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A revolutionary strategy and a revolutionary program to intervene in Latin America and the US
Position paper of Partido Obrero (Argentina), Grupo Acción Revolucionaria (México), Juventud Obrera (Costa Rica), Agrupación Vilcapaza (Perú), Fuerza 18 de Octubre (Chile), Agrupación León Trotsky (Uruguay) and Agrupación Trabajadores Bolivianos presented to the Virtual Conference of Latin America and the United States.
1. The emergence of popular rebellion in the United States represents a blow to Donald Trump’s government, and –as agents or tributaries of US imperialism–, to all Latin American governments. For this same reason, it also represents a spur to workers’, popular and anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the subcontinent and a call to retake the path of popular rebellions of 2019. The pandemic has altered the political scenario in Latin America, but it is far from having closed the cycle of popular rebellions. The contradictions that gave rise to these outbreaks not only remain, but have been enhanced by the spread of these outbreaks. The arrival of the Covid-19 occurs at the same time that the popular rebellion in Chile was taking a new impulse, with the gigantic and combative mobilizations in March, and a few months after the great popular rebellions of Ecuador, Puerto Rico, the resistance of the Bolivian people against the coup, the general strikes in Colombia, the great educational strikes in Costa Rica and, further back, the rebellion in Nicaragua. The coronavirus pandemic has put these processes on hold, although it has in no way canceled them. With the arrival of Covid‑19, the subcontinent has been plunged into a true sanitary storm, and has been plunged even further into an economic, social and political crisis.
This perspective that has developed -that of renewed clashes between the ruling classes and their governments, on the one hand, and the working and oppressed masses, on the other-, presents the revolutionary left with the need to address the great problem of the processes of the 2019 popular rebellions: overcoming the crisis of leadership of the labor movement and the oppressed masses of Latin America. Addressing this crisis of leadership necessitates, first, to adjust a characterization of the moment and, secondly, the formulation of the program and the strategy that the revolutionary left must raise.
The pandemic in Latin America
2. In mid June, Latin America became the epicenter of the pandemic crisis, Brazil was positioned as the main infectious focus of the subcontinent and the second country affected by the pandemic worldwide (only surpassed by US). There is no doubt that the health catastrophe that harasses Latin America is the responsibility of the capitalist social class of the subcontinent and the different governments that, in one way or another, represent it. The pandemic exposed the serious crisis in housing, general job insecurity, the fall in access to health. The denialist policy about the pandemic, which especially characterized the government of the fascistizing Jair Bolsonaro and initially also the ‘neoliberal’ Sebastián Piñera and ‘national and popular’ presidents Manuel López Obrador and Daniel Ortega, is nothing more than the expression of the enormous lobby exercised by the capitalist classes in their respective countries. These capitalist classes, from the very beginning of the pandemic crisis, pressed for the continuity of all productive and economic activity and systematically acted against the establishment of preventive quarantines in order. Denialism, which in the case of Brazil remains to this day as the government’s guiding line, has wreaked havoc, enabling a sweeping spread of the virus and infecting the fascistizing Bolsonaro himself.
3. In those countries where more or less strict quarantines have been imposed, the capitalist lobby has finally prevailed throughout the weeks. The return to activities, especially industrial ones, was enabled, and “new normalities” were preventively established. In El Salvador, the strict quarantine promoted by Bukele was the battering ram to advance in a reinforcement of the repressive apparatus and state coercion. The “new normalities” were not enough to avoid the multiplication of infections and with this, there was a sudden collapse of the health systems. In this way, a long process of downsizing public health systems was made visible, produced by decades of austerity and privatization by all governments of all types, in favor of spurious business with private clinics.
4. The fight for the centralization of the health systems of each country, under the leadership of the health workers, is presented as a program with common characteristics for all Latin America. It is a fight in which nothing less than the life of the working masses is at stake. Similarly, the fight for the duplication of health budgets and for the nationalization without compensation of the pharmaceutical industries. The fight to defend or impose quarantines, against the employer’s need to continue production at any cost, and by workers’ safety and hygiene committees in every factory, company and workplace, are issues and demands that occupy a leading position today: an order that the revolutionary left must raise.
5. A historic economic collapse is also developing in connection with the health catastrophe. The Latin American collapse occurs in the context of the international capitalist bankruptcy, which was accelerated and deepened hand in hand with the pandemic contingency, inaugurating a period of economic depression that can only be compared to the Great Depression of the 1930”. This global economic collapse and the recessive trends were already clearly present long before the health contingency broke out, and this was corroborated by the monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve throughout 2019, which repeatedly reduced the interest rate with the aim of propping up the corporate profit rate and promote a productive investment plan. Likewise, overproduction led to a marked decline in investments, of such magnitude that it did not even compensate for the process of wear and tear on fixed capital. With the transformation of Covid-19 into a pandemic, the consequent border closings and the declaration of quarantines in many countries, a deep economic standstill and an unprecedented capitalist collapse were completed.
6. In Latin America, as in the rest of the world, financial investors sold their shares and fled en masse to buy US Treasury bonds. These processes led to the collapse of the price of the main companies in Latin American countries and the collapse of their respective stocks. In March, the São Paulo stock exchange had to stop its activities in order to contain the collapse of the Bovespa –five times. This picture was combined with the virtual freezing of world trade and the collapse of commodity prices, which had already come from a sharp decline in the entire period prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. The fall in prices and sales of raw materials, the main exportation of the countries of the subcontinent, undermined the foreign exchange earnings of the South American countries. The collapse of unprecedented characteristics of the oil price, accumulating a 40% drop so far in 2020, particularly hit the economies of Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico and Ecuador, and frustrated the attempt by the Alberto Fernández government to transform Argentina in crude oil exporter through the gigantic Vaca Muerta hydrocarbon reserve. The drop in soybean prices, particularly as a result of the drop in Chinese demand, cut projections of foreign exchange earnings in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The drop in the price of copper hit particularly the economies of Chile and Peru, the world’s leading exporters of the red metal.
7. This phenomenon of shortage of foreign currency ended up spurring a huge process of capital flight. Between January and April 2020, a whopping 150 billion dollars escaped from Latin American countries, which in turn resulted in the devaluation of most Latin American currencies. The Brazilian real is at its record low, accumulating a 40% devaluation throughout this year. This, despite the interventionist policy of the Central Bank of Brazil, which squandered reserves in the exchange market to try to contain the price of the real. As a consequence of this disaster, at the end of June the IMF adjusted its economic projections for April and forecast a collapse in the GDP of Latin America and the Caribbean of 9.4% by 2020. For the two large Latin American economies, Brazil and Mexico, a collapse of 9.1% and 10.05% respectively was projected. For Peru, the expected collapse is 12%. And for Argentina, the third largest economy in the subcontinent, it is considered a 9.9% drop. However, a few days after the IMF announcement, Argentina made the largest decline in the country’s history official in a single month. In April, when the Argentine quarantine was most intense, the economy was reduced 26.4% in reference to April 2019. In Central America and the Caribbean, the drop in exports is combined with the collapse of tourism of between 40 and 70 points, in a branch that represents 25% of total GDP in the region.
8. Hand in hand with the collapse of the GDPs, the relative weights of sovereign debts grew and fiscal imbalances increased significantly. The IMF estimates that the average fiscal deficit in Latin America will be around 8.9%. However, despite this, a new cycle of indebtedness has been restarted in the countries of the subcontinent, which is explained by the huge monetary issue and the negative interest rates imposed by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. What has happened is that a new ‘carry trade’ has been launched, the mechanism by which investors borrow at little or no cost and invest that capital in the public debts of the ‘emerging’ or underdeveloped countries. This new financial bicycle, which is carried out at the cost of a greater and renewed robbery of Latin American countries, has even more risky characteristics than in the past. It happens that, as we indicated above, the situation of the Latin American economy is conditioned by a recession of historical characteristics, a gigantic growth in corporate debts, a collapse in international prices of raw materials, the growth of deficits fiscal, the relative and absolute growth of public debts, the devaluations of local currencies and the waste of fiscal reserves. One of Latin American countries, Argentina, is immersed in a virtual default, has a public debt of more than 100% of its GDP and has no access to the international credit market. But the economic situation of Argentina begins to be the horizon of all Latin American countries. In fact, during the first months of the pandemic, Chile and Peru had to resort to a rescue package from the International Monetary Fund. Colombia and Costa Rica, presented as new models by the OECD, are being eaten away by the fiscal deficit, diverting IMF loans to operating expenses and business subsidies.
9. The crisis has once again shown that the capitalist world collapse can only be faced with anti-capitalist and socialist measures. The fight for non-payment of external debts, for the rupture with the IMF and with the imperialism, for extraordinary taxes on large incomes and fortunes, for the nationalization without compensation of banking systems, foreign trade and natural resources, such as oil, gas, mining and energy resources, etc. and general workers’ control has a continental scope. In all of Latin America, the agitation and the fight for this workers’ program to solve the crisis is a fundamental task of the revolutionary left. The fight for this program is inextricably linked to the fight for workers’ governments and for the reconstruction of an international revolutionary political leadership: the Fourth International.
The hand of imperialism, its agents and the coups
10. The Donald Trump government spares no effort to achieve greater interference in Latin America. This is what explains Trump’s demand for it to be an American, Claver Carone, who presides over the IDB for the next five years, contradicting an organism “unwritten law” that establishes that its presidency corresponds to a Latin American country. Trump wants to ensure full control of this institution to reinforce a policy of blocking Chinese contractor and financial companies in the subcontinent. When the New York Times dedicated the cover of its newspaper in 2018 to condemn the Chinese military space base installed in the province of Neuquén (Argentina), it was already evident that Latin America had become a field of dispute in the economic war between the United States and China. There is a common thread between Trump’s move to take direct control of the IDB, the mobilization in June this year of three North American aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean, threatening the eastern exit from China, and the bloody combat in Kashmir between China and India (a partner of the US).
11. The appointment of Claver Carone also points to another strategic objective for Yankee imperialism. Carone is a gusano [counterrevolutionary Cuban émigré] of the Republican party, openly identified as a staunch enemy of the regimes of Venezuela and Cuba. Carone’s appointment already has the support of Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti and Uruguay. Imperialism wants to put an end to the Bolivarian regime headed by Maduro, and that this be the fulcrum to deliver a final coup de grace to the Cuban regime. Precisely, the Lima Group, which gathers the main Latin American leaders and was born under the auspices of Yankee imperialism, was born with the explicit objective of condemning the Venezuelan government. After the successive failures of Juan Guaidó, the puppet of the Yankees in Venezuela, to seize political power, imperialism has implemented various avenues with the aim of breaking the Maduro regime. As part of this coup offensive, it must be noted the US government’s agreement with President Iván Duque in early June to enable the deployment of 800 US soldiers in Colombia, where there are already seven Yankee military bases installed, with the aim of encircling Venezuela. This military deployment was preceded by two failed landings of coup mercenaries in early May, called “Operation Gadeón”, and by the navigation of American ships on the Venezuelan coast in early April. Along these lines, the preparation of the Brazilian army for possible armed conflicts in South America must also be noted, placing Venezuela as a critical point in the region. The criminal economic blockade that the United States and the European Union carry out on Venezuela, and the confiscation of 30 tons of Venezuelan gold by British bank pirates, are also part of the reactionary and coup package. The Sandinista Front in Nicaragua and the Farabundo Martí Front in El Salvador, expressions of Central American nationalism, followed the same course as the rest of the Forum’s forces, in alignment with the local bourgeoisie and the financial capital. Ortega’s Sandinista government responded with criminal repression the gigantic rebellion that rose against the IMF’s pension reform.
12. Maduro intends to end the majority that holds the coupist right wing in the National Assembly by calling new parliamentary elections for December this year. The attempt by his government to sweep out the right sector of the parliament and reestablish full dominance of the regime he leads, is being carried out at a moment when, protected by the economic sanctions of imperialism, he is executing a strong adjustment against the workers and the Venezuelan people, initiating a process of dollarization of fuel prices and decisively advancing in the scrapping and privatization of PDVSA (the state oil company). The adjustment of the Maduro government is what has begun to arouse reactions from the working class, which also reject the government’s persecution of union activists. In particular, the struggle of the oil workers in defense of wages and collective labor agreements stand out.
13. The revolutionary left must be placed in the first line of combat against reactionary and pro-imperialist coupists. Only from this field, the one of a decided battle against the reactionary, the left will be able to seize the necessary political authority to uproot the workers’ vanguard and the working masses from the influence of capitalist’s nationalism, and run to lead a workers’ and popular movement under the flags of socialism. With these objectives, we face the coup in Bolivia and denounce the blockade and the imperialist attacks against Venezuela, with complete independence from the nationalist leaderships. Bolivia’s coup is exemplary in this regard. Morales’s confidence in the OAS and his refusal to fully develop the workers’ and popular mobilization ended up encouraging the coup. Venezuela’s defense against pro-imperialist coupism depends on the mobilization of the exploited Latin Americans. That defense will not come from Russia or China, which are advancing in a process of economic colonization of Venezuela, taking advantage of the ongoing privatization of oil resources that the Maduro government itself has been encouraging, and which are pursuing their own interests with the Venezuelan scrapping and will not hesitate to use the Caribbean country as a currency in their negotiations with the Yankee imperialism.
The fight against the coup is a matter of principle, because it means defending the positions conquered by the working class against the capitalist offensive -in no way to support the deposed capitalist government. Any hesitation or “confusion” on the left in the face of a coup offensive -as has happened with the organizations that accompanied the “revolts” that preceded the reactionary coup in Bolivia in 2019, or with those who joined in agitating the ‘Fuera Maduro’ (out with Maduro) at the same time that Guaidó proclaimed himself president of the Bolivarian Republic, or, further back, of the one who declared himself neutral in the face of the coup against Dilma-, represents the direct passport of that “left” to the dump of history.
From São Paulo to Puebla
14. The response of Latin American ‘progressives’ to the alignment of the continental right in the Lima Group was the creation of the Puebla Group in July 2019. The Puebla Group appears as the devalued version of what was once the São Paulo Forum, which emerged as a regrouping of Latin American nationalist and leftist forces against ‘neoliberal’ regimes. Largely, the forces that make up the Forum became government throughout Latin America, on the basis of becoming the left custodians of the capitalist regime in the face of the crises and rebellions emergence in the beginning of the century (Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc). The experience of the São Paulo Forum ended in a tragedy. The failures of Unasur and Mercosur were the concrete expression of the impossibility of a Latin American integration (the so-called ‘Patria Grande’ or the Greater Homeland) on capitalist bases. With the world crisis, starting in 2008, the weakness of the merely rentier survival plan of the ‘national and popular’ governments of Latin America became evident. They sank with the prices fall of raw materials: they were unable to overcome the semi-colonial status and the production of only raw materials. The “national bourgeoisies”, ended up mired in the corruption cases of the Odebrechts or the Lópezes (which the right exploited to promote political change). The anti-worker character of governments such as that of Lula or Cristina was revealed in their maintenance of job insecurity, intervention against numerous strikes and the strengthening of the nationalization of union organizations against any attempt at independent organization. Their budget adjustment policies gave rise to a long process of political decline, which ended up encouraging the coup, to which they did not respond, and the electoral rise of new right-wing governments at continental level, such as the ones of Bolsonaro, Piñera, Macri, Lacalle Pou, etc.
15. The Puebla Group promises nothing more than to be a farce. Its farcical character is given, first of all, by the leadership exercised by Alberto Fernández, who has maintained Argentina status as a member of the Lima Group, that is, in the very organization of the Latin American reaction. In the midst of the health and social crisis in Argentina, Fernández is leading the process of restructuring the external debt, which represents a flat and smooth capitulation to the demands of the financial capital and the International Monetary Fund. Puebla also includes former presidents Lula Da Silva and Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Fernando Lugo (Paraguay). Also Daniel Martínez (former candidate for president for the ‘Frente Amplio’, or Broad Front, of Uruguay), Verónika Mendoza (former presidential candidate for the Peruvian Broad Front) and various leaders of the Mexican Party of the Democratic Revolution (or PRD, for its initials in Spanish) and the Communist Party of Chile. To erase any vestige of confrontation with imperialism, the ‘progressives’ have marginalized Venezuela and Cuba from the group, under the pretext of being respectful of ‘the democracy and the institutions’. Alberto Fernández has just granted another gesture to imperialism, with the accession of the Argentine delegation to the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, headed by the former Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, against Venezuela.
16. Another gesture as or more important that the Puebla Group had towards the establishment was its categorical definition against popular rebellions and the direct action of the masses to defeat pro-imperialist coupism. This was expressed last November at the Puebla summit in Buenos Aires, at a time when the Chilean rebellion was in full swing and an extraordinary popular response against the coup in Bolivia was growing. The participation of the Communist Party of Chile in Puebla is not a minor fact, since it has been the ultimate support for the cornered Piñera government. Formally, outside the setup of the Puebla Group there is another benchmark of the ‘progressive’ or ‘national and popular’ field: the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Since taking possession of the Mexican presidency on December 1, 2018, AMLO did not make any trips abroad until July 2020. His first international tour was to visit Donald Trump, under the pretext of celebrating the signing of the neocolonial Free Trade Agreement, signed by Mexico, the USA and Canada a year ago. AMLO mobilized, objectively propping up Trump’s candidacy, at a moment when the image of the magnate is collapsing as a consequence of his disastrous management of the health crisis and the exacerbation of the social crisis caused by the impact of the capitalist bankruptcy. But, above all, AMLO went to the US at a time when an extraordinary popular rebellion is developing, led especially by the African-American community, and awakening enormous sympathy among the Latino community residing in the United States. In summary, AMLO starred in a colonializing act rarely seen before.
17. The so-called “fight against the right-wing” proclaimed by Latin American ‘progressivism’ is nothing more than a mere story. The revolutionary left must distinguish the real existent coup offensives from the nationalist crowing, which only seeks to muzzle the workers’ organizations and the left, and thus deprive them of their action and their criticism with the aim of subordinating them to the nationalist or populist-front government. Nationalism must be opposed by promoting the direct action of the working class for its immediate demands and an economic and political program of the workers so that the crisis is paid by the capitalists. Latin American unity can only be achieved by workers’ governments at a subcontinent level. That is to say, on socialist bases.
Anti-worker offensive, program and the fight for unions
18. Latin America is also the continent most affected by the social crisis. The capitalist class and the different governments are unloading the crisis on the backs of the workers. An ILO report points out that while working hours worldwide fell by 14%, in Latin America that percentage rises to 20.5%, above North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Of the 400 million jobs lost worldwide, 47 million are concentrated in Latin America alone. This gigantic destruction of jobs was preceded by a longstanding picture of labor informality. The very ILO stated in early May that 54% of the 298 million employed workers are employed informaly -that is to say, 158 million workers. In countries like Bolivia and Nicaragua, which have had ‘national and popular’ governments for many years, the informality rates are close to 80%, and Guatemala has a similar index. But rates are also high in Argentina (47.2%), Brazil (46%) and Chile (40.5%). According to the ILO reports, 90% of these precarious workers suffered a reduction in their income. But while worldwide reductions in the income of informal workers meant an average loss of 60%, in Latin America and the Caribbean that loss reaches 80%. The growth of unemployment and the widespread phenomenon of labor informality are also the field of an extraordinary offensive against the labor force and pension regimes, with the counterpart of new restrictions on the right to protest.
19. This context of a phenomenal attack against the living conditions of the working masses, further highlights the paralysis and collaborationism on the part of the bureaucracies of the workers’ unions in all countries. The union bureaucracies were decisive in containing the open and determined intervention of the labor movement in the course of the 2019 popular rebellions. In this way, they managed to avoid the fall of the governments hacked by the struggle of the masses. Now, these same bureaucracies of the workers’ unions play a strategic role for the Latin American capitalist social classes, validating the anti-worker offensives. This is valid for the pro-government General Labor Confederation of Argentina (CGT, for its initials in Spanish), as well as for the ‘opposition’ of the Unique Workers’ Center (CUT) of Brazil and Chile, etc. The demand that the workers’ organizations break ties with the bourgeoisie, the State and the capitalists’ parties is completely up to date as a method to defend the political independence of the workers’ organizations. This approach is completely different from the claim or expectation of a change of course by the bourgeois or petty bourgeois parties, that play a leading role in most of the of the workers’ unions in Latin American. The fight for the political independence of the workers’ organizations is, above all, a method to accelerate the process of separating the workers’ bases from their bureaucratic and capitalist leadership, not to correct the capitalist course of that leadership or for its self-regeneration.
20. It is imperative to respond to this social attack with a program of the working-class’ immediate demands and an action plan. Facing mass unemployment means raising the demand for an unemployment insurance that is equivalent to the cost of living in each country, and fighting for the general distribution of working hours without reducing wages. Putting a limit to the layoffs poses the question of promoting the occupation of any factory or company that closes or dismisses employees. And confronting famine entails organizing the fight for minimum wages and pensions that are equivalent to the cost of living in each Latin American country. In order to foster these minimum demands, together with the fight to end job insecurity and informality, to repeal the labor and pension reforms and to end private pension systems, we promote the united front of workers and workers’ organizations. We carry out this promotion for a united fight front, understood as a practical agreement with all the participant currents to promote a mass struggle, without ever sacrificing the Party agitation for the independent structuring of the working class, the workers’ government and socialism. The fight for the workers’ immediate demands puts on the agenda the fight to kick out the sellout union bureaucracies, the promotion of worker congresses in each Latin American country and the plans to fight until a general strike is reached to impose these congresses.
Mass movements and revolutionary politics
21. The great rebellions in Latin America and the United States were preceded and led, to a large extent, by mass movements with a strongly combative dynamic, which have made the historical methods of the working class their own – despite not having a defined class anchor. In recent years, the women’s and diversities movement has stood out, like no other, for its confrontation with right-wing governments, which have misogyny and discrimination against diversities as a common feature. Both the “Ele Não” against Bolsonaro and the “Me too” in the United States staged mass mobilizations. In the same way, it is necessary to highlight the enormous fight waged in Argentina for the right to abortion. In Chile, the massive women’s movement struggle anticipated largely the outbreak of the October 18th rebellion.
Now, the women’s movement appears again as the spearhead of the revitalization of the Chilean popular rebellion. The student’s movement, of qualified, precarious and/or unemployed youth, has played a leading role in the great rebellions in Chile, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua, and in the general strikes in Colombia. It plays, also, a leading role in the emergency of the environmental struggle movement, which poses, in the background, a clash with the entire prevailing social regime, which is ultimately responsible for the destruction of the planet for the sake of capitalist accumulation. For their part, the indigenous people have been the main protagonists of the resistance and the fight against the coup in Bolivia, as well as of the Ecuadorian rebellion.
We claim the need for the revolutionary left to occupy a prominent place in all the struggles caused by social or national oppression and alongside all the classes, groups or nationalities that suffer oppression or arbitrariness. The fight against capital integrates the totality of the antagonisms created or reinforced by world capitalist domination. We participate in and promote the struggle of women, indigenous peoples, peasants, undocumented immigrants, enslaved children, young people who demand the full right to education and in defense of the environment. We promote intervention in these struggles not in defense of punctual solutions, but to produce a single international movement for the victory of the socialist revolution. A workers’ vanguard can only claim its place in the combative rows of the international industrial proletariat by participating in the struggles against all kinds of oppression.
22. The women’s struggle has revealed the deep interference of the Churches in state affairs and the subordination of capitalist governments, being rightist or ‘progressive’, to the different clerical lobbies. Intervention in the women’s struggle movement of the parties and forces of capital, pursues the objective of fitting these movements into the framework of the regime and perpetuating the capitalist relations of production – which represent the social edifice on which sexist and patriarchal culture is built. In opposition to the left that intervenes in the women’s movement in an undifferentiated way from the bourgeois forces and recreates within it a sort of ‘popular feminist front’, on one hand; and to the left that despises the intervention in the movement for its multiclass character and takes refuge in immaculate sectarianism, on the other hand, we demand the active intervention of the revolutionary left in the movement, defending the political independence of the working class.
We intervene in the movement promoting the joint struggle of our class, overcoming any kind of divisions by gender or sexuality, for the right to legal, safe and free abortion, for contraceptives and for sexual education, for the separation of the Churches from the States, for the end of sexist violence and hate crimes, for all the demands of the LGTBI movement, etc. We highlight the ‘double oppression’ that affects women, as members of the working class and, at the same time, responsible for the unpaid labor for domestic tasks. Only in this way, being the most consistent force in promoting women’s demands, and without ever lowering the flags of class independence, the left will be able to fight for the conquest of the political leadership of the women’s movement and attach it to the fight for the government of the working class.
23. The popular rebellion in the US has the black community as the central protagonist. However, it has a massive multiracial character, overcoming the solidarity demonstrations of radicalized white sectors and advancing in a true common struggle. The scope of the ongoing struggle stands out for its connection with the growing labor conflict and for the severity of the country’s crisis, both in health, economic, social and political matters. Strikes and worker’s protests over working conditions have multiplied with the worsening pandemic, marking a tendency for the organized working class to converge with the rebellion led by the black community. Most of the American left, particularly the one that has colluded with Bernie Sanders, as the powerful organization of Socialist Democrats (DSA), does not support the claim for autonomy of sectors of the black community. The “leftist” criticism of the centrality of racial demands, with a classist language, hides that DSA is lagging behind the most combative sectors of the black movement, that have identified the imperialist state of the United States as its main enemy and anti-imperialist fighters of the world as their allies. Any principle of autonomy for the black community equals a declaration of hostility to the US imperialist state. It is not a matter of imposing national separation on the black community. A revolutionary victory would have to be the foundation of a larger unity. But that unity cannot avoid the historical oppression suffered, it must recognize and defeat it. Only by unconditionally claiming the rights of the black population, including the right to their autonomy, can the foundations be laid and advance in the unity of every American worker and the exploited against the current capitalist social order. The agitation and defense of this right for the black community must be accompanied by a whole program of universal characteristics, which includes the immediate demands of the entire North American working class and an economic and political program of all the workers.
Revolutionary politics and strategy
24. The cocktail of health contingency, economic collapse and social disaster, has unleashed real political and government crises. Brazil is probably the country where the political crisis is most acute, with the departure of two Health Ministers, the Minister of Education and, in April, the Super Minister of Justice and Security Sergio Moro. However, in the context of the crisis, there have also been resignations of high-ranking officials in Chile, Peru and Ecuador. It is in this critical context where the intervention of workers and popular sectors begins to emerge. This is confirmed by the national days of protest in Chile against the Pension Fund Administrators (AFP) and the national strike of dock workers, the mobilizations in Bolivia promoted by the Bolivian Workers’ Center (COB) against the Añez government, the marches in Ecuador against Lenin Moreno’s pro IMF measures, anti-government protests -facists in Brazil, union mobilizations against pension reform in Paraguay, and internationally coordinated stoppages and mobilizations of delivery workers. These struggles, which are taking place in the midst of a pandemic crisis, indicate that the cycle of popular rebellions in Latin America has by no means been closed. On the contrary, the cycle remains open and the North American rebellion represents a formidable stimulus for its empowerment and development.
25. This open perspective proposes balancing the role of mass organizations in the great processes of the past year. As seen in Chile with the ‘Unidad Social’ (Social Unity), under the political leadership of the Communist Party, or in Ecuador with the Conaie, both organizations refused to lead the fight for the fall of the governments of their respective countries. This, despite the insurrectional picture of the masses and the widespread popular chants demanding the resignation of Piñera and Lenin Moreno. In this way, these organizations became, objectively, a brake on the evolution of the struggling masses and the ultimate supporters of the capitalist governments besieged by popular rebellions. This represents the main political aspect that must be addressed by the vanguard of the working class and the exploited in Latin America. The initiative proposed by the Argentine Workers’ Party and collected by the parties of the Left Front and the Workers – Unity (FIT-U), to promote a Latin American Conference of the left and the combative sectors of the labor movement, aims to tackle this political problem of first-order.
26. For 9 years, the Left Front (FIT-U), with its contradictions and limits, held high the banner of class independence and the fight for workers’ government in Argentina. However, it is clear that this independence has been sustained against solvent tendencies that emanate, on many occasions, from the Front parties themselves. These trends have had a privileged scenario in Brazil, where the sister organizations of the Socialist Left and the MST, the CST and AS, respectively, are integrated into the PSOL, a “broad party” with center-left characteristics and class collaboration. The MRT (sister organization of the PTS), in turn asked for their PSOL membership, and although that membership was denied, this was not an impediment to integrate the PSOL lists in 2018, when it proclaimed as its fundamental orientation to promote “a parliamentary front committed to the reconstruction and development of Brazil” along with the PT, the PCdoB, PDT and PSB. The PSOL has not gone beyond an electoral seal, based on a superstructural agreement on trends. Indeed, the PSOL has not endeavoured to be the engine of the class struggle, and it has been acting as a caboose for Lulism. Currently, PSOL integrates an “anti-Bolsonaro” front together with parties from the bourgeoisie, many of which played a leading role in the parliamentary coup against Dilma. IS also integrates the Broad Front of Peru, a democratizing front opposed to the strategy of the workers’ government. The 2019 electoral campaign of “UNIOS en el Frente Amplio” (Unite in the Broad Front), the sister organization of IS in Peru, had as its two main axes “the fight against corruption” and “against insecurity”, even demanding that “the police comply with their job”. These facts reveal the tendencies to electoralism that nest on the left. The parliamentary expectation and appetites for a position is the lure to sacrifice the fight for the workers’ political independence. Before and after, the electoral tendencies had been strongly expressed, as evidenced by the PTS’ use of all the workers’ struggle tribunes for the mere projection of their electoral candidates.
27. The dissolution of the left into ‘broad’ fronts or parties with a center-left hue, which regroup organizations with contradictory policies under the same hallmark and are led by cliques with mere electoral appetites that advocate class collaboration, undermined the fight for the workers’ independent political structuring. In opposition to the political dissolution, the preparation of the new round of popular rebellion incubations demands to fully unfold the struggle to set up revolutionary workers’ parties throughout Latin America. In opposition to the construction of electoral apparatus to thrive through parliamentary seats under the shadow of ‘broad’ parties or fronts, on the one hand, or the withdrawal of left groups to messianic and ‘spotless’ propaganda, on the other, we propose the setting up of combat parties of the working class to fight for workers’ governments. In opposition to the projection of mere referents or electoral candidates, we promote the formation of political leaders of the working class, who are the organizers and socialist tribunes of the workers. In opposition to the publication of mere ‘left news’, we promote the establishment of party’s political tools, newspapers that are the instrument to centrally develop the agitation and revolutionary propaganda, the organization of the class and the revolutionary party. The next stage calls for a political party struggle, that is, a struggle that must be waged through agitation, propaganda, and the organization of the workers and youth vanguard.
The revolutionary left -that promotes a workers’ organizations united front to enforce the workers’ struggle and subordinates the parliamentary roles to the urge of the working class direct action- also works for the workers’ political independence with a clear strategic proposal that is summarized in the following slogans: “Out with Trump and his agents from Latin America”; “Out with the Bolsonaros, the Piñeras, the Añezes and the Lenin Morenos”; “Down with the governments of national sellout, austerity and repression against workers, enough with capitalist governments”; “Let the crisis be paid by the capitalists, for a workers’ solution to the crisis”; “For workers’ governments, for the Socialist Unity of Latin America including Puerto Rico”.
28. The organizations signing this document, who consider ourselves as part of the revolutionary left, will participate in the Latin American and US Conference convened by the FIT-U of Argentina based on the characterizations and definitions set forth in this text. The political and strategic clarification and delimitation, regarding the tasks of the left and the labor movement, represent a fundamental aspect of the struggle to overcome the leadership crisis of the proletariat.