Thursday, September 14, 2006

9-11: NZ ‘Locks on’ to US imperialism

[editorial in Class Struggle #68 Aug/Sept 2006]

9/11 opened up a new period of inter-imperialist rivalry

9/11 five years ago was the excuse the US needed to launch the ‘war on terror’. This was a front for its imperialist oil wars to re-conquer the world. It opened up a new period of competition between the rival imperialist powers. 9-11 then, proved that we are still living in the epoch of imperialism. Here we explain how NZ’s role as a semi-colony supporting US imperialism’s War on Terror in order to get a ‘piece of the action’ is shaping the class struggle in this country.

Lenin famously defined imperialism as the rule of finance capital, that is industrial and banking capital concentrated into the form of large investment banks. This is still the case today.

The capitalist world is now being driven by the competition between US and Euro imperialism. Japan and Britain are minor imperialist powers that are allied with the US to get some of the rich pickings. Italy, Spain and Australia are small, weak imperialisms queueing up for the leftovers. Russia and China are emerging powers that want to be imperialist but remain semi-colonies of the existing imperialists, especially the US and EU.

The US used 9-11 and the War on Terror to rally its allies around its leading role in recolonising ‘failed states’ to grab the oil and other vital resources at the expense of its main rivals. So while it forced the EU to use NATO to take over the occupation of Afghanistan, it is US big oil that will benefit from the oil grab in the region. In Iraq, the ‘coalition of the willing’ occupation grabbed control of the oil and cancelled Saddam’s deals with EU big oil.

Lebanon: a new front in the oil wars

In this issue of Class Struggle we highlight the latest front in the WOT, Lebanon. Bush and Olmert attacked Lebanon for one reason – to weaken the resistance of the Arab and Iranian nations to the WOT. Both Bush and Olmert claimed that Hizbollah was controlled by the Syrian and Iranian Shia-led regimes. So Israel’s attack on Hezbollah was meant to escalate the WOT to defeat the Iraqi resistance and open the road for an attack on Iran. All three forces had to be defeated for the WOT to reach its objective –US control of the oil in the region.

NZ workers must oppose this new front in the WOT. We have to stop the Labour Government from backing Bush and sending troops as part of the US ‘peacekeeping’ force in the South of Lebanon. We argue that NZ’s involvement would mean that the Labour-led government would be joining in Bush’s imperialist invasion. Worse, because NZ is not an imperialist country, and has a reputation for acting only with the authority of the UN, it would be giving credibility to the UN fig leaf being used in Lebanon to cover up the naked ambitions of US imperialism’s/Zionism’s War for Oil.

But to win workers to this position it is necessary to explain why the Labour Government has played the role of UN cover in the WOT since 9-11. A recent debate inside GPJA in Auckland showed how. CWG argued it was necessary to take a stand against NZ troops as ‘peacekeepers’ because this was creating illusions that the UN was a democratic, peaceful alternative to naked US agression.

First, it is necessary to point to the role of the UN as a front for US imperialism. In the FLT statement on Lebanon we reprint in this issue, we expose the hypocrisy of the role the UN has played in smashing resistance to imperialism, especially in Bosnia and Kosovo.

In these places the ‘blue helmets’ collaborated in ethnic cleansing by disarming the resistance and allowing the killers free reign. It will be no different in the south of Lebanon. Bush has gone to the UN to create a buffer zone in the south to disarm Hizbollah and protect its key ally Israel.

The ‘smart state’ produces ‘smart bombs’

A second argument is that in NZ, Labour’s support for the UN in the WOT is the price it pays to get NZ business funded by imperialist finance capital and to do deals with the US for some of the crumbs of recolonisation.

What could contradict Labour’s ‘peacekeeping’ front more than the fact that its prize winning poster child high tech corporate, Rakon, supplies quartz GPS guidance systems for the US and Israel’s ‘smart bombs’. Rakon, part funded by the NZ state's Super fund delivers ‘peace’ to the Middle East in ‘pieces’ (body parts).

This is proof that the Labour Government’s strategy of smart state subsidies for high tech and high potential corporate starts must be profitable for imperialism! It guarantees these profits by carrying the losses as in the case of Air NZ. Or it provides massive subsidies.

In the case of CHH there is a massive state subsidised forest sold off to US pension funds to refinance Hart’s Australasian asset stripping. In the case of Feltex, the ANZ (one of the four Australian owned big banks) has pulled the plug because it wasn’t profitable enough. It will be viable only if finance capital (ANZ or some other bank, or state subsidies) can restructure the company by sackings and speedups to make it superprofitable under smart management. In the case of Fonterra, massive state subsidies of infrastructure, plus farmer cooperative ownership, ensures that surplus value is milked in marketing deals with finance capital that controls its joint venture partners like Nestle. In sum, the state acts as the agent of finance capital in the NZ semi-colony to attract foreign nvestment in high value-added super profits for imperialist monopoly capitalism.

Labour’s strategy is not driven by its concern for ‘peace’ or full-employment, or a devotion to workers since it supports the US-Zionist killers in the south of Lebanon. It is driven by the obligation to deliver super-profits to imperialist monopolies. It is one of two strategies available to states in semi-colonial countries that lack finance capital. The first is to abandon any controls over the economy and allow the country to be re-colonised as a south Pacific tax haven for rich expatriates – the Barbados of the South Pacific. The second is to try to use the state to fill the void of finance capital and to subsidise new starts in the hope that more of the value added is retained in the country – the PPP (public-private partnership) paradise.

“Hollowing out NZ”: Barbados of the South or PPP Paradise

At a recent high profile seminar National and Labour spokesmen put forward their ‘solutions’ to the problems of NZ semicolonial capitalism – an outflow of surplus value and the migration of labour to the nearest imperialist country. This is given the fashionable term ‘hollowing out’ –meaning ‘gutting’ of value.

On the one hand National’s John Key blamed the flight of capital and labour to Australia on high taxes. He says that NZ is losing about $3-4 billion in net capital outflow every year. So what is new? His solution is to cut taxes and turn NZ into a sort of tax haven like Barbados, or closer to home, Vanuatu or Nauru. These countries have few if any trade or investment controls and are wide open to imperialist monopolies to avoid taxes 100s of times greater than the notorious Cook Islands ‘wine box’ tax scam.

In other words, NZ would be a sort of retreat for wealthy US capitalists, celebrities or rock singers who would, like Julian Robertson, create luxury resorts to attract more wealthy expatriates. The capital inflow would fund an army of serfs and servants to keep the rich happy in their 'rest and recreation' from the WOT.

But while the Nats want NZ to be a safe haven for rich WOT and climate-warming refugees, Labour are smart social capitalists. They want the state to play the substitute role for weak NZ capital to seed corporates in their infancy to the point where they are attractive to imperialist finance capital. In the process Labour hopes that more of the value added inside NZ stays here.
That’s why it's subsidising a US internet firm to stay here. That’s why it’s planning for the SOEs to extend their operations offshore and into new areas of production. Its model is the PPP -the Public Private Partnership -that allows the SOEs ( state owned corporations) to spin-off new firms in partnership with the private sector, like the University spin-offs in biotechnology and health technology. As John Key points out however, this is just dripfeed privatisation.

The PPP is the sole surviving material basis of Labour’s long term economic nationalism. In the days of the post-war boom Labour stood for industrial capitalism protected from finance capital (UK banks) by tariffs and exchange controls. Today its protectionism is in smart subsidies to seed winners to retain more value for NZ capitalism. It plans to fund small scale to medium size firms and lauch the ‘knowledge society’. Here is the narrow economic base from which it defends NZ being relegated to No 7 state of Australia, just as Aussie laborites are opposed to being downsized to US state no 51.

But what about the workers?

But what about the workers? ‘Hollowing out’ is more like ‘gutting’ the economy. More and more of the value workers’ create is ‘gutted’ and exported. For workers the two main 'models' of development being debated by the bosses both mean a future of increased exploitation and a growing gap between a highly skilled minority and a wage slave majority. In reality both options co-exist.

So while Rakon sells itself as a trendy, progressive multicultural corporate (its newletter is called ‘Lock On’ – i.e. to the white racist imperialist crusade against ‘Islamic fascism’) it has only a few hundred high tech jobs. There is no way that Labour’s smart growth strategy can produce more than a few thousand ‘knowledge’ jobs producing super-profits for imperialism.

Nor can the few Kiwi ‘peacekeeper’ mercenaries used by the US do do its contract killing in the WOT in the Middle East and Asia create more than a few hundred jobs. The article in this issue on the US- Zionist secret war shows how tiny nations like Tonga (and Fiji) are forced to prostitute their people to the WOT for a fistful of dollars.

The hightech sector of the economy is grounded on a low-tech wage slave service sector. The current dispute between NDU workers and Woolworths show that. NZ is a low-wage semi-colony and the imperialist monopolies that invest here are not interested in anything but super-profits. They pay low wages and charge high prices. As Australasian monopoly corporates, Woolworths and Toll Holdings (which has swallowed up Patricks who tried to smash the MUA in 1998) are forced to attack the unions in Australasia to cut their costs and compete with their bigger US and EU rivals who are investing in othe much poorer semi-colonies like China and Mexico.

Whether they use collectives or individual contracts depends on which is the best legal route to super-exploitation. They regard Australia and NZ as one market, if not one country. They take no responsibility for workers familes hit by their super-exploitation and oppression. The cuts in social sevices and the social problems of crime and family violence that flow from capitalism are dealt with by using Murdoch-type media machines to foment right wing anti-social reactionaries who blame workers for these problems and call for more police, tasers, vigilantism, anti-terror clampdowns etc.

Labourite economic nationalism defeatist

In the face of this imperialist attack on workers in NZ, the CTU response is to work within Labour’s ideology of economic nationalism (that is workers putting their faith in NZ capitalists to do good deals) and the legal straightjacket of the ERA. This is defeatist. It is not that Woolworths is ‘Australian’ or has a tough CEO in NZ that explains its attack on its workers –Graeme Hart is just as ‘ruthless’ as Woolworths. Its behaviour is explained by its character as an imperialist monopoly driven to make super-profits from slave-wage labour in NZ. We have seen the the material basis of NZ nationalism today is the supply of state subsidised labour and technology to imperialism; that means super-exploitation for workers in both hightech and slave labour sectors with all the negative social consequences.

Nor is the CTU strategy of confining disputes within the ERA able to defeat these attacks. The ERA flows from Labour’s economic nationalism. It assumes that both NZ capitalists and workers can unite as ‘kiwis’ in the ‘national interest’ and arrive at some class compromise.

But when the boss locks you out for asking for a collective for 500 workers and uses scabs in clear defiance of the law, it’s clear that the industrial law cannot offer any protection from imperialist monopolies. The ERA may provide a minimal protection but as soon as workers organise independently the ERA will be used to stop workers defend their jobs, rights or their survival against monopoly capitalism.

Nor can any reform of the industrial law provide that protection. 'Workers Charter' and the 'Workers Party' are both calling for the legal ‘right to strike’. But no bosses will agree to any right to limit their profits. They will concede some profits only when forced to by militant, mass labour organisation; such ‘rights' must be won by industrial action not by votes in parliament.

The rank and file of the unions in dispute have to break from the capitalist state and mobilise generalise and extend their strike action to all sites of production to close down their industry and open the way for workers control of industry. The same strategy of generalising strike action into a general strike to bring down the government that is being advocated by the revolutionary left in Australia against Howard’s Work Choices has to be adopted in NZ against imperialist monopolies and their state protector, the Labour Government.

All around the world, the struggle to stay alive in the wage slave labour sector shows there is no future for workers under either ‘model’ – 'smart social' or 'crude market' -capitalism. Independent workers movements coming into existence to fight for their survival are forced to take on capitalist ownership and control of the economy, a movement which some are calling ‘21st century socialism’.

Whose 21st century socialism?

In other semi-colonies where the process of imperialist ‘gutting’ has gone much further than NZ, workers have had to stand up and fightback or starve. Facing growing underemployment, poverty and destitution, and the social destruction that follows from that, workers have taken back workplaces, jobs and some control over their lives.

In Latin America mass social movements in Bolivia, Equador, Argentina and Venezuela have brought about big changes. The focus of these struggles is the nationalisation of resources, the occupation of workplaces and the fight for workers’ control of production. Along with these come demands for the nationalisation of industry, land and the banks. These are the same demands that NZ workers have to raise in their struggles against imperialist attacks on their jobs, rights and living standards.

The demand for nationalisation of industry under workers control should be raised in every dispute. Workers labour power built the assets that have been stripped in this country. Workers labour power makes the superprofits of the multinationals. Workers labour power pays the taxes that subsidises the smart economy. These assets should be taken back without compensation. Only in this way will workers come to control the means of production and defeat the destructive, superexploitative rule of imperialist finance capital.

However, as the article on Cuba in this issue shows, workers insurgency in Latin America is being held back by the fake leaders of the labour movement, who like the Labour government in NZ sow illusions in nation states doing deals between national capitalism and ‘democratic’ (today European!) imperialism. As we have seen, ‘imperialist democracy’ is an oxymoron: its democracy for the rich and death for the poor.

These misleaders are using the national state apparatuses to contain the insurgent labour movement. More alarming, this dog collar is being applied with the approval of Chavez and Castro and the forces organised around the World Social Forum. Neither of these ‘socialists’ have had bad words to say about Kirchner and Lula, who are open class collaborationists doing the dirty work for the capitalists. By giving these client regimes of imperialism a ‘progressive’ label, such‘socialists’ are once more turning socialism into a dirty word.

So we have to make sure that ‘21st socialism’ is not merely the recycled ‘market socialism’ of the Russian and Chinese bureaucrats looking for a way to become a new bourgeoisie .

We have to break from the capitalist state and the WSF left bureaucracy!
For independent rank and file struggles!
For horizonal coordination of workers struggles locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to smash capitalism globally!
For a world party of socialism!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How do we defend the gains of the Cuban revolution?

Who will win? Capitalist restoration or socialist revolution?

On August 1, we learned that Fidel Castro had to undergo abdominal surgery due to a serious illness. His brother, vice-president and minister of defence Raul Castro, was to take charge temporarily of the presidency of Cuba.

Fidel's serious illness and his old age – he has just celebrated his 80th birthday – has put Cuba’s future at centre stage again. Cuba is the only workers state in Latin America. In 1959 a workers and peasants revolution succeeded in expropriating the bourgeoisie.

Immediately they heard of Castro's illness, Bush and Condoleezza Rice started speaking about a “transition” in Cuba. The ‘gusana’ bourgeoisie (expatriate capitalists) in Miami demonstrated in the streets, enthusiastic about returning to Cuba to recover their properties. On the other hand, the European imperialist powers – which have a number of lucrative businesses on the island – said they wished Fidel a quick recovery!

No doubt the imperialist bourgeoisies and their different fractions are 'discussing' the best way to complete the capitalist restoration in Cuba. After more than 15 years of pro-capitalist measures carried out by the Castroite bureaucracy, Cuba has been turned into an extremely degenerated workers state. The monopoly of foreign trade has been abandoned. Nationalized property and central planning, despite being heavily bureaucratic, have been badly eroded.

In spite of this, the anti-imperialist consciousness of the Cuban workers and peasants won in the struggle for the victorious revolution is still alive. They will defend the expropriation of the bourgeoisie that arose out of the insurrectionary general strike that overthrew the dictator Batista and made possible the first workers’ state in Latin America.

But with each day the bureaucracy’s restorationist policies causes creates deeper inequalities and a growing bureaucracy, workers aristocracy and rich middle classes as the potential new bourgeosie.The poverty and suffering of the big majority of workers and peasants threatens to undermine the revolutionary consciousness of the masses. The worse their situation gets the more the masses will identify real socialism with the fake socialism Fidel Castro talks to them about; a “socialism” with miserable wages, rationing cards and never ending hardships.

But real socialism can only start from the highest degree of development reached by the productive forces under capitalism; that found in the imperialist countries. The working class of a underdeveloped country like Cuba can make a workers and peasants’ revolution sooner than the workers of an imperialist country, but they cannot arrive at socialism without the victory of socialist revolution in at least some imperialist countries. Therefore, every workers’ and peasants’ revolution that remains isolated and doesn't join forces with other countries undergoing revolution, sooner or later will be bureaucratized and retreat back into counter-revolution.

For that reason, the Stalinist pseudo-theory of “socialism in one country” is clearly a reactionary utopia, proven by the collapse of the USSR, China and the East European ex-workers’ states ruled by the Stalinist bureaucracy. The extreme decomposition of the Cuban worker state is yet another instance of the bankruptcy of that pseudo-theory.

It was a reactionary utopia to affirm that a huge country (almost a continent in itself, with 150 million workers and peasants and enormous natural resources) such as the USSR could be arrive at socialism without a decisive advance of the world revolution (which the Stalinist bureaucracy strangled step by step). It was also a reactionary utopia that China could keep going as a workers state after the expropriation of the bourgeoisie in 1949 without a world revolution. Indeed far from realising socialism, both collapsed back into capitalism bringing about a historical defeat of the working class of those nations and the whole world. How much more reactionary then, to claim, as the Castroite bureaucracy does, that it is possible to make “socialism in one island” while the Latin American and North American revolutions have been contained and strangled (this time with the help of the Castroite bureaucracy).

The only thing that can result from the isolation of a workers’ state in a single country, is the distribution of scarcity. Arising out of this scarcity the bureaucracy emerges as the gendarme to police the queue and reward itself with privileges at the expense of the workers. As the agent of the capitalist world economy inside the workers’ states the bureaucracy looks to free itself from dependence on state property and to restore capitalism so as to transform itself into a new bourgeoisie.

The Bolshevik Party always saw the triumphant October revolution in Russia as a spark to ignite the European and world revolution, and for that reason it founded the 3rd.International. On the contrary, Stalinism – the executioner of Bolshevism – usurped the October revolution, and developed the fake “theory” of “socialism in one country” and its counterrevolutionary policy of collaborating with ‘democratic’ imperialists in the rest of the world.

Without doubt, today the gains of the Cuban revolution are in danger. To finish the capitalist restoration in Cuba would be an historical defeat not only for Cuban workers and peasants, but for the proletariat and the exploited of all Latin America and the world. Defending the revolutionary gains that still remain, and preventing the Cuban worker state, despite its degeneration, from destruction is an anti-imperialist and revolutionary task of the working class of the greatest importance. As Trotsky said, those who won’t defend the existing gains cannot win new ones.

Every standpoint on the Cuban issue today that doesn't agree with the position of the founders of the 4th International in the Congress of 1938 on the defence of workers’ states, amounts to an open and definitive rupture with the program of Trotskyism, and a capitulation to the Castroite bureaucracy.

As the 4th International said in 1937: “To identify the October Revolution and the peoples in the USSR with the ruling caste, it is to betray workers interests and help the reaction” (The Revolution Betrayed, Leon Trotsky). In the same way, today, to link the Cuban revolution and the Cuban workers and peasants fate with the fate of Castroite bureaucracy, is to betray the interests of the proletariat. On the contrary, the advances of Cuban revolution can only be defended today by fighting against the Castroite bureaucracy’s privileges, and replacing the bureaucracy with a government of workers’ and peasants’ councils (soviets). Only a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat can make Cuba the spark to light the fire of the Latin American and world revolution.

How to defeat the US Imperialist and the Miami “gusano” threat to Cuba? The overthrow of the bureaucracy by a workers and peasants’ political revolution would spread panic among the US imperialist bourgeoisie. It would become a driving force to push the North American proletariat, only now standing up to fight, towards a revolutionary struggle.

Two imperialist plans to complete capitalist restoration in Cuba

It is clear, once again that there are two different plans, promoted by different fractions of the imperialist bourgeoisies, to finish capitalist restoration in Cuba.

The fall of the worker states in Eastern Europe and USSR – the only states Cuba traded with – plunged the Cuban workers’ state into a deep crisis. The productive forces were already retarded by the reactionary utopia of “socialism in one island” imposed by the Castroite bureaucracy. On top of this, US economic sanctions from the early 1990s made the shortages worse. This pushed the bureaucracy to open the economy to foreign trade with European imperialist monopolies and created the conditions for the birth of a rich middle class.

Spanish, French, Italian, Canadian, Swiss imperialist monopolies began investing and extracting super- profits in Cuba from the beginning of the 1990s. This took the form of Foreign Dorect Investment and “joint ventures” with the Cuban state (the so called “mixed enterprises”) and they now have a big stake in very profitable businesses in tourism, nickel, oil, etc.

A fraction of the US bourgeoisie – associated with the Chamber of Commerce – favors the same policy and calls for an end to economic sanctions so it can also share in in the plunder of Cuba alongside its European rivals.

For this fraction of the world imperialist bourgeoisie, the completion of capitalist restoration in Cuba is best done by reintroducing the ‘law of value’ i.e. the market, money, “joint ventures” etc., as happened in both the ex-USSR and China. Free trade would open Cuba to cheap goods to undermine the workers and peasants support for the workers’ state, and create opportunities for the new middle classes and the bureaucratic caste to become a new bourgeoisie.

But clearly this is not the plan of the bourgeois clique around Bush, Rice, the oil monopolies and the arms industry, which is currently administrating US bourgeoisie interests. Their plan requires counter-revolution by means of invasion and occupation. Capitalist restoration will be completed when the “gusana” bourgeoisie and US monopolies return to the island. Meanwhile, they are happy for European monopolies to invest in the infrastructure on the island and to modernise the economy. For when the US invasion takes place the gringos and “gusanos” will seize their former property rights expropriated by the revolution, including those concessions granted by the Castroite bureaucracy to the European monopolies!

The objective of the Bushite fraction of the US bourgeoisie is not only to obtain super-profits by restoring capitalism in Cuba, but to recover all their private property, turning Cuba again into “an American brothel” as it used to be before the revolution. US imperialism along with the “gusana” bourgeoisie in Miami would then become the national bourgeoisie in the renewed capitalist Cuba.

This is the strategic objective of the Bushite fraction of US imperialism. However, it has not been able to implement this policy because of the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses that has “swamped” the Anglo Yankees troops in Iraq causing a crisis in the Bush government, and the national war of resistance of the Palestinian and Lebanese masses that humiliated the Zionist army in the south of Lebanon.

These are the two imperialist fractions in a race to see who gets the property in a restored Cuba: US imperialism and the “gusanos” of Miami, or the European imperialist monopolies in collaboration with the Castroite bureaucracy as the prospective new national bourgeoisie.

Mercosur is a new milestone on the road to capitalist restoration

Stalinists, Castroites and the fake Trotskyists – all members of the World Social Forum – tell the Latin American working class and exploited peoples that to defend Cuba is to support Fidel Castro and the Castroite bureaucracy. They say that both Castro and the Castroite bureaucracy are “anti-imperialist” and fight to defend Cuba against capitalism.

However, the Cuban revolution has not survived thanks to the Castroite bureaucracy’s policies, but in spite of it, and against it. The Cuban revolution survives thanks to the revolutionary and anti-imperialist struggle of the working class and the exploited people during the '60s, '70s and '80s. It survives thanks to the Ecuadorian and Argentinean revolutions, the magnificent Bolivian revolution, and the great anti-imperialist struggle of the Venezuelan masses, all of which have arisen in the first few years of the 21th century.

And today the Cuban revolutionary advances are in danger not because Fidel is ill, but because the restorationist Castroite bureaucracy in the name of the revolution has collaborated with the national bourgeoisies to strangle the Argentinean and Ecuadorian revolutions, and to contain the great Bolivian revolution. Over four decades, the Castroite bureaucracy, in condemning Cuba to isolation, and in preparing the destruction of the gains of the revolution, has betrayed the Latin American revolution.

Thus, the betrayal by Castroism of the Chilean revolution (the revolution of the “Industrial cordons” and the worker-peasant councils) in 1973, when Fidel proclaiming the “peaceful road to socialism” led to the coup by Pinochet and the US followed by many counter-revolutionary military governments in Latin America. All those developments left Cuba isolated.

In the 1980s, by proposing that Nicaragua shouldn’t be a new Cuba, and abandoning the Central American revolution to the counter-revolutionary pacts of Esquipulas and Contadora, the Castroite bureaucracy – which is a part of the Stalinist bureaucracy – began to prepare its transition to capitalist restoration.

Thus, in the 1990s – after the collapse of USSR, China and the Eastern Europe workers states – we saw the reform of the Cuban Constitution and Foreign Capitals Investment Law driven through by the Castroite bureaucracy in preparation for capitalist restoration on the island. These reforms which undermined the foundations of Cuba as a workers’ state.

Since 2000, the opening of the Ecuadorian and Argentinean revolutions, and expecially that of the heroic Bolivian revolution in 2003, has sounded the alarm to the Castroite bureaucracy. It knew perfectly well that a victorious workers and peasants revolution in Bolivia would be like an electric shock to the entire Latin American masses, and especially, the Cuban masses. Its own survival as a privileged caste and its plan to become the new bourgeoisie would be immediately at risk. For that reason, the Castroite bureaucracy played a key role, together with the other counter-revolutionary leaders in the World Social Forum, in surrounding and containing the Bolivian revolution, in backing and supporting the class collaborationist policies of Mesa’s government and the government of Evo Morales today.

The betrayal of the Bolivian revolution is consistent with the history of betrayals of the masses’ struggles in Latin America, and prepared the conditions for a new leap in the capitalist restoration process in Cuba and of the bureaucracy recycling itself as a bourgeoisie.

This leap was clearly seen when Castro signed a commercial agreement on behalf of Cuba at the last Mercosur summit of presidents in Cordoba (Argentina) in mid July. Argentinean, Venezuelan, Brazilian, and Uruguayan bourgeoisies, along with imperialist monopolies installed in those countries, will now be able to export to Cuba large quantities of goods at subsidized prices. This agreement for introducing cheap imports by means of ‘joint ventures’ with capitalist corporations is part of the plan to complete capitalist restoration in the island.

Thus the restorationist Castroite bureaucracy represented by Castro himself proved that they are on course to become the new national bourgeoisie. This is why Fidel Castro said that Chavez “has the task to look after Cuba” when he dies. His objective is for Cuba to become like Venezuela, that is to say, a capitalist country, but with a national bourgeoisie formed out of the recycled bureaucracy.

This agreement of the Castroite bureaucracy with the countries of Mercosur marks a new leap forward in the capitalist restoration process in Cuba. It is as if – though not an exact analogy –Stalin and the Russian bureaucracy had established a trade agreement with French and English imperialists, instead of creating COMECON – the common market with the deformed worker states of Eastern Europe. That would have meant clearly an opening of the road to capitalist restoration as was finally done by Gorbachev in the 1980s and by Yeltsin in 1989 to complete the restoration and the recycling of the bureaucracy as a new bourgeoisie.

The signing of the agreement with Mercosur clearly points to the fact that once the Bolivian revolution is strangled and the revolutionary struggle of the Latin American masses completely aborted, the the process of capitalist restoration in Cuba can be completed. This agreement between the Castroites and Mercosur angered Bush, Rice and the “gusanos” in Miami because it confirmed that the bureaucracy is already planning to restore capitalist private property of the means of production under the framework of Mercosur and not the FTAA of US imperialism. Under it, social inequality in Cuba will get worse and will cause greater demoralization of the workers and rural masses, undermining their commitment to defend the gains of the revolution. In fact this is what both the main imperialist fractions bet on, in their race to finish capitalist restoration in Cuba.

The strip tease exposes the “mixed economy” as the Castroite bureaucracy prepares its transformation into a new bourgeoisie

Fidel's illness and Raul Castro’s role as his temporary replacement is a “strip tease” of the Castroite bureaucracy, exposing its plans to complete capitalist restoration and turn itself into a bourgeoisie. It is clear the army -a.k.a “Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias” (“Revolutionary Armed Forces”) is the fundamental institution through which the Castroite bureaucracy is driving the capitalist restoration plan.

The army controls most of the “mixed companies” (“joint ventures” with foreign monopolies, created under the umbrella of the “Foreign Investment Law”) from model farms that produce for export, to telecommunications, to tourism and nickel. Today the army controls 322 of the biggest companies, some of them Cuban capital, and others mixed with foreign capital – among them, “Gaviota” (tourism and transport), Cubanacan (tourism), Almacenes Universal (tax free areas), Sasa (auto parts), Habanos (cigars), Cimex (import and export, distribution, gas stations, real estate). These companies employ 20% of Cuban labor, represent 89% of the exports, and generate 59% of the earnings in tourism. The army directly controls these companies through the Grupo de Administración Empresarial S. A. (Managerial Administration Group A.S.) or GAESA, of which the general director is... Raul Castro, and the executive director is his son-in-law. These companies are run by a new generation of young army officers, all of them trained in business administration schools in Europe.

In this way the restorationist bureaucracy has been preparing for its role as a bourgeoisie: by joining the boards (undisclosed to the public) of stock companies with bank accounts in tax havens (off-shore accounts); as anonymous shareholders with their holdings protected by commercial secrecy; as partners in joint ventures with imperialist monopolies such as the Sherrit (which has 50% of the mixed company Moa Nickel, and the gas company Energas), the French Pernod Ricard (which has 50% of Corporation Cuba Ron S.A.), the Swiss Nestlé (with 50% of the food company Los Portales), and the Spanish Altadis (50% of Habanos S.A.).

It is clear then that private property rights are being restored in Cuba very quickly, and that the bureaucracy is now learning how to be a new bourgeoisie. The only two things that for the moment the bureaucracy has not been able to do – and the reason that capitalist restoration has not yet been completed – are the absolute right to private property in land, and with it the right to buy and sell private property, and the right to inherit private property.

The right to inheritance is a key question, as Leon Trotsky brilliantly outlined in The Revolution Betrayed, “property that cannot be bequeathed to descendants loses half of its value”.

The Castroite bureaucracy’s policies have carried the Cuban workers’ state to an extreme degree of degeneration. Such that today in Cuba two economies coexist at the same time: a capitalist economy that works under the law of value, and a transitional planned economy in crisis and severe decomposition.

These two economies are in a life and death struggle - one or other must win. The unstable coexistence of these two economies has its expression in the two currency system introduced by the bureaucracy. Thus, you have the “chavito” (convertible peso; 1peso = 1dollar) used for tourism and which allows foreign monopolies to take their earnings out of Cuba in US dollars. This “chavito” is a real “exchange insurance” for imperialist investments, paid for by super-exploiting the workers and peasants. It expresses the law of value in the sector of the economy open to capitalist investment which has the highest labor productivity and most value-added production. Only 20% of the population – the restorationist bureaucratic caste, the labor aristocracy and a newly enriched middle class linked to imperialist investments – have access to the “chavito” and to exclusive goods and services of this sector.

On the other hand, you have the devaluated Cuban peso that expresses low labor productivity, the low quality of products and the low productivity of the nationalised sector of the economy. It represents the workers’ state in acute degeneration. The low wages of the big majority of workers and peasants are paid with this devalued peso. 80% of the population lives facing shortages and deprivation, depending on ration cards. This poverty coexists with a growth rate of 11.8% which in 2005 exceeded that of China.

This shows that in Cuba the law of value that governs the capitalist economy is already in operation. It means that market values are encroaching on the planned economy creating huge wealth in the newly enriched middle class and emerging bourgeoisie, while driving the vast majority of the population into poverty as is the case in any capitalist country. The introduction of the market and the widening gap between rich and poor is what undermines the ability of the Cuban masses to defend the revolution. Political consciousness is always the expression of material conditions. If the material gains of the revolution resulting from the expropriation of the bourgeoisie are destroyed, then so too is the consciousness that defends them destroyed.

During the 1980s the bureaucracy In the USSR and the workers’ states of Eastern Europe became restorationist, and by enforcing pro-capitalist measures (such as Gorbachev’s "perestroika") it forced tens of millions of workers and farmers into misery. For example, the coalminers in the Donbass (Ukraine) were living under worse conditions than the Bolivian miners in 1940 – they had to fight for soap and toilet paper. Why would millions of hungry workers and farmers come out in defense of a "revolution" that condemns them to hunger, misery, and unheard of shortages? It is precisely the intention of all fractions of the imperialist bourgeoisies to cause this same demoralization and destruction of the revolutionary consciousness in the Cuban masses and to undermine their resistance to the completion of capitalist restoration.

Break with all the national bourgeoisies of the continent! For a Socialist United States of the Americas!

Everyone that claims to be anti-imperialist and revolutionary has a duty to defend Cuba from the US blockade and the renewed threats of US imperialism and the “gusana” bourgeoisie of Miami. But how to defend effectively the historical gains of the Cuban revolution already much weakened by the class collaborationist politics of the Castroite bureaucracy?

The first task to effectively defend the gains of the revolution, is for the Cuban workers and peasants to break with Mercosur and all the agreements and treaties which give the resources of the island to the imperialist monopolies that have been sacking Latin America for decades. Second, is to break with the national bourgeoisies all over the continent. Third, to defeat the counter-revolutionary policy of the Castroite bureaucracy that usurps the prestige of the Cuban revolution to maintain and support the lackey, anti-worker and repressive governments and regimes of Kirchner, Lula, Bachelet, Morales, etc. Fourth, is to break with the UN - that today is ready to intervene in Middle East to crush the Palestinian people, as it did in the 1990s in the Balkans, and to defeat the politics of Fidel Castro and the Cuban bureaucracy who call on the world’s masses to trust that den of imperialist thieves.

It is not possible to defend Cuba without also fighting against all class collaborationist politics, so that the working class and the exploited in the continent can break with their own bourgeoisies and amputate the left leg of the popular front of the treacherous fake Trotskyists of the WSF. It is not possible to defend Cuba if you are holding hands with the WSF because it belongs to Chavez, Lula, Evo Morales and the likes, to the national bourgeoisies of Mercosur, to the Castroite bureaucracy and the treacherous misleaders of all colors, that form the party of capitalist restoration in Cuba!

Cuba will be defended when El Alto becomes once more the central headquarters of the Bolivian revolution, and when that revolution (today caught in the trap of the Constituent Assembly by Evo Morales’ class collaboratist government backed by Fidel Castro) returns to the road to victory. It will be defended when the Ecuadorian revolution rises up again (after Fidel’s friend Chavez stabbed it in the back when he lent oil to Palacios to break the oil workers’ strike). Cuba will be defended by the Argentine working class breaking the ‘social pact’ of the bureaucracy with the bosses and the government of Kirchner (a government that has put Castroites in many state offices, and which was warmly supported by Fidel on his recent visit) and retakes the revolutionary road of 2001.

Cuba will be defended when the workers and farmers in Mexico –the teachers of Oaxaca, the miners and steel workers of Michoacan, the exploited people of San Salvador Atenco, the poor farmers of Chiapas –unite their struggles into one revolutionary front. Today these struggles are in danger of being isolated and expropriated by the bourgeois Lopez Obrador, presented as "progressive" by the Castroite bureaucracy and the WSF. Cuba will be defended when the workers and peasants of Central America rise up against the CAFTA imposed by the bourgeoisies with the open collaboration of the ex-commaders of the Sandinistas and FMLN who today have become Wall Street yuppies and government officials in the bourgeois states of Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Cuba will be defended when the Venezuelan workers and exploited peoples can guarantee that not one barrel of oil is sold to the US imperialists to fuel the military machine that murders Iraqis, and finances the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel to murder the Palestinian people and the Arab masses in Lebanon.

Either the revolution will extend to Central and South America, or, sooner or later, the fate of Cuba will be the same of the oppressed nations in Central America and the Caribbean: new enslaved colonies, enslaved by the CAFTAs, or directly occupied as US protectorates - as Haiti is today after it was bled white. Today Cuban workers and peasants can see themselves in the mirror of their class brothers and sisters of the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America: that will be their destiny if the capitalist restoration succeeds!

Cuba will be defended when the North American workers, led by the Latino immigrants, refuse to kneel before the imperialist butchers of the Democratic Party - as Castroism does- but rise up and unites against the war in Iraq. It will be defended when the US working class comes to the defense of the Palestinian people and the masses of Lebanon. It will be defended when the US workers defend the gains of the Cuban revolution against all imperialist threats and aggressions, and supports the fight against the FTAA that ties the nations of Central America to imperialism with double chains.

The fence imposed on Cuba from the outside by US imperialism with its blockade, and from the inside by the Castroite bureaucracy with its restorationist policy, can only be broken by the Cuban workers and peasants uniting their fight for political revolution with the struggles of the working class and the exploited of the rest of Latin America. The isolation of Cuba can be effectively broken only by centralizing a common struggle in Latin America and with that of the North American working class, against imperialism and the national bourgeoisies that are its servants!

In order to defend the conquests of the revolution the Cuban masses must fight for a political revolution to overthrow the bureaucracy and win workers democracy

To defend Cuba means to break all political ties with the bourgeoisie that the restorationist Castroite bureaucracy imposes on the workers and peasants. For that reason it means to finish with the restorationist policies of the bureaucracy and with the growing social inequality they bring.

Stop the wage and social inequality!
Stop the privileges, ranks, medals and decorations!
Down with the differential wages and the prizes for production in the joint ventures and the imperialist monopolies!
For equal work for an equal wage in all the sectors of the economy!
Out with the parasites: all the bureaucrats must go to work for the average wage of a worker and paid in Cuban Pesos!

Down with the "two currencies"!
For a single currency that reflects the real productivity of labor of the whole Cuban economy!
Re-impose exchange controls so that the value produced by Cuban workers is not siphoned off to imperialist monopolies!
Re-impose the monopoly of the foreign trade in all the branches of the economy!
Restore the centrally planned economy under the control of the workers and peasants councils!

Smash the “gusano” bourgeoisie!
End all commercial secrets that allow the imperialist monopolies to hide their profits!
End all corruption that allows the bureaucracy to profit from secret shares in “joint-stock companies"!
For workers’ control of all the branches of the production – including tourism, nickel and petroleum!
Nationalise without compensation and under workers control the private interests of the "joint-stock companies" and mixed companies!
For the freedom to organize unions in the private and mixed companies as well as in the state owned companies!

For workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ councils!
For workers democracy where the majority of the workers and peasants mandate their delegates to decide on strategy and tactics of defending the revolution!
For political parties that demonstrate they can defend the gains of the revolution!
For workers’ and peasants’ militias, the arming of the entire population to defend Cuba and to take back Guantanamo!

For a political revolution to overthrow the restorationist bureaucracy and build a socialist Cuba as part of the Socialist United States of Central America and the Caribbean, which would be, at the same time be a decisive step to win the unity with the North American proletariat, and open the way to the workers and socialist revolution in the United States!

For an international party of socialist revolution to defeat the class collaborationist and restorationist World Social Forum!

Clearly no-one can defend the Cuban revolution without also fighting to re-found the international party of the socialist revolution. Only such an internationalist proletarian party is capable of uniting and organising the working class from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in to defeat imperialism, the client national bourgeoisies and capitalist restoration in Cuba.

Castro’s bureaucracy is a declared enemy of an international revolutionary party. On the contrary, it organises a continental policy of subordination of Latin American workers to their own national bourgeoisies and the North American working class to the Democratic Party. The fake Trotskyists have lent support to this class collaborationist policy by supporting the Castroite bureaucracy and the pseudo-Trotskyist impostor Celia Hart Santamaria. All over Latin America, new parties are being formed uniting Castroites, Stalinists and the trade union bureaucracies – such as the PRS in Venezuela, Podemos (“We can!”) in Chile, the P-SOL in Brazil, “Plenario de Autoconvocados” (“Self convened fighters plenum”) in Argentina, etc. to be the “left wing” of the the World Social Forum as a counter-revolutionary international.

The imminent danger of a completed capitalist restoration in Cuba makes the first task of internationalist Trotskyists that of finishing the work of the founders of Fourth International in America: "... for the Leninist Bolsheviks, there is no more important task than to establish the connection - and then the unity – between the different parts of the proletarian organization in the continent, creating such a well constructed organism that any revolutionary shock occuring in Patagonia is transmitted immediately as if through a perfect nervous system, to the revolutionary proletarian organizations of the United States. Until this has been done the task of the Leninist Bolsheviks in the American Continent will not have been carried out". ("The countries of the Caribbean ", Clave Nº 4, November 13, 1937).

Only as a result of this struggle will an international workers revolutionary party be established in Cuba, armed with the Program of the Fourth International and its fight for political revolution – both having passed the test of history – and able to lead the Cuban working class and peasants to victory. To this task, we, of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction, devote all our forces.

In the 1930s, Trotskyism – the heir and continuator to Bolshevism – was the only current in the world working class that developed its theory and the program to fight for political revolution in the Soviet workers' state, to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy which had usurped the revolution, and create a healthy workers’ state as a revolutionary pole in the struggle for the world revolution.

In those years groups and tendencies called “friends of USSR“ blossomed all around the world. They were the agents of the Stalinist bureaucracy and promoted its counter-revolutionary policies. Today, social democracy, recycled Stalinism and former Trotskyists, joined together in the World Social Forum, are the “friends of Cuba”. That is, the servants and defenders of Castro and the Castroite bureaucracy’s policies in the continent and in Cuba itself.

The tasks of defending the gains of the Cuban revolution and the fight for political revolution to defeat the restorationist bureaucracy are crucial parts of the program for socialist revolution in Latin America, the United States and the world. The Cuban issue today – as the Russian issue in the ’30s, devides the healthy forces of Trotskyism that fight to regroup at an international level, from those that rally –like the Pabloites did in 1953, but in a more brazen and shameless way –to the side of the Stalinist bureaucracy, defending its interests.

In 1953, the Pabloites subordinated Trotskyism to Stalinism. The Stalinist bureaucracy had gained prestige from the victorious struggle of the Soviet masses to defeat Nazism. Millions of workers everywhere entered the communist parties. This policy led to Trotskyism tailing Stalinism and ultimately liquidating the Fourth International as a revolutionary world party of socialism.

Inevitably when the restoration of capitalism occurred in the degenerated workers’ state after 1989, the renegades of Trotskyism who had succumbed to Stalinism wept crocodile tears trying to hide their capitulations and their responsibility for the counter-revolution, shifting the blame onto Trotsky, Lenin or Marxism.

Today, with the excuse that Cuba is being attacked by imperialism, the renegades of Trotskyism kneel down before the Castroite bureaucracy and abandon any struggle for a political revolution in Cuba – that is to say, the dictatorship of the revolutionary proletariat in Cuba.

When in the 1930s Trotskyism was fighting Stalinism, it organized hundreds of Trotskyist militants in Cuba. The struggle to set up again a Trotskyist, revolutionary and internationalist party in Cuba is in our hands; the hands of those who are fighting for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary worker organizations. The renegades of Trotskyism already have their party in Cuba: the party of Castroite bureaucracy and its agents like the charlatan Celia Hart Santamaria. They are the third batch of Mensheviks. They have deserted to the Stalinist camp with all their arms to be the left leg of the popular front with ‘democratic imperialism’

Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction

August 17, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006


A pact between the UN, Zionism, Siniora and the Hizbollah leadership tries to do what the Israeli army could not do, impose disarmament and surrender on the Hizbollah and Palestinian resistance. Out with the new troops of occupation of the imperialistic butchers of the UN! Turn the civil wars in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq into the beginning of the workers’ and peasants’ revolution in Lebanon, Palestine and the whole Middle East, so that it becomes the grave of the Zionist-fascist state of Israel and the genocidal imperialist troops in Iraq!

The genocidal Zionist army of Olmert and Bush smashed its teeth against the heroic national war of resistance of Hizbollah and the masses of the south of the Lebanon

After 34 days of systematic bombing of the workers districts of Beirut and the south of Lebanon, leaving thousands of dead and wounded, the Zionist army of Israel - the fourth most powerful in the world commanded by Olmert and Bush, could not even occupy securely one kilometer into the south of Lebanon. It broke its teeth against the heroic resistance that cost thousands of lives of workers and oppressed people, including many of the the 100s of thousands displaced Palestinians.

Because it could not win against a guerilla army, Israel agreed to a cease-fire on Monday 14 of August at 8 am and began to retreat back across the border. The ceasefire agreement provides that from the 17 of August the Lebanese army will start to move 15,000 troops south of the Litani river, and that along with around 2000 French troops already in the Lebanon, there will be an ‘international force’ of up to 15,000 under the command of UNIFIL. Its objective: to disarm Hisbollah and the other militias in the south of the Lebanon. That is to say, to impose what imperialism and his Zionist gendarme Israel could not do in more than a month of military destruction.

We shall see if the can achieve this objective. The Lebanese and Palestinian exiles of the south of the Lebanon - and of all Middle East, that resisted heroically against a high tech military machine, feel victorious. That is why more of million workers, farmers and their families - Palestinian and Lebanese from the south, that had taken refuge to the north of the Litani river, immediately after the ceasefire began a mass migration back to their homes and land in the south.

One said they were returning “as a tribute to the Resistance. For that reason it is necessary to return: they have died fighting by us and for Lebanon. The best way to fight Israel is to overcome outfear and to re-occupy our houses. That act intimidates the Israelis. They never thought that we would return and that they would lose the war” (Clarin,15/08/06). In Bint Jbeil, a shepherd who returned to that city where the most brutal battles wre fought exclaimed: “Praise be to God, we won this war. We saved our land and we defeated to the Israeli army in spite of all its high technology” (Libération, France, 17/08/06)

The goal of Bush and the Zionist state in this new “war for oil” is to turn Lebanon into a protectorate to plunder the oil wealth of the Caucasus

Bush and Olmert has a clear objective in sending the army against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank at the end of June, and then going to war against Lebanon in the middle of July. This was to finally destroy the Palestinian resistance in the same way NATO bombed the Bosnian Serbs in the Balkans in the 1990s. They wanted to massively defeat the resistance in Gaza and Transjordan where the people are already imprisoned in concentration camps, causing a new diaspora. They were also determined to smash Hizbollah and its defence of the Palestine masses in the south of Lebanon because it forced Israel out of Lebanon in 2000 sparking the second intefada. In defeating Hizbollah Lebanon could be turned into a new Yankee protectorate.

Anglo/US imperialism and its Zionist gendarme needed to fulfill these objectives to be able to be guarantee the oil pipeline from the ex- Soviet republics of Kazajstán and Azerbaiján to Israel. British Petroleum has built a pipe line from Bakú to the port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean in Turkey. The pipeline is planned to go from Ceyhan under the sea to Haifa where it will be piped to the Red Sea and on to Asia. Israel also wants access to water from the Litani river and further north. For these projects the US and the Zionist state needs to control the Mediterranean coast and the south of the Lebanon. So despite rhetoric about captured soldiers and Hizbollah being Iran’s proxy, the real purpose of this war was once more oil, as it was in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And because wars for oil always generate resistance, Yankee imperialism looked to use this war to teach a lesson to the the resistance movements, in particular the Iraqi resistance that has bogged down the Anglo/US troops and caused crises for Bush and Blair at home. It gambled on a victory against Hizbollah to strengthen its Sunni allies in Iraq against the Shiite Mahdi army, and to free its military to invade other countries such as Syria and Iran.

These objectives explain why the attacks on Lebanon were of a surgical precision. They destroyed the workers districts and the Palestinian camps of the south so as to defeat the working class, in particular the Palestinian masses. They destroyed the bridges and ports that were not needed in their plan to create a secure passage for the oil pipe lines and water aqueducts. On the other hand they left the districts of the bourgeoisie with its luxury hotels, summer houses, and exclusive tourist centers, absolutely intact – so that the bourgeois cooled off in their swimming pools while thousands of poor people died in Beirut. They also left the the modern “City” of Beirut, the properties of the bourgeoisie in the north of the country, and, the quarters of the Lebanese army, intact.

They expected that the Lebanese bourgeoisie would “blame” Hizbollah for the war, and so give more authority to the government of Siniora and to the army of the Lebanon – pro-Yankee mercenaries and allies of Zionism – supported by NATO troops, would finish smashing and disarming the masses in the south. But after more than a month, it was obvious that Bush and the Zionist state ad failed to fulfill their objectives in their war of destruction: they were prevented by the heroic resistance of the armed masses.

The armed masses’ heroic war of resistance stopped the fourth most powerful army on the planet which had to be rescued by the imperialist UNIFIL ‘multinational peacekeepers’

While its humiliated troops retreated from Lebanon before a tide of civilians, the Zionist General Staff along with Bush complained that Hizbollah was not a regular army and did not fight according to the rules of war! Hizbollah were “terrorists without scruples” that used the “civilian population” as “human shields”. What total hypocrisy from these imperialist Zionist butchers! They, the imperialists and the Zionists, are the true terrorists. They do not have any scruples in using the masses and the peoples of the world as “civilian” targets! The US imperialists killed millions in the last 30 years in Iraq alone, and are still killing every day tens of innocent civilians!

The “terrorists” are the Zionists who reduce to rubble half of Lebanon, rubble under which there are thousands of corpses of workers, farmers, women, children, and old people! The Zionist state is racist and fascist. It is a racist state, where torture is legal! It is the state that for over half a century has been killing the Palestinian people systematically, and where Mossad “openly murders selectively” using snipers to assassinate leaders of the organizations of the Palestine resistance in complete daylight. A fascist state, yes, because fascism – the most extreme form of capitalist rule during the epoch of imperialism – locks up the working class in concentration camps, surrounded by walls, wire fences, soldiers, and fascist colonies, in much the way Nazism did against the Jewish people in Europe during World War II.

But what Bush and Olmert cannot hide is that the Zionist army failed not because it met “terrorists” who broke the rules of war, but because the armed people defended their lives, their land, houses and their families against an occupation army. It had to face a heroic national civil war of resistance of the armed masses, in which each house and each piece of land, became a trench, and each “civilian” a combatant. What Bush and Olmert call “terrorists” and “human shields”, were in reality Lebanese and Palestinian workers and farmers of the south that, from the roofs of their houses, shot Katiushas against the enemy, and fought in combat house to house, hand-to-hand. According to a teacher from Aïta al-Chaab, a town a few metre from the border with the Zionist state: “We fought not for love of the war, but to protect our lives, our women, our children (...) We are common people. The fighter that destroyed that Israeli tank military there, is the town’s medical doctor” (Libération, France, 17/08/06) ¡It was this heroic resistance of the masses that it prevented the Zionist army after a month of destruction, from holding onto even a kilometer of territory to the south of the Litani river!

More than this, the workers and the exploited people of all Middle East began to rise up in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iran and Iraq in defence of the Lebanese resistance. This put at risk all the survile bourgeois regimes and governments of the region. In Iraq, enormous mobilizations of hundreds of thousands of Shiites threatened to rise up against the puppet government whose main support is indeed the Shiite bourgeoisie of Iraq and Iran. The anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist mobilisations of the masses of the Middle East threatened to set fire to the region. Meanwhile inside the imperialistic countries - in the United States, the UK and Europe etc more militant sections of the workers and youth protested strongly against the huge destruction and the massacres in towns like Qana.

What is more, instead of “blaming” Hizbollah for the war as the US and Zionists had expected, the more violent the destruction the more the masses joined the resistance, shouting “We are all Hizbollah” and “They bomb Tel Aviv”. Thus, if the Zionist army had continued to advance into the territory of Lebanon, there was the real threat of a revolutionary mass uprising. This could have overthrown the bourgeois leadership of Hizbollah, disarmed the pro-Zionist army of Lebanon, and used the arms to bring down the pro-imperialistic government of Siniora. That this was a real possiblity was reflected in the slogan “Bomb Tel Aviv” which would have turned the resistance into a counter-offensive. This would have been a signal for an uprising of the masses of Gaza and Transjordan in the fight to destroy the Zionist-facist of Israel.

The Palestinian and Lebanese masses prove that the working class is the only class that can defend the nation against imperialism

It was not lack of heroísm or lack of will to fight that stopped the masses from going down this road. The national bourgeoisies of the Middle East, that all national bourgeoisies in semi colonial or colonial countries, try to get as bigger slice of profits by negotiation with imperialism. However, as soon as the revolutionary masses begin to threaten their class interests, their property and the state itself, they turn against the masses to defend those interests and those of imperialism.

The bourgeoisies of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, long allies of the US and the Zionist state – just like the Druse and Maronite bourgeoisies of Lebanon, and the client government of Siniora – demanded the “disarmament of Hizbollah” and in each country brutally repressed the demonstrations of the oppressed masses in support to their Palestinian brothers and sisters of the south of the Lebanon.

So the Iranian the Syrian bourgeoisie, despite threatening “the mother of all battles” against imperialism and Zionism”, suddenly became “neutral”. They did not move a finger in support of the masses of Lebanon and historical Palestine when tens of thousands of Syrian and Iranian workers demonstrated against the imperialist and Zionist butchers. So the large armies of Syria and Iran did not come to the aid of the heroic resistance of the masses, leaving more than a thousand dead, tens of thousands injured and the south of Lebanon devastated.

On the contrary, the Syrian bourgeoisie offered to be a “mediator” to negotiate the exchange of prisoners and even promised to support the US in its “war against terrorism”. In Iran the Shiite bourgeoisie of ayatollahs also acts as a guarantor of the puppet colaborationist government in Iraq, and in turn the stability of the US protectorate and the commands the ‘Iraqi’ army and the police in the civil war against the resistance.

Equally, the leadership of Hizbollah - an organization that is alliled to the Iranian Shiite bourgeoisie and the ayatollahs –is incapable of fighting a national war against the invader until the end. For that reason, during the war, it did not break with the client regime of Siniora or call for itw overthrow It did not call on the masses to march on the barracks of the Lebanese army to disarm it and to create workers and peasants militias. It refused to call on Syria and Iran to declare war on Zionism, or the Shiite masses in Iraq to rise up against the puppet government.

They refused to act on the demand raised by the masses of Palestine and Lebanon to “Bomb Tel Aviv”. On the contrary, it limited its missile strikes, declaring that it would only attack Tel Aviv if Israel bombed the center of Beirut – that is, the financial and business center, despite the bombardment of the workers districts and the heaquarters of Hizbollah.

Yet the workers and peasants of south Lebanon, by their heroic national war of resistance against the Zionist attack showed once again that neither Hizbollah, nor Hamas, or any fraction of the national bourgeoisies can defend the nation from imperialism. They demonstrated that in Lebanon, in historical Palestine – as in any country oppressed by imperialism, the working class is the only truely national class, with the interest and the will to defend the nation against imperialism.

UNSC 1701: A pact between the UN, Zionism, Siniora and Hizbollah leaders to make the mass resistance disarm and surrender.

Because of the heroic resistance of the masses, imperialism and the Zionist state could not totally destroy Hizbollah and the Palestinians in Lebanon. As is the case in Iraq, the Lebanese masses proved capable of putting up a stiff opposition to the imperialist/Zionist offensive. Opening up a second front in which the masses faced the US/Zionist “war of terror” was a victory for the world wide proletariat.

But the bourgeois leadership of Hizbollah prevented this heroic national war of resistance from turning into the start of a workers and peasants revolution in Lebanon and Palestine capable of spreading to the whole Middle East. This was the only real prospect of defeating the Zionist army, destroying the State of Israel and burying the occupying Anglo/US troops in the sands of Iraq.

Therefore, the halting of the war by means of a cease-fire creates a provisional status quo based on a pact between the UN Security Council whose permanent members, US, UK, France, China and Russia are imperialist powers or otherwise major rivals for the world’s resources, the Zionist-fascist state of Israel, the pro-imperialistic client regime of Lebanon and the bourgeois leadership of Hizbollah.

This pact has the objective of achieving what Bush and the Zionist army could not do, defeating the Palestinian and Lebanese masses of the south, and destroying the only powerful guerilla army, Hizbollah, that can fight for the national independence of Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.

In order to implement the plan the Hizbollah must withdraw north of the Litani river while the south is occupied by 15,000 soldiers of the Lebanese army, which fired not one shot to defend the nation against the Zionist assault, and 15,000 “blue helmets” of the UN, who have the task of disarming the masses and locking up the Palestinian refugees in concentration camps.

The cynicism of the permanent members of the UNSC has no limits. UNSC Resolution 1701 does not condemn the war of agression of the Zionist-fascist state of Israel that left Lebanon in ruins killing more than a thousand workers and their families. It presents these UN mercenaries who authorised the massacres in the Balkans, the first war against Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, and the massacre of the Palestinian people that led to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, as the guarantors of “peace” in the south of the Lebanon!

If this plan is to succeed Hizbollah will have to use all of its prestige and mass support won in the fight against the Zionist army, to persuad the masses to accept the rule of the pro-imperialist army of Siniora, the UN ‘blue helmets’ and to give up its arms. This will be a difficult task. Each house in the south of Lebanon was a site of resistance, and each family has dead to honour. The masses feel like victors and are returning to their land and homes in the south where some Zionist troops remain and only a few kilometers separate them from the borders of the state of Israel.

If they do not convince the masses to give up their arms, the next plan may be the one used against the Bosnians. The UN surrounded the Bosnian cities of Sebrenica and Gorazde, entered and disarmed them, and then allowed the Serbian troops of Milosevic to come and “ethnically cleanse” the Bosnian people. This is what they are preparing with the counter-revolutionary pact between the UN, Siniora, the Lebanese army and the state of Israel!

The French imperialist butchers want to take charge of the occupation to advance their interests in the Middle East

France proposed the pact to the UN Security Council of the UN and already has around 2000 troops in Lebanon which arrived in mid July “to evacuate its citizens”. This is no accident. French imperialism is in a desparate rivalry with US imperialism for markets, spheres of influence and oil pipelines. It is in partnership with the Syrian and Iranian bourgeoisie of the Bazaar (Shiite), just as it was with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, before the Anglo/US invasion cancelled Frances oil contracts with Iraq. Iran supplies oil to France and gas to Russia which pipes it to the ex-Soviet republics of the Baltic.

For that reason, the failure of the US/Zionist aims to defeat Hizbollah and partition Lebanon has created an opening for French imperialism to play a larger role in the region. That is why Chirac proposed the UN ceasefire resolution, some thousands of troops, and offered to lead the UNIFIL operation in Lebanon so that it could have more influence over the Lebanese regime.

Chirac and the greedy French monopolies already speculate on their increased profits. Anglo/US imperialism and Zionist Israel will now have to offer a share of the gas and oil of Azerbaiján and Kazakjstán passing through Turkey and the Mediterranean, to their French competitors in exchange for guarantees of stablility in Lebanon.

The French imperialist butchers will not hesitate to smash in fire and blood the popular resistance in the south of Lebanon, just as they did in the Balkans where the French “blue helmets” permitted the Serbian massacre of the Bosnians, or as they did in the Ivory Coast of Africa; are as they did against the Algerian people fighting the French colonial yoke. These are the bloodthirsty French imperialistic butchers who the treacherous leaders of the World Social Forum paint as “democratic” and “pacifists” before the workers and the exploited peoples of the world! French imperialism hands off the Lebanon, Palestine and the Middle East!

The pact will also help conceal the ongoing Zionist repression in Gaza and the West Bank

During the month that Israel assaulted Lebanon, imperialism, the UN, the mainstream media and the client bourgeoisies of the Middle East, all did their best to hide the fact that the Zionist-Fascist state of Israel continued its barbaric killing and repressing of the the Palestinian people of Gaza and the West Bank.

More than 200 Palestinian workers, peasants, women and children were killed from 28 June onward. There are 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners still being ill treated and tortured in the Zionist jails. In Gaza and Transjordan, the population is locked up behind walls, surrounded by the Israeli army, with all their roads, bridges and border posts. These are nothing but two great ghettos, two concentration camps where hunger, thirst, disease and despair reign. There is no food, there is no medicine, there is no water, there is no work, it is not possible to be come or go. If this is not the same fascism used by the Nazis against Jews, then what is?

The ceasefire pact is also to create the impression that the war is over, whereas in reality the killing continues in Gaza and Transjordan. Before long under the eyes of UNIFIL the Israelis will be preparing to slaughter the disarmed Palestinian and Lebanese masses in the south of the Lebanon.

Hands off Lebanon and Palestine! Down with the client regime of Siniora and his sepoy army!

We must stop this imperialist/Zionist pact, ceasefire, etc from being imposed on the heroic Palestinian masses and the people of the south of the Lebanon! UN troops out of Lebanon!

The Lebanese army refused to fight and to defend the nation from the brutal attack of the Zionist army.
For committees of soldiers to sack the officers and disarm them and put the arms to the use of the resistance!
For workers’ and peasants’ militias from the north of the Lebanon to Gaza and Transjordan. For revolutionary national war to destroy the Zionist-fascist state of Israel!

The masses of south Lebanon, and of of the workers districts of Beirut, who resisted the Zionist army, had their houses and infrastructure destroyed. Roads, bridges, power etc were wiped out. A quarter of the total population of the Lebanon is now returning to their towns and villages to the south of the Litani river to find a devastated land, without houses, food, water, medicines or hospitals.

Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie and the rich middle-class of the north that did not fight, nor defend the country from the Zionist invasion, have their properties and luxurious houses intact, and do not have to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, and only risk sunburn when basking in their swimming pools.
For a workers emergency economic plan to provide adequate living conditions for the workers and peasants families who defended the nation!

For the immediate expropriation without compensation and under workers control, of the mansions, tourist hotels, summer houses etc. of the bourgeoisies of the Lebanon, to provide food, water, medicine, and shelter to the Palestinian Lebanese masses!

Down with the imperialist-Zionist client regime of Siniora and Co!
Transform the heroic civil war of resistance against imperialism and the Zionist-fascist state into a counter-offensive and the beginning of the workers and peasants revolution in Lebanon and historical Palestine.

A Workers’ and Peasants’ government is necessary to defeat the imperialist occupation!
A Lebanese Workers and Peasants’ government can become a bastion in the struggle to build destroy the state Zionist-fascist of Israel and to win a secular, democratic and nonracist Palestinian state, and open the road for a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government of the armed Palestinian masses.

The international working class must reject the ceasefire that has been imposed on the Palestinian and Lebanese masses!
The international working class must support the Iraqi resistance in the growing counter-offensive against the puppet government of the protectorate, to fight for its overthrow and to expel the invading troops!

The workers and peasants of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the whole Middle East must break their submission to their own bourgeoisies and redouble the combat against their governments which stand by while the Zionists kill the Palestinian and Lebanese masses, and use the blood of the resistance fighters as small change in their negotiations with imperialism and Zionism.

Only in this way will the workers and peasants of the region will be able to advance towards a Federation of Workers and Peasants’ Republics of the Middle East, defeating imperialism and Zionism, and the regimes of their junior partners, the national bourgeosies, to create the conditions for peace and justice in the region.

The Zionist-fascist state of Israel must be destroyed and imperialism buried in the sands!

Once again, the heroic resistance of the Palestinian and Lebanese masses, has tested the strength of the military might of imperialism and Zionism, and has won a victory for the workers and exploited peoples of the world. The US and British workers are strengthened in their fight against the weakened Bush and Blair regimes . The working class youth of France are also strengthened in their fight against the persecution and deportation of the French bourgeoise and their imperialist regime.

Recognising this fact, the world wide working class, espcially in the imperialist countries, must honour this struggle and raise as their battle flag “Long Live our class brothers and sisters of Palestine, of south Lebanon, of Iraq and all the Middle East; the Zionist-fascist state of Israel must die, and the Anglo-US invading army must be buried in the sands of Iraq!”

Our immediate task is to smash the counter-revolutionary pact between the UN, the US, France, the Zionist state and the client regime of the Lebanon. UNIFIL hands off Lebanon!

The French working class has a great responsibility in its hands, against its own bourgeoisie leading the imperialist occupation of Lebanon. It must prevent a repeat of the ‘Balkans’ massacres against the Palestinian and Lebanese masses: is necessary for working youth rise up again to the shout of:
“French imperialism hands off Palestine, Lebanon and the Middle East”!
French trooops out of Lebanon or Paris and every city in France will every nigh become “a Baghdad”!

Stop the imperialist troops being sent to occupy Iraq to aid the victory of the Iraqian resistance!
For the defeat of the Anglo-US troops in Iraq and for the victory of the Iraqi masses!
Out with all imperialistic troops in Afghanistan and the Middle East!

To achieve this it will be necessary to defeat the labour aristocracies and the bureaucratic leaderships of the the World Social Forum that subordinate the working class to the bourgeoisie by calling on the imperialists “to fight for peace” and painting the UN and the French imperialistic butchers in the Middle East as “democratic” and “pacifist”.

To break with the bourgeoisie, the workers in the imperialist countries, in Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific, must make the victory of the heroic resistance of the Palestinian masses, of the Lebanon and the Middle East, their common demand:
“So that the Palestinian people and the oppressed masses of the Middle East live, the Zionist-fascist state of Israel and imperialism, must die!

Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction
17 August of 2006