World

At the June 8 ceremonial handing over of portfolio briefcases from outgoing conservative People’s Party (PP) ministers to their incoming Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) replacements, the contrasts were dramatic.

A bunch of reactionary lifetime political operators and religious obscurantists were replaced by what new Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez boasted was the “progressive”, “feminist” and “Europeanist” alternative.

As the numbers of Palestinians killed and injured while participating in mass non-violent resistance on the Gaza border continues to mount, Israel has sought to deflect culpability by blaming "Hamas and other Palestinian terror organisations" of "igniting a violent confrontation with Israel" through these protests.

President Daniel Ortega’s conciliatory moves in late April and May had raised hopes that tensions in Nicaragua would simmer down. Following several days of violent protests that began on April 18, Ortega called for the establishment of a roundtable dialogue to be mediated by Catholic bishops and he withdrew his social security reforms, the initial trigger for the protests. 

However, the government’s conciliatory move has been met with an unprecedented escalation of violence.

Italy’s new government is the most conservative and reactionary since World War II, writes Daniele Fulvi.

After three months of laborious negotiations, Italy finally has a new government. However, there is very little to celebrate.

The populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega Nord (Northern League) came to an agreement on the government’s agenda. They won the argument against Italian President Sergio Mattarella to give the prime ministership to Giuseppe Conte, a professor and jurist who sympathises with M5S.

Hundreds of people attended an International Seminar on Marxism and Socialism in Kathmandu over May 30-31 to commemorate 200 years since the birth of Karl Marx. Representatives of 23 socialist parties from 17 countries attended.

The results of Colombia’s May 27 presidential election confirmed that a run-off election between Gustavo Petro and Ivan Duque will be required to decide the country’s newest leader. The election is set for June 17.

Ivan Duque, former president Alvaro Uribe's protégée and candidate for the right-wing Grand Alliance for Colombia, ended with 39.14%. Centre-left ex-mayor of Bogota Gustavo Petro, running for the List of Decency coalition, won 25.09%.

The centre-left candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (or AMLO, as he is commonly known) has widened his lead and is now 26 points ahead of his nearest rival, the right-wing Ricardo Anaya, for the upcoming July 1 presidential elections in Mexico.

In an opinion poll carried out by the popular newspaper Reforma, the candidate and head of the National Renewal Movement (Morena) got 52% of the vote intention.

The same poll showed that Morena will probably be the biggest minority in the House of Representatives, polling at 42%.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro responded rapidly to the European Union’s proposal to impose further sanctions on top government officials following the May 20 presidential and state council elections. The 28-country bloc alleges the vote failed to comply with "minimal democratic standards".

Maduro, who won the presidential election by a landslide despite low voter participation, said on May 28: "This is the European Union that arrogantly wants to put its nose in Venezuela's business." He added, "Enough of this old colonialism."

1968 was one of those extraordinary years when millions of people were involved in trying to change the world for the better. Hall Greenland writes that the year's most compelling events took place in May and June on the streets of France.

The world was shaken by an unprecedented wave of protests and rebellions against imperialism, racism, social injustice and the lack of real democracy. 1968 has been compared to 1848 because of the sheer number of countries shaken to their foundations.

Thousands of women marched across Italy on May 26 to mark the anniversary of Italy’s 194 Law, which passed in 1978 and legalised abortion in the country.

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