International Notes: January 13, 2016

International Notes: January 13, 2016

Nicaragua: Meeting of regional left calls for reinforced ties

Representatives of about 40 left wing political parties that have been involved in the São Paulo Forum met in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, on Wednesday January 11.  More than ten different nations were represented.

The purpose of the meeting was to strategize a response to the right wing offensive in the region, that has caused reverses for the left in the major countries of Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela over the last year.  The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, addressed the meeting, saying that “the left wing forces in Latin America represent the hope of the entire world, given the social and economic advances that have been reached in the region with the coming to power of progressive governments”. He called for the peoples of Latin America to “convert all the adversity of this moment into opportunities and paths along which to advance.”

China and Vietnam:  Two Communist Parties  meet

The Communist Parties of the People’s Republic of China and of Vietnam had a high level meeting in Beijing during the first week in January.  The meeting was between Nguyen Phu Trong, recently re-elected as Secretary General of the Communist Party of Beijing, and Xi Jinping, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.  Comrade Trong is the first high level foreign official to visit China in 2017.

This is a very significant development because in recent years, there has been considerable friction between Vietnam and China over the issue of Chinese claims to the South China sea and especially uninhabited islands there.  Vietnam has also been involved in negotiating membership in the Transpacific Partnership, which China has seen as a hostile move by the United States. In recent months, Vietnam appeared to backing away from the TPP.   The incoming U.S. president, Donald Trump, has talked about scrapping the TPP, as well as launching renewed verbal attacks on China.  This suggests a motive for these two Asian countries to seek closer ties.

Swaziland: Targeting of Swazi student leaders

The Communist Party of Swaziland calls for international support in its demand harassment of student leaders by the reactionary government of King Mswati III.  These student leaders have been targeted for police action since they attended a summer school in South Africa, across the border, during the Christmas-New Years holiday. (Southern Africa is South of the Equator, so Christmas occurs in summer there).

The student leaders are Nchubeko Maziya, Deputy Secretary General of the Swaziland National Union of Students (SNUS) and SNUS National Treasurer Neliswa Sifunda.   Communist Party of Swaziland organizer Njabulo Dlamini is evidently also being targeted.  Police have showed up at the colleges where these students study to look for them.

The Communist Party of Swaziland “call[s] on all organizations working in solidarity with the Swazi freedom struggle to publicize this latest move by the Mswati regime to intimidate progressive activists in Swaziland.

France: Communists say “Solidarity is No Crime”.

The French Communist Party is putting the government of President Francois Holland and Prime Minister Manuel Valls that “solidarity is no crime”.  The issue came up over the government’s repressive action against immigrants in the valley of the Roya River in the far Southeast of the country.  The communists accuse the government of having unleashed a “veritable manhunt” against refugees who have entered this area near the Italian border, who are part of the massive number of people  who have been entering Europe due to the wars in Syria and Iraq.

The communists also defend at least eleven people in the area who are currently on trial for helping the refugees.

Photo: Granma



    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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