International News

Michael Lebowitz: Latin America's struggle against neoliberalism hits limits, poses more radical changes


A community assembly as part of a communal council in Caracas. Photo by Rachael Boothroyd Rojas/Venezuela Analysis.

Leading Marxist author Michael Lebowitz spent six years (2004-2010) in Venezuela working as a director of the program for Transformative Practice and Human Development at the Miranda International Centre (CIM) in Caracas. There, he had the chance to take part in the building of socialism for the 21st century.

Letter from the US: We should oppose TPP on a class, not national, basis

The three remaining presidential candidates — Republican candidate Donald Trump, and Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — have all come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in varying degrees.

The TPP, a “free trade agreement” involving 16 Pacific Rim nations (including Australia), is an undisguised corporate power grab. However, all candidates in the US presidential election stress a reactionary argument against it.

Portugal: Politics in limbo as left pushes for clear gains

Portuguese politics is in limbo. It has been since elections last October failed to give any party an outright majority.

The Socialist Party (PS) was eventually able to form a minority government after forming an agreement with forces to its left: the Left Bloc, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Greens.

The good news is that this limbo, the thin ice on which this agreement is skating, also presents an opportunity for the left to engage in clear and clean politics with room for actual negotiation.

Austria: Far right narrowly lose presidential vote

Austria elected its president on May 22 in the second round of voting, with the neoliberal green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen narrowly beating far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) candidate Norbert Hofer with 50.3% of the vote.

The FPÖ, a right-wing populist and authoritarian German nationalist party of former leader Jörg Haider, was founded in the 1950s. It was a political party for ex-Nazis who never broke with their Nazi tradition.

West Papuan leader appeals for support in freedom struggle


Benny Wenda addressing public forum in Sydney. May 24.

West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda has been touring Australia, spreading awareness of the West Papuan struggle for freedom from Indonesian rule.

Spain: With Podemos and United Left joining forces, is a left government in sight?


United Left's Alberto Garzon and Podemos' Pablo Iglesias.

Five months after the December 20 election in Spain failed to produce a government, the country is returning to the polls in the most polarised contest since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1977.

France: Workers step up protests against new measures

Truck drivers blocked major roads across France on May 17 while angry workers and students marched through city streets. Demonstrators were protesting against the longer working hours and reduced overtime payments ordered by President Francois Hollande's government.

Venezuela: Mass civic-military mobilisations take place amid coup threat

More than half a million soldiers and civilian militia members took to the streets of Venezuela over May 20 and 21 to defend their national sovereignty amid rumours of international intervention and a potential coup, Venezuela Analysis said on May 23.

The drills featured troops, military boats and planes deployed to seven coastal states in Venezuela. They came after President Nicolas Maduro called on the military to rally around the defence of the country’s constitution in the face of foreign aggression.

Philippines: Teachers fight for electoral justice


Ating Guro vigil outside Comelec office. Manila, May 27. Photo: Partido Lakas ng Masa.

Supporters of the Ating Guro (Teachers Dignity) partylist held a three-night vigil outside the offices of the Philippines Commission on Election (Comelec) on May 24, to protest apparent irregularities in counting votes after the May 9 general election.

Bolivia's Evo Morales calls for new 'democratic revolutions' against US empire

Socialist governments in Latin America must relaunch “democratic revolutions” in order to combat the strategies pushed by the United States to regain control of the region, Bolivian President Evo Morales said in an interview on May 23.

“In some countries it should be like a wake-up call where [governments] must start permanent conferences to relaunch democratic and cultural revolutions for Latin America and the Caribbean [region],” Morales said in an interview with Cubavision.

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