By Adam Weinstein
Afghan President Hamid Karzai threw U.S. observers for a loop over the weekend, announcing that his country would join Syria and Venezuela in supporting Russia’s Crimea invasion annexation:
Citing “the free will of the Crimean people,” the office of President Hamid Karzai said, “we respect the decision the people of Crimea took through a recent referendum that considers Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.”…
Aimal Faizi, the spokesman for Mr. Karzai, said that the Russian annexation of Crimea was a “legitimate move” and that the palace statement represented Afghanistan’s official recognition of the new borders.
“Afghanistan always respects the free will of the nations on deciding their future,” he wrote in an email. He did not elaborate.
Continue reading Afghanistan Backs Russia’s Crimean Invasion, Fails Irony 101
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced today that he would withdraw the country’s ambassador from Egypt because of the conflict there and confrontations between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the defacto government, which has seen over 700 people killed.
“We have witnessed a blood bath in Egypt…We warned that the coup against Morsi was unconstitutional. Morsi was kidnapped and the responsible party for what is occuring in Egypt is the empire, which has its hands in it,” said the head of state.
Read more » Venezuelanalysis
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez dies from cancer
By Andrew Cawthorne and Daniel Wallis
CARACAS: (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader’s 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech on Tuesday.
The flamboyant 58-year-old leader had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on December 11 and he had not been seen in public since.
“It’s a moment of deep pain,” Maduro, accompanied by senior ministers, said, his voice choking.
Chavez easily won a new six-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.
Continue reading Rest in Peace – President Hugo Chavez, hero to World’s poor, is dead
What would Jesus do? – by Mehdi Hasan
Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But in word and deed, the son of God was much more left-wing than the religious right likes to believe.
Was Jesus Christ a lefty? Philosophers, politicians, theologians and lay members of the various Christian churches have long been divided on the subject. The former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev once declared: “Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.” The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, went further, describing Christ as “the greatest socialist in history”. But it’s not just Russian ex-communists and Bolivarian socialists who consider Jesus to be a fellow-traveller. Even the Daily Mail sketch-writer Quentin Letts once confessed: “Jesus preached fairness – you could almost call him a lefty.”
That conservatives have succeeded in claiming Christ as one of their own in recent years – especially in the US, where the Christian right is in the ascendancy – is a tragedy for the modern left. Throughout history, Jesus’s teachings have inspired radical social and political movements: Christian pacifism (think the Quakers, Martin Luther King or Bruce Kent in CND), Christian socialism (Keir Hardie or Tony Benn), liberation theology (in South America) and even “Christian communism“. In the words of the 19th-century French utopian philosopher Étienne Cabet, “Communism is Christianity . . . it is pure Christianity, ” …
Read more : Newstatesman
The Labour Movement and Socialist Struggle in Venezuela Today – An Interview with Pedro Eusse
by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber
In mid-June, 2010, we met with Pedro Eusse, National Secretary of the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) and part of the provisional executive committee of the labour confederation, Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (National Union of Workers, UNT). Revolutionary figures from times past stared down at us from the paintings hung on the walls in the office of the PCV in central Caracas. Refusing to be interrupted by the constantly ringing phone, Pedro spoke passionately for two hours about the centrality of organized workers in the revolutionary struggle and the need to unite the labour movement. He expressed his hopes for rebuilding the UNT at its third Congress planned for fall 2010.
Read more >> Socialist Project
by: Alessia Lai
Caracas and Moscow forge ties, deepen an already strong friendship. And the reaction in Washington not long in coming. Punctual, on the eve of the first visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Venezuela signed several bilateral agreements, press rumors leaked cleverly sent a clear message Venezuelan Russian axis.
Continue reading Chávez Putin. Washington’s Nightmare
By John Cherian
Courtesy: Frontline, Rodrigo Buendia/AFP
Rafael Correa’s emphatic victory makes him the first Ecuadorian President since 1972 to win a re-election.
THE leftward swing in Latin America is being further consolidated. The avowedly socialist President Rafael Correa of Ecuador again won an emphatic victory at the polls in the last week of April. The other Latin American countries to have elected leftist governments are El Salvador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala and Brazil. It is the first time in many decades that a President has been re-elected for a second consecutive term in office in Ecuador.
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Continue reading Ecuador: Firmly Left
Caracas: Russian warships have sailed into a Venezuelan port in the first deployment of its kind in the Caribbean since the end of the Cold War. Thevessels were greeted by a 21-gun military salute on Tuesday at the start of a week of joint manoeuvres as Moscow and Caracas seek to strengthen their political and trade ties. The ships, including the nuclear powered cruiser Peter the Great and the destroyer Admiral Chabankenko, arrived at La Guaira, a port near to the capital Caracas, to coincide with a two day visit by Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president. However, the move has been widely interpreted as a demonstration of the Kremilin’s anger at the US or both its plans to install a missile-defence shield in eastern Europe and its decision to send aid-laden warships to Georgia this summer. Russia and Georgia were briefly at war during August over the disputed independence of border states South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The US administration played down any concerns over the joint show of force by two of its sharpest critics. Sean McGormack, the US state department spokesman, said: ” I don’t think there’s any qustion about.. who the region looks to in terms of political, economic, diplomatic and as well as military power. “If the Venezuelans and the Russians want to have a military exercise, that’s fine. But we’ll obisously be watching it very closely,” he said.