Entries in Communism (3)


Chinese Villagers Kick Out Party Leaders from Town Under Siege

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- Chinese police have placed the southern Chinese fishing village of Wukan under siege for staging an open rebellion against the local communist party, according to news reports.

All of the local Communist Party cadres and the police force have fled the town, and the 20,000 residents of Wukan have taken over control of their village after being enraged at local officials for selling their land to real estate developers without their consent.

Late last week, the police reportedly started blocking roads leading to Wukan in an attempt to end a nearly three-month standoff between the villagers and the local government.

A Daily Telegraph reporter managed to sneak past the police checkpoint and reported that the village only has about 10 days worth of food left.  The police have cut off all supplies going in and out of Wukan.

The tension in the village began in September when residents became fed up over their local government’s role in the land grabbing. Hundreds of villagers stormed the Communist Party offices, smashing windows, flipping vehicles and clashing with riot police.

Most of Wukan’s administration left the village soon after, including the party secretary who had governed the village for nearly 30 years. Party officials tried to calm the anger by appointing 13 villagers as mediators to negotiate an agreement.

Wukan’s anger hit a fever pitch over the weekend when police seized five of the 13 appointed village mediators and tried to retake the village. The Daily Telegraph reported that early Sunday morning a thousand armed riot police moved to enter Wukan.

Then news came on Monday that one of the mediators, 43-year-old Xue Jinbo, died in police custody.  The official cause of death offered by police and party officials was “cardiac failure,” but Wukan residents have their suspicions. The police have reportedly refused to release Xue’s body to his family.

There are an estimated 180,000 protests -- or what Beijing calls ”mass incidents” -- every year in China, many arising from land disputes.  These protests are mainly directed at the local Communist Party and not the central government.  Some of the villagers the Daily Telegraph spoke to even appealed to Beijing for help to resolve the situation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Communist Protesters Throw Red Paint on Clinton’s Motorcade

Win McNamee/Getty Images(MANILA, Philippines) -- Protesters splashed red paint on vehicles in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade in the Philippines on Wednesday. The demonstrators also blocked the convoy and forced it to change course.

Clinton had just left a meeting with the country’s president, Benigno Aquino III, at the Malacanang Palace when, according to a local news channel, several dozen activists ran past police and tossed paint on the cars.

According to Aksyon News, the youthful, left-wing protesters kicked the vehicles as local police tried to arrest them.

The news report said Clinton’s security force got out of the cars to block news photographers from covering the incident, and the convoy eventually turned back into the palace.

A State Department official traveling with Clinton confirmed the incident but downplayed it.

The official called the event “not a big deal” in an email to ABC News. The official said Clinton’s vehicle was not hit with paint.

This is not the first unscripted moment on this trip.

On Saturday, a man who appeared to be a local performer carrying a torch and wearing nothing but a loincloth ran past Clinton during her photo op with the chief executive of Hong Kong.

Clinton laughed that incident off. This time, it appears her security took the breach more seriously.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Big Change at the Top of Cuba's Communist Party

ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images(HAVANA) -- The Castro Era may finally be drawing to a close in Cuba.

For the first time since Fidel Castro became president of the socialist island nation in 1959, only to be succeeded by his brother, Raul Castro, in 2008, the second-highest spot in the Communist Party has gone to an outsider.

With Fidel Castro stepping aside Tuesday as first secretary of the Communist Party and Raul Castro taking his place, the new second-in-command is Jose Ramon Machado, an old comrade who fought in the mountains more than 50 years ago to help bring down Cuban dictator Fulgenico Batista.

At 80, Machado is no spring chicken but Fidel Castro has spoken about putting younger people into leadership roles as he quietly fades from the spotlight.  While seemingly cured of his mysterious ailment that was believed to be stomach cancer, Fidel Castro is 84 and remains frail.

There was little evidence Tuesday that much will be different in Cuba despite the personnel changes.

Raul Castro vowed, "I assume my post to defend, preserve and continue perfecting socialism, and never permit the return of capitalism."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio