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 February 3 - 10.
In addition to a general overview of news and opinion, this week's installment for the third week in a row 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.
There is also a section of photos and articles related to the 1,000,000 person strong Left Front rally in India that, of course, got virtually no mainstream media coverage.
1) What the mainstream media doesn’t tell you about Venezuela
The corporate media is wholeheartedly behind the federal government’s push for regime change in Venezuela. The propaganda is thick and, as per usual, it is as much about what they don’t, as what they do, report. Here are some important developments that have largely been ignored by Canada’s dominant media:
2) The Article Facebook Doesn’t Want You to Share: Venezuela Is Not Alone
The Red Phoenix
The following article from the Cuban newspaper Granma is being censored by Facebook, and is not shareable on the platform with the original link. We present it here.
"Democracy" in Action...the "free press" is welcome as long as it tows the government line:
3) Trump Admin Pressured Spain Gov't to Support US-Backed Coup in Venezuela: Report
“The US diplomat made two demands: for Spain to immediately recognize Guaidó as the legitimate president, and to cut off all dialogue with Maduro,” El Pais reported.
4) Evo Morales Visits Venezuela, Rejects 'Empire's Coup' Against Maduro
Evo arrived in Venezuela from New York where he had participated in the launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages in the United Nations.
5) Twitter Erupts After 2,000 Pro-Venezuelan Accounts Are Deleted
A total of 1,196 social media accounts based in Venezuela have been closed accused of “influencing domestic audiences.”
6) Nepal Communist Party against foreign interference in Venezuela
The Kathmandu Post
The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has said that there should not be any external interference in the internal affairs of any country, expressing its concerns over the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
On 23 January, 2019, Juan Guaidó declared himself President of Venezuela. He was immediately recognized as such by the US. This is a coup, now backed not just by the US, but by Canada and Europe. The US is attempting to destroy the Bolivarian revolution and the gains made for the Venezuelan working class, in order to subject Venezuela to merciless exploitation.
7) Canada: The Empire’s Shadowy Cousin
Fernando Arce, The Media Co-Op
The decision from Global Affairs Canada to recognize an unelected, unconstitutionally self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela came “within minutes” of Juan Guaido’s declaration on Jan. 23, the CBC reports. A mere two weeks after the inauguration of democratically-elected Nicolas Maduro, Guaido, a little-known politician heading Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly declared himself president until another election is held. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a statement shortly thereafter fully supporting Guaido and demanding the ouster of Maduro.
8) Peaceful Pro- and Anti-Government Marches of Similar Size Take Over Caracas
The Real News Network
TRNN Correspondent Dimitri Lascaris reports from the ground in Caracas about Saturday’s pro- and anti-government marches, highlighting their peacefulness and equal size.
9) Regime Change Canadian Style for Venezuela
The Real News Netwrok
The Lima Group met in Ottawa and signed the Ottawa Declaration to oust President Maduro from power in Venezuela. 13 conservative Latin American governments, plus Canada, officially recognized Juan Guaido as the transitional President of Venezuela and accepted Venezuela’s membership to the Lima Group. Yves Engler, Dimitri Lascaris, and Greg Wilpert discuss the outcome.
10) British military presence near Venezuela ‘extremely concerning
Phil Miller, The Morning Star
BRITAIN’S navy and marines are conducting military exercises close to Venezuela, the Morning Star has discovered.
11) The truth on Venezuela is being systematically silenced
The Morning Star
JOURNALISTS are barred from the Lima Group’s press conferences on Venezuela just days after Twitter confirmed it had deleted thousands of social media users’ accounts in the country for attempting to “influence domestic audiences.”
12) NICOLÁS MADURO: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES
Popular Resistance via Facebook
If I know anything, it is about peoples, such as you, I am a man of the people. I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood of Caracas. I forged myself in the heat of popular and union struggles in a Venezuela submerged in exclusion and inequality. I am not a tycoon, I am a worker of reason and heart, today I have the great privilege of presiding over the new Venezuela, rooted in a model of inclusive development and social equality, which was forged by Commander Hugo Chávez since 1998 inspired by the Bolivarian legacy.
13) CUPW Condemns Canada for Supporting US-Backed Coup in Venezuela
CUPW condemns the Government of Canada’s decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, over the elected president Nicolas Maduro.
14) ELN interview: Colombian Marxist guerrillas 'will fight' US troops if they invade Venezuela
Mathew Charles, The Telegraph
A feared hard Left guerrilla group operating in the mountains that border Venezuela and Colombia has vowed to respond to any military intervention by the US to topple Nicolas Maduro.
15) Venezuela says plane from Miami delivered weapons for use by enemies of Maduro
Tim Johnson, McClatchy
Venezuelan authorities say a U.S.-owned air freight company delivered a crate of assault weapons earlier this week to the international airport in Valencia to be used in “terrorist actions” against the embattled government of Nicolás Maduro.
16) Juan Guaidó: The Man Who Would Be President of Venezuela Doesn’t Have a Constitutional Leg to Stand On
Roger Harris, COHA
Donald Trump imagines Juan Guaidó is the rightful president of Venezuela. Mr. Guaidó, a man of impeccable illegitimacy, was exposed by Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal as “a product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers.” Argentinian sociologist Marco Teruggi described Guaidó in the same article as “a character that has been created for this circumstance” of regime change. Here, his constitutional credentials to be interim president of Venezuela are deconstructed.
17) Corporate Canada behind slow motion coup attempt in Venezuela
It’s convenient but incorrect to simply blame the USA for Ottawa’s nefarious role in the slow motion attempted coup currently underway in Venezuela.
18) Bloody Canada: Cheerleading the Lima Group’s Plot to Overthrow the Government of Venezuela
Maria Paez Victor, Counterpunch
Canada has become the cheerleader of the Lima Group, an ad-hoc, self-appointed busybody group formed specifically to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela.
19) ‘Progressive’ Trudeau government attacks Venezuela
John Clarke, Counterfire
With neoliberalism's sights set on Venezuela, John Clarke examines the imperialism of a superficially progressive Canada.
See also: Where Does the NDP Stand on Venezuela?
20) Venezuela's Guaido won't rule out authorizing US intervention
Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting leader Juan Guaido refused to rule out Friday the possibility of authorizing a US intervention to help force President Nicolas Maduro from power and alleviate a humanitarian crisis.
21) US Blockade on Venezuela Has Cost US$350 Billion: Report
The Economic Debates Unit of the Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Center (CELAG) released a report on "the economic consequences of the boycott against Venezuela," on Friday, in which it is proved that the "international financial blockade to Venezuela since 2013 is the main responsible for the economic crisis."
22) ‘It smells dirty’: scandals loom over Bolsonaro after first month in office
Tom Phillips and Anna Jean Kaiser, The Guardian
Far-right Brazilian president plagued by scandal and disaster – not that the bolsonaristas mind.
23) Disaster Capitalism in Brazil: Mining Greed Produces a Horrific Death Toll
Vijay Prashad, Common Dreams
On January 25, 2019, a dam burst in the town of Brumadinho, north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The dam was built by the iron-ore company Vale to store residue after the iron ore had been extracted. Once the dam began to crumble, it did not take long for its 13 million cubic meters of iron waste to sweep down onto the workers and into their town.
24) Newly leaked documents show PC health-care changes 'done deal', NDP says
Chris Glover · CBC News
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath revealed new documents on Monday she says show the province had already signed off on leaked health-care legislation the Progressive Conservatives dismissed as "just a draft" last week.
25) As West Bank Violence Surges, Israel Is Silent on Attacks by Jews
Isabel Kershner, The New York Times
A gang of a dozen or so armed Jewish settlers descended from a hilltop outpost to the Palestinian village below and opened fire, witnesses said. Israeli soldiers arrived, and instead of stopping the settlers, the witnesses said, they either stood by or clashed with the villagers.
26) Liam Neeson’s interview shows that for some, black people are still not fully human
Gary Younge, The Guardian
When an actor admits to looking for a black man to murder, racism is not some historical problem. We are still fair game
Million Person March Against Modi, The Left Front, Kolkata, India:
Ben Cowles, People's World
One million people gathered in Kolkata’s largest public park Sunday pledging to oust Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing BJP party from West Bengal in the upcoming elections.
28) Million-strong ‘People’s Brigade’ in India pledges to oust right wing forces
A huge rally was held in the city of Kolkata, India, with the call of overthrowing the governments of Narendra Modi in the center and Mamata Banerjee in the State of West Bengal.
29) Man nicknamed ‘Dr. No’ because he denied so many refugees, rehired to decide asylum claims
Brian Hill and Andrew Russell, Global News
A former refugee judge who once wrote that most refugees are liars was recently rehired by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to decide asylum claims, Global News has learned.
For more information about "Dr. NO" see this Facebook post by the Toronto Association for Peace and Solidarity: https://www.facebook.com/torontopeace/posts/289762221710444?__tn__=C-R
30) Universal basic income – the fad is over
Ellen Clifford, The Morning Star
The lived experience of disabled people is the final nail in the coffin of the once-trendy concept of univeral basic income.
31) It could soon be a lot easier for landlords to evict tenants in Toronto
Lauren O'Neil, Blog TO
Doug Ford's government has a plan in the works to boost Ontario's painfully limited supply of affordable rental housing units—and it may very well hinge on helping landlords evict their current tenants.
32) New socialist party offers alternative for left-leaning Dems
Jerome M. Segal, The Baltimore Sun
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning primary victory over Congressman Joe Crowley in New York suggested a pronounced shift of the Democratic Party toward Socialism. But progressive voters should consider another model other than the left-leaning Democrat: a new socialist party.
33) Obituary: Remembering Canadian activist David Vasey
Environmental activist and anti-fascist David Vasey passed away on January 27. He was 40 years old.
34) Former NDP MP Paul Dewar dies at 56
Paul Dewar, the former NDP member of Parliament who represented Ottawa in the House of Commons for nearly a decade, has died.
35) Trudeau denies he pressured justice minister to drop prosecution of SNC-Lavalin
Jim Bronskill And Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied a potentially incendiary allegation that his office told former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution.
36) Viktor Orbán has crossed all the red lines. And no one’s stopped him
Dóra Diseri, The Guardian
Despite weeks of protest in Hungary, it’s clear now the PM can rely on support within the EU to shield him from criticism.
37) The ‘Peacekeeper’ Vigilante Website and Freedom of Speech in Ukraine
Halyna Mokrushyna, Counterpunch
The 2013-2014 pro-European Union protest movement in Ukraine known as the ‘Euromaidan’ is officially celebrated in Ukraine and is largely recognized in the West as a pro-democratic, peaceful, popular revolution against the ‘corrupt autocratic regime’ (according to the mainstream Western and Ukrainian media) of president Victor Yanukovych. Ukrainians should now breathe more freely, live better and enjoy the rule of law and freedom of speech. And yet today, under the supposedly democratic, post-Euromaidan government, there is much less freedom in Ukraine and much more political violence.
38) 'We still miss him, still love him': Colten Boushie's family keeps pressing for reforms
Jason Warick, CBC News
Debbie Baptiste is still wearing her grey "Justice for Colten" T-shirt.
39) ‘We’re not bluffing’: Ontario First Nation urges Trudeau, O’Regan to witness housing crisis
Maham Abedi and Andrew Russell, Global News
Cat Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario is facing a housing crisis that’s leaving children sick — and officials are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to see it for himself.
40) Vaccinations jump 500% in antivax hotspot amid measles outbreak
Beth Mole, ars technica
Demand for measles vaccines leapt 500 percent last month in Clark County, Washington—a hotbed for anti-vaccine sentiment that has now become the epicenter of a ferocious measles outbreak.
41) Is Spain’s Left-Wing Party Podemos Cracking Up?
Sebastiaan Faber and Bécquer Seguín, The Nation
Early in the morning on January 17, Pablo Iglesias, the 40-year-old leader of Podemos, Spain’s second-largest party on the left, received an unexpected phone call from his old friend Íñigo Errejón, 35. Iglesias was at home, on parental leave to take care of his infant twins. Errejón called to tell him that he had changed his mind about the upcoming regional elections, which will be held in May and will coincide with municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament.
42) Nehanda Abiodun, 68, Black Revolutionary Who Fled to Cuba, Dies
Daniel E. Slotnik, The New York Times
Nehanda Abiodun, a radical black nationalist who was charged in the deadly botched robbery of a Brink’s armored truck in 1981 and then spent decades as a fugitive in Cuba, a hero to would-be revolutionaries and a criminal to many others, died on Jan. 30 at her home in Havana. She was 68.
Gamer Samantha Schwemm Shows How Others Treat Her Online for Being A Woman
43) After Dissent in Louisiana Abortion Case, Warnings That 'Kavanaugh Has Declared War on Roe v. Wade'
Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
While relieved that the Supreme Court temporarily blocked state's anti-abortion law, NARAL says "it's a sobering reminder that our rights hang by a dangerously thin thread."
44) Sudbury Soldiers of Odin Member Justin Smith is People’s Party of Canada Candidate For Huron-Bruce
We were doing one of our regular check-ins with the Sudbury Soldiers of Odin recently when we noticed that one of the guys has moved on to the realm of slightly more respectable racism. We know Justin Smith from 2017 when, for some reason, after a petition campaign by Sudbury Against Fascism to stop them from volunteering at a local soup kitchen, he took over the leadership of the local chapter from the former president David MacKinnon.
45) Monday Strike For Denver Teachers
After negotiations for better pay, and improved working conditions came to a stalemate Saturday night, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association announced they'd be on-strike beginning Monday.
Members of the official "resistance" join in rousing chants of USA on the floor of the Imperial Congress much to Emperor Trump's great approval during the State of the Empire address:
See also: Venezuela Imperialist Coup Attempt -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos January 27 - February 3