In 1992, Fidel Castro warned that ‘tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago,’ speaking of carbon-driven capitalism and the imperative to move towards an ecological socialist system. We see this more than ever today. In Puerto Rico, the US neglected to prepare for Hurricane Maria or assist the people afterward. It was more interested in profiting from the disaster than preserving the lives of those impacted. Meanwhile, in Cuba and Kerala, where the preparation was much more sophisticated and the recovery – despite the lack of finances – much swifter, governments of the left show us how a socialist society tackles climate change’s extreme events. As sea levels rise and climate change looms, models such as these tell a powerful story, an inspirational story to be sure, but also a story that teaches how a government of the left can take measure now to mitigate the dangers of climate change. For more, read our newsletter.
During the summer of 2018, the Indian state of Kerala was hit by severe rains and floods – the heaviest in nearly a century – affecting 5.4 million people. What followed was one of the most successful rescue and relief efforts in India’s history. This dossier tells the story of the remarkable way in which the people of Kerala, led by their Left Democratic Front government, powerful mass organisations and community networks, responded to the crisis, fighting the roadblocks put up by the far right RSS-BJP which is leading the federal government.
In July 2018, protests developed in Haiti and then escalated against the government. The immediate spur for the protests came when the government of Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant raised fuel prices by 38% (gasoline) and 51% (diesel and kerosene). Thousands of people took to the streets in protest. The government hastily cancelled the price rise, but the protests did not end. More was at stake. The people then made much bolder demands. This dossier takes stock of the events that transpired this summer in Haiti and in their long-term meaning.
One cannot look at Trump and his policies in isolation from the crisis of ‘trade wars’. Trump promised to ‘make America great again’. He wants to resolve the crisis for America caused by neo-liberalism without violating its core characteristic, which is free global mobility of finance. At Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we have wondered about the essential nature of these ‘trade wars’ that have broken out between key allies. We turned to Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi (India), for assistance.