- The Guardian
- Issue #2040
THE PHILIPPINES: The US and the Philippines announced plans for four more US bases to be established in the Philippines. The agreement was reached during the visit of US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to Manila. The two countries are to “accelerate the full implementation” of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which regulates the deployment of US troops to the Philippines. “The United States has allocated over $82 million towards infrastructure investments at the existing five sites under the ETCA, and is proud that these investments are supporting economic growth and job creation in local Philippine communities,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “Job creation” may sound very noble but the fact of the matter is that the US is pursuing its strategy of encircling and containing China and has a goal of increasing its military presence in the Asia-Pacific. The Philippines has a critical geo-strategic position on the South China Sea to the south of Taiwan. If there is a conflict between China and the USA, the Philippines will be caught in it.
IRAN: Iran blames Israel for a drone attack that targeted a military workshop in the city of Isfahan. “Early investigations suggest that the Israeli regime was responsible for the attempted act of aggression,” said the letter published by Iran’s mission to the UN on its website. Israel was responsible for a number of attacks targeting not only Iran’s nuclear programs but nuclear scientists as well. Israeli officials declined to comment on the issue. However, in a letter to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and the Security Council, the UN Iranian ambassador warned that “The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its legitimate and inherent right … to defend its national security and respond resolutely to any threats or wrongful actions by the Israeli regime, wherever and whenever deemed necessary.”
CUBA: The First International Meeting of Theoretical Publications of Parties and Movements of the Left will be held in Havana from 10th to 12th February. The event will address issues around imperialism, socialism, youth, solidarity and unity on the Left, and the legacy of Fidel Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution. The meeting will discuss the problems, and challenges faced by the revolutionary and progressive forces in the current world context of the right-wing offensive.