The Pro-Evo Upheaval in Bolivia: How is it Affecting the Canadian Political Scene?

On November 11, 2019, following the violent, racist, U.S.-led coup in Bolivia against Evo Morales — which was supported from the outset by Canada’s Justin Trudeau government —  I posted an appeal (in English, French, and Spanish) on YouTube denouncing the green light given by Trudeau on October 29 to Donald Trump’s plan. Just a few hours after the coup was consummated, Trudeau declared his support for it.

What right does Canada have to elect the government of Bolivia, to intervene in that country’s internal affairs? 

RELATED: Bolivia to Hold New General Elections in March 2020

The YouTube appeal was especially directed at New Democratic Party (NDP) MPs, who were elected with the support of the trade unions. “I’m appealing to the unions and the workers of Canada to put pressure on the NDP to take a stand against the Trudeau government, which is supporting this racist attack against Evo Morales.”

The appeal was also directed at the Bloc Québécois, which won more Quebec seats in Canada’s Parliament then Trudeau’s own Liberal Party. 

“We the people of Quebec and Canada, along with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Canada cannot turn our back on the Indigenous people of Bolivia. Especially when some in Bolivia are burning the Wiphala flag, which is not only the symbol of the original peoples of Bolivia but the emblem of the whole region.”

“How would we feel if somebody somewhere decided to burn the Quebec or the Canadian flag? We must defend the people of Bolivia and take a strong position against Justin Trudeau’s interventionist, pro-imperialist policy,” I concluded.

Further to these and other appeals and comments on the social networks, responses started coming in. The first one of note appeared on the Facebook page of Natalia d’Agnese, an activist with Quebec’s left-wing Québec Solidaire party. She wrote: “Totally agree. The Canadian government is supporting a coup by a far-right, evangelistic, racist component of the opposition. Some Latin American countries have begun taking positions, including Mexico, Uruguay, the Argentine senate and its new president, and others.”

The Durham Region Labour Council (@DurhamRegionLC), representing the members of many affiliated unions of this Ontario city, announced: “We will be submitting an emergency resolution to be discussed at the @OFLabour convention in a few weeks to denounce @cafreeland's support of a coup in Bolivia. #ElMundoConEvo #GolpeDeEstadoBolivia”

Canada’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), with over 680,000 members throughout the country, published a statement of its “concern about the developing situation in Bolivia, which has led to a coup.

“CUPE calls on the Government of Canada to recognize and respect the sovereignty of the Bolivian people to determine their own political future, without military or foreign interference. We further call on the Liberals to stop taking their foreign policy cues from some of the world’s most right-wing governments.

“We extend our solidarity and support to the Bolivian people who will be most affected by the social or economic instability that accompanies this attack on their democratic rights.”

The situation concerning this Latin American country is developing minute by minute. It is too early to draw conclusions; however, the initial reaction proves what has been stated in previous articles about Latin America: that a large majority of Canadians oppose US imperialism and its allies.

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Canadian Brigade of Solidarity arrives in Cuba

The Solidarity Brigade with Cuba Calixto García, from Canada, arrived here Saturday to fulfill a broad program of activities in several provinces of eastern Cuba.

The group is made up of members of the Solidarity Movement with Cuba, delegates to the International Symposiums for the Liberation of the Five Heroes, members of the Ernesto Che Guevara Brigade and trade unionists, whose objective is to deepen their knowledge of the history, culture and traditions of this area.

According to the Brigade's plan, which ends on December 14, they will visit historical and agricultural sites in the territories of Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Granma and Holguín provinces.

In Santiago de Cuba they will arrive at the Santa Ifigenia heritage cemetery, to pay tribute to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, as well as the mausoleum of the Second Eastern Front Frank País, where the remains of revolutionary fighters and the Spanish dancer Antonio Gades rest.

Another point to visit will be the town of Caimanera, located very close to the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base of the United States in the bay of Guantanamo.

They will also tour the native homes of Cuban heroine Celia Sánchez Manduley and that of the Father of the Fatherland, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, in Granma province.

The itinerary will conclude in Holguin, with an activity in tribute to the General of the Three Wars, Calixto García, and a visit to an agricultural cooperative in the town of Velasco.

The Calixto García Brigade was established in November 2018, as a sign of the consolidation of friendship ties between the peoples of Cuba and Canada.

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WBSC draw confirms groups, schedules for Baseball Americas Qualifier, Last Baseball Qualifier

The winners of the Baseball Americas Qualifier and the Baseball Last Qualifier will join Japan (host team), Israel (Europe/Africa), Mexico (Premier12) and Korea (Premier12) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games baseball competition.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today revealed the groups and schedule for the Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier, and the schedule of the Baseball Last Qualifier, following a live draw conducted at Hotel Agora Regency Sakai, in Sakai, Japan, on the eve of the 3rd WBSC Congress.

“After today’s draw, all the teams know their Road to Tokyo 2020,” said WBSC Secretary General Beng Choo Low. “The excitement and expectation for the historic baseball return to the Olympic Games will escalate with these two qualifiers, setting the table for an unforgettable baseball event in Tokyo 2020.”

WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier

Group A: No. 2 USA, No. 11 Puerto Rico, No. 12 Dominican Republic, No. 15 Nicaragua

Group B: No. 5 Cuba, No. 9 Venezuela, No. 10 Canada, No. 14 Colombia

The WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier will be held in Arizona, USA, from 22-26 March.

The 12-game Opening Round will be played from 22-24 March, and the top two teams of each group will advance to the Super Round carrying the result of the game played between each other. The top National Team in the tournament final standings will gain a berth for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Baseball Last Qualifier

The WBSC also announced the schedule of games of the six-team WBSC Baseball Last Qualifier, to be held in Taichung, Taiwan, from 1-5 April.

World No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 20 China, the top finisher of the Oceania Pre Qualifier and second and third place of the Americas Qualifier will play a single round robin for the final spot in the Olympic Games.

The winners of the Baseball Americas Qualifier and the Baseball Last Qualifier will join Japan (host team), Israel (Europe/Africa), Mexico (Premier12) and Korea (Premier12) in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games baseball competition.

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Canadian women beat Cuba 110-53 to open Olympic pre-qualifying tournament

A balanced offence has the Canadians off to a strong start at the 2019 FIBA women's Olympic pre-qualifying tournament.

Kia Nurse had a game-high 28 points while Miranda Ayim added 14, and Canada opened the event with a 110-53 victory over Cuba on Thursday.

Natalie Achonwa, Jamie Scott and Sami Hill chipped in 10 points apiece for the fourth-ranked Canadians, who outscored the No. 26 Cubans 31-0 on the fast break.


"Our depth really showed tonight, and once we were able to pick up the defensive intensity and get out in transition were able to really score," said Canada head coach Lisa Thomaidis.

Cuba tried to hang around early. But a late bucket in the first quarter from Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe capped off a 10-0 run and gave the Canadians a 28-15 lead entering the second.

Canada extended its lead to 21 at the half and used a 13-0 run late in the third for a 47-point lead with a quarter to play.

"That's essential for us. We have to use our speed to our advantage and we have great point guards who can push the pace and we have bigs who run really well and are mobile," said Nurse.

Anisleidy Galindo led Cuba with 12 points and five rebounds.

Achonwa and Raincock-Ekunwe were forces in the paint for Canada, combining for 18 points and 14 rebounds.

"That's great for us. It just makes us harder to scout and for teams to come in and look at us and see how many threats we have on offence is going to be huge for us," said Nurse.

Thomaidis added: "The two of them are tremendous athletes and they play so well together. They have that experience and to be able to utilize them and take advantage of the chemistry they have."

Ayim recorded all of her 14 points in the first half to help kick start Canada offensively.

"We have a really balanced squad, and Lisa (Thomaidis) has done a great job of bringing people in who are going to be moving up the ranks," said Ayim. "I'm really excited for the immediate future and the longer future for Canada basketball."

Canada's next game is Saturday against the Dominican Republic.

Notes: Canada shot 11 for 26 (42.3. Canada scored 27 points off turnovers, and the bench contributed 49 points. Puerto Rico beat Dominican Republic 108-58 in the tournament's opening game.

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Cuban Basketball Team to attend 2019 Americas Women´s Olympic Pre-Qualifyers in Canada

A Cuban team departed today to Canada to attend the FIBA Americas 2019 Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament, to run in that nation from November 14-17.

A few hours before leaving, Coach Margaro Pedroso announced the 12 players to participate in the contest that grants two berths to the World Olympic Qualifiers (WOQ) among 12 squads in February 2020, with headquarters yet to be defined.

Shooting guard Yamara Amarga stands out on the team that is also made up by several athletes from the current national champion (Havana´s Capitalinas) such as Lisdeivis Martinez, Suchitel Avila, Isabela Jourdain, Leanyi Becquer, Claudia Calvo and Dairis Tornell.

The list is completed by Maria Montero, Anisleidis Galindo, Enriqueta Neyra, Lisandra Vargas and Naomi Vargas.

The Caribbean island was included in Group A along with Canada (host), the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Pedroso said their goal is getting one of the tickets to advance to the WOQ tournament for the final berths to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, although it will be a tough task as Canadians and Puerto Ricans both beat them in the recently concluded AmeriCup, where Cuba ranked third by only defeating the DR and Mexico.

Group B of this FIBA Americas 2019 Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament will take place in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, involving the sides of the United States, Brazil, Colombia and the local squad.

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Cuba wins in extras, still in play for Premier12 super round

Starter Bladimir Banos couldn't get an out, but reliever Lazaro Blanco got Cuba out of a first-inning bases-loaded jam. NPB star Yurisbel Gracial won it in the bottom of the tenth with a sacrifice fly.

No. 5 ranked Cuba defeated no. 7 ranked Australia, 3-2 after 10 innings and kept its hopes to advance to the WBSC Premier12 Super Round intact. Livan Moinelo earned the win. He pitched two perfect innings, highlighting a brilliant effort by Cuba’s bullpen.

Starter Bladimir Banos couldn’t get an out in the top of the first. He gave up back to back singles to right fielder Tim Kennelly and left fielder Andrew Campbell, then walked the bases loaded.

Cuba’s manager Miguel Borroto wasted no time in giving the call to the bullpen.
“Everybody on the pitching staff knew that they were going to have only two chances,” said Borroto.

“Banos actually had three. It was simply not his day. We had to win this game at all costs, I have to think about the team, not the single-player.”

Veteran right-hander Lazaro Blanco proved his manager right. He needed only three pitches to strike out designated hitter Mitch Nilsson. Aussie center fielder Aaron Whitefield hit a fly to shallow right field for the second out. Yurisbel Gracial completed the inning-ending double play with a perfect throw home. Catcher Yosvani Alarcon had plenty of time to tag Tim Kennelly out.

“We missed a huge opportunity in the first,” commented Australia’s manager David Nilsson.

“We need to be better at-bat if we want to make it to the next level on the international stage. This is a very good team, but my players need to learn how to swing the bat with runners in scoring position.”

The game went into the extra innings tied at two. Cuba’s shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena thought he had won it when he sent a deep fly to dead center with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Aaron Whitefield kept Australia alive with a superb running catch off the wall.

Australia failed to score in the top of the tenth despite the international tie-break rule, that sets runners at second and first with none out.

Cuba’s center fielder Ruel Santos bunted and advanced the tie-break runners. Catcher Yosvani Alarcon reached third beating the throw by first baseman David Sutherland and Arruebarrena reached second. Pinch hitter William Saavedra was the first out on a fly to shallow-left field. Right fielder Yurisbel Gracial looked at two balls and then lined out to center. His fly was deep enough for Alarcon to score from third and win the game.

“It was a very important at-bat,” commented Gracial, who was named the MVP of the game.

“Also Alarcon ran the bases very well in the tenth inning. Thank God we could both come up for Cuba.”

Gracial is a 28-home run hitter for the NPB Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and has had a very long season.

“It’s true, it was a very long season," said Gracial on a final note. There’s no time to rest though. We need to take Cuba as far as possible in this Premier12.”

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Dominicans win NORCECA Title in five thrilling sets to USA

Dominican Republic won NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship to United States in five thrilling sets 3-2 (25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 20-25, 15-9) on Sunday night at Roberto Clemente Coliseum of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dominican Republic finishes the tournament with 4-1 record serving United States their only loss of the tournament 4-1; Dominicans have lost to the U.S. in the preliminary round. This is the fourth time Dominicans and the U.S. battle for the NORCECA title and the first time Dominicans come out on top winning their second gold medal in the history of the event.

Dominicans offense and defense over the net, as well as receiving skills were solid, from the beginning. Outside hitter Brayelin Martinez was unstoppable but the U.S. reaction did not come light, bouncing back 0-2 for the overtime on a formidable display of speed.  

Dominican Republic led 11-9 in blocks and allowed 19 points on errors against 29; the U.S. held a 69-58 advantage in kills and a 4-2 margin in aces.

Dominicans leading scorers were Brayelin Martinez with 20 points on 20 kills and 4 blocks, followed by Bethania De La Cruz with 19 points and Lisvel Eve added 11 points. Michelle Barsch-Hackley of USA scored a match-high of 26 points, Kelsey Robinson and Andrea Drews tallied 13 and 12 points accordingly.

Prisilla Rivera, captain of Dominican Republic: “It has been a rough year for us, many events, lots of work, lots of suffering and finishing this way is the icing on top, I am very proud of my team. We could have finished 3-0 but United States is one of the best teams in the world and wasn’t going to give up easily. Our best skill was team effort; we had a moment of distraction when they started to pressure with serves”.

Marcos Kwiek, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “Today we faced an elite team, it wasn’t easy. We lack money, we lack structure, among other things, but we have big hearts. My players battled a lot and it was a spectacular way to close the year; they worked a lot, it was a difficult year and we are happy that none of the players were injured, it’s a blessing”.

Karch Kiraly, Head Coach of United States: “Well played match from Dominican Republic, congratulations to them”.

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'We are the change': Greta Thunberg tells Canadians to demand action

Climate change is an international emergency and political leaders across the globe -- including Canada -- aren’t doing enough to confront the crisis, Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg told a Montreal crowd on Friday.

“If the people in power won’t take their responsibility, then we will,” Thunberg told a crowd of hundreds of thousands, including many children who skipped school to attend the rally.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau marched alongside protesters in Montreal and met privately with Thunberg, who he thanked for “pushing us all to do more.” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May also attended climate demonstrations.

 Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was the only leader of a major federal party to skip the event.

Thunberg encouraged climate strikers to put pressure on their leaders to take decisive action on climate change before it’s too late.

Last fall, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for governments to act rapidly to limit global warming to 1.5C. Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions need to significantly drop by 2030 and reach near net zero globally by 2050.

“If the people in power won’t take their responsibility, then we will,” she said. “We are the change, and change is coming.”

Thunberg has been mocked by some of the world's most powerful people, including U.S. President Donald Trump, who dismiss her calls to climate action as the musings of silly school girl.

Following Thunberg's remarks, CTV News' Lisa LaFlamme asked the teen activist how she feels about being attacked by grown men in powerful positions.

"I don't understand why grown-ups would choose to mock children and teenagers for just communicating and acting on the science when they could do something good instead," Thunberg said.

"I guess they must feel like their views or interests are threatened by us. That is, we should take as a compliment that we are having so much impact and that the people want to silence us, we've become too loud for people to handle so they try to silence us."

Thunberg said she told Trudeau the same thing she tells all world leaders.

"Just listen to the science," she said.

Asked why he didn’t attend the event, Scheer instead touted his party’s plan to invest in public transit projects, a promise he described as a “real, concrete” way to lower emissions by making sure “people will be stuck in traffic less.”

Scheer also used the opportunity to attack Trudeau.

“He’ll be marching with so many people today who realize that his plan is not as advertised, it will lead to higher costs of living, while not achieving our targets,” he said.

In conjunction with the march, Trudeau promised that a Liberal government would plant 2 billion trees over the next 10 years – a plan the Liberals say would help take carbon out of the air and “hold ecosystems together.”

On Twitter, the Green Party dismissed the Liberal’s promise “cute.” May, who is running on a platform to ban gas-powered cars by 2030 and eventually shut down the oil industry, said her party’s platform is the only one capable of meeting the IPCC’s bold climate targets.

May, who is running on a platform to ban gas-powered cars by 2030 and eventually shut down the oil industry, lauded the countless children across the world who skipped school to demand action from leaders.

“We are at the point where years, decades of procrastination have brought us to a place where we’re running out of time,” May said.

“This is a very significant moment and assuming we succeed, the future generations can look back at this and say, ‘This is when our kids saved us.’”

Speaking in B.C., Singh reiterated his party’s promise to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, a plan he says would protect the province’s coastline from the possibility of an oil spill.

“One spill would devastate the entire environment,” he said.

 MARCHING ACROSS CANADA

Climate marches began early in St. John's, N.L. as crowds marched to Memorial University's clock tower. The march is set to make its way to the provincial legislature on Confederation Hill.

More than 80 cities across the country are capping off a week of international protests and a call for action for governments to do more to slow climate change.

In Halifax, hundreds of people, including large groups of students from Dartmouth High School, gathered in Victoria Park for the protest. The Halifax march's route is expected to wind through the centre of the city to the headquarters of Nova Scotia Power, where some of those participating planned to participate in a so-called "die-in."

In New Brunswick, students staged a mass walkout at Samuel de Champlain School in Saint John.

Sept. 20 was the kick-off for a week of climate activities, with two global climate strikes planned on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27. The UN emergency climate summit was held on Sept. 23, in between the two climate strike dates. The global strikes were inspired by #FridaysForFuture, a movement following Thunberg’s call for students to strike.

Demonstrators in Toronto arrived at the Ontario legislature ahead of the 11 a.m. protest. Mayor John Tory said on social media the city's iconic Toronto sign will not be lit today in solidarity with all those taking part in #ClimateStrikeCanada.

More than 600 students at the University of Calgary were expected to walk out of morning classes and parade down to city hall for a rally scheduled for noon. With just weeks until the federal election, the group is calling for a Green New Deal and demanding climate policies from all candidates.

In Vancouver, the city said it's expecting about 10,000 people to join the mass climate strike. Protestors are meeting at 1 p.m. local time at Vancouver City Hall before marching over the Cambie Street Bridge to the Vancouver Public Library at Georgia and Hamilton streets, CTV News Vancouver reported.

School districts in Vancouver and Surrey allowed students to attend the strike as long as they had parental permission.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design cancelled all classes Friday afternoon to allow students to participate.

The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University said students who planned on taking part should discuss their plans with instructors.

Three Canadian retailers will also take part and shutter operations for the climate strike.

The 22 MEC stores in Canada will be closed on Friday until 5 p.m. local time to allow staff the opportunity to participate in protests.

Another Vancouver-based company, Lush Cosmetics , made a similar decision. The toiletry maker said it will shut down its 50 shops, manufacturing facilities and online shopping in Canada on Friday in an effort to encourage its 2,216 staff and customers to participate in local actions.

An Indigo Books & Music Inc. spokesperson says the retailer's home office teams in Toronto and Montreal will have the opportunity to participate.

At the UN’s global summit last Monday, Thunberg said the current plans to tackle the climate crisis do not take it seriously enough, saying that the strictest emission cuts being talked about would only give the world a 50 per cent chance of limiting future warming to another 0.4 C, which is a global goal.

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg warned world leaders. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

A climate report put out this week says that oceans are becoming more acidic and warmer, glaciers are shrinking, new illnesses are breaking out due to warming waters, and by 2060 it is estimated that coastal floods off British Columbia and the Maritimes that used to occur once a century will be annual events.

  • Published in World
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