International Notes: August 8

 
International Notes: August 8

 

 

Bangladesh:    New left electoral alliance

On July 18, the Communist Party of Bangladesh and seven other left wing parties announced the creation of a new political formation, the “Left Democratic Alliance”.  As explained by the leaders of the parties which announced the new formation at a press conference, this alliance will work together for the coming parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, which are will take place later this year, at a date yet to be determined . But Mujahidul Islam, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, clarified that this is not intended to be a narrowly electoral alliance, but will have other functions as well.  The parties in the Left Democratic Alliance include the Communist Party of Bangladesh, the Socialist Party of Bangladesh, the Biplopi Workers’ Party, the BSD (Marxist), the United Communist League (Marxist) and three others.

The speakers at the press conference decried what they see as a “fascist tendency” in the politics of the country.  They note the deterioration of the living standards of the people and a disturbing tendency of the two major parties which have competed for power in recent years to look for foreign support for themselves, from India, Pakistan and the United States.  The Alliance wants the current government to resign so that fair and open elections can be expedited.

 

Canada:  Communists denounce plan to increase participation in NATO

The Communist Party of Canada has sharply criticized the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party) for its decision to increase Canada’s participation in NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization).  The Canadian Government had announced at the recent NATO summit that it would be contributing troops to a new NATO mission in Iraq, as well as extending Canadian participation in the NATO mission to Latvia until 2023.  The Communists see this as deepening Canadian complicity in the bloody U.S. initiated “War on Terror” which has cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives in the Middle East and Afghanistan.  NATO’s interventions have also produced such things of the return of slavery to Libya while practically destroying that North African country.

Moreover, the Communist Party points out that this decision to increase Canadian participation in NATO can be seen as a response to US President Donald Trump’s demand that other NATO member states increase substantially their material consideration to the alliance.

 

Swaziland:  “Winter School” focuses on action against monarchy

On the Weekend of July 28-29, the Communist Party of Swaziland carried out its “Winter School” for its cadres and activists (July is midwinter in the Southern Hemisphere).   The purpose of the event was to update strategizing on the Communist Party’s efforts to oust from power the undemocratic regime of King Mswati III.

The Communists’ analysis is that the Tinkhundla system of semi-feudalistic royal patronage not only suppresses the rights of the people, but is an absolute brake on even capitalist development in the country.  It leads to “growing poverty and social distress, rising prices of essential foods” and social instability.  The Communist Party has prioritized working with labor and mass organizations  the Mswati monarchy “ungovernable” so as to push it out of power.

 

Ecuador:  Communist youth intensify recruiting

The Communist Youth League of Ecuador (Juventud Comunista del Ecuador, JCE) is upgrading its activities on the country’s university campuses, both in terms of recruiting new student and youth members and in calling for a democratic, people’s overhaul of the South American country’s university system.   The context is a sharp degeneration of the communists’ relationship with the government of President Lenin Moreno, who took power in May of 2017, succeeding leftist president Rafael Correa, with whom the communists had positive relations.  The communists see Morena’s government as moving in a new neoliberal direction, of which they are extremely critical.

The students are working to reorganize and revitalize the campus youth movement in general, as a response against the “neoliberal onslaught”.  The see the educational reforms achieved under Correa as positive in terms of the access of students from working class and poor families.  They fear that they will lose some of the things gained, and also are fighting to increase the role of both students and teachers in the running of the educational institutions.

 

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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