Cutting cane in Colombia, workers win sweet victory

Colombian sugar cane production is confined to 500,000 acres in Valle de Cauca and Cauca, departments situated in the country’s southwest. From legalized slavery on, Afro-Colombians have done most of the cutting. Recently they’ve worked 12-14 hour days, every day, under contract with facade cooperatives, an arrangement allowing landowners and refinery operators to avoid paying for tools, transportation and workers’ retirement costs. After deductions, cutters earn less than Colombia’s minimum wage of $222 per month.

By bus, canoe and burro, Communists gather for Bogota meet

“From the four cardinal points of the country, some by bus, others in canoes, on burros, and by airplane they came to Bogota,” Juan Cendales wrote on “They got their bags ready, went over their ideas, and reaffirmed dreams and hopes,” before heading for the 20th Congress of Colombia’s Communist Party, Nov. 14-16.

WORLD NOTES: November 22

Gaza: Collective punishment remains Malaysia: Rights protests grow Nicaragua: Sandinistas win city elections Switzerland: Gender gaps shrink Zambia: Change in the wind Cuba: New cooperation with Russia

Update: Articles and resources on the economic crisis

What will be impact of the Wall Street bankruptcies, bailouts and blunders on working people in this country and worldwide? What's the solution to the crisis?

Cuba survives third major hurricane, this time Paloma

Aida Perez, 44 years old, was waiting out Hurricane Paloma with her two daughters in a dormitory at the University of Camaguey inland, along with 900 others from Santa Cruz del Sur, a small city on Cuba’s southern coast. Her house was probably gone, she told an AP reporter, “But what’s important is that we are alive.”

Pakistan's Home Workers' Union starts paying off

LAHORE, Pakistan (WOMENSENEWS)--Asia Afzal, 35, wipes her forehead with the corner of her duputta scarf as beads of perspiration gather on her face.

What Cubans expect from Obama

Original source: CubaNews As expected, Barack Obama's electoral win has raised new questions all over the world given the United States of America's place in the current system of international relations.

World Notes: November 15, 2008

Australia: Unions go global re climate change Iraq: Awakening Council role in question Italy:School privatization elicits protests Japan: Profitable Toyota lays off thousands Panama: Tolerance of terrorism gets second look

Populist president faces long odds

President Fernando Lugo, up against an agrarian oligarchy and answerable to a mobilized peasant movement, has yet to introduce transformative measures reminiscent of those initiated by his Venezuelan, Bolivian and Ecuadorian counterparts.

Gardens, forests and Black artists: documentaries worth seeing

Some of the documentaries shown at the 44th Annual Chicago International Film Festival should be of interest to progressive activists. They deal with flora — one in the form of a community garden, another the Amazon rainforest — and with Black artists and film.

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