Monday, April 3, 2017

It's Been An Interesting Day

Social Democrat Lenin Moreno won Ecuador's presidential runoff today defeating conservative Guillermo Lasso, a millionaire favored by the US ruling elite and US media.

Moreno was vice president under term-limited Rafael Correa and will continue Correa's Socialist/Democratic Socialist program. Whether he takes the courageous anti US Imperialists stands taken by Correa remains to be seen.

Correa came to office in 2006 by campaigning against US Imperialism and promising to end Neoliberalism in Ecuador and emphasizing his friendship with Venezuelan Socialist president Hugo Chavez. He closed the US Air Force base in Ecuador and became part of the coalition of Leftist Latin American leaders that fought on many fronts to extract Latin American from the Gringo Imperialist yoke.

Correa also defied the US by granting Julian Assange asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and part of the story of Moreno's victory today involves Assange, who still directs Wikileaks from his embassy quarters.

Although Moreno had come in first in the first round of voting he did not get 50 percent, and with several opposition parties uniting behind Lasso for the runoff many observers didn't expect Moreno to win today.

Lasso had said that if elected he would end Assange's asylum, and if that happened Assange would be arrested by British law enforcement and deported to the US where he faces espionage charges, and where many, if not most, politicians and members of the ruling elite are eager to put him to death.

In a dramatic intervention the week before the election Wikileaks began releasing leaked cables showing that Lasso has been stashing millions in tax dodging offshore bank accounts, and whether that was the cause or not Lasso went from being a couple of points ahead in the polls to losing by a couple today.

During the campaign Lasso had said that on becoming president he'd "cordially" give Assange 30 days to leave the embassy.

Assange didn't wait long after the election results were announced.

Meanwhile back in a changing America someone posted some pictures from today's Seattle Socialism Conference hosted by the Socialist Alternative Party, the Democratic Socialists of America and the International Socialist Organization.

Socialist Alternative, as it's commonly called, famously got Kshama Sawant elected to the Seattle City council in 2013 and then pushed through the nations' first $15 minimum wage. It's put up candidates elsewhere including Ty Moore's strong 2013 run for the Minneapolis city council. Like most of these Socialist organizations, its largely made up of young people, but it's origins are as a remnant of one of the many fractures of the Socialist movement generally and the Communist Party particularly during their extreme repression during the Cold War.

Democratic Socialists of America, the nations' largest Socialist organization at around 20,000 members and quickly growing, most of them joining in the wake of the Bernie Sanders' candidacy although Sanders has no connection with DSA. It doesn't run candidates but backs some and advocates for issues and class consciousness.

Likewise the International Socialist Organization is the result of many fractures and subfractures of the Communist Party. Among its founders were 1960s college student radicals including a number of Canadians and many of its members today are academics in Canada and the US, and it publishes publishes a couple of journals.

And in Brazil there's about to be a general strike as the ongoing opposition to the US backed self-installed government of Michel Temer escalates. Temer and a large number of other legislators who were all under investigation for corruption impeached President Dilma Rouseff in September 2016 on fake charges of illegally transferring money from one government program to another and then immediately began dismantling the many social programs initiated by Rousefff and her Worker's Party predecessor Luiz Ignacio Lula de Silva.

A general strike is the most potent weapon the working class has short of armed insurrection. Everybody strikes. Capitalism completely ceases to function. It's hard to organize one let alone get people to believe in the idea, but if a general strike is widespread and holds fast, workers always win.

Incidentally, while Latin American leaders reacted angrily to the blatantly illegal "parliamentary coup" against Rouseff and pulled their ambassadors out of Brazil the Obama administration, whose secretary of state John Kerry had met with the coup plotters, quickly moved to solidify Temer's hold on power. “We are confident we will continue our strong bilateral relationship,” said the US State Department spokesman John Kirby. “This was a decision made by the Brazilian people and obviously we respect that ... Brazilian democratic institutions have acted within its constitutional framework.”

From Brazil to Ecuador to Honduras to  Venezuela to Cuba and you could name them all night long the US is on the side of of the oligarchy and against the people and any government and any leader that tries to improve their lot. The US is destroying the Middle East and killing millions of innocent people over there. It backed the coup and instillation of fascists in Ukraine and from the Middle East to Eurasia to Asia it uses its military to bully and intimidate and control for the purpose of making already filthy rich people more filthy and more rich.

When will the American people name the evil that is their country and is done in their name? I'll tell you when. Never. Not these Americans, the ones who have trailed in the wake of the Imperialist Capitalist monster living on its noxious fumes as they trudged to work for 40 years saying yes sir and no sir not because they knew nothing else but because there was and they were afraid to say so.

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