International Notes

International Notes


Belgium: Workers‘ Party demands government action on climate

The Workers‘ Party of Belgium, one of that country’s two communist parties, has pointed out that Belgium is not on track to achieve the climate goals it committed to under the Paris Climate Accord of 2015.  An article on the Party website reminds readers that global warming has the result that “disruptions of nature lead to human dramas, fuel conflicts and accentuate migratory pressures… In reality, Belgium is not on the way to dealing with its climate objectives.”  Instead of leading the fight to reduce carbon emissions, Belgium has acted as a brake on the effort.  The Workers’ Party blames this backwardness partly on the private ownership of the energy sector.

“The time has come for a revolution. That the petroleum barons, the automakers and the obsolete industries are afraid of uproar is understandable. But this is our only option to advance.”  The Belgian Workers’ Party proposes a six item plan for the environment:  1. Integrate the environmental measures Europe wide with, instead of abstract proposals, measures of direct intervention so that by 2030 carbon emissions will be reduced by 55 percent and 45 percent of electrical power will come from renewables. 2. In Belgium the control of environmental policy should be federalized. 3  End the dangerous strategy of postponing the achievement of the weightier environmental goals.  4. Create a legal framework for phasing out fossil fuels, and immediately end government subsidies for the fossil fuel and nuclear energy sectors. 5. Create a publically controlled network for the provision of 100 percent renewable energy generation, and, 6. Replace agribusiness with agri-ecology, i.e. environmentally sustainable food production.


Argentina:  Anti-worker proposals of right-wing government exposed

The Communist Party of Argentina accuses the right-wing government of President Mauricio Macri of carrying out a “campaign of fear” against that country’s working class, with proposed retrograde “reform” policies covering labor rights, retirement, taxes, health care and education, as well as “chronic” tax increases.  Although the government says that fears are exaggerated.  But the package of bills which Macri’s government is going to send to Congress show that the fears are based on reality, and represent the offensive of capital against labor.

The Party says that if these laws are passed, it will “dynamite” existing labor relations rights that were gained by workers over years of hard struggle.  The proposed laws would make it easier for companies to fire workers, as well as allowing employers to unilaterally make changes in work schedules, among other things.


China and Vietnam  meet for security coordination

The newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam (Dang Cong San Viet Nam) reports that on November 4th, there took place the third of a series of security meetings between Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China.  The meeting was chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Public Security Bu Van Nam and Chinese Minister of State Security Tang Chao.

Deputy Minister Nam expressed the view that the meeting had been extremely positive in terms of developing security cooperation between the two countries.

The corporate controlled press in the West has not reported this series of meetings, but has focused on disagreements between the two countries.


Algeria and Morocco:  Algerian left calls for support for Moroccan hunger strikers

The Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism, which is that North African country’s communist party, called on October 19 for a mobilization in support of political prisoners on a hunger strike in neighboring Morocco.  The Rif Protest Movement leaders are jailed in the city of Casablanca.  The long running hunger strike is endangering the lives of some of the prisoners.

The Algerien party newspaper Le Lien explains that some of the prisoners even face the death penalty because they carried out peaceful demonstrations calling for the demilitarization of the Rif region and for respect for the social, economic, cultural and human rights of the inhabitants of the Rif.

The note calls for an international campaign of pressure on the authoritarian Moroccan monarchy’s government before it’s too late.


Photo: Jacobin



    Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.


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