News of struggles and conflicts from Africa, Asia and Latin America is not always easy to find. A general strike in India is not reported in the corporate press, neither is the murder of a human rights activist in Central America nor indeed is news of great humanitarian interest from the multilateral organisations (such as the agencies of the United Nations). As the world’s media gets more and more homogenised by the interests of corporate ideology, more and more news about the world’s peoples vanish. There is so little basic information, for instance, about world hunger and about the fights to feed the hungry. We are not interested merely in the conflicts and the suffering. We are equally interested in the struggles of people to address these broad challenges.

We, at the Tricontinental, will send out a weekly newsletter, a curated note with information from one part of the world, that will offer a window into some of the struggles and conflicts of our time. The newsletter will be available by subscription – and it is free.

To find out more about the newsletter, or to send us stories that you believe we should cover in it, please write to contact@thetricontinental.org. We do not promise to use each and every one of your suggestions, but we do welcome them. If you have objections to anything we run, please let us know. There might be times when we might publish your criticism as part of our mandate to stimulate debate.

 


Ten months into the coronavirus recession, some estimate that the total external debt of the developing countries has increased to at least $11 trillion. The terms for the conversation on debt are entirely set by the richer countries, who are of the view that only the creditors – and at most the IMF – should be in charge.


Estimates show that half the human population has insufficient access to food, while nearly one third of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost or wasted. This is a consequence of a system based on profit that would rather waste food than turn it over to the hungry; this is the character of class war. When there is so much practical work to be done – the work of feeding the people and securing their basic rights – the state instead turns its attention to proscription of speech and threats against those who dare to stand up.


In 1965, Ghana’s Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah wrote of neo-colonialism: this ‘means power without responsibility and for those who suffer it, it means exploitation without redress’. This concept continues to be useful to describe our world today, as the wealth of the poorer nations is siphoned off to multinational firms.


The greatest tyranny of our time is a social system that impoverishes the majority of the world’s people, such as the people who drowned recently in the Mediterranean Sea, so that a small minority can live a life of luxury. As COVID-19 continues to sweep through the world with relentless force, the humanity of refugees, the unemployed, agricultural workers, the poor, is cast aside.


In April, the UN warned that the numbers of people who lived with acute hunger around the world would double due to COVID-19 by the end of 2020 ‘unless swift action is taken’. Little was made of the fact that this is not a crisis of food production – since we have enough food in the world to feed everyone – but a crisis of social inequality. Nor is the famine sweeping much of the world from want of resources; the concentration of power among a handful of agri-business conglomerates favours profit over a concern for humanity.