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Cuba and Canada – Friends or Enemies?

trudeau and raul castro.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x748On November 25th 2016, Fidel Castro passed away in Havana, Cuba. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement expressing his “deep sorrow” with the death of this “legendary revolutionary” and “remarkable leader” who “made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.” This statement produced an outcry from Conservative politicians, leading Trudeau to cancel his attendance at Castro’s funeral in favour of Canada’s Governor General. However, looking historically, such statements by a Canadian prime minister are not unusual. The relatively cozy relationship between Canada and Cuba has led people to believe that the Canadian government is a friend of the Cuban people and, in opposition to the actions of the Americans, has not been trying to undermine the Cuban revolution. But is this really the case?

Fidel Castro has died - the Cuban revolution must live!

Fidelcastro1978At 10.29 pm on Friday, November 26, the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died at the age of 90. Today more than ever we say: defend the Cuban revolution, no to capitalist restoration, fight capitalism worldwide!

FIFA World Cup: Wave of protests and strikes unleashed in Brazil

The World Cup events being held in 12 cities across Brazil are set to begin in a few days. Half a million tourists are expected to flood into Brazil. However, instead of the expected celebrations and weeks of national rejoicing in a country long-known for its proud football traditions, there is enormous tension as the events are set to begin on June 12th. Demands for wage increases have led to strikes in various sectors, from bus drivers, police officers, metro operators to teachers throwing major cities into chaos and traffic congestion.

Mass protests in Brazil: Which way forward for the movement?

brazil protests june2013What started as a small demonstration against an increase of 20 cents (barely CAD 9¢) in the price of public transport fares in São Paulo, has become a national mass movement which has mobilized more than a million people in 80 cities. The movement, however, also has a contradictory character. There have also been ugly scenes in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other main cities. Organized right-wing and extreme right-wing groups resorted to violence to expel left-wing parties, trade unions, social movements, and generally anyone carrying red flags, t-shirts, or symbols from the demonstration. The mobilization of the mighty power of the Brazilian working class is needed to make sure that the most pressing demands of the workers and youth are met.

 

Brazil: The harbinger of a new situation

brazil transit fare protestsBrazil is currently experiencing the largest demonstrations seen in the country in over 20 years. The protests were sparked by an increase in the cost of public transport, but under the conditions of police brutality and the ever increasing cost of staging major sporting events, that spark was enough to set alight the contradictions that have been building up in the form of poor healthcare, poor education, and rampant corruption. With the tentacles of capitalist crisis beginning to reach Brazil, many of the workers and youth in the country are frustrated with the current system and have taken to the streets to demand change.