Contemplating the painful global panorama as the pandemic advances seemingly unstoppable, claiming thousands of lives; unburied corpses on the street with no space in funeral homes or private cemeteries; forcing doctors to violate their oath and choose who will die; tens of thousands of workers idle, halting the senseless commercial frenzy that never appeared so alien to us; and straining health systems to the point of collapse, it may not seem important to focus on what is happening in Cuba, a barely visible spot on the map, a small island that Hitler, they say, arrogantly erased with one stroke and dozens of U.S. administrations have attempted to drown in hunger and despair. But given the corporate media’s insistence on attempting to hide the obvious, and discount the recognition we have received, Cuba, for the sake of humanity, cannot remain silent.Read More »
THE current pandemic has brought to the fore, and with exceptional clarity, the fundamental contradiction underlying contemporary globalisation, namely, the contradiction between the interests of finance and thoseof the people. Indeed this contradiction, which characterizes the era of globalisation as a whole, has now come to a head.
It is becoming clearly visible in country after country. Take the case of India. Millions have been suddenly rendered jobless, and lakhs of migrant workers trekking home from far away places, where they had been employed but no longer are, find themselves quarantined with little or no money. The paramount need of the hour is for the government to provide succour to these working people; and the government can do so immediately by enlarging the fiscal deficit.Read More »
In the backdrop of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Michael D. Yates, decades-long union activist, director of Monthly Review Press and former Associate Editor of Monthly Review magazine, discusses condition of the working people and steps required. The interview of Professor Michael Yates, whose academic fields include labor economics and the relationship between capital and labor, was taken on March 28, 2020 by Farooque Chowdhury.
For a long time, you have been working with unions, as an organizer, educator, and negotiator. Your works on class and labor are significant. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the working people in countries, from Thailand, the Philippines, India, Bangladesh to Italy, Spain, United States, in countries in Africa, have been paying the the price teh most. Already unemployment and uncertainties are staring in the faces of millions of the working people. We’ve seen the unprecedented exodus of hundreds of thousands of the working people running away in hoards, jumbling like animals, from Mumbai and New Delhi, from Dhaka. They stuffed trains in Mumbai, as if the people were goods being transported. They embarked on a hundreds of kilometers journey by walking starting from New Delhi. Among them were children, thirsty, tired. Later, authorities provided buses to carry them to their rural homes in the eastern parts of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. They were fleeing from hunger, not from the pandemic. You are well aware of the condition the U.S. working classes are going through. In late-March, a teenage boy who tested positive for COVID-19 died in Lancaster, California, after being denied service at an urgent care center because he did not have health insurance. The system appears like a disjointed machine coming to a sudden, crushing halt. How do you find the condition of the working classes in this pandemic situation, when capital’s first job is to slaughter the working people?Read More »
T.J. Coles interviews the world-renowned journalist and filmmaker, John Pilger, about the coronavirus crisis in the context of propaganda, imperialism, and human rights.
by John Pilger and T.J. Coles
TJ Coles: People are being told to self-isolate because of coronavirus, but Julian Assange has been isolated by successive British governments for years. Can you tell us what’s going on with his case and how he was doing, last time you saw him?Read More »
Undaunted Cuba’s act of solidarity, in real terms, in today’s pandemic ravaged world is a modern day epic. Now, none, but the Empire, declines the fact.
Cuba’s role in facing the pandemic in countries is unparallel in human history: the island-country facing the longest-ever imperial economic blockade in human history is reaching humanity in countries with medical assistance in defeating the pandemic while the Empire obstructs, actually withholds, Cuba’s life-saving medical supplies – an act of humanity faces an act of imperial cruelty and brutality. In this reality, Cuba stands undaunted, and writes pages in human history: Humanity is one of the guiding principles of the socialist value system, and Cuba stands on this value system. Now, the mainstream can’t deny this Cuba-fact.Read More »
In the catalog of health provision and financing systems, we find a wide range, from the most private to the public and free of charge. There are systems whose provision and financing are completely privatized, such as the United States, Chile and Colombia, where the facilities that provide health services are private and in order to enter and be served, people have two options: either they pay for the service out of their own pockets or they take out an insurance policy so that when a contingency arises, they pay the bill.
This type of health system based on the intermediation of insurance companies in which a “third party” pays, in addition to being extremely costly (the insurance company keeps a hefty margin of the business’ profit) is the most exclusive: 1) if you do not have how to take out a policy, the safest thing, worth the redundancy, is to be left out, and in this unequal world in which 1% of the world’s population appropriates 82% of the wealth, it is many, many people who do not have sufficient resources to take out health insurance. 2) This insurance system is so perverse that exclusion is not only for economic reasons but also for age: the issue becomes more and more complex if you are over 50, 60, 70 and 80 years old, if you want health insurance you must pay more, that’s for sure.Read More »
Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, national spokesperson of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, talks about the economic impact of the lockdown in South Africa, the broken health system and the brutal evictions which continue despite a national moratorium.
Hospitals overflowing with sick and dying patients. Overworked staff risking their lives wearing garbage bags as makeshift protective equipment against an invisible but deadly virus. Refrigerated containers left outside medical facilities, filling with the dead. Mass graves being dug in the city. It is like something out of a horror movie. But it is very real and is happening right now in America. “We are doing the best we can,” Derrick Smith, a certified registered nurse anesthetist in New York City toldMintPress last week, “but people are dying left and right, no exaggeration.” “I’ve never imagined or seen our healthcare system take such a beating before,” he said. “This is something that none of us have ever really seen.”Read More »
WASHINGTON DC (The Last American Vagabond) — In August 2001, biopharmaceutical company BioPort faced imminent disaster. A series of company scandals, controversial federal bail-outs and severe, adverse health reactions among U.S. troops were causing both Congress and the Pentagon to reconsider its multi-million dollar contract to provide the military with an anthrax vaccine.
Formed for the sole purpose of acquiring a publicly-owned company in Michigan that held the exclusive license to manufacture the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine in the United States, BioPort sought to quickly expand the size and scope of its contracts with the U.S. military. This strategy was made possible thanks to the former head of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Crowe, who would prove highly instrumental in the rise of BioPort’s vaccine monopoly and its subsequent, aggressive hiring of former government officials as lobbyists.Read More »
I‘m not from DC, but I live here. I’m now a part of this living, breathing being that is a city. This city. It helps me to think of cities that way, even ones that I don’t fully feel at home in – like a body. And I’m like a blood transfusion. I know this isn’t my city, my body, but it’s where my life flows now, and so I best flow with it. This body holds me – it is my literal and figurative structure. I am one of the millions of cells rushing through the veins of this place, and although I’m a relative newcomer, I can feel that this body is not well. I can feel that familiar illness – it’s the same as any city I’ve ever lived in..Read More »