Two years after Obama’s “historical election,” the excitement in the region about the new US administration had quieted down. Obama’s promises of “change” to the discredited foreign policy of the Bush administration, that helped him get elected as the representative of American capitalism, have come up short of satisfying the illusions that his demagogic propaganda generated around the world. In essence, the imperialist foreign policy of the US has not changed in Latin America. Rather than a “hands off” approach on what America considers its exclusive sphere of influence (which some of his supporters wanted), what is driving Obama’s policy toward Latin America is an urgency to win back terrain lost in the region during the previous decades.
Various comrades and groups have sent us information and comments on this struggle that took place recently. We are deeply grateful to them for their collaboration and encourage them to continue. We all know that the media is not neutral and shamelessly serves its masters, the state and capital, sometimes implementing a total black-out on workers' struggles - particularly those that show clear tendencies towards solidarity, self –organisation and militancy...
The poor of Haiti have been remorselessly attacked and abused by the "international community" and particularly the USA. The extent of this disaster shows capitalism's responsibility for it and its total incapacity to be able to deal with its aftermath because profits are its key.
We are publishing the common statement of position adopted by 7 groups or organisations from 8 Latin American countries which draws together the work of a recently held internationalist meeting. This meeting, which was been planned for a year, was made possible by the emergence of these groups, the great majority of which did not exist 3 years ago...
State capitalists are just as much oppressors as private capitalists. We already know about the model of the ‘New Deal', the Stalinist Soviet Union, Fascism and Nazism, etc, all models that have served the interests of the bourgeoisie, defending capitalist class relations, and Chavez, Lula, Morales etc are doing nothing different"
We have received from some comrades in Ecuador a position about the
military tensions with Colombia following the incursion of
its troops onto Ecuadorian territory on the 1st March, when they
attacked the FARC. We are publishing the complete text here along with our
commentary in order to animate and contribute towards an internationalist
Throughout the world, the living conditions of the working class are under attack, whether by private bosses or the state, whether in the developed countries or the poorest. Attacks on wages, the aggravation of unemployment, lowering of benefits, growing constraints on conditions of work, deepening poverty - such is the price the proletariat pays for the crisis of capitalism. But these attacks are not raining down on a beaten proletariat, ready to passively accept all the sacrifices that are demanded of it.
On the contrary, we are seeing stronger and stronger reactions from the workers to counter these attacks. Despite the enormous black-out operated by the media in the developed countries, this is particularly the case in Latin America at the moment.
With the elections of Evo Morales in Bolivia and Michelle Bachelet in Chile, the bourgeoisie’s mouthpieces are once again spewing ideological venom, according to which these democratic elections have opened the door to new possibilities to help the have-nots in certain countries of Latin America. This is possible because the victors of such elections belong to Left parties, or to Center-Left coalitions. People such as Carlos Fuentes portray the election of Morales to the Bolivian presidency as a positive event, which supposedly serves to strengthen democracy, as before then “The Left had no other recourse but armed insurrection” (Reforma, 02/01/06).
intervening in Argentina has led us to engage with those who are helping
organize comedores populares, a version of the soup kitchen... We salute the attempt to build solidarity and to struggle against capitalism, which these efforts clearly suggest. However, we need to ask ourselves if these communal kitchens are really the most appropriate medium through which these aims can be obtained.
The US war of independence, 1776-1783, helped unify the new bourgeois class in North America, defined the nation-state and, therefore, sped up the development of capitalism. The consolidation of capitalism as a system, along with the extension of the market, shaped the American bourgeoisie?s perception of the European colonial powers, then present in the American continent as dominant forces, as enemies to fight on the economic and military terrains. This aspect of the dynamic of capitalism led the US to develop the Monroe doctrine (1823), which it used to shape the diplomatic argument in support of the national independence movements in the Latin American countries. In fact, though, it would be a threat to the old colonial powers of Europe, insofar as the declaration of ?America for the Americans? presented by the Doctrine, served a mechanism for the American bourgeoisie to define the American continents as territory under its own domination, and thus designated Latin America as its own ?backyard?.
The massive eruption of workers’ struggles May 1968 in France, followed by the movements in Italy, Britain, Spain, Poland and elsewhere signified the end of the period of counter-revolution that had weighed so heavily on the international working class since the defeat of the 1917-23 revolutionary wave. The proletarian giant stood once again on the stage of history, and not just in Europe. These struggles had a powerful echo in Latin America, beginning with the “Cordobaza” in Argentina in 1969. Throughout the region, between 1969 and 1975, from Chile in the South to Mexico on the US border, workers put up an intransigent fight against the bourgeoisie’s efforts to make them pay for the unfolding economic crisis. In the waves of struggle that followed, that of 1977-80 culminating in the mass strike in Poland, that of 1983-89 marked by massive struggles in Denmark and Belgium, and by large-scale struggles in many other countries, the proletariat of Latin America continued to struggle, albeit not in such a spectacular manner. In doing so, it demonstrated that whatever its different conditions, the working class is one and the same international class in one and the same fight against capitalism.
We are publishing below extracts from a long article by the comrades of the Nucleo Comunista Internacional in Argentina which makes an in-depth analysis of the so-called “piquetero” movement, denouncing its anti-working class nature and the self-interested lies with which leftist groups of every hue “have dedicated themselves to deceiving the workers with false hopes to make them believe that the aims and means of the piquetero movement contribute to advancing their struggle”.
Since the beginning of the year the population and working class of Haiti have been prey to murderous conflicts between the armed bands of President Aristide, the 'Chimeras', and the rival opposition clans with a drug trafficker, former police commissioner, Guy Philippe, at their head. Having conquered the towns in the north of the island, the armed opposition attacked the capital Port-au-Prince. After several days of bloody rioting and pillaging the American and French governments, who support the Haitian opposition, were eager to send several thousand soldiers, with the blessing of the UN, into this part of the Caribbean in order to chase the Aristide clan out of power and to re-establish 'democratic order and civil' peace and to 'protect the population'.
The Argentinean public employees who work for the state at national, provincial or municipal level are divided up by the artificial separation imposed by the constitution of the bourgeois state in 1853 and the various reforms that followed; but they are also divided by the activities of those other agents of the capitalist state, the trade unions. The public employees are affiliated to a myriad of union organisations, and this division has been institutionalised by capitalist legislation itself, such as the law on professional associations.
For Haiti, hurricane Jeanne is only the latest in a succession of horrific events. This year alone the population have suffered during the violent conflict in which ex-president Aristide was forced into exile, severe flooding in May which killed more than 3,000, and an earthquake on its border with Dominican Republic.
and Democracy: Two Faces of Capitalist Barbarism
September 1973, a bloody military coup led by General Pinochet
overthrew Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government. A
terrible period of repression of the working class followed:
thousands of people,1
mostly workers, were systematically massacred, tens of thousands
imprisoned and tortured. This appalling barbarity was accompanied
by hundreds of thousands of redundancies (10% of the workforce
during the first year of military dictatorship).