Friday, March 8, 2019

Cuba's Ambassador to Canada responds to this CBC News

Cuba's Ambassador responds to this CBC News tendentious and manipulative article, "Canada at odds with Cuban 'ally' over Maduro's fate."

Ottawa, March 3, 2019

To the Editor of CBC News

I reject categorically and in the strongest terms the tendentious and manipulative article "Canada at odds with Cuba 'ally' over Maduro's fate", written by journalist Evan Dyer and published today, Sunday, March 3, 2019, by CBC News.

Good journalism does not speculate, it informs objectively.

The assertion that thousands of Cubans would allegedly be inserted into the structures of the armed and security forces of Venezuela, holding the government of (legitimate) President Nicolás Maduro, is a scandalous slander. I demand that CBC News present a proof, which evidently it does not have, since it does not appear in the whole article.

What Cuba has been offering Venezuela for many years is a modest cooperation, in which slightly more than 20,000 Cuban collaborators participate, 94% of them health workers, others in education, as they do in 83 countries around the world.

It is unfortunate that CBC News plays into the hands of the government of the United States, whose President happened to accuse Cuba a few days ago of maintaining a “private army” in Venezuela, a statement that is vile.

It is regrettable that CBC News does not denounce the US government's military aggression plans against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and the fact that it openly declares that its ultimate objective is to overthrow the Cuban Revolution. What else to expect from a sinister character like John Bolton, who in 2002 organized the coup against Venezuela, while accusing Cuba of developing a biological weapons program at a time when the false pretext of the presence of WMD in Iraq was fabricated to launch the war against that country? The latter lie was quickly denied by the US Intelligence Community itself.

Let's hope that CBC News, with its biased coverage, does not support the aggression of the United States against the peoples of our America, and then apologize, as so many media organizations had to do after the war against Iraq. Our peoples will not forget.

As the Cuban Government recently stated, what is at stake today in Venezuela is “the sovereignty and dignity of Latin America and the Caribbean”…, “the survival of the rule of International Law and the UN Charter”… “and whether the legitimacy of a government emanates from the express and sovereign will of its people, or from the recognition of foreign powers”. “History will severely judge a new imperialist military intervention in the region and the complicity of those who might irresponsibly support it”.

Josefina Vidal
Ambassador of Cuba to Canada

Elizabeth C. Economy, Wall Street imperialist "intellectual" gives China "advice."

The Problem With Xi’s China Model

Why Its Successes Are Becoming Liabilities

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Labor's Opening To China? Or the CIA's Opening To China?

Notice the mention of CtW (change to win). Andy Stearn has spent a lot of time in China.

I find this all very interesting because none of these unions are as aggressive with employers in the US as they “claim” they want to be in China.

My personal opinion is, that the CIA is worried that as Chinese workers take on these corporations and realize that they have been had by a grouping in their government that has betrayed socialism they will take matters into their own hands… and this is where these phonies like Andy Stearn and Guy Ryder come into the picture talking real tough and all militant.

Capital has assigned Guy Ryder and Andy Stearn the role of keeping the Chinese workers in line, thinking they can get something if these phonies are allowed to manage their negotiations with the corporate managements… they will train the most militant workers in class collaborationism in order to allow capitalism to fully enter China without any opposition and without any defense of socialism.

In the late 80’s, early nineties the AFL-CIO sent a shitload of union officials over to the Soviet Union to preach social democracy. I personally know several dozen people from the UAW sent to the Soviet Union. One, UAW leader from Lansing, Michigan went over to the Soviet Union and he told me, “I couldn’t believe it. They told me I was going to help Soviet workers and their unions modernize and I landed right smack dab in the middle of a counter-revolution where it was obvious I was there laying the groundwork to overthrow the government.”

Peter Bakvis who heads up the ITUC operation in Washington D.C. is straight CIA.

Notice how these bastards have come up right in step with the Dali Lama’s campaign just in time for the Olympics.

Many may not agree with my analysis, but there is something very dangerous underway here and it has nothing to do with defending the rights of the Chinese working class. Andy Stearn and his bunch are now playing the same dirty role of the Reuther Brothers, George Meaney, and Lane Kirkland… and John Sweeney is no better.

People should be demanding the full and complete uncensored release of the FBI/CIA report, "Family Jewels" because it will provide insight to what these labor fakers are up to in China today.

The ITUC held a big get-together out in the U.S. Southwest a couple months ago and John Sweeney stated the intent was to get workers to help save capitalism in a kinder gentler form… but he was very clear, the purpose of the international gathering was to save capitalism.

Why would these people announce the intent to save capitalism and then have any other motives when it comes to China? In China their intent is to restore capitalism completely; just as they did in the Soviet Union.

You need to notice in every single statement that comes out of the ITUC and CtW there is not one single good word said in defense of socialism… not one. There is nothing stated that these people intend to help Chinese workers make socialism work better for them and their families. They even completely ignore the movement towards “harmonious development” of Chinese society--- because they do not want harmony; what they want to see is capitalism completely re-established in China. This is their goal.

Personally, I have very little faith in this talk of “harmonious development” because capital is never going to enter into a harmonious relationship with labor… not in the United States, not in China. Greed is what motivates capitalists no mater their national or cultural background.

There is a reason the Cadillac has become one of General Motor’s best selling vehicles in China and it has everything to do with “greed” and nothing at all to do with “harmony.”

When Finns speak of harmony they use the word “sointula,” which refers to a type of “harmony” --- a harmonious community--- a community based upon cooperation and the establishment of a cooperative socialist system.

With that said, the Chinese push for “harmony” should be defended as long as it is yielding a more “harmonious” society because moving towards “harmony” will only isolate the greedy capitalists, mainly the U.S. corporations… but also the new coupon clippers of China’s new Wall Street that is already well developed.

If we look at the "egg-head" professors like Erwin Marquit from the University of Minnesota going over to "teach" the "virtues" of "market socialism" which is really capitalism it becomes apparent what is going on. One only has to read the "itsy-pitsy" ideas of confusion Marquit publishes in what has become a pathetic "journal of Marxist thought" based on the ideas of this new breed of "non-Marxist socialists" to understand that capital has mobilized to put the heat on Chinese workers from every direction with the intent of completely destroying socialism in China.

Alan L. Maki

Labor's Opening To China
Global Labor Strategies

Posted on March 17, 2008

The announcement in December by the International Trade
Union Confederation (ITUC) that it would begin a
"dialog" with the All China Federation of Trade Unions
(ACFTU) marks a sea change in global labor's approach to
China. Equally significant is the endorsement of the
talks by the AFL-CIO. Until now, the ITUC, the AFL-CIO,
and most national labor federations shunned official
contacts with the ACFTU-China's sole legal union-because
they did not consider the party-state controlled
organization a legitimate representative of China's

But, according to Guy Ryder, the ITUC's General

"By starting a dialogue with the Chinese trade union,
ITUC wants to have more influence on the ground in
China..It should enable us also to discuss the role of
China in the world."

The action actually caps a gradual shift toward
engagement with China by unions from around the world.
Some European unions affiliated with the ITUC have been
active in China for over a decade. The Change to Win
federation in the US began talks with the ACFTU last
year. Officials have exchanged visits and plans are
underway to expand contacts in the coming months.

The policy shift by the ITUC, the AFL-CIO, and other
global unions is long overdue. Three decades of rapid
economic growth have transformed China from an economic
backwater into the world's workshop. Workers, trade
unions, communities, and countries throughout the world
are confronting the challenges posed by China's growing
role in the world. Today, about 25% of all the workers
employed in the global economy are Chinese. The "China
price" sets the global norm for wages and working
standards up and down the value chain, from inexpensive
garments to sophisticated electronics. As a result the
hard-won gains of workers in the global North are being
rapidly undermined, while the aspirations of workers in
the developing world are being dashed, as China becomes
the wage setting country in industry after industry.

China's export oriented development model has had a
particular impact on trade unions everywhere.
Multinational corporations-the very firms that employ
millions of union members around the world-have flocked
to China seeking to take advantage of its low wage
workers and business friendly policies, reducing labor's
bargaining leverage and the number of union jobs. These
firms have been central to China's development. Roughly
66% of the increase in Chinese exports in the past 12
years can be attributed to foreign owned global
companies and their joint ventures. (Stephen Roach,
Business Times, Singapore, 8/8/06) These companies
account for 60% of Chinese exports to the US. Despite
all of the talk in the current presidential campaign,
the "Chinese threat" is less about trade with China than
it is about "trade" with US based companies like Wal-
Mart, GE, or any of the other of the hundreds of Fortune
500 companies that have set up shop in China to cuts
labor costs and avoid environmental regulations. Ways,
however imperfect, must be found to reach out to Chinese
workers to find mutually acceptable ways to halt a
global race to the bottom, which in end, hurts all

Taking stock of the ACFTU

The ACFTU is a vestige of China's old command economy
when it served as part of the administrative structure
in the state owned enterprises that employed most
Chinese workers. In that period, the union played a role
similar to an old fashioned company union in the US in
the early part of the 20th century, providing some
benefits and services and smoothing over some of the
rough edges in the employment relationship. But its main
goal was to keep the enterprise running smoothly as
defined by managers and state planners.

When China's economy changed and private corporations
became the driving economic force the union did not

At the enterprise level, where the union has any
presence at all, it generally still functions like a
company union. In fact, while owners and senior
executives are forbidden by law to hold union office,
managers can and often do hold office, undermining the
likelihood of effective representation. A recent survey
in the city of Guangzou in Guangdong revealed that the
overwhelming majority of union officials were also
managers. And where workers elect local officers, the
candidates are nominated by the ACFTU hierarchy. Perhaps
this is the key reason why the ACFTU has earned a
reputation for siding with management in workplace

At the regional level union officials are independent of
corporate management, but directly under the control of
local state-party officials whose primary goal is to
promote economic growth. Thus, the career prospects of
union officials tend to be tied to meeting economic
growth targets in the region. Promoting workers
interests is generally a secondary concern.

At national level the ACFTU is part of the party- state
apparatus and which exercises over-all control. But here
there are contradictory and complex forces at work. One
the one hand the State represents the interests of the
political elite and of foreign and domestic capital-
partners in China's development model-on the other hand,
the state must maintain industrial peace and social
stability by setting some minimally acceptable wage and
employment standards. The ACFTU plays a role in
negotiating and enforcing these standards. This process
produces tension that is familiar to workers and their
organizations everywhere.

By virtually all accounts the ACFTU has done a poor job
representing China's workers. China's working class-
especially those employed in private industry-labor for
low pay and work long hours. Occupational injury rates
are the highest in the world. Labor laws go unenforced
and workers are regularly cheated out of their wages.
One consequence is that China has one of the most
unequal distributions of wealth in the world. And all
of this, by the way, is regularly reported in the
Chinese press.

This legacy raises serious challenges for those about to
open talks:

ú that agreements with the ACFTU could
legitimate company unionism and sweetheart contracts
signed between the ACFTU and employers, including
foreign owned firms;

ú that dealing with the ACFTU could undermine
growing grassroots activity focused on improving wages,
working conditions, enforcement of labor law, and the
promotion of new laws;

ú that the talks could sidetrack efforts for a
genuinely global fight for worker rights by focusing on
institutional relations rather a substantive fight for
real labor and employment rights;

ú that the talks could be used as ammunition in
domestic politic fights as China increasingly becomes a
lightning rod for concerns about globalization.

Processes of Change

While these challenges are real, processes are at work
that are pushing the ACFTU to become a more effective
representative of China's workers.

There is growing pressure from below. In the absence
of effective unions, Chinese workers have taken things
into their own hands. Wildcat strikes and protests have
become commonplace. According to a recent report by
Global Insight, "unofficial figures suggest a sharp
escalation in labor unrest `-``--from groups
unaffiliated with the [ACFTU]....Wildcat strikes, often
involving over 1,000 workers and staged in protest at
low pay and poor working conditions, are reported to be
running at more than one a day." (Claire Innes, Global
Insight, February 19, 2008) These strikes are tolerated
by the state as long as they are limited in time and
involve a single workplace. In addition, there is a
small but growing grassroots workers' movement aimed at
promoting worker rights especially among China's huge
internal migrant working class. This pressure from below
is having an effect: there are signs that the State is
pushing the ACFTU to be more assertive in confronting
the worst aspects of the sweat shop sector in order to
preserve social stability and head off any challenges to
the state-party hegemony.

The implementation of China's new draft labor law opens
the potential for changing the relationship between the
ACFTU and Chinese workers. The law gives new rights to
workers and new bargaining tasks to the union. There
has been a great deal of controversy in China about the
law's implementation; some efforts are underway to
weaken the law through legislation. But the union
strongly backed the new law and has pledged to see that
it is enforced. Global unions can help in this effort by
exposing efforts by foreign based firms to avoid or
evade the law. There are advocates of change in and
around the ACFTU. There are signs that the ACFTU is
seeking some independence from tight control by the
state and the corporations. For instance, in Guangzhou,
at the urging of local ACFTU officials, an ordaniance
was passed and became effective on January 1, 2008,
banning managers from holding union office. And in Hebei
a new rule promoted by the regional government to
promote collective bargaining will require, among other
things, democratic elections for worker representatives
to bargain in workplaces without a union and more input
by workers in the selection of union representatives in
workplaces with a union. Progressive academics and
lawyers allied with the ACFTU are pushing for stronger
trade union laws and reforms that would empower workers
at the workplace and open up new possibilities for more
democratic representation within the union.

The ACFTU is seen by some advocates of democratization
in China as a potential school for democracy. As an
authoritarian society China has had virtually no
institutions in which people could participate in any
other way than fulfilling the mandate of the rulers.
Some democracy advocates see the union as a potential
venue to learn the nuts and bolts of building and
sustaining an organization. This may be even more
necessary for newcomers from the countryside with little
or no experience in industrial society. Global unions
could offer support and training in trade union
organizational development.

Immediate Agenda

When representatives of the ITUC sit down with
representatives of the other labor movements the initial
focus of the dialog is likely to be trust and
relationship building around shared interests. An
immediate shared interest is the role of multinational
corporations in China and in their countries of origin.

The struggle to enact China's new Labor Contract Law
could provide a model for what future cooperation based
on mutual interest might entail. Inside China the ACFTU
and its allies pushed for passage of the law against
both foreign and domestic opposition. Outside China
unions from around the world mobilized to denounce
lobbying efforts by global corporations to weaken the
law. This tacit cooperation contributed to the law's

A similar campaign to track the law's implementation
could serve as a trust and relationship building effort.
Each side has an interest in seeing that the law is
properly implemented and each side brings something
important to the table. The ACFTU brings its muscle with
Chinese authorities charged with enforcing the law. The
ITUC and its affiliates bring their capacity for
mobilizing public and political pressure outside China
to ensure that foreign companies to comply with the law.

Such a campaign could initially focus on foreign based
firms and be built around the provision in the new law
that requires that each worker receive a contract and
that the companies bargain with employee representatives
to set a wide range of company policies and procedures.
US and EU companies could demonstrate compliance by:

ú making the templates of employee contracts

ú making company policies and how they were
written public;

ú making instructions to suppliers on compliance
with the new code public;

ú reporting on what they are doing to insure
compliance and open the process to international union

A second area of cooperation could be a project on
corporate transparency. Foreign corporations in China
operate through complex and highly secretive supplier
chains. This secrecy makes it hard to get accurate
information about what's really going on in China's
economy and its workplaces. This is a big problem for
unions that need information about the companies they
bargain with and the industries within which they
operate. It's also a problem for consumers who need to
know about product safety and regulatory standards-as
recent scandals involving contaminated pet food,
toothpaste, and children's toys make clear-and for
environmental organizations, human rights advocates, and
other watchdog NGOs-all of which play important roles in
the civil societies of the industrialized world. The
flow of information back and forth will be a good
measure of the burgeoning relationship.

A third area of cooperation could be a project to
address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and
climate change. The US and China lead the world in
greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting back will change the
way work is done in both countries and around the world.
Trade unions everywhere are scrambling for solutions at
the workplace, national, and global levels. Establishing
a global regime to reduce emissions can either result in
conflict or cooperation. The ITUC, the AFL-CIO, Change
to Win, the ACFTU, and other global labor organizations
can play a key role by cooperating to design worker
friendly responses. The economies-and the greenhouse
gas emissions-of the US and China are bound together
creating a common interest in the search for solutions.
New studies show that China's emissions are increasing
much more rapidly than previously thought, although on
per capita basis they still fall far short of the US.
Since a large proportion of Chinese industrial growth is
actually controlled by US and other foreign
corporations, a large part of the greenhouse gas
emissions in China is the responsibility of those
corporations and their subsidiaries , suppliers, and
ultimately, to some extent, US consumers . As Oak Ridge
National Laboratory statistician Greg Marland, who is
charged with tracking global carbon emissions, told
National Public Radio recently,

"A significant fraction of emissions from China are to
produce goods that will be consumed in the United
States. So it's wrong . to point fingers at individuals
or individual countries. We have to recognize that we're
all in this together."

Just as world attention has recently focused on the role
of global corporations in lobbying against new rights
for Chinese workers, so those corporations can and
should be held accountable for their contribution to
China's growing carbon footprint.

The Strategic Horizon

A major stumbling block between the ACFTU and other
labor organizations has been the relationship of the
union to the Chinese state. It is after all a state
controlled union with a pro management history. The
truth is, however, that labor movements throughout the
world are entangled with government and law and the
degree to which this affects organizational behavior is
contested terrain everywhere. A more appropriate
question in evaluating the worth of any union should be
on what rights its members possess and how it carries
out its role under recognized international labor
standards. Since unions function within the constraints
of a broader legal framework many rights are contested
and aspirational, but there are some standards that need
to be met if the ACFTU or any other union is to
effectively represent it members. Achieving these
rights should be on the strategic horizon of any
relationship between the ACFTU and global labor.

As the relationship deepens the ITUC and other labor
organizations should aim to enlist the ACFTU in a
campaign-which could begin in foreign firms and their
suppliers-to accept the following standards, all of
which we think are currently permissible under present
Chinese law.

ú The right to elect union officials and
representatives nominated by workers themselves.

ú The right to ratify contracts.

ú Protection from reprisals by management or
union officials or government or vigilantes for carrying
out legitimate union activities such as collective
bargaining or grievance handling.

ú Resources to maintain a functioning union at
the local and industry level. This includes training and
time off to conduct union business.

ú Expansion and enforcement of the duty to
bargain by employers to achieve genuine collective

ú No firings for strikes or protests. There is
no explicit right to strike in China, but tens of
thousands of strikes occur each year.

Foreign firms and their suppliers should pledge to
bargain in good faith, respect the right of workers to
refuse to work when bargaining breaks down, and to not
call the cops to end stoppages.

The ITUC, the ACFTU, and CtW, have already taken the
first step down the road to global cooperation by
agreeing to a dialog. If they can take the next step-
building trust through information sharing and joint
campaigns around matters of mutual concern-they will be
well on their way to taking the concrete steps needed to
resist the race to the bottom for the mutual benefit of
workers everywhere.



ITUC Online

Olympics: Play Fair 2008 Launches Alternative Olympic Flame

Brussels, 20 March 2008: With the start of the official Olympic Torch Relay
for the Beijing Olympics only a few days away, Play Fair 2008
, an international campaign seeking respect for
workers¹ rights in the production of Olympics-licensed products, today
launched ³Catch the Flame² , an electronic relay race
to bring public attention to the need for the Olympics movement to stamp out
abuses of labour standards in workplaces making Olympics goods.

³By joining this alternative torch relay, people around the world can send a
clear message that for the Olympics to really be fair, working conditions
for those who produce Olympic goods have to be fair as well,² said Esther de
Haan, coordinator of the Clean Clothes Campaign, one of the organizations
coordinating the Play Fair campaign.

Play Fair 2008 has been in contact with the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) on several occasions since 2003, most recently since Play Fair
investigators uncovered a series of gross violations of workers¹ rights in
four Chinese factories making products under license to the Beijing Olympics
in 2008. (Read or download the report at

³While discussions with the IOC in December were constructive and we remain
hopeful that the world¹s peak sporting body is prepared to take concrete
action to put an end to maltreatment of workers who make the products which
bring important revenue to the Olympics, there has been little if any actual
progress, and this new initiative gives people the chance to join in the
call for action,² said International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
General Secretary Guy Ryder.

With a wave of Bluetooth, sms and e-mail messages, ³Catch the Flame²
forwards Play Fair¹s version of the Olympic flame to Beijing. The ³Catch the
Flame² relay starts in the Netherlands, where the flame for the modern
Olympic Games was first lit in 1928.

Visitors to the ³Catch the Flame² website are able to show their support for
the Play Fair campaign¹s objectives for fair labour standards in Olympics
production. With the 2008 Olympics being held in China, international
attention has focused on a range of human rights issues in China and related
concerns such as press freedom. While Play Fair¹s work has documented
serious violations in Olympics production inside China, the problem is not
limited to China, and previous Play Fair studies have documented workers¹
rights violations in sports merchandise production in a range of other

³It is now time for the IOC to recognise that as the owner of a global
brand, it has a duty to ensure that a uniform and robust approach is taken
by host cities to ensure that those goods that they procure bearing the
Olympics logo have been made in workplaces that meet the highest employment
standards,² said International Textile, Leather and Garment Workers¹
Federation (ITGLWF) General Secretary Neil Kearney.

Contacts for Play Fair 2008 coordinating organisations:

Mathieu Debroux, Press Officer
Tel. +32 2 224 02 04 or +32 476 62 10 18

Doug Miller, Mulitnationals Department
Tel : 0044 191 273 22 44 (office) or 077 88 41 32 26 (mobile)

Esther de Haan, Coordinator Global Campaigns
Tel. +31 20 412 27 85 (office) or +31 642 24 31 53 (mobile)

Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk

Friday, January 26, 2007

China and Socialism

Its here! The long-awaited weekly blog about China and socialism.

This blog features respected and long-time China expert Sidney J. Gluck.

Our blog will be updated every Monday.

E-mail me all your questions and Sidney and I will provide some answers and or commentary. If you have comments, questions, your own perceptions that may coincide or differ from ours, let's have a discussion.

We aren't afraid of controversy, and we respect all views.

History and present developments in China are very important; change is taking place at a rapid pace in China as everywhere.

There is simply too much that is misunderstood about China today, or not being presented at all, for us to not discuss China.

In addition, how we pursue relations with China may often determine saving plants and even entire industries and thousands of jobs here in Minnesota and around the United States. An example was the pending economic collapse of the huge taconite mine and processing facility in Eveleth, Minnesota which is providing hundreds of jobs and operating today because it is a joint venture between Cleveland Cliffs and the Chinese.

Might the Chinese offer part of the solution to keeping the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant operating?

The Wall Street Journal called "socialism a burden" for China... is socialism a "burden" to the Chinese people; or, an obstacle to Wall Street coupon clippers having their way?

Check out our new blog on "China and Socialism."