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March 2023

China’s Historical Destiny Is To Stand With The Third World

On 20 March 2023, China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin spent over four hours in private conversation. According to official statements after the meeting, the two leaders talked about the increasing economic and strategic partnership between China and Russia – including building the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline – and the Chinese peace initiative for the war in Ukraine. Putin said that ‘many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with Russian approaches and can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement when the West and Kiev are ready for it’.

Mexico’s AMLO Calls Out US ‘Oligarchy’ At Biden’s ‘Democracy’ Summit

AMLO strongly implied that the United States is an oligarchy, not a real democracy. He argued that the government needs to challenge the power of the economic elites if it truly wants to be democratic. López Obrador opened his speech warning, “Many of the great crimes against humanity have been committed in the name of God or in the name of democracy”. “In some countries, the oligarchy reigns with the façade of democracy”, he said, not so subtly referencing his northern neighbor. “How can we talk about democracy if there is no separation of economic power and political power?” AMLO asked. He added that the system that exists in many countries today is “a mixture of oligarchy and democracy, or a simulated and mediated democracy”.

Saudi Arabia Joins Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

The government of Saudi Arabia decided to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as a dialogue partner on Wednesday, March 29, making it the third Arab country to do so after Egypt and Qatar. The decision to join the SCO was taken in a cabinet meeting headed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA). Saudi Arabia’s dialogue partner status can be converted into full membership of the group in the future. The SCO was established in 2001 with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as members. It is the successor of the Shanghai Five group. Later, India and Pakistan also became full members of the the political and strategic grouping, and Iran is set to join by the end of this year.

Uganda LGBTQ Law Obscures Crimes Committed On Behalf Of The US

The parliament of the Republic of Uganda recently passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 , which makes it a crime to identify as gay. Same sex relationships were already illegal in Uganda, but provisions of the new law include life in prison for same-sex relations and the death penalty for what is referred to as “aggravated homosexuality.” The human rights abuses advocated in this legislation have quite rightly created shock and condemnation around the world. It is true that conservative evangelical groups from the United States encourage anti-LGBTQ policies in Uganda. These relationships should be pointed out in order to explain the Ugandan government’s focus on this issue, but there is another aspect of U.S and Ugandan relations which is largely ignored.

French Streets And American Sofas

You might be Brazilian or Malian or Singaporean, it is remarkable the world over to watch the French explode into the streets of dozens of cities and towns to protest the imperial president residing in Élysée Palace. It is altogether singular to follow the demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron as an American. The French are still citoyens and take to their streets and public squares. Americans long ago cashed in their citizenship to live as consumers—and take to their sofas no matter how abusively political elites treat them, no matter how many wars they start, no matter how corrupt the financial system, no matter how many people live in poverty, no matter how grotesque the “defense” budget, no matter how poisoned the environment, no matter… let me not go on.

Massive Anti-Government Protests Sweep Greece

On Feb. 28, 2023, two trains traveling along the same track collided in Greece, killing 57 people—many of them students in their teens and 20s returning home from university in Athens. The deaths of 11 workers in the crash sparked two 24-hour strikes from the railway unions, followed by demonstrations across the country that have lasted for weeks and mobilized tens of thousands of people. Workers blame the crash on a lack of properly functioning safety and communication systems, as well as severe understaffing and underfunding of the railways—all originating from “Troika” (EU, IMF, and ECB) structural adjustment imposed on Greece in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Human Rights Experts Call For Withdrawal Of Biased UN Report

Alfred de Zayas, former UN Independent Expert on International Order, has joined other human rights specialists in condemning an “expert” report on Nicaragua published on March 2nd as being unprofessional, biased, incomplete and concocted to justify further coercive sanctions that will damage Nicaragua’s economy. Such unilateral coercive measures have been condemned by the General Assembly year after year, most recently in Resolution 77/214 of December 2022 and by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 49/6. The report, by a “group of experts” selected by the UN Human Rights Council, claims that Nicaragua’s government has committed “crimes against humanity.”

Venezuelan Opposition Mismanagement Strikes Blow To Citgo

A US judge ruled Friday that four companies had the right to seize shares of CITGO, the US-based subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), after they convinced the court that it was the "alter ego" of the so-called “interim government” of Venezuela. CITGO, considered Venezuela’s most prized foreign asset, is on the brink of being broken up and seized by creditors pending changes to the sanctions regime imposed by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The potential seizure of shares stem from awards worth billions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in international arbitration courts.

A Four-Day Workweek Trojan Horse

It’s never a bad idea to be suspicious of your boss, especially when they act like they’re doing you a favor. For workers at FrontLine Service, a Cleveland non-profit that serves the unsheltered, distrust of our employer is one of the critical sentiments that binds us. FrontLine workers, members of Service Employees Local 1199, provide crucial services to some of the most marginalized and neglected people in Northeast Ohio. Every day, we assist folks struggling with mental health crises, substance abuse, lack of housing, and other hardships. The work is arduous and the pay is low, but we do what we can to serve the communities in which we live and work.

In Montana, An Avalanche Of Wealth Is Displacing Workers

Archie Martinez goes to bed with stained hands and wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to meet the person he pays to pick him up at the Bozeman homeless shelter. They drive to the shop of a painting company in Belgrade, eight miles away, where Martinez climbs into one of the company vans for the hour-long drive up the mountain to the resort town of Big Sky. As Martinez watches hayfields swim by in the dawn, a billboard blossoms out of the half-light beyond the van windows: ​“Dreaming of Your Own Equestrian Property?” Another advertises ​“Montana Life Real Estate.” The mountain sides along the highway glitter with the plate glass and stained wood of houses that weren’t there a few years ago.

US Auctions Giant Stretch Of Gulf Of Mexico For Oil And Gas Drilling

The U.S. held its first auction of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico in more than a year on Wednesday. The sale — mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — garnered $264 million in offers from oil companies, including BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil. The auction in federal waters came just two weeks following the Biden administration’s approval of the Willow oil drilling project on Alaska’s environmentally sensitive North Slope. Environmental groups — who have challenged the lease sale in federal court — were not pleased with President Joe Biden going back on a campaign promise to stop the extraction of fossil fuels on federal lands.

Repatriation Reform Bill Unanimously Passes IL House Of Representatives

Illinois - For more than 30 years, tribal nations have been asking the state of Illinois and its state-run institutions to return the remains of their ancestors for reburial within the state. For just as long, Illinois has made that nearly impossible. But now, legislation moving through the Illinois General Assembly would finally pave the way for the remains of thousands of Native Americans to be repatriated. The legislation, which unanimously passed the Illinois House of Representatives this month, comes after nearly two years of consultations among the leaders of more than two dozen tribal nations, the Illinois State Museum and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Argentina Celebrates 40 Years Of Democracy And Human Rights

Last week, Argentina celebrated 40 years of democracy and human rights by hosting the Third World Forum of Human Rights (March 20-24) scheduled in tandem with its National Day of Remembrance for Truth & Justice. The Forum closed with a march and rally on March 24 which marked 47 years since the US-backed military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government on March 24, 1976, and installed the bloodiest dictatorship in the history of #Argentina remained in power until 1983.

US Threatened To Invade International Criminal Court

Many countries in the Global South have denounced the International Criminal Court as a neocolonial institution, biased in favor of the West. Its leadership has been dominated by Europeans, and as of 2016, only Africans had been brought to trial at the court. In a rare point of agreement, the United States has also opposed the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its inception. The US is not a member of the ICC, and Washington has even imposed sanctions on its top officials and threatened to arrest judges and prosecutors. In fact, when the court first opened in the Netherlands in 2002, the United States passed a law known as the “Hague Invasion Act.”

Peru: Rosalino Flores’s Death And Comuneros Win Land Struggle

Perú continues to face crises upon crises over 100 days since the coup regime ousted democratically elected President Pedro Castillo. The masses have remained mobilized in the streets and delegations from various regions throughout the country continue coming to the capital city to overturn this dictatorship, as well as to reinforce their local struggles and blockades. Despite a long battle in the hospital, a young person lost his life at the  hands of this regime. This past Friday also marked the victory of an indigenous campesino community in Cusco from being evicted from their ancestral lands.
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