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.

Venezuelans will go to the polls on December 6 to elect deputies to the National Assembly. A combination of factors have made this one of the most difficult challenges the Bolivarian Revolution has faced in the 17 years since President Chávez was first elected in 1998. To the usual challenges of a profoundly undemocratic opposition and belligerent imperialist provocations we have to add a combination of national and international economic factors which work to put Venezuela in a very tight spot and lead to one conclusion: either the revolution is completed, or it will be defeated.

As we have stated previously, the downing of a Russian jet in Syria by the Turkish military was clearly a provocation on the part of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His aim was to stop an alliance being formed between Russia and the West in Syria. He has achieved the opposite with Turkey now more isolated and the major world powers coming closer to each other while Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been elbowed to one side.

As the third wave of global crisis of capitalism is approaching – the first and second waves being respectively the sub-prime housing and European sovereign debt crises – the so-called emerging and developing economies are entering deeper into economic, political and economic crisis. Nigeria connects to this global crisis through the mechanism of the global crude oil glut and collapsing commodity prices.

At least 98 people have been killed by two explosions in the largest terror attack in Turkish history, hundreds more have been wounded. This is a clear continuation of the campaign of terror against leftist forces in Turkey, but it has triggered a backlash as tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against the government and their thugs.

Since last week when Russia began bombing targets inside Syria, Western media has been overflowing with articles about the crimes of Russian imperialism in Syria. But the idea put forward that “moderate” rebels are being bombed by ruthless Russians raises more questions than it answers.

Over the last few days, the events in Burkina Faso have been moving at lightning speed. Just weeks before elections were due to be held, the most reactionary wing of the regime, the Presidential Protection Regiment (RSP), overthrew the transitional government in a coup. This has interrupted the country’s so-called transitional period and it has thrown the regime into complete chaos.

SYRIZA won the elections yesterday, which Tsipras claims gives him a mandate to continue on the road he had already embarked on this summer, i.e. to apply the conditions dictated by the Troika. He, however, conveniently ignores the not unimportant detail that his government coalition (SYRIZA-ANEL) lost a total of 416,000 compared to the vote in January.

The revolutionary overthrow of Blaise Compaoré on 31 October 2014 was a fundamental turning point for Burkina Faso. It brought an entire country to its feet. It released pressures which have been accumulating for decades. After being under the jackboot of the Compaoré counterrevolution for 27 years, the masses of the “Land of the Upright People” have dramatically entered the stage of history. The transitional government which filled the gap left by Compaoré’s departure has been a regime of turmoil and crises. At bottom, this is as a result of pressures from the mass movement. Now, after months of turmoil, the ruling class is desperately trying to channel the situation into some kind of bourgeois democratic order. But the elections, scheduled for 11 October, will change nothing fundamental for the masses. It will only serve as a new stage for the struggle.

World stock markets have been in meltdown from Shanghai and Shenzhen to London and New York. A sea of red blighted the computer screens of the stock exchanges everywhere in a panic global sell-off. Shock and disbelief among investors was ubiquitous. Even as the Dow Jones claws its way back from its worst losses, extreme volatility pervades the entire system. Could this crash be a one-off event, which will quickly return to normal, or the beginning of a series of shocks in an unstoppable chain of events?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras just announced he will step down. He has lost his parliamentary majority and Syriza is split, with left leader Lafazanis announcing the formation of a new party, Popular Unity. Speaking in a televised address last night, Tsipras stated that the Syriza government would tender its resignation and call an election. Tsipras said Greeks still have struggles ahead of them, but that Greece is “determined to honour” the latest so-called bailout package. What does this mean?

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