Lead story

The ties that bind capitalism

by Daphne Liddle

ONE OF THE many strings that tie elected governments to the ruling class hit the headlines last week as revelations about HSBC bank advising its wealthy clients on how to dodge paying taxes came to light.

This particular scandal has been a slow fuse burning for a long time. The revelations are the result of large quantities of information made available to the international media in 2007 about accounts held in the Swiss branch of HSBC.

The French authorities concluded in 2013 that 99.8 per cent of their citizens on the list were probably evading tax.

The thousands of pages of data from the leak were obtained by the French newspaper Le Monde. In a joint investigation, the documents have now been passed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists,

The information covers 106,000 accounts held by rich people from 203 countries and it has set governments in Argentina, the US, France Belgium and India investigating their nationals who are on the list.

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Battles rage as peace talks begin

by our European Affairs correspondent

UNITED States President Barack Obama called Russian leader Vladimir Putin to discuss the Ukrainian crisis this week as fighting continues on all fronts in eastern Ukraine. Novorossiyan partisans have broken the Debaltsevo salient in two and they now control the only road into the besieged town. Puppet regime forces are pounding Donetsk and fascist “Naziguard” militiamen claim to have pushed the partisans back from the Black Sea port of Mariupol.

The Americans are openly talking about resupplying the ramshackle Ukrainian army but this is being openly opposed by Franco-German imperialism who now want to end the conflict through negotiations with Russia. Now the focus is on new peace talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

French President Francois Hollande says the talks with the leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine are the last chance for peace in the region. Franco-German imperialism is opposed to American escalation and the spiralling sanctions against Russia, which threaten the economic stability of the European Union as a whole.

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The front line against imperialism

OUR ERA is a time of sharpening contradictions and the primary contradiction in the world today is between United States imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate. As the political and economic crisis deepens around the world the struggle for markets and spheres of influence becomes acute.

This is so much so that the aggressor countries, in their need to win the battle for markets and minerals, turn to war and crude methods to replace diplomacy and negotiations. The United States is the major imperialist power and is keeping to its aims of provoking war and building up its military machine.

But resistance is growing. On the front line of struggle the heroic partisans of Novorossiya have beaten back yet another fascist offensive in the Ukraine; the Cuban people have forced the Americans to free the remaining three members of the Miami Five and Democratic Korea stands firm in the face of renewed threats from US imperialism.

The release of the three Cuban intelligence officers in December was a victory for the world-wide campaign for the release of the Cubans who were jailed in 1998 for trying to stop Cuban émigré gangs in Miami from carrying out terrorist attacks against the Cuban people.

It ends one chapter in the shameful history of US relations with the socialist island in the Caribbean. But the struggle goes on. The Cuban prisoners were freed in exchange for an American spy arrested in 2009 and the release of 53 other agents of imperialism.

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