July 26, 2023 marks 70 years since the attack on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks in eastern Cuba. The attack on Moncada is of fundamental importance in the history of Cuba. This is not only because of the military importance of the fortress — the second biggest after Columbia in Havana — but also because of the bloody repression carried out by the tyrannical regime, which took dozens of valuable lives from a generation that with its blood would change the destiny of the island. As a small tribute, it would be fitting to recall why the attack on Moncada was a turning point for the country.
I left Cuba with more clarity — of the real situation on the ground, of the wants and needs of some Black Cubans and their communities, of the dire economic situation caused by the blockade, AND of the idiocy of most political discussions in the US. I left there with a renewed and advanced appreciation for the revolutionary process that the Cuban people have undertaken and for their resilience in the face of monstrous odds. I came home with an understanding that politics must be in command of all that we do to advance and develop our communities. A politics of values, with a clear empirical understanding of the material realities and conditions of the people of our neighborhoods, cities, and nations.
Four years after the defeat of the fascist coup attempt, organized by a far-right minority on April 30, 2019, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro stated: “Nothing will disturb the peace of a conscious homeland that’s determined to defend the revolutionary path we are on.” Through his social media accounts, the head of state recalled the triumph of the people and the authorities who were in perfect civic-military union against an extremist and fascist minority that sought to overthrow the constituted power, which then fled cowardly after its failure. This Sunday marks the fourth anniversary of the attempted coup by the right wing staged in the Altamira bridge, in Caracas, led by Juan Guaidó with Operation Libertad, which sought to seize power and deceive the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB).
I have just returned from Latin America. I find myself a somewhat different person than the one that left a couple of weeks ago. What changed? During my visit I went to Colombia, on invitation from the UNDP (United Nation Development Programme) and to Uruguay to launch the first Latin American Ecosystems Leadership Program (ELP) for our u-school for Transformation. The launch of this regional ELP in Latin America opened what to many of us felt like a profound new space of collective possibility. It is intended as a 3-year collective cross-sector and cross-country journey to awaken all of the human intelligences — head, heart, and hand — in the service of regeneration, healing, and systems transformation.
Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international body of UN scientists, delivered a “final warning” to drastically cut global emissions in order to prevent the heating of the planet past 1.5 degrees Celsius. As the exponentially accelerating effects of the climate crisis have become more apparent in recent years, so too has activism to demand urgent action from governments. In the UK, a movement known as Extinction Rebellion (XR) first emerged in 2018, and then proliferated around the globe. XR has helped popularize the spread of civil disobedience tactics in the contemporary environmental movement.
Over 180 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured as the fighting within Sudan’s security forces continued in several densely populated cities for the third day. The figures were announced in a press conference given by Volker Perthes, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, on Monday April 17. The highest number of deaths have been reported in the capital Khartoum city where Sudan’s powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is trying to capture key areas and infrastructure from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). Led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, aka Hemeti, the deputy chairman of the military junta ruling since the coup in October 2021, the RSF is battling the army for the Presidential Palace, the HQ of SAF, the airport, as well as other key areas in the capital.
Tensions simmering between Sudan’s army and the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) boiled over into armed clashes on the morning of Saturday, April 15, following disagreements over the integration of the autonomous RSF into the army’s command chain. The issue of integration was a key aspect of a deal that Sudan’s ruling junta was to sign with right-wing civilian forces to share power with the latter. The left in Sudan has been critical of the proposed deal, questioning the sincerity of the parties. Speaking to Peoples Dispatch a few hours before the fighting broke out, the Sudanese Communist Party’s Foreign Relations Secretary, Saleh Mahmoud, said “Both the forces, the army and the RSF, have a mutual interest in escalating armed conflict, so that it can be used as a reason to not hand over power to the civilian forces.”
Twelve years have passed since the Arab Spring, and both Egypt and Tunisia are facing a stark economic crisis. Both are currently under the mercy of extremely unfavorable structural adjustment programs imposed by the International Monetary Fund, relying heavily on food imports, mired in debt, and facing historical inflation rates with unprecedented hikes in food prices. This dire economic situation is made all the worse by a relentless escalation of authoritarian measures in both countries. The prevailing atmosphere indicates that the counterrevolution has prevailed and that avenues of emancipatory possibility have shrunk almost to the point of extinction.
Major trade unions in France estimate that two million people hit the streets across France on Tuesday, March 28, denouncing the controversial pension reforms pushed by Emmanuel Macron’s government. The reforms were forcibly passed in the National Assembly on March 16 using Article 49.3 to bypass the parliamentary vote. The move has further weakened the legitimacy of the reforms, already detested by the majority of the French working class. While the government, headed by President Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, narrowly survived a no-confidence vote on March 20, the approval rating of the president has plummeted along with political ‘good will’ for his neo-liberal Renaissance (RE) party, as anger against the anti-worker pension reforms rages across the country.
Despite the absence of genuine revolutionary forces capable of providing honest and reliable leadership, France is apparently stumbling toward a pre-revolutionary juncture, as the videos on this page seem to suggest. It's undeniable that not just France, but all of Western Europe is being increasingly shaken, rendered profoundly unstable, by the same disease afflicting the rest of the continent, along with much of what its numerous apologists insist on calling "the West", a devious way of referring to Western imperialism, a decadent, out-of-touch, war-addicted, and ultimately unfixable, form of financialised neoliberalism.
February 21, 1965, a diversionary scuffle broke out in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, known as Malcom X, addressed the people of Harlem and, as a result of his international standing, the people of the world. As the attention of the attendees moved toward the scuffle, at least two men approached the stage with weapons. Malcolm’s last words were “don’t do it.” But they did. Pumping Malcolm’s body with bullets and a fatal shotgun blast that took Malcolm from us physically. What the assassins and the evil powers behind the assassination could never understand was that they did not kill Malcolm.
Feb. 21, 2023, marks the 58th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X. We honor his life and legacy by recalling his revolutionary message to the downtrodden peoples of the world and committing to carrying on his fight for liberation. In this special commemorative episode of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with freedom fighters Paulette Dauteuil and Ashanti Alston about how Malcolm X shaped their own politics, why the dream of international revolution was so essential to Malcolm’s vision, and how we can keep that dream alive today. Paulette Dauteuil is the former Co-chair (2010-2012) and National Secretary (2012-2014) of the National Jericho Movement.