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Sixteen landed estates will be expropriated for Venezuela’s land reform program, announced President Hugo Chavez on March 25, during his television program Alo Presidente. The total area of land that will thus become available for redistribution to peasants and agricultural cooperatives will exceed 330,000 hectares in the states of Apure, Anzoategui, Barinas, Guarico, Portuguesa and Aragua.
For the fourth time during his 14-month government, Bolivian President Evo Morales swore in a new president to run state petroleum company YPFB on March 23. This followed the eruption of a scandal that has cast doubts on the government’s most popular measure to date — the nationalisation of the country’s gas resources.
East Timor’s presidential election campaign is now officially underway. Voting will be held on April 9. Max Lane spoke by phone with presidential candidate Avelino Coelho, secretary-general of the Socialist Party of Timor (PST).
The Chaser's War on Everything — Australian political satire. ABC, Friday, April 6, 10.15pm. The Murder of Emmett Till — In the United States in August 1955, Till's murder and trial horrified the nation and lit a spark that helped mobilise the
To no-one’s surprise, the Beijing-anointed incumbent Donald Tsang was returned in Hong Kong’s March 25 “election” for the territory’s chief executive — the third such election since the territory’s reversion to Chinese rule in 1997. What was surprising was that the rival candidate, lawyer Alan Leong — billed as representing the politically moderate middle-class democratic camp and the first ever challenger in this highly managed ballot — secured a respectable 123 votes compared to Tsang’s 649.
Industrial Unionism
by Peter Steiner and Frank Hanlon
Rebel Press, 2007
28 pages, $2
http://www.rebelpress.org.nz
Hanan Aruri, a Palestinian woman from Ramallah, became involved in the fight against the Israeli occupation as a teenager during the 1987 intifada (uprising). Today she is an activist in the international campaign to boycott Israel, and is also involved in campaigns for women’s rights. She was a guest at the Socialist Alternative’s March 30-April 1 Marxism Today conference. Aruri spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Emma Clancy about the current dynamics in Palestinian politics and the struggle against the Israeli occupation.
Future: Tense — The coming world order
By Gwynne Dyer
Scribe, 2006
256 pages, $27.95
Many workers and unions in Australia and other imperialist countries have been involved in campaigns to stop jobs from being sent offshore to Third World countries. Unions in the rich countries usually think that this is an issue that only affects them, but the off-shoring of jobs to other countries, or to “free trade zones”, heavily impacts on workers in Third World countries, as capitalists try to drive workers’ wages and conditions ever lower.
The following opinion piece by Kamal Fadel, the Polisario Representative to Australia, is a response to Morocco’s proposal for limited “autonomy” for Western Sahaha, which would include a regional government with some control over local affairs, cabinet ministries and a local judiciary. This piece was first published in <http://www.onlineopinion.com.au>.
Around 5000 lawyers protesting on March 21 vowed not to rest until they succeed in removing General Pervez Musharraf from office, forcing the withdrawal of the reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and gaining assurance of a full independent judiciary capable of protecting the constitution. They called for the establishment of a truly democratic government through free and fair elections. The dispute was sparked on March 9 when Musharraf suspended Chaudhry.
Pope Benedict XVI is travelling to Brazil in May for an important bishops’ meeting. To prepare the way the Vatican has slapped down Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino, one of Latin America’s major theologians and a survivor of the 1980s Salvadoran death squad war.