Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ecuador: What’s behind the attempted Coup?

The cause of the attempted coup in October can be found in the backwardness of the Ecuador economy and its new dependence on Chinese imperialism. The least viable of ALBA, facing mounting debt Correa has moved to the right to open up the country to Chinese investment.  This has alienated sections of his support base in the unions and the indigenous organisations (Conaie) who largely kept out of the coup attempt. The Bolivarian populists blame these indigenous social movements as bought by US imperialism, instead of blaming Correa for opening up the country to Chinese imperialism. It is China that is spending billions building a new dam, opening up new mines and making loans for oil.

Under the heading ‘Has China just bought is own Latin American Country?’  one source reports China now finances a majority of the public energy projects underway in Ecuador. Recent deals include an 85% stake in a hydroelectric dam that will cover a third of the country's energy needs by 2016. 

Chinese firms will also take charge of most construction. As you can imagine if another country controlled our utilities, many Ecuadorians are extemely anxious, reports Asia Times: For his part, former Ecuadorean vice president Leon Roldos (1981-1984) maintained that the loan is illegal, because it finances a "turn-key contract" without "definitive studies or detail engineering", which he said is expressly prohibited by law. Ecuadorians are also upset by loans they call larger than necessary: Another contradiction, Roldos argued, is that although it is a fixed price contract, the financing deal is based on price indexing - adjusting amounts by the change over time in prices - for materials and labor power "using a more generous formula than the one normally used for Ecuador's public procurements". In an article published last week by the El Comercio newspaper, the former vice president said the dam was "severely overpriced" because the $1.98 billion price tag is $400 million higher than the cost projected in 2008.

Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co. and China Railway Construction Corp. may invest as much as $3 billion in a copper project in Ecuador, as China seeks to control more commodity assets to feed its economy. Production at the Corriente Copper Belt may start in 2013, Hu Guobin, vice president of a venture set up by the two Chinese companies for the project, said in an interview. Annual copper in concentrate output would start at 30,000 metric tons and double a year later, he said. Chinese companies spent more than $30 billion last year buying oilfields and mines as two decades of economic growth averaging 10.1 percent made China the world’s biggest metal and energy consumer. Copper prices have doubled in the past five years, driven by demand in the third-largest economy...Tongling, China’s second-biggest copper producer, and China Railway Construction, the nation’s biggest railroad builder, in December agreed to buy Canada’s Corriente Resources Inc. for C$679 million ($652 million) for the copper resources. The deal was completed and Corriente was delisted this month, according to a statement on Corriente’s website...The rapid expansion of smelting capacity in China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of copper metal, has increased ore demand and spurred companies to invest overseas. Larger rival Jiangxi Copper Co. invested in copper mines in Peru and Afghanistan, and Zijin Mining Group Co. is seeking copper and cobalt assets in the Republic of Congo. The Corriente Copper Belt covers 17 deposits in the four main mining regions of Mirador, Mirador Norte, Panantza and San Carlos, China Railway said in December. Copper resources are about 11.54 million tons, based on initial studies, it said. Corriente was also involved in the exploration and development of gold, silver and molybdenum mines, according to the December statement.

Ecuador's government signed a loan agreement for $1 billion with the China Development Bank on 31 August 2010.  The loan will have two tranches, one for $800 million and another for $200 million. It will have a fixed interest rate of 6% per year for a four-year term and an additional six-month grace period. The loan will be used to finance Ecuador's investment programme for infrastructure and other budgetary outlays for the 2010-11 period. It will also be used to finance oil projects of national interest, said Finance Minister Patricio Rivera in a press release.The minister said that with this loan Ecuador had ensured its budget financing for 2010. In June, following meetings in Beijing, according the minutes of the meetings reviewed by Dow Jones Newswires, Ecuadorean Finance Ministry and CDB officials signed an agreement for state oil company Petroecuador to supply PetroChina with 36,000 barrels per day of Oriente and Napo crude or fuel oil until the total amount of the loan has been paid. In a decree signed on Friday by President Rafael Correa authorising to sign the loan, Correa said the operation involves Ecuador's Finance Ministry, state-run Petroecuador, Petrochina International Company and the China Development Bank. In July, Ecuador's National Public Planning Secretariat signed a memorandum of understanding with China's National Construction & Agricultural Machinery Imp./Exp. Corp, or CAMC, opening the door for potential financing by Chinese banks worth about $1 billion. Last year Ecuador's state-run oil company, Petroecuador, and PetroChina signed a two-year crude-oil supply contract. An initial $1 billion advance payment for the oil was made in August 2009 to Ecuador, with an interest rate of 7.25%.

Ecuador will probably tap the nation’s pension fund and seek a loan from China next year to help finance its estimated $2.7 billion budget deficit, according to Erich Arispe, an analyst at Fitch Ratings. South America’s seventh-biggest economy may need as much as 4.3 percent of gross domestic product to fund the “relatively large” deficit...Ecuador is using debt to increase spending on infrastructure projects and social programs in a bid to lower unemployment and boost economic growth, President Rafael Correa said in a June 5 statement. The nation’s default on $3.2 billion in bonds since 2008, declining oil production and a slump in private investment has crimped funding sources... The Finance Ministry said yesterday China delivered $800 million of a $1 billion loan agreement signed last month and will deliver the remaining $200 million in the “next months.” Ecuador owed China $3.66 billion as of July 31, according to a Finance Ministry report. The figure doesn’t include the $1 billion loan signed in August. 

US backing for the police and military who staged the coup attempt was probably to test the water to see if it had the support to remove Correa and replace him with a President aligned to the US rather than China. Correa is backed by the Bolivarian left populists who paint his reliance on China as a progressive alternative to the US. He is with Castro, Chavez and Morales, looking to Chinese ‘market socialism’ as the answer to US imperialism. Revolutionaries have to break this international popular front that unites Castro with Hu Jintao!

France: Out the class collaborationist union leaders in France!

We reproduce the action program of the FLTI on the recent French strikes.  The major defect that the WIVL indentifies is that the fake left calls for 'indefinite general strikes' without saying what would end that fight, namely the overthrow of the bourgeois regime and its replacement by a Workers' Government. This action program fails to remedy that defence as it jumps from the preparation for a general strike to its effect missing out on two key aspects. It needs to be finished off with the call "For a General Strike to overthrow the Bourgeois regime" and "For a Workers Government to bring workers to power to plan the socialist economy" that would replace the bourgeois regime.

General strike committees in every workplace- occupy, resist! 
Down with the imperialist regime and the Sarkozy government!

The trade union leaders have deliberately delayed in calling all the masses out to fight the attacks on workers pensions. They shield the imperialist regime at every step. Now they organize symbolic actions on the 28th October and 6th November while the know the lower house is voting on it on the 27th Oct. They should have organized the millions to come out and face the parliament on the very day they dared vote on it and if these bandit representatives went ahead, the workers should have stormed parliament and dispersed it. Just like in Greece, the treacherous leaders refuse to call for the masses to overthrow the regime. Just
like in Greece, the leaders they want to tire the masses out with endless street demonstrations.

Lutte Ouvriere, the NPA, the FT-CI and others are appearing at the barricades of the oil workers and other strikers making militant calls for ‘indefinite’ general strikes. Strikers need to ask them: ‘You, who want to claim leadership of the struggle, you who have links right up into the union leadership and have international networks, what are you doing to mobilize the rest of the working class to come out on strike, what are you doing about the very leadership who does not want to call any broader action, that leaves us isolated? What are you doing about calling and organising the workers in the surrounding countries to blockade the oil and gas supplies that undermine our strike? You make no call for the toppling of the imperialist Sarkozy regime, so what is your call for an indefinite general strike for? So you can sound militant and make us believe you are our allies? So who has sent you? Your pay masters from  the French banks, so you can betray our struggle from within? Prove yourself, fight for the programme below or step aside’:

  • Down with the imperialist regime of the Fifth French Republic and the  government of Sarkozy!
  • For factory committees in every workplace to prepare for occupation of all factories, mines, capitalist farms, mines, banks, etc.
  • Out with the union bureaucracy from the unions and the workers movement 
  • For general strike committees of delegates of workers, students, unemployed,immigrant workers, rank and file soldiers.
  • For workers self-defence committees
  • Blockade all scab oil, gas and other supplies from entering France
  • For an organizing committee to refound the Fourth International 
  •  All power to the broadened inter-union, general strike committees in France!
Issued by the WIVL for the FLTI.

Tribute to Roque Sanchez, young revolutionary fighter!

We reprint the tribute of the FLTI on the death of the young Peruvian militant Roque Sanchez on 29 October 2010. We first came to know Roque when he was a member of the Lucha Marxista of Peru in 2002. The CWG and Lucha Marxista became members of the Collective in December 2002. When Lucha Marxista and the Collective split in 2004, Roque Sanchez stayed with the Collective which then became the FLT in 2006. While the CWG left the FLTI (as it became in 2009) in 2010, we recognise that Roque Sanchez was a revolutionary youth leader who dedicated his short life to the victory of the revolution. Long live Roque!

A young fighter for the cause of socialist revolution and for the re-foundation of the Fourth International has passed away.

Today, at the age of 28, the young Trotskyist leader Roque Sanchez has died. When he was very young, he joined Peruvian Trotskyism. He lived his first experiences in Trotskyism in the group Poder Obrero of Peru, Lucha Marxista of Cuzco and was a founder member of the Collective for a revolutionary international that LOI-CI of Argentina called to set up in 2001 to regroup the forces of the internationalist revolutionaries when the Ecuadorian and Argentinean revolution hit and started the first fires of the Bolivian revolution.   

With the Split of collective, Roque joined the foundation of the FLT, making a great international work from Peru, collaborating in a decisive way in the work on the lessons of the Peruvian revolution in ’78 and intervened decisively in the process of the Bolivian revolution to where he travelled as a true internationalist in order to intervene in the revolutionary events that shook Bolivia and Latin America in 2003/2005.

In 2009, he was founder member and a delegate of the LTI of Peru to the foundation Congress of the International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction, in where they merged groups led by WIVL of South Africa, the former FLT and observer groups from USA.  

He is co-author of the works on “Bolivia: an expropriated revolution”, as well as a work on a deep research in polemic with the GB of France on the “nature and fight against the labour aristocracy and bureaucracy”.

A young and brilliant Trotskyist leader, but above all an internationalist militant of the proletariat, has passed away at the age of 28. The cruelty of nature finishes his life very early. He died for a cardiac arrest and sudden death.  

He passed away very young, as an adoptive son of the working class since he was 17 years old. 11 years fighting for the cause of proletariat. He gave the absolute majority of his conscious life to the fight for the international socialist revolution and re-founding the Fourth International.  He was committed to that fight as a member of the Secretariat of International Coordination of the International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction thousands of kilometers away from his country. Roque had understood perfectly that if we do not re-found the Fourth International, Trotskyism will never be able to even dream in setting up revolutionary parties in any place of the world for the victory of the socialist revolution. 

Today very early, after writing a new essay on the events of the huge class struggle in France and in Europe, he went to bed to have a rest. He never woke up again. His work, still not finished, stated a call on French workers: “Our fight in the streets of Paris must set on fire Europe! Out Sarkozy! Out the Fifth Republic of the French imperialist butchers!  For the return of the Commune of Paris! Only in that way, by the proletarian revolution and its huge historical upheavals, the Europe and French working class will stop the brutal attack that the ruling classes have launched without mercy to make exploited of the world pay for the crisis they have provoked.”

From the FLTI, the leaders and militants who share his combat can only say that he lived a short but fruitful life at the service of the world proletariat. We do not have doubts that if he could have predicted this tragic end, surely, he would affirm, holding his fist high, “I would’ve given even more years of my life for the cause of proletariat!” 

Today, the bourgeoisie, like in Argentina, holds a wake one of its heroes, such as Kirchner, that saved their interests thanks to the treasons of the leaderships of the Argentinean and Latin American proletariat. Roque told us that it was not possible to have any condolence or to pay tribute to the leaders of the proletariat’s class enemies whose government and regimes had murdered thousands and thousands of workers in Argentina and in the American continent. He said that the hug of the bolibourgeoisies paying tribute to Kirchner only hid, under a sweet veneer, the gunmen of the union bureaucracy that had massacred the young Ferreyra, militant of Partido Obrero.  How right Roque was! We only pay tribute and we honour the militants of the world proletariat, to the heroes (many times anonymous and other times popular) who die while fighting for the program of revolutionary Marxism.  
For our honour of revolutionary workers and militants of the Fourth International and of the fight for re-founding it, we know we will continue this fight. Roque was part of the new generation that feverishly sought the continuity and legacy of the Fourth International of 1938, which was destroyed and liquidated during decades of adaptations and capitulations with which the destroyers of Trotskyism left no tracks of bolshevism.  

FLTI has been nourished and is nourished by a new generation of revolutionary workers youth. Comrade Trotsky reminded us that when a movement becomes impotent to lead proletariat to the victory in history, it disappears and the generation who carried it out degenerates. Our comrade Roque was not part of those tired souls, and for that reason he crossed thousands of kilometers to set up a fighting international centre to fight for re-founding the Fourth International.   
This new generation of revolutionaries has and has had the perspicacious of thinking with their own head, seeking feverishly for the lessons of the great combats of the international proletariat to give continuity to the Marxist theory, that is, the theory of the proletariat revolution, a thousand times trampled on and falsified by revisionism in Marxism. Roque used to say that it is not possible to walk ahead in the fight for the socialist revolution without fighting resolutely for giving continuity to the program of proletariat so that it does not start again facing each decisive combat in the history. To that cause, he dedicated great part of his forces during the last years as a publicist. The lack of facility he had to speak and express himself orally was perfectly substituted in a brilliant way for his magnificent and acute blessing as a publicist.   

In his essay on the events of France, Roque said that the imperialist French bankers and owners of the transnational companies are the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren of those who stuck their umbrellas in the Paris communers massacred in 1871, heirs of those who, with the popular front in 1936-38, delivered the French proletariat with their hands and feet tied up to Marshal Petain for him to give Hitler the keys of Paris. The imperialist bourgeoisie of today, daughter of De Gaulle, Mitterrand, Giscard D’Estaing, Pompidou and other dregs of the imperialist Fifth Republic, remembers very well how they managed to defeat the heroic revolution of French May in ’68, with the treason of Stalinism.  

The exploiters inherit the property and the lessons of how their previous generations smashed the proletariat. The comrades of the African secretariat of FLTI pay tribute to him by stating that his program –the program of the entire FLTI- on France is already being cooked with low flame in the barricades of Paris, in the pickets of the oil workers…in the worker youth immigrants of the Citiés-the vanguard of the exploited in the combat- which are treated like vandals by the union bureaucracy and aristocracies-servants of the imperialist bourgeoisie. The new uprisings and new general strikes of Guadeloupe and Martinique pose the unity of the proletariat of colonies and semi-colonies with the proletariat in the metropolis.  That is the way. The starting point to get the victory is there. You have put a great effort in this combat. Perhaps, it caused that your health to break earlier and in a cruel and premature way it cost you your life. We know that if you had known it beforehand, you would have done the same and much more for your convictions. 
The crisis of our world party prevents the new generation of the proletariat from entering the combat with that legacy of historical lessons to win. Roque insisted that the treacherous leaderships force the proletariat to start always from the beginning, snatching proletariat here and there the landmarks of socialism it won throughout its combat. The fight to re-found the Fourth International, the world party for the socialist revolution, is that the proletariat -with lessons of its historical combat- build the leadership that leads it to victory, that is, to the international socialist revolution. This was understood by the new generation of revolutionary Trotskyists to whom the old generation only gave promises of victories but left nothing else than landmarks of miserable defeats.  

Comrade Roque Sanchez: today we pay tribute and honour to your revolutionary militancy, your combat that is the same fight that the new generation of the proletariat is already giving in the streets of Europe, in the enslaved Africa, in the untamable and rebel Palestine, in the streets of USA and is fighting toughly in the American continent. We say goodbye to you and honour your struggle for the socialist revolution.

In your tribute we re-vindicate the Fourth International and its founder members of ’38, and state with you, as we have always done, that between Trotskyism and Stalinism there is a blood river. Thus, the FLTI (of which you are a founder member) is at the front line of combat against the impostors of socialism who, under the name of socialism, attacks on the masses like in Cuba by dismissing hundred thousands of workers, similarly or in a worst way than Sarkozy, the Queen of England, the German transnationals and bourbons of Spain.  This is what the Cuban Stalinist bureaucracy does, who is today ready to become the agent of capitalist restoration, as yesterday were the Stalinists, giving away the workers states and becoming new managers of Citibank and the Morgan Bank.

We pay tribute to a militant of the Fourth International whose historical task will be to clean the way of the proletariat and remove so many treacherous leaderships that sell out its combat and gains. We pay tribute to nothing more and nothing less than an internationalist revolutionary who died proud of being part of an international centre that fights for re-founding the Fourth International. In our tribute, no hypocrisy exists. Sometimes, your distractions prevented you from focusing on your tasks more coherently. Your passion to re-found Peruvian Trotskyism, sometimes, separated you from the combat for an international centre. However, you always tried it over and over again. Always.  And to think that petty bourgeois, servants of the social-imperialist parties, dared to expel you applying the worst Lambertist methods of the Peruvian Trotskyism, accusing you of “crazy”… “sick boy”…We looked at each other and we recognized ourselves. They used the same treatment used by Stalinism against its dissidents.

Stalinism masked as Trotskyism. We cry out: “Long live the ‘crazy’!” and thus, we advanced towards a Bolshevik merger.  You were proud of that fight. Such fight is already heritage of our tendency, as every fight we wage when we broke relentlessly the parties that far of serving at proletariat, they submitted it to the bourgeoisie and did that in order to back every treacherous union bureaucracy that led proletariat to a dead end.

His comrades in Lima are aware of his work among health workers, the uprising mining workers in Casapalca know about his internationalist combat when he took there the solidarity of hundreds of worker organizations of the world; solidarity with their struggle and against the repression they had suffered that was led by FLTI groups at world-wide level.  The agricultural workers of Trujillo met him fighting for the general strike together with the comrades of Nucleo Obrero Revolucionario of that province who today are sympathizer of FLTI.

The comrades of the Liga Trotskista Internacionalista --Internationalist Trotskyist League-- of Peru are losing an international leader. The health workers, the revolutionary students will feel his absence. The mining and agricultural workers will ask for him.  But we, the workers of Paris, and Africa, the revolutionaries of the American continent and all the members of the International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction will not feel less such absence. His revolutionary personality will be irreplaceable, but his fight, without any doubt, will be continued for the revolutionary worker youth. 

Our Transitional program states that the battlefield is full of fake politicians, of rubble of the counterrevolutionary and reformist currents. That there are more corrupted than incorruptible ones in the planet. You are one of the latter, of the upright militants for the proletariat cause who was in the battlefield entirely.

Comrade Roque Sánchez:   For socialism forever! Forward to the victory of the international socialist revolution! Long live the fight to re-found the Fourth International!
Fracción Leninista Trotskista Internacional (International Leninist Trotskyist Fraction)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NZ Actors stand up to Warner Bros union bashing

                                            Sir Peter Hobbit: "We pay them 3 foot 6 inches" 

The Hobbit ‘blue’ shows us how the global crisis is impacting on NZ in such as way as to reveal its semi-colonial subservience to Australian, US and Chinese imperialism. As the NZ bosses bend over forwards to attract investment in NZ they are forcing down costs especially wage costs. That is why the NACTs are hell bent to destroy the power of the unions to fight this ‘race to the bottom’. The NACTs are shit scared that the 20,000 who rallied against their new 90 day fire at will Bill will be seen as ‘labour instability’ and a turnoff by foreign investment. This is why the NZ Actors Equity has been turned into a whipping child to discredit and bash the unions.

CTU head Helen Kelly stood up to the union bashing of Peter Jackson and the NACTs desperate to mobilise the mindless mass pulverised by the MSM purveyors of lies.  When 20,000 workers rallied against the latest round of NACT attacks (90 fire at will, on sick leave, on union access) designed to smash union power in the workplace, Actors Equity was made into a scapegoat by the billionaire film maker Jackson and his backers Warner Bros., for asking for a basic industrial agreement. This has the effect of further polarising the country between a growing section of the working class that this standing up to the NACTs attempts to screw maximum profits out of NZ workers, and that lumpen section that sees the unions as the cause of all its ills and identifies not with organised labour but with the petty bourgeois middle classes social climbers. 

The former is the unionised base that is recovering from 30 years of attacks and declining membership and reviving as the militant layer that is resisting NACTs cuts in jobs, wages and social spending. This includes the teachers, doctors, radiographers, students, etc all engaged in or preparing for protest or industrial action. But the really scary spectre of Karl Marx given the bankers nightmares are big battalions of low paid service workers in SFWU, UNITE, NDU and AWU who organise low paid service workers and are heavily youthful, female and Maori and Pasifica in membership. The 20,000 who rallied against the NACTs attacks on October 20 were overwhelmingly made up of low paid, casualised, impoverished workers who have not experienced big defeats and who are prepared to fight.

The second anti-union group is made up of the small bosses and their professional hangers’ on in the law, management, media and advertising, whose incomes depend on trickle down profits from international capital making mega profits from NZ.

But the biggest section is made up of the lumpen or backward layers of the working class who have been de-unionised since the onset of Rogernomics and the 1991 ECA, combined with the big majority that have never been unionised in every sector of the economy. Many of these are the owner-operators or self-employed such as the contractors in the film industry and in all those related industries which benefit from film making in NZ, especially construction and tourism.

Two years into its term the NACTs are running out of ideas. It has rushed through legislation under urgency to pay off its backers but now the ACT party has imploded in scandal and fraud. The Maori Party has nothing to show for its existence. Hone Harawira is breaking ranks over the neo-colonial blanket thrown over the F&S. The bankers club has lost direct control over Auckland and will try to retain it by controlling the CCO. The Labour Party takes a slight left deviation back to Keynes. Then 20,000 workers say NO to the 90 day fire at will. Then Hobbiton blows up and Key promises the Hollywood money barons to keep the unions on a legal leash

The class divide becomes more polarised week by week proving that the class war will intensify and become full-on in the next year leading up to the election in 2011. The right has the advantage of concentrated power and organisation. If the left is to win it has to organise the mass majority from the ground up based on the renewed vitality and power of the unions. Workers need to rebuild the unions as fighting, democratic organisations capable of throwing out the treacherous collaborationist union leaders, and building workers councils and defence committees as a power base to launch a general strike to defeat the NACT regime and open the road to a Workers and working Farmers Government