Friday, May 26, 2006

Stop kneeling before the bourgeoisie!

Emergency appeal from the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction to all the organizations that speak in the name of the working class in Latin America:

For a Latin American Congress to unite the struggles of the working class and the exploited against imperialism and the client regimes and governments!

With the semi-nationalization of the hydrocarbons in Bolivia, the World Social Forum and the ex-Trotskyists have displayed once more their politics pf class collaboration and the continental Popular Front, making the working class of each country subordinate to the interests of their own – or neighbouring countries’ - “progressive” bourgeoisie.

Imperialism and its client bourgeoisies in Latin America are drawing lessons from the heroic rebellion of the young French workers; of the struggle of the immigrant workers in the US; of the Mexican steelworkers and miners; of the struggles by the Las Heras’ workers (particularly the subcontracted oil workers), the subcontracted subway workers in the Buenos Aires Subway and the subcontracted steelworkers in the Siderar steelworks (all of which earn a much lower wage than the permanent workers and have been classified as less skilled workers and put under the less favourable construction collective bargain); of the subcontracted copper miners and of the youth – today in revolt –in Chile.

Imperialism and its client bourgeoisies know that the majority of the working class in the Americas is being super-exploited and left without rights, working “in black” or with precarious contracts, treated as slaves, and de-unionized (therefore not controlled by the union bureaucracy). Under these conditions, imperialism and its bourgeois client regimes are terrified at the idea that these super-exploited workers that form the large majority of the working class may erupt in rebellions and struggles that cannot be controlled by the old union bureaucracies that are deeply hated by the masses.

That’s why imperialism and client regimes are putting in place, from the US to Patagonia, new institutions for the control of the masses, in which the central role is being played by the “left” wing of the World Social Forum, that is, the “ex-Trotskyists”.

For instance, in Argentina, the PO (Workers’ Party) and the two fractions of the MST (Socialist Workers Movement – no relation to Cliffites), joined with the Communist Party etc., in the May 8 a rally “backing the nationalization of hydrocarbons in Bolivia”, while demanding that Kirchner do the same in Argentina. That is, they had the same agenda that the Castroite-Kirchnerites of the “Movimiento Evita” (“Evita Movement” after Evita Peron, icon of the ‘left’ Peronist movement) raised in their pro-government rally in the Luna Park sports ground! They want to make the working class believe that it is possible to “influence” Kirchner – Repsol’s “front man” and agent – in order to get him attack Repsol’s oil interests! They want to make the working class kneel before Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, and through them, before Kirchner!

In the US, after the hugely militant mass action of the May Day “boycott” and the demonstrations by millions of Latino and other immigrants, the tendencies in the World Social Forum, in particular the liquidators of the Fourth International, have already put into action a new plan to contain that struggle in the interests of their own imperialist bourgeoisie. They are trying to steer the immigrant workers into a “Movement in Defence of Cuba and Venezuela” to subordinate them to the Democratic Party of the Clintons, Kerry and the rest of the imperialist murderers. This serves the US imperialist bourgeoisie because it does not challenge Venezuela’s continued supply of oil to the US war machine in Iraq and elsewhere. Moreover, now that major new oil fields have been discovered in the Caribbean, US corporations are able to profit from them at the expense of Repsol, the company Fidel has favoured up to now.

In the same way these ex-Trotskyist leaders have just inflicted a serious defeat on the vanguard of the Brazilian working class at the recent congress of the CONLUTAS (confederation of workers in struggle, a split from the CUT). They were able to pass resolutions in support of the “Bolivarian revolution” and “Socialism of the 21st Century”, backing Morales’ “semi-nationalization”, and “demanding that Lula do the same in Brazil!” This amounted to a defeat for the Brazilian working class because it supported the semi-nationalization of Morales which grants business as usual for the multinational corporations and a bigger slice of the profits for the national bourgeoisie. Denouncing the semi-nationalisation would have united the Brazilian vanguard with the most combative sectors of the Bolivian proletariat, such as the Huanuni miners. The Brazilian workers’ will pay for their support of Morales’ measure – as will the Bolivian, Argentine and Chilean workers – because their bourgeoisies will no doubt shift the higher prices of Bolivian gas onto their shoulders.

In the CONLUTAS congress, these treacherous leaders subordinated the Brazilian workers vanguard to the Brazilian oil company Petrobras – actually to Total (French Big Oil) for which Petrobras is a “front man”. Ensuring this defeat required the concentrated forces of the Castroite bureaucracy – through the presence of James Petras and Celia Hart Santamaria; the P-SOL (Party of Socialism and Liberty) headed by the Mandelite ex-Trotskyist Heloisa Helena, and other former leaders of the PT; and the ex-Trotskyist PSTU which plays a key role in the “left” wing of the World Social Forum.

A Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress to unite all the struggles against imperialism and its client regimes!

The imperialist bourgeois oppressors rule with NAFTA, AFTA, FTAs, and Mercosur, the economies of Latin America while workers and peasants are divided and contained country by country. The working class and the exploited in Latin America have over many decades of heroic struggles won many fights and built up big and strong fighting organizations. Only the class collaborationist politics of their leaders reduces their power to nothing.

A united continent-wide struggle is necessary, one that goes beyond the national borders and unites the workers as a single force. In order to accomplish that, it will be necessary to remove the main obstacle, namely the reformist leaderships grouped in the World Social Forum –including the “ex-Trotskyists” –who tie the workers to the national bourgeoisies and prevent the unity of the exploited of the Americas.

Enough of this kneeling to the bourgeoisie! Against the “summits” of Lula, Kirchner, Chavez and Evo – the “four musketeers” of his Majesty, Imperialism, which are held to decide how best to divide up the continent’s resources and exploit its workers!
Against the class collaborationist policies of the World Social Forum backing the semi-nationalization of the hydrocarbons in Bolivia to grant imperialism its superprofits!

For a Workers and Peasants’ Continental Congress, with rank and file delegates from all the militant organizations of the masses, a great workers and peasants “summit” to unify the struggles in Latin American countries and link it to that of our class sisters and brothers in the USA!
A congress that will overthrow NAFTA, AFTA, the FTAs, Mercosur, etc., and create on the ruins of the imperialist bourgeois economy, a socialist economic plan for the continent to expropriate the imperialist monopolies and integrate the plentiful rich resources of our nations, to provide work, a living wage, health, education, for all workers and exploited, and land to poor peasants!

In Venezuela the UNT (Venezuelan Central Union) that is led by the PRS –a party that bands together the majority of the currents of the “ex-Trotskyists” must break its subordination to Chavez and his “Bolivarian revolution” and summon a continental congress!

In Brazil, the recently held congress of CONLUTAS, representing almost two million militant workers, and attended by over 150 international delegations, proves that the conditions are ripe for a continental workers and peasants’ congress. It is necessary to demand that CONLUTAS rejects Morales’ fake “nationalization”, and summons a workers and peasants’ continental congress!

In Argentina, the working class and the exploited have won hundreds of factory committees, delegates committees and “occupied” factories from the hands of the union bureaucracy, and created militant picketeers’ movements. Most are led by fake Trotskyist currents such as PO, the two MST, Argentine MAS, PTS, and the “Plenum of Self-convened workers”. Demands must be placed on these organizations to break with the Kirchner government’s Labor Ministry and its “cooling off period”; to break with their support of Evo Morales and his decrees; and to take the lead in the call for a continental congress.

The heroic miners subcontracted by the outsourced copper companies in Chile; the combative Chilean youth that today continue to shake the foundations of the Chilean state from Arica in the north to Temuco in the south, following the example of the oppressed French youth that rose up to the cry “Every night, let’s make Paris a Baghdad!”; the organizations of the oil workers and vanguard workers, together with the poor peasants in Ecuador, fighting against the client regime of Palacio, the FTA and imperialist Big Oil … all of them must be called upon to lead the struggle for a continental congress!

The Peruvian construction and health workers that have gone to the streets to fight against the ferocious attacks on their launched by Toledo’s government and the Fujimorista regime in crisis… they also have to be called to break all subordination to the bourgeoisie and take up this appeal for a continental congress.

The Huanuni miners and the revolutionary workers in El Alto (Bolivia) have the authority to summon a Workers and Peasants’ Continental Congress

The miners in Huanuni and the workers in El Alto, the true “guardians of the hydrocarbons” in Bolivia, those that keep alive the fire of the “Central Headquarters of the Revolution” and voted the Theses of Pulacayo as their revolutionary program on June 8, 2005; those that refused to kneel before Morales or Chavez or any other bourgeois… they have all the authority to call for this workers and peasants continental congress to constitute again the “Central Headquarters of the Revolution” in Bolivia.

We call on the Huanuni miners and the El Alto workers in Bolivia, and all those organizations that oppose the class collaborationist policy of the World Social Forum, and the rotten role of the liquidators of the Fourth International; all those rejecting all subservience to these traitors, and looking for a revolutionary road ahead; all those fighting for the interests of the Latin American and world proletariat, to take up this appeal as their own and to commit their resources to make it a reality.

We call on the Asociación de Trabajadores sin Techo (Association of “workers without houses”) in Diadema, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, led by the socialist workers of the POM (Marxist Workers Party), to take up and fight for this appeal, and to put as a motion to its meeting on July 1st – 2nd to regroup the militant worker organizations opposed any subordination to the World Social Forum, and to the “ex-Trotskyists” and their class collaborationist policy in Brazil.

We call on the dockworkers, railworkers and militant students who have built a ‘Fighting Committee’ in the city and port of Arica, Chile, to promote this motion to all the workers organizations and popular organizations in struggle in Chile.

In Argentina, we take this proposal to the heroic workers in Las Heras and to the Las Heras Women’s Commission who despite heavy repression and isolation continue with their fight for their demands, beginning with the immediate and unqualified freedom for the imprisoned fighters. We also call on the militant picketeer organizations which are resisting the policies of the reformist “left” – whom we joined to oppose Bush’s “Americas Summit”, and the World Social Forum’s “counter-summit” last November – to take up the fight for this proposal together with us in the ranks of the Argentine working class.

We call on the workers vanguard in the immigrant movement in the US, and the advanced workers that opposes the war in Iraq, to take up the call for a workers’ and peasants’ continental congress.

We call on all of these fighters from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego to combine their forces to make this workers and peasants continental congress a reality, and to take up the following demands in the wider worker ranks:

  • Against the semi-nationalization of hydrocarbons decreed by Evo Morales in Bolivia, which guarantees business as usual for the multinational corporations and a juicy slice of the profit cake for the native bourgeoisie, making the exploited in Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and all Latin America pay for the costs.
  • Nationalization without compensation and under workers control of hydrocarbons, and of all the facilities, funds, and the entire property of the multinational corporations in Bolivia!
  • For the nationalization without compensation and under workers control of hydrocarbons in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and all of Latin America, expropriating Repsol, Chevron, Shell, Exxon, British Petroleum, Total, and the rest of the plundering imperialist monopolies!
  • For the complete re-nationalization of Codelco (Copper company) in Chile, and the expropriation without compensation of all the privatised pits and copper fields, putting them to work under workers control! For the reclaiming of the Peruvian minerals, Bolivian minerals and water resources, and all the natural resources that the imperialists have been stealing from the entire continent!
  • For a co-ordinated fight of all the workers and peasants’ organizations of the Americas to confront the economical, political and military blockade that the client regimes of Lula, Kirchner, Toledo, Bachelet, etc., have imposed on the Bolivian revolution to strangle it. Any support to those governments is a clear betrayal of the Bolivian Revolution; they are the lackeys of Shell, Repsol, Petrobras, Exxon, Total and the rest of imperialist corporations that plunder and impoverish our peoples in Latin America and murder the heroic Iraqi peoples!
  • Let’s call the workers and exploited in Central America to adopt as their own cause the victory of the Bolivian revolution! This revolution shows them the way to defeat the CAFTA and block the US slave-owner government’s plan of reducing them to new colonies and protectorates; in the same way that it shows the workers and peasants in South America the way to defeat the FTAs -just forced onto Chile and now represented by the Pact of the Andes, and how to defeat Mercosur – imposed by the imperialist monopolies and their junior partners the client regimes of the South of the continent.
  • Break with the IMF and the World Bank! Repudiate the external debts which suffocate our nations! Break with the OAS, the UN, the Inter American Treaty of Reciprocal Defence, and all the economic, political, and military pacts that tie our nations to imperialism! Down with NAFTA, AFTA, FTAs, CAFTA, Mercosur and the rest of the “free trade” treaties stuffing the pockets of the imperialist monopolies and the national bourgeoisies!
  • In Bolivia, kick out the DEA officials and their bases in El Chapare! Yankee troops and military bases out of Paraguay and Manta Isle in Ecuador! Out of the Malvinas (called “Falkland Islands” by the British imperialists) and the NATO bases! Out with all US imperialist forces prepared to smash the Latin American revolution!
  • Hands off Haiti! Out with the UN and its den of thieves using the troops of the client regimes of Kirchner, Lula, Bachelet and Vazquez to kill the Haitian people for the sake of US and French imperialism!
  • For the expropriation without compensation of all the big landowners all over Latin America, to give land to the poor peasants, opening the way for land nationalization! For the expropriation of the banks under workers control, to give cheap credit to the small producers both in the town and the country! Nationalization of foreign trade!
  • Enough of joblessness, super exploitation and starvation wages for the working class, the only one that creates all the wealth in our continent! Let’s organize a unified continental fight for decent jobs and wages for all workers, imposing the sliding scale of wages and work hours as is stated in the Pulacayo Theses! Enough of a situation that creates workers into first and second class employees: same work, same pay; all the casual workers must be contracted on an equal footing with the permanent workers, under decent collectively negotiated conditions!
  • Stop the slave traffic imposed by the imperialist and national bourgeoisies on the immigrant workers in the US as well as in the Latin American countries! Freedom of travel and residence for all workers, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from the Pacific to the Atlantic! Immediate citizenship with full social, economic and union rights for all immigrant workers in all the countries of the American continent!
  • Down with the pacts, the truces and the class collaborationist policies with which the union bureaucracies of the continent back and support the governments and regimes that are the clients and junior partners of the imperialist plundering of our countries! The true workers and peasants alliance will be attained through breaking off all subordination to the bourgeoisie, and on the ruins of the regimes and governments that are lackeys of imperialism, such as Lula-Alencar’s, and that of the Brazilian CUT bureaucrat Luiz Marinho in Brazil, such as Kirchner’s in Argentina, Toledo’s in Peru, Bachelet’s in Chile, Palacio’s in Ecuador, etc.!
  • For the complete independence of the workers organizations from the bourgeois state and from all its institutions! Hands off the workers organizations by the bourgeois Labor Ministries! Down with the “cooling off periods” and rules to disarm and defeat strikes and workers struggles! Down with all the bourgeois laws that dictate the organization of the workers: we workers organize ourselves as we please and do not need any control by our class enemy!
  • Down with all the union bureaucrats! For the widest workers democracy within the unions and all the fighting organizations of the exploited! All the leaders and delegates should be elected by the rank and file in worker assemblies; their mandate should be recallable and last for one year maximum; they should be paid a wage equal to the lowest paid in the occupations which they represent. When their term is finished, they must not be re-elected and must return to work. No to the compulsory deduction of union dues by the bosses! Leaders and delegates should collect the union dues each month directly from the workers in their workplaces. Every negotiation with the bosses or the ministries should be held publicly before the rank and file which will then decide by voting with a show of hands in a general assembly whether or not to agree to a contract.
  • For factory (workplace) committees to unite all the sectors of the working class! For committees of unemployed and committees of rural workers and poor peasants, co-ordinated with the factory committees! Long live self-organization and workers democracy!
  • End the killing and repressing of workers and peasants! A hundred dead in October 2003 in Bolivia, more than 40 dead in December 2001 in Argentina, dozens of dead among the Ecuadorian workers and peasants; countless numbers of dead among the landless peasants in Paraguay and Brazil. The working class has got the legitimate right to self defence: For self-defence workers and peasants committees, “armed workers pickets”, as the Pulacayo Theses correctly state, as embryos of the workers and peasants’ militia!
  • Immediate freedom for all the political prisoners that imperialism and the bourgeois regimes keep as hostages! Immediate and unqualified freedom for the communards of Ayo-Ayo imprisoned in the dungeons of the Morales regime in Bolivia; Freedom for the Mapuche (native Chilean) fighters and the combative youth, all of them held as prisoners in the grip of Bachelet and the regime of the Pinochetista constitution in Chile! Freedom for the Las Heras workers, and for all the militant workers and youth imprisoned in Argentina; freedom for the political prisoners of the Landless Movement in Brazil, who are languishing in Lula-Alencar-Marinho’s jails in Brazil!
  • This combat is a part of the fight to set free the anti-imperialist militiamen who are held as prisoners of war in Guantánamo; to set free the combatants of the Iraqi resistance being subject to punishment and torture in Abu-Grahib; to set free all the immigrant workers and youth imprisoned in the US while fighting for their rights; and to set free the hundreds of young workers and students imprisoned in France due to their confrontation with the imperialist regime of the 5th Republic last November.
  • Against the caricature of the “Bolivarian revolution” of Chavez, Castro and Morales, we affirm that a revolution in Bolivia, in Venezuela, and in any of the Latin American nations will only triumph as a workers and peasants’ revolution, through a triumphant insurrection that destroys the bourgeois state, expropriates the imperialist monopolies and the native bourgeoisies, and imposes the dictatorship of the proletariat in those nations, on the road to creation of the Socialist United States of South and Central America (including Mexico)!
  • Either a victorious workers’ and peasants’ revolution or a caricature of a revolution! There is no room, no possibility at all for an “intermediate” revolution led by a sector of the bourgeoisie, because the native bourgeoisie is always the junior partner of imperialism sharing in its plunder. Either the working class as a leader of the poor peasants seizes power as a first step to liberating the wider exploited strata of the population from its imperialist chains, or the chains of exploitation and plunder, of imperialist rule, will be strengthened.
  • For the defence of the gains of the Cuban Revolution, both against the imperialists and against the internal counterrevolution promoted by the Castroite bureaucracy, which is advancing quickly towards the capitalist restoration in the island! For political revolution! For armed workers and peasants’ councils to defeat the restorationist policy of the Castroite bureaucracy!
  • Let’s call on the workers organizations in Venezuela to stop the export of even one single barrel of oil for Bush and the Yankee imperialists that goes to feed the war machine massacring our class sisters and brothers in Iraq! For the military defeat of all the imperialist troops, for the victory of the heroic Iraqi resistance! Hands off Iran by the UN and all the imperialist gangsters!
  • For the unity with our class sisters and brothers in the imperialist countries! Let’s call on the US working class that opposes the war on Iraq and the millions of immigrant workers in the US to unify and co-ordinate their fight with ours! Let’s us ourselves make one fight with the young workers, all the workers and students in France, who rose up to confront their own imperialist bourgeoisie –no less criminal than the US bourgeoisie, equally plundering and killing the peoples of Latin America, Africa and Asia!

We who are members of the FLT consider ourselves internationalist organizers of the world working class. The fight for an International Conference of the principled Trotskyists and the revolutionary worker organizations lives today in the combat of dozens and hundreds of workers organizations that all over the Americas and the world resist the class collaborationist and Popular Frontist policies of the World Social Forum and the “ex-Trotskyist”; it lives in the fight of the martyred young French workers; it lives in the organizations of immigrant workers in the US who declare that their fight is “class against class” and reject every attempt to make them kneel to the Democrats; it lives in the struggles of the workers vanguard and the youth that are protesting in Chile; it lives in the Huanuni pits where the miners guard the Pulacayo Theses as a priceless jewel; it lives in miners’, workers’ and poor peasants’ of El Alto who are the true guardians of the struggle for the expropriation of the hydrocarbons and the expelling of the multinational corporations.

Giving continuity to these struggles, and regrouping the internationalists and the revolutionary conscious workers and youth in the Americas and the world along the road to creating the world party of the socialist revolution, this is the goal of the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction!

Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction May 2006
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