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Bolivia: Long live the revoltionary program of the the workers, peasants, miners and students of El Alto!

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For the Nationalisations of the Hydrocarbons!

Out with Mesa! Dissolve the Parliament!

For Workers’ Militias and a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government!

The masses of Bolivian workers and peasants have begun a new revolutionary fight. This uprising has not come out of the blue. It takes place just weeks after the Ecuadorian workers and students, rising up as an independent mass, demolished the pro-imperialist government of Gutiérrez, shouting “Que se vayan todos” [“all go away” the cry of the Argentinazo of 2001] not only against the bourgeois institutions, the bosses’ parliament and the politicians, but also against the Stalinist, Maoist and Castroist leaders that helped to elect Gutiérrez as President and that, along with World Social Forum, continued to defend him.

US imperialism has imposed a severe defeat on the nation of Iraq, crushed the Palestinian workers and people, and because of the treacherous betrayals of the leaders, contained the masses in Latin America, strangling the revolutionary struggle in Argentina and holding it back in Bolivia. Now it has relaunched an offensive in its back yard to impose new colonial laws like the FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] and the FTAA [Free Trade Agreement of the Americas] to guarantee access to the natural resources and payment of the external debts of all the nations of the continent.

The renewed revolutionary uprising of the masses of Ecuador and now in Bolivia, the struggle of the workers and students in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the revolt of the students in Chile, the build up of workers and students struggles in Argentina, are the anti-imperialist response of the Latin American masses to the intensified attacks by imperialism. The revolutionary uprisings in Bolivia and Ecuador in Latin American; Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in Eurasia; the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses and the resurgence of anti-imperialist struggles in Afghanistan in the hearts of these Yankee protectorates, pose a challenge to the fragile stability created by imperialism with its victorious counter-revolutions.

These events in Bolivia accelerate from day to day. The government of Mesa did not oppose the hydrocarbon law passed by parliament. It will become law automatically. Obviously, fearing a new revolutionary uprising the bourgeoisie has made some small concessions to keep negotiations open. This is the position of Evo Morales: to negotiate with the bourgeoisie over the percentage of the gas royalties, where the national bourgeoisie acting as the junior partner of imperialism in the exploitation of the natural resources of Bolivia, asks for the scraps, while imperialism takes the lion’s share of the huge wealth made from plundering the gas and oil.

The workers and peasants, with the miners in the front line, once more rise up with the central objective: “Nationalization of the gas without compensation, out with Mesa, close down Parliament”

But the passing of the law far from calming the situation has stirred it up. From Monday May 16, the revolutionary masses have taken to the streets, with pickets, roadblocks, general strikes like that of the teachers, and barricades, raising the slogan of the moment: ¡nationalization without compensation of the gas and oil, down with Mesa and the parliament that serves the oil companies!

Since Monday the 16 there has been no halt to the demonstrations in La Paz, with thousands of workers and peasants, now headed by the miners, surrounding the parliament and carrying out pitched battles with the police, responding with “puppies” of dynamite to grapeshot and tear gas. The Congress of the Federation of mining workers that was being held in Huanuni suspended its sessions, and the miners are already in La Paz at the head of the fight. The urban and rural teachers have declared an indefinite strike.

On the 20 of May, El Alto stopped for 24 hours, blocking the Freeway, and once more tens of thousands led by the miners were mobilized in La Paz, and the bourgeoisie, terrified, evacuated parliament. A indefinite general strike was planned to begin on Monday 23 of May by the ‘extended’ emergency meeting [delegates of all organizations in struggle] of the COR [Regional Workers Centre] of El Alto, which included the miners, the COB [Bolivian Workers’ Centre, affiliates of the national organization of Bolivian workers] the Fejuve, [Federación de Juntas Vecinales, or federation of community groups] the students, the teachers and other sectors in struggle.

In February 2003, the cry was “Fusil, metralla, Bolivia no se calla”, [“Guns, shrapnel, Bolivia will not be quiet”], in October 2003 the cry was “El gas y el petróleo para los bolivianos” [“gas and oil for the Bolivians”]. With the repeated uprisings of the masses they have learned from experience, even without the presence of a Marxist party, that the bourgeoisie uses different manoeuvres to counter the revolutionary situation.

With this experience, the masses have not only confronted the government of Mesa, but their own treacherous leaders in the COB and the peasant organizations. In February 2003 and October 2003, the revolutionary masses rose up, despite these leaders, and brought down the murderous government of Goni [Lozada]. But the leaders of the COB and the peasants then took back control over the workers uprising, giving the power to Mesa [Goni’s deputy who continued his policies] who formed a new government of the Rosca [mine owners] and oil companies.

For one and a half years, the treacherous leaders made truces and pacts with the new government. The national bourgeoisie, with Evo Morales at its head, used the enormous mobilization of masses to increase its share of the gas royalties. Today, with this third revolutionary uprising, the workers and farmers are trying to break out of the containment pacts made between their leaders and the different bourgeois groups, and to free the masses to directly confront the capitalists in Bolivia and in all of Latin America.

Therefore, on one side of the barricades are the mine owners and its puppet government; the Castroite leadership of the COB (Solares) and Evo Morales, who represents the national bourgeoisie in negotiating an increased share of the oil wealth at the expense of the Bolivian masses. On the other side of the barricades are the revolutionary masses of workers and farmers who raise the demands “Out with Mesa, down with parliament and nationalize the gas and oil without compensation”.

In the same way, on the bosses’ side of the barricades are the members of the World Social Forum, supporting Mesa in the same way they supported Gutiérrez – the servant of the IMF in Ecuador. On the other side of the barricades alongside the masses of workers and farmers in the struggle, are the internationalist Trotskyists, the Latin American revolutionaries. These barricades separate the classes in struggle in Bolivia and the whole continent.

The bourgeoisie is divided on how to defeat the masses that once more rise up to complete the revolution. Again the treacherous leaders of the masses are called upon to betray the masses’ struggle.

Facing the new revolutionary offensive of the masses the bourgeoisie is divided. One fraction, the bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz, Tarija and the Medialuna, where most of the oil and gas reserves are found, are campaigning, with the support of the oil companies, for much greater regional autonomy. On the other hand, there are two other fractions advancing different policies to try to prevent that the masses from throwing out Mesa and destroying the mine owners’ regime.

One fraction of the bourgeoisie, with Mesa and Evo Morales at its head, tries to contain the masses within a ‘democratic reactionary’ solution. It proposes new elections for a Constituent Assembly, elections of prefects, and a referendum on regional autonomy. This is designed to stabilize the regime and allow time for the different bourgeois fractions to negotiate their shares of the oil wealth and the surplus value of the working class. Thus Evo Morales opposed Mesa’s resignation and advised him to send troops to the oil wells to prevent mass occupations. He constantly acts as a ‘safety valve’ turning the revolutionary struggles of the workers and farmers towards parliamentary elections and referendums, rescuing the government of Mesa, the reactionary regime of the mine owners, and the Bolivian state from collapse.

Another fraction of the bourgeoisie tries to abort the revolutionary uprising of the masses by promoting a nationalistic way out. Mesa would be replaced by a ‘patriotic’ military regime that would contain the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle of the masses like Chavez has done in Venezuela. Solares and the Castroist leadership of the COB are working to implement this bourgeois solution under pressure of the masses to call for the resignation of Mesa and the closing of parliament.

That’s why Solares has said: “If there were an honest military man like Hugo Chávez, I would support him” (Clarin, 20/05/05). But the lesson of Venezuela clearly demonstrates to the workers and farmers of Latin America that, because of Chávez, Venezuelan oil fuels Bush’s military machine in Iraq while Repsol makes superprofits. In the same way, any general or colonel of the Bolivian army, even though Solares dresses him up him as “patriotic”, will give the gas to the Yankees and not the workers and farmers. Meanwhile, POR [Revolutionary Workers’ Party] of Bolivia – that has already openly renounced the program of Trotskyism – calls for the convening of a Popular Assembly like that of 1971. That is to say, to repeat what General Torres, that supposedly ‘patriotic’ military man, did in 1971. POR therefore provides a programmatic left cover to the policy of class collaboration of Solares and the Castroite leadership of the COB.

The main objective of i.e. Castroite leadership of the COB and of Evo Morales is to prevent the masses from throwing out Mesa, destroying the mine owners regime, winning the rank and file soldiers in the army, and creating dual power organs capable of making an insurrection. For that reason, all their forces are used to prevent the miners, workers, farmers and students who have been struggling for ten days against the police and army, from taking the Plaza Murillo in La Paz, the seat of Parliament.

The treacherous leaders fear like death that the workers and peasants will take the same road as that of the workers and oppressed people of Ecuador. They know that if the workers and farmers take the plaza and occupy parliament, the mining bosses’ regime and the Bolivian semi-colonial state would be split wide open, and a period of dual power would be opened where the masses would counterpose to the weakened bourgeois state their own power based on their organs of struggle, direct democracy and self-defense.

For that reason, in the different regions and departments the bureaucracy has decided against a massive march to La Paz, but only to send delegations of the COD’s [Departmental sections of COB] and COR’s [Regional sections of COB] and the Civic Committees [FUJEVE] headed by bureaucratic leaders whose task is to restrain the masses and to withdraw them from the Plaza Murillo. All the bureaucrats of the COB, COD, COR’s and FUJEVE that converge on La Paz, although throwing some dynamite “puppies”, have only one objective which is to stop the masses from taking the Plaza Murillo and the Parliament. For that reason, Evo Morales called for the roadblocks to be lifted and a truce until Monday 30 of May.

That fraction of the bourgeoisie that is trying to revive the puppet parliament – to meet in session while surrounded by the miners, workers and peasants who have returned to occupy La Paz and face the police defending the Plaza Murrillo and the seat of Parliament – seeks to divert the masses by calling for new presidential elections, referendums or for a Constituent Assembly, to prevent that the masses from carrying through their demands to bring down Mesa and parliament and open up a revolutionary crisis in the regime.

Meanwhile, the officers of the armed forces are on alert over the “danger of the disintegration” of the regime. What deceit: the real disintegration of the Bolivian nation has been caused by the capitalist gangs –the oil companies and the national bourgeoisie. It has been caused by the national bourgeoisies of Latin America that, hanging on the apron strings of the oil companies like Repsol, Petrobras, British Petroleum, and Totalfina, try to profit from the plunder of the natural wealth of Bolivia that passes through Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Social disintegration is the political program of the bourgeoisies of Santa Cruz, Tarija and the Medialuna, that want to keep most of the reserves of the gas and oil for themselves, while 80% of the population of Bolivia must use firewood, charcoal etc for cooking and heating.

It is the insatiable drive for superprofits by the imperialistic monopolies and the native bourgeoisie that continues to oppress the Bolivian nation. The only class that can unite the nation and end the oppression and “disintegration” is the working class, leading the poor peasantry, and creating its own government, with its own militias, reviving the best traditions of the heroic revolution of 1952.

The Armed Forces, at the moment, remain on alert to defend the bourgeois state and safeguard its security, prepared if necessary to drown the revolution in blood if they cannot otherwise contain or divert the revolutionary advance of the masses. But the bourgeoisie will only resort to open repression if all else fails, because it is aware that to do could lead to another massacre like that which led to the downfall of Goni, and run the risk of splitting the army so that the conscripts would mutiny against the officers. This is the greatest danger posed by the revolutionary uprising of the masses because, since, in the last instance, whoever controls the army rank and file, wins. If the bourgeoisie retains control, it will suppress the workers and peasants uprising with blood and fire. If the workers and poor farmers win control, the workers militias will be reinforced by soldiers committees.

Long live the revolutionary program of the democratic base of the COR of El Alto and of the miners: down with Mesa! Workers must dissolve the puppet parliament, build worker militias and form a provisional workers’ and peasants’ government to nationalize the gas and oil, and carry out the program of the working class and the Bolivian people!

The strong revolutionary upsurge that has erupted in Bolivia must prevail. Only a provisional government of revolutionary workers and peasants supported by the organs of direct democracy of the masses, workers militias and soldiers committees, will succeed in winning the most elementary national demands of the Bolivian workers and oppressed people, on the ruins of the regime of the mine owners and their imperialist partners, who are the real expropriators of the natural resources of the millions of Bolivians and Latin Americans.

The masses, betrayed by the truces and pacts which their leaders used to prop up Mesa and his crony oil bosses, have begun a new revolutionary uprising. Against the containment policy of Morales and Solares, the exploited workers of El Alto have marked out the revolutionary road to the masses’ victory. On May 17 the COR of El Alto meet with the miners, the teachers, the neighborhood committees, the students, and voted for a program of struggle to bring down Mesa, for workers to dissolve the puppet parliament, for workers’ militias and Workers’ and Farmers’ provisional government to nationalize the gas and oil, and to carry out all the demands of the Bolivian workers and oppressed people. This program was re-affirmed on May 25. Long live the revolutionary program lives of El Alto, that marks a clear course of action for the preparation of a decisive revolutionary struggle that does not leave a stone standing of the government of Mesa and the mine owners regime!

This resolution and this program voted by the COR of El Alto is a slap in the face of the liquidators of Trotskyism and the reformist left of Latin America and the world. It says that the problem is not that the working class does not suffer from a “crisis of the subjectivity” “or underdeveloped consciousness” but rather too many treacherous leaders. The demand of February 2003 “Gun, shrapnel, Bolivia will not shut up”; of October 2003, “Go away Goni, the gas is for the Bolivians”, and now the program of the COR of El Alto demanding the “nationalization of the gas and resources, a workers and peasants government and workers’ militias”, proves that the Bolivian working class has raised the flag of socialism for the workers of the world.

Some months ago, during the March events, the bourgeoisie claimed that there were ‘soviets’ in El Alto. They were not mistaken. The COR of El Alto, coordinating and representing workers, miners, students, teachers, unionists, drivers and all of the masses in struggle in that revolutionary city, acting independently, called for an indefinite general strike, for armed pickets and militias –a call that was taken up by the COD in Oruro and other cities – creating the most advanced and authoritative organs of the masses in struggle. It is without a doubt the highest point reached in the creation of workers organs of dual power that is now being strengthened and extended. There is no more urgent task than to develop, extend and centralize the organs of self-determination and self-defense of the militant masse in preparation for the insurrectionary seizure of power.

The COD, the peasants’ organizations marching from Caracollo towards the La Paz, , and all workers, peasants and students organizations that are engaged in struggle, must elect and sent delegates of the rank and file, mandated and recallable, to the COR of El Alto!

In the dynamite charge of the miner, in the stones of the picketers, there are already the embryos of the workers’ militias called for by the resolution of El Alto. It is necessary build them urgently because the army generals have warned that the revolution means ‘the disintegration of Bolivia’; that is, threatens the profits of the oil companies and the big capitalists. They are preparing another blood bath against the workers and farmers. Nor will they hesitate, as they did in October 2003, to shoot the troops – the children of the workers and farmers – that refuse to repress their class brothers and sisters. It is necessary for the people to surround the barracks to win over the rank and rile soldiers, the children of workers and farmers! It is necessary to call on them to form committees of armed soldiers, and to send their delegates to the COR of El Alto! For the dismissal of the officers of the Armed Forces, killers of the people! The committees of soldiers will elect their own leaders!

With thousand of delegates of the rank and file workers and peasants meeting in El Alto, it is necessary to build a ‘soviet-type’ organ that represents the legitimate and democratic expression of the will of the vast majority of the Bolivian people. That organ would be the only one with the authority to create a provisional revolutionary government of workers and peasants supported by the organs of direct democracy of the masses, workers militias and soldiers committees. The government would nationalize without compensation the gas, oil and mines, and place them under workers control; break with the IMF; distribute the best land to the poor peasants; nationalize the banks without compensation and under workers’ control; create a single state bank that grants cheap loans to the small peasants; make a general wage rise and a sliding scale of wages and working hours; and provide free public quality health and education for the workers and the people.

This revolutionary workers’ and farmers’ government is the only one that can guarantee the unity of the Bolivian nation. It is the only one that can realize the most advanced form of bourgeois democracy, such as a truly free and sovereign Constituent Assembly. And it will enable the peasants to learn from their own experience that the most democratic of the bourgeois republics it nothing but a cover for the ruthless dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and that the Workers’ Republic, born out of the self-organization and the arming of the workers and peasants in struggle, is the only way to realize their demands for land and to break with imperialism.

Build centralized and armed organs of dual power, in which the revolutionary party can fight for the program that is necessary for the victorious revolution!

The crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat is acute facing the new uprising of the Bolivian masses. The collaboration with the counter-revolutionary leadership of the renegade Trotskyists reveals in its true light their total bankruptcy. POR Lora, in 1952 supported the “progressive” bourgeois Paz Estenssoro and the MNR (Military Revolutionary National) government, breaking all connection with the program and strategy of Trotskyism. In 1971 POR Lora supported General Torres and the class collaborationist front (FRA). Today it is in the counter-revolutionary camp in the third Bolivian revolution.

We are on the threshold of decisive battles. The revolutionary uprising of the masses begins to break the strangle hold of the treacherous leaders. The counterrevolution forces are preparing to abort or smash it. It is a race against time to build the internationalist revolutionary party that can lead this uprising to the victory of the workers and farmers.

In order to close overcome this crisis and build a true proletarian revolutionary party, the key is to extend the program of the El Alto workers and peasants so that organs of direct democracy and of dual power (councils or soviets) extend across the whole country. In those class struggle organs, the programs of all those who claim to represent the working class and its interests can be put to the test of experience of the workers and farmers who can then get rid of their treacherous leaders. In those organs the alliance of the working class with the poor farmers can can develop a unified command and break all subordination to the different bourgeois fractions. Inside these organs a small nucleus of revolutionaries, fighting uncompromisingly against the treacherous leaders, explaining at each point who are the workers’ allies and enemies, convincing workers of the correct program through their own experience, can create the revolutionary leadership needed to win.

The forces necessary to create a revolutionary party already exist. They are the miners, the poor workers, farmers and revolutionary students of El Alto who have voted for a revolutionary program. They are the miners, the workers and the farmers who, in Oruro, Cochabamba, in every city, every land occupation, every mine, agree with the El Alto program and try to unite and centralize all their struggles. The place of the revolutionary internationalists is with them, to unite with these advanced forces and fight for international Trotskyism in Bolivia; a fight that is inseparable from the struggle to regroup internationally all the healthy forces of Trotskyism, confronting all over the world the treacherous leaders of the liquidators of the IV International.

We call for a united struggle of the whole Latin American working class: Not a cubic centimeter of gas or oil must leave Bolivia unless authorized by a provisional government of revolutionary workers and farmers!

The pro-imperialist bourgeoisies of Argentina, Brazil and Chile say that because of the fight of the Bolivian masses, they will increase the price of gas. This is a lie, as the capitalist governments of Latin America raise the prices of the gas to rob their own nations in complicity with the imperialist monopolies!

Not a cubic of Bolivian gas or oil must leave that country, if is it not authorized by a provisional revolutionary government of workers and peasants! This must be the common cry of the workers of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and the whole continent!

The struggle of our Bolivian brothers and sisters is a slap in the face to Chavez, who has decided that Venezuelan oil’s not for the Venezuelans, but for Bush to enable him to fuel the military machine to kill in Iraq and the Middle East, and for the profits of Repsol or Corona of Spain.

The Castro bureaucracy – which has opened up the first Latin American workers’ state to imperialist companies – is on the same side of the barricade as Chávez, Repsol, Kirchner, Lula and Tabaré Vázquez, against the Bolivian revolution. It did the same in 1973, preaching the “peaceful road to socialism” in Chile, and in the ’80s it betrayed the heroic Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Central American revolution with the pacts of Esquipulas and Contadora. These “peace accords” brought about the submission of Central America to the US imperialism and to their recolonization today by means of NAFTA, the FTAs and the FTAA. Meanwhile the old “commanders” of the Sandinista’s and the FMLN have turned into “yuppies” and agents of the IMF plans, or become officers in the bourgeois armies, as is the case in both Nicaragua and El Salvador.

The revolutionary uprising of the masses in Bolivia, after the exemplary action of the Ecuadorian masses, means that it is now necessary for the workers and exploited people of Latin America to unite behind the demands of the Bolivian workers and peasants against imperialist plunder, oppression and wage slavery. The fight to stop any gas from leaving Bolivia for the oil monopolies, and for its nationalization without compensation and under workers’ control, now leads the fight of all the oppressed nations of Latin America to reclaim their natural wealth exploited by imperialism.

To achieve this, the most important task of workers and exploited people in Latin America, is to oppose and defeat all the regimes and governments that support Mesa and are subservient the imperialistic policy of the IMF and the multinationals in Latin America, such as that of Lula, Kirchner, Tabaré Vázquez, Toledo and Lagos. It is necessary to take the road opened up by our class brothers and sisters in Ecuador.

What the exploited people of Bolivia and Ecuador, and of all Latin America, need, is that the continental working class settles accounts with all the sell out collaborationist bureaucrats of the workers and mass organizations, to be able to create a coordinated and centralized movement of workers and peasants able to defeat imperialism and its regimes client states.

Against the revolutionary uprising in Bolivia, signified by the workers and peasants of El Alto calling for the formation of workers militias, the officers of the Bolivian army are preparing for repression. All the client states in Latin America are ready, if called by their Yankee master and the gang of thieves of the OAS, to sent their armies against the workers and peasants to “defend the constitutional order” in Bolivia. The US military bases in Latin America at Chapere in Bolivia, Manta in Ecuador, in Colombia, etc. have been put on alert.

As revolutionary internationalists we alert the workers of Latin America to this threat. We call for the expulsion of all imperialists military bases such as Chapare, Manta, the Malvinas! Immediate recall of the Chilean, Brazilian and Argentine mercenaries in the service of US imperialism in Haiti! We call on the workers and anti-imperialist organizations of Venezuela to put the 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles bought by Chávez into the service of workers’ militias that the COR and workers and peasants organizations in El Alto have called for in Bolivia! Left in the hands of the Chavista national bourgeoisie those guns will be used to prevent the victory of the Bolivian revolution, and to repress the anti-imperialist masses of Venezuela and Latin America.

It is necessary that the Chilean working class – whose bourgeoisie profits from the oil pipeline from Bolivia across Chile to the sea – takes in its hands the fight for the territorial rights of Bolivia. A workers’ and peasants’ government arising from the defeat of the civic-military regime of Lagos could establish fraternal and cooperative relations with a workers’ and peasants’ government of Bolivia to determine the future of the disputed territory.

The organizations who have signed this declaration declare that it is our duty as to devote 100% of our forces to the revolutionary struggle for victory of the workers and farmers of Bolivia, and to take to the workers and mass organizations in the countries in which we are based, the resolution that “not a cubic centimeter of gas or oil leaves Bolivia for the imperialist monopolies”, and to adopt as our own the revolutionary program of the workers and farmers of El Alto who are in the vanguard of this heroic struggle.

Long live the uprisings of the masses in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstán and Uzbekistán! Long live the heroic Iraqi resistance and awakening of the North American working class! Long live the revolutionary uprising of the masses of Ecuador! For the victory of the revolution in Bolivia, Ecuador and in all Latin America! For a Federation of Workers’ and Peasants’ Republics of South and Central America!

The revolutionary uprising of the Bolivian masses is not alone. Their allies are the workers and students of Ecuador who, like Bucaram and Mahuad yesterday, threw the US lackey and poster boy of the WSF Gutiérrez, into the waste-basked of history; they are the workers and peasants who threaten another uprising in Ilave, Peru; they are the rebellious workers and students of Nicaragua and Chile; they are the militant vanguard of the labor movement in the US, the Million Worker March Movement that stands against the killer Bush’s war.

They are the Afghan anti-imperialist fighters that are resisting the humiliations they have suffered under Bush’s occupying troops, and the anti-imperialist fighters of the Middle East who are imprisoned in Guantánamo. They are the Iraqi masses that continue a strong and heroic resistance against the imperialistic occupation and its colonial puppet government.

The allies of the proletariat and exploited people of Bolivia are the rebellious workers and farmers in Kyrgyzstán and Uzbekistán – nations of the former USSR where capitalism has been restored by the stalinist bureaucracy who became a new bourgeoisie as junior partners with imperialism. The workers and oppressed people rose up against dictatorial regimes and ‘pinochet’ governments, headed, as in the case of Uzbekistán, by the head of the KGB in the former stalinist bureaucracy, who ordered the army to repress the uprising, massacring more than 700 workers and farmers. In all the former workers’ states it is necessary to build revolutionary parties with transitional programs that can lead the fight for the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The workers and oppressed people of Latin America, the United States, of the Middle East and Central Asia; these are the allies of the Bolivian workers and peasants who march on the revolutionary road of October!

The renewal of the revolutionary uprising of the masses in Ecuador and Bolivia demonstrates the urgency of a continent-wide struggle of Latin American workers and peasants. These two great struggles prove that the only solution to imperialist plunder, starvation and slavery is the victory of a Federation of Workers and Peasants Republics of South and Central America. The North American and EU proletariat have a key role to play in defending the revolutionary victories of their class brothers and sisters of Latin America. They must strike at the heart of their own imperialistic bourgeoisies, expropriating the monopolies –British Petroleum, Exxon, Totalfina, Repsol, and other oil monopolies – the IMF, the World Bank and international financial capital that plunder and oppress the workers and people of Bolivia and Latin America.

Build the World Wide Party of Socialist Revolution, to provide the working class of Bolivia, Ecuador, of Latin America and the world, with the revolutionary leadership it deserves.

To make revolutions in Ecuador and Bolivia that can spread like wildfire, the masses need world revolutionary party. Today, all the liquidators of Trotskyism and the Fourth International have become the disciples of Chávez, Fidel Castro and the World Social Forum, and act as leftwing public relations agencies of the pro-IMF regimes and governments such as Lula, Kirchner, Lagos, Toledo, and Tabaré Vázquez.

The liquidation of the Fourth International into Stalinism began in 1948 with the adaptation of pabloism to Tito who was called an “unconscious Trotskyist”, and with the entry of the pabloites into the communist parties. Today, the liquidators of Trotskyism have been subordinated to the Castro bureaucracy under the ideological authority of a leader of the Cuban PC Celia Hart Santamaría. She, with the collaboration and support of the renegade currents of Trotskyism, appeals to the legacy of Leon Trotsky, falsifying it in order to conceal the continental policy of class collaboration of Castroism and the completion of the process of the restoration of capitalism in Cuba.

The liquidators of the Fourth International have abandoned the struggle for socialist revolution. Some openly like the United Secretariat in Brazil, that has a minister for land reform in the Lula pro-IMF government that represses and continues to kill the landless farmers. Others, of many stripes and colors, proclaim the socialist revolution on holidays, but during workdays betray it day after day.

Today, the revolutionary program of the COR of El Alto is a new test that serves to separate the reformists, liquidators of Fourth International from the revolutionaries. On one side of the barricade of El Alto, are those fighting to implement their revolutionary resolutions in action, to defeat the government and create a regime like that of 1952 based on the dual power of the armed masses that is capable of taking state power. On the other side of the barricade are those on their knees before the “patriotic” generals, or before those who seek to defend the bourgeois parliament and constituent Assemblies in order to salvage the collapsing regime of the mine owners.

The theory and the program of Trotskyism have passed the test of history. The opportunist liquidators of the Fourth International have gone over to the camp of the World Social Forum.

The healthy forces of Trotskyism and revolutionary workers organizations, have begun to rally our forces and to regroup in the Liaison Committee for an International Conference. The objective must be rebuild the World Party of Socialist Revolution on the base of the program foundations of the Fourth International from 1938-40, to equip the Bolivian, Ecuadorian working class, of Latin America and the world, with the revolutionary leadership that they deserve, with true insurrectionary parties of struggle that give programmatic expression to the historical objective of the proletariat and lead if to victory.

Ecuador and Bolivia are the current life and death tests of the revolutionary program. The masses in struggle demonstrate their heroism, and they are already distinguishing, more and more clearly, their enemy. The revolutionary program and will to fight brought to the Ecuadorian and Bolivian revolutions, are and will be the rallying points to regroup the internationalist Trotskyists.

The revolutionary organizations who have signed this declaration call on all the healthy forces of Trotskyism to commit 100% of our forces to the victory of the Bolivian revolution and to combine to make an International Conference, on the base of revolutionary history and a correct program founds a transitional international center of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations with the objective to found the World Party of Socialist Revolution as a centralized force to confront the counter-revolutionary leaders of the liquidators of the Fourth International.

  •   Long live revolutionary struggle of the workers and exploited people of Ecuador and Bolivia!
  •  Long Live the uprisings of the masses in Afghanistan, Kyrkystán and Uzbekistán!
  •  Long live the Iraq heroic resistance ‘! 
  • The revolution lives in the workers and peasants of El Alto!
  •  Down with Mesa and his puppet parliament!
  • For a National congress of the COB and the farmers organizations; for workers’ militias and soldiers’ committees!
  • For a Revolutionary Provisional Government of workers and farmers to nationalize the gas and petroleum, and to impose all the demands of the working class and the Bolivian people!

  • Down the truces, pacts and class collaboration with the bourgeois governments of Lula, Kirchner, Lagos, Tabaré Vázquez, Toledo! All of them must be watched in the mirror of Gutiérrez: all of them must fall at hands of the proletarian revolution!
  • Not a cubic centimeter of Bolivian gas or petrol for Repsol, Petrobras, Totalfina, or British Petroleum, or for their small partners, the national bourgeoisies of Latin America!
  • Down with the TLCs, NAFTA, FTAA and Mercosur of the exploiters! 
  • For a Federation of Workers’ and Farmers’ Republics of South and Central America!
  • Long live the anti-imperialist fight against Bush’s war by the dock workers of Oakland in the United States, because in the awakening of the North American working class the lives the possibility of the final triumph of the revolution in South and Central America! 
  • Against Stalinism, social democracy, all reformists and liquidators of Trotskyism! 
  • For an International Conference of the healthy forces of Trotskyism and or revolutionary workers organizations! 

From Class Struggle 61 May-June 2005
 

QUEBEC AND THE YANKEE DOLLAR

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Mass protests against the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Quebec in April continued the upsurge of the anti-globalisation coalition around the world. The target this time was the re-colonisation or ‘dollarisation’ of Latin America. We assess the prospects for turning this rising populist protest into a revolutionary movement.

Seattle, Washington, Davos, Prague, Melbourne, Nice, Quebecand the list goes on to Barcelona, Genoa and beyond. These are the locations of past or future anti-capitalist protests of meetings of the world’s rich organisations and clubs such as the WTO, IMF, and World Economic Forum. At every protest a coalition of left groups, greens, anarchists, populists, and NGO’s have joined forces with some elements of the unions to physically confront and attempt to prevent these meetings of the rich going ahead.

Quebec was the most recent. So what happened in Quebec that made a difference? The authorities put up a wire fence and succeeded in keeping the protesters away from the venue. But the media focused upon the protesters and not the agenda of the rich club. We learned that the purpose of the meeting of all the Finance Ministers of North and South America (except Cuba which does not meet the US definition of ‘democracy’) was to establish a Free Trade Area of the Americas or FTAA.

The FTAA is modeled on NAFTA which was set up in 1992 to link Mexico, Canada and the US in one common market. Since 1992 the effects of NAFTA are clear. Mexico and Canada have been re-colonised by the US. NAFTA allows US firms to take Mexican and Canadian Governments to court if they pass legislation that limits profits. For example Metalclad Corporation got US$16 million from the Mexican Government because it was not allowed to dispose of waste and cause a public health hazard! FTAA will be the same only more. Today the US has a 75% share of the economy of the Americas. Under the FTAA it will gain an even larger share. The whole of the America’s will now become “Amerika”.

This means that as the US turns of the screws by re-colonising the America’s the class struggle will also become united across “Amerika”. Workers in the North and South will now fight alongside one another in one big class, rather than be divided by nationalist politics which weakens and destroys all progessive movements.

Already there are numerous examples of the formation of anti-free trade union and NGO alliances in the Americas. The first Summit of the Peoples of the Americas was held in Santiago Chile in April 1998. Since then many networks and coalitions have been built. Recently a top level coalition the Hemispheric Social Alliance was formed. However, these forces are still mainly international alliances of national organisations.

This is the legacy of the nationalist reformist politics of the post-war period. On the Left the legacy has been to tail bourgeois nationalism. That is why the deadly patriotic front tradition of Stalinism, Maoism, and Guerillaism that accompanied the nationalist politics of the post-war period must now be countered by an increasingly internationalist struggle that has always at the centre of the Trotskyist movement. For not only is the FTAA an instrument for re-colonising the America, under the WTO, World Bank and other agreements, globalisation brings the same free trade regimes to Asia and Africa. The potential for a global anti-capitalist movement to fight to unite workers in many countries is now a real prospect.

This is a big happening. Most of the left has become caught up in the enthusiasm of this struggle. The SWP thinks it’s the biggest thing to hit the class struggle since the Vietnam War. The SWP has split from its sister organisation the ISO in the US because it claims the ISO does not recognise the importance of the anti-capitalist phenomenon.

The SWP thinks that this “new, new left” opens up the opportunity for a rapid regroupment of the left. To prove this is possible the SWP is having talks with the LCR in France, part of the International Secretariat, the main ‘Trotskyist tendency’. Both are prepared to ‘sideline’ their differences over the defence of the former SU and focus on the main tasks of today.

However, neither of these tendencies has a record of struggle that gives us confidence in their leadership of a new regroupment of the revolutionary left. They both have a history of jumping onto bandwagons and calling them new ‘vanguards’ to replace the traditional labour movement. The current bandwagon of the anti-capitalist movement is a ‘youth bandwagon’, which has come around several times before in the post-war period. Each time youth were backed as more revolutionary than workers. The most famous was the ‘new left’ of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The ‘new left’ was more liberal than Marxist. Arising out of the post 1956 de-Stalinization it was a pacifist, humanist socialism, based mainly in the educated youth of the US and Europe. It protested the Vietnam War and rampant consumer capitalism, but it never joined forces with the conservative, established labour movement. Neither survived the austerity of the 1970’s nor the neo-liberal attacks of the 1980’s and 1990’s as a force for change. Some of the more colourful leaders of the new left became establishment figures but most dropped out of left politics.

If the new left failed to unite with workers and build a revolutionary party at a time when labour was relatively strong, what will the new new left achieve at a time when labour is weak, and the power of the US hegemonic apparatus is on the rise? The weakness of the old new left will be compounded by the absence of any strong labour movement and left politics to graft onto the new generation of youth who have no history of class struggle. As Trotsky said of the late 1930’s the crisis of capitalism is the crisis of revolutionary leadership. Today the crisis of capitalist globalisation is even more acutely the crisis of revolutionary leadership.

The class basis of resistance has to be re-created from the base up. The anti-capitalist bandwagon cannot side step rebuilding the labour unions by taking a cyberspace detour. Without the unions there is no ‘school for revolution’ (Trotsky). This is because only by fighting capital in the space of production is it possible to bring workers’ power to bear on capital.

Taking on the state machine on the streets and barricades can only win when workers control the military and state forces. This will not happen until workers build militia to defend their workplaces from strike breaking and state repression. Hyperreal fictions that reality is anywhere but production are scenarios for disaster.

So today as never before, the anti-capitalist movement needs revolutionary Marxist theory and practice. The new generations need to learn the lessons of successful revolutions and failed revolutions. That is why we have no confidence in the SWP or LCR as a new leadership. Both tendencies never learnt the lessons of the Bolsheviks and liquidated themselves as vanguard parties in the post-war period. The SWP rejected the defence of the SU the supreme test of Bolshevism. The IS rejected the working class vanguard for a number of non-worker vanguards. Neither can claim to even recognise the roots of their problems. So they cannot learn from their mistakes.

The basic lessons are:

class agency; class independence; and the democratic centralist party. Lets briefly define each of these.

  • Class Agency: only the working class can lead an anti-capitalist revolution. This is because the working class produces surplus-value and can use its power to stop production. Thus workers must build workplace organisations and united unions across international borders to control production.
  • Class Independence: the working class must lead all other oppressed classes (e.g. peasants) and groups (poor, unemployed, gay etc) in the struggle for socialism without making any concessions to the bourgeoisie or other hostile classes. The united front is counter-posed to the popular front.
  • Democratic centralist Party: the working class becomes an agency for revolution only when it is led by a revolutionary vanguard party organised on a democratic centralist basis. Democratic centralism in Lenin’s view allows the party to unite theory and practice in the struggle and constantly test its program for revolution.
  • Each of these lessons/principles of Bolshevism can be applied to the anti-capitalist movement today in the following way:

  • Class Agency: Many in the anti-capitalist movement do not see capitalism as about classes. They see it as a coalition of social movements that cut across classes. (e.g. the famous reference to the Zapatistas being viewed as gay, feminist, union, indigenous, black etc depending upon which aspect is identified with by any given social movement.) This pluralist concept of oppression/social movements has be critiqued by class analysis and a coalition built based upon working class leadership.
  • Class Independence: Working class independence becomes the basis for building the movement. Instead of confronting MNC capital at conventions and on the streets, workers should unite internationally to fight capitalism on the job. The target of free trade can then be replaced by the target of the MNC’s plants in a number of countries. Instead of entering popular or patriotic fronts (eg Mexico) to fight ‘free trade’ (which is only a symptom of the weakness of workers to reject low wages and conditions) international united fronts to win concessions from MNC’s in every country can be formed.
  • Democratic Centralist Party: Within the united fronts in which workers organisations take the lead, there has to be a no holds barred fight among revolutionary tendencies to create a revolutionary party on the model of the Bolshevik party. Patriotic frontists, reformists, nationalists, opportunists, ultralefts etc. have to be confronted and defeated in the struggles in the same way the Bolsheviks defeated the Mensheviks and ultralefts.
  • Turn the anti-capitalist movement into a
    Revolutionary Communist International!
    From Class Struggle, No 39 June-July 2001