“Out with the Old. In with the New”. That was always the encouraging message of New Year. But amidst all the parties and the popping of champagne bottles, there was no sign of any optimism or hope for the future on the part of the ruling class and its strategists. On the contrary, the columns of the bourgeois press are filled with pessimism and foreboding.

On Wednesday, 9 December the government of South Africa was thrown into a new crisis when president Jacob Zuma unexpectedly fired his finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with David van Rooyen, a little known ANC backbencher. This decision was so unexpected that neither the ANC nor members from his own cabinet were aware of it. The events over the four days which followed, once again shook the country to its foundations and ushered in a new period in the class struggle.

Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of people in the south east of Turkey have seen their home towns and neighbourhoods destroyed in the face of indiscriminate and barbaric attacks by Turkish armed forces. Thousands of innocent people have been imprisoned and hundreds of men, women and children murdered in a barbaric civil war waged by the Erdoğan regime against the Kurdish people of Turkey.

The authorities in Burkina Faso recently announced that they are formally charging Gilbert Diendéré, the notorious former commander of the so called Revolutionary Protection Regiment (RSP), with the murder of Thomas Sankara in 1987. The murder charges relating to Sankara’s death are in addition to the charges that he faces in relation to the defeated right-wing coup that he launched in September. The bringing of this central figure involved in Sankara’s murder to justice represents an important gain for the revolution which broke out in October 2014.

With 53% of the votes the Venezuelan opposition has managed to secure 112 seats in the National Assembly. This gives them a sweeping two third majority and wide ranging powers. Drunk with victory and seething with revenge, they have started to announce plans to reverse every single one of the gains of the Bolivarian revolution. This has provoked ferment amongst the revolutionary rank and file, which at the same time is directing part of their anger at bureaucrats and reformists within its own ranks.

Late into the night on 6th December, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council announced provisional but conclusive results for the parliamentary election. The counter-revolutionary opposition MUD had won 99 seats to the Bolivarian PSUV’s 46, with another 22 remaining to be allocated. This is a serious setback and it is our duty to analyse the reasons and explain the likely consequences.

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