We Are Grass. We Grow on Everything: The Forty-Ninth Newsletter (2020)

3 December 2020 — Tricontinental

Aswath Lenin met India 2020 1Aswath (India), Lenin met India, 2020

Dear friends,

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

Farmers and agricultural workers from northern India marched along various national highways toward India’s capital of New Delhi as part of the general strike on 26 November. They carried placards with slogans against the anti-farmer, pro-corporate laws that were passed by India’s Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) in September, and then pushed through the Rajya Sabha (upper house) with only a voice vote. The striking agricultural workers and farmers carried flags that indicated their affiliation with a range of organisations, from the communist movement to a broad front of farmers’ organisations. They marched against the privatisation of agriculture, which they argue undermines India’s food sovereignty and erodes their ability to remain agriculturalists.

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We Suffer from an Incurable Disease Called Hope: The Forty-Eighth Newsletter (2020)

26 November 2020 — Tricontinental

Public health propaganda team for the elimination of four pests China 1958 2

Public Health Elimination Team for the Elimination of ‘Four Pests’, China, 1958.

Dear friends,

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

The total level of global indebtedness now sits at an astronomical $277 trillion, an increase of $15 trillion since 2019. This amount is equivalent to 365% of the global gross domestic product. The debt burden is highest in the poorest countries, where coronavirus defaults have begun; Zambia’s default is the most recent. The various programmes to suspend debt servicing payments – such as the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative – and the various programmes of aid – such as through the International Monetary Fund’s COVID-19 Financial Assistance and Debt Relief initiative – are certain to fall short. The G20 package has only covered 1.66% of debt payments, since it has failed to corral many private and multilateral lenders into its agreements.

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It Is Freedom, Only Freedom Which Can Quench Our Thirst: The Forty-Seventh Newsletter (2020)

19 November 2020 — Tricontinental

Dossier 34 CoverCover of dossier 34: Paulo Freire and Popular Struggle in South Africa

Dear friends,

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

In 2011, the Swedish novelist Henning Mankell travelled to India to deliver the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. Mankell recounted an incident from Mozambique, where he lived for part of each year. In the 1980s, after Mozambique won its independence from Portugal in 1974, the South African apartheid regime and the settler-colonial army of Rhodesia backed an anti-communist faction against the government of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). The point of the war was to destroy the bases of the South African and Zimbabwean national liberation forces that had been given permission to operate by Mozambique’s FRELIMO government.

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Take a Deep Breath and Then Return to the Work of Building a New World: The Forty-Sixth Newsletter (2020)

12 November 2020 — Tricontinental

4 Leyla Tonak Lungs I 656x1024Leyla Tonak (USA), Lungs I, 2020

Dear friends,

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

Finally, after much uncertainty, on the anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917, the numbers added up and US President Donald Trump found that — despite winning over 70 million votes — he would not be re-elected. His rival, Joe Biden, has been in public office for four decades and has a record that should not delude anyone. But this was less an election for Biden and more an election against Trump. More so, it was a popular vote against the neo-fascists around the world who take pleasure in Trump’s promotion of their repulsive agenda founded on racism, misogyny, and other wretched social features that privilege hierarchy over society. Trump’s defeat in the polls does not immediately impact people like Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, since both have seen climbing poll numbers despite their miserable performance during the pandemic. Nonetheless, their seam of highly toxic thinking is no longer going to be broadcast from the pulpit of the White House.

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Wage War Against the Philosophy of War: The Forty-Fifth Newsletter (2020)

5 November 2020 — Tricontinental

Kyōichi Sawada Japan Mother and her children wade across a river in Vietnam to escape US bombing 1965 3

Kyōichi Sawada (Japan), A mother and her children wade across a river in Vietnam to escape US bombing, 1965.

Dear friends,

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

In mid-October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook report, which offered some dizzying data. For 2020, the IMF estimates that the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decline by 4.4%, while in 2021 the global GDP will rise by 5.2%. Stagnation and decline will define the economic activity in both Europe and North America, as well as in large states such as Brazil and India. With a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and with the first wave not having been controlled in Brazil, India, and the United States, it appears that these IMF estimates might sink further downwards. Continue reading

We Are That History That Is Discredited, but Which Reappears When You Least Expect It: The Forty-Fourth Newsletter (2020)

29 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca Bolivia 2020 2

Bolivian President-elect Luis Arce and Vice President-elect David Choquehuanca, 2020

Dear Friends

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

Almost exactly a year ago, on 10 November 2019, a coup d’état struck down the Bolivian people after General Williams Kaliman ‘suggested’ that President Evo Morales Ayma resign. Morales – following acts and threats of physical violence against him, his family, and his political party – left the presidency, went to Mexico, and then eventually went into exile in Argentina.

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Paradise for Human Victims of Corporate Persons: The Forty-Third Newsletter (2020)

22 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Henry Tayali Zambia Destiny 1962 1966 4Henry Tayali (Zambia), Destiny, 1962-1966.

Dear Friends,

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

Any day now, Zambia will be the first African country to slip into a private debt default. It can only pay interest on the $3 billion in dollar-denominated bonds if it totally ignores the needs of the Zambian people. The country has suffered from the slowdown of the world economy, which impacted the sale of its copper for a part of this year (although copper prices and future prices have now begun to rise). Continue reading

Bullets Are Not the Seeds of Life: The Forty-Second Newsletter (2020)

15 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq Sudan Procession the Zar 2015 1Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq (Sudan), Procession (the Zār), 2015

Dear friends,

Greetings from the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 9 October 2020, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. In the citation for the award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee pointed to the ‘link between hunger and armed conflict’, noting that ‘war and conflict can cause food insecurity and hunger, just as hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence’. The demand for zero hunger requires ‘an end to war and armed conflict’, said the Nobel Committee. Continue reading

Che

9 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Twenty left publishers from around the world release a joint edition including two essential texts by Che Guevara on the fifty-third anniversary of his assassination by the CIA in Bolivia. These texts, with insight from Aijaz Ahmad and María del Carmen Ariet García, provide us with a clear and resolute summation of Che’s spirit of conviction, scientific insights, human compassion, and unrelenting will to achieve the victory of the oppressed over the oppressors.

Che_Guevara_On_Socialism_and_Internationalism_EN.pdf

When Confronted by Us Hungry Bellies, the Imperialists Reach for Their Guns: The Forty-First Newsletter (2020)

8 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Judy Seidman Imperialism stops here South AfricaJudy Seidman, Imperialism Stops Here, 2020.

Dear friends,

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

In 1965, Ghana’s Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah published a bold book, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. In this book, Nkrumah documented in great detail the way in which European and North American multinational firms – in close collaboration with their governments – continued to smother the aspirations of the new nations of Africa. As an example, Nkrumah took up his own country, Ghana, which had been known by the colonial name ‘the Gold Coast’ until 1957. Continue reading

If I Didn’t Believe, I Wouldn’t Know How to Breathe: The Fortieth Newsletter (2020)

1 October 2020 — Tricontinental

Liu Xiaodong China Refugees 4 2015 4Liu Xiaodong (China), Refugees 4, 2015.

Dear friends,

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

Here’s a story that encapsulates the terrible situation of our world: Associated Press reporters were on a Turkish coast guard vessel which picked up 37 migrants, including 18 children, from two orange life-rafts in the Aegean Sea on 12 September. The refugees were from Afghanistan, a country that shudders from an endless war. One of the refugees, Omid Hussain Nabizada told the reporters that the Greek authorities held them in Lesbos, put them onto life rafts, and then sent them into the turbulent seas. They were left there to die.

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Hunger Will Kill Us Before Coronavirus: The Thirty-Ninth Newsletter (2020)

24 September 2020 — Tricontinental

Baasanjav Choijiljav Mongolia Promise 2018 3Baasanjav Choijiljav (Mongolia), Promise, 2018.

Dear friends,

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

In April 2020, a month after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the pandemic, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) warned that the numbers of people who lived with acute hunger around the world would double due to COVID-19 by the end of 2020 ‘unless swift action is taken’. A report from the Global Network Against Food Crises – which is comprised by the WFP, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), and the European Union – said that the pandemic would ensure the highest level of food insecurity since 2017.

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