Washington Beats the Drum of Regime Change, but Cuba Responds to Its Own Revolutionary Rhythm: The Twenty-Ninth Newsletter (2021)

22 July 2021 — Tricontinental

Prefete Duffaut Haiti Le Generale Canson 1950Préfète Duffaut (Haiti), Le Générale Canson, 1950.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

In 1963, the Trinidadian writer CLR James released a second edition of his classic 1938 study of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. For the new edition, James wrote an appendix with the suggestive title ‘From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Fidel Castro’. In the opening page of the appendix, he located the twin Revolutions of Haiti (1804) and Cuba (1959) in the context of the West Indian islands: ‘The people who made them, the problems and the attempts to solve them, are peculiarly West Indian, the product of a peculiar origin and a peculiar history’. Thrice James uses the word ‘peculiar’, which emerges from the Latin peculiarisfor ‘private property’ (pecu is the Latin word for ‘cattle’, the essence of ancient property).

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A Senseless Cathedral of Doom: The Twenty-Eighth Newsletter (2021)

15 July 2021 — Tricontinental

01 Cover 1

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

In early June 2021, the United States military led a major military exercise on the African continent: the African Lion 21.  Major General Andrew Rohling of the US Army’s Southern European Task Force said it was the ‘largest US military exercise ever conducted on this continent’. The African Lion military exercise, which was first held with the Kingdom of Morocco in 2002, is – in the words of US Africa Command – an annual ‘joint, all-domain, multi-national exercise … to counter malign activity in North Africa and Southern Europe, and increase interoperability between US, African, and international partners to defend the theatre from adversary military aggression’. African Lion 21, which included the armed forces of 21 countries including Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Italy, Libya, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, took place in Morocco and in the occupied territory of Western Sahara as well as in Senegal and Tunisia. The overall military exercise – with over 7,000 soldiers – was conducted under the leadership of the US Africa Command with the assistance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

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Women Everywhere in the World Are Squeezed into a Tight Corner: The Twenty-Seventh Newsletter (2021)

8 July 2021 — Tricontinental

Sandra Eleta Panama La servidumbre 1978 79 1Sandra Eleta (Panama), La servidumbre, 1978-79.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Between 30 June and 2 July 2021, the United Nations and other multilateral organisations held the Generation Equality Forum in Paris (France). The forum was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action set out at the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995). Re-reading the Beijing Platform shows that rather than advance the cause of justice and equality, many countries have slipped backwards. Critical areas of concern to be addressed included the following:
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Defending Our Sovereignty: US Military Bases in Africa and the Future of African Unity

5 July 2021 — Tricontinental

Dossier no. 42  Co-publication with The Socialist Movement of Ghana’s Research Group

01072021 Dossier 42 images 1Some of AFRICOM’s known permanent and semi-permanent military bases on the African continent, 2019.

How do you visualise the footprint of Empire?

The images in this dossier map some of AFRICOM’s military bases on the African continent – both ‘enduring’ and ‘non-enduring’, as they are officially called. The satellite photos were gathered by data artist Josh Begley, who led a mapping project to answer the question: ‘how do you measure a military footprint?’

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Cuba’s Vaccine Shield and the Five Monopolies that Structure the World: The Twenty-Sixth Newsletter (2021)

1July 2021 — Tricontinental

Raul Martinez Cuba Yo He Visto I Have Seen n dRaúl Martínez (Cuba), Yo he visto (‘I Have Seen’), n.d.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

In 1869, at the age of fifteen, José Martí and his young friends published a magazine in Cuba called La Patria Libre (‘The Free Homeland’), which adopted a strong position against Spanish imperialism. The first and only issue of the magazine carried Martí’s poem, ‘Abdala’. The poem is about a young man, Abdala, who goes off to fight against all odds to free his native land, which Martí calls Nubia. ‘Neither laurels nor crowns are needed for those who breathe courage’, Martí wrote. ‘Let us run to the fight … to war, valiant ones’. And in the rousing address by Abdala, comes these lyrical words:

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The Spirit of Carabobo Will Overcome the Stench of Monroe: The Twenty-Fifth Newsletter (2021)

24 June 2021 — Tricontinental

Kael Abello Utopix Venezuela Batalla de Carabobo Battle of Carabobo 2021Kael Abello, Utopix (Venezuela), Batalla de Carabobo (‘Battle of Carabobo’), 2021.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, this week from Carabobo, Venezuela.

Two hundred years ago, on 24 June 1821, the forces of Simón Bolívar trounced the Spanish royalists at the Battle of Carabobo, a few hundred kilometres west of Caracas, Venezuela. Five days later, Bolívar entered Caracas in triumph; the Spanish fortresses of Cartagena and Puerto Cabello had been seized by the Liberator’s armies, making a return to power for Spain impossible. In Cúcuta, a congress assembled to draft a new constitution and to elect Bolívar as the president.

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The Kisan [Farmers’] Commune in India: The Twenty-Fourth Newsletter (2021)

17 June 2021 — Tricontinental

13052021 11x172 new Recovered 1Women farmers from Punjab and Haryana protest at the Tikri border in Delhi, 24 January 2021.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 26 June 2021, tens of thousands of Indian farmers will gather in front of the government offices in India’s twenty-eight states. They will come to commemorate the completion of seven months of their nation-wide protest against the extreme right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This gathering will be part of a long cycle of protests that started on 26 November 2020 as part of a day-long general strike of 250 million Indian workers and peasants. Since November, tens of thousands of farmers, or kisans, have surrounded India’s capital, New Delhi, forming a Kisan [Farmers’] Commune. This Commune came to being 150 years after the Paris Commune, out of whose defeat, Marx wrote, would rise the next experiment with socialist democracy. The Kisan Commune, standing alongside Venezuela’s comunas and South Africa’s land occupations, is one such experiment.

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Every Region of the World Is the Worst Affected: The Twenty-Third Newsletter (2021)

10 June 2021 — Tricontinental

Faisal Laibi Sahi Iraq Cafe 2 2014Faisal Laibi Sahi (Iraq), Cafe 2, 2014.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Each month, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) releases a monthly food price index. The release on 3 June showed that food prices have surged by 40%, the largest rise since 2011. The impact of this food price rise will grievously hit developing countries, most of whom are major importers of food staples.

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We Hug the Trees Because the Trees Have No Voice: The Twenty-Second Newsletter (2021)

3 June 2021 — Tricontinental

Setu Legi Indonesia Take Care of This Land 2010
Setu Legi (Indonesia), Take Care of this Land, 2010.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research,

At the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the delegates decided to hold an annual World Environment Day. In 1974, the UN urged the world to celebrate that day on 5 June with the slogan ‘Only One Earth’; this year, the theme is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’, emphasising how the capitalist system has eroded the earth’s capacity to sustain life. The Global Footprint Network reports that we do not live on one Earth, but on 1.6 Earths. We live on more than one Earth because, by encroaching and destroying biodiversity, degrading land, and polluting the air and water, we are cannibalising the planet.

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Lenin Went to Dance in the Snow to Celebrate the Paris Commune and the Soviet Republic: The Twenty-First Newsletter (2021)

27 May 2021 — Tricontinental

Cover EN 673x1024Jorge Luis Rodríguez Aguilar (Cuba), Paris Commune 150, 2021.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 28 May 1871, one hundred and fifty years ago, the Paris Commune collapsed after seventy-two days. The workers of Paris created the Commune on 18 March, building on the wave of revolutionary optimism that first lapped on the shores of France in 1789 and then again in 1830 and 1848. The immediate spur for the Commune was Prussia’s victory over France in a futile war. Two days after Emperor Napoleon III surrendered to Helmuth von Moltke, the rattled generals and politicians in Paris formed the Third Republic (1870-1940). But these men – such as General Louis-Jules Trochu (President of the Government of National Defence, 1870-1871) and Adolphe Thiers (President of France, 1871-1873) – could not control the tide of history. The people of Paris pushed them aside and formed a government of their own. They created, in other words, the legendary Paris Commune.

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Sleep Now in the Fire: The Twentieth Newsletter (2021)

20 May 2021 — Tricontinental

Laila Sharwa Palestine The Hands of Fatima 1989Laila Shawa (Palestine), The Hands of Fatima, 1989.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Israel’s massive war machine attacks the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) with total disregard for international law. Since the OPT is an occupied territory, the United Nations does not permit the occupier – Israel – from altering the character of the land under occupation. However, this has not impeded Israel, whose attempt to evict families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood resulted in the entry of Israeli border troops inside the al-Aqsa mosque, followed by waves of aerial bombardment that has resulted in daily death and injury toll that will be known only when the dust settles.

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If I Fall in the Struggle, Take My Place: The Nineteenth Newsletter (2021)

13 May 2021 — Tricontinental

Dang Xuan Hoa Vietnam The Red Family 2008 en 950 1Tiger Tateishi (Japan), Samurai, the Watcher (Koya no Yojinbo), 1965.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Ugliness defines the mood of state violence from Cali (Colombia) to Durban (South Africa), each context different and the depth of the violence particular to the location. Images of security forces cracking down on people trying to express their political rights have become commonplace. It is impossible to keep track of the events, which move swiftly from public manifestations to courtroom scenes, from the dissipation of tear gas to the invisible frustration of the prison cell. Yet, underlying these events and amidst the range of feelings that shape them lies a sense of refusal, the Great Refusal, the refusal to accept the terms dictated from those in power and the refusal to express this dissent in polite terms.

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