The international situation, the development of the crisis in the world imperialist capitalist economy, and the immediate tasks of revolutionaries
The third congress of the flt discussed in depth the changing world situation and approved the documents submitted to the congress on the nature of the crisis in the capitalist world economy included in the special dossier published in the iwo nº6 of november 2007. Based on these documents the 3rd congress debated and approved the following resolution that updates the evolution of the worldwide situation and economic crisis over recent months,the current moment and its likely further prospects, as the basis of programatic points of the appeal for an internationalist bloc to fight for an international conference of principled trotskyists and revolutionary workers’ organizations.
THE SAVAGE BLOWS OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS UNITE ALL THE DEMANDS OF THE EXPLOITED MASSES OF THE WORLD AGAINST THE RISING COST OF LIVING, FOR FOOD AND AGAINST HUNGER
The crisis of the imperialist capitalist world economy that began in early 2007 is developing into a "big bang" over the coming period. The first major symptom of this crisis was the collapse of the subprime (high risk) housing mortgages in the United States. But this was not the root cause of the crisis which is the falling rate of profit of capital in the production process. This is a feature of the totally parasitic character of capital in the imperialist epoch which represents the extreme contradiction between the social character of production and the individual ownership of private property. The falling profit leads to an overproduction of capital which proves that in the imperialist epoch the productive forces are not only utterly constrained but have stagnated, which demonstrate that capitalism has reached its limits and poses the necessity for the replacement of the capitalist mode of production by a planned socialist society.
The global economic crisis concentrates the complete decomposition of capitalism in the imperialist epoch. It survives only by destroying the productive forces and fighting inter-imperialist or colonial wars. Mass resistance to imperialism is contained only by the treacherous leaders of the social imperialist and reformist left of all kinds. Therefore, this poses as an immediate task the struggle for international socialist revolution to stop the rotten capitalist system from deepening the already unprecedented sufferings of the masses, through wars, starvation, genocide etc, and from destroying the planet in its desperate attempts to survive.
The first act of the global crisis took place in February/March 2007 with falls in the stock exchanges of Shanghai and Wall Street. It continued in July / August 2007 with the bursting of the housing bubble that dragged down not only US finance capital but also that of the European powers. These had gambled on high rates of profit from this high-risk debt, to counter the falling rate of profits in production. The imperialist then used their reserve banks (eg US Federal Reserve) to bail out the hundreds of billions of dollars of bad debts of its major banks and monopolies. The crisis then became a global financial crisis.
The second act of the crisis came in early 2008 with the effects of the financial crisis causing the breaking of the economic, political and military equilibrium in the planet with the rapidly rising prices of commodities. This means that we are witnessing “the” crisis of the capitalist system itself. There are too many imperialist powers. Capitalism has already exhausted its profits -even the future ones- as today, it is expressed trough the cracks in the stock exchanges. It has thoroughly incorporated the new capitalist markets of the former degenerated workers states of Russia, China, the republics of the former USSR and Eastern Europe into to the global division of labor and used up the massive blood transfusion that flowed as a result into the imperialist global economy.
Therefore, in this crisis, finance capital can only survive by a re-division of existing markets, sources of raw materials and cheap labor to derive new sources of super-profits, at the expense of its imperialist rivals, and downloading the crisis onto exploited masses of the world, beginning with the working class of the imperialist countries, and then driving down the masses all over the planet into poverty and starvation.
This crisis is first and foremost a crisis of the United States, the dominant imperialist power. As we said in the thesis published in OOI No. 6, US imperialism has transformed the world economy into its own "internal market", so much so that the U.S. transnationals obtained at least 50% of their earnings outside the United States, while with wars and military bases, U.S. imperialism controls and dominates global trade and politics.
US imperialism is trying to transfer the huge devaluation of US finance capital, through the devaluation of the dollar, into massive price increases of commodities that pushes the costs on the crisis in the first place onto the exploited masses of the world with brutal increases in living standards, onto the US working class with plant closures, sackings, and thousands of evictions from foreclosures due to unpaid house mortgages. In the second place it attempts to make its imperialist rivals pay the cost of the crisis such as Japan and the European powers, whose banks and monopolies had to be bailed out as they lost hundreds of billions of US dollars in bad debts and in turn made fierce attacks on the living standards of their own working classes.
The onset of recession in the United States threatens to extend globally into a process of widespread stagflation (recession with inflation) and increases the economic, political and military imbalance; thus has already begun the third act in the expansion and development of the crisis.
Under these conditions, the situation of the working class and the exploited masses in the United States – thanks to the betrayal of the bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO which collaborated with plant closures and tens of thousands of layoffs, cut wages and the destruction of pension and health schemes – is approaching the terrible hardships of the 1930s following the crash of 1929: massive layoffs, plant closures, exhausting working hours for those who have jobs, wages cut in half, casualisation; two million families who are losing their homes, etc. Twenty-eight million people in the US today are forced to use government food stamps to eat, the highest level reached since 1960, when food stamps were introduced! In the past two weeks, flour and bread has tripled in price. In March 2008, 407,000 workers applied for unemployment allowance, the highest level since Hurricane Katrina in 2006, increasing by 15% the total unemployed to nearly 3 million workers. In the same month, the net loss of jobs came to around 60,000. Unemployment is 7% according to official figures. This means wasting billions of labor hours of work per year of the laid off workers demonstrating the deep decline of the productive forces in this imperialist epoch which is revealed clearly in the current crisis. Such a system that is not even able to feed its wage slaves, deserves to perish, not only in the United States but throughout the world.
Today, the bourgeois analysts cannot agree on how big the crisis will get. But the exploited workers of the world know because they are already paying the costs. They are paying with a brutal increase in the cost of living, inflation, hunger, layoffs, and even deeper misery. Amid the crisis and the disruption of the economic, political and military balance, and amid the growing inter-imperialist disputes, all the imperialist powers and the national bourgeoisies of the colonial and semi-colonial world agree on one objective: make the exploited masses in every country pay for the crisis and for the hundreds of billions of dollars lost by the banks and monopolies by driving down their wages and living standards!
Meanwhile, the crisis can only make the barbaric attacks on the masses worse, causing new disasters and famine on top of the imperialist looting of the raw materials of the colonies and semi-colonies and the endless drainage of resources through the repayment of the external debts. Countries such as Egypt, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Vietnam, have been transformed into "maquiladora" [cheap labor assembly plants often in duty free zones] colonies of the transnationals looking for even bigger super-profits than they can make in China -where the profit rate is falling-, exploiting millions of workers including millions of children as slave labor. In countries which are producers of a single or few exports, such as copper in Chile and Peru, a global slowdown of demand could cause prices to fall at the expense of these countries, sinking them into a thorough ruin.
The crisis reveals clearly how the productive forces collide with the national borders. For example, food production in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Ukraine is sufficient to feed the world’s population. However at a time when global food production reaches a historical record, skyrocketing food prices worldwide matched to food scarcity in many countries, are causing famine, hunger and starvation among the masses to approach a new historical record.
Moreover, the crisis also reveals the contradiction between the social production and the individual - private- appropriation. Thus, being the maximum of profits -not the needs of the masses- the principle that guides the investors, the creation of new poles of development and consumer markets by the bourgeoisie – e.g. in China, India- means new business opportunities and bigger profits for the transnationals, but at the same time causes a dramatic increase in the prices of commodities which brings about scarcity, famine, starvation and sinks whole regions of the planet. Another clear example is the fact that it is precisely in the countries that produce most food such as USA, Brazil and Argentina where the cost of living, hunger and famine are most quickly expanding among the masses.
Since the crisis creates new business opportunities for the oil and food transnationals, the great powers are engaged in increasingly fierce disputes over areas of influence, sources of oil, commodities, cheap labor and markets. At the same time, these new business opportunities allow the national bourgeoisies, especially in the countries that produce oil or agricultural commodities of which demand is increasing, to negotiate for an larger share of the business, teaming up with this or that monopoly and economic power, using the disputes between the imperialist powers such as the US and EU (or even Japan) to drive hard bargains.
THE CRISIS HAS BROKEN THE WORLD ECONOMIC BALANCE. US IMPERIALISM BY DEVALUING THE DOLLAR IS MOVING TO INCREASE ITS EXPORTS. BY ALSO EXPORTING DEVALUATION AND INFLATION IT IS DOWNLOADING THE COST OF THE CRISIS ONTO THE WORLD’S MASSES AND ITS ECONOMIC RIVALS
With the onset of the crisis and devaluation of the dollar, the US, which has had a massive current account deficit for the past four decades, is moving rapidly to expand its exports. This is particularly the case in manufacturing which make up around 50% of its exports –and of this 50%, 80% is in armaments and machine tools –but also in grain of which is it the biggest producer in the world.
The devaluation of the dollar is the policy of the US monopolies to try evading or minimizing recession and to download the crisis onto their competitors and the workers. As well as shifting from being a net importer to a net exporter, the devaluing of the US dollar allows the US to reduce its external debt held in dollars. Price inflation makes other economies, whose currencies are pegged to the US dollar or which devalue in relation to the dollar, pay higher prices for imports from countries -particularly the other powers- whose currencies revalue against the dollar. At the same time, the latter see their exports become less competitive against those from US. The rising prices of export commodities and energy produced in semi-colonial countries bring windfall profits to the export sector which is dominated by the multinationals and rich farmers, pushing up the domestic prices to the workers and poor farmers, causing shortages and destroying living standards. Thus the crisis begun in the US is forcing a break in the balance of the world economy and the global division of labor that was established in 2002/2003 after the 1997-2001 crisis.
In first place in this changing division of labor is China, the most rapidly growing US competitor in exports, but which is also the biggest capitalist semi-colony where the US is a major investor. The US seeks to make China pay for the crisis. The devaluing of the US dollar has wiped out about a third of the value of the US$1.2 trillion dollar debt (800 billion of which in Treasuries) held by China. This has introduced a factor of future instability for the Chinese economy that makes it a dubious place for further investment. Besides, the huge profits made by the US in China have seen a rising organic composition of capital (i.e. of constant capital –machinery and raw materials - relative to variable capital –wages). Therefore the US is facing a tendency of the rate of profit to fall on US investments in China (which was expressed in part in the rapid falls of over-valued stock in the Shanghai Stock Exchange in February 2007). One result is the rise in the cost of skilled labor force, which has driven up wages faster than productivity thus reducing the rate of exploitation. For example, less skilled workers went from US$112 dollars to US$168 a month, an increase of about 50%, while the most qualified earn between US$210 and US$ 280 dollars a month. These increases mean than in China the hourly rate is between US60c and US$1- low enough to keep Chinese workers under miserable conditions, but too "high" if compared to Vietnam, Cambodia or Bangladesh, where the monopolies pay between US20c and US30c and hour. So the US is shifting part of its maquiladora production from China to countries such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Egypt, India, where it can increase the rate of exploitation and the rate of profit.
To add insult to injure, as once happened in Enron and other transnationals, it has been brought to light that numbers as regards Chinese economic growth were false. Measuring the real energy consume, even bourgeoisie annalists have reached to the conclusion that, linked to a decrease in the economy and standstill tendency, China economic growth has not been bigger that 6% during the last years.
Today China is exposed first, to the crisis in the United States, but also to a devaluation of Japanese financial capital, which as discussed in No. 6 OOI, during the short cycle of expansion in recent years, was a big lender of yen to foreign investors, particularly of US transnationals, in China. Financial capital and hedge funds were gambling through the so called yen-carry trade taking a huge financial profit from the difference between near zero interest rate on yen loans and much higher rates of other currencies as the NZ, Australian, Canadian dollar, etc. Japanese Yen revaluation increases the price of loans in that currency so that capitals cancelled and left China Besides, Japan holds US Treasure Bonds (treasuries) for a nominal value of 600.000 million dollars, so devaluing the dollar reduces in 30% the value of the Japanese US$ reserves and makes Japan pay for part of cost of the crisis, weakening its relative position as the biggest investor in China, a territory Japan likes to consider as primarily its own sphere of influence . Also as the dollar devalues against the yen, Japanese exports become less competitive.
The restoration of capitalism in China meant its incorporation into the global division of labor not only as a source of cheap wage labor, but also creating a new market of some 400 million consumers (the former bureaucracy which has become a new bourgeoisie, a rapidly expanding new middle classes of urban and rural areas, and a sector of 10s of millions of skilled workers), at the expense of the vast majority of the population of nearly around 1 billion workers and rural poor barely surviving on the brink of famine.
That is why, with the crisis and the devaluation of the dollar, with the U.S. becoming the largest exporter in the world, and with China so far resisting U.S. pressure to devalue the yuan, China’s economy would likely begin to switch from big exporter of consumer goods to net importer (of a range of goods gong from food to products of high technology) for its own 400 million consumers.
Thus the onset of recession in the United States has already seen a slowing down of the growth of Chinese exports to the US from an increase of 20.4% in the first quarter of 2007, to 15.6% in the second quarter and 12.4% in the third quarter, according to the Chinese Minister of Commerce.
The restoration of capitalism in China and the transnationals wild entrance for reaping big superprofits has meant the destruction of agricultural production, even that of subsistence level: the Communist Party bureaucracy -turned itself into a new bourgeoisie has grabbed large portions of the land, actually (if not juridically) destroying the former nationalized property of the land and expelling millions of peasants to the cities to work as cheap wage labor. Much of the arable land once farmed by peasants is now turned into industrial parks, dams, roads, power plants, etc. as infrastructure to support the investment of the transnationals. But much of this state investment in infrastructure is standing idle and unused representing a waste of arable land and other resources.
In short, capitalist restoration and the destruction of nationalized property in land means today that China must import most of its food. As food prices constantly increase so does the cost of living. In the year up to last February food prices increased by 23.3%. In the same period the price of pork rose by 63.4%, edible oil 34%l, vegetables 30%, and water services, gas and electricity, almost 6%.
The new bourgeoisie and the “red entrepreneurs" of the Communist Party fear that the extreme increases in the cost of living will lead to widespread riots –not only farmers, who have been already protesting, but also workers strikes, which have started to multiply despite the ban on strikes and the state repression facing striking workers.
At the same time, the onset of the crisis means that the new Chinese bourgeoisie must try to balance the budget and eliminate the internal deficit, doing away with the old mammoth, stagnant state enterprises. This means dismissing some 40 million industrial workers and the need for the new bourgeoisie to find support in the new social base of the rural and urban middle classes.
We can then say that in the heat of the onset of the global economic crisis the Chinese working masses are like a "volcano” waiting to erupt. Such an eruption will either bring about a victorious new social revolution that will overthrow the new bourgeoisie and restore the dictatorship of the proletariat based on revolutionary soviets and militias, or the spreading famines, the sequel of neglected natural catastrophes and the repression of the masses, may bring about the destruction of the revolution and even the re-partition of China among the imperialist powers.
With the devaluation of the dollar and revaluation of the Euro, the U.S. also downloads the costs of the crisis onto its European competitors. Exports from the European imperialist powers have become much more expensive and have less competitiveness in relation to the U.S. This is what explains that France first, but also Germany, Italy and other European imperialist powers, etc. are in a desperate race to retain and gain zones of influence and sources of oil, commodities and minerals as well as cheap labor. They are also trying to pass on the cost of the crisis to their own workers and onto the former degenerate workers states of Eastern Europe which have become new colonies supplying cheap but highly qualified labor for the German, French, Italian etc. monopolies that have shifted production to these countries, making plant closures, layoffs and wage cuts to blackmail their own working classes to accept wage cuts, increasing the hours of work, and driving down labor conditions.
We are entering a period of intensifying inter-imperialist disputes for zones of influence. The US has challenged its rivals by devaluing the dollar and downloading the costs of the crisis not only onto the world masses but onto its competitors, in its course from net importer to leading world exporter. Japan and the EU powers cannot survive without entering the arena to fight for their own zones of influence, sources of raw materials and cheap labor. Therefore, while it is too early to be absolute, we cannot exclude that, for example, the onset of a recession or a process of stagflation in Europe will drag down the over-valued Euro into a major devaluation, heralding a major trade war. The crisis and the global economic destabilization are underway. The outcome will depend on the balance of class forces and the class struggle worldwide as the inter-imperialist disputes escalate, trade wars, plunder, and the revolution and counter-revolution develop on a global scale.
RECESSION AND CRISIS DEVELOP WITH RECORD HIGH OIL PRICES AND AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES, THAT IS DESTROYING THE LIVING STANDARDS OF THE MASSES WHILE DRIVING UP THE PROFITS AND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES OF THE TRANSNATIONALS
Increased demand for, and speculation in these commodities is driving up their prices rapidly. In the case of oil, partly reflects the dollar devaluation (at constant values, the price of oil not yet reached the level of the crisis of '70s), and also fact that it is a non-renewable resource which may be reaching its ‘peak’ and certainly will be exhausted during this century. This crisis will therefore leave its imprint in the entire course of the 21st Century. The importance of oil in the capitalist economy explains why the imperialist powers are engaged in “wars for oil” such as Iraq, for the control of reserves and pipelines.
Needless to say, in the oil-exporting countries like Russia, Venezuela, the countries of the Middle East, Iran, etc. fat profits from oil revenues benefit only the transnationals and their national bourgeois partners. For the masses, the rising price of oil compounding the high prices of food, brings only rising living costs, and growing misery in the oil producing countries that are virtual ‘monoproducers’ [one primary export] because they must import most of the food they consume.
The rising prices of soybeans, corn, wheat and other agricultural commodities, is high as the result of three main factors. Firstly, the counter-revolutionary restoration of capitalism in China, brought not only a new, huge supply of cheap wage workers, but also a mass consumer market of about 400 million people, who import 80% of the food they consume from the world market. India also has increased its demand for imported food as a result of the investment of foreign capital in the production of software and call centers, taking advantage of a highly educated, English-speaking, skilled workforce, creating a new market that may approach 400 million people which must also import much of its food.
A second factor that pushes up the price of such commodities is undoubtedly the development of the biofuel industry which uses corn, soybeans, sugarcane, etc., taking up arable land that could be used for food, as feedstock. Added to this factor are natural disasters such as the drought in Australia that have reduced the supply of grain.
These factors are compounded by the fact that in recent months, much of the imperialist finance capital that can no longer be invested profitably in production, turns to speculation in the future value of commodities, inflating their price and creating a “food bubble" which gambles on food taken out of the mouths of children.
The high price of oil and agricultural commodities, coupled with the devaluation of the dollar, is causing a massive surge of inflation over the whole world economy, brutally raising the cost of living, especially of food, and creating widespread hunger and starvation in many places on the planet.
The rupture of the economic equilibrium and the existing division of labor has greatly intensified inter-imperialist disputes. Latin American nations with oil, gas and other raw materials, some of which have currencies undervaluated with respect to US dollar, are now the subject of fierce imperialist rivalry for control of these resources. In Africa, these disputes are mainly expressed in fratricidal proxy wars between factions of the national bourgeoisies that side with one or other imperialist power, as in Somalia, Chad, Sudan, etc.
Combined with the devaluation of the dollar, the onset of recession in the United States imposes a process of stagflation (ie recession with inflation) in those countries that export raw-materials and import manufactured goods. This is true of those semi-colonies in Latin America, including Chile and Mexico that are tied to the U.S. by FTAs.
On the other hand, the intensification of inter-imperialist rivalry and the high price of oil and commodities allow some leeway to the national bourgeoisies of the semi-colonial countries take advantage of these disputes to negotiate new deals with the imperialists to increase their slice of imperialist super-profits. But this collaboration exposes the role of the national bourgeoisie in the region. After 5 years of growth, the proletariat and poor farmers can see the division of the super-profits between the transnationals and their national partners at their expense, and will surely no longer put up with further attacks by the bourgeoisies, including rising food prices and rising hunger. The plausibility of this scenario makes native bourgeoisies shudder.
In the current furious disputes for oil routes and reserves, and agrarian rent among the different imperialist powers and transnationals, each one rallies their respective partners who are the native bourgeoisies from producer countries. Agrarian rent and oil sources have become so essential that Chicago stock market – where the commodities market is concentrated- is now the “star”, even overpassing Wall Street as a focus of speculation.
THE DISRUPTION OF THE ECONOMIC EQUILIBRIUM AND OF THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY BALANCE OF POWER
US "BIG STICK" AND FRENCH "NEW DEAL": TWO OPPOSITE IMPERIALIST POLICIES -BOTH THE INSTRUMENTS OF A FIERCE DISPUTE OVER AREAS OF INFLUENCE, BUT HAVING A COMMON AIM, THROWING THE CRISIS OVER THE WORLD MASSES
As we have said, the development of the crisis causes disruption not only of the economic equilibrium but also the political and military balance of power on the planet. This is clearly expressed that there are two different policies for imperialist domination of the world: a policy of "big stick" driven by U.S. imperialism as the dominant power, and another policy that might be called the "New Deal" (New Deal), driven by French imperialism –along with other smaller imperialist powers such as Holland, Belgium and Spain itself. Both policies are equally the instruments of a fierce dispute over areas of influence.
Meanwhile, German imperialism, for its part, has a bet each way in these disputes. Thus, Germany backs France in its plan to create an FTA in the Mediterranean with the semi-colonial nations of North Africa, and at the same time backs the US occupation of Afghanistan to share control of raw opium required for its medical laboratories and of oil and gas from the Caspian Sea area, reinforcing its strong position with Gazprom and in some countries in Central Asia. Japan is a rival of the US for dominance in China, but as we say above it will lose its leading role in China to the US, have its dollar reserves devalued and suffer a decline in its high tech consumer exports as a result of the shift of investment up the technology chain in both the US and China.
Of course the existence of two imperialist policies does not mean that the various powers have not agreed on a fundamental point: both want to make the exploited masses of the world pay the costs of the crisis, and they know that to do so, their essential task is to focus on stopping the uprisings of the proletariat, and to crush and destroy its revolutionary potential.
Thus when the global economic crisis began US imperialism was already in the process of recomposing its political leadership. The Bush regime faced a massive crisis of legitimacy as it faced the resistance of the Iraqi masses and the growing opposition to the war by the US working class as US deaths in Iraq mounted. However, as the dominant imperialist power, the US has no other chance than to go on embarking itself on unilateral wars of re-colonization to maintain its primacy
The presidential elections this year will provide the possibility of renewing a legitimate “Republicrat” regime with a new political "General Staff" of US imperialism for the continued policy of military aggression in disputes with its rivals for new zones of influence. All candidates essentially agree to the ongoing US policy of marking before its rivals which are its pretentions, through the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; the entry of Turkish troops in Northern Iraq; the role of the Zionist policeman in killing the Palestinian people; the "independence" of the US protectorate of Kosovo from Serbia (whose bourgeoisie, is like that of Russia, a junior ally of France); and backs the murderous Uribe, the gendarme of US imperialism in Latin America, and so on.
The US military policy of the ‘stick’ is the form that politics takes in the dominant imperialism. The revolutionary III International defined the epoch of imperialism as the death agony of capital i.e. the destruction of productive forces and the production of destructive forces. Imperialism must go to war to survive. The huge military spending of the imperialist states acts as a temporary counter to the onset of recession. The US military budget for 2008 is $600 Billion (not including the funding to maintain the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan); France is $147 Billion; German and Japan both $50 Billion each; not counting the total spending on production and marketing of weapons by private imperialist companies.
The last fall in the Wall Street Stock Exchange was in the shares of General Electric, along with Westinghouse, one of the biggest armament manufacturers. If the US responded to the crisis of 2001 with invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, there is not doubt that its response to the current crisis will be even bigger wars and colonial adventures.
The other policy is being driven by French imperialism, a weaker imperialist power that competes with the United States in key branches of production such as chemical weapons, aerospace, automotive, among others; which has been increasing labor productivity and needs to find new areas of influence to make super-profits. In its disputes for zones of influence, French imperialism presents itself as "democratic" and is allied to national bourgeoisies, especially in Latin America, with the so-called "Bolivarian bourgeoisies", and the Castro restorationist bureaucracy, sometimes jointly with the minor Spanish imperialism, as in the case of increasing its share of oil and gas resources on the subcontinent.
We can call the policy of French imperialism the "New Deal" and "good neighbor" policy, because it is similar to that of the United States in the 1930s. This was a time when British imperialism was in decline, and the US was expanding, disputing the declining British spheres of influence to become the dominant imperialist power. In Latin America the US under the government of Roosevelt, adopted the “good neighbor” policy treating the subcontinent as its “backyard”, and posing as “democratic” to drive out its imperialist rivals.
In 1938, Leon Trotsky said: "Under Roosevelt, the policy of iron fist is covered by the velvet glove of the populist pretensions of friendship and democracy". The policy of "good neighbor" is nothing but an attempt to unify the western hemisphere under the hegemony of Washington, as a solid block. Put forward by the latter in its vigorous campaign to close the door of the two American continents to all the imperialist powers, except itself. This policy is complemented materially by the favorable trade treaties that the United States strives to negotiate with Latin American countries in the hope of evicting their rivals systematically from the market. The crucial role that trade plays in the economic life of the United States impels the latter toward even more determined efforts to exclude all competitors from the Latin American market through a combination of cheap production, diplomacy, trickery and when necessary, force. (The policy of Roosevelt in Americas, 3/09/1938)
This historical analogy is much like the "good neighbor" policy that drives French imperialism, allied with the "Bolivarian" bourgeoisies which get a share of the profits. For example, Totalfina/Petrobras has made agreements with Morales in Bolivia, and Chavez in Venezuela to exploit the oil and gas, and to share a small part of the profits with the their joint venture partners. The same is true with its partnership in joint ventures with the Castro bureaucracy in Cuba These deals are made behind the velvet glove of the “peaceful”, “democratic” "good neighbor".
This policy of French imperialism applies not only in Latin America, but also, for example, in Lebanon, where its troops make up most of the "blue helmets" of the UN, and French companies are in joint ventures with the national bourgeois fraction Hizbollah for big profits from rebuilding what was destroyed during the Zionist attack on the Palestinian masses and the exploited people of the South of Lebanon in 2006. And in Iran France is linked to Ahmadinejad and the government of the ayatollahs, and so on.
Yet, in those semi-colonial countries which are directly under its control, as are the former French colonies like Algeria, Chad, etc., there is no "new deal", or velvet glove of the "good neighbor" and "democratic and pacifist" imperialism! There, French imperialism uses force as ruthlessly as the US, intervening directly with its troops today in Chad, as yesterday in the Ivory Coast, causing the worst fratricidal wars, and backing the most brutal puppet dictatorships such as that of Bouteflika in Algeria.
In this "New Deal" and "good neighbor" bloc of French imperialism with the restorationist Castro bureaucracy and the "Bolivarian" bourgeoisie, we also find the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum, including the deserters of Trotskyism, who tell the proletariat that putting pressure on the national bourgeoisies will allow them to negotiate with imperialism to force it to agree to a more fair or equal distribution of the super-profits. Supposedly, in return, the national bourgeoisies will share with the masses the crumbs of the feast. That is why, for example, the WSF and most of the fake Trotskyists supported Chavez in the constitutional referendum to strengthen Chavez regime to negotiate better terms with France and the European Union to retain a bigger slice of the oil revenues that they get in Venezuela, telling the workers that this is the only way to achieve their demands.
The renegades of Trotskyism support this "New Deal" policy in two ways. One sector led by Celia Hart Santamaria openly supports the "Bolivarian" regimes, where, for example in Venezuela , the Mandelites and others of the "new left" like Socialist Tide (Marea Socialista) have joined the PSUV saying it is a ‘workers’ party. Yesterday, the Mandelites in Brazil joined the popular front of Lula-Alencar and served as ministers in this government, while today they have formed the PSOL with a left reformist bourgeois ("desarrollista") program.
Another sector of the fake Trotskyists (those of a more "social democratic" bent) take a "left", "critical" position outside the popular front, like PSTU (LIT), the Workers Party (PO) and Socialist Workers Party (PTS) of Argentina, and call on the masses to fight to put pressure on bourgeois governments so that they will pass "progressive" reforms ... when, under current conditions, the only thing those governments have to "give" the masses is super-exploitation, hunger, plundering of the nation, and violent repression or all who dare to protest!
For example, the LIT calls for workers to pressure the Chavez government to make it "move to socialism." The PSTU promoted referenda to pressure Lula to abandon his plan to "reform" the laws on working conditions, union rights and organization, and on universities. During the dispute between rich farmers and the Kirchner administration, the PTS in Argentina called the masses to struggle to pressure the parliament to repeal the rural labor law "passed by the dictatorship" [1976-84] in an abstentionist, reformist policy that covertly takes sides with a bourgeois faction (the “Bolivarian” bourgeois regime allied to a sector of the imperialist monopolies) against another bourgeois faction, that allied to the big grain multinationals.
In short, the fake Trotskyists have followed in the steps of Stalin and become the camp followers of social democracy. They all agree with the "theory" that the working class can "socialize" the bourgeois state and the capitalist market, a pseudo-Marxist theory whose main ideologue is James Petras. Petras refers to capitalism only at the level of the market, saying that the capitalism can be socially regulated to create an Utopian "equal exchange". In other words, he argues that the problem of capitalism is not at the level of production, but at the level of distribution: hence his entire theory revolves around "socializing" the market. This theory rejects the contradiction between the forces of production and social relations of production, which is manifest at a secondary level as the global market breaking down national borders, leading to trade wars and military wars such as the colonial invasions of oppressed countries and the two (interimperialist) world wars of the 20th century (of which the second was at the same time a war against the USSR degenerate worker state).
"Socialising the market," is nothing more than the famous "market socialism" that proclaims the total subservience of the working class to capitalist exploitation. This is the "market socialism" of the new bourgeoisie that brought about capitalist restoration in China. It is how the Castro bureaucracy plans to restore capitalism in Cuba!
"Market Socialism" is the name of the farcical "nationalization" of SIDOR by the Chavez government, where it has compensated the owner Techint, paying well above the market value of the shares, in fact above the best price its shares had had at any time, while the owners had privatized SIDOR in 1998 for much less than the market value and have extracted millions in surplus-value since!
Thus, for Petras, the “New Deal” means peaceful coexistence at the level of the bourgeois state between the workers, the ‘Bolivarian’ bourgeoisie, and French Imperialism which allot democratically their fair share among themselves. The fake Trotskyists work to make this possible by keeping the workers putting pressure from inside and outside the popular front.
We would remind them not to forget that this "New Deal" has as its right wing French imperialism that still rules directly its American colonies of Martinique and French Guyana where it maintains a military base. On this fact all the "Bolivarians" keep quiet. The "center" of this "New Deal" goes to the Bolivarian bourgeoisies. And the "left wing" is formed by all the misleaderships, including the fake Trotskyists –inside and outside the popular front – who only tell the workers to pressure the bourgeois state, regime, government, institutions, to oblige them to "redistribute" a part of the "cake". Their servile role as the left cover of the bourgeois regimes is asking the bourgeoisie to cease to act as such!
DESPITE AND AGAINST THE TREACHERY OF THE LEADERS, AND FACING THE BRUTAL ATTACKS OF THE BOURGEOISIE TO MAKE THE WORKERS PAY FOR THEIR CRISIS,
THE EXPLOITED PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING TO THESE ATTACKS WITH SPONTANEOUS REVOLTS AND WITH WORKERS UPRISINGS WHICH CALL INTO QUESTION THE WORLD WIDE BALANCE OF CLASS FORCES
In the 21st century the treacherous leadership of all kinds who are grouped in the World Social Forum has successfully suppressed the revolutionary “dress rehearsals” of the semi-colonial masses, and isolated and subordinated the struggles of the workers of the imperialist countries to their "democratic" imperialists, both the Franco-German blocs, and the US Democratic Party. But the onset of the global crisis has broken the economic, political and military equilibrium, and the treacherous leaders will find that they are increasingly unable to prevent the counter-offensive of the proletariat rising up in response to the brutal attacks of the bourgeoisies. However the social equilibrium has not been broken yet, due to the success of the misleaderships of the masses in helping the bourgooisies to expropriate, suffocate or deviate their revolutionary struggles, desynchronizing the fighting of the proletariansand the masses in the imperialist powers from that in the semicolonies.
With the outbreak of the crisis that began in early 2007, the global situation became uncertain. The bourgeoisies opted to a policy of denial, downplaying the magnitude of the crac and at the same time tried to rescue themselves with central bank subsidies of billions of dollars to save their banks and monopolies, offloading the costs of the crisis onto the masses.
The workers response towards the end of 2007 was spontaneous food riots in Pakistan, Burma and Georgia. By 2008 the food riots began to turn into uprisings against the regimes, as in the case of Argentina were the fight against shortages and high food prices threatened to turn into a fight against the ‘social pact’ of the Kirchner regime. More recently, similar protests in France, Germany, Italy and other European powers reflects a widening wave of workers' struggles against the high cost of living.
But despite the first attempts by workers to turn the food protests against the regimes, the treacherous reformist labor leaders, including the fake Trotskyists, prevented those early battles from developing into an organized counter-offensive against the crisis. Their action was specially harmful in isolating and containing the struggles of the proletarians in the imperialist countries and prevented them from taking momentum and generalizing. Those struggles could have hit imperialism from inside, helping the workers and people from the oppressed nations in their fight for liberation and against their exploiters.
For example, they stopped the strike action of the US dockers who called a wildcat strike on May 1 against the US imperialist butchers against the war in Iraq and in defence of migrant workers rights from spreading to other unions. This is because for the last years the US working class has been subjected to a fierce attack by the bourgeoisie with the collaboration of the AFL-CIO bureaucracy, Castro, Chavistas and the fake Trotskyists, to keep them trapped in the Democratic Party of Obama, Clinton and other imperialist butchers. Similarly, workers mobilisations in Europe were contained and diverted by social pacts made by the labor bureaucracy and the bourgeois regime.
It was the complicity of the misleaderships what allowed the exploiters to appropriate three revolutionary uprisings of the workers and peasants in Ecuador in 1997, 2000 and 2005, and to suppress the workers and peasants revolution in Bolivia by the Popular Front government of Morales, backed by continental bourgeoisies and the Castro restorationist bureaucracy. This, together with the diversion and defeat of the struggles of the US working class were the two key factors that allowed the fraud of the "Bolivarian revolution" to succeed, for the process of capitalist restoration in Cuba to speed up, and for the U.S. and its servant Uribe to attack the FARC and the Colombian mass resistance.
This created a reactionary conjuncture, allowing time for the bourgeoisie for reconstituting its institutions (which had been severely hit by the revolutionary uprisings). So it could recover the initiative and go on the offensive to make the masses pay for the crisis, suffering massive inflation and a brutal rising in the cost of living driving down the living standards of workers throughout the world.
Contrariwise, the masses could not backfight because their misleaders got them paralysed. The outbreak of food riots contains within it the sparks that can transform these defensive struggles into offensive struggles. Thus the hardships inflicted on the masses tend towards generalizing and synchronizing the scattered struggles. We can see that the spontaneous food riots raise demands that challenge the regimes and governments, preparing a disruption of the social equilibrium among the classes. In Philippines the government was threatened by social unrest due to the increase in rice price. In Haiti, the masses took to the streets demanding bread, pounding their empty plates and crying "down with hunger down with the government!" Facing the UN mercenaries from Argentina, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Morocco etc they shouted "If the government does not cut the cost of living, out they go!", "If the police and troops of the UN kill us, that's okay, because if not we don’t die by bullets we just die of hunger!” (Most UN troops in Haiti came from countries where there had been already food riots!).
Meanwhile, in China, there have been thousands of worker and peasant revolts each year against evictions and working conditions. Now the cost of living is rising steeply with the revaluation of the yuan, together with the high price of oil –of which China is a net importer –and food, especially rice (staple food of the masses for much of Asia) which has doubled in price in recent weeks. It is these factors that are causing widespread food riots, not only in China but in all the countries of Asia.
In these revolts of the masses for food, driven by hunger and need, that are spontaneous and lacking any direction and self-organization, there is, as Lenin said “an embryonic class consciousness”. This is because when the masses burst into spontaneous activity, in spite and against the designs of their misleaders, they begin to see clearly the class enemy that starves them: the treacherous bureaucracy, and the regimes, governments and states of the repressive bourgeoisie.
There is no doubt that the huge advance of the heroic national resistance of the Iraqi masses against the war constitutes a second revolutionary development. The workers and exploited that made an armed insurrection in the south of Iraq against the forces of the puppet government of Maliki backed by US forces, stopped short of victory only because of the ceasefire of the bourgeois nationalist al-Sadr who operates like Hamas in Gaza or Hizbullah in Lebanon, to restrain and disarm the masses, to prevent a genuine Vietnam-type defeat of the occupying troops.
Also in Middle East, in Egypt the working class and the masses have taken up the struggle against the repressive dictatorship of Mubarak, following the example of the heroism of the Iranian masses who in 1979 overthrew the Shah Reza Pahlevi, and the heroism of the Palestinian masses in their struggle against the Zionist occupier. Meanwhile, Africa is shaken by dozens of rebellions in particular the uprising in Nigeria led by the black workers against the transnational oil companies.
In Latin America the indefinite strike and militant occupation of the SIDOR workers in Venezuela forced the bourgeois government of Chavez to announce the "nationalization" of SIDOR to end the workers struggle after failing to suppress the strike with the National Guard in March. This “nationalization” is actually a transfer of ownership under the Venezuelan bourgeois constitution between Techint and the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie, paying the private owner market compensation. The struggle of SIDOR workers puts them in the vanguard of the Latin American proletariat, and it puts on the agenda the re-convening of the UNT on the basis of break with Chavez and any link to the bourgeois state, and for urgently convening in SIDOR a national congress of delegates of the rank and file of workers organizations. Such a congress would launch a decisive struggle for a real nationalization of SIDOR, without compensation and under workers’ control, for the re-nationalisation of PdVSA, expropriating without compensation of Repsol, Totalfina and other imperialist oil companies "associated" to the state company, and for the expropriation of the 31 families who, together with transnational companies control the Venezuelan economy, and so on.
And in Europe, there is the indefinite general strike of the workers of Dacia-Renault in Romania with the demand for equal pay as their fellow workers in Renault in France, which opens up the prospect of reviving in the next period the revolutionary process in the countries of Eastern Europe where capitalism has been restored.
For the moment, however, the social pacts of the collaborationist bureaucracy with the imperialist regimes continue to contain the European workers. In the US the millions of state welfare benefits to the most exploited workers, and their subordination to the U.S. Democratic Party, still prevents the further development of workers resistance to the crisis. Therefore, we can say that the conjuncture remains reactionary while the defensive struggles against hunger, super-exploitation and war, in many places in the world nevertheless remain relatively isolated and disorganized. However some preparatory pre-revolutionary elements are slowly building up in the world situation.
Therefore, the balance of class forces is being challenged by the food riots and the mass workers uprisings such as in Egypt which are preparing the foundations for a pre-revolutionary world situation, as they tend to become into political mass struggles. The key to the further development of the mass struggles of the world’s workers is in the hands of the US and EU workers and their response to the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses. We insist: the key is now in the hands of the proletariat of the imperialist powers. If the US workers respond to the Iraq resistance and fight to defeat US imperialism by breaking with the Democratic Party, and if the working classes of the imperialist powers in Europe succeed in breaking from the social pacts and enter into opens political struggles against their imperialist regimes and governments, then such developments would, without doubt signify that we have left behind the current reactionary conjuncture.
However, if the strength and determination of the masses is defeated or contained we cannot rule out that the development of the global crisis will lead to a worsening global recession with stagflation, and that the imperialists will intensify their inter-imperialist conflicts, including military occupations and invasions to re-divide the world economy.
If this happens, and the working class lacking a revolutionary leadership is still unable to break with the bourgeoisie and intervene as an independent force, we could see the rapid completion of the restoration of capitalism in Cuba, and severe defeats of the proletariat of the imperialist countries. In this event the current reactionary conjuncture would be consolidated opening a reactionary situation.
The economic crisis has now spread to the whole capitalist imperialist system. Against all the revisionist fake Trotskyists who speak of a "long wave" of capitalist expansion and a whole era of "reformist re-composition" of the proletariat, this developing crisis is entering its third act –global inflation which is a disaster for the working class and exploited people the planet. The high cost of living plunges the masses in misery, and despite record food production globally, hunger is now rampant in many nations across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The causes of starvation of the masses are the landowners, the oligarchy, and the agrarian bourgeoisie, who own most of the arable land, and the transnational grain corporates.
Therefore, the solution to end the high cost of living and high food prices will not come from setting limits on food exports as some national regimes propose, or free trade as proposed by the bloodsucking World Bank. This can only come from expropriating the land owners and agricultural transnationals, and the oil multinationals engaged in mass murder in their “wars for oil”, by the millions of exploited masses.
Under these conditions, all talk of a future alternative of "socialism or barbarism" has become today concrete, immediate. The only solution that can meet the minimum needs of the masses for food is a socialist revolution, with the working class taking power and expropriating the expropriators!
Only a victorious proletarian revolution can stop the catastrophe of rotten capitalism descending into barbarism. For the working class and the exploited to live imperialism must die! We do not want the "socialism of the 21st century” by the year 2099, the fraudulent socialism of Chavez, the Castro bureaucracy, the labor bureaucracy and fake Trotskyists, joined together in the World Social Forum. We want socialism now!
Against reformism which tries to constrain the working class to fight only for narrow economic demands –when capital has launched a real war against workers and the exploited! –it is necessary to raise the flag of the Marxist revolutionary who insists that we must struggle every day to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. We must explain to masses every day that this is the only way out of their hardship, and though we do not renounce taking from the bourgeoisie any gains along our way to revolution, it is necessary not to give an inch to the bourgeoisie on that road, nor stop at reforms, knowing that these gains will be taken back as soon as the proletariat does advance to take the power.
But we cannot leave the struggle for the basic and minimum demands of the masses in the hands of the reformists who are unable even to organize a decisive fight for the reforms they preach. It is time to raise a program that starts from the most basic and immediate demands of the masses whose struggle emerges spontaneously to resist the barbarism imposed on them. That struggle can only be won by attacking the private property of the capitalists, so the economic struggle for basic demands will quickly become a mass political struggle. So, against layoffs and the high cost of living we must raise the demands for the sliding scale of wages and working hours, and the nationalization without compensation and under workers control of all companies that close or sack workers.
In colonial and semi-colonial countries, the fight against hunger is inseparable from the struggle to nationalize the large landholdings and to expropriate the large transnational grain, vegetable oil and petroleum companies, the banks, canceling the national debt and for a monopoly of foreign trade. In the U.S., opposition to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan that cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year is intimately bound up with a program to make the capitalists pay for their own crisis, expropriating without compensation and under workers control the big US monopolies.
In the revolutionary Transitional Program there is a bridge between the immediate demands of the masses and the struggle for socialist revolution, i.e. towards the seizure of power by the proletariat and the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, because it will become clear as the struggle develops that this is the only way to end the hardship and sufferings of the broad masses of exploited and prevent the bourgeoisie from making them pay for the crisis caused by the capitalists themselves.
As was true on August 4th, 1914, with the outbreak of the inter-imperialist World War 1, and the historic betrayal of the proletariat by social democracy, today the crisis in the capitalist world economy and the catastrophe that it brings to the workers, clearly separates the battle lines between reformists, the life-support system of capital, and the revolutionaries who fight alongside the world proletariat, the grave-diggers of capitalism. Either one is for the socialist revolution as the immediate task, or one if for pressuring the bourgeois state to “redistribute the wealth” i.e. the "market socialism" of the Castro bureaucracy, the "Bolivarian" bourgeoisie. Today, the renegades of Trotskyism have already had their own August 4, 1914, going over to the trench of the class enemy.
Yesterday, in 1914, when workers were dragged by the social imperialists to kill one another on the battlefields to serve the interests of "their" respective bourgeoisie, the immediate task to stop the war and win the peace, was one that could not be won without the socialist revolution. The revolutionary program of Lenin, Liebcknecht and the other internationalists of the Zimmerwald Left was to stop the war by "turning the guns around, transforming the imperialist war into civil war against their own bourgeoisie." In 1915 the internationalists could sit in one coach, but by 1917 their program had been adopted by the Russian proletariat to bring realize the program in life.
Today, when the working class and the exploited begin to break into the bread riots and workers rise up, “turning the gun around" means to fight to transform these revolts and rebellions against hunger into the start of the proletarian revolution, and to commit all our forces to fight to re-found a new World Party of Socialist Revolution, based on the program and the lessons of the Fourth International at its founding congress in 1938, that can lead the proletariat to take power, without which there will be no solution to the barbarism of the rotten capitalist imperialist system.
There is no doubt that the character of this crisis, its development and its outcome, will be defined and resolved on the terrain of world class struggle. Against all catastrophist theories, capitalism cannot collapse by itself, it will only fall as the result of the victorious socialist revolution.
This fact is defined brilliantly by Trotsky and the revolutionary III International in 1921, when he said: "In a period when the productive forces of capitalism have run up against a blank wall and can go no further we see the bourgeoisie gathering in its own hands the army, the police, science, schools, church, parliament, the press, the White Guard gangs; tightening the reins and mentally saying to the proletariat: 'Yes, my position is dangerous. I see an abyss yawning under my feet. But we'll wait and see who plunges first into this abyss. Perhaps before I perish, even if such is to be my fate, I’ll succeed in casting you, the working class, into the abyss.” What would this signify? This would signify the collapse of European civilization as a whole. If the bourgeoisie, which is doomed historically, to find sufficient strength, energy and power to defeat the working class in the impending terrible combat, it would signify that Europe is condemned to economic and cultural decomposition, as happened in the past to many countries, nations and civilizations. In other words, history has brought matters to such a pass that the proletarian revolution has become unconditionally necessary for the salvation of Europe and the whole world. History has provided the basic premise for the success of this revolution –in the sense that society cannot any longer develop its productive forces on bourgeois foundations. But history does not assume upon itself – in place o the working class, in place of the Communists –the solution of this entire task. No, History seems to say to the proletarian vanguard (let us imagine for a moment that history is a figure looming above us), History says to the working class, “You must know that unless you cast down the bourgeoisie, you will perish beneath the ruins of civilization. Try to solve this task!” Such is the state of affairs today". (Leon Trotsky, "A school of revolutionary strategy". The First Five Years of the Communist International, Volume 2. New Park, p5-6)
In 1921, these lines were written when European imperialism emerged from the First World War. In terror that the revolution that had succeeded in Russia and was breaking out in Germany between 1918 and 1921 would triumph, the bourgeoisie printed money to stimulate an artificial boom. The German and Hungarian revolutions were defeated, restoring the confidence of the bourgeoisie in their forces, and as the economy faced a crisis it launched a counter-revolution against the workers.
Today, at the beginning of the new crisis in the global economy, the world working class faces a fateful alternative. If the bourgeoisie, despite having exhausted its historic role, rallies its forces with the help of the treacherous leaders of the workers, and defeats the workers struggle, the result will be a terrible economic and cultural destruction of entire countries and regions, and ultimately to civilization itself. In other words, history brings us to the critical juncture where the proletarian revolution is necessary to prevent the destruction of civilization.
WE ARE FACING TWO RACES: FIRST, BETWEEN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RECESSION AND THE OFFENSIVE AGAINST THE WORKERS, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A INTERNATIONAL WORKING CLASS COUNTER-OFFENSIVE TO THE CRISIS;
SECOND, THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING CLASS COUNTER-OFFENSIVE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A INTERNATIONAL REVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP THAT CAN TRANSFORM THE COUNTER-OFFENSIVE INTO A REVOLUTIONARY OVERTHROW OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM
Under these objective conditions the first race is in the field of global class struggle. If, the proletariat, in the next period, does not intervene in time to find its own solution to the crisis in advancing towards the world proletarian revolution –such as, for example, the break with the bourgeois regimes in one or two imperialist powers; riots and widespread uprisings of the working class in China, a decisive intervention by the Cuban and Latin American masses to halt capitalist restoration in Cuba, etc. –the bourgeoisie will continue to destroy the productive forces, imposing the costs of the crisis on the masses with catastrophic results, and intensify the inter-imperialist rivalry for spheres of influence, including a slide towards new inter-imperialist wars.
So far it is clear that the masses responses to the immediate effects of the crisis in rising up against price rises and the high cost of living shows that they have entered the race to resist paying for the crisis and to turn these costs back onto those that caused the crisis. Once again, the exploited masses prove that they will not miss such an historic race for their survival. The only obstacle standing in the way of the workers winning this race and winning their liberation from wage slavery is the crisis of revolutionary leadership.
Thus the second race is on the terrain of class consciousness, between the crisis of the revolutionary leadership of the proletariat -that is the existence of a present leadership of counter-revolutionary leaders and the absence for the moment of a revolutionary international leadership capable of overcoming this obstacle-snd the tendency of the masses to fightback facing the attacks of its class enemy and the hardships coming from the world economic crisis. The working class can win this second race only by exposing and removing all the treacherous reformist leaders. At the moment, the counter-revolutionary reformist leaders have the advantage as they have diverted the revolutionary processes in Latin America, suppressing the Bolivian revolution, speeding up the restoration of capitalism in Cuba, and at the same time holding back the radicalization of the proletariat of the imperialist countries by subordinating them to bourgeois parliaments.
The outcome of the second race depends on the intervention of revolutionary internationalists. They have the program capable of raising the consciousness of the masses in spontaneous defensive struggles and guiding them forward to the revolutionary seizure of power. That is why the Third Congress of the FLT stated clearly that revolutionary internationalists are facing urgent historic tasks and challenges. These are now not only to defend the program won through historic struggles but also to put this program into practice by creating an international center for the re-founding of a new revolutionary international in the immediate future, that can make a difference as an objective factor within the proletarian vanguard..
The crisis then has made it clear that the contradiction between capital and labor leaves no room for reformism, and that it can no longer be the basis for fooling the masses into paying the costs of the crisis. These are the conditions that will propel the proletariat and exploited people to go beyond food riots and uprisings and advance towards political struggles that can develop into the fight for the proletarian revolution.
These are, then the conditions that will prove that the crisis of humanity is reduced to the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat, giving an objective basis for our struggle for a Zimmerwald and Kienthal of the 21st century to found an international center.
It is necessary to call a congress of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations to exposeand defeat the treacherous leaders of the masses. We must declare a relentless fight against the bloc of Castro, the populists and the fake Trotskyists which constitute the left wing of the World Social Forum, who are already preparing new barriers to contain and divert the new layers of radicalized worker from forming a revolutionary vanguard.
We must declare a relentless fight against these new obstacles such as the "Congress of Latin American Workers" convened by the PSTU and LIT next July in Brazil, which will tell the working class of Latin America that they will conquer their unity by following the leadership of the bureaucratic collaborators of the COB, which already betrayed the Bolivian revolution subordinating the working class to Evo Morales; of the labor organizations in Haiti who refuse to fight for the military defeat of all UN troops –beginning with their own Argentine, Brazilian, Bolivian and Chilean troops –who occupy that nation and kill the people on behalf of imperialism; and of CONLUTAS created by the PSTU in a new central trade union tied to the state by its “left” bureaucracy!
Put all our forces into the revolutionary regroupment, a new Zimmerwald and Kienthal of the twenty-first century! This is the basic duty of all revolutionary internationalists, and the only way to get out of the swamp of national Trotskyism and to defeat the class collaborationism politics of the fake Trotskyists who today constitute the "left" wing of the "New Deal" bloc.
May 1st 2008
Appeal of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction
The crisis in the capitalist imperialist world economy; the struggle against the capitalist restoration in Cuba; the fraudulent "Bolivarian revolution"; the heroic resistance of the masses of the Middle East: these are the frontlines in the class war that divides reformists from revolutionaries. We put forward our revolutionary response to these acid tests of the global class struggle.
LET'S BUILD A REVOLUTIONARY INTERNATIONALIST BLOC
TO FIGHT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF PRINCIPLED TROTSKYISTS AND REV0LUTIONARY WORKERS' ORGANISATIONS!
The 3rd Congress of the FLT resolved to call for the formation of a revolutionary internationalist bloc to fight for an international conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers' organisations. Today, as in 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War and the betrayal of the Social Democratic International, we face a crisis of the capitalist imperialist world economy and the catastrophe that this will bring upon the masses; we are confronted with the Cuban question, the struggle against the fraudulent 'Bolivarian Revolution', the war in the Middle East and the international tasks and obligations that poses for the working class in all countries, and the questions of Colombia and Venezuela. These are all acid tests of the struggles of the world working classes that clearly divide the reformists, revisionists and opportunists from the real revolutionary internationalists that look anxiously for a path to regroup their forces at an international level.
These are the red hot questions facing the international working class that will be the acid tests of all the currents that claim to be revolutionaries and internationalists. They are a real life test for these currents' program and politics, to prove clearly who speaks the truth and who actually fights in the trenches with the proletariat and all the exploited. Facing these sharp events the principles and program of them all will reveal who are the revolutionary internationalists and expose all those fake Trotskyists, impostors and opportunists, who during the workers holidays hail the socialist revolution and the Transitional Program, and proclaim loudly for the "Reconstruction of the IV International", yet everyday follow the political path of class collaboration with the social democrats and Stalinists and become their successors.
We publish here then, the call of the FLT expressed as a number of points that we put forward in response to the crisis of the world capitalist imperialist economy; to the Cuban question -that shows clearly, as did the Russian question, who fights for the proletarian dictatorship and who does not - facing the war and the heroic resistance of the masses of the Middle East; and against the fraudulent claims of the "Bolivarian Revolution". These points concentrate the elementary principles on which to build a true revolutionary internationalist bloc.
The call contains 23 points as a revolutionary response to the acid tests of the world class struggle, as proposals for discussion, amendment or development, by the revolutionaries of the world, as a principled basis for a bloc to fight for the convening of an International Conference, and to prepare for the rapid international regroupment to fight the treacherous leaders that are stopping the world proletariat from going on the counter-offensive against the world economic crisis that has begun, and so returning to the road of the proletarian revolution.
All of the points presented here have met with the agreement of the comrades of the Marxist Workers Party (POM) of Brazil who have adhered to them from their particular vision and conviction and put their resources in the service of the fight for an International Conference. The POM has taken the initiative to host in Brazil, towards the middle of the year, a Pre-conference of all the groups and currents that agree with the call and share its aims. Consequently the FLT, having raised the need for a debate with all the groups and currents that will come to the Pre-Conference in Brazil, puts forward this call to open the discussion on how to build a revolutionary internationalist bloc to fight for an International Conference.
Therefore, on May 1st, 2008, in order to advance this struggle for a bloc to fight for an International Conference on these principled bases, we declare the urgency for a true Zimmerwald and Kienthal of the 21st century, capable of building an international center that can fight to create a new party of world socialist revolution on the basis of the legacy and program of the Founding Congress of the IV International of 1938, which represented the continuation of the legacy of the Bolsheviks and the Revolutionary Third International of Lenin and Trotsky.
We call upon all internationalists that share our view to regroup around the following responses to revolutionary acid tests of the world class struggles that clearly separate two trenches in the world arena between those who fight for the victory of the workers' international socialist revolution and those who betray the proletariat to the bourgeoisie. In the imperialist epoch of crises, wars and revolutions, there can be no national programs. There is only the world program of the proletariat that allows the internationalist revolutionaries to be able to lead the working class to take power in the national arena as a step to the world revolution.
Facing the Crisis of the world capitalist imperialist economy: in the struggle for social revolution AS the MOST URGENT task to save the proletariat from the catastrophe of barbarism, against all the reformist paramedics that try to save capitalism’s life.
Only the triumphant proletarian revolution can stop the catastrophic barbarity of rotting capitalism. “Socialism or Barbarism” is not a matter for the future. It is now a slogan for an urgent program of immediate action!
The world capitalist crisis and the catastrophe that it is already unleashing upon the working class and the oppressed means that the dilemma “Socialism or Barbarism” must now become the slogan of revolutionary Marxists for a program of immediate action.
The grips of world crisis and recession, carrying the attacks by capitalism on the jobs, livelihoods and lives of the working masses to their utmost show that they can only be defeated by the struggle to smash the world capitalist imperialist system. It puts on the agenda as the first task of the day, the fight for the proletarian revolution. Only by revolution will the world working class escape the misery, poverty and destruction of life under capitalism. So that the working class and the exploited masses can survive, the imperialistic capitalist system must die!
Against the reformist politics that attempts to confine the working class to the struggle for the econimical demands, we hold on to the Marxist motto: while telling the masses their daily tasks must now be for the seizure of power and the dictatorship of the proletariat, since that is the only way that they can overcome these attacks, we do not renounce to conquer even the most minimum of demands from the bourgeoisie. But we know that they shall be lost unless the proletariat takes power. The fight for food, work, land, against the war, against imperialistic oppression, can only be won with the victory of the international socialist revolution. Against the fraudulent posturing of the “socialism of the 21st century” proclaimed by the supporters of the World Social Forum, our war cry to save the planet from the catastrophe of barbarism is: “Socialist Revolution”.
As in 1914, with the outbreak of the interimperialistic World War I and the historic betrayal of the proletariat by social democracy, today the crisis of the capitalist world economy and the catastrophe that this will unleash on the exploited of the world, mark clearly the front lines between the reformists, paramedics running to help capitalism, which now includes the deserters of Trotskyism, and the revolutionaries who fight along the world proletariat to be gravediggers for capitalism. Either one is for the international socialist revolution, and fights with this perspective every day, or one tries to pressure the bourgeois for more reforms for breadcrumbs. Either one is for the socialist revolution and fights for it every day, or one is in favor of that fraudulent “market socialism” and “revolution of the 21st century”, as promoted by the Castro bureaucracy and ‘Bolivarian bourgeoises’ as a “redistribution of the wealth”. One cannot say to be a revolutionary and support national bourgeoisies like those of El Fatah and Hamas, prison guards of their own Palestinian people on behalf of the Zionist occupant; or those colaborationists of imperialist occupation of Iraq and ferocious reppressors of its own working class, like the Iranian bourgeoisie; or like Hizbollah, which negotiates with the pro-US imperialist government of Siniora and with the UN imperialistic troops who occupy the south of the country, with the blood and the sufferings of the Palestinian martyrs and Lebanese exploited as bargaining chips. Either one is for the fight for the socialist revolution, or one becomes the tool of the national bourgeoisies, the junior partners of imperialism, who pay them to prevent the workers from embarking on the road to the triumph of socialist revolution, only way to end colonial and semi-colonial oppression.
In 1914, when the workers were dragged by the sociaimperialists to kill each other on the battlefields to defend the class interests of “their” respective bourgeoisies, the immediate task to stop the war and to win the “peace”, was none other than socialist revolution: “to turn the guns around, and transform the imperialistic war into a civil war against the own bourgeoisie”. Such was the revolutionary program raised by Lenin, Liebcknecht and the other internationalists of the “Zimmerwald left”, which in 1915 could all sit in one couch, but by 1917 had become the core of the revolutionary leadership of the Russian proletariat which turned its program into the reality.
Today, facing the onset of the crisis of the world capitalist system, “to turn the guns around” means to fight for the proletarian revolution, the only way to stop decomposing capitalism from unleashing its catastrophic barbarism of wars, massacres, starvation and overexploitation against the masses. It means to prepare a great counter-offensive of the masses on a world scale to transform the current food riots and workers rebellions in the opening up of the road to the proletarian revolution.
Against the World Social Forum and the fake Trotskyists who act as their “left wing” subordinating the proletariat to the “democratic” imperialists and the national bourgeoisies!
Preventing the proletariat and the exploited from taking the road to revolution is their subordination to the bourgeoisie compelled by the treacherous leaderships and their accomplices in the "left" including the fake Trotskyists. Some of them support directly and openly the “Bolivarian” governments as in the case of Chávez, in Latin America while others call on the masses to fight to exert pressure on all governments to take supposedly “progressive” measures to meet their demands. For example, the LIT pressures Chavez to “advance to socialism”. In Brazil the PSTU calls for referenda in the unions and universities to put pressure on Lula to abandon his "reforms” on labor, unions and university laws. In Argentina, we see the PTS saying to the workers in struggle to put pressure on the Minister of Labor, the “democratic” judges, the parliament, and some politicians, to make “favorable” rulings or laws for the workers.
This treacherous politics of class collaboration, popular fronts, “to support the progressive measures of the bourgeois governments”, to pressure the bourgeois state, its governments and regimes, is an absolute barrier preventing the proletariat from asserting its leadership of the ruined sectors of the middle-class of the farms and of the city, which is the only way to advance through a victorious insurrection towards the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Against these traitors, the revolutionaries who make this call, state categorically that anyone that creates even the smallest illusion among workers that they can solve their problems by pressuring the bosses state and/or the supposedly “progressive” bosses, is a declared enemy of the historical interests of the proletariat and the struggle for the socialist revolution.
That is why we declare war without mercy on the political camp followers that subordinate the proletariat to the “progressive” bourgeoisie. For example, in Bolivia they support Morales against the fascists of the “media luna” when it was Morales who was responsible for sending the army to attack and defeat the hard core of the Bolivian proletariat, the miners of Huanuni. They support the “Bolivarian” bourgeois governments of Correa and Chávez against Uribe, when they all joined in the Summit meeting of the Rio Group, where they celebrated their business interests on the spilled blood of the Colombian resistance. In United States, they shouted “Anyone but Bush”, subordinating the workers’ movement against the war in Iraq, to the French and German “democratic” imperialists, and to the Democratic Party. In the case of Argentina, the left wing of the World Social Forum facing the farmers and big rural bosses lockout were divided on which sector of the bourgeoisie to support: either the Kirchner government and the transnationals of Mercosur and big oil, or the new bourgeoisie and agrarian capitalists backed by the cereal transnationals of the Chicago Stock Exchange.
The signatories of this document will commit all our forces in the fight to defend what is written in blood in the program of the international proletariat, that there can never be any support given to any bourgeois sector, its governments, its legislation, no matter how “progressive” they are painted, because that means that we cease to call openly for the overthrow of the bourgeosie.
The treacherous reformist leaders try to justify class collaboration by means of the theory-program of “market socialism”. They cheat the workers into thinking that it is possible to reform rotting capitalism by “socializing the market” by means of a utopian “equalising of exchange”. According to this theory, the problem of capitalism is not in the sphere of production, but in the sphere of distribution, so that the problem can be solved by “redistributing the wealth” without touching the property of the capitalist parasites. The reformists expose themselves as the life support paramedics of capitalism who guarantee that nobody threatens the property of the seven cereal multinationals who control the production of cereals and beans which are today plunging hundreds of millions of workers and exploited all over the planet into starvation; the handful of oil monopolies that control the oil reserves and pipelines and who are responsible for millions of deaths and ‘genocides’ in their “wars for oil”; and all those companies owned by the national bourgeoisies as junior partners with the imperialist transnationals.
For that reason, we commit all our forces to defend what is also written in blood in the program of the international proletariat, that the problems of capitalism is not in the sphere of distribution, but in the sphere of production. This means that capitalist class owns the means of production as its prívate property, and that because the working class has no means of subsistence other than to sell its labor, the capitalists are able to exploit this labor to expropriate its profits. For that reason, the only solution to capitalism’s problems is the expropriation of the expropriators, that is to say, the victory of the proletarian socialist revolution that establishes a dictatorship of the proletariat to expropriate the bourgeoisie.
3. Facing the capitalist crisis and the offensive of the bourgeoisie to solve the crisis at the expense of the exploited masses, we must organise a workers’ counter-offensive to make the bosses’ pay for their own crisis!
Against all the revisionists and fake Trotskyists who were claiming that we were in the midst of a “long wave” of capitalist expansion which made reforms possible (so that the workers could consolidate their ranks through economic fights alone), the economic crisis is now full fledged and extends to the whole world capitalist imperialist system. The effects of this stage of the crisis, beginning with the recession in the United States and the onset of world wide price inflation, are already catastrophic for the working masses of the planet. While food production is at a record high, rising food prices have pushed millions into hunger and misery in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, which also begin to strike the workers in the imperialist countries. Thus, in the United States, already 28 million workers and their families depend on the food stamps of the bourgeois state!
In the first years of the 21st century, the treacherous counter-revolutionary leaders. the workers aristocracy and bureaucracy around the world isolated and fragmented the struggles of the masses and contained and diverted the most advanced forces of the world revolution, desynchronizing the fighting back of the different battalions of our class. Today, the impact of the capitalist crisis is forcing the masses to respond to the regimes, states, and governments that are imposing the policies of global finance capital. So the whip of capital unites and synchronises again the class struggle all over the world. We declare then that the most urgent task of the hour is to fightback against the crisis and the vicious attacks of the bosses against the exploited masses, to prepare and to organize a counter-offensive of the world proletariat, so that it is the capitalists who pay for the crisis they have caused.
To do this it is necessary to break with the bourgeoisie, to defeat labor aristocracies and bureaucracies of all kinds. This means to break with the so-called “market socialism” that prostrates the working class before the capitalist market controlled by international financial capital and the imperialistic transnational companies. That is the only way to turn the food riots and workers’ rebellions now spreading rapidly across the world into the start of a counter-offensive of the world proletariat against the crisis and the bosses’ offensive.
The section in our Transitional Program that we must raise with all our strength is: to transform the economic fight into a mass political fight against the bourgeois states, regimes and governments. We must help transform the spontaneous revolts of the masses against rising prices for the essentials of life, by raising the demands for the sliding scale of wages and working hours, for the nationalization and expropriation of the land, of the big oil and food monopolies; of the imperialist banks without compensation and under workers control. In this way the workers will turn their food riots into a fight for workers states that can expropriate the prívate property of the bourgeoisie and force them to pay for the crisis they have caused. The program and the activity of the revolutionaries aim to help develop the self-determination of the fighting masses which must create their own democratic political organs such as soviets or councils, pickets and self-defence committees, to prepare for the insurrections against the capitalist states and for the seizure of power. But those Insurrections will only triumph with a revolutionary Leninist fighting party to their head
4. The North American working class must stand up again to ‘turn its guns around’ against its own imperialist ruling class!
The North American working class, like the European and Japanese working class, can strike at the heart of imperialism, have in their hands the key to building a counter-offensive of the world’s workers in response to the crisis and attacks of the bourgeoisie. This key is the defeat of the treacherous union bureaucracy of the North American AFL-CIO that sold out the wage, conditions, health and retirement conditions won by long struggles of the working class. They, along with the World Social Forum – Castroists, Chavistas and the fake Trotskyists, put the US working class at the feet of the imperialist Democratic Party of Clinton and Obama! It is necessary to break with the Democratic Party, to defeat to the bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, and to mobilise a political fight of the masses, with strikes, pickets, and demonstrations against the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and to take up the demands of immigrant workers. This is the only way for the US proletariat to be able to face the brutal attack launched by the bourgeoisie against its historic gains and living standards, defeat the imperialistic regime of the “Republicrats” and make the capitalists pay for their own crisis, opening the road to the expropriation of the expropriators!
For the independent political mobilisation of the North American working class! Down with the imperialistic regime of the “Republicrats”, killer of the people of the world and exploiter and oppressor of its own working class! Long live the May 1st political strike of the ILWU dockers against the war and the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in defense of the rights of workers, in particular, immigrant workers! “If there is no peace, we will strike: stop the war in Iraq and Afghanistan! Defend the rights of the workers. Defend the rights of the immigrants. Close all the West Coast ports on May 1st”. The demands of the dockers, are the demands necessary to prepare and organize the counter-offensive of the North American working class!
5. For the fighting unity of the European working class!
In Europe, dockers have taken industrial action against Sarkozy’s attack on their conditions, despite and against the social pacts signed by the labor bureaucracy, showing that the French working class have returned to struggle against the V Republic. The English workers have increased their militancy as teachers have gone on strike against Brown’s New Labour government of the corrupt and parasitic British imperialistic monarchy. The working class of the rest of Europe is also beginning to fightback.
Down with the social pacts and sellout deals of the labor bureaucracies with the imperialist bourgeoisies, defending the privileges of the labor aristocracy at the expense of the majority of workers in these countries! Stop subduing the working class and the exploited to the bourgeoisie! Down the union bureaucracy of the French CGT and CDFT; of the British TUC, the Italian CGIL, the CGT and Workers’ Commissions of Spain! Down with all the labor bureaucracies!
By throwing out the treacherous union bureaucrats, the French, German, Spanish, Italian, etc workers can unite and organise the most oppressed sectors of the working class, in particular, the millions of migrant workers overexploited and oppressed by the imperialist bosses. The migrant worker youth that rose up in Cités all over France to the shout of “Every night make Paris a Baghdad” set the example. That is the way to unite the working class of the European powers with their brothers and sisters, the oppressed workers and farmers of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America!
That is the way to organize a counter-offensive of the proletariat against the regimes and governments of the imperialist powers, so that the ghost of the socialist revolution returns to haunt the old continent.
Down the imperialist regime of the V French Republic! Down with the rotten imperialist monarchies of Spain and Britain, and the treacherous social imperialist governments of Zapatero and Brown! Down with the imperialistic regimes of Germany and Italy, all of them exploiters and killers of the peoples of the world, as well as of their own working classes!
In order to advance along this way, the working class of the European powers needs to unite its ranks with the working class of Rumania, Slovenia, of the other states of the East – sold to the imperialist powers by the Stalinist gangsters as little capitalist republics for locating new assembly plants using cheap manual labor. The first task of French workers is to take up the demand of the workers of Dacia-Renault of Rumania who went on strike for equal wages with the French workers of Renault! Without this unity, French workers will not be able to defend their present wages and past gains from the boss’s attacks, nor prevent the level of wages of the French workers from being driven down to those of Rumania.
In order to prepare and organize a strong counter-offensive, the proletariat of Western Europe needs to include in its demands the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the former degenerate/deformed workers states. They must call for the socialist revolutions to overthrow the new bourgeoisies, now in partnership with the imperialists, in the Balkan states, Eastern Europe, Russia and the republics of the former USSR. This struggle must be tied to the defence of the right to self-determination of nations in Europe and the former USSR. For the right of self-determination of the Basque and Catalan peoples oppressed by the imperialistic monarchy of the Bourbons! For the independence of Northern Ireland from the British imperialistic monarchy! For the expulsion of NATO troops from Kosovo, and for an independent, workers and socialist Kosovo! Free Chechnya from the murderous Putin and the new Great Russian bourgeoisie! For the military defeat of the counter-revolutionary ‘white’ army!
Down with NATO and all its military bases! Down with the reactionary utopia of the “European unity” of Maastricht! By raising these demands now, the workers in all the European states will bravely face the attack of their "own" imperialist bourgeoisies, defend their gains and re-open the road to revolution for the insurrectionary overthrow of the imperialist regimes and governments, and create the dictatorship of the proletariat in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, England, etc. For the Socialist United States of Europe, from Portugal and the British Isles, to the Russian steppes!
6. The entire Middle East must become the graveyard of the imperialist powers and their Zionist gendarme Israel!
The combat of the international working class and the exploited of the world has dug in itsr heels in the Middle East. The armed rebellion of the Iraqi masses in Basra and Baghdad, even though it is led by the bourgeois faction of al-Sadr, has caused a huge leap in the national war of resistance with a resounding defeat of the Iraqi mercenary army and left the US protectorate government of Maliki hanging by a thread. In March more than 1300 soldiers and police of the regime refused to “fight against the rebels”. The puppet government only survives because al-Sadr has held back and wants to get some of his forces disarmed to prevent a Vietnam-type defeat of the invading Yankee troops. On top of this victory, the Egyptian workers have made a general strike, the workers of Dubai and Iran are on the rise, and the Palestinian masses threaten to break the control of al-Fatah and Hamas, those bourgeois jailers of their own people on behalf of the Zionist state.
Those who have signed this call have already put ourselves in the trench of the exploited and oppressed masses of the Middle East. We commit all our forces to the fight for the defeat of all imperialist troops in Iraq and Afghanistan! For the victory of the heroic resistance of the Iraqi and Afghan masses!
Stop the massacre and the genocide of the Palestinian people! For the destruction of the Zionist state of Israel! For a secular, democratic and non-racist Palestinian state of the workers and poor farmers government defended by the self-organised and armed Palestinian masses!
End the subjection of the Palestinian workers and oppressed people to the bourgeois factions of Hamas and al-Fatah, jailers and slave masters of their own people! For a National Assembly of Palestine that destroys the walls, and that calls for the Palestinian people of historical Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan to unite with its class brothers and sisters in Egypt, Iran, Dubai and all the Middle East!
Out with the UN imperialist troops from the south of the Lebanon! Down the pacts between HIzbollah and the pro-imperialist client government of Siniora!
The proletariat of Egypt, rising up against the brutal dictatorship of Mubarak, is already taking the lead at the head of workers and exploited people of the Middle East, all those subjugated in Palestine by the Zionist occupier, and by the Arab sheiks and the national bourgeoisies in the other countries of the region. When the Palestinian people of Gaza demolished the wall in Rafah and made contact with the Egyptian workers, they proved that it is possible to demolish the wall despite the fact that it has been rebuilt by Mubarak and Hamas, and extend the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle to Palestine, Lebanon and all Middle East, the only way to destroy the Zionist state of Israel and to liberate the Palestinian nation. Now it is the Egyptian proletarians who can raze the walls that separate the Middle East masses. Down Mubarak! For the insurrectionary general strike of the workers and exploited of Egypt that overthrows that notorious regime! For a soviet, workers and socialist Egypt! For a Federation of Socialist Republics of Workers and poor Farmers of the Middle East!
Turn the Middle East into the graveyard of the imperialist powers and their Zionist gendarme!. To do this it is necessary for the working class of the Middle East to break with all the bourgeoisies of the region, who are the junior partners of imperialism in the plundering of its nations and the killing of its peoples. Long live the anti-imperialist fight of the masses of the Middle East and its struggle to defeat the imperialist troops in Iraq! Long live the working class of Egypt, Iran, Dubai and all the Middle East!
7.To mount the counter-offensive in Latin America we must break with the bourgeoisie!
In Latin America, to be able to organize and to prepare a counter-offensive of the proletariat against the crisis of the imperialist capitalist world economy and the brutal attacks of the capitalists, it is necessry to break with the “Bolivarian Revolution” and the Castro bureaucracy that is preparing to complete capitalist restoration in Cuba. Break with all submission to the bourgeoisie, its regimes and governments, ‘Bolivarian’ or not, which the plan of the World Social Forum imposes. This is the only way for the proletariat and exploited people of Latin America to return to the revolutionary road and shake up the continent, from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego, with their revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle!
8. Immediate and unconditional freedom for the many thousands of militant workers and people who are the prisoners of bourgeois states worldwide, hostages of the working class and exploited in the hands of imperialism and the national bourgeoisies!
To prepare and to organize the counter-offensive of the world working class, we also need to fight to release the hundreds of thousand of workers and people who are jailed in the capitalist states all over the world. They are held hostage by the imperialists and the native bourgeoisies to terrorise and blackmail the proletariat. These prisoners are the best fighters of our class and we need to release them to have them in the frontlines and strengthen the counter-offensive of the workers and oppressed of the world.
For that reason, those who signed this call commit all our forces to the fight to liberate the hostages of the working class and the exploited people in the hands of the capitalist states. We must put on the banner of the world proletariat: For the freedom of the prisoners of Las Heras in Argentina, the prisoners of Guantánamo, and the prisoners of Oaxaca! For the freedom of the thousands of imprisoned fighters of the Colombian resistance in the jails of Uribe, the lackey of Bush, and his occupation army! For the freedom of the tens of thousands of tortured Palestinian political prisoners in the dungeons of the Zionist state of Israel! For the freedom of all the imprisoned fighters in the hands of Yankee imperialism and the CIA in its secret jails in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other countries!
CUBA: Down with the Castroite bureaucracy and their restorationist regime! For the triumph of the political revolution to save the worker state in decomposition from the catastrophic capitalist restoration!
9. For the political revolution in Cuba as part of the socialist revolution in Latin America and the world!
For the defence of Cuba: Down with the international counterrevolutionary restorationist bureaucracy and its policies, which aim to strangle the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the working class and exploited in Latin America!
For workers, peasants and soldiers’ armed councils to defeat the restorationist bureaucracy and turn Cuba into a link and a stronghold of Latin American and world revolution!
The signers of this call denounce and challenge the ongoing process of capitalist restoration in Cuba being pushed by the Castroite bureaucracy, and the restorationst regime already established. This regime is based on the suppression of the Latin American revolution and the subordination by Castro, the Chavistas and the World Social Forum of the emergent anti-imperialist struggle of the North American working class to the Democratic Party.
With the imposition of capitalist restoration in Cuba, imperialism, the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies and the Castroite bureaucracy are prepared to bring about a terrible defeat to the Latin American and North American working class, rendering it inactive for some years. But it is about to learn if this gamble will pay off! Capitalist restoration in Cuba will not be peaceful, as the Castroite bureaucracy and its imperialist allies will have to overcome the revolutionary resistance of the Cuban masses with the methods of civil war. While the Latin American revolution has been contained, and the North American working class deceived and subordinated to the Democratic Party, the workers of the continent have not been smashed and removed from the scene for an historical period.
The restorationist bureaucracy that wants to become a new bourgeoisie, has already tied its fate to the “good neighbor” policy of French imperialism and entered into joint ventures in the nickel business. It has also aligned with the US imperialist Democratic Party, gambling on the presidency of Obama or Clinton which will lift the embargo and boost the process of capitalist restoration. And it has allied closely with the bourgeois regimes on the Continent with which it collaborates to suppress the revolutionary struggles of the exploited people of Latin America.
Today, the bureaucracy and its restorationist regime has allowed free access to the hotels, which have shopping malls filled with consumer goods – electric appliances, cell phones, computers, etc. – to the bureaucracy, their children and a minority of the new middle-class that work in the industry. This move aims to create a social base for capitalist restoration, and opens at the same time a new source of benefits for the bureaucrats turned would-be capitalists. Left outside this consumption are the large majority of workers and farmers who earn $13 dollars a month and who live with food rations. With these measures, the restorationist regime legitimizes and legalizes the emergent capitalist market, so that it can prepare its conversion from bureaucracy to new bourgeoisie.
Today, the defense of Cuba means to fight for the victory of the political revolution. That means to form workers, farmers and soldiers councils and the arming of the people. That is the only way to defend Cuba from imperialism and to stop the restorationist regime and its officer corps, which with Raul Castro himself controls most of the joint-ventures with imperialism. Far from defending socialism, these officers as junior partners are naturally committed to capitalism and will defend by any means these joint ventures, the market reforms and the ever-worsening social inequality.
In order to defeat the restorationist policies and the bureaucracy that apply them, these workers, farmers and soldiers' councils must be built raising on their banner the demands: Down the capitalist restorationist regime! Down with the new rich of the Castro bureaucracy! Down with social and wage inequality, down with the medals, privileges and decorations! Down with the joint ventures! For a single currency, a single economy: immediate renationalisation of oil, nickel, tourism and other joint ventures, without compensation and under workers’ control! Re-impose the monopoly of the foreign trade, the nationalisation of land, and a democratically planned economy by the armed councils of workers, farmers and soldiers, the only way to make Cuba part of the Latin American, North American and world-wide revolution.
Let's fight to stop the final blow on the historic gains of the Cuban revolution! The Cuban revolution last bastion lies in the Latin American revolution, that has been suppressed but not defeated, and in the world revolution! It is urgent to defeat the counter-revolutionary world politics of the Castro bureaucracy! Smash the “Bolivarian” regimes and governments in Latin America that expropriate and suppress the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the masses! Defeat the imperialistic regime of the US “Republicrats”!
If the Latin American revolution succeeds, the Cuban workers and farmers will find in the revolutionary struggle of the Latin American and North American working class, the solution to the shortages imposed by the Castro bureaucracy with its treacherous class collaborationist politics and “socialism in a single country”. The Argentine revolution will provide the Cuban masses with enough cereals, meat and milk to feed their children; the Brazilian and Mexican revolutions will provide the light industry; a victorious revolutionary Venezuela will supply oil. The Central American and Mexican revolution will forge the link to the millions of Latin American workers in the United States who can unite the North American working class, which can provide the latest technology and higher productivity to rescue a socialist Cuba from isolation and backwardness.
In the trenches of the struggle to the restoration of proletarian dictatorship by revolutionary methods in China and Vietnam, former worker states where capitalism has been restored by the Stalinist bureaucracy become in bourgeoisie.
10. The burning Chinese question
Capitalist restoration and the flood of transnational companies in China meant not only the enslaving of the cheap manual labor of hundreds of million workers, but also the liquidation of nationalised property in land and the monopolizing of this land as the property of the CP ex-bureaucracy transformed into a new national bourgeoisie. The expulsion of millions of farmers from the land forced them to migrate to the cities to join the army of enslaved workers. As a result much of the agricultural production of the country was destroyed. So today China must import the greater part of the foods that it consumes, which prices continue to increase.
The destruction of the nationalized property in land is the fundamental cause of the hunger and the high cost of the means of subsistence in China. For that reason, the expropriation of the transnational companies, the “red industrialists” and the new landowners, and the renationalisation and collectivization of the land, are the only way to feed properly the 1000 million of enslaved workers and destitute poor farmers.
The new bourgeoisie and the “red industrialists” of the CP, are preparing to end everything to do with the old stagnant state sector, including sacking 40 million industrial workers. If they have been delaying the launching of this attack it is only due to the fact that in addition to the unbearable cost of living that may push a generalized upheaval. Landless farmers facing these attacks are already rising up against dispossession and hunger. Workers despite the ban on strikes are increasingly taking strike action.
Thus, facing the world economic crisis that has begun, the outburst of the “Chinese volcano” of workers and farmers is in the works. This uprising workers and poor farmers will raise as their most urgent tasks: victory to the social revolution that overthrows to the new bourgeoisie and imposes the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The alternative is the worsening crisis, hunger and killing of the masses, the break up of China as it is divided again by the imperialist powers.
The internationalists that make this call are already in the trench of the working masses of China, for the overthrow of the restorationist bourgeoisie and for the re-imposition of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but this time under the leadership of the revolutionary workers and farmers soviets!
Following this path, the Chinese class working can lead the struggle of all the exploited of Asia – already breaking out with the food riots in Burma, giving an important push to the heroic Vietnamese to return to their struggle. The Vietnamese proletariat who suffered a million martyrs in defeating the Yankee invaders today are enslaved in the assembly plants of the imperialist transnational companies in joint ventures with the ex-Stalinist restorationist bureaucracy, which has restored capitalism in this former worker state. The victory of the proletarian revolution in China is also vital for the working class of North Korea, where the former Stalinist bureaucracy is looking for ways to turn itself into a new bourgeoisie through facilitating the settlement of cheap labor assembly plants for the imperialist transnationals in partnership with the pro-imperialistic bourgeoisie of South Korea.
Therefore, it is the Chinese working class that provides the key to the revolution of the exploited masses of Asia, which will settle acccounts with Japanese imperialism, exploiter and killer of the Chinese, Korean and other oppressed nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Down with the new Chinese bourgeoisie and its murderous and oppressor regime of the “red industralists” of the CP! For the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat of the revolutionary workers and farmers soviets in China and Vietnam!
DOWN WITH THE FAKE “BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION”, EXPROPRIATOR OF THE SOCIALIST WORKERS REVOLUTION!
Break with the bourgeoisie! Down with the popular front! Stop submitting the workers to the bourgeoisie, its regimes, governments and parties!
11. Long live the uprising of the working class and exploited people of Haiti for food and against the mercenary occupation troops led by the UN to maintain “order” in the Yankee protectorate!
For the military defeat of the UN troops from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, mercenaries of US imperialism!
Revolutionary internationalists, alongside the workers of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, and the rest of Latin America, have an undeniable anti-imperialist and internationalist duty towards the Haitian workers. And exploited. In this Yankee protectorate, Argentinean, Brazilian, Chilean and Bolivian troops, under the camouflage of the gang of robbers in the UN, are like “gurkhas” in the service of imperialism, killing the hungry and desperate people that rise crying for “Bread!” We must fight for the military defeat of all the UN troops in Haiti, especially those of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. We say clearly that any Latin American soldier who occupies Haiti is a legitimate target of the resistance and the anti-imperialist struggle of the Haitian masses to expel the invaders and to liberate their nation from imperialist yoke
12.In defense of the resistance of the Colombian masses against Uribe and Bush and against the “peace” plan of French imperialism, the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies and the restorationist Castro bureaucracy!
The signers of this call are struggling in the trench for the defense of Colombian mass resistance, against Uribe and his murderous occupation troops and against the plan for disarming and surrendering the FARC(CRAF) impelled by the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie, Castroite bureaucracy and French imperialism. We see the “Bolivarian” Correa saying that any entry to Ecuadorian territory by the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) militants will be considered “an act of war against Ecuador”; There we see the ministers of the “Bolivarian” Lula announcing that “if the FARC (CRAF) enters Brazilian territory, they will be met with open fire!" Down with genocide Uribe and its semi-fascist regime! Down with the plan to disarm and make surrender the FARC and the Colombian resistance!
It is imperative to unify the resistance of the urban working class with that of the poor peasants by means of those workers and peasants committees with a program calling to break with imperialism and for the expropriation of all landowners. The program has to call for the allotting of Colombian soil among the peasants and of all the territories under FARC control in the first place. It has to call for the expropriation of monopolies, bankers and the great bosses, and the re nationalisation under workers control of all the privatised companies, for decent job and wages to all the workers, etc. This is the only way for the Colombian masses to unify their resistance and prepare a worker and peasant offensive against Uribe government and his semi-fascist regime. This will open the way to the revolution and the imposition of a workers and peasants government supported in the armed and self organised masses that can break with imperialism, expropriate the landowners and give the land to the peasants
Immediate withdrawal of the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Brazilian troops deployed in the borders with Colombia to enclose FARC and force it to accept surrender, while the genocide pro US imperialism Uribe government murders at close range every working and peasant organisation confronting it and its US commanded troops! That all the worker organisations in those countries put all their strength to the task of organising and supplying the resistance against fascist Uribe; all the forces to the service of every organisation of Colombian workers and poor peasants aiming to overturn the murderous government!
13. Let us stand up together with SIDOR heroic workers, for the true nationalisation of SIDOR without compensation and under workers’ control!
The signers and supporters of this call fight to unite all of the Latin American proletariat alongside the workers of SIDOR in Venezuela, who were violently repressed by the National Guard of Chávez and who today are striking and taking the factory to nationalise it. It is necessary to unmask the deprivation and repression that the “Bolivarian” governments and the national bourgeoisies impose on their own working classes. Stand up next to the SIDOR workers, for the nationalization without compensation and under workers control of SIDOR! Neither the repressive “Bolivarian” bosses like the Techint group, nor the fraudulent fake nationalization of Chávez where he compensates the bosses with the money of the workers. No to Chavez’ collaboration with bosses to build joint ventures and his use of the National Guard to repress and defeat the heroic fight of the SIDOR workers in order to guarantee the profits of the “Bolibourgeoisie”!
For the election of delegates of all the factories and workplaces in Venezuela, one for each 100 workers, to refound the UNT hand in hand with the SIDOR workers, and to break all subordination of the working class to the Venezuelan bourgeois state and the government of Chávez!
In the trench of the Bolivian Revolution: Break with Morales government and its constitution of the transnationals and the native bourgeoisie that are plundering Bolivian wealth, a constitution that has not given the gas to the Bolivians, the land to the peasants, bread to the workers!
- In Bolivia, break with the government of Morales and his Constitution, that represent the interests of the imperialists and the national bourgeoisie and not the workers and poor farmers!
Break with the bourgeoisie; raise a unified workers program to fight against poverty and misery; form workers and poor peasants militias and march on Santa Cruz to smash the reactionary fascist gangs, returning to the road of workers socialist revolution! Take back the Bolivian revolution stolen from the working class by the popular front government of Morales. Morales regime represents a faction of the transnational companies allied to a “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie to control and divide the spoils of the exploitation of gas. The expropriation of the Bolivian revolution and the subduing of the working class to Morales popular front lays bare clearly the fraud of the so called “Bolivarian Revolution”.The containment of the revolution could not have happened without the bureaucratic leaders of the COB and the COR who blocked with Morales regime to expropriate and derail the revolution of workers and peasants that began in 2003-2005.
Thus, the imposition of Morales' bourgeois Constitution is intended to consolidate a new regime better serving the exploiters of the working class and the selling off of the Bolivian nation.. The lifting of the barricades and the self-organisation of the workers and peasants, has trapped the masses in the popular front, allowing the fascists to rally their counter-revolutionary forces against the working class and the exploited people.
The fight for food, land, work and national rights cannot succeed without the return to the alliance between workers, poor farmers and urban poor. But to do this, and to convince the poor peasants to break with the bourgeoisie and re-establish the peasant-worker alliance, it is necessary for the proletariat -as the Bolivian experience clearly proves- to break all ties to the bourgeoisie, throw out the treacherous leaders that betray them, and with a revolutionary program and revolutionary leadership to take their struggle onto the streets. Only this open fight can prove to the poor farmers that the proletariat is capable of overthrowing the bourgeoisie, breaking with imperialism, and expropriating the expropriators to provide the food, land and gas that the exploiters need.
Today, the political situation is marked by an enormous strain between two factions of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz prepares to vote for autonomy on 4th of May; the government of Morals that represents the ‘Bolivarian’ faction of the bourgeoisie, declares it as “unconstitutional”, but the army has declared that it will grant the referendum takes place peacefully, which shows that the bourgeois state has not broken apart and there is not any immediate danger of a war between two bourgeois camps.
In this conflict between the two bourgeois factions that has developed for more than a month, the key role is being played by the treacherous leaders who are committed to the popular front. As the conflict between the bourgeois factions developed, a big wave of protests against the rising prices of food and gas was taking place among the workers and poor farmers. But instead of unifying and organizing the struggles the miners bureaucracy kept the protests separated and disorganised.
After 9 days of a general strike in the key mining district of Huanuni, the treacherous union bosses stopped the miners from joining the demonstrations and the roadblocks and putting themselves at their head, with the argument:
“The miners cannot go to blockade because they coul be seen as partisans of the Media Luna which wants to overthrow Morales government”… when it has been and it is the same Evo Morales and the MAS who have allowed the fascist reaction in the East to raise its head! We saw it with his restoration of Reyes Villa, the prefect [governor] in Cochabamba who had been overthrown by a mass rebellion! We saw it when Morales and the MAS, backed by the class collaborationist COB leaders, did deals with PODEMOS the party of the Eastern bourgeoisie, over more than a year in the Constituent Assembly!
This politics of the class collaborationist bureaucracy is a Stalinist policy, which is designed to stop the independent mobilisation of the proletariat. It contradicts the Theses of Pulacayo adopted by the miners in 1948, that says that anyone who speaks of national unity, in a country divided by classes, is an open collaborator with the bourgeoisie. The result of this Stalinist politics led to dividing the miners around the negotiations, and resulted in impotence, isolation and demobilisation of each fight for food .
Meanwhile the bosses can fight over the shares of the business from the gas and resources, while the masses already suffering from rampant inflation, hunger and deprivation, are contained inside the popular front by the Stalinist bureaucracy of the COB, supported on the left by the POR-Lora, earning their pay by keeping the lid on the rising irruption of anger of the masses who are again primed to explode.
We must break with the government of Morales and his Constitution, the constitution of the transnationals and the the national bourgeoisie that sacks the wealth of Bolivia, and has not given gas to the people, land to the poor farmers, or bread to the workers!
Break with the bourgeoisie, raise a unified program of struggle to end the hunger and misery, form workers, poor farmers and soldiers militias to march on Santa Cruz to boycott the referéndum and smash the fascist gangs!
To go along this way it is urgent to break with the popular front, defeat the treacherous leaders, call on the poor farmers to join with workers to form militias to smash the Media Luna fascists, re-establish the peasant-worker alliance of 2003 and 2005, expropriate the landowners and expel the transnationals.
15 For the Socialist United States of South and Central America!
Under the subordination to the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies, far from the false promises of “Latin American unity”, we are facing increasingly ferocious disputes for control of business among those capitalists allied to the different imperialist powers and their transnationals.
The liberation of the Latin American nations from the imperialist yoke as well as the unity and integration of their workers and poor peasants will never come under the leadership of the national bourgeoisies. They are tied by thousand deals to the business and interests of imperialism and its monopolies. The most those bourgeoisies may do is to negotiate over their share of the business with their imperialist masters. On the contrary, like any exploiting class, they are in terror of the anti-imperialist struggle of the masses going beyond an attack on imperialist property to take that of its junior partners, i.e. the national capitalist property. That is why; they always end up side by side with the imperialism to smash workers.
¡Down the FTAA, the FTAs, CAFTA, Mercosur and other Free Trade Agreements of the transnational companies and the national bourgeoisies, who plunder our nations and overexploit the workers!
The working class is the class that has no borders because it does not have any interest that ties it to imperialism. It has only chains to break and is the only class able to unite and to integrate the exploited and oppressed nations of the continent, overthrow the bourgeoisie, destroy the bourgeois state and expropriate the expropriators. That is the only way to end the submission of our nations to imperialism. The victorious Latin American revolution is linked to the political revolution in Cuba, which defeating the restorationist bureaucracy, becomes a bastion of the American and world revolution. Thus is opened up the creation of the Socialist United States of South and Central America, the the only possible integration favorable for workers, that is, with the working class in power organising a rational socialist plan at level of the subcontinent to use the technology, natural resources, industry and the wealth of all our nations to meet the basic needs of the working class and poor farmers.
For a revolutionary and internationalist leadership for our class!
16. For independence of the unions from the capitalist state! Down with the bureaucracy and the workers aristocracy! For a revolutionary leadership in the unions!
The fake Trotskyists who have moved to reformism, now support the bureaucracy of the statised unions or act themselves as a ‘left’ bureaucracy, putting the unions and workers organizations they lead under the interference of the bosses’ state and honoring the same legal (bourgeois) framework within which the union bureaucracies function. Against all of these traitors, we fight, firstly, for the complete and unconditional independence of the unions from the capitalist state, to turn the unions into organs of the majority of exploited masses and not organs of the workers’ aristocracy.
Down with the compulsory conciliations! Out with the bosses’ states from the workers’ organizations! Down with all the bourgeois laws that regulate how workers must organize: We, the workers, must organize ourselves as we want! We fight for the maximum workers democracy inside the unions, and against the labor bureaucracy and aristocracy. Down with the bureaucracy and labor aristocracy! Down with the compulsory deductions of union dues! Stop the union leaders’ privileges: mandated and recallable leaders at any time by the rank and file assemblies paid no more than the average wage of the workers and after fulfilling their mandate, returning to work!
For revolutionary leaders in the unions! In the epoch of imperialism, the unions cannot be politically neutral, that is to say, they cannot limit themselves to serve the daily needs of the working class. They cannot be unions of anarchists because of the manifest dominant role of the bosses state in capitalist society. They cannot be reformist unions, because the conditions of rotten imperialist capitalism leave no room for significant or lasting reforms. For that reason, either the unions become in the hands of the union bureaucracy and reformists of all kinds, a tool of the capitalist state to subordinate the workers and prevent the revolution; or, on the contrary, they can become an instrument of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat, provided they are led by a revolutionary leadership that has won its place in the struggles of the workers and exploited people.
17. For workers democracy and the self-organisation and self-determination of the masses in struggle! For the formation of workers councils as a strategics to make the proletarian revolution!
In defense of the workers democracy banned from the unions and mass fighting organizations by the reformist leaders that subordinate these organizations to the bourgeois state, its compulsory conciliations, the ministries of labor and the laws that regulate the operation of the workers organizations. Out the hands of the bourgeois state of the worker organisations! For workers democracy to guarantee the minority the right to convince the majority! To allow the majority to put its policy into action against the exploiters! For the self-determination of the organisations of the masses! For factory and self-defence committees!
Down with the worker aristocracy and bureaucracies! Down with the class collaboration pacts with the bourgeoisie and the class enemies! The development of the workers’ struggle will bring with it the development of the methods of capitalism to smash workers. As it is said in the Transitional program, the bourgeoisie will not hesitate from using, in addition to its “legal” forces of repression: fascists, paramilitary, special police gangs, and the armed thugs of the union bureaucracies As always, the reformists of all kinds, infect the consciousness of workers with the poison of pacifism, and faith in appealing to the “democratic” institutions of capitalism, its laws, courts, etc to stop repression. Against all of these traitors, we say that the working class has thelegitimate right to defend itself: Strike pickets, committees of self-defense, in preparation for the formation of workers militias and the arming of all the workers!
The signatories and proponents of this call declare that no-one can be revolutionary or a Trotskyist who does not at the onset of a pre-revolutionary situation, put at the center of their program the demand to build, extend, develop, centralize and arm its organs of self-organisation and direct democracy, that is to say, its pre-Soviet and Soviet organs, in preparation for the insurrection and the taking of the power by the proletariat.
18. For the rebirth of proletarian internationalism destroyed by social democracy, Stalinism and the deserters from Trotskyism!
The fight for class independence, for a revolutionary leadership in the unions, for the self-organisation and self-determination of the masses in struggle, can only advance under the leadership of a revolutionary international party with the revolutionary Trotskyist program that fights for the world proletariat re-conquering its international consciousness and fighting –destroyed first by social democracy and then by Stalinism, and finally by the betrayers of Trotskyism and their contemporary currents.
In the first place it is necessary to re-affirm clearly the internationalist duties and tasks of the working class in each country. The revolutionary 3rd International of Lenin and Trotsky stated: The first duty of the working class in the imperialist countries –the US, the European powers and Japan –is to raise on its revolutionary banner, the demand for the liberation of the oppressed colonial and semi colonial nations, sacked, super-exploited and facing imperialist wars. Lenin said: “A nation that oppresses another nation cannot be itself free”.
In Latin America, it is clear that the defence of Cuba against capitalist restoration, along with the fight to return to the road of revolution of the workers and poor farmers of Bolivia, are the most important internationalist tasks for the proletariat of the continent.
In Brazil, for example, the working class has as one of its most important internationalist tasks the fight for the expropriation of Petrobras – partner and cover-up of the French imperialist oil company Totalfina in Bolivia and Ecuador. And it shares with the Argentine, Chilean and Bolivian working class the duty of fighting implacably for the military defeat of the mercenary troops sent to Haiti by Lula, Morales, Bachelet and Kirchner to kill the workers and exploited masses on behalf of Yankee imperialism.
19. Down with the fake “Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Workers” convened by the COB bureaucracy, betrayers of the socialist revolution in Bolivia, and the fake Trotskyists of PSTU and CONLUTAS in Brazil!
The working class of the American continent urgently needs to break with the bourgeoisies, and in order to do that with the treacherous bureaucracy, and with the fake Trotskyists who provide a left cover for the Castroites and Stalinists as the ‘left wing’ of the World Social Forum. Only then will it be able to unite its ranks across national borders and centralize its struggles to defeat imperialism, capitalist restoration in Cuba, and the national bourgeoisie in every country from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.
The fake Trotskyists such as the PSTU of Brazil, organize congresses like the “Congress of Latin American and Caribbean Workers” next July, convened by CONLUTAS, the Batay Ouvriye of Haiti, and the class collaborationist leaders of the COB of Bolivia –supporters of the government of Morales that has expropriated the workers and poor farmers revolution. This Congress deceives the workers claiming that it will advance the unity of the vanguard of the working class of the continent.
Those who sign and support this call, state that this “congress” will do the opposite. It will be a new obstacle to the struggle to unite the ranks of the working class in the continent. First, it says nothing about the burning Cuban question. It does not call for the development of the Latin America revolution, or a political revolution in Cuba to stop capitalist restoration.
Second, how is it possible to unite the ranks of the Latin American working class, without breaking from the COB bureaucracy has subordinated Bolivian proletariat to Morales bourgeois government, and accuses the striking miners of Huanuni of “playing into the hands of fascism”?
How can the Latin America working class unite their ranks under the leadership of the LIT, which refuses to call for the defeat of the Brazilian, Argentine, and Chilean troops who are suppressing the food riots of the masses in Haiti? Instead, they do the opposite asking workers from those countries to put pressure on the “Bolivarian” governments of Lula, Kirchner, Bachelet and Morales to “withdraw” their troops from Haiti!
How can Latin American workers unite behind the PSTU, that says to the Brazilian workers to pressure Lula for “plebiscites” to defend the rights of workers –when the only thing that this does, as Trotsky commented, is boost the paper-making industry.
This Congress will not raise the demand “Down the union bureaucracies”. Thus it will not even unite the automobile and metal workers of Brazil with those of Argentina. The imperialist transnationals have concentrated their automobile production in these two countries to make MERCOSUR a world automobile powerhouse based on the subordination of Brazilian workers to CUT -that enforces wage increases linked exclusively to productivity- and Argentine workers submitted to the UOM and SMATA unions whose union bosses enforce poverty wages and a capped wage bargaining to face hunger and a skyrocketing inflation.
This Congress will not call on Brazilian workers to fight for the expropriation of Petrobras and its French partner Totalfina in Bolivia and Ecuador, without which it is impossible to unite Brazilian workers with their Ecuadorian and Bolivian brothers and sisters.
There is no chance that the convenors of the “Congress” will demand that the workers organizations become independent of the state. They will not reject employers compulsory deductions of union dues, or fight for mandatable or recallable leaders, who could not be re-elected and must return to work, as elementary measures against the bureaucratisation of the unions.
They cannot make these demands since it would be suicidal for the COB bureaucracy that collaborates with Morales, or the PSTU that has turned CONLUTAS into a brand new stateside union upon its creation, in which they became a ready made ‘left’ bureaucracy (this current has been leading some big unions since the nineties).
Thus the CONAT (the founding congress of CONLUTAS) in May 2005, was presided over by two representatives of the restorationist Castro bureaucracy, James Petras and Celia Hart Santamaría who sang the praises of the “Bolivarian Revolution”. Sitting next to the leaders of the PSTU, these “Bolivarians” were granted many hours to speak and poison the consciousness of the delegates, while the revolutionary left opposition, that fought for a revolutionary regrouping of the Brazilian proletarian vanguard, had only one minute to display its positions in a plenary session.
For that reason, it is obvious that far from organizing a congress of workers, with delegates chosen by the rank and file in democratic assemblies, the conveners are preparing a “congress” of leaders, behind the back of the ranks, where everything will be negotiated and decided beforehand in closed meetings.
In short, this “Congress” will not serve to unite the ranks of Latin American workers since it does not fight, facing the current crisis and looming catastrophe, for the socialist revolution as the immediate task. That is, it does not call for the transformation of the revolts of the workers and exploited people against rising prices today, into a workers counter-offensive that opens the road to the socialist revolution, as the only way that workers can defeat imperialism and win the bread, land and work that they desperately need. and liberate our nations from the imperialist yoke.
It will be a Congress of the “left” union bureaucracy preparing itself to suppress and defeat all the radicalized fights of the working class against the “Bolivarian” regimes. Instead they will lead the workers to pressure these governments to “re-distribute the wealth” when it is obvious that the only things that they “re-distribute” are… shortages, inflation, hunger, sackings, poverty wages, beatings and jail for the exploited people.
The signatories o this document sound a warning to the proletarian vanguard of the continent about the massive deception being prepared by the fake Trotskyists, and call on them to oppose the “Congress” of the “left” bureaucracy and fight for an International Conference of revolutionary workers organizations and principled Trotskyists on the basis of the programmatic points developed here, so giving a real leap to the struggle to unite the ranks of the workers of the American continent.
20. In defense of the class morality and principles of the proletariat!
We are committed to the defense of the morality and the principles of our class, and against the infamous methods of the Stalinists, social democracy, and the deserters of Trotskyism, who persecute, assault, slander and attack the revolutionary currents in the organizations of masses where they are in the leadership.
For example, the Lambertists falsely slandered the Hungarian revolutionary leader Varga, accusing him of being an “agent of the CIA" in the middle of the workers’ revolution in 1956, an attempt to suppress political differences. We saw this current do the same against Ricardo Napurí in Peru. We saw the POR-Lora in Bolivia blaming Juan Pablo Bacherer, a leader of its own current that had political differences, of being a police agent, using that slander to expel him.
Finally, in Argentina in 2002, the Workers’ Party (PO) of Altamira, beat and handed over to the bosses’ police and justice system, Juan “Pico” Muzzio, leader of LOI (CI) – Workers’ Democracy. These are some of the many examples of the ways in which the renegades of Trotskyism have broken with the elementary principles and morality of our class, and have taken over the role of the Stalinists in the use of these infamous methods.
21. In defense of the democratic centralism!
The proposers and signatories of this Call, recognize ourselves as the defenders of Leninist democratic centralism, as expressed in point 10) of the “Declaration of the Four: On the necessity and the principles of a new international”, a bloc propelled by Trotsky an the Bolshevik Leninists in August 1933 which says:
“Party Democracy is a necessary prerequisite for the healthy development of revolutionary proletarian parties on a national as well as an international scale. Without freedom of criticism, without the election of functionaries from top to bottom, without the control of the apparatus by the rank and file, no truly revolutionary party is possible.
The need for secrecy under conditions of illegality changes completely the forms of the internal life of a revolutionary party and makes wide discussions and elections difficult, if not altogether impossible. But even under the most difficult conditions and circumstances, the basic demands of a healthy party regime retain their full force: honest information about the party, freedom of criticism and a real inner unity between the leadership and the party majority. Having suppressed and crushed the will of the revolutionary workers, the reformist bureaucracy turned the Social Democracy and the trade unions into impotent bodies despite their memberships numbering in the millions. Having stifled inner democracy, the Stalinist bureaucracy also stifled the Comintern. The new International, as well as the parties adhering thereto, must build their entire inner life on the basis of democratic centralism.”
We fight to build an international center to regroup principled Trotskyists according Leninist democratic centralism. We say that any international democratic centralism, far from perfect as it could be -as it depends upon the degree of programmatic agreement accomplished- is nevertheless a million times superior to the most perfect democratic centralism that exists in any isolated national group whose fate, sooner or later, must be one of degeneration.
The crisis of mankind boils down to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership of the proletariat.
22. 70 years since the Founding Congress of the IV International! Take back the legacy and program of 1938 from the impostor Celia Hart Santamaría and the betrayers of Trotskyism!
The 2 of September, 2008 will mark 70 years since the founding congress of the IV International. The deserters of Trotskyism and the impostor Celia Hart Santamaría will try to usurp that day to promote the falsification of the legacy of Trotskyism to cover up their betrayal of the proletariat and in particular, the restoration of capitalism in Cuba.
Against this treachery, we call for a campaign in defense of IV International of 1938, denouncing all the impostors and renegades of Trotskyism. The 2nd of September is the day on which we will proclaim the continuity of the legacy of the 1938 International, that is in the hands of those who pass the acid tests of world class struggle and choose clearly the side of revolution and socialism! The fight for the defense of the IV International of 1938 is today inseparable from the struggle for the political revolution against capitalist restoration in Cuba!
The best tribute that we can make to the IV International of 1938, and to its theoretical and programmatic legacy, is the fight to build an International Trotskyist Center dedicated to “retake the course” that was lost as of 1940 with the murder of comrade Trotsky comrade and the refusal, on the part of the leaders of the US SWP and the European Trotskyists, to immediately found a strong international center as the only means of guiding the revolutionary struggle during and in the aftermath of the 2nd Imperialist World War.
This was the only way to prevent the degeneration in the IV International that began in 1946 into a federation of groups and national leaders who, necessarily, ended up degenerating in centrism, and then into open opportunism.
The fight against the fake Trotskyists is inseparable from the struggle for a new regrouping of the internationalist revolutionary forces. The betrayers of Trotskyism constitute the “left wing” of the World Social Forum –a collection of
“Bolivarian” bourgeois, Social Democrats, recycled Stalinists, Castroites, and labor bureaucracies of all kinds.
Today, the “founders” of the World Social Forum - like Lula, Chávez, Evo Morales and others, are at the heads of bourgeois regimes and governments attacking the working class and the exploited people in Latin America. Alongside them, a section of the fake Trotskyists, headed by the Mandelists and the impostor Celia Hart Santamaría, have congealed around the parties of the “new” type like the PSOL, the MST of Argentina, ‘Marea Socialista’ of Venezuela, etc., continue to openly promote the World Social Forum, and directly supports Chávez, Evo Morales, Correa, and other “Bolivarian Presidents”.
Another sector of the fake Trotskyists, such as PSTU/ LIT, the UIT-CI, the MAS of Argentina, etc., try to move on the “left”, formally outside the World Social Forum. But, not much long ago they used to boast about having been present at its founding, and actually they participated in the meetings of the WSF. They have called for a “critical” vote to Lula- as did the PSTU in the second round of the presidential election of 2002- and the LIT voted also "critically" for Morales and Chavez, while demanding that they “advance towards socialism”.
We saw the LIT travel with a contingent of Spanish union leaders to the Gaza Strip on 1st May 2007, to meet with the unions led by el Fatah –the jailers of the Palestinean people on behalf of the Zionist occupiers. Moreover, the police of the National Palestinian Authority guarded this contingent! The leaders of the LIT called on the Spanish workers to put pressure on the social imperialistic government of Zapatero to send “humanitarian aid” through the blockade of Gaza at the same time that the Palestinian masses were rising up against el Fatah and its collaborationist police and intelligence services.
This faction of the fake Trotskyists try to impose a “Pivertist” politics of putting pressure on bourgeois governments so that they take “progressive measures”. They falsify the Trotskyist tactic recommended in the Transitional Program of demanding that reformist leaders of the workers break with the bourgeoisie and lead the fight for a workers and farmers government, and instead demand that the bourgeoisie “breaks” with itself!
They are the sector that having betrayed Trotskyism in the past, have usurped the name of Trotskyism and integrated the World Social Forum legitimating it as its "left wing". Today, trying to appear as disassociated from this Forum and even calling for the “reconstruction of the IV International”, as the LIT does, they act as a left flank of the “Bolivarian” regimes and governments. But they continue being the faithful militants of the World Social Forum which was, and continues to be, “its” true International, no matter how hard they try to hide it
That is why the signatories of this call declare that no one fights the World Social Forum who does not fight its “left wing” that gave it a left wing legitimacy yesterday, and that today tries to protect the “Bolivarian” governments from the rising anger of the masses by intercepting it on the “outside” with ‘Pivertist’ pressure politics.
That is why we support the sagacious cry of the Chilean workers and the youth: “the red pacos [Communist party ‘police’] are the truly dangerous cops!”. They are “dangerous” because they are the thugs of the Chilean CP that tries to contain the anger of the masses directed at the civic-military regime of Bachelet as part of the ‘left wing’ of the World Social Forum in Chile that supports the government.
We affirm that the most urgent task today is to regroup a revolutionary internationalist vanguard through the fight for breaking the world proletariat from the influence of the “left wing” of the World Social Forum.
23. For a revolutionary internationalist bloc to convene an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers’ organizations
The crisis and offensive of the capitalist imperialist system has become a crisis of the whole of humanity, which in the last instance, is the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat. If the proletariat does not end the catastrophe facing the planet, then the imperialists will try to solve their economic crisis by means of wars and barbarism, risking the destruction of humanity.
The crisis of leadership cannot be resolved without settling accounts with the representatives of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ – the collection of recycled Stalinists, Social Democrats and bourgeois ‘Socialists’ – but most critically the renegades of Trotskyism that have trampled the program of the IV International of 1938 under the feet of the treacherous leaders, labor aristocracies and bureaucracies all over the world. A revolutionary regrouping of the healthy forces of Trotskyism and the of other revolutionary workers organizations, is necessary and urgent.
The reformists have proved that they cannot meet even the most mínimum needs of the masses, much less lead the uprisings and revolutions that must come. Rotten capitalism cannot stop the masses from starving.
The urgent task of the moment is for a new Zimmerwald and Kienthal to regroup the global forces of revolutionary internationalists. That is why we put forward the 23 points as our responses to the critical acid tests which these revolutionary forces must pass in the regroupment process: the treacherous ‘Bolivarian Revolution’; capitalist restoration in Cuba; the war in the middle East; the tasks of internationalists on the Colombian, Venezuelan, Bolivian question, etc. Let us build a revolutionary internationalist bloc to summon an International Conference that is the rallying point to advance the struggle to defeat the treacherous leaders and the struggle to build a new party of World Socialist Revolution.
The time of national programs is finished. Only an international center can learn and apply the revolutionary lessons from the acute events of the international class struggles, and guide the proletarian vanguard in each country according to the interests of world working class, overcoming the national pressure on the proletariat in any single country. The dissolution of the international center of the IV International by the leaders of the US SWP in 1940, left each national section exposed to the terrible pressures of the national conditions in each country – of inter-imperialist World War and the defence of the USSR – and marked the beginning of the crisis and the degeneration of the IV International founded on 1938.
Today, it is necessary to build a new Zimmerwald and Kienthal that defends the continuity of the theory, revolutionary strategy and program of the Founding Congress of the IV International of 1938, and is prepared to challenge for the leadership of the exploited masses on the planet, so to make its revolutionary program, in the next period, part of the objective factor of world proletarian vanguard.
The capitalist imperialist system has once more run aground on the rocks of a global economic and financial crisis. Under these crisis conditions, an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers’ organizations, must be our primary objective. The discussion and debate among all internationalist currents arround the acid tests we propose we expect will prove who are the revolutionary internationalists, and who are part of the reformist life-support system of the rotten capitalist imperialism.
The laws of history are stronger than any apparatus. In 1989-1991, we witnessed the total bankruptcy of the centrists and opportunists who, in the name of Trotksyism and the IV International, allied with the Stalinists who were restoring capitalism in the degenerated workers states. There is not the slightest doubt that, in the heat of the current events of the world class struggle and facing new crises and mass uprisings, the deserters of Trotskyism with their openly reformist politics, will betray again and again. Against this, it is necessary for the revolutionary internationalists to intervene now in all the struggles with the program of the IV International Congress of 1938, and transform the struggles of the Cuban workers and poor farmers against the capitalist restoration, the heroic resistance of the Iraqi, Palestinian masses and all the Middle East masses, and the struggles of the US workers the United States and other imperialistic powers, etc.
Our purpose then is to fire up an revolutionary internationalist bloc to fight for a new Zimmerwld and Kienthal International Conference that can serve as the launch pad for an enormous revolutionary force of the masses that will, in last instance, with its struggles and victories, determine the course of the future of humanity.
FLT letter to the workers organization and working class of the world
FREEDOM TO THE IMPRISONED WORKERS OF LAS HERAS (ARGENTINA)! THEY ARE HELD HOSTAGE BY DE BOSSES' STATE, WHICH SERVES THE TRANSNATIONALS AND THE NATIONAL BOSSES IN ORDER TO KEEP ALL THE ARGENTINE WORKERS UNDER WAGE SLAVERY!
Freedom to all the imprisoned workers and fighters for the live and work conditions of the only sector of mankind that is truly productive!
Imperialist monopolies, national bosses and their governments and repressive forces: Hands off our class brothers and sisters that fight for their rights to live, to eat, to have a roof on their heads and a decent health service, for the end of the oppression over their people!
Comrade workers all over the world,
Little over two years ago, in February 2006, the workers of the oil companies in the south of Argentina, in the region known as "Patagonia", started an indefinite strike. It was the first strike confronting the "Social Pact" between the union bosses of the CGT and the CTA (the two Argentine central unions) sold out to the bosses government and this government (Nestor Kirchner's).
This strike had its epicenter in the province of Santa Cruz, birthplace of Nestor Kirchner who –as a faithful servant of the imperialist oil companies the same as his wife Cristina- administrated it himself as a governor during 17 years, and now goes on governing it through front men, of the likes of the present governor Peralta.
The main demand held in that strike was for equal wages and working conditions for all the oil workers. There were the oil workers working "directly" to the big oil companies in the region (Repsol, Vintage, Panamerican, etc.) who were affiliated to the Oil Workers Union (benefiting from the relatively better working conditions, benefits, wages, etc.). And there were "the rest" of the oil workers, who work for de subcontractors (but in the same places, most of the time in the same team with the "direct" workers, doing the same jobs). The Oil Workers Union does not affiliate these subcontracted workers, as it does not consider them as "oil workers", does not defend them, etc. That plays directly in the hands of the bosses, who say these workers are "construction workers" and pays them accordingly (in Argentina, the collective bargaining of the construction workers has always given them much lesser wages and work conditions than the oil workers). Moreover, while the Oil Workers Union affiliates have job stability, the "rest" of the workers were contracted as temporary or part-time workers (albeit they worked for long hours, and for common and not temporary jobs), were not paid extra hours, and even they worked "in black" (unregistered). Against all that, all the workers went to strike, to the cry "We are all oil workers!"
The other important demand of the strike was the rejection of the taxing on the wages, which were considered at the same level as the bosses' capital gains. Because of the devaluation of 70% of the Argentine peso en 2002, and the high inflation (which in Argentina is always two-digits each year, and in that year was about 20%, in spite of the government's hiding it, as it always does). And also because the tax exemptions had not been modified according to that new scenario, the wages of the "best paid" workers were left above the line of the exempted income. Therefore, the taxes made their devaluated wages worse ever. This is particularly unbearable in the Patagonian region, where the cost of living is much higher than in the reast of Argentina, as it is a far away, isolated area with a very harsh climate.
That is why the struggle for "equal job, equal pay", "we are all oil workers" and "down with wage taxes" unified all the oil workers and threatened to expand to the rest of the workers in the country. That would have been a threat to the Social Pact signed by the treacherous union leaders, the bosses and its government to keep the workers quiet in spite of the loss of their gains and legitimate the repression of strikes and demonstrations. It would be a threat because the bases of that Social Pact are the division introduced among the workers with different wages and work conditions in the same job, the wage taxes to the "privileged" workers, the discrimination in the affiliation to the unions, the collective bargaining agreed so as to keep the wages low "because first we have to enhance productivity; we will share the benefits afterwards", the temporary and outsource contracts, and so on. For the same reason, the strike was also a rebellion against the union bureaucracy that in those days was discussing with the bosses (and had announced it would sign) a new step of the social pact, with capped wage increases of no more than 16,5% annually, in two or three installments, well under the inflation rise.
The oil workers were striking in a very sensitive point for the economy, they had many chances to win. Their victory would have opened the door for the rest of the working class. That is why the bosses and the government stroke back furiously, with the complicity of the union bosses of the Oil Workers Union. The latter announced they did not back the strike and the demands, and let the Patagonian workers fight alone (there are many other oil fields in different regions of Argentina, exploited by the same companies). The rest of the union leaders and the top leaders in the CGT and the CTA did not even pay the ritual lip service to the workers solidarity.
The government declared the strike was illegal and sent the police to arrest the delegates, who were carried to the police station of Las Heras (a small town of scarcely 7.000 inhabitants in the center of the oil region in southern Patagonia). The workers of the nearer oil fields and plants rallied together with hundreds of other exploited people to the gates of the police station, to demand freedom for their representatives. The police, heavily armed, responded with a brutal repression, using tear gas, and rubber and live ammunitions, firing over the workers and the townspeople that were exerting and defending their right to protest. The workers and the townspeople defended themselves by any means at their disposal and after a long battle they could set their leaders free. But in the middle of the fight, a policeman was left dead.
The response of the oil companies and Nestor Kirchners' government, with the overt and complete support of the oil workers union bosses, was repression, and a copycat it was of the state terrorism of the '70s.: workers and their families were persecuted with troops, dogs and war weapons house by house, amid beatings and abuse, not even children, women or elders were spared; arrest were made without warrant and out of any right to a lawyer; some people were "disappeared" for a time, undercover, intelligence agents and parapolicials were utilized; worker neighborhoods were filled at night with cars without identifying number, running amok, shootings were abundant to intimidate the inhabitants, etc. The great deployment of troops and the unbalanced violence had as a purpose to suppress at any price completely the "source of infection" of the workers of Las Heras, which because they were interpreting the claims of every Argentine worker, could spark the generalized struggle against the Social Pact.
The oil workers, however, did not surrender under the threats, the layoffs, the deployment of more police and gendarmerie to persecute the activists and their families in their homes, etc. But in spite of the strike of Las Heras and the entire Patagonian workers being supported and seen with sympathy by different workers sectors all over the country, the leadership of the main unions and those of the central unions did not take sides with them, they kept silent or at most, they paid a very lukewarm lip service in their defense.
The authorities applied the entire weight of the state repression on the strikers. On order of the oil companies they arrested dozens of activists and delegates, including their wives, partners and children. All of them were beaten and also tortured in the police stations. A judge, one more servant of the bosses, Ms Ruata de Leone, has charged them (lacking any kind of proof) with "murder", and one by one all the hot points of the struggle were suffocated. Though, in order to placate the mood of the workers they were conceded partially their demands, to facilitate the isolation of the detainees who were apparently forgotten in their jails. They were described as "common criminals" and an apology was made in the media and by the union leaders, of the "poor boy, that policeman": as if he had not been another bloodthirsty hound in the service of the bosses and its government to chase and brutalize workers so to keep them quiet and in slavery!
The bosses and its government were particularly revengeful with six of the striking workers, who are still in jail, under the charges of "murder" and other crimes, far from their homes to demoralize them and their relatives even more, under subhuman conditions of detainment, and they are beaten, abused and harassed by the police daily. It is necessary to remark that they have not been condemned, not even had a trial; they are under "preventive arrest" (that is they are detained to facilitate the finding of any proof against them -which has not been found up to now- by the judge and the state attorney). The Argentine bosses' "justice" as it is, they may be detained without trial for years to come, as being charged for "murder" means they have not a right to a bail.
They families are also being harassed, and if those six class brothers and their wives, partners, children and siblings are still standing is because they are principled guys and have the supporting solidarity of some worker fighters that have never abandoned them. Contrariwise, the misleaders of all the unions refuse to hold their cause as a banner for struggle, not even mention them; these traitors have rather wept for the repressor's death and not for the misery and sufferings of the imprisoned workers.
The 6 comrades of Las Heras are held hostage by the same oil companies that order the incarceration of workers, exploited and anti-imperialist fighters, including children and elders, and keep them under torture in the jails of Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Guantanamo, etc., in order to protect their fabulous benefits. But they are not the only ones in Argentina. The government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a continuation of her husband's government, keeps also in prison many other workers for similar causes, as Jose Villalba (head of an organization of unemployed that were asking for decent jobs and not humiliating petty handouts), and is prosecuting under serious criminal charges more than 5000 workers and popular activists. Actually their "crime" is going against the interests of the bosses and the transnationals: striking, protesting in rallies and demonstrations against the government starvation policies, demanding better conditions for work and transportation, and repudiating the brutal increase in the cost of living while our rights are violated one by one.
The Kirchners' government boasts of being a Champion of Human Rights, and to show it they keep in "home prison" a bunch of old repressors of the last dictatorship, responsible of genocide. They are "imprisoned" in their comfortable homes in closed neighborhoods, or in luxury five star hotels, or in or their relatives and friends' billionaire estates, with everything they need at hand, including the visit of their acquaintances and families. That in spite they are already convicted or in trial for dozens of proved murders, torture, mass dissapearings, baby kidnapping, etc.! And the Kirchner government has permitted the "disappearing" without leaving a trace , more than a year ago, of a key witness in those trials (the construction worker Julio López) that would reinforce the proofs to send those in trial to prison; other witnesses have been seriously attacked or threatened; however, the government has done nothing to protect them. On the contrary, it has ordered the police, the gendarmerie and the coastal guard to attack the strikes with live ammunition, as was in the case of the teachers, state workers and civil servants, fish canning workers, etc., causing the death of History teacher Fuentealba in 2007, a lot of other workers seriously wounded, imprisoned and persecuted, being their only "crime" to demand wages that allow them and their families make both ends meet. And where they have not send their direct agents to repress the workers struggles, they have let go unpunished the criminal activities of the gags of thugs paid by the treacherous union bosses, who have smashed with sticks, knives and guns the assemblies of workers in strike, terrorizing the workers and their families, destroying their campings before the lockouted workplaces, etc., as it happened during the struggles of the French Hospital and the Boat Casino in Buenos Aires City, the workers of the fish packing plants in Mar del Plata, the metal processor and autopartist Dana in the Greater Buenos Aires, and a lot more.
Meanwhile, the workers that are fighting in defense of their rights and conquests, and against repression, are kept detained in the worst conditions, in uncomfortable and very small and dirty jails in the police stations or in the local courts, where the policemen and gendarmes beat them in a daily plan, humiliate and abuse them and their relatives, who sometimes are even deprived of the right to visit them.
The families of the imprisoned workers live in a dismal poverty, full of anguish, especially in the Patagonia where the temperatures can go as low as 30 negative degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) with winds up to 180km/hour and sometimes they have not money for fuel. They only survive thanks to the solidarity of their class brothers and sisters.
The government keeps them imprisoned for terrorizing the worker fighters; they are held hostage by the bosses' state and by the transnationals and the national bosses, in order to prevent the workers from breaking the notorious Social Pact that they have signed with the traitorous misleaders of the unions. They are prisoners of the class war that the bosses have unleashed on us, to keep low wages, destroy the few social and labor benefits that we still have, and facilitate their billionaire benefits, confronting our starvation wages that do not even buy the basic food and clothes we need. They are held hostage to grant job "flexibilization", work "in black", long working hours, precarious work conditions that cause everyday deaths among the workers. To perpetuate that the health, education and housing conditions for the workers go on equaling those of the 19th century, without a prospective of improving in front of the ongoing world economic crisis and the impressive skyrocketing of the prices of food and oil all over the world.
The social pact between Cristina Kirchner government and the traitorous union misleaders, all of them servants of the transnatinals and the local bosses their partners, is so perfidious to ask us to stand an inflation of 40% annually with capped increases paid in installments that do not go now higher than 12% annually, furthermore applied on wages that are already insufficient since a lot of years ago. Meanwhile they take away our country's resources and fabulous benefits from their enterprises. So they launch on us the thugs of the union bureaucracy, the police, the gendarmerie and the corrupt judges that "administrate justice" on the orders of the companies. For that they need to keep our best fighters in jail, held hostage, humiliated, brutalized and on the verge of suicide. Their families starving and the working class divided and in complete oblivion of the class principles of solidarity and internationalism. They will not prevail! We are sure that our class brothers and sisters all over the world are going to come in help and with our and their forces we are sure to set the imprisoned workers free, and we will also set free all the imprisoned workers and freedom fighters all over the world, by means of international solidarity and struggle!
We are attaching to this letter the letters and declarations of the workers' families, denouncing their situation and calling for the formation of a national commission for the freedom of the Las Heras workers and of all the workers that have been imprisoned for defending their rights. We are also attaching the first communiqué of that commission, formed on last Saturday, May 24th, and also the avings bank account to which you can send contributions to help maintaining the families, paying for the lawyers, for the journeys to the places where the workers are jailed, etc.
We ask from you: statements, the diffusion of the situation of the workers and their families, solidarity, contributions and please send for any means available (letters, e-mails, fax, telegrams, messages, voice messages, etc., your demands for the freedom of the imprisoned comrades to the addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc., that we are enlisting below.
Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction (FLT), comprising:
Internationalist Trotskyist League (LTI) of Bolivia, Trotskyist Fraction (FT) of Brazil, LOI (FI) – Workers’ Democracy of Argentina, Internationalist Trotskyist League (LTI) of Perú, Communist Workers Group (CWG) of New Zealand, Internationalist Workers Party (POI-FI) of Chile.
Nepal under the Maoists
The election victory of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has created an acid test for socialists who claim to represent the interests of workers and the oppressed. There are many who welcome the victory as a progressive step forward to socialism. Some support the CPN (M) position that a period of capitalist development is necessary before a socialist revolution is possible in Nepal. Revolutionaries around the world have rejected this policy as the revival of the classic Stalinist theory of stages. They say that history proves that unless the workers and peasants reject a bloc with the national bourgeoisie and socialize the economy under a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, then the national democratic revolution will be driven back by counter-revolution. This is the situation that faces us in Nepal today.
Historic betrayal in the making
In Nepal, the CPN (M) which led an armed struggle for over a decade recently stood for parliamentary elections in April this year. The outcome of the elections saw the CPN (M) win 220 seats in a 601 seat Constituent Assembly. The CPN (M) leadership has stated that its objective is to make use of parliament to develop the backward capitalist economy of Nepal in collaboration with the national bourgeoisie and imperialism.
Maoists around the world hail the election results in Nepal and endorse the CPN (M) two-stage theory. The country has to develop modern capitalism before it can create the conditions for socialism.
Trotskyists have rejected this two-state theory as a Menshevik policy of class collaboration with an almost non-existent national bourgeoisie to boost the strength of that class in relation to imperialism. Yet in the epoch of imperialism the national bourgeoisies in former colonies and semi-colonies cannot be more than small junior partners of imperialism.
We agree. Given a Maoist mass movement that has overwhelming popularity and its own People’s Liberation Army, it is a crime not to nationalise the land and socialise all capitalist industry such as it is. Not only a crime against the people of Nepal but of India and all Asia, and Latin America, where workers and poor peasants will look to each and every socialist revolution as inspiration to drive them on to their own, and ultimately, world socialist revolution.
The only explanation for this betrayal can be that the Maoist leadership wants to position itself to become part of the Nepalese bourgeoisie, and do deals with the various capitalist and imperialist powers that may have an interest in exploiting the workers and peasants of Nepal. Thus the CPN (M) will become the new state bourgeoisie in alliance with the existing national bourgeoisie and the landlords. Removing the King is merely a smokescreen to hide the fact that the ruling class property will be left intact.
It is therefore necessary to condemn the Stalinist two-stage policy of the CPN (M) and call on the masses to break with this treacherous leadership. Only the overthrow of the national bourgeoisie and creation of a workers and peasants government can create the conditions for social development.
The Bolshevik Revolution proved that anything short of a socialist revolution would fail to complete the bourgeois revolution. Every other revolution since has confirmed this fundamental Marxist truth, either in victory like the Cuban revolution, or in defeat, like every other revolution.
In Russia the Bolsheviks proved that the weak bourgeoisie sided with the counter-revolution of General Kornilov in the attempt to smash the soviets. Without the independence of the Soviets from the Bourgeois state the revolution would have failed.
In Germany in the following year, soldiers and sailors mutinied and formed armed councils throughout Germany. In a panic the ruling class forced the Kaiser to abdicate to allow a republic to be formed. After the assassination of their main leaders, Liebknecht and Luxemburg, the revolutionary Spartacists were too weak to take the leadership. The workers councils were bought off by the treacherous Social Democratic Party of the Second International with the promise of a bourgeois republic. The failure of the German revolution isolated and USSR and sealed its fate at the hands of the counter-revolution of the Stalinist bureaucracy in league with world capitalism.
In China after 1925, the Stalinist 3rd International, despite the warnings of the Left Opposition, imposed the “bloc of four classes” i.e. a popular front, based on the Menshevik theory of stages that all four classes should collaborate in the national democratic stage of the revolution. In this popular front the CCP was politically subordinated to the KMT of Chiang Kai-shek. The terrible result was the physical extermination of the working class leadership of the CCP by the Nationalists in 1927. Under the Stalinist/Maoist policy of class collaboration, the disorientated party then fought a national revolution based on a peasant army leading to the revolution of 1949. Mao invited the bourgeoisie to join his national revolution. They refused and the CCP had no option but to form a bureaucratic workers’ and peasants’ regime to develop the national economy. Far from being a socialist revolution in which the workers’ and peasants’ soviets ruled, the bureaucracy took power, failing to develop the economy successfully. Since the 1980s the bureaucracy has transformed itself into a new bourgeoisie by going down the capitalist road of ‘market socialism’.
In Spain in the 1930s, the extremely weak bourgeoisie was propped up by the Stalinists in the popular front government of the Republic. So weak was the bourgeoisie, the CP actually filled its shoes as the “shadow of the bourgeoisie”, to use Trotsky’s phrase. The failure of the anarchists and left communists to break out of this popular front again saw the revolution fall to bloody defeat. This betrayal was part of the Stalinist politics of the popular front of the 1930s that tied the hands of the workers of Europe behind their backs, preventing the independent revolutionary uprising of the proletariat as the only force that could smash fascism in its infancy.
In Algeria 1962, Chile 1973, Nicaragua 1979, and South Africa 1994, to cite some critical cases, national revolutionary struggles were sold out in the same way. The nationalists, Stalinists and Castroists, all played a role in blocking the formation of independent workers’ and poor peasants’ parties and militias capable of defeating not only imperialism, but also the treacherous national bourgeoisie.
In every case the national bourgeoisie, even as a tiny force, remained in control of the ‘patriotic front’ of all classes, and sooner or later disarmed and defeated the popular masses. In Algeria factions of the national bourgeoisie fell out over franchise to control the national economy on behalf of French imperialism. In Chile, social democracy, backed by Castro and the fake Trotskyists, refused to arm the workers against the military coup. In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas formed a political alliance with sections of the national bourgeoisie and stopped the independent mobilization of the workers and peasants’ militias to fight the US-sponsored counter-military ‘Contras’.
Most recently, in South Africa, the ANC, controlled by the SACP, entered into an electoral alliance with the white bourgeois National Party. The result was the betrayal of the masses to a popular front that was inevitably dominated by the national capitalists in close collaboration with the imperialists.
A Republic under the Maoists
Unless the masses wake up to their betrayal by the CPN (M) leadership and fight to take over the leadership of the revolution, in the coming months and years the CPN (M) leadership will write a new bourgeois constitution, do deals with imperialist monopolies, and constitute itself a new state bourgeoisie. The only question left is which road to ‘market socialism’ will it take; the Chinese road, the Venezuelan road, the Cuban road, or the road of Indian or Malaysian ‘social democracy’?
The Nepalese revolution takes place at a time when the global capitalist economy is heading for a period of instability. The US depression is having flow-on effects into the colonial and semi-colonial world. Food and fuel prices are rocketing up due to increased demand and reduced supply as arable land is switched to production of biofuel. On top of these factors, increasing financial speculation in food and fuel commodity prices is driving up prices. It is clear then that the Maoist leadership’s road to capitalist development will have to make major concessions to imperialism.
In this global situation it appears to Maoists that one isolated and backward country cannot have a successful socialist revolution now. There is no developed industry, no majority working class, and so no possibility of the pre-conditions for socialism being present. This was also the situation in Russia in 1917, but as we will explain, Russia’s backwardness made a socialist revolution not only possible, but necessary. However, the building of socialism in Russia could only have been successful if a European revolution followed and united its industrial base to the Russian granary. The Russian revolution was driven back towards capitalism by the failure of the German Revolution in 1921. To defend ‘socialism in one country’ Stalin tried to convince the imperialist bourgeoisies to collaborate with the Red Army in Eastern Europe after World War 2. But imperialism chose deliberately to isolate and destroy the USSR in the Cold War from 1948.
The revolutions in China 1949, Vietnam 1954 and Cuba 1959, were all national revolutions that went further than their petty bourgeois or Stalinist leaders expected, because the imperialists and national bourgeois refused to collaborate with the new regimes in popular front governments. Today these regimes have been opened up to imperialism and in China and Vietnam capitalism has been restored, while in Cuba capitalist restoration is rapidly approaching completion.
So the Chinese road or the Cuban road would only be an option for Nepal if global capitalism rejected any compromise with the new regime. This might happen if the masses overthrew the CPN (M) leadership and nationalized the land, industry and banks, forming a Workers and Farmers Government and making a socialist plan.
But under the Maoists today, this is highly unlikely since imperialism is just as keen to exploit Nepal as an ‘emerging market’ as it is currently doing in China and Cuba, or has done in the past with South Africa and the ‘Asian Tigers’. Imperialism is willing to extract super-profits from self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ regimes because it knows that it can exploit the workers in ‘joint ventures’ in collaboration with these regimes.
What will the workers get out of such collaboration? Under Maoist rule, Nepal can’t follow the Venezuelan road unless it finds oil, gas or other mineral wealth that it can use as leverage to drive hard bargains with the imperialist monopolies.
This means Nepal will probably go down the road taken by other Maoist dominated regimes in India that are today closely collaborating with the neo-liberal policies of imperialism.
Inevitably, the National Democratic stage envisioned by Prachanda and will be a form of market socialism in which the market will be dominated by imperialism and the workers and poor peasants subjected to super-exploitation and oppression.
The Menshevik theory of stages is an historical schema, an ideal model, a caricature of Marxism. Marxism claims that socialism cannot arrive before capitalism has exhausted all of its potential to develop the forces of production. However how do we know when this situation has been reached? The Mensheviks filled in the blanks with a checklist that said the working class must be the majority class which meant that capitalist agriculture and heavy industry must have developed.
When the Bolsheviks led a victorious revolution in Russia, lots of Western Marxists complained that the revolution was premature and could not succeed because it hadn’t checked off the list. Lenin disagreed, let’s make a distinction between the revolution itself, and the building of socialism that follows, he said. A revolution happens when capitalism in crisis creates a situation where the working class refuses to be ruled, and the ruling class cannot rule. Again, how do we know? Lenin’s answer, try it and see. In a backward country the national revolution is overdue, so try it.
When the February revolution succeeded in Russia, Lenin (and Trotsky before him) understood that the workers and poor peasants had substituted for the weak bourgeoisie and got rid of the Tsarists and imperialism. Having done this why would they submit to tiny bourgeoisie which was collaborating with the Tsarists to drive back the national revolution just because some Menshevik academics said this was a ‘Marxist law of history’? Why not take power in the name of the proletariat and create a launching pad for socialist revolutions in the more advanced capitalist countries? There was no law of Marxism that said…stop!
This breakthrough proved that in a backward country in the epoch of imperialism the national bourgeoisies were in bed with the imperialists so that only the workers and poor peasants could complete the bourgeois revolution in the form of a socialist revolution. Lenin called this the ‘uninterrupted’ revolution and Trotsky called it the ‘permanent’ revolution.
However, turning the national revolution into a socialist revolution was one thing, building socialism was another. The Bolsheviks always said that the revolution in Russia could not proceed to socialism without a revolution in Europe. Their best hope was the German revolution as discussed above. Even then the Mensheviks said, hang on, Germany has not exhausted the potential of capitalism. Let’s get rid of the emperor and have a republic. That will create the conditions for the further development of the forces of production and the pre-conditions for socialism.
But Lenin in ‘Imperialism’ had already explained that the epoch of imperialism was the last stage of capitalism in decline. The forces of production could not be developed further without massive crises, wars, colonial super-exploitation and oppression. How long must workers in the imperialist countries wait; how long must the oppressed colonial peoples wait? Until the Menshevik professors said capitalism’s time was up? NO! Revolt, try it, do it, you have nothing to loose. Even if the revolution fails and you die standing up, this inspires the next revolution!
Permanent Revolution in Nepal
The failure of the German revolution prevented the Russian revolution from building a socialist society. But the Bolshevik revolution, even as a degenerated Stalinist dictatorship, survived as workers’ property. It would take a political revolution to remove the bureaucracy to open the road to socialism, and that would not come without socialist revolution in the more advanced capitalist countries.
This still holds true today. In the epoch of imperialism, socialist revolution in any backward country, including Nepal, will start as a workers revolution, but to succeed and go on to socialism it must be supported by successful socialist revolutions in the imperialist countries.
What this means is that the Nepalese people do not have to tick off some Menshevik checklist of hoops they have to jump through to complete capitalist development in their own country to prepare for socialism.
Instead they must take the power, socialize the economy and spark the revolution in surrounding countries and in the imperialist powers.
The Nepalese Maoists look to capitalist China and capitalist India for capitalist investment to complete the transition to capitalism and prepare the way for socialism… sometime... never!
No! The Nepalese masses must look to China to win the support of the Chinese working class and the poor peasants to fight to overthrow capitalism now and provide the material aid to allow the socialist republic of Nepal to survive and prosper!
From Class Struggle 78
Is China the new USA?
For many China is the new USA. They think that it will be the next economic powerhouse, if it is not already, replacing the US as the leader in the world economy. Others doubt this, but there is no denying that today China is rapidly growing – but what sort of society is it? There are still those who think that China is a socialist country or some transitional type of ‘market socialism’ somewhere between socialism and capitalism. Then there are the classic liberals who think that in China the Manchu dynasty and the Chinese Communist regime are different versions of ‘oriental despotism’ all engaged in human rights abuses. Rather than attempt to navigate between these contending viewpoints on the surface of events, we prefer to approach China by looking for the underlying revolutionary changes in its modern history which allows us to understand its development and its current role in the global economy today. Using Trotsky’s concept of the law of uneven and combined development, and Marx’s concept of permanent revolution which was later taken up by Lenin and Trotsky we can uncover and reveal this historic dynamic.
China’s pre-capitalist history
China before the entry of the European powers had been a highly developed pre-capitalist society for centuries. Marx famous and controversial concept of an Asiatic Mode of Production was an attempt to describe the typical hierarchical society typical of Asia of which European feudalism was a local variant. Despite being criticized as a Eurocentric version of ‘oriental despotism’ Marx seems to have identified the key elements of this mode in the communal modes at its base and centralized state at its center.
Eric Wolf defines this mode in Europe and the People Without History as a tributary mode of production which incorporated and dominated kinship modes of production Peasant families organized as kinship modes of production had their tribute or rent expropriated by a class of landlord families which in turn paid the standing army and bureaucracy to administer society. Yet for all its advanced technology and trade relations the tributary mode of production tends towards stagnation and could not embark on the capitalist road. The ruling class was able to extract sufficient rents to maintain society and did not need to allow the formation of a middle class of merchants to bring wealth from unequal exchange overseas back to China. Rather, those traders who sought to expand their wealth through trade and become merchant capitalists had to exile themselves and look for opportunities in other parts of the world in particular South East Asia. This merchant diaspora is the basis of overseas Chinese capitalism today.
China was highly successful in producing and exporting tea, running a trade surplus until the British ‘opium wars’ in the mid 19th century forced it to import opium in exchange for its exports. The tributary mode was thus subordinated to British imperialism which exploited China’s raw materials and surplus labor force as migrant workers in its other colonies. So long as China remained a form of British colony and had its resources and wealth expropriated it would not be able to create its own internal market and develop the capitalist mode of production. It would remain a tributary mode mined and plundered by imperialism. Karl Marx, however, anticipated that the sleeping giant would awaken as an independent capitalist nation. Marx wrote of the impact of the capitalist mode of production in dissolving the Asiatic mode, though he noted that this was very slow. Nevertheless in a famous newspaper article he wrote in 1850 Marx was not joking when he said: “When our European reactionaries in their immediately coming flight across Asia finally come up against the Great Wall of China, who knows whether they will not find on the gates which lead to the home of ancient reaction and ancient conservatism the inscription, “Chinese Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity”.
The Bourgeois revolution
Here Marx is anticipating the uneven and combined development that would see capitalism progressively free China from the Asiatic Mode so that it would replace Europe as the dominant force in the world economy. For this to happen, however, a national bourgeoisie would have to rise up to overthrow the tributary ruling class which was subservient to imperialist powers. This national democratic revolution began in 1911 when the weak bourgeoisie struggled to force the old landlord ruling class to break from its subservience on British imperialism and free up the opportunities or the emergence of a national bourgeoisie. However, the Chinese would-be bourgeoisie proved to be too weak to united the country and win complete independence from the imperialist powers. Power shifted from the imperial center to a host of tributary warlords. As an expression of the tragicomic adventures of the would-be bourgeoisie, the united Chambers of Commerce declared their own national government in 1923, supported by Mao Zedong who said “The merchants of Shanghai…have adopted revolutionary methods; they have overwhelming courage to take charge of national affairs’. (Cambridge History of China, p 782). To unite China and win independence the national bourgeoisie would have to harness the class power of the peasantry and the workers and complete the bourgeois revolution. But it ran the risk of the peasants led by the workers taking over the national revolution and going straight to socialism.
The Kuomingtang (KMT), the party of the bourgeoisie under Sun Yat-sen, sought to complete the national revolution against Japan and Britain and liberate the nation from semi-colonial oppression. To achieve this, the KMT formed a patriotic alliance between a bloc of workers, peasants and middle class under its leadership. This bloc was unstable because it contained a contradiction between the producing classes and exploiting classes. In order to ensure that the bourgeoisie would retain its class rule, the KMT could not allow the workers and poor peasants to lead the revolution for fear that they would not stop at throwing out the Japanese, but would throw out the KMT as well.
Russia’s permanent revolution
This class contradiction was recognized by the Bolsheviks because it had occurred in Russia as well. In Russia the weak bourgeoisie preferred to stay in power with the backing of the imperialists rather than cede power to the worker and poor peasant majority. Why? Because the imperialists would allow them a share of the super-profits expropriated from workers and peasants, while a workers revolution would eliminate the bourgeoisie as a class. Because of this treacherous role of the bourgeoisie only the workers leading the poor peasants could complete the national revolution against imperialism. The Bolsheviks rapidly dropped their alliance with the bourgeoisie and led a revolution in which the worker and poor peasant majority took power. The Bolsheviks had an ‘uninterrupted’ revolution (or ‘permanent’ revolution in Trotsky’s terms) in which the national revolution was completed by a socialist revolution.
Facing a similar situation in China in 1924, the Comintern (the 3rd International) that arose out of the Russian Revolution, was divided over how the national revolution should be completed. The majority around Stalin abandoned the lessons of October and reverted to the Menshevik idea that the bourgeoisie would lead a ‘united front’ [the ‘bloc of 4 classes’] to complete the national revolution and so prepare the conditions for the socialist revolution. The minority around Trotsky, (the Left Opposition) applied the lessons of the Russian revolution to China. Only the working class leading the poor peasants could complete the national revolution as a socialist revolution – the permanent revolution! The bourgeois KMT could not be trusted to lead a national revolution because it would side with the imperialists as a comprador bourgeoisie rather than allow the workers and peasants to take power. This division in the Comintern was reproduced in the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CCP).
The second revolution betrayed
Trotsky’s warnings that the workers and poor peasants must not subordinate themselves to Chiang Kai-shek’s military leadership were ignored. KMT were made honorary section of Comintern. The Comintern overruled the CCP leadership and suppressed the Left Opposition (LO). The KMT led the bloc of 4 classes to fight the imperialists but fearing the power of the exploited classes then turned on the CCP leadership and destroyed it. Stalin blamed the CPP leadership. Some of the CPP leadership opposed this and were expelled. Others were won to LO in China and four LO currents were formed which later formed a United Opposition.
Meanwhile in the face of this betrayal the Maoist leadership of the CCP continued the failed Stalinist popular front tactic of the bloc of 4 classes and began to suppress the LO. The KMT regime under Chiang was a form of Bonapartist bourgeois regime balanced between the Chinese peasants and workers on the one side and the imperialists on the other. Because of the weakness of the national bourgeoisie the KMT regime encouraged the formation of a state bourgeoisie. The national war of liberation became a peasant ar and it took many years to drive out the Japanese the KMT and its backer, the US. Mao finally took power in 1949 still committed to a bourgeois China and attempted to hand power over to the bourgeoisie. Again the popular front theory was proven wrong but only because by this time the peasants and workers were mobilized to take power, and not to hand it back to the bourgeoisie. The leading sectors of the Chinese bourgeoisie abandoned the revolution since it would not allow them to profit from a comprador relationship with imperialism. Some other sectors made an alliance with the CCP. Mao was then forced to expropriate bourgeois property but at the same time refused to allow the workers and peasant base to administer the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The third revolution
Thus despite the Stalinist Maoists the revolution succeeded in removing the imperialists and the national bourgeoisie. And because of the Maoists it failed to create the conditions for the transition to socialism. The nationalization of bourgeois property created workers property and a bureaucratic plan, but the working class and poor peasantry were never able to democratically control the state. This transitional form of society contained a contradiction between workers property and the parasitic Bonapartist bureaucracy. In that sense it was structurally a workers’ state degenerate at birth, the same as the states formed in Eastern Europe that were occupied by the Red Army, or like Yugoslavia, balanced between the Soviet Union (SU) and imperialism.
We characterize this transitional form of state in China as a Degenerate Workers State (DWS) at birth following Trotsky’s method in explaining the role of the Red Army in occupying the Ukraine, Poland and Finland in 1939. Against those who took the position that the Red Army could not substitute for the working class to create workers states in these countries, Trotsky said that the state forms that resulted were an extension of the DWS in the SU. Despite everything the bureaucracy did, including suppressing national workers and poor peasants’ movements, the expropriation of the bourgeoisie created post-capitalist property.
But does the analysis of the DWS occupied by the Red Army as an extension of the Soviet Union also apply to those countries that were not occupied by the Red Army – Yugoslavia, China, Vietnam, Cuba? In each of these countries, the nationalist forces that led the revolution were not under the direct control of the SU. But the same phenomenon that Trotsky observed in Poland happened. The support of the SU encouraged the workers and peasants to join in not only the expulsion of the imperialists, but in forcing the bureaucratic or petty bourgeois leaderships to go further than forming a government with the national capitalists, and rather to expropriate them.
In China the expropriation of big bourgeois property was possible only with support from the Soviet Union –a fact that the bureaucracy was forced to use to legitimate its rule. When the CCP nationalized property it took the form of workers property, even under a bureaucratic dictatorship. The bourgeoisie as a class are removed, and all that remains for workers to claim their property is the removal of the bureaucracy. That is why, against those who thought that the Stalinists could create healthy workers’ states, substituting for the historic revolutionary role of the working class, Trotsky said that the only sure defence of workers property was the overthrow of the bureaucracy in a political revolution as part of an international socialist revolution.
Thus in China in 1949, as in Poland as Trotsky had argued in 1939, it was not the Chinese Red Army in itself that was progressive but the fact that the SU backed it against Japan and the US, expelling the comprador bourgeoisie, and forcing the Bonapartist CCP leadership to expropriate capitalist property.
Forward to socialism, or back to capitalism
China, as a new DWS could go in two directions. Forward to socialism by political revolution that removes the bureaucracy, or back to capitalism by a counter-revolution where the bureaucracy privatized workers property and turned itself into a new national bourgeoisie. The contradiction between workers property moving forwards to socialism and the bureaucratic caste moving backward to capitalism was expressed in the class contradiction which the Bonapartist regime attempted to reconcile. It was also represented in two factions in the CCP leadership. The Maoists fought to keep workers property and the planned economy as the basis of their bureaucratic privilege, while the ‘capitalist roaders’ fought to privatise collective property, restore capitalism and convert themselves into a new bourgeoisie. These big internal fights then represented both sides of the class contradiction striving for victory over the other.
The capitalist roaders won and began by replacing the rural collectives with the TVE (Town Village Enterprises) cooperatives in the 1980s, and then began transforming the SOEs (State Owned Enterprises) into privatized corporations in the 1990s. The shift to TVE cooperatives was decisive as it allowed a shift to personal shareholding. These became the basis of the conversion of the TVEs into privatized industries in the 1980s. This created a huge movement of displaced workers into the cities as a rural reserve army of formal wage labour who would then become a free wage labor force.
By the early 1990s the Chinese economy had been gradually opened to the influence of the Law of Value (LOV). State owned land was increasingly commodified with the development of a rental market, the SOEs were freed of any responsibility to meet the health, education and welfare needs of wage workers, and the state surplus increasingly became accumulated as private capital in pockets of TVE shareholders, SOE managers as well as private bosses. Thus at this point workers property relations were being replaced by capitalist property relations. The bureaucracy had converted the TVEs and SOEs into capitalist corporations in which a new bourgeoisie become the private owners.
Capitalist Restoration completed
The question of when workers property is replaced by capitalist property determines the change in the class character of the state. Here again, we apply Trotsky’s analysis of the counter-revolution in the SU. Up to the time of his death in 1940 Trotsky argued that the SU remained a DWS, and as we have argued the just as the occupied countries were DWs by extension of the SU. The counter-revolution in all of the DWS that emerged after WW2 would follow the same pattern as the SU. In the SU, the economy was characterized as workers property, or nationalized property, that was nevertheless coexisting with some elements of the market to allow demand to guide prices. But as long as the market was subordinated to the plan, no matter how bureaucratic, the allocation of resources would follow the plan rather than the law of value. That is why the SU was plagued by waste and shortages of basic necessities. Capitalism is restored when the LOV takes over from the plan in determining prices in allocating resources. Today when workers have little money the shortages of necessities result from lack of effective demand not lack of commodities.
In the EE states, attempts to remove the Red Army included elements that were for the defence of state property and those that wanted to restore capitalism. The bureaucratic suppression of both had the effect of subordinating the independence struggle to the restorationists. Thus by the 1980s the struggle for political revolution was weakened and the forces for counter-revolution strengthened. In the SU and EE this counter-revolution was completed between 1989 and 1992. At this point it was clear that the bureaucracy, despite competing factions, was committed to destroying the plan and re-imposing the LOV as the basis of production. Thus the SU and its buffer states ceased to be DWSs and became capitalist states. The first phase of the operation of the LOV was to destroy the existing industry and allow asset stripping by a new capitalist class to set its value on the world market. Trotsky anticipated this transition back to capitalism as a state capitalist phase.
Applying the same method to China it is clear that the turning point was around 1992 when the CCP abandoned and defence of the plan and passed laws to privatize the SEOs as the property of their managers. The CCP did this more deliberately than the CPSU and this phase of state capitalism was dressed up as market socialism. Massive devaluation and asset stripping was spread over decades instead of a few years. As opposed to those who point to the concessions to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in China as a major force for restoration, we point to the fact that FDI is still relatively small, and that the major moves towards privatization originated in the state sector where the bureaucracy made a smooth transition to capitalism and to their re-invention as a national bourgeoisie.
Is China imperialist?
Today by the measure of the LOV China is capitalist. In that sense a rapidly growing powerful capitalist China could be considered imperialist. But what do we mean by imperialist? According to Lenin and imperialist country has a surplus of finance capital which must be exported to counter falling profits at home. That is, the possibilities of growth at home can only be sustained by the export of capital to earn super-profits in other countries, and be imported to the home country to maintain the rate of profit. Less important was the need to find new markets in which to sell the commodities produced in the home market. Historically, the powers that clearly meet this definition are the USA, Japan and the main European powers like Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Others are not imperialist, or may be former imperialist, and are more like semi-colonies, such as Portugal, Greece, Poland, etc. Others may be small imperialist powers such as Sweden, Austria etc.
Does China today meet these criteria? As yet it doesn’t appear so. China has a big trading surplus from its commodity exports but this is mainly invested in US bonds. It is a peculiar sort of finance capital that must accept US petrodollars to fund the massive US external deficit. Most of China’s growth is driven by its internal market which is huge and expanding rapidly. In that sense China’s internal market is sufficient to maintain its profitability, while its exports are more re-exports of foreign mainly overseas Chinese companies (mainly Hong Kong and Taiwan) that have invested in China. So far from being evidence of the export of China’s surplus finance capital, China is the source of imperialist (Japanese, overseas Chinese, EU, US etc) FDI which reaps massive super-profits from China’s cheap resources and labor power.
While the organic composition of capital in China is growing it doesn’t seem yet to have reached the point of an overproduction of capital necessitating an export of productive capital. China today, then, is still developing its internal market, making huge infrastructural investment and is only beginning to establish DFI overseas in Africa, Latin America, and the rest of Asia to create its own so-called ‘empire’. Nevertheless, China is being driven by the rapid growth in demand for cheap raw materials and markets to become a major competitor to the existing imperialist powers, a fact that is clearly behind the growing alarm with which the EU and US views its aggressive role in Africa.
For some China’s capitalist growth has many of the features of industrialization in Europe in the 19th century. However, the form of combined and uneven development that Trotsky and Lenin spoke of in the case of the Soviet Union, and which Marx foreshadowed in China, is today manifest in a pace and scale that would have been beyond even their imaginations. Not only has China become the key driver of the world economy at a time of US dominance and relative decline, it is now at the center of the world historic contradiction between labor and capital. Emerging out of a bourgeois national revolution and the aborted socialist revolution China has within the space of two decades created a powerful capitalist economy. Whether it is contained as a semi-colony exploited by the other capitalists, or succeeds in re-dividing the world economy at the expense of the other imperialist powers, remains to be seen. China may be on the road to displacing the US but will it be as an imperialist China or a socialist China?
Statement by the FLT on the murder of Reyes and militants of the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces)
DEFEAT URIBE AND THE TROOPS OF BUSH AND US IMPERIALISM IN LATIN AMERICA!
Under the leadership of the OAS Bush, the Rio Treaty and the Rio Group, there is a happy ending for Uribe, Correa, Chavez and other representatives of the national bourgeoisies and the transnational imperialists:
the blood and suffering of workers and peasants is just a bargaining chip for their deals!
THE PEACE-LOVING "BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTIONARIES" BETRAY THE ANTIIMPERIALIST
STRUGGLE OF THE WORKING CLASS AND POOR PEASANTS OF LATIN AMERICA!
Breaking with the bourgeoisie is the only way to untie the hands of the working class and raise the anti-imperialist struggle and the workers and socialist revolution!
FOR THE UNITED SOCIALIST STATES OF SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA!
1. The attack by the Colombian army on Ecuadorian territory against the leadership of the FARC (CRAF) that was negotiating with Chavez, Correa and representatives of French imperialism to release Betancourt and other prisoners must be condemned by the entire working class of Latin America and the world. Under Bush orders, his servant Uribe killed cowardly an unarmed negotiating committee while they were sleeping in Ecuadorian territory.
Thus Uribe, the gendarme for US imperialism in the region, fulfils the US plan similar to the one launched by the counterrevolutionary Zionist state of Israel that killed not only Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon, but also today is massacring the Palestinian people imprisoned in real ghettos and concentration camps in Gaza, where they are blockaded and killed in punishment for their resistance to the usurping state of Israel backed by all the imperialist powers.
The Colombian armed forces have almost half a million men, armed and equipped with the best and most sophisticated weaponry provided by US imperialism. These armed forces are commanded directly and trained by US and Zionist "advisers". Their officers are trained at West Point as mercenaries to spill the blood of the working class and poor peasants in Colombia.
The Colombian armed forces are acting as the occupying forces of US imperialism in this oppressed country. They are under the political and military leadership of the CIA, the US Pentagon and the Colombian oligarchy. Any working class or peasant organization becomes the target of these occupation troops and their hired assassins. For example, the Patriotic Union, the legalized political form that an insurgent group had taken at the end of the '90s to stand for elections in Colombia, had all its deputies and political representatives killed. Thus, the national, municipal, and provincial governments are no more than the painted cardboard facades of the Colombian quasi-fascist regime.
Therefore, it is the duty of the Latin American and international working class to rise up and fight for the defeat of the occupation troops of the Colombian bourgeois semi-colonial regime, the agent of US imperialism, and defend unconditionally the Colombian resistance against this army of occupation. This is our duty, even though we do not agree with FARC (CRAF)’s impotent guerrilla tactics and their politics of class collaboration.
2. Bush, Obama, Clinton, McCain and all the political representatives of the US imperialist butchers not only welcomed this action of the bloody criminal Uribe and his quasi-fascist regime, but also granted him the same freedom to cross borders as the US had in 1989 when the American Marines invaded Panama killing thousands to kidnap President Noriega and take him to the US to put him on trial, and as they have had in recent years for invading, massacring and suppressing the Afghan and Iraqi nations in wars for oil. The governments that have emerged in that region are no more than the administrators of the US protectorates.
Uribe, servant of US, acted under the orders of his master, being a bloody repressor of his own people. This founder of the paramilitaries along with the Colombian armed forces has a record of killing over 35,000 workers and poor people a year (3,500 of them militants and union leaders) for the past 25 years to ensure that the Colombian working class that kept fighting in the cities against Colombian subordination to the imperialism, remained notwithstanding that, subjugated by US imperialism.
Under the Peronist government of Isabel Peron, more than 3000 leaders of the proletarian vanguard were killed. In Colombia, many militant workers and union leaders were forced to flee to save their lives from the paramilitary thugs, and ended up becoming militants of the FARC (CRAF) and the Colombian resistance, and subordinated to their petty bourgeois leaderships’ policies of class collaboration and guerrilla methods of struggle.
Today, in Colombia, the quasi-fascist terror has been built in cities and now attempts to regain political and military control of one third of the country that as the result of a 50 year civil war is in the hands of a peasant guerrilla insurgency.
3. The international bourgeois press echoed the regional bourgeoisies who spoke out against the "outrage to the sovereignty of Ecuador" committed by the Colombian army attacking a delegation of the FARC (CRAF) that was on a mission to negotiate a peaceful exchange of prisoners. But everyone –from the "Boli-bourgeoisies” [Bolivarian Bourgeoisies] to the landowning and mine-owning bourgeoisies in the region –has been silent for years on another attack on Ecuadorian sovereignty, that is, the U.S. military base on the island of Manta which provides finance, weapons and counter-intelligence to Uribe with the permission of the “Bolivarian" government of Correa!
This fact is not new to the working class in Latin America, because in 1997, 2000 and 2005 the Ecuadorian masses erupted in several revolutionary uprisings, overthrowing three presidents by mobilizing in the streets. Their main demands were: "Out with the oil imperialists! ", "Out with the US military base at Manta!", "No to FTA!" and "We do not want to be a US colony, we want to be a Latin American, socialist people and to enjoy full sovereignty” This revolutionary struggle of the Ecuadorian working class and exploited was the only one to provide support for the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants of Colombia.
But the "Bolivarian" Correa arrived in power to put an end to the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the Ecuadorian workers and peasants –a struggle that had opened the way to the socialist revolution that later on broke out in Argentina 2001 and Bolivia in 2003 –to keep the bourgeoisie in power and Ecuador under the imperialist yoke. Thus, under the "Bolivarian" government of Correa, the US military base in Manta remains there and the economy continues to have its currency pegged to the dollar as introduced by Noboa, the vice president who took charge of the government after the toppling of Mahuad by the masses in 2000.
- The attack by the Colombian quasi-fascist state as the servant of Bush, does not surprise the working class in Latin America and the world. Therefore, the first task is to take to the streets to act in solidarity with the working class and peasants oppressed in Colombia, to condemn the savage aggression and fight for the defeat of Uribe government and its murderous military.
- Second, the international working class must defend the sovereignty of Ecuador by demanding that the US get out of Manta, and the imperialist oil transnationals get out of Ecuador!
- Third, against the expropriation of the Latin American revolution by the national bourgeoisie and their servants organized in the World Social Forum: we endorse the cry of "No to US colonies, Yes to an independent, socialist Latin America!”
These are the demands of the workers of Latin America and the world! This task can only be carried out if the Ecuadorian working class rises up and breaks with the bourgeois Bolivarian government of Correa, a partner of the multinationals and the various imperialist powers who plunder our region, and returns to the road of the heroic uprisings of 1997, 2000 and 2005. The Ecuadorian workers and peasants must make common cause with those of Colombia to prepare the resistance and organize a counter-offensive against the genocidal Uribe government! That is the true solidarity that the class brothers and sisters of Ecuador can give to the exploited classes of Colombia today facing the terror of this quasi-fascist regime!
How quickly the brave bragging of the “Bolivarians" about sovereignty turned into "Business is business" and “we are all partners”!
The blood of the leadership of the FARC (CRAF) shed in Ecuador was still warm when the cynical embrace among Chavez, Correa and Uribe, under the auspices of the OAS, servant of the US, of French imperialism and Totalfina oil company, and the Rio Group meeting
- Chavez, the leader of the "Bolivarian revolution" condemned the incident, broke relations with Uribe and sent 10 armed battalions to the Venezuelan border with Colombia... while still happily going on selling oil to the US that massacre the Iraqi people. The working class and anti-imperialist movement of Latin America have to pull back, once and for all, the veil of the "Bolivarian revolution" to leave bare the real politics of the petrodollar Venezuelan bourgeoisie. Its policy is that of "peace" in Colombia. What does it mean?: nothing less than the unconditional disarmament of the FARC (CRAF), as has been already imposed on the ELN. They are trying once again to implement the same plan, used in the 1980s, with the Esquipulas and Contadora agreements between the regional national bourgeoisie and imperialism, to dismantle the heroic revolutions in Nicaragua and El Salvador. This is the alternative bourgeois policy –to that of US imperialism and its servant Uribe –being promoted by the bourgeois governments in Latin America, supported by Fidel and Raul Castro and the whole restorationist bureaucracy of Cuba, and surveyed and backed, behind the scenes, by French imperialism.
Chavez, Correa and all the "Bolivarians" came out to denounce the "Plan Colombia" of Bush and Uribe. But the truth is that there is not one, but two, "Plans Colombia" to stabilize the region and to extend business ties between the oil transnationals and the national bourgeoisies: one, the aggressive plan of US imperialism and the murderer Uribe, and the other, the scheme of "peaceful disarmament" stage-managed by French imperialism and its new bourgeois junior partners in Latin America.
The imperialist powers and national bourgeoisies are only divided on what is the best plan to defeat the resistance of the masses against the bloodthirsty regime of Uribe, they only disagree on the best way for ending the last outbreak of civil war left on the continent and for imposing the social peace and the "legitimacy" they need to continue their profiteering and plundering in Latin America. But business is business. When business is at stake, they all hug and swear allegiance to each other over the workers and peasants’ blood being shed.
Needless to say, the "peaceful surrender" plan of the "Bolivarian” bourgeoisie couldn’t care less for the fate of the FARC (CRAF) and the workers and peasants of Colombia, the same as the bloody French imperialists that only care about taking over control of the sources of raw materials from US imperialism’s backyard, The suffering of the working class and the exploited and the blood of the FARC (CRAF) militants are only small change in their business disputes.
Thus, Sarkozy went immediately to tell Marulanda, a member of the FARC (CRAF), to free Betancourt alive, or else he will be declared a murderer. The cynicism of the French imperialist butchers has no limit, it was them who committed a real genocide in Algeria in the ‘50s, sent troops to Chad, and under the guise of the UN, to Lebanon; they also protect and finance, like Bush, the genocidal Zionist state of Israel.
5. At the meeting of the Rio Group, Uribe claimed that the armed forces of Brazil, Peru, Panama, Chile, etc., have been cooperating with Colombia in the "struggle against terrorism," that is, against the FARC (CRAF). The Defense Minister of Ecuador noted that “in 2007, 21 operations of between 10 and 30 days each, searched for FARC (CRAF) bases [in Ecuador, Ed]. We destroyed 47 camps, some well equipped, like the one bombed by Colombia, and others less well equipped, as rest camps (...) In April we captured 9 guerrillas and in November we came across Raul Reyes (...) who narrowly escaped. We knew that he was out there, and our soldiers arrived at the scene. The food was still hot, and there were letters and books with their names. Reyes had just left. A group that had stayed there, we suppose to protect the retreat, faced us. And we had two soldiers wounded by bullets and grenades, and on the guerrilla side, they left three dead "(Clarin of Argentina, 7/03/08).
These are the "Bolivarians", the alleged "anti-imperialists"! Pigs, it is more than clear that all of them were in a race to see who was first to capture, kill or take Reyes hostage and who makes the FARC (CRAF) disarm and surrender!
At the same meeting of the Rio Group, Cristina Kirchner advised Uribe that the best way to defeat the FARC (CRAF) and the Colombian insurgents was not to make raids into Ecuadorian territory because this action put in question the "legality" of its armed forces of occupation commanded by West Point to defeat the FARC (CRAF) from inside Colombia.
- Chavez himself reported his meetings with the FARC (CRAF) leadership where aimed to convince them that they could not succeed, that they could not repeat a Cuba ’59, or even a Nicaragua'79, in Colombia. Moreover, most part of his speech at the Rio Group was to prove to US imperialism that he is a trustworthy man able to carry out the task of disarming the FARC (CRAF), praising Banzer –that sinister murderer of the Bolivian masses – as a "great man" of the Latin American bourgeoisie; and telling how Samper, former president of Colombia, acknowledged that Chavez had never supported the FARC (CRAF).
- They all –US imperialism, Uribe, French imperialism, Chavez, Correa, Kirchner and the other "Bolivarians" –seek to end the resistance of the FARC (CRAF) because the latter controls a region of Colombian territory which is of strategic value for plundering oil and gas. Chavez spoke openly at the Rio Group of his negotiations with Uribe to build a gas pipeline between Colombia and Venezuela. Moreover, the proposed Southern pipeline from Venezuela to Argentina is planned to go through that part of Colombia controlled by the FARC (CRAF). Sucumbíos, the Ecuadorian province bordering Colombia, where the Ecuadorian and Colombian armies are both engaged in pursuing and killing the militants of the FARC (CRAF), is home to the largest Ecuadorian oil resources
- "Oil is now at 105 dollars a barrel. There is business for all, what should we fight about?" Chavez would say at the meeting of the Rio Group. Correa demanded an “International Peace Force" to secure the disarmament of the FARC (CRAF) in Ecuadorian northern border. "Send 10 battalions to the border with Colombia" "brave" Chavez told his defense minister. All these troop movements are to make sure that the Colombian resistance against the quasi-fascist regime of Uribe is not organized or supplied from Ecuador or Venezuela, let alone Brazil.
- The "Boliviarian" bourgeoisie of Chavez and Correa, with the support of Castroite bureaucracy, are responsible for the policy of “peaceful exchange” of prisoners, exposing the entire leadership of the FARC (CRAF) in Ecuador to the watchful eyes of the CIA and the Colombian army that from the base in Manta and the Colombian border, respectively, did not hesitate to take advantage of the situation to kill them. And later, before the blood of the dead FARC (CRAF) leaders had dried, those pigs celebrated with hugs and hand shakes, the "peace pact" between their respective businesses. Their cynicism knows no bounds. Crooks and scoundrels!
- The "Bolivarians" complain that the fierce repression against the masses and the FARC (CRAF) by 400,000 mercenaries armed and trained by US imperialism in Colombia, threatens to extend the conflict to their own countries. These bourgeois governments, as they themselves have said, are "proud" of having "pacified" Latin America and “saved” it from the ravages of the revolutionary masses, but fear that the crisis in Colombia could spread and re-awaken the revolutionary "demons" in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela, and renew the upsurge of anti-imperialist struggle of the masses in the first half of the twenty-first century.
- Thus, the bourgeoisies of the continent are seeking to impose "peace" by disarming the masses throughout Latin America, at a time when, associated with this or that imperialist power, their profits increase with the rising price of oil, commodities and minerals, while the workers of the continent suffer from the high cost of living, overexploitation, repression and national plundering.
- That is why the Rio Group meeting ended with hugs among Correa, Chavez and Uribe, with the latter pledging not to attack any neighboring country, and with all the "Bolivarians" swearing allegiance to the rule of the OAS on "non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries."
- Cynics! The United States has military bases throughout Latin America and has ambassadors to ‘advise’ the Presidents. The imperialist powers have the UN, IMF, World Bank, Paris Club, NATO, and even colonial ministries such as the Rio Group, the OAS and the Rio Treaty, "to intervene" every day in the control and suppression of the peoples. The United States has the Manta base in Ecuador and more than 15,000 military advisers in Colombia that oversee the Colombian armed forces and the paramilitaries to kill 35,000 workers and peasants every year in that country.
- Against this, we workers and peasants of the continent have an obligation to support our Colombian class brothers and sisters brutally murdered by the quasi-fascist government of Uribe. The only requirement to do so is to break our subordination to the bourgeoisie imposed on us by our treacherous leaders
- We of the FLT denounce the Ecuadorian and Venezuelan troops sent to the border with Colombia. They are not there to confront imperialism, or to remove the US base at Manta, or to "protect" Venezuela from an alleged attack from Colombia. They are there to drive the FARC (CRAF) into a corner and force them to disarm and surrender, and to prevent the spread of Colombia's civil war to the rest of the continent. In this way, they will ensure “business as usual” and the collaboration of the national bourgeoisies with their imperialist partners, to loot the resources and extract their super-profits from Latin America.
- Out with the "Plan Colombia" of Uribe and the US! Out with the new Contadora-Esquipulas aimed at the disarmament of the FARC (CRAF) by the "Bolivarians" and their French imperialist partner! Out with the OAS, the Rio Treaty, the Rio Group and any other institutions of imperialism from Latin America!
- It is an urgent task of the UNT in Venezuela and all the unions and worker organizations in Ecuador to fight for the immediate withdrawal of the Venezuelan and Ecuadorian troops and to defend the Colombian resistance. It is the duty of the Brazilian workers to oppose the government of Lula and Totalfina-Petrobras, which has already sent 25,000 Federal police to the border with Colombia, and tracks down the guerrillas with its "spy planes" so they can be killed by Uribe and his murderous troops.
- Immediate withdrawal of the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Brazilian troops deployed in the borders with Colombia to enclose FARC (CRAF) and force them to accept surrender, while bloodthirsty pro-US imperialism Uribe government murders at close range every working and peasant organisation confronting him, his government and his US occupying troops commanded by the CIA, the Pentagon and US imperialist butchers !
- At the OAS, Correa and Uribe signed a pact in which Colombia and Uribe “apologised" for his "violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Ecuador. The OAS passed a resolution “repudiating” this violation. At the Rio Group, all the bourgeois governments agreed to this pact and also avowed to respect each other’s interests and not to interfere in the "internal affairs" of other countries.
So these are the "brave Bolivarians"! They refused to break with that den of thieves headed by Bush of the OAS, which unanimously created a "Verification Commission", and then ended up together at the Rio Group to discuss their differences, but agreed that there was sufficient business for them all.
Thus, between the OAS, which carries out the monitoring and verification mechanisms, and the Rio Group – a parliament where they discuss their differences without "acrimony" – there is much bragging and grandiose speeches to cover their bartering. And once again, those who pay the price are the exploited masses sold out a thousand times over in Latin America.
These were the same Rio Group and the same OAS that have always "condemned" Cuba and never allowed it to become a member! Look at Chavez and Correa, with Morales and the other "Bolivarians" all of them the so-called "friends of Cuba"! They all ended up as the servants of the OAS and the Rio Treaty they are. This means that if the US are attacked militarily by another country, all Latin American countries are obliged to defend them. But if contrariwise a Latin American country is attacked by an imperialist power, the US align with the latter, as happened in the Malvinas (Falklands) War, when the United States supported Thatcher and her imperialist troops. They are all tied to the apron strings of the OAS, which allowed NATO to put a military base in the Malvinas, and which agreed to US bases like Manta in Latin America. More recently, the OAS sponsored the invasion and occupation of Haiti by various Latin American state forces under US command. So, that is the end of the "courageous" bourgeois Bolivarians: unable to break even with the OAS and the Rio Treaty, they remain subservient to imperialism.
The "left-wing" of the World Social Forum -Celia Hart and the renegades of Trotskyism are under the discipline of the bourgeois armies of Correa and Chavez.
9. The ‘left wing’ of the World Social Forum finished up under the skirts of the US master, the OAS, the Rio Treaty and the Rio Group, the new Esquipulas and Contadora for surrendering the masses. All the reformist and fake Trotskyist leaders led by Celia Hart Santamaria, are using their soothing "Bolivarian" rhetoric to openly support Chavez, Correa on the recent crisis. That impostor that is falsifying Leon Trotsky’s heritage, and who is actually the representative of restorationist Cuban bureaucracy said: "Our revolutionary government (of Cuba, N R) call on the people of Ecuador to support the Armies of the Republic of Ecuador and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (...) We call on all Trotskyist, Guevarist, Mariateguist, Marxist, Leninist, Maoist, Bolivarian and anti-imperialist organizations in the world to unite at this moment of maximum proletarian internationalism and ask that all of these organizations speak out and provide practical support to our current leaders Rafael Correa and Hugo Chavez. "-
THEY HAVE NO SHAME! These new usurpers of the flag of Trotskyism and the Fourth International have been unmasked. Indeed, the restorationist, Castroite bureaucracy and army were already under the orders of Chavez, Correa and other national bourgeoisies of the continent. But this time, the agent of Castroite bureaucracy, Celia Hart, has put the Mandelists, Morenoists and all fake Trotksyists, under the orders of Chavez and Correa.
It has become clear that all of them want Latin American proletarians to subordinate to the Ecuadorian military officers who collaborate with the Colombian army to chase down the FARC (CRAF) guerrillas on either side of the border. They want the working class of the continent to follow Chavez’ orders NOT to support or assist the FARC (CRAF), nor the mass resistance, against the quasi-fascist government of Uribe. Rather they are echoing Chavez’ demands on the FARC (CRAF) to surrender and disarm, thus exposing FARC’s militants and leaving them at the mercy of Uribe, his armed forces and the paramilitary occupation.
The betrayers of Trotskyism –all of them modern Pablos- have turned into agents of the restorationist bureaucracy in Havana and claim that they do this on behalf of the Fourth International: IMPOSTERS!
"Everybody with Chavez and Correa"!: This was, in short, the position of the turn-coat Trotskyists, subordinating in this way the Latin American working class to the bourgeoisie. Not a word of complaint about the U.S. military base in Manta, Ecuador! Not a word of complaint about the colonial ministry of US imperialism, the OAS! What about breaking with the OAS and the Rio Treaty? What about kicking the US out of Manta? Not a word!
For its part, the P-SOL of Brazil –the sister party of Celia Hart and the other fake Trotskyists in Latin America –sent their deputies to show solidarity with Correa. Rogues! Uribe has not touched a hair of Correa or his government or the Ecuadorian bourgeoisie! If they had the least anti-imperialist impulse, they would have gone to the Colombian jungle to solidarise with the FARC (CRAF) fighters, using the parliamentary immunity provided to them by the Brazilian parliament.
Thus, "with Chavez and Correa" and by the hand of Celia Hart, all fake Trotskyists finished up at the feet of the OAS, the Rio Treaty and the Rio Group. They reveal themselves as followers of the "Bolivarian plan of Peace" supported by the French imperialist butchers for the surrender and disarmament of the FARC (CRAF), when it is obvious that the US and their servant Uribe’s plan is to wipe out the FARC (CRAF). The servility of the fake Trotskyists to the "Boliviarian" bourgeoisie and the Castroite restorationist bureaucracy is unreserved. Their bankruptcy is complete.
The Latin American proletariat must respond to this deception and fake “revolutionary Marxism” on the part of the traitors to the proletariat with a demand: get out on the streets to confront Chavez, Correa and all the "Bolivarians" that have never given (nor will give) arms, supplies or money to the FARC (CRAF) but actually call for their surrender. For the complete demilitarization of the border between Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil! All the trade unionsin these countries must put all their forces into organizing and aiding the resistance of the workers and poor peasants in Colombia against the quasi-fascist regime of Uribe!
Latin America and its raw material and commodity resources: zone of dispute between the different imperialist powers under the pressure of the global economic crisis.
10. Acting behind the scenes, French imperialism is using its demand for the release of Ingrid Betancourt to further its political agenda in the entire region. Behind this policy of "peace" for Colombia driven by Chavez and other "Bolivarians", French imperialists and Totalfina seek to gain the upper hand in their competition with US imperialism for the control of oil and other raw materials in Latin America, by accomplishing the disarmament of the FARC (CRAF).
The United States has devalued the dollar in response to the severe crisis that is developing both in its domestic economy and the world economy. This move would stimulate its exports and resolve its trade deficit at the same time that the European and Japanese exports get too expensive because of the rise of the euro and the yen. But it will not reduce the prices of raw materials and commodities, such as oil, that are sold for dollars, whose prices will go up with the demand for non-renewable resources, and generate an inflationary spiral in the world economy at the expense of the oppressed peoples of the world.
Amid the global economic crisis the struggle for control of spheres of influence and sources of raw materials among the imperialist powers will intensify imperialist rivalry.
The European powers and France in particular, have launched an offensive to challenge the zones of influence to US imperialism in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America for new opportunities for their monopolies. With this policy they are pressuring the United States to abandon Bush’ policy of "unilateralism" or US hegemony, and to replace it with an agreement to share areas of influence, and sources of raw materials and cheap labour. The European powers want to impose what they call a "multi-polar world", i.e. this means pressuring US imperialism to “share” their business in their areas of influence, such as Latin America.
11. It does not mean that American imperialism, as a dominant power, is standing idle. Having succeeded –thanks to Chavismo, the Castro regime and all the forces of World Social Forum, including the renegade Trotskyists – in subordinating to the Democratic Party the working class struggle against the American war, for the rights of immigrants and in defense of their conquests attacked, US imperialism prepares to restore the legitimacy of its rule at home and abroad, after the crisis of the Bush administration, through the Democratic and Republican primaries in the presidential election to the end of the year.
At the same time, to clearly mark its domains, US imperialism marks territory (in the same way that a male carnivore does) by means of unmistakable signals: in the Balkans, by creating the "independence" of its protectorate in Kosovo against the will of Serbia and Russia, which are allies and partners of France. In the Middle East, its gendarme the state of Israel kills the Palestinian masses of Gaza, while its ally Turkey uses its military force to control the North of Iraq to do the dirty work for the US Marines stuck in Iraq, including the killing of the Kurdish bourgeoisie who supported the Anglo-US invasion. In Africa, it resumes its offensive in Somalia with 15,000 Marines alongside its servants of Ethiopia. It is backing Sudan against the insurgency in neighboring Chad, a French semi-colony; beside Chad and Sudan common border is the territory of Darfur where there is a huge reservoir of oil that it wants to exploit at the expense of French imperialism. This at a time when many US oil-imperialists have been forced to withdraw by the heroic revolutionary Nigerian proletariat that refuses to live in poverty when under its feet lays an enormous wealth of black gold.
In Latin America, US imperialism, while it reorganizes its regime at home with a “Republicrat" election, intervenes by ordering his servant Uribe to kill the leaders of the FARC (CRAF) in Ecuador. This is its first response to the new business between French imperialism with other European powers and sectors of the national bourgeoisies in Latin America.
As a warning to the latter doing deals with rival imperialist powers in the US backyard, US imperialism uses the threat of secession in Bolivia of the Media Luna oligarchy, the partner of ExxonMobil and British Petroleum.
Thus, with military invasions, bombings clean and threats of secession, the US imperialism clearly marks who is permitted to do business in its own backyard and the world economy at large. Meanwhile the US is preparing to fix its regime by a change of administration that could enable it to go for new counter-offensives around the globe.
12. In the United States, the working class has been taken out of scene: this is expressed as the loss of past gains in wages, pension and health benefits, and the millions who are being evicted from their homes and the enormous sufferings of the masses that remind us of the '30s. The workers’ fights against the wars and for the rights of immigrants have been submitted to the Democratic Party. The Democrats have formed a bloc with the Republicans as “Republicrats” so they can go on the offensive, as they did through their servant Uribe.
In Latin America, after the abortion and diversion of the revolutionary processes in the first years of the 21st century, the working class and the masses have lost their centrality in the political scene. Subordinated to the class collaborationist leaders, the working class has been contained momentarily in the American continent. This situation in which the masses are out of the scene is what allows the various imperialist powers and bourgeois fractions to openly dispute –including military interventions – the control of oil, commodities and minerals from Latin America whose rapidly rising prices are a rich source of super profits for the transnationals, and their plans for further pillage and plunder of our peoples.
The national bourgeoisies exploit these disputes as junior partners of the multinationals to get their share of the business. And this is what explains why the "Bolivarian" bourgeoisie of Chavez or Correa, as well as the bourgeoisies of Brazil and Argentina –two US quasi-colonies with long links to the European Union–as well as those of Chile, Peru and Mexico –despite having signed the FTAs with US imperialism –are all trying to engage in deals with the EU imperialists. Thus they try to lessen the dominance of the US with its repressive FTAs and devalued dollar in a moment that that superpower is starting to suffer a recession. Only Uribe government, which has been turned into US gendarme, remains its loyal servant and agent.
So while Chavez has rescinded contracts with US oil companies ExxonMobil and Conoco Phillips for the exploitation of heavy oil from the Orinoco sands he transferred that right to the French Totalfina. The Castro brothers and the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy have already created joint ventures with French imperialist monopolies to exploit nickel, with Repsol to extract oil, and with Spanish corporations to benefit from tourism.
At the same time, "Bolivarian" Lula in Brazil has given US Brazilian all the harvests of sugarcane and soybeans intended for the production of bio-fuel in the country until 2025 and has signed an agreement with France to buy aerospace technology and weapons for military purposes, with the agreement of the Argentine bourgeoisie. Morales has already distributed cheap Bolivian gas to guarantee the energy that the transnationals and national bourgeoisies of the Southern Latin American countries need to produce.
This is precisely the role of the national "Bolivarian" bourgeoisie. Its aim is to negotiate with the various imperialist powers and their multinationals to allow them to loot our nations and exploit the working class in Latin America, and in exchange they get their slice of the superprofits.
At the meeting of the Rio Group, they were clearly trying to impose a "multipolar world” on US imperialism. But it was equally clear that the latter is not going to allow others to intrude in its backyard. That is why Uribe, the US agent, exercised his veto power, so that none of the measures promoted by the “Bolivarians”, such as the creation of an international commission to "free the hostages", was approved.
But as a prize for everybody that accepts Uribe's veto, US imperialism had to talk about sharing business with French imperialism and the national bourgeoisies of Latin America. That is why the meeting ended with handshakes and hugs with Chavez flanked by the mother of Ingrid Betancourt; Sarkozy met Correa and Uribe together; and the sighs of relief and smiles of Cristina Kirchner, Lula and Bachelet who were reassured that they would get the supply of oil and gas to satisfy the multinationals and national bosses of Argentina, Brazil and Chile. This indicates that both US and French imperialism agree in that they need the "Bolibourgeoisie” to finish strangling the struggle of the masses.
Therefore, the working class in Latin America, in their anti-imperialist struggle, must endorse the demand: Out with US imperialism and its puppet governments and gendarmes like Uribe! Totalfina and the French Imperialist butchers must get out from Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and all Latin America! Break with NAFTA, CAFTA, Mercosur and all the FTAs of the multinationals and the national bourgeoisies! Break with the ALBA of the national bourgeoisie and Cuban restorationist bureaucracy and the businesses of Franco-German imperialism! For the Socialist United States of South and Central America!
The subordination of the working class to their respective bourgeoisie in Latin America that the World Social Forum imposes, is responsible for the tragedy of the slaughter and persecution of FARC fighters and the workers and poor peasants in Colombia.
13. The real tragedy of the massacre of FARC leaders in Ecuador is none other than the tragedy of a class collaborationist policy launched by the World Social Forum, which has tied the Latin American working class and exploited masses to the business of their respective bourgeoisies, and has led them to be submitted to the supposedly "democratic" French and German imperialists, and now, to Obama and Clinton, who quickly gave their unconditional support to the "exemplary action" of the genocidal Uribe.
The leadership of the FARC, under the discipline of Chavez and Castro, has raised the policy of peace, disarmament and "national unity” to sacrifice the peasants struggle. The leadership of the FARC will fight neither for a workers’ and peasants’ uprising to defeat the genocidal Uribe and his armed forces, nor for land or to liberate Colombia from imperialism. They only fight for a demilitarized zone to exchange prisoners and negotiate "peace", that is, disarmament. Therefore, they impose themselves a strategy not for succeeding.
Thus, the leadership of the FARC, even after the murder of Reyes and 15 or more fighters, issued a communiqué claiming that Reyes died fighting for the “cause of peace based on social justice" and reaffirmed that its goal is the "humanitarian exchange" of prisoners and getting a demilitarized zone in Florida and Pradera. Not a word is said by the FARC about defeating the genocidal government of Uribe and his murderous army! The only way to win "peace with social justice" is to break with imperialism, demand land for the peasants, and end the suffering of the Colombian working class and poor people subjected to the quasi-fascist regime of Uribe who is Bush’s gendarme. The struggle for the so called "socialism of the twenty-first century" demonstrates to be no more than pure lip service to the demands of the workers and the poor who are left hoping the “Bolivarian” revolution will be imposed luckily by the year 2099! The FARC is now under the leadership of Castro and Chavez!
It is the policy of class collaboration which isolated the FARC from all the exploited masses in the cities since the FARC as a petit-bourgeois peasant party has not expropriated the bourgeoisie or the landowners to give land to the rural poor in the territory under their own control. They only tax the bosses and the landowners as any bourgeois government would do. In fact, they behave as a proto-bourgeoisie in the territories they control doing nothing to fight against the slaughter and the terror the working class is subjected to in the cities.
Thus, FARC policy has aborted the agrarian revolution, which can only be consummated fully and effectively with the victory of the worker socialist revolution; i.e. the working class leading the poor farmers and taking power.
Their policy of class collaboration has prevented the FARC themselves from extending civil war and insurgency to the entire Colombian peasantry by dividing the army and their peasant base and uniting with the proletarian uprisings in the cities during the last decades. It is for this reason that after turning their backs and taking care of their own interests only, the FARC have lost much power and prestige among the exploited masses in the cities. What Colombia lacks for the moment is a working class revolutionary leadership which would offer leadership to the poor peasantry against this petty-bourgeois current which has become a proto-bourgeoisie, by raising the demands for: immediate expropriation of all the landowners and distribution of land across Colombia, beginning with the territories controlled by the FARC, expropriation of all the multinationals and banks in Colombia under workers control, imposition of armed workers and peasants’ committees that fight for organizing soldiers’ committes to prepare a triumphant revolution which imposes a revolutionary workers and peasants’ government to end the sacrifice of the Colombian people and break with imperialism.
Yesterday, under the leadership of the counter-revolutionary Stalinist strategy, and today under the leadership of Castro regime and the World Social Forum, all this peasant civil war led by the FARC, ELN, M19 and other petty bourgeois groups and armed parties has been limited to the objective of fighting for a "patriotic", "national unity" government with the bourgeoisie and "progressive" military forces with which the leadership of the FARC dream of making a common government. It is merely a strategy of Stalinist armed reformism that has to coexist with the peasant insurgency to keep it strangled and isolated from the whole Colombian exploited masses.
Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, the ELN has been defeated and takes part of the "pacification" plan of Uribe. The FARC program reflects the impotence of the petty bourgeois leadership whose ultimate dream is to follow the path of "commander" Ortega of Nicaragua and the FMLN of El Salvador, in order to change their fatigues into the suit and tie of the Wall Street yuppies. But Colombia is not today a Nicaragua or El Salvador in late '80s. In those countries, imperialism and the bourgeoisie had to allow the Sandinistas and the FMLN recycling as the national bourgeoisie in order to strangle the revolutions that were still alive. By contrast, in 2008, that danger has already been contained in Latin America, and therefore, US and Uribe are unwilling to grant those privileges to the FARC: they will accept only their unconditional disarmament. If they do not agree to this, and try to negotiate with Chavez and French imperialism, there awaits the brutal army of US stooge Uribe to destroy them.
Colombia proves the truth of that apothegm of Trotskyism: only the working class self-organized, armed and lead by a genuine revolutionary leadership, leading the poor peasants, expropriating the property of the bourgeoisie in the city and the countryside, and by means of working class methods of struggle –strikes and pickets, factory committees, mass political strikes and insurrections –can complete the national struggle, overthrowing the bourgeoisie, taking power, breaking with imperialism, abolishing the large estates and giving land to peasants, expropriating the expropriators.
14. Thus, we are witnessing a brutal offensive to end the FARC and the peasant insurgency in Colombia. In this offensive, while Uribe serves the US by using the army and the paramilitary to kill the FARC, the role of the Castroite bureaucracy, Chavez and other "Bolivarians" is to demoralize FARC militants, convince them that "they cannot succeed", leading them to disarm and betray their comrades, as it seems to have happened with the reported murder of the FARC leader Ivan Rios by his own ranks. Those who do not agree with this policy are isolated to be left at the mercy of their murderers in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, or in Brazil which has announced the reinforcement of a military base on the border with Colombia.
This policy of Castro and Chavez’ towards the Colombian resistance is not new. They simply follow in the footsteps of the Stalinist counter-revolutionary policy implemented by the bureaucracy in the USSR for decades.
Thus, they are not only pressuring the leadership of the Colombian resistance to disarm their troops, but also acting as guarantors so that the petty bourgeois leadership will not expropriate the bourgeoisie or landowners in the territories they controls militarily.
In Colombia today, the same treacherous policy is applied that was used to defeat the heroic Spanish revolution in the 30’s. There, Stalin and the Soviet bureaucracy said to the workers that they first had to win the war against Franco in a popular front with the Republican bourgeoisie, and only after that they should fight for the socialist revolution, while at the same time the Stalinist fifth column was killing the POUM militants and the anarchists of Durruti who refused to agree with this policy and pushed the struggle for the expropriation of landowners and the bourgeoisie in the territories under control of the republican army.
The Stalinist bureaucracy did the same at the end of the Second World War. Stalin signed the Yalta and Potsdam agreements with the United States and Britain, and undertook earnestly his task to suppress the revolution in the European imperialist countries, and contain it in the East European countries that were occupied by Hitler’s Germany. So, while the Red Army stopped its advance in East Berlin –refusing to seize power throughout Germany – the Communist parties were engaged in disarming the French and Italian workers who had led the resistance against the occupation. When the Communist Yugoslav partisans and Greek guerrilla refused to disarm, Stalin called their leaders to have "talks" in Moscow. There the whole leadership of the Greek resistance was murdered by the Stalinists. Tito and the Yugoslav Stalinist leadership survived only because -suspecting this would happen- they refused to travel to the USSR.
Something similar took place with Che Guevara in Bolivia. While we disagree with the policy of Che to promote a guerrilla struggle in Bolivia – at a time when the Bolivian revolution in 1952 was being crushed by Barrientos through his military-peasant pact – it is clear that Che´s position of “One, two, three Vietnams" in Latin America was opposed to the Stalinist policy of “peaceful coexistence”. That is why the Communist Party of Bolivia led by Monge acting under the orders of Khrushchev, sold off Che Guevara to the Bolivian dictatorship so collaborating with it in his murder.
In the 1970s, Stalinism led by Fidel Castro preached the "peaceful path to socialism" in Chile which allowed Pinochet to join Allende government as a chief commander of the army; there Pinochet along with the ITT, prepared the bloody military coup that crushed the Chilean proletariat and its heroic revolution of the industrial “cordones” (coordinated workers councils).
After 1989, the Stalinist bureaucracy handed over the workers states to imperialism, restoring capitalism and transforming themselves into a national bourgeoisie. The same path is being followed today by Castroite bureaucracy: to finish capitalist restoration on the island – a process that has began some time ago, with the visibly enrichment of the bureaucracy while Cuban workers earn a monthly wage equivalent to 13 dollars – that bureaucracy must complete the strangling of the revolution in Latin America, and as part of that plan, put an end to any vestige of mass insurgency and civil war in Colombia.
15. For that reason, the Castro bureaucracy, Chavez, the "Bolivarians" and all currents of the World Social Forum – including the fake Trotskyists – are now supporting the policy of destroying the leadership of the FARC in Ecuador, thereby, playing today the same role that the old Stalinist bureaucracy played for decades. All the "Bolivarians" want to guarantee themselves the "peaceful coexistence" with the various imperialist powers and their transnationals which ones they have gone into partnership with to do business. For this, they want to make FARC fighters surrender; they want the same from all worker and peasant currents that fight to defend themselves against the occupying forces of the quasi-fascist government of Uribe. If they refuse to do so, they will be left at the mercy of Uribe and the Colombian army, or chased into Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela.
To face this treacherous plan, the FLT calls upon all workers’ and popular struggle organizations all over the continent to launch a campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of the thousands of political prisoners, FARC fighters and other worker and peasant organizations’ combatants of Colombia who are rotting in the jails of Uribe and the quasi-fascist regime imposed by the Armed forces and paramilitary.
We call on workers' organizations especially in Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador, to break all subordination to their bourgeois governments, and to put all their forces at the service of the mass resistance of workers and peasants in Colombia.
The FLT does not agree with the class collaborationist politics of the leadership of the FARC which has led them to an armed reformism, or the petty bourgeois guerrilla method. The only way to organise a victorious insurrection leading the working class to power is the self-organization and the workers’ and peasants’ mass armament, with a revolutionary leadership at its head.
We recognize the right of the FARC –as a fighting organization to establish negotiations, agreements, exchange of prisoners and so on – to make pacts when the balance of power is not in their favour. But we do not agree with the policy of the FARC leaders of misrepresenting these agreements as ¨victories¨ to the masses of Colombia and Latin America.
Having expropriated the worker and peasant revolution in Bolivia, the making of Colombian mass resistance surrender is a necessary policy so that the Castroite bureaucracy is able to consummate the process of capitalist restoration in Cuba
16. The attack to and killing of some leaders of the FARC and the regional crisis it has provoked show to the Latin American masses the consequences of the suppression of the heroic workers’ and peasants’ revolution in Bolivia.
First, the Castroite bureaucracy and the bourgeois regimes led by Chavez, Lula, Kirchner and Bachelet devoted themselves to fence the Bolivian revolution and to support the class collaborationist government of Morales to contain it. The reason is that such revolution put at risk the property and businesses of imperialism and the national bourgeoisie in Bolivia and in the entire South America where production relies heavily on the provision of Bolivian gas.
And no doubt, if people were now burning barricades in La Paz and El Alto, there would be a true anti-imperialist struggle of the entire working class in Latin America against Uribe, a gendarme of Bush’. In the same way, a worker and peasant revolutionary Ecuador could organize and supply the resistance of the working class and poor peasants in Colombia against Uribe’s regime.
For the wretched expropriation of the workers’ and peasants’ revolution in Bolivia, Castro, Chavez and the other "Boliviarian" bourgeoisies relied on the open collaboration of all types of reformists in the World Social Forum, including the fake Trotskyists of all kinds. They either directly called to vote for the bourgeois government of Morales and his fraudulent Constituent Assembly concocted with PODEMOS -a pact now supported by the vast majority of the Mercosur bourgeoisie and the transnationals-, or supported the collaborationist leadership of the COB that submit the proletariat to the bourgeoisie through the popular front. The result: the breakdown of the worker and peasant alliance and the subordination to the government of Morales of the proletariat and the poor peasants who today are led to support the new constitution like they supported yesterday's bourgeois farce of the "nationalization of the hydrocarbons" –which are still in the hands of the transnationals. The new Constitution establishes that "land reform" means to discuss whether landowners can retain a maximum of 10 thousand or 5 thousand hectares, that is, to decide among how many front men(1) the absentee landowners will divide up their properties. The reactionary Constitution of Morales & Co. says absolutely nothing about “gas to the Bolivians”, “land for the peasants”, or “bread for the workers”.
After expropriating the worker and peasant revolution in Bolivia; suppressing the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggle of the masses in Ecuador and Colombia; aborting the Argentine revolution in 2001; establishing the popular front in Brazil and the civil-military regime in Chile, that is, after strangling the "revolutionary dress rehearsal” that the exploited masses staged in the first years of the twenty-first century, the “Bolivarians” have to impose “peace” in Colombia in order to end with the last vestiges of civil war left in Latin America and be in a better position to bargain for their slice of business with the various imperialist powers.
They were prepared to do so when the American imperialism and his servant Uribe gave the signal.
This is how imperialism today uses the national bourgeoisies: it makes them stop the fires of revolution by sharing business with them for a time. Or, they are used by US rivals (the other imperialist powers) to dispute US domination in the region. But once the imperialist powers have their business/interests guaranteed -especially oil, gas and other commodities-, they don’t hesitate to throw those national bourgeois stooges into the trashcan if they do not accept their role as small partners to the transnationals. Of course, the national bourgeoisies always capitulate to imperialism because, as we have seen, "business is business” and they fear much more the revolutionary struggle of the workers and peasants who are primed to also attack their property and their interests, than the discipline imposed by the transnationals.
What happened in the Balkans is a clear example of this. During the '90s, imperialism used Milosevic and the new Serbian bourgeoisie to attack Bosnia and Kosovo. Once this "dirty work" was done, imperialism then bombed Serbia to put an end to its dreams of a "Greater Serbia". This was also done with Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He was used to attack the Iranian revolution and crush the masses, and then he was turned into a “devil” so that Anglo-US imperialism could invade and occupy Iraq. Today, we see this again in the case of the Kurdish bourgeoisie in northern Iraq who collaborated with the US in the occupation, only to be paid for their services by Turkey sending 10,000 soldiers to massacre the Kurds.
There are only two classes confronting in the oppressed nations which play a decisive and fundamental role in production, and they are which will define the fate of Latin America in the coming period: the working class on one hand, and imperialism on the other one. The outcome of this confrontation will define the fate of the oppressed middle classes of the city and countryside and the own submitted Latin American nations. The role of the treacherous leaders is to subject the working class to the bourgeoisie, tie their hands and prevent them from leading all the exploited classes and the oppressed nations. Then the crisis of our continent and the whole crisis of mankind boils down to the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the world proletariat.
17. The architects and the driving force of this policy to make Colombian resistance surrender and disarm has been Cuban restorationist bureaucracy. This bureaucracy has already handed over a huge part of the Cuban economy to the multinationals, and has launched – like the Chinese bureaucracy did with their "red entrepreneurs" –the process of restoration of capitalism. They have imposed over the vast majority of the Cuban working class wages equivalent to 13 dollars, while the bureaucracy with their joint ventures in hotels, tourism, nickel-mining or oil businesses, lives in that part of the economy where 1 Cuban peso is convertible to US$1. Thus, the bureaucracy is preparing the conditions to defeat the only degenerate workers’ state in Latin America, finish the restoration of capitalism, and transform themselves into a new national bourgeoisie.
This situation became inevitable since the beginning of '90s when the fall of the USSR forced Cuba to enter a so-called "special period" in which the degenerate workers’ state opened up to imperialist investment under the pretext of ensuring the survival of "socialism in one island-nation”. The already degenerate foundations of the workers’ state began to decompose, the gap grew between rich and poor, the bureaucracy became more isolated from the impoverished masses, and entered growingly into joint ventures with imperialist companies; so the bases of the transitional economy from capitalism to socialism began to be destroyed. This process of extreme degeneration and decomposition could not be avoided in an isolated degenerate worker state led by a bureaucracy that is the enemy of the world revolution and whose only way of survival is to transform themselves into a new bourgeoisie. As the Cuban bureaucracy became restorationist it acted as an “arbiter” between revolutionary Cuban masses on the one hand, and the transnationals together with their small partners, that is, some layers of the own bureaucracy, on the other. Thus they benefited from the increased wealth generated by the joint ventures with the transnational corporations at the expense of the Cuban working class.
The results are obvious: the longstanding command of Fidel Castro passing to his brother Raul, is not only “a change in continuity” of the bureaucracy, but also means that the contradiction between the conquests of the revolution on the one hand, and the bureaucracy tied to the global economy, imperialism and its business interests in Cuba on the other, is reaching the point where that bureaucracy become irreconcilable with the existence of a degenerate workers´state.
When students and state functionaries, or friends of the regime like popular singer Silvio Rodriguez say "we want to go to hotels," what they are saying is that they want to enter the Cuban convertible dollar sector as consumers, since the hotel chains installed in Cuba have shops which sell all the brands of clothing, electronics, jewelry, etc. on the world market, but which are only accessible to the bureaucracy and the new middle classes linked to the prosperous imperialist investments on the island.
The betrayal of the bureaucracy as agent of capitalist restoration, and now as the counter-revolutionary agent that has strangled the socialist revolution in Latin America and the world, is a living proof of the accuracy of the prognosis by Trotsky and the founders of Fourth International that stated the following: either the political revolution triumphed, or otherwise, the bureaucracy associated with global capitalism, would eventually become a new proprietary class, imposing a treacherous restorationist regime. The bureaucracy, direct agent of restoration, are destroying the achievements of the Cuban revolution and the consciousness of the Cuban masses, as for the vast majority of the Cuban working class, "socialism" is a wage of 13 pesos, an economy of sub-consuming, rationing, lack of housing and transportation and enormous hardships suffered everyday, while capitalism is the luxury and consumer way of life of the hotels. So, following in the footsteps of Deng Xiao Ping, Gorbachev and East German Honnecker, the Castroite bureaucracy prepare the conditions for a counterrevolutionary strike, and if they succeed in this objective that will be one of the biggest defeats for our class in the Americas.
The bureaucracy has tied their future to their joint business with the transnationals which is why they must strangle the revolution in Latin America and globally. The Castro brothers, behind their allies Ortega and Chavez, insist that the leaders of the FARC cannot create a new Cuba or Nicaragua in Latin America. Thus, it is the restorationist bureaucracy of Castros’ who are actually the leadership of the "Boliviarian" bourgeoisie in suppressing the revolution all over the continent. They have tied their fate to their business with the national bourgeoisies and French and Spanish imperialisms, and are eagerly waiting for Obama, Clinton or McCain to lift the embargo, to allow them to become the business partners of US imperialist investors.
18. In '80s Gorbachev and the Stalinist bureaucracy in the former USSR and Eastern European countries- already associated with Citibank- before transforming themselves into a new bourgeoisie by handing over the degenerate workers’ states to global capitalism, fulfilled their last service to world capitalism by massacring with Jaruzelsky the Polish working class and their revolutionary struggle in the '80s and so allowed Thatcher to defeat the 84-85’ general strike of the British miners. That also gave them the chance to strangle revolution in Central America.
Today the Castroite bureaucracy needs desperately to prevent another Cuba in Latin America. They must suppress any victorious socialist worker revolution on the continent as a "certificate of good conduct” that both Obama and Clinton require to lift the embargo, so that they, and not the bourgeois expatriates in Miami, will get the franchise to control capitalist restoration on the island. Capitalist restoration cannot be peaceful, thereby; this means they have to smash the working class resistance and suppress the Cuban masses by means of civil war methods.
This policy of "peace" is the Bolivarian policy of "peace in the cemeteries” where they would bury forever the anti-imperialist struggle of our peoples and socialist workers revolution.
This is the truth. These are the irrefutable facts. But it is written nowhere that they will be inevitably able to achieve their aim: Latin American revolution has been expropriated, contained and diverted; and the US working class deceived and subjected to the Democratic Party; but the proletariat in the americas has not been historically defeated, and their forces remain intact.
Therefore, it is a task of the working class and oppressed people in Latin America, -especially of the advanced workers- and all internationalist currents in America and the world, to fight the treacherous class collaborationist politics of the "Bolivarian revolution" that tries to impose “peace” for the sake of the bourgeoisie and hunger, looting, and ferocious attacks against workers and oppressed people.
But we cannot fight for the socialist revolution in the Americas, if we do not settle accounts with the counterrevolutionary Castroite bureaucracy. This struggle is inseparable from the struggle for the defense of the Cuban revolution. Stand with the Cuban workers and peasants! Out with the corrupt newly rich Castroite bureaucracy! Down with their medals, decorations and privileges! Down with the joint ventures! Down with social inequality and low wages! A single currency, a single economy: immediate renationalization of oil, nickel, tourism and other joint ventures, without compensation and under workers control! For the formation of committees of Cuban workers and soldiers to put their heroic revolution to the service of socialist revolution in Latin America!
In the victorious Latin and North American revolution, the Cuban workers and peasants will find the solution to the hardships imposed on them by the Castroite bureaucracy and its politics of "socialism in one country". What they need to eat and live decently is not in the luxury hotels of the bureaucracy and the transnationals in Havana. Rather, what they need lies in the victory of socialist revolution in the continent: in Argentina –where Fidel Castro sold out the revolution that had began in 2001, by pledging support for Kirchner – the Cuban masses will get meat, wheat and cheap bread; from the industries of Mexico and Brazil, they will get the consumer goods now in short supply on the island, moreover, in the Central American and Mexican revolution which will leap over the infamous Rio Grande wall, they will reach the millions of super-exploited Latin American workers in the United States; a real bond of flesh and blood will be forged with the largest battalion of the proletariat in the region: the US working class, which can strike at the heart of the imperialist beast.
However, if the imperialist plan for "peace" wins with the suppression of the struggle of the masses by the "Bolivarian revolution", these regimes will be replaced by ones such as that of Uribe in Colombia, the Media Luna fascists in Bolivia, a Mexico militarized by Calderon, and Venezuela will be open to new coups by US imperialism, that will find the "courageous" Bolivarian bourgeoisie hidden in the churches as Chavez was in 2002 before the masses came down from the hills to rescue him and defeat the coup attempt. And in Cuba, the Castroite restorationist bureaucracy will be recycled as new Yeltsin millionaires and “red entrepreneurs” as the former bureaucrats in the USSR were in collusion with the Citibank and in China in partnership with transnationals; or the Miami “worms” expatriates will come back.
Breaking with the bourgeoisie is the only way to untie the hands of the working class in Latin America and return to the anti-imperialist struggle and the workers and socialist revolution
19. The International Trotskyists of the FLT call on all organizations who speak in the name of the working class and the struggle against imperialism in the Americas, to break with the bourgeoisie. Stop subordinating workers' organizations all over the continent to the national bourgeoisies, "Boliviarian" or not, all of them small partners of US, French, Spanish and other imperialists who are destroying Latin America!
There cannot be punishment for US gendarme Uribe if the working class and the exploited do not defeat the treacherous "peace" plan for Colombia by Chavez, Correa and other "Bolivarians", a plan meant to surrender the combat of the Colombian workers and poor peasants to US imperialism and their colonial ministers: OAS, the Rio Treaty and the Rio Group.
There is no time to lose: if their evil plan succeeds – either by demoralising and making the Colombian resistance surrender, or by means of military massacres –it will not only be a terrible defeat for the working class and poor peasants of Colombia who will see their already terrible sufferings multiplied a thousand times, but for the entire proletariat and exploited people of the continent. A defeat of the masses will not only strengthen the Colombian regime of Uribe, but in addition all the bourgeois regimes and governments throughout the region, and without a doubt, it will give a huge boost to completing the capitalist restoration in Cuba.
20. Far from calling the working class of the continent to break with the bourgeoisie, the fake Trotskyists of every kind, following the orders of the Castroite bureaucracy and Celia Hart Santamaria, have fallen at the feet of Chavez, Correa and other "Bolivarians", and are now in the trench against the worker and peasant resistance to Uribe and the Colombian armed forces.
The fake Trotskyists, as in the case of PSTU of Brazil, organize conferences such as the "Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Workers" next July convened by CONLUTAS together with COB of Bolivia, that collaborationist bureaucracy that support the government of Morales. This congress says nothing about the burning issue of Cuba because the conveners have taken the "Bolivarian" side against the FARC. They will not be calling the Bolivian working class to break with Morales government and return to the path of October 2003 and May-June 2005. Nor will they call the working class to confront the Brazilian Petrobras and Totalfina that plunder Bolivian gas. No, contrariwise they seek to strangle the Left wing of the proletariat in Brazil and Bolivia, as well as in the entire Latin America. With the Bolivian revolution already strangled by the "Bolivarian" bourgeoisie, Totalfina, Petrobras and Repsol, with the new Constitution of Morales under their arm, are prepared to legitimize their plunder; with the Chilean and Argentine working class submitted to Bachelet and Kirchner respectively; with their plans "Colombia" and their share of business, the purpose of the "Latin American Conference" in July will be to dig the last shovel of earth to the grave of the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggle of the masses of Latin America.
Hands off the theory and program of the Fourth International and its founder Leon Trotsky 1938, them fake Trotskyists! They have usurped that clean flag and Trotsky’s legacy to serve Stalinism and the reformist class collaboration policy!
We, from the FLT, oppose this policy by calling upon all working class organizations of the continent to break with the bourgeoisie and place all their forces, firstly, in support the mass workers’ and peasants’ resistance in Colombia. We must raise the demand for a unite workers’ struggle throughout the continent:
Down with the OAS, the Rio Treaty and the Rio Group!
Down with the "peace" plan of unilateral disarmament and surrender of the Colombian resistance! Out of Latin America, US imperialism killer of our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan, jailer and torturer of the anti-imperialist fighters in Guantanamo, and supporter of the Zionist state of Israel which is massacring the Palestinian people!
Out with Totalfina and French imperialist butchers, Repsol, British Petroleum and other imperialist powers and transnational plunderers of Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and the entire Latin America!
Out of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, the British pirates!
Out with the occupation troops of Bachelet, Lula, Kirchner and Morales, "gurkas" at the service of US imperialism in Haiti!
Down with the FTAA, NAFTA, CAFTA, Mercosur and all the other FTAs of the multinationals and the native bourgeoisies, plunderers of our nations and exploiters of our workers!
In defense of Cuba, for the defeat of Castroite restorationist bureaucracy -allied with the imperialist transnationals- that are preparing to complete the capitalist restoration and their recycling as a new bourgeoisie!
For a government of the councils of workers, peasants and soldiers to put the Cuban revolution at the service of the world revolution!
All the support from the trade unions in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and throughout Latin America to the resistance of the Colombian masses!
Out with Uribe and his quasi-fascist regime!
Dissolution and disarmament of the terrorist Colombian army officers caste, disarmament of the fascist paramilitary mercenaries! For the military crushing of the paramilitary! For the masses’ legitimate right to self-defense! No to the plan to force the "surrender" of the Colombian resistance!
We must call on the militants of the FARC and the resistance to reject the “surrender” plan and to break with the reformist politics of their leaders who collaborate with the "democratic" imperialist butchers such as Sarkozy and the "Boliviarian" bourgeoisies which use them as cannon fodder to settle their business disputes.
We must break with the bourgeoisie and build workers and peasants committees with their own self-defense organizations (militia) to centralize and coordinate the resistance organizations that fight against Uribe; these militias must put their arms at the service of the mass resistance against quasi-fascist Uribe, his army and murdeous paramilitary. The unity of the working class of the cities with the poor peasants, through these workers and peasants committees, must be based on a program which demands the immediate break with imperialism and expropriation of all landowners and redistribution of land across Colombia in the first place, in the territories controlled by the FARC; the expropriation of monopolies, bankers and major employers, and re-nationalization under workers control of all the privatized companies, jobs and decent living wages for the entire working class, etc.
Only then, Colombian masses will be able to centralize their struggle and prepare a workers and peasants counter-offensive against Uribe’s government and his quasi-fascist regime that opens the way to the revolution and the imposition of a workers and peasants’ government, supported by armed and self-organized masses, that breaks with imperialism, expropriates the landowners and distributes land to the peasants.
21. From FLT, we call on workers and poor peasants of Bolivia, the heroic proletariat of El Alto, the miners and manufacturing workers to defeat the collaborationist leadership of the COB, to break with the subordination of workers and poor peasants’ unions to the class collaborationist Morales government, and convene a congress of rank and file delegates of the COB and other trade unions. It is time to prevent the adoption of the "Bolivarian" constitution of Morales which has put hydrocarbons in the hands of transnationals, the same as mines and Bolivian wealth, and leaves the productive land in the hands of landowners, rural bourgeoisie and rich farmers.
This is the only way to retake the road to struggle: for land to poor farmers; against the high cost of living and for the sliding scale of wages and hours of work; for driving out transnationals; for the true nationalization of hydrocarbons and mines through expropriation without payment under workers' control, and to set up working-class and peasants’ militias to defeat the forces of fascism. Recovering the revolution that has been expropriated by returning to the streets and barricades with the sound of dynamite and the slogans “Guns, shrapnel, Bolivia is not silent!", "Out with the transnationals!", "Neither 30 nor 50%, nationalization!", Bolivian exploited workers and peasants would give the best support to their class brothers and sisters of Colombia, and Cuban workers and peasants who oppose Castroite bureaucracy’s plan for capitalist restoration.
We call upon the organisations of the working class and poor peasants of Ecuador to break with Correa government that submits them to the OAS and allows the US base to stay in Manta, starves people with dollarization and -as his own defense minister has openly said- has been acting in common with murderer Uribe to chase and massacre FARC fighters in Ecuadorian territory. Only in this way Ecuadorian masses can return to the revolutionary road they trod in 1997, 2000, and 2005.This is the road to throw out the US base settled in Manta, and for achieving the expropriation without payment under workers' control of all imperialist oil companies that plunder Ecuador and finance and arm Uribe and his genocidal army! This is the road of the heroic days when the battle cry was "We do not like and do not want to be an US colony, we like and want a sovereign, socialist Latin America"!
We call on the Venezuelan working class and the UNT (Venezuelan Central Union, NT) to end all political support for Chavez, his government and the PSUV (Partido Unico de la Revolución Venezolana, the popular front party of Chavez, NT); to launch immediately a campaign for the withdrawal of the Venezuelan troops deployed in the border with Colombia and to give full support to Colombian mass resistance; to convene a national congress of rank and file delegates of UNT and all trade unions and worker organizations in order to stop the sale of Venezuelan crude oil to the US that massacre in Iraq. We call on them to organize the struggle for the complete renationalisation of PdeVSA (state oil company, today engaged in joint ventures and concessions to Big Oil, NT), expropriating without payment, and under workers’ control all the oilrigs, wells, fields and pipelines, ceasing the concessions given to Totalfina, Repsol and other imperialist monopolies; for the expropriation of all landowners, the 31 families and the imperialist capital that controls banks through which the "boliburgueses" with their petrodollars are large investors in Wall Street while they guarantee King Juan Carlos and Telefonica from Spain business control in Venezuela; against the unbearable inflation and for the sliding scale of wages and hours of work, to end with anti-strike laws, etc.
Immediate withdrawal of the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Brazilian troops deployed in the borders with Colombia to enclose FARC and force it to accept surrender, while the genocidist pro-US-imperialist Uribe government murders cold-bloodedly and at close range every working and peasant organisation confronting it and its US commanded troops! That all the worker organisations in those countries put all their strength to the task of organising and supplying the resistance against fascist Uribe; all the forces to the service of every organisation of Colombian workers and poor peasants aiming to overturn the murderous government!
Breaking with the bourgeoisie is the only way so that Argentine working class can return to the road of 2001 and the cry of “All of them out, every last one, and never come again”. It is the only way for the Chilean proletariat to be able to retake the road to general strike the CUT bureaucracy, the CP "Red Pacos" and populists aborted, against the civilian-military regime of NAFTA and the US client regime of Bachelet. In Mexico it is the only way to re-open the road to the heroic worker and peasant Commune of Oaxaca. Only breaking with the bourgeoisie the Brazilian working class can break the social pact of the CUT bureaucracy which underpins Lula in Brazil; break the corset of the reformist policy of P-SOL and PSTU which act as the new “left” union bureaucracy in CONLUTAS. It is the only way out against the fake “Bolivarian revolution” that has expropriated the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggle of the exploited masses in the Americas; for the worker and socialist revolution, the only way to end the imperialist yoke over Latin America!
For the Socialist United States of South and Central America!
22. Break with the "Bolivarians" and all other regimes of the bourgeoisie, whose false promises of "unity of Latin America" means taking sides either with one or another imperialist powers and transnationals, and driving the nations of Latin America into catastrophic fratricidal wars.
The liberation of the Latin American nations from imperialism, and the unity of the working class and poor peasants of the Americas will never come from the national bourgeoisies tied by thousands of strings to the business interests of the imperialisms and their monopolies. The most the bourgeoisies can do is to negotiate for their slice of the business with the imperialist masters. As an exploiting class, they are terrified in the face of the revolutionary and anti-imperialist mass struggle because when workers and exploited masses attack the property and interests of imperialism they also attack the property of the national bourgeoisies who are junior partners to imperialism. Sooner or later the national bourgeoisie will always side with the imperialists to crush the masses.
The working class is the only class that recognises no borders, and has nothing to lose but its chains. It has no common interests with imperialism. It is, therefore, the only class capable of uniting and coordinating the exploited and oppressed nations of the continent to make a worker socialist revolution to overthrow the bourgeoisie, destroy the bourgeois state, expropriate the expropriators, end the submission of the nation to imperialism. It is the only class that can make a political revolution, defeat the restorationist bureaucracy in Cuba and make the island a bastion of the American and world revolution.
Only then can the road to the United Socialist States of South and Central America be opened, and the only true unity of Latin America can take place with the working class in power organizing a rational economic plan for the use of technology, natural resources, industry and wealth of all our nations to serve the needs of the working class and poor peasants of the subcontinent.
Stronglier than ever, the words of the Fourth International in 1934 clearly ring out: "South and Central America can only clear its backwardness and slavery by uniting all of its states into a single and powerful federation. But it will not be the backward South American bourgeoisie, a class totally subservient to foreign imperialism, who perform this task, rather the youthful South American proletariat at the head of the oppressed masses. Therefore, the slogan that should guide the fight against the aggression and the schemes of world imperialism and against the bloody domination of the national bourgeoisies is: For the United Soviet States of South and Central America " (Leon Trotsky," War and the Fourth International, 10/07/1934).
It is necessary for the working class of the US, France and all the imperialist powers, to stand in the first defense line of the Colombian masses’ resistance against imperialism, the mass murderer Uribe, and the fake "Bolivarian revolution”.
23. There is no doubt that the American and French proletariat are the ones that have the greatest responsibility in stopping the plans for the disarmament, surrender and slaughter of the FARC and Colombian resistance because they can strike inside the United States and France directly against the imperialist bourgeoisies who are the respective architects of these sinister plans.
Amid the blows of the crisis of the capitalist world economy that has already begun, the imperialist bourgeoisies of the United States, France, Germany and other European powers have intensified their inter-imperialist rivalries and launched brutal offensives against the living standards of their own workers through inflation over the prices of bread, milk and other necessities, thereby, increasing the numbers of workers in poverty.
To make them pay the costs of the crisis, to recover the hundreds of billions of dollars that the state banks are using to rescue their monopolies and bankrupt banks, the imperialist bourgeoisie now attack their own working classes in the same way as they attack the Palestinian, Iraqis and Afghans masses, or treat them as they do to super-exploited workers in the maquilas of Central America, or to the workers enslaved by the transnational corporations in China; in short, they treat their local labour force as if they are nothing different to their slaves of the colonies and semi-colonies.
The responsibility for this situation is entirely the fault of the treacherous bureaucratic and reformist leaders of the proletariat. Thus, in Latin America and the semi-colonial world, the leaders of the World Social Forum subordinate the working class and the exploited to their respective native bourgeoisies. In the USA and the European powers they submit workers to the supposedly "democratic" imperialists.
Thus, in 2003, the mobilizations of American, British, French, Spanish workers against the war on Iraq, were diverted into support for UN and the supposedly “democratic” French and German imperialism against “fascist” Bush. In 2004, they subordinated the Spanish working class who had rebelled against the war and shouted "Your war, our dead" -to the social-imperialist government of Rodriguez Zapatero, loyal subject to the Spanish Royal family. They put the US working class at the feet of the Democratic Party, and thus, prevented the synchronization of the anti-imperialist and revolutionary mass struggle of the semi-colonial world with the anti-imperialist struggles that were starting to develop among the working class of the imperialist powers. That, precisely, was the main task of the treacherous reformist leaders: to fragment the struggle of the proletariat and prevent the internationalist unity of the working class by all means.
Reclaiming proletarian internationalism and rebuilding the international unity of the working class are necessary tasks of considerable importance. They can only be developed by the defeat of the treacherous reformist leaders of all kinds.
Those will be the first tasks of the world proletariat, specially in the imperialist countries. In the case of the US, the elections are being used to “legitimize" US imperialism and to face the recession they will intensify their attacks on the American working class, sacking more workers, lowering wages and creating conditions which the US proletariat has not experienced since the 1930s.
Therefore, the most urgent task for US workers is to break their ties with Obama, Clinton and the other imperialist butchers of the Democratic Party and their allies the Chavista, Castroite, and fake Trotskyist “Bolivarians” who tie the masses to them. This is the only way for US proletarians to free themselves so as to fight against the war and for the immigrant workers’ rights, and defeat the brutal attack on their living standards launched by the US ruling class.
Against the subordination of the US working class to imperialist Obama and Clinton!
Pickets and strikes against the war to paralyze again the US West Coast (Pacific) ports; for workers boycotts of the war machine; to take the streets again to fight for the rights of immigrant workers!
End the layoffs; no backroom deals handing down wages and pensions signed by the treacherous bureaucracy of the ALF-CIO!
Make the transnationals pay for their crisis! Unite the fight of the world masses against US imperialism! Down with the "Plan Colombia"! US military, “advisers”, the CIA, the DEA, and the Mossad (Zionist secret services), out of Colombian territory! Expropriate US oil enterprises in Colombia! Support the struggle against capitalist restoration in Cuba! These demands must be written on the flags of US working class.
The French imperialist bourgeoisie, led by Sarkozy, has launched an offensive in its dispute with US imperialism for zones of influence, with its monopolies like Totalfina looting gas and oil in Iran, in Chad –where France has sent troops to support their partners, the national bourgeoisie –and in North Africa, as well as Bolivia, Venezuela and Latin America. This is revealed by the intervention of French imperialism in the "liberation of Ingrid Betancourt." The more the French imperialism succeeds in plundering and oppressing the colonial and semi-colonial nations, the stronger their position will be to attack their own French working class subjected to social pacts by CP and SP union bureaucracies–in open collaboration with the fake Trotskyists – to prevent the further development and deepening of the class struggle against the attack over their historic gains and living standards.
To prevent this, the French proletariat must break the social pacts trough which they are subordinated to their own bourgeoisie, and return to the path of struggle; carrying on strikes, the rebellion of youth workers of the Cités that rose up shouting "Every night we will make Paris a Baghdad!" to face the government of Sarkozy and the imperialist regime of the Fifth Republic, and raising as a key demand of their struggle: out the French imperialist troops and their transnationals of Africa, the Middle East and Latin America!
Down with the cynical plan of "Peace for Colombia" of Sarkozy and the "Bolivarians", which leaves the militants of the FARC and the Colombian resistance exposed to slaughter!; for the expropriation of Totalfina and other French trasnationals in Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and throughout Latin America!
The Spanish working class must break the damned Moncloa Pact of the traitors of the PSOE and the PC that tied their fate to the interests of the King and the Spanish imperialist bourgeoisie. In Germany and Italy, the working class can fight the class war against the brutal attack on their gains only by breaking with the social pacts imposed by the union bureaucracies and social imperialist parties and facing their own bourgeoisie, first by raising the demands of their class brothers and sisters of the colonial and semi-colonial nations.
The working class from the United States, France and other imperialist countries is the key to the liberation of the oppressed peoples of the world, but first it must break any subservience and subordination to its own imperialist bourgeoisie: it is necessary to be the first to stand in the defence of the Colombian masses’ resistance to imperialism and the murderer Uribe, in the fight against capitalist restoration in Cuba and against imposters of the "Bolivarian revolution"!
March 14th, 2.008.-
Secretariat of International Coordination of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction
(1) It is a common practise for landowners to devise small plots of land out of their vast estates and use front men for fouling government tax agencies or bourgeois"land reforms".
Reprinted from International Workers´ Organiser, Special Edition, May 2008
After several months of a bourgeois conflict “in the heights”, the transnationals’ “board of administrators” that rules Bolivia creates a new trap for the exploited masses to strangle finally for the revolution that began in 2003-2005.
DOWN WITH THE REFERENDUM TRAP ON RECALLING THE EXECUTIVE
(president and governors) agreed between Evo Morales, PODEMOS (far right party) and the fascist “prefects” (governors) of the Media Luna!
Morales bourgeois government and the fascist pack seek to impose a pact of the oppressors against the workers, the poor peasants and Bolivian national interests.
Before it is too late, against the referendum trap, the working class has urgently summon a
National, Indigenous and Popular Assembly of rank and file workers, peasants and combative students’ delegates!
To build a militia in order to smash fascism, confront the unbearably high cost of living, conquer a decent salary, the land for the peasants and the gas for the Bolivians; and to re-enter the path of the 2003-2005 revolution!
THE REFERENDUM “TO REVOKE MANDATES” (I.E. TO DECIDE WHETHER TO RECALL THE EXECUTIVE POSTS, NT) EMERGED WITH THE PACT BETWEEN EVO MORALES GOVERNMENT, ON ONE SIDE AND THE PODEMOS PARTY AND THE FASCIST MEDIA LUNA, ON THE OTHER. IT IS A TRAP AGAINST THE WORKING CLASS AND THE POOR PEASANTS.
Bolivia has been several months with an important political crisis between the different bourgeois gangs – on one side Evo Morales government backed by the French Totalfina and the coca growing bourgeoisie, and on the other side PODEMOS and the Media Luna-. The transnationals’ “board of administrators” has set up a plan to put an end to the political fight between the two gangs, at the same time subduing the proletariat and the masses to one or other bourgeois gang in order to re-legitimate both the government and the fascist “prefectos” (governors). This policy is aimed to impose a strong bourgeois pact able to set up a new regime of stable bourgeoisie rule that finishes off once and for all the worker and peasant revolution that began in 2003-2005 and which has been strangled by the popular front. Those pacts have always been used as a tool to divert the exploited masses from the revolutionary path. They mean lower wages and a high cost of living for the working class; for the poor peasants, not getting the land they long for. In short, those pacts have been always paid by the entire oppressed nation with the plundering of its sources by the greedy transnationals.
So this is the trap of the anti-democratic referendum, a proposal presented by the opposition and approved by the government before an international press conference as a new pact between Evo Morales government, and PODEMOS and the fascist Media Luna against the exploited masses. It is yet another pact, following many others they have devised, that allows once more the reactionaries and the fascists to raise their heads and strengthen their forces to kill the exploited masses in Cochabamba, in Santa Cruz, and now again in Sucre.
With this treacherous pact, the bourgeoisie has a win-win scenario. First of all, thanks to the collaborationist role of the proletarian leadership, they keep the masses subordinated to the different bourgeois alternatives, all of them antidemocratic and against the masses. So they prevent the masses from intervening independently, while they are enduring a rising of the cost of living. And at the same time, by means of this pact, the popular front makes the masses believe that the fascists can be defeated by voting and not in the streets, which allows the strengthening of fascism. Secondly, the pact seeks to legitimate again both the government and the Media Luna fascist establishment and its gangs of murderers of workers and peasants. It is a pact to strengthen all the bourgeois and pro-imperialist parties and to defeat the Bolivian proletarians so to bury the revolutionary fight they have displayed since 2003-2005.
Thirdly, it prepares the conditions for another power agreement between the MAS government and the fascists, through which they can negotiate the Media Luna autonomy, letting the latter change different secondary aspects of the Constitution designed by MAS (Morales’ Party) and the transnationals. The Bonapartist referendum would then allow for all of them to impose a new regime of stable bourgeoisie rule with legitimated institutions; that would not leave the least trace of the Bolivian revolution.
As we have said, the bourgeoisie has everything to win in the referendum and the proletariat and the poor peasants have everything to lose, because this referendum will give nothing to the exploited masses, in the same way the Evo Morales government, and the Constituent Assembly of the MAS-PODEMOS pact have given nothing to them; and nor will the new Evo Morales Constitution: the hydrocarbons are still in the transnationals hands, the land in the big landowners’, the huge wealth in iron of El Mutún was also given to the transnationals; there are no jobs, the state budget for health and education is miserable and the inflation goes on escalating, which makes the situation of the starving masses unbearable.
The referendum is a trap against the exploited! If the working class do not confront this trap with the setting up of their own independent organisations of direct democracy to break with the popular front government; if they do not build, with the help of the miners’ dynamite, their workers and peasants militia, re-launching in the streets the workers and peasants alliance that emerged in 2003-2005 to smash fascism and retake the revolutionary path, the bourgeoisie will solve the crisis over their bones and empty bellies of the exploited masses.
The referendum is a new trap against the working class and the exploited masses. This trap should be defeated in order to prevent that the bourgeoisie from finishing off the revolution begun by the working class and the poor peasants with the war cry: “Out with the trasnationals!”; “Guns, shrapnel, Bolivia does not shut up!”; “Total nationalization of the hydrocarbons”; “the land to the peasants”, which demands are still alive and must be won by the exploited masses.
THE TRANSNATIONALS’ “BOARD OF DIRECTORS” CONDUCTS THE REFERENDUM TRAP!
OUT WITH THE REFERENDUM ON RECALLING THE PRESIDENT AND GOVERNORS POSTS, A TRAP DEVISED BY EVO MORALES, PODEMOS AND THE FASCIST “PREFECTS” (GOVERNORS) OF THE MEDIA LUNA!
The current political situation in Bolivia is developing in the midst of, and shaped by, the current crisis of imperialist capitalist world economy that the bourgeoisie is already downloading onto the backs of the world’s exploited masses, as expressed globally by both the food crisis and price inflation.
In the present situation, US imperialism has been overdue in rebuilding its weakened political “steering committee” (that is a legitimated government capable of taking in its hands the general administration of its world interests) to replace a Bush government in crisis with a new imperialist command that can take crucial decisions such as the war against the Iraqi resistance. Or in the case of Bolivia, the role of the fascist Media Luna in Bolivia along with the popular front, expropriated the revolution and controlled the working class and the masses.
In such a difficult international situation, the transnationals’ ”board of directors” cannot allow this “breach at the top” (among the different sectors of the bourgeoisie) in Bolivia to stay open for a long time since it would imply that “those in the bottom” may rise up at any moment with their suppressed demands opening up a revolutionary struggle which may put in question the victory won by the entire bourgeoisie with the expropriation of the 2003-2005 revolution by Morales popular front government.
Those are the reasons leading US imperialism to prevent -for the moment- the inter-bourgeois civil war in Bolivia. Under the present situation, the inter-bourgeois civil war would jeopardize the US position in its Latin American backyard where the fake “Bolivarian Revolution” controls the masses and guarantees its super profits and the oppression of the working class while at the same time in Cuba the process of capitalist restoration keeps advancing towards completion which would be an important defeat to the world proletariat.
Up to the moment that US imperialism is able to reforge a strong “steering committee” in the next presidential elections. It wants to avoid the risk of trying to resolve the Bolivian questions by means of a counterrevolutionary civil war, as that would mean among other things, to arm thousands of workers.
US imperialism is stuck with its troops in Iraq due to the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses. Besides, it is hated by its own proletariat that is under a brutal attack against its past gains and living conditions. So, while this imperialism rebuilds its Steering Committee, French imperialism takes advantage of that and launches an offensive disputing US business in Latin-America, the US “backyard”.
It is the murderous French imperialism, with its oil company Total, with the Castroite bureaucracy, Chavez and other “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies, who demand bear down on the FARC and the Colombian resistance disarm and surrender in order to allow its pipelines to pass through. When Chavez rescinded contracts with US oil companies Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips for the exploitation of heavy petroleum from the Orinoco River sands, he transferred that right to the French Total. That company also controls Bolivian hydrocarbons through its partner the Brazilian Petrobras and the Spanish Repsol. These are the activities of the different imperialist powers whose business disputes are destroying Bolivia and Latin America!
These international conditions have opened up huge inter- bourgeois conflicts in Bolivia, and at the same time they are pushing as well the different bourgeois fractions to pact new deals and agreements. Thus, the anti-democratic referendum to revoke mandates –which has only two possible options: “YES” or “No” –will be the gauge used by the imperialist transnationals and their national bourgeois partners to see which is the most convenient agent and the most useful government to defend their interests and completely finish off the revolution. Because the transnationals have decided that it is necessary to impose definitively a stable regime of domination, so the referendum is also a tool to define the shape that regime is going to take.
Once again, the two different agents of the transnationals, –on the one side the popular front that controls the masses supported by the collaborationist leadership of the workers’ and peasants’ organizations, and on the other one, the fascist agent that is preparing to smash the masses if necessary –make a pact again to plan a new strategy to finish off the revolution begun in 2003-2005.
In this coming period, to smash fascism and win its demands for bread, work, land and hydrocarbons, the proletariat will have to inscribe on their banners “Down with the trap of the referendum, the pact between Evo Morales and the fascist “prefects” supported by imperialism!”. So, the first task is to break their subordination to Morales’ popular front government imposed by the collaborationist leaders of the COB, COD and other workers’ organizations.
THE COLLABORATIONIST LEADERSHIPS OF THE COB, COD AND COR, FSTMB AND HUANUNI UNION PREVENTED A UNITED PROLETARIAN ANSWER TO THE HIGH COST OF LIVING AND AGAINST THE FASCISTS OF THE MEDIA LUNA
THROW OUT THE COLLABORATIONIST LEADERSHIPS OF THE WORKERS’ ORGANIZATIONS!
The referendum trap created by the pact between the MAS (Evo Morales’ party) and PODEMOS with the fascist “prefects “ of the Media Luna, is a plan of the transnationals, which cannot allow that the conflict in the Bolivian bourgeoisie which has already lasted months, to continue. They are conscious that these conflict allow openings for the masses to intervene with demands and act independently to threaten their interests and property. These conditions have been present during the last months. So, while the bourgeois gangs fight, the high cost of living and the inflation continues to be a whip in the hands of the capitalists against the exploited masses. The prices of food staples are skyrocketing every month more out of control. People cannot make ends meet and the economy of worker and peasant households is in ruins.
Amid this situation, the collaborationist proletarian leaderships continue to behave relentlessly to subordinate the working class’s interests to the bourgeoisie.
The wave of strikes and mobilizations against the cost of living that took place last April, the most important of which was the Huanuni miners’ strike that paralyzed the company for more than 15 days, was without doubt betrayed by the COB, COD, COR leaderships, and by those of the FSTMB and the Huanuni miners union. For weeks, health and public workers were on strike and there were permanent mobilizations against the cost of living. But they were all divided and isolated by the collaborationist leaderships of the workers struggle organizations.
The collaborationist forces were focused on demoralizing and destroying the power of the miners’ vanguard of Huanuni. In that strike the voice of class collaborationism was heard. So, when the rank and file workers –who after 10 days of strike had realized the government was not willing to give them the wage increases they demanded –began to propose the building of roadblocks and marching towards La Paz, the leaders answered: “If in the middle of the political crisis between the government and the Media Luna, the miners take to the streets to block the roads and march, we will make the right wing stronger just at the moment when they want to destabilize the government, when the workers have to guarantee the national unity”. With that argument, which united the entire bureaucracy, they prevented the Huanuni miners and their heroic strike from being transformed into a rallying point of the struggle against the cost of living. A point that would have unified all the sectors under the same demand, breaking any subordination to Evo Morales popular front government, so the workers and peasants with their workers’ and peasants’ militia would have been able to march to overthrow and smash the fascists.
It is time to talk clearly before the working class and poor peasants. It is necessary to tell the truth: It is not a government that represents the workers and the exploited masses’ interests, that like Morales’ and his collaborators inside the workers’ organizations, says that to struggle for wages, jobs, land is to play into the hands of “the game plan of the right wing”! It is a lie! It is the landowners from Santa Cruz that sell the food at high prices in the global market who are responsible for the high cost of living. The exploiting bosses who pay starving salaries and enslave the working class belong in this right wing! It is necessary to speak the truth: the collaborationist leaderships, with that vile deceit, want to prevent the struggle against the cost of living and for a decent wage because such struggle will affect not only the fascist bosses’ interests, but also that fraction of the transnationals and the national bosses that support and are represented by Morales government. It is pretty evident in its actions that the Morales government neither defends nor represents the workers’ and poor peasants’ interests. On the contrary, by defending the interests of the entire exploiting class, it also defends the bosses’ interests and fascist landowners.
An independent intervention of the exploited masses fighting for their interests, and breaking out through the breaches opened by the inter-bourgeois disputes that were shaking the country would have meant a radical change in the political situation. But the collaborationist leaderships prevented the masses from taking this path, since they put an end to all the strikes without achieving any of the workers’ demands. Moreover with their policy of “national unity” and “do not oppose the government because the right wing gets stronger”, they were shielding the bourgeoisie as a whole in a moment the latter is fighting over the distribution of the profits taken from the plundering of the national wealth and the overexploitation of the workers.
Thus was prevented the independent intervention of the working class in the political crisis. It was not for lack of working class’ willingness to fight but because the action of the leaderships that collaborate with the bourgeoisie. The leaders of the COB, FSTMB and departmental and regional unions prevented a generalized answer on the part of the working class against the cost of living. An independent intervention of the proletariat would have terrified the fascist gangs. The struggle against the cost of living could have united the entire exploited masses not only in the Antiplano (Bolivian High Plateau, where La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, etc., are situated; the Media Luna is a much lower high valley), but also in the Media Luna, and would have prevented sectors of exploited masses from remaining subordinated to the fascist “prefects”.
But as always, last April the collaborationist proletarian leaderships subdued the workers’ response to the bourgeoisie, allowing the latter to set up a plan to put an end to the political crisis via a recall referendum, to allow the worsening of the cost of living and superexploitation of Bolivian hydrocarbons and natural wealth by imperialism. Thus, once again, the working class was left with their hands tied while fascism keeps raising its head and Morales government, far from defending the workers’ interests, defends and represents the interests of Totalfina and the national capitalist gangs in partnership with the transnationals to plunder the nation.
What this reveals is that the proletariat has to defeat the existing leadership in order to be independent from the bourgeoisie and not allow the suppression of their minimal demands as happened on May Day, the international Workers’ Day. The COB collaborationist leadership that had just divided and contained the workers’ struggle, attended the government’s official public ceremony, with Montes giving his political support to the bourgeois Morales government. For several years, Montes has been demanding that Morales fulfill the “October agenda” and “workers’ demands”, although that government has always ignored them and has clearly showed again and again its unwillingness to carry them out.
Last May Day –when thousands of workers were marching all over the country –the COB treacherous leadership prevented the transformation of those mobilizations into a generalized struggle to prepare an active boycott against the fascist referendum that would take place on 4th of May in Santa Cruz. Far from that, that leadership supported Morales calling “social movements” not to march to Santa Cruz on 4th of May (as the government policy is not and has never been to defeat the fascist but to make pacts with them).
So, the leaderships of the COB and the workers’ organizations that practise the worst policy of class collaboration have handcuffed the workers vanguard to make them powerless to face not only the unbearable cost of living but also the fascists and their autonomy referenda. Down with the collaborationist leaderships of the COB and all the workers’ and poor peasants’ organizations!
THE POPULAR FRONT GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT TO FIGHT FASCISM, BUT MAKE PACTS WITH IT. ONLY THE WORKING CLASS, BY ACTING INDEPENDENTLY, BREAKING ALL SUBORDINATION TO EVO MORALES GOVERNMENT, AND WITH ITS OWN FIGHTING METHODS, CAN MAKE SURE FASCISM IS SMASHED!
The collaborationist leaders of the COB and its branch organizations have subordinated the proletariat to the bourgeoisie represented in Morales popular front Government so that workers may not intervene independently in the political crisis between the different bourgeois’ gangs that has gone on for three months. By means of the same old arguments used by the treacherous Stalinists to back the bourgeoisie and deceive the working class with the policy of the so called “democratic fronts” and putting the proletariat at the feet of the “good bosses”, the collaborationist leaderships of the COB and its branches have displayed once again their treacherous role. Using old arguments such as: “it is necessary not to oppose the government because the “right wing” gains strength” the class collaborationists have created a false consciousness among important proletarian sectors, leading them to tie their fate to Morales bourgeois government. The truth is that the more the proletariat is subordinated to the “democratic” government, the farther away they are from being able to smash fascism; thus the latter is even more strengthened as a permanent threat against the exploited masses. This experience has been proved in the last years of this workers and peasants’ revolution that has been first expropriated by Mesa and now by Morales.
Even though the popular front and fascism are two different agents of the transnationals –as the former is based on the deception against the masses and its control over them, while the latter is based on the force against the exploited masses and smashing its organizations –both are linked by their bourgeois class character. They are different alternatives of the same exploiters. Bolivian fascists are backed by the huge private property belonging to the “Rosca”(1) and the landowners who organize, finance and even lead the fascist murderous gangs like as the “Cruceñista(2) Youth” or “Youths for democracy”, ; those are fascist armed gangs who are the private army of the Media Luna bourgeoisie. On the other hand, the popular front – backed by French Total oil company and the new bourgeoisie of coca growers and state contractors – as the defender and guarantor before this revolution of the great private property in the hands of the entire bourgeoisie, is naturally unable impeded to fight fascism in a determined way, since it cannot attack the private property which backs and gives life to the own popular front. To crush fascism, it is necessary to expropriate the landowners, nationalize all the mines and hydrocarbons without payment and under workers’ control, overthrow the murderous caste of the army officers that give arms to the fascists, set up workers’ and peasants’ militias and soldiers’ committees, etc. Though, Tthese tasks will never be accomplished by Morales government, because between the bourgeoisies, as between bullocks, there is no gore: only some bumps and then pacts and business as usual.
Thus, facing before fascist attacks against the masses, the position permanent tendency of the popular front is to make political pacts where the masses put their bodies and the bourgeoisie make business and wealth.
Trotsky defined clearly the struggle for the proletariat against fascism when he said: “For the backward countries, the road for opposing fascism the way to oppose fascism is above all the revolutionary struggle for the national independence and for the radical transformation changes in the of agrarian relationships. Without agrarian revolution there is neither national independence nor salvation from against fascism. Anyone who stands in the way of the expropriation of landed property blocks the path towards expropriating the private lands and national resources for the benefit in favor of peasants and the peoples as a whole is abetting instigating fascism. Vague generalities platitudes about friendship and democracy are not enough. One must have a clear position: It is necessary to state a clear position: either with the magnates of capital and their pseudo-“democracy” for show; or with the genuine democracy of the workers, peasants and oppressed people. (“The Ffascism and the colonial world”, August 1938, English translation ours).
The popular front is what blocks the path to the expropriation of the landowners and transnationals; it has devised again once and again agreements and pacts with the Media Luna for more than a year: this is the reason why the fascist Media Luna grows in strength all the time. takes every time more strength.
Thus, it was in the fraudulent fake Cconstituent Assembly where Morales Government allowed for the bourgeois parties revival after they had been buried in the barricades of October 2003 and May-June 2005. In 2007 the exploited masses staged an almost full insurrection in Cochabamba against the fascist prefect (governor) Manfred (Torres Vila) –who, being terrified of the exploited masses revenge, first hid in the Media Luna and then left the country. The governors offices buildings were set on put fire while the workers and peasants set up their own organisations of direct democracy and confronted fascist gangs in the streets with a number of injured in the fighting. leaving casualties in the combats. But Morales Government ordered took the peasants off out from the streets while the workers’ collaborationist leaders were doing the same. He put that fascist “prefect” Manfred back in place using his army and police to protect the fascist gangs of “white asses”(3) using the pretext and with the trick of preparing a referendum on recallable executive posts to “get rid of Manfred through the vote”. the power was given back to Morales has now re-taken his control over the masses so that they cannot may not defeat Manfred (or anybody else, for the case) by a revolution. After some months, the fascist gangs have come back onto the Cochabamba streets to beat workers, peasants and the youth.
While Morales government has once again entered into further pacts with the increasingly ever stronger Media Luna, the workers, peasants and youth that have had escaped the control of the popular front were violently repressed by Morales’ cowardly “popular army”. The same happened in July 2007, when the Huanuni miners blocked the routes for wage demands and the popular front launched a furious repression against them while devising a new pact with the Media Luna and protecting the fascist gangs.
The popular front fears far the more the proletarian revolutionary actions – that put into question the entire bourgeois interests –than it does the fascist gangs that beat and kill not only workers and poor peasants but also MAS (Morales’ party) militants.
The fascist referendum of Santa Cruz of last 4th May was a new and convincing, concrete proof that Morales government cannot defeat the fascist danger. After declaring that referendum illegal and un-, anti-constitutional, the government focused its actions on in preventing the masses to defeating the referendum with their own actions in the streets. : Iit called energetically against for not to marching on Santa Cruz, and also called on “the social movements “not to fight back the “fascist provocations”. It also left the exploited people in Santa Cruz to fight resisting heroically alone; thus the latter became impotent making them powerless before the hordes of fascist terror that assaulted hit or and murdered every isolated worker or peasant they came across.
If the proletarians tie their lives, wages, and the future of their children to the popular front, they will be paid with misery, hunger and repression. Because Morales popular front has come to has expropriated the revolution to prevent its victory and allowed that is, to thwart its triumph; that’s why fascism to raises its head to smash the masses if necessary. If the proletariat is kept subdued to the popular front, it will be cannon fodder for fascism. Only by taking the road of walking the proletarian revolution’s way, will it will be possible to smash fascism and win conquer bread, jobs, land and the hydrocarbons!
TO DEFEAT FASCISM AND WIN CONQUER THE DEMANDS OF THE EXPLOITED MASSES, THE WORKING CLASS MUST BREAK ALL TIES SUBORDINATION TO EVO MORALES GOVERNMENT AND CALL FOR A POWERFUL NATIONAL, INDIGENOUS ABORIGINAL AND POPULAR ASSEMBLY OF RANK AND FILE WORKERS, POOR PEASANTS AND COMBATIVE STUDENTS’ DELEGATES
WHO WANT TO EXPROPRIATE THE LANDOWNERS
The recall referendum is a blatant trap against the exploited. While all the demands raised in the revolution that opened in 2003-2005 have not been fulfilled, and our revolution has been expropriated by the fake “Bolivarian revolution”, the working class and exploited are subjected to have actually obtained a brutal attack producing an unbearable cost of living as food prices keep escalating. At the same time, the Media Luna fascists are raising their heads –thanks to their long pacts with Evo Morales government,; and they are now attacking workers and peasants, threatening at every step to smash the exploited people. Bourgeois gangs are fighting over their profits, for their business, while the exploited masses are not even able to eat and suffer those fascist attacks. This is the “democratic revolution” claimed by Morales government who make pacts with the fascist “prefects” (governors) while workers and poor peasants are attacked and starved through inflation!
So the workers and peasants who opened the revolution in 2003-2005 have not yet conquered bread, jobs, decent wages, land, mines, or hydrocarbons. The pPopular front has only guaranteed demagogy with its “Juancito Pinto” bonus –which pretends that our kids can now “study the whole year” when this miserable bonus does not allow for them to go going to school even for a month –or the miserable “Dignity Rent” for our old people -100 Bolivians (U$D 28.5) which does not cannot even afford buy them their medicines. Those pitiable handouts are tiny mean crumbs that fall from the table piled with feast of the oil and gas transnationals’ super-profits, just when hydrocarbons have reached a record price in the global markets. Thus, while the government and “prefects” (governors) fight for their slice of business and then, agree pact to cheat and oppress submit the masses, while the conditions the proletariat and poor peasants are living in are ever worsening.
Enough Stop! It is necessary to defeat the collaborationist policy of the leadership of the COB and the other workers’ organizations that tie submit the Bolivian proletariat to Evo Morales popular front government in agreement pacting with fascist Media Luna. Only by winning compete conquering the most absolute class independence, will the proletariat will be able to lead in the streets the poor peasants now deceived being tricked and oppressed by MAS and re-establish the worker and peasant alliance that in 2003-2005 made Rosca run away. To smash fascism with the workers’ and peasants’ militia, it is necessary to break all ties with subordination to Evo Morales, build conquer struggle organizations of worker democracy, start a decisive fight against the cost of living and for the sliding slide scale of wages and working hours, and march to over Santa Cruz to smash fascism and expropriate the transnationals and the landowners, that is, to re-take the proletarian revolution road!
As we said above, instead of a means of tool for “defeating the oligarchy by the vote”, the referendum is a trap with which the fascist governors’ rule lead will be re-legitimized in their districts in the same way as Morales government, so that everything continues as usual: the exploiters making profits business, and the exploited masses being starved. Workers democracy must be opposed to this trap. Iit is necessary to set up an organization which unites unifies the exploited who are the vast majority in the nation, which unifies the suppressed delayed demands of the working class and poor peasants and creates a stands up workers and peasants’ militia to smash fascism. It needs has to be an organization of the likes the of 1952 revolutionary COB, or the 1971 Popular Assembly. So, it is necessary to create conquer a powerful National Indigenous Aboriginal & Popular Assembly with workers and peasants voted as delegates coming from all the mass struggle organizations, to confront this anti-democratic and Bonapartist referendum with the true democracy of the workers and poor peasants who are the vast national majority. It is necessary to defeat the trap of the anti-democratic referendum in which the vote will only be either for “Yes” in favor of Morales government or for “No” against fascism…As if it would be possible to defeat fascism by voting! This referendum is to re-legitimate business among the bourgeois gangs so they may re-formulate constitutions and autonomies over the backs of the exploited masses, protecting the transnationals’ profits and the landowners grip on the best land. It has been devised for strengthening the bourgeois institutions and imposing a strong regime of exploitation.
In the mobilization that took place in Oruro against the fascist referendum of May 4, the miners of Huanuni voted to march on Santa Cruz to defeat the oligarchy. This resolution was boycotted by the union leaders of the FSTMB and CODwho gave no support to that decision. However, that resolution is a clear proof of the predisposition of the workers vanguard to face and overthrow fascism. The miners of Huanuni have the authority to call for National Aboriginal Popular Assembly with a delegate for each 100 workers, for where the poor peasants who really want to defeat landowners may come, and for the combative students to may participate with their demands; Iin such an assembly –that may well be set up in Huanuni –the workers’ and poor peasants’ militia can be organized able to that smash fascist Media Luna and impose a unified demand of the exploited:
Against the high cost of living, a sliding scale of wages and working hours to guarantee jobs for everybody! Out with the transnationals! Complete nationalization without payment and under workers’ control of hydrocarbons, pipelines, gas and all the national mining!
For conquering cheap food: Landowners must be expropriated! Land for the poor peasants! Create To impose collective farms with sufficient solid state investment! Nationalization of the Banks! For a single State Bank so that it gives cheap inexpensive credits for the impoverished broken petty small peasants! Nationalization of foreign trade! So that food passes directly from the producer to the consumer: Expropriation of big traders, supermarkets, and the chain of trade brokers and middlemen of the commercial bourgeoisie!
That institution would have the strength and authority to call on the rank and file soldiers in the army –who are the armed sons of the workers and poor peasants –to disobey their cowardly anti-worker officers that do not attack the fascist gangs, and to vote delegates to adhere to the National Indigenous Aboriginal & Popular Assembly of the exploited masses.
In that Assembly, the leaders of the worker organizations will have to subordinate themselves to the Assembly resolutions, in the first place the imposition of the most absolute class independence for the proletariat, an independence that the present leaderships have destroyed, putting the working class to the brink of an abyss.
By winning conquering this National Indigenous Aboriginal & Popular Assembly of rank and file workers and poor peasants’ delegates with their militia, they will put in place one united the only democratic organization for the masses in to struggle; it will be a powerful tool to confront the referendum trap of the pact between Morales and the fascist “prefects”. It will be also a counter an alternative of power to advance in the imposition of the realization of the only truly democratic government, a workers and peasants government based on in those organizations and on in the generalized mass armament. That will be the only government able to break with imperialism and guarantee the agrarian revolution.
To impose the only perspective that defends till the end the proletarian and peasant interests, Bolivian rank and file workers have to impose the worker organizations’ breaking with the bourgeoisie and to conquer the most absolute class independence in order to face that trap of the recall referendum agreed on by Evo Morales government with PODEMOS and the fascist “prefects”, They have instead to convene a National Aboriginal & Popular Assembly.
If the Bolivian proletarians confront the referendum trap by winning imposing their National Indigenous Aboriginal Popular Assembly of rank and file workers and peasants’ delegates, they will abruptly change the political situation:. Tthe Bolivian proletariat would make again feel all its power as a revolutionary class, which would awake the enthusiasm of the continental working class vanguard to join by joining them in their combat:. For example, the US longshoremen who paralyzed the imperialist West Coast ports from which war material stuff is sent to the occupant troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on May 1, 2008;, or the SIDOR workers that in Venezuela confronted Chavez repression forcing his bourgeois government to announce the farcical “nationalization” of SIDOR –though he has compensated the owner company Techint, paying it well above the market value of the shares –to prevent a generalized worker rebellion. In On this way, the Bolivian working class would unite Peruvian workers and miners who have begun to struggle against the Fujimorist regime of the TLC. In On this way, the Bolivian proletariat will also show an different alternative road forward for the of independent working class struggle to of Argentine workers who are divided and tied submitted by their misleaders to either of the two bourgeois factions that are in dispute for the colossal agrarian rent.
In this way, the Bolivian proletariat would join Chilean workers and students who are engaged in a huge struggle performing an enormous combat against Bachelet in a united unified struggle. That would put them in the vanguard of the Latin American proletariat in the fight to prevent the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy from giving up the revolutionary conquests to imperialism as it is doing now. The Cuban bureaucracy is preparing to impose a huge defeat upon the world’s exploited. Bolivian workers would stand up together with their class brothers and sisters from Haiti to defeat the imperialist troops and the “Bolivarian” troops of Lula, Kirchner, Morales and Bachelet that under the UN umbrella have repressed brutally the revolts for bread in the island. Moreover, they would unite their ranks together with the Colombian mass resistance to whom Chavez, the “Bolivarians” and the Castroite bureaucracy are calling to surrender and disarm, leaving them at the mercy of Uribe and his troops –US servants –to be exterminated.
That is to say, the Bolivian working class would head the struggle to confront the fake “Bolivarian revolution” that means only profits business for the national native bourgeoisie and the transnationals and hunger, repression and exploitation for the working class and poor peasants. What the continental exploited masses need is to defeat class collaboration, the “Bolivarian Revolution” and the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy in order to advance in confronting and defeating imperialism and its plans of exploitation and plundering of our nations. In this present situation, the Bolivian proletariat’s combat has a key role in uniting conquering the Latin American revolutionaries unity against imperialism and its servants, those national native bourgeoisies, be they them Bolivarian or not.
By confronting the referendum trap with a National Indigenous Aboriginal Popular Assembly of rank and file workers’, peasants’ and students’ delegates with its militia to smash fascism it could create the conditions be built a road for launching a continental call for a powerful All-Latin America workers’ congress meeting. It would be a powerful tool for breaking with the bourgeoisie, to guarantee a united unified struggle of the exploited people against the “Bolivarian Revolution” that is guaranteeing the transnationals’ super profits and the speed up of capitalist restoration process in Cuba. It would be overall a powerful tool to confront imperialism.
The crisis of proletarian revolutionary leadership, that is, the dominance over abundance of treacherous leaderships, has brought put again the exploited to on the brink of an abyss. The collaborationist leaderships that defend the fake “Bolivarian revolution” and “market socialism” have put led the continental working class to at the feet of bourgeois regimes and governments which pretending to be “anti neo-liberal” are as exploiting, anti-worker and repressor as the preceding “neo-liberals”. The trap forced on imposed to the Bolivian workers by the treacherous leaderships is similar to that forced on imposed to the Colombian mass resistance. Thus, while on one hand, Chavez, Morales, Castro and other “Bolivarians” deceive and demoralize them with their siren songs mermaid chants about “peace”, ”disarmament”, “negotiation”, and “democracy”, on the other hand Uribe slaughters them in Colombia; and in Bolivia, the strengthened fascist gangs prepare to slaughter the exploited people if they resist. necessary.
Thus So, the most urgent task is to break with the bourgeoisie and get rid of the leaderships that subordinate the working class to the class enemy. Because the Bolivian proletariat can only defeat fascism marching along the proletarian revolution path, re-taking the 2003-2005 revolution to victory, and making it triumph; and the popular front government is a mortal enemy of this perspective. But to defeat the trap that tries to finish off through which the revolution is tried to be definitely strangled, it is necessary to win conquer a revolutionary leadership. There is an imperative to set up again Trotskyism in Bolivia. For that it is necessary to defeat the destroyers of the revolution, of the likes of Lora’s POR which has nominated that has presented … Jaime Solares for the Oruro COD leadership, pretending him to be… the as “left wing”! Jaime Solares, who in order to betray give up the October 2003 revolution, blocked the way to a workers and peasants government, supporting Mesa as a substitute for Goni! Solares, that traitor of the workers and peasants’ revolution!
We, the revolutionaries of the LTI Internationalist Trotskyist League) a member of integrating the FLT, are focused on this urgent task. Nevertheless, this is not a “national” task since the struggle to set up the Bolivian working class revolutionary leadership is closely linked to the fight to defeat for defeating the fake “Bolivarian revolution” throughout the continent. Therefore, Tthe “Bolivarian revolution” supporters followers and their forces –including the Stalinists, union bureaucrats, Castroites, Chavistas and fake Trotskyists –have centralized themselves to control the proletariat and submit it to the bourgeoisie. In this way, next July, the Brazilian PSTU fake Trotskyists who lead CONLUTAS together with the Venezuelan UNT will meet in the ELAC (Latin American and Caribbean Encounter of Worker Organizations) with the collaborationist COB bureaucracy who support Morales and have tied the Bolivian proletariat hand and foot -tied to facing the receive blows from its enemies.
That is why the combat for a new revolutionary, internationalist and Trotskyist party of the Bolivian proletariat is linked both to the fight to defeat for defeating the treacherous and reformist leaderships throughout the continent and to the fight to build for building an International Conference of the principled Trotskyists and the revolutionary workers organizations. An International Conference that can centralise those combats on in the road to build a new put again in place the world socialist revolutionary party on the base of the program of the 1938 IV International.
LTI of Bolivia, from the FLT.
(1) The Rosca was the traditional Tin Mine owners oligarchy. Now Bolivians call Rosca the new oligarchy of oil, land and mineowners backed by big oil and mining transnationals.
(2) That is, the children of Santa Cruz middle classes and rich.
(3) A despiteful surname colourful name given by Bolivian common people to Santa Cruz racists, where there is many of whom have a higher proportion of European –non Spanish –people who are ascendance and are somewhat whiter than the rest of Bolivians and think they are “superior” due to their origins. that circumstance, NT
In the middle of the Latin American situation, where the national burgeoisies have drowned the Argentinean and Ecuadorian revolutions, where the national bourgeoisies have expropriated the Bolivian revolution and the anti imperialist struggle of the Venezuelan masses, where the national burgeoisies are making the Colombian resistance surrender to Uribe and the US, where the national burgeoisies have put in place regimes which are servants of the transnationals, and while the Castroite bureaucracy prepares itself to restore capitalism in Cuba, today both Peruvian and Chilean proletariats are fighting against the FTA regimes.
If we defeat the Peruvian Fujimorist regime and the “Concertación” regime in Chile, we’ll give a huge encouragement to the working class of the whole continent, to confront the bosses, the imperialists, and the treacherous leaderships -with the Cuban bureaucracy at their head- that have imposed class conciliation and the defeats.
Today the working class needs to rise again, recovering its revolutionary struggle against imperialism that loots our nations together with their junior partners, the Latin American bourgeoisies; for that it has to defeat most of all, the “left wing” in Castro’s, Morales’s and Chavez’s World social Forum. This “left wing” of the WSF now is hastening to put a new obstacle in the path of the masses: the “Latin American and Caribbean” workers gathering (ELAC), organized by the Morenoite LIT, the Bolivian COB bureaucracy and the C-CURA current (leading the UNT) from Venezuela. The LIT, which is leading the Brazilian CONLUTAS, supports with its left shoulder, Lula’s government. The COB bureaucracy, a servant of Morales’, collaborates with his plan of strangling the revolution by helping him to make a pact with the fascists against the masses. The Venezuelan C-CURA supports Chavez, putting the worker’s vanguard at the feet of the “Bolivarian” bosses.
Total break with the “Bolivarian” bosses
National march to Lima (Peruvian capital) to impose the
General Strike that knocks down the murderous government of Garcia
and the whole Fujimorist regime of the FTA
Impose a provisional revolutionary government of the workers, peasants and exploited peoples’ organizations!
The insurrection of the workers and peasants of Moquegua is the first step of the Peruvian proletariat towards the revolution which is poised to begin. The exploited masses in almost every department began regional strikes on July 7th and 8th, flexing their muscles to transform the national strike of July 9th into a general strike. Advance! We must keep striking until we knock down the damned Fujimorist regime of the FTA!
Beyond the regional motives that started the rebellion, it’s clear that the masses have imposed their own independent action by using their own fighting means: roadblocks with “piquetes”. They welded a steel barrier to the access bridge to the city to stop the tanks, the trucks and the repressive forces from crossing. For hours they resisted bullets and gass from the murderous police, and when the police ammunition began to run short, the assault of the exploited was effective. With over 20,000 people in this revolt, burning the police station and everything in their way, the rage of the exploited drove them to defeat the repressive forces despite being bombed by a helicopter. The armed forces of the Fujimorist regime, powerfully equipped, couldn’t do anything. The general who commanded the repression was captured by the piquetes of workers and peasants together with over 35 cops. They demanded his asked for “apologies for the repression”. The police surrendered to the exploited peoples’ barricades. The Peruvian proletariat was highly moved when it saw its class brothers able to impose the power of the piquetes, the barricades and the assemblies in the whole region.
Thus, the workers, peasants and the exploited people, by making an alliance in the action, in the piquetes which were blocking the Panamerican Highway and Llo port, defeated the offensive of the murderous DINOES (the anti-revolt police), and they could also detain tens of murderous cops, among them General Jordan, and expel the police troops from the city of Moquegua. Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie had to swallow its rage in not being able to enter with the army, because it knew that this could provoke the general strike, so fast and so strong that its servants of the bureaucracy of the unions wouldn’t be able to stop it. This is why they applied the old manoeuvre of negotiating so they could stop, for the moment, the insurrection.
To keep some decorum, they sent the bosses of the Defence Front to manoeuvre behind the masses to release the general and his cops. The entire city was in the hands of the piquetes, which had rebelled against the decision of the authorities of suspending the departmental strike. But because of the leadership of the Defence Front –subordinated to the “progressive” bosses –that is, to the Fujimorist regime, to the leadership of the CGTP, to the CUT, to the CCP and to the CONPACCP –they kept Moquegua isolated, and the power there went back to the hands of the bourgeoisie.
The insurrection in Moquegua marked the end of the pacific relationship between the classes and the beginning of the violent encounter between them, this means the civil war.
Now, the bourgeoisie seeks revenge for the defeat that it suffered in Moquegua, and is now preparing its answer: the establishing of a US military mission in Ayacucho, the reunion of the “peasants rounds” (vigilante corps) paramilitaries in Santipo, the call to the army to slaughter every cocalero (coca grower), the clear threat to the boss of the military region of VRAE (“… The fight against the cocaleros will cost the lives of civilians and militaries, but it will be necessary…”, La Primera, June 25, 2008). In this way, the Peruvian bourgeoisie prepares itself for the armed repression.
The policy of class conciliation, which has been used by the reformists of every kind –from Mario Huaman(4) to Hugo Blanco- to poison the class consciousness of the Peruvian proletarians, has blown up in the air. The same happened to the farce of the “progressive” bourgeoisie and the “patriot” officers; we have seen the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie, with Ordoñez, Tapia, Mekler and Abugattas cry out for the repression of the “Moqueguazo” (i.e. the Moquegua uprising), suffering from a “loss of authority”. We have also heard Humala(5) (from the military) ask for the interior minister to resign for his “failure in Moquegua”. The hypocrisy of these people has gone too far. While they are in the Social and Political Coordination (CPS) leading the national strike, they arrested the leaders of the “Moqueguazo”, like Hugo Ordoñez just did –Hugo Ordoñez is the regional president of Tacna, he’s a “Bolivarian” boss and he’s the brother of Juvenal Ordoñez, the spokesman of the Humanist Party in Peruvian Parliament- There is no “progressive” bourgeoisie! There are no “patriotic” officers in the army! All the bosses took one side: the side of the “order” of the regime. All the reformist left also took this side as well.
The PC-PR-PS(6) who leads the CGTP refuses to split from the “Bolivarian” bosses and they keep it in the leadership of the national strike through the unified party of the PC-PR-PS with the “Bolivarian” bosses, which is the CPS, and they keep saying that in 2011 the Nationalist Party(7) will rule. Even Mario Huaman gave his solidarity to the general Jordan because of his dismissal, thus supporting someone who wanted to slaughter workers and peasants in Moquegua. CPS is the unified party of those who are not against the FTA, they are not against the privatizations, they just want them to be “fair” and “well negotiated”, that is to say, that the bosses get a bigger share in the looting of our wealth. This is why they are not against the military agreements with the imperialist powers. They have agreed to this in a conference about “military cooperation” on June 24th. This is exactly what all the Bolivarian governments of the continent (Lula, Kirchner, Chavez) are doing. And that’s the part that the Cuban bureaucracy wants to play if capitalism is fully restored in the island, and it is recycled from bureaucracy into bourgeoisie.
The CPS alone, believing that it expressed the will of the popular protest, decided just to ask for “a model change”. On the contrary, all the fighters, those who risk their lives against the police officers –that police whom the reformist left defends –fight for and end to the Fujimorist regime and, as they showed in Moquegua, for the Peruvian revolution.
There are two clearly established barricades: On one side the bosses and imperialism that seek to save the Fujimorist regime, and on the other side the workers, peasants and exploited fighters, which want to knock down the regime. The bureaucracy of the unions and the reformist left have decided to be in the bosses barricade, by avoiding at all cost the fall of the hated Fujimorist regime, as they have been doing during all these years.
As good “Bolivarians”, those in the CPS of Humala (from the military), of the bureaucrats of the unions, of the Stalinist and former Trotskyist reformist left, far from preparing the combat of the Peruvian proletariat, they try to impose its surrender. That is the same as they are doing with the Colombian resistance and with the Bolivian workers and peasants, and they are trying to do with the anti imperialist Cuban masses by backing and covering the ongoing process of capitalist restoration at the hand of both Castros.
The plan to suffocate the general strike is as follows: to abort the strike in Lima-Callao, where the bureaucracy of the unions is disorganizing the struggle with their bureaucratic manoeuvres, creating ghost “struggle committees” by zones which are completely bureaucratized, i.e. to “organize” demonstrations by neighbourhood (as opposed to a centralized one) and a meeting in the afternoon in the May 2nd Square (in front of the CGTP, as opposed to one in front of the Presidential Palace), so that they can suspend it if they have to. In this way they try to save the capital city, the main base of the regime, from the spread of rebellion that might explode in the next days in the departments. Thus they separate the most powerful battalion of the Peruvian proletariat from their class brothers and sisters. In addition to this, the leadership of the mine workers’ federation –the Communist Party of Huaman- is manoeuvring to postpone the mineworkers strike that is set to begin on June 30th. This is how the “Bolivarian” CPS prepares the surrender: by refusing to take ahead the general strike to defeat the Fujimorist regime, disorganizing everything, admonishing the piquetes in order to hand them over to the government, saying that if they defend themselves, they will be provocateurs against the government. The murders that the corrupt officers may commit have in the CPS their accomplices, as the CPS prefers to put the “honour” of the murderer Jordan before that of organizing the worker’s self defence against the army and against the police killers.
Let the rage of the masses be unleashed! This is not “chaos”, this is the order that the masses can impose in this country, to recover Peruvian people’s wealth and to put them to the Peruvian people’s service! With the beginning of the Peruvian revolution, if the workers and the Chilean youth move forward in their struggle against the FTA regime, we Peruvians could help the Bolivian working class to recover its revolution. We could put in the centre of the scene the working class of the whole continent to be empowered to fight for its own interests and against the attacks launched by imperialism!
The only way in which the workers can fight against the revenge that the bosses and imperialist’s regime is preparing is to unleash all the rebellion of the workers, peasants and the exploited people. As Moquegua showed, in order to fight for our most basic demands, the unity of the workers with the poor peasants and all the exploited people is needed. This unity mustn’t be extended to the bosses or to their representatives, such as the local authorities. A total break with Humalism, the regional presidents(8) and all the boss’s representatives is needed. All the front and zone coordinating bodies must became popular assemblies of delegates of workers, poor peasants, combative students and exploited in struggle, splitting from the bosses and their organizations, in order to build the general strike, imposing the unity of the workers. Against the manoeuvre of separating the workers of Lima-Callao(9) from the other regions, the rank and file of the regions must make a huge demonstration to the capital city. That’s the way to win over the workers from Lima-Callo and make them prepare to strike and move forward to the general strike to knock down the Fujimorist regime of the FTA, expel the transnationals and begin the Peruvian revolution. But the Peruvian revolution can only win as a socialist revolution, with a peasants and workers government based on the organizations of direct democracy and self defence, over the ruins of the bourgeois regime.
All is in the hands of the rank and file now. Let’s paralize Lima-Callao for a whole day, and if it’s not possible, we can’t allow the bureaucratic leadership of the CGTP to suffocate the protest in a joint agreement with the bosses who are enemies of our fight. Let’s make the meeting of the afternoon the first meeting of the popular assembly of Lima-Callao, by electing one delegate per each 100 fighters, uniting all the piquetes in a single workers and popular self defence committee. Let’s March to the Government Palace to prove to the regime our hate against it and that we want to make Lima the new Moquegua!
It is necessary for us to build up our own organization that centralizes and leads our struggle, as a national popular assembly of workers, poor peasant, exploited people who are fighting and combative students with rank and file delegates, 1 for every 100 fighters, to extend and centralize the piquetes into a single struggle committee. Only in this way will we be able to impose in the streets the revolutionary workers and peasant’s alliance to conquer decent wages, salaries and jobs, defend the peasants’ plots and conquer for them land, technology and cheap credit; housing, health services and education for all the exploited people and end with the witch-hunt against every fighter. All of this will be possible only throughout the revolutionary fight against the Fujimorist regime of the FTA.
What we must do now is to prepare and organize an independent intervention of the masses that destroys completely the damned bourgeois regime, initiating the Peruvian revolution. This revolution can only win by imposing a workers and peasant’s government based on the self organization and the armament of the masses, the only government that can break ties with imperialism and make the agrarian revolution. For this perspective we must defeat the current leadership of the CGTP and replace it with a revolutionary leadership in the unions and in the struggle organizations of the exploited ones.
The workers will be able to rise as the leaders of the oppressed nation and establish an alliance with the exploited in the country and in the city, only if we launch a program that contemplates, as a strategic point, the fight for: No alliance with the native bourgeoisies with the bankrupt excuse of “making the 21st century socialism”! That is to say, no indirect submission to the imperialist bands.
Let’s win jobs and decent wages. For the security of everyone’s job with a minimum wage of 3,000 soles (aca poner el equivalente en dólares), pegged to the increase in the cost of living. Jobs for all: reduction of the work hours by factory or shop, with no reduction of wages, so there can be more shifts and more jobs. Against the poverty in the countryside, where the poor peasants are exploited and expropriated by the commercial bourgeoisie –who claim to be “progressive”, like the bosses of CONVEAGRO-, by the new land owners of the export-crops farms, and by imperialism through the banks and the mining companies: We have to expropriate all those exploiters, blood suckers of the poor peasants, with no compensation and to nationalize land property to give to the exploited rural masses land, cheap credit and technology!
The way to fight against the Fujimorist regime, against the pro-US bosses and against the despicable “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie is by expropriating (Mining and gas companies) Southern, Camisea, Yanacocha and all the mines and properties that are in the hands of the transnationals without compensation and under worker’s control. We have to expropriate (Spanish oil giant) Repsol (Chavez’ godmother), the US-UK imperialists of Hunt Oil, Barrick and Newmont, German Odebrecht, French Total (hidden owner of Petrobras) without payment and under worker’s control, and together with them, we must also expropriate the native “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies which have common business with the imperialists, like Argentinean Rocca, owner of PlusPetrol. We have to expropriate the miserable mining and farming-export Peruvian oligarchy, such as the Benavides, Romero, Chlimper and the despicable “Bolivarian” and “progressive” Peruvian bourgeoisie that lives on the spoils of our wealth with the money they receive for this looting, and that also sucks the blood of the poor peasant, like the agrarian commercial bourgeoisie, grouped in CONVEAGRO, etc. No alliance with the national bourgeoisie, nor with any imperialist sector! Let’s defeat the US “club” and also the “New Deal” block! Let’s write on our banners the fight for helping every Bolivian worker break with Morales and his “Bolivarian” constitution that delivers the wealth of the Bolivian nation to the transnationals. Let’s write on our banners the fight for helping every Bolivian worker to fight against Morales’s plan of making a pact with the fascist bourgeoisie through the recall referendum, so those workers can recover their revolution. Seeing the advanced capitalist restoration process in Cuba, let’s call the workers, poor peasants and red soldiers of Cuba to make the political revolution against the Castroite bureaucracy, imposing their own government and defeating the bureaucracy to the battle cry of 1962: Either a Socialist revolution or the caricature of a revolution! And For the Latin-American socialist revolution!
The Peruvian workers and their vanguard have a huge responsibility in the south of the continent; because they are the strength that the Latin-American exploited need to go back to the path of the anti-imperialist combat, which was expropriated by the farcical “Bolivarian revolution”, the enemy of the socialist revolution. Long live the insurrection of Moquegua! Long live the fight of workers and the exploited people of Peru! Let’s bring down the Fujimorist regime and let’s begin the Peruvian revolution!
We need an internationalist worker party
The entire reformist left, from the PC-PR-PS and the “Guevaristas” and Huaynalaya(10), to the renegades of Trotskyism are subordinated to the “Bolivarian” bosses. No “radical” group that talks about the revolution in the public acts wants the breaking of the worker’s organizations from the “Bolivarian” bosses. With this, they show that they are in the bosses’ side, and not on the side of the rebellious masses.
The working class needs a revolutionary party that defeats the Stalinists and former Trotskyist reformists and takes the leadership. But it can’t be a national party, because it is fighting against a (truly international) party that is centralized with the Cuban bureaucracy and the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie. That’s why we call to the revolutionary fighters –enemies of the US and French imperialists, enemies of the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie and enemies of the reformist left servants or the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisie –to unite with us. We propose the Internationalist Trotskyist League-FLT as a tool to build the revolutionary party that the Peruvian working class needs. All of us existing groups, tendencies and revolutionary fractions, over a solid base of principles and programme must seek together a revolutionary path to build that party. We don’t believe in national fusions. In this imperialist time the re-groupings based on national programmes have no reason to exist. As Trotsky said, they must be based on an international programme and an international strategy, to fight for building of a revolutionary world leadership, an international centre, a revolutionary workers’ “General Staff” that is a match of the counter revolutionary General Staff, and that can defeat them. To fight for this, we call for building an Internationalist Revolutionary Bloc, that through its principles and its programmatic points clearly proves who is a revolutionary and who isn’t. Watching the convulsions of this decaying system, the looting wars, the civil wars and the partition of territories, the revolutions and the counter revolutions, and a possible inter imperialist war, the duty of the internationalist Trotskyists is to fight for an international grouping of the revolutionaries and the principled Trotskyist, based on the principles, the programme, and the strategy that Lenin and Trotsky have left to us, in order to prepare the conditions to create an International Centre. Only in this struggle can we create the revolutionary party that the Peruvian working class needs to win. Therefore, we call the revolutionary fighters of the working class and the youth to discuss with us, the FLT in Peru, to seek together with us a revolutionary path, to call together to a Conference of the Principled Trotskyist and the internationalist revolutionary workers.
June 28th 2008.-
Internacionalist Trotskyist League (LTI) of Peru,
Member of the FLT
(4) The head of the Confederación General del Trabajo de Perú (Peruvian Central Union, dominated by the Maoists and other Stalinists).
(5) The brother of Ollanta Humala, the “nationalist” former presidential candidate and head of a populist bourgeois party, who is a vocal “patriot” in the military.
(6) PC-PR-PS: A coalition of the Communist Party, the Revolutionary Party and the Socialist Party.
(7) The Party of Humala
(8) The local authorities
(9) El Callao is Lima’s port; that is, the Metropolitan Area.
(10) That is, of great words and poor deeds.
100 days of dispute between the government (an agent of the MERCOSUR Transnationals) and the new agrarian bourgeoisie, that is an appendage of the Chicago stock exchange.
Amid the chaos and anarchy caused by the bourgeoisie, the working class must intervene in defence of its interests and to save the nation.
During more than 100 days the Argentine working class was left defenceless, not being able to intervene in the national political life to defend its class interests before the two gangs’ disputing the allocation of the agrarian rent and the surplus value taken from the working class.
Actually, behind the confrontation between the “government” and the “countryside hides a brutal dispute for the oppressed nation’s booty. On one side, the grain/agrochemical/agro trading transnationals and their appendage the new agrarian bourgeoisie, who want to hoard voraciously for themselves the profits from the commodities’ price rises in the world market. On the other side, the Mercosur transnationals are sitting on 50 billion US dollars of the Central Bank reserves, money extracted from the exploited workers through devaluation, super-exploitation, inflation and more than 210 billion pesos stolen from the exploited masses through the VAT, that direct tax on the consumer.
The agrarian bourgeoisie has its fate tied to the Grain Chicago Stock Exchange and to the grain trade transnationals, that control it, and which get the lion’s share of the staple commodities’ high price rises. The other faction is grouped behind the Kirchners and their government: they are the Mercosur trasnationals, bankers and big wage slave bosses. All these need the agrarian bourgeoisie guaranteeing cheap food to keep exploiting a slave labour earning wages in pesos, while they export –thus cashing in dollars or euros –their commodities from Mercosur to the rest of the world. They are the agribusiness, automaker, autoparts and steel transnationals who need a working class producing with wages in under-valued pesos to compete in the world market with China, Vietnam, Mexico, Egypt’s, etc. slave labour. (In Argentina they are called the “Export front”(11) or the “MERCOSUR export front”)
The oil companies, like Repsol or Panamerican, which continue plundering the resources of the nation and are threatening to leave Argentina without oil in the next few years (that is, from a self-sufficient nation it would become dependent on imported oil. NT) have aligned themselves with the government in this dispute. Those sectors of the bourgeoisie that work for the domestic market (long, medium and short distance bus owners(12), railroad companies(13) and services(14)) and are subsidized with more than 10 billion dollars by the state, are keeping quiet(15). The government’s economic plan and capitalist accumulation model, which they defend cannot be continued any longer under the current international conditions unless the rural bourgeoisie becomes an “internal market bourgeoisie”, that is, if the rural bourgeoisie sells “cheap” food to the cheap labor (which works in almost slavish conditions) dominated by the union bureaucracy and its social pact with the bourgeois “Export front.”
In the fatherland of the Kirchners and their soybean sliding-scale export duties and of the big agrarian bourgeoisie, everything is a fallacy. In spite of the government’s claim that it has devised the soybean sliding-scale export duties(16) to protect the Argentinean people from going without bread, the prices of staple food continue skyrocketing every month -especially during the last few months(17)-, as we have been witnessing for the last 2 years. Actually, the government only defends the big capitalists’ profits beginning with the middlemen of the trade chain of food products that are in dispute with the rural bourgeoisie for the slice of profits taken from the inflation- 25% and even 40% - of the food staples.
The supermarkets, the big food companies, the slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, the huge distribution chains together with the rural bourgeoisie are disputing the profits from the inflation that is, extra-profits for their pockets. In this scrambling to steal the earnings from the working class, the rural bourgeoisie and the rural oligarchy have everything to lose, as they also lose with the new soybean sliding-scale export duties through which the government wants to force them to transform themselves into internal market bourgeoisie. For that reason, this new bourgeois faction tied to the Chicago grain stock exchange and sitting on a harvest priced at 50 billion US dollars exhibited its full power by shaking the whole business tree.
It has been shown that this bourgeoisie –tied up to the super-profits of the super- prices of the world market, and junior partner of the big grain transnationals like Bunge & Born, Monsanto, Cargill, Dreyfuss –is not willing to be a bourgeoisie working for the domestic market to provide “cheap” food for the masses. On the contrary, it demands that the Mercosur transnationals and the oil and mining corporations increase their investments and productivity. It wants them to pay for feeding the exploited masses at prices that allow keeping a super-high dollar(18).
As we will see in different articles of this newspaper, today, because of the crisis of the world economy and the fall of the rate of profit for big companies and banks, the business “blanket” is now smaller than before. Some years ago, the devaluation of the peso allowed all the bourgeois factions both transnational and national ones, to boom and profit from the high dollar and the low wages. But now, there is no room to share great profits among all the sectors of the bourgeoisie, and some of them will end up as the underdogs.
In December 2007, the Kirchner government had a great challenge as the presidential change was about to be made. The capitalist model of accumulation based on a hyper-high dollar price, brutal slavery and exploitation rate taken from the working class was going into a decline.
The Argentinean bourgeoisie needed a new plan of huge investments that would allow them to increase the productivity of their companies. They needed to get from the international financial capital investments in new technology; machines and plants so that they can make the national slave labour force in our nation compete with those of China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, and Pakistan among others. The government was profiting from the fact that Argentine working class had been taken out of the scene; its most combative wing had been defeated and betrayed by the treacherous leaderships. With the “social peace” assured, the government wanted to set up a model like the (Spanish) “Moncloa Pact”. This was a plan to give assurance to the world finance capital that there would not be wage rises. The pact would guarantee collective bargaining every three years controlled by the union bureaucratic gangs, with frozen low salaries and anti-strike laws, that would entice finance capital to go for a new cycle of investments in Argentina.
That “Pact of the Bicentennial”(19) was the Kirchners’ golden dream. They are watching enviously their partner and competitor Brazil, since 25% of all the direct investments in Latin America have flowed into that country. In Brazil, the Lula government supported by the worker aristocracy and union bureaucracy, has guaranteed social peace and stabilized a strong government based on the most brutal super-exploitation of more than 80 million workers, modern slaves.
Then, as the contradictions kept mounting and the capitalist model of accumulation imposed after the expropriation of the 2001-2003 revolution in Argentina was nearing depletion, a crisis blew up. All the bourgeois factions began to scramble for the booty of the surplus value and the land rent; the former export front (see former footnote) broke up and each sector of the Argentine bourgeoisie aligned behind the respective imperialist monopolies with which they are partners.
A huge political crisis developed openly within the government and in the regime; it was a very favourable moment for the working class to hit decisively against all the bourgeois factions and their regime and government. But just in that moment the working class had already been taken out of scene by the treacherous union bureaucracy and WSF left wing that broke the workers’ upheavals from the inside or led the workers’ struggles to a blind alley by obligatory conciliations(20) and isolating the partial combats from each other. They applied this policy to the wave of heroic struggles from Santa Cruz to Neuquén, from the combat of the fish workers of Mar del Plata to the Casino(21) that threatened the bourgeois plan. Therefore, this crisis of the bourgeoisie in its heights finds the workers without a national political coordination.
Under these conditions, all worker organizations have aligned with one of these bourgeois factions. One sector of the CGT bureaucrats has aligned with the agrarian bourgeoisie and the other one with the government. The same happened in the CTA. We have seen the breakup of the unified WSF left political party: a sector of the left reformist currents headed by PCR (Revolutionary Communist Party, Maoists) and MST (Movement of the Socialist Workers, fake Trotskyists) give their support to “the countryside” while the other sector is backing Kirchners’ government. For example, direct Castroite agents have supported the government from the inside (they have had some official posts or speak with some degree of official acquiescence, NT) while MAS (Movement For Socialism, fake Trotskyists) and PTS (Socialists Workers Party) have supported the government from the outside, having taken a de facto part in Kirchner’s “democratic front”. Their position was clear from their policies and actions: a) in the struggles influenced or directed by them, they have constantly applied the policy of seeking obligatory conciliations, which according to them can be favorable for workers; b) they make workers believe that by putting pressure on the bourgeois parliament, that den of thieves may vote laws favorable to them; c) they have given support to supposedly “democratic” judges and their “historic sentences” against a bunch of now-octogenarians who were responsible of the ‘70s genocide –a plan used by the Kirchners to legitimize(22) the most ferocious repression against workers as with the heroic workers of Las Heras who have been in jail for more than 2 years.
Therefore, in Argentina, the bourgeois breakup took place just when the model of accumulation was in decline. A furious inter-bourgeois dispute has blown up during the last 100 days, which opened a huge breach “in the heights” that the proletariat has not been able to take advantage of because of the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat. What is more, during these 100 days, more than 300 collective bargaining arrangements were signed imposing the miserable wage increase of 19,5 %, a rise that the high cost of living has already exceeded in less than a week amidst this political crisis.
Before a minimal threat of a struggle plan imposed by the metalworkers to recover the loss in the wages, the government with the transnational bosses had to make a concession. They got into panic that the metalworkers could lead a generalized demand of the working class against the cost of living and the miserable wage arrangements signed by the treacherous CGT and CTA union bureaucracies. If the metalworkers, only threatening with a struggle plan could oblige the government to concede at least a miserable increase above the capped wages, what would all the workers have got in this moment of inter-bourgeois dispute and governmental crisis if we had been able to break through those bourgeois breaches?
The struggle for the 50% rise in salaries and against the collective bargaining arrangements was and is still open. The government used that small extremely partial concession already eaten up by the high cost of living made to metalworkers after their struggle – that was not generalized to the entire working class –to create the illusion that it is possible to get conquests little by little. We lost a great opportunity because of the treacherous CGT and CTA bureaucracy and the left reformist currents in Argentina that have subordinated the proletariat to one or other bourgeois faction in the dispute. Currents such as the PTS and MAS proclaim to be with “neither the oligarchy nor the government” but they refused to lead the working class in action to confront and break with them. How can they be “neither with the oligarchy nor the government” without raising the demand “Everyone out, nobody left”? How can they face both bourgeois sectors asking the bosses’ parliament, as PTS and MAS do, to vote a law favorable to rural workers when it is known that the parliament only discusses the bourgeois business interests? How do they face the oligarchy and government refusing to set up a National Congress of workers and unemployed to unify workers?
For that reason, it is no surprise that these sorts of currents such as MAS have taken part in the circus of the tents set up in the Congress and parliament square adding its “red tent”. Then, on one hand the PCR and MST supporting the “countryside”, or the castroists, and the Echegaray Stalinists backing Kirchner government on the other hand.
It is clear that before and during the crisis, the proletariat had no leadership that untied its hands and led the working class into battle.
The workers were and are the ones who pay the price of this bourgeois dispute with shortages, rise in prices, layoffs and suspensions. However, it is even worse that the workers were tied by their leaderships to the different bourgeois factions in dispute, and were not able to fight back in defense of their own interests and are paralyzed in the middle of the monumental crisis in the top institutions of the bourgeoisie.
A lot was written by the bourgeoisie and their sectors poisoning the working class’s consciousness for more than 100 days. At the same time, those factions have taken care that the working class does not rise up independently to defend their interests. As we have witnessed, when hungry workers and their kids tried to do so in La Quiaca they were brutally repressed by their exploiters. On the other hand, after 100 days of the bosses lock out, road blocks and bourgeois demonstrations, all the factions in dispute did not touch one hair on the heads of any bourgeois in Argentina.
More than ever, what the reality needed and needs is an independent uprising of the proletariat at the national level, leading their urban and farm allies to clear up the mess caused to working families’ livelihoods by the disputes among the bourgeois gangs. Today more than ever, the immediate task is the one that the Argentine working class and exploited demanded in 2001: Everybody out, nobody left!
Today more than ever, from the objective point of view there needs to be a working class POLITICAL GENERAL STRIKE that makes clear that the only class that can stop the destruction caused by the bourgeois disputes and take over the productive process and make the country is the proletariat. The working class is the one who harvests and transports food the one who produces the machines, makes the roads, etc. To summarise, the working class with its own hands produces the national wealth.
The working class subordinated to Kirchner’s ‘social pact’ government cannot fight because it has its hands tied. Unemployment is worsening again; suspensions and layoffs are an everyday occurrence. We cannot allow this any more.
The working class must take the factories that close, sack or suspend workers under its control; the unemployed movement must stand up again. The Mercosur government will not touch the private property that belongs to the 2000 families who control 80% of our land. In that way,we will find decent jobs and food so that all the working families can eat and there is no unemployment in Argentina. In the Mercosur transnational factories the conditions exist to end shift work, reduce the working day to six hours, and provide jobs for all on a minimum wage of $4,500, that is, pegged to the cost of the family food basket. There is nothing preventing this except the treacherous CGT and CTA bureaucracy and the “Bolivarian” left that have subordinated the working class to the different bourgeois factions.
The disruption created by the ruling classes can only be stopped by imposing a workers solution to this crisis, reviving the unfinished revolution of 2001 that was stolen. A workers’ solution means must be a real workers’ popular counteroffensive to take the mass fight to the streets to smash the exploiters’ regime and government.
Under these conditions, revolutionaries` tasks are focussed on preparing and organizing this mass counteroffensive. First it is necessary for the working class to break with the leaders that subordinate them to the bourgeoisie and its sectors in dispute and prepare the conditions to a new re-grouping of workers’ ranks.
The government and MERCOSUR transnationals have hung onto power because they control the workers’ movement through their unions and the paid gangs of the union bureaucracy. From this perspective, they defend the entire national and imperialist bourgeois factions’ interests. On one side, agrarian bourgeoisie held its position in Gualeguachù. In that place, they concentrated their forces, centralized their “4x4 truck pickets” and turned the balance of class forces in their favour. They offered themselves as an alternative to the urban and rural middle class and won them to their side in the streets.
The Argentinean working class has been prevented from having its own “Gualeguaychú” (23), i.e., a regrouping of their ranks. The opportunity to do this took place in Neuquén as well as other provinces when the teachers’ struggle exploded at beginning of 2007. In addition, when workers of the fish canning plants in Mar del Plata from the SOIP (Fish Industry Worker Union) sacked their bureaucrats and called for a National Struggle Committee against hunger, collective bargaining and the treacherous union bureaucracy. The left currents said that the conditions were not ripe for uniting the struggle and left the struggles isolated leading one by one to huge defeats. THE CONDITIONS MUST BE SEIZED IN THE STREETS, UNITING AND REGROUPING THE WORKERS. It would be enough if 10 or 15 workers’ and picketers’ organizations initiated a call for workers and exploited to regroup to start reversing the impasse of the Argentinean working class and prepare a real counteroffensive against the cost of living, inflation and miserable wages.
Only on this way, will we rebuild the worker and popular alliance that in 2001 overthrew De la Rua’s government leaving the Argentinean bourgeois state in an acute crisis, and today overcome the passivity of the proletariat, divided and immobilised by the bloc between the middle classes and both fractions of the bourgeoisie.
In 2003, Fidel Castro came to Argentina. In 2005-2006 Latin-American presidents met and claimed to be the “peoples’ friend” and “anti-imperialist”. This national bourgeoisies and neo-Stalinist bureaucracies supported by fake Trotskyists endorsed their “market socialism” and that fraud of the “Bolivarian revolution”.
Enough! The veil has fallen down. The Stalinist bureaucracies, unionists and “picketers” bureaucracy of all kinds, after the crack in 2001, told the Latin American working class, particularly in Argentina promised that if we produced the wealth then they would “distribute it”. Today, they have been exposed as the servants of the bourgeois order and swindlers of the workers.
It is more than clear that the actual “wealth distribution” is organized by the transnationals’ gangs and their partners, the national bourgeoisies, who fight over their share of the super-profits’ booty, the exploitation of the working class and the plunder of our nations. Some crumbs fall from such super-profits and end up in the pockets of the labor bureaucracy and aristocracy who are in charge of keeping the Argentinean and Latin American proletariat subordinated to the bosses.
The longer the delay in the uprising of the independent working class –as La Quiaca workers tried to do in a desperate isolated action and were brutally repressed by the bourgeoisie –the closer we will be a new economic crisis, ever bigger of the one we saw in 2001, which will be a catastrophe for the exploited. No matter who wins or emerges stronger in this inter-bourgeois dispute, the workers will always be worse off. If both factions get together and make a pact, it will be a pact based on increasing exploitation, more taxes, and rising cost of living against the poor urban and rural masses.
Thus, despite its need for mass support, if forced to the bourgeoisie will not hesitate to launch a new devaluation against the exploited masses, a new robbery of their wages and living standards. This will increase the cost of living and inflation, even attacking the middle classes that today give their support to this bourgeoisie.
Thus, workers, as the absolute majority class of society, with miserable wages paid in devalued pesos eaten up by income taxes, inflation and VAT, and which produces the income of all the exploiter and parasite classes of society, is now threatened with ruin and with the destruction of civilization.
ARGENTINA HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A BATTLEFIELD BY IMPERIALIST TRANSNATIONALS FIGHTING OVER THE EXPLOITATION OF THE WORKING CLASS AND THE PLUNDER OF RAW MATERIALS AND COMMODITIES.
It is a task of the politically conscious workers to understand that the Argentinean nation –like Latin America and the whole world –has become a battlefield where the bourgeois and transnational sectors try to overcome both their losses and their international capitalist crisis in the economy, as the Trotskyists of Workers’ Democracy will prove in this paper.
While there is a growing tendency to inflation, recession and stagnation in the world economy, financial capital try to overcome its falling profits by looking for the super-profits from oil rent (with 140 dollars a barrel that threatens to reach 200 dollars) bio-fuel’s and commodities. This has increased the cost of living, caused famines for millions of workers and exploited masses all over the world as well.
To recover their lost profits and advance their monopoly super-profits, the dominant powers dispute ferociously with each other the raw material sources of the planet. Currently, this is the way they plan to recoup their losses produced by the falls in the Shanghai, New York, and European stock exchanges.
Following the imperialist powers attacks on their own working class, and the major crisis of US imperialism stuck in Iraq - today legitimized by Obama-Clinton- we are facing –if the proletarian revolution does not stop them first – new wars, new invasions of semi colonial countries, and even secession of nations, resulting from the major disputes among the imperialist powers over their spheres of influence.
While big capital regains some of its value with oil and commodities, what they are preparing for is a big leap in arms production. Because only by producing destructive forces and destroying the productive forces with war, can capitalism restore the falling rate of profit, as well as the huge losses suffered in the stock exchanges of Shanghais, Wall Street and Europe Stock Exchange.
The Argentinean crisis is just an expression of the dispute over cultivable lands on the part of great cereal companies and transnationals. They say that the objective of those disputes is to supply the new Indian and Chinese markets. They say that food prices have increased because food staples became the base of bio-fuel and ethanol production. But for revolutionary Marxists the truth is that basic food prices rise because international financial capital has the possibility of recover its super-profits lost in the world crisis by appropriating the cultivable zones and increasing prices in the world market while millions of the exploited masses suffer hunger and misery all over the world.
The dispute in Argentina is not only about the sliding-scale of export duties. In a world with millions starving behind this confrontation are the huge profits of Monsanto, Cargill, fertilizer and biotechnology transnationals, and finance capital that hoards food. They fight to get control of the best lands in the planet. It is a dispute among the transnationals that have re-located a great part of their factories from the imperialist countries to China, Egypt, India and particularly to South America, to export from these countries to the world market taking advantage of cheap labour and devalued currencies.
They do not care about the hunger of over 1200 millions inhabitants in this planet or the 10 millions who directly die of hunger every year. They only care about their profits in a planet where the total production of Argentina, Brazil, USA, Australia, Canada and Ukraine can feed the entire planet. What prevents this from happening is a system based on the profit motive and private property in land, means of production and exchange and accumulated wealth.
The struggle among the bourgeois factions and imperialist powers over zones of influence has made Argentina into one of these battlefields. Here cereal and commodities transnationals have found allied class sectors. Meanwhile, MERCOSUR transnationals and financial capital have another project to the exporter Argentina: they want Argentina to hold down wages to virtual slave labour level so they can compete with their production on a large scale in the world market.
We must speak clearly. This inter-bourgeois struggle in Argentina puts into question the continuation accumulation of capital based on a devalued peso and high dollar on the backs of the exploited classes. It puts into question which sector of the ruling classes and transnationals that control them will benefit from Argentina’s location in the worldwide economy.
The transnacionals and bosses represented by Kirchner government want that Argentina should continue as a member of MERCOSUR, producing on large scale and exporting to the world market. On the other hand the cereal transnationals and agrarian bourgeoisie do not care about MERCOSUR and want to transform Argentina into a “world granary” that sells beans and food for high prices to the highest bidder and directly to the worldwide market.
Under the conditions of the present crisis of the economy, there is not enough business for both. Either the agrarian bourgeoisie and cereal companies will take control of the exporting trade front and impose their plan of Argentina as a “world granary” where all workers will suffer the same fate of those rural workers who have been forced to work for slave wages in the countryside, or the MERCOSUR transnationals will deepen their exploitation of the Argentinean working class with increasing inflation, hunger collective bargaining and misery, joining the slave conditions of the Chinese working class, the workers in the Mexican, Pakistani, Egyptian, and African “maquiladoras” (cheap labour assembly plants often in duty free zones). But both of these two sectors of the bourgeoisie and transnationals will definitely increase slavery, misery, hunger and repression against the exploited people so it can plunder of nation.
The crisis of the world economy is already here. Argentina is a battlefield of the imperialist transnationals and different bourgeois factions. The imperialist bankers facing this enormous crisis have said that they are worried. They are the third fraction in this dispute: the great creditors, those banks that have $18.000 billion in foreign and public debt. After 100 days of inter-bourgeois dispute, this faction is alarmed and worried and has warned: “our share of business is untouchable”.
“The World needs us”; “the World needs Argentina”; “the World asks for food”, yell the ruling classes. Liars! What the “world” –that is, the transnationals and the financial capital that controls them in partnership with semi-colonial native bourgeoisies –needs “needs”, is to exploit the land, slave labour force, and Argentina’s oil and minerals. The same as during the `90s when they privatised the state companies, took billions of dollars paid for the foreign debt and exploited the slave labour force for the world market.
In fact, what the World “needs” is the Argentinean working class not their exploiting classes. The world proletariat and exploited need the Argentinean, Peruvian and Chilean working class to rise up again. The world needs the US immigrant workers and the worker movement against Iraq war to rise up again as well as the Palestinian working class. It is necessary that the Asian exploited masses and Russian and Chinese workers defeated by capitalist restoration rise up. The world needs the French, Spanish, Italian, etc working class to rise up again. This is the only call of the “world” that the Argentinean working class must listen to!
Therefore, the allies of the Argentinean working class are not one or other bourgeois faction that fight over the profits of exploiting them and plundering the nation. Their allies are the miners and poor peasants who have attempted an insurrection in Moquehua, Peru; the Bolivian workers’ struggle to start fighting again and re-open their revolution; the Chilean students and workers who fight over and over again to overthrow the Bachelet government and the civil-military regime; the US worker vanguard that despite Obama’s and Clinton’s trap, paralysed the West Coast docks in the USA last May 1st; the exploited Chinese workers and farmers’ revolts that will put China in the vanguard of the Asian revolution; the French, Spanish, Belgium, German and other European imperialist working classes who determinedly try to smash the worker aristocracy’ and bureaucracy’s social pacts fight their own imperialist bourgeoisies; the working class and exploited, of Africa, Asia, Latin America etc. spontaneous revolts against rising prices of food and fuel.
As we have said, the tragedy is that our class was not able to intervene during the 100 days of crisis, the split in the bourgeois factions and the crisis of the bourgeois exporter-front. Instead, their treacherous leaders have taken them at the camps of the different sectors. This is the same tragedy that the world working class has suffered betrayed by their leaderships. As a result they have remained passive and have stayed inactive amid the capitalist attack and the offensive of the economic crisis, thereby, opening a deeply reactionary world situation.
The exploited are facing a reactionary situation. It shows that because of the crisis of the revolutionary leadership of the proletariat, the working class has not been able to intervene decisively in the world class struggle arena. For that reason international financial capitalist have been able to make the worlds exploited pay for their crisis as they fight over the oil and agrarian rent to recover even a small part of what they lost in the successive collapses on Wall Street, Shanghai and European Stock Exchanges. It is also about to show the working class who are their allies and who their enemies, and prepare the conditions for a new exploited masses’ revolutionary upsurge to return to the road of 2001 to resolve the crisis provoked by the imperialist gangs.
A new upsurge as in 2001 is necessary to impose a popular and workers’ government based on masses’ direct democracy, capable of expropriating the countryside’s parasites that control 80% of rural production in Argentina. This government will also end the profiteering intermediaries that increases the prices of food staples. This popular and workers’ government is the only one that could break with imperialism and stop paying the fraudulent foreign debt that currently takes over 18 billion dollars per year, even more that the Menem (president during the `90, NT) and De La Rua (president overthrown by the masses and the working class in 2001, NT) government. This popular and workers’ government will be able to nationalize the banks, foreign trade, oil, mining industry etc and expropriate the transnationals that take 10 billion dollars every year only for royalties, registers and utilities, while they also have 50 billion dollars in the Central Bank as insurance for their business.
Thus, internationalist Trotskyites all over the world ighting every day for the victory of the proletarian revolution, are the ones that prepare in Argentina this mass counteroffensive. We must tell the world’s exploited masses that to be able to eat, the imperialist system must die. If there is no urgent fight for the victory of the international socialist revolution or there will be more misery and barbarism for all humanity.
That is why, today, more than ever, the Transitional Program –the program of the IV International founded in 1938 – sums up the developing international events when it states: “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat.
The economic prerequisite for the proletarian revolution has already in general achieved the highest point of fruition that can be reached under capitalism. Mankind’s productive forces stagnate. Already new inventions and improvements fail to raise the level of the material wealth. Conjectural crisis under the conditions of the social crisis of the whole capitalist system inflict even heavier deprivations and sufferings upon the masses. Growing unemployment, in its turn, deepens the financial crisis of the state and undermines the unstable monetary systems. Democratic regimes, as well as fascists, stagger on form one bankruptcy to another.
The bourgeoisie itself sees no way out. (…) All talk to the effect that historical conditions have not yet “ripened” for socialism is the product of ignorance or conscious deception. The objective prerequisites for the proletarian revolution have not only “ripened”; they have begun somewhat rotten. Without a socialist revolution, in the next historical period at that, a catastrophe threatens the whole culture of mankind. It is now the turn of the proletariat, i.e., chiefly of its revolutionary vanguard. The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of revolutionary leadership.”
The forces of contemporary revolutionary Marxism are committed to resolve this crisis, i.e., the forces who are the continuers of the 1938 IV International, its program and historical legacy. The 1938 IV International program has passed the test of all the developments in the world situation in the last decades. The forces necessary to solve the crisis of leadership of the proletariat have already stood up and started to regroup. However, this conscious effort made by internationalist revolutionaries at the head of the world working class must have an international party at its head to be able to lead them to power.
Only by regrouping their forces together with their class brothers at a world level, will the Argentinean working class and conscious workers be able to defend their interests and set up again the authentic revolutionary party that they need for their liberation.
(11) Formerly the “Export front” consisted of the sectors mentioned plus the grain, meat and other food producers. But now that export front has split in at least two quarrelling sectors. One comprises the mentioned manufacturers (to which one could add the oil companies and a portion of agribusiness as the cooking oil and flour mills) which have their industrial base in the whole MERCOSUR and are able to take advantage of the different benefits according to each country (exchange rate, slave labor, taxes, etc.). The grain, meat and food producers (some of them also big exporters, other tied to the export companies which channel their produce) form the other portion, that of the “rural bourgeoisie”. The oil companies have agreed to the government to keep the domestic market supplied with moderately expensive oil on the condition it doesn’t charge them with a heavy tax burden and doesn’t stop them from extracting and exporting all the oil they want. So gasoline is not so expensive in Argentina as in the world market but they can reap huge profits from the high prices abroad. The trick is that oil is very cheap to extract in Argentina, cheaper than the average cost worldwide, and the former state company (today privatized as Repsol Argentina) had made all the explorations needed.
(12) People in Argentina use massively public (private) transportation by bus within the cities and towns and to travel from one place to another. The bus companies are currently subsidized to keep fares as low as possible, either in the short, medium or long distances. Trains are also used extensively in the Great Buenos Aires area for traveling from the dormitory towns to the workplaces there and in the City of Buenos Aires or other cities near to the capital where the jobs and schools, universities, etc. are. These commuter trains are also subsidized. These subsidies are not only a handout to the transport companies, but also a benefit for the bosses (be them in manufacture, trade, offices, etc.) that have a lesser pressure to rise wages and salaries. As the VAT is the source of more than 60 percent of the state revenues (the VAT rate is 21% and it is imposed on everything that is sold and bought but newspapers –including health and education services, entertainment and what-not) these state subsidies are actually paid by all the inhabitants. However, the burden is most felt by the poorer layers of the society.
(13) The state-owned railroads were “privatized” in the nineties. Actually, the railroad companies have the concession of the services for 30 years, not the ownership. But as the only profitable railroads are those devoted to freight, the state had to offer subsidies to those companies for taking on themselves the commitment of servicing the people. The result is that they ask every time form more money as they complain they are losing money as the government has established the amount of the fares as low as possible, for the same reason noted above for the buses. So no transportation company invests much (the railroad companies less than any). Trains are in a miserable condition, certainly cows and sheep travel in Argentina better than common people. There have been many mutinies of train passengers for the delays, the cancellation of services, the bad state of the wagons, the dirt, etc. Train stations have been burnt with wagons and all included.
(14) The same as in the two former cases, the public services –electricity, running water and sewage, natural gas for cooking and heating, garbage and street cleaning- have been privatized in the nineties and are now far worse than ever. Though they have been largely subsidized to keep the prices as low as possible, companies here invest even less, if possible than in the former cases. However, as in the case of transport, even those very low prices are a heavy burden for the workers and poor, as the wages and salaries have always and since long time ago, risen a lot behind the inflation rate.
(15) They know that the government needs the money of the soybean sliding-scale export duties to pay subsidies, but ultimately they do not care where the money is coming from, and they are not interested in showing any partiality.
(16) Soybean, as well as wheat, sunflower, maize and other industrial grains have had always export duties on them. However, Cristina Kirchner government devised a “sliding scale” for the soybean export duties in order to take advantage of the very huge prices that commodity was reaching in the world market. While the traditional export tariff was 35%, the “sliding-scale export duties” would have been 45% or more with the prices in the moment of the rural bourgeoisie “rebellion” and even some of the rural associations representatives said that the sliding-scale export duties could go as high as 60% if the prices continued rising (which has not happened for now). On the contrary, soybean oil and soybean flour (of which Argentina is the first world exporter) have no export duties. The government allegedly intends to favor exports with more value aggregates that create jobs, for which it is studying export duties on other grains.
(17) Though the official figures for inflation are about 8-9%, private survey agencies say (in line with the public perception) that inflation is now about 30% annually or even more. As everywhere, food heads the price rising; that is a very sensitive point, because food has been traditionally the only cheap thing in Argentina. No more. Now the food producers want to sell their produce in the domestic market at the same prices than in the world market, what means most of their “fellow-citizens” will go starving.
(18) Although everywhere in the world the US dollar is falling, and many currencies in the so called “developing countries” (i.e. in neighboring Brazil) have been revalued, the dollar is kept artificially high in Argentina (through the purchases of the Central Bank). Therefore, the exporters can get extraordinarily high revenues in pesos for their dollar-valued exports, and the government keeps a high amount of reserves in dollars (almost 50 billion dollars) in the Central Bank in order to grant the transnationals there is enough money to back the repatriation of their investments. An extra-high dollar makes also Argentine wages (in pesos) competitive.
(19) Argentina will be two hundred years old in 2010. The “Pact of the bicentennial” is the name of the “Pact of Moncloa” that the Kirchners tried unsuccessfully to ram down the entire bourgeoisie’s throat before the soybean sliding-scale export duties ruined their plans.
(21) Each time the workers are winning a strike, a factory take-in, or any other economic struggle, the Ministry of Labor rules an “obligatory conciliation” which means everything must go backwards to the exact moment before the conflict began. As the bosses always fire the activists and union delegates when their workers begin a strike or any other industrial action, the obligatory conciliation means also that the workers cannot be fired, so that they would go back to work as if nothing had happened. But to no surprise the bosses do not comply with this part of the “conciliation” and are not punished for that, while the workers’ advantage during the strike is absolutely lost. Each time the workers accept the obligatory conciliation, they lose, and most of the time they cannot reassume the struggle, because the union leaders tell them; first, that the bosses are the out-laws and so workers have only to wait for the Ministry to give them the reason. After that, when it is clear that the workers have lost their time and strength, these traitors say that everything is lost, the fired workers have to ask for a huge compensation for having lost their jobs, and the rest must themselves with not having been fired… but they could not accomplish what they wanted in the first place!
(22) Santa Cruz and Neuquén (both Patagonian provinces) saw very militant strikes of the oil workers, the civil servants and specially the teachers (the latter had even a dead by the provincial police in Neuquen and some Santa Cruz civil servants and teachers ran over by a provincial minister’s car). In Mar del Plata (province of Buenos Aires) the workers of the fish canning plants (SOIP) sacked the bureaucrats of their union and carried on a very militant strike in spite of the state repression and the armed attacks of the union thugs. The floating Casino of Buenos Aires workers also carried on a very militant strike though they had their assemblies interrupted by bloodthirsty union thugs, the armed sea guards, etc. Most of their activists are currently being prosecuted by the bourgeois justice.
(23) By selecting some very well known cases and living a media show of their punishment, the Kirchners pose as defenders of Human Rights and “progressive politicians”. In that way, they armor themselves against any accusation of right wing leaning for their prosecution and repression of working class activists.
(24) Gualeguachú: A city located in Entre Ríos Province-Argentina-where the Agrarian bourgeoisie has dug in its heels organizing street blockades, pickets and public demonstrations. From this city, they have coordinated and centralized their struggle.
Reprinted from Organizador Obrero Internacional Nº 7, March 2008
James Petras vs. PSTU (Unified Socialist Workers Party of Brazil): A controversy about the constitutional referendum in Venezuela.
TWO STRAINS OF STALINISM QUARRELING IN SUPPORT OF DIFFERENT BOURGEOIS
A referendum called by Chavez on constitutional reforms was held in Venezuela on December 2nd 2007. After the "NO" victory North American intellectual James Petras, a defender of Chavez government and supporter of the “Yes” alternative, said on an Uruguay radio station that some imperialistic institutions had given financial support of U$213,000 to Venezuelan students in favor of the “NO” alternative. He added that “Trotskyists” like those in PSTU had been working with them. In response to that, the PSTU leadership published a letter saying that Petras' charges are typical Stalinist calumnies and amalgams against “Trotskyism”; thus they tried to justify their call to vote for “NO” in the referendum. The fact is, the PSTU does not at all represent “Trotskyism”. This controversy is a discussion between two different wings of Stalinism - one, supported by Petras, an agent of Castro’s bureaucracy and the other, PSTU that plays the role to bind Brazilian masses around the trap of the referendum in Venezuela, about which “progressive” and “democratic” bourgeois sector “to support".
We are not facing one more, insignificant controversy: Petras has been working hand in hand with the PSTU; he has been invited several times by it to different events, and given conferences and written articles collaborating with the PSTU newspaper. He and Celia Hart Santamaría were the honored guests in the CONAT (CONLUTAS founding congress) in May 2006. James Petras is, also, an avowed agent of restorationist Castro’s bureaucracy. Some months ago, he and Fidel Castro himself were talking about the best way to restore capitalism in Cuba. While Fidel and Raul Castro are for the ”Chinese way”, Petras defends the “Russian way”, a mix of “perestroika” (the restorationist economic measures) and some “glasnost”, a little of “democracy” to diminish the dissatisfaction among the masses and prevent any possibility of their uprising.
During the past few years Petras has been the head of a Castroite wing co leading the PSTU, whose leadership he is now breaking with.
We will demonstrate throughout this article, that far from representing “Trotskyism”, the PSTU represents another Stalinist wing of a common party which has now been split.
The PSTU is “surprised at Petras' accusations”. Surprised at his “Stalinist attitude”? How can the PSTU ignore that Stalinists always resort to such Stalinist methods as moral accusations, calumnies, lies and physical aggression to sort out political discussions? The PSTU has been committed to making a common party with Stalinists and Castroists like Petras… and it cries when the Stalinists act the way they are!
A CONTROVERSY BETWEEN A PRO-STALINIST REFORMIST
AND A SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC REFORMIST ABOUT WHICH BOURGEOIS “PROGRESSIVE” CAMP TO SUBDUE THE PROLETARIAT
The PSTU tries to make a point through analysing the referendum and its result, explaining the victory of NO and its meaning. It starts by mentioning a fact it cannot ignore but that is never again taken into account in the letter: “There is an undeniable fact: three million Venezuelans who had voted for Chavez in the 2006 presidential elections now did not do the same”. Chavez did not lose the referendum because the pro-coup bourgeoisie had more votes, but because 3 million workers, supporters of Chavez before, did not go to vote. This essential fact - the massive abstention of three million workers –determined the true result of the referendum and this is something new in Venezuela that PSTU does not bother to analyze.
The PSTU recognizes that there is an enormous confusion about the Venezuelan issue. “Chavez administration as well as most of the world left presented the vote for YES as a "progressive vote", a vote for socialism, and the NO as a "reactionary vote", one for capitalism. At the same time, the media, many of them being pro imperialist, broadcast a similar interpretation”. And then it says “In our opinion, the meaning of what has happened is exactly the opposite. The YES stood for a reactionary vote because it supported a totalitarian bourgeois project, even if it came camouflaged with red flags and references to "socialism". The NO was, in its contents, a progressive vote because it represented the rejection of this project by important sectors of the mass movement and an expression of dissatisfaction with the social-economic policy of the Chavez administration.” (Our Emphasis). This is the PSTU central thesis against Petras.
These two paragraphs contain the core of the controversy between Petras and the PSTU: it is a feud between a pro-Stalinist reformist intellectual, and a reformist Social-Democratic current, arguing about which “progressive bourgeois camp” to support, in order to subordinate the proletariat to the bourgeoisie. Petras says it is represented by Chavez and its constitutional reform, and the PSTU says on the contrary, the “progressive bourgeois camp” is represented by the pro-coup bourgeoisie which is against Chavez and the supporters of the NO-vote in the referendum. But both, the PSTU and Petras, start from the same point of view: the old Stalinist theory of the “progressive bourgeois camp” – the basis for the “Two Stage Revolution” theory, and consequently, they disagree only about which is the "progressive bourgeois camp” the working class would have to support in Venezuela today.
THE THEORY-PROGRAM OF THE PERMANENT REVOLUTION AND THE REFORMIST THEORY-PROGRAM OF THE “PROGRESSIVE BOURGEOIS CAMP”
For a long time, PSTU has been repudiating Trotskyism and revolutionary Marxist principles, especially the principle that society is divided into opposite classes with irreconcilable historical interests: proletariat and bourgeoisie. It has also repudiated the theory-program of permanent revolution that clearly says, in this imperialistic epoch the bourgeoisie of the colonial and semi colonial countries cannot any more play any progressive role, much less finish the bourgeois revolution tasks (national independence and agrarian revolution) because it is intrinsically linked to imperialism. Therefore, only the proletariat commanding the exploited masses and the whole oppressed nation, and lead by a revolutionary party, is able to solve completely these two unfinished tasks of the bourgeois revolution by overthrowing and expropriating the bourgeoisie and establishing a proletarian dictatorship.
Against the theory-program of permanent revolution, the PSTU has openly embraced the theory, the policy, the program and the practice of Stalinism: its “progressive bourgeois camp” and “Two Stage Revolution” theories, and the fateful policy of “democratic fronts”. That is, the subordination of the working class to the supposedly "democratic bourgeoisie" against the “fascist” or “totalitarian” bourgeoisie, etc.
These notions had been already developed by Mensheviks in Russia at the beginning of the 20th Century ("because the objectives of the revolution were democratic and bourgeois, the working class had to support the liberal bourgeoisie to defeat Czarism, so that Russia had to have a period of capitalist development that permitted it to start fighting for the proletarian revolution"). This was generalized and became a theory by Stalinism, with its Popular Front policy in the ´30s. Leon Trotsky clearly defined: “The conclusion [the Stalinists leaders] have extracted from all this is that the unity of all progressive and democratic forces and all the `friends of peace' (that expression exists) is needed in defense of the Soviet Union on the one hand and of the western democracy on the other” (“The Comintern liquidation Congress”, in Writings T. VII, Vol. 1, pp. 133 and 135-6).
This policy of subordinating the proletariat of the imperialist countries to one of the “democratic” imperialist bourgeoisies had its expression in the semi colonial or colonial countries in the conformation of “anti-imperialist fronts” with national bourgeoisies or with “patriotic”, supposedly "progressive, nationalist generals", to whom the working class had to be subordinated to first make the bourgeois revolution t. This theory and policy conceives as a same thing the fact -in both imperialistic countries and in the colonial or semi colonial countries –that the “progressive” camp is in power or in the opposition.
However, it was Mao Tse Tung during the IIWW and in the postwar period who tried to give a philosophical basis to this Stalinist pseudo theory, through his “Theory of the Contradictions”. This theory is based on a real fact: the bourgeoisie is not a homogenous class, there are differences and disputes inside it; there are imperialistic bourgeoisies and national bourgeoisies of colonial and semi colonial countries. And those differences and disputes between sectors of a same class sometimes even express themselves in physical confrontations: coups d'etat, civil wars, imperialistic invasions against oppressed nations, inter imperialistic wars, etc. But Mao gave to this indisputable aspect a superior value, stating that “When imperialism unleashes a war of aggression against a (semi colonial, NR) country, the different classes, except for a small number of traitors, join forces in a national war against imperialism. Then, the contradiction between imperialism and the country becomes the main contradiction; meanwhile all the contradictions between the different classes in the country, are relegated temporarily to a secondary and subordinated position”. And he concludes: "therefore, if there are several contradictions within the same process, necessarily one of them is the principal one, the one that carries out a decisive leading role, while the others play a secondary and subordinated role. Therefore to study any complex process where two or more contradictions exist, we must as much as possible make an effort to discover the main contradiction”. (Mao Tse Tung, “About the contradiction”).
Based on this theory on Contradictions, Mao stated that the working class and the exploited masses had to join the progressive camp of the “nation” lead by the (national) bourgeoisie, against the other camp, constituted by imperialism and a “small group of traitors”.
Against this class collaborationist theory, Marxism says that society is divided into antagonistic classes, and it is necessary to develop the fight between them until the seizure of power by the proletariat. Does revolutionary Marxism ignore the existence of disputes and clashes among different bourgeois sectors? Of course not. Moreover, in case those physical clashes take place, revolutionaries have formulated a policy to face them. When an imperialist country attacks a colonial or semi colonial one, we are unconditionally in the military trench of the attacked nation, without giving the minimum political support to the national bourgeoisie and its government. This is because the immediate and principal objective of the proletariat always remains the same: taking power, overthrowing the bourgeoisie, the only way to win the national war against imperialism.
Never, under any circumstance do revolutionary Marxists give political support to a bourgeois government -not even a very critical one. Independently of the situation in the class struggle, our immediate objective is the proletarian revolution and the conquest of power. For that reason, even the least political support to a bourgeois government means giving up the fight for its overthrow, that is, for the revolution and the seizure of power.
Here it is worth clarifying that on the 2nd December in Venezuela neither physical clashes among different bourgeois fractions, nor an imperialistic military aggression such as a coup or a civil war between bourgeois camps, were in sight. It was only a Bonapartist referendum.
On the contrary, having broken with Trotskyism and embraced the “theory of the contradictions” of Mao and the campist policy of Stalinism, for the PSTU the fundamental contradiction in Venezuela was between “democracy or a pro imperialistic coup”. But with Chavez' project of constitutional reform, this "fundamental contradiction" changed, and it became “democracy versus Chavez’ Bonapartism ,so that all the other contradictions, the bourgeoisie-proletariat contradiction in the first place, were subordinated to the principal one.
What is the PSTU rationale? According to the “fundamental contradiction”, when Chavez represented “the progressive” camp in “defense of democracy”, it supported Chavez. So it did during the coup attempt of 2002, the 2003 bosses' lockout, the referendum in 2004, and even in the presidential elections in 2006 when the UST (Unified Socialist Workers), a sister group of PSTU in the LIT -called for a vote for Chavez.
However, when Chavez tries to reform the “Bolivarian” bourgeois constitution of 1999, introducing strong Bonapartist measures to reinforce his power and control over the mass movement, he supposedly is the “reactionary” bourgeois camp. Now the “progressive” bourgeois camp would be the supporters of the NO alternative in the referendum, that is, the pro coup bourgeois sector. In short, while Chavez headed the “democratic and progressive camp” the PSTU supported him. When he "changed" the PSTU aligned with the bourgeoisie that called for the NO-vote in the Chavez Bonapartist project; but it always remained subordinated to a “democratic front” coming together with the “progressive bourgeoisie”.
It is clear PSTU applied this reformist policy as true followers of Stalinism. It not only repudiated Trotskyism, but broke with its mentor Nahuel Moreno as well. Nahuel Moreno broke with the OCI of Lambert in France in 1981, when it supported Mitterrand and the Socialist Party government, also applying the Stalinist pseudo theory of the “progressive bourgeois camp”.
PSTU, ACCOMPLICE OF THE BONAPARTIST REFERENDUM, A TRAP AGAINST THE EXPLOITED
PSTU tries to demonstrate to Petras that the “Yes” alternative was reactionary and not “a way towards socialism”. It says: “The reform maintains and deepens the capitalist character the 1999 constitution already had, however covered under a "socialist" phraseology". "Nor does it advance in the anti imperialist direction, as can be seen from the even greater handing over of oil fields to imperialism or the increasing concessions to the international car companies (Toyota, Mitsubishi, GM, Ford, etc) the same as the elimination of taxes on the commercialization of cars". But, according to PSTU, what supported clearly their point was that "the real target of the reforms was to strengthen Bonapartism in the government. That means centralized Chavez Power, not only to weaken the right wing opposition but essentially, to confront the dissatisfaction of the toiling masses.”
No doubt, if the “YES” had won, private property, US copyright laws, US and other imperialist countries huge business concessions in Venezuela and the state controlled character of the masses organizations, would have been guaranteed. All those renegades of Trotskyism that supported the Yes alternative like the MST of Argentina, the LCR of France, etc., who met Celia Hart in Caracas to give support to Chavez, called on the exploited masses to vote for defending the property and interests of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, and for deepening the submission of the mass organizations to the bourgeoisie.
However, what if the NO had won... as it really happened? The bourgeois constitution of 1999 is in force so the property and the interests of the transnational companies, imperialism and the huge banks are not touched. The state controlled workers organizations, the same prerogatives who allow Chavez to send the police to repress workers strikes, the new Penal Code –a true anti strike law – etc. remain the same. The PSTU, calling for a vote for No, called the workers to support the continuity of that bourgeois Constitution of 1999.
For that reason, the real trap against the Venezuelan masses was the referendum itself, a completely anti democratic and Bonapartist device. This way, the workers and the exploited are forced “to choose” between two bourgeois alternatives: the Yes for the Chavist bourgeoisie (“boliburguesía"); or the NO for the anti Chavist bourgeoisie.
That is the trap against the Venezuelan masses. A trap that none of the renegades of Trotskyism confronted, not even those who were for spoiling their vote. Much less the PSTU which calling for a vote for the NO alternative, legitimized the trap of the referendum and subordinated itself to the 31 families of the bourgeoisie and the transnational companies that control the Venezuelan economy.
For all the renegades of Trotskyism, the referendum is not a Bonapartist and anti democratic mechanism to deceive the masses and force them to choose between the Chavist bourgeoisie and the openly pro-imperialistic bourgeoisie, but a legitimate democratic mechanism to express the popular will. In this way, they gave again political support to the bourgeois government of Chavez - a bourgeois nationalist government, a sui generis Bonapartism, which as inevitably happens, is becoming less and less “sui géneris”. That is, it demands less and less from imperialism, while more and more it becomes purely Bonapartist against the masses. And that support means it renounces fighting for its overthrow; which is to renounce the workers socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The PSTU's gall shows no limits: far from denouncing the Bonapartist trap it states that the victory of the Yes-vote in the referendum – celebrated by US imperialism, the pro coup bourgeoisie, etc. - is … a “triumph of the masses”! As it says: "That is why we believe the result of the referendum to be a triumph of the masses against a reactionary project and not the defeat of a "socialist project" (an explanation that, at the end of the day, blames the toiling masses for having been misled by the enemy). A triumph of the masses that, having defeated on the electoral terrain a reactionary bourgeois project, are in better conditions today to advance towards autonomous organization and mobilization along the path leading to the real socialism.” (Our Emphasis).
On the contrary, the internationalist Trotskyists state that the referendum itself was a defeat for the masses, because they were made again to choose between two bourgeois options. The fact that 3 million workers and exploited who had always voted for Chavez didn’t go to the ballot box this time is an indicator that the social base of the bourgeois nationalism of Chavez is diminishing. This abstention is also an expression of the impotence and apathy of a whole sector of workers who have no revolutionary leadership capable of channeling their dissatisfaction towards an independent working-class strategy and program. This is because for years they were supporters of Chavez pressuring him to "advance towards socialism” while the PSTU and the LIT, together with the other fake Trotskyists supported the campaign for “10 million votes for Chavez” in the presidential elections in 2006. This is because the leadership of the UNT –including different variants of former Trotskyists- never broke with the bourgeoisie. Because of these betrayals the 3 million workers who abstained, and now the workers of SIDOR who were savagely repressed, do not have an alternative, for example, an independent UNT as a real fighting tool.
What we are seeing today in Venezuela is a tragedy similar to that of the Argentine working class in mid '40s (remember the central role of slaughterhouses and meat packing for an economy based on meat exports in those war years). Then Stalinism, with (Stalinist union leader) Peter as the leader of the meat workers strike, betrayed that huge strike and through that move, he gave the control of the workers movement to Peron. The fake Trotskyists leading the UNT are playing the same role now in Venezuela. And it is necessary to say that the PSTU now, particularly when allying with the openly pro-imperialist faction of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie, is following in the steps of the Argentine Stalinists. After putting the working class down under Peronism, the Argentine CP aligned itself with the pro-imperialist bourgeois fraction led by US ambassador Braden, in the notorious "Democratic Union". (A coalition of Social Democrats, Stalinists and right wing politicians against the workers, responsible for union busting, strike-breaking, etc., which supported military coups and the killing of worker activists)
WITH THE EXCUSE OF “STAYING TOGETHER WITH THE MASSES”, THE PSTU WAS AT CHAVEZ FEET YESTERDAY AND NOW AT THE BOURGEOIS 31 FAMILIES’ FEET: ALWAYS KNEELING DOWN TO THE BOURGEOISIE
The PSTU, always applying the pseudo theory of "the progressive bourgeois camp" and accepting the referendum as a legitimate and democratic mechanism, tries to explain the reasons for Chavez defeat.
Against Petras argument about the decisive question in the referendum result would have been the "media campaign” of the right, the PSTU answers: “Today the Chavez administration has financial, political and media power much greater than what he had in 2002 or 2004. After the closure of the RCTV and its incorporation into the state, they have 6 public channels while only two national channels are private. Why was it not possible to counter the media campaign of imperialism using these channels?”
“Their financial situation is much better than in 2002: the price of oil is reaching $100 a barrel while at that time it was barely above $22. This means that the yearly revenue at their disposal has been multiplied several times over. At the same time, in institutional terms, they totally control the National Assembly and an overwhelming majority of governorships and town-hall governments”.
The PSTU concludes that all those excuses are actually not more than "a smoke screen" launched by the Chavez administration and by those who support him unconditionally in order to conceal the central issue: "his loss of support among the masses”.
Immediately afterwards, the PSTU states Chavez lost support among certain sectors of the masses because of low wages, the shortage of basic commodities, high inflation, repression against workers strikes, and the ever more openly authoritarian character of his government and a new emerging bourgeoisie. This "boliburguesia", formed under the protection of the state apparatus dominated by Chavismo, shows off its wealth and luxuries before the oppressed masses languishing in the midst of growing hardships.
What the PSTU doesn’t declare, of course, is the reason for Chavez being able to accomplish all that: it is because for more than five years all the renegades of Trotskyism, PSTU included, have supported him. They were in charge of telling the masses that they could reach the “Socialism of the 21st century” by supporting Chavez and his “Bolivarian revolution”!
The PSTU now cries because the bourgeois government they politically supported acts as… a bourgeois government! This is the sad destiny of the renegades of Trotskyism: to play the role of the abandoned brides maid of a Latino soap opera. The PSTU made a common party with Stalinists and self-declared Castroites like Petras… and later it cries when its “Stalinist bridegroom” acts as an “agent of imperialism”. PSTU devotes five years to supporting Chavez bourgeois government and now... surprise! it acts as a bourgeois government!
As every fake Trotskyist turned into reformist, the PSTU always justified its support for Chavez and its policy to push his –a bourgeois –government to go forwards to socialism, with the old, worn out argument of staying together with the masses "because they are Chavists".
Now that it is more and more evident that “Bolivarian revolution” and the “socialism of the 21st century XXI” mean more profits for the bourgeoisie and imperialism, and more misery and oppression for the masses, the PSTU –using the same reformist reasoning (campism –doesn’t support Chavez anymore. It “suddenly” discovers his is an anti working-class, bourgeois, repressive and Bonapartist government. It “suddenly” discovers the emergence of the “bolibourgeoisie. It “suddenly” discovers that the workers organizations are state controlled, the inflation is almost 30%, the masses are suffering poverty, etc. In their effort not to stay so close to this “monster” they –together with all the rest of the fake Trotskyists –helped to create, the PSTU runs into the arms of the pro coup bourgeoisie.
How does it justify this about-face? As we have already demonstrated, by saying that the “democratic camp” against Bonapartism now rests there, and that a sector of the masses recognized the fact. PSTU says: "While the reforms, both in the content and in the way they were about to be passed, were an attempt at a qualitative leap along the totalitarian course of the government, an important sector of the toiling masses understood that or at least had some intuition. They realized that there was no danger of a right wing coup and that, quite to the contrary, the real danger for democratic and workers' rights came directly from Chavez administration".
"That is why, unlike in 2002-2003, when they were ready to risk their lives to defend Chavez, or when supporting him in the vast majority of the previous voting occasions, they felt that they were defending their rights and liberties against the right-wings and imperialism, so this time they rejected the reforms. They knew through intuition that under a socialist disguise, these reforms were deeply reactionary and had to be halted. As the workers of the oil refinery in Puerto La Cruz said, "We've got to stop them". The Venezuelan masses' intuition was perfectly right". "This is what explains the triumph of the NO and the theory of the imperialist conspiracy through the media and the finances and "their salaried left-wing agents". This is what explains, for example, that in the Petare region, one of the poorest in Caracas and vanguard of the struggle against the 2002 coup, the NO overcame 61 to 38%. Have counterrevolutionaries suddenly seized this militant region of Caracas?".
Using the same excuse of “not isolating itself from the masses” the PST has supported Chavez critically for years, and today – alleging that the “masses” have finished supporting Chavez and have voted NO – it runs to the feet of the pro coup right wing bourgeoisie. As time goes by, circumstances change, but always, you find PSTU… kneeling down before one or other bourgeois sector.
But to keep its “thesis” about the triumph of the NO, and so to justify its support of the pro coup bourgeoisie, PSTU is forced to distort the facts, beginning with the referendum result. First fact: the Yes alternative lost, not because the NO had more votes than before (it had exactly the same 4.300.000 votes Rosales -the bourgeois candidate of the pro coup opposition- obtained in the last presidential elections). It lost but because Chavism lost 3 million votes of workers and exploited who abstained this time, after Chavez had obtained 7.200.000 votes in the presidential election in 2006.
THE SPECTER OF THE COUP STIRRED UP BY PETRAS, AND THE SYLLOGISM OF THE PSTU: TWO DIFFERENT WAYS OF SUPPORTING THE REFERENDUM TRAP
When Petras accuses the PSTU of allying with the students supported by US imperialism and the CIA, PSTU answers by using a syllogism. It says: "In your articles, once more echoing the Chavez administration, you accuse them of being manipulated by the CIA and financed by the American government, which means of being counterrevolutionary coup makers.
It is now quite clear that American policy is not to encourage a coup. But it is still necessary to go much more deeply into the analysis of these demonstrations. In our opinion, the Venezuelan student movement acted against the attacks on democratic freedoms that the Chavez administration has been delivering and, especially, against the deeply reactionary and antidemocratic meaning of the constitutional reform.
That is how they became a sector of the mass movement and became the advance guard of the NO. All the analysts agree that their appearance on the stage was decisive for the triumph of the NO, for these great demonstrations made a deep impression on all the other social sectors. It is a genuine process and a highly progressive one and not, as you say, a part of a counterrevolutionary conspiracy".
Both Petras and PSTU are vulgar swindlers: stirring up the specter of a coup or denying it, they both supported the trap of the Bonapartist referendum. It is clear that if this referendum had put at risk the property and the interests of the imperialist monopolies and the 31 families, they would have tried by all means to prevent it, even through a coup.
On the contrary, the bosses’ politicians in the opposition strongly supported the referendum and called to participate by voting NO. It is obvious that both the two alternatives, YES or NO meant the imperialistic monopolies and the pro-coup bourgeoisie were losing NOTHING at all. The trap of the referendum was useful to all bourgeois fractions alike, for trapping and deceiving once again the workers and the poor people of Venezuela. And this trap was supported by Petras and ALL the renegades of Trotskyists, including the PSTU, although they are now at each other's throat, as two varieties of Stalinism, because they do not agree about which “democratic” bourgeois to support. We are be surprised at this policy, coming from an intellectual like Petras, a servant of the bourgeoisie and Castro’s bureaucracy. The problem is the same reformist policy, though appearing to be the opposite held by the PSTU which defines itself as “Trotskyist”.
The PSTU must have found itself in trouble the day after the referendum when Chavez faced the defeat of the YES alternative saying he will accept the result because it is “democratic”. And now, what will the PSTU do? How will it choose the side of “the democratic” bourgeoisie when both fractions in Venezuela - Chavez and the anti-Chavist bourgeoisie demonstrated “respect for bourgeois democracy”? The PSTU has to escape from the labyrinth it entered of its own volition.
THE PSTU AND THE ROLE OF THE STUDENT MOVEMENT: FALSIFYING HISTORY TRYING TO JUSTIFY THE UNJUSTIFIABLE
With crude lies the PSTU runs into the same brick wall trying to justify its position.
About the student movement supporting the NO alternative, it says: “It was a mobilization against Chavez government's attacks to the democratic freedoms and against the reactionary and undemocratic character of the constitutional reform”… “Without neglecting the differences, we might compare the situation of the Venezuelan students' movement with that of Tienanmen in 1989. There, the Chinese students confronted the dictatorial regime of the Communist Party that had already restored capitalism in the country, demanding democratic liberties. Many of them marched carrying the Statue of Liberty as a symbol and the ideology of many of the leaders associated democratic liberties with support of American imperialism. But these outer signs and the standpoint of these leaders (revealed ultimately by the fact that they were fighting against a fierce capitalist dictatorship camouflaged behind red flags with the sickle and the hammer etc) could not conceal the fact that the movement as such was highly progressive".
The PSTU has not stopped to consider that it left the frying pan of “critical support" for Chavez to jump into the fire of “the squalid” (i.e., the traditional, pro-coup) bourgeoisie of the 31 families. If it had it wouldn't compare the mobilizations of the students and Chinese workers in 1989 crushed by the bureaucracy-turned-into-bourgeoisie imposing the capitalist restoration in China, with the Venezuelan middle-class students in the trap of the 2007 referendum supporting the No alternative in favor of the 31 families!
In 1989, the Chinese bureaucracy state. And contrary to their Chinese counterparts, the students rally at the university for the NO vote was a mobilization of a middle class sector –student petty bourgeoisie –and the bourgeoisie in support of a fraction of the bourgeoisie, that of the “31 families", against another, the Chavist “boliburguesía” . They faced a bourgeois referendum, a Bonapartist trap to put the working class and the exploited at the feet of the bourgeoisie.
First we must clarify the arguments. Venezuela is not a degenerate workers state like the Chinese state was at the end of the' 80s, it is a semi colonial bourgeois crushed the rebellion in Tiananmen because of the threat of a political revolution that could frustrate its plan to complete the restoration, recycling itself into a bourgeoisie. So the massacre in Tiananmen went on with the most brutal persecution of worker and student activists as far as the most remote corner of China and finished with more than three million workers, students and peasants killed. It was on the base of this brutal defeat that the bureaucracy finished the restoration in China and became the bourgeoisie.
Today the PSTU falsifies the facts and history, trying to show the workers and Chinese students struggle as a “democratic mobilization” against a dictatorship. Thus it covers with a “progressive” face the Venezuelan students who mobilized in favor of one of the bourgeois options in the trap of the referendum. But at the same time they hide the fact of those 3 million workers that this time did not support Chavez as before. The PSTU is thus preparing the way to subordinate all the workers that were learning from their experience with this bourgeois government, to another bourgeois fraction: the “democratic” student movement. “Class independence”, “independent workers strategy”, “working-class policy”, seem to be prohibited words for the PSTU.
FOR THE PSTU THE RULES IMPOSED BY THE BOURGEOISIE ARE SACRED
Undoubtedly the PSTU shows its complete servility and subordination to the bourgeois regime when trying to reply to those who, like Petras, say the triumph of the NO alternative was celebrated by imperialism and the pro-coup bourgeoisie. The PSTU tells Petras: “You may tell us that, regardless of all the other considerations that we have highlighted, the Venezuelan right and imperialism also called to vote NO. Consequently, they also were triumphant in the plebiscite. This could be just another twist in the reasoning that 'those who did not vote YES were counterrevolutionaries' (an argument that engulfs also those who called for abstention or for a null vote).
In the first place, it is necessary to point out that the mechanism of the referendum, because of the antidemocratic limitation of alternatives, forces voters to formulate a position that may coincide with that of sectors we are absolutely against as far as class considerations and strategic objectives.
The right and imperialism called to vote NO to maintain the semi colonial capitalist character that Venezuela has today but with them in power instead of Chavez. Their main target was to capitalize on elections to weaken the government. That is why they celebrate.
As far as we are concerned, in a democratic debate, we would have said, as our Venezuelan comrades of the UST did in their declarations, that we were against the reform because of its bourgeois and reactionary character. That we want to encourage a process of independent mobilization and organization of the workers to march on the road that leads to real socialism as the only way of winning the struggle against the right and imperialism. That for this reason it is necessary to build a "third camp" of the workers and the masses that would break the current polarization between the two bourgeois fractions (Chavism and the right). But the way this vote has been posed we are forced to say NO because this is what the rule of the referendum has imposed".
The PSTU says: “the bourgeoisie imposes the rules and I respect them: I call to vote YES or NO. I cannot do otherwise”. But, it explains, the “content” of the vote for the bourgeoisie was “to maintain the semi colonial capitalist character that Venezuela has today but with them in power instead of Chavez”. So, the PSTU called to vote NO but with a “different content”, “to advance in the way of true socialism”, and so on.
First, could the reformists explain to us how could you tell the difference in the ballot box between the bourgeoisie “content” and the PSTU program in a vote for the NO alternative? It is impossible: This is exactly the trap of a referendum.
Secondly, to say that the only possibility was to call for a YES or for a NO-vote, is an open confession of servility to the institutions of the bourgeois regime. What a splendid example of the complete impotence of a reformist policy!
It was perfectly possible not to fall into the referendum trap. It was necessary first of all, to openly denounce that trap before the workers, and to place in opposition a call to fight for a Venezuelan National Assembly that solves the real problems of the nation oppressed by imperialism. Because the true democratic tasks in the colonial and semi colonial countries are to end the oppressive imperialist power and to make the agrarian revolution. A call for a truly democratic national Assembly, with recallable representatives, who will earn the average wage of a worker, one for each 10,000 inhabitants of the country considered as a single electorate. A truly decisive and sovereign powerful Assembly -concentrating in its hands executive, legislative and judicial branches, to put an end to the Bonapartist presidential institution, dismissing the judicial caste and replacing the bourgeois judges by worker and popular courts; dissolving the caste of army officials and arming all the people. A sovereign Assembly to expropriate without compensation all the monopolies and the 31 families, starting with the expropriation without compensation of all imperialist oil Companies and the complete re nationalization under workers control of PdeVSA and of all the privatized companies. A sovereign Assembly that stops the repayment of the external debt, the oil sales to US imperialism responsible for slaughtering the Iraqi and Afghan people. An Assembly that breaks all the economic, political and military deals tying Venezuela to imperialism, and takes the most urgent measures to guarantee decent jobs, wages, housing, health services and education for the workers and the people.
This could have been proposed before the workers and the exploited, explaining that a really sovereign and democratic National Assembly could only be summoned and guaranteed by a workers and peasant government. That this government supported by the self-organization and the armament of the masses could only accomplish that by a triumphant insurrection over the ruins of this grotesque “Bolivarian” bourgeois regime, expropriator of the anti-imperialist fight of the masses. It was possible to tell the workers and the exploited that the first indispensable condition to advance along this road is the break of the workers organizations with the bourgeoisie, in order to conquer a National Congress of the UNT rank and file. That would make the Venezuelan working class stand up with an independent strategy and a workers program, let it consolidate its ranks and weld a workers and popular alliance, so that the proletariat -only class able to fight till the end against imperialism-, becomes the leader of the oppressed nation.
It was perfectly possible to apply this policy, dialoguing with the workers and the exploited. With those that were deceived to vote either for NO or Yes, as well as with the 3 million who abstained but because of the absence of a true revolutionary leadership to show them the way, can end up demoralized and impotent. We have shown that neither the PSTU nor the rest of the "Trotskyist" renegades had this policy.
But, once again, to justify their submission to a bourgeois fraction – Chavez yesterday, the pro imperialistic Venezuelan bourgeoisie today- PSTU resorts to the crudest of falsifications. They say: “On the other hand, History sometimes makes revolutionaries coincide on a totally limited point with their most unrelenting enemy, imperialism, with totally opposite objectives. For example, in March 1917, Lenin returned to Russia together with other non-Bolshevik fighters, such as Julius Martov, in a train that crossed Germany, with a special permit from the Kaiser. Lenin was returning home in order to dispute the leadership of the revolution and initiate the construction of socialism. The Kaiser wanted to take advantage of the agitation of the Leninists against the role of Russia in the First World War and so to weaken militarily the country against which he was fighting. It is good to remember that Lenin's Russian enemies, actually enemies of the socialist revolution, did not fail to use the "special train" episode to accuse him of being Kaiser's agent".
The cynicism and gall of these people knows no limits! Lenin needed to arrive in Russia and the only way was across Germany that was in war with Russia. The Kaiser permitted him to cross the country by train, with the only condition that that train could not stop in any German city. That was all. Lenin, unlike the PSTU, never called for a vote for the Kaiser in a referendum, neither gave the minimum political support, nor embellished him as a “democratic” before the masses. On the contrary, he called the German workers to rise up against the Kaiser to overthrow him.
The absolute bankruptcy of the PSTU -and of the LIT, its "mother party"- is undeniable, as it breaks completely with Trotskyism. It could not have turned out any other way. It is a current gone completely over to reformism; following in Stalinism’s footsteps. It has to resort to the crudest falsifications of the lessons, the program and the legacy of the 3rd revolutionary International and the Fourth International founded by Trotsky in 1938.
For that reason, the PSTU fraudulently wants to present Petras' slanders as an attack of Stalinism against Trotskyism, when they are simply the normal methods of a Stalinist arguing with another reformist about what “progressive” bourgeois it is necessary to support. Hands off Trotskyism and the legacy of the Fourth International of 1938, you renegades of Trotskysm, you PSTU, LIT and all the others, who have become Stalinists and embraced their policy of class collaboration and their stagist strategy!
The three million workers and exploited that abstained in the referendum, were a million times more perceptive than Petras, the PSTU and all the fake Trotskyists falling into the bourgeois trap of the referendum –either they called for YES, NO, or null vote, all supporting the referendum. Unfortunately, the absence of a revolutionary alternative that raised its policy and showed another way, caused those million workers who started breaking with Chavez to feel impotent and remain disorganized. But we are sure the ever more acute events in the class struggle to come and the great fighting disposition of the Venezuelan working class, suffering low wages, inflation, shortages and repression by the “Bolivarian” Chavez, will give us internationalist revolutionaries many an opportunity to converge with them and raise the revolutionary Trotskyist, internationalist leadership the Venezuelan proletariat needs and deserves.
Reprinted from Organizador Obrero Internacional Nº 8, April 2008
Título: For the immediate reintegration of Orlando Chirino
A leader in Venezuelan UNT (National Worker Union)
To his job in Venezuelan State Oil Company PDVSA
Bajada: The shorter way to achieve this: The UNT must break all its links with the bourgeois state and Chavez'es boss government! For the UNT to set up in motion the Venezuelan working class behind an independent class strategy and program!
From the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction we demand the immediate reintegration to his workplace and job in PDVSA of Orlando Chirino, a leader of the UNT and member of the UIT, who has been sacked under Chavez's orders.
As a member of a workers organization being attacked by the bosses' state, we defend Chirino unconditionally, and we fight for his reintegration the same as we do facing the case of any worker who has been sacked and chased by the bosses. This is for us a top principled question.
At the same time, we cannot let it pass by unmentioned that unluckily enough this attack on the part of Chavez and the "Bolivarian bourgeoisie" (="bolibourgeoisie") comes as a logical consequence of the UNT leaders' policy -Chirino himself included- of subduing both the UNT and the whole Venezuelan proletariat to the bourgeois state and Chavez government.
As the same Chrino explains in a letter to PDVSA chairman, he (Chirino) was designated to integrate PDVSA board of directors by Chavez, together with other union leaders and after the defeat of the bosses' lockout in 2002. Chirino says they were appointed "to constitute a team of labour and political consultants, in order to carry along a plan for getting rid definitively of the old pro-coup, corrupt, bureaucratic union leadership (that of the former central union CTV, N.Ed.) and from SINUTRAPETROL (oil workers union) to build a new leadership committed to the revolutionary process, with the workers, and to give continuity to the battle against the pro-coup partisans, so giving an absolute guarantee of "gobernabilidad" (that is, the feasibility of a government to rule without any threat to its legitimacy, N.Ed.), of political and labour stability, and also giving a protective covering to the company (PDVSA) against further intents of sabotage".
So it was Chirino in his character of UNT leader who headed the Venezuelan delegation ("chief delegate") to the 91st Conference of the ILO (International Labor Organization) in 2003. He kept attending the meetings of that den of bandits chaired by the AFL-CIO traitors in the following years (2004, 2005 and 2006). In the same way Chirino was, together with Stalin Perez Borges and other leaders of the UNT, one of the main promoters of the “10 million votes for Chavez” campaign for 2006 presidential elections
.For this reason, while we demand the immediate reintegration of Chirino to PDVSA, we affirm that the only way to achieve that is through the UNT breaking every link with the Venezuelan bosses' state. It must also break with Chavez bourgeois government and call for a Congress of rank and file delegates of the UNT to make the Venezuelan proletariat stand up equipped with an independent worker strategy. This is the shorter road to achieve the reintegration of Chirino to his job in PDVSA!
To the 46th International Anti-war Assembly in Japan
To the comrades of the Federation of Self-determined Student Associations of all-Japan (Zengakuren)
To the comrades of the Antiwar Youth Committee
To the comrades of the Japanese Revolutionary Communist League (Revolutionary Marxist Fraction)
In this opportunity we want to send you fervorous revolutionary internationalist greetings for your meeting.
From the Secretariat of International Coordination of the Fracción Trotskista Interncionalista (FLT) (Leninist Trotskyist Fraction) -which is integrated by Partido Obrero Internacionalista (Internationalist Worker Party) of Chile, Liga Trotskista Internacionalista (Internationalist Trotskyist League) of Peru, Liga Obrera Internacionalista-Democracia Obrera (Internationalist Worker League-Workers Democracy) of Argentina, Fracao Trotskista (Trotskyist Fraction) of Brazil, Communist Workers Group of New Zealand and Liga Trotskista Internacionalista (Internationalist Trotskyist League) of Bolivia- we want to join you in that internationalist day of action against the plague of war unleashed upon the oppressed peoples of the world by the imperialist powers. A day of action that is also committed to fight against that true one-sided class war waged by the imperialists and their servants, the national bourgeoisies of the “developing” countries against the international working class in order to make it pay the costs of the imperialist crisis with mass layoffs, skyrocketing cost of living and the starving of millions of exploited people. Due to this attack the exploited people suffer in the arena of class struggle more casualties per year than those caused by the two World wars.
The imperialist US-UK beast is presently swamped in the desert sands of Iraq; the indomitable Iraqi resistance and the resistance of the US working class have caused a serious crisis in the hated Bush government. In the jails of Guantanamo and in those kept by the CIA, thousands of internationalist fighters are languishing in true concentration camps that have nothing to envy to those erected by Hitler in the ’30s-‘40s of the 20th Century.
In 2006 the Zionist Army had to flee in despair from southern Lebanon. The Palestinian worker-peasant militias and those militias of the exploited Lebanese people accomplished a huge victory at the time when the unpatriotic military of Siniora run to hide itself, acting in fact as a fifth-column against the exploited masses it was supposed to defend.
Along these heroic actions of resistance and the fighting back against their oppressors from the part of the Middle East masses, we could see the upsurge of the Egyptian working class against the pro-US and dictatorial government of Mubarak. They rose up in workers’ struggles, strikes, revolts and revolutionary combats for bread. They followed the days of struggle of the heroic Iranian working class that was giving its martyrs in huge combats for better wages and against starvation and inflation: they were the transport workers, the teachers, de unemployed, etc. In the Palestinian fatherland, the martyred and enslaved Palestinian people rose in an insurrection against the Al Fatah misleadership in the Gaza Strip, and some time later they destroyed the shameful walls of the slave-owners, seeking help from their brothers and sisters, the Egyptian workers, to begin a joint fight against imperialism and the Zionist invader. Almost at the same time the same worker and peasant rank and file that had defeated the Zionist army in Lebanon rose again in a general strike against the skyrocketing cost of living. With the withdrawal of the British troops from the Basra region in Iraq, the workers and peasants in the southern part of the country rose decidedly, and against and in spite of the orders of Al Sadr, that “brave Shiite militia” waged a humiliating defeat on the puppet Iraqi army.
You and us have to work out why this heroic resistance against the colonial wars of domination, and for oil, has not been able to accomplish a new Vietnam that defeats the aggressive Imperialist powers and becomes one with an upheaval of the working class of the imperialist countries.
For us, comrades, the truth is a simple fact; and it is high time the truth is told to the proletarians worldwide: that resistance by the heroic masses of the Middle East needs a revolutionary proletarian leadership that helps it to become a counteroffensive and carries it to victory. By the hand of the national bourgeoisies, the fighting masses are merely bargaining chips in the negotiations between those native bourgeoisies and the imperialist powers, with which they are once and again associated as junior partners.
Thus, while Bush hints that Iran would be in the eve of getting out of the “Evil Axis”, Ahmadinejad government is unleashing a brutal repression against the Iranian working class and youth, of the likes of those that murderous Mubarak uses to apply to the Egyptian masses. The Iranian Ayatollahs, as well as the Syrian bourgeoisie, are the great stabilizers for the sake of the imperialist invaders in the region. They are in charge of controlling the heroic national (liberation) wars being fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and in martyred Palestine.
In Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr utilized the enormous victory of the Iraqi masses of southern Iraq to negotiate with the puppet government of al-Maliki his place in the US protectorate and his business. And soon after the Palestinian masses of the Gaza Strip tore down the walls and sought to unite with their brothers and sisters of Egypt, the Hamas bourgeoisie put the shameful wall in the Egypt border again in its place to keep enslaving the Palestinian people in order to win the dubious right to a seat in the negotiation table and being the negotiator of choice for the new “peace plans” with the murderous State of Israel. We have an obligation to tell the truth: the general strike in Lebanon by the armed masses that defeated the Zionist army was given up by Hezbollah as a bargaining chip, to win a ministry in Siniora’s cabinet, to be able to get a share in the business of reconstructing Lebanon together with French and Italian imperialists.
Comrades of the 46th International antiwar Assembly in Japan: let’s honor the vanguard of the combat of the world working class against the imperialist war: to the heroic Iraqi resistance, to the heroic Afghan resistance, to the heroic Palestinian resistance. But let’s honor them as revolutionary proletarians do: let’s tell them the truth. Out with the leaderships of the national bourgeoisies in Middle East, a leadership that utilizes the heroic anti-imperialist combat of the worker and peasant masses to advance its businesses with the different imperialist powers that quarrel over the spoils of those plundered nations! Down with the walls of the apartheid built for enslaving the Palestinian masses within their own fatherland! Out with the administrators of those concentration camps, the bourgeois factions of Hamas and Al Fatah! Down with the collaborationist government of Siniora and the Hezbollah leadership in Lebanon! For unifying the Iraqi Shiite workers and peasants’ militia with the worker and peasant masses of southern Lebanon, with the Palestinian masses of Gaza and the West Bank in a revolutionary struggle against the Zionist state! For unifying the resistance of the Palestinian workers with their class brothers and sisters, the Egyptian and Iranian working classes that have entered in class wars against the skyrocketing cost of living and against starvation, together with the hundreds of thousands of construction workers that are building with their sweat and blood the Paradise islands and the magnificent mansions of the tycoons of Saudi Arabia, Dubai, the Arab Emirates, etc.! For the destruction of the Zionist State of Israel, for a free, secular and democratic Palestine, one that could only be guaranteed by a revolutionary workers and peasants government of the Palestinian masses! For the Federation of Socialist Republics of Middle East!
For the military defeat of the imperialist powers in Iraq and Afghanistan! For the expropriation of all the imperialist enterprises and all the transnationals in the region! The fighting masses are formed by workers and poor peasants: For a proletarian leadership of the war to conquer a Federation of socialist Republics of Middle East!
Rise the working class in Japan, US and Europe to paralyze the counterrevolutionary war machine in the US and the rest of imperialist powers!
The national (liberation) war against imperialist oppression will only triumph with the socialist revolution both in the Middle East and to the interior of the imperialist powers. Long live the unity of the international working class!
The Syrian and Iranian governments have been now called by the imperialist Sarkozy of France. Under the command of the murderers of the French imperialist Fifth Republic the national bourgeoisies are associated as junior partners in the plundering of the oil and gas riches with the objective of fencing the heroic Iraqi resistance and giving time to the weakened US government in crisis and the butchers’ regime of the US “Republicrats” to reconstitute a new “steering committee” (a “fresh” imperialist government of Obama or McCain legitimized by the reactionary US electoral system could thereby enjoy a social base to prepare new attacks on the peoples or concoct counterrevolutionary pacts to expropriate the revolutionary struggles of the world masses).
So the condition for those national bourgeoisies to be anointed with their junior partnership to the masters is the collaboration in the cornering of the Iraqi resistance and the disarmament of their heroic combatants.
Comrades, let’s reaffirm together the program of the founders of Trotskyism and the Fourth International: the national bourgeoisies can never advance the anti-imperialist struggle to the end, because they fear more the armed and insurrected proletariat, much more than imperialism, as the latter turns them into its junior partners in its businesses. The heroic working class of the Middle East has powerful missiles to defeat there imperialism; those missiles are the socialist revolution, the expropriation of the Banks and the transnational that plunder their nations, exploit the oppressed peoples and finance the occupation armies! For the unity of the Middle East working classes! Let the borders of the class war unify the occupied Palestinian fatherland with Lebanon, the Lebanese masses with the Egyptian and Iranian working classes! Let that class war expand like wildfire to the working class of the imperialist countries, because those workers are who have the duty, the high obligation of paralyze the war machine at home!
For reaching victory, comrades, the international working class needs to reconstitute the international unity of its ranks. More than ever today that Big imperialist Capital in crisis and bankruptcy is seeking and will seek for any means to make the world exploited masses to pay for the cost of that crisis. No nation or region in the planet has been spared, the exploited masses all over the world are suffering and are being unified objectively by the lashes of capital, the increase of oil and food prices, the sinking value of wages and salaries, the skyrocketing cost of living. We are not in front of one more, new crisis of the world capitalist economy. We are facing THE CRISIS. From 1989 on, the world imperialist capitalist system is surviving beyond its life-span thanks to its absorbing the former worker states that were handed out to the capitalist restoration by that gang of Stalinist highwaymen, usurpers of the revolution, which recycled themselves into bourgeoisie, as in Russia, China, the East European countries, etc.
So the White Russia of slaughterer Putin, that guaranteed the worse genocide against the people of Chechnya, that supported dozens of dictators and counterrevolutionary agents oppressing the masses in the former soviet Republics is today the great junior partner of European imperialism, essentially of the French-German type, which it provides gas and oil, and so the new rich of Russia are becoming themselves a new “petrodollar bourgeoisie”. Murderous Putin has therefore the license issued by the French Fifth Republic and by the imperialist German butchers to go on developing his industrial-military machine, to intervene as a strong gambler in the world weapons trade, but really always under the French-German control. No doubt, the heavily armed White Army of murderous Putin is not aimed at confronting imperialist France or imperialist Germany –its real masters- but the own Russian working class and the peoples that Russia oppresses, in the same way it attacked and perpetrated genocide against Chechnya, and today acts as a policeman of dozens of small nations for the sake of the imperialist powers.
The White Army troops of Putin, their overwhelming armament are in the first place to the service of the French-German imperialism against the European working class, against the working class of the former soviet Republics and against the own Russian proletariat. The murderous butcher, Putin, acts in the same way that Milosevic –the slaughterer of the Balkans- acted some years ago , for the sake of the imperialist powers. No doubt that once Putin finishes with his role of butcher-in-chief (as in Chechnya, Georgia, Nagorno-Kharabaj, Armenia, etc.) the fate waiting for the oppressed peoples and the working class of the former soviet Republics is that of the Balkans’ : the dismembering of their nations and the artificial creation of fake little republics, semi-colonies and protectorates. Because that is the future prepared by the world economy in crisis for the former worker states where capitalism has been restored.
And though, some shameless fake “Trotskyists” still have the cheek to write that the capitalist restoration in East Europe and the former USSR was a “pacific” process. It is clear that these people has not been in Chechnya, in Armenia, in Georgia, in the Balkans, in Kosovo or in the Serbia bombed by the NATO airplanes. Those renegades are disoriented vulgar petty bourgeois pacifists that want to make the proletarians in the imperialist powers believe that the regimes and governments of those powers are sowing “democracy” and “peace” all over the planet instead of occupation wars, genocide, counterrevolutionary dictatorships to complete and strengthen the capitalist restoration. They are the harbingers of the reformist story narrated from the end to the beginning, they are servants to imperialism and rotten Stalinism.
In the same way, the heavy spending of the Chinese bourgeoisie to make theirs a powerful army –that you very correctly denounce- is not aimed at confronting US imperialism or that big creditor of the transnationals in China, imperialist Japan. No. that huge army of millions is aimed to control and slaughter the millions of slave workers that as cheap labor restorationist China handed out to the world capitalist market. That army is aimed at confronting and suppressing the thousands of rebellions by the peasants and the workers being sacked from their plots and their jobs in the factories. The imperialist powers have today thrown their entire crisis over the shoulders of China, especially the US that has left in the Chinese state’s hands about 900 billion dollars of devalued Treasuries (US Treasury bonds). The crac that is looming on China after the first alert of the crisis in the Shanghai Stock Exchange in February 2008, will show an army of some million slaughtering very much more workers, peasants and students than in 1989 Tiananmen Square for the sake of US and Japanese imperialists, which will not balk at dividing and allotting China between themselves, as was made by the ruling imperialist powers in the 20th century.
Because this worldwide crisis that is developing without a pause, shows not only the bankruptcy of parasitic, big financial capital –which long ago has spent beforehand its benefits not still produced-; it also shows that there are too many imperialist powers, so that one o more of them will have to pay, to be the loser (or losers) in this global capitalist catastrophe. Let’s tell once more the truth: if the proletarian revolution does not stop this, the breakthrough of this crisis in the hands of imperialism will be as follows: the trade wars and the quarrels and proxy wars for the zones of influence that we see today will be turned in the first cannon rounds of the Third World War, which –if the proletariat does not stop it- will begin in the same way as was finished the Second World War in the 20th century: with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
As Lenin said, the most important economic factor of this imperialist epoch is war, it is the development of the destructive forces, the production of commodities for destruction, that is the only way for the imperialist system to remedy the falling of the rate of profit. The imperialist states run to bailout their Banks and their big enterprises in crisis with more than 600 billion dollars that the masses worldwide are paying and will pay endlessly with their sufferings. The bankruptcy of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are announcing the loss of more than two billion dollars in the US. The turning of billions dollars to speculative gambles on oil and food and other crucial commodities, and the ongoing devaluation of the dollar (with which the US throws its crisis on the entire world in the form of inflation) are a warning that the human society appears to be entering stagflation.
But this world system of imperialist capital will not fall down by itself. It is necessary to overthrow it by means of the world proletarian revolution. If it does not happen, the way to barbarism, fascism and new wars is sure. But things are to be seen. The world proletariat is far from having spent its strength for the struggle. What today paralyses it is only the action of the treacherous leaderships that it has at its head.
Comrades: we ask vehemently your International Antiwar Assembly, which comprehends powerful internationalist organizations for the struggle of the Japanese proletariat, to make now an appeal to the international working class to unite its ranks in a common united struggle against the skyrocketing cost of living all over the world and against the oil wars, the plundering and wasting of the imperialist powers.. The world proletariat needs a new “General Staff” to struggle and win. A general staff that helps it do away with the treacherous leaderships, i.e. Stalinism, social Democracy, fake Trotskyists, national union bureaucracies, etc., that destroy once and again all that the masses build up in their struggle. These misleaderships submit the masses to the bourgeoisie with their vicious policies of Popular Fronts, of submission to the national bourgeoisies or support to the “democratic imperialists”.
We are writing to you from Latin America. We have seen here how the stinky remains of Stalinism, in complicity with the renegades from Trotskyism have supported and continue supporting all the national bourgeoisies that –disguised as “anti-imperialists” and “populists”, and grouped all of them in the so called World Social Forum, expropriated the heroic revolutions in Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia. We see all of them together with Chavez and the Castroite bureaucracy, and the “indigenous” Morales, expropriating the heroic revolution of workers and peasants that started in Bolivia in 2003, defeating from inside the heroic and combative Bolivian miners, while fascism raises its head and threatens to unleash a blood bath on the workers and peasants’ movements.
We see them together with Chavez and the Castroites giving in the workers and popular resistance that combats against the fascist government of Uribe in Colombia. They act in the same way as did Stalinism in the aftermath of the 2nd World War in Europe, when it disarmed the French maquis, the Italian partisans and the Greek resistance, even murdering or handing out to imperialism those combatants that refused to give up their weapons. Thus acts the Castroite bureaucracy and the Chavista national bourgeoisie, calling the Colombian resistance to disarm and surrender unconditionally so that “anti-imperialist” Chávez Government in Venezuela can make profitable businesses constructing pipelines between Venezuela and Colombia.
Thus we cn see Chávez, Uribe, and all the reactionary governments in Latin America, including those which claim to be “socialist and anti-imperialist”, building highways and river routes from The Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean in the South American sub continent, to transport the goods, basic commodities and raw materials from the Atlantic for the Pacific trade, and all this under the command of Brazilian Lula’s government, the guarantor of the “juicy businesses” in Latin America for the sake of all the imperialist powers. He is associated in Petrobras to the French Total to plunder the Bolivian oil and gas; he is associated in agribusiness, food and basic commodities to Chicago and to the New York Stock Exchange. He is associated to the Japanese imperialism with which he controls the maquilas (sweatshops) of Manaos in northwest Brazil, overexploiting the slave workers for the sake of Sony, Fujifilm, Mitsubishi, Toyota, etc.
The harbingers in Latin America for the well known “Bolivarian Revolution” are simple liars, servants to the bourgeoisie, who after wiping the masses out of the revolutionary scenery, have submitted these masses to the brutal exploitation of the capitalist governments in the region, and our nations to the plundering of the US, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, etc. imperialists.
But what is even worse, claiming the necessity of defeating “fascist Bush” they have carried the North American proletariat to support the Democratic Party of Clinton and Obama, the party of the counterrevolutionary war in Vietnam and the most important backer of Bush government in crisis.
They are who have prevented the revolutionary upsurge of the Latin American masses that started at the beginning of the 21st century from uniting with the awakening of the north American working class fighting against the war and against the bosses attacking their gains... and with its indisputable vanguard, those more than 30 million both legal and “illegal” immigrant (or children of immigrant) Latin American workers, overexploited cheap labor for the use of the imperialist bourgeoisie within the US.
Internationalist brothers and sisters of Japan: we want to warn you about the vicious pact being prepared by the Castroite restorationist bureaucracy and the imperialist powers in the American continent for backstabbing most seriously the working class in the Americas: the pact for the consummation of capitalist restoration in Cuba.
Now, under the above mentioned conditions of strangling and distraction to blind alleys of the proletarian revolution in Latin America, the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy has accomplished its objective of disposing of the pressure of the revolutionary masses’ fighting that disturbed its plans. So it is accelerating its conversion to a directly restorationist agent of capitalism in the island, and is acting in the same way as Gorbachov, Deng Xiao Ping or the treacherous bureaucracy of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam; it is advancing gigantic steps to consummate the capitalist restoration in the only worker state in the Americas, which now suffers an extreme degree of decomposition.
And this will not be a “pacific” development. Worker and peasant Cuba is a conquest of the working clas and of the popular masses of the entire continent. the massacre and the surrender of the Colombian resistance is the first counterrevolutionary action of the restoration of capitalism in Cuba. Fascism that raises its head in Bolivia while the popular front controls and submits the Bolivian proletariat with brutal repression, is also an action of that restoration. A triumph of fascism in Bolivia would be quickly followed by the threat of an imperialist invasion to Cuba or either, by a counterrevolutionary attack by the restorationist Castroite bureaucracy against its own working class, now submitted as to slavery with salaries of 18 dollars a month!
Comrades: let’s look together to the martyred workers of Black Africa. While Mandela –that servant of US-UK imperialism- is given honors, the South African workers that are led by the (Stalinist) Communist Party, submitted to the new Black bourgeoisie and oppressed by the government of the African National Congress that starves them, have attacked -in a disgraceful development for the international proletariat- their class brothers and sisters the immigrant workers of Zimbabwe, scrambling for a miserable underpaid job in a country that today shows a 40% of unemployment.
Dozens of fratricide wars are impelled by one or other imperialist power in order to dominate Black Africa. Millions of Black workers flee to Europe trying to survive the catastrophe being created by the imperialist plundering in the region. Thousands die in the Mediterranean Sea or against the wire fences erected around the Spanish imperialist enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Those that finally get to Europe are thrown to the filthy jails of the imperialist powers. These not long ago had opened their borders –when their economies where booming- for the workers from Africa, Middle East and Turkey to take the worse menial jobs, which pay them miserably and where they are treated as slaves. But now that the crisis is here, the imperialist powers doesn’t need them for the time and so throws them away, jails them repress them with their counterrevolutionary shock forces as in Italy or hang stones from their necks for them to drown into the Mediterranean Sea.
Comrades: we address you from the American Continent. the battered North American working class and its awakening against the war were outrageously surrendered by the treacherous left misleaderships grouped in the so called world Social Forum to the feet of the Democratic Party of the bloodthirsty imperialists Obama and Clinton who have not only supported murderous Bush but they themselves will surely deepen his plan of domination and plundering of the planet.
Honor to your Antiwar Assembly! You from Japan have declared that “the enemy is at home”, that is the own Japanese imperialism. That is the duty of every worker organization in the imperialist powers: “the enemy is at home!”. All the forces of the working class of the imperialist countries to the service of their class brothers and sisters of the oppressed peoples of the world!
There we can see the north American working class that has lost one by one all its gains, not only the loss of the purchasing power of their wages and salaries, but even their houses, a plague that more than 40 million workers suffer in the US nowadays.
Because the better accomplishes each imperialist power in its “adventures” abroad reaping gains in the semi-colonies and colonies, the worse will it treat its “own” working class, the same as it treats the working class of the countries that it invades and plunders.
But the responsible of the paralysis of the working class of the imperialist powers has a name and a surname: it is the treason by the worker aristocracies and bureaucracies which nurture social-democracy, the remains of Stalinism, the class collaborationist union bureaucracies and now also the renegades of Trotskyism.
Now as never before the program inherited from the founders in 1938 of the Fourth International shows its vigor: the crisis of humankind boils down, ultimately to the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat. How quickly the vanguard of the international working class is able to unify its ranks and forces under the revolutionary program and strategies, will be the only guaranty for the entire human society and its civilization not to be carried to barbarism by this rotten capitalist imperialist system. This is the foundation on which our greetings and good wishes for your Assembly are based.
We invite you to open quickly an enriching debate to clarify our mutual positions, because we think that today i is necessary to conquer an International Conference of the healthy forces of the principles Trotskyists and the revolutionary workers organizations in order to prepare a worldwide offensive of the exploited masses. Because the crac and the wars have put at the top of the order of the day the prognosis by revolutionary Marxism: “Socialism or Barbarism!”. And the war cry of the Third International of Lenin and Trotsky: “For the world working class to live, imperialism must die!”
We call you to vote together in your International Assembly –and we raise it as a motion, a proposal to be developed- that to combat, to defend the working class gains and to get new victories, it is necessary for the workers of the world not to have their best fighters held as hostages, jailed in the dungeons of their class enemy. We call you to impel a worldwide campaign of international fighting in all the countries for the immediate freedom of the prisoners in Guantanamo, of the Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan prisoners that languish in the filthy jails of the occupiers; for the immediate release of the more than 7200 political prisoners from the Colombian resistance; also in Argentina, for the release of the workers imprisoned in Las Heras (Argentine Patagonia), who have been imprisoned by the Kirchner government, a puppet of the imperialist Big Oil, because they rebelled against their dire work conditions, asking for better wages and working conditions, and confronting the union bureaucracy that once and again surrenders their struggles to the bourgeoisie. This is a part of the fight for the release of all the political prisoners worldwide!
Comrades: when the Marxist movement split into two opposite tendencies: reform and revolution in 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, on one side there was the socialdemocracy that voted for the war credits for the proletariat to die in the slaughterhouse of the imperialist war; while on the other side, together with Lenin, the forces of revolutionary Marxism grouped themselves in Zimmerwald and Kienthal, setting the embryo of a revolutionary proletarian leadership that prepared the October Revolution in Russia and the foundation of the heroic revolutionary Third International of the ‘20s.
When in the ‘30s Stalinism went to the counterrevolutionary camp with its policy of “socialism in one single country” and of popular fronts, the forces of bolshevism re-grouped their scattered forces in the Fourth International of 1938.
After decades of adaptations and capitulations, first, and of treason later, the renegades of Trotskyism have put the Fourth International in the first place to the feet of Stalinism and then of the world bourgeoisie; that it they have liquidated it as a World Party of Socialist Revolution. But the continuity of its legacy, of its theory, its program and its revolutionary lessons, and the resistance to its liquidation have developed at the level of some different fractions, groups and currents that today need to re-group their forces at an international level under a revolutionary program.
We vow before your Assembly for the regrouping of the internationalist workers that need an international “general staff” to guide their combats and their whole struggle all over the world, so that it comes to life as a material, concrete reality in the near future.
Death to imperialism! For the triumph of the international socialist revolution! Let’s write again together with letters of fire the program of the founders of scientific socialism: “THE LIBERATION OF THE WORKERS WILL BE THE WORK OF THE OWN WORKERS, OR IT WON’T BE!”
Revolutionary greetings to the revolutionary combatants of the Japanese proletariat!
Secretariat of International Coordination and Action
of the Fracción Leninista Trotskista (Leninist Trotskyist Fraction)
Partido Obrero Internacionalista-(POI-CI) of Chile.
Liga Trotskista Internacionalista (LTI) de Perú
Liga Obrera Internacionalista-Democracia Obrera (LOI-CI-DO) of Argentina
Fracao Trotskista (FT) of Brazil
Communist Workers Group (CWG) of New Zealand
Liga Trotskista Internacionalista (LTI) of Bolivia