International Notes: February 8, 2018

 
International Notes: February 8, 2018

 

Brazil:  Communist candidate explains two pronged electoral tactic

The Communist Party of Brazil (Partido Comunista do Brasil, PC do B) is heavily involved in the defense of former president and probable October 2018 presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, or “Lula”, who has been convicted, on very flimsy evidence, in a corruption case.  Nevertheless, while defending Lula’s right to run, the Party is fielding its own pre candidacy.

Manuela d’Avila, a former federal deputy and currently  a state legislator in Rio Grande do Sul as well as presidential pre-candidate,  explains that her presidential candidacy under the banner of the PC do B has the purpose is to present solutions for the current economic and political crisis that Brazil is undergoing.  “The PC do B believes that it is necessary to put forward a new development project for the country, with a return [to the idea of] social growth.  D’Avila decries the fact that the current government of President Michel Temer has rolled back hard won victories of the Brazilian people, such as labor rights and many other things. “Brazil is  a country in which multi-millionaires pay the same taxes as the poorest people. That’s not right” she adds.

Egypt: Communists see coming elections as a farce

The Communist Party of Egypt has commented on the presidential elections coming up in that country on March 18 of this year.  According to the Communists, “The current political environment is not conducive to real democratic presidential elections.  The presidential election comes as the conditions and the situation are leading us back to the dictatorial times that prevailed the period before the January 2011 revolution [i..e. under President Hosni Mubarak].

The Communists accuse the present government of rigging possible election results by means of restrictive regulations, monopolization of access to the media.  “Tremendous pressures are put on the competing candidates, and obstacles are put in their way so as to force them to finally withdraw ..”  Therefore, the Communist Party calls for unity of progressive and democratic forces in Egypt behind a program of social justice for the poor and the working class, an economic policy of sustainable development and a rejection of neo-liberalism, an implacable fight against terrorism, no reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, democratization of all institutions of society, opposition  to U.S. and Israeli imperialism, and defense of Egyptian national sovereignty.

Japan: Communists decry Abe’s closeness to Trump line

The Japanese Communist Party expresses indignation that Japan’s conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, of the Liberal Democratic Party, is blindly following the bellicose leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump in international affairs.

On the matter of North Korea,  the Communists complain, Abe has taken a position of considering anything that Trump decides should be supported, even if this would turn out to include a nuclear “first strike” decision by the United States.  Recent changes in Japanese law, promoted by Abe, have made it more likely that in an armed conflict, Japan would be drawn into a war initiated by Trump.

The Communists also point out that Abe has remained silent about destructive positions that Trump has taken on other international issues, such as the ban on Muslim visitors and the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

Spain: United Left says no to choice of homophobe

Spanish communists and other leftists oppose the naming of a person with a record of homophobia to an important human rights post in the European Union.  The United Left (Izquierda Unida) via its federal LGBT rights grouping “Freedom of Affective-Sexual Expression” (Libertad de Expresión Afectivo-Sexual), wants to know why the right wing government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party has chosen to nominate Professor María Elósegui to the European Tribunal for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, a nine year appointment.

The United Left, a coalition which includes the Communist Party of Spain and other progressive groups, points out that Elóstegui has a “controversial history of public declarations which question the human rights of various social collectives, including women and LGBT people, which invalidates her [capacity] to effectively defend the human rights of all of the citizens, with neither prejudice nor discrimination”.

South Africa: Communists denounce turmoil in Cape Town government

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has expressed alarm over recent events within the city government of Cape Town, whose metro area has 3.7 million inhabitants, making it the second largest such area in the country.  The municipal government is controlled by the conservative opposition party called the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The communists blame “racially based” infighting over control of municipal resources for having sidelined the mayor, Patricia De Lille.  This internal conflict within the DA has created an incoherent situation in public administration and has greatly exacerbated a serious water shortage in the area, according to the Brian Bunting District of the SACP.

The SACP points out that the DA government has followed a policy which has privileged white suburbanites and private developers over the needs of the working class and poor residents. In addition, De Lille and her administration “concealed…financial irregularities over a number of years”, making it harder for the city to respond to the water crisis.  The SACP demands for a special investigation of these matters.

 

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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