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Summit recap: Balance of power has shifted in Latin America

The fifth Summit of the Americas was held over April 17-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, bringing together representatives from all countries of the Americas except Cuba.

A far cry from the first of its kind, convened by the U.S. in 1994, it revealed how much has changed in the hemisphere.

The region is now marked by the dispute between a push for greater independence from U.S. economic and political power (which includes a revolutionary, anti-capitalist bloc) and U.S. imperialism.

The latter is trying to undergo a facelift, led by President Barack Obama, to repair the damage done to U.S. regional relations by the actions of the previous Bush administration.

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Find out the real reason Canada skipped out on UN anti-racism gathering

This is a joint statement on behalf of African Canadian Legal Clinic, Canadian Arab Federation, Canadian Labour Congress, Charter of Human Responsibilities (Canada), Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, and Independent Jewish Voices (Canada).

We represent a broad and diverse cross section of racialized and ethnic communities from Canadian civil society, committed to combating racism.

We denounce the failure of our government to participate in the Durban Review Conference, a process of critical importance to victims of racism the world over. As civil society organizations, we are here to affirm our commitment to this Review Conference, which is intended to assess the progress UN member nations have made to implement the DDPA.

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The Declaration of Cumaná: Capitalism 'threatens life on the planet'

We, the Heads of State and Government of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, member countries of ALBA, consider that the Draft Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:

- The Declaration does not provide answers to the Global Economic Crisis, even though this crisis constitutes the greatest challenge faced by humanity in the last decades and is the most serious threat of the current times to the welfare of our peoples.

- The Declaration unfairly excludes Cuba, without mentioning the consensus in the region condemning the blockade and isolation to which the people and the government of Cuba have incessantly been exposed in a criminal manner.

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Open letter: Don't blame CAW for a crisis it didn't create

Government pressure to cut wages will increase the risk of deflation. It is now abundantly clear that Canada and the world is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

However, a sense of premature Hoover-type optimism seems to have settled in to Ottawa's thinking, breeding a dangerous complacency that the government has done all that is required to combat the recession. The federal government appears to be hiding behind the proposition that with strong banks and strong fundamentals, the Canadian economy will automatically recover as U.S. demand picks up.

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Green on campus: An Earth Day cross-Canada survey

Our student union at Ryerson University made environmental initiatives a top priority this year and, as students, we love that. But we were curious to know what environmental advocacy was taking place on other campuses across Canada.

In fall 2008, David Suzuki went across the country visiting different universities telling students why they need to get active for sustainability now. So, we asked the questions: what are student unions doing for major provincial environmental issues, as well as for their campuses?

After contacting one college or university from every province and territory, we found that most student unions take on micro-local environmental initiatives rather than provincial ones. 

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Think all stimulus is good stimulus? Not so fast

The Left in Canada has been quick to point out the shortcomings of the Conservative government's official response to the recession. Not surprisingly, the response doesn't mark a departure from their knee-jerk pro-capital and anti-worker reflexes.

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Action on climate change? Cuba Si

The world is getting hotter, and the main cause is greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity. Enormous damage has already been done, and we will have to live with the consequences of past emissions for decades, perhaps even centuries. Unless we rapidly and drastically cut emissions, the existing damage will turn to catastrophe.

Anyone who denies that is either lying or somehow unaware of the huge mass of compelling scientific evidence.

Many publications regularly publish articles summarizing the scientific evidence and outlining the devastation that we face if action isn’t taken quickly. 

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The elephant not in the room: Castro and the Summit of the Americas

Cuba, and in particular its former President, Fidel Castro, is already a player at the fifth Summit of the Americas which takes place Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18, in Port of Spain, Trinidad. That much is evident from information coming out of Havana, Moscow, Santiago de Chile and La Paz in recent days.

On Friday April 3, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega met with Fidel Castro and handed him a copy of the proposed Declaration of Port of Spain, which will be sent for adoption by the leaders of the 34 countries attending the Summit, including Canada.

What about the blockade?

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The Coalition, BC-STV and next steps for the Left

It was supposed to be our “Obama moment.”  January 26, one week after George Bush’s last day in office, the progressive coalition would topple the federal Conservatives and manifest the “62 per cent majority” government that Canadian voters had elected three months earlier.

Of course, the moment never came.  But something interesting happened during the election and during the short life of the progressive coalition.  People were getting involved. For a moment, the social taboos were lifted and political discourse was cool.  People had strong opinions and expressed them loudly. 

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U.S. 'Black liquor' could cause hangover for Canadian pulp and paper

The grand vin of Canada-U.S. free trade is hard to swallow these days because it has been mixed up with a shooter that is priced in half gallons and appropriately named “black liquor.”

The black liquor raising U.S. spirits and leaving us with a hangover is a concentrated residue of wood lignin that is a byproduct of making kraft pulp.  The “liquor” is separated out in a recovery boiler and then used as fuel to keep the boiler going. 

Now, some enterprising American pulp and paper producers have implemented a spectacularly fraudulent scheme to generate billions dollars in tax credits from their black liquor use.  It is a massive subsidy which directly imperils Canadian pulp and paper mills and thousands of jobs.

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