Wendy Cruz of La Via Campesina speaks about the challenges facing Honduran women and women of the peasant movement ahead of the inauguration of President Xiomara Castro of the left-wing Libre party.Continue reading
The elected president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro (Libertad y Refundación, Libre), denounced this Sunday, outside the National Congress, that a dictatorship is trying to hijack the Legislative Branch in a bid not to respond to the popular mandate.
Hundreds of people continue to mobilize in the vicinity of the Parliament in defense of democracy and respect for the popular vote.
Addressing the crowds of her supporters, Castro recalled that the elections of November 2021 were to remove from power the dictatorship of the current president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and banish its unlawful practices.
She stressed that on November 28, the people cast their votes and that their will must be respected.Continue reading
A poll taken in December 2021 reflecting that a majority of “Americans” now “believe that democracy in the United State is in danger of disappearing” accommodates the bipartisan erasure of those colonized by US settler colonialism.
Several US news outlets have reported that the Schoen Cooperman Research poll on “U.S. Perceptions of Government” reflects the opinions and concerns of “Americans” at large. The poll reflects that 51-percent of respondents agree with the statement that democracy in the US is at risk of extinction, a position shared almost equally between party affiliations. The sentiment is most acute among the younger generation.
However, there is a deeply flawed premise in not just the poll itself but likely in the respondents to it as well.Continue reading
We know that unions promote economic equality and build worker power, helping workers to win increases in pay, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
But that’s not all unions do. Unions also have powerful effects on workers’ lives outside of work.
In this report, we document the correlation between higher levels of unionization in states and a range of economic, personal, and democratic well-being measures. In the same way unions give workers a voice at work, with a direct impact on wages and working conditions, the data suggest that unions also give workers a voice in shaping their communities. Where workers have this power, states have more equitable economic structures, social structures, and democracies.Continue reading
The United States hosted a “Summit for Democracy” on December 9th and 10th in an obvious attempt to legitimize its unipolar and hegemonic claim of leadership over the so-called “rules-based international order.” While on the surface this appeared to be an unproductive move on the part of the world hegemon, it aligned well with the U.S. strategy of cloaking its aggressive and exploitative policies under the guise of “democracy.” Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly hyped the differences between “autocracy” and U.S.-led “democracy.” So-called allies were summoned to give the U.S.’s vision for democracy credibility on the international stage.Continue reading
More than 100 nations’ presidents, prime ministers, and kings met virtually at the Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10. It was the first meeting in history on this scale where the application — or ostensible application — of the democratic principle in the governance of national affairs was used as a criterion to invite participants to an international meeting.
There are three ways to look at the summit.
A naïve view is to consider it as a meeting of like-minded states, interested in learning from each other about how to improve the application of democratic principles at home. (For that, however, there are already many other venues.)
More realistic is to see it as an attempt to create a loose association of states, which would promote abroad their model of governance, assuming it is the only one compatible with the aspirations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Continue reading
The Heads of State and Government and the Heads of Delegations of the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), meet in Havana, Cuba, on December 14, 2021 to commemorate the 17th Anniversary of the Alliance. In signing this Declaration, we renew our commitment to strengthen this mechanism of political coordination based on the principles of solidarity, social justice, cooperation and economic complementarity, a result of the political will of its founders, the Commanders Fidel Castro Ruz and Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.Continue reading
The so-called “Summit for Democracy” should first agree on a definition of what democracy means. Whereas etymologically we know that the definition of democracy means rule by the people, instinctively we feel that people power must be more than a slogan, that it must be concretized by genuine public participation in the conduct of public affairs.
There are, of course, many manifestations or “models” of democracy, exercised nationally as well as locally in provinces and communities. The spectrum of democratic governance goes from direct democracy by way of citizen power of initiative and the possibility to challenge legislation by way of referenda, to participatory democracy through public meetings and voting on specific issues by ballot (or even show of hands!), to representative democracy through the election of parliamentarians with specific mandates, to presidential democracy by electing a president with wide-ranging powers.Continue reading
The members of the United Auto Workers have voted overwhelmingly to move to a direct voting system for choosing their union leadership—“one member, one vote.” With all votes counted as of December 2, direct elections had the support of 63.6 percent of voters.
It’s a historic win for reformers in one of the nation’s most important unions, where members have pushed for this change for decades.
The referendum is the product of a consent decree between the UAW and the U.S. Department of Justice, after a years-long series of prosecutions of top union officials on corruption charges ranging from embezzling union funds for personal use to accepting bribes from an employer, FCA (formerly Chrysler, now Stellantis), in exchange for accepting contract terms more favorable for the company.Continue reading
This week, the United States is convening a virtual “Summit for Democracy,” the first of its kind in what the State Department hopes to make an annual event. It’s no surprise that Washington has declined to invite its two biggest geopolitical foes, Russia and China. The two countries banded together to publish an opinion article in The National Interest, correctly characterizing the circus of a summit as a “product of [Washington’s] Cold-War mentality” aimed at stoking “ideological confrontation and a rift in the world.”Continue reading
Despite Washington’s best effort to derail Nicaragua’s electoral process through hybrid warfare, strong voter turnout resulted in a decisive victory by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), and the reelection of President Daniel Ortega with 75.92% of the votes cast. Nicaragua’s non-partisan, independent Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) reported on Monday, November 8th that 65.23% of 4.4 million eligible voters (16 years and older) participated in Sunday’s election. Supporters attribute the FSLN’s success to its ability to ensure peace and achieve socioeconomic & political objectives that strengthen the wellbeing of the people of Nicaragua.
This markedly contrasts the widespread neglect and corruption endemic under Nicaragua’s U.S. supported neoliberal period from 1990-2007.Continue reading
Following Xiomara Castro’s victory in the Honduran elections, Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, Coordinator, COPINH, spoke to Peoples Dispatch about what this means for people’s movements in the country. She talks about the government’s plans in its first 100 days, what movements like COPINH think are the next steps for rebuilding democracy, and more.Continue reading
President Biden’s December 9-10 “Summit for Democracy” has already stirred up a storm. The White House says the summit will have “three principal themes: defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights” – clearly targeting Washington’s chosen “autocratic states,” China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
The government of Taiwan is among the 100-plus invitees, prompting suspicions that a key goal is de facto recognition of the island as a sovereign state. This continues the systematic gutting of the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué, signed by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, in which the United States acknowledged the One-China policy and agreed to cut back military installations on Taiwan.Continue reading
The exclusion of certain countries from the U.S. “democracy summit” is not a side issue. It is the very purpose of the summit. And excluded countries have not been excluded for failing to meet the standards of behavior of those that were invited or the one doing the inviting. Invitees didn’t even have to be countries, as even a U.S. backed failed coup leader from Venezuela has been invited. So have representatives of Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, DRC, Zambia, Angola, Malaysia, Kenya, and — critically — pawns in the game: Taiwan and Ukraine.
What game? The weapons sales game. Which is the whole point. Look at the U.S. State Department website on the Democracy Summit. Right at the top: “‘Democracy doesn’t happen by accident.Continue reading
March for the Homeland reached the Bolivian city of La Paz on November 29 after covering a distance of more than 180km over seven days. Over a million people had joined the march by the time it reached La Paz. The demonstration was organized in defense of democracy, in support of President Luis Arce’s government, and in rejection of the recent destabilization attempts promoted by the far-right opposition sectors.Continue reading