Category Archives: International

Anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong

 

Lam Chi Leung

2019-7-10

 

Demonstrations started after Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’ Chief Executive announced a law on extradition to China, allowing the Chinese Communist Party to arrest Hong Kong activists considered to be a threat to “national security”. What are Lam’s and Hong Kong’s capitalists’ political goals behind the extradition law?

 

Lam: A characteristic of today’s event is the fact that Carrie Lam prioritizes on satisfying the demands of the CCP regime rather than those of the Hong Kong people, not even those of the Hong Kong capitalists. The capitalists in Hong Kong also fear being extradited to mainland China for getting on the wrong side of the CCP bureaucracy.

 

Carrie Lam opted to expedite the bill in order to gain the trust of Xi Jinping.

 

The CCP regime has two primary goals. First, to extradite the mainland Chinese corrupt tycoons and bureaucrats that fled to Hong Kong. In the past, the Chinese government has sent people to directly extract these elements back to the mainland, but such methods were criticized as Chinese Police overreaching its authority beyond its jurisdiction.

 

Secondly, this extradition bill is to be used against the political oppositionists against the CCP in Hong Kong. Those who openly and sharply criticize the Chinese government and leaders, or those Hong Kongers who helped Chinese democracy activists to flee to Hong Kong, would find themselves in grave danger should the extradition bill becomes the law.

 

Just as the extradition bill was about to be legislated, a Hong Kong bookstore owner who was incarcerated in mainland China for over eight months, Lam Wing-kee(林榮基), decided to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan in late April. Lam published books about the private life of Xi Jinping, which angered the CCP regime.

 

Moreover, the Hong Kong social activists who assist Chinese labor, human rights, or other social movement NGOs may also be charged with “subverting national security” by the Chinese regime and get extradited.

 

Although British colonialism in Hong Kong ended in 1997, and Hong Kong was titularly returned to China, the city still follows the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement: Hong Kong maintains a political and legal system distinct from that of mainland China. The Hong Kongers have freedom of speech and assembly. They also tend to receive more protection from a (relatively) independent judiciary. As mainland China remains under a single party authoritarian rule, where the people lacks protection by the law, an extradition provision would open up a loophole where Hong Kongers could be sent to be tried unfairly inside mainland China at any time.

 

We can see that the movement is at a heightened level of frontal confrontation with the police and shows a solid level of self-organization. We all watched with admiration the taking of Hong Kong’s Parliament. Can you explain how the movement is structured, what are its ideological references and what organisations take part in it? What do you see as the movement’s shortcomings and what obstacles does it need to overcome to grow stronger?

 

Lam: The consecutive large demonstrations that took place from June to July were led by a united front organization known as the Civil Human Rights Front. It is composed of over 50 pan-democratic political parties and civil society groups, including unions, women’s rights organizations, community advocates, student activists and opposition parties. However, the two million people who joined the march not because of the Civil Human Rights Front’s own moral authority, but because of their identification with the anti-extradition cause.

 

The LegCo occupation attempt on July first and prior attempts at surrounding the police headquarters were organized by younger, more radical protesters via the Internet. They were not the result of any social or political organization’s leadership. In order to evade government persecution, the young protestors purposely refrained from establishing organizations, and instead opted for using Telegram or other softwares to spread information in short ranges. Hand signals were used for coordination at the site of the struggles, the effectiveness of which was enhanced by the strong camaraderie among the youth protesters.

 

Neither the citizens who joined the demonstration nor the youths who joined the besieging or occupation attempts uphold a definite ideology. Perhaps you can call them supporters of democracy I.e. against the authoritarianism of the SAR/CCP regime, and for the defense of Hong Kong’s human rights and freedoms as well as for democratic elections.

 

The far right “localists” who called for “Hong Kong First” had much influence during 2014’s Umbrella Movement and perhaps two years after that, but they have been significantly weakened in the run up to today’s anti-extradition movement in terms of ability to mobilize. Yet, they still have a certain hold on the youths ideologically. This is primarily expressed in a section of the youths’ nostalgia for British colonial rule, rejection of mainland Chinese people, or adventurist tendencies during actions.

 

The biggest weakness in today’s anti-extradition movement lies in its inability to transform into a platform of united struggle that is democratically and responsibly coordinated. This prevented protesters with different backgrounds and ideas from coordinating with each other effectively. They had to act on their own. The differences in tendency and strategy usually were expressed in one-sided internet exchanges rather than deep face-to-face discussions that could clarify many fundamental issues.

 

For example, since the movement erupted, some have proposed that a political strike as well as solidarity with the Wuhan citizens’ struggle against polluting incinerators and power stations. Proponents of this idea sought to win support for the Hong Kong movement from the people of mainland China. These extremely precious insights have not been seriously discussed.

 

On the contrary, certain activists utilized the G20 summit last month to call on Trump or other major world leaders to “Free Hong Kong.” Yet such a position can easily be interpreted as leaning on the US and EU government to pressure China, objectively placing the anti-extradition movement under the western powers’ cynical power politics. The movement thus would become a disposable pawn in the backdoor negotiations. This position also provides the CCP regime ammunition to slander the mass movement in Hong Kong, and divide the people of Hong Kong from those in mainland China.

 

Yet, these diverging strategies have not been able to be clarified via a united organization.

 

The movement in HK today grew on the shoulders of the “Umbrella Revolution” which demanded universal suffrage. Youth was very active in 2014 but the working class and its unions were blatantly lacking. What is the role of the working class in the movement today? Are there bonds being formed between students and the working class?

 

Lam: The labor movement in Hong Kong has a glorious past. The Seamen’s Strike in 1922 and the Canton–Hong Kong general strike in 1925-1926 shook British Imperialism, but the labor movement saw a decline since then. It will not be easy to launch a powerful strike that can shake society in the short term.

 

The teachers’ union and social workers’ union both have called for a strike on June 12th. There were even youth groups that voluntarily enter into commercial districts to open up a picket line. There is a university student organization named “Student Labour Action Coalition”(工學同行)which calls on the workers to join the fight against the extradition bill.

 

Although a strike wave has not materialized, but the idea of political strikes has generated a wave of discussions online. These phenomena mark a development from the political consciousness of 2014’s Umbrella Movement.

 

I believe that Hong Kong’s revolutionary socialists have a key responsibility. They can deepen the discussions around political strikes, and guide the strategic discussions towards a conclusion to establish organizations controlled by the masses themselves, as well as explaining why a struggle for civil or political democracy is inseparable from a struggle for economic equality.

 

Since the 2008 crisis, the executive power has been beefing up its repressive measures and anti-social policies. Beyond the demands for democratic rights, does the movement demand concrete measures for the betterment of life and working conditions of youth and the working class? Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s PM, announced a delay of the extradition law in the wake of a 2 million march (for a 7 million people country). Is this a victory for the movement? What are the demonstrators’ prospects? What about the demands for universal suffrage and democratic rights? Would you say that youth and the working class in HK and China are radicalizing? Does it have an impact on the influence of revolutionary, communist ideas and their organizations?

 

Lam: Today’s movement remains a single issue campaign, one that focuses on retracting the extradition bill and protect basic human rights. Yet, it recently has evolved into a movement that also demands democratic election. Whether it can also demand for improvement in worker and youths’ living and working conditions, will depend on the activists who base themselves on the working class’ perspective.

 

Although Carrie Lam is only pausing rather than terminating the legislation, I don’t anticipate a great possibility for her to re-propose the legislation within her term. In a way the movement has gained a partial victory, but to take it further towards bringing down Carrie Lam will not be easy.

 

Although calls for labor and school strikes did not materialize, the fresh idea of a political strike, its possibilities and implications, is already a part of the ongoing public discussions. It is making the masses think further. If the movement wants to gain more results, it needs to quickly abandon its lack of structure, and insists on its political independence.

 

I believe a socio-economic crisis as well as class contradictions are rapidly escalating in both Hong Kong and mainland China, with no signs of abating. Although the crisis may not immediately erupt, when it does I believe it will be extraordinarily acute.

 

As of now the youths in both Hong Kong and mainland China generally are not politicized, but a layer of them have clearly moved towards politicization and ponder on the fundamental solutions for society. Under Xi Jinping autocratic bureaucracy, it is dangerous for youths and workers to self-organize and openly communicate with each other. It’s almost impossible. However, spaces for private exchange of ideas still exist.

 

Further, there are some indications that progressive youths in mainland China are increasingly interested in the ideas of revolution and communism as they are seeking an alternative outside of bourgeois liberalism and Maoism (Chinese Stalinism) .There is even a minority that approves of the traditions of Trotskyism. The revolutionary socialists in Hong Kong have always utilized the city’s relative freedom to spread revolutionary ideas towards youths in mainland China. The most valuable work we can pursue at the moment is the fundamental task of spreading the ideas of classical Marxism to mainland China .

 

Lam Chi Leung is a revolutionary socialist based in Hong Kong. 

 

Trotsky’s Ideas in Cuba – Interview with the organizer of the Trotsky Conference in Havana, May 6-8, 2019

 

 

‘Progressive’ Trudeau government attacks Venezuela

by John Clarke

Anyone who still entertains any illusions in the ‘progressive’ nature of the Trudeau Government of Canada, would have been shocked to witness the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, assembling a collection of regional representatives of the Washington Consensus in Ottawa, on February 4, to further the coup plot against Venezuela. The so called Lima Group that she brought together dutifully issued a statement calling for the “national armed forces of Venezuela to demonstrate their loyalty to the interim president in his constitutional functions as their commander in chief.”

Despite the progressive pretensions of the Liberal Government in Ottawa and the ill-deserved reputation that Canada has for ‘peacekeeping’ and for being a moderating influence in international affairs, the present course under Trudeau and Freeland is quite consistent with the country’s role as the other G7 power in North America, a global exploiter in its own right.

Canadian Imperialism

In truth, when Freeland adopts the tone of U.S. Manifest Destiny and speaks of Latin America and the Caribbean as Canada’s “neighbourhood” she is only being a little more public than others might be about a perspective that dominates the thinking and behaviour of Canadian government and Big Business. The rapacity of Canadian mining operations in Latin America is without rival. The promotion of business interests has led to major Canadian involvement in the suppression of democratic rights and the imposition and preservation of compliant right-wing regimes. Canada was heavily involved in the 2004 coup that overthrew the democratically elected Aristide Government in Haiti and the horrors that followed this. A similar pattern exists with regard to the suppression of democracy in Honduras. Canadian Government leaders express fake outrage over the supposed denial of democratic rights in Venezuela even as they maintain a stony silence on continuing repression in Honduras.

When it comes to Venezuela, the official line of the Canadian Government is that efforts to destabilize the Government of that country only began with Maduro’s call for a Constituent Assembly in July 2017. This, however, is a complete falsehood as an article by Yves Engler amply demonstrates. Links to right-wing opposition forces go back to at least 2005 and “Canada is the third most important provider of democracy assistance,” as support for those working to return Venezuela to a place within the Washington Consensus is ironically described. However, during the past eighteen months, the orchestrated economic problems in Venezuela, the belligerence of the Trump Administration and the right-wing tide in much of the region have created a much greater resolve in Canadian ruling circles to intensify the attack on the Maduro Government and to try to open the country to unbridled plunder and exploitation.

Canada Takes Leading Attack Role

When Washington’s carefully groomed and well trained puppet, Juan Guaido, staked his claim to the role of ‘interim president’, the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa were as ready as the Trump Administration in Washington to play their part. Canadian diplomats worked to unify the opposition forces, to line up as much international backing for their appointed stooge and leading Canadian politicians did all they could to present Guaido’s blatant violation of the Venezuelan Constitution as a legitimate quest for the ‘restoration of democracy.’

The most important role of Canada, however, lies in the fact that it’s track record of exploitation and domination in Latin America, while considerable in its own right, is not as massive or infamous as the conduct of U.S. imperialism in its self declared ‘backyard.’ The Canadian Government was, therefore, less compromised and better placed to co-ordinate the key role of compliant, right-wing regional regimes. The Lima Group was formed in 2017, with Canada playing a leading role and the U.S. staying out of the affair. It brought together the governments of those Latin American and Caribbean countries that were ready to openly attack Venezuela to an extent that the Organization of American States (OAS) could not be won over to. Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland has played a tireless role in trying to recruit new members to her nasty little club.

When Freeland assembled the representatives of the governments of Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia in Ottawa on February 4, she worked to craft an artful final statement that would avoid any call for direct military intervention from outside Venezuela while working to strengthen internal opposition and maximize the possibility of the military changing sides. As stated at the outset, a direct call to the military was featured in the statement. News reports show how this is now being followed with a strategy designed to draw sections of the Army into conflict with the Maduro Government. Two days after the Lima Group meeting, a provocative ‘humanitarian aid convoy’ approached the Columbian-Venezuelan border where it was blocked by troops. “The main goal now is to look to break the military – and the humanitarian aid is basically the Trojan horse to try to do that,” observed one commentator, aware of the effort to generate tensions between Maduro and the military leadership.

Regime Change Plan Proceeds

As the unholy alliance of imperialist powers and compliant regimes deepens the attack on Venezuela, the Trudeau Government can be expected to play a leading and despicable role in the affair. Within Canada, there is opposition. Some elected members of the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) have expressed a level of criticism of the Liberal Government’s conduct. The top leadership of the Party, however, has played a sad role. As I write this, the NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Hélène Laverdière, has openly supported Washington’s puppet president and claimed she speaks for the parliamentary party. NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, continues to take the less than impressive public position that he doesn’t know who the rightful President of Venezuela is. Trade union support for the people of Venezuela and their struggle in the face of threat is significant in Canada and the media is furiously attacking trade unions that show such support. There have been protests in solidarity with Venezuela and the meeting of the Lima Group itself in Ottawa was directly confronted by protesters.

Chrystia Freeland and the Trudeau Liberal Government are part of a systematic effort to ensure that the same agenda of austerity, privatization and environmental despoliation that has made gains in other Latin American countries is imposed without pity on Venezuela. Yet, resistance to the role of super exploited powerlessness has a long history south of the Rio Grande. Masses of people in Venezuela know that the ‘democracy’ the Trump Administration wants for them is too horrible to submit to. They know that the battle cry for freedom and democracy in their part of the world is ‘Yankee Go Home!’ They are also learning to their cost that the Ugly Canadian needs to be driven off at the same time.

This article first published on the Counterfire website.

John Clarke is a writer and leading organizer for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP).

Socialist Action at CBC Headquarters

On February 23rd, 2019, Socialist Action’s members joined over 200 other activists and concerned citizens in a show of unity outside of the CBC headquarters in Toronto. This was part of an international day of solidarity with over 130 other actions across the world organized under the demand “No War on Venezuela”.

The Toronto event, proposed by Socialist Action, was endorsed by a number of organizations including Venezuela Solidarity, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network, NDP Socialist Caucus, the Toronto Association for Peace and Solidarity, the Communist Party of Canada, the Hugo Chavez Front, the Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle and many others. All of these organizations had speakers who consistently criticized the CBC for its disgustingly biased coverage on Venezuela.

It is impossible for us to remain silent in the face of the latest aggression against the Venezuelan people organized and supported by the governments of Canada and the United States. All of those in attendance were united in opposition to any foreign interference in a sovereign and democratic country. 

It was just over one month ago when the governments of Canada and United States gave their acknowledgement to Juan Guaido, the self-declared President of Venezuela. This is a man who the majority of Venezuelans had never even heard of until Donald Trump announced that he was recognizing him as the President. Canada soon followed suit. The situation is so absurd that it would be laughable if the stakes were not so high.

This is all part of package of Canadian and US sanctions, increasing financial and material support for the opposition forces, and endorsing the continued hording of products, including food and medicine, by the Venezuelan capitalist thugs. These are shocking violations of international law, national sovereignty, and the charters of both the United Nations’ and Organization of American States. The situation today remains critical and risks further escalation as the Western imperialist vultures circle above threatening military intervention.

Yet Canada’s own public broadcaster, the CBC, as well as the rest of the capitalist-run corporate media, are overwhelmingly pushing support for a regime change all in the name of “helping the poor” and “averting a humanitarian crisis”. We know this is a lie and we were able to call out the falsehoods. By bringing our protest to the front door of the CBC, we continued to expose the lies behind the propaganda that is pushing for a US- and Canada-sponsored coup in Venezuela. We wanted to ensure that the voices of the majority of Venezuelans who oppose such foreign interventions were heard loud and clear.

Following a very spirited rally, those gathered then marched through Toronto’s financial district demanding that the natural resources of the people of Venezuela remain theirs. Canadian mining in Latin America has pushed Ottawa towards a much more aggressive position in the region. As was pointed out by a number of speakers, stealing oil and other resources is the primary reason for the coup attempt. It has absolutely nothing to do with the so-called “promotion of democracy” and easing of a phony “humanitarian” crisis.

We know the truth and we will not be sold a false bill of goods from the Canadian government and its cowardly propaganda arm, the CBC. Shame on the CBC and shame on the Canadian government!

Respect Venezuelan sovereignty and self-determination!  CBC, stop telling lies! Hands Off Venezuela!

February 23, 2019 – Socialist Action speech by Mitchell Shore at CBC Headquarters

Sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, my name is Mitchell Shore and I am very pleased to speak to you today on behalf of Socialist Action. 

This is a historic moment for the people of Venezuela and the international working class. The threat of imperialist aggression is blatant.

The US and Canadian economic and political war is the primary cause of the so-called “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela.  But the CBC hides the truth from the general public.

The CBC refuses to report that imperialist powers have seized the assets of Venezuela, frozen its credit, stolen over one billion dollars in gold, imposed a trade embargo, and that Venezuelan capitalists are hoarding goods. 

This is how a democratic country is strangled by the Western vultures who want to go back in time to resume their plunder of Venezuela’s resources. 

There is no reason for Maduro to “dialogue” with the US-funded reactionary opposition, led by a puppet who never even ran for president.  And we need to remind NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh that Venezuela already has a democratically elected President.  His name is Nicolas Maduro. 

Now I don’t have to remind you, here today, about the violent history of US intervention in Latin America:  Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the list goes on and on and on….

And now, Ottawa wants to get into the game, leading the charge for regime change.

Every single time the West gets involved in Latin America they leave a bloody path of destruction in their wake. And you’d have to be a fool to believe it will be any different this time around.

The aim is simple: to overthrow Nicolas Maduro and any remnants of the Bolivarian Revolution.

What brings us here today is that the CBC is acting as the de facto propaganda arm of Trudeau’s imperial ambitions – which is why we must bring it under workers’ control.

For years, the CBC has spread rabidly biased lies about the situation in Venezuela. They deny the realities on the ground: they throw softball questions to the right wingers, they provide unlimited air time for the opposition, and yet they refuse to interview government officials and its supporters. This is the shameful story of the CBC’s coverage.

The most vocal siren of the Trudeau government is Chrystia Freeland.  She states, and the CBC obediently reports, that Canada needs “to help the poor people of Venezuela.”

Well I say to her: don’t you worry about the poor, the Black and Indigenous people of Venezuela. They are engaged in a project to eradicate centuries of white supremacy and apartheid conditions. This is the reality on the ground.

And despite the many troubles rooted in oil dependency and corruption, Venezuela today demonstrates more democracy than the 14 countries of the Lima Group combined.

The failure of the government to break the stranglehold of foreign and domestic capital, to effect a socialist transformation, is a matter solely for the people of Venezuela to resolve.

The bottom line is that we as progressive voices must oppose any outside interference in Venezuela – whether from Canada, the US, or anywhere else. They have absolutely no right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

Whatever one thinks about the Maduro government, the one thing which unites most Canadians is a rejection of any attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

If we don’t speak up, and challenge the dominant narrative fed to us by the CBC, there will be serious consequences for those working-class Venezuelans who continue to fight for self-determination and social justice in their country.

This is why we call for an end to the sanctions, an end to Canada’s participation in the Lima Group, and an end to the coup.

We stand with the people of Venezuela, and we support their efforts to complete their revolution. And we loudly tell the imperialist vultures to Go Home!

We say:  

No Coup!  No Sanctions!  No War!

CBC, stop telling lies!

Hands Off Venezuela!!

Canada, Hands Off Venezuela!

Socialist Action categorically rejects the coup crudely attempted by the U.S. government against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Washington blatantly violates the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people. In a democratic and transparent election, in the presence of international observers, Venezuelans legitimately elected Nicolás Maduro Moros as their President in May 2018.

On January 22, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence issued a recorded message that was broadcast by 2,527 media outlets for three days, in coordination with the shadowy Organization of American States (OAS), calling for subversion of Maduro’s government.

Before the eyes of the world, and in the most grotesque manner, they presented their new puppet for the occasion, Juan Guaidó. Guaido is a man who never ran for president and represents a small party in the National Assembly. The Assembly is a body that is guilty of not cleaning up election irregularities that occurred in three southern districts in the 2015 election.

The naming of Guaido as President, out of thin air, would be laughable if the situation was not so serious, threatening the stability of the hemisphere. So, Guaido is recognized by a couple dozen countries, and Nicolas Maduro is recognized by nearly one hundred.

The clear aim of imperialism is to overthrow Maduro – as it has been trying to do by credit strangulation, by trade embargo, and perhaps now by military intervention. Prominent in the chorus of external anti-democratic demagogues demanding the ouster of Maduro is the Justin Trudeau Liberal government in Ottawa, whose most vocal siren is Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Socialist Action Canada had a representative present at the January 10 inauguration of President Nicolas Maduro for a second term in office. Participants in the gathering at the Supreme Court building in the capital, ranging from Presidents and foreign ministers, to grassroots activists, came from over 90 countries.

At a mammoth rally, before thousands of troops, held later that day at the Military Academy in Caracas, the generals and commanders of all branches of the Venezuelan armed forces vocally pledged their loyalty to Maduro for the six years of his new term of office.

At several meetings with ministers of the government and with PSUV top officials, we expressed our solidarity with the principle of self-determination and our indignation at the bullying threats from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, from Freeland, the European Union, and the neo-colonial satellite regimes of the South. Ottawa’s stated ‘non-recognition’ of Venezuela’s President, who was re-elected with over 68 per cent of the votes cast, is tantamount, in the sphere of diplomacy, to an act of war. Such a provocation by Trudeau/Freeland is particularly obnoxious coming in the same week that RCMP violently arrested 18 Indigenous people, members of the Unist’ot’en and Gidimt’en clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, blocking a road to pipeline construction on unceded traditional land in British Columbia. The shameless hypocrisy of a regime that claims to be democratic, pro-reconciliation, even feminist, seems to know no bounds.

Despite many troubles historically rooted in oil income dependency and corruption, Venezuela today demonstrates more democracy than the Lima Group of 14 countries combined. The failure of the PSUV government to break the stranglehold of foreign and domestic capital, to effect a socialist transformation, is a matter solely for the people of that country to resolve.

Concerning Venezuela, Trudeau and Freeland do not speak for the working class and ordinary people of Canada. On all matters, the Liberal government and the Tory opposition are the voice of big business, and are the allies of imperialism that yearns to regain control of Venezuela’s rich natural resources, which include an abundance of valuable minerals and pristine waters. You don’t hear them complain about electoral fraud in Honduras, Guatemala or Brazil, where it actually occurred in recent years. You don’t see them set a deadline for democratic elections in Saudi Arabia, Haiti or Ukraine.

In the face of rising tensions, and growing social crises demonstrated by lengthy, massive strikes (e.g. in Costa Rica) and by huge caravans of economic and climate refugees desperately seeking an exit from super-exploited Central America and Mexico, we demand that Ottawa and Washington acknowledge the real issues, renounce bullying, intimidation tactics, and economic blockade, and stop all threats of military aggression against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

We urge the labour movement in Canada, and its political arm, the New Democratic Party, to take the lead in campaigning that all states respect the indivisible sovereignty of Venezuela. Niki Ashton and Svend Robinson set the tone that forced federal leader Jagmeet Singh to go beyond his initial vacuous enunciation.

If there is a break in diplomatic relations between Canada and Venezuela, which must be opposed with all our might, and which would be the bitter fruit of imperialist aggression, it will be necessary to take creative steps to foster people-to-people direct relations. Consideration should be given to establishing a bottom-up Peoples’ Diplomacy. In the event that Venezuelan state officials are expelled and barred from entry to Canada, this could take the form of Popular Embassies, to be established in both countries, staffed by civilians. They could be tasked with fostering cultural, educational and political exchanges, and with conducting campaigns of mutual solidarity for social justice. This would be an expression of a grassroots Anti-Imperialist United Front, targeting the enemies of peace, freedom and national self-determination.

In the meantime, Socialist Action appeals to all progressive, democratic and working class organizations, and individuals, to step up efforts to protest the belligerent actions of Ottawa and its co-conspirators in the Lima Group and in the Organization of American States, and to confront the ignorant bias of the commercial mass media. La lucha sigue!

Respect the Sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the authority of its re-elected President Nicolas Maduro!

No Sanctions! Imperialist Hands Off Venezuela!

Ligue pour L'Action Socialiste