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CUPE 2021 leaderboard

Owen Schalk

  • Canadian imperialism and the underdevelopment of Burkina Faso

    In recent decades, Canada has played an outsized role in a protracted process of underdevelopment in Burkina Faso—not through the direct overthrow of socialist governments and the propping-up of right-wing dictatorships, but through its exploitative investment in countries which have already had this economic agenda imposed on them by more overtly imperialist powers like the United States.

  • Peru’s Pedro Castillo represents a challenge to the Canadian mining industry

    Given the huge importance of Peruvian minerals to Canadian mining companies, it is likely that Peru’s socialist presidential candidate Pedro Castillo will face substantive challenges from both the industry and the Trudeau government if he wins the presidency on June 6. But he will have the support of the rural poor and the historically dispossessed who have suffered throughout the country’s recent history.

  • Nuclear colonialism and the Marshall Islands

    On March 1, 1954, the United States military detonated a 15 megaton thermonuclear weapon called “Bravo” (the first in the “CASTLE” test series) and exposed the residents of the Bikini Atoll to its radioactive fallout. Those down-wind of the explosions suffered severe burns and were exposed to massive amounts of radiation, irreversibly altering the trajectory of the region and its inhabitants forever.

  • Ecuador’s election could be a turning point for Latin America

    Despite the gravity and extent of his actions, Lenín Moreno will not be the deciding factor in the April runoff. Rather, it will be a test for the legacy of Rafael Correa, and (assuming it is allowed to proceed fairly) it will show whether or not the country wants to be governed by the left wing policies of the recent past or the Washington-aligned neoliberalism of the present.

  • Trudeau’s silence on Lula reveals Canada’s hypocrisy

    It is a given that the same forces that jailed Lula will work tirelessly to prevent his return to the presidency. One thing, however, is certain: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a global health hazard whose rise to power was aided by the US and welcomed by Canada, and Lula has proven that he has the will and ability to radically remake Brazilian society. Just don’t expect him to receive Trudeau’s solidarity.

  • Biden and Trudeau continue Trump-era aggression against Cuba

    A renewed détente with Cuba, as well as a recommitment to the JCPOA, seemed like two common-sense policy adjustments for the Biden administration to make if it wanted to return to Obama’s already deeply inadequate approach to Cuba and Iran. Now, instead of trying to reassemble the fragments, Biden is burying those Obama-era victories once and for all—and Canada is welcoming their abandonment.

  • Luis Arce’s Bolivia and the new regionalism in Latin America

    Although it remains to be seen how many gains will be made and how many existing gains will be secured, there is no doubt that the integration measures of Luis Arce’s administration in Bolivia, and the continued push for socialist governance across Latin America and the Caribbean, represents a great opportunity for the new regionalism of which Chávez spoke in 2011, and for which his allies continue to struggle today.

  • Canadian mining companies and the making of modern Colombia

    The true reason for intervention in Latin American is the region’s irresistibility to transnational capital, and not just capital based in the US. Canadian mining and energy companies have taken advantage of the free trade policies encouraged by Washington in order to extract profits from the region while ignoring the most atrocious human rights records in the hemisphere, particularly in Colombia.

  • Long live the old flesh! Biden’s foreign policy picks signal a return of the ‘Blob’

    The truth is, Biden offers nothing beyond the visceral vindication of Trump’s defeat. A quick overview of his potential foreign policy picks confirms that there will be a continuity of right-wing economic and military policy under his administration, and a total commitment to the old brand of awful that reigned in pre-Trump America. Biden’s campaign slogan might as well have been Death to MAGA! Long live the old flesh!

  • Prop 22 portends dismal future for gig workers in America

    Last week, all the richest liberals in California were celebrating—and not just Joe Biden’s victory. On November 3, Golden State residents voted on a ballot measure called Prop 22, a proposal which will have an enormous effect on the livelihoods of thousands of gig economy workers in the state. This means that, in California, many workers at Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates are no longer considered “employees.”

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