Sunday, December 31, 2006



The victory of the Democrats on November 7 in the US mid-term elections gave them control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The victory was widely hailed as a vote of no-confidence in Bush’s war in Iraq. Chávez, Castro and other leading figures of World Social Forum congratulated the Democrats calling the victory “a defeat for neoliberalism”. The fake Trotskyists also said that the result of the election was a “defeat of Bush”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The only defeat for Bush was that inflicted by the Iraqi Resistance and the militancy of US workers!

The defeat for Bush was inflicted by the heroic Iraqi resistance and the flood of body bags coming home, and not the ‘rebellion of the voters’ lauded by the fake Trotskyists. It was the Iraqi bullets and not the American ballots (which can never ‘defeat’ the bourgeoisie) that counted in the election. It was the defeat inflicted by the Palestinian people and the oppressed people of Southern Lebanon that defeated and humiliated the military machine of the Zionist-fascist state of Israel, acting as the US gendarme in the Middle East.

It was the defeat inflicted by the awakening of the US working class mobilising against the war – like the Movement of the Million Workers against the war; more than 1,500 demonstrations against the war; the thousands of local committees that built giant mobilizations fighting the bosses offensive against work conditions to casualise and drive up the rate of exploitation; and the campaigns that organized to defend the workers left to die by the state in hurricane Katrina.

It was the massive upsurge of millions of Latino migrants, treated as pariahs in the US, who organized a national strike on 1st May. It was the Spanish workers who on March 2004 rallied to the cry: “The war is yours, the dead are ours”; and the heroic young workers who in 2005 set alight the cities in France to the battle cry: “Every night we will make Paris a Baghdad”.

It was these heroic resistance struggles that has broken the teeth of the imperialistic offensive, the “war on terror” against the “axis of evil”, launched by Bush in 2001 on behalf of imperialist finance capital, in response to the revolutionary upsurges in the semi-colonial world like in Ecuador, Palestine, Indonesia followed by Argentina and Bolivia, and the world economic crisis that hit the US and saw Wall St lose 8 trillion dollars in one year.

The objectives of this counter-offensive were clear: US imperialism had to redesign the map of the semi colonial world to grab control of the vital oil reserves and pipelines, raw materials and cheap labor. In its back yard - Latin America, its main goal was to force the FTAA on all countries as it had done with Mexico and Chile in the 1990s. In the Middle East and Central Asia, its objective was to re-colonise Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations to take direct control of oil at the expense of the national bourgeoisies and its imperialist rivals France and Germany.

The counter-offensive required the Bonapartisation of the US regime and a intensified attack on the working class of that country. Thus, the fraudulently elected Bush government using the attack on the Twin Towers and the reactionary attacks on Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq, erected a Bonapartist-police regime with state power concentrated in the White House and the Democrats supporting the 'war on terror' and home and abroad.

But the objectives of the US offensive were more ambitious still. For Bush and the US bosses the recolonization of the Middle East and Central Asia were beach heads to mount a wider attack on China and Russia. Not content with the restoration of capitalism in these former workers states, the US ruling class wants to turn them into US colonies or protectorates grabbing their resources and depriving their rivals, France and Germany of any share in the booty. It is the wider ambition of this plan that has met with defeat due to the resistance of the masses, nothing to do with the election.

On the contrary, the result of the election of 7th November are a victory for the US imperialist regime of which Bush, and the Republican and Democratic Parties, are part. It is a victory because it allows President Bush to retain the support of the warmongering, anti-labor and anti-immigrant "Republicrats” and continue with his imperialist counter-offensive.

Today, the Democratic imperialists say to the masses that they can solve their problems. The treacherous union bureaucrats call on workers to vote Democrat to "defeat Bush”. These are the “democratic” pacifists of Clinton who led the slaughter in the Balkans in the 90s; of Carter, backer of the bloodthirsty military dictatorships of Latin America in the 80s; of the Kennedys, who began the colonial war against the the Vietnamese people in the 60s, and the Roosevelts who led the US imperialist war that ended by wiping Hiroshima and Nakasaki off the map with atomic bombs.

To claim that the ballot box can stop the US counter-revolutionary offensive while the Iraqi nation is still occupied and bleeding is to desecrate the tomb of more than half-a-million Iraqian workers and who have been killed by the Anglo-Yankee troops. To claim that the electoral victory of the Democratic imperialist killers is the “expression” of the Iraqi resistance, of the heroic militias who fell fighting in Fallujah and left unburied as food for dogs, is a huge insult to the oppressed peoples of the world.

The Democrats are a pacifist lid to stop an upsurge of US workers against a new 'Vietnam'

The failure of the plan to occupy and colonise Iraq has raised the spectre of a new Vietman before the eyes of the US ruling class. It fears that the resistance of the Iraqi masses may turn the occupation into a workers and peasants revolution in the Middle East. More than that it fears that the defeat of the US army in Iraq will spark the US workers revolution inside the US. The US ruling class is well aware that the risks of its gambit in Iraq includes an insurrection, not only in the Middle East, but also at home, where the US bourgeoisie has intensified its attacks on its own working class.

But the bourgeoisie will stop at nothing when it sees its property and class rule threatened by the masses. For example, after the victory of the Russian revolution in 1917, the world bourgeoisie quickly learned that it had to destroy the soviets at all costs. It grasped immediately that soviets were the form of workers class power irreconciably confronting the power of the power of the bourgeois state, and capable, under a revolutionary leadership, of removing the treacheous misleaders paid by the bourgeoisie to strangle the soviets, and taking power.

In the same way, US imperialism learned the lesson of the defeat suffered in Vietnam: it learned that it must prevent at all costs a defeat of its troops in a semi-colonial country from turning into the start of a proletarian revolution, particularly in its own 'homeland'.

To prevent Iraq from becoming another Vietnam, the US ruling class called on the Democrat machine backed by the gangster union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, and internationally by Chávez, Castrism and the fake Trotskyists, to create a big wave of pacifism to divert and contain the US working class, with its potential class power becoming aroused, into voting Democrat to 'defeat' Bush.

To 'defeat' Bush then, workers were trapped into voting for a party that: supported the war against Afghanistan and Iraq and voted the war budget; the “patriotic laws” attacking the civil liberties of the masses; all the attacks by the bosses on workers' historic gains; the enslavement of the twelve million immigrant workers in the US, and the building of a wall on the Mexican border!

The election result is therefore a victory for the bourgeoisie. Rather than being a crisis for the Bush regime, the imperialistic regime of the “Republicrats” has been strengthened by containing the growing movement of the US working class against the war, stopping any development of the struggle against the war from breaking with the union officials and the Democrats, and mobilising against the attacks on workers such as Katrina and immigration laws.

Containing workers resistance to the 'war on terror' at home is critical in implementing the plans of the US bosses to liquidate of all of the conquests of the labor movement and force the closure of plants, sackings, wage cuts, loss of pensions and health insurance etc., so that US corporates can compete with their relocated plants in China, Vietnam and Latin America.

The victory of the Republicrats and the big wave of pacifism means that the US ruling class has been able to prevent, for the moment, the development of independent organisations of the super-exploited working class that works more than 50 hours a week for miserable wages, where 50 million do not have access to basic health care, where 35 million live in hunger, and whose living conditions are becoming more and more like their class brothers and sisters in Latin America.

The Democratic plan to rescue the profits of US business from the Iraqi marsh

The result of the elections reflects a pact between the different fractions of US imperialism - such as oil, construction, the military etc who were the dominant fraction in 2001 - with the corporations that have relocated their production to China, Asia and Latin America. They have agreed to protect the wider interests of US capitalism by making an orderly exit from Iraq so that the resistance to the occupation does not turn into a revolution in the semi-colony or in the 'homeland'.

This pact junks the tactical failures of the “war on terror” and the “axis of evil” and creates a new bipartisan foreign policy of US pacifism, and new agreements with the national bourgeoisies to contain the masses and protect the interests of US business. Thus, Syria and Iran are no longer to be classified as “terrorist states” and are now being invited to 'mediate' and 'guarantee' 'peace' in Iraq and the Middle East.

As is always the case, where the imperialists make agreements with national bourgeoisies, the currency that pays for these dirty dealings is the blood of the oppressed masses. The imperialists and the national bourgeoisies have a common interest which is to contain the masses to ensure their superexploitation is maintained.

So in Lebanon, after the heroic masses defeat of the Zionist army, the bourgeois leaders of Hizbollah made a deal with the imperialistic powers, the UN, and Israel that allowed the Zionists to again enter Gaza killing and destroying. This deal is also in the interests of the Palestinean bourgeoisies' national unity government of Hamas and Fatah and a “two states” solution that guarantees the enslavement of the Palestinean masses. At the same time, the Shiite bourgeoisie of Hizbollah is now in position to become the leading fraction of the Lebanese bourgeoisie.

In the same way, the plan of the Democrats to make an orderly retreat from Iraq is to do a deal with the national bourgeoisies of Syria and Iran, so that they control the popular resistance in Iraq and cover the backs of the US forces as they withdraw. Instead of encouraging and fomenting the fratricidal wars between Sunni and Shiite militias to divert the resistance from the occupying forces, the US will now use the regional national elites as its 'partners' to suppress the 'civil war'.

Thus, the Iranian Shiite bourgeoisie will be made responsible for the control of the Shiite masses and disarming the militias of Al Sadr, while the Syrian bourgeoisie will be expected to isolate and crush the resistance of the militias by stopping the supply of arms, equipment and ammunition across the Syrian border.

As its part in the "withdrawal" US imperialism will unleash a blood bath in the so-called "Sunni Triangle" sending thousands of troops to wipe out the heart of the resistance in the same way it destroyed Fallujah. It will also unleash its troops against the Madhi brigades of Al Sadr in Sadr city in Baghdad. At the same time the Syrian and Iranian bourgeosies will create a regular army capable of finishing off the resistance and creating a stable Iraqi regime that serves the the interests of US imperialism and its allies and the Syrian and Iranian bourgeoisies.

This is the “withdrawal” plan being prepared by US imperialism today under the leadership of the Democrats, and with the collaboration of Chávez, Castro and the World Social Forum of “pacifists” and “negotiators”!

The US ruling class can today pay the price of this 'pacifist' policy of pacts and agreements with the national bourgeoisies in the Middle East to suppress the mass resistance thanks to the increased profits extracted from the working class and the raw materials plundered from the semicolonies and the ex-workers states, and the attack on the past gains of the working class in the 'homeland'.

Thus the terms of the agreement in Iraq will be the division of the oil wealth to be appropriated from the Iraqi masses by the imperialists, and the Syrian and Iranian bourgeoisies. The Democrats are confident that the US transnationals can make a deal that is no worse than those they are making with the populist 'pacifist democratic' leaders in Latin America!

With hundreds of millions of workers enslaved by the transnational companies located in the restored capitalist economy of China; with Latin America transformed into a reservoir of cheap labor in the assembly plants in Central America and its raw materials plundered by the big imperialist monopolies in the MERCOSUR countries; with the ex-workers states of Eastern Europe supplying cheap labor for the European imperialist transnationals; with the Russian working class oppressed by the Putin ex-KGB arms-dealers turned into bourgeois junior partners of imperialism; with US workers losing their past gains and working more than a 50 hour week; the German working class working 40 hour weeks to compete with German plants relocated to China and East Europe; there are more profits to bribe the national bourgeoisies.

While in the United States the Democrats 'peace' plan has succeeded in preventing the antiwar movement from spreading and uniting with other workers struggles, in the EU new popular front governments are playing the same role. In Italy and France popular fronts are in preparation as the renewed attacks against the masses by the “right” governments of Berlusconi and Chirac-Sarkozy will risk causing the revolutionary explosion of the masses. Popular Front governments of the 'left' will be better able to divert the masses struggles into parliament and 'pacify' the working class as in the face of new interimperialistic disputes and colonial adventures over labor reserves, raw materials, zones of influence new and superior colonial adventure.

Meanwhile, in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina, populist parties (popular fronts in one single party) of the “Bolivarian Revolution” or popular front governments steal and strangle the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggles of the masses. These regimes, while pretending to oppose US imperialism, in reality act as its agents and enforce the super-exploitation of the working class and the ongoing plundering of the natural wealth of the semi-colonies of the Southern Cone.

In Chile and Mexico, countries dominated by the US through free trade agreements, the fake Trotskyist left is weak and there has been no left populist front capable of tying the hands of the masses and prevent them from rising up in pre-revolutionary insurrections against the right wing bonapartist regimes which have turned these countries into virtual colonial protectorates of US imperialism.

Indeed, to prevent that happening in Nicaragua, the popular front of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas - those ex- “guerrilla commanders”, now the yuppies of Wall Street and agents of CAFTA who sold out the Central American revolution in the agreements of Esquipulas and Contadora, along with Fidel Castro, has been elected as the government.

The big pacifist wave in the United States; pacts and agreements with the native bourgeoisies; class collaborationist governments of the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Latin America; preventive popular fronts in imperialist Europe, these are all policies of the imperialist powers to prevent the heroic Iraqi resistance and the defeat suffered by the Zionists in Lebanon from sparking off a workers and farmers revolution in those countries, and in turn spreading like a prairie fire to the working classes of the metropolises.

The WSF creates a “democratic front” to disarm the workers before an imperialist counter-revolution

The big pacifist wave to divert workers from developing the antiwar movement in the US would not have succeeded without the political treachery of the reformist leaders in the World Social Forum who have recycled the old Stalinist policy of supporting the "democratic" imperialists against the “fascists”.

In 1935, as World War II approached, Stalin and imperialist France signed the Stalin-Laval pact of “nonaggression” and collaboration as a “democratic” front against the imperialist “fascists” of Germany.

In this way, the Stalinist bureaucracy said to the worlds workers that the fight was not class against class against every bourgeoisie, but a fight to defend the "democractic” bourgeoisie against the “fascist” bourgeoisie, and that the defense of the USSR was not that of the workers but that of the "democratic" bourgeoisie. With this political left cover for class collaboration the Stalinist bureaucracy sold-out the Spanish and French revolutions, completed the liquidation of III the International, betrayed the world revolution and opened the road to the imperialist slaughter of World War II.

This same policy of the “democratic front” is that which today is promoted by the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum in the United States. The union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO - supporters of Bush and the invasion of Iraq, obeyed its masters, the US bourgeoisie, and contributed hundreds of million dollars of the union dues of the workers, to the electoral campaign of the Democrats. The traditional leaders of the Latino labor movement - allied to the catholic church, pacifists, etc. - and also the Communist Party of the US called openly and directly for workers to vote for the Democrats.

But the decisive thing in the success of the big pacifist wave was the the influence of Castroism and fake Trotskyism which play a treacherous role in the new organizations that have emerged in the US working class to oppose the war. These currents did not directly or openly call for a vote for the Democratic Party, but they played a central role in diverting the emerging indepenedent struggles of workers into the Democratic Party machine.

The first example was the undermining of the call to for a national strike of the 1st December, 2005, put out by more than 700 workers organizations against the war and to support the victims of Katrina. The reformist leaders conspired to transform that strike into a day of “commemoration” of the struggle “civil rights”.

In the same way, months later, under the leadership of the catholic church and the pacifists, the magnificent struggle of twelve million migrant workers, mainly Latina, who called a national strike on May 1st 2006, was diverted behind the Democrats. When the new anti-immigrant law which threatened to deport up to 12 million "illegal" immigrants was met with a massive wave of protests, the treacherous leadership wanted to amend the law in Congress. These reformists put a stop to the mobilisation of an independent migrant movement which is capable of directly challenging the policy of the US bourgeoisie to use the 'illegality' of migrant workers to continue persecuting, jailing and deporting them in order to super-exploit them as wage slaves.

These treacherous leaders made sure that the each of these currents and organisations do not coordinate and centralise their struggles. The guarantee that each fight, strike or mobilization is isolated and contained. For example the demonstation in support of the Oaxaca commune were separated from those of migrant workers. Mobilizations against the war were isolated from the labor struggles of unionists to defend their gains from attack, and from organizing support for the victims of Katrina etc.

By this means, the new layers of millions of workers roused by the war, Katrina and the anti-migrant laws, were coralled into the 'democratic front', subordinated to the bourgeois, petty bourgeois and treachersous WSF leaderships, and steered into voting for the imperialist killers of the Democratic Party.

US Workers: Your first task is to fight for the Victory of Iraq and the Defeat of the US troops in Iraq!

Once again, at the moment, the treacherous leaders have succeeded in making the US workers kneel before their imperialistic bourgeoisie, this time to the killers of the Democratic Party. The US proletariat will pay a high price for this new treason. The more they capitulate to their own ruling class the more it is able to intensify the superexploitation, invasions and massacres in the colonies, semi-colonies, protectorates and the ex-workers states. And the more counter-revolutionary victories the imperialists win in their colonial adventures, the greater the atttacks on the jobs, conditions and rights of their own working class bringing it down to the level of the workerfs in Latin America and then that of Iraq, Palestine, Asia, Africa, etc.

As understood by Marxists in the 19th Century, "a people that oppresses another one cannot be free itself”. In the last few years, the emergence of the resistance to the colonial war in Iraq in the US working class began to approach this understanding. And for this reason the leaders of the WSF have conspired to force it so retreat from any break with its own imperialist bourgeoisie. That is why, today, the first necessary task of the US working class must be to break with its own imperialist bourgeoisie - "The main enemy is at home!"

  • Down with the new imperialistic plans of pacts and agreements with the bourgeoisies of Syria and Iranian to massacre the resistance and to collaborate with Bush and the Republicrats!
  • Down with the imperialist regime of the “Republicrats”, killer of the peoples of the world and exploiter of the US proletariat!
  • US troops out of Afghanistan, the Middle East and Asia!
  • Immediate and unconditional freedom for the prisoners of Guantánamo, the secret jails of the CIA, the imprisoned and tortured militia fighters of the Iraqi resistance in Abu Graib, etc.!
  • For the destruction of the Zionist-fascist state of Israel, the gendarme of US imperialism and killer of the Palestinian people!

Only by breaking with its own imperialistic bourgeoisie and the “Republicrat” regime and standing up across the whole continent calling for the victory of its Iraqi brothers and sisters against the US troops, will the US working class be able to end its subordination to the Democratic Party and class collaborationist politics of the "democratic front" of Stalinism, Castroism and its 'left' cover, the fake Trotskyists.

Only by building militant organizations independent of the state to fight for a national Congress of rank and file delegates of all the workers and exploited peoples organizations can the unions be rid of the treacherous bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO and the imposters of the “Change to Win” and other equally collaborationist leaders who have betrayed the movement in support of the peoples oppressed and killed by US imperialism, and the mobilisation of struggles to resist the attacks on their jobs, wages, conditions, and rights.

A Congress of rank and file delegates of all militant workers organizations in the US could mount a national campaign in support of the heroic workers and peasants Commune of Oaxaca, now repessed by the troops of the Mexican army sent by Fox-Calderón, servants of their US master, and give massive support to the workers and peasants revolution in Bolivia that is today stolen by the popular front of Morales government and the policy of class collaboration of the World Social Forum, and so help these struggle return to the revolutionary road.

  • US imperialists out of Latin America!
  • US out of Guantánamo!
  • Down with the economic, political and military free trade agreements of NAFTA, CAFTA, MERCOSUR, and all treaties that subjugate and exploit the Latin American nations in the interests of imperialism!
  • For the expropriation without compensation and under workers control of all the US companies and properties in Iraq, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa!

Such a Workers Congress would organize a united struggle to demand that the wages and conditions won by US workers in corporates such as Ford, General Motors, and the other transnational monopolies, must apply to all the workers in their plants relocated in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Such a militant campaign would lend huge support to the defensive struggles of the Chinese proletariat against the conditions of wage-slavery imposed by the transnationals, turning it into a counter-offensive that can open up the road to a new proletarian revolution that overthrows the semi-fascist regime of the new Chinese bourgeoisie, expropriates all the transnational companies, and establishes a dictatorship of the proletariat in the ex-workers state.

It is the duty of the US working class which has shared in the superprofits of imperialist exploitation to stand up and make this fight, just as it is the duty of workers of the European imperialist powers to support the struggle of the Russian and other workers of the former USSR against the semi-fascist regime of Putin and the new Russian bourgeoisie.

Breaking with the US bourgeoisie, and taking into its hands the demands of its class brothers and sisters of the nations subjugated by its own imperialism, the US proletariat can use its massive strength to resist further attacks, and reclaim its lost gains, and demand the rights of all migrant workers to automatic citizenship and all other legal, social and political rights.

  • Smash the Minutemen vigilantes!
  • Pull down the apartheid wall on the border!
  • End the slavery of US workers: down with sellout deals of the AFL-CIO bureaucrats, and the new bureaucrats of “Change to win” that give away jobs, wages, conditions and rights!
  • Worthy Work for all, with a sliding scale of working hours and wages, a minimum wage at the level of the cost of the family shopping basket and indexed according to the inflation!
  • Nationalization without compensation and under workers control of all company that close or dismisses workers!
  • Immediate payment of an unemployed wage equal to the minimum wage for all vacated worker!
  • Guaranteed retirement benefit at age 60 years equal to the minumum wage!
  • Free quality health care for all workers and their families, guaranteed by the employers and the state!

Breaking its ties to the bourgeoisie, defeating the union bureaucracy and the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum, the US working class will be able to ride the big pacifist wave that currently engulfs it, and mount a massive struggle against its own imperialist bourgeoisie and the 'Republicrat' regime, that can transform its defensive campaigns against the war and the bosses attacks into the beginning of the socialist revolution in the US.

This is an edited and shorterned version of an article first published in Workers Democracy, No 19, December 2006, journal of LOI -CI (International Workers League - Fourth International) of Argentina, member of the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Imperialism pushes Fiji towards another coup

The Fijian military has renewed its threat to depose the Government unless it drops its intentions to pardon those involved in the 2000 coup, and to put coastal property into the hands of tribal chiefs. The Australian government concerned to protect its economic interests in Fiji is pushing for the sacking of the Army chief for sedition. The head of the military, Commodore Bainimarama, on the other hand paints himself as the hero and not the villain, rescuing Fiji from imperialist recolonisation. Certain sections on the left caught in the trap of wanting to see the Fiji military in a good light, are comparing Bainimarama to Hugo Chavez. Let’s look at the background and find out what’s really going on.

“He (Fiji Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase) has been on record to say that Fijians have been waiting for these bills for donkeys years when we all know that only a handful of people will gain from these…..The people have been waiting for water to be continuous in their taps for more than donkey’s years and the rising crime rate is not doing anyone any good, including the criminals. Poverty and unemployment have risen and Qarase is waiting for bills that we are not all going to benefit from.”
Commodore Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama, Fiji Times Nov 9 2006

The Racial Tolerance and Unity Bill (RTU) and the Qoliqoli (traditional fishing grounds) Bill that are at the heart of the present crisis, are just the latest fight among the Fiji ruling class since the Rabuka coups of 1987 over who will reap the benefits of imperialist exploitation. Such troubles go back to an even earlier period when in 1874, Ratu Seru Cakabau (the King of Fiji), ceded the islands over to Britain in order to stave off a US invasion based on debts the King had run up with American business interests. Bainimarama’s current role seems to be a similar strong-man attempt to shield ordinary Fijians from the ravages of imperialist re-colonisation.

The essence of the RTU which had the backing of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) and the leaders of the Methodist Church, was to give amnesty to the right wing coup plotters of 2000 who were hell bent on subordinating all workers and non-ethnic Fijians to the tyranny of a militarised neo-liberal economic order. It was Commodore Bainimarama who prevented the coup from succeeding and who put Qarase in as a caretaker Prime Minister. He is enraged that his former protégé now has coup-makers in his government and proposes to amnesty the main ringleaders like George Speight.

Bainimarama described the RTU recently as a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and the Qoliqoli Bill ‘racist.’ At first glance, the Qoliqoli Bill appears to be the reverse of the state theft of the ‘Foreshore and Seabed’ in NZ. But looking at the outcomes, both the Qoliqoli Bill and the NZ Foreshore and Seabed Act, seek to wrest control away from the majority population (workers) and place them in the hands of the few for the benefit of the few. Today in NZ, the state is imposing Marine Reserves in areas that have been the traditional fishing grounds for coastal Iwi and recreational fishers while giving consent to marine commercial mining interests to exploit whatever minerals lie off the NZ coast at the cost of the environment and NZ workers.

Clearly Bainimarama fears that the coup-makers will regain their positions of influence and exploit the resources freed up by the Qoliqoli Bill in partnership with the Chiefs and imperialist corporations at the expense of the mass of Fijian people. George Speight’s coup of 2000 (4 years after Fiji became a member of the WTO), represented an attempt to divest all state owned property over to the private sector in accordance with WTO rules. For Speight and his powerful puppet masters the stakes were high, but the profits would have been even greater. Attempts by the Bill’s supporters to justify it on the grounds of restoring traditional values, are laughable because they represent Fiji’s elite who are the only ones who would profit. The ‘Qoliqoli’ would also see tribal bosses fighting over boundaries and falling victim to more powerful commercial forces in the same way as Ratu Seru Cakabau feared in 1874.

The economic collapse since the 2000 coup has forced the Qoliqoli Bill to the fore in the Fiji parliament as a last ditch effort to fall into line with the dictates of the WTO. This is in spite of concerns expressed by PM Qarase and his Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Kaliopate Tavola about the negative impact that the WTO rules have on small developing countries. PM Qarase (formerly a merchant banker) at a recent DHL Exporters function spoke of the urgent need to increase exports to satisfy WTO demands. The main beneficiaries of the WTO rules in Fiji until recently have been US and Australian interests.

Australian Imperialism

But what has become blatantly clear in the Pacific region in the last 10 years, is a shift away from the racist and patronising Australian/US economic influence towards that of Asia and especially China. This directly challenges the US doctrine for world dominance outlined in its Neocon ‘Project for a New American Century’ (PNAC), and it is a rude affront to Australia’s imperial ambitions in the South Pacific.

In 1998, the conservative kingdom of Tonga established ties with China whilst severing links to Taiwan. An act of economic expediency by Tonga’s rulers, it has however had the positive effect of exposing to Tonga’s workers the true nature of the relationship between Tonga and the US. This raises the question as to whether Australian and NZ intervention in Tonga in the aftermath of the recent riots, are really designed to impose a RAMSI-like solution to reverse Tonga’s deals with China, much as they have done in East Timor recently. (see article in this issue).

Ministers at the recent November 2006 Pacific Rim summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam; scoffed at a US proposed ‘Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific’ (FTAAP). This was an underhand attempt by the US to rein in all trade deals by individual nations under an umbrella that would be under the control of the US.

Recent visits to China by members of the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC), PM Qarase and military commander Bainimarama, reveal the common desire of both liberals and conservatives fractions of the Fiji national bourgeoisie to pull away from the overbearing dominance of Australia in Fijian affairs. Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao’s description of the China-Fiji relationship as a “model for others to follow” hasn’t gone down too well in Washington, but comes as no surprise to the US’s regional sidekick, Australia which has recently met mounting resistance to its recolonisation of Papua New Guinea, Solomons and East Timor.

Australian imperialism goes on the offensive

At the same time as Asia has become a major player in Fiji, there is little love lost between the US and Australia who are increasingly acting as competitors in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular in China itself.

As a long time investor in Asia, Australia has always seen China as its most important market which will soon eclipse Japan as its No. 1 export partner. In April this year, the negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) began and a Nuclear Transfer/Co-operation Agreement (NT/CA) for the supply of Australian uranium to China was signed.

Significantly, Australian Treasurer Peter Costello’s comment in October to East Asian central bankers about the need to divest from the US dollar as orderly as possible, didn’t exactly sound like reassurance for its old buddy. Australia is emerging as a significant imperialist rival to the US. Hence the free trade deal it signed after many years of sucking up to the US is much more favourable to the US. The Australian Wheat Board-Iraq scandal being relentlessly pursued in Washington shows that although Australia is an important ally, the US has no scruples about putting the brakes on its imperialist designs.

Australia’s behaviour toward its Pacific Island neighbours has everything to do with its hunger to control resources over a vast collective economic zone to feed its regional empire. Its standover tactics in East Timor to acquire the oil rich ‘Timor Gap’ and intervention in the Solomons are practice runs to take on bigger fish like Fiji and the re-colonisation of Papua New Guinea.

A joint deal known as the Indonesia and Australia Framework for Security Co-operation (IAFSC) was signed this week as part of a package that includes the sale of nuclear technology. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has made no secret of the fact that he wants the West Papua Independence Movement crushed, so that all efforts can be put into concentrating on resource plunder as part of Australia’s wider strategy. As a key ally of the Suharto regime during the suppression of East Timor from 1975, Australia continued to play an invaluable role to ensure that the status quo of outside hegemony over East Timor remained after Suharto’s demise.

Australian PM John Howard has made no secret of the fact that he wants to invoke the ‘Biketawa Declaration’ (a deal forced on the 16 member Pacific Islands Forum) that gives Australia the mandate to carry out military interventions under the guise of ‘regional co-operation’. All indications under the present (2006) political climate suggest that Fiji’s workers and the poor will suffer massive violence worse than in 1991 and probably far worse than what has been seen in the Solomons.

The call by Fiji’s political Right (including Qarase) for international intervention against a threatened coup, is fraught with all the contradictions that one expects from economic nationalists who call on Australian and NZ troops to protect their precious business interests. Their interventionist call is based on their recognition that the Fijian ruling class does not have the numbers to defend their privileges and therefore finds it necessary to plead desperately for an intervention force consisting of Australian and New Zealand troops to enforce the rule of international capital. It exposes them as sell-outs of the nation’s wealth before the eyes of the very people they claim to represent.

Fiji Labour Party betrays the workers

While the Fijian ruling class is united in its interests in inviting direct foreign investment, and is complying with the WTO rules, the working class made up of the majority of ethnic Fijians and Indo-Fijians pay the price of such investment with worsening economic and social conditions.
The Labour Party that once under Bavadra championed the poor and opposed the WTO has now become a junior coalition partner with Qarase’s conservative SDL (Soqosoqo Duavata Lewenivanua) Party. It has had its own internal differences going back to 1987. Under the abrasive leadership of Mahendra Choudhry, FLP support among ethnic Fijian’s has fallen as low as 2%, marking a clear racial divide. The main reason for this is that since 1987 there has been a determination by Fijian nationalists to split Fiji’s workers along ethnic lines with the result that they have ended up blindly supporting parties that are only interested in enriching the elite, both ethnic Fijian and Indo-Fijian.

The departure of prominent liberal-left founding FLP member Tupeni Baba to form the now defunct NLUP (New Labour Unity Party) in 2001 was a good example of this betrayal of the workers. After a short academic break in Auckland NZ his return to Fiji saw him make an opportunist shift to the Right by joining Qarase’s SDL.

The Qarase govt budget for 2007 that includes an increase of VAT (Value-Added Tax) to 15% has been supported by four FLP cabinet ministers. As a result, they face disciplinary action from the FLP Executive Council for going against Party policy. It is unlikely that the MPs will be forced to reverse their vote. As a result the poor mostly Indo-Fijians who support the FLP will suffer. Fiji Council of Social Services spokesperson Hassan Khan said recently “It is a prescription for social disharmony and has no justification.” Other social commentators say that the present poverty levels in Fiji are nothing compared to what will come after the increased VAT and other anti-worker measures.

For Fiji’s workers, the situation is pretty bleak. The Labour Party has abandoned them and the union leaders have proven to be in the pockets of the bosses.

Fijian workers were still numbed and coming to terms with the events of 1987 when, in 1991, the combined forces of military and police violently attacked hundreds of striking miners and their families involved in a dispute over poor working and living conditions. Most of Fijian society was horrified by what took place.

Since then workers have been at the mercy of corrupt union bureaucrats who serve the interests of bosses much like anywhere else in the world. For example, in May 2006 when gold prices were hitting record highs, the Fiji Mine Workers Union (FMWU) colluded with Australian-owned Emperor Gold Mine (EGM), to get rid of 300 workers by claiming a 6 month closure to cut costs. The real reason however was to dramatically increase profit margins.

Into this vacuum in Fijian politics where the majority of the population comprising ethnic Fijian and Indo-Fijian workers have no effective political voice let alone power, comes the military, and in particular Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Is it possible for the army chief to represent the interests of the workers against imperialism and its local lackeys, the voracious Fijian bourgeoisie?

Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama: the next ‘Hugo Chavez?’

The rise and popularity of working class hero Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, has given inspiration to certain sections of the workers movement especially those gathered around the ‘World Social Forum’ (WSF). His brand of ‘Bolivarian Socialism’ while little more than a populist ideology and a return to economic nationalism, has gotten up the noses of the neo-liberals. Is Bainimarama cast in the mould of a Chavez of the South Pacific?

Like Chavez, Bainimarama hails from the military where both are highly respected at all levels especially by the rank and file. His timing of his attack on the Qarase Govt. while he was overseas, normally not a good time if you want to avoid being overthrown, was designed to demonstrate the support he had back home. Public opinion on the streets of Suva while he was still overseas saw him as the lesser of two evils. Fiji President Iloilo appointed Lt. Colonel Meli Saubulinayau as Bainimarama’s replacement, but the Colonel refused. With that, the unity of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and its 3,500 personnel looks solid. The Fiji Police backed by the Australian government is pressing ahead with charging Bainimarama with sedition or even treason. However, Bainimarama’s position still looks relatively secure. But for what purpose?

Bainimarama is on record as having said that he would much rather work with Mahendra Chaudhry’s FLP rather than Qarase. OK, but that doesn’t make him a ‘socialist’. His comments about the plight of the poor and calling Qarase’s rightwing policies corrupt, are commendable and mirror many statements made by Chavez over the years, but even the ‘Bolivarian’ statesman is way short on ‘socialism’ in the strictest sense. Chavez’s engagement with trade unions has been bureaucratic and has so far prevented the formation of a labour movement independent of the state and the military. The question arises, is the role of the Fijian Army also one of posing as anti-imperialist in order to more effectively contain and subordinate a mass uprising under a worsening economic situation?

Fiji Land Forces Commander Colonel Pita Driti on the subject of Australia and NZ’s behaviour toward Fiji, The Solomons and Papua New Guinea, said it represented “The hegemonic shoving of big brother policies down our throat.” He also said “We will not accept any foreign intervention.” This comes after his allegation that the Australians were preparing to invade Fiji. If such a threat was real, why haven’t the two battalions stationed in the Middle East been brought home and why has there not been a general mobilisation? Like Chavez, Bainimarama has made no attempt to empower the trade unions and working class to prepare them for such an invasion.

In fact there is no evidence of Bainimarama being aligned to ‘left’ causes. In December 2005, developments were starting to look that way when Bainimarama was invited by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to China. Maybe a Maoist ‘Peoples War’ was on the agenda, who knows? The only obvious outcome was his support for the ‘One China Policy’. Then just eight months later, he led a contingent of Fiji military to the Pentagon sponsored and US State Department managed Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) exercise held in Mongolia. The Israeli’s were invited, but were too busy killing people in Gaza to come.

Bainimarama’s trip to the Middle East to review his troops engaged in imperialist warmongering (UN, MFO, Private Security) basically says it all. He has no intention of changing the status quo. Gravy train trips to former Stalinist workers states, don’t make a revolution and certainly don’t inspire confidence that it will make Fiji a better place.

Like an army on 'welfare', the UN and MFO subsidise 1/3 of Fiji’s light infantry battalions to such a degree that Fiji can’t afford to bring them home. As ‘Peacekeepers’, Fiji’s former soldiers with the UN and MFO don’t even qualify for war pensions and so are forced to find work with private security companies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan etc. The remainder left at home, are what Bainimarama expects to use to defend Fiji against an ANZAC-axis intervention.

For those tempted to regard Bainimarama as a South Seas Hugo Chavez, think again. Chavez is a populist whose popularity comes from spending some of Venezuela’s oil wealth on the poor. But if the poor were to rise up, he would use the army to suppress them. Bainimarama is not interested in the working people of Fiji becoming their own bosses. He preaches against imperialism, but his interests are no more than keeping Fijian resources for Fijian bosses. It the workers were to rise up he would put them down to preserve law and order and the rights of private property. The recent ‘stroll’ through the streets of Suva by the Fiji army in full combat kit, was an intimidating reminder of the instrument of oppression. But it is an instrument of capitalist power not of workers power. That power lies in the hands of Fiji’s workers and not the army’s guns.

South Pacific Workers Movement

The problem that has plagued the indigenous movements against colonisation worldwide has been the failure to marry those struggles to the workers movement. A combination of dispossession of control of resources and political cooption by the oppressor, have conspired to reduce the struggles of the oppressed to ‘identity politics’ within the World Social Forum (WSF) or worse, inter-ethnic warfare, dividing the working class along national and ethnic lines.

The indigenous struggle in Aotearoa-NZ is no different. Its activists have ended up in a mixed bag of rightward shifting politics. Tuhoe activist Tame Iti’s support of George Speight during the 2000 coup substituted a popular front based on indigenous identity for a united workers struggle.

Union bureaucracies in the region have played their traditional role of stifling militant activity to appease the bosses, while workers have had to put up with the increasing pressures of market ‘liberalisation.’ Reliant on labour organisations subordinated to the UN affiliated ILO and the newly formed International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - a merger of the ICFTU and WCL - set the scene for a continuation of the treacherous leadership that workers have faced many times in the past. The rotten trend by union affiliated social democratic parties such as the ALP, NZLP and FLP to follow the path of economic neo-liberalism, is a betrayal, but one that comes as no surprise.

The fact is that the Pacific is in the process of being re-colonised by rival imperialist powers all under intense pressure to compete with the new giant in the region, China. The absence of a struggle based on the unity of the working class makes the task of organising workers in the scattered and isolated islands of the Pacific very difficult. Yet the working people of the Pacific from East Timor to Tonga are proving that they can fight back against the deepening exploitation and oppression.

The Pacific peoples urgently need an internationalist Marxist party with a program that unites and mobilises all the workers and poor farmers to fight for democracy and against imperialist re-colonisation. Such a Party and program would unite the peoples of the Pacific states in one struggle. In Fiji for example, the split in the Fijian working class along ethnic lines is fatal unless corrected. Workers need to refound the FLP as a multi-ethnic workers party on a program of rejection of WTO, the national debt, re-nationalisation of land and industry without compensation and under workers control, decent health and education etc. The FLP should organise the rank and file of the military to side with the people against both imperialist invasions and the coups of sections of the Fiji ruling class!

At the same time the workers of the imperialist countries and semi-colonies of Asia-Pacific, from Chile to China, must fight their own capitalist regimes, oppose imperialist military invasions and wars, and unite all nationalities and ethnicities in one revolutionary internationalist workers party.

Meanwhile, real solidarity action in support of workers in such places as Fiji, have to be initiated at the rank and file level if it is going to be effective. A big part of that solidarity is to get material aid to the affected workers by whatever means possible. The boycott of Fiji during the 2000 coup initiated by the CTU and ACTU was minimal, almost unnoticeable and absent of rank and file input. This must change! For an international revolutionary workers party and program!

Australian and NZ troops refuse to be used as tools of imperialism!

For a united multi-ethnic Fijian Labour Party!

Unite the rank and file of the military with their worker brothers and sisters!

For an internationalist revolutionary workers party!

For a Pacific Federation of Socialist Republics!

Whakakotahi Nga Kaimahi O Te Moananui A Kiwa!
[Workers of the Pacific Unite!]

Te Taua Karuwhero Kahui
Communist Workers Group - Member of the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bolivia: Leninist Trotskyist statement on the fight for Huanuni

The revolutionary internationalist workers stand beside the heroic wage-earning miners of Huanuni!

The heroic resistance of the Huanuni miners made the counterrevolutionary forces of the cooperativistas, Villarroel and Morales' government retreat

After two days of hard fighting to resist the attack of the counterrevolutionary forces of the small cooperativista bosses supported and armed by Walter Villarroel – then mining Minister in Morales` government and a cooperativista boss himself –the heroic Huanuni miners stopped their attackers taking of the mine.
500 wage-earning miners and their wives, sisters and daughters of the Housewives Committee confronted 2000 cooperativistas and defended their mine, their houses, their town, their families and their historical gains. They had to pay the price of several comrades fallen in the struggle.

Thus while bargaining with the fascist Media Luna bourgeoisie and the transnationals in the fake Constituent Assembly, Morales intended to secure the huge tin reserves of the Huanuni mine, especially Posokoni Hill’s 948,000 tons valued in 4000 million dollars, for the profit-hungry “cooperativista” national bourgeoisie, driven by a world tin price which has risen from U$S 4890 per metric ton in 2003 to….. U$S 7385 in 2006!

The attack of the cooperativistas bosses was the Morales' government reply to the successful struggle of Huanuni miners who, with campesinos, unemployed and a sector of the workers exploited by the cooperativista bosses, had just forced the government to let the state mining company Comibol (Corporacion Minera Boliviana, or Bolivian Mining Corporation) work the mine in Posokoni Hill and to create 1500 new jobs in Huanuni.
Following this agreement, thousands of unemployed miners and many of those enslaved by the cooperativista bosses, started to arrive from all over the country at Huanuni in the hope of getting their jobs back in the state mines, and to win back their rights, their old living standards and their dignity.

The popular front government of Morales, servant of the transnationals, would not allow the agreement with the Huanuni miners to be honored. That is why it encouraged and organized the cooperativista bosses to attack the Huanuni workers and retake the mine.

But Morales’ plan failed because of the heroic resistance of the miners and their workers self-defence organisation. On the evening of 6 October, a provisional truce was signed between the wage-earning miners and the cooperativista bosses, and negotiations were opened.

During the next weekend, the wage-earning miners and Huanuni townspeople held a wake for the dead and then buried their five comrades who fell in combat, along with the three Huanuni townspeople killed by dynamite thrown by cooperativista bosses.

After the Huanuni battle, both Evo Morales and the bourgeois tried cynically to present themselves as the “peacemakers”.

But it is they, together with the imperialist transnationals, who steal the wealth of Bolivia and drive the masses into misery. And it is they who sent the fascist gangs, the army, the cooperativista bosses thugs to kill the workers.

Reaching the height of cynicism, Evo Morales asked the people to be “understanding” with him about the “mistakes” that he made due to his “inexperience” as he “had never governed” and that was “learning”. “Learning”….. yes! “learning” how to kill workers, as bosses do, and every bourgeois government serving the interests of the transnationals and imperialism like the one he is heading!
There is no doubt that Morales has proved to be a very apt “student”. In just a few months, he has murdered in Oruro a worker from the Movimiento Sin Techo (Movement of the Homeless); in the Chapare, two coca peasants, and now the Huanuni wage-earning miners.

After sending the cooperativistas to massacre the miners, Morales “denounced” it all as a “conspiracy” against his government and raised the alarm of a ‘coup’ being prepared by a “united front of destabilizers” including police, army officers, the separatist bourgeoisie of the Media Luna and… the school teachers with the wage-earning miners and their unions, the COB, the COR of El Alto, etc.!

Bastards! The only “conspiracy” here is that between Morales' government with Villarroel and the cooperativista bosses to massacre Huanuni miners and steal their mines! It is the transnationals and the national bourgeoisie together who conspire against the exploited masses of Bolivia to steal its hydrocarbons and its minerals! It is Morales' class collaborationist government and MAS members in the parliament together with the fascist bourgeoisie of the Media Luna, who conspire against the people and the worker and peasant revolution in that fake Constituent Assembly!

It was Evo Morales with MAS and the collaborationist leaderships of the worker and peasant organizations who in October 2003, conspired behind the rebellious masses’ backs, expropriated their victory in overthrowing Goni and handed power over to Mesa! And they conspired again in June 2005, when the masses in struggle had overthrown Mesa: they delivered the power to Rodriguez overnight, within a session of an unlawful parliament brought together in Sucre and surrounded by the hatred of those masses!

Morales' government –as every class collaborationist government led by the national bourgeoisie associated with the transnationals and the international financial capital –has not even thought about confronting the bourgeoisies from Santa Cruz/ Media Luna, which are openly secessionist and are barefacedly arming fascist brigades in order to smash the workers and peasants.

Before taking charge, Morales went to Santa Cruz to ask the oil and landowner oligarchy to “teach him how to govern” because he was going to take care of controlling the rebel worker and peasant masses. He has learnt perfectly from his teachers, to kill workers and poor peasants. This is the government that makes pacts with the secessionist bourgeoisie of the Media Luna in the Constituent Assembly, while sending the counterrevolutionary forces to massacre the miners.
This is the infamous role of the popular front, of the old Stalinist policy of class collaboration with which hundreds of revolutions and the world proletariat have been strangled for decades; a policy supported today by that den of counterrevolutionary bandits of the World Social Forum.

Down with the pact between the anti-worker and repressive government of Morales and the native slave-owner bourgeoisie, the Cruceña oligarchy!
Enough of making the proletariat and its struggle organizations kneel at the feet of the bourgeoisie!
Let’s regroup forces now around Huanuni heroic miners resistance!
The Bolivian working class needs a program and a strategy to win and renew the revolution that, from October 2003, has been snatched by the World Social Forum!

The COB and FSTMB leaders call for the “militarization” of Huanuni to subordinate the workers to the supposedly “patriotic” soldiers and give away the tin business to them.

Spilling their blood in their struggle, the heroic Huanuni miners spoiled the counterrevolutionary plan of the popular front. They prevented the mine from being stolen and re-opened the prospects for the worker and peasant revolution, now stolen, to rise up again. They could have re-conquered –this time in Huanuni- the “headquarters of the revolution”, raising its key demands.

Nationalization without compensation and under workers’ control of all the mines and the hydrocarbons!
Out with the transnationals, expropriation of the landowners!
Land for the peasants, bread and good jobs for all the workers!, etc.

But this prospect has been barred time and again until now by the collaborationist leaders of the worker organizations (mainly the COB and the FSTMB) that support Morales' bourgeois government

Facing this counterrevolutionary attack of the cooperativistas against the Huanuni wage-earning miners, these leaders called for “pacification” and asked their “friend” Morales to send the armed forces to Huanuni to “defend” the mine, as the COMIBOL is state property. Moreover, these leaders use the possibility of a new attack by the cooperativistas, as a gun pointing at the miners’ heads to scare them and their families so as to force them to accept the policy of leaving their fate in the hands of the “nationalist” sector of the murderous military.

Montes and the COB leadership are asking “their” government, “their” friend Morales to send the supposedly “nationalist” officers that support him, to impose order because of the danger that the workers in Huanuni fighting back could mean the regrouping of the whole Bolivian proletariat.

The policy of COB and FSTMB leadership is only one more step in their treacherous class collaborationist politics of keeping the workers subordinated to the bourgeoisie, their ranks divided, and the worker and peasant revolution strangled.

These same leaders – the COB bureaucracy in first place – have abandoned thousands of unemployed to their fate, without organizing them, so allowing them to be enslaved and super-exploited by the cooperativista bosses and today used as anti-union armed thugs against the Huanuni wage-labour miners. The COB bureaucracy – formerly Solares, now Montes- have devoted themselves to dissolve the embryonic dual power organisations that the masses had built. Moreover, they handed over power twice to the bourgeoisie, first to Mesa, then to Rodríguez, and on top of that they called for workers to support their “friend” Morales.

Today when demanding the “militarization” of Huanuni, Montes and the Miners Union leadership are only repeating the old treacherous Lechinite [from the MNR union bureaucrat, Lechin, who sold-out the 1952 Bolivian revolution] policy of the COB bureaucracy of looking for “patriotic”, “anti-imperialist”, “red” soldiers to subordinate the proletariat to those “saviors”.
In that way the bureaucrats manage to deepen the division in the proletarian ranks, keeping them subdued to the popular front and so preventing the workers and peasant alliance being reforged again. As a reward for this “service”, they lure the sector of the Armed Forces that supposedly supports the national bourgueoisie –offering it the lucrative tin business.

This policy of finding “patriotic officers” had been already raised by Solares during May-June 2005. Then he went to knock on the doors of the barracks looking for allies to sell out the masses’ revolutionary days of struggle which were aimed at completely disorganising the bourgeois power institutions.
It is the same policy of Juan Lechin Oquendo then leader of the COB, who along with the Stalinists and Lora`s POR, which betrayed the 1971 revolution. Then they hand the revolution to General Torres –who even talked about “socialism –and joined his “Revolutionary Anti-imperialist Front” while Banzer`s bloody dictatorship was massacring the workers and poor peasants.

The imposition of this ‘patriotic’ class collaborationist policy of the bureaucratic leadership, meant the miners victory won through their joint struggle with the poor peasants and the unemployed, winning 1500 jobs under COMIBOL collective contract conditions was lost.

This class collaboration policy deepens the divisions in the workers’ ranks because it separates the Huanuni wage-earning miners –supposedly “guarded” by the armed forces –from the thousands of cooperativista poor miners. It leaves these super exploited workers at the mercy of the cooperativista bosses to enslave them and use them as armed gangs against the working class.
This policy also separates the Huanuni miners from the poor peasants, because the miners are prevented from joining forces with the campesinos who had their martyrs killed Armed Forces in 2003, and today suffer the repression of the “anti-drug” army brigades in El Chapare or Las Yungas!

The COB called a “national strike” for October 10, precisely with this program of demanding Huanuni`s militarization. A program that that is intended to make the miners and the whole working class kneel down before the criminal policy of class collaboration with the supposedly “nationalist” sector of the murderous army officers caste! But this totally symbolic measure wasn`t followed by the large majority of Bolivian workers that hate the murderous officers caste and still call for justice for their class brothers and sisters killed in October 2003.

But once more, the COB and FSTMB leaders enjoyed the assistance of the fake Trotskyism to carry throug this policy. Lora`s POR joined the chorus of those calling for the militarization of Huanuni, applying that old policy of Stalinism in search of a “red” military to subdue the proletariat to. (see box below)

The same old Stalinist policy of a bloc with the “patriot” military has long been tragic for the Latin American proletariat. Thus, during the glorious Chilean revolution of the “cordones industriales” (industrial belts, the name given to the linked nuclei of soviet-type organizations in that revolution) in the ‘70s, the Socialist Party and the Comunist Party –both of the supported by the same counterrevolutionary policy of the Castroite bureaucracy – made the Chilean workers believe there could be a “peaceful road to socialism”.
They made them believe that without arming themselves they could defend their gains; that without creating dual power, splitting the army and the murderous officers caste, they could achieve national liberation. In hundreds of revolutions this Stalinist policy has been already been proved to be counter-revolutionary. In the Chilean tragedy, the “patriotic” officer who was appointed by Allende as Commander in Chief of the Amy, was no other than… Pinochet, the dictator who massacred the Chilean workers and poor peasants.

Stop the workers’ organizations kneeling at the feet of Morales’ government with its pacts with business and the Cruceña oligarchy!
Down with the murderous officers caste of the Bolivian army!
For committees of rank and file soldiers that democratically choose their officers and send delegates to all the worker and peasant organizations!

Against the policy of Morales and the COB Castroite leadership, we Trotskyists say that the only way to stop the killings in Huanuni and to smash the fascist gangs that are being formed , is to take the path of the heroic Bolivian revolution of 1952 that destroyed the army and created worker and campesino militias of the COB.

Throw out of the workers organizations the bosses’ agents and the murderous officers’ caste of the armed forces!
Everybody to Huanuni!
Assemblies from all the workers and campesinos movements to send delegates to Huanuni now!
The Bolivian revolution must rise up again, rebuild its headquarters, expel from its ranks the treacherous leaders who collaborate with the class enemy, and re-enter the road of October 2003 and of the Bolivian revolution of 1952.

Oppose the fraud of the “Bolivarian Revolution” proclaimed by the national bourgeoisie and their major imperialists partners all over the continent (such as MERCOSUR and the TLC) who are preventing the masses from defending themselves from the governments and regimes attacking them as in Mexico and Chile.
Oppose the traitors who make the proletariat kneel at the feet of Chávez whose oil feeds the US-UK war machine that massacres in Iraq, and prepares the way for Fidel Castro to restore capitalism in Cuba.
In summary, oppose the den of thieves of the revolution in the World Social Forum, and renew the Bolivian revolution again to fight for the workers and campesinos revolution, demolishing and destroying the machinery of the bourgeois state.

Out with the counter-revolutionary armed thugs of the cooperativista bosses sent by Evo Morales Government and the transnational companies to divide and smash the miners!
Stop the “Bolivarian Revolution” fraud!
For the worker and peasant revolution!

International Supplement of the Internationalist Trotskyists of Bolivia and Argentina
Jointly Issued by Octubre Rojo Internacionalista (Bolivia) – Liga Obrera Internacionalista-CI (Argentina) Members of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction (LFT)


POR and LOR: The Role of the fake Trotskyists at Huanuni

The renegades –fake Trotskyists – (former Trotskyists who claim to still be Trotskyists) are a left leg of the treacherous class-collaborationist policy of the COB leaders that sells-out the workers struggle.

Facing the Huanuni events, Lora’s POR again played the same deadly role it has been playing since October 2003: as the fundamental support of the Castroite bureaucracy (first Solares, now Montes) at the head of the COB.

POR leads a number of unions e.g. the La Paz city teachers, retired miners of Cochabamba, and student unions in different Bolivian universities. POR could have sent dozens of delegates with a mandate from the rank and file, voted by grass-root assemblies of the organizations it leads, in support of the wage-earning miners. Those forces, together with the Huanuni miners, could have called for the El Alto worker organizations to break with the collaborationist leadership of Patana and Mamani and to recreate the headquarters of the revolution. POR has done none of this.

Far from this, speaking about Morales’ government, POR wrote in its paper:“Facing the bloody evidence of the systematic assaults of the cooperativistas whose aim is to control all of Posokoni Hill, (Morales government) refused to use the public force to prevent the confrontation. And when the bloody events occured, it proved its incapacity to prevent the slaughter choosing to transfer its responsibility to (the state office for) Human Rights, the Ombudsman and the Clergy (Masas Nº 2012, 13/10/06, our emphasis).

So Lora’s POR, like Montes of the COB and the leaders of the FSTMB, makes Evo responsible for not having sent the “public forces” –that is, the cops and the murderous Armed Forces- to Huanuni. Not very surprising! It is the same old POR policy of telling the workers they have to build an alliance with the (supposedly) “red officers” of the army, which that party has organized for decades in the organization “Vivo Rojo”.(Red Alive) Today the POR advances the same policy that 35 years ago help to strangle the 1971 Bolivian revolution, by supporting – together with COB bureaucracy and the Stalinists – General Torres the then-president of Bolivia whom they introduced as an “anti imperialist” and even “socialist” officer.

So, while the leadership of the COB, the Stalinists, POR and other groups were entertaining themselves talking in the Popular Assembly, they adamantly refused to organize the workers and peasants’ militias to confront the coup General Banzer was openly preparing. As a result workers and peasants were utterly defeated and massacred, while Lechín (then COB’s head), Lora and his POR and General Torres (already deposed), organized abroad, “in exile” a “Revolutionary Anti-imperialist Front” that had the goal of seizing power and achieving socialism in Bolivia.!!!

But POR`s infamous policy doesn’t end here. The article above also says “…in this struggle, the wage-earning miners embody Bolivian interests and it is inconceivable that the State will not assume its responsibility for holding onto its own wealth (…). The wage-earning miners’ struggle is the struggle of the entire country. It is all about the destiny of the national economy and that is why a big mobilization of the exploited is imperative to force this government to renew the state mining business. Which means the restitution to the COMIBOL of the management of the most important mines that are today operated by private (both national and transnational) medium and large mining companies," (our emphasis).

It is impossible to speak more clearly. Lora’s POR calls to exert pressure on the popular front government and the bourgeois state. It is feeding illusions of the possibility that a bourgeois government, which in the end is a servant of the transnational monopolies, to meet the Bolivian miners and entire working class’ demands of nationalization of the whole mining business without compensation and under workers control! Alas, it is the same government that has just handed over El Mutun hill, just sent the fascist cooperativistas’ armed gangs to kill the Huanuni miners!

POR proves once more to be the party of the Castroite bureaucracy in the Bolivian revolution, the same role played by all the liquidators of Trotskyism on our continent, having dragged the flag of the Fourth International under the feet of Stalinism.

As a fifth leg of this treacherous class-collaborationist policy, there is the PTS from Argentina and its satellite group in Bolivia, LOR (CI). The PTS says: “the wage-earning miners had got solidarity not just from their community but also from other miners, students and popular sectors of Oruro. The Bolivian Worker Center (that is, the COB) marched on Tuesday along La Paz streets in solidarity with Huanuni and its demands” (LVO 208, 12/10/06). There is no mention of Montes` policy of “militarization”, so in fact covering up and whitewashing the COB class-collaborationist leadership.

In these matters of life and death for the proletariat, the PTS and its satellites don’t show the least interest. Why bother? They already have their Constituent Assembly, that which they claimed during 2003 had to be set up in Bolivia! For them, the masses would be now “having their experience with bourgeois democracy”. PTS’ policy for an IPT [Workers Political Institution, a euphemism for PT] has already failed as well as their flirting with Solares [former COB head] and the COB bureaucracy. They are unquestionably a useless link in Bolivian reformism, but always happily hanging from the skirts of those responsible for the handing over of the Bolivian revolution –the COB bureaucracy.

We ask them: Would you please show us a program to confront fascism with a tactics of united front of all the working class and popular fighting organizations in Bolivia? Silence. Perhaps, a policy to remove definitely the COB treacherous leadership, sending delegates to fight in Huanuni and re-group working class ranks? Silence. What do you think about “national” armed forces going to “defend” the miners, as Montes and POR proclaim? Silence…. Silence is the only answer.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Long live the heroic workers’ and campesinos’ commune of Oaxaca!

On the 2 of October, 38 years since the massacre of Tlatelolco in 1968,(1) the eyes of the proletarian vanguard of the Americas and the world are fixed on the workers and people of that Mexican city that have created their own Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) against the power of the bourgeois ruling class. There, on the 14 of June, defeating the police and the forces of repression sent by the PRI Governor Ulises Ruiz to smash their occupation of the central plaza of Oaxaca, the Zocalo, the striking teachers, took control of the city, created the Popular Assembly, formed their own self-defense committees, and established the workers and campesinos’ Commune of Oaxaca.(2) This commune is a revolutionary conquest not only of the Mexican working class, but of America and the world, yet it will not prevail unless its struggle and demands are generalised and adopted by the rest of the workers and poor farmers of Mexico and the world.

The heroic struggle of the Oaxaca Commune is at the head of the enormous workers and campesinos’ insurgency that has been shaking Mexico for several months, like the miners and steel workers of Michoacán, and the workers and campesinos uprisings in Atenco and Texcoco. The call has gone out to the workers of Mexico and the world to come to the defence of the Oaxaca commune. It is surrounded by the military forces of Fox and his successor Calderón, and by the PRI paramilitaries, who are defending the PRI state government of Ulises Ruiz, demanding that the leaders of the APPO “negotiate”. But If the APPO remains firm in its central demand to replace Ruiz, the ruling regime of the Mexican bourgeoisie in collaboration with US imperialism, is prepared to smash the Commune in blood and fire.

It is no accident that this rising insurgency has its parallel on the other side of the “border” in the United States, where 12 million Latino migrants have begun to fightback against the slave labor conditions and racist persecution of the immigration laws in the United States. Joining together in this struggle, the US and Mexican masses are rising up against imperialist domination of Latin America, and against its re-colonisation offensive under NAFTA that imposes slave labor conditions and super-exploitation of workers and campesinos on both sides of the border. Because in Mexico and the United States there is only one working class and one revolution, the ghost of the Mexican revolution now haunts the US imperialists who know that no 'Wall', ‘border police’ or ‘minutemen militias’ can prevent that revolution from entering the heart of US imperialism.

The revolutionary upsurge of the working class and exploited peoples of Mexico, creating their advance guard in the Oaxaca Commune, joined with the struggle of their class brothers and sisters in the US, and alongside the heroic struggles of the Chilean working class and the resistance of the Bolivian workers vanguard defending the mines of Huanuni, proves that the Latin American revolution is alive and resisting the fraud of the “Bolivarian Revolution” of Chávez, Morales, Fidel Castro and the World Social Forum that is today showing its true face by killing miners at Huanuni to defend the client regimes and governments of MERCOSUR that serve the imperialist monopolies.

NAFTA enslaves Mexico to imperialism and the fraudulent and repressive ‘transitional’ regime of ‘alternates’

Today the Mexican masses are rising up after 12 years of resistance to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the NAFTA, which began on 1st January 1994. The day that NAFTA came into effect, the campesinos of Chiapas rose up in an armed rebellion. To the war cry of “Down with the NAFTA” the insurgents stood up against the pact that allowed imperialism to strip them their land rights under the 1917 Constitution. The Chiapas popular rebellion and the economic crisis – the “tequilazo” – that followed shortly after, severely weakened the legitimacy of the Priato, the regime of the PRI that had ruled semi-colonial Mexico for more than 50 years. (3)

In order to prevent the masses from sweeping away the Priato, the imperialists and the Mexican bourgeoisie negotiated the “transition pact” – also supported by the PAN and the PRD – which consisted of measures to combat electoral corruption and fraud, including the “democratization” of the PRI.

But despite these reforms, the Priato collapsed in 2000 under renewed attack by the masses, who breaking from their bureaucratic leaders began mobilisations of students, workers and campesinos. For example, in the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) students went on strike for 10 months, and then occupied the university to force the release of 200 prisoners. At the Mexe Teachers College (in Tepatepec, Hildago province) students went on strike over poverty conditions and were supported by workers and campesinos who disarmed police and took them as hostages to force the release of imprisoned students.(4)

In the face of what looked like the re-opening of the Mexican revolution, imperialism and its lackey bourgeoisie, abandoned the Priato and its failed “transition pact” and devised a new plan to divert the masses back to the elections to vote for ‘alternatives’ to the hated PRI. The different fractions of the bourgeoisie create a new regime – the “regime of the alternates”. Instead of a single-party system like the Priato, the three parties, the PRI, PAN and PRD (both the PAN and PRD had emerged out of the PRI in the 1990s) were to be presented as ‘alternative’ governments.

The PRD and EZLN ‘baits’ the trap

To set this trap, they used the ‘leftist’ credentials of the leaders of the PRD, in particular Cardenas, and the EZLN, who had already signed the ‘San Andréas Accords’ in 1996 with the PRI, in which they renounced the fight against NAFTA and the Priato for land rights, in exchange for the “formal autonomy” of the Chiapas peasant communities. In 1997 the PRI lost control of Congress, and in 2000 Fox and the PAN won the presidency, ending the 70 year rule of the Priato. So came into existence, the first ‘alternate’ government, that of the PAN.

Thus in Mexico the political regime changed without any direct intervention of the revolutionary masses, but on the basis of an agreement between different fractions of the bourgeoisie and imperialism. This self-reform of the bourgeois regime from above we call ‘Bismarkism’ as it is loosely analagous to the policy of the bourgeois German Chancellor, Bismarck, in the late 19th century.

In the revolution of 1848 in France, for the first time in history, the rising proletariat had entered the fight against the monarchy on the side of the bourgeoisie, but then threatened to overthrow the bourgeoisie itself. The terrified French and European bourgeoisies turned and smashed the working class with blood and fire. To avoid the same threat in Germany, Bismarck negotiated a ‘peaceful’ transition to a bourgeois regime which allowed German capitalism to develop without the revolutionary overthrow of feudal social relations.

It is in this sense that we call the plan of the Mexican bourgeoisie to reform the regime from above in a pact with US imperialism, ‘Bismarckian’. But today, it is ‘senile’ because in the epoch of imperialism the destruction of the productive forces means that the ‘compromise’ between reactionary imperialism and the national bourgeoisie leaves no room for ‘democracy’, and so ‘Bismarckism’ must directly attack the proletarian revolution.

With the electoral victory of Fox in 2000, the Mexican bourgeoisie paraded this senile Bismarckian regime before the masses as the ultimate in 'democracy'. But this regime was just as dedicated to the NAFTA and administering the double and triple chains of super-exploitation of Mexico, that it was a no less fraudulent, corrupt and repressive than the old Priato. The ‘alternate’ PAN government became the direct agent of US imperialism. Despite its formal ‘parliamentary democracy’, it took on a Bonapartist character, attempting to reconcile class conflict in the ‘national’ interest. Yet, like the Priato, it resorted to the same old fraud in stealing the 2006 Presidential election from the PRD. So in the eyes of the masses, it took the PAN just 6 years to exhaust its ‘democratic’ credentials and to pass on the defence of ‘democracy’ to the defeated ‘third alternate’ the PRD.

The ‘alternate’ PRD led by Lopez Obrador (AMLO) and supported on the ‘left by the Stalinists, Castroists, and the fake-Trotskyists in the WSF, today plays a key role in containing the exploited and oppressed masses, preventing their protest against the Fox-Calderón electoral fraud from turning the Federal District (DF) and all of Mexico into one big Oaxaca Commune. This explains the occupation of the Zocalo of Mexico City “against fraud” and “for democracy”, and the PRD's support of the APPO’s demand to remove the PRI machine in their state by constitutional means. By posing as anti-imperialist and pro-democracy the PRD leadership tries to fool the masses into thinking that they can have ‘democracy’ without breaking with imperialism. This is the real fraud because Obrador and the PRD have no interest in breaking from NAFTA and US imperialism.

The critical role played by Lopez Obrador, and also by the EZLN – as we shall see below – is in response to the uprisings of the workers and farmers to the NAFTA regime. When the masses threaten to make a revolution and wipe the NAFTA regime off the map, the ‘third alternate’, the PRD comes to its aid, backed by the prominent Latin American leaders of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ and their agents in Mexico, and supported by Castroism and all the reformist leaders in the World Social Forum.

Defend the Oaxaca Commune!
Down with Ulises Ruiz! All power to the APPO!
For all militant workers and campesinos organisations in Mexico to send mandated delegates of the base to Oaxaca to organize its defense and a nationawide general strike!

After 12 years of NAFTA, US imperialism has intensified its offensive against Mexico to complete the re-colonisation of Mexico and guarantee its superprofits. It wants to privatise PEMEX (Mexican State Petroleum) and and the national electricity company. It is no accident that the new president, Felipe Calderón, winning by fraud, is the ex-minister of energy of the Fox government.

The anti-imperialist uprisings are the workers, campesinos, and students reply to imperialism’s offensive, and the Oaxaca Commune is the most advanced of these uprisings. The Mexican bourgeoisie, the government of Fox-Calderón and the NAFTA regime are well aware of the terrible danger that the Commune – whose example begins to spread far and wide in Mexico to Guerrero and at least 10 other states – poses to their private property and class rule.

They understand clearly that in Oaxaca there are two absolutely irreconcilable class forces facing each other. On one side, is the power of the imperialistic monopolies, the national bourgeoisie, and its armed institutions and paramilitary gangs. On the other side, is the power of the workers, campesinos and other oppressed people of Oaxaca with their own institution – the APPO. The APPO unites almost 400 workers', campesinos', students' and popular organisations in struggle, provides its own independent justice, has formed its own organs of self-defense, and is now the only power recognised as legitimate by the workers and the all exploited Oaxaqueños.
That is why US imperialism and its lackey NAFTA bourgeoisie offer APPO the “carrot” of negotiation, but at the same time prepare their military forces to smash it. This is just like the popular front government of Morales in Bolivia. While seated at the negotiation table with the union miners of Huanuni and agreeing to the 1500 jobs that the people of region demanded, at the same time it was conspiring with the self-employed miners to attack the union miners and to privatize the mine!

The same trap is being prepared against the Comuneros of Oaxaca. While the Secretary of the Oaxala state government says that he will meet the demands of the teachers for increased pay, drop the charges against the leaders of the APPO and release the political prisoners, the Senate rejects the only non-negotiatable demand of the APPO, for the removal of the state governor Ulises Ruiz (URO), on the constitutional grounds that a ‘vacuum of power’ does not exist. Some of the leaders of APPO take this as a signal to pressure the rank and file teachers to give up this demand and return to work. But in the event that the rank and file votes to continue the strike then the Fox-Calderon Federal government is preparing, together with the PRI Oaxaca state government, to use the troops and the “porros”, the PRI paramilitaries who have already killed at least 6 strikers, to smash the Commune with blood and fire.(5)

It is necessary to rally the international working class forces in response to the call of the Commune:

Long live the Commune and its demand “All power to the people”!
Down with Ulises Ruiz!
All power to the APPO!
Immediate and unconditional freedom for all political prisoners!
All the militant workers' and campesinos' organisations must send delegates mandated by the rank and file to Oaxaca to guarantee the defense of the Commune and to organize a national general strike to prevent the repression, and to generalise the Commune and its objectives to all the Mexican masses!

The heroic oaxaqueños comuneros have already organized for their self-defense, creating more than 3,000 coordinated and centralized barricades, and workers' and campesinos' self-defence committees to defend them, “Cuerpo to topiles” or “guard corps”.

Immediate formation of defence committees nationwide to defend the workers and campesinos, their organizations and their struggles from the the police and the army, and from the “porros” of the union bureaucracy “charra” and of the white guards of the landowners who openly kill the campesinos!

The EZLN has the responsibility to stop the isolation of Oaxaca!
The workers and campesinos of Chiapas and Guerrero must stand next to their Oaxaqueños brothers and sisters!

Oaxaca cannot be isolated when its slogans, “Down with NAFTA”, “Land for the campesinos” and “Down with the the hated regime”, are the same slogans raised by the Chiapas insurgents in 1994. In the neighboring state of Guerrero the oppressed masses are already building Popular Assemblies. The workers and campesinos of Chiapas and Guerrero must be the first to respond to the call of their brothers and sisters of the Oaxaca Commune and unite in a same fight against imperialism and the NAFTA regime of the PAN, PRI and PRD!

The EZLN is at the moment giving its verbal support to the fight of the oaxaqueños communeros. Subcomandante Marcos (Delegate Zero) writes letters and crosses Mexico by motor scooter organising the “Other Campaign”. Enough of passivity and verbal support! The EZLN must make available for the defense of the Oaxaca Commune and its struggle for victory, all its resources, and call on the workers and campesinos of Guerrero to rise up and to follow their example, and create a Federation of Workers and Campesinos’ Communes of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas. This is the only way to revive the Mexican revolution, of overthrowing the fraudulent regime of the PAN, PRI and PRD, finishing with imperialism and the NAFTA, expropriating the land for the landless, and realising the demands for which so many of the chiapanecos gave their lives from 1994.

Down with the fraudulent NAFTA regime of the PAN, PRI and the PRD!

To make sure that the Oaxaca Commune survives and is victorious, its struggle and its demands must be taken up by all Mexican workers and campesinos. This means smashing the NAFTA regime of the PAN, PRI and PRD and its fraudulent ‘democracy’. For that reason, it is necessary to raise the demands that the Mexican workers and campesinos organisations break all their ties to the bourgeoisie, and that their leaders immediately convene a National Popular Assembly of delegates of the rank of file of all the workers, students and campesinos’ fighting organisations, to centralize the struggles, and organize national general strike that will continue until the government of Fox-Calderón and the NAFTA regime of PAN, PRI and PRD are swept away, and that a new government that can meet the urgent demands of the exploited masses of Mexico has been created.

Down the regime of the fraudulent NAFTA regime of the PAN, PRI and PRD!
End the NAFTA plunder of Mexico!
Expropriate without compensation the landowners and the imperialists, Land to the landless! Expropriate the bankers without compensation, and create one state bank under workers’ control to provide cheap credit for the campesinos!
No to the privatization of PEMEX!
Nationalize without compensation and under workers control all monopolies and the privatized companies!
Worthwile work and living wages for all, distributing the working hours among all those willing to work with a minimum wage set by the family cost of living!

Real national independence, land for the landless, and bread and work for the workers are objectives that can only be won by a provisional revolutionary Workers’ and Campesinos' Government, supported by workers’ and campesinos’ militias, following the revolutionary overthrow of the hated NAFTA regime.

A Workers’ and Campesinos’ Government will be the only government capable of guaranteeing a truly sovereign Constituent Assembly that breaks with imperialism, solves the agrarian question and in which the oppressed masses of Mexico can discuss democratically the solutions to its problems.

Emergency call to the workers and poor farmers of the United States, Latin America and of the world:
Stand up in defense of the Commune of Oaxaca!

The main ally of the comuneros of Oaxaca and the Mexican oppressed peoples, is the North American working class, and in particular, the millions of Latino immigrant workers of the United States. For the North American proletariat, the NAFTA means dismissals, wage cuts, loss of rights and privileges, and losses of benefits such as health schemes and pensions. For the Mexican working class and exploited people, the NAFTA is super-exploitation, free trade zones (maquilas), slavery, plundering the nations resources, and driving peasants off the land. The working class of the United States must rise in defense of the Commune of Oaxaca and its Mexican class brothers and sisters, demanding:

We are a same class on both sides of the border!
Down with the NAFTA! Down with the Wall of Bush, Hillary Clinton and Co!
End the persecution, super-exploitation, deportation and murder of the Mexican and Latino immigrant workers in the United States!
Immediate citizenship and all social, economic, political and trade union rights for all immigrant workers!

The NAFTA increases the profits of the US monopolies and the Mexican lackey bourgeoisie, and decreases the wages of the combined North American working class. It is necessary to increase the wages of the the workers and reduce the profits of the bosses on both sides of the border!

Equal pay for equal work!
The same conditions of work and benefits won by North American workers, for Mexican workers!
For the unity of the working class of North America in defeating the union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO servants of US imperialism and the “Republicrats”, and the Mexican union bureaucracy, “charra”, hired thugs of the NAFTA regime of PAN, PRI and PRD!

The Leninist Trotskyist Fraction, answers the call of the Oaxaca Commune with its own Emergency Call to all workers', students' and poor farmers' organisations of America and the world to take to the streets, to surround the Mexican embassies and consulates, to make mobilizations, strikes etc., in support to the heroic fight of the workers and the oppressed people of Oaxaca to stop the repression and any attempt by Fox, Calderón and the hated NAFTA regime to smash the Commune in blood and fire.

Leninist Trotskyist Fraction - 20 October 2006


(1) see Scoop

(2) see Narconews

(3) From mid 1930s, the Mexican economy was highly protected. The state nationalised petroleum, electricity, railroads, telecommunications, and continued with some agrarian reforms. This was a continuation of the Mexican revolution of 1910-1917, now under the one party rule system of the PRI (ato). The Priato was an agreement between imperialism and the ruling class of around 24 families which ruled over the masses with statised unions led by the bureaucracy (“charros”) and enforced by the an organization of union killers (“porros”) eliminating any dissidence in the workers ranks.
The campesinos were controlled by buying the loyalty of local political bosses and heads of indigenous communities. All of this was centralised by an immense state bureaucratic apparatus which employed around six million people.
The Priato began in the mid- 1930s as a Bonapartismo “sui géneris” – that is to say, a bourgeois nationalist regime under the Lazaro Cardenas government, balanced between imperialism and the Mexican bourgeoisie and masses. But over more than 50 years it inevitably became increasingly pro-imperialist. The decline of the Priato began in the 1980s, when the imperialist offensive first caused a crisis of the external debt (1982) and then a huge devaluation after the Wall Street collapse of 1987. The Priato was by then the direct instrument of the savage imperialist plans for privatizations, deregulation, land grabs, maquila plants and massive immigration to the North, and guarantor of the super-exploitation of Mexican labor for the Yankee bourgeoisie. It thus began to lose its historic legitimacy in the eyes of the masses.
In order to retain the masses loyalty, the PRI created two clones. The son of Lazaro Cardenas founded the PRD as a sort of rebirth of the 1930s PRI. The PAN emerged as a more conservative and pro-imperialist variant. The enormous mobilizations of the masses against the electoral fraud in 1988 which was widely believed to have cost Cardenas victory, saw the beginning of an enormous worker and campesino swing against the Priato. This was boosted by the onset of civil war in Chiapas in 1994. Therefore, to prevent the masses revolutionary advance to overthrow the Priato, imperialism and the bourgeoisie devised its “transition pact”.

(4) Mexe Teachers College is one of the oldest of a network of 16 residential rural teaching colleges set up in 1922 as a result of the Mexican Revolution to train campesino teachers. By the 1990s the PRI regarded these colleges as an unnecessary cost so has kept them underfunded. The average per capita budget is less than $1,000 a year, with the average citizen spending only about $1.20 a day on food, enough for rice, tortillas and beans. At times the rural women have had no bathing water or cooking fuel. Classrooms, labs and dormitories are in a state of disrepair. These were the conditions that led to the strikes at El Mexe and Amilcingo, in the State of Morelos.
On March 7, 2000, about 200 students and their families occupied the dean's office at Mexico City's UNAM (the Spanish acronym for National Autonomous University of Mexico). The occupation was to demand the release of over 200 students jailed during the recent 10 month long students strike. See wsws

(5) For most recent events see narconews