Sunday, January 27, 2019

Imperialist Attack on Venezuela -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos January 20 - 27

This week's list of articles, news items, opinion pieces and videos that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of January 20 - 27.

In addition to a general overview of news and opinion, this week's installment begins with a large section devoted to the ongoing attempts of the United States with its lackeys in Canada and Europe to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela and install a regime beholden to imperialism and global capital.

1) Fears of US-Backed 'Coup' in Motion as Trump Recognizes Venezuela Opposition Lawmaker as 'Interim President'

Jon Queally, Common Dreams 

"Before the people and nations of the world, and as constitutional president," declared Maduro to a crowd of red-shirted supporters gathered outside the presidential residence in Caracas, "I've decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government."

2) Venezuela's VP to Mike Pence: 'Yankee, Go Home'


Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez Tuesday said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was "openly calling for a coup d'état in Venezuela " after Pence issued a video message of support to the Venezuelan opposition to encourage those who are protesting against President Nicolas Maduro and underline U.S. backing for opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido, the self-appointed head of the suspended National Assembly.

Read: In Venezuela as in Chile, what is past is prologue

In the strongest words possible I denounce US aggression against Venezuela, as an international observer in the 2018 elections for President I stand in support of the democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro - Don Foreman

Read: Which of these countries is not like the other? -- A Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland Imperialism Quiz!

3) New Coup Attempt In Venezuela Led by Juan Guaido


The Venezuelan right-wing, backed by the United States and other right-wing governments in the region, continue with their coup agenda against the Bolivarian government.

4) Mexico backs Maduro as Venezuela president amid crisis

France 24

Mexico still backs Nicolas Maduro as Venezuelan president, the government's top spokesman said Wednesday after the head of Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature declared himself interim president.

5) Venezuelan Armed Forces Recognize Maduro as President


Venezuela’s Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, declared Wednesday that the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) refuses to accept the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of the Latin American country.

6) Venezuela to receive 2,000 Cuban doctors pulled from Brazil: Maduro


Venezuela will receive 2,000 Cuban doctors who left Brazil following a dispute between the Communist-run island and the government of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who ordered an end to their stay after taking office this year.

7) Cuba expresses ‘support’ for Venezuela’s Maduro after ‘coup attempt’


Cuba sprang to the defense of its socialist ally Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday, expressing its “support” for the Venezuela president and hitting out at “imperialist” foes after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president.

8) Canada will host meeting of the Lima Group on Venezuela: source


Canada will host a meeting of the Lima Group regional bloc to discuss next steps in Venezuela, where opposition leader Juan Guaido has sworn himself in as interim president, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

9) Jagmeet Singh questions Canada’s recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader

Alex Ballingall, The Toronto Star

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is questioning Canada’s decision to recognize a Venezuelan opposition leader as the country’s interim president, after prominent members of his party lashed out at the Liberal government’s foreign policy move Thursday.

10) Hands off Venezuela! No support for made in the USA coup d’etat

Communist Party of Canada

The Communist Party of Canada condemns the Canadian government’s recognition of Juan Guaido, leader of Venezuela’s opposition and self-proclaimed President of Venezuela, as the ‘legitimate’ President of Venezuela; and we condemn the Canadian government’s endorsement of the US call for the Venezuelan military to overthrow the popularly elected and legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro.

11) Freeland spoke to Venezuelan opposition leader two weeks before he declared himself interim president, source says

Michelle Zilio, The Globe and Mail

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with Juan Guaido to congratulate him on unifying opposition forces in Venezuela, two weeks before he declared himself interim president.

12) Canadian labour group blasts Ottawa’s ‘provocative’ stance on Venezuela

Levon Sevunts, The Globe and Mail

An umbrella group of Canadian labour and civil society organizations says Canada’s recognition of Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president will only lead to more internal conflict and polarization, and sets in motion a diplomatic showdown between Caracas and Ottawa.

13) Declaration of the Revolutionary Government: The aggression against Venezuela must stop


The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns and rejects the attempt to impose through a coup a puppet government in the service of the United States in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and expresses its unwavering solidarity with the Government of the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro Moros.

14) ‘Resistance’ Media Side With Trump to Promote Coup in Venezuela

Alan MacLeod, FAIR

We like to think we have an adversarial media—one that will stand up, in particular, to Donald Trump. The media assured us that they would perform their crucial democratic role in holding this dangerous new president and commander-in-chief accountable at every turn. This struck a chord with the public; in the wake of Trump’s victory in 2016, the New York Times added over a quarter-million digital subscribers in a matter of weeks. “Democracy,” after all, “Dies in Darkness,” as the Washington Post tells us on every webpage.

Yet on Trump’s support for regime change in Venezuela, the “resistance” media are lining up shoulder to shoulder with the president.

15) CUPE Statement on the situation in Venezuela


The Canadian government was one of the first governments in the world to declare support for Juan Guaidó. In doing so, they have chosen to side with a self-declared leader over President Nicolás Maduro, who was duly elected by the people of Venezuela. They have also chosen to side with Donald Trump and US foreign policy.

16) Venezuela, Many Nations, Reject US-Led Interventionism at UNSC Session


On Saturday the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council was summoned by the United States to meet Saturday to discuss the internal situation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza delivered a speech defending Venezuela against the U.S. interventionism and was backed by several countries from across the world.

17) The Radicalization of U.S. Policy on Venezuela

Steve Ellner, Venezuela Analysis

Washington’s recognition of the shadow government headed by Venezuelan National Assembly president Juan Guaidó is one more demonstration of how the Trump administration has radicalized foreign policy positions and in doing so violates international law, including the OAS charter.

18) Hands off Venezuela!

Communist Party USA

The already dangerous situation involving Venezuela has suddenly escalated over the last few days, as the legally elected president, Nicolas Maduro, has prepared to start a new term.

19) Role of America and local capitalist cronies clear in Venezuelan coup

 Heiko Khoo,

A coup d'état is underway in Venezuela seeking to oust President Nicolás Maduro and install a U.S. puppet in his place – 35-year-old opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

20) Venezuelan President Maduro Leads Military Exercises 'To Guarantee Peace'


At this event, the military reiterated their support for the Bolivarian Revolution, the constitution and the defense of the homeland.

21) Trump’s fascist aggression on Venezuela will flop, says Musumali

Chambwa Moonga, The Mast

“Trump and his Vice-President, Mike Pence, all their lackeys in the Americas, will be made to swallow their endorsements of those spineless puppets in Venezuela. We will make sure that the voice of the African leftists is heard loud and clear. We are unequivocal in our support of the leadership of Comrade Maduro and we pledge our undying solidarity to the multitudes of that county’s working class masses who have continued to rally behind our comrades in Venezuela,” Dr Musumali said. “The Socialist Party (Zambia) also pledge undying solidarity with the federal government employees in the US who, due to Trump’s failed leadership, have gone for over a month without getting their pay cheque following an unprecedented Government Shutdown driven by Trump’s fascist tendencies.”

22) Maduro rejects ultimatum on fresh elections in Venezuela

The Guardian

Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, has rejected an international ultimatum to call elections within eight days, and said the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, had violated the country’s constitution by declaring himself leader.

23) Bolivia's Right-Wing Follows Latest Trend, Plans to Boycott Primary Elections


The right-wing script continues in Latin America, opposition parties will boycott primary elections in Bolivia scheduled for Sunday to elect the parties candidates for president and vice president for the presidential elections in October.

24) Trying to sue socialism: Trump ratchets up the pressure on Cuba

Rob Miller, The Morning Star

Using a previously unenforced law against trade with Cuba, the Trump administration is heading towards a major showdown with the international community.

25) U.S govt shutdown exposes capitalism’s unending crises – Socialist Party

Chambwa Moonga, The Mast

DR Cosmas Musumali says the month-long Donald Trump-orchestrated U.S federal government shutdown where over 800,000 public service workers have gone for weeks without pay is an indictment on those neoliberal bureaucrats still living in denial that the end of capitalism is in sight.

26) Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

Michelle Alexander, The New York Times

Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. We must do the same when it comes to this grave injustice of our time.

27) Martin Luther King was no prophet of unity. He was a radical

Bhaskar Sunkara, The Guardian 

King was a champion of the poor and oppressed. If we want to truly honor his legacy, we’ll struggle to finish his work.

28) World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam

Larry Elliott, The Guardian

The growing concentration of the world’s wealth has been highlighted by a report showing that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population.

29) 'MAGA hat boys' reportedly filmed harassing girls before stand-off with Native American man

Loweena Roberts, INDY 100

A video has emerged on social media reportedly showing the Covington Catholic High School boys 'harrassing' young women, said to have taken place before the viral moment with the Native American protestor happened.

30) The US is still not ready to look at the ugly racism against Native Americans

Julian Brave NoiseCat, The Guardian 

The standoff between students and a Native American man reveals who gets compassion, and who doesn’t.

31) How conservative media transformed the Covington Catholic students from pariahs to heroes

Jason Wilson, The Guardian 

In just four days, teenager Nick Sandmann and his fellow students at Covington Catholic high school have gone from social media pariahs to conservative heroes.

32) The MAGA Teens Knew They Would Get the Benefit of the Doubt 

Jay Willis, GQ

From the moment Nick Sandmann planted himself in front of Nathan Phillips, surrounded by dancing, whooping Covington Catholic students who found the elderly drummer's very existence to be at once amusing and worthy of their scorn, the only thing more inevitable than the initial outrage was the tsunami of counter-outrage directed at anyone who had the audacity to be mad that MAGA-hat-wearing teenagers would mock a Vietnam-era veteran. The campaign, which laundered Sandmann's statement through the usual sequence of right-wing media outlets, ended as all defenses of bigotry cloaked as even-handed appeals to civility do: with a pronouncement of judgment from the man who made his hat famous.

33) Portraying the MAGA Teens as Victims Is an Extension of Native American Erasure

Nick Estes, The Intercept

BY NOW, MILLIONS around the world have seen the viral video of dozens of Catholic schoolboys sporting “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA, hats tomahawk-chopping and mocking a Native elder, who was drumming and singing at the feet of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Nathan Phillips, the military veteran and water protector from the Omaha Nation, waded into the crowd of high school students, as he tried to defuse a tense situation between the students and a group of black Israelites who were taunting Natives and passers-by with racist and homophobic comments. It was an iconic moment loaded with history. And what should have been a time of soul-searching for a nation founded on Indigenous genocide has instead morphed into an attack on Indigenous people.


Nicholas Hune-Brown, Toronto Life

Shelters are overwhelmed, social housing is a mess, rents are exorbitant. The cost: 100 deaths a year. How a city obsessed with growth and prosperity forgot about its most vulnerable.

35) Toronto abandons its homeless people

Paul Salvatori, NOW Magazine

Maybe Mayor John Tory needs to pay a visit to the encampments of homeless people living under the Gardiner to understand the unnecessary human suffering being caused by the housing crisis in our city.

36) Doug Ford scrapping rate protection for more than 325,000 Ontario hydro customers

Brian Hill and Jamie Mauracher, Global News

Premier Doug Ford’s government is scrapping legislation that aims to regulate the price of electricity for more than 325,000 hydro customers in Ontario.

37) Rebranding solitary confinement doesn’t change what it is

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, The Globe and Mail

There was a time when an unconstitutional government policy was not something lamented then simply rebranded. Once a court found it unconstitutional, the practice just ... ended, especially when politicians had campaigned against it. Not so solitary confinement – an old practice that today’s Parliament loves to hate, hates to love, but just keeps on doing.

38) Pride Toronto members vote no to allowing police to march in annual parade

CBC News

Members of Pride Toronto voted Tuesday night against allowing police to participate in the city's annual parade amid frustrations among many over the organization's recent invitation to police to rejoin the march.

39) Striking LA Teachers Reach Agreement With School District


The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) announced a resolution Tuesday, which ended the first teachers' strike in more than 30 years.

40) Mexico: 40,000 Factory Workers Strike for Better Wages


Demanding an increase in wage and compensation bonus, almost 40,000 factory workers stopped working in around 50 factories in Matamoros, Mexico.

41) Fact-Checking the Jewish National Fund of Canada

 Michelle Weinroth, Socialist Project Bullet 

My parents first met in 1945 on the subway cars of New York city. They were 16 years of age. Like many Zionist youth of the post-war era, they were dedicated to world peace. Emissaries of the Zionist youth movement (Hashomer Hatzair), they gave fiery speeches in support of Jews seeking safe haven in Palestine. The little blue and white tin they passed around the subway riders served to garner countless donations for the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a charitable organization devoted to purchasing and ‘reclaiming’ land in Palestine for Jews – for Jews only, that is.

42) Kshama Sawant Is Running for City Council Again

Rich Smith, The Stranger

On Thursday morning at Saba Ethiopian Cuisine, a restaurant in the Central District she's trying to save from displacement, two-term incumbent Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant announced her re-election campaign. Little hints of a run have been popping up the last few weeks, but now it's really official.

43) Half of Saskatchewan families on verge of bankruptcy

Ronald Quaroni, Laronge Now 

Saskatchewan families are just barely staying financially afloat.

44) Brazil's sole openly gay congressman leaves country after death threats

The Guardian

Brazil’s first and only openly gay congressman has announced that he is leaving his job – and the country – after receiving death threats.

45) Hundreds of nonviolent immigration detainees sent to max-security jails as part of ‘abhorrent’ government program

Brendan Kennedy, The Toronto Star

Canada’s immigration authorities locked up nearly 1,500 nonviolent immigration detainees in maximum-security jails last year, the Star has found.

46) Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Reaffirms Award for Angela Davis

Democracy Now

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute board has voted to reaffirm leading activist and scholar Angela Davis as the recipient of its Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, after previously rescinding the award over her activism for Palestinian rights.

47) Sun Boss Goes To Work For Doug Ford

Johnathan Goldsbie, Canadaland 

In one of the more direct lines from media into politics that this country has seen, James Wallace, vice president of editorial for the Sun papers, announced this morning that he will be leaving Postmedia to take a job in the office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Reports indicate that he will become one of Ford’s deputy chiefs of staff.

48) Alberta Is Playing a Dangerous Game with Pipeline Ad Campaign

Mitchell Anderson, The Tyee

Not merely cynical and inaccurate, the campaign to portray Albertans as victims also risks emboldening a growing number of extremist elements hijacking “yellow vest” protests.

49) She Wanted to Drive, So Saudi Arabia’s Ruler Imprisoned and Tortured Her

Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

Remember this name: Loujain (pronounced Loo-JAYNE) al-Hathloul. She is 29 years old and a courageous advocate for gender equality — so she is in a Saudi Arabian prison, and reportedly our Saudi allies have tortured her, even waterboarded her.

50) Far-right Poles protest government at Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Times of Israel 

A far-right Polish activist gathered with other nationalists outside the former Auschwitz death camp to protest Poland’s government.

51) Why incels are a 'real and present threat' for Canadians

The Fifth Estate · CBC News

A Colorado man named Christopher Cleary took to social media and laid out the plan for an attack that was coming together in his mind.

See also: L.A. Teacher's Strike, Gillette, Doug Ford, Neo-Nazis in Ukraine & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos January 13 - 20

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