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Vol. 74/No. 19      May 17, 2010

25, 50 and 75 years ago
May 17, 1985
The U.S. trade embargo against Nicaragua is an act of war. Above and beyond the economic damage it will do is the political meaning of the embargo.

The U.S. ruling class is united behind the perspective of overthrowing Nicaragua’s workers and peasants government through direct U.S. military intervention. The debate is over tactics and timing—how to limit the political price the U.S. government will pay internationally and here at home.

The immediate measures include a ban on U.S. exports to Nicaragua and on Nicaraguan imports to this country.

The declaration of the “national emergency” [by President Ronald Reagan] is the most important aspect of this new escalation of the war. It is designed to set the political framework for further steps leading to direct U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua.  
May 16, 1960
“I don’t know what provocation Castro has given us. Everything he has done has taken place in Cuba. How can that provoke the United States? He hasn’t come over here and messed in American affairs like the corporations and the State Department are messing in Cuban affairs.”

That was how Farrell Dobbs, Socialist Workers presidential nominee, replied to a television interviewer’s query on Cuban “provocation” of the U.S. in a telecast here [San Diego] May 5.

Local NBC [interviewer Pat] Higgins also asked Dobbs if it wasn’t true that the Cuban government has made the U.S. a “whipping boy.”

“From what I’ve seen in Cuba,” replied Dobbs, “the Cubans have very good cause for complaining about the treatment they are getting from the United States.”  
May 18, 1935
All the forces of the General Motors Corporation, the resources of the U.S. Department of Labor’s ace “trouble shooter,” a barrage from the Toledo newspapers threatening a permanent shutdown of the Chevrolet transmission plant, and unbelievably dirty trickery and brazen terrorization on the part of the representative of the American Federation of Labor bureaucracy were needed to brow-beat and trick the Toledo Chevrolet strikers into voting acceptance of compromise proposals.

Rejection advocated by the large group of militants among the strikers would have meant in all probability a nationwide strike against General Motors, one of the most terrific battles in the history of class struggle in the U.S. since the outcome would determine the whole issue of unionism in the basic industries.  
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