International Notes: April 3, 2018

International Notes: April 3, 2018

Canada:  Communists demand Trudeau remove troops from Mali

The Communist Party of Canada decries the March 19 decision by the government of Prime Minister  Trudeau to send “peacekeeping” troops to the West African country of Mali.   The Canadian intervention would supplement French troops already present in Mali, a resource rich former French colony.

The Communist Party points out that the instability of Mali was, to a great extent, caused by the 2011 military intervention by France, the United States, Britain and NATO in neighboring Libya, and that further intervention will not help calm the situation down.  “The Communist Party of Canada condemns this mission, which has nothing to do with keeping the peace, but does embroil Canada in a complex regional conflict involving militias, terrorist groups and a weak central government which controls only the South of Mali. We demand that no Canadian troops should be sent to defend French imperialist interests in Africa”.  Rather, the money should be spent on non-military humanitarian aid to the Sahel region.

Japan: Communists denounce government corruption

The Japanese Communist Party is shining a spotlight on possible corrupt dealings between government officials and a private school corporation, Moritomo Gakuen.  The controversy, which has been developing since last year, involves the sale of government land to the corporation at a shockingly discounted price, and the cover up of the issue via the falsification of documents.   It would appear that right-wing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe are compromised in the growing scandal. Mrs. Abie had praised the school corporation, which promotes right-wing nationalist ideas.

The Communist Party points out what they see as an unhealthy involvement in this and similar issues of the reactionary “Nippon Kaigi” clique in the Japanese Parliament, government and society, and control important decision making structures on educational policy.   Nippon Kaigi is working to remove the wording in the post World War II Japanese constitution which forbids the creation of armed forces capable of waging overseas war, an effort that the Communists see as particularly dangerous.

Spain: Communists criticize Supreme Court sentence against Catalan leaders

The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) and its close ally, the United Socialist Party of Catalonia-VIU (PSUC-Viu) strongly dissent from the March 23 decision of Spain’s Supreme Court to provisionally jail without bail six members of the autonomous government of Catalonia, including former President Carles Puigdemont.  The jailing of these politicians comes in response to their having carried out an independence referendum last year. The six are being prosecuted for “rebellion”. The PCE and PSUC-Viu suspect that the reason for the judgement is not to stop some crime from being committed (as none of the accused are in a position to make or carry out decisions), but rather to suppress their political rights.

However the PCE and PSUC-Viu) clearly state, as they did last year, that they do not approve of the unilateral Catalan independence move. Rather, they think that the Catalan issue should be solved within a federal system that would entail the abolition of the monarchy and a declaration of a Spanish republic.

Argentina: Communists condemn attack on home of  party leader

The Communist Party of Argentina has denounced a vicious attack carried out on March 27 against the home of party leader Julio César Martínez, in the city of Córdoba.  Dr. Martínez is the head of the Communist Party in Cordoba Province, and also of the Cordoba branch of the Argentine League for the Rights of Man.  He is a plaintiffs’ attorney in a major case against military and police officials involved in human rights violations under the former military dictatorship.  The case let to many convictions and jail sentences.

The Communist Party has demanded a meeting with the provincial Minister of Justice  and Human Rights, Luis Angulo. The Communist Party and other left and democratic groups in Argentina are worried that the right-wing government of President Mauricio Macri might back away from further punishments for officials of the dictatorship, who killed up to 30,000 people and in many cases kidnapped the children of people they murdered.




    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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