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.

Tuesday, October 31, 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.

Sunday, October 22, 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

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The 'Bolivarian Revolution' of Chavez, Morales and Castro has stolen the Bolivian Revolution. Part 3

Chapter 5: The tasks of the moment

The most urgent task is to break with the government of Evo Morales, from the treacherous bureaucracy that ties workers to the CA, and for revolutionaries to win the leadership of the Bolivian working class

(20) The alliance of the treacherous leaders of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie has again pushed the Bolivian revolution to the edge of the abyss. The popular front ties the hands of the proletariat behind their backs, breaks the worker/peasant alliance, and prepares the way for the counter-revolution to smash the workers and exploited people with fire and blood.
Stop kneeling before the popular fron government of Morales, to the bourgeoisie and its Constituent Assembly! Enough of the poor miners and peasants going begging to the 250 deputies of the MAS and Rosca in the CA! End the subservience to the “democratic front” with the Morales government, which is the “left” cover of the transnational companies and the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie and their fascist gangs!

The Theses of Pulacayo, the historical program of the Boivian proletariat states clearly, “
1. - We are united in the class struggle. We say that the class war against the exploiters is a war to the death. In this we must destroy all callaborators in the workers ranks. The road to treason was opened by the infamous popular fronts, that is to say, the fronts that, renouncing the class struggle, unite the proletariat, petty bourgeois and some sectors of the bourgeoisie. The popular front has caused many defeats for the international proletariat. The most cynical expression of the negation of the class struggle, of delivering the oppressed to the class enemy, and the most degenerate of popular fronts is that called “national unity". This is a bourgeois slogan straight out of the mouth of the reformists. “National Unity” means unity of the bourgeois with its servants so as to manipulate the workers. “National Unity” means defeat of the exploited and victory of the Rosca. We cannot speak of “national unity” when the nation is divided into social classes enbarked on a war to the death. While there continues to exist the regime of private property only the traitors and the agents of imperialism can dare to speak of “national unity”.
For that reason we must demand that all the organizations in Bolivia that speak in name of the working class and claim to defend its interests, starting with the COB, the COD, COR and the Mining Federation, must immediately break with the bourgeoisie, the popular front government of Morales and Garcia Linera, and the fraudulent CA. We must demand that they embark on the road of struggle for a workers’ and peasants’ government, empowering once more the headquarters of the revolutionary workers and peasants in El Alto, and reviving the organs of independent self-organisation of the workers and poor peasants such as militias to smash the fascist gangs of the Santa Cruz oligarchy.

By putting the demand on the leadership of the COB to break with the bourgeoisie and lead an independent workers struggle, we have a powerful lever to expose in front of the workers the treacherous character of the current leadership that time and time again has refused go down the revolutionary road. By this means the existing leadership will be revealed as the collaborators of the bosses in the workers movement and will bge replaced by a revolutionary leadership of the COB that will fight to transform that organisation into an armed, centralised force in the working class. To win the revolutionary leadership is the urgent task of the moment. It is a matter of life and death to the Bolivian proletariat.

The life and death task, to form workers and peasants militias to smash fascism and expropriate the transnational companies and the bourgeoisie of the Media Luna

(21) The popular front and fascism are two different policies used by the bourgeoisie against the workers and peasants’ revolution. While both serve the interests of the bourgeoisie, the popular front is used to trap the workers organisations into collaboration with, and subordiantion to, the bourgeoisie. Fascism however, has the aim of physically destroying the working class and its organizations of struggle, including the reformist workers organizations.

The bourgeois character of the popular front means that far from opposing fascism, it tries to negotiate with it, for as we have seen, the bourgeoisie fears not fascism but the proletarian revolution. For that reason, it is not possible to fight the fascists and defend the lives of workers, peasants and their families by appealing to the government of Evo Morales and Garcia Linera. This government is the servant of the Rosca and the transnational companies, who allow the killers of October and the fascists who murdered Alex Guevara to go free, while it imprisons the comuneros of Ayo Ayo. Morales cannot fight the fascists while he calls on the masses to “unite with the Armed Forces in defense of the CA”. This is the army whose officers are trained at West Point, that killed over 100 martyrs in October, that assaults the workers of the LAN, that represses the people, and yet does not touch one hair of the facists of the “Civic Committees” of the Media Luna.

In fight fascism it is necessary create a united front all the workers and poor peasants organizations. Yet today, millions of poor farmers and layers of the workers have illusions in Morals and “their” Constituent Assembly, and call on it to defend them against fascism. The workers, led by a revolutionary party, would call on those millions of exploited people to unite and organize to defend their families against the “civic youth” and bloody fascist gangs of the Media Luna. With a revolutionary leadership the workers would day to those workers and peasants with illusions in Morales and the CA:

“We have no confidence in Morales nor in the fraudulent and undemocratic CA. We maintain our total independence of that bourgeois government that tries to steal our revolution. Only by making our own workers and peasants’ government we will be able to overcome our poverty and meet our needs. But, today, the fascists threaten not only us us but also you, peasants and workers who want to defend the CA., etc. Therefore, while we do not convince each other, and while we continue to discuss and criticize each another freely, there is nothing to stop us from uniting to defend our organizations, and our lives, from the fascists. So, let us immediately create joint workers and peasants’ militias and march to Santa Cruz to smash the fascists”.

Build workers and peasants militias! That is the only guarantee of the workers and poor peasants lives! Five thousand workers, armed miners and poor farmers, converging on Santa Cruz to ‘clean it up’ with sticks of dynamite would teach a lesson to the “daddies boys” and “Union of Youth” that to live the armed people will meet force with more force! This would make it very difficult for the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie who openly recruit for their fascist bands in its “Civic Committees” to recruit more “daddies boys” for its fascist gangs. To make this happen, we must demand that the COB immediately forms workers and peasants militias, calling on all the the poor workers and farmers, men and women, over 18 years of age, to register for the militias in every office of the COB, the COR and the COD!

No reconciliation nor “unity” with the killer Armed Forces! With a powerful workers and peasants militia to fight the fascists, we have all the authority we need to call on the rank and file soldiers - the children of the workers and peasants under arms – to disobey its officers, to create committees of soldiers and non-commissioned officers, and to make the arms available to the workers militias to defend the revolution from the fascist gangs and the killer officer corps. This is the way to win the releasse of the comuneros of Ayo-Ayo and other prisoners in the jails of Morales and the Rosca, and to punish the killers of the hundreds of martyrs of the revolution!

The heroic Bolivian revolution will again return to the road to revolution, raising once more the militant demand of the workers and poor peasants in February of 2003, silenced today by the popular front: “Guns, shrapnel, Bolivia will not shut up!”
In order to smash fascism, the most powerful tool that the workers and poor peasants have, is to strike where it hurts the transnational companies, the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie and the landowning oligarchy that organises the fascist gangs, most: its private property!
Immediate expropriation without compensation of all the oil monopolies, Repsol, Petrobras, Totalfina, BP, etc.!
Immediate expropriation of all the properties of the bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz, Pando, Beni and Tarija, and all the properties of the landowners of the Media Luna!

Return to the program of October 2003 and May-June 2005 and rebuild the worker-peasant alliance

(22) Breaking with the popular front, the bourgeoisie and its CA, winning the revolutionary leadership of the COB, proving by its street fighting that it is the only class that can rescue Bolivia from destruction, the working class will be able to rebuild its organs of power and take back from the bourgeoisie the leadership of the poor farmers, so restoring the worker-peasant alliance destroyed by the treachery of the leaders of the workers.

For that to happen, it is necessary that the proletariat raises clearly again the program of October of 2003 and May-June of 2005, abandoned by the leaders of the COB in exchange for pressuring their “friend” Morales, to win the demands left by the 100 martyrs: Not 30%, or 50%, nor the fictitious semi-nationalization: but a real nationalization without compensation and under workers control of hydrocarbons, expropiating the oil wells, gas fields, refineries, machinery, offices, facilities, and all the funds of the plundering imperialistic transnational companies of Bolivia!

Against the swindle of the “agrarian revolution” announced by Evo Morales, it is necessary to once more raise the demand for the: expropriation without compensation of all the large estates and the land distributed among the poor peasants.

Reclaim for the poor peasants all the fertile land of the East that was expropriated by the bourgeoisie of the Media Luna, who fill their pockets exporting soybean while for the exploited masses there is only the poverty of the Altiplano! Smash the fascists to expropriate the land, is the demand that the proletariat makes to the poor peasant so that the peasants form their own militias alongside the workers miltias.

So that cheap credit, tractors, machinery, fertilizers are available to the small peasants, expropriate all the banks, with a single state bank under control of the workers!
Nationalization of the foreign trade to protect the small farmers of the countryside!
Against the offensive of the government of Morals, the minister of mines Villaroel and the leaders of the mining cooperativistas that try to take Huanuni and other mines from the wage-earning miners, and that enslave the workers of their cooperatives on miserable wages for piecework, without rights, social benefits, and force them to use their women and children to work in the mine so they can survive, the demand must be for the re-nationalizatión without compensation and under workers control of the Mutún and all the mines and mineral deposits.
In order to end the slavery of the contract miners at the hands of the cooperativistas, it is necessary to raise the program of Theses of Pulacayo:

For equal work, equal pay and conditions of work for all the miners!
For one collective work agreement to prevent “the great power of the capitalist to dominate the individual workers so that they are incapable to freely consent because their family poverty forces them to accept the capitalists terms in their work contracts” (Theses of Pulacayo).
This is the way to unify the mine workers rank and file!

End the unemployment and poverty wages of the workers!
It is again necessary to raise the program of the Theses of Pulacayo: Immediate wage increase, with a minimum wage sufficient to meet the consumption needs of every family and indexed according to the cost of living!
Work for all by introducing a movable scale of working hours!
Renationalize without compensation and under workers’ control, the LAB, Waters of Illimani and other privatised companies!
Against the rigged and fraudulent Constituent Assembly where 250 deputies of the MAS and Rosca discuss and haggle over the interests of the different bourgeois fractions and the transnational companies, it is necessary to immediately raise the demand for a National Congress of workers’ and peasants’ delegates of the rank and file of all the mass organizations in struggle, to create a centralilsed organ of workers and peasants’ power backed by militias, that can take back the stolen revolution and re-open the road to its victory.

Only a workers and peasants’ government supported by the armed self-organised masses can break with imperialism and complete the tasks of October of the 2003 and May-June of the 2005, guaranteeing land for the peasants, gas for the people, and bread and work for the workers.

Only such a government, that overthrows the Rosca and destroys the officer corps and its killer army, and that expropriates the expropriators, will be able to guarantee the peasants a truely democratic and sovereign Constituent Assembly such as they want today, proving at the same time that their own revolutionary government has already exceeded the role of the CA.
This is the way to recover the workers and peasants revolution that has been stolen today! The alternative is that the heroic revolution of the exploited Bolivian masses will face a new tragedy: its crushing at the hands of the counterrevolution.

Chapter 6: The extreme crisis of proletarian revolutionary leadership

(23) The future of the Latin American working class today depends upon the fate of the 3rd Bolivian revolution of the workers and poor peasants that began in 2003. The crushing of the Bolivian revolution would signify the victory of the class collaborationist regimes of the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Latin America, new extreme forms of Bonapartism, and the redoubling of the imperialist offensive on the continent, including the threat of direct armed interventions, for example, against, Venezuela.

A decisive defeat of the Bolivian revolution would mean a huge victory for capitalist restoration in Cuba and the transformation of the Castro bureaucracy into a new national bourgeoisie. Therefore, the outcome of the Bolivian revolution is critical in deciding the future of the first workers state in Latin America despite its extreme degeneration at the hands of the restorationist policy of the Castro bureaucracy!

The counterrevolutionary forces are mobilised all over the continental to defeat the Bolivian revolution. If the popular front cannot isolate and defeat the masses in struggle, then they will face the fascist counterrevolution – always kept in reserve by the bosses along with the splitting up of Bolivia into the hands of the different bourgeois fractions.

To break the trap of the popular front, to defeat the “Bolivarian Revolution”, to recover the stolen revolution and take it to victory, it is necessary to regroup the revolutionary forces all over the continent, to create organs of workers power to unite the world proletariat against the counter-revolutionary World Social Forum. In particular we must defeat the fake Trotskyists who have gone over to Stalinism to act as the left wing fo the “Bolivarian Revolution’ to betray the masses and steal their revolution.

For that reason, to revive the proto-soviet of El Alto as the headquarters of the miners, workers and poor peasants vanguard, so that the Bolivian revolution can win, our most urgent task is to call an International Conference the Principled Trotskyists and workers organizations, to regroup the revolutionary forces of the international proletarian vanguard in the class war at the side of the Bolivian workers and peasants, to coordinate their revolution with the international proletarian revolution, and declare war on all the treacherous agents of the bourgeoisie that proclaim the “Bolivarian Revolution” to prepare the defeat the Bolivian revolution and the world revolution. Only in this way will the revolutionary leadership that the heroic Bolivian proletariat needs and deserves be created.

The bankruptcy of the Pabolists of the POR, ‘ultraleft’ collaborators of the COB bureaucracyand the liquidation of the revolution into the ‘Constituent Assembly’ by the LOR-CI

(24) Since the beginning of the uprising of October of 2003 the POR Lora has played an ominous role. It has systematically supported the leadership of the COB - Solares, and now Montes, refusing build organs of workers and poor peasants power including militias. It constantly speaks of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and “socialism”, but in practice has renounced the struggle for the proletarian revolution and the taking of the power by the proletariat.

In May-June of 2005, POR played a central role in the stealing of the revolutionary days that overthrew Mesa. Its leader, Vilma Plata, alongside Solares, Mamani, Choque and Patana, before 400,000 worker and peasant militants refused to call the indigenous national popular Assembly with delegates of the rank and file of the workers and peasants organisations in struggle, or to organize workers and peasants’ militias. Once again POR played a decisive role to stop the emergence of dual power, by preventing the masses from consolidating, centralizing nationally armed organsation that could have implemented the resolutions of the ‘headquarters of the revolution’ of the miners and the COR of El Alto. In this way, POR collaborated with Morales, Solares and co. to put Rodriguez in power, dissolve the organs of semi-dual power, and opened the way for the election in December of 2005 of Evo Morales to the presidency.

Today, once again, the POR Lora is a decisive link in Montes’ policy of using the COB to subordinate the proletariat to the popular front. In the first place, because although proclaiming itself as against the government of Morales and the CA, and against the Santa Cruz oligarchy, it offers no strategy or tacits on how workers can break with them, and to recover their stolen revolution. Once again it refuses to take up the fight for the creation of workers and peasants soviets or militias.

As opposed to the fascist threat, POR says nothing about forming workers and peasants militias to smash it. No does it call for a workers front against the fascist gangs. That is, it refuses to call for the workers and peasants who put their trust in the CA and Morales to confront the fascists to defend their organizations. On the contrary, it puts an equal sign between the popular front and fascism, with its slogans of “Death to the CA! Death to the reactionary right! Down with the incompetent government of Evo! All for the POR, Proletarian Revolution and proletarian dictatorship!” (Masses N° 2007, 1/09/06).

This is the same policy as Stalinism in the “third period” that took the German proletariat to defeat at the hands of fascism in the `30s. POR Lora refuses to fight to break Morales’ and the popular front control of the masses. It refuses to build unity in the workers ranks and reweld the worker-peasant alliance. It leaves to exploited people defencless before the fascist threat. Before the urgent demands of the working class and the poor peasants, before the traps and deceits of the popular front, before the threat of the fascist bands, the only thing that the POR says to the workers is… “All for the POR ”.

This policy complements, with the silence of the accomplice, the role of the leadership of the COB – formerly Solares, now Montes – to divert the workers into making demands on Morales government to redistribute the wealth. Thus by its economistic demands, it takes the workers out of the political fight, and into the hands of the imperialist monopolies, the popular front, the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie, the talkshop of the fraudulent CA, those that make the “policy” to steal and then ‘finish off’ the workers and peasants revolution.

This abject trade union cretinismo –despite POR’s bluster about the “proletarian revolution and dictatorship” – is directly expressed in its refusal to demand that all organizations that speak in the name of the working class to break with the bourgeoisie, to fight to create workers and peasants militias, to face the life and death question of the fate of the Bolivian revolution. POR acts as the other side of the coin of Montes and the COB leadership policy of subordinating the proletariat to a “democratic front” with the government of Morales and the national bourgeoisie. Not very often in history have we seen so many appeal to “revolution” and the “dictatorship of the proletariat” as a cover for the renunciation of revolution and the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat!

The Bolivian workers vanguard has stood with Trotsky – along with Marx and Lenin - one of the great revolutionary figures of history, by adopting the Theses of Pulacayo as the historical program of the workers of the Altiplano. By claiming to be ‘Trotskyists” the POR Lora has been betraying this program for more than half century. Because if its influence in the labor movement, the POR uses its main leaders and public figures to usurp the name of Trotsky to sell out the struggles of the working class, as it did for example, when Vilma Plata the opened the mass rally of 6 June 2005.

At the beginning of 21st century POR Lora has added yet another betrayal to its long history of collaboration in strangling Bolivian revolutions. It began with when it gave critical support to the MNR (Revolutionary National Militia) government of Paz Estenssoro in 1952, refusing to fight for “All power to the COB”. Next came its capitulation in 1971 to the “patriot” general Torres and the Stalinist “Anti-imperialist Revolutionary Front”. Then in 1985 POR Lora collaborated with the COB bureaucracy of Lechin to betray the great miners general strike. Today, usurping the name of the Trotskyism, POR has openly gone over to Stalinism with its talk of a future ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ combined with total subordination to the policy of ‘pressuring’ the popular front today.

At the side of the POR Lora Pabloites are the other servants of the popular front and the treacherous bureaucracy of the COB, such as as the group in Bolivia associated with the of PTS of Argentina, the LOR-CI. While for POR Lora everything is solved by the “dictatorship of the proletariat” -in-general, the LOR-CI responded to the Bolivian revolution of February 2003 to May-June 2005 with the panacea of a “free and sovereign Constituent Assembly”.

Thus, in February of 2003, when the workers and peasants won the streets by fighting at the barricades to the shout of “Gun, shrapnel, Bolivia will not shut up”, the LOR-CI raised the. . . Constituent assembly. In October of 2003, with the masses rose up to the shout of “Out with Goni, gas for the Bolivians”, with a semi-insurrection centred on El Alto, with embryos of workers militias, rank and file soldiers refusing to shoot against the people and being assassinated by their officers, and with Solares, Morales and Quispe conspiring to put Mesa in power to steal the masses struggle, the LOR-CI raised the . . .Constituent assembly. In May and June of 2005, came a new revolutionary attack of the masses, Mesa falls, and again the LOR-CI . . .Constituent assembly. And finally the Constituent Assembly for which the LOR-CI/PTS had fought so hard, arrived!

The LOR-CI/PTS justified this policy saying that the Bolivian revolution had to go through a “parliamentary stage” because the masses still had “illusions in bourgeois democracy”. Now what is the result of this policy with a CA in the hands of Evo Morales and the popular front? The imposition of the CA is not the “parliamentary stage of the revolution”, but its expropriation!

Today, when the consequences of this expropriation are clearly seen, the LOR-CI criticizes the undemocratic and rigged CA but hides the fact that for three years it put the demand for the CA at the centre of its program. Today it calls on the workers not to trust the CA and “to raise their own demands: genuine nationalization of hydrocarbons and the big mines, without compensation and under workers’ control; re-nationalisation of the “privatised” companies; a true agrarian reform eliminating the large estates; land and territory to the indigenous peoples; living wage and work for all; good health, education and housing; nonpayment of the external debt and a break with imperialism” (“The revolutionary process, the government of the MAS and the Constituent Assembly”, Workers Voice N° 15, September of 2006). That is to say, one more a variant of the policy of pressure on the Constituent Assembly.

In order to try to varnish over the truth of its policy of putting pressure on the popular front and its CA, the LOR-CI calls for an “independent perspective” and for an “independent class bloc” inside the COB.

The LOR-CI speaks a lot about “class independence”, while for three years it made the center of its program the struggle for a bourgeois institution like the Constituent Assembly. This was to subordinate the working class to the popular front and to the bourgeoisie and dissolve the organisms of semi-dual power that the masses had created, that is the truly independent organs of workers power and class independence!

In the many pages of LOR-CI documents there is no mention of fascism or the necessity to form workers and peasants militias to smash it. Really, which planet are these people writing about? The petty bourgeois current in the University of Buenos Aires that comprises the PTS, and its group in Bolivia, once more demonstrates not only its pacifism, but by default, its membership of Montes’ “democratic front” with the Morales government. Thus those who complete their break with Trotskyism and adopt the Gramscian language of “counterhegemony”, the “accumulation of power” and other fashionable nonsense, hide their head in the sand when the fascists gangs appear and make them kneel before the “democratic” bourgeoisie.

Thus, POR with its ultraleftist rhetoric, and the LOR-CI with its bloc with the “democratic front”, both refuse to create the workers and peasants militias, which today is the only way to win control of the COB, reforge the worker-peasant alliance, end the threat of the fascist gangs, and achieve the most basic demands of the masses mired in poverty by the ongoing collaboration of the national bourgeoisie with imperialsim. In this way, both currents are located in the trench alongside the oppressed masses, but instead of raising the demands for and independfent6, armed working class, raise instead the ‘Pivertist’ policy of pressuring the popular front.

The struggle to unite the revolutionary workers and peasants in Latin America, and to build a revolutionary internationalist party in Bolivia is the task of the principled Trotskyists!

(25) The theft of the workers and peasants revolution in Bolivia is an example once again that the crisis of the revolutionary leadership of the proletariat has been become extreme. The liquidation of the 4th International at the hands of the renegades of Trotskyism has caused an historic betrayal, for fourth time in 50 years of the Bolivian revolution, in 1952, 1971, 1985, and today.

This latest treason of the renegades of Trotskyism, now degenerated into open Stalinism, is today so blatant as to be clearly seen and recognised as the legacy of the liquidationist policy of Pabloism of 1952. The Bolivian proletariat will once more rise up from its imprisonment, but the traitors of Trotskyism will never rise up from their Stalinist gravel.

The fate of the working class and exploited today depends on how quickly the revolutionary vanguard of the world proletariat can rebuild the leadership that the heroic workers and poor peasants of Bolivia need and deserve.

There is no task more burning than to mobilise100% of the forces of the principled interanationalist Trotskyists worldwide to build a revolutionary party of the working masses of Latin America so that the heroic Bolivian revolution, today stolen, can be recovered and go on to victory. There is no task more urgent than to commit 100% of our resources to the struggle to defeat the traitors of all colors blocks the revolution, and to clear out of the path of the exploited masses all the rubbish and lies and deceptions of the liquidators of the 4th International.

(26) As was true of the Spanish revolution in the 1930s, today the stolen Bolivian revolution is the leading edge of the proletarian revolution in Latin America and the whole world. The proletariat of Latin America can only win if the Bolivian workers and peasants revolution wins, defeating the counter-revolutionary “Bolivarian Revolution” of Chávez, Morales, Fidel Castro and World Social Forum.

But for this to happen the healthy forces of Trotskyism must regroup internationally.
In 1952, the 4th International collapsed when its whole leadership capitulated to the popular front and betrayed the historic workers and peasants’ revolution that had begun in Bolivia. In 1953 the SWP (US)and other groups which formed the International Committee criticised their betrayal and corrected their program. But Pabloism had already weakened the 4th International to the point of breakdown. Then began a long series of capitulations, revisions and adaptations that ended with the total degeneration of the 4th International.

Today, at the beginning of 21st century, the betrayal of the Bolivian revolution in 2003 marks the total renunciation of the program of the 4th International by the renegades of Trotskyism. They are now open reformists in the World Social Forum, adopting the “theory”, strategy, program and role once played by Stalinism.

Under the baton of Fidel Castro and of the imposter Celia Hart Santamaría, the renegades of Trotskyism are forming united parties of the “Bolivarian Revolution” alongside Stalinists, Castroists and various fractions of the bourgeoisie – like P-SOL and their electoral front with the PSTU and the PCB in Brazil; PODERMOS in Chile, like the “Plenary of Autoconvocados” in Argentina. Now, Chávez has decided that it is time for one Bolivarian party in Venezuela -, since the existence of many parties “is against the interests of the revolution and popular unity”. The Venezuelan CP enthusiasticall supports this initiative, and proposes a “model”… the CP of the USSR under Stalin, the Chinese CP and the Cuban CP. The renegades of Trotskyism have all become chavistas, and will take their place in the united part of the “Bolivarian Revolution”.
The situation in Bolivia is like an unexploded bomb with its fuse lit. While the revolution has been contained and diverted by the popular front and the treacherous bureaucracy, this cannot last, and it is balanced on a point between the forces of reform and revolution, between the “Bolivarian Revolution” and the workers and peasants revolution, between Stalinism and Trotskyism, the destroyers of 4th International and the healthy forces to fight to rebuild the world part of socialist revolution.

To tip the balance in favour of the Bolivian masses, there is no more urgent task for all the healthy and revolutionary forces of 4th International anywhere in the world than to build a principled Trotskyist party in Bolivia. To do this we have to regroup the international Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations in an International Conference to create a new vanguard party in Latin America that fights for a socialist united states of Latin America.
A Latin American party that can unite the Bolivian workers vanguard with its militant class brothers and sisters in Argentina and Brazil; and in Chile were the masses take to the streets against the antiworker, repressive and pro-imperialistic, pinochetista-concertacionista, regime of the “socialits” Bachelet; and in Mexico in Oaxaca fights to bring down the anti-worker, repressive state government of the PRI Ulises Ruiz. A party which like a healthy nervous system, can unite the proletariat of Central and South America with the big battalions of the working class in the US which is strengthened by the militant power of twelve million Latino migrant workers.

We cannot build such a party without declaring war without mercy on the World Social Forum and in particular to defeat the fake Trotskyists that are playing a crucial role in the policy of class collaboration that seeks to destroy the Bolivian revolution and support the servant regimes and governments of the “Bolivarian Revolution”.

There is no time to lose: everything depends now on the revolutionary vanguard of the Latin American and world proletariat. To this task, the FLT contributes a nucleus of internacionalist cadres forged in the class struggle with the treacherous bureaucray and with the fake Trotskyists, an experience in many struggles of the workers in Bolivia and elsewhere in the last decades. We are also determined to build the embryo of such a vanguard party, uniting the revolutionaries cadres in Bolivia with those in Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Peru.

The confrontation between revolution and counterrevolution approaches a critical point in Bolivia, where the historical alternative “Communism or Fascism” has become immediate. There is no time that to lose: any delay in building the Latin American revolutionary party will be paid for with more sacrifices, suffering and blood by the Bolivian and Latin American proletariat. The task of the FLT and all the healthy forces of Trotskyism internationally is expressed in the fighting slogan: 100% of our forces to the internationalist Trotskyists of Bolivia!

International Coordinating Secretariat of the Leninist-Trotskyists Fraction
15 of September of 2006