Tag Archives: Socialism

REFLECTING ON SYRIA, A Photo Essay by Andre Vltchek & Yayoi Segi

by Andre Vltchek

All photos by Ms. Yayoi Segi

Damascus – city of dreams

Ms. Yayoi Segi is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and she has worked in Syria for almost 3 years. She is extremely passionate about the country, which she admires and tries to support in her position as an accomplished specialist in national education development.

She agreed to share her collection of personal photos from Damascus, Homs and Aleppo.

I asked about her impressions regarding Syria and its people, and she replied, frankly:

“Syria is not what the mainstream media wants us to believe it is. One has to see it, to understand. Seeing is believing! It is an extraordinarily exceptional country. All that we have been told about Syria and its people is a lie.”

And what is the war doing to the country?

“The war… it is devastating the country. Life is of course tough now, but it never stopped; it definitely goes on. Electricity is cut often and water supplies are limited, but still life goes on. People endure; they even socialize. Syrians are very humble, very caring, warm and gentle people. They like to joke. They believe in their nation, in themselves; they are truly remarkable.”

Yayoi has been literally dedicating her life to the Syrian nation. She is ‘building schools’ there, and she is defending the nation whenever she goes. She is drawn to the Syrian people and she admits that she is philosophically close to them. She says:

One of gates of Damascus – martyrs and heroes

“It is extremely important, what goes on in Syria, especially on the ideological front in highly politicized field of education, because ideology shapes education, and vice versa.”

“Even in the time of crises that was implanted from outside, the Syrian people still maintain tremendous sense of solidarity towards those whose lives have been shattered for decades, mainly Palestinians.”

Continue reading REFLECTING ON SYRIA, A Photo Essay by Andre Vltchek & Yayoi Segi

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrDigg thisBuffer this pageShare on StumbleUponFlattr the authorShare on RedditPrint this pageShare on LinkedIn

Imperialist coup plotters rail against a coup – what is really happening in Venezuela?, by Jorge Martin

Source: In Defence of Marxism

“There’s been a coup in Venezuela! Maduro has carried out a power-grab!” Just a few days before the 15th anniversary of the short lived coup against the democratically elected president Chavez (11-13 April, 2002), those who carried out that coup (the Venezuelan oligarchy, their masters in Washington and its lapdogs in Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Santiago de Chile and Lima, cheered on by the media wolf pack in Madrid and the US) are now shouting and screaming like hyenas against an alleged “self coup” by president Maduro.

What are the facts? The immediate cause of this hypocritical outcry is the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) on March 29 which said that since the National Assembly is in contempt of court, the TSJ will henceforth take over its powers for itself or another power it determines. Immediately, the president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, declared this as a “coup d’Etat” and Organisation of American States general secretary Luis Almagro described it as a “self coup” and called for the urgent convening of the OAS Permanent Council in order to activate its Democratic Charter against Venezuela. The Peruvian government decided to withdraw its ambassador from Venezuela.

What are the roots of this ruling? Since the victory of the right wing opposition in the National Assembly elections in December 2015, there has been a sharp conflict between the different powers of the state. Already at the end of December 2015, the TSJ ruled that there had been irregularities in the election of deputies in the Amazonas state and declared the election null and void and ordered it to be re-run. Proof was presented that opposition politicians had been involved in vote-buying. This affected four deputies, two from the opposition, one from the PSUV and another one elected in the indigenous list (also a supporter of the opposition). However, these three opposition deputies were key as they would have given the opposition a two thirds majority and therefore much wider powers. The National Assembly refuse to obey the order of the TSJ and swore in the three opposition deputies for Amazonas in January 2016. Again the TSJ declared the act as null and void and in contravention of its earlier ruling. The National Assembly retreated. Then, in July, the National Assembly swore in the three deputies again. In August 2016, the TSJ declared that the National Assembly Presiding Council and the opposition deputies were in contempt of court for having broken two of its rulings.

In a further escalation of the institutional conflict, in October 2016, the National Assembly voted to initiate proceedings for a “political trial” of president Maduro and also proceedings to declare that Maduro had “abandoned his office”. Amongst the reasons given for these actions was the allegation that Maduro is not a Venezuelan citizen and therefore unable to be president (!!). Finally in January 2017, the National Assembly declared that president Maduro had indeed “abandoned his office”. How can he be accused of “abandoning his office” and of “carrying out a power grabbing coup” at the same time is anybody’s guess. The National Assembly furthermore called on the Organisation of American States to invoke its Democratic Charter against Venezuela, in effect calling on foreign powers to violate Venezuelan sovereignty, something which reveals clearly the character of the Venezuelan oligarchy. The attempt to use the Democratic Charter was defeated at the OAS, despite direct threats from Washington against a number of member countries.

Finally, the government enquired from the TSJ whether it needed to send its decision to create joint venture companies in the oil sector to be ratified by the National Assembly. The TSJ replied with its ruling on March 29, that, since the National Assembly was in contempt of court and had not taken any actions to rectify that, the government did not have to send its decisions to it and that the TSJ was taking over National Assembly legislative powers to exercise them directly or through any other organ of power it would determine. That ruling had been preceded by one a day earlier in which the TSJ ruled that since the National Assembly was in contempt of court, its members could not enjoy parliamentary immunity.

If the opposition National Assembly wanted to actually use its powers, it would be easy to abide by the TSJ ruling on the three Amazonas deputies and then start legislating. However, the opposition is not really interested in that, but rather wants to create an incident as big as possible, to justify the removal of Maduro from the presidency.

We must oppose the hypocritical campaign of those who actually did carry out a coup in Venezuela in 2002, who now want to remove Maduro from power and to invoke foreign intervention against Venezuela. If they were to achieve their aims, we know clearly what would be the consequences: all of the gains of the Bolivarian revolution would be destroyed, the social missions abolished, nationalised companies and landed estates returned to their former owners, the labour law would be abolished allowing for mass layoffs in state and private enterprises, old age pensions massively cut, health care and education slashed and a regime of assault on basic democratic rights instituted. If anyone doubts this, you just need to see the initial measures taken by right wing governments as they have come to power in Argentina and Brazil. In Venezuela it would be ten times worse.

Continue reading Imperialist coup plotters rail against a coup – what is really happening in Venezuela?, by Jorge Martin

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrDigg thisBuffer this pageShare on StumbleUponFlattr the authorShare on RedditPrint this pageShare on LinkedIn

Socialist Argentina Helping People in Fascist Paraguay, by Andre Vltchek

Source: Telesur

One of the mightiest South American waterways – Rio Paraguay – is forming a national frontier between Argentina and Paraguay, two countries with similar cultures but diametrically different political systems.

Argentina is socialist, with free medical care and mostly free education. It has a progressive government. It sent its creditors, the World Bank and IMF, packing. It defaulted its debt, which was accumulated during the right-wing and pro-Western governments (Greece should study and follow Argentina’s model). It is increasingly close to other socialist Latin American countries, and also to non-Western powers like Russia and China.

Paraguay is a divided country. Even according to the BBC, fewer than 2 percent of the landowners are said to control 70 percent of its arable land. Other sources put the number to 75 percent and higher. Periodically, indigenous people demand their land back, and periodically, they get murdered.

Paraguay used to be the second poorest country in South America, right after Bolivia. But with enormous positive changes taking place in Bolivia during the last decade, Paraguay is now hitting the continent’s rock bottom.

[Please click below to continue read]
Continue reading Socialist Argentina Helping People in Fascist Paraguay, by Andre Vltchek

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrDigg thisBuffer this pageShare on StumbleUponFlattr the authorShare on RedditPrint this pageShare on LinkedIn