The following article by Matt Willgress was originally published by the Morning Star. It sets out some of Correa’s achievements since he was first elected President, including poverty reduction, low unemployment and an economy growing at four per cent a year - all underpinned by a huge increase in state investment, whose proportion of GDP has trebled in eight years.
Eight years ago President Rafael Correa was elected in Ecuador and, as in many Latin American countries in recent years, there’s been a tremendous shift in the country.
Step up solidarity with Syriza
Syriza’s victory in Sunday’s elections is the first time there has been an advance of the left in Europe on such a scale since Portugal in the 1970s.
Following Syriza's victory in the Greek elections far wider forces than socialists are supporting the new Greek government's calls for renegotiation of Greece's debt - for example the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Before the election letters to the Financial Times and Guardian by leading economists supported this. The following article analysing the the situation after Syriza's victory appeared on Socialist Economic Bulletin by socialist economists Michael Burke and John Ross.
The following article by Matt Willgress, on the US decision to impose sanctions against Venezuela, was originally published by the Morning Star.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has led a chorus of the Global South in angrily rejecting new sanctions against his nation signed into law by US President Barack Obama in December.
This interview with a member of Borotba, a Ukrainian left-wing organisation, analyses the situation of the left in the east of Ukraine in the 'Peoples Republics'. It points up the role of Russia in holding back any developments to the left, including blocking the recently refounded Communist Party in east Ukraine from standing in the elections held in October precisely because it has mass support and would probably have won. However, it should also be noted that it is only the pressure from Russia that forced Kiev to agree the ceasefire that significantly reduced the bombardment of eastern cities. The article was previously published on the website of Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine.
By Jude Woodward
In the wake of the grotesque and vile attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 innocents dead, there has been an understandable rush to not only condemn the attack but to gather under the principle of the "defence of freedom of speech".
Large demonstrations in Paris have taken up the slogan "Je suis Charlie” to express their defiance at attempts to intimidate journalists into silence.
The following article by Jude Woodward, assessing the US 'Pacific pivot' strategy following Obama's recent visit to Asia, originally appeared on her New Cold War blog.
Obama’s November week-long, whistle stop tour of Asia – attending the Beijing APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit, the ASEAN meeting in Myanmar and the G20 in Australia – was intended to re-launch America’s crucial Asia-Pacific (aka China) strategy, in the doldrums since Obama’s aborted 2013 trip cancelled in the context of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis. Instead the trip merely underlined how much ground the USA has to make up in order to trump China’s growing influence in the region.
Last week’s local and European elections, alongside opinion polls, suggest Labour should win next year’s General Election, but only if the decline in its support since late 2012 is halted at this point.
By Nicky Dempsey
Europe is increasingly polarised. The decisive issues in the latest European elections were austerity and racism, with parties implementing austerity continuing to lose votes.
By Frances Davis
In last week’s elections Sinn Féin stood on a strong anti-austerity programme, both north and south, with a clear, left alternative economic policy coupled with a strong advocacy of the peace process and for Irish reunification. Its vote is the strongest for the party since 1918.
By Andrew Williams
Islamophobia is back on the rise in Britain. Just in the last few weeks the tabloid media has been raving about halal food. The only Muslim directly-elected Mayor – Lutfur Rahman in Tower Hamlets – has been subject to a witch-hunting Panorama programme and trumped up allegations of misallocation of funds. Muslim school governors in Birmingham have been accused of plotting an Islamist takeover. Plus the government is considering repressing Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
A new situation requires a new analysis, and each new factor in the situation requires a specific and concrete analysis, placing it and its weight correctly in the overall situation.
By Jo Mullins
The Tory party is on course to achieve its lowest-ever polling in Euro elections and will receive a drubbing in the local elections held at the same time.
The following article by Jude Woodward, examining the new cold war the USA is whipping up against China, originally appeared on her New Cold War blog.
The United States has launched a confrontation with China that it is attempting to project as of Cold War dimensions. Its clear aim is to isolate China diplomatically and politically, threaten it militarily, force it to divert investment from the productive economy to military spending, exclude it from world markets and label it a ‘pariah’ state.
The Mayoral election in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on 22 May is of national significance because of the concerted campaign to unseat Britain's first and only Muslim directly elected Mayor. Lutfur Rahman is also the first and only Black directly elected Mayor. In the context of the current intensive media and political campaigns against Muslims and migrants, this is the most high profile fight defending diversity in British politics.
The recent arrest and imprisonment of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who was subsequently released without charge, was a clear political intervention, designed to undermine the peace process and to reverse the rise in support across Ireland for Sinn Fein.
UKIP and its politics are dominating the forthcoming European and local elections. In part this reflects the coverage of the mainstream media who have assiduously promoted its racist agenda. But it also reflects the unwillingness of the main parties to challenge UKIP politically. In politics whoever sets the agenda wins.
Countdown toEnd of Cameron's political career
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Fight austerity and racist scapegoating
Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet