Wednesday, August 12, 2009
HONDURAS: FLTI DRAFT RESOLUTION
DRAFT RESOLUTION of the International Leninist Trotskyist
Fraction (IFLT) ON HONDURAS July 29, 2009.
1) US imperialism in the current conjuncture has combined two policies to smash the masses and make its imperialist rivals pay for the crisis. One is fascism, " or fascistic brutal military dictatorships", the other is, a form of Democratic façade or front. Honduras is one of the crisis points where the US offensive is using both of these policies as an open left hand and a right fist.
The open hand is the democratic front (imperialism dressed in Obama’s disguise) and the right fist is the open counter-revolutionary policy of wars, as in Afghanistan, massacres as in Gaza – using its Zionist state gendarme -and coups d’etat as in Honduras.
In Latin America we are seeing the results of the French-US provisional agreement forced on French imperialism by US imperialism to regain control of the sub-continent as its “backyard”. A first act of this new offensive was signaled by the Summit of the Americas early this year in Trinidad-Tobago, where Obama, supported by all the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies laid out very clearly his policy to complete capitalist restoration in Cuba.
The Honduras coup is the first act in this offensive where the US using its two handed policy –either through the continuity of Micheletti and his coup makers, or by means of an agreement between Zelaya and these same coup makers – US imperialism wants to turn Honduras into a beachhead for further counter-revolutionary actions in Latin America, i.e. an intervention in Cuba, or Guadeloupe or any country where the masses rise up against their exploitation and oppression.
2) Honduras is a country tied to US imperialism by three chains. The first is the CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement). The second is its historic transformation since the ‘70s into a virtual US protectorate. Thus Honduras was the site of the barracks and camps where the “contras” were armed and trained -these paramilitary gangs, financed by US imperialism, planned attacks against the Nicaraguan revolution. Third, the counter-revolutionary agreements of Esquipulas and Contadora –which strangled the Central American revolution in the ‘80s – were made in Honduras, while the Honduran armed forces, actually an “occupation army” commanded from the US military base in Honduras, massacred the masses of poor peasants that were fighting to get their land back from United Fruit. Today, the US military base in Honduras remains one of the most important ones in the region.
The coup in Honduras shows how the global economic crisis is being downloaded onto the Latin American masses. Like the massacre in Bagua, Peru, last month, the Honduras’ coup is the result of the US using its right fist to violently repress resistance to its offensive. The global economic crisis with its epicenter in the US has hit Latin America nations very hard, especially those tied to US imperialism by FTAs.
Peru and now Honduras are, at the moment, the hot spots in this offensive. Honduras has experienced 3 years of rapid GDP growth at 17% per year, the result of the massive expansion of maquilas (sweatshops) producing for export to the US. Of course this short period of growth did not improve the living conditions of the Honduran masses. On the contrary it increased their exploitation and worsened the already miserable conditions they were suffering.
In 2008-2009 the crisis hit Honduras heavily. 80% of Honduran exports mainly corn, bananas, coffee, sugar cane, gold and silver, go to the US. The crisis in the US radically cut the demand for Honduran exports. At the same time the crisis brought the expulsion of thousands of Central American workers, including Hondurans, from the US. Thus thousands of workers have been deported to Honduras where they add to the numbers of unemployed already about 28% (official figures). The remittances from these deported workers running at around $2.5 billion a year has, of course, stopped.
To this growing pool of unemployed are added to those suffering massive layoffs from the imperialist-owned maquilas, plantations and mines in Honduras, now closing down because of the crisis. So, at the same time that the dollar reserves in the Honduran National Treasury fell, a huge trade imbalance has arisen. Honduras exports to the US are now $6 billion annually while imports are $10 billion creating a deficit of $4 billion.
Honduran workers and poor peasants, like in the rest of Central America, are being forced to pay for the crisis with increasing poverty, starvation and mass layoffs. The burden of inflation, around 12% annually, is rising every day. The international price of the staple food, corn (tortillas), as well as sugar cane, remains relatively high because both are used also as raw material for biofuels.
The situation of the exploited masses is desperate. In a country that produces food –corn, sugar cane, coffee, bananas, etc.-most of the population, made up of workers, poor peasants and their families, are starving because they cannot afford even a handful of corn to eat.
The switching of production from the food staples of corn and beans in favour of exotic fruit which the transnationals such as Chiquita Brand, Dole, etc can sell at premium prices in the US, has forced Honduras to start importing food from the US at the very high prices dictated by the big food and agro-transnationals. The US military has intervened militarily several times before to secure Chiquita and Dole’s control over the fruit export market in Honduras. Chiquita (formerly United Fruit) was found guilty of funding fascist bands in Colombia from 1997 to 2004 (the so-called Autodefensa Unidas de Colombia); while Dole works in partnership with the Israeli state to export DBCP, a banned chemical substance they use on food crops all over the world.
Moreover, Honduras imports 100% of its oil which adds to its trade deficit. And if that were not enough for the masses to suffer, Honduras was hit in 2008 by Hurricane Mitch, which left 34 dead, many injured, 70,000 workers and poor peasants homeless, and caused $154 million in damage to the economy. This tragedy prevented the sowing of beans and much of the corn. The prices of food and fuel has skyrocketed caused massive starvation. 70% of Hondurans live below the poverty line and 40% are starving. Even Zelaya had to acknowledge publicly that 2 million Hondurans eat only once every three days.
3) Since 2007-2008 the Honduran masses have begun to resist their exploitation and oppression. In 2008 Zelaya has faced three general strikes against his government, demanding an end to the rising cost of living, against the FTA, etc. Zelaya responded to these massive mobilizations with repression, killing four leaders of the workers and poor peasants. Following the strikes, Zelaya then tried to win over a layer of the civil servants to support him by increasing their very low salaries marginally to the still very low US$230 per month which barely pays for the basic family food basket. But to the rest of the workers, such as the striking workers of the maquilas and the plantations, Zelaya only offered more layoffs and repression.
In 2008, Zelaya, a wealthy landowner and businessman and at the center of the pro-US Liberal Party, “moved” to the ranks of the “Bolivarians” and signed-up Honduras to the ALBA (Alternativa Bolivariana para las Americas) the ´Chavista´ alternative to the US imperialist ALCA, (Free Trade Agreement initiative for the Americas).
This turn was in response to the emergence of a sector of the Honduran national bourgeoisie that began to demand the renegotiation of deals with US and US monopolies to gain a larger slice of the super-profits expropriated from the masses for the pockets of the national bourgeoisie.
As a result of this turn, Zelaya and this pro-Chavez bourgeois sector got a loan from Venezuela in “petro-dollars” to finance the Honduran state deficit and subsidize its imports of Venezuelan oil. Thus the Zelaya administration took on strong Bonapartist sui generis (with special) features. As a national bourgeoisie in a semi-colonial country it is extremely weak in relation to the imperialist master. So the only way it can pressure imperialism to give it higher prices for exports etc is to win the support of the workers and the poor peasants, using the threat of a revolution to blackmail imperialism. Of course and at the same time, the weak national bourgeoisie must control those masses with an iron grip to prevent a revolution and the seizure of not only imperialist property but the property of the national bourgeoisie. It exercises this iron grip through the statization of the unions to contain any uprisings and by openly and violently attacking the most militant vanguard.
4) These are the conditions that brought about the split of the Honduran bourgeoisie. The Zelayaist faction of the Honduran bourgeoisie attempted to contain the anger and frustration of the masses with “Bolivarian” demagoguery and carrots from the state treasury. The other fraction of the Honduran bourgeoisie alarmed by ¨Bolivarian´ turn fearing the insurgent masses prefers delivering the masses real bullets instead of Bolivarian carrots. The Honduran bourgeoisie split, not only to gain a bigger share of the shrinking profits hit by the crisis, but because of the disagreement about how best to deal with a mass upsurge and forestall a revolution.
5) Obama and the Republicrat regime, acting on the instruction of Chiquita and Dole, took advantage of this split in the Honduran bourgeoisie to promote the civil-military coup on June 28 that removed Zelaya and dumped him in his underwear in the main Costa Rican airport.
Facing the global crisis, the new “general staff” of US imperialism in the form of President Obama, advanced its new political strategy. US imperialism could not allow Honduras –a site of a US military base and signatory of one of its FTAs - in the hands of Zelaya and his fraction of the national bourgeoisie, to join the Bolivarians and demand better terms from its paymasters. So the Republicrat regime of Obama used its military base in Honduras to make the coup against Zelaya in collaboration with the head of the Honduran armed forces, the Catholic and Evangelist clergy, and parliament and the supreme Court.
The key to the US imperialist strategy was the double face of Obama talking democratic but holding the big stick. Then, they needed to disguise the coup as a “constitutional dismissal”. But Zelaya refused to resign. Then the head of the Honduran army, long used to making coups with impunity, over-reacted and instead of the planned “elegant” pas de deux, ordered his troops to kick their way into Zelaya’s home at dawn and fly him to Costa Rica in his underwear.
It is clear that without the revolutionary uprising of the masses US imperialism will succeed in imposing its solution in Honduras. Either Micheletti and the leaders of the coup will stay in power until new elections four months away, or, a counter-revolutionary deal between Zelaya and the “coup makers” will be negotiated with the blessing of the OAS, Obama and the whole Bolivarian team.
USA imperialism facing the global crisis is signaling with the coup in Honduras that it can no longer afford ‘Bolivarian’ Bonapartists, and that openly fascistic methods are needed to crush the resistance of the working class. If the ‘Bolivarian’ Bonapartists do not increase their attacks on the working class to subdue it, US imperialism is warning that it will install new regimes by military force if necessary.
6) In response to the coup, the World Social Forum and its “left” wing made up of Stalinists, populists and fake Trotskyists, have come out screaming that it was the US “right” that made the coup, not only against Zelaya but also against “Obama-their-democratic-champion”.
This is a lie used to deceive the workers of the Americas and the rest of the world. The reality is, the White House today has two players competing to protect its interests and the property of Chiquita Brand, Dole and the US maquilas in Honduras. On the one hand there is the government of the coup led by Micheletti, backed by the armed forces, the parliament and Supreme Court, and the US military base.
On the other hand, there is the “democratic front” that starts with Obama, includes the UN, OAS, EU, the “Bolivarian” bourgeoisies, the Castroite bureaucracy, the World Social Forum (WSF) and the fake Trotskyists in the US, Latin America and worldwide. All together they call on the democratic masses “to pressure” Obama asking him to be “consistent”, i.e. to call his ambassador in Honduras and demand that he take “all the necessary measures to reinstate the legitimate government” of that bourgeois murderer and exploiter Zelaya.
In either case it is a win-win situation for US imperialism. If the coup stays in power it will be directly controlled by the US military machine. If Zelaya returns with limited powers up to the next elections he will promise Obama not to convene a Constituent Assembly and to give an amnesty to the coup makers. In short, in either case US imperialism will keep its military base in Honduras as a beachhead for counterrevolution in the continent. For the Pentagon this is essential at a time when when the crisis conditions in Honduras are also faced throughout the rest of Central America. Imperialism does not want to see the Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Guatemalan masses to rise up and overthrow their preventative popular front governments under the former “commandantes” of the Sandinistas and the FMLN. The “New Deal” option backed by the threat of coups has now turned these former fighters into direct agents of the US imperialists and managers of the FTAs imposing imperialist austerity against the Salvadoran and Nicaraguan masses.
7) The three weeks since the coup, have witnessed huge mobilizations of the Honduran masses, general strikes, pickets, roadblocks, etc., which have been contained by the leaders of the democratic fronts. Each day this goes on, while Zelaya calls for “popular insurrection” from his safe haven in Guatemala, the workers and the poor peasants end up in jail or losing their lives.
While the two bourgeois fractions confront each other, US imperialism gauges precisely the situation, so as to know when to best seal the deal and close the gap ripped open in the Honduran ruling class by the crisis. All bourgeois factions involved agree that their main task is to prevent at all costs the militancy of the masses from turning into an open insurrections that defeats the coup in the streets and open up the revolutionary road.
FOR PROLETARIAN METHODS OF STUGGLE
8) We, revolutionary internationalists, have to tell the truth to the masses.The working class and the exploited cannot be neutral in this confrontation between the two bourgeois camps.We have to say that even though bourgeois democracy and fascistic reaction (in this case a military coup) are both policies of imperialism and the national bourgeoisies, they are not exactly the same for the working class and the exploited masses.
Bourgeois democracy uses control of the working class organisations, corrupting them, bribing and buying the leaderships, while fascistic reaction attacks them with the intention of smashing physically the working class and the exploited masses, destroying the organizations of workers.
Internationalist workers and fighters inside and outside of Honduras must unite to denounce the kidnapping and disappearances suffered by the leaders of the popular and workers organizations. We know that the death squads that come in the middle of the night breaking into the workers’ and popular leader’s homes to kidnap them are led by officers trained in the “School of Assassins at in Ft. Benning Georgia, USA”.
Therefore, while this split between the two bourgeois camps exists, we call on workers to defend democracy against fascism, but only with the methods that Trotsky and the Fourth International used in Spain in 1936: i.e., the working class must not defend democracy with the methods of bourgeois democracy but with the methods of proletarian revolution.
We call the Honduran workers and poor peasants to smash the coup by launching a revolutionary general strike!
Build worker, rural worker and poor peasant armed militias to fight and defeat the coup in the streets!
Armed workers and peasants: March to the army bases and call upon the rank and file soldiers, who are the children of the workers and peasants in uniform, to disobey their officers who staged the coup!
We call them to set up rank and file soldier committees to unite with the workers an poor peasants militias and to requisition weapons to arm the workers and poor peasants militia to smash the coup!
Armed workers and poor peasants: March on and dissolve the parliament and the Supreme Court responsible for the coup!
March on the US military base to defeat and drive out the US marines, murderers of the Latin American peoples, murderers of the Iraqi, Afghani and Pakistani people!
It is necessary to direct all our fire at imperialism which prepared and is funding the coup. It is urgent to hit Wall Street where it hurts by expropriating without compensation and under workers control, Dole, the Chiquita Brand, and all the transnationals of the maquilas and the mines!
We call for workers at Dole, Chiquita Brands, all the maquilas, and the banks, to form workers’ committees, and to occupy and take them over!
Down with the infamous FTA’s that crush under the parasitic imperialist yoke the Honduran nation!
Both Zelaya and Micheletti are plotting against the masses and will end up embracing each other while the blood of the Honduran workers and peasants is still fresh on the ground. Side by side with the workers of Honduras, in the road blocks, barricades and in the pitched battles against the military, all internationalist workers call for the smashing of the coup in the streets.
We have to confront the deceiving lying politics of the democratic front which ties the hands of the masses to the class which exploits them.
Hands off Honduras!
Down with Obama and the murderous regime of the Republicrats!
Out with the UN, the OAS and the rest of the institutions of the imperialist butchers!
No deal with those responsible of the coup!
The deal between Zelaya and Micheletti that is being hatched in Costa Rica is covered in the blood of the Colombian resistance, betrayed when Chavez and Uribe embraced each other just a few months ago!
If Zelaya returns in a deal made with with Micheletti’s coup makers and with the blessing of Obama and Insulza and the OAS, the outcome means neither national independence or democracy for the Honduran people.Rather it will mean less freedom, democracy and food, no new jobs and land redistribution, and none of the democratic and agrarian questions will be resolved.
Zelaya, Michelletii or any other puppet who takes their place will be backed by the same armed fist of the US military.They will tighten the noose of the FTAs, and tie Honduras to imperialism with new chains so the masses will be made to pay for the crisis with their poverty, misery and their lives. US imperialism will secure the country again as in the ‘80s as a beachhead and a key garrison for counter- revolution in the continent to defend and advance US imperialist interests.
To achieve national independence, redistribute the land, provide food, jobs, health and education, a workers and poor peasants’ government based on the independent and armed masses is necessary to expropriate the expropriators!
FOR INTERNATIONALIST ARMED WORKERS BRIGADES AND INTERNATIONAL LABOR ACTIONS TO SMASH THE COUP
9) Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Salvador, Panama and the rest of the Central American nations were formed as colonies. Their borders were drawn in the 20th century by the United Fruit (now Chiquita Brand), the transnationals and the rest of the US monopolies, in order to control and exploit the masses.
The Salvadoran and Nicaraguan masses paid with their lives during 25 years of hunger, misery and repression as a result of the betrayals of their revolutions by their treacherous leaders, i.e. the counter-revolutionary agreements of Esquipulas and Contadora strangled and defeated the Central American revolution in the ‘80s.
During those years, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Stalinist bureaucracy betrayed the Central American revolution telling the proletariat and the popular masses that neither Nicaragua nor Salvador should be “new Cubas”.
Today revolutionaries must call for many Cuban revolutions in Honduras, in Nicaragua, in Haiti, in Guadeloupe and Martinique, in the whole of Central America and the Caribbean! (of course, without the installation of a bureaucracy, but with the direct rule of armed workers’ and poor peasant councils).
Revolutionaries call for a political revolution in Cuba by means of armed workers councils capable of driving out the Castroite bureaucrats who, hand in hand with Obama, are preparing to finish off the process of capitalist restoration in Cuba.
For the Socialist United States of Central America and the Caribbean!
The working class and the exploited Spanish, Creole English Dutch and French speaking nations of Haiti-Dominican Republic, the Antilles, Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago, Grenada, Aruba and Curacao, can only be free from the French, British, US, Dutch imperialists when their nations drive out the imperialist military bases and murderous armies!
Hands off Central America and Caribbean!
Hands off Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana, etc!
Hands off Guyana, Belize, Trinidad Tobago! Hands off Aruba, Curacao, Surinam!
For the military defeat of all the occupation troops under the command of the UNO in Haiti; both, the imperialist troops and those support troops sent by the Bolivarian bourgeoisie, Lula of Brazil, Kirchner of Argentina, Morales of Bolivia and Bachelet of Chile!
Opening the road to a Socialist United States of Central America and the Caribbean, the international working class must stand together to smash the coup in Honduras. Internationalist actions such as general strikes in Nicaragua, Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the rest of Central America and across the entire American continent are needed to give the Honduran workers and peasants confidence!
For a Day of Struggle of the world proletariat in support to our class brothers and sisters in Honduras!
In response to the military coup in Honduras and while the workers and the exploited masses are being repressed, murdered, and jailed, the various reformists, fake Trotskyists, syndicalists, anarchists grasp at the coat-tails of the democratic front, and raise a criminal and treacherous pacifist policy, which leaves the masses armed only with sticks and stones, facing the murderous Honduran army, armed with tanks, airplanes and machineguns provided by the US military.
Not one of these misleaders demand: Weapons for the workers and the exploited in Honduras so they can smash the coup in the streets!
On the contrary, we revolutionaries call for all the worker’s organizations in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Venezuela, El Salvador, Cuba, and the entire continent to mobilize immediately and arm international worker brigades to go to Honduras fight and smash the coup.
This is the front line of the Obama counter-revolution we must revive the heroic traditions of the international brigades in Spain and adopt as our own their battle cry:
In the ’80s, Reagan had no problem arming the Contras from Honduras to smash revolution in Nicaragua and Salvador. We claim the same right for the working class! The Nicaraguan and Salvadoran workers that had their parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts massacred by the Contras, have the right and authority to act to stop the fascistic coup in its tracks, and to appeal to the whole Latin American working class to build international worker brigades in Nicaragua and Salvador to smash the coup in Honduras.
DEFEAT OF HONDURAN WORKERS IS A DEFEAT FOR ALL WORKERS
10) The coup in Honduras poses immediate international tasks for the North American proletariat. Like in Afghanistan and Iraq, each counterrevolutionary attack by US imperialism against the exploited peoples of the world, has reinforced its power and has led to further attacks against the standard of living of the North American working class itself.
It is necessary to clearly denounce, in front of the North American proletariat and its combative vanguard, the “Republicrats” regime and Obama's administration, that fact that it is responsible for the coup in Honduras, counter-posing the democratic front to prevent the Honduran workers and exploited masses from smashing the coup in the streets with the revolutionary general strike, and forming armed workers, poor peasants and soldiers committees.
It is a central task of internationalist Trotskyists to denounce the two policies of the US imperialism –‘Democratic façade/front’ and fascistic reaction - in front of the North American working class, exposing the reformist left and in particular the renegades of Trotskyism that use the democratic front to limit workers actions to putting pressure on Obama.
The North American working class must stand up once more, supporting its workers and poor peasant brothers of Honduras!
They must raise a March of a Million Workers against the war, call on the Dock workers of Oakland and the ILWU, and other fighting organizations of the North American working class to rise up, break with the government of Obama and the Democratic Party, and join the fight to smash the pro-imperialist coup in the streets by the Honduran masses!
Down with the coup in Honduras driven by the “Republicrat” regime and the US military base of SouthCom!
Obama hands off Honduras!
Down with the pact prepared by Obama, the UNO and the OAS, between Zelaya and Micheletti!
Go into the streets supporting the Honduran workers and exploited masses!
Call for strikes, boycotts and mobilizations to stop all delivery of arms, supplies or troops to the US military base in Honduras and to the coup regime!
Internationalist workers send arms to the Honduran masses to smash the coup! The Dock workers of Oakland and other combative workers in the United States should call for setting up international brigades to go into Honduras and smash the pro-US coup!
If the US imperialists can go forward with the coup in Honduras, they will be closer to finishing, along with the Castroist bureaucracy, capitalist restoration in Cuba: The North American workers cannot allow that!
The struggle to defeat of the coup in Honduras with the methods of the working class is inseparable from the struggle for the military defeat of the US imperialist troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the victory of the mass resistance in those nations!
It is no different from the struggle for the defense of millions of immigrant workers –mostly Latin American - living under slave-like conditions in the United States, who are having their families destroyed by deportations, or locked up in the jails of the “Republicrat” regime.
For the military defeat of the US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq!
Freedom for the anti-imperialist prisoners of Guantanamo!
Immediate and unconditional liberation of Mumia Abu Jamal and the thousands of
immigrant workers imprisoned by the “Republicrat” regime!
Punishment for the BART police, killers of Oscar Grant, the young black worker and father, in Oakland!
Down with the chauvinist trade union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO, servant of its own imperialist bourgeoisie and its reactionary cry of “American jobs for the Americans”!
Immediate North American citizenship, economic, political and social rights and equal wage for equal work for all immigrants in the US!
Down with the NAFTA, CAFTA, and TLC that submit the Latin American nations to the US imperialism and enslave the Mexican, Honduran, etc. workers in maquilas!
In the plants and maquilas of the US multinationals in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, we demand equal wages in dollars and the same working conditions as in the plants owned by the same multinationals in the United States!
The leaders of the Conlutas and the ELAC show their submission to imperialism by failing to call for a General Strike in Latin America in defence of the people of Honduras and against the imperialist coup.
The North American working class must break with the Democratic Party and Obama, defeat the bureaucracy of the AFLCIO and raise the demand of their class brothers and sisters of the semi-colonies oppressed by US imperialism, call for the defeat of US troops occupying other nations, and defend the rights of the super-exploited immigrant workers in the United States, before it can unite to fight the attacks against its democratic gains, its wages, benefits and social safety net. Only in this way can it mount a counteroffensive to force the the capitalists, the parasites of the super-banks and of Wall Street, to pay the costs of their crisis.
The International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction [FLTI] calls for a regrouping of
revolutionaries along the lines of a new Kienthal/Zimmerwald to co-ordinate the
defence against the imperialist attacks on the world working class and to prepare a global counter-offensive.