Working class sections have demanded an increase in wages and pensions at par with inflation, including raising the minimum wages to 10 euros (10.87 US$) per hour, and additional investment in public health, education, transport, and infrastructure
Mainstream trade unions in Italy, including the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions (CISL), and the Italian Labor Union (UIL), organized a major demonstration in Milan on Saturday, May 13. The unions denounced the economic policies of the right-wing government led by Giorgia Meloni, including proposed cuts to public services and social welfare programs, along with lack of investment in job creation. Cadres from various political groups including the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) also participated and expressed solidarity with workers. According to the unions, around 40,000 people participated in the demonstration. Earlier, on May 6, a major mobilization was held in Bologna. Another round of mobilization is scheduled in Naples on May 20.
Ukraine President Vladimir Zelensky has somewhat eased the suspense by his remark to the western media on Thursday that his army needs to wait and still needs “a bit more time” to launch the much-anticipated counter-offensive against Russian forces.
He acknowledged that Ukraine’s combat brigades are “ready” but would reason that the army still needed “some things,” including armoured vehicles that were “arriving in batches” from NATO countries.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry has claimed NATO is seeking to increase its influence in Asia, citing growing “military collusion” with Japan, which hosted a delegation from the military alliance last month to discuss ways to step up cooperation.
In comments carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday, an official with the Foreign Ministry’s Japan Research Center, Kim Seol-hwa, said Washington is gradually pushing NATO into Asia through partnerships with regional powers.
“It is an open secret that the United States has been trying to create a military alliance like this in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said, adding that the “recent unprecedented military collusion between Japan and NATO is arousing great concern and alertness in the international community.”
Kim went on to cite recent reports that NATO is now in talks to open a “liaison office” in Japan, its first such facility in Asia. The office would be used to “conduct periodic consultations with Japan and key partners in the region such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand,” according to the Nikkei Asia news website.
That the history of the United States of America can be told by the common thread of violence is something few dispute. This characteristic of U.S. society is a constant threat to the country’s own citizens, but it also spills over its borders and is expressed in its foreign policy. Financing for violence, arms shipments, covert troops, open wars, unilateral sanctions, have made this a more insecure world in the name of U.S. national security.
Last Sunday, President Biden declared five days of national mourning for the victims of a mass shooting that took place on Saturday, May 6, in a shopping mall in Allen, Texas, in which 8 people were killed and the attacker, who fired indiscriminately with an assault rifle of which -according to data from the last 5 years- more than one and a half million have been sold in the country, was shot and killed. The shooting killed a five year old child, as confirmed by the President himself, who lamented that the greatest cause of death of children in the United States is precisely gun violence.
Since it is being widely discussed right now, I decided to also express my opinion about what is going on with Prigozhin. A little remark before I start: Since I am very short of time, I decided to write a very small opinion piece, not an analysis. I did no research for this. Hence, take it for what it is. An opinion and NOT an analysis. So, let’s start.
Juan Guaidó continues to advocate punishing the Venezuelan people with US coercive economic measures. Recently shipped to Washington DC, the former “interim president” of Venezuela pleaded, “You can’t use a kind or soft approach,” such as easing the suffering, because it would “normalize dictatorship.”
Guaidó was livestreamed May 3 from the quasi-governmental Wilson Center. Located in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC, the Wilson Center is a think tank established by the US Congress, which “conducts research to inform public policy” in service of the US empire.
The Alex Saab case highlights changing international norms regarding diplomatic immunity, as the U.S. government has decided not to recognize his professed immunity, despite being designated a special envoy by the Venezuelan government.
As war continues to rage in Ukraine and conflict in the Pacific cannot be ruled out, it is obvious that our geopolitical institutions are being tested. Many wise men have asked in recent years—where are the diplomats during times of war? The case of Alex Saab is a perfect example of changing international norms, as the U.S. government has made a decision not to recognize professed diplomatic immunity in the case.
Saab was designated a diplomatic special envoy by the Venezuelan government to travel to Iran to discuss a series of commercial transactions. While en route to Iran, his aircraft stopped for fuel in Cape Verde. There, Saab was detained and extradited to the United States to stand trial on one federal count. Many current and former members of diplomatic circles believe Saab was entitled to diplomatic immunity as a designated Venezuelan special envoy, no matter his lack of a diplomatic passport, the stop in a third-party country, or the commercial nature of his travel.
An AFP report (“Communist Cuba celebrates Worker’s Day, four days late”), datelined May 5, 2023, said:
“Cuba finally celebrated May Day on Friday, four days late, after the original celebration of workers was postponed due to the risk of rain and trimmed down as a result of a fuel shortage.
“The May 1 celebration is usually a grandstand event in the communist island nation.”
According to the report, thousands of people from all over the country descend on the capital by bus to congregate at Revolution Square before beginning a parade.
This year, the report said, the Havana residents were asked to instead head on foot to the parade along the iconic Malecon promenade, while smaller festivities were organized in other neighborhoods. The only buses to bring workers to the event came from nearby municipalities. Instead of putting on a massive commemoration on the central square that marks the highest point in the city, a much more low-key celebration took place by the coast.
This year’s May Day celebration in Cuba was interrupted by severe storms that knocked out electricity in much of the country. Authorities had no choice but to postpone the traditional mass marches. But for over 150 young grassroots organizers from the United States who had traveled to the country to mark the holiday, this turn of events was just more reason to deepen their efforts to end the U.S.-imposed blockade of the country.
Miya Tada, a brigade participant from New York, explained how this showed that “the biggest obstacle the Cuban people are facing is the repression and economic warfare of our own government, and that just inspires me to further the struggle against the blockade back in the United States.”
This wide range of activists from nearly 30 states and dozens of organizations was brought together by the International Peoples’ Assembly, a network of left movements and parties around the globe. Members of the solidarity brigade had spent the preceding week taking part in educational panels, discussions with Cuban activists, and youth exchanges as they sought to deepen their understanding of the Cuban Revolution.