International Communist Movement:
Fifth Meeting of the Revolutionary and Anti-Imperialist Parties, Movements and Organisations of South America
1) The situation in South America is marked by an increase in the struggle of the masses of workers, peasants, indigenous people, students, women, youths, professionals, artists and intellectuals, and peoples.
In South America, since the Caracazo of 1989 [uprising against neo-liberal policies that took place in Caracas and other parts of Venezuela],* there have been three uprisings of the peoples of Ecuador that overthrew established governments. The indigenous peoples went to Quito and converged with the workers and student movement, and with a part of the Armed Forces. There was the Paraguayan March [demonstrations in March of 1999 to defend democracy, in which many people were killed or wounded]. In December of 2001 the Argentinazo [mass demonstrations in Argentina against IMF plans, leading to the downfall of the President and the Minister of Economy] took place. The coup attempt in Venezuela was defeated. The town protests of Peru, particularly of Puno and Ilavi, took place. Large peasant and popular struggles continued in Paraguay; Bolivia has become the main preoccupation of the imperialists and the local ruling classes. After the war over water in Cochabamba, the uprising of the popular sectors took on characteristics of an insurrection. The Working Class is persisting in the struggle for its rights, for wages and against the flexibilisation of labour. The wage struggle is a fundamental struggle that lays bare the structural adjustment plans and is now mobilising the working class in various countries of the continent.
On the other hand, the rejection by the masses of the supposed indisputable truths of so-called neo-liberalism is broadening: the benefits of liberty and the deregulation of the market, the benefits of privatisations, the advantages of being partners with the U.S., etc.
These anti-imperialist, anti-oligarchic, democratic and revolutionary struggles are converting South America into one of the weak links in the chain of imperialism. This shows that it is possible to confront imperialism and the enemies of the peoples.
2) In Argentina the Argentinazo emerged from an objectively revolutionary situation, after a prolonged period of upsurge of the masses. It allowed for the opening up of the experience of popular assemblies among many sectors, the exercise of direct democracy, running factories by their workers, permanent struggles of those without work, etc. Their fires are still burning, despite the attempts of the ruling classes to put them out. Today, the working class is the principal actor in the great struggles that are simultaneously confronting the politics of the government and of the traitorous union leaders.
In Bolivia, the workers, peasants, original peoples and other popular sectors are struggling against imperialist and oligarchic positions for the nationalisation of oil and gas. The popular victory will continue by way of the defeat of the social-democrats and opportunists who are the support of the present government. A mobilisation of this magnitude achieved its first victory by throwing out the government of Sanchéz de Lozada and now it is ready to throw out his successor Carlos Mesa.
In Ecuador the workers, peoples and youth are protagonists in large mobilisations for their rights, for freedom, democracy and sovereignty. Time and again they rose up in a combative manner and were able to oust three governments and to affirm a liberating project that includes the working class, the Indian peoples and other popular sectors, and which put forward the struggle for a NEW FATHERLAND.
In Brazil, since the victory of the PT [Workers Party] of Lula a new cycle has begun. This force has come to govern in order to administer the old state. There are important worker and popular struggles against the flexibilisation of labour and against the reform of the social forecast. The poor peasants and those without land are especially firm in persisting in their struggles against large landownership and for agrarian reform.
In Paraguay, the advance of the struggles of the peasantry is following a revolutionary political course with direct confrontation with the large landowning oligarchy and their pro-imperialist governments in spite of attempts to appease them; this struggle is growing continuously with the Popular Assemblies that are channels for direct participation of the people.
In this way the Working Class is advancing together with other popular sectors. It is defining the character of the oligarchic and pro-imperialist government of the State. The only way to find the solution to the serious political and social problems is to confront this politics with mobilisation, occupation of large estates and strengthening the channels of direct and organised participation by the people.
In Uruguay there have developed, in this period, important struggles of the workers, students and people, where the struggle for wages and against privatisations stands out. In 2004 the attempt to privatise the water and health services was defeated.
In the elections last October 31, the traditional parties of the oligarchy suffered a serious defeat with the victory of the Broad Front; despite its opportunist nature, this expresses the will for profound changes by the majority of the people.
3) These struggles in South America are stimulated by the resistance to the Yankee invasion in Iraq. The resistance has grown, has liberated cities; the heroic resistance of the Iraqi people, given the disproportion in their resources, has revived the struggle and the anti-imperialist sentiment of all the peoples of the world, and has prevented the aggression from being immediately extended to other countries.
The aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism, unleashed particularly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, with the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and later of Iraq, seemed invincible. However, the heroic resistance of the Iraqi people has bogged the coalition of aggressors down, and, together with the struggle of the Palestinian people, has converted the Middle East into a storm centre where the main battles against imperialism are being waged today.
4) Bush’s policy since the beginning has been a warmonger’s policy, which has produced various contradictions with other powers.
After his re-election, Bush widened the list of the countries threatened with preventive war. His argument is now ‘democracy,’ the ‘freedom’ against tyranny. Besides Cuba, there are also included Byelorussia, Iran, Syria, Burma, North Korea and Zimbabwe, and he has intensified his threats against Venezuela.
Bush’s government is looking to war to provide a solution to the sharp crisis of the economy, but moreover, his main objective is to make use of his position as the only superpower to move on to a new redistribution of spheres of influence in the world that would allow him to control the oil reserves on a world scale With this, he could put Europe and Japan on rations, and to restrict China to the extent possible. However, the situation of the economy is very grave, and even the imperialist media themselves recognise this and therefore for several months they have been sounding the alarm.
5) The crisis that is developing in all of South America is continuing to erupt. It is the whole system that is in question, the capitalist imperialist system of exploitation, robbery and the domination of the working class and the peoples and nations of the world, which is leaving millions of people hungry and out of work; it is not just one particular characteristic that in the economy of each country. In all the countries of South America the foreign debt has grown to extremely high levels, as one of the main forms of imperialist domination and exploitation. The workers suffer from lack of jobs, low salaries and flexibilisation of labour. Large land ownership has been strengthened and extended and this has aggravated the situation of the peasants, who suffer from usury and low prices for their products. Thousands are being thrown off their lands.
6) Yankee imperialism’s policy for Latin America has a military and an economic arm. The blockade together with the threats and provocations against Cuba, the Plan Colombia, the installation of military bases in various countries of the continent, the coup in Venezuela, the joint military manoeuvres, the agreements with the Bolivian army, are part of the first, while FTAA [Free Trade Agreement of the Americas], NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] and the foreign debt are the bases of the second. They are intervening actively in the counter-insurgency war in Colombia, through the Plan Colombia and the PATRIOT Plan; they are trying to extend it to the so-called Andean Regional Initiative, which is trying to involve the countries of the area in an eventual military intervention in Colombia. They are encouraging repressive policies in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia under the pretext of combating drug trafficking. They are threatening to intervene on the triple border [presumably of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil], a zone of strategic value, under the pretext of fighting terrorism. They are maintaining the criminal blockade against Cuba and are trying to have it condemned in the UN. They are trying to set up more military bases in carious countries, such as that of Alcántara in Brazil, and the one they are trying to establish in Patagonia, and they are developing joint military and naval exercises in various regions of the continent.
In contending with other imperialist countries, they are also trying to take control of zones rich in natural resources, bio-diversity and reserves of fresh water, such as in the Amazon Basin, the Bolivian Chapare and the Guaraní aquifer with arguments that they are defending the ecology. They are also manoeuvring to seize Patagonia and are trying to transfer the most polluting production, such as that of cellulose, to our countries.
They have made the intervention of the IMF and the Yankees more open and unmasked, who are imposing their permanent structural adjustment plans for payment of the debt, privatisations, opening up the economy and imposing regressive laws such as the [spending] limits on the state bank in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, etc. In Bolivia the U.S. embassy intervenes directly to save the governments that are servile to their interests.
However, U.S. imperialism is finding growing difficulties for its plans in South America, in the first place, from the growing popular and revolutionary struggle of the peoples, and in the second place from the inter-imperialist contention in the region.
For more than 40 years Cuba has been maintaining its resistance to the blockade and the permanent aggression of Yankee imperialism.
A social and political process is developing in Venezuela that is involving millions of people. The Chávez government is affecting the interests of U.S. imperialism and the oligarchy and therefore this is leading to a reactionary attack utilising the action of the big media, the employers’ mobilisations and lockouts and the military coup. It is being threatened with mass killings. We express our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the Chávez government.
In contention with the FTAA, accords have been carried out between Mercosur and Europe. Mercosur in its development of more than ten years, far from being an instrument of integration of the peoples and development of their countries, has only served the imperialist monopolies and has especially affected the economies of Uruguay and Paraguay.
The South American Community of Nations has been created. It is a draft of accords and struggles with U.S. imperialism, under the hegemony of Brazil, which is trying in the future to sign accords with the countries of southern Africa, the Arab countries and India, and to agree in that struggle with the European, Russian or Chinese monopoly bourgeoisie.
7) The problem now is how the working class can lead these battles, for the anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic struggle on the basis of the worker-peasant alliance, the hegemony of the working class led by a proletarian line, and the independence of the popular revolutionary fight with regard to the struggle among those on top without failing to utilize their contradictions. The economic crisis also creates the objective conditions that allow the political parties of the proletariat and the revolutionaries to advance the gigantic mass movements that are taking place, and to struggle to orient them and lead them with a liberating content.
There are reformist, revisionist and opportunist forces who claim that the conditions do not exist, that there is not an alternative for a politics of the left in the conditions of South America and in the world today. Therefore they support governments such as those of Kirchner [in Argentina] or of Lula, which are carrying on a politics of neo-development, and are trying to carry out a certain industrial development while maintaining hunger, super-exploitation and large landownership.
Another argument that is used to try to put a brake on the struggles is that of keeping in mind the main enemy, which they reduce and limit to U.S. imperialism, while accommodating themselves to the European, Russian or Chinese interests, powers that, whether they are in unity or in struggle with U.S. imperialism, are following their own interests and not those of the oppressed nations. This line is different from that of taking advantage of the contradictions among those powers while maintaining ones independence.
The oligarchic imperialist power in our countries cannot be destroyed by the peaceful path. Historical experience has shown us that, for the triumph of the revolution it is indispensable to count on a strong movement of the masses, a real, correct and fighting vanguard of the proletariat and a tool sufficient to guarantee the exercise of the revolutionary violence of the masses in response to the violence unleashed by the ruling classes; without these one cannot be successful in the strategic objectives that inspire us.
The social revolution is the work of the masses, and in such a movement the working class fulfills its vanguard role. For this, it must incorporate other classes and popular sectors, developing an appropriate politics of unity.
In this last period the anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces in our countries are growing and in some the Marxist-Leninists forces are gaining recognition. Their strengthening, learning the lessons of these great popular battles, is decisive in order for this increase in the struggles under way to march forward toward revolutionary outcomes, toward the triumph of the revolution of liberation, toward the triumph of socialism.
As[uncion, Paraguay] May, 2005
Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Bolivia
Brazilian Centre of Solidarity with the Peoples
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador
Revolutionary Popular Movement of Paraguay Pyahura
Revolutionary Communist Party of Uruguay
* All material in square brackets are notes from the translator.
From En Marcha #1283
August 19-25, 2005
Translated from the Spanish by George Gruenthal
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