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Owen Schalk

  • The roots of Trudeau’s embarrassing Venezuela policy

    Several influential countries, including Canada, continue to recognize the self-declared president Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate authority. Furthermore, the Lima Group still exists, albeit in increasingly attenuated form. All of this begs the question: why is Canada still humiliating itself on the world stage by persisting in its regime change efforts against Venezuela?

  • Centerra’s battle for the Kumtor gold mine rages on

    As the legal battle over the Kumtor gold mine rages on, Centerra’s legal options for extending its management of the mine look more limited by the day. Any Canadian who is interested in how their country’s capital functions on the global stage, and how affected countries are trying to resist this neocolonial domination, should eagerly follow new developments in the case.

  • Canada’s unhoused crisis: Where government cruelty meets police repression

    It is well past time to stop thinking of homelessness, drug addiction, and related domestic crises as outgrowths of individualized pathologies or mental illness—they are actually the result of what professor Anthony Zenkus calls “community illness,” which can also be described as the adverse mental health impact of the systemic violence engendered by Canada’s colonial-capitalist culture.

  • How Canadian ‘aid’ is stifling development and prosperity in West Africa

    Rights-based development seeks to topple the capitalist logic of profit and center anti-imperialism and the need to assist in the creation of sovereign, autocentric economies across the Global South. Only then can the underdevelopment of means-based development aid be replaced by self-sufficiency which will benefit postcolonial countries far more than the IMF’s failed dictum that the private sector is the only viable engine for poverty reduction.

  • 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.

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