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What's new at Links: Obama; Thailand; Kanaky; Sri Lanka; Venezuela; Cuba; Palestine; Lenin; El Salvador


Black president in the White House: Not the `same old white supremacy' but ...

By Mike Ely
For literally millions of people, for many of a new generation, the awakening to politics starts in these moments. This is the world, the arguments, the summations, the claims, the promises that they hear and that they will see unfold in the days ahead. We need to understand this moment, we need to also inhabit this world that they are seeing — in order to craft from among them a revolutionary force that can actually connect with and represent their highest hopes.

Kanaky (New Caledonia): Anti-capitalism and independence

By Bernard Alleton, translated by Sam Wainwright for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
The balance sheet of first year of the Kanaky PT (Workers Party) is largely positive. In the municipal elections in March, four months after it was formed, the PT ran candidates in fourteen of the territory’s thirty-three communes resulting in thirty elected representatives. This demonstrates its genuine implantation. More generally, the PT knew how to take on the lethargy of the other parties that claim to struggle for independence.

What does Obama mean for the world?

By Barry Sheppard, San Francisco
January 23, 2009 -- More than 1 million people gathered in bitter cold in Washington DC to witness the historical inauguration of an African American as president. The crowd was disproportionately Black, but majority white — and jubilant. Celebrations were held in Black communities throughout the country, and in other sectors of the population.
He was sworn in by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, itself historic. In the aftermath of the election, he enjoys overwhelming support according to polls, far higher than his margin of votes. This indicates a large swing of whites among those who voted for the Republican candidate John McCain.

Obama and the change the world demands

By Kavita Krishnan
The United States – and the world – has just witnessed Bush's exit from and Barack Obama's entry into the White House. The mood at Obama's inauguration – an event replete with symbolic resonances, situating the Obama presidency in the history of the civil rights movement against racism in the US – indicates the endurance of that groundswell of popular hope in the US which powered Obama's election campaign. For a US people reeling from financial crisis and the highly unpopular Bush presidency, Obama has offered a promise of ``change''.

Sri Lanka: Behind the genocidal war against the Tamils

By Tony Iltis
January 17, 2009 -- The January 14 announcement by the Sri Lankan government that its forces had completed the capture of the Jaffna Peninsular, effectively bringing all of the historic Tamil nation in Sri Lanka’s north-east under military occupation, was a grim reminder that the Israeli assault on the Gaza ghetto is not the only holocaust at the start of the new year.
The Tamil people have been fighting for independence from Sri Lanka since 1983 when an island-wide pogrom (the most violent of several that had regularly occurred since 1956) convinced Tamils that they would not attain equality or security under the Sinhala-chauvinist state that has ruled Sri Lanka since independence in 1948.

Venezuela: Mass support for constitutional reform campaign

By Tamara Pearson
Over the January 17-18 weekend, committees from various sectors of society swore to campaign hard to win the approval by public vote of the amendment to the constitution to get rid of the two-term limit on all elected offices in Venezuela. More than 20,000 people attended the swearing in of the heads of logistical and operational patrols of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in Caracas on January 17. Venezuela’s President Hugo Ch├ívez stated at the event that there are now about 100,000 “Yes committees” organised, or in formation, to campaign in favour of changing the five articles of constitution so that all popularly elected positions are not limited to two terms.

African American students discuss Cuba’s healthcare revolution

Radio Open Source carried this interview with three medical students from the United States studying in Cuba.
But the core of our long conversations is medicine, the Cuban way. This is aggressive, free, hands-on healthcare that makes house calls, and lingers for the feel of emotions and homelife. Doctors’ training -- like doctors’ care -- is free: the payback required of the students here from all over the hemisphere is only that they return to under served areas of their home countries...Their thinking on social determinants of health, on the primacy of public health and the vital role of prevention strategies are unmatched in the world. With spending of less than US$200 per person per year for health care, they have achieved health outcomes no different than in the USA where expenditures now exceed $7000 per person annually!”.

`What we expect from President Obama on Palestine' (+COSATU solidarity message to the people of Gaza)

Joint statement by the Palestine Solidarity Committee (South Africa) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions

Thailand: Activist Giles Ji Ungpakorn charged with `insulting' monarchy

[Please sign the petition HERE against the attack on freedom of speech in Thailand, which the use of lese majeste represents.]
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
January 20, 2009 -- Today, the police informed me that I have been charged with lese majeste because of eight paragraphs in Chapter 1 of my book A Coup for the Rich. The paragraphs are listed below. According to the police charge sheet, the charges arise from the fact that the director of Chulalongkorn University bookshop decided to inform the police Special Branch that my book "insulted the Monarchy". The bookshop is managed by the academic management of the university. So much for academic freedom!

Good riddance, Dubya!

Lenin on liquidationism

By Chris Slee
In recent years there have been a number of cases where revolutionary Marxist parties have initiated or participated in attempts at building broad left parties. Examples include the Scottish Socialist Party; the Socialist Alliance and later Respect in England; the Socialist Alliance in Australia; Papernas in Indonesia; the participation of Italian Trotskyists in the Party of Communist Refoundation; and the New Anti-Capitalist Party initiated by the Revolutionary Communist League (Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire) in France. Sometimes Marxist groups that participate in such broad formations are accused of "liquidationism". This was a term used by Lenin to refer to the policy of certain members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party who wished to dissolve ("liquidate") the RSDLP after the crushing of the 1905 revolution.

El Salvador: Election results add to tension as presidential race heats up

January 20, 2009 -- Amanda Peters was on the spot as an official observer, and as part of a delegation from CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador). She spoke with community radio's Latin Radical as the first results started coming in, and gives her nervous prognosis for the presidential round coming up on March 15. Also CISPES' assessment of the municipal and legislative elections.

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Links seeks to promote the international exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists coming from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of "actually existing socialism" in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

1 Com:

Gururaj | January 28, 2009

Cuba's health care system is one of the biggest achievements of Fidel Castro
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