Australian Left Review

Authors

Robin Blackburn

Abstract

THE DEMONSTRATIONS IN MANILA over recent months mark the re-awakening of the liberation movement in a country where it has been twice cruelly robbed of victory just when it seemed on the brink of achieving it. In 1898 the Filipino Revolutionary Government controlled the whole country, confining their former Spanish colonial masters to the walled citadel inside the capital when the Spanish-American War broke. After a lightning victory over the Spanish the United States claimed the Philippines as its booty, although it took five long and bitter years and 70,000 US troops to make good this claim. In 1945 the Huks (Anti-Japanese Liberation Army) had succeeded in liberating nearly the whole of Luzon, the largest island which contains over half the population, when again the US army arrived to frustrate it; this time it was not until 1954 that a pro-American government could claim to have established a precarious social peace.

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