Bolivia Achieves Record Levels of Economic and Social Growth in 2021

Bolivian president Luis Arce during his visit to Humatoma school in the capital La Paz on December 22. Photo: Luis Arce/Twitter

Under the rule of President Luis Arce and vice president David Choquehuanca of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, Bolivia recovered from the economic losses suffered during the coup regime of Jeanine Áñez

After suffering deep economic setbacks during the de-facto rule of coup-installed president Jeanine Áñez, Bolivia’s economy not only recovered but achieved new levels of economic and social growth in 2021. Under the rule of President Luis Arce and vice president David Choquehuanca of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, the country’s exports grew at record levels, the unemployment rate fell sharply, the lithium revenue generated historic income, and the economy is estimated to grow by over 5% in 2022.

President Arce, on January 2, reported that the country’s exports until November 2021 exceeded 9.9 billion USD, the highest figure in the last three years. “With hope, work and, above all, with unity, that’s how we started 2022. As of November 2021, our exports exceeded 9.9 billion USD, the highest in three years, with a trade surplus of 1.7 billion USD. It’s just the beginning! We are moving forward,” tweeted the head of state.

At the same time, the vice minister of foreign trade and integration, Benjamín Blanco, reported that the country is set to beat another record, with 10 billion USD until December, a figure that has not been reached since 2014. “Exports are going to reach around 10 billion USD. It is a figure that has not been reached since 2014, we are going to break a record after many years in exports and that also leaves us with a positive trade balance of more than 1.5 billion USD, after eight years we did not have a credit balance for our country,” he said.

Blanco also reported that not only was there a growth in the value of exports, but also their volume increased. He highlighted that the country obtained international recognition for the quality of cocoa, which will allow it to be exported at better prices. He also said that the country intends to reach the European market with Bolivian wine in 2022.

Meanwhile, on January 4, the minister of economy and public finance, Marcelo Montenegro reported that between May 2020 and October 2021, more than 1.1 million Bolivians got jobs, and unemployment decreased from 11.6% to 5%. “The economy has recovered, the growth rate of six percent is not negligible, with falling unemployment, inflation and deficits controlled, the positive trade balance and exports are growing,” said Montenegro.

He said that in 2022, the government will continue working to generate jobs for Bolivians in various sectors. “The prospects for 2022 management have a tendency to continue improving in employment and income, as well as greater dynamics in construction, transportation, manufacturing, mining and other sectors,” he said.

On January 5, the ministry of hydrocarbons and energies reported that the Bolivian Lithium Mineral company (YLB) generated a historic income of around 28 million USD from sales in 2021. It said that it is the result of the sales of potassium chloride and lithium carbonate in the national and international markets.

The main countries that demand Bolivian lithium carbonate are China, Russia and the United States, while those that require potassium chloride are Chile and Brazil, according to data from YLB. Apart from exports, both products are also marketed to small producers in the national market through the company’s outlets in Uyuni and Cochabamba cities.

Based on the positive indexes registered in 2021, such as the 6% increase in the country’s GDP as compared to a -8.8% in 2020, Bolivian economic analysts have forecasted an economic growth of 5.1% for 2022.

“We must keep hold of the strike weapon:” Sudanese court workers and bank workers demand dignity

Source: MENA Solidarity Network

January 8 2022

Mass meeting of striking court workers – picture via SWAFRTU on Facebook

Huge protests are continuing to shake Sudan through the mass movement demanding civilian rule and democracy led by the Resistance Committees. Despite increasing repression and the regular killing of protesters by the security forces, tens of thousands are still joining demonstrations opposing the military coup. Alongside the protests in the streets, important struggles have developed in some workplaces, and activists are starting to make links between the fight for economic dignity and the battle for democracy and political freedom. 

The court workers’ movement is nationwide – picket line in North Darfur. Picture via SWARFTU on Facebook

Justice workers’ walkouts shut down courts across Sudan

Thousands of court workers took part in strikes between 2-6 January to demand a rise in their bonuses in order to meet the spiralling cost of living. Workers in the Judicial Authority organised national action coordinated by strike committees in every province, which reported up to 100 percent participation in some areas, according to the Sudanese Workers Association for the Restoration of Trade Unions (SWAFRTU). Khartoum, Omdurman, Port Sudan, Gedaref, North Darfur and West Kordofan were among the provinces where the whole workforce walked out. 

“We must keep hold of the strike weapon – it is the strongest to achieve our just demands,” wrote court worker and trade unionist Mohammed Abd-al-Majid on the SWARFTU page. “Workers and employees used every legal and legitimate means to obtain their rights, including negotiations and follow-up meetings, but when all doors were shut in their faces as a result of the dissolution of trade unions by the coup leader, they resorted to strikes.” 

Mass sackings at Bank of Khartoum as workers challenge corrupt bosses 

Over 200 workers at the Bank of Khartoum have been dismissed, and over 500 more face the sack as management clamps down after months of mobilisations demanding improved conditions at work and opposing the military coup. The bank was privatised in 2010, when the government sold most of its shares to the private sector, with the Bank of Abu Dhabi buying 70 percent. Businessmen close to the old regime also made a fortune out of the bank’s privatisation. Fadl Mohamed Khair, who was arrested in a crackdown on corruption in the dying days of the Bashir regime is reported to have pocketed over 1.9 billion Sudanese pounds from the Bank during 2018 alone. 

Since the beginning of the revolution in December 2018, Bank of Khartoum workers have begun to fight back. They are demanding a pay rise to match the spiralling cost of living and campaigning to get rid of managers who are pushing through job cuts to maximise profits for the bank’s foreign and local bosses.  

Some Resistance Committees are mobilising solidarity for the sacked bank workers – picture via SWARFTU on Facebook

Solidarity grows

The battles in the courts and at the Bank of Khartoum have begun to spark solidarity campaigns and efforts to bring together striking workers and activists from the Resistance Committees. Zakaria Yunis Musa, a court worker in West Darfur called for solidarity with the bank workers in an open letter published on the SWAFRTU Facebook page. “The court workers and Bank of Khartoum workers must coordinate and stand in solidarity with each other,” he said, “in order to expose the feudalists and capitalists. Workers and wage earners are most able to feel each other’s pain and through solidarity and unity they will succeed in winning their human, material, economic, social, cultural and political rights.” 

Some Resistance Committees have put out statements in solidarity with the court workers, bank workers and other strikers. The December Revolution Coordination in Ombada, a district on the Western edge of Omdurman, urged activists to mobilise in support in a statement on 5 January. 

“Let us stand in solidarity with the workers at the Bank of Khartoum, the judicial institution, and Centroid Company in order to restore their rights. We must root the principle of mutual solidarity among all the forces of resistance in order to bring about a revolution in the institutions and housing. This will lead to the overthrow of a regime which established economic policies based on sacking workers and denying them their rights. We need to build a national economic system based on nationalising all the public properties and institutions which have been privatised through the same reactionary policies.” 

What you can do

Where to train doctors for the people who need them the most?

October 1 2014

Gail Reed: I want to tell you how 20,000 remarkable young people from over 100 countries ended up in Cuba and are transforming health in their communities.  Ninety percent of them would never have left home at all if it weren’t for a scholarship to study medicine in Cuba and a commitment to go back to places like the ones they’d come from — remote farmlands, mountains, ghettos — to become doctors for people like themselves, to walk the walk.

Havana’s Latin American Medical School: It’s the largest medical school in the world, graduating 23,000 young doctors since its first class of 2005, with nearly 10,000 more in the pipeline. Its mission, to train physicians for the people who need them the most: the over one billion who have never seen a doctor, the people who live and die under every poverty line ever invented. Its students defy all norms.

They’re the school’s biggest risk and also its best bet .  They’re recruited from the poorest, most broken places on our planet by a school that believes they can become not just the good but the excellent physicians their communities desperately need, that they will practice where most doctors don’t, in places not only poor but oftentimes dangerous, carrying venom antidotes in their backpacks or navigating neighborhoods riddled by drugs, gangs and bullets, their home ground .

The hope is that they will help transform access to care, the health picture in impoverished areas, and even the way medicine itself is learned and practiced, and that they will become pioneers in our global reach for universal health coverage, surely a tall order .

Destabilizing actions denounced after protests in Kazakhstan

Nursultan, Jan 7 (Prensa Latina) The president of Kazakhstan, Kasim-Zhomart Tokayev, said today that behind the recent riots in the country one can see the hand of professionals of ideological subversion, skilled in the handling of disinformation and fake news

Source: Prensa Latina

January 7, 2022

  • In a speech broadcast on the Khabar 24 television channel, the President said that “preparations for terrorist attacks by underground sleeping cells went unspotted by the state”.

According to the Head of State, the National Security Committee and the General Prosecutor’s Office are already investigating the existence of a command post which was preparing and guiding in the actions all those involved in the events which caused deaths, numerous wounded and considerable material damage.

Related:  President appeals to protesters amid mass unrest in Kazakhstan

He indicated that around 20 thousand extremists were involved in the violent disturbances that took place in recent days in the city of Almaty, the former capital of the country.

Tokayev informed that an interdepartmental group was created to find and apprehend criminals and terrorists. “I promise the public that all these people will be subjected to the most rigorous criminal sanctions,” he emphasized.

The situation in Kazakhstan destabilized on January 2 with the outbreak of protests over rising liquefied petroleum gas prices in the southwest of the country.

A government commission decided two days later to lower fuel prices, but protests continued and spread to other areas, especially in Almaty, the country’s largest city.

On January 5, the president accepted the resignation of the full government and took over as head of the National Security Council, headed until then by former president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

According to official reports cited by the Sputnik news agency, 18 security officers were killed and 748 were injured in the unrest.

The Interior Ministry reported that 26 armed individuals were killed, 18 others were wounded, while more than three thousand people were arrested in the last few days.

Due to the speed with which the demonstrations spread and the magnitude they reached in a few days, political analysts consider that the actions are not spontaneous and respond to an attempt to apply in the country the format of the so-called color revolutions, organized from abroad.

Cuba commits to regional integration at CELAC summit

Source:  Cuban News Agency, ACN

January 7 2022

Buenos Aires, Jan 7 (Prensa latina) Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Friday ratified his country’s commitment to strengthening the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as a mechanism for political coordination for regional integration

.Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla called today for unity and solidarity among Latin American and Caribbean nations, in defense of their interests of peace, independence, sovereign equality, sustainable development and social justice.

During the 22nd Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held today in Argentina, Rodriguez Parrilla ratified his country’s unwavering commitment to regional integration.

The head of Cuba’s diplomacy, in his speech, reiterated the firm will to preserve CELAC as a genuinely Latin American and Caribbean mechanism for political coordination, and stressed the full validity of the postulates of the proclamation of the region as a Zone of Peace.

He also recognized the commendable efforts made by Mexico, in its Pro Tempore Presidency, to revitalize CELAC and maintain its activism in the midst of the various challenges generated by the pandemic.

Cuban diploamt also expressed Cuba’s solidarity with that South American country in its claim to the International Monetary Fund for a solution to the inherited debt, as well as its support for Argentina’s sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

The 22nd Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is taking place today at the San Martin Palace in Buenos Aires, with the participation of representatives of the 33 Member States. 

Petroperu Returns to Oil Production After 25 Years

Machinery of the state-owned company Petroperu, Dec. 27, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @Agencia_Andina

Source: TeleSUR

December 28 2021

“Until the 1990s, Petroperu produced up to 187,000 barrels per day, but privatization policies paralyzed its development to the detriment of the country,” the Peruvian president said.

On Monday, Peru’s President Pedro Castillo announced that Petroperu assumed the exploitation of the Block I field. This allowed this public company to return to producing oil after 25 years, in which it remained limited to fuel refining, distribution, and marketing.

RELATED: Peru To Compensate Victims’ Relatives of 2020 Police Brutality

Petroperu took over the operations of Block I for the next 22 months as the Peruvian State concluded a 30-year exploitation contract with the private company UNNA Energy.

“It is a fact of enormous significance for both the public company and the country,” Castillo said during the delivery ceremony of Block I, which is located in the Piura region on the border with Ecuador.

“Until the 1990s, Petroperu produced up to 187,000 barrels per day, but privatization policies paralyzed its development to the detriment of the country,” the Peruvian president commented.

Block I is a small oil field with 99 drilled wells whose average daily production is barely 540 barrels of oil. However, this field will allow Petroperu to supply its own production to the Talara refinery, whose modernization cost the company over US$5 billion.

It will also serve as preparation to exploit blocks 192 and 64, two fields in the Amazon where Petroperu will partner with other private companies so that they directly assume the operations of the wells.

Block 192 is the Peruvian largest oil field and has a basic production of about 10,500 barrels per day. There, Petroperu will be associated with the Canadian oil company Altamesa, which would be the beneficiary of a 30-year exploitation contract that the Castillo administration is expected to approve in early 2022

2021 Latin America and the Caribbean in Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again

Photo: Bill Hackwell

Source: Internationalist 360

January 1 2022

By Roger D. Harris

US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia.

Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures, considered illegal under international law. Following the review, Biden has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis.

Andean Nations

The unrelenting US regime-change campaign against Venezuela has had a corrosive effect on Venezuela’s attempt to build socialism. With the economy de facto dollarized, among those hardest hit are government workers, the informal sector, and those without access to dollar remittances from abroad.

Nonetheless, Venezuela’s resistance to the continued US “maximum pressure” hybrid warfare is a triumph in itself. Recent economic indicators have shown an upturn with significant growth in national food and oil production and an end to hyperinflationFurther, the government has built 3.7 million housing units, distributed food to 7 million through the CLAP program, and adroitly handled the COVID pandemic.

When Trump recognized Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela in 2019, the then 35-year-old US security asset had never run for a nationwide office and was unknown to over 80% of the Venezuelans. Back then some 50 of the US’s closest allies recognized Guaidó; now barely a dozen does so. Contrary to campaign trail inuendoes that Biden would enter into dialogue with the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, Biden has continued the embarrassing Guaidó charade.

The November 21 municipal and regional elections were a double triumph for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution: the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV) won significantly while the extreme right opposition (including Guaidó’s party) was compelled to participate, implicitly recognizing the Maduro government.

Venezuelan special envoy Alex Saab was extradited – really kidnapped – to the US on October 16 on the vague and difficult to disprove charge of “conspiracy” to money launder. Swiss authorities, after an exhaustive 3-year investigation, had found no evidence of money laundering. Saab’s real “crime” was trying to bring humanitarian aid to Venezuela via legal international trade but circumventing the illegal US blockade. This egregious example of US extra-territorial judicial overreach is being contested by Saab’s legal defense because, as a diplomat, he has absolute immunity from arrest under the Vienna Convention. His case has become a major cause in Venezuela and internationally.

Meanwhile, Colombia, chief regional US client state, the biggest recipient of US military aid in the hemisphere,  and the largest world source of cocaine, is a staging point for paramilitary attacks on Venezuela. President Iván Duque continues to disregard the 2016 peace agreement with the guerrilla FARC as Colombia endures a pandemic of rightwing violence especially against human rights defenders and former guerillas.

On April 28, Duque’s proposed neoliberal tax bill precipitated a national strike mobilizing a broad coalition of unions, members of indigenous and Afro-descendent communities, social activists, and campesinos. They carried out sustained actions across the country for nearly two months, followed by a renewed national strike wave, starting on August 26. The approaching 2022 presidential election could portend a sea change for the popular movement where leftist Senator Gustavo Petro is leading in the polls.

In Ecuador, Andrés Arauz won the first-round presidential election on February 7 with a 13-point lead over Guillermo Lasso, but short of the 40% or more needed to avoid the April 13 runoff, which he lost. A victim of a massive disinformation campaign, Arauz was a successor of former President Rafael Correa’s leftist Citizen Revolution, which still holds the largest bloc in the National Assembly. The “NGO left,” funded by the US and its European allies, contributed to the electoral reversal. Elements of the indigenous Pachakutik party have allied with the new president, a wealthy banker, to implement a neo-liberal agenda.

In Peru, Pedro Castillo, a rural school teacher and a Marxist, won the presidency in a June 6 runoff against hard-right Keiko Fujimori, daughter of now imprisoned and former president Alberto Fujimori. Castillo won by the slimmest of margins and now faces rightwing lawfare and the possibility of a coup. Just a few weeks into his presidency, he was forced to replace his leftist foreign Minister, Hector Béjar, with someone more favorable to the rightwing opposition and the military.

In Bolivia, a US-backed coup deposed leftist President Evo Morales in 2019 and temporarily installed a rightist. Evo’s Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party successor, Luis Arce, took back the presidency last year in a landslide election. With the rightwing still threatening, a massive weeklong March for the Homeland of Bolivian workers, campesinos, and indigenous rallied in support of the government in late November.

Read full article here

Sudanese Masses Pressure Military Regime to Relinquish Power

Source: borkena.com

December 29 2021

Sudan People demonstrate for democratic rule. December 25,2021 ( Photo : AA)

Since the October 25 coup by the military in the oil-rich state of Sudan, the democratic movement has held protests almost on a daily basis.

Interim Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a technocrat with extensive ties to international finance capital, was overthrown during the late October putsch only to be reinstalled in a secret agreement with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan which excluded the main opposition parties and mass formations which have guided the revolutionary movement since December of 2018.

Over the last three years, former longtime President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was overthrown in an April 2019 coup led by the TMC which was designed to thwart a people’s takeover which would have inevitably involved a vanguard role for the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC). The FFC grew out of an alliance with the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA), the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors, along with dozens of other opposition forces from various political spectrums including the Communist Party (SCP). 

However, the massacre of demonstrators during June 2019 prompted a more engaged intervention by the African Union (AU) based in neighboring Ethiopia, where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sought to mediate the conflict. In several months the Sovereign Council was created ostensibly designed as a transitional body that within three years would result in a multi-party election creating a parliament and presidency through direct selection by the electorate.

However, the entire process has been derailed largely at the aegis of imperialist forces seeking to dominate the current and future situation inside the country. Under the previous administration of President Donald J. Trump, Prime Minister Hamdok was compelled to acknowledge the so-called “Abraham Accord” which is designed to expand the diplomatic recognition of the state of Israel in Africa and West Asia while undermining international solidarity with the Palestinian people. This measure has not been fully implemented diplomatically although there are reports of at least two exchanges of delegations between Khartoum and Tel Aviv.

These maneuvers by Washington and its allies have not pacified the FFC and other popular forces who have remained in the streets. Even the armed opposition groupings from the Darfur region of Sudan and the border areas of the now partitioned Republic of South Sudan, who signed on to the November 21 post-coup arrangements, are still within a highly precarious situation in their relationship with the military leadership. 

The latest round of demonstrations could only be suppressed by the deployment of the police, paramilitary units and the army. At a December 24 public rally called by the FFC, unnamed individuals set off teargas in the crowd in the effort to disrupt the meeting.

December 25 was marked by renewed mass demonstrations demanding the immediate resignation of Hamdok and the military from the reigns of state power. Actions were held in the three major cities surrounding the capital of Khartoum, Khartoum North and the twin-city of Omdurman. Additional protests extended to the east of the country around Port Sudan where organizations have put forward their own unique set of demands for the military regime.

Sudan Tribune reported on the level of repression carried out by the security forces saying: “The Sudanese government closed main streets leading to the Republican Place in Khartoum, shut down internet services, and deployed troops on the bridges linking the three towns of the capital Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman. Five days after the last protests of December 19, the demonstrators again made their target the presidential palace which is the premises of the military-dominated Sovereign Council. In spite of the massive deployment of joint security forces including the police, the army and the Rapid Support Forces, the protesters marched towards the Palace chanting slogans to denounce the coup d’etat of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.” (https://sudantribune.com/article253411/)

What has been notable in the demonstrations for democratic transformation since 2018 is the high level of participation of women in the revolutionary movement. Many have moved to the front of the actions challenging the discrimination and marginalization prevalent in Sudanese society. These women have been met with harsh repression where sexual assault has been utilized has a means to driving women off the streets. These attempts to suppress women through brutal attacks have not worked and instead has prompted manifestations by women exposing the crimes being committed by the military and the entire security apparatus.

The same above-mentioned report by Sudan Tribune emphasizes: “[W]omen participated in Saturday’s (Dec. 25) protest to show they were not intimated by the sexual violence and rape by the security forces on 19 December. The police used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the protests in the streets near the Republican Palace. Nonetheless, they failed to stop the demonstrators. The security authorities in Khartoum on Friday (Dec. 24) announced the closure of the bridges and streets leading to the sovereign and strategic sites…. ‘The people are stronger, and it is impossible to go back,’ they also chanted to voice their determination to continue the protests that started immediately after the first hours of the coup on October 25.”

Sudan and Regional Stability in the Horn of Africa

Meanwhile in neighboring Ethiopia, the U.S. is attempting to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The State Department and corporate media outlets based in the West have sought to create an atmosphere where the administration in Addis Ababa is considered brutal and illegitimate. 

In line with this approach by Washington, the Sudanese military junta has sided with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels fighting the elected government in Addis Ababa and other centers of authority throughout the Horn of Africa state. With the TPLF rebels in retreat, returning to their bases in the Tigray province by clearing out areas within the Afar and Amhara regions of the country, the Sudanese military regime is being placed in an even more unstable position. 

Funding from the U.S., the Gulf Monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates along with Tel Aviv is contingent upon Gen. al-Burhan’s compliance with the imperatives of western imperialism. The mass democratic movement in Sudan, if it is to seize power, will inevitably be forced to shift the overall foreign policy of the country. Absent of fundamental changes in domestic and foreign policies, the nation of Sudan will remain subject to the manipulation by the capitalist centers of the West and their surrogates throughout Africa and West Asia.

During mid-to-late December, numerous news articles have appeared suggesting that the reinstalled interim Prime Minister Hamdok is threatening to resign from his tenuous post as head of the second iteration of the Sovereign Council. If Hamdok leaves, which the U.S., UN and the Gulf Monarchies do not want to happen, the military will be weakened even further politically. The lack of a political underpinning for the TMC is causing the armed forces to utilize heightened levels of repression against the democratic movement.

Sudan and the International Situation

With the ascendancy of the current U.S. President Joe Biden in January 2021, the foreign policy of the State Department and the Pentagon has not shifted in its substance towards the African continent. The Trump administration sought to prop up the military regime in Sudan and the same approach continues under Biden.

As Trump was hostile towards the present government in Ethiopia, so is the Biden administration. The U.S. fears a genuinely revolutionary democratic Africa where the foreign policy of the post-independence states is based upon the interests of the majority of workers, farmers, youth and other popular strata within these developing countries. 

After two decades of direct occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. was forced to leave in humiliating defeat during August 2021. The military adventures in the West Asian and African states of Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen are facing a similar fate as to the outcome of Afghanistan in Central Asia. Trillions in U.S. currency has been spent on these occupations and proxy wars while the national infrastructure of the urban, suburban and rural areas is in rapid decline.

Of course, the failure of imperialist war is paid for by the workers and oppressed in the U.S. struggling against rising impoverishment, racist bigotry, national oppression, gender discrimination, environmental degradation, among other social ills. Consequently, the antiwar and anti-imperialist struggle is essential in the efforts to overturn capitalist exploitation and national oppression.   

__
Join the conversation. Follow us on twitter @zborkena to get the latest Ethiopian News updates regularly. Like borkena on Facebook as well. To share information or for submission, send e-mail to info@borkena.com

Nicolas Maduro: Let’s Not Expect Anything Except From Ourselves

President Nicolas Maduro with journalist Ignacio Ramonet

Source: TeleSUR

January 1 2022

What awaits Venezuela in 2022? President Maduro explains in an exclusive interview with renowned journalist Ignacio Ramonet.

In what has become a tradition journalist Ignacio Ramonet sat down with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to touch on themes of importance to the nation

On Venezuela’s Covid situation

“Venezuela has had an exemplary control over the pandemic with the 7 plus 7 method, and when we started to make progress in vaccination and reached more than 40% of the vaccinated population, we restarted classes, we also allowed flexibility, this is how the country has been working… Venezuela has reached six cases per 100 thousand inhabitants… our vaccination goal is to reach 90%… the United States government has threatened all vaccine producers not to trade with us… by the end of the year, we have reached 89% vaccination rate.

On the last elections:

“They gave a sobering result, this election campaign was not easy. I said it several times to the campaign command. These elections are not easy because, well, the blockade has created problems of public services, problems in the daily life of the people, and part of the population does not understand that it is because of the sanctions. This has created dissatisfaction, discomfort in part of the population, and this is what US imperialism is looking for when it squeezes a country to crush it as it has done with Venezuela, it is looking for confusion, the protest of the people? the problem we have with public services such as water, the sabotage to the electrical system, there are problems that have remained… and they are real problems for the population… many of them are caused by the impossible access to spare parts, pieces, equipment, that any country in the world is renewing to maintain its public services… We have reached a moment in which we are persecuted worldwide… is this explained to the population? It is explained to them and a part of the people very heroic and stoic support the revolutionary process… but we won in spite of this, out of the 23 governorships the opposition won 3. In spite of these circumstances we won 80% of the governorships… This is victory number 27, we are for real…

And what is coming for the economy: 

“Venezuela has its own engines to face its economic needs…capable of replacing the old capitalist economy dependent on oil, the old rentier economy…the economic sanctions undoubtedly hit the economic life of the country terribly…the 440 coercive measures and sanctions were like an atomic bomb…we have been progressively implementing measures to free the productive forces in a scheme of war economy…from suffering we went to resistance and now to growth. …tax reforms…we made progress in reducing the fiscal deficit…a banking market was created…oil production and the production of the country’s refineries gradually recovered…the Venezuelan economy at this moment is in a clear period of recovery, I can tell you that we have recovered economic growth, in the second semester of the year 2021 the economic growth is 7.5%…Venezuela has already had 4 consecutive months with single-digit inflation…

On foreign policy:

Donald trump left but the empire remained, the empire is intact, Joe Biden arrived as a great promise of change, in relation to Venezuela everything has remained the same, the financial, monetary, oil, economic and commercial persecution, there has not been a single sign of rectification… Let us expect nothing except from ourselves… Who knows when and with whom the possibility of a direct dialogue will be opened, hopefully with the government of Joe Biden, and if it does not happen we will continue with our battle, this is our way…

Declaration of the XX ALBA-TCP Summit 

Source: Internationalist 360

Final Declaration of the XX ALBA-TCP Summit Highlights Efforts Towards Real Latin American and Caribbean Integration

We, the Heads of State and Government and the heads of delegations of the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), gathered in Havana, Cuba, on December 14, 2021, to commemorate the XVII anniversary of the Alliance. By signing this Declaration, we renew our commitment to strengthen this mechanism of political coordination, based on the principles of solidarity, social justice, cooperation and economic complementarity, fruit of the political will of its founders, Commanders Fidel Castro Ruz and Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

We ratify that the cardinal principle that must guide ALBA-TCP is the broadest solidarity among the peoples of our America, based on the thinking of Bolivar, Marti, San Martin, Sucre, O’Higgins, Petión, Morazán, Sandino, Bishop, Garvey, Tupac Katari, Bartolina Sisa, Chatoyer and other heroes of Latin American and Caribbean independence, according to the joint declaration of Commanders Chávez and Fidel on December 14, 2004.

We ratify our commitment to a genuine Latin American and Caribbean integration, which will allow us to face together the pretensions of imperialist domination and hegemony and the growing threats to regional peace and stability.

We advocate for a transparent, democratic, fair and equitable international order, based on multilateralism, observance of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and International Law; that guarantees international peace and security and respect for the right of peoples to self-determination, territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs and sovereignty of States.

We recognize the laudable work of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during the last two years, raising the voice of the peoples of the Caribbean and representing the struggle for just causes within this important organ of the United Nations.

We reaffirm the full validity of the postulates of the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace”, signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), at its II Summit held in Havana, in January 2014.

We underscore the need to continue strengthening CELAC as a genuine mechanism for political coordination, cooperation and regional dialogue based on the principle of unity in diversity, in order to face the common challenges we face. We ratify the results of the VI Summit of the Community, held in Mexico City on September 18, 2021, while commending the work of the Mexican pro tempore presidency to revitalize CELAC and reiterate our commitment to support its management.

Read full Declaration here