Monday, January 26, 2009

Bolivia: Open Letter from the LTI to the POR*

From Class Struggle 81 Nov08/Jan09

Build a united front of struggle of all the militant workers’, peasants’ and students’ organizations to take the COB and COR** out of the hands of the servants of big business and their government, and re-open the revolutionary road of 2003-2005!

It has already been proven that the policy of using the COB and COR as pressure groups on parliament to make petitions to change the laws has been a total failure. The only thing that parliament has voted for is Morales’ constitution, the fascists of Santa Cruz and the transnational companies.

Today our workers organizations are subordinated to the bourgeoisie and its government in the Altiplano and attacked by fascism in the East. The Trotskyist Internationalist League appeals to the POR and all the organizations that call for a break from the bourgeoisie and the government, to confront fascism by reviving the Pulacayo Theses of the Bolivian workers, to form with great urgency, a common struggle front, that can open a road different from the collaborationist bureaucracy of the COB for the vast majority of the Bolivian working class.

This call must organize, without delay, a united offensive of all the workers organizations, to demand the immediate replacing of the collaborationist leadership of the COB and the convening of a Congress of delegates of the rank and file of all workers, poor peasants and revolutionary students organizations, to retake the road to the revolution opened in 1003-2005 by exploited masses of Bolivia.

The POR has an enormous influence in the vanguard of the workers and students. This must not be used to give Trotskyist “blessings” to whichever union bureaucrats are prepared to betray the working class. Nor is it enough for POR to teach the lessons of the Theses of Pulacayo and the sliding scales of wages and working hours without a the rest of the Transitional Program to fight for a Workers and Peasants Government.

“Revolutionary violence” as proposed by the POR, is not a program. The fascist counterrevolution has smashed our worker and poor peasant brothers and sisters in the Media Luna. Will they be able to miraculously break from the leadership of Montes, Patana and the other agents of the popular front and the bourgeoisie? No way! We must unite all the workers, poor farmers and student organizations to vote for the immediate formation of workers and peasants militias, as in the '52, to smash the fascists and destroy the Banzerist murderous officer caste.

Enough! The fascists operate in Santa Cruz without fear of reprisal and in broad daylight. We must initiate a drive in the unions and fighting workers organizations a massive recruitment of workers, poor farmers and students, to build a workers and farmers militia to march on Santa Cruz to smash fascism.

There is no time to lose. The differences that we have with POR and other organizations that claim to be Trotskyists in Bolivia are clear and deep and have already been debated publicly before the masses. But we do not make these differences an obstacle in uniting in a common front to face the life and death matters that confront the Bolivian workers and poor farmers. Already the call for a united front has been met with enthusiasm by hundreds of thousands of workers, poor farmers and revolutionary students eager to break their subordination to the class collaborationist government of Morales and the transnationals, and to fight the fascist attacks of the Santa Cruz oligarchy and British Petroleum and the Banderista officer caste as in Pando.

Without a doubt, the miners of Huanuni have responded to this call and with them the Bolivian miners’ movement. So have the militant vanguard of the teachers unions, the industrial workers of La Paz, the pensioners and all those unions that fight against rising prices which were brutally repressed by Morales army. The workers of Plan 3000 refuse to be isolated and surrounded by the fascists with their sticks and pistols and have raised their battle cry to settle accounts with the “little white bums” that, everyday, terrorise our workers and farmers.

The Internationalist Trotskyist League of Bolivia, a member of the FLT, will take these proposals and this program to all the workers’ where we are active to get their support for these resolutions. To succeed it is necessary to defeat all the collaborationist leaders of the COB that currently subordinate the proletariat to the bourgeoisie. This is the number 1 and most urgent task at the moment. Only in this way can the exploited stand up to fight starting with the most basic and pressing demands.

It is clear that the haste with which the pact between the popular front and fascism was rushed through against the masses is motivated by the exploiters need to solve their world crisis and the bankruptcy of imperialism on the back of the oppressed masses and to contain a workers counter-offensive.

The working class must rise up against this offensive! It is necessary for the rank and file of to take control of the COB! It is necessary to re-open the road to the workers and farmers revolution, because for the workers and poor farmers to live, world capitalism and imperialism must die!

There is no doubt that the Bolivian working class has been surrounded by the Bolivarian bourgeoisie and the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum, which subordinates it to the bourgeoisie. The survival of the workers and poor farmers’ revolution in Bolivia, now contained and expropriated, must be reclaimed. It is necessary to confront and expose the scam and sham of the "Bolivarian Revolution" which is nothing but a parody of a revolution. Its true purpose is to deceive the masses into supporting the governments of the national bourgeoisie and their business partners of the various imperialist powers, which are disputing among themselves over the loot of the nations of Latin America.

The worker and farmer masses of Peru have already entered a phase of semi-insurrections against the Fujimorist regime and the pro-Yankee government of Alan Garcia. Rebellious Chilean youth, with their shout of “the red cops are the dangerous ones”, have entered a heroic struggle to defeat the reformist leaders who hold back each step of the masses.

The masses of the American continent need to stand in unity with the workers and poor farmers revolution in Bolivia, at a critical point when the national bourgeoisies, Bolivarian or not, and allied to the imperialist transnationals are already preparing for a massive attack against the workers who refuse to pay for the crisis of the rotten bankrupt capitalist imperialist system.

The Bolivian workers and farmers do not have the revolutionary leadership they deserve able to prove to them that their true allies are not the national bourgeois partners of Totalfina and Repsol but the Latin American and world-wide working class, already entering enormous class struggles for food and survival. Long live the Bolivian working class; long live the international working class!

*From the International Trotskyist League to the Revolutionary Workers’ Party.

** COB and COR are Bolivian Workers Central and Regional Workers Central i.e. the main union organisation.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Stop the Zionist genocidal attack on Gaza!

Arms, Medicine and Food for the Palestinian masses!
For International Workers Actions to defeat the Zionist regime!

For more than one week the Israeli Zionist state has bombed and strafed the Gaza Strip causing the worst massacre of the Palestinian people since 1948 in their heroic struggle to liberate their nation from the Zionist occupation. There are more than 500 dead and 3000 injuries most of them non-combatants including women and children.

The Gaza strip is the biggest open air concentration camp in the world. 1.5 million people are crammed into an area of 360 square km. Surrounded by walls and the sea it is a modern version of the Warsaw ghetto under the Nazi occupation of Poland in the Second World War.

For nearly two years, the Zionist state with the support of U.S. imperialism backed by the other imperialist powers, and its local jailers Fatah, have imposed a total blockade on the Gaza strip isolating it from the West Bank of historic Palestine and cutting off gas, electricity and water, as well as food, medicines, etc.

There is little work in Gaza and 90% the population is unemployed. Malnutrition and chronic anemia are rife. For example, most babies born in the last two years and who survived do not grow normally as their mothers and lack food and essential nutrients during the first years of life. 50% of the population are young people under the age of 15 years –that is the generation born since the Oslo Accords in 1993 –and the only thing they know is hunger, and no future but slavery and apartheid.

This slow and cruel genocide is supported and maintained by all the imperialist powers that make up the den of thieves at the UN. It does nothing to stop the bombing or the ground invasion that is now underway that will provoke a even greater slaughter of the masses in Gaza. The new “Republicrat” US President Obama has remained silent so far, tacitly supporting the massacre in Gaza just as he fails to stop the massacres in Afghanistan and Iraq. How could it be otherwise? Obama himself had promised during his election campaign, when he visited the Zionist state of “Israel” and endorsed its occupation of Palestine, to support this “gendarme” of US imperialism in the region.

Obama is the new black face of US imperialism leading its drive to defend its world hegemony against its rivals and fighting more wars to download the costs of its crisis onto the backs of workers

Obama replaces the discredited Bush and offers the "Carrot for the stick". Obama’s "carrots" are new deals to contain the revolutions in the “hotspots” of the world. A new deal between Morales and fascist bourgeoisie in Bolivia; the new deal between Uribe and Chavez to betray the FARC in Colombia; or the new deal with Sarkozy and the Latin American bourgeoisie to restore capitalism in Cuba; or a new deal with the Iranian ayatollahs and the bourgeoisie against Sunni resistance in Iraq. These “carrots” follow the “sticks” such as the military adventures like the Turkish attack on the Kurds in Northern Iraq; the media luna fascists uprising in Bolivia; the attack by Uribe against the FARC in Ecuador; and Saakashvili’s attack on South Ossetia. But in all cases the “carrots” mask the continuous use of the “Republicrat” military actions to mark out the territory and sphere of interests of US imperialism in the face of intensifying inter-imperialist rivalry and the attempt to impose the cost of the capitalist crisis onto the world’s workers and poor peasants.

This is why Obama supports the massacre in Gaza. It is part of the overall US imperialist strategy in the Middle East and Central Asia. Obama has already announced that the US troops will begin withdrawing from Iraq in 2009, and that there will be a build-up of US troops in Afghanistan. The attack on Gaza is part of that plan. Its purpose is to crush the Palestinian resistance, just as the pact with the Iranians and the Turks is to crush the resistance in Iraq. This is to allow the US to withdraw its troops from the Middle East in the hope of avoiding an uprising of the masses. This is the true role of the Zionist state as the US “gendarme” in the Middle East. Thus, this new slaughter of the Palestinian people is one vital part of the new counter-revolutionary plan of the US to extend its sphere of interest into Central Asia over the former Soviet republics including Russia itself, at the expense of its key rivals France and Germany.

Far from bringing an era of "peace" and "democracy" the Republicrat President Obama will act to advance the interests of US imperialism in competition with the other imperialist powers in the EU and Japan, to increase the exploitation and oppression of the peoples to solve the crisis of the bankrupt capitalist world economy and make us pay for the cost of bailing out the banks and the monopolies with unemployment, wage cuts, poverty, starvation and new wars.

Meanwhile, the Zionist state of Israel, by killing hundreds of Palestinians tries to prove to the US that it has overcome its humiliating defeat in the South of Lebanon in 2006, and can earn its money as the “hard cop” of US imperialism in the Middle East. But the Zionist cop also serves the interests of the other imperialist powers. France and Germany have troops in Afghanistan. France and Italy have troops in southern Lebanon under the guise of UN peacekeepers. Japan is dependent for its oil on the Middle East. All the imperialists need to smash the Palestinian resistance, whose heroic liberation struggle is the key to the resistance in all the Middle East.

All the imperialist powers need to download the costs of their crisis onto their own working classes. All need new wars to allow them to get cheap raw materials and labor and drive down labor costs at home. All need to destroy the productive forces including the “destructive” forces of the armaments to increase their profits. The arms monopolists such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Westinghouse, General Electric, Airbus and General Dynamics and the big banks that own them such as Citigroup, Morgan Chase and Barclays need to make big superprofits from war to prevent their own bankruptcy in the current crisis.

Fatah and all the Middle East bourgeoisies are accomplices in the genocidal occupation of Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel

The heroic struggle of the Palestine peoples over decades against the Zionist occupation have been suppressed with the complicity of the Palestinian bourgeoisie. The second Intifada was crushed by mid-2002 by the tanks of Sharon and Bush, and the “roadmap” agreed by the United States, Russia and the UN giving the “Palestinian Authority”, led by Fatah, the role of administering and policing the Bantustan concentration camps in Gaza and the West Bank. These camps served to supply a reserve army of cheap labor to the Israel factories and businesses.

In Gaza, in February 2008, a heroic uprising toppled the wall at Rafah to break the siege and get access to vital food and medicines. At the same time the Palestinians opened up the possibility of uniting their struggle with their class brothers and sisters in Egypt. To put a stop to this Mubarak sent his army to help Hamas to rebuild the wall. This failure to unite the fight at this time proved to the Zionists that they could risk planning for an all out destruction of the resistance in Gaza six months later.

It is the result of the collaboration of Fatah and Hamas with Israel, as junior partners in the rule of imperialism, that has allowed the Zionists to launch their bombings and to carry out the threat of a ground war that will repeat the massacre such as Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon in 1982. Fatah has become a direct collaborators of the Zionist state paid to manage the concentration camps. They are jailers and slaveholders of their own people!

Again in 2006, with the humiliating defeat of the Zionist army by the masses in the south of Lebanon, could have been used to stop the plan for the Bantustans on the West Bank and the ghetto in Gaza. But the leaders of Hezbollah, turned its back on this struggle and made a deal with the pro-imperialist Siniora to share the profits of the reconstruction of Lebanon, agreed to the imperialist UN troops to protect the border of Israel and allowed the Zionist state to prepare for its slaughter in Gaza. Thus, Fatah and Hezbollah are the accomplices of Israel in dividing and weakening the most advanced sections of the Palestinian masses in the face of the plan to destroy all resistance to the Zionist occupation.

Under these conditions the truce that Hamas made with the Zionist occupying troops could not but end up as a new massacre of the Palestinians. But it is not only Fatah, Hezbollah and Hamas that collaborate with the Zionist state. All the national bourgeoisies of the Middle East whether they collaborate with Anglo-US, French, German or Japanese imperialism, are responsible for the oppression of the Palestinian people. They are today the accomplices of the new Bush/Obama genocidal attack by the Zionist state on Gaza.

Mubarak in Egypt was the first to recognize the State of Israel and tightly controls the southern and western borders of Gaza Strip, locking the Palestinian people in the ghetto and preventing them from joining forces with exploited and oppressed Egyptian workers! In Jordan the bourgeoisie and the monarchy rule over the Palestinians on the East bank of the Jordan where in 1970 King Hussein suppressed an uprising of the Palestinians in their refugee camps on what is called "black September".

For the defeat of the murdering Zionist army! For the victory of the Palestinian working class resistance!

The proletariat cannot allow this counterrevolutionary plan to succeed. It is necessary to defeat the invading Zionist army. Either the Zionist army is defeated and with it the plans of the imperialists led by Bush/Obama, or the Palestinian resistance will be smashed, not only in Gaza, but in the West Bank, and the Zionist state will feel empowered to take control of southern Lebanon. This is what the imperialist powers and the Zionist state of Israel are planning to make the working class of the whole Middle East as well as the heroic resistance Iraq and Afghanistan suffer a terrible defeat.

Since Hamas won the elections in February 2006 in Gaza, it has made truces in the hope of doing a deal with Israel to get funds to administer Gaza as a ghetto in the same way that Fatah is paid to administer the West Bank. This strategy of military threat to win political advantages proves that Hamas has taken over the role of Fatah after the Palestinian people in Gaza rose up in 2006 to throw it out with its police and spies, openly collaborating with Israel.

The endless martyrdom of the Palestinian people proves that submission of the working class to their “own” bourgeois always ends in tragedy. The national bourgeoisies that control the Palestinian people and the masses of the Middle East can never lead the Palestinian people to national liberation. The national revolution threatens their class interests as the junior business partners of various imperialist powers. Therefore the national revolution can only succeed when it is led by the self-organised working class and their organizations for which there is no possibility of being bribed by the occupying Zionist state.

Such a victory is necessary since workers will never be able to live, eat and work without the military defeat of the Zionist state which bombs and murders to maintain its occupation of historic Palestine.

  • Enough! The martyred Palestinian people of Gaza cannot remain isolated!
  • We must kick out the UN troops from the south of Lebanon to unite the Palestinian people with the victorious masses of southern Lebanon!
  • Disarm the Fatah police that collaborate with Israel to jail their own people! Distribute these weapons to the masses of the West Bank, Gaza and southern Lebanon! A gun for every fighter!
  • We have to organize the millions of Palestinian exiles in Jordan!
  • For an Assembly of Palestinian workers and peasants delegates with the authority to call for the arming of the people and the destruction of the Zionist state of Israel!

The most powerful weapon to stop the planned slaughter is the uprising of the Palestinian masses to break down the walls of Gaza, and to destroy the walls of the West Bank and unite with the working class of Egypt to launch a joint struggle for bread, land and national independence!

For a revolutionary uprising of the Palestinian and Arab masses of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and the entire region to defeat imperialism and its gendarme Zionist Israel!

Faced with the new Zionist state genocidal attack, we stand unconditionally in the same trench of the Palestinian people their organizations such as Hamas other militias resisting the Zionist invaders. Enough with impotent words and the "Intifada" based on the isolation and lack of arms of the people.

But while we fight alongside Hamas against the Israeli state we do not give any political support to the bourgeois leadership Hamas. We say that the liberation of the Palestinian people from the Zionist occupation can only come from a united struggle of the masses of all the Middle East. It is the same revolutionary struggle that today is divided by the walls that separate the Palestinians of occupied Palestine from their class brothers and sisters in the Lebanon and Jordan and all over the Middle East. That is the first wall to be broken down, that which subjugates these workers to their respective national bourgeoisies.

The heroism of the Palestinian Intifada of 2000-2001 stands as an example for the world to see! But the victory of the Palestinian cause, to destroy the Zionist state and to complete the struggle for national liberation, is not only the task of the oppressed Palestinian people. Only a revolutionary upheaval of the exploited masses of the Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and all the Middle East can lead to the heroic victory of the Palestinian people.

  • Weapons, food and medicine to Gaza!
  • One working class, one anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggle throughout the Middle East!
  • Down with the walls of shame and oppression built by imperialism, the Zionist state and the national bourgeoisies: that is the way to unite the whole proletariat of the region!
  • The victory of the Palestinian masses is in the hands of the international working class!
  • Strike against all those imperialist transnationals that profit from the Zionist occupation of Palestine! Into the streets to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters!

Workers and the exploited of the world must stand in defense of the martyred people Palestine. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are mobilizing for their brothers and sisters in Gaza –in the West Bank, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. At the heart the Europe are Palestinian migrant workers, Arabs and African workers who are working in Spain, France, England, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, etc. These migrant workers are oppressed by vicious laws that can deport them or put them in jail.

While the Palestinian people continue being massacred and their nation remains occupied, while the imperialist forces continue occupying and killing in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must transform the rallying cry of the youth workers of the French Cités of 2005: "Every night we make Paris a Baghdad" into our battle flag to unite the exploited and oppressed all over Europe!

The heroic youth and worker rebels of Greece who have responded to the bankruptcy of the global capitalist imperialist economy and the brutal attack of the exploiters, with a magnificent revolt that threatens to re-open the road to revolution in Europe after 30 years, are showing the way for workers all over the world to stand up and fight back.

In the States United, the dockworkers of the Local 10 of the ILWU in Oakland, have shown how to take strike action against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have two comrades facing jail as a result. They have the authority to lead the US working class to break with Bush/Obama "Republicrat" regime and the bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, and strike in support of their class brothers and sisters under attack by genocidal Zionist State Israel.

In Europe, Africa, Asia, USA, Latin America we need to take to the streets with demonstrations, strikes, boycotts and working class action to stop the genocidal attack of Bush/Obama and the Zionist state of Israel!

  • The working class must ban all shipments of arms, materiel and ammunition to the genocidal Zionist state and guarantee shipments of weapons, ammunition, medicines and food to the Palestinian people!
  • From Athens to Madrid, from Moscow to London, from Beijing to Islamabad, from Johannesburg to Damascus, from New York to Santiago and from Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego, the workers and exploited of the world must stand united with the working class and oppressed people of Palestine!
  • For a workers and farmers government of a non-racist, secular and democratic Palestine!
  • For a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Middle East!

International Secretariat or Coordination and Action (SCAI) of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction
Internationalist Workers Party (POI - CI, Chile)
Communist Workers Group (CWG, New Zealand),
Internationalist Workers League (LOI - CI, Argentina)
Internationalist Trotskyist League (LTI, Peru),
Internationalist Trotskyist League (LTI, Bolivia)
Trotskyist Fraction (FT, Brazil).

Translated and edited by CWG