Issue Number 5

October 2008

  • Venezuela, Bolivia: US coup plots exposed
  • Noam Chomsky on Georgia conflict: A new Cold War?

International News & Analysis

By Noam Chomsky

Aghast at the atrocities committed by US forces invading the Philippines, and the rhetorical flights about liberation and noble intent that routinely accompany crimes of state, Mark Twain threw up his hands at his inability to wield his formidable weapon of satire. The immediate object of his frustration was the renowned General Funston.

By Marce Cameron

“A nuclear strike” is how Cuban leader Fidel Castro described Hurricane Gustav, which roared across Cuba’s Isle of Youth and the western province of Pinar del Rio on August 30. A week later Cuba was hit by the even more destructive Hurricane Ike, which gouged a swathe of devastation from one end of the Caribbean island to the other.

By Roberto Jorquera and Jorge Jorquera

On October 9, millions throughout the world will commemorate the 41st anniversary of the assassination of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Che was central to the victory of the Cuban revolution of January 1, 1959. Since then his role and contribution to socialism in Cuba and to socialist understanding have been reflected upon and admired by millions of revolutionaries around the world.

By John Percy

The Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) [CPI (ML)], held in December 2007 in Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, was its biggest yet, registering the party’s growing support among India’s workers and peasants.

By Shua Garfield

As the Sun disappeared below the horizon of the North Pole on September 22 – ending the Northern hemisphere’s summer – it left behind the second-lowest minimum level of Arctic summer ice cover since satellite records began 29 years ago.

By Maria Julia Mayoral

Havana – The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for 50 years is the main obstacle to Cuba’s development, the well-being of the Cuban people and, under the current circumstances, all the work involved in recovering from the extensive damage caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike, stated Cuban foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque in Havana.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco, September 25 – Today there are spontaneous demonstrations occurring on Wall Street and over 200 other places across the country denouncing the plan to bail out the Wall Street financiers to the tune of US$700 billion. One journalist sent out an email proposing such demonstrations and then support for it exploded on the internet.

By Barry Sheppard

Peter Camejo, a Venezuelan-American and life-long revolutionary, died on September 13 in the San Francisco Bay area. The cause was cancer.

By Gonzalo Villanueva

La Paz – On the eve of the 35th anniversary of the September 11, 1973, CIA-backed military coup that overthrew the elected social-democratic government of Chilean president Salvador Allende, Washington was again attempting to orchestrate a coup against a left-wing government in South America.

By Jose Ramon Machado

[The following is the address given by Cuban Vice-President Jose Ramon Machado to the UN General Assembly on September 24. It has been slightly abridged.]

By Marcus Pabian

On September 17, former Venezuelan vice-president Jose Vicente reported to the country’s National Assembly that the US government was at the centre of a foiled coup plot planned for October 15 to violently overthrow the elected government of President Hugo Chavez that is leading a socialist revolution in Venezuela.

Australian News & Analysis

By Andrew Martin

The enthusiasm for nuclear power in sections of the ALP that was nurtured during the government of the previous prime minister, John Howard, has not been dampened.

By Hamish Chitts

On September 29, the Rudd government announced that it would give a 2-week extension to the review board and panel of experts handpicked to look at the federal government’s intervention into remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

By Kim Bullimore

On October 7, the upper house of the Victorian state parliament will vote on the Victorian Abortion Reform Bill, which was passed in the lower house on September 11 by 48 votes to 35.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Kathy Newnam

Over 80% of people in Australia support a woman’s right to choose abortion – a significant gain of the women’s liberation movement. Having lost the debate on a woman’s right to choose, the anti-abortion movement has adopted a new tactic – posing as being “pro-woman”. At the forefront of this maneuver in Australia is Women’s Forum Australia.

By Jorge Jorquera

[The following article is based upon a Direct Action forum held in Melbourne on September 26.]

By Allen Myers

Contrary to what some ideologues would like us to believe, the economic arrangements we know as capitalism are not of long standing. Capitalism arose fairly recently in history (in the late mediaeval period), in a particular place (western Europe, mainly in Flanders and England).


Reviewed by James Crafti

Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical novels Persepolis 1 and 2 have been adapted as the feature film Persepolis.

Review by Dani Barley

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Starring John Cho, Kal Penn, and Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Runtime 102 minutes

In Their Own Words

Overcoming difficulties

“Privatisation, of course, has always been a difficult issue for the Labor Party.” – Anthony Albanese, Labor MP and federal infrastructure minister.