International Notes: August 2, 2017

 
International Notes: August 2, 2017

Canada: Communists Denounce Increased Expenditure for Military

The Communist Party of Canada has strongly objected to the announcement, by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party, of planned sharp increases in military expenditures, of up to 70 percent over the next ten years.  The government’s plan entails adding 5,000 more military personnel, plus 88 new military aircraft, 15 new warships, and other expenditures.  Annual military expenditures would go from the current $15 billion Canadian ($12 billion US) to 32 billion ($26 billion US).

The Communist Party is not buying the argument made by Trudeau and his Foreign Minister, Chrysia Freeland, that the increased expenditure is necessary to make Canada more independent of the United States in military matters, pointing out that U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring Canada for the military buildup.  Rather, the Communists demand Canadian withdrawal from NATO.

 

Serbian reds urge support for auto workers’ strike

The New Communist Party of Yugoslavia has asked for national and international support for striking workers in the Fiat-Chrysler automobile factory in the town of Kragujevac, Serbia, who, since June 27, have been on strike over excessive workloads and low wages.  According to a statement by the New Communist Party, 90 percent of the production workers at the plant are involved in the strike.  Demands include wage increases, paid overtime, an end to layoffs, reduced workloads, help with transportation to and from work, and other things.

The New Communist Party statement continues:  “The strike is seen as a highly significant test of Serbian workers’ ability to resist the intensification of work, and win a decent living wage. Many European auto manufacturers have shifted production to Eastern Europe, where wages are low”.

In addition to the intensification of exploitation of the workers in Serbia, in the other components of the former Yugoslavia and in Eastern Europe in general, the governments of these countries find themselves having to subsidize the setup expenses of the foreign firms, while private capital rakes in the money.

 

CP of Chile objects to government’s attitude on Venezuela

The Communist Party of Chile has taken sharp issue with the position of the government of Socialist Party President Michelle Bachelet for its position on the just completed election for a National Constituent Assembly in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  Among the nations which lined up to support the hostile position of the Trump administration on Venezuela, Chile is the only one that could be said to have a left-wing government.  The Communist Party is a member of the ruling coalition, but says it “categorically rejects the statements made by [the Chilean] foreign ministry” against the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly elections..

In a “Public Declaration”, the Chilean communists congratulated the Venezuelan people and government for the high level of participation in the Constituent Assembly elections on July 30. Distancing itself from the “interventionist tone” of its own government’s statements on the subject, the Communist declaration added:  “We cannot be complicit in a campaign like the one which was carried out against Chile” referring to the U.S. orchestrated destabilization campaign that ended in the military coup in which the Chilean President, Salvador Allende Gossens, was killed on September 11 1973, “and our country was submitted to 17 long and painful years of dictatorship. We don’t want the same thing for Venezuela!”

 

Turkish Labor Party protests arrest

Turkey’s Labor Party, EMEP (Emek Partisi) one of two communist parties in the country), has denounced the increasingly dictatorial government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of the AKP (Justice and Development Party), for its increasingly despotic behavior, which now includes the arbitrary arrest of a leading EMEP member.

Since the abortive military coup of last summer, the government has arrested thousands of oppositionists, including many who had nothing to do with the coup attempt and, in fact, loudly deplored it.  EMEP party member, media advisor and writer for the EMEP newspaper Evrensel,  Yusuf Karataş, who was arrested as part of a government investigation of the Democratic Society Congress in Diyarbakir.  The Democratic Society Congress is a left-center grouping that supports autonomy for Turkey’s Kurdish regions within a united Turkish state, rather than Kurdish independence.   The prosecution has also gone after Karataş because of his involvement in efforts to protect the rights of seasonal agricultural workers.

The EMEP statement concludes: “A system which is led by illegality and a judicial system that disregards all rules and proceedings cannot survive for long, because tyranny cannot continue forever. These proceedings will be judged by history too and are being tried in the conscience of the public”.  EMEP promises to continue to fight against these injustices.

 

Author

    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.

     

Comments (1)

Gary Mueller | August 04, 2017 at 3:40 PM

I salute the members of the Canadian Communist Party and the stance they have taken as not to buckle to the whims of the Cheeto Bandito in the USA.

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