999

With few exceptions, most international media coverage of the recent protests in Venezuela gives little sense of the response from the popular social movements who support the government of President Nicolas Maduro but operate independently from it.

As researchers who have carried out long-term fieldwork in the urban barrios (poor neighbourhoods) of Caracas, we felt compelled to translate and publish the statement of one of these barrio groups.

The governments of the United States, Europe and Canada are working furiously to help consolidate the conservative and rightist government that has come into office in Ukraine after the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Victor Yanukovych 10 days ago.

The overthrow of the regime came about through a confluence of mass protests against its authoritarian rule and retrograde social and economic policies, and a very active intervention by right-wing and fascist political forces.

Cusco, a city of 400,000 in south-eastern Peru, was totally paralysed on February 25. It was the first day of a 48-hour general strike initiated by trade unions and other civic groups.

The strike was supported by bus, taxi and truck drivers, as well as peasant and indigenous groups in provinces throughout the Cusco region. All vehicular traffic ceased in the downtown area and citizens walked freely through the streets ― an unusual sight in a South American city.

A new report by eight international trade unions and non-government organisations details the brutal government repression Cambodian garment workers were subjected to. It said the workers' demand to raise the minimum wage were reasonable.

Indiscriminate violence against ordinary people, whether they be involved in politics or not, is always appalling and serves no progressive or democratic purpose. The recent killing of children is even worse.

We have no idea who has been committing these latest deadly atrocities in Bangkok or in Trat and it would be foolish to make wild guesses. It could be those who favour a dictatorship and wish to create conditions favourable for a military coup against elected President Yingluck Shinawatra.

Party of the European Left: building unity to build hope

When the 200-plus delegates finally voted on the two main documents presented to the fourth congress of the Party of the European Left (EL), held on December 13-15 in Madrid, there was a faint murmur of surprise at the degree of support received, writes Dick Nichols in an eyewitness account of fourth congress of the group that unites left parties across the continent.

Noam Chomsky's weak spot on political power

Almost a year has passed since the death of Hugo Chávez on March 5, 2013. Arguably this has been the most difficult one for the Bolivarian Revolution. Many people, both on the left and the right expressed doubt that there could be Chavismo without Chávez.

Perhaps a year is still too short of a period to assess the situation after Chávez’s passing. Yet, the dynamic developments over the past twelve months call for some preliminary remarks.

Venezuelan car workers have slammed multinational car manufacturers for cutting back production in the country. The country's largest trade union federation has called for the industry to be nationalised.

Accusing multinational car companies of being “imperialist”, the National Workers' Union (UNT) has called on the government to place car factories under worker control.

The UNT said: “It's clear that building socialism relies on the working class, indeed the workers' control of the factories.”

Well the fun just never stops, does it, when it comes to the Abbott government’s asylum seeker policies, or as they call it, “border protection”. Because when it comes to needing protection, fleeing war, torture and genocide is one thing, but won’t someone think of all the poor, downtrodden borders?

How many more times must our vulnerable borders be subject to assaults by desperate people using their international right under a convention Australia has signed to sail right over them in their boats without so much as a “Sorry Australian maritime borders! Didn’t see you there!”

Qantas is just the latest big company to announce it is about to destroy thousands of jobs. CEO Alan Joyce says jobs have to go to save the company’s profit line.

We've heard the same sob story from Ford, Holden, Coca-Cola, Toyota and Alcoa all over a relative short period of time. Can we really believe these corporations, with their “creative” accounting and webs of subsidiaries and business partners?

All these companies have received large amounts of public subsidies and Qantas, privatised two decades ago, was built with public funds.

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