International News

GLW Issue 1078

Women are crucial to the Bolivarian process and will play a vital role in Venezuela's national elections next month, legislator and candidate for the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) Tania Diaz told TeleSUR.

Campaigning began in Venezuela on November 13 ahead of crucial National Assembly elections next month.

The vote will see the socialists supporting the Bolivarian Revolution, backed by President Nicolas Maduro, against the right-wing US-funded opposition amid ongoing tensions and economic problems.

From November 13 through to December 3, candidates from the ruling and opposition coalitions will be allowed to canvass for votes by public appearances, leaflets and on regional and national media.

Cuban farmers planting sweet potato crop.

On November 10, it was 20 years since Ken Saro-Wiwa, president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), and eight other Ogoni leaders were hanged by Nigaria's military dictatorship in Nigeria.

Known as the Ogoni Nine, their crime was demanding a share of the proceeds of oil exploitation.

The Niger Delta covers a huge area of some 27,000 square miles on Nigeria’s southern coast. Once almost all tropical rainforest, it has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on earth and is home to 31 million people. Ogoniland comprises 400 square miles in the eastern delta.

With refugees at the centre of debate after the terror attacks in Paris, the plight of European Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during the 1930s and '40s springs to mind as a parallel to the current crisis.

It has come to light in recent times that the family of Anne Frank — the Jewish teenager whose famous diary details her and her family's failed attempts to hide from the Nazis in Amsterdam — was among those denied the necessary papers that would have allowed them access to the United States.

If the horrific attacks in Paris, France have taught us anything, it is that some tragedies matter more than others.

For example, look no further than these headlines:

120 Dead in Paris Attacks, Worst Since WWII (ABC/AP, November 14);
Paris Wakes Up Under Siege After Deadliest Attack Since WWII (The Daily Beast, November 14);

Marda Permaculture Farm in the West Bank. Photo from

Ownership of the land of Palestine is hotly contested, so it is little surprise that the Earth itself is often the first casualty of Israel's occupation.

A meeting in Rojava's capital, Qamislo, of the Assyrian ethnic minority. Photo from

The secret text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was released on November 5 and was swiftly condemned by green groups around the world, which said the trade agreement fails to provide adequate protections for the environment.

The TPP was agreed to on September 5 by the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.

California has what is called a Mediterranean climate, which means it has two seasons, wet and dry one. The wet one usually starts in November and lasts through the winter and early spring and is characterised by rain, and snow in the northern part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the dry season, from mid-spring through October, there is little or no rain.

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) accessed the internal communications of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, PDVSA, and acquired sensitive data it planned to exploit to spy on the company's top officials, a highly classified NSA document has revealed. It shows the operation was carried out in concert with the US Embassy in Caracas.

The March 2011 document, labelled “top secret” and leaked by former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, was reported exclusively by a parternship between TeleSUR and The Intercept.

Washington, DC joined Manila and 10 other cities in protests on November 16 against the Pacific trade agreement that is expected to affect all aspects of ordinary life.

Crowds shut down traffic in the US capital and occupied various offices that are implicated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which is still to be voted on by legislatures of the 12 nations negotiating the deal.

The Pacific rim nations involved, which represent 40% of world GDP, are the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan.

Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, the world's leaders and media have predictably reminding the world that the attacks' perpetrator – ISIS – has declared war to the death against humanity.

ISIS would not deny this. Indeed, making this point was the reason it carried out the Paris attacks, which killed 129 people.

As the initial horror and outrage of the attacks in Paris on November 13 subside, the impacts they are already having on French and European society are becoming clearer.

A state of emergency has been declared by the French government and will persist for up to three months.

French officials announced on November 17 that France would see an extra 115,000 police officers, gendarmes and soldiers deployed across the country.

In this context, rational debate is being restricted and progressive movements are on the defensive.


GLW Issue 1077

After seven years of intense public campaigning on the Keystone XL, a pipeline that would have bisected the United States carrying the world's dirtiest oil, US President Barack Obama denied Canadian oil company TransCanada a presidential permit for construction on November 6.

The president cited the pipeline's projected contribution to climate change in deeming it not in the national interest.

April 24, 1915, was the beginning of the slaughter 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in what is now Turkey. This set a dangerous precedent that has been copied and expanded upon by later despotic governments.

Despite its morbid place in world history, governments around the world, including major international powers, refuse to acknowledge that it ever happened.

FMLN congress, November 6. Photo: FMLN.

El Salvador's governing left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) concluded its first national congress on November 8 with plans to advance its struggles against inequality, exclusion and neoliberalism.

The entire northern province of Sri Lanka, an area mainly inhabited by Tamils, was "brought to a standstill" on November 13, according to the Tamilnet website, in support of Tamil prisoners on hunger strike for their freedom.

All private and public activities, except for medical services, came to a standstill. Students did not attend schools. Roads remained deserted except for the army and police.

Hondurans receive care from Cuban doctors. Photo: Cuban Medical Brigade.

Cuban doctors have served more than 29 million Hondurans and saved at least 250,000 Honduran lives over the past 17 years, local media in the Central American nation said.

Thousands rally in support of Ecuador's government in Quito's Plaza Grande, November 11. Photo: TeleSUR / Ryan Mallett-Outtrim.

Thousands of supporters of left-wing President Rafael Correa rallied in central Quito on November 11 in the face of renewed opposition protests.

“Correa has done so many things for our country,” Correa supporter Rosa Chiquimarea told TeleSUR English.

The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is slated to hit Mexico with more food insecurity and hard times for farmers by extending tariff exemptions to more countries.

The TPP has been negotiated, largely in secret, by 12 Pacific nations and incorporates 40% of the world's GDP. The deal is still to be ratified by parliaments of signatory countries of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.

Israeli military jeep broadcasting threat to gas residents, Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem, occupied West Bank, October 29. Still from video by Yazan Ikhlayel.

Israel has introduced dramatic new restrictions on Palestinians living in the city of Hebron in response to recent violence and mass resistance in the occupied West Bank.

Film director Quentin Tarantino at #BlackLivesMatter protest in New York City on October 24.

Ever since the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement emerged on the streets to protest repeated police killings of African Americans, there has been a backlash, spearheaded by the police mutual benefit societies mislabelled labour unions.

As news arrived yesterday of terror attacks in Paris that ultimately left more than 120 people dead, US President Barack Obama characterized the situation as “heartbreaking” and an assault “on all of humanity.”

But his presidential sympathy was conspicuously absent the previous day when terror attacks in Beirut left more than 40 dead. Predictably, Western media and social media were much less vocal about the slaughter in Lebanon.

PKK fighters driving a tank into Shingal.

The town of Shingal (in Kurdish or "Sinjar" in Arabic) in Iraq's Nineveh Province was declared liberated from ISIS forces, which had held the town since last year, on November 13. The town is mostly inhabited by the Kurdish religious minority community of Yazidis. The town was liberated by Iraqi Kurdish forces, fighting alongside Yazadi militias and fighters from the left-wing Turkish-based Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos recognised and thanked Cuba on November 12 for its important support in achieving national independence 40 years ago.

Commemorating four decades of independence from colonial powers, dos Santos invited a Cuban delegation to honour the historical events that led Fidel Castro to deploy 36,000 troops to defend Angola from a US-back military invasion by forces of apartheid South Africa.

Protesters from the PAME union take part in an anti-austerity march during a 24-hour general strike in Athens, November 12.

The Turkish government has declared all-out war against the residents of the Kurdish-majority town of Silvan (Farqin) in Diyarbakir (Amed) province. The town has been under curfew and siege since November 2.

Artillery and military aircraft have been deployed by Turkish military and paramilitary forces. Residents have reported Arabic-speaking bearded terrorists — presumed to be ISIS — taking part in the attacks.

Hopes that such government violence would end after the November 1 Turkish elections have been shattered.

Union-organised demonstration outside Portugal's parliament on November 10.

A coalition of the parties of the Portuguese left — the Socialist Party (PS), the Left Bloc, the Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens (PEV) — won a motion of no-confidence in the parliament on November 10.

The motion brought down the short-lived Portugal Ahead alliance government of the conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the neoliberal Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP).

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has won a crushing and historic victory in the November 8 election in Burma (also known as Myanmar).

Results were not final at the time of publication, but the NLD was on target to win more than 270 of the 330 elected seats (82%) in the People's Assembly, and more than 150 of the 168 elected seats (90%) in the House of Nationalities.