The ongoing plunder of Africa’s natural resources drained by capital flight is holding it back yet again. More African nations face protracted recessions amid mounting debt distress, rubbing salt into deep wounds from the past. With much less foreign exchange, tax revenue, and policy space to face external shocks, many African governments believe they have little choice but to spend less, or borrow more in foreign currencies Most Africans are struggling to cope with food and energy crises, inflation, higher interest rates, adverse climate events, less health and social provisioning. Unrest is mounting due to deteriorating conditions despite some commodity price increases.
The moment that Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was ousted by his own former military colleague, Captain Ibrahim Traore, pro-coup crowds filled the streets. Some burned French flags, others carried Russian flags. This scene alone represents the current tussle underway throughout the African continent. A few years ago, the discussion regarding the geopolitical shifts in Africa was not exactly concerned with France and Russia per se. It focused mostly on China’s growing economic role and political partnerships on the African continent. For example, Beijing’s decision to establish its first overseas military base in Djibouti in 2017 signaled China’s major geopolitical move, by translating its economic influence in the region to political influence, backed by military presence.
A new wave of protests broke out in Haiti on October 10 after acting President Ariel Henry called for foreign military intervention. Hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti have been protesting against the government for several weeks because of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. One of their demands is the resignation of the unelected president. Activist and journalist Jackson Jean spoke to Peoples Dispatch about the current situation in the country and the history of crises caused by foreign military interventions.
Nicaragua’s Sandinista government used its platform at the United Nations General Assembly to call for a global rebellion against the “imperialist and capitalist system” that is “bleeding the world dry.” “It is time to say enough to the hypocritical imperialism that politicizes, falsifies, and denigrates human rights, that they themselves violate and deny every day,” declared Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. “Imperialism and its coercive actions are anti-life, in all spheres, and because of this, they are contrary to international law,” he added. In his September 26 UN speech, Moncada proclaimed, “A better, just, multipolar world” is “already being built, and we are here to keep creating it, and to defend it.”
Latin Americans Reject Resource Plundering By Same NATO Countries Fueling Military Conflict In Ukraine
On August 6 we celebrated 197 years of independence here in Bolivia. We listened intently to the speech by President Luis Arce delivered in Sucre, the capital city in Bolivia’s Chiquisaca department. Among other issues, he spoke about the current military conflict in Ukraine and the need for peace in today’s world. President Arce said there cannot be peace in the world so long as there is continued foreign military intervention and economic blockades and sanctions, so very painful to humanity. He went on to say that Bolivians are placing much attention on the conflict taking place in Ukraine. He cautioned against the propaganda being generated in Western countries about all of the harm and violence that people are suffering as a consequence of this conflict.
Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that the US is trying to start a war with China over Taiwan. He also explained how imperialism is rooted in capitalism and detailed its economic exploitation of the Global South. It’s quite obvious that when the Eastern bloc was still there, it was a bustle between capitalism and communism. Once communism was defeated, then capitalism could expand and show its true self. It’s no longer constrained by the need to be nice, so that people will choose their so-called free-market system as opposed to the centrally planned system. So because of that, nowadays there is nothing to restrain capital, and capital is demanding that it should be able to go anywhere and do whatever it likes.
United States President Joe Biden announced during July that he would host a summit with African leaders at the White House in December. This announcement by Biden comes in the aftermath of several important political developments which have exposed the ineffective foreign policy orientation of the world’s leading capitalist country. Within the United Nations, many African states abstained from two resolutions which condemned the Russian Federation during the early phase of Moscow’s special military operation in neighboring Ukraine. In addition, most African governments have not made pronouncements in favor of the war program of the U.S. Compounding these complicated relationships is the reliance by several AU states on Russian and Ukrainian agricultural products and inputs.
There has been a deteriorating situation within various African states related to the impact of drought and the consequent lack of food for hundreds of millions of people. These events on the continent cannot be analyzed separately from the broader international economic and security crises which has impacted the ability of the existing global markets to provide adequate food to the peoples of the world. The acute shortages of food in various regions across Africa have not yet reached the officially designated category of a famine. However, if food assistance is not provided soon, estimates from the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) suggest that tens of millions of people will be on the verge of starvation. WFP officials indicate that their efforts to address the current crisis, particularly in East Africa, would require an additional $192 million to provide the necessary food to prevent hunger.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) recently met in Madrid, Spain where they launched their new strategy to go global, extending what Chris Hedges calls "the most dangerous military alliance on the planet" into Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Clearing the FOG speaks with Joe Lombardo and Pippa Bartolotti of the United National Antiwar Coalition, who were in Madrid for the anti-NATO protests and counter summit, about NATO's plans and the growing global resistance to it. Pippa explains that NATO is openly siding with the fossil fuel corporations to defend their interests even as the climate crisis accelerates. NATO is a tool of western imperialism. Our hopes for a livable future depend upon stopping NATO.
Last night some man with a self build gun killed the former prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Adhering to family tradition Shinzo Abe has been an Japanese imperialist. As Peter Lee wrote about him back in 2013: Myth: Shinzo Abe is a leading member of the team of world and Asian democracies standing up to China in the name of universal values like “freedom of navigation” and to help ensure the shared peace and prosperity of Asia. Reality: Shinzo Abe is a revisionist nationalist using friction with China to pursue Japanese national interests, put Japan on the right side of a zero-sum economic equation opposite the PRC, maximize Japan’s independence of action as a regional hegemon, hopefully peacefully, but if not...
In a giant overcorrection from the anti-consumerism era of No Logo and Adbusters, much of the “climate left” in the Global North now tends to dismiss any critique of resource-intensive consumption—driving and flying, factory farmed meat, smartphones—as reactionary, if not even “Thatcherite” or “Malthusian.” Focusing on consumption, the argument goes, distracts from immense capitalist power and profits, blaming the increasingly immiserated working class for conditions that we have no control over. This conclusion has been widely memeified: think of “no ethical consumption under capitalism,” the “Mister Gotcha” comic, or the (misleading) claim that a mere 100 corporations are “responsible” for 71 percent of emissions.
If anyone is curious about what the US, Canada and their European Union allies want for the region, one has only to look at Haiti. There, the Western model of democracy and freedom, of free market neoliberalism, of United Nations and OAS run elections, of wholesale NGO managerial interventions, have had a free rein for almost twenty years. The horrific results are self-evident: economic impoverishment, political instability, extreme inequality, appalling public health outcomes, chronic citizen insecurity and similar outcomes in terms of practically any other social and economic indicator. If they were to get the chance, those levels of immiseration and exploitation are what the US and its allies have in mind for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Most western accounts claim that on the midnight of June 3, 1989, the People’s Liberation Army moved with full force to Tiananmen square where students were peacefully protesting for democracy and against the authoritarian regime in China. The students were supposedly inspired by the democracies in the west and were heroes standing up to the illiberal communist rule. According to this narrative, the communist leadership under Deng Xiaoping ordered the army to open fire, killing hundreds or thousands of unarmed students at the square. Thus, the Chinese communist party leadership was responsible for the killing and oppression of democratic spirit. Also, in subsequent decades, the Chinese government maintained tight control and hid its own brutality from generations.
I saw with my own eyes the celebration of worker solidarity and the indefatigable defense of the Cuban Revolution as waves of workers walked with signs and costumes and Cuban flags past the iconic images of Ernesto “Che” Guevara on the Ministry of the Interior building with the words he may be most famous for accompanying his image, “Hasta La Victoria Siempre,” or “Always onwards onto victory,” and another of Camilo Cienfuegos on the adjacent Telecommunications Building with the words “Vas Bien, Fidel,” or “You are doing well, Fidel,” underneath the image. Any picture or video captured of the May Day 2022 parade would reflect an unabated stream of masses of people holding banners, waving flags or scarves, and dancing to a vibrant live band between the billboards on one building at the entrance to the Plaza that read “Cuba vive y trabaja (Cuba lives and works)” and the imposing 109-meter tall José Marti memorial that overlooks the plaza.