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Last week, the US formally adopted sanctions on Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA, as well as on CITGO, its US-based distribution arm, as part of its press for regime change in Caracas. National Security Advisor John Bolton estimated the actions would affect some $7 billion in assets and would block $11 billion in revenue to the Venezuelan government over the next year.

Vice
Written and directed by Adam McKay
Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell
In cinemas now

Vice is a worthily acerbic assault on the life and times of former US vice-president Dick Cheney, writes Alan Frank.

Given the all-too-frequent off-the-wall activities of the current haystack-haired White House occupant, writer-director Adam McKay deserves praise for lifting the spirits somewhat with this cruelly satirical portrait of former US vice-president Dick Cheney.

Against Charity
By Daniel Raventos & Julie Wark
AK Press, 2018
294 pages, $16.95

One often hears that we should “give to charity”. Is this a good idea? Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark wrote their view in Against Charity. Admittedly, the title is a give-away.

Charities aren’t new, but in modern capitalist societies, many states have legislated to regulate charities. In this way, “the crumbs from the rich man’s table can safely be given to the poor”.

British musician and activist Roger Waters has called on people to act against the ongoing United States coup against the elected Venezuelan government. Waters specifically urged people to join the February 4 “emergency demonstration” in front of the US Mission to the United Nations (USUN) located in New York City.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus takes a look at five new releases for an ecosocialist bookshelf. Inclusion doesn’t necessarily imply agreement with a book’s contents.

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End Of The Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest and Strangest Animals
Written by Ross DE MacPhee & illustrated by Peter Schouten
WW Norton, 2019

After six days of strikes and mass mobilisations in the streets, Los Angeles teachers, joined on the picket lines and demonstrations by parents and students, won an important victory, Barry Sheppard writes from San Francisco, as they  held the line against further privatisation of the public schools.

Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of besieged Gaza on January 29 to show their support of the democratically-elected government of Venezuela and it’s legitimate leader, President Nicolas Maduro.

Below is a  February 4 letter signed by 39 members of the European Parliament. It comes from three different political groups in the European Parliament and condemns EU support for the attempted coup in Venezuela.

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Letter in defence of a political dialogue in Venezuela, guaranteeing that Latin America and the Caribbean remains a zone of peace.

This is an eyewitness account of the UN Climate Conference COP24, held in Katowice, Poland, in December last year from the perspective of one of the 30,000 participants. All attempts will be taken to avoid acronyms of climate terms, or at least explain them, and I will outline the ‘insider information’ that I got from my first COP.

A tailings dam owned by Brazilian iron ore producer Vale burst in Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais on January 25. This is the second of its tailings dams to burst in several years. Hundreds died and the devastation to local residents, water resources and biodiversity was immense.

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