The U.S. relationship with Ukrainian fascists began after the Second World War. During the war, units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) took part in the Holocaust, killing at least 100,000 Jews and Poles. Mykola Lebed, a top aide to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the fascist OUN-B, was recruited by the C.I.A. after the war, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. National Archives. The government study said, “Bandera’s wing (OUN/B) was a militant fascist organization.” Bandera’s closest deputy, Yaroslav Stetsko, said: ““I…fully appreciate the undeniably harmful and hostile role of the Jews, who are helping Moscow to enslave Ukraine…. I therefore support the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine….”
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister likened the US-backed parliamentary coup that removed him from power in April 2022 to the violent CIA operation that overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. The CIA-organized coup “was a very similar pattern followed in when my government was dismissed,” Khan said. He likewise praised Iran’s independence today, stating that Western sanctions means that “the people of Iran might have suffered, but they haven’t lost their dignity.” Khan added that, while Pakistan and Iran may have some differences, “you cannot disagree with them standing for their sovereignty. So I admire that about them.”
After two years of Joe Biden’s presidency, four times as many undocumented migrants are trying to cross the border into the United States, and he’s getting desperate to explain away the increase. In September, the administration discovered a new narrative: that migrants are fleeing “communism.” The White House ignores that fact that in the fiscal year just ended, migrants coming from the three countries he labels “communist” formed less than a third of the total: of the 2.7 million people “encountered” at the border, only a fifth came from Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela. Half of all migrants still come from the four countries closest to Texas: Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. If Biden blames migration on “repression” he has an excuse for renewed attacks on governments his administration demonises.
Caracas - The three largest Venezuelan opposition groups voted to eliminate the so-called “interim government.” On Thursday, Democratic Action (AD), Justice First (PJ) and A New Era (UNT) followed through on their pledge to put an end to the bureaucratic apparatus led by self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaidó. The decision was taken during a virtual session of the defunct, opposition-controlled National Assembly (AN) elected in December 2015. Though its term ended in January 2021, the main anti-government parties boycotted the December 2020 legislative elections and instead kept a largely ceremonial parallel parliament by unilaterally extending its mandate on a yearly basis. Via a Zoom call, a project to reform the so-called “Transition Statute” garnered 72 votes in favor, 29 against and 8 abstentions.
The State Department on Wednesday approved a potential $180 million arms sale for Taiwan amid heightened tensions with China over US support for the island. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the deal was for vehicle-launched Volcano anti-tank munition-laying systems and related equipment. The primary contractors for the deal are Northrop Grumman and Oshkosh Corporation. The State Department’s approval notifies Congress of the potential deal and begins a period during which lawmakers could attempt to block the sale. But the sale shouldn’t have any issues as there is virtually no opposition to arming Taiwan in Congress. The potential sale comes after President Biden signed the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes $10 billion in loans for Taiwan to buy US-made arms that will be disbursed over five years.
All in all, 2022 was a banner year for organized labor. Thousands of workers in a wide variety of industries unionized; they pushed back against union-busting campaigns from oligarchs and corporate hit men; they went on strike and protested unfair treatment, from California to Alabama and everywhere in between. Public support for unions shot up to 71 percent, and the worryingly under-resourced National Labor Relations Board was inundated with more union election petitions than it could handle. Members of Gen Z, the youngest generation of workers, are even more pro-union than their millennial parents, and they aren’t shy about speaking up. All of that combined momentum isn’t slowing, either. The coming year is already poised to be another big moment for the working class.
Even as 2022 is drawing to a close, the strike wave that swept the UK this year, with hundreds of thousands of workers in the public and private sector downing tools to fight for better conditions, is showing no signs of slowing down. On Saturday, December 31, over 1,000 members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) who are working on contract as cleaners in the railways are set to walkout in the first national strike of its kind. Workers at private companies including Atalian Servest, Churchill, and Mitie are fighting for a £15 ($18.04) per hour wage, company sick pay, good pensions, and “decent holidays.” They will join ISS cleaners on Docklands Light Railway (DLR), who will enter their second day on strike on Saturday over issues including over pay, working conditions, and imposed rosters.
The Legalization for All Network condemns the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on December 27 to force the government to keep the terrible Trump-era ‘Title 42’ policy in place that closed the US-México border to asylum-seekers. Trump invoked Title 42 more than two years ago, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to close the border to asylum-seekers attempting to present themselves at the US-México border to request asylum. It is a right under international law to request asylum and have that request considered. That has not happened at the US-México border since Title 42 was imposed. Trump’s implementation of Title 42 at the US-México border has unjustly and indefinitely trapped desperate people in makeshift camps, parks and shelters on the México side of the border.
2022 started off with a bang, as January saw the publication of news of Elbit’s permanent closure of their Oldham factory. The victory came after an 18 month direct action battle waged against Elbit’s Ferranti factory in Oldham, which saw 36 arrests and millions of pounds of cumulative damage caused. Despite round-the-clock police patrols and massively heightened security, the efforts of Israel’s largest arms firm to protect their beloved weapons factory failed. The win embodied the power of direct action and community mobilisation – a major validation of Palestine Action’s strategy. Next up, we took aim at their remaining sites. With momentum ripe following our first long-term victory, people across the country geared up to tear down Elbit factories and premises.
From ‘hood to ‘hood and city to city, we stand the most to gain in uniting, as an oppressed community capable of liberating ourselves from our collective social conditions! Over half a million people are experiencing homelessness here in the US, 580,466, as of January 2020. However, more than 16 million housing units in the United States are vacant. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the same social contradiction exists, where over 800 people are documented as homeless. According to the Pittsburgh Quarterly, however: The city of Pittsburgh has nearly 24,000 vacant properties, including 7,500 vacant houses and buildings, according to a market analysis by the Center for Community Progress, a national land-recycling nonprofit. About 22 percent of the vacant houses and buildings are owned by the city. Pittsburgh ghettos like Homewood, Hazelwood and the ‘Hill are socially situated much like Woodlawn, Englewood and Lawndale, here in Chicago. Vacant lots can be seen, not primarily downtown which is a lucrative tourist attraction; but outcasted from the world of the privileged.
On December 20, in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida, Judge Robert N. Scola heard oral arguments on Alex Saab’s motion to dismiss the case against him. The factual issue for the Court to decide was “whether Mr. Saab was a special envoy from Venezuela to Iran traveling on a mission when he was detained in Cape Verde and extradited to the U.S. and, therefore, entitled to diplomatic immunity.” Dan was present for the hearing and will discuss, in detail, the hearing results. WTF has been following The Case of Alex Saab since his detainment on Cape Verde 12 June 2020. Today is our third update.
The Hope Of A Pan-African-Owned And Controlled Electric Car Project Is Buried For Generations To Come
The United States government held the US-Africa Leaders Summit in mid-December, prompted in large part by its fears about Chinese and Russian influence on the African continent. Rather than routine diplomacy, Washington’s approach in the summit was guided by its broader New Cold War agenda, in which a growing focus of the US has been to disrupt relations that African nations hold with China and Russia. This hawkish stance is driven by US military planners, who view Africa as ‘NATO’s southern flank’ and consider China and Russia to be ‘near-peer threats’. At the summit, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin charged China and Russia with ‘destabilising’ Africa. Austin provided little evidence to support his accusations, apart from pointing to China’s substantial investments, trade, and infrastructure projects with many countries on the continent and maligning the presence in a handful of countries of several hundred mercenaries from the Russian private security firm, the Wagner Group.
NewsGuard, the media rating agency, alleges that Consortium News has published “false content” by reporting that there was a U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014 and that ne0-Nazis have significant influence in the country. NewsGuard took issue with a: “February 2022 article ‘Ukraine: Guides to Reflection,’ [which] asserted, ‘Hence, the inflation of Russian behavior in Ukraine (where Washington organized a coup against a democratically elected government because we disliked its political complexion) … .’ It then wrote: “The U.S. supported the Maidan revolution that ousted then-Ukraine President Viktor Yanikovych (sic) in 2014 — including a December 2013 visit by John McCain to Kyiv in support of protesters — but there is no evidence that the U.S. ‘organized’ a ‘coup.’ Instead, it has the markings of a popular uprising, precipitated by widely covered protests against Yanukovych’s decision to suspend preparations for the signing of an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union.”
It is easy and appropriate to target the private health insurance companies who earn excessive profits from the Medicare Trust Fund through Medicare Advantage plans, especially given the well-documented evidence of overcharging and fraud. But it is essential that we remember that it has been the U.S. Congress and the Executive Office that promoted the privatization of Medicare, to varying degrees, since it was first signed into law by President Johnson in 1965 and enacted the following year. In 2017 The Commonwealth Fund published “The Evolution of Private Plans in Medicare,” which detailed the increasing role in healthcare granted to private companies since 1966 through Acts of Congress and the Office of the President.
Argentine Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, in her first public appearance after her conviction earlier this month, spoke at the inauguration of the Diego Armando Maradona multi-sport gymnasium in the municipality of Avellaneda, a suburb of Buenos Aires, on Tuesday, December 27. Speaking alongside her main allies within the ruling coalition, the Frente de Todos (Front of All, FdT), Kirchner criticized the press, the economic elite, and the Argentine judiciary for promoting a “parallel state.” Kirchner was sentenced to six years in prison and barred from contesting for life on December 6. The so-called ‘Causa Vialidad’ case against her and 12 others is considered to be another case of political-judicial persecution against progressive leaders in Latin America.