International News

The euro zone - a 21st century Titanic?

A spectre is haunting Europe: the spectre of bankruptcy. At the centre of the European debt crisis is Greece, whose government and investors owe US$130 billion to European banks. Ireland, Portugal and Spain have public and private loans of US$463 billion, US$194 billion and US$642 billion respectively to European banks. Additionally, hundreds of billions of dollars of insurance on these loans was sold by US and UK banks.

Socialist Cuba's economic reorganisation

Ezequiel Morales from the Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP — the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples) spoke with Hamish Chitts from Direct Action on May 9 after Morales had spoken to a workplace meeting of Brisbane bus drivers organised by the Rail, Tram, Bus Union and the Australia Cuba Friendship Society.

'Recovery' for the rich, unemployment and lower wages for workers

The world economy is gradually recovering from the crisis that hit in 2007-08, and things will soon be back to normal, right? Wrong. The recovery from the international recession has so far applied mainly to the biggest capitalists and the highly paid executives who manage their businesses.

Power struggle emerges in Iran

In recent months a simmering power struggle has erupted within the ruling circles of the Islamic Republic of Iran, between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Under Iran’s 1979 constitution, the supreme leader, who is not elected by popular vote but by the Council of Experts made up of 86 Islamic scholars, is the highest political and religious authority.

Indonesia's democratic struggle and the fight for socialism

It was not just for the sake of democracy that the Indonesian people overthrew Suharto’s New Order dictatorship in May 1998, but also for justice and prosperity. It was not for reformasi (the political reform process that began in 1998) that students and the people occupied the House of Representatives, but for an Indonesia free from the threat of the gun and military spies, free from corruption and nepotism, for a prosperity in which basic commodities would be affordable. Democracy was the means to achieve human liberation from oppression. Without democracy, humanity becomes colourless and prosperity becomes a commodity owned by those in power.

Flotilla and 'flytilla' challenge Israel's blockade and occupation

On July 19, three Israeli missile ships and seven commando boats intercepted the French boat Dignité-Al Karama in international waters as it attempted to break Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza.

Egyptians fight military rule

In just five months, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has used up the good will it generated in January and February when the army high command did not attempt to crush the protest movement that forced Hosni Mubarak from power. Mass protests erupted throughout the country after 10 police officers accused of killing protesters in Suez during the 18-day uprising earlier this year were released on bail.

'Debt crisis' pretext for attack on working people

The US mass media are awash with the Congressional wrangle over the “debt crisis”. The Republican Party in the House of Representatives is threatening to refuse to raise the ceiling on how much the government can borrow. The deadline for raising the ceiling is August 2. The Obama administration claims that if the ceiling is not raised by then, the government will begin to default on its obligations to pay the interest on the national debt. Should this happen, it is true that it would be another blow to the economy, and intensify the crisis atmosphere.

China's road to capitalist restoration a rocky one for workers

In January 1992, Deng Xiaoping, the then “paramount leader” of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) made a tour of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China’s southern Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. During his tour, Deng praised Guangdong as a model to be emulated by the rest of China. According to the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, during his tour Deng also declared that the “Singaporean social order is good, because the country put it under strict control, we should learn from its experiences and should exercise better management of society”.

All the news that fits their needs

Sometimes small events can reveal a great deal. A case in point was the opening of an exhibition of political cartoons in Los Angeles in June.

The cartoons were drawn by Gerardo Hernandez, who is serving two life sentences in a US prison. Hernandez is one of the Cuban Five, as they are usually known in English, or the “Five Heroes” as they are called in Cuba. The five have been imprisoned in the US since 1998 for the “crime” of opposing terrorism.