December 12, 2020
- No. 48
Bill C-19, An Act to Amend the
and Fair Elections" Are Meaningless Without an Informed Vote:
MLPC National Leader
Attempt to Subvert Indigenous
Right to Sovereignty
- Philip Fernandez -
• United Nations Declaration on
the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples Act
Sarah Mullgrave -
Current U.S. Attempts to Sow Chaos in Cuba
Imperialist Interference in Cuba and Violation
- Nick Lin -
Blockade Violates the Cuban People's Human Rights
- Statement by Quebec
International Human Rights Day -
Yunier Javier Sifonte Díaz -
Election Results in
Venezuela Favour the People's Forces
• Election Results
People Affirm Their Right to Sovereignty
- Claude Brunelle -
• The People and No One Else Will Decide
What Happens in Venezuela
Margaret Villamizar -
Fight for Rights and Renewal in India
Farmers' March on Delhi Enters Week Three
- Meera Kaur -
• Actions Around the World Support Indian
Anniversary of Friedrich Engels' Birth
• The Work of CPC(M-L) in the Field of
Bill C-19, An Act to Amend the
Canada Elections Act
The Trudeau government has tabled
new legislation adapting the electoral law in the event that an
election is called during COVID-19 pandemic conditions. Bill C-19, An
Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act (COVID-19
Response) was tabled in the House of Commons on December 10
by the President of the Queen's Privy Council, Dominic LeBlanc. It was
scheduled for second reading and referral to the Standing Committee on
Procedure and House Affairs at the next House sitting. On December 11,
the House was adjourned until Monday, January 25.
duty of tabling the legislation fell to LeBlanc because, following its
2019 re-election, the Liberal government eliminated the long-standing
ministerial portfolio specifically responsible for democratic reforms.
This Ministry was tainted by the Liberal's high-handed rejection of the
recommendations of its own Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral
Reform. To date, the Liberals simply dismiss the fact that they reneged
on their promise to end the first-past-the-post method of counting
ballots because the Prime Minister did not agree with the Committee's
recommendation and wanted a self-serving preferential system instead.
Since coming to
power in 2015, the Trudeau Liberals have shown a propensity for
governing with contempt for Parliament and its Committees. This was
again illustrated by Bill C-19 being tabled before
the parliamentary committee entrusted with studying the issue of
pandemic elections had tabled its report. The Committee's report,
entitled "Protecting Public Health and Democracy During a Possible
Pandemic Election," was tabled on December 11 by the Committee chair,
Liberal MP Ruby Sahota, requesting a "comprehensive response," from the
government. Both the Conservative Opposition and the Bloc
Québécois voiced their opposition to this
procedure, with the Bloc Québécois filing a
dissenting opinion in which it "insist[s] on the fact that it is
unacceptable that the government tabled [Bill C-19] even before the
final committee report was tabled." The Committee heard from health
experts and representatives of particularly vulnerable sections of the
people, such as the Canadian Association for Long Term Care, the
Council of Canadians with Disabilities, as well as health officials
from several provinces.
Similarly, the Liberals
rushed to call by-elections for the ridings of Toronto Centre and York
Centre for October 26, without having established how the elections
would be conducted safely, disregarding opposition to it doing so.
Elections Canada put various safety measures in place, such as
providing single-use pencils for marking ballots, and instituting
physical-distancing at the polls. More enhanced measures, however,
require legislative changes. Canada's Chief Electoral Officer
Stéphane Perrault delivered a special report to Parliament
on October 6 on how an election might be delivered during a pandemic.
Elections Canada also submitted its list of proposed legislative
changes in early October, including a model bill. But the Liberals
chose to draft their own bill. Elections Canada has informed it is now
studying the legislation to assess its implication on the conduct of an
election. Should a snap election be called prior to the legislation
receiving Royal Assent, Elections Canada would follow the same
protocols it used during the by-elections.
C-19, among other things, will make it easier for electors to register
to cast ballots by mail as it will enable electronic submission of
documents. Elections Canada predicts that up to five million electors
would opt to vote by mail, as compared to the nearly 50,000 in the 2019
Measures proposed in Bill C-19
around mail-in ballots include:
- installing ballot
drop-off boxes at every polling place where people who are cutting it
too close to mail-in deadlines can submit their ballot on time to have
- new offences -- a maximum penalty of
five years in prison, a fine of $50,000 or both -- for tampering or
interfering with these secure drop-off boxes;
allowing Canadians to register for a mail-in ballot from home, online;
- permitting voters to vote in-person, even if they registered
to vote by mail, so long as they either turn in their mail-in ballot
unmarked, or sign an attestation that they have not already submitted
- setting up a system to allow people to
receive an online receipt of when their mail-in ballot has been
delivered, as well as rules around the deadlines to send in special
In addition, the regular 12-hour one-day
Monday polling will be spread out over Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
This will allow for polling places to be properly cleaned and reduce
the strain of long hours for election workers on the single day. It is
hoped that long line-ups will be avoided.
measures include enabling Elections Canada to establish a single
polling place at long-term care centres and similar residences, where
staggered voting would be allowed over a 13-day period prior to regular
polling. Elections Canada also requested that it be allowed to select
polling locations based on their size and suitability for
social-distancing rather than the statutory criteria based on proximity
Bill C-19 also enhances the Chief
Electoral Officer's powers to take special measures to protect the
health and safety of electors and election workers. This would include
extending voting hours in a situation where the polling station was
interrupted by a health emergency.
introduced in the bill will take effect 90 days after they receive
Royal Assent, or less should the Chief Electoral Officer determine that
Elections Canada is ready to put them into effect sooner. They are
temporary in nature and will be repealed once the Chief Electoral
Officer, in consultation with the Chief Public Health Officer,
determines they are no longer necessary.
backgrounder to Bill C-19, LeBlanc states: "By introducing these
temporary amendments, Elections Canada will be able to offer more ways
for Canadians to vote during a pandemic. I look forward to working with
my parliamentary colleagues to deliver our shared goal of a free, fair
and safe election."
This statement and other
background information show that the changes are all about facilitating
Canadians' ability to cast a vote; nothing is being done to deal with
the substantive problems related to election campaigning. The absence
of a level playing field when it comes to the right of Canadians to
elect and be elected and the absence of mechanisms to guarantee the
right to an informed ballot are a problem at the best of times. They
will be far more pronounced in restrictive pandemic conditions.
Asked about these temporary changes to the Canada
Elections Act, National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party
of Canada (MLPC) Anna Di Carlo highlighted some of the problems which
come up during an election campaign in pandemic conditions. For
example, collecting 100 nominations from electors in a riding and
having access to people in their homes and apartment buildings. During
recent by-elections, Elections Canada modified the prescribed
nomination form for collecting signatures. It created a form for one
signature so that it would not be passed from elector to elector.
Nonetheless, access to apartment buildings was clearly restricted while
homeowners, logically, are not eager to answer their doors to strangers
either. Several candidates were not able to register due to
difficulties related to safely collecting nomination signatures.
Elections Canada did not recommend that the nomination signatures
requirement be changed; and the Liberal government does not appear to
view this to be a problem.
Most important, Anna
said, is the impression the government continues to push that Canadian
elections are what is called "free and fair." Because the same
regulations apply to everyone, there is said to be an "even playing
field" -- which is to say that everyone is allegedly equal. "This is
far from the case," she said.
"Most egregious is
the violation of the right to an informed vote," she said. She decried
the manipulation of what are called "election issues." "The 'issues'
they emphasize do not take up the concerns of the people. They are set
by the ruling class and the monopoly-controlled media as a means of
disinforming the people. In other words, they are set to
impede the people from organizing themselves politically on the basis
of a program they set for themselves. The cartel parties and media
determine what will be promoted and make sure no discussion takes place
on substantive issues," Anna said. "This will cause even more harm
during an election held under pandemic conditions."
Discussion forums held by small parties and collectives of
workers, women and youth, are already discouraged, Anna pointed out.
Anna further elaborated this matter of who sets agendas and
how discussion takes place during an election:
virtual forums will be regulated and accounted for is also an issue at
this time. The intelligence agencies have been given a prominent role
in monitoring what can and cannot be said on social media, according to
what they determine constitutes a threat to national security. Along
with self-serving definitions of what constitutes privacy and requires
protection, and what concerns national security, the role given to the
intelligence agencies and potential for them to disrupt exchange of
ideas and political discourse is becoming a serious matter facing the
polity. The airwaves are filled with accusations about the potential
for Chinese or Russian disruption of the democratic institutions when
in fact the spy agencies linked to the United States are past-masters
when it comes to such things."
pointed out that Bill C-19 establishes voting procedures as if this is
the sum total of what an election is about. "They are not a problem in
Canada in the sense that Elections Canada makes great efforts to ensure
barriers to casting a ballot are overcome. The problems lie in the fact
that Canadians are kept out of power by a cartel party system which
eliminates any role for the citizens to actually participate in
governance. Their sole role is to cast a ballot and they have no way to
hold governments to account. The idea that an election provides the
opportunity to endorse or change a government is farcical when
Canadians do not control any aspect of the electoral system," Anna said.
Anna further explained: "Despite being able to get themselves
nominated as independents, nobody will even find out about them.
Spending limits may exist and be the same for all candidates, but most
people cannot raise these kinds of funds. There is absolutely no 'free
and fair' playing field when it comes to getting heard.
is why the MLPC encourages Canadians to become worker politicians and
develop their own means of disseminating their views and develop their
own independent politics. The old system whereby the people are
supposed to hand over their voice to a political party to act on their
behalf is rotten to the core. These political parties serve the program
of international private interests. Just look at what Trudeau is doing
vis-à-vis health care. In the name of paying all costs of
COVID-19 vaccines, oodles of money is being borrowed from private
sources to pay big pharma. Health care is being privatized and even
provincial jurisdiction over health care is being eliminated 'by
stealth.' In the name of efficiency and people's well-being, the army
has been handed the task of distributing vaccines. The army
and health officials are establishing criteria and arrangements as if
all of it is very above-board and public-minded. But Canadians will
suffer the consequences in many ways as a result of this takeover of
civil society by armed forces which are being handed control of all
aspects of life. Who sets that direction for the economy? Not Canadians
in any shape or form."
Asked to explain further the
issue of an informed vote, Anna said, "It is a fundamental issue. In
this day and age, any measure taken at any level in the electoral
process must be seen to uphold the right to an informed vote. Without
this, any attempt to declare that those elected have the consent of the
governed seriously lacks credibility."
specifically mentioned that most independent candidates and small
registered political parties are treated with utter disregard and
disrespect. During the 2019 federal election, not one national media
outlet contacted the National Headquarters of MLPC or even saw fit to
interview the National Leader. "Inequality," Anna explained, "is built
into the Canada Elections Act. It even stipulates
that the ruling party should get the biggest share of
publicly-controlled broadcasting air time. The media takes its cue from
this system of conferring privileges.
participated in a meeting of registered political parties to discuss
the allocation of broadcasting time. There is a provision that allows
the Broadcasting Arbitrator to adjust the allocation of time if it is
unfair to a party, or against the public interest. If the parties can
come to a consensus on how time is divided, the Broadcasting Arbitrator
complies. The minority of parties at the meeting, meaning those who
benefit from the unequal division of time, would not support equality.
In the 2019 federal election, the small parties received six to seven
minutes of free air time, while the Liberal Party received 48 minutes.
On top of this, the ads of the small parties are typically aired in
time-slots when nobody is watching TV or listening to the radio. Six or
seven one-minute ads do not amount to providing Canadians with
information to cast an informed vote. It is farcical. During the
meeting to discuss the allocation for the next election, the Liberal
Party representative said such blatant inequality 'represents the will
of the people.'"
"These problems merit attention,"
Anna said. "What we are speaking about here is a fundamental principle
of equality which does not exist in Canada's system of governance." She
"While Bill C-19
is justified as merely addressing temporary changes due to the
pandemic, the Trudeau government's reversal of promises to change the
method of voting to make the vote more representative cannot be
ignored. Self-serving decisions made by those in positions of privilege
and power over who is more legitimate and who is more deserving to
govern have completely dispensed with any perception that the playing
field is in any way 'even' or 'fair.' That will not change with these
temporary pandemic changes to how, when and where votes can be cast.
"Every decision, up to when an election is called, poses a
barrier to the ability of Canadians to participate in an election on an
equal basis. Attempts to justify a political process that delegitimizes
political opinion because it is outside the bounds of the official body
of thought serves to limit what Canadians hear during an election in
favour of those who form part of the establishment forces. It is
anti-democratic to say the least."
that prior to the 2019 federal election, Simon Fraser University issued
one of the largest and most comprehensive studies conducted in the
recent period about the state of Canada's democracy and what people
think about it. The report found that a solid majority (61 per cent)
"believes government puts establishment interests ahead of ordinary
Canadians." It said 70 per cent believe that government is insensitive
to what ordinary Canadians think.
among the people underscore their perception of how power and privilege
work. They point to the crisis of legitimacy and credibility of the
electoral process and the political process in general," Anna said.
"If an informed vote is not recognized as a basic tenet of the
democratic process by those with the power to reform the electoral act,
what is democratic about the act?" Anna asked. "The temporary pandemic
measures do not even pretend to address the fact that independent
candidates and those of small registered political parties are not
"Instead the entire system is
based on a false claim that some parties and party candidates are more
legitimate than others -- a contrived social construct which is surely
not acceptable in our day. Because of the narrow private interests it
serves and which control it, the electoral process will continue to be
perceived as one that does not confer the consent of the governed on
whatever party wins an election, no matter what kind of a majority is
claimed or how, when and where votes can be cast. Unless citizens are
able to cast an informed vote, the conditions required for them to
exercise control over their choices and elected representatives and
governments do not exist," she said.
regime will go down in history as introducing an increasingly
discriminatory approach towards who can be heard during an election and
for concentrating power in fewer hands and in more foreign hands as
well. It has used both the legislative process and its prerogative
powers to heighten discrimination, as was seen by the Leaders' Debate
Commission eliminating any political parties other than the major
parties with representation in the House. These are all factors that
facilitate the cronyism, corruption and cartel behaviour which
predominate today. It confirms the self-serving character of the
electoral and political process. Democratic-minded people recognize
this as a serious problem that must be addressed if they are not to
lose everything to the whims of those in positions of power and
proposals the MLPC advocates to modify the Canada Elections
Act in a manner which favours the people right away, Anna
"Currently, electors can go onto the
Elections Canada website and find out who all the candidates are in
their riding. But when it comes to finding out what the candidates
stand for, they are left on their own. Of course, in the media they
hear nothing except what the parties in the House are saying. We think
that Elections Canada should be mandated to provide at least basic
information about each candidate as provided by themselves and that
this would help Canadians to cast an informed vote. The same should be
done for every political party that fields candidates. This does
nothing to deal with all the noise which fills the airwaves before and
during an election designed to divide the people behind one or another
faction of the ruling class, to their own detriment, but is a small
thing which the people would appreciate."
conclusion, Anna said it is very indicative of the state of affairs
that the only problem of concern to Parliament seems to be to get
people to vote so they can claim a mandate to rule in their name. "It
is striking that neither during the by-elections held in October, nor
in the discussion to date about pandemic elections, is the issue of how
to engage in political discussions with the electors raised. The MLPC
calls on Canadians to develop their own independent political stands
and organize on that basis. They must not permit the elimination of the
human factor/social consciousness by the self-serving private interests
which have usurped power in this country. It creates a dangerous
situation where the only option left is to be criminalized for fighting
for the rights which belong to us by virtue of being human. It must not
3, the Liberal government tabled Bill C-15, An Act
respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples (UNDRIP) in Parliament. In introducing the bill,
federal Minister of Justice David Lametti stated: "Working with First
Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to implement the
declaration and create a framework to achieve its objectives is a
statement that the Government of Canada values, respects and promotes
the human rights of all, and not just some [...] The legislation is a
significant step forward on the shared path to reconciliation for
Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike."
light of the evidence, no one can be fooled by the Trudeau government's
shameless claim that Bill C-15 will advance the rights of Indigenous
peoples and promote reconciliation.
Bill C-15 brings
to mind the BC government's Bill 41, the Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act passed in November 2019. It
has done nothing to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples in BC even
though the Horgan government claimed the same thing -- that Bill 41
"will move the province forward with a clear action plan for
reconciliation, supporting predictability and economic opportunities,
while respecting Indigenous human rights."
from it, when governments in Canada speak about upholding the human
rights of Indigenous peoples they do not mean providing the right to
housing, water, health care and education with guarantees. Even the
basic human and Treaty right to potable water has been denied to many
Indigenous communities living in remote areas, including in Neskantaga
First Nation which has been under a "boil-water advisory" for close to
three decades. The Trudeau Liberals mean that Indigenous lands will
continue to be stolen out from under them such as the BC government is
doing by pushing through the Site C Dam in Treaty 8 territory, or the
state attacks carried out in the interests of private monopoly and
economic mega projects against the Wet'suwet'en people defending their
hereditary rights, or in Six Nations Territory for development purposes.
Since coming to power in 2015, the Trudeau Liberals have shown
in deeds that monopoly right trumps Indigenous rights when it comes to
Crown-Indigenous relations. During a webinar on December 9 held by the
Yellowhead Institute, one of the main points made by the speakers on
Bill C-15 is that the Canadian state at all levels is criminalizing and
targeting Indigenous peoples by presenting them as threats to Canadian
economic development and prosperity and using the courts to impose
injunctions and calling in paramilitary forces when Indigenous peoples
stand up for their sovereignty and right to be.
for defending the rights of Indigenous peoples, the Trudeau Liberals
have continued to terrorize and criminalize Indigenous land defenders
from coast to coast when they stand up for their rights, and have
continued the surveillance of Indigenous political activities under the
RCMP's Project SITKA.
predecessors the Harper Conservatives, the Liberals continue
underfunding social programs for Indigenous families and children which
has impoverished and destabilized communities leading to more
Indigenous children being placed in state institutions.
June 2019, Trudeau acknowledged that the crimes against missing and
murdered Indigenous women and girls constituted "genocide" but his
government has done little to address this national crisis. Under
Trudeau's "feminist" administration in Ottawa, Indigenous women remain
the fastest-growing prison population in Canada. How can these facts be
reconciled with the Liberal's claim of Bill C-15 advancing the rights
of Indigenous peoples and representing a step towards reconciliation?
The Liberals typically speak about rights as abstractions,
devoid of meaning or any link with reality on the ground. These
abstractions are a provocation against the Indigenous peoples and
Canadians and Quebeckers as well who they seem to think do not see what
they are up to and, if they do, cannot hold them to account.
goes around comes around and the crimes that the Canadian state has
committed and continues to commit against Indigenous peoples today will
not go unpunished. Bill C-15 is being pushed through Parliament at a
time when Crown-Indigenous relations are at an all-time low because
Canada has not upheld its obligations to Indigenous peoples, especially
when it comes to respecting their sovereignty. The Trudeau government
is carrying on the racist policy of the state, deciding what is good
and what is bad for Indigenous peoples. It controls their money -- owed
to them for the theft of the lands and resources they depend on for
Underneath the sweet words of
reconciliation lies the sinister aim of further undermining the
sovereignty of Indigenous peoples and subverting the ever-growing
political unity and solidarity of the peoples of Canada and Quebec with
Indigenous peoples. Canada may hope to appear to comply with the
demands of the United Nations that it respect Indigenous rights and
clean up its sorry reputation as a colonial power, but facts are facts.
This kind of window-dressing has been tried many times in the past and
the waste of money in more PR campaigns is despicable. Government
actions, including the introduction of Bill C-15, cannot cover up the
colonial outlook which blocks the fulfillment of the aspirations of the
people who comprise Canada for a new and modern relationship with
Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of their sovereignty and
The title of the
December 9 webinar hosted by the Yellowhead Institute and other
organizations was "The Ransom Economy -- What Shutdown Canada Reveals
about Land Rights." It featured land-defenders from the Secwepemc,
Wet'suwet'en, Mohawk and Mi'kmaw nations. Spokesperson for the
Wet'suwet'en Molly Wickham noted that the Trudeau government's new law
on UNDRIP is "insurance for investors, its all a smokescreen to say we
are playing nice ... we're giving them [Indigenous peoples] a say ...
Governments are asking as well how are they going to implement UNDRIP?
Well, it is not up to them. It is up to us as Indigenous peoples ... we
decide how UNDRIP is going to be implemented. UNDRIP is going to be
implemented under our laws."
speaking as a Mohawk land defender, observed that the stands the land
defenders have taken in defence of their sovereignty across Turtle
Island have been met with state violence, but have strengthened the
resolve of Indigenous peoples to assert their sovereignty with the
support of their allies across Turtle Island. This is a fitting
response to Bill C-15.
Bill C-15 is a desperate
attempt by the Trudeau Liberals to shore up their credibility and lack
of legitimacy when it comes to Crown-Indigenous relations.
No to Bill C-15!
Hereditary and Treaty Rights of Indigenous Peoples!
the Sovereignty of Indigenous Nations!
Internal RCMP emails, memos, reports and documents acquired by CBC News
revealed the RCMP's "Project SITKA." The RCMP wanted to identify
specific activists who had been arrested, arrested and charged and
convicted, create profiles and links to organizations across the
country. After probing more than 300 activists, the RCMP came up with a
list of 89 -- Indigenous and non-Indigenous -- at the end of the
intelligence project, the CBC reported. According to the RCMP, these
people were "willing and capable of utilizing unlawful tactics" during
Indigenous rights protests in December 2012 to the end of 2013. The
project was allegedly wound up in March 2015. However, days before
Justin Trudeau announced the initial approval for the Trans Mountain
pipeline, the RCMP reactivated the so-called dormant list of Indigenous
rights activists it deemed potential "criminal threats." (APTN)
of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti tabled Bill
C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples Act in the House of Commons on December 3.
The stated purpose of this law is to affirm the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a
"universal, international, human rights instrument with application in
Canadian law and provide a framework for the Government of Canada's
implementation of the Declaration."
Bill C-15 is divided into seven sections. If passed, it "would
require the Government of Canada, in consultation and cooperation with
Indigenous peoples to: take all measures necessary to ensure that the
laws of Canada are consistent with the Declaration; prepare and
implement an action plan to achieve the Declaration's objectives; table
an annual report on progress to align the laws of Canada and on the
The action plan
must include measures "to address injustices, combat prejudice and
eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination, including systemic
discrimination, against Indigenous peoples and Indigenous elders,
youth, children, women, men, persons with disabilities and
gender-diverse persons and two-spirit persons; to promote mutual
respect and understanding as well as good relations, including through
human rights education; [and measures] related to monitoring,
oversight, recourse or remedy or other accountability measures with
respect to the implementation of the Declaration."
terms of a timeline, the law states, "The preparation of the action
plan must be completed as soon as practicable, but no later than three
years after the day on which this section comes into force."
background notes provided by the government on December 3 point out,
among other things: "The Government of Canada has already taken action
to reflect the Declaration in legislation, including An Act
respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth
and families and the Indigenous Languages Act and Bill C-15
represents another step forward."
Article 32 of the UNDRIP states that: "States shall consult
and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous peoples concerned
through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their
free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project
affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly
in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of
mineral, water or other resources." On this key principle, the
government of Canada states: "References to 'free, prior and informed
consent' are found throughout the Declaration. They emphasize the
importance of recognizing and upholding the rights of Indigenous
peoples and ensuring that there is effective and meaningful
participation of Indigenous peoples in decisions that affect them,
their communities and territories. Free, prior and informed consent is
about working together in partnership and respect. [...] Despite what
some have suggested, it is not about having a veto over government
The issue of
interpretation of informed consent not constituting a veto is the
diversion the government uses in its attempt to cover up that its
relations with the Indigenous nations are those of a colonial power
which asserts its right to govern "the natives." It is pathetic.
The Trudeau government's background notes also give the answer
to what Bill C-15 means for natural resource development. The
government points out that the government has a constitutional duty "to
consult and accommodate Indigenous groups when it considers measures
that might adversely impact potential or established Aboriginal or
treaty rights, including resource projects. This Bill would not create
new obligations or regulatory requirements for industry; rather, it
would support the Government's implementation of its constitutional
The government's background notes provide
particular information on how Bill C-15 will impact the fishing
industry. The government states: "The sustainable use of the fishery
resource, the protection of fish and fish habitat, the conservation and
management of our oceans, and through the Canadian Coast Guard, the
safety of those on the water and the protection of the marine
environment, are shared priorities held in common with Indigenous
peoples in Canada and the Government of Canada. The Government of
Canada works with Indigenous peoples through well-established processes
to seek input in decision-making and management activities; for
example, advisory councils, collaborative management arrangements, and
bilateral discussions. Through these relationships, the Government of
Canada collaborates with Indigenous peoples in a manner that gives
voice to the Declaration."
And further: "The Fisheries
Act and all licence conditions will remain in place. However,
the development of the action plan would be a venue to advance
discussions Indigenous peoples may wish to have on measures to achieve
the objectives of the Declaration. The Government of Canada will work
to ensure that there is a safe, orderly, and sustainable environment
for all harvesters engaged in the fishery."
paragraph speaks directly to the current struggle the Mi'kmaq are
waging against the Canadian state to affirm their hereditary and treaty
fishing rights. It is clear that Bill C-15 will be used to undermine
their struggle by the government holding veto on fishing licences and
regulations under the Fisheries Act. By sleight of
hand, the Liberals aim to undermine the struggle of the Mi'kmaq to
affirm their sovereign rights to fish and engage in a self-defined and
self-regulated "moderate livelihood" fishery, while covering up the
fact that it is the state that has created the conditions to split and
divide the small fishers including Indigenous fishers, encouraged
strife among them through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
subsidized the biggest fishing monopolies such as Clearwater Seafoods,
and sold out to foreign trawlers and factory fishing, causing grave
damage to Indigenous and small fishers as well. The government has
moved away from any obligations to uphold and respect the historic
Peace and Friendship Treaties signed by the Crown in 1760-61, through
which the Mi'kmaq affirmed their sovereignty and did not cede their
land, maritime or other rights. It is noteworthy that the Assembly of
Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs has denounced the Trudeau government for
refusing to meet with them regarding fishing rights.
in all, Bill C-15 is a perfidious document with a sinister aim. The
government will be reminded by life itself that rights cannot be given
or taken away or forfeited in any way, no matter who it consults and
makes deals with. They cannot be extinguished so no piece of paper or
bogus legal documents can achieve the miracle the Trudeau government
thinks it can achieve when all others before it have failed. Further
attempts to extinguish Indigenous sovereignty, inherent rights and
title in the interests of "industry" are bound to fail.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
is a non-binding statement adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007.
At the time, 144 countries voted in favour with four votes against
(Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States), as well as 11
abstentions. According to the UN, the "Declaration is the most
comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous
peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for
the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the
world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and
fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of
2010, the Harper Conservative government endorsed UNDRIP, describing it
as an "aspirational document," but took no action. The Trudeau
Liberals, in their 2015 election platform, pledged to implement the
UNDRIP and in May 2016 Canada officially announced that it was "fully
adopting this and working to implement it within the laws of Canada,
which is our Charter."
Two months later, then-Minister of Justice Jody
Wilson-Raybould, speaking to the Assembly of First Nations General
Assembly on July 12, said that "simplistic approaches, such as adopting
the UNDRIP as being Canadian law are unworkable and, respectfully, a
political distraction to undertaking the hard work required to actually
In 2018, NDP Member of Parliament Romeo Saganash introduced Bill C-262
as a private member's bill in the House of Commons. It called for
UNDRIP to be integrated into Canadian law. But the bill ultimately died
on the order paper in the Senate before the 2019 federal election.
Commenting on An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and
Métis children, youth and families, on July 7,
2020, Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations
Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, noted that despite this
legislation, underfunding and uncertainty regarding federal funding of
Indigenous child and family services continues. She pointed out that
the federal government had no problem finding funds for COVID-19
intervention but not for Indigenous children.
U.S. Attempts to Sow Chaos in Cuba
campaign of interference in Cuba's internal affairs is being undertaken
by U.S. diplomats, politicians and anti-Cuba terrorists in the U.S.
This is being done by inciting Cuban youth to take up
counterrevolutionary activities, in flagrant violation of the rules
governing diplomatic relations.
On November 30,
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, through his official
Twitter account, denounced the direct participation of the U.S.
Chargé d'Affaires in Havana, Timothy
Zúñiga-Brown, in inciting and assisting in
illegal acts against public order and health standards in the face of
the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Carlos Fernández de
Cossío, the Director General in charge of the U.S. at the
Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex), pointed out "the serious
violations of the functions as diplomat and head of mission" committed
explained that the U.S. diplomat went several times to the San Isidro
neighbourhood in Old Havana, where his embassy knew about the
development of a political and social provocation event, the so-called
San Isidro Movement. Zúñiga-Brown also undertook
"to personally transport and support those who were violating health
standards for protection against the pandemic" which Minrex called
"flagrant and defiant interference in the internal political affairs of
Cuba and indisputable violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations." Cuba does not accept such behaviour, said
Fernández, and it will not tolerate contempt of the law and
regulations in violation of their obligations by the U.S. diplomat or
Minrex is fully aware of U.S.
involvement in financing, guiding and inciting groups and individuals
in Cuba to challenge the authority of the government, both through
peaceful and violent means, Fernández added. Cuba is also
aware of U.S. manipulation of social networks to spread false
information, incite hatred, divide the population, foment resentment
and call for illegal activities, he stated.
statement on Twitter, President of the Republic Miguel
Díaz-Canel Bermúdez made clear the nation's
position regarding the latest political provocation financed by the
United States government, saying, "Those who designed the San Isidro
farce were in the wrong country; they got the history wrong; and the
armed forces wrong. We do not tolerate interference, provocation or
manipulation. Our people have all the courage and the moral authority
needed to sustain a fight for the heart of Cuba." He reiterated the
statement issued by Carlos Fernández de Cossío,
saying, "This will always be our response to any perverse plan against
The so-called San Isidro Movement has
been demanding that the government release rapper Denis
Solís, sentenced to eight months imprisonment for contempt
of the authorities when he acknowledged he maintains ties with people
in Miami who finance violent acts against Cuba.
Ubieta Gómez, in an article published in Granma
on December 2, gave further background on Denis Solís and
other pro-imperialist "dissidents" that call themselves the "San Isidro
"A uniformed police officer delivered a
citation to Cuban citizen Denis Solís. Solís
insulted him, using words I cannot repeat here, and threatened him. The
police did not handcuff nor hit him, nor place his knee on
Solís's neck. There is a video, taken by the supposed
victim, which proves this. Solís was detained for contempt.
He had already previously received several administrative fines for
disturbing the peace and two official warnings for harassing tourists.
The crime of contempt is provided by law in Article 144.1 of the Penal Code.
Solís accepted the charges and did not appeal. But before
this, he yelled that Trump is his president and he became a
'dissident.' The San Isidro strikers demand his release. They then
declared a hunger and water strike, but on the seventh day Otero
Alcantara, the leader of the provocation, who has dishonoured the
national flag in other episodes of this strange theatrical play,
appeared in a video taken by his colleagues (to use the same term as
the imperialist diplomat) impetuously blocking the functioning of the
health authorities, rather than prostrate in his bed, as medical logic
would indicate should be the case after a lack of food."
Cuban media have
shown that the "hunger strike" was for show, as the "dissidents" were
seen having food and water brought to them. The so-called strike was
broken up by Cuban authorities on November 30 as it violated health
protocols in place to block transmission of COVID-19.
Gómez explained that the "movement" is "not about freedom of
speech, much less freedom of artistic expression, but rather of the
creation of a political opposition clearly already sponsored by
imperialism, about the restoration of a bourgeois democracy and the
death of any trace of people's democracy. Although perhaps many of
those making these demands do not know it, the true purpose of all this
is the restoration of a neo-colonial Cuba. So that no doubt remains,
high officials of the Trump government have immediately rushed to
defend their supporting actors. They (the Trump forces) know they are
on the way out and they have to inflict as many knife wounds [as they
can] as they go."
Notably, Jake Sullivan, U.S.
President-Elect Joe Biden's national security adviser wrote on Twitter
regarding the Cuban government's opposition to U.S. interference
through the "San Isidro Movement:" "We support the Cuban people in
their struggle for liberty. The Cuban people must be allowed to
exercise the universal right to freedom of expression." This indicates
that the overall policy of the U.S. to confound freedom of expression
and violent acts against the public order will continue.
its part, the Canadian government, which claims to uphold a rules-based
international order, has been silent on the U.S. gross and flagrant
violations of diplomatic relations with Cuba. This silence underscores
its subservience to the U.S. which is unacceptable to Canadians.
The Canadian Network on Cuba and the Table de concertation de
solidarité Québec-Cuba have called on Canadians
and Quebeckers to denounce U.S. imperialist interference in Cuba and
the attempts to target Cuban youth to foment counterrevolution. They
especially denounce the genocidal U.S. blockade against Cuba and call
on all peace- and justice-loving people to go all out and take part in
the monthly pickets and other actions in Canada demanding that the U.S.
end its interference in Cuba.
December 10, 2020. Cuban
consulate in Montreal on Human Rights Day.
occasion of December 10, 2020, International Human Rights Day,
organizations in Quebec are calling for condemnation of the United
States' flagrant and massive violation of the Cuban people's human
rights through its imposed economic, financial and commercial blockade.
The U.S. embargo has been imposed since 1962 and has been rejected
every year since then by most of the international community at the
United Nations General Assembly.
Over the last 60
years, the United States has imposed an inhumane blockade on Cuba based
on economic sanctions including financial controls, the suspension of
aid and technical assistance, the freezing of the Cuban state's
financial assets, the imposition of a boycott on transactions of all
kinds, along with sanctions on foreign companies involved in trade with
Today, in the midst of a global crisis caused
by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has tested the capacity of
all states in guaranteeing the health of their citizens, Cuba has
succeeded in controlling the pandemic thanks to its universal and free
health care system, its preparedness in the fight against epidemics and
natural disasters, and its development of the biotechnology industry.
During a virtual summit of the G20 countries at the end of
March, UN Secretary General António Guterres and UN human
rights experts expressed the need to lift economic sanctions against
countries suffering from this scourge, to avoid a health crisis.
The United States has not responded to the call to relax the
blockade against Cuba. To the contrary, the U.S. administration has
tightened its sanctions by hitting at the Cuban economy overall, making
it impossible to find commercial partners and carry out financial
transactions. During the pandemic, this makes it all the more difficult
to acquire sanitary equipment and food to adequately care for the Cuban
this illegal blockade, Cuba has been able to respond to the World
Health Organization's call, in the spirit of unity and solidarity, to
intensify cooperation and collaboration at all levels in order to
contain and control the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact. Upon
request, Cuba has sent teams of doctors and support personnel from the
Henry Reeve International Cuban Medical Brigade Specialized in Disaster
Situations and Serious Epidemics to over 40 countries and territories.
Since 2005, the brigade has carried out over 60 missions on four
continents by providing the humanitarian expertise of 9,000 health
We, the signatories of this
declaration, condemn attempts by the United States government to
manipulate the human rights issue. In November alone, the U.S.
Administration added $1 million for its projects of subversion and
internal interference in Cuba. This same funding is being used to
organize and encourage groups and individuals in different countries
with diplomatic representation.
The signatories of
this declaration will continue to maintain ties of friendship with Cuba
through the strengthening of official relations which Cuba and Canada
have maintained since 1945. It should be noted that Canada and Mexico
were the only two countries in this hemisphere that did not break off
relations with Cuba after the triumph of the 1959 revolution.
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, NO TO THE
BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA!
There's a small section amongst those who support the most
foul elements of "dissidence" in Cuba that has, for days, been
promoting certain astonishing arguments on social media.
so happens that they're comparing the assault on the Moncada Barracks,
Radio Reloj, and the actions of the Revolutionary Directorate during
the clandestine struggle to current calls to take over radio and
television stations, vandalize shops or promote street violence. I'm
not sure whether comparing those two scenarios is out of an absolute
ignorance of history, ruthless opportunism, or a false
naiveté. I'm pretty sure it's the latter.
with such a scenario, one could well speak of contexts, how each event
was organized, who the protagonists in each of the actions were, and
about practice based on ethics and honesty. This would all provide
enough arguments to counter the nonsense. However, it would also be
enough to just look at the aims.
What was the
Generation of the Centenary after? What did it build when it came to
power? What national project were they fighting against? Each answer
points to it being a true struggle for freedom, for the dignity of the
Homeland and for social inclusion, amongst a multitude of other
In our analysis, we also look at the
consequences. How many young people died at the hands of those who
carried out the repression after July 26, 1953? How many more were
victims of torture? Who could ever forget the look of José
Luis Tassende, the death of José Antonio, the brutality
against Lidia and Clodomira, the youth of Humboldt 7, Frank's life,
Abel's eyes? Seriously, are we going to make a comparison with such
Those who excuse their supporters and
defend a notion of legitimacy that they have not earned, should also
ask themselves where the tortured, the dead, the disappeared and those
who have been judged outside the law are today. On what street has a
The other recurring argument these
days is even more bankrupt: if those who receive money from the United
States to carry out political actions in Cuba are mercenaries, then so
is Martí, because he raised funds abroad to finance the
Necessary War. Are such statements a provocation or a "show of
It is better to go back to the
questions: Is the delivery of lavish funds, through official channels
and institutions linked to the United States Government -- the last one
being a million dollars for projects that promote changing the system
-- comparable to Martí’s work as an emigrant?
Does the Apostle's perseverance, that austere life to give
everything to a country, really amount to the same thing as them
waiting patiently for their allowance to mount their show and respond
to foreign interests? Is interference the same as solidarity? Are a
people and a government the same thing?
have forgotten the patriotic clubs, the meetings with the cigar makers
in Tampa and Key West, the speeches, the poor workers giving their
every penny? Is the restless and patriotic Martí the same as
the "activist" who tries to sell a country? Who could forget Mariana in
Jamaica, Gómez and Maceo in Central America, Flor,
María Cabrales, Bernarda Toro?
"mercenaries" because they contributed from another country to a war
that would bring freedom to their homeland? Is Máximo
Gómez one -- the man who faced hardships, the death of his
family, disease and hunger abroad, but who did not stop collecting
every peso for the Revolution?
He is the man who
refused the help of a president to avoid "committing any action that
does not seem to be worthy of my honest misery." It is about the hero
who had to sell his glasses, his revolver and his watch -- his most
precious belongings -- to support his family, while raising funds to
And is María Cabrales also
a mercenary? The woman who founded patriotic clubs in Jamaica and Costa
Rica, the wife of the Titan [Antonio Maceo] who went from house to
house to collect money and lay it at the Nation's feet, who suffered
exile, the death of the hero and family separation, but who never slunk
into a corner.
The attempt to legitimize crime,
double standards and servility based on comparisons such as those seen
in recent days on social networks implies, above all else, the negation
of a country and its people. To confront this, study and analysis,
critical thinking and being alert to siren songs and false premises are
necessary. The key today lies as well in sustaining that other dialogue
with history and what it teaches us.
Javier Sifonte Díaz graduated in Journalism from the Central
University "Marta Abreu" of Las Villas in 2016. Journalist from
Telecubanacán. Collaborator of Cubadebate.
Results in Venezuela Favour the People's Forces
December 11, 2020.
Deputies to the newly elected National Assembly.
On December 7, with 98.63 per cent of votes cast in Venezuela's
December 6 parliamentary election counted, the President of the
National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela, Indira Alfonzo,
presented the second bulletin of results. She reported that 6,251,080
valid votes were cast, of which the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), an
alliance of parties led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela,
received 68.43 per cent. The opposition alliance Democratic Action
received 17.52 per cent; a second opposition alliance, Venezuela
United, received 4.15 per cent, and the Communist Party of
Venezuela/Popular Revolutionary Alternative obtained 2.7 per cent.
Other political organizations that participated received a combined
total of 6.48 per cent of the votes. Turnout was reported to be 30.6
per cent of registered voters.
A few days later the
assignment of seats in the new National Assembly was reported, based on
the election that used a mixed proportional representation and
first-past-the-post system. The United Socialist Party of Venezuela
will have 253 of the 277 seats (91.34 per cent); Democratic Action gets
11 seats; Progressive Advance and Change will each have three seats;
Venezuela First will have two; and COPEI and the Communist Party will
each have one seat. Three Indigenous deputies, chosen on December 9 by
their communities following the traditional practices of each, will
occupy the three remaining seats.
December 9, 2020. Voting
takes place for three Indigenous deputies.
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends its congratulations
to the Venezuelan people who under the most adverse conditions of an
all-sided war designed to wear them down and turn them against their
elected government and against each other have expressed their
democratic will in electing a new National Assembly. CPC(M-L) wishes
the people, their Bolivarian government and leadership well and stands
with them as they work to protect the victory they have achieved,
defend their right to be the sovereign decision-makers of their nation,
and go forward with their nation-building project.
December 11, 2020.
Venezuelan people accompany elected deputies to their accreditation.
Elections to Venezuela's National Assembly were held on
Sunday, December 6, within a vast mobilization of the Venezuelan people
for the affirmation of their right to be and to determine their own
destiny. Despite the interference, threats, sabotage and disinformation
activities of the U.S., Canada, their puppet Lima Group, and the
European Union to discredit and besiege the Venezuelan people, they
prevailed. The victory of the Bolivarian government within these
conditions of encirclement and suffocation is a great achievement.
International observers applauded the conduct of the election
and commended the Venezuelan government's efforts to ensure the
participation of all, compliance with sanitary measures against
COVID-19, the establishment of sophisticated electronic voting
stations, and numerous other measures. No incidents or
December 9, 2020.
International observers report on the conduct of the December 6
The turnout rate excited the imperialist
media, incited by the self-proclaimed "president" Juan
Guaidó, who claimed the low voter turnout means that the
Venezuelan people responded to the call to boycott the election. There
is no way of knowing why the turnout was low and this is a narrow and
self-serving, opportunistic and provocative "explanation" from a puppet
who has only made a name for himself thanks to foreign powers far
removed from the people's power.
their part, Canada, the U.S. and the European Union refused to
recognize the election results, with Canada arrogantly producing a
press release denouncing them as a fraud on December 6, even before the
final election results were announced. Through its Minister of
Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne, the Liberal
government of Justin Trudeau declared that the electoral process "did
not meet the minimum conditions for a free and fair exercise of
December 5, 2020. Ottawa
picket on the eve of the Venezuelan election.
is the same Trudeau Liberal government which, in the most recent
election in 2019, was elected by 22 per cent of the total number of
eligible voters, receiving 33 per cent of all votes cast. In Haiti's
last legislative elections, well under 25 per cent of voters turned
out, yet all of these big powers recognized the vote. Canada has even
"accompanied" the Haitian government in elections through the services
of Elections Canada. On January 13, 2020, the mandate of Haiti's
Chamber of Deputies and two-thirds of its senators ended, rendering
Parliament non-functional. Since then, President Jovenel Moïse
has been able to govern by decree. No statements of elections in Haiti
not being "free and fair" were issued.
Canada, along with the European Union, is applauding the crisis-ridden
election results in the United States. No problem with the U.S.
"democracy," they say. Elections are presumably "free and fair" in that
country where literally billions of dollars are poured into the coffers
of presidential candidates and millions of people are not even
enfranchised to vote. This interpretation of what constitutes "free and
fair" is beneath contempt. It certainly does nothing to restore
credibility in the electoral systems of those who say such things.
The "debate" imposed about the participation rate in the
Venezuelan elections is a pathetic diversion and part of an
orchestrated plan to crush the Bolivarian nation-building project and,
more generally, the struggle of the peoples of the Americas to take
control of their destiny in favour of their own nation-building
projects. The elections in Venezuela have taken place within the
context of the offensive deployed not only against that country, but
against the peoples of the Americas -- in Bolivia, Cuba, Chile and so
many other countries where today the peoples are calling for the
Americas to be a zone of peace, of respect between peoples and nations,
without interference, blockades or sanctions.
peoples are challenging corrupt governments, the dictatorship of the
International Monetary Fund, connivance with the likes of Joe Biden,
Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and their ilk and their military activities
in the region. Many peoples are also calling for the establishment of
new constituent assemblies to reconstitute their nation states on a
modern basis which recognizes the rights of all, challenging the
corrupt electoral processes in the service of the rich, the
international financial oligarchs and a handful of elite. This is where
the great powers are hurting the most, as they cannot stop the peoples'
movement for the New, of which the Venezuelan people are a proud part.
The battle for true democracy and over who decides is the
order of the day.
election of the new National Assembly, Venezuelan President
Nicolás Maduro expressed satisfaction that the National
Assembly had been freed from the control of opposition forces who used
it as a base over the past five years to violate the country's
constitution, obstruct the normal functioning of government and support
the U.S. economic war against the country. He called it a great victory
for democracy, for the constitution. Maduro has said that the first
task of the new legislature must be to repair the damage done to the
country's economy by the sanctions, adopting necessary measures to
fortify and shield it from the effects of the U.S. economic war. He
said this would require passing legislation approved in October by the
National Constituent Assembly, which dissolves December 31, known as
the Anti-Blockade Law for National Development and the
Guarantee of Human Rights.
When the law
was approved in the Constituent Assembly, Vice President Delcy
Rodríguez said it would offer new ways to partner
with international investors by providing special protections for their
investment so that Venezuela could take a step forward, to go on an
economic offensive against the U.S.-led sanctions that are strangling
the economy. She said the government would unveil a "basket of
projects" for foreign investors in such areas as oil, gas, mining,
agriculture, tourism, and "all areas where Venezuela has great
potential to generate large-scale investment."
in Washington "they speak of human rights,"
Rodríguez said, "their policies are aimed at
restricting the well-being of an entire nation."
Response to Victory of Bolivarian Forces
6, 2020. Montreal picket on the day of the Venezuelan election.
expected, the results of the election have not been recognized by
governments entangled in the multi-pronged U.S. war against Venezuela
that continues trying to force a parallel "president" and "government"
on the people in defiance of their expressed will. The U.S. has made it
clear that the next step in its regime change playbook requires deeming
the opposition-controlled National Assembly whose term ends January 5,
2021 -- the one Juan Guaidó presided over briefly, forming
the basis of his fabricated presidency -- to be the country's only
"legitimate" legislative body. Not long after U.S. Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo denounced the election as "rigged" and a charade, Canada
and the Lima Group (with the exception of Argentina and Uruguay),
Britain and the leadership of the European Union, in a servile fashion
issued their own versions of the same thing
of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, for
example, said in a statement released on December 6 before the results
of the election were known: "Canada does not recognize the results of
Venezuela's December 6 electoral process because the process did not
meet the minimum conditions for a free and fair exercise of democracy."
He then called for new presidential and parliamentary elections to be
held in keeping with standards that presumably the U.S. and its
Organization of American States, Canada and the Lima Group embody and
are in a position to give lessons about!
Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez
Zapatero, who was in Venezuela to observe the election, and has
facilitated numerous negotiation attempts between the government of
Nicolás Maduro and opposition forces that the U.S.
invariably intervened to torpedo, said the elections must end the
unfair and incomprehensible sanctions against Venezuela. "The policy of
sanctions and non-recognition could lead us to the greatest absurdity
in the history of International Law," he warned.
advice was lost on the Trudeau government in Canada and the others
however, with the EU announcing new sanctions against certain
Venezuelan officials this week.
6, 2020. Montreal
U.S. "Multilateralism that
Works" Applied Against Venezuela
Speaking to the
50th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in
October, Mike Pompeo called the organization an example of
"multilateralism that actually works." What he meant by that became
apparent as he proceeded to give the governments of other countries
their marching orders, as if they were all U.S. vassal
states. First on the list of his government's "expectations,"
he said, was that that all member states not recognize past or future
elections of "the illegitimate Maduro regime."
December 9 a special meeting of the Permanent Council of the
OAS was held at the request of Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the
U.S. and a number of other countries to "consider the political
situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the context of the
parliamentary elections held by the illegitimate regime of
At the meeting a
resolution in line with what would be expected of the U.S. and its Lima
Group was passed by 20 member states with two opposed, five abstaining
and six Caribbean countries and Nicaragua not in attendance. The resolution
claimed the "fraudulent" election was held for the purpose of
eliminating "the only legitimate and democratically elected institution
remaining in Venezuela." It said that the installation of those elected
would further destroy democracy, the rule of law and aggravate all
other problems that affect the everyday life of Venezuelans. In other
words, the U.S. would be forced to continue intensifying its cruel war
of attrition against Venezuela.
praised the contrived "popular consultation" held over the the past
week by the Juan Guaidó-Leopoldo López faction,
in which they asked Venezuelans at home and abroad to answer a set of
leading questions that seek to show the people do not recognize the
results of the December 6 election and ask "the international
community" to do the same; and furthermore, that they "order" the
necessary steps taken to get "the international community" to intervene
to "rescue our democracy, address the humanitarian crisis and protect
the people from crimes against humanity."
asserting that the December 6 election was allegedly neither free nor
fair "in accordance with the conditions established in international
law" and other democratic norms the governments of the U.S., Canada and
their pathetic Lima Group claim to uphold, the counter-revolutionary
resolution also called for "holding, as soon as possible, free, fair,
transparent and legitimate presidential and parliamentary elections."
But it was not all smooth sailing for the U.S. and Canada. A
number of countries that voted in favour of the resolution made a point
of stating that their positive vote did not imply agreement with
continuing to recognize the outgoing National Assembly when its term
lapses in January as the U.S. is calling for.
Ambassador to the OAS Carlos Raimundi, who abstained on the vote, was
one who took that stand. He said it would be a violation of Venezuela's
constitution to continue recognizing the expired legislature. He also
said his government was committed to facilitating the search for a
political solution in Venezuela through dialogue, and that the
electoral path was the only viable one for renewing the country's
institutions. Raimundi said it was wrong to ignore the will of those
who took part in the election and dictate conditions from outside
without contributing even minimally to the elections, or worse, pushing
for them to be boycotted. He then called for the policy of sanctions
and non-recognition to be reconsidered, saying it had led nowhere.
An honourable stand was taken by Mexico's Ambassador Luz Elena
Baños, who along with Bolivia’s representative,
voted against the resolution. Her words also represented many if not
all those who stayed away from the meeting. She sharply denounced the
undemocratic and intolerant behaviour that has prevailed for some time
inside the OAS, where an exclusive group of countries come up with the
resolution without consulting all members. Baños condemned
the resolution as interventionist, saying the role of the OAS was not
to recognize or not recognize governments. The approach of these
countries that do not even oppose sanctions, she said, is against
multilateralism, which is supposed to try and solve problems based on
international law, not block the possibility of negotiating.
Ambassador Hugh Adsett took the floor, he spuriously accused the
Venezuelan "regime" of committing crimes against humanity "against all
who dissent, in order to maintain its grip on power." He uttered weasel
words about Canada wanting to work along with Venezuelans and other
members of the OAS to help them solve their problems. He imposed as the
condition for working together the holding of what Canada and the OAS
would recognize as "free and fair presidential and parliamentary
The hypocrisy of the Trudeau Liberals
has no bounds. Their actions do not speak for Canadians who they have
never consulted about the dirty war they are engaged in against the
Venezuelan people and others around the world targeted by the U.S. and
NATO for regime change and destabilization. Instead of interfering in
the affairs of the Venezuelan people at the behest of the narrow
private interests which are favoured by the removal of a Bolivarian
government, the Trudeau government should instead concern itself with
the lack of democratic conditions in its own house and the Canadian
people's demands for decision-making power at home.
favour: Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,
the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti,
Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Lucia, Uruguay, United
States. The illegal "Venezuelan" delegation also voted in favour.
Against: Bolivia, Mexico
Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
for Rights and Renewal in India
December 10, 2020. Rally
held by farmers camped at Tikrit border crossing outside Delhi on the
occasion of Human Rights Day.
Reports from New
Delhi inform that millions of farmers are gathered on the border
between Haryana and Delhi. The city is under siege. There is a Mela
[Fair] at least 60 to 70 kilometres long on the GT road [National
Highway]. "Very festive atmosphere, Langar, cultural performances,
people looking after each other, health workers are here, surrounding
villages are providing vegetables, milk, ghee and daily necessities,"
one person wrote. Reports indicate that the farmers are equipped to
stay there for months if need be. A contingent of Nihang Sikhs -- Sikh
warriors on horseback -- has also joined the farmers. "They have tied
their horses to the barricades and are practising their martial arts,"
the observer writes.
December 10, 2020.
A contingent of Nihang Sikhs -- Sikh warriors on
horseback -- has joined the farmers.
Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) issued a press release
on December 9 which reads:
"The National Working
Group of AIKSCC took the following decisions:
AIKSCC joins farmers' organizations in denouncing and rejecting the
insincere and arrogant so-called 'new' proposal of Central Govt.
- AIKSCC to launch nationwide campaign Sarkaar ki Asli
Majboori -- Adani, Ambani, Jamakhori to expose Modi Govt.
AIKSCC calls upon farmers' organizations to organize continuous
December 7-10. Border
crossings into Delhi at Tikrit, Singhu, and elsewhere are
blockaded by the farmers' protests.
Several rounds of
talks with the government did not fulfill the demands of the farmers.
Earlier the government's mantra was that the "farmers do not
understand." Now it is saying that it will look into their demands and
make some changes. Farmers want the outright repeal of the offending
laws. Referring to the contract farming these laws introduce, the
farmers are saying that the "East India Company is back." One young
farmer pointed out that in the last 10 years the Minimum Support Price
(MSP) of paddy (rice) has gone up by 18 per cent but the cost of inputs
has gone up by 53 per cent. Another young farmer said, "Leader and
Dealer, have the same letters. These leaders of political parties have
become dealers for Ambani and Adani."
the ruling party and some of its leaders have been trying to incite
people against the farmers by saying the farmers are "Khalistanis,"
which they equate with terrorism. But the farmers from Haryana,
Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and other places call on people not to get
diverted. They respond by saying: "If fighting for rights makes one
Khalistani, then all of us are Khalistanis."
December 5, people all across India burnt effigies of the oligarchs
Adani, Ambani and others whose big corporate houses are stealing the
land of the farmers. This was followed on December 8 with an all-India
shut down and strike. Hundreds of millions of people shut India down to
demand that the government fulfill the demands of the farmers.
in front of India's missions abroad are taking place in support of
farmers. Millions of people have signed petitions. Non-resident Indians
(NRIs), especially Punjabis abroad, are playing an important role. For
example, young second and third generation Punjabis abroad are
explaining to their relatives the experience of farmers in the U.S. and
Canada where big corporate agribusinesses stole the lands of Indigenous
peoples and farmers. Young lawyers from the U.S., Canada and Britain
have looked at the laws and are giving the farmers in Punjab legal
advice. They have also raised a lot of money to help the farmers who
are in serious difficulty. On December 10, International Human Rights
Day, they held car rallies in front of Indian missions, to protest
against human rights violations.
People in India
are engaged in action to make their own history. The mass protests and
courage of the people once again reveal that the arrangements that the
ruling elite made with the British in 1947 are anti-people. The
conditions put on the agenda for solution the urgent necessity for the
people's empowerment. They also reveal that the "largest democracy in
the world" is nothing but a ruthless dictatorship of a tiny ruling
elite. People must exercise their sovereignty themselves without the
mediation of political parties or party government. The state created
in 1947 put some agents of the British Raj in charge of
domestic and international relations which favoured the narrow
interests of the Raj. Today, under neo-liberal globalization, this has
become intolerable. The burden on the people is unsustainable. The
peoples' fight for their rights and the rights of all will give rise to
new arrangements which satisfy the claims of the people on society and
are on par with the requirements of the times.
Instigating anarchy and violence is the template that the
British developed after the First War of Independence in 1857 against
British rule. It was specifically used to divide the Indian people in
1947 and the institutions imitate those of the British in order to
replicate their rule using Indians instead of British personalities.
This is the "democracy" that establishment forces, including those
calling themselves liberals and secular forces, want people to save "at
all costs" as if they are the antidote, not the purveyor of anarchy and
violence. This is the blindfold of anti-consciousness that those who
have usurped power by force manipulate every minute of every day so
that nobody looks at the actual conditions and the ensemble of social
relations to see what they reveal. People must lift this veil of
disinformation, deception and fraud.
November 30, 2020.
Demonstration organized by youth in support of the farmers' protests.
Across India Blockades and other Actions Stand with Farmers
March on Delhi
Chandigarh, December 1, 2020
Bhand, December 8, 2020
Bhand, December 8, 2020
December 6, 2020.
As Indian farmers continue their steadfast
affirm their rights and well-being and oppose the attacks on them
by India's Modi government through its three agriculture reform
bills and the use of state violence against their protests,
working people in around the world are holding actions to support
the farmers and create awareness of their cause.
In Halifax on December 5, more than 100 vehicles
in a car rally outside Canada's immigration museum, Pier 21, in
the south end of the city.
In Charlottetown on
December 1, an action was held at the
intersection of Great George and Grafton Streets More rallies are
In Montreal on December 6, a mass rally
was held in the
borough of LaSalle on the south end of the island, with another
action there on December 12.
6, 2020. Montreal rally
December 1, 2020. Rally
at Toronto City Hall in support of Indian farmers.
the Greater Toronto Area, organizers of the Kissan Dharna
Car Rally reported that on December 5 more than 1,500 vehicles
and thousands of people took part in the car rally which
travelled from Bramalea GO Station in Brampton to the Indian
General Consulate in Toronto. This was preceded by another car
rally from Brampton to Toronto on December 1, and an action on
November 29 in Brampton.
November 29, 2020.
in Ontario, a car rally was held in Hamilton in recent days, with a
long line of cars making its way east on Barton St.
In Winnipeg, social media reported that "thousands of
vehicles" drove down the Perimeter Highway on December 6 in
support of the Indian farmers.
December 6, 2020. Winnipeg
December 6, 2020.
Alberta, rallies have taken place in Calgary on December 2 and 5. In
Edmonton, a rally with at least 1,000 cars took place on December 6.
December 6, 2020. Calgary
cities and towns across British Columbia, there have been pickets and
mass rallies since December 2 in support of India's farmers. On
December 2 a large car rally from Surrey to the Indian Consulate in
downtown Vancouver drew young and old and was followed up, on December
5, by an even larger procession of cars, trucks, tractors and
motorcycles -- organizers reported over 3,000 vehicles -- again from
Surrey to the Indian Consulate. In Prince George, on December 2 around
100 vehicles participated in a rally and another is planned for
December 13. Pickets and car rallies have been held in other towns and
cities including Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Courtenay,
Abbotsford, and Richmond. There has been a daily picket in Delta and
daily pickets along with other larger protests on some days are
continuing at the Indian Consulate in Vancouver.
December 5, 2020. Vancouver
December 5, 2020. Burnaby
York, New York
years of history have flowed since Friedrich Engels was born in Barmen,
Germany on November 28, 1820. Despite the passage of so much time and
so many events, the revolutionary actions and thought of Engels are
present today as a guide to action to settle scores with the old
conscience of society and permit the emergence of the modern democratic
of the Communist Party, written by Engels and Karl Marx in
1848, presented communism to the world as the necessary condition to
complete the emancipation of the working class. Engels dedicated his
entire life to the advance of the working class movement, despite
relentless attacks on his person by the German, French and other states
and political personalities. Engels demonstrated in practice, as
Hardial Bains said at the meeting held on the 100th anniversary of
Engels' death in 1995: "Communism cannot be cowed down; it cannot be
afraid of pinpricks. It must attract the best minds of our era, as it
did in the past. It must present to the working class what is best in
every sphere. It must open a future for human beings and not for
angels. It must create a society that human beings want, not
perfection, not some dream world. The society to be created is that
which the working class must create for itself, a world where it no
longer faces humiliation, degradation and the crimes of the oppressors.
The working class must create a society in which humanity does not face
wars, disease, poverty and marginalization."
began his political work for communism together with Marx by settling
scores with their former philosophic conscience. They did so to raise
the banner of the working class within the social conditions of the day
and the requirements of revolutionary practice. In settling scores with
their former conscience they sought to provide themselves and the
working class with a manifesto that would guide them in life, enable
them to engage in actions based on analysis which would open a path for
the New and contribute to the emancipation of the working class.
Engels explains the settling of accounts with their erstwhile
philosophical conscience in his work Ludwig Feuerbach and the
End of Classical German Philosophy. To settle accounts
required among other things turning the idealist philosophy of the
great German philosopher Friedrich Hegel upside down and developing in
practice the philosophy of dialectical and historical materialism.
"Dialectical philosophy dissolves
all conceptions of final, absolute truth and of absolute states of
humanity corresponding to it. For it [dialectical philosophy], nothing
is final, absolute, sacred. It reveals the transitory character of
everything and in everything; nothing can endure before it except the
uninterrupted process of becoming and of passing away, of endless
ascendancy from the lower to the higher. And dialectical philosophy
itself is nothing more than the mere reflection of this process in the
thinking brain. It has, of course, also a conservative side; it
recognizes that definite stages of knowledge and society are justified
for their time and circumstances; but only so far. The conservatism of
this mode of outlook is relative; its revolutionary character is
absolute -- the only absolute dialectical philosophy admits. [...]
"The whole dogmatic content of the Hegelian system is declared
to be absolute truth, in contradiction to his dialectical method, which
dissolves all dogmatism. Thus the revolutionary side is smothered
beneath the overgrowth of the conservative side. And what applies to
philosophical cognition applies also to historical practice. [...]
"According to Hegel the dialectical development apparent in
nature and history -- that is, the causal interconnection of the
progressive movement from the lower to the higher, which asserts itself
through all zigzag movements and temporary retrogression -- is only a
copy [Abklatsch] of the self-movement of the concept
going on from eternity, no one knows where, but at all events
independently of any thinking human brain. This ideological perversion
had to be done away with.
"We again took a
materialistic view of the thoughts in our heads, regarding them as
images [Abbilder] of real things instead of
regarding real things as images of this or that stage of the absolute
concept. Thus dialectics reduced itself to the science of the general
laws of motion, both of the external world and of human thought -- two
sets of laws which are identical in substance, but differ in their
expression in so far as the human mind can apply them consciously,
while in nature and also up to now for the most part in human history,
these laws assert themselves unconsciously, in the form of external
necessity, in the midst of an endless series of seeming accidents.
"Thereby the dialectic of concepts itself became merely the
conscious reflex of the dialectical motion of the real world and thus
the dialectic of Hegel was turned over; or rather, turned off its head,
on which it was standing, and placed upon its feet. This materialist
dialectic for years has been our best working tool and our sharpest
The obscurantist imperialist conscience
asserts the notion that all things and relations are immutable. The
ruling elite do everything to block the people from building the New
and moving society forward to the emancipation of the working class.
They declare that no alternative is possible to their program to pay
the rich to overcome the recurring economic crises no matter what
difficulties they cause for the people and the wars and destruction of
productive forces they unleash. The oligarchy rejects the modern era
that is staring it in the face, where people are born to society and
possess rights by virtue of being human, because to accept it would
destroy the oligarchs' class privilege and paradise on earth of
colossal private wealth and power.
philosophy as Engels asserts, and life itself proves, is a firm
repudiation of the current imperialist inability to reckon with the
demands of the times whereby they push bankrupt theories about end of
history, end of ideology and end of science. The dialectical philosophy
dissolves "all conceptions of final, absolute truth and of absolute
states of humanity corresponding to it." The New must come into being
and the working class is the social force that can accomplish it
consciously through organized actions with analysis.
us honour the legacy of Friedrich Engels by redoubling our efforts to
organize the institutions of the working class and strengthen its
revolutionary outlook and conscience to accomplish the historic mission
to open a path to its emancipation.
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