1208

News and analysis on Catalonia's struggle for self-determination from Green Left Weekly's European bureau.

Last week, the US formally adopted  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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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  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 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.

Leyla Guven, a member of Turkey’s parliament for the left-wing, Kurdish-led People’s Democratic party (HDP), launched an indefinite hunger strike on November 7 from Amed Prison, where she was held jailed by Turkey’s regime. Her demand is for an end to the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Jailed by Turkey since 1999, Ocalan is the recognised leader of the Kurdish liberation movement. Since 2011, his lawyers have been unable to met with him.

Adani has once again missed its own deadline for starting construction at its Carmichael coalmine in the Galilee Basin, but the coalmining giant is ramping up its propaganda war and intimidation of activists.

Adani is continuing to run advertisements and opinion pieces in newspapers, along with paying for huge billboards in Brisbane, all talking up the supposed jobs that the proposed mine will create.

Corporate media outlets in Australia and internationally are overwhelmingly campaigning in support of the United States’ regime change push in Venezuela. This is another reason to support Green Left Weekly.

I am employed as a disability support worker by a council and, since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), I will soon lose my job. This is my story.

ParentsNext is a new Department of Human Services (DHS) program that was rolled out nationally last July for about 75,000 sole parents who are receiving Parenting Payment.

The program is compulsory for all single parents whose youngest child has turned five, unless they are living in a regional town with no employment opportunities.

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