Saturday, 20 April 2013

The result of the Venezuelan elections, and its implications 


The result of the Venezuelan elections was a surprise, and it emphasises the danger of building a revolution around the charismatic personality of one man. Perhaps the supporters of Hugo Chavez were complacent, and did not go to vote, or they were so much in shock, and filled with grief at his untimely and unexpected passing that they lost faith. In other words were depressed. The result also shows how much the revolution was reliant on Chavez. No one is without fault, and one of Chavez’s was he hogged the whole stage of the Bolivarian revolution. This of course could have been a ploy to attract attention to his cause. But did he go too far. Should he have tried to be more conciliatory to the United States, though I recognize this was difficult with the knee jerk attitude they took towards him, and his revolution. Why do I say this? Well one thought has been swirling around my head. Though I have no doubt about the proficiency of the Cuban doctors, and that they did their very best to save him. If he could have been treated in the USA with their advance medical techniques, would he be alive today, but that is probably wish full thinking.
One thing though is clear all those who care about human suffering, and justice in Venezuela, should do all they can to support Nicolas Maduro to continue what Chavez started. Long live the Bolivarian revolution, long live socialism, and let as not forget Comandante Hugo Chavez.
 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Alan Woods speaks about Hugo Chavez

video
Alan Woods of www.marxist.com talking about Hugo Chavez upon hearing of his death.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Israel the Apartheid State


 

Israel is increasingly being labeled an Apartheid State. One may think that this only applies to Palestinians, well this is not entirely true as I will show in this article, but from tomorrow [Monday 4th March 2013] an element of the old South African system will come into operation in the West Bank. Many Palestinians have work permits to enter Israel, but now they will only be allowed to travel into Israel on “Special” buses. The Jewish settlers on the West Bank, largely recognized by the world at large as illegal, Have complained that the Palestinians are a security risk. So the ministry of Transport has duly complied, and will introduce separate bus line for the Palestinians. 
The following report is by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth
 a member of Machsom Watch, a female advocacy group monitoring West Bank checkpoints as reported in the Israeli online news site Haaretz.
"Police officer Advanced Staff Sergeant Major Shai Zecharia stops the bus at the bus stop. Soldiers order all the Palestinians off the bus. The first thing they do is collect all their identity cards as they get off. One by one, the Palestinians are told to go away from the bus stop and walk to the Azzun Atma checkpoint, which is about 2.5 kilometers away from the Shaar Shomron interchange. All of them responded with restraint and sadness, at most asking why. Here and there they received answers such as, ‘You’re not allowed on Highway 5’ and ‘You’re not allowed on public transportation.’ Advanced Staff Sergeant Major Zecharia gave some vital information to one of the older Palestinians who had arrived there, telling him: You should ride in special vans, not on Israeli buses.”
One of the most hated aspects of the South African Apartheid regime was the pass cards. This discriminated Blacks, from Whites. Here in Israel we all have to carry ID cards. Israeli citizens ones are coloured blue, Palestinian ones are a different colour last time I saw one it was orange. Palestinians are stateless people, although I’m sure they, like their black brothers in the old South African regime, they hate their orange coloured ID cards, it is their passport to work. In the West Bank there is very high unemployment. The work that there is ironically is building homes for the settlers. These homes are luxury homes far better than the vast majority of Israelis living in Israel have, and much cheaper. There is a curfew by which time the Palestinian workers must return to the West Bank. Some try to avoid this restriction by hiding in Israel, and sleeping on park benches, and defecating in bushes like dogs, I’ve seen this with my own eyes.
As I said Apartheid does not apply only to Palestinians on buses. In certain areas of Jerusalem were the ultra orthodox dominate, women are forced to ride in the back of the bus. Last week a statue of Rosa Parks [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Parks] was unveiled by President Obama in Washington. Israel too had her Rosa Parks. Some time ago a religious woman refused to sit at the back of the a segregated bus. One of the male passengers stood in the door way not allowing the door to close preventing the driver from continuing the journey. Eventually the driver called the Police. The Policeman instead of telling the man who was in fact committing a public order offence to remove himself from the doorway, he told the woman to leave the bus. She was not committing any offence. For this arbitrary rule of forcing orthodox women to sit at the back of a bus, has no validity in Israeli law. The man eventually left the bus. Who was this woman, I don’t know. Did she make any difference to the segregation on the religious busses, no. So no statue to her will be erected anywhere in Israel. Statues are banned under Jewish law anyway. You may ask what is the purpose of this tale. Well it is just another example of how Israel is out of step with the rest of the so called civilized world. On one hand it is technologically advanced in that nearly all the mobile phones, and computers in the world be they desktop or tablets, have Israeli technologically in them, developed for the likes of Intel, Microsoft, and many others. But on the other hand, not only is it not in the 21st Century, with its colonist Zionism it dwells in the 19th Century

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Alan Woods of Marxist.com on BBC2



Alan Woods, political editor of Marxist.com spoke on the BBC2 news and current affairs programme Daily Politics, highlighting the relevance of Marxism today as capitalism is shaken by severe crisis