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Fidel Castro, Cuba and socialism

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The death of Castro, long time leader of Cuba, last November provoked a polarised response. The establishment denounced him as a dictator who ruined Cuba, while some on the left celebrated him unquestioningly. Andy Brown argues that socialists must retain their critical faculties.

Fidel Castro’s death at the end of last year has provoked two basic reactions. One is the bitter and utterly hypocritical version of the right. Donald Trump said, “Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

We on the left need take no lessons from those whose practice and associates are perfect illustrations, in the past and the present, at home and across the world (in Latin America especially), of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

Hopelessly devoted to fossil fuels

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With Donald Trump in the White House and the Tories pushing through damaging policies as fast as they can, the future for our climate looks bleak. But we have to look beyond individual politicians if we are to understand capitalism’s love affair with fossil energy, writes Amy Leather.

World leaders are failing on climate change. Theresa May’s Tory government has given the go ahead to a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, backed the expansion of Heathrow airport and overturned the local decision in Lancashire to stop fracking. Meanwhile climate change denier Donald Trump is heading to the White House.

Have the Tories been trumped by Brexit?

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The Tory government's divisions over Brexit can only be sharpened by Donald Trump's election to president of the US. Theresa May's woes go deep and won't easily be solved, writes Alan Gibson.

What does Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election mean for the Tories? Does it help or hinder the government’s crisis-strewn plans for Brexit? Like every other government, the Tories face not only the bumpy transition from Obama’s administration to Trump’s, but a president elect notorious for unpredictability.

Welcome to the new age of the neo-cons

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Will Trump return to the go-it-alone imperialism of the Bush years, asks Simon Assaf

The crisis for US and Western imperialism can only intensify with the advent of a Trump presidency. The go-it-alone policy Trump advocates, which was pioneered by George W Bush’s “new American century”, failed bitterly in Iraq. According to one commentator the coterie who will be running the new US foreign policy will make Bush’s neo-cons seem like “a bunch of old history professors”.

Who's to blame for Trump's win?

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The election of a bigoted, right wing billionaire to the position of President of the US was a shock. Lewis Nielsen interrogates the various explanations being put forward for Trump's win.

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election in November ranks as one of the biggest political earthquakes of recent times. People around the world are predictably shocked and disgusted that a racist billionaire bigot now holds the highest elected office. Trump’s words and actions in the two weeks since his election have sent deliberately mixed messages — but mostly they have been pretty horrifying. He has welcomed White Supremacists, anti-abortionists and rabid warmongers into his circle (not to mention family members).

Is this the end of the neoliberal consensus?

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The Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump's victory in the US have both damaged the neoliberal project of the past three decades. Joseph Choonara questions the depth of neoliberalism's crisis and advocates continuing struggle against capitalism armed with clear socialist politics.

The global neoliberal order has suffered two wounding blows this year. First the Brexit vote removed from the European Union its second biggest economy. The howls from large capitalist firms, who overwhelmingly advocated a Remain vote, still echo. Now Donald Trump has won the US presidential election on the back of a campaign that promised to reverse the country’s longstanding commitment to free trade and to enact a major economic stimulus package.

Pick of the year

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Socialist Review contributors pick their literary and cultural highlights of 2016.

Nicola Field

My theatrical highlight of 2016 was the National Theatre’s The Threepenny Opera — which I saw live and then via live feed at the gorgeous East Dulwich Picturehouse — starring the brilliant Rory Kinnear. Biting socialist politics on the bourgeois stage: I cried both times.

Syria: not victims but citizens

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Max van Lingen spoke to author Leila al-Shami about collecting Syrian voices from the grassroots for her book, Burning Country.

Why did you want to write a book about the Syrian struggle?

Both Robin and myself felt the information coming out of Syria was very poor. The media focused mainly on the humanitarian crisis or the rise of Islamic groups and extremism. Syrians were either seen as victims or as terrorists.

Russian Revolution in pictures

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Sally Campbell spoke to artist Tim Sanders and historian John Newsinger about creating a graphic representation of Russia 1917.

Two and a half years ago Tim Sanders, regular cartoonist for Socialist Worker, approached Bookmarks the socialist publisher with a proposal for a graphic history of the Russian Revolution. This month the result, 1917: Russia’s Red Year, will hit the shelves.

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