International Notes: January 23

 
International Notes: January 23

Ecuador:  Communist Party supporting Alianza Pais candidate

The Communist Party of Ecuador is urging its members and friends to get involved in the campaign for the first round of the general election to be held on February 19.   The candidate of incumbent president Rafael Correa’s “Alianza Pais”  coalition, Lenin Moreno, and his vice presidential running mate, Jorge Glas, whom the communist and other left wing parties support, appear to be positioned to win the election on the first round, obviating the necessity of a runoff.

Moreno, who was Correa’s running mate from 2007 to 2013, subsequently was a special representative to the United Nations on disability and accessibility.  He has used  a wheelchair since he was injured in an assassination attempt in 2008.

There are also national legislative elections on February 19, and a referendum calling for a crackdown on officials putting their assets into offshore tax havens.

Japanese Communist Party denounces repressive law

The Japanese Communist Party strongly disagrees with a new law which has been proposed by the righ wing prime minister, Shinzo Abe, as representing a threat to civil liberties.  The law would expand the definition of actions that could be prosecuted under existing anti-terrorism legislation (the Organized Crime Punishment Law so as to cover mere participation in discussions of illegal actions, whether or not such actions eventually take place.   All individuals present in a place where such discussions take place would be in danger of prosecution under the proposed law.  The communists worry that this could lead to prosecution of people for nothing more than their thoughts and words, opening the door to agent provocateur tactics by the authorities.  The Communist Party sees this as one of a series of measures that could lead up to the restoration of Japan as a military power.

 

Cyprus : AKEL expresses cautious optimism About Geneva negotiations

The Plenum of the Central Committee of AKEL, which is the Communist Party of Cyprus, is expressing cautious optimism about the progress in Geneva of talks to solve the long simmering question of the division of the island, and the Turkish military occupation.  In its session on January 20, the Plenum approved a statement to the effect that while the position that the Cypriot government has adopted involves some danger, and could have been better, it is necessary to see what can be achieved within that framework and to fight for improvements rather than ditching the whole process.

AKEL is working for the removal of Turkish troops who have been occupying part of Cyprus since 1974, and for an end of the division of the country into Greek and Turkish zones.

Algeria: Noted communist journalist has died

The Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism, or PADS, has announced the passing of Pierre Cots, this past January 8.  Cots was born in Bab el Oed, Algeria, and when very young joined the old Algerian Communist Party, to which he was devoted. During the Algerian war of independence, Cots was arrested by the French colonial authorities and tortured at the notorious Villa Sesini facility, and expelled from Algeria by the French. After Algeria got its independence, Cots was able to return to his homeland.  He was a founding member of the Algerian Party for Democracy and Socialism and edited its newspaper, Lien.

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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