John Riddell

During the upsurge of working-class and liberation struggles that followed the 1917 Russian Revolution, socialists from all continents joined in founding a world party, the Communist International, or “Comintern”.
For socialists, this August marks a significant anniversary. One hundred years ago, a congress of the Second — or Socialist — International took a bold stand in the struggle against capitalist war. The congress pointed the way toward the Russian Revolution of 1917 and provided an enduring guide for socialists’ anti-war activity.
The dramatic advances of the Venezuelan revolution, and the alliances it has forged with other insurgent peoples and governments resisting imperialism, are creating an historic opportunity to strengthen international anti-imperialist collaboration and rebuild the revolutionary socialist movement worldwide.
More than 1500 activists from the Middle East and around the world met in Cairo from March 29 to April 1 under the banner, “Towards an International Alliance against Imperialism and Zionism”. The conference — the fifth held in Cairo since 2002 by the International Campaign against US and Zionist Occupation — brought together Islamic, nationalist and socialist forces from the region, together with delegates from anti-war coalitions in Canada, Korea, Venezuela and Europe.
When supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rallied in the Teresa Carrena theatre in Caracas on December 15 to celebrate their presidential election victory, “there were cheers in the back half of the theatre”, wrote Caracas-based Marxist writer Michael Lebowitz in, “but few in the high-priced seats”.