International Notes: November 25

November 25, 2016
International Notes: November 25

Japan:  Communist Party criticizes Abe for sticking with the  Trans Pacific Partnership

The Japanese Communist Party is criticizing conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government for pushing ahead to get the Diet (national legislature) to approve the Trans Pacific Partnership.  This is in spite of the fact that many think this 12 nation treaty is doomed to defeat by the election of Donald Trump.

Furthermore, in an article in their newsletter “Japan Press Weekly”, the communists refer to a number of objections to the “TPP” raised by defenders of human rights. In February of this year, for example, Alfredo Zayas, independent rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Council, issued a report urgently requesting that the twelve countries involved in the pact’s negotiations not sign it, because it will allow the rights of ordinary people in the participating countries to be trampled on by multinational corporations in their zeal to maximize their profits.

Italy: Communists denounce  trade pact between Canada and the European Union

The Communist Refoundation Party (Rifondazione Comunista) of Italy is denouncing the unseemly haste with which the European Parliament is rushing to approve the CETA (European Union and Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) “free trade” pact between the European Union and Canada.    The Communist Refoundation warns that, similarly to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, CETA “is a danger to democracy, jobs and food safety. Opposition to CETA is being promoted by 87 members of the European Parliament from the bloc of European United Left and Nordic-Green Left parties, referred to as the GUE/NGL.  An up or down vote on whether to approve the CETA, yes or no, will take place in a matter of weeks.

SACP analyzes  crises

The provincial organization of the South African Communist Party in Moses  Mabhiba Province (KwaZulu-Natal) met on November 13 to assess domestic and international developments.  Among international issues discussed the crisis in which the “Washington Consensus” finds itself.  The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States indicates the degree to which not only the Washington Consensus but social democratic and social liberal policies also are under assault by aggressive capitalist accumulation, and are unsustainable.

The Moses Mabhida Provincial Committee called for renewed solidarity with “socialist Cuba, who Trump has pledged to ruin” and the other beleaguered countries of Latin America.

On the domestic front, there was extensive discussion of the economic and corruption crises in which South Africa finds itself enmeshed at the moment.   The decline of the African National Congress’s vote totals in the August municipal elections was seen as partially arising from “factionalism and internal divisions”.   The Communist Party welcomed the release of the so-called “State of Capture” report by Thuli Madonsela, which focuses on tendencies of private business interests to take over state institutions to the detriment of the public interest, but expressed the view that this report could have gone further into such corrupt practices.

Uruguay:  Communists refute attempts to whitewash dictatorship

The Communist Party of Uruguay has denounced efforts of retired military officers in that country to whitewash the former terrorist dictatorship.   Referred to is the “civic-military dictatorship” which ruled the South American country from 1973-1985, during which workers’ rights were repressed and numerous opponents of the government, especially leftists, were imprisoned, tortured, murdered or driven into exile.   The C.I.A. was involved in the abuses of the Uruguayan military, which were part of “Operation Condor”, in which many progressive leaders from all over South America were hunted down and murdered.

The Communist Party denunciation was in response to recent public comments by retired military officers.  In particular, a certain colonel Carlos Silva claimed that there had been no political prisoners during the dictatorship, that everybody who was punished was a “common criminal”.  The Communist Party responded saying “These statements are of enormous gravity and cannot be left without a response.  Silva keeps talking as if nothing had been investigated and nothing had been proved, as if absolute impunity keeps protecting him in his lies”.  The Communist Party statement then lists some of the specific murders the dictatorship carried out.


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