- Ministry of home Affairs and Expatriates State of Palestine
- Press Release from the Embassy of Cuba in South Africa
- The world stands with Cuba against illegal USA blockade
- Overwhelming victory for Cuba at the UN: 185 countries vote against the blockade
- CPS Remarks to the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP), Havana, Cuba
- SACP stands with Cuban people ahead of UN General Assembly vote calling for end of illegal blockade imposed by US government
- REVEALED: Mswati’s Government struggling to get R2billion to increase salaries for junior police officers, back-payment
- Southern Africa: SADC Calls for Lifting Sanctions On Zimbabwe
- Lesotho's Election Brought Change. Six Things Needed to Promote Peace and Democracy
- Mozambique / Doctors Threaten to Go On Strike Over Wages
- Maduro: Venezuela Returning to Andean Community of Nations
- Unions in Spain Demand Wage Increase
- Erdogan: 'We will distribute Russia gas to Europe via Turkiye'
- Death toll from migrant boat sinking in Greece rises to 20
- Kurdistan National Congress calls for investigation on chemical weapon allegations
- Israeli Elections: With 86% of Votes Counted, Netanyahu Looks Set for Victory
- Israel to Annex Palestinian Land for Settlement Expansion near Nablus
- Algeria’s President Pledges to Prioritize Palestine in Arab League Summit
- Chasing a Mirage: How Israel Arab Parties Validate Israeli Apartheid
- Venezuelan President Remembers Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro
- Maduro and Lula Agree to Resume Cooperation Agenda
- Truckers’ Blockades Lifted in Brazil
Ministry of home Affairs and Expatriates State of Palestine
The State of Palestine condemns in the strongest terms Israel’s ongoing and escalating aggression against the Palestinian people and the intensification of targeted killings of Palestinians, including the targeted killing of five Palestinians in Nablus and one in Nabi Saleh overnight. These demonstrate a long-standing and declared policy of brutally entrenching its illegal colonial occupation byway of persecution and apartheid.
The Palestinian people will not acquiesce to Israel’s unbridled subjugation nor relent in their legitimate fight for dignity, justice, and independence. We will continue to protect our homes, our lands, our families, and ensure our rightful existence as a nation in our homeland.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court must carry out his duties and employ all available tools to deter Israeli crimes, investigate them, and hold perpetrators accountable.
Equally, Member States of the United Nations, including members of the Security Council, must uphold their obligations and implement its resolutions and provide protection for the Palestinian people.
Israel's impunity and ongoing brutal colonial occupation are the epitome of violence and State-sponsored terrorism. The Israeli occupation must be held accountable for its perpetual crimes and forced to end its systemic crimes against the Palestinian people.
Press Release from the Embassy of Cuba in South Africa
Press Release from the Embassy of Cuba in South Africa
This November 2nd and 3rd, for the thirtieth time, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) considered the draft resolution entitled “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States of America Against Cuba.”
A large majority of states have commented on the harmful effects of the blockade and its representatives have expressed their support to the government and people of Cuba against this cruel policy.
This resolution has historically received the almost unanimous support of the members of the United Nations, which constitutes a reliable sign of recognition and support for the need to end the blockade against Cuba.
This year was no different. 185 countries voted in favor of lifting this inhumane policy against the Cuban people and only The United States and Israel voted against it, reaffirming their isolated position.
In this particularly complex context, the Embassy of Cuba in South Africa reiterates its gratitude for the valuable support of the majority of the international community, specifically from South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini.
The world stands with Cuba against illegal USA blockade
Communist Party of Swaziland
The world stands with Cuba against illegal USA blockade
Friday 4 November 2022: - On Thursday 3 November 2022, for the 30th year in a row, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the United States government’s blockade of Cuba which has lasted for over six decades.
Over 185 countries supported the vote, calling for the US government to stop the blockade, while the US government only received support from its apartheid ally, Israel.
Each year, the US government, the real state sponsor of terrorism against Cuban people, escalates the siege around Cuba, imposing inhumane conditions, with the intention to remove its people-driven system and impose its racist, capitalist system. The illegal blockade has translated to losses amounting to over US$154 billion since its illegal imposition, in addition to other inhumane consequences.
Despite the seemingly unending blockade, the Cuban people have remained strong and defended their country and socialist system. Their people-centred system has established healthcare and education systems which rank as among the best in the world. Their efforts have translated to a life expectancy that is even higher than the imperialist USA, in addition to many other gains.
Cuba continues to be a shining inspiration to all justice-loving people of the world in the implementation of its people-centred system, the socialist system, which has ensured enduring health despite the US driven blockade.
In his remarks to the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP), held in Havana, Cuba (27-29 October 2022) on behalf of the Party, CPS General Secretary Comrade Thokozane Kenneth Kunene assured the Cuban people of the CPS’s unquestionable solidarity.
The General Secretary stated that the “living, existing presence of Cuba and the great record of the achievements of its people are one of the few remaining inspirations for people struggling today to rid themselves of capitalist and feudal oppression. This is especially so for us, the CPS, in our struggle for democracy and freedom in our country, Swaziland.”
“To develop our solidarity work with Cuba”, continued the General Secretary, “we need to conduct effective education campaigns so that the lessons of Cuba become actual tools in our own struggle.”
The CPS will continue to build and participate in practical solidarity efforts meant to defend the people of Cuba against imperialist aggression, to affirm their right to self-determination and safeguard their country’s national sovereignty.
CPS Press Services
Thokozane Kenneth Kunene
(+27)72 594 3971
(+27)81 353 3383
Facebook: Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS
Overwhelming victory for Cuba at the UN: 185 countries vote against the blockade
03 November 2022
Cuba celebrates Thursday a new victory in its struggle against the U.S. blockade, by achieving overwhelming support in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for a resolution approved by 185 votes in favor, two against and two abstentions
03 November 2022
Cuba celebrates Thursday a new victory in its struggle against the U.S. blockade, by achieving overwhelming support in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for a resolution approved by 185 votes in favor, two against and two abstentions.
The report presented for the thirtieth time states that only between August 2021 and February 2022 that unilateral policy caused Cuba losses in the order of 3,806.5 million dollars. The figure is 49% higher than that reported between January and July 2021 and a record in just seven months.
At current prices, the accumulated damages during six decades of the blockade amount to 150,410.8 million dollars, with a great weight on sectors such as health and education, in addition to the damage to the national economy and the quality of life of Cuban families.
In the first 14 months of the Biden Administration alone, the losses caused by the blockade amounted to 6,364 million dollars, which is equivalent to an impact of more than 454 million dollars a month and more than 15 million dollars a day, according to the document.
The extraterritorial impact of the blockade harms the sovereignty of the countries of the United Nations, sanctions their businessmen and impedes access to their ports for third party ships that dock in Cuba. It also prevents the importation into Cuba of articles produced in any country when they have 10% or more of U.S. components, the foreign minister denounced.
CPS Remarks to the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties (IMCWP), Havana, Cuba
27- 29 October 2022
by the General Secretary Cde Thokozane Kenneth Kunene,
Theme: “Solidarity with Cuba and all the struggling peoples. United we are stronger in the anti-imperialist struggle, hitogether with social and popular movements, in the face of capitalism and its policies, the threat of fascism and war; in defense of peace, the environment, worker’s rights, solidarity and socialism”
Dear comrades I bring revolutionary greetings to you all from the Central Committee and the entire membership of the CPS. It is a great honour to address this 22nd IMCWP and a privilege to be amongst you in this historic land of heroes and heroines of class struggle and revolutionary life, Cuba. The living, existing presence of Cuba and the great record of the achievements of its people are one of the few remaining inspirations for people struggling today to rid themselves of capitalist and feudal oppression.
This is especially so for us, the CPS, in our struggle for democracy and freedom in our country, Swaziland. And we are constantly mindful of the oppression Cuba itself faces, especially in the form of the illegal US blockade, which acts as both a material and ideological force against Cuba’s efforts to take socialism to new levels of development. There is a constant threat from US and other sources of imperialism against socialist Cuba, which is why solidarity with Cuba is so vital. Cuba, despite this, stands as a beacon for peace in a world now more than ever torn by imperialist war and aggression.
The world is now more dangerous because of this than ever. The threat of a new, more devastating world war is now a deeper reality that we all have to face and to try in every way we can to avert. Solidarity with Cuba is one way to stand against that threat, a struggle against imperialism. But solidarity is all too often merely rhetorical, filled with passion and sentiment but lacking substance and unable to change the actual situation facing Cuba.
What can small communist parties such as the CPS do to try to change this? Rhetorical solidarity is often the only recourse when material circumstances make it almost impossible to do more. But as the CPS we can do more. One way is to make the story of Cuba known to our people, to our comrades. We need to transform simple expressions of solidarity into something more tangible. One way is to develop information and education on Cuba’s achievements to give not just our committed members, but also a wider audience a real understanding of how socialism in Cuba works, on how precisely it improves the lives of the Cuban people – often against apparently insurmountable odds.
To develop our solidarity work on Cuba we need to conduct effective education campaigns so that the lessons of Cuba become actual tools in our own struggle. I hope that during my visit to Cuba, can start to develop the basis for this, to take back to my Party concrete plans for developing a new level of solidarity work on Cuba and to develop a detailed education campaign that we can run both in Swaziland and among our compatriots in exile. Foot prints of such lessons are abundant in the history of the Cuban Revolution to this date.
Solidarity with Cuba needs to be far more robust and visible, more than a few gatherings on 26 July each year and solidarity statements. We need to root information and education on Cuba in our actual work and ensure that within our ranks we become Cuba experts. This is one small step that we can take right now to create a new and more vibrant internationalism in our work, instead of leaving it as an afterthought or appendage. We need to harness all the possibilities that better technological communications offer – and they are not very expensive – to better develop our internationalism. We wish IMCWP continuity and successes VIVA CubaVIVA Solidarity VIVA Socialism VIVA IMCWP Thank you
SACP stands with Cuban people ahead of UN General Assembly vote calling for end of illegal blockade imposed by US government
Wednesday 2 November 2022:- The South African Communist Party (SACP) stands with the people of Cuba and their government ahead of the United Nations General Assembly vote calling for the end of the illegal and criminal blockade imposed by the United States government.
For 30 years, since its first vote in 1992, the UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted against the US’s illegal blockade of Cuba. The blockade, an act of war against the Cuban people, has continuously been imposed, with more stringent measures imposed over time, for over six decades. In doing so, the US government has wantonly disregarded international law by continuously violating the Cuban people’s right to self-determination and their country’s sovereignty.
Due to the illegal blockade’s imposition, the Cuban people have suffered immeasurably, with their country losing over US$154 billion since its illegal imposition, in addition to various human sufferings.
The people of the world have witnessed the humane system of Cuba, with many people, including in Africa, benefitting from Cuban solidarity. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuba sent 58 medical brigades to 48 countries, in a long list of solidarity efforts with the people of the world. In contrast, the imperialist US regime blocked Cuba’s access to vital necessities to deal with the virus at home and produce its vaccine.
Despite the long, illegal blockade, the Cuban people have continuously improved their system, and have over the years created healthcare and education systems which are ranked as among the best in the world. Due to the socialist system, which puts people before profit, human life expectancy in Cuba is higher even than that of the imperialist USA, with their environment rated among the cleanest. The socialist system has helped them to better prepare and react to natural disasters, the latest being the devastating Hurricane Ian, unlike in the USA and its territories where the poor are often left to fend for themselves while the capitalists rake in more profits.
The SACP will continue to play its practical role, in collaboration with other solidarity forces in South Africa, Africa and the world to reaffirm its solidarity with the Cuban people. The SACP calls for more voices in defence of the Cuban people’s right to self-determination and their nation’s right to sovereignty. To guarantee its own integrity, the UN must take more practical steps to ensure that the imperialist US regime abides by UN resolutions.ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP
EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA
1921–2022: 101 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE
TOGETHER LET’S BUILD A POWERFUL, SOCIALIST MOVEMENT OF THE WORKERS AND POOR: SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE—BUILD IT NOW!
_______________________________ Solly Mapaila, the SACP General Secretary _
__________________________________________________ FOR INTERVIEW ARRANGEMENTS, MEDIA LIAISON & CIRCULATION SERVICES
Media Liaison, Multimedia & Digital Communications Platforms Co-ordinator
Mobile: +27 79 384 6550
OFFICE, WEBSITE, SOCIAL & MULTI-MEDIA DIGITAL PLATFORMS
Office: +2711 339 3621/2
Facebook Page: South African Communist Party
REVEALED: Mswati’s Government struggling to get R2billion to increase salaries for junior police officers, back-payment.
Thursday, 3rd November, 2022
By Zweli Martin Dlamini
MBABANE: King Mswati’s Government is struggling to secure about R2billion to increase salaries for junior officers to at least fifteen thousand Rands(R15,000.00) per month.
Mswati, an absolute Monarch with Executive, Judicial and Legislative powers, enjoys a lavish lifestyle in a country where about 70% of the population leaves below the poverty line.
The King owns four(4) jets, two of the jets were recently purchased with public funds for his Royal Eswatini National Airways Cooperation(RENAC).
It has been disclosed that junior police officers were supposed to start earning around fifteen thousand Rands(R15,000.00) per month as a salary on or around April 2014.
But,over R100 million being part of the money that was budgeted for Phase Two(2) was allegedly looted by senior police officers who created over twenty(20) Deputy and Assistant Commissioners posts,and subsequently shared the money among themselves through salary increments.
Currently junior officers earn around twelve Thousand Rands(R12,000.00) and the delayed increase when calculated with the about six thousand(6000) police officers in the country suggests that Government now needs over R1.7billion to resolve the ongoing crisis within the Royal Eswatini Police Service(REPS).
The R1.7 billion covers the proposed increased salaries and a back-pay under Phase Two(2) that was supposed to be implemented in April 2014.
As a result, King Mswati’s Government is now owing each junior police officer over two hundred and eighty thousand Rands(R280,000.00) as a taxable back-payment.
This week, junior police officers invaded the Police Headquarters and locked the gate as tension escalates within the police service.
Government offered to pay four(4) percent increment that amounts to a mere four hundred Rands(R400) with a back-payment of less than three thousand Rands(R3000), the offer was vigorously rejected by the members of the law enforcement agency.
Reached for comments earlier this week, Sergeant Dumsile Khumalo, the Secretary General of the Police Staff Association said the police invaded the Police Headquarters and locked the gate as a warning that they were serious, they wanted their money.
“We can confirm that junior officers locked the gates but the senior officers later unlocked it.For now, the junior officers are just sending a warning sign that they want their money,”said the Secretary General of the Police Staff Association.
Indeed, subsequent to the locking of the Police Headquarters, on Thursday, junior police officers invaded the home of Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini, they are demanding a salary increment under Phase Two(2).
A questionnaire was sent to Alpheous Nxumalo, the Government Spokesperson, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Reached for comments, human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, the Chairperson of the pro-democracy MultiStakeholder Forum(MSF) said regardless of the amount, estimated to be close to R2 billion, by law, the money belonged to the officers and they must be paid.
“Regardless of the amount, by law, Government must pay these police officers because they agreed to pay them in 2014. This country is very rich and can afford to increase the salaries for junior police officers including the back-payment. We don’t want a situation where a Government intentionally renders its workers poor with senior officers and those in power becoming rich at the expense of others,” said the MSF Chairperson.
Southern Africa: SADC Calls for Lifting Sanctions On Zimbabwe
03 November 2022Maputo — The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is, once again, calling for unconditional and immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on individuals and institutions in Zimbabwe.
"SADC is deeply concerned with the allegations that the sanctions are focused for unilaterally punishing some individuals", says the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and incumbent Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Félix Tshisekedi, on a message issued on Wednesday and shared with Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi.
According to Tshisekedi, the sanctions affect the entire country, particularly due to a general negative perception about Zimbabwe around the world, especially in the sensitive global financial markets.
This perception, says Tshisekedi, results in the country being unable to attract foreign direct investment and access credit and other financial services necessary and essential for the country's socio-economic development.
This is even more worrisome given the need for a quick general recovery from the effects of at least two years of the Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled social and economic life and is currently being aggravated by the general increase in inflation worldwide.
Like most developing countries, Zimbabwe is particularly vulnerable to these negative trends and the unilateral sanctions only exacerbate its difficult economic situation.
SADC is committed to the consolidation of democracy in Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe is due to hold its regular national elections in mid-2023.
"In this context, SADC calls on those who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to give the country's citizens space to exercise their democratic rights and not use sanctions as a covert mechanism to cause regime change", reads the document.
SADC is also committed to the spirit of multilateralism and the imposition of sanctions against a sister nation in the family of humanity must occur in accordance with international law.
In this regard, SADC welcomes the Report of the specialist Alena Douhan on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, produced following her visit to Zimbabwe, in which she recommends the lifting of unilateral sanctions in accordance with the principles of international law.
Tshisekedi concludes his message by stating that "SADC fully supports the Special Rapporteur's conclusion that sanctions, including secondary sanctions, and the various forms of excessive compliance by foreign banks and companies, have had a significant negative impact on the population and the Government, exacerbating previously existing economic and humanitarian challenges."
Lesotho's Election Brought Change. Six Things Needed to Promote Peace and Democracy
02 November 2022By Khabele Matlosa
Lesotho's 2022 general election, its tenth since its independence from Britain in 1966, was unique in more ways than one.
It was the first election since the political transition of 1993 to be about key issues facing the nation, rather than personalities. This is largely due to the exit from active politics of Motsoahae Thomas Thabane of the All Basotho Convention and Pakalitha Mosisili of the Democratic Congress. They had dominated Lesotho's politics for over two decades.
With the exception of Monyane Moleleki of the Alliance of Democrats, the contenders were new to the political scene. This made the contest interesting and exciting as many citizens yearned for change.
A record 65 parties contested the election.
The winning party, Revolution for Prosperity, led by businessman Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane, was formed just six months ahead of the election. Its campaign message centred on governance and economic growth. This focus also influenced the party's coalition agreement with the Alliance of Democrats and Movement for Economic Change.
The party's overwhelming victory - it won 56 of the 120 seats - was as surprising as its emergence.
With the benefit of hindsight, there are three main factors that help explain the party's victory.
These are the country's poor socio-economic conditions, disenchantment with politics and the concerted efforts by the traditional leaders to withdraw support for the All Basotho Convention and the Democratic Congress.
The Matekane-led coalition government will need to make concerted efforts to address the socio-economic problems, restore faith in politics and deepen the country's democracy and peace. Failure to deliver will dash citizens' expectations. The low public trust in government institutions will decline further.
Factors that swayed voters
First, socio-economic conditions had deteriorated considerably, especially under the coalition governments led by All Basotho Convention and Democratic Congress since 2012. The COVID pandemic made conditions worse.
More than half of Lesotho's 2.2 million people live in poverty. Around 24.6% of the population is unemployed. Youth unemployment stands at 37.4%. Lesotho is among most unequal societies in the world. Social discontent worked in favour of new parties.
Second, public faith in elections has been waning, as reflected by declining voter turnout since 1993. Voter turnout was 46.4% in 2017 and declined to 37.7% in 2022.
Public trust in the executive, parliament and judiciary and in political parties has declined over the years due to poor governance. Corruption in the public sector is a major reason for mistrust.
In contrast, public trust remains high for non-elective institutions such as the army, churches, chiefs and the king.
Citizens perceive politics as serving interests of the elites at the expense of the broader national purpose. Basotho were determined to see the Democratic Convention and All Basotho Convention out of state house.
Third, the traditional leaders, who form the core of the upper house of parliament (the Senate), influenced voters' choices against All Basotho Convention and Democratic Congress. The traditional leaders made it publicly known that they were unhappy with the failure of the national reform process.
The reform was initiated at the behest of the Southern African Development Community in 2014 with a view to restoring security, peace and political stability in Lesotho. But the National Assembly and Senate could not agree on the proposals from the National Reforms Authority - a statutory body which was tasked with driving the reform agenda.
The chiefs blamed the coalition government for this failure.
Deepening Lesotho's democracy and peace
Both state and non-state actors will have to make concerted efforts to entrench Lesotho's democracy in order to anchor peace, and improve socio-economic conditions. There are six areas they can focus on:
- More resources and effort have to go into addressing underdevelopment, poverty, hunger, unemployment and inequality.
- More investment needs to be earmarked for democracy and peace education to reverse the trend of democracy fatigue. This manifests in voter apathy and dwindling public trust in governance institutions.
- Public funding for political parties has to be revisited to stem the proliferation of parties. The current formula gives parties money for campaigns even before they test their electoral strength - an exercise in futility.
- New regulations governing private funding and external technical assistance to parties should be introduced to safeguard Lesotho's sovereignty and guard against state capture.
- Concrete steps have to be taken to combat corruption in both public and private sectors.
- The electoral commission's case in the Constitutional Court should be resolved by constitutional means to avoid a post-election political crisis. The case seeks to reallocate about four compensatory proportional representation seats to smaller parties.
The vote for the new party and its leader was largely a protest vote against the All Basotho Convention and Democratic Congress grand coalition government and their failure to improve the lives of the people - which have worsened because of COVID - and the botched national reform process.
Basotho's expectations are extremely high and the new coalition government has to deliver tangible changes fast, some of them within the first 100 days.
Khabele Matlosa, Visiting Professor, Centre for African Diplomacy and Leadership, University of Johannesburg, University of Johannesburg
Mozambique / Doctors Threaten to Go On Strike Over Wages
28 October 2022
Maputo — Mozambique's Medical Association (AMM) on Friday threatened to go on a national strike from 07 November if the government fails to correct inconsistencies in the Single Wage Table (TSU).
A statement signed by the AMM's Chair, Milton Hussene Tatia, explains that the decision came out of a national meeting held on Thursday (27), in which 'in a unanimous way, the class decided to go on a nationwide strike'.
'The strike will last for 21 extendable days, starting at 7am on 07 November 2022. Over the next few days the strike guidelines will be published", reads the document.
At the origin of the strike, according to the medical doctors, are the non-conformities in the Single Wage Table.
For the doctors, 'the letter of notice of the strike and the claims of the medical class was sent this morning to the Health Ministry ' with a copy of the President of the Republic, Minister of Economy and Finance and Minister of State Administration and Civil Service.
AMM promises to publish in the coming days, the guidelines of the strike.
The strike comes in protest of the TSU.
Doctors claim that they have been betrayed by the Government, which failed to accommodate their demands in the TSU.
The TSU cuts the number of wage levels in the public administration to just 21. It sets wages according to three parameters, namely length of service, length of career and educational level.
There had been optimism that the TSU would greatly improve the wages in the public administration, but the government explains that here would be no general wage increase for state employees.
Instead, the TSU will lead to the elimination of the wage imbalances that currently exist in the Public Administration. Hence, it is not a wage revision that can be understood as an increase in wages in the public administration.
The government also promised that the TSU will not lower anybody's wages.
If the new wage scale did lead to any individual being paid less than previously, he or she will receive a "wage adjustment allowance".
Maduro: Venezuela Returning to Andean Community of Nations
03 November 2022
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro assured on Thursday that the time has come for his country to return to the Andean Community of Nations with all the productive and commercial capacities that the Caribbean nation possesses.
"We are determined to join the Andean Community of Nations with all our productive capacity, with our commercial capacity and a growing economy; it is the moment, it is time, everything has its time and the time has come to return to the Andean Community of Nations to build with our brothers of the Andean South America," said the president during a broadcast of the state-owned Venezolana de Televisión channel.
On November 1, Colombian President Gustavo Petro asked his Venezuelan counterpart to evaluate his country's return to the Andean Community of Nations during his official visit to Caracas.
This is the second time that the Colombian president has asked Maduro to evaluate the return of the Caribbean country to the regional bloc.
Venezuela belonged to the organization since 1973 and it was in 2006, under the presidency of Hugo Chávez (1999-2013), that the country left the block as a direct consequence of the immediate damage that would be caused by the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) signed by Colombia and Peru, according to the Government at that time.
Maduro said that Venezuela is in the process of increasing its production capacities to increase trade with Colombia and stressed that the Neo-Granadian nation has a very "powerful and important" economy, which will allow both countries to promote a special economic zone in South America.
On Tuesday, Maduro met with his Colombian counterpart in Caracas to establish a work agenda between the two countries to give continuity to the reestablishment of bilateral, consular and commercial relations.
The topics discussed ranged from trade and economy to "new steps towards a total and assured opening of the border between Colombia and Venezuela."
The meeting between the two presidents took place after six years, two months and 19 days since the last time a Colombian president traveled to Venezuela to meet with his counterpart; the last one had been Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018) with Maduro in 2016.
Unions in Spain Demand Wage Increase
03 November 2022
Today, thousands of workers rallied in Madrid's Main Square under the slogan "Wage or conflict."
Workers' Commissions (CCOO) and the General Union of Workers (UGT) led the massive workers' demonstration in Madrid to demand a collective wage increase in the face of inflation.
Unai Sordo, leader of CCOO, and Pepe Álvarez, of UGT, said that wage increases are essential to combat inflation. They warned that conflict would continue as long as there is no progress on the matter.
The unions are demanding negotiations with the employers so that they agree on a wage increase in line with the rise in prices. In this sense, the general secretary of CCOO, Paloma López, said the request is that wages be increased to protect workers' purchasing power.
Claiming that "either there is a wage or there will be conflict," the secretary general of UGT, José María Álvarez, said, "Where there has been conflict, we have achieved wages and dozens of agreements have been signed with increases that allow workers to maintain their purchasing power, in companies with high profits and with lower profits."
WE FILLED THE MAIN SQUARE. More than 45 000 workers are in the streets today demanding a collective wage increase. Today we fight, today we fight, today we win!
Thursday's rally called for a fair distribution of the wealth generated in the country, according to the secretary general of UGT. "This is our struggle and our commitment. It is social justice that the working class should get part of the profits it generates."
Atocha, Puerta de Toledo and Plaza de España were places in the capital that witnessed today's demonstration. Although there was a massive turnout ( over 45 000 workers), calm prevailed.
Erdogan: 'We will distribute Russia gas to Europe via Turkiye'
29 October 2022
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkiye will distribute natural gas from Russia to Europe through its TurkStream project.
Erdogan noted in a speech in Ankara on Friday that this will take place as a result of talks with Moscow.
The president also revealed that his government will soon start work on the Istanbul Canal project and that it will save the Bosphorus Strait from environmental threats.
Erdogan previously referred to the discovery of 540 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea, adding: "God willing, we will soon share the new good news with our people regarding energy."
TurkStream is two pipelines to transport gas from Russia to Turkiye and Europe, passing through the Black Sea. The first pipeline supplies Turkiye, and the second provides eastern and southern European countries.
Death toll from migrant boat sinking in Greece rises to 20
3 November 2022
Rescue crews searching for dozens of migrants missing from the sinking of a sailing boat in rough weather off an island near Athens were recovering mostly bodies on Wednesday, with only one more survivor — the 12th so far — plucked from the sea.
The coast guard said it had recovered 20 bodies by Wednesday afternoon. Thirty-six people were still reported missing.
A total of 12 people, all men, have been rescued and taken to the island of Evia, east of the Greek capital. Eleven of them — six Egyptians, three Afghans and two Iranians — were picked up on Tuesday, while a helicopter spotted the 12th in the sea on Wednesday.
The initial nine survivors, who had been picked up from an uninhabited islet shortly after the boat sank in the early hours of Tuesday, had told authorities they had set sail from Izmir, Turkey, with a total of 68 people on board.
The boat ran into trouble in very rough seas and eventually capsized and sank in the notoriously treacherous Kafireas Strait, between the islands of Evia and Andros.
The tragedy was the latest in a series of deadly migrant boat shipwrecks in Greek seas that have left dozens of people missing or dead.
A separate search and rescue operation continued for a third day Wednesday in the eastern Aegean off the island of Samos, which lies near the Turkish coast, for seven people still missing after a dinghy reportedly carrying 12 people capsized on Monday. Four people, who the coast guard said were all Palestinians, were rescued on Monday and one body was recovered on Tuesday.
Greek Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis, who is also responsible for the coast guard, slammed Turkey on Tuesday for allowing “ruthless smuggling rings to send people to their deaths, with Greece saving as many as it can.”
Thousands of people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa, Asia and the Middle East attempt to enter the European Union through Greece each year.
Most make the short but often perilous crossing from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands in often unseaworthy inflatable dinghies. Others opt to attempt to circumvent Greece in overcrowded sailboats and yachts heading straight to Italy.
At least 27 people drowned in two separate shipwrecks last month. In one, 18 people died when a boat that had set sail from Turkey sank off the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos. In the other, a yacht carrying about 100 people sank in a gale, killing at least nine and leaving six missing.
By Elena Becatoros
Kurdistan National Congress calls for investigation on chemical weapon allegations
28 November 2022
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has called on international bodies to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of Turkey using chemical weapons in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) against Kurdish fighters, and said the silence from Western institutions and states was "emboldening" Turkey.
The Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) has called on international bodies to conduct an effective investigation into allegations by Kurdish militias that Turkey has been using chemical weapons and banned munitions in cross-border operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
“Turkey has been emboldened by the silence of international institutions and thinks that it has been given a green light to commit such illegal massacres with impunity,” KNK said.
The Brussels-based umbrella organisation accused Turkey of “weaponising its NATO membership” and called on the International Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to take action.
Western actors, including the European Union, United States, United Nations and the World Health Organisation (WHO), are acting in hypocrisy towards Turkey because of its “geopolitical value to the West”, KNK said.
KNK called for condemnation of Turkey’s “crimes and use of chemical weapons”, an investigation by the OPCW and the WHO, and sanctions against Turkey in case the investigation results in the country being found guilty of war crimes.
In the report, the KNK presented allegations that have been put forth by the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been in conflict with Turkey for some four decades.
Earlier in October, HPG released two videos that showed guerrilla fighters in a state of hysteria and convulsions, and said 17 guerrillas had been killed in chemical weapon attacks.
KNK also cited figures the HPG released, where the group said at least 100 guerrilla fighters had been killed in 2,470 instances of chemical use by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in the six months since April.
According to a report by the British newspaper Morning Star that KNK cited, doctors, villagers and soldiers and officials in the KRI have testified on chemical exposure. However, regional authorities have “prevented” analyses of soil, clothing and hair samples, KNK said.
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has also released reports pointing to the necessity of a thorough investigation on the allegations. The group of doctors have been prevented from conducting their own investigations, as IPPNW Germany scientific board member Dr Jan Van Aken told Medya News in an interview.
Head of the Turkish Medical Association Şebnem Korur Fincancı, who has since been arrested on terrorism charges over her comments, said the images warranted an investigation and that the Kurdish regional government and Iraq’s central government had a responsibility to appeal to international bodies for a thorough investigation.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Fincancı of “speaking in the language of terrorists”, and said those voicing concerns were “terrorist organisation supporters who blow trumpets of their ideological obsessions”.
Israeli Elections: With 86% of Votes Counted, Netanyahu Looks Set for Victory
2 November 2022
With 86 percent of the votes counted after Tuesday’s general election in Israel, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win.
Netanyahu’s bloc is set to obtain 65 out of 120 seats. Likud party rose to 32 seats, while Yesh Atid remained at 24.
The ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism party obtained 14 seats.
Benny Gantz’s National Unity party obtained 12 seats. Shas dropped down to 11, while United Torah Judaism obtained 8 seats.
Yisrael Beytenu, Ra’am, and Hadash-Ta’al obtained five seats, and Labor four. Meretz and Balad have not crossed the electoral threshold.
According to the BBC, “Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, appeared at his Likud party’s election night venue at 03:00 local time (01:00 GMT) on Wednesday to thunderous applause.”
“We have won a huge vote of confidence from the people of Israel,” he told his supporters.
Israel to Annex Palestinian Land for Settlement Expansion near Nablus
2 November 2022
Israel will annex swathes of Palestinian land near Nablus in the occupied West Bank for the expansion of an illegal Israeli settlement, The New Arab reported.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that an Israeli military order strips three Palestinian villages of around 616 dunams (152 acres) of land so the Eli settlement can be expanded.
The impacted villages are Qaryout, As-Sawiya and Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
It comes as Nablus and surrounding areas came under a three-week Israeli blockade.
Eli settlement began as several mobile homes placed on a hillside back in 1984 but has since absorbed more Palestinian land making it one of the biggest West Bank settlements.
Algeria’s President Pledges to Prioritize Palestine in Arab League Summit
1 November 2022
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said that the Palestinian cause will be prioritized during the Arab League summit, The New Arab reported.
Tebboune added that his country considers unifying the Palestinian ranks “an Algerian duty towards the Palestinian people.”
Since January, Algerian authorities have launched several initiatives to mediate a Palestinian national reconciliation, hosting dozens of key political leaders from the different factions to agree on a common goal.
On October 13, fourteen Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, signed the “Algerian declaration” and united Palestinian National Council.
Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported that Tebboune is optimistic about the Arab Summit despite the political disagreements dividing the Arab world, reported Qatar News Agency (QNA).
Chasing a Mirage: How Israel Arab Parties Validate Israeli Apartheid
2 November 2022
Regardless of the outcome of the latest Israeli elections, Arab parties will not reap meaningful political benefits, even if they collectively achieve their highest representation ever. The reason is not about the parties themselves, but in Israel’s skewed political system which is predicated on racism and marginalization of non-Jews.
Israel was established on a problematic premise of being a homeland of all Jews, everywhere – not of Palestine’s own native inhabitants – and on a bloody foundation, that of the Nakba and the destruction of historic Palestine and the expulsion of its people.
Such beginnings were hardly conducive to the establishment of a real democracy, perfect or blemished. Not only did Israel’s discriminatory attitude persist throughout the years, it actually worsened, especially as the Palestinian Arab population rose disproportionally compared to the Jewish population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The unfortunate reality is that some Arab parties have participated in Israeli elections since 1949, some independently and others under the ruling Mapei party umbrella. They did so despite Arab communities in Israel being ruled by a military government (1951-1966) and practically governed, until this day, by the unlawful ‘Defense (Emergency Regulations)’. This participation has constantly been touted by Israel and its supporters as proof of the state’s democratic nature.
This claim alone has served as the backbone of Israeli hasbara throughout the decades. Though often unwittingly, Arab political parties in Israel have provided the fodder for such propaganda, making it difficult for Palestinians to argue that the Israeli political system is fundamentally flawed and racist.
Palestinian citizens have always debated among themselves about the pros and cons of taking part in Israeli elections. Some understood that their participation validates the Zionist ideology and Israeli apartheid, while others argued that refraining from participating in the political process denies Palestinians the opportunity to change the system from within.
The latter argument has lost much of its merit, as Israel sank deeper into apartheid, while social, political and legal conditions for Palestinians worsened. The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) reports on dozens of discriminatory laws in Israel that exclusively target Arab communities. Additionally, in a report published in February, Amnesty International describes thoroughly how the “representation of Palestinian citizens of Israel in the decision making process … has been restricted and undermined by an array of Israeli laws and policies.”
This reality has existed for decades, long before July 19, 2018, when the Israeli parliament approved the so-called Jewish Nation-State Basic Law. The Law was the most glaring example of political and legal racism, which made Israel a full-fledged apartheid regime.
The Law was also the most articulate proclamation of Jewish supremacy over Palestinians in all aspects of life, including the right to self-determination.
Those who have argued that Arab participation in Israeli politics served a purpose in the past should have done more than collectively denounce the Nation-State law, by resigning en masse, effective immediately. They should have taken advantage of the international uproar to convert their struggle from a parliamentary to a popular grassroots one.
Alas, they have not. They continued to participate in Israeli elections, arguing that if they achieved greater representation in the Israeli Knesset, they should be able to challenge the tsunami of Israeli discriminatory laws.
This did not happen, even after the Joint List, which unified four Arab parties in the March 2020 elections, achieved its greatest turnout ever, becoming the Knesset’s third largest political bloc.
The supposed historic victory culminated to nil because all mainstream Jewish parties, regardless of their ideological backgrounds, refused to include Arab parties in their potential coalitions.
The enthusiasm that mobilized Arab voters behind the Joint List began to dwindle, and the List itself fragmented, thanks to Mansour Abbas, the head of the Arab party, Ra’am.
In the March 2021 elections, Abbas wanted to change the dynamics of Arab politics in Israel altogether. “We focus on the issues and problems of the Arab citizens of Israel within the Green Line,” Abbas told TIME magazine in June 2021, adding “we want to heal our own problems”, as if declaring a historic delink from the rest of the Palestinian struggle.
Abbas was wrong, as Israel perceives him, his followers, the Joint List and all Palestinians to be obstacles in its efforts to maintain the exclusivist ‘Jewish identity’ of the state. The Abbas experiment, however, became even more interesting, when Ra’am won 4 seats and joined a government coalition led by far-right, anti-Palestinian politician Naftali Bennet.
By the time the coalition collapsed in June, Abbas achieved little, aside from splitting the Arab vote and proving, again, that changing Israeli politics from within has always been a fantasy.
Even after all of this, Arab parties in Israel still insisted on participating in a political system that, despite its numerous contradictions, agreed on one thing: Palestinians are, and will always be, the enemy.
Even the violent events of May 2021, where Palestinians found themselves fighting on multiple fronts – against the Israeli army, police, intelligence services, armed settlers and even ordinary citizens – did not seem to change the Arab politicians’ mindset. Arab population centers in Umm Al-Fahm, Lydda and Jaffa, were attacked with the same racist mentality as Gaza and Sheikh Jarrah, illustrating that nearly 75 years of supposed integration between Jews and Arabs under Israel’s political system hardly changed the racist view towards Palestinians.
Instead of converting the energy of what Palestinians dubbed the ‘Unity Intifada’ to invest in Palestinian unity, Arab Israeli politicians returned to the Israeli Knesset, as if they still had hope in salvaging Israel’s inherently corrupt political system.
The self-delusion continues. On September 29, Israel’s Central Election Committee disqualified an Arab party, Balad, from running in the November elections. The decision was eventually overturned by the country’s Supreme Court, urging an Arab legal organization in Israel to describe the decision as ‘historic’. In essence, they suggested that Israel’s apartheid system still carries the hope of true democracy.
The future of Arab politics in Israel will remain grim if Arab politicians continue to pursue this failed tactic. Though Palestinian citizens of Israel are socio-economically privileged if compared to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, they enjoy nominal or no substantive political or legal rights. By remaining loyal participants in Israel’s democracy charade, these politicians continue to validate the Israeli establishment, thus harming, not only Palestinian communities in Israel but, in fact, Palestinians everywhere.
Venezuelan President Remembers Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro
30 October 2022
Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez signed this strategic mechanism on October 30, 2000, motivated by the common interest in promoting the progress of their respective economies.
President Nicolás Maduro recalled today the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Cuba-Venezuela Integral Cooperation Agreement, signed, he said, by the giants Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.
"The results are visible, and even with the empire's attacks, we move forward. We shall overcome!", highlighted the head of state in his Twitter account.
Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez signed this strategic mechanism on October 30, 2000, motivated by the common interest in promoting the progress of their respective economies.
Besides, the reciprocal advantages resulting from a cooperation with effective results in the socioeconomic progress of the respective countries.
When referring to the Agreement, Chávez said: "we have created an unprecedented integration system, I would say that not only in the history of Latin America, but in the history of the world; a mechanism, a system of integration, of union, absolutely complementary, generous and humanistic that has served us both".
The most recent events attest to this when the Bolivarian Republic responded immediately to help the island after the tragic events at the supertanker base in the province of Matanzas and the passage of hurricane Ian, both in the west of that country.
The willingness to send material supplies and food to Cuba ratified the idea that "solidarity is not sharing what is left over, but sharing what we have" and even more so in circumstances in which Venezuela is also suffering the siege of the United States and its allies.
In his recent visit to Caracas in May 2022, Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero stated that he came "to ratify our support and solidarity to comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros and to the civic-military union of the Bolivarian and Chavista people".
He pointed out that, like the Cuban people, they "have been blockaded, pressured, but have resisted and have decided to be free, independent and with their own criteria".
Maduro and Lula Agree to Resume Cooperation Agenda
31 October 2022
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced Monday that he agreed with Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to resume the cooperation agenda between both nations.
"I had a good telephone conversation with the president-elect of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with whom we agreed to resume the binational agenda of cooperation between our countries. We appreciate his willingness!" Maduro said through his Twitter account.
In another message, Maduro said that both governments have the will to work for the strengthening of Latin America and the Caribbean and the economic and social development of their peoples.
Relations between Venezuela and Brazil have been tense since 2019 when President Jair Bolsonaro recognized the oppositionist Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself "interim president" of Venezuela.
On Sunday, Lula won with 50.9 percent of the vote, against 49.1 percent won by his rival, the current president, in the second round of the national elections.
Lula defeated Bolsonaro by the narrowest margin obtained by a candidate since 1989 when the first direct elections were held after the return to democracy in 1985, and was thus elected head of state for the third time, confirmed the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).
Truckers’ Blockades Lifted in Brazil
3 November 2022
Brazil's Highway Police confirmed Thursday that the totality of the blockades that completely obstructed the passage on the country's roads, orchestrated by bolsonarista truckers who did not accept the triumph of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as president-elect, were lifted.
"All federal highways (are) free of blockades," the agency said in a message on Twitter.
According to the highway authority, 936 demonstrations blocking the passage on the main roads of the South American giant were lifted.
The Highway Police also reported that only 24 partial roadblocks remain in 5 of the 27 Brazilian states, three of them located in the Brazilian Amazon - Amazonas, Pará and Roraima - as well as in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, bordering Bolivia and Paraguay.
After three days of blocking the country's main highways, the blockades were lifted more quickly on Thursday following a message from President Jair Bolsonaro, who, in a video posted on his social networks on Wednesday night, called for respect for the right of people to move about.
The protests began on Sunday night after the victory of Lula, who, with 51.9% of the votes, was the winner of the second round of the presidential election in Brazil, against Bolsonaro's 49.1%.
The truck drivers' movement began to lose strength after the current president, seeking reelection, implicitly acknowledged his defeat on Tuesday after almost two days in silence. Reference=
Issued by NEHAWU International Service Centre
For more information, please contact Head Office