Monthly Archives: January 2021

After years of incompetence and destruction, Brazil’s far-right president could finally face impeachment

Far-right Brazilian politician Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency has been on a downward spiral ever since he assumed office on 1 January 2019. As The Canary has previously reported, his presidency has seen a sustained assault on Brazil’s indigenous and LGBTQI+ communities as well as a targeted campaign against political opponents and social and trade union organizers.

Now, Bolsonaro’s government seems on the verge of collapse as mass mobilizations calling for his impeachment have sprung up across the country – and from across the political spectrum. Evidently, like other far-right faux populist figures, his handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been bumbling at best and homicidal at worst. And as Brazil’s coronavirus deaths keep rising, Bolsonaro’s hold on power might be shortly reaching the end of its tether.

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One of Trump’s last moves as president was to embolden anti-vaxxer hysteria

The one-year anniversary of the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) passed last December. But following the approval of multiple vaccinations from several different pharmaceutical companies, the end seemed within sight. Just as a return to normality begins to look possible, though, this notion seems increasingly threatened by the rise of a familiar foe of science, progress, and public health. The long-simmering anti-vaccination movement is going into overdrive in its attempts to portray mass vaccination as some kind of evil conspiracy.

The trump administration established a prolific record of opposing science and promoting all manner of conspiracy theories. But it has perhaps exceeded even its own standards, with one last dismal act of support of anti-vaxxer hysteria.

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Post-Covid, We Should Take a Leaf Out of Cuba’s Book and Abolish Professional Sports

2020 saw multiple professional sports leagues struggle as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In March, the NHL paused its 2019-2020 regular season while Major League Baseball cancelled spring training games. In June, the NBA then temporarily suspended its 2019-2020 season in order to “safeguard the health and well-being of NBA fans, players, team and arena personnel, media members and the general public.” The following month the NFL cancelled all 2020 preseason games. In November, Bloomberg reported that the NFL, NBA, and MLB were facing a combined $13 billion Ioss in revenue.

In the corporate media, this huge monetary loss will, of course, be mourned as part of the devastating economic fallout of the Covid pandemic. But the fact that something as trivial as spectator sports can become such a huge part of the economy and have so many lives and jobs tied to its fate is something that will be inevitably glossed over. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Covid outbreak, we should reflect on this reality and on whether the whole concept of professional sports is something worth keeping in the post-Covid era at all. Perhaps Cuba’s decision to abolish professional sports provides an example that other countries should follow.

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Biden’s Inauguration: Challenge for the Left, Launching a Movement against the Washington Status Quo

As Biden enters office, the left must properly reflect on what has been perhaps the most contemptible administration in US history, to launch a movement of our own against the bipartisan neoliberal and imperialist hegemony.

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60 years on, Patrice Lumumba’s assassination stands as a gruesome reminder of post-colonial brutality

Exactly 60 years ago today, Congolese national liberation leader Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. Those responsible were most likely troops of a rival government acting on behalf of the Congo’s former colonial master, which had retained a presence in the Central African country. But there’s more to the assassination than initially meets the eye. There has been a gradual accumulation of credible evidence that the world’s post-WWII colonial superpower, the US, along with its sidekick the UK, played a hand in the events leading to Lumumba’s assassination.

The episode remains a bleak reminder of how the West continued to have a brutal role in the Global South, even after its former colonies gained independence. And this kind of self-interested meddling still continues to this very day.

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Trumpism didn’t come out of a vacuum. It has been brewing for a long time.

The scenes of violence in Washington on 6 January have attracted a mountain of commentary in media from across the political spectrum. The general formula has been to heap condemnation on Trump for stoking the flames of insurrection. And to be sure, Trump’s behaviour has taken his presidency to new depths of depravity, even by its own standards. By openly encouraging the mob, he is himself complicit in the violence that has led to the deaths of five people, as well as scores of arrests and over 50 injured law enforcement personnel. Now, Trump has attained the dubious distinction of becoming the first president in US history to have been impeached by the House of Representatives twice.

But to focus solely on Trump is to miss a wider point. The idea that everything in the US was hunky-dory before Trump came along is just as dangerous as Trump himself. The Democrats’ failure to offer an alternative to endless war abroad and crushing austerity at home created the petri dish in which Trump’s brand of far-right faux populism could thrive.

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The EU drops its recognition of Venezuela’s US-backed ‘interim president’, but one European country isn’t budging

The ongoing coup attempt against the democratically-elected government of Venezuela has been on a protracted downward spiral. It’s plunging into ever more desperate and pathetic depths. Coup leaders never seized the reins of the state apparatus, nor did they succeed in getting large swathes of the military to defect to their side.

Now the European Union (EU) is no longer even recognizing the US-appointed ‘interim president’ Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate head of government. This surely signals a pitiful new low point for his hard-right faction’s credibility, as well as their hopes of gaining power.

But despite this, there’s one European country – a recently departed former EU member – that continues to recognize Guaidó. No prizes for guessing which it is.

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Israel vaccinates 1 million Israelis against coronavirus, and zero Palestinians

Israel has achieved the startling feat of being the fastest country to administer coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines. But as we would expect, the beneficiaries have been exclusively its own citizens, not the several million Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation. And one Palestinian leader has given a devastating assessment of what he has dubbed “medical apartheid”.

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The Canary and Max Blumenthal join protesters rallying against Assange extradition at the UK’s embassy in Washington

On Monday 4 January, a UK court ruled on the extradition of Julian Assange to the US. As The Canary reported, the judge fortunately refused the extradition request. And there’s more good news too. The day before, scores of protesters gathered outside the British embassy in Washington, DC to show their support for Assange.

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