A new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found Venezuela cut its military budget by 34% last year, leading the region in arms spending cuts. In contrast, United States political allies Paraguay and Mexico led the region in upping military spending, raising military budgets by 13% and 11%, respectively.
During the final session of El Salvador's outgoing parliament on April 29, right-wing parties blocked a vote to ratify a constitutional reform that would have enshrined water and food as human rights. In doing so, the bloc of Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), National Conciliation (PCN), and Christian Democrat (PDC) parties demonstrated their support for elite business interests over the health and wellbeing of the Salvadoran people.
Photo: Unite.org.nz New Zealand's Unite Union, which organises fast food, hospitality and retail workers, announced a big win on May 1 with McDonald's finally agreeing to join Burger King and Restaurant Brands and cease using controversial “zero hour” contracts.
Six Baltimore police officers will face criminal charges over the death of 25-year-old African American man Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, prosecutors announced on May 1. Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who said the charges will include manslaughter and murder, added that Gray had committed no crime and was "illegally arrested".
The Third World countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America should form an alliance in order to “end imperialist domination,” Venezuelan vice-president Jorge Arreaza has said. Arreaza proposed a Third World alliance during a speech at the Asia-Africa Summit in Indonesia on April 25. Speaking as a special Latin American representative, Arreaza told the audience the alliance was needed to overthrow imperialism and end the unipolar system imposed on Southern nations.
Photo: Venezuelan Presidency Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro inaugurated the 700,000th house built under a state-led initiative to provide housing to the most needy Venezuelans on April 17. During the celebration of the launch, part of the Great Mission for Venezuelan Housing program, Maduro said the program aimed to build hundreds of thousands of new houses between now and the end of next year.