Coming together for democracy and against neoliberalism

Activities in Cuba today, Continental Day for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism, will focus on defending the island's sovereignty.

Different sectors of Cuban society will come together today, November 4, in the University of Havana's Ignacio Agramonte Plaza to observe Continental Day for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism.

The events focused on defending the island's sovereignty were planned by organizations which are part of the city's Social Movements Articulated with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America.

Marches in several Latin American countries, including Mexico, Peru, Panama, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil have been called to protest neoliberalism, under the banner of "Not one step back! The peoples' struggle continues for integration, self-determination, and sovereignty and against free trade and transnationals!"

The decision to hold the continental day of protest on November 4 was made by participants in the hemispheric conference held on the 10th anniversary of the defeat of the U.S. sponsored Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, last year in Havana, with the purpose of demonstrating the strength and resistance of the left across the continent.

  • Published in Cuba

US-style democracy export arrogant, destabilizing, failure – Hungarian PM

Hungary’s prime minister has blasted the Obama administration’s foreign policy, saying it is based on arrogance and disregards reality. Viktor Orban said exporting democracy US-style produces instability, migration and extremism.

Orban, an outspoken critic of EU’s handling of the refugee crisis, voiced concern that a potential Hillary Clinton presidency would keep the current Democrat foreign policy that caused the problem in the first place.

“America supports the global migration processes. Instead of working on helping everyone to stay in their own home country, they perceive global population movements as something positive, or at least natural. Therefore, they do not want to stop but manage this migration process. The Democrats and Hillary Clinton are the managers,” he told German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse in the wake of his visit to Bavaria.

READ MORE: ‘We came, we saw, he died’: How Gaddafi was hunted and brutally killed (TIMELINE)

He added that the policy of toppling undemocratic governments in the Middle East, which was pursued under both Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, simply does not work.

“America believes in the exportation of democracy. This sounds good; however, wherever it has been tried, entire regions often became destabilized, the consequences of which are suffering, death and migration. Additionally, often anti-democratic, extremist forces rose to power as a result of the free elections.

“Believing in the democracy export is arrogant because it fails to take the cultural structures of the given regions into consideration. But whether you like it or not, it is the culture that determines the political culture. Donald Trump openly states this, while Hillary Clinton defends the policy pursued to date,” Orban said.

The PM is a maverick in European politics, who challenged Brussel’s plan for refugee resettlement quotas. His government called a referendum this month on whether they wanted the EU to decide on Hungarian immigration policy without approval from the national parliament.

The vote failed to score a necessary turnout to become legally binding, but of those who did cast ballots over 98 percent voted against compromising Hungarian sovereignty. Despite being invalid, the referendum gave Orban justification to pursue a constitutional reform to curb Brussels’ power over Hungary.

The prime minister sees the EU as sliding towards what the Soviet Union was to Hungary, imposing communist ideology on a sovereign country. He believes that Islamic and European Christian civilizations should be kept apart, since trying to force them to mix and reconcile is unrealistic and hurtful for the Europeans in the long run.

“They cannot mingle, but can only exist side by side. This is the situation in the Middle East, and also in Europe. Our perceptions of the world are so different that they lead to parallel worlds. This is not a political issue, but the reality of life,” he said.

“The political problem lies in the fact that people always live in the present. The scope of political planning is being increasingly reduced to the four or five years of a government’s term. Politicians tend to feel responsible less and less for what will be in 15 to 20 years’ time. In places where Muslims arrive in large numbers, the world will change entirely in 20 years’ time,” he added.

READ MORE: ‘Stealing our freedom’: Thousands rally in Budapest after top political newspaper shut down

Critics accuse Orban of attacking liberal values and democratic freedoms in Hungary. He also stands accused of speaking against EU on foreign policy, including its stance on Russia. Unlike some other members of the union like Poland and the Baltic states the Hungarian leader doesn’t see Moscow as a military threat, advocates cooperation with Russia and considers the economic sanctions imposed against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine too costly and ineffective to preserve.

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Uruguay's Pepe Mujica: 'Inequality Is the Enemy of Democracy'

"The biggest threat to democracy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few," said the former Uruguayan president.

Former President of Uruguay Jose Mujica said Latin America was the richest and at the same time the most unjust region in the world, and that all democracies should seek to end economic injustice, remarks that came during the third annual Latin American Summit of Progressive Movements Wednesday in Ecuador on Wednesday.

RELATED: Uruguay's Mujica Campaigns for FARC Peace Deal in Colombia

"The biggest threat to democracy is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, and therefore the concentration of power," Mujica told an audience in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Lenin Moreno, former vice president of Ecuador and the U.N.’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, greeted Mujica and recalled one of his most important sayings: "If you like money, don't go into politics. Keep making money, for that is not the fruit of politics."

According to “Pepe” Mujica, to achieve a socialist vision of an ideal society, governments need to fight for equality, not charity.

"We live in the most unequal and unjust continent in the world," said Mujica, now an Uruguayan senator. "We have so many debts to our people."

RELATED: Uruguay's Jose Mujica Says 'Coup' in Brazil Was Premeditated

Mujica said that people can’t live in an idealistic world, since there is a deep economic inequality in the region, and cited the example of the Mexican billionaire businessman Carlos Slim.

"The richest man in the world is from this continent. He would have to live 250 years, spending US$1 million a day, to spend it all," said Mujica.

Mujica said leftist parties and governments should not let the right-wing destroy everything for which they have fought.

“Inequality is the enemy of democracy,” said Mujica. Mujica called on progressive movements to find unity, since “without unity, we lose our strength.”

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Brazil: Thousands Demand 'Out Temer, the People Should Decide'

Social movements took to the streets to demand respect for democracy in Brazil and the resignation of the coup government.

Just days before the Olympic Games begin, thousands of members of various Brazilian social movements took to the streets against coup-imposed President Michel Temer and the impeachment process against democratically-elected President Dilma Rousseff.

RELATED: Brazil's Temer Says He Expects to be Booed During Olympics

Under the slogan of "Out Temer, the people should decide," the nationwide protests took place in 24 states to demand the resignation of Temer. The protests were called by the leftist grassroots organization People’s Fearless Front, which called on other activists, leftist movements and progressive organizations to join its protests.

Thousands of people dressed in red from at least 30 different progressive and leftist organization took to the streets of Sao Paulo in support of Rousseff and to demand new elections.

"It is true that the PT (Workers' Party) is not at its best, in every part there is corruption, but the Temer government is even worse," Eunice Mariano told AFP at the protests.

He added that he considered the interim government illegitimate and accuses Temer of wanting to implement repression and to roll back Rousseff’s progressive policies. "We are already seeing how we are losing our rights."

Suspended from office on May 12, Rousseff was replaced – on an interim basis – by her vice president, Temer. If Rousseff is successfully ousted, he would finish out her mandate, which runs until the end of 2018.

Meanwhile anti-Rousseff protests also took place demanding her ouster and impeachment, which the country’s senate is expected to rule on in late August or early September. A two-thirds majority vote by the Senate would remove her from office.

RELATED: Dilma Rouseff Won't Attend the Olympics Opening Ceremony

Other protests will be held during the inauguration of the Olympics, which will take place in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on August 5. Organizations will also march on August 9, which is when the final vote of the impeachment process against Rousseff could take place.

According to the president of the PT, Rui Falcão, the coup government has set out to destroy the achievements and social gains that occurred under the administrations of Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva before her.

For example, new Health Minister Ricardo Barros has said that access to public health should not be universal while announcing planned cuts to the social security system. Meanwhile, Education Minister Mendonça Filho has announced he will privatize all public universities and charge a monthly fee to students.

Minister of Labor Ronaldo Nogueira has also expressed support for flexible labor laws and announced plans to implement a project in which companies can outsource their services, leaving workers without protection.

  • Published in World

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Could Be Ousted from Power in 20 Days

BRASILIA – After the lower house decided in favor of the proceedings towards the dismissal of the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff on Sunday, now it is the Senate’s turn to make a decision in around 20 days whether to begin the impeachment trial which would oust her from the office for six months.

  • Published in World
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