Sunday, May 5, 2019

Imperialist Coup Fails in Venezuela, Israeli Attacks, Climate Change & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos April 28 - May 5

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 April 28 - May 5.

This installment, in addition to general links, has sections related to the failed imperialist coup attempt in Venezuela, the stepping up of sanctions on Cuba, May Day, developments in Israel, the cutbacks in Ontario and climate change.

1) Venezuela’s Guaidó Falsely Claims Military Uprising in Progress: Mainstream Media Falls in Line

The Real News

Tuesday morning self-declared president and opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on the military and the population to oppose the Maduro government. Only a few thousand civilians and very few soldiers heeded the call. Mike Fox reports from Caracas

2) Once Again, Mainstream Media Get It Wrong on Venezuela

Michael Fox, The Nation

Foreign outlets, dutifully supporting Trump administration calls for regime change, reported that a widespread uprising was underway, even though Juan Guaidó’s coup attempt had little support.

3) Thousands take to the streets in Venezuela's capital in opposition to Guaido's coup attempt

Steve Sweeney, The Morning Star

Pro-government supporters march through Caracas today against Guaido's US-backed coup

4) US threatens Venezuela with possible invasion after Guaido's failed coup

Steve Sweeney, The Morning Star

Chavista workers' day march to Miraflores Palace in Caracas today

5) US Publicly Admits Support for Coup Attempt in Venezuela


One of the first to ratify support for the coup was U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, tweeting 30 messages expressing his desire to see President Maduro deposed.

Only Chrystia Freeland could possibly go on about respecting "peaceful" protests when the day literally started with imperialist stooge Guaido arriving at a military base surrounded by heavily armed men calling for a coup against the country's legitimate government.

What a farce.

"We strongly condemn the attempted coup d’état under way in Venezuela. Cuba offers firm support and loyalty to Nicolás Maduro, the constitutional president of our sister nation and to his chavista and Bolivarian government. Let there be an end to the assaults on peace in Latin America." - Bruno Rodríguez, Foreign Minister of Cuba

6) Trump threatens Cuban embargo over Venezuela aid

Rafael Bernal, The Hill

President Trump tweeted Tuesday he would impose "a full and complete embargo" on Cuba if the island doesn't withdraw its security aid from Venezuela.

7) Change of tack? EU quieter on latest failed Venezuela coup attempt as Guaido’s influence wanes

RT News

When the US announced support for Venezuela’s self-declared ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido in January, European leaders heartily backed the move — but three months later, after a second failed coup attempt, they are suddenly shy.

8) Blackwater Founder Lobbying for Mercenaries in Venezuela to Oust Maduro: Report


Founder of the private security firm Blackwater wants to send hired mercenaries to Venezuela and topple the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro.

9) Caracas Court Orders Arrest of Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez


The Fifth Court of the Criminal Judicial District of ​​Caracas has ordered the arrest of Venezuelan opposition activist Leopoldo Lopez for violating his 13-year house arrest sentence while he tried to lead a coup of the Venezuelan government under Nicolas Maduro April 30.

10) Ambush on Venezuelan Military Commission Leaves 3 Dead


An attack on military commission left three troops dead in Venezuela. An unrecognized group of heavily armed people ambushed a mixed military commission early this Saturday morning.

Related: Venezuela resists another imperialist coup attempt -- An overview of the day's dramatic events

11) Joe Biden and Democratic Establishment Support Trump’s Coup Attempt in Venezuela


The thin line between the Democratic establishment and the Republicans was once again crossed today, as many highly influential Demoracts showed their public support for the illegal Trump-backed coup attempt in Venezuela, following close to their political rivals remarks.

12) AOC Says She Follows Democratic Leadership on Issue of US Intervention in Venezuela


U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, said Wednesday she would follow the Democratic Party’s leadership in regards to Venezuela, declining to answer a question on whether she sees President Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate President of the Bolivarian Republic.

13) Ilhan Omar Speaks Out Against U.S. Sanctions & Bipartisan Support for Regime Change in Venezuela

Democracy Now

Amid an ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela, we speak with Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who questioned U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams on Capitol Hill in February about his record. Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was linked to the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela that tried to topple Hugo Chávez. In the 1980s, Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Rep. Ilhan Omar says that there is a direct correlation between this type of detrimental U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and “the kind of mass migration that we’re noticing right now from Central America and South America to the U.S.”

14) Venezuelan economist: ‘Hyperinflation is a powerful imperialist weapon’

Federico Fuentes & Pascualina Curcio, Green Left Weekly

Much is made in the media of Venezuela’s deep economic crisis. But why does Venezuela have the world’s highest inflation rate and what impacts have the sanctions really had on the country? Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes spoke to Venezuelan economist Pascualina Curcio, from the Simón Bolívar University, to find out more.

15) US sanctions have killed more than 40,000 people in Venezuela

Susan Price, Green Left Weekly

US sanctions imposed on Venezuela in 2017 contributed to the deaths of more than 40,000 people last year, according to a new report — and this figure is set to rise due to the latest round of sanctions.

16) The New Zealand women challenging the neoliberal narrative of ‘empowerment’ in prostitution

The Morning Star 

JO BARTOSCH talks to two activists who are facing a major battle in taking on the sex industry – against the grain of both their government and mainstream opposition movements.

17) San Diego Synagogue Shooter Inspired by New Zealand Shooter


The suspect was identified as John Earnest, 19,  the apparent author of a "manifesto" who claimed to have set a nearby mosque on fire last month.

18) Bathroom breaks banned for factory workers, reveals damning fashion industry report

SBS Dateline 

In a detailed report released today titled “‘Paying for a Bus Ticket and Expecting to Fly’: How Apparel Brand Purchasing Practices Drive Labor Abuses,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) has identified abusive cost-saving measures by major garment and footwear factories that harm disadvantaged factory workers.

19) The Values of April: 45 years since Portugal overthrew fascism

Diana Ferreira, People's World 

April 25, 2019, marks the 45th anniversary since the April Revolution in Portugal—a mass democratic uprising which overthrew the fascist dictatorship that had ruled the country for nearly five decades. What started as a coup by anti-fascist army officers quickly morphed into a revolt of the whole Portuguese people. As she walked the streets of Lisbon that day, restaurant worker Celeste Caeiro started placing red carnations into the barrels of soldiers’ rifles and tanks, giving the 25th of April its other name—the Carnation Revolution. Below is an excerpted speech delivered today in the Assembly of the Republic, the country’s parliament, by Portuguese Communist Party member Diana Ferreira.

20) The bottom 75% of Canadian income earners can't afford an apartment

Jessy Baines, Yahoo Finance

If you’re hoping to buy a home in one of Canada’s biggest cities, you’re probably out of luck unless you’re making really big bucks.

21) Over 100 households still homeless after Grenfell fire, local MP warns

Phil Miller, The Morning Star

Labour's Emma Dent Coad tells the Star of the trauma inflicted on the community.

22) Senate committee says Lynn Beyak should be suspended over racist letters

John Paul Tasker · CBC News

Committee drops the boom after Beyak refused to remove letters describing Indigenous Canadians in racist terms.

23) Sanders suggests Disney should use 'Avengers' profits to 'pay all of its workers a middle class wage'

Zack Budryk, The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday called on Disney to use profits from its "Avengers: Endgame" record-breaking opening weekend to pay all employees "a middle class wage."

24) About 13m US children are living below the poverty line, rights group reveals

Chris McGreal, The Guardian 

A leading children’s rights group has called for a doubling of the federal minimum wage and wider access to housing subsidies to end the “moral travesty” of millions of children living in poverty while the wealthiest Americans get tax cuts.

25) Angela Davis & Barbara Ransby: We Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Courageous, Bold Black Woman

Democracy Now

Two of the founders of Black Lives Matter, as well as professor Angela Davis and scores of other black women, are holding a rally today on Capitol Hill to defend Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and to urge Congress to censure President Trump for his attacks on her. Omar made history earlier this year when she and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the first Muslim women in Congress. She is also the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. Omar, who was born in Somalia and came to the United States as a refugee, has been at the center of numerous right-wing attacks since taking office. Omar recently said death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. We speak to the academic and activist Angela Davis, as well as Barbara Ransby, historian, author, activist adviser to the Movement for Black Lives and one of the planners behind Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar.

26) 'Hands off Ilhan': Black Women in Solidarity with Ilhan Omar


Dozens of women from the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of African-American advocates, gathered Tuesday in support of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar who has been a target of hate-speech and trolling by right-wing politicians and their supporters.

27) Labour leaders make the case to nationalize General Motors at Oshawa event

 Reka Szekely, Oshawa This Week

If GM won't commit to maintaining jobs in Oshawa, it's time to nationalize the company, said labour leaders at an Oshawa event April 25.

28) Women are disappearing and dying in Indian country. We must act

Debra Anne Haaland, The Guardian 

The epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women has long been overlooked. That’s why I’m fighting for them in Congress.

29) Far-right yellow vest extremists threaten Saskatchewan's economy

Andrew Stevens, Regina Leader-Post 

For the first time in generations, international migration has helped to fuel Saskatchewan’s population growth. “Suddenly,” wrote Saskatchewan-based columnist Tammy Robert in Maclean’s in 2017, “Saskatchewan was the place to be — not the place to be from.” Starting in 2007, for almost a decade, a prolonged resource-led boom drew domestic and international migrants, reshaping the demographics of the province’s urban centres and rural hinterlands.

30) Turkey’s communist mayor embraces humility, transparency


Turkey’s only communist party mayor is stressing openness and humility in an effort to remake the small city he oversees in Turkey’s southeast, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

31) Turkey’s only Communist party mayor wins fans

Middle East Monitor 

On his election, Fatih Macoglu's first move as mayor of his Turkish city was to knock down the walls around his office as a symbol of his transparency.

32) May Day flashbacks: Memories of a Communist and working-class leader

Gus Hall, People's World 

This collection of May Day memories from former Communist Party USA General Secretary Gus Hall (1910-2000) is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in the Daily World newspaper on April 30, 1977. Hall shares flashbacks to some May Days in his own life—in his neighborhood, with his family, in prison during the Cold War, and more.

33) French Yellow Vests Rally in May Day Protests Amid Teargas


French police fired tear gas to push back masked demonstrators in central Paris Wednesday as thousands of people used an annual May Day rally to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's policies.

34) Cuba Celebrates Labor Day with 'Unity, Commitment and Victory'


Tens of thousands of people are march in Cuba to celebrate Labor Day under the leadership of President Miguel Diaz-Canel and the Communist Party First Secretary Raul Castro. "Unity, commitment and victory" is written across a huge banner in front of the Revolution Square in Havana.

35) Bolsonaro To Defund Philosophy, Sociology to Tackle 'Leftist Takeover' of Education


Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro said his minister of education is considering defunding philosophy and sociology programs from universities.

36) Call for students to film ‘biased’ teachers brings Brazil’s culture wars to classroom

Anna Jean Kaiser, The Guardian 

Jair Bolsonaro has encouraged school students to film teachers during class if they suspect them of pushing leftist ideas, reigniting a battle in one of the most contested arenas of Brazil’s raging culture wars.

37) Canada is ‘complicit’ in Saudi mass execution, say relatives of victims

Middle East Monitor 

Relatives of 37 Saudis executed last week on alleged “terror” offences have accused the Canadian government of being complicit in the brutal killing in which some of the bodies were nailed to a post in a public location for several hours in a “crucifixion” position.

38) 'It's because we were union members': Boeing fires workers who organized

Michael Sainato, The Guardian 

Richard Mester worked for Boeing in South Carolina as a flight safety inspector for five years before being suddenly fired – along with two other employees – in November 2018 for allegedly failing to report a bird strike. However, the bad news also came shortly after the company was told Mester had been elected a union steward.

39) Amsterdam to ban petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030

Daniel Boffey, The Guardian 

Cars and motorbikes running on petrol or diesel will be banned from driving in Amsterdam from 2030.

40) Walruses Are Jumping Off Cliffs to Their Deaths—Yes, Because of Climate Change

Shaye Wolf, Common Dreams 

The new Netflix series “Our Planet” documents the devastation wrought by humans on animals and their habitats. It’s heartbreaking. In fact, some scenes are so wrenching that Netflix last week tweeted a list of time stamps for scenes that “animal lovers may want to skip.”

41) One million species risk extinction due to humans: draft UN report

Marlow Hodd, AFP

Up to one million species face extinction due to human influence, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP that painstakingly catalogues how humanity has undermined the natural resources upon which its very survival depends.

42) Permafrost is thawing in the Arctic so fast that scientists are losing their equipment

The Canadian Press

Permafrost in some areas of the Canadian Arctic is thawing so fast that it's gulping up the equipment left there to study it.

43) Vancouver climate strike organizer Rebecca Hamilton says students are coming together to fight for their lives

Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight 

This afternoon, Vancouver witnessed its fourth walkout by secondary students who are exasperated by adults' indifference to the planet's future.

44) Spanish General Election 2019

Iván Orosa Paleo, Socialist Project Bullet 

On April 28, a general election, for the National Congress and the Senate, was held in Spain after Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called new elections. Sánchez is the leader of the social-liberal, pro-European Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSO), in power since June 2018, when he led a successful motion of confidence against the government of Mariano Rajoy’s centre-right, conservative Partido Popular (PP).

45) Pentagon Accused of Killing 10x as Many Civilians Overseas as Acknowledged in New Report

Democracy Now

The Pentagon is facing accusations that it is drastically underestimating the number of civilians being killed in U.S. airstrikes overseas. On Thursday, the Pentagon released a report saying the U.S. had killed 120 civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia last year. However, the watchdog monitoring group Airwars says the total is at least 10 times higher. In Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon admitted to killing 42 people, but Airwars put the civilian death toll from attacks by the U.S.-led coalition at over 800.

46) Exxon Uses Rockefeller Holding to Sue Cuba Under Helms-Burton


U.S. oil and gas company, Exxon Mobil Corp., has filed a federal suit against two Cuban companies after the waiver on Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act was officially lifted by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 2. 

47) ‘Contrary to intl law’: Mogherini slams US ‘full activation’ of Cuba embargo law, vows counter steps

RT News

Full implementation of US embargo law on Cuba is illegal under international law, the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said as she promised retaliatory measures amidst yet another row between Brussels and Washington.

48) TDSB scrambles to deal with budget shortfall expected to be 'closer' to $54M

CBC News 

The Toronto District School Board will have to make some difficult decisions as it scrambles to deal with a budget shortfall that it predicts will be about $54 million for the 2019-2020 school year, says board chair Robin Pilkey.

49) Progressive Conservatives claw back $3.5 million in child-care funding in Hamilton

 Matthew Van Dongen , The Hamilton Spectator

The Progressive Conservative government is cutting $3.5 million out of the city budget that subsidizes tens of thousands of affordable child-care spaces across Hamilton.

50) Ontario government cancels $50M fund that helped child care centres not pass on costs to parents

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

 Ontario has ended a $50 million fund that helped child care centres cover increasing labour costs without passing them on to parents.

Related: 2,000 teaching casualties so far in Ford's war on education and kids

51) New House Bill Would Bar Israel From Using U.S. Military Aid to Detain Palestinian Children

Robert Mackey, The Intercept 

NEW LEGISLATION PROPOSED by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, would ban Israel from using any of the billions of dollars in military assistance it receives from the United States every year to pay for the detention, interrogation, or torture of Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank.

52) Israel killed 102 Palestinian journalists since 1972

Palestinian Information Center 

The Palestinian Journalists Union in the West Bank on Tuesday said that the Israeli occupation forces have killed 102 Palestinian journalists since 1972.

53) It’s time to stop talking about the Occupation, we need to talk about the Israeli Military Dictatorship instead

Yossi Gurvitz, Mondoweiss

I am beginning to think one of the reasons the Israeli occupation has endured for so long is that we insist on speaking of it as an occupation. Let’s stop doing that.

54) Embracing racism, rabbis at pre-army yeshiva laud Hitler, urge enslaving Arabs

Tamar Pileggi, The Times of Israel 

Two rabbis at a pre-military religious academy in a West Bank settlement were recorded making derogatory and racist comments about Arabs, defending Adolf Hitler’s worldview, and openly promoting Jewish supremacy.

55) Soldiers Have to Shoot at Palestinians. It's Israel's Way to Keep Them in Check

Amira Hass, Haaretz 

Israel admits it: The military is in the West Bank to protect settlements. The notion that we want peace is old fake news.

56) International Community Condemns ‘Israeli Terrorism’ in Gaza as Death Toll Reaches 18


The ongoing Israeli airstrikes on besieged Gaza strip killed 18 people so far including a pregnant woman, a 15-month-old child, and a Hamas commander even though the Israeli military said it has hit hundreds of targets in Gaza "belonging to Palestinian militant groups."

See also: Reckless Ontario Cuts, Creeping Towards a Biden Disaster, the NDP and more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos April 21 - 28

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