International Notes: August 3, 2016

 
International Notes: August 3, 2016

Israel:  “The Kids Want Communism”

The Communist Party of Israel is highlighting participation in the international “The Kids Want Communism” activities.  The Israeli activities of “The Kids Want Communism”, a yearlong series of exhibitions and activities, opened on July 28 at the Museum BatYam (MoBY) and will continue through November 12, featuring works by various Israeli and international artists highlighting the history and future of the communist movement.  In November, the MoBy will also host the 10th Marx Forum, with a focus on the upcoming anniversary of V.I. Lenin’s book:  “Imperialism:  The Highest Stage of Capitalism”

 

Paraguay:  Left protests railroading of farm workers

On Monday July 11, a court in Paraguay sentenced eleven peasant farmers to terms of between four and 31 years in prison for a 2012 clash over a land reform dispute.  On June 15, 2012, a large force of police tried to dislodge agricultural workers from a private estate in Curutguaty, in the Eastern part of the country.  The workers had been occupying the estate to back their demand for land reform in this highly unequal and poverty stricken country.  In the ensuing conflict, six police officers and eleven farm workers were killed.   The right wing in Paraguay then used this incident as a pretext for removing the left wing president, Fernando Lugo, and replacing him with a right wing government. The farm workers were then put on trial, though  many observers say they were set up.

The Curuguaty incident has become a focus of struggle for left wing and people’s organizations in Paraguay.  The Guasú Front (in Spanish and Guaraní, Frente Guasú), a coalition which includes the Paraguayan Communist Party and other ten other groups, and is headed by ex-president Lugo, denounced the sentences and and announced it is is appealing to the Organization of American States and other national and international bodies for support to help the prisoners get justice.

Malta:  Communists object to privatization of health care

The Communist Party of Malta (Partit Comunista Malti) is raising the alarm about private entities getting their foot in the door of running the island nation’s health care system.  The party notes the tendency toward adoption of neo-liberal measures by the current government, which include proposals to allow private, for profit entities to get their hands on the delivery of health services.

According to the Communist Party “The government should invest more in public healthcare and not in the private sector. The proposed measure to incorporate the private [sector] in the running of public health dentistry services in the community shows that public services in Malta are being taken over by private entities.

“Workers in the public health service should be aware as [sic] privatization will push down their working conditions and wages, as new workers will be employed under precarious conditions that include jobs on a definite contract, and others under temporary agency work contract.”

Cuba: Commemoration of Frank Pais

Leaders of Cuba’s Communist Party and people’s organizations carried out a moving tribute to Frank Pais, a martyred hero of the Cuban Revolution, in the Eastern city of Santiago on Saturday July 30, Cuba’s Day of the Martyrs of the Revolution.  Pais, born in 1934, led the clandestine urban forces of the 26th of July Movement, the movement that overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista and opened the door to socialism in Cuba.   When Fidel Castro, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and their comrades arrived in Cuba on the yacht “Granma” in November 1956 Pais was part of the underground leadership assigned the task of raising the rebellion in urban areas, and the largely Afro-Cuban city of Santiago became a hotbed of resistance to the dictatorship.   However on July 30th, 1957, the police captured Pais and another comrade, Raul Pujol, and murdered them in cold blood.  Since that day, July 30 has been designated to honor those who fell in the struggle to oust Batista.  Also honored is Rene Ramos Latour, who succeeded Frank Pais in leadership and was killed by authorities exactly one year later, on July 30 1958.

The ceremony this year was led by Lázaro Expósito, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and Beatriz Jhonson, first secretary of the Communist Party in the province of Santiago and also head of the provincial government.  It included a parade through the city by thousands of people, and the laying of a wreath sent by Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz and former President Fidel Castro at the monument to Pais and his comrades.

 

 

 

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.

     

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