Nicaragua In The Multipolar World

The United States and the European Union announced new sanctions on the day that Daniel Ortega was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua. The move was not surprising, given that the United States congress passed the RENACER Act one week before elections which were held on November 7.

The people of Nicaragua have acted in defiance of the United States ever since the 1979 revolution. First, Ronald Reagan used reactionary forces, the Contras, as proxies in an attempt to destroy the new government. The Reagan administration mined Nicaragua’s harbors and fomented a war which cost an estimated 30,000 lives. The United States still owes Nicaragua $17 billion in compensation for the damage it created decades ago.

Continue reading

Two Thirds Of Online Posts From Fossil Fuel Companies ‘Greenwashing’

One expert called it a “systematic deceptive marketing campaign designed to interfere with the solution that is necessary to respond to the climate emergency: stopping fossil fuel production.”

Nearly two thirds of social media posts put out by six major European fossil fuel and energy companies since the end of 2019 present a “green” image of the company, despite the majority of their business activity remaining in fossil fuels, reveals new analysis by DeSmog.

The findings add to campaigner concerns that fossil fuel companies are promoting a misleading image of their business models as the need to decarbonize the economy becomes increasingly urgent.

DeSmog’s investigation shows a disproportionate focus on green or environmental efforts by the companies — including highlighting their net zero targets — compared to the share of their business devoted to clean energy.

Continue reading

EU Mission Evaluates Venezuela Electoral Team

The European Union (EU) has sent an “exploratory mission” to Venezuela to assess social and political conditions in the country.

The 15-day mission is similarly charged with judging electoral guarantees and the “utility, convenience and viability” of adding an EU delegation to the typically ample electoral observer teams for the November 21 “mega-elections,” in which more than 100 political parties are vying to elect over 3000 public regional and local officials.

The delegation is considered a further step in smoothing relations between the Caribbean country and the European bloc, with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell highlighting a “possible political opening in Venezuela.”

Continue reading

Hijacking The Recovery Through Hydrogen

EU Covid-19 recovery funds are supposed to drive the ‘green transition’ and move us beyond fossil fuels – but industry lobbying at both national and EU level has ensured oil and gas firms and utilities remain some of the biggest beneficiaries in Italy, the Spanish State, Portugal and France.

The European Commission has said it wanted to avoid giving billions in bailouts to the fossil fuel industry. Despite sending mixed signals, to its credit, in these four cases it has tried to exclude direct financing for fossil fuel projects, including controversial carbon capture and storage (CCS). However, the hugely outsized role for hydrogen and renewable gases in national recovery plans has thrown a lifeline to the fossil fuel firms involved, as well as their main product: fossil gas.

Continue reading

It Is Time To End Illegal Pushbacks And Abolish Frontex

The European Union’s border regime has been rapidly expanding in the past years, especially since the so-called “refugee crisis” of 2015, which put migration at the top of the European political agenda. It seems that there has not been much opposition against this expansion, which ranges from border militarization and the beefing up of the budget and mandate of EU border agency Frontex, to the extensive use of biometric databases, surveillance technologies and the increasing cooperation with non-EU-countries to stop migrants on their way to Europe.

Nonetheless, many activists have campaigned tirelessly against the EU border policies for years, while others have done all they can to rescue and support migrants.

Continue reading

The ‘Zapatista Invasion’ Has Begun!

It was a genuine surprise when the Zapatistas published their communiqué “A Mountain on the High Seas” on October 5, 2020, announcing a tour of the EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) across five continents, starting with Europe. Even though the Zapatistas have not shied away from organizing initiatives in Chiapas and across Mexico — the March of the Color of the Earth just 20 years ago is a case in point — it is basically the first time since 1994 that they are leaving the borders of their homeland behind.

Then, on January 1 of this year, they published a Declaration for Life, co-signed with hundreds of individuals, collectives and organizations, outlining the objective of this voyage: making a contribution to the effort for anti-capitalist struggles — which are inseparable from the struggles for life — to converge in full consciousness of their differences and unhampered by homogenizing or hegemonizing forces.

Continue reading

Protecting The OPCW Against Transparency

On the 15th April 2021 an extraordinary event took place in the European Parliament, in Brussels. An Ireland South MEP, Mick Wallace, expressed concerns over the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) handling of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Damascus, Syria, on the 7th April 2018, which was immediately blamed on the Syrian government prior to the OPCW investigative team securing access to the site of the reported attack. 

A “chemical attack” that led to the US, UK and French bombing of Damascus and Homs on the 14th April 2018, targeting purported “chemical weapon” research centers, a claim denied by Syrian officials and employees at the centers. 

Continue reading

Europe: A Backlash Is Growing Over Incinerating Garbage

For decades, Europe has poured millions of tons of its trash into incinerators each year, often under the green-sounding label “waste to energy.” Now, concerns about incineration’s outsized carbon footprint and fears it may undermine recycling are prompting European Union officials to ease their long-standing embrace of a technology that once seemed like an appealing way to make waste disappear.

The EU is in the process of cutting off funding for new incinerators, but there’s little sign most existing ones —currently consuming 27 percent of the bloc’s municipal waste — will close any time soon. And, even without EU financial support, new plants are in the works, many in southern and eastern European countries that have historically incinerated less than long-standing waste-to-energy proponents such as Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian nations.

Continue reading

ALBA Countries Reject Interventionist EU Agenda In Venezuela

The countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) have “energetically” rejected the latest sanctions approved by the European Union (EU) against 19 representatives of the different powers of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in a joint communiquè.

“These actions constitute a clear violation of international law and represent an unacceptable interventionist application that in no way contributes to the development of the Venezuelan people,” the text underlines.

In this sense, the South American alliance has ratified its “solidarity” and support to the Venezuelan government and people and demanded the international community to reject the Brussels measures and “demonstrate in defense of the principles of respect for the sovereignty, self-determination, and independence of peoples.”

Continue reading

The EU Avoids Treating Guaido As ‘President’ Of Venezuela

The European Union avoided referring to the opposition politician Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “acting president” once the mandate of the National Assembly over which he presided expired on Tuesday.

“Venezuela urgently needs a political solution to end the current impasse through an inclusive process of dialogue and negotiation leading to credible, inclusive, and democratic processes,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

He added that the EU will maintain its engagement with all Venezuelan political and social actors, including  “Juan Guaido and other representatives of the outgoing National Assembly elected in 2015.”

Continue reading

Israel’s Genocide In Gaza Goes Uninterrupted

A report published by the United Nations in 2018 stated that by the year 2020 the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable. It said specifically that, “the United Nations has stated that Gaza may well be unlivable by 2020.” The report emphasized also that “Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, drew attention to Israel’s persistent non-cooperation with the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. As with his two predecessors, Israel has not granted him entry to visit the country, nor the Occupied Palestinian territory.” Anyone who thinks that the Gaza Strip was liveable prior to 2020 is out of their mind.

Continue reading

How The Far Right Took Over The Mainstream

In European politics, extensive statistical research has demonstrated that male working class voters tend to hold a much stronger propensity to vote for far-right political parties. While we need to be worried by disaffected white male voters in both modern far-right parties and in extremist political organisations, it is also important to note that the contemporary far-right in Europe (particularly the populist radical right) has sought to become more ‘diversified’ in attracting a wider section of voters in society, and in focusing on different issue areas.

Continue reading

US’ Anti-China Call To Arms Has Not Won Over All Of Europe

There has also been a notable shift in German views about China. On August 17, Der Tagesspiegel published a column titled, “The West has to prove that it offers the better life”, which emphasized the role positive competition plays in Sino-European relations. It pointed out that if Europe can take effective action against internal social divides, then the West does not have to fear China’s rise.

On August 2, the directors of 10 Confucius Institutes in Germany issued a joint statement to decry the politicisation of these institutes. The statement notes that the institutes, which are similar to Germany’s Goethe-Institut, make important contributions to Sino-German academic, cultural and social exchanges. It should be clear that the China-Europe and China-Germany relationship are not just about single issues, but also affect the overall development outlook of all concerned. Therefore, one should not view these ties through a narrow lens, and certainly not add ideological shackles to them. The diverse breadth of ties requires all sides to rationally grow and maintain them. Recent German perspectives on China that are based on reason and logic would be a positive trend.

Continue reading

Community Land Trust Builds Social Housing

European communities are adapting the U.S. model of the community land trust to mitigate the housing affordability crisis. While trusts in the U.S. stemmed from the civil rights movement with the goal of securing access to land for Black farmers in the South, European countries have applied the movement’s logic to rural and urban challenges and its spread has been broadly from the affluent northwest to the east.

Brussels, Belgium, known as the ‘capital of Europe,’ is one of many cities worldwide that are facing mounting pressure on their accessibly-priced housing stock.

Continue reading

The Gilets Jaunes And The Invention Of The Future

The revolt of the Gilets Jaunes has been interpreted and analyzed many times in many, sometimes completely opposing, ways. It has been largely viewed, by the right, especially, and most of the dominant media, as a quasi-fascist movement, a form of uncontrollable collective delinquency, in a word: a threat to democracy and existing institutions.

But even among those who were generally sympathetic to social movements, including many activists on the left, reservations about completely new forms of political action and wariness about individuals who do not quite fit in politically have remained very strong, sometimes even leading them to refuse to support what they consider “impure,” “confused” or “unreliable” struggles.

Continue reading