn Commemoration Activities in Montreal Mark
10th Anniversary of the Earthquake: Ayiti la! 


• Thoughts on the Imperialist Economy and
Its Recurring Crises and Wars

- K.C. Adams -

All Out for the January 25 Day of Action

No War on Iran! All Foreign Troops Out of Iraq!



The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on all peace-loving people to join in the January 25 Global Day of Protest to condemn targeted assassinations and the threat of war against Iran.

It also expresses its sincere condolences to all the families and friends who lost loved ones in the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. The fact that civilian aircraft were permitted to fly in an active war zone leading to such tragic consequences is a serious concern.

At the heart of the matter is the use of force to resolve conflicts and acts which run counter to acceptable norms of behaviour as well as international laws established after the Second World War. The very notion of international law has been cast aside by the ruling elites of the world under the auspices of NATO and its "rules-based international order" in which the warmongers, headed by the U.S., set the "rules."

Whenever the crisis in the U.S. deepens and the U.S. resorts to such unlawful acts as targeted assassinations, a stupendous effort is made to turn attention away from its condemnable activities and raise every manner of diversion to create a situation whereby the people themselves who are subjected to threats of aggression and genocide are made the focus of attention. The government of Canada is an appeaser of the U.S. in this regard. It must not pass!

The peoples of Iraq and Iran have always opposed the occupation of their countries by the U.S. and other members of its aggressive military alliance NATO. Now, in spite of the fact that the Iraqi parliament has passed a resolution calling for the departure of all foreign forces, neither the U.S. nor Canada have any intention of complying with it. Trump uncouthly said U.S. troops would not leave unless Iraq paid the U.S. back for the "billions" it put into the country, threatening to steal its national oil revenues deposited in a U.S. bank account. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has declared: "We have to respect their process [speaking of the Iraqi vote] but it is more complicated than just one vote."

What is "complicated" is that under the command of the U.S., Canada goes along with the NATO pretext for inserting itself in the region -- that "peace and stability are key to pursuing the political and economic reforms underway in Iraq," as Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs put it.

Not only is Canada continuing to participate in the illegal occupation of Iraq, it is playing yet again a leading role to appease U.S. imperialism by promoting the disinformation that the U.S. is the indispensable nation with its continued occupation of Iraq and interference in the region, where it has over 65,000 troops plus thousands of private mercenaries deployed.

A first step to ensure peace and stability in the region is for Canada to permanently withdraw its publicly reported 850 troops deployed to Iraq and neighbouring countries as part of a Canadian-led NATO mission and a mission called Operation Impact which supports the U.S. war coalition's "anti-terrorism" operation. Any other non-reported Canadian covert or "exchange" forces integrated with U.S. military forces in the region should also be immediately withdrawn.

In the face of U.S. war crimes, sanctions, and criminal activities, Canada's position is unacceptable as it serves to maintain the status quo and creates conditions for another war of destruction in the region.

Canada must be a factor for peace and withdraw from NATO and all economic and military alliances with U.S. imperialism and establish an independent foreign policy based on the principles of diplomacy and peaceful resolution of conflicts. This must include restoring diplomatic relations with Iran and ending its sanctions against the country.

No to U.S.-Led Wars of Terror!
Hands Off Iran!
Canada Out of NATO and NORAD!
Make Canada a Factor for Peace!

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Actions Across Canada and U.S. Condemn
Targeted Assassinations and the Threat of War 


Halifax, January 11, 2020

Montreal, January 5, 2020

Ottawa, January 4, 2020

Toronto, January 4, 2020

Waterloo, January 4, 2020

London, January 10, 2020

Windsor, January 4, 2020

Winnipeg, January 11, 2020

Regina, January 4, 2020

Calgary, January 4, 2020

Vancouver, January 5, 2020

Vancouver, January 10, 2020

Courtenay, January 4, 2020

United States

Washington, DC

Boston, MA

Cambridge, MA

New York City

Raleigh, NC

Detroit, MI

Lansing, MI

Ann Arbor, MI

Milwaukee, WI

Madison, WI

St. Paul, MN

Chicago, IL

Atlanta, GA

Birmingham, AL

Denver, CO

San Francisco, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Portland, OR

Seattle, WA

Tacoma, WA

(Photos: TML, Document Everything, Anakbayan Ottawa, T. Lorincz, Ukranian Labour Temple Winnipeg, Z. Zaida, Voice of the Oppressed, MAWO, Code Pink, Answer, IAC, Weather Is Happening, Massachussetts Peace Action, J. Long, A. Colston, A. Azikiwe, SACP, A. Kuipers, M. Anderson, J. Sorensen, Milwaukee Anti-War Ctte, WI Greens, Emma, Syeda, J.J. Ball, M. Blumenthal, PSL, Portland DSA, Keaton, J. Murray, Tacoma DSA, D. Leobey, J. Rivano Barros, Olive Garden 61)

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Urgent Need for People's Empowerment and a New Direction for the Economy

Davos Summit and the Growing Impoverishment
of the World's People

Some 1,000 people hike to the World Economic Forum in Davos declaring the climate crisis a world economic failure and demanding a change of direction.  (Common Dreams)

The World Economic Forum of the global financial oligarchy is once again taking place in Davos, Switzerland. The Davos Summit is being held amidst the growing impoverishment of the world's peoples and in opposition to the necessity for a new pro-social direction for the economy. Canada, whose governments at the federal and provincial levels represent supranational private interests in opposition to the people and their economy, has several contingents attending the forum financed by the public purse.

Media coverage of the Davos forum is always an extensive exercise in disinformation to present no alternative to an economy whose inherent feature is the trend of the rich becoming richer and the poor poorer. In this regard, the 2020 report by Oxfam on global inequality titled Time to Care says the world's 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet's population.[1] The Oxfam report, released on January 20 in conjunction with the gathering in Davos, confirms the global trend towards the concentration of social wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer rich oligarchs. The report also fuels the diversion that the representatives of the world's richest people have an interest in a better distribution of wealth to benefit the growing poor whose rebellion they clearly fear. In this vein, several billionaires organized into a U.S.-led group called the Patriotic Millionaires issued an open letter declaring the rich should pay more taxes. According to their website, the oligarchs are "high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America."

Voicing agreement with the oligarchs that taxing the rich is a safer option than a new pro-social direction for the economy, Oxfam writes, "Getting the richest one per cent to pay just 0.5 per cent extra tax on their wealth over the next 10 years would equal the investment needed to create 117 million jobs in sectors such as elderly and childcare, education and health."

Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar, who is said to be in Davos this year to represent the Oxfam confederation, feeds this narrative saying, "The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these." Behar adds a sense of urgency for the oligarchs to act to defend their privilege and power saying, "Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist."

To further divert attention away from any serious discussion on the direction of the global economy and the urgent need for working people to organize for empowerment through democratic renewal, Oxfam suggests the oligarchs use the greater exploitation of women as a foil to stop working people from unleashing their collective power for change. Behar says, "Women and girls are among those who benefit least from today's economic system. They spend billions of hours cooking, cleaning and caring for children and the elderly. Unpaid care work is the 'hidden engine' that keeps the wheels of our economies, businesses and societies moving. It is driven by women who often have little time to get an education, earn a decent living or have a say in how our societies are run, and who are therefore trapped at the bottom of the economy."

The Oxfam report reads: "The 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa. Women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day -- a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry."

After citing more facts pointing to catastrophic scenarios that could disrupt the lives of the financial oligarchy and the economic and political systems it relies on, the Oxfam report concludes, "Governments are massively under-taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations and failing to collect revenues that could help lift the responsibility of care from women and tackle poverty and inequality. At the same time, governments are underfunding vital public services and infrastructure that could help reduce women and girls' workload. For example, investments in water and sanitation, electricity, childcare, healthcare could free up women's time and improve their quality of life. For example, providing access to an improved water source could save women in parts of Zimbabwe up to four hours of work a day, or two months a year."

To save the current direction of the economy from collapse and a change to the new, and to spread confusion as to the root cause of inequality, Behar urges the oligarchs to act in their own self-interest saying: "Governments created the inequality crisis -- they must act now to end it. They must ensure corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of tax and increase investment in public services and infrastructure. They must pass laws to tackle the huge amount of care work done by women and girls, and ensure that people who do some of the most important jobs in our society -- caring for our parents, our children and the most vulnerable -- are paid a living wage. Governments must prioritize care as being as important as all other sectors in order to build more human economies that work for everyone, not just a fortunate few."

Regarding India, Behar's own country of origin, the report notes that one per cent of the population owns more wealth than 70 per cent of the population. Sixty-three billionaires have more wealth than the annual budget of the government of India. What the report does not say is that 79 years of independence from brutal British colonial rule have brought increased misery to a vast majority of the population because the state ensures that a tiny minority control the decision-making power and ensure no challenge is organized to its privilege no matter which party forms the government and which policies are adopted.

Indian governments since independence have adopted "socialism" and "secularism" along with a "green revolution" to eliminate poverty, and then "liberalization" and "privatization" and now "Hindutva" and "Hindu Rashtra." All these different versions of the same state power of the rich and privileged have been meant to keep the people disinformed, disorganized and disempowered.

Throughout the world the dictate of the financial oligarchy is expressed in supranational neo-liberal policies to use state funds to pay the rich and build war economies. The peoples' tax monies and increased state borrowing from private money lenders are employed to further militarize economies and wage propaganda campaigns such as the Davos Forum against any efforts of working people to organize to change the world in their favour. The financial oligarchy is adamant to retain its control over the economies of all countries regardless of the problems, misery and wars this creates. It refuses to have in existence any economic forms unless it can expropriate a portion of the new value as private profit. The oligarchs gauge the health and success of the economy not by any objective measure but from their own subjective outlook of whether the rich are becoming richer and their empires more powerful.

The World Economic Forum in Davos is all about inventing new ways to fleece the working peoples of the world and divert them from uniting in their own interests in opposition to the rich oligarchs. Most governments have become representatives of supranational private interests in opposition to the people and their economy.[2]

There is an alternative! A new aim and direction for the economy under the control of the actual producers would begin to solve a country's economic and social problems. This requires democratic renewal and the empowerment of the working people using new political and economic forms and institutions of their own creation.

The supplement to this issue of TML Weekly is dedicated to discussion on the economy. See "Thoughts on the Imperialist Economy and Its Recurring Crises and Wars," by K.C. Adams.


1. Oxfam says Time to Care is a methodology document and outlines how Oxfam calculated the statistics in the report and the dataset. It says:

"Oxfam's calculations are based on the most up-to-date and comprehensive data sources available. Figures on the share of wealth come from the Credit Suisse Research Institute's Global Wealth Databook 2019. Figures on the very richest in society come from Forbes' 2019 Billionaires List. Billionaire wealth fell in the last year but has since recovered.

"Oxfam is part of the Fight Inequality Alliance, a growing global coalition of civil society organizations and activists that will be holding events from January 18-25 in 30 countries, including India, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda and the UK, to promote solutions to inequality and demand that economies work for everyone."

2. The World Economic Forum is funded by its 1,000 member companies, typically global enterprises with more than $5 billion in turnover (varying by industry and region). These enterprises rank among the top companies within their industry and/or country and play a leading role in shaping the future of their industry and/or region. Membership is stratified by the level of engagement with forum activities, with the level of membership fees increasing as participation in meetings, projects, and initiatives rises.

As of 2011, an annual membership costs $52,000 for an individual member, $263,000 for an "Industry Partner" and $527,000 for a "Strategic Partner." The admission fee was $19,000 per person. 

In 2014, WEF raised annual fees by 20 per cent, increasing the cost for a "Strategic Partner" to $628,000. (Abhin Poojary, Analyst at Performics. Convonix)

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Uphold Hereditary and Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Organize Broad Support and Public Opinion for the Just Struggle of the Wet'suwet'en People!

Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, January 4, 2020, gather as they evict Coastal GasLink from
their hereditary lands. 

Stand with the Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders!
Our future lies in the fight for the rights of all!

The working class must boldly stand with the Indigenous peoples who are fighting for their rights. TML Weekly calls on all workers and their organizations to organize broad support and public opinion for the Wet'suwet'en people in northern BC who are courageously defending their territories from imperialist encroachment and state-organized violence and criminalization. The Wet'suwet'en people, on the basis of their own judgment, have not given their free, prior and informed consent for a supranational cartel called Coastal GasLink (CGL) to invade their lands and construct a pipeline.

In defiance of the people's ancient governance system and Wet'suwet'en customary law, Anuc 'nu'at'en, CGL has engaged in wanton destruction of Wet'suwet'en hunting and foraging areas, historical trails and sacred burial and other sites central to the material, spiritual and cultural well-being of the Wet'suwet'en people. In response to this illegal attack on their territory, all five Wet'suwet'en clans issued and enforced an expulsion order on January 4, evicting CGL's workers from their territory.

The federal Liberal government and the BC NDP/Green coalition government, representing the supranational private interests of CGL and associated global energy and financial cartels, are using their political authority, the courts and the RCMP to negate the rights of the Wet'suwet'en people and their lawful jurisdiction over their territory. The BC Supreme Court has issued an injunction against the Wet'suwet'en people criminalizing and ordering them to give up their actions in defence of their rights. Armed officers of the RCMP have been sent to the Wet'suwet'en territory to enforce the illegal colonial injunction. The RCMP has set up a blockade of the CGL construction zone blocking Wet'suwet'en people and their allies from entering their own territory. The federal Parliament, BC Legislature, the courts and the RCMP seek to criminalize with colonial injustice and brute force the defence of the Wet'suwet'en people's rights, their territory, customary law, governance system and economic development under their control and which they decide favours their interests.

 Colonial laws and governance systems established through the oppressive racist Indian Act of 1876 have been used to criminalize and outlaw the Indigenous peoples and negate their rights from coast to coast to coast. The Canadian and Quebec working class does not accept the negation of its own rights or those of the Indigenous peoples. The working class rejects with utter contempt the racist nonsense of BC NDP Premier Horgan who, in slavish devotion to the narrow private interests of a supranational energy/financial/construction cartel, dismisses with the usual colonial arrogance the rights, customary law and traditional governance systems of the Indigenous peoples. With regard to the Wet'suwet'en people evicting CGL from their territory, Horgan has given a green light to the RCMP to unleash yet more colonial violence against the Indigenous people, as he did one year ago, saying, "This project is proceeding, and the rule of law needs to prevail in BC."

The working class has become quite familiar with the rule of law of the imperialists that negates workers' rights to defend their claims on what they produce, to negotiate their terms of employment, oppose the anti-social offensive and organize for a new pro-social direction for the economy. Workers do not accept a rule of law that criminalizes the struggles of the people in defence of their rights. The future of this country and all its peoples lies in the fight for the rights of all!

Workers and their organizations should discuss this attack on the Wet'suwet'en people, which is an attack on all of us, and pass resolutions upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples, send messages of support, and organize actions to demand the federal and BC governments, the courts and the RCMP back off and allow the Wet'suwet'en people their right of free, prior and informed consent, according to their own judgment, to any activity on their territory.

Denounce the State-organized Attacks on the Wet'suwet'en People and Their Territory!
Stand with the Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders!

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Wet'suwet'en People Continue to Say No! to a Coastal GasLink Pipeline on Their Territory

Since the beginning of the year, the Wet'suweten have stepped up their defence of their traditional territories in the face of increased provocations by the colonial courts and the BC government. The hereditary chiefs of the five clans that constitute the Wet'suwet'en people issued and enforced an eviction order against Coastal GasLink (CGL) from their territory. CGL has received government approval to build a 670-kilometre natural-gas pipeline from west of Dawson Creek, BC, to a liquefied-natural-gas export facility near Kitimat, in violation of the Wet'suwet'en's sovereign right to refuse such activity on their unceded lands. The last CGL contractor was escorted out by the Wet'suwet'en on January 4.

These actions were taken in rejection of a December 31, 2019 ruling by BC Supreme Court Justice Marguerite Church granting CGL an interlocutory injunction against the Wet'suweten blocking CGL's entry into their territory.[1] This injunction extends an interim injunction, in effect during 2019, for the duration of the construction project and includes an order providing the RCMP with power to enforce it.

In a press release issued at the time of the eviction, the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs stated: "Canada's courts have acknowledged in Delgamuukw-Gisdaywa v. The Queen that the Wet'suwet'en people, represented by our hereditary chiefs, have never ceded nor surrendered title to the 22,000 square kilometres of Wet'suwet'en territory. The granting of the interlocutory injunction by BC's Supreme Court has proven to us that Canadian courts will ignore their own rulings and deny our jurisdiction when convenient, and will not protect our territories or our rights as Indigenous peoples."[2]

Following the eviction notice to CGL, the hereditary chiefs explained: "Coastal Gaslink has violated the Wet'suwet'en law of trespass, and has bulldozed through our territories, destroyed our archaeological sites, and occupied our land with industrial man-camps. Private security firms and RCMP have continually interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of Wet'suwet'en people to access our lands for hunting, trapping, and ceremony."

The hereditary chiefs called out the hypocrisy of the Province of British Columbia for adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), while the Wet'suwet'en are actively denied the protections of UNDRIP on their own lands. "When we enforced our own laws and required that industry seek Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for development on our lands we faced a brutal display of militaristic police violence and an ongoing police occupation of our territories," they said. This was in reference to the RCMP paramilitary operation of January 7, 2019, that brutally attacked the Gidumt'en checkpoint to the Unist'ot'en camp, arresting 14 land defenders, to enforce the interim injunction.

The hereditary chiefs also noted: "We have learned, through the reporting of the Guardian, that RCMP are prepared to kill unarmed Wet'suwet'en people if we continue to uphold our laws."

The statement also emphasized: "Anuc 'nu'at'en (Wet'suwet'en law) is not a 'belief' or a 'point of view.' It is a way of sustainably managing our territories and relations with one another and the world around us, and it has worked for millennia to keep our territories intact. Our law is central to our identity. The ongoing criminalization of our laws by Canada's courts and industrial police is an attempt at genocide, an attempt to extinguish Wet'suwet'en identity itself."

A year after the RCMP assault on Wet'suwet'en Land Defenders on their traditional territory in northern BC, the institutions of colonial injustice continue to refuse to respect the hereditary rights and title of the Wet'suwet'en. Both the federal and provincial governments, in spite of high-sounding phrases about reconciliation and nation-to-nation relations, insist that this is a "law and order" matter. The NDP Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan, arrogantly refused to meet with hereditary leaders on a recent trip to northern BC and has repeated that "there are agreements from the Peace Country to Kitimat with Indigenous communities that want to see economic activity and prosperity take place [...] All the permits are in place for this project to proceed. This project is proceeding and the rule of law needs to prevail in BC." The agreements that the premier referenced with Indigenous communities are deals struck with elected band councils on the pipeline route that were established under the racist and colonial Indian Act precisely to accomplish assimilation and dispossession of the original peoples.

Premier Hogan claims that the current stand off, the RCMP blockade, threat of escalating violence and use of force is about "the rule of law." In fact it is about negating by force Wet'suwet'en sovereignty and Wet'suwet'en law and imposing the dictate of CGL to construct its pipeline and get on with a $40 billion liquefied natural gas mega-project.

The Wet'suwet'en have rejected the criminalization of their hereditary rights and their sovereignty. They are affirming their sovereign right to say No! to entry without consent. No! to the dictate of monopolies like CGL. No! to the illegitimate use of force and violence by the police, the courts and other institutions of the racist, colonial Canadian state. Their stand is that negotiations to resolve the conflict must be held between the hereditary chiefs and the governments of British Columbia and Canada, not with the RCMP or CGL.

Over the past year, the level of public support, understanding and acknowledgment of the significance of this opposition by Indigenous nations and others to the old colonial arrangements, has grown and grown. The eyes of people in Canada and around the world have been on the developing situation. In December 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, meeting in Geneva at its 100th session, issued a decision which called upon the "state party" to suspend construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, the Site C dam, and "to immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in the traditional and unceded lands and territories of the Wet'suwet'en people, until they grant their free, prior and informed consent, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult," and specifically that the RCMP should be withdrawn from the traditional territories. In their decision the UN Committee found that there had been refusal, on the part of the state "to consider free, prior and informed consent as a requirement for any measure, such as large-scale development projects, that may cause irreparable harm to Indigenous peoples rights, culture, lands, territories and way of life."

The Wet'suwet'en have continued to put their fight before the Canadian people who have responded in their thousands in support of the principled stand of the hereditary chiefs and the clan houses to uphold their hereditary laws and rights. Most recently actions were organized across Canada and Quebec during the week of January 7-12 under the banner "All Eyes on Wet'suwet'en" to ensure that people spoke out in their own name and the colonial state was not allowed a free hand to criminalize and attack the Wet'suwet'en for their just stands.

The situation brings into sharp relief the battle lines that are being drawn across Canada between the governments of the financial oligarchies that have usurped political power on one side and the Indigenous peoples, working class, women and youth, and all fighting collectives for their rights on the other.

Canada must respect the hereditary, constitutional and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples in order to affect real reconciliation and make right the centuries of wrong that the racist colonial state has carried out against the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

No to the Criminalization of the Wet'suwet'en People's
Defence of Their Hereditary Rights!
End Colonial Injustice!


1. Interlocutory is a legal term which can refer to an order, sentence, decree, or judgment, that is provisional; temporary; not final. Something intervening between the commencement and the end of a suit which decides some point or matter, but is not a final decision of the whole controversy. (Black's Law Dictionary)

2. It was the hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en and the Gitksan who launched what became known as the Delgamuukw case, a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the hereditary chiefs' pursuit of a legal and political settlement of their grievances and recognition of their rights. In 1977, the Wet'suwet'en and Gitksan Chiefs' claim over their traditional territory was accepted by the Federal Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs as a foundation for negotiating a "comprehensive claim" under the federal treaty process. The province refused to participate in negotiations and after five years with no progress, the chiefs took their case for the recognition they had been denied since 1860 to the courts. The attempt by some forces to characterize the hereditary chiefs as "rogue elements" or the dispute as narrow and short-lived, is shameful in the extreme.

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Canada Must Respect the Right of
Indigenous Nations and Peoples to Sovereignty
and Self-Determination

The decision of a British Columbia Supreme Court hearing in Prince George on December 31, 2019, concerning the decades-long struggle of the Wet'suwet'en Nation to affirm their hereditary rights once again underscores that the problem lies in the refusal of the Canadian state to recognize Indigenous sovereignty and nation-to-nation relations.

The plaintiff in this case, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. (CGL), was seeking another court injunction to prevent any obstruction to the building of the CGL pipeline through the unceded territory of the Wet'suwet'en. The company claimed that it had met all the regulations and requirements and furthermore, had secured the agreements from 20 different first nations along the planned route of the pipeline, so everything is "legit."

The defendants, according to the court documents, are Freda Huson, Warner Naziel, John Doe, Jane Doe and "all other persons unknown to the plaintiff occupying, obstructing, blocking, physically impeding or delaying access at or in the vicinity of the area in and around the Morice River Bridge or the area accessed by the Morice West Forest Service Road."

Among other things in her judgment in favour of the plaintiff, Justice Marguerite Church wrote: "The Indigenous legal perspective in this case is further complicated by the fact that the Wet'suwet'en people have both hereditary and Indian Act band council governance systems and there is dispute over the extent of the jurisdictions of each of those governance systems."

By introducing the notion that there are two governance systems and that there is a "dispute" and writing further "...there is considerable disagreement among members of the Wet'suwet'en nation with respect to the Pipeline Project and there are many in the community who support the Pipeline Project and are of the view that it will have substantial benefits to the Wet'suwet'en nation as a whole," Justice Church betrays the colonial outlook of the Canadian state and its court system in the service of private interests. In fact, there is only one legitimate governing system for Indigenous peoples and that is the one which they determine for themselves as sovereign peoples. The entire band council system was imposed at the point of a gun through the Indian Act by the Canadian colonial state in order to establish control and dictate over the Indigenous nations and steal their lands and resources.[1] 

From the get-go Indigenous peoples resisted the imposition of the band council system which has been the direct cause of their displacement and impoverishment. Furthermore, in the case of British Columbia, the vast majority of the lands were never subject to treaties. The band council's jurisdiction only extends to Indian Act lands, not the traditional lands. The Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs' quarrel is not with the Wet'suwet'en band council. Their quarrel is with the illegal and criminal actions of the Canadian state and with Coastal Gaslink.

What is also important is that throughout this period it is the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who have upheld the rule of law and fought for the interests of their people by asserting their laws and authority. In this they have the support of the Canadian people who have stepped up their support for the legitimate stands and claims of the Wet'suwet'en and Indigenous peoples of Canada, and are taking up their social responsibility to work with the Indigenous peoples to find solutions to their common problems stemming from a Canadian state which does not represent their interests.

Actions took place across Canada under the banner "All Eyes on Wet'suwet'en" earlier this month marking the first anniversary of the blockade at Unist'ot'en, to serve notice to the state and its police, and to tell the whole world that the Canadian and Quebec people are standing by the Wet'suwet'en and their hereditary chiefs.

Turning the legitimate concerns and demands of the Wet'suwet'en people into law and order matters is unacceptable. The decision of the BC Supreme Court shows that the courts and governments are not interested in finding a just solution to the problems but are instead intent on imposing their dictate. It is the Wet'suwet'en and their hereditary chiefs who have attempted to affirm their claims through diplomacy within the framework that their sovereignty and territorial rights are non-negotiable. There can be no access to their lands without their free, prior and informed consent.


1. See TML Weekly, February 2, 2019.

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Statement of Solidarity

We, the following faculty and staff at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), are expressing our solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs who have evicted Coastal Gas Link (CGL) and their employees from their territories. We call on the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to respect this eviction that is based on the fact that the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs have never ceded their jurisdiction to the lands they have governed for thousands of years.

The Supreme Court of Canada, in Delgamuukw-Gisdaywa, upheld the fact that Aboriginal Rights to traditionally occupied, unceded lands in British Columbia have not been extinguished and that provincial laws cannot extinguish Aboriginal Rights.

Our federal government talks of reconciliation and our provincial government has recently passed a bill that says they will honour the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). These are hollow promises if they continue to support resource development projects like CGL against the expressed will of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs.

Our university has a long history of recognizing and honouring Aboriginal leaders who have fought for the land rights of their people. The late Dr. Alfred Joseph held the name Gisdaywa and spent a great deal of his life fighting for the land rights of the Wet'suwet'en people. Dr. Roger William led the Tsilhqot'in land title case that was decided by a unanimous decision in the Supreme Court of Canada. Our present Chancellor, Dr. Joseph Gosnell was a key figure in the Nisga'a, fight for self-government of their lands. These individuals were all awarded honourary degrees from UNBC.

At this pivotal point in Canadian history, we ask our elected leaders, provincially and federally, to insist the RCMP stand down. We also ask our elected leaders to begin honourable and respectful negotiations with the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs in regards to their rights and title to the lands they have been responsible for since time immemorial.

For full list of signatories, click here

(January 10, 2019)

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Thirty Years After Delgamuukw

Writing in the Globe and Mail on January 9, the Honourable Stephen O'Neill, an associate lawyer at Nahwegahbow Corbiere Genoodmagejig Barristers and Solicitors, formerly a judge on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice from 1999 to 2015, addresses the fight for justice for Canada's Indigenous peoples and the requirement for government to act with honour to recognize Indigenous rights. His opinion piece is entitled "For the Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan peoples, justice has been denied. What else is new?"

To illustrate, he quotes Beverley McLachlin, then-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, who said in the 2004 decision in Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests): "Put simply, Canada's Aboriginal peoples were here when Europeans came, and were never conquered. [...] Many bands reconciled their claims with the sovereignty of the Crown through negotiated treaties. Others, notably in British Columbia, have yet to do so. The potential rights imbedded in these claims are protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The honour of the Crown requires that these rights be determined, recognized and respected. This, in turn, requires the Crown, acting honourably, to participate in processes of negotiation. [... W]hile this process [of reconciling Indigenous claims with Crown sovereignty] continues, the honour of the Crown may require it to consult, and where indicated, accommodate Aboriginal interests."

O'Neill goes on to address the current situation and the BC Supreme Court decision to grant the Coastal GasLink injunction:

"This latest injunction represents a blow to the efforts to oppose the project in the area, as this order could potentially criminalize those land protectors who, with the support of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, have been working for years to uphold customary Wet'suwet'en law; for about a year, Wet'suwet'en members have blockaded a remote stretch of forest service road and a bridge using checkpoints on their traditional territory about 300 kilometres west of Prince George. This latest injunction would restrain and prevent certain named defendants from the Wet'suwet'en Nation from continuing to do so, and expanded the reach of the order to include the entirety of that forest service road.

"But hidden in the decision is a paragraph of telling importance from the hearing judge about a ruling that is key to understanding this current contretemps: Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. 'The aboriginal title claims of the Wet'suwet'en remain outstanding and have not been resolved either by litigation or negotiation, despite the urging of the Supreme Court of Canada in Delgamuukw. It is apparent from their affidavit materials and submissions that the defendants are aware that their title claims remain outstanding.'

"Which brings us to a previous disappointing chapter in Crown-Indigenous relations in Canada that makes this latest one even more tragic. Shortly after its release, members of the same Wet'suwet'en Nation, in conjunction with the Gitxsan, filed a legal appeal of the 1990 trial decision in Delgamuukw, which was heard in the same BC Supreme Court. The Delgamuukw case sought declarations of ownership and jurisdiction (later amended to aboriginal title) over 58,000 square kilometres of land in British Columbia; in the case of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, their traditional unceded territory (yin'tah) consists of 22,000 square kilometres.

"After 318 days of evidence presentation and 56 days of closing arguments, the trial judge ultimately ruled against the plaintiffs. But three years later, five judges of the BC Appeals Court unanimously rejected that ruling, ordering the case back to trial to determine the nature and scope of the aboriginal rights of the Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan peoples. And on further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, the country's highest court ordered a new trial in 1997 because of the trial judge's treatment of the various kinds of oral histories that were presented at trial, which were very supportive of and important to the Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan peoples' legal position, but were rejected. Antonio Lamer, the Supreme Court's chief justice at the time, stated that had the oral history evidence been correctly assessed and given the legal weight it was entitled to at trial, the trial judge's findings of fact might well have been different.

"In ordering a new trial, however, the then-Chief Justice wrote these words, which are often repeated in legal circles: 'By ordering a new trial, I do not necessarily encourage the parties to proceed to litigation and to settle their dispute through the courts. As was said in Sparrow, at p. 1105, s. 35(1) 'provides a solid constitutional base upon which subsequent negotiations can take place.' Moreover, the Crown is under a moral, if not a legal, duty to enter into and conduct those negotiations in good faith.'

"Which now takes us to this place in history. Thirty-six years after the Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan first entered the Canadian justice system in good faith, honouring the processes of the court in pursuit of affirmations and declarations relating to ownership, jurisdiction, rights and title with respect to identified lands in British Columbia, a final trial has not taken place on Delgamuukw, nor has a settlement and resolution of the outstanding legal issues been reached. And the injunction, fuelled in part by this decades-long legal limbo, just shows how unproductive any real attempts at good-faith negotiations have actually been for anything resembling reconciliation between the Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan peoples and the Crown.

"This is a wrong that is completely unconscionable. It is a wrong that amounts to a deep injustice. It is proof again of the maxim that justice delayed is justice denied.

"Is it any wonder then that people, whose backs are against the wall and who have deep spiritual and cultural connections to their traditional lands and waters, have asserted customary Wet'suwet'en law and authority through blockades and other means?

"From the perspective of the named defendants, they were legally asserting Wet'suwet'en traditional laws and authority in unceded Wet'suwet'en territory. Further, from the Indigenous legal perspective, and flowing from Wet'suwet'en traditional governance structures, Coastal GasLink required the nation's consent and authorization to enter upon and to construct works in unceded Wet'suwet'en lands. That consent had not been given through the traditional governance structures.

"Yet from the point of view of the judge hearing the injunction, Wet'suwet'en customary laws could not be recognized. 'There has been no process by which Wet'suwet'en customary laws have been recognized in this manner. The aboriginal title claims of the Wet'suwet'en people have yet to be resolved either by negotiation or litigation. While Wet'suwet'en customary laws clearly exist on their own independent footing, they are not recognized as being an effectual part of Canadian law.'

"Denying Indigenous law any effectual meaning as 'law,' and potentially criminalizing the actions taken under Wet'suwet'en customary law and authority, will not lead to reconciliation. Indeed, it is the antithesis to reconciliation, however that word may be interpreted in law or in practice.

"The injunction ruling also added in part: 'The defendants are posing significant constitutional questions and asking this court to decide those issues in the context of the injunction application with little or no factual matrix. This is not the venue for that analysis and those are issues that must be determined at trial.' This has been the case -- the question of their rights and title repeatedly bounced around and shirked for others to decide -- for decades. If not now, then when?

"What was not written in the ruling was that the evidence of aboriginal title, use, possession and occupation of the identified subject lands in the Delgamuukw case was strong, compelling and arguably very convincing, when assessed through the appropriate legal principles and with the proper weight to be given to the oral-history evidence provided at the original trial.

"When examined through a larger lens, and with an understanding that justice has been unconscionably delayed with respect to the Delgamuukw case, the injunction court's condemnation and disapproval ought not to have rested only on the shoulders of those people connected to the Wet'suwet'en Nation and the people supporting them. Rather, and perhaps far more important, the court's condemnation and disapproval ought to have been directed toward all those members of the Canadian public who, at one time or another between 1984 and 2019, have held and possessed positions of power and authority both inside and outside the Canadian justice system. They could have affirmed and recognized aboriginal rights and title. They could have ensured that land-claim cases such as Delgamuukw (of which there are many outstanding in this country) are tried, or resolved and settled, within a reasonable period of time.

"Justice delayed, and therefore justice denied. This is the real story behind the injunction that has labelled people as obstructing, impeding and blocking access to unceded Wet'suwet'en territorial lands -- people who are members of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, the unextinguished laws of which were found by the injunction-hearing judge to clearly exist on their own independent footing."

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Actions Across Turtle Island and Beyond
Stand with Land Defenders

The Wet'suwet'en nation has been stewarding and protecting their traditional territories from the destruction of multiple pipelines, including Coastal GasLink's (CGL) liquified natural gas pipeline. To defend their just stand and to prevent a repeat of the RCMP raid on their territory one year ago the Wet'suwet'in land defenders called for a week of solidarity actions, "All Eyes on Wet'suwet'en," January 7-12. Some 42 action were advertised on their calendar of events, most in Canada and Quebec, and actions have carried on to date. Solidarity actions were also organized in the U.S. cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Rochester. 

Many actions have taken place throughout BC. One of the largest, in Vancouver, saw some 1,000 demonstrators gather outside the BC Supreme Court, which issued the December 31 injunction ruling that Coastal GasLink must be allowed on Wet'suwet'en lands, against the will of the Wet'suwet'en. Speakers at the rally, which included Union of BC Indian Chiefs President Stewart Phillip and Vice President Don Tom, emphasized that there would be no backing down. Tom summed up the defiant mood of those present stating "It is up to us to create the change that is necessary." Others said that the RCMP are acting as private security for Coastal Gas and private companies. One speaker stated the Wet'suwet'en "are fighting for all of us" and "protecting all of our livelihoods." Another said, "we must resist the criminalization of front lines" and government lies of "reconciliation and climate leadership."


Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal





Prince George






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Mass Incarceration of Indigenous Peoples

Statement by Chief of Human Rights Commission

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issued the following statement on January 21 under the title "Bold and Urgent Action Needed to Address This National Disgrace."


The Commission is deeply disturbed by the recent findings of the Office of the Correctional Investigator that the proportion of Indigenous people in federal prisons has now surpassed a staggering 30 per cent of the total inmate population.

This is a national disgrace. We strongly agree with the Correctional Investigator that bold and urgent action is required to address this persistent and pressing human rights issue.

The Government of Canada has committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry's Calls to Justice. Both call for urgent criminal justice reform to address the over-incarceration of Indigenous men and women.

While the work towards meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples to address the lasting legacy of colonialism continues, we call on Parliament to take immediate steps to address the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

As a first step, we call on the federal government to review mandatory minimum sentences, which have no deterrent effect and which disproportionally impact the lives of far too many Indigenous, Black and marginalized Canadians.

Canada is better than this.

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Latin America and the Caribbean

 In 2020 Step Up Anti-Imperialist Solidarity
with the Peoples of Our America!

First monthly picket of the year, Ottawa, January 17, 2020.

The year that just ended was marked by important advances as well as setbacks on different fronts for the people's forces in Latin America. The coming year promises to be one in which countries and peoples resisting U.S. imperialism's increasingly brutal attempt to assert its hegemony over the entire region will continue to face serious challenges. But it also holds promise in the sense that the people's forces are courageously doing battle with the forces of retrogression led by the U.S., in some cases under very dangerous and difficult conditions. They are building their unity and organization in the course of asserting their rights and putting forward their demands for a society that guarantees the rights of all and a future for all free from the disastrous economic and social ills bred by the neo-liberal remedies the international financial oligarchy has imposed on their countries.

Deserving of special mention is the fact that the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, united around their governments, have been able to defend and strengthen their revolutions in the face of every kind of infamy directed against them by the U.S. in its quest to foment counterrevolution, overthrow their elected governments and put an end to their sovereignty and independence. The inability of the U.S. imperialists to bring the people and governments of these three countries to heel after years of subversive activity means they will step up attempts to accomplish their criminal aim, no matter how unlikely the prospects of success.

Picket in Montreal, January 22, 2020, stands in solidarity with the Chilean people's resistance to neo-liberalism.

Pompeo's Sabre-Rattling Tour

During the week of January 19-25, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The first was Colombia, whose government led by the neo-liberal and peace-destroying president Ivan Duque, has been the closest collaborator of the U.S. in its attempts to destabilize neighbouring Venezuela and overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro. It was therefore not surprising that Juan Guaidó, the fake "president" of Venezuela, was smuggled into the country to appear alongside Pompeo at a meeting of foreign ministers from the hemisphere and later meet there with a gang of Miami-based counterrevolutionaries who, according to reports, expressly requested that he ask Pompeo for a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela.

Pompeo also arranged for Guaidó to go on a European tour immediately afterwards so he could spew out his lies and plead for more punishing sanctions against his country to anyone who would listen there. In this he was given a hand up by Canada, whose mission to the EU Parliament in Brussels hosted a meeting on January 22 for him to meet with members of the Lima Group, its EU-led counterpart, the International Contact Group, the G7 and ambassadors of EU member states. In keeping with its racist, colonial tradition, the Canadian government reported it as a meeting of "the international community."

Guaidó was also allowed to make his pitch to the filthy rich gathered at Davos for what is called a "world" economic forum. Everything makes clear that the imposter's only real support is outside the country, not inside it. That fact was further driven home by his failure to muster enough votes from opposition factions that previously supported him to be re-elected president of the National Assembly. He then resorted to organizing his own counterfeit "election" in front of the media on the premises of an opposition newspaper so he could once again proclaim himself the elected president of the legislature and therefore also of the country. This is the basis on which his foreign handlers, the Trudeau government among them, keep promoting the farcical notion that he is still Venezuela's "legitimate president."

From "Humanitarian" to "Anti-Terrorism" Card

Officially, Pompeo went to Bogotá to attend the Third Western Hemisphere Counterterrorism Ministerial on January 20, for which he had a specific agenda as well, using it as a platform to push the notion that Venezuela harbours terrorist groups and supporters of terrorist groups. He made special mention of the Lebanese organization Hezbollah, which he called "the Iranian regime's top terrorist proxy." Pompeo's message to governments that had not yet done so was to get on with designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group and start taking action against suspected individuals.

He then said to the 20 or so foreign ministers in attendance that the U.S. had done its part to "take down the threat of Iran's proxies" and "eliminated Qasem Soleimani." A few sentences later he said that "neutralizing terrorists is one of President Trump's top national security priorities." He followed this with an offer to partner with their countries "in every way possible," calling it burden-sharing. Pompeo was not explicit about what kind of actions the partnership on offer might apply to, but given the pains he took to link Venezuela and "Maduro" with Iran and Hezbollah, one can only wonder what this former CIA director, who brags about the lawless "neutralizing" of opponents, had in mind. It appears that for the U.S., playing the "humanitarian crisis/intervention" card and "responsibility to protect" may have run their course, having gone nowhere. So now the stage is being set to switch from that pretense to another one: terrorism in the name of fighting terrorism.

Pompeo's verbal sabre rattling at the badly named counterterrorism ministerial was followed three days later by the arrival in Colombia of paratroopers from the 82nd U.S. Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C and other members of U.S. Army South to participate with the Colombian military in what is described as an airborne anti-terrorism exercise.  A second exercise will begin January 29 involving fighter jets and helicopters.

Pompeo's second stop was in Costa Rica on January 21, which borders Nicaragua, another U.S. target for destabilization and regime change. In public remarks there he again singled out Venezuela for attack but honed in on Nicaragua's Sandinista government, issuing warnings to it. While there he met openly with Nicaraguan anti-government opposition groups his government no doubt funds. They, like Guaidó, called for more sanctions against their homeland.

Attempt to Divide CARICOM

Pompeo's third stop was Jamaica, for more dirty work -- in this case attempting to divide Caribbean countries and split their organization CARICOM, only some of whose members were invited to meet with Pompeo. The 15-member organization has served as an effective block to attempts by the U.S. and its allies to use the discredited Organization of American States (OAS) as a political weapon against Venezuela by denying them the number of votes needed to take action against Venezuela in the name of the OAS. This led the U.S. and Canada to set up the illegitimate Lima Group outside the OAS for the purpose of advancing their illegal regime change project.

CARICOM Chair Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, said the meeting organized by Pompeo in Jamaica was an attempt to divide the region and for that reason Barbados would not be attending. "As chairman of CARICOM," she said, "it is impossible for me to agree that my foreign minister should attend a meeting with anyone to which members of CARICOM are not invited." Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago followed her lead, saying as head of CARICOM Mottley also spoke for him. Grenada declined to attend as well, leaving only six countries for Pompeo to lecture about strengthening ties with the U.S. and its fraudulent project for a "free hemisphere."

Pompeo’s public speech in Kingston again targeted Venezuela, this time adding Cuba, Russia and China to the list. He accused Russia and Cuba of continuing "to meddle in the sovereign affairs of nations, trying to destabilize democracies," and "easy money" from China of feeding corruption, undermining countries' rule of law, ruining their environment and not creating jobs for their people. 

Part of Pompeo's time in Jamaica was spent meeting separately with Prime Minister Holness and senior members of his cabinet, where he again viciously attacked the government of Nicolás Maduro, later declaring publicly that Holness agreed with him on that. It is not known how that was received by Holness. He urged Holness to exercise "leadership" in CARICOM and to encourage the rest of its members to re-elect the U.S. henchman Luis Almagro as OAS Secretary-General in March, and by implication, facilitate the OAS acting officially against Venezuela.

There can be no doubt that the U.S. is stepping up its offensive in Latin America and the Caribbean on different fronts -- against the government and peoples of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua in particular, to discourage others from following their "bad examples" -- and against the people fighting for their rights in many other countries as well. The machinery is already in action to prevent the Bolivian people from freely and democratically electing their choice of president later this year, while the U.S. hails the "democratic" coup government of Jeanine Añez as it metes out state terror and lawfare against leaders and supporters of the former governing MAS party and criminalizes dissent.

The U.S. modus operandi for carrying out its offensive against popular and democratic forces and governments in Latin America and the Caribbean involves defamation, slander, creating division and issuing warnings and threats – both in words and in deeds. The panorama unfolding for the year ahead indicates that 2020 will require vigilance and stepping up anti-imperialist solidarity based on building the unity of all the peoples of Our America for peace, freedom, democracy and rights.

(Granma, El Tiempo, Loop News, The Guardian, The Gleaner. Photos: TML, Ottawa-Cuba Connections, Winnipeg Ukrainian Labour Temple.)

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61st Anniversary of Cuban Revolution

 Cuba Marches On! Cuba Resists! Cuba Wins!

New Year's event in Vancouver, December 31, 2019, organized by Cuban friendship organizations, celebrates 61 years of the Cuban Revolution.

Sixty-one years! It is sixty-one years since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. Sixty-one years in which Cuba definitively and defiantly embarked on a path that established authentic self-determination, placing the Cuban nation firmly in the hands of its people.

It is profoundly poignant that the Cuban Revolution has not only outlasted 11 U.S. presidential administrations but has also existed longer than the U.S. neo-colony that was imposed on the people of Cuba in 1898 when Washington militarily intervened in that heroic island nation just as Cuba's liberation fighters were on the verge of throwing-off once-and-for all the yoke of Spanish colonialism.

The Cuban Revolution is a culmination of the struggles for national independence and social justice, first launched on October 10, 1868 by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, carried forward and deepened by José Martí in 1895, and revived periodically throughout the first half of the 20th century when Cuba languished under U.S. hegemony. It is, therefore, the crystallization and consummation of the historical aspirations of the Cuban people, manifested time and time again in their re-affirmation and determination to defend, strengthen and perfect the revolutionary project.

However, the empire has never accepted the verdict of the Cuban people; it has waged an economic war and a campaign of destabilization aimed at restoring U.S. imperialism's domination and tutelage.

In the face of unceasing and escalating U.S. hostility, the Cuban Revolution has made an invaluable contribution to the global struggle for justice, social development and human dignity.

Cuba holds an admirable place in the international community regarding the protection and promotion of the rights of its citizens. Cuba is not a haven for the economic violence that reigns in so many countries.

In Cuba everyone is guaranteed an education and access to universal and free health care.

In Cuba no one is "disappeared" or the victim of extra-judicial execution.

In Cuba there are no homeless roaming the streets, no one left to fend for themselves, eking out an existence in a dog-eat-dog society.

Besieged by imperialism, the heroic island nation has made invaluable contributions to the well-being of the world's nations and peoples, having established an unparalleled legacy of internationalism and humanitarianism.

More than 400,000 Cuban medical personnel have served in 164 countries fighting disease.

More than 2,000 Cubans gave their lives in the struggles to liberate Africa from the scourge of colonialism and apartheid.

What Cuba has done nationally and internationally is no small feat. Its impressive achievements have occurred in the midst of an all-sided brutal aggression by Washington. The U.S. economic blockade -- the principal obstacle to Cuba's social and economic development -- has cost the island nation in excess of $1 trillion U.S. dollars, constituting a flagrant violation of the human rights of the people of Cuba.

Washington's objective is the negation and extinguishing of Cuba's right to self-determination and independence.

Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, the Cuban people have resisted all attempts to take away their independence and freedom, and re-impose foreign domination. They have repelled the unceasing economic, financial and propagandistic assault by Washington, including the April 1961 mercenary invasion.

Cubans have never wavered in their revolutionary resolve and commitment. As Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez declared in his December 21, 2019 address to Cuba's National Assembly: "United we have won! United we will win!"

Long Live the Cuban Revolution!
¡Viva la Revolución Cubana!

(Photos: VCSC, Granma)

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  U.S. Interferes (Again) to Save Guaidó

Mass rally in Caracas of the people's forces, January 23, 2020. Also present were 400 delegates of social movements from more than 70 countries.

On January 5, the election of new leadership for the National Assembly, the country's parliamentary body, took place in Venezuela. In that session, deputy Luis Parra was elected, who was once part of the opposition party Primera Justicia.

As is known, the events of January 5 were marked by controversy given the decision of the deputy and outgoing president of parliament, Juan Guaidó, not to come to the session and his subsequent attempt to enter the chamber by jumping a fence -- an image that went viral and became the cover story for an alleged boycott against his re-election [and his supposed barred entry -- TML Ed. note].

That day ended with Juan Guaidó swearing himself in without a parliamentary quorum in front of a group of his followers at the headquarters of the newspaper El Nacional. The event was just a media stunt that then turned into a political act. For the U.S. government as well as for other countries in the region, especially those that make up the Lima Group, the media "truth" prevailed.

Several countries that went along with the same narrative as the U.S. government dismissed the election of Parra and blamed him for allegedly impeding the election of Guaidó.

However, another act, even more unusual, took place on January 7. At the end of an ordinary session of parliament, chaired by Luis Parra, Juan Guaidó violently broke into the chamber accompanied by his supporting deputies.

He then appeared before the podium, his lackeys flanking him and swore himself in, again, as president of the National Assembly and, consequently, the "president in charge" of Venezuela, that is to say, in front of no more than a few dozen deputies that followed him in, and a lot of media. The whole thing was clearly staged as a set-up in which the parliamentarians faked a session in which Guaidó was once again declared president.

As it seems to have been planned, this was another media event. For a number of media and political actors, Guaidó took office in the legislature, that is, he presented himself triumphantly as rescuing the "legality" and "legitimacy" of the powers with which he is "vested."

Although for the internal politics of Venezuela, Guaidó does not exercise any real power and his position is today totally void in the Venezuelan institutional sphere, for the press and the U.S. government and its allies, Juan Guaidó is the man responsible for the two most important public powers of the Venezuelan State, even though such a thing is fully outside the Venezuelan Constitution.

Collusion of Two Parliaments a Rupture of Venezuela's
Institutional Arrangements

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza addresses the contents of a "diplomatic note" sent by the U.S. government to several countries.

The news channel TeleSUR reported that Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza addressed the media to disseminate the contents of a "diplomatic note" sent by the U.S. government to several countries. The document was called "The U.S. Government requests support for a statement on fair elections in the Venezuelan National Assembly."

For the Minister, this document confirms the U.S. government's intention to interfere in the election of the parliamentary leadership, the only explanation for the unusual and unprecedented actions taken by deputy Guaidó throughout these events.

According to U.S. government spokesmen, the "president" is still Guaidó. And indeed, Deputy Luis Parra is expected to be added to the list of Venezuelan officials sanctioned by the United States and the European Union, as clear retaliation. It is now evident that the U.S. government insists on Guaidó's continuity in the political arena despite his rejection by the majority of deputies, now made up of dissident members of the opposition and Chavistas.

The seriousness of these events lies in the deepening of the Venezuelan institutional crisis and the U.S. seems to be perfectly clear about this. That seems to be the intention, along with sustaining the artificial "presidency" of Guaidó, as a multipurpose pressure and delegitimization tactic of both President Nicolás Maduro, and now also the new president of the legislature.

Another of the derivations of the parallel "National Assembly" that Guaidó governs is that it blocks any possibility of a political detente in Venezuela between Chavismo and the opposition, which could have repercussions for the Chavista leadership and opposition forces, which, although they have distanced themselves from Guaidó, continue to maintain an openly anti-Chavista position.

With these actors, there is the possibility that the Venezuelan legislature will recognize the other public powers and that, consequently, Venezuela will overcome the political stagnation it has suffered since the National Assembly decided to place itself in contempt of the other branches of the state in 2016.

Another possibility lies in the renewal of the Electoral Authority of Venezuela through the appointment of new leaders, something that has not been possible because of the on and off negotiations between Chavismo and the opposition, as well as the no-dialogue position assumed in 2019 by the radical wing under the command of Guaidó, on U.S. instructions.

The outcome of this series of events may be the stagnation of the political and institutional exercise in Venezuela, particularly in 2020, a parliamentary election year. Without a political agreement, without a new National Electoral Council and without an elementary detente, this year's parliamentary elections would be at risk. Whether they are boycotted by a number of opposition parties or even if they are carried out with the participation of broad national sectors of Chavismo and the opposition, they could end in non-recognition by the U.S. government and its satellites.

Such an outcome would mean, then, that Venezuela would continue to be subject to U.S. pressure, which implies an economic and diplomatic blockade and political interference accompanied with threats of military intervention and the promotion of internal sedition.

The U.S. does not want a political solution between Venezuelans and has as its central objective the dismantling of the Chavista forces in government. The existence of two leaderships in the National Assembly, one recognized within Venezuela and the other recognized by the United States and its allies, represents a clearly useful institutional dissonance to consolidate a rupture in Venezuela, a fundamental link for the consolidation of a coup d'état.

On the other hand, the clearly disturbing presence of Guaidó, artificially sustained in the political arena, is clearly essential for the flow of resources for the benefit of specific sectors of the opposition.

At the end of 2019, Namita Biggins, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said that during 2019 "the U.S. government has given more than $650 million towards humanitarian assistance, not only inside Venezuela but also to support 16 neighbouring countries." She said they would like to continue deepening support for Guaidó during this year, which implies more resources.

It should also be noted that supporting Guaidó means continuing the U.S. strategy against Venezuela. Getting another deputy recognized as "president in charge" would be very cumbersome for the Trump Administration's diplomacy and, in effect, would mean declaring the "Guaidó strategy" that was expected to meet the objective of getting Maduro out in just months, in early 2019, a failure.

In his recent presentation to the press, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, referring to the U.S. diplomatic document, indicated that it expressed the U.S. interest in forming a "transition government" in Venezuela. At the same time they ratified their intention to maintain the unilateral coercive measures against the country to force the exit of the legitimate president Nicolás Maduro.

Everything seems to indicate that, in the framework of an election year for Donald Trump, his bet on Venezuela will be to sustain the "Guaidó strategy" despite its catastrophic results in 2019. But in addition to that, everything seems to point to an increase in economic pressures and policies against Venezuela, to assert the U.S. "position of strength" and to present Trump's foreign agenda as a "successful model" of institutional relations for the region.

In the plot of their coup agenda against the Venezuelan state, the U.S. is not concerned about forms, and their agenda is clearly that of the "big stick."

(January 10, 2020. Translated from original Spanish by TML. Photos: MinMujer, Misión Verdad)

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  Solemn Commemoration Activities in Montreal Mark 10th Anniversary of the Earthquake: Ayiti la! 

The tenth anniversary of the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 was commemorated in Montreal on January 11-12 at TOHU, Montreal's Cité des arts du Cirque, located in the heart of the Saint-Michel district. The two-day events were organized by la Maison d'Haïti in close collaboration with TOHU and the participation of over 40 groups, organizations and artists. Activities included conferences, artistic and artisanal exhibits, information kiosks, dance performances, a film screening and a solemn closing event. Hundreds of people of all ages took part throughout the weekend in exchanges, learning and paying tribute.

The many activities were instructive in illustrating how the Haitian people organize to surmount their difficulties. Amongst others, the film "Haiti Betrayed" provided a wealth of information on the situation within the country and the foreign interference there, which poses a block to the Haitian people's defence of their sovereignty. The one-hour-and-twenty-minute documentary, produced by Elaine Brière, a documentary photographer and filmmaker from British Columbia, deals in particular with the Canadian government's role in Haiti. The ongoing resistance and struggle of the Haitian people for their dignity against foreign occupiers, both past and present, is very well illustrated. Interference, intrigues, the sending of troops to take control of the country, as well as the coup d'état carried out by Canada, the U.S. and France, with the collaboration of successive governments in Haiti, are presented. Efforts by foreign powers, including Canada, to prevent the Haitian people from affirming their sovereignty clearly emerge through the presentation of facts, interviews and a review of the history of the Haitian people.

Workshop on the current crisis in Haiti, January 12, 2020.

A workshop was organized on January 12 by Solidarité Québec-Haïti to delve into the crisis afflicting Haiti in the earthquake's aftermath. A very animated exchange took place during a video-conference between two activists in Haiti and another in Canada. The corruption of the big foreign powers and how they act with impunity are key features of the years following the earthquake. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), 13 international members and 13 Haitian members, under the co-chairmanship of former Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, was established in 2010 following the quake. The commission's mandate was to manage the funds collected to assist the Haitian people in the reconstruction of their country. The commission squandered close to $13 billion in funds with full impunity. The Petro-Caribe fund of $3.8 billion, an energy cooperation agreement initiated by Venezuela for the development of social programs, has also been pilfered. It was the youth who began asking where those funds had gone. Since then, the Haitian people have taken to the street to demand justice, condemn the corruption and theft by the big powers and demand that they leave the country

The weekend closed with a solemn commemoration attended by over 300 people, including survivors of the quake, a large number of participants from the Haitian diaspora, as well as dignitaries from the Haitian Consulate and representatives of the federal, provincial and municipal governments. Dance and music were performed live on stage, followed by closing remarks from Marjorie Villefranche, General Director of la Maison d'Haïti, who said in part: "No one has forgotten. That's why we're here tonight, that's why we commemorate, to honour all those who perished -- children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, parents, friends and the unnamed buried without ceremony, without a grave. With us this evening are the survivors, the bereaved, united by the same courage, the same will to acknowledge and to pay homage. Five years ago in this very place, I told you that we were living through times of crisis, that indifference would become a formidable foe. I had no idea then of the scope that climate change would take, nor of the rise of agent orange [in reference to highly toxic hybrid seeds donated by Monsanto -- TMLW Editor's Note], populists of all kinds. [...] Your presence here tonight and that of our elected members, of our unwavering friends reassures me, reassures us. What it signifies is that we are not giving up. Haiti is not alone in confronting the violence of social inequality and injustice. The indecency of those who possess over half of all the planet's wealth is sickening. However, we also know  that many peoples are resisting, even as we speak. And what if the next goudou [earthquake rumbling] were to come from us, from the strength of the peoples? The solidarity of our friends is precious and indispensable. We live on a planet that demands that we relate to one another to be able to live, have water, air and food. We must remain connected and supportive of each other. Thanks go to all our activists, organizations, for their active, supportive presence [...]"

The weekend's events brought to light the fact that despite the huge difficulties, the corruption within the ruling class and foreign intervention, the Haitian people continue to defend their sovereignty and their right to be. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, they are laying their claims for their dignity, justice and repairs. Ayiti la! We are one with the Haitian people!

(Photos: la Maison d'Haïti, Solidarité Québec-Haïti)

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