September 28th: International Day for the decriminalization and legalization of abortion; Global shout-out for legal abortion

Around the world, 1424 million of women live in countries where access to legal abortion is somehow restricted. In the most poor and unequal regions, such as Africa and Latin America, women face even bigger limitations for being able to decide over their own bodies, with examples like Nicaragua or El Salvador, where abortion is punishable under every possible cause. The illegal status of abortion is one more measure of a capitalist and patriarchal system that pretends to keep us controlled and submissive to exacerbate our super-exploitation.

However, despite the prohibition, 46 million women annually around the world interrupt their pregnancies due to diverse causes. For that reason, more than 50% of pregnancies worldwide end up in abortion. But due to the criminalization of the practice, 47,000 women die each year because of the consequences related to clandestine abortion practices. Working, poor, young and migrant women are the ones that end up paying with their lives. As a consequence, in most countries where there is no legal abortion, this represents the main cause of death among gestating women. This happens since while big labs and private clinics make profit with expensive illegal practices, imperialistic governments like Donald Trump’s, with support of the Vatican and other churches, are fixed on controlling and chasing women that pretend to decide on their maternity, condemning them to abortions in the worst possible conditions.

In most countries where there is no legal abortion, this represents the main cause of death among gestating women

Furthermore, with its double moral standard, the own Catholic Church is the one that defends its pedophile priests, associates itself to genocide governments and opposes contraceptive methods,  and is mainly in charge of chasing and stigmatizing women that want to decide over their bodies and condemn them. Such is the chauvinism and persecution to women that, for instance, in El Salvador, a 19-year-old girl called Evelyn Hernández was sentenced to 30 years prison after being raped and suffering a spontaneous miscarriage. Here, with the local government of the Farabundo Martí Front and the misogynistic justice, the Catholic Church was the main institution in charge of condemning socially this victim, in order to lecture the rest of women.

But the attacks on women’s bodies and lives do not only take place in countries where voluntary abortion is not legal, but also, in countries where abortion has been conquered for long decades, with the “progressive” church of Pope Francis trying to hit against this very important right, taking advantage of economic crisis and austerity policies in health, education and social security. Such is the case that in Poland, in 2016, there was a huge attempt of trying to reverse the right of voluntary interruption of pregnancy. The same thing occurred in France and in Italy, with many doctors declaring being conscientious objectors and refusing to perform the practices. However, the mobilization of women was far superior. In the same way that Spanish women in 2014, polish women threatened with a huge strike that put a stop in this new attempt to reduce women’s rights. Moreover, in Chile a huge step was done by regaining the decriminalization of abortion in some cases, which was totally forbidden during Pinochet’s dictatorship.

Today, in a moment in which people in the world are fighting against capitalist cuts and where women are heading the massive marches for #NiUnaMenos, against patriarchal violence and femicides, against discrimination, harassment and work violence, from International Workers’ Unity- Fourth International, we are part of the global shout-out for legal abortion and we call all revolutionary, democratic, feminist, women and workers organizations to be a part of the worldwide struggle day for the decriminalization and legalization of abortion.

This September 28th, let’s be thousands on the streets shouting globally for legal abortion. We reclaim: sexual education to decide, contraceptives not to abort, and legal abortion not to die. Immediate separation of all churches from all states. Capitalist governments are responsible for the situation of women. Enough with austerity plans that plot against life and health of women.

International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI)

September 12 th 2017

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The causes of the long conflict between North Korea and the United States

Tension has continued to grow in Eastern Asia. The North Korean government would have detonated an alleged nuclear bomb underground (3 September 2017), Trump’s response was not long in coming. He threatened new economic sanctions that are already being dealt with at the UN. He did not rule out a military response. The arms race does not relent. After 25 years, South Korea reintroduces a nuclear arsenal of American origin. It had been withdrawn in the 1990s by an agreement between the two Koreas. What is the root of the conflict? Can a war actually start in Eastern Asia?


By Miguel Sorans

Similar scenes have been recurring for almost 20 years. Is this the straw that breaks the camel’s back and a new war breaks out? With the serious danger of them acting with nuclear weapons?

There are few who believe that it may come to a total war, beyond any of the many skirmishes that have been taking place in recent years. But neither could a war be completely ruled out because of the irresponsible and criminal nature of the opponents. On the one hand, a dictatorial regime of the old Stalinist stamp, hated by its people. On the other hand, Donald Trump and Yankee imperialism wanting to keep its role as world cop at all costs and to favour the American armament industry. Trump, as if to leave no doubts, announced on Twitter: “I will allow Japan and South Korea to buy substantially more sophisticated military equipment from the United States” (Clarin, Argentina, 6 September 2017).

What is the origin of this conflict?

Korea was occupied by Japan until the end of World War II. At the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the allies, including the USSR, agreed to split Korea into two: The north for Soviet influence and the south for the Yankees. In June 1950 a war broke out supported by the Korean people. China supported the North Koreans. After three years of war, the South Koreans and the American troops, under the command of the Gen. Douglas MacArthur, were defeated. Nevertheless, in 1953, a UN agreement was signed between the United States and the USSR, forcing to ratify the split of Korea, through the 38th parallel. Since then, the conflict has been left open.

Now Trump aims to put the onus of the danger of a war on the North Korean government, taking advantage of its dictatorial and unpredictable character. But in reality, it is imperialism that for years has been questioning the sovereign right of North Korea to develop nuclear energy.

The UN Security Council, with support from Russia and China, has already imposed some initial sanctions on North Korea. Despite our political repudiation of the dictatorial regime of the Kim family, we reject those sanctions and others that may be adopted. The most aggressive country in the world, the United States, has thousands of atomic missiles. Israel has 200 nuclear bombs. And nobody sanctioned the United States or Israel.

The revolutionary socialists who are members of the International Workers’ Unity–Fourth International (IWU-FI) do not recognize any right to imperialism and their lackeys to question anyone for their sovereign decisions. They are the first aggressors in the world and promoters of all kind of mass destruction nuclear and atomic weapons. Therefore, if military aggression eventually occurs, we will be on the side of the North Korean people.

A capitalist “communist” dictatorship

This does not mean giving any support to the dictatorship of the so-called Workers’ Party of Korea, a one-party dictatorship that has ruled with an iron fist for more than 60 years. This regime continues to venerate Stalin, and has reached the extreme of having transformed itself into a “communist dynasty”. This dynasty was initiated by Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the current president, young Kim Jong-un, who inherited the position from his father, the dictator Kim Jong -il. It is the task of the North Korean people to end this Stalinist-style capitalist dictatorship.

The collapse of the former USSR in 1989-91 and the process of capitalist restoration there and in China left North Korea politically and economically isolated. This, coupled with two consecutive years of catastrophic flooding in 1995 and 1996 and a bureaucratic and corrupt administration, led to a severe food shortage in 1997. The outcome was a famine that left nearly three million people dead in a country of more than 25 million people (South Korea registers slightly over 50 million).

While this was happening, the ruling civic-military and restorationist bureaucracy continued with its high wages and privileges, creating the madness of a “nuclear industry”. At the same time, the country was collapsing, with shortages of food, permanent power cuts and almost without transportation because of the continuous shortage of fuel.

In reality, this dictatorship has nothing of communist or socialist, except the name. Since the 1990s it has begun a course of capitalist restoration following the example of its neighbor and adviser, the Communist Party of China. With salaries of US$60-80, no trade unions and no right to strike, direct foreign investment has been allowed since 1999. Thus, in the north of the country, Chinese capitalist enterprises were set up. In the south, a complex agreed with Hyundai, a South Korean multinational, was created. In the rest of the country, there are already investments by Fiat, Siemens and Russian, Pakistani, Singaporean, and Thai capitals. They invest in the mining sector, oil, nuclear energy, appliances, railways, etc., with “difficulties” for capitalists due to power cuts and poor infrastructure (there is less than 10 percent of paved roads).

Millions are wondering: why has the North Korean dictatorship continued for years with its missile “launches” and its threats to the US? Do they really want a war that could surely devastate the country? What are they seeking?

In fact, the background of this absurdity is the chronic social-economic crisis to which the dictatorship has led North Korea. The dictator and the privileged and corrupt ones surrounding him are looking, in a deranged way, for a negotiation to subsist as a regime with foreign aid.

The entry of capitalism has only deepened the exploitation and misery of the North Korean masses and the social-economic crisis. This is why the dictatorship lives using the “blackmail” of its “nuclear industry” and its “tests” to seek a negotiation with Yankee imperialism. They seek to gain concessions such as the delivery of massive food (it happened several times, under the Clinton administration) and seeking to agree on a capitalist and commercial status like China or Vietnam. Russia and China encourage this negotiation with a regime they consider an ally.

Trump uses North Korea to strengthen its military presence in the region and to promote the armament business

Ever since 1953, the United States has had a permanent military presence, with nearly 40,000 troops stationed in South Korea, its beachhead in Eastern Asia. And long ago it has declared the North Korean regime as one of the “axes of evil”, as a “terrorist” state. It refuses, since the George W. Bush era, to close an economic-political agreement, as it has done with China and Vietnam.

In fact, imperialism exaggerates the supposed North Korean power to have the justification for its friends to continue to increase business and profits and to keep strengthening its military presence in South Korea and in the whole region. Each North Korean “threat” has helped to increase its presence in troops, aircraft, and ships in a key region. There is a serious suspicion that North Korea does not have the nuclear and missile power it declares and that, if it were to use it, it would end quickly because it is a very backward country in infrastructure and industrial technology.

Trump retakes George W. Bush’s “doctrine” of the “axes of evil” and having North Korea as one of his favorite scapegoats to keep using them in his arms race.

The revolutionary Socialists, providing no political support for the grim North Korean dictatorship, we demand the end of the UN’s economic sanctions against North Korea, reject any imperialist military aggression on that country, and demand the immediate withdrawal of the imperialist military presence in South Korea and throughout Eastern Asia.

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Miguel Sorans is a leader of the Izquierda Socialista [Socialist Left] (Argentina)

 

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Argentina:For the appearance alive of Santiago Maldonado!

The  International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI) recently issued a call to international action for the appearance of activist Santiago Maldonado. From the United States, we express our solidarity with his family and comrades. Below the call for action.

The young craftsman Santiago Maldonado was accompanying the Mapuche community Pu Lof in Cushamen, province of Chubut, Argentina, in dispute with the landholders of the Italian group Benetton, when on 1 August the repressors of the Gendarmerie carried out a brutal attack. Maldonado was arrested and disappeared by the officers of this police-military body.

The authorities of the national government of Mauricio Macri and the provincial government of Chubut are escalating the criminalisation of the Mapuche people and against those who offer them solidarity. In this context, the crime against Maldonado has taken place. Security Minister Patricia Bullrich even tried to cover up the repressors and lashed out at the missing person’s family, accusing them of not providing information for the investigation. Bullrich also revealed the name of one witness in the case, exposing him to reprisals.

The authorities took three weeks to acknowledge that it was a case of enforced disappearance and to begin an official investigation under that concept. They only bowed to social pressure after the carrying out of a massive march in the city of Buenos Aires for the appearance alive of Santiago Maldonado.

That is why we must redouble the mobilisation against the Macri government, to stop the cover-up of the repressors, to find the whereabouts of Santiago Maldonado, for the freedom of Mapuche political prisoner Facundo Jones Huala and the recognition of Mapuche lands In Patagonia.

On Friday 1 September, one month after the forced disappearance of Maldonado, a national protest day will be held in Argentina for its appearance alive. We call to extend this day at an international level. That the trade union, popular, student and political organisations of the world spread this claim and mobilise on 1 September to Argentina’s embassies and consulates bringing these same requirements. Only the mobilisation can bend the arm of Macri’s government and force him to answer with the appearance alive of Santiago Maldonado, now. Macri’s government is responsible.

Appearance alive of Santiago Maldonado, now! Alive they took him, alive we want him!

International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI)

28 August 2017

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In the face of the attack at Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Statement by Lucha Internacionalista (Internationalist Fight, Spanish State)

Català|Español

From Internationalist Fight we solidarize with the victims of yesterday’s attacks and their families. We reject these kind of actions meant to spread terror and fear among people, as well as we repudiate the reactionary fanaticism that inspires them.

Today, we do not forget the thousands of men, women and children that die on the streets of Syria and Iraq, for attacks similar to this one, or under western bombs. For us, there’s no such thing as “first or second class dead”: we rebuff the hypocrisy of European governments that are horrified when blood is shed in Paris, Berlin, London, Niza or Barcelona.

It is false to say as Rajoy or Puigdemont do: “democracy” against “terrorism”, “freedom” against “barbarism”. And it is regrettable that Colau – as it appears to be with Podemos’ statement to the board and the Congress Spokepeople Board- will add to Rajoy’s “unity” appeal. What democracy are they talking about? The one that took us to war with Iraq? The one that supports the genocidal state of Israel? The one in which the King himself sign millionaire arm contracts with the sanguinary monarchy in Saudi Arabia? The one that says that the criminal al-Assad is a lesser evil for Syria? The one that militarized European borders and condemn to death in the sea to thousands of people? The one that cut rights and liberties and criminalized struggles in our country? The one that forces to go into hiding and and being overexploited thousands of male and female illegal workers? All these policies of the European “democracies” serve multinationals. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution. We cannot expect that all that violence, so near, do not reach us. These policies are the ones that feed the spiral in which fanaticism grows and groups like Daesh that –we must not forget- have strengthen in Syria and Iraq smothering in blood the struggles for freedom of their peoples.

For that reason we do not believe the crocodile tears of the governments responsible of this violence too. We will not place ourselves behind their placards, they will only use them to sow more blood and fear.  It had already happened after the Paris attacks, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heading the demonstration together with the other imperialist leaders, the declaration of the emergency state and the French bombing over Syria the following day. It will not be on our name that these policies be validated and deepened. It will not be using the innocent dead people today in Barcelona that the imperialist indiscriminate bombings over Raqqa or Mossul will be legitimated. As we shouted after the Atocha attacks, the bombs in Bagdad explode in Madrid.

We will not accept in the name of our security, either, the militarization of our lives, as it is foreseen by the Anti terrorist Pact summoned yesterday by Rajoy.  We will not accept, either, that borders will be closed to people fleeing from war and a terror greater than the one we lived yesterday here, or poverty. We will not accept, either, the persecution of migrants or Muslims.

We will not place ourselves behind the state flags headed by the Monarchy, we will win the streets to stand by the victims’ families and to shout strong: the dead belong to us,  the people, and not to the violent policies applied against the peoples from here and from the rest of the world.

Internationalist Fight, section of IWU-FI (International Workers Unity- Fourth International), in Spanish State.

Barcelona, 18 August, 2017

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Declaració de Lluita Internacionalista davant l’atemptat a les Rambles de Barcelona

Declaració de Lluita Internacionalista

Des de Lluita Internacionalista ens solidaritzem amb totes les víctimes de l’atac d’ahir i les seves famílies. Rebutgem aquesta mena d’accions que pretenen escampar el terror i la por entre la població, així com rebutgem el fanatisme reaccionari que les inspira.

Avui no ens oblidem dels milers d’homes, dones i criatures que moren als carrers de Síria i l’Iraq, en atacs semblants o sota les bombes occidentals. Per nosaltres no hi ha morts de primera i de segona: rebutgem la hipocresia dels governs d’Europa, que només s’exclamen quan la sang es vessa a París, Berlín, Londres, Niça o Barcelona.

És falsa la disjuntiva que ens plantegen Rajoy o Puigdemont: la “democràcia” contra el “terrorisme”, la “llibertat” contra la “barbàrie”. I és lamentable que Colau -i sembla que Podemos amb el comunicat de la Mesa i Junta de Portaveus del Congrés- es sumin a la seva crida a la “unitat”. De quina “democràcia” parlen? De la que ens va portar a la guerra de l’Iraq? La que dona suport a l’estat genocida d’Israel? La que amb el rei en persona signa milionaris contractes d’armes amb la sagnant monarquia d’Aràbia Saudí? La que considera el criminal Al-Assad, un mal menor per a Síria? La que militaritza les fronteres europees i condemna a la mort al mar a milers de persones? La que retalla drets i llibertats i criminalitza les lluites a casa nostra? La que condemna a la clandestinitat i la sobreexplotació milers de treballadors i treballadores sense papers? Totes aquestes polítiques de les “democràcies” europees al servei de les multinacionals, són part del problema, i no part de la solució. No podem esperar que tanta violència, tan a prop, no ens esquitxi. Són aquestes polítiques les que alimenten l’espiral en què creix el fanatisme i grups com Daeix que -cal no oblidar-ho- s’han fet forts a Síria i l’Iraq sufocant en sang la lluita per la llibertat dels seus pobles.

Per això no ens creiem les llàgrimes de cocodril dels governs que són responsables també d’aquesta violència. I no ens posarem darrera de les seves pancartes, que només utilitzaran per sembrar més sang i més por. Ja va passar després dels atemptats de París, amb el primer ministre israelià Benjamin Netanyahu encapçalant la manifestació al costat dels caps de l’imperialisme, la declaració d’estat d’emergència i els bombardejos francesos de l’endemà sobre Síria. No serà en el nostre nom, que es validin i s’aprofundeixin aquestes polítiques un cop més. No serà utilitzant els morts innocents d’avui a Barcelona que es legitimaran els bombardejos indiscriminats de l’imperialisme sobre Raqqa o Mossul. Com vam cridar després dels atemptats d’Atocha, les bombes a Bagdad esclaten a Madrid.

Tampoc en nom de la nostra seguretat acceptarem la militarització de les nostres vides, com presagia la convocatòria del Pacte Antiterrorista anunciat ahir per Rajoy. Com tampoc que es tanquin les fronteres a la gent que fuig de la guerra –i d’un terror encara més gran que el que es va viure ahir- o de la misèria. Ni tampoc, que es posi en el punt de mira els migrants o els musulmans.

Però igual que no ens trobaran darrere les banderes de l’Estat amb la Monarquia al capdavant, sortirem al carrer a acompanyar les famílies de les víctimes, i a dir tot això ben fort: els morts són nostres, del poble, i no de la política de la violència al servei de les multinacionals contra els pobles d’aquí i d’arreu!

Barcelona, 18 d’agost de 2017

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Ante el atentado en las Ramblas de Barcelona

Declaración de Lucha Internacionalista (UIT-CI)

Desde Lucha Internacionalista nos solidarizamos con todas las víctimas del ataque de ayer y sus familias. Rechazamos este tipo de acciones que pretenden sembrar el terror y el miedo entre la población, así como rechazamos el fanatismo reaccionario que las inspira.

Hoy no nos olvidamos de los miles de hombres, mujeres y criaturas que mueren en las calles de Siria e Irak, en ataques parecidos o bajo las bombas occidentales. Para nosotros no hay muertos de primera y de segunda: rechazamos la hipocresía de los gobiernos de Europa, que sólo se horrorizan cuando la sangre se vierte en París, Berlín, Londres, Niza o Barcelona.

Es falsa la disyuntiva que nos plantean Rajoy o Puigdemont: la “democracia” contra el “terrorismo”, la “libertad” contra la “barbarie”. Y es lamentable que Colau –y parece que Podemos a tenor del comunicado de la Mesa y la Junta de Portavoces del Congreso- se sumen a su llamamiento a la “unidad”. ¿De qué democracia hablan? ¿De la que nos llevó a la guerra de Irak? ¿La que apoya al estado genocida de Israel? ¿La que con el rey en persona firma millonarios contratos de armas con la sangrienta monarquía de Arabia Saudita? ¿La que considera al criminal Al-Assad, un mal menor para  Siria? ¿La que militariza las fronteras europeas y condena a la muerte en el mar a miles de personas? ¿La que recorta derechos y libertades y criminaliza las luchas en nuestro país? ¿La que condena a la clandestinidad y la sobreexplotación a miles de trabajadores y trabajadoras sin papeles? Todas estas políticas de las “democracias” europeas al servicio de las multinacionales, son parte del problema, y no parte de la solución. No podemos esperar que tanta violencia, tan cerca, no nos salpique. Son estas políticas las que alimentan la espiral en que crece el fanatismo y grupos como Daeix que –no debemos olvidarlo- se han hecho fuertes en  Siria e Irak sofocando en sangre la lucha por la libertad de sus pueblos.

Por eso no nos creemos las lágrimas de cocodrilo de los gobiernos que son responsables también de esta violencia. Y no nos pondremos detrás de sus pancartas, que sólo utilizarán para sembrar más sangre y más miedo. Ya pasó después de los atentados de París, con el primer ministro israelí Benjamin Netanyahu encabezando la manifestación al lado de los jefes del imperialismo, la declaración del estado de emergencia y los bombardeos franceses al día siguiente sobre Siria. No será en nuestro nombre, que se validen y profundicen estas políticas una vez más. No será utilizando los muertos inocentes de hoy en Barcelona que se legitimaran los bombardeos indiscriminados del imperialismo sobre Raqqa o Mossul. Como gritamos después de los atentados de Atocha, las bombas en Bagdad estallan en Madrid.

Tampoco en nombre de nuestra seguridad aceptaremos la militarización de nuestras vidas, como presagia la convocatoria del Pacto Antiterrorista anunciado ayer por Rajoy. Como tampoco que se cierren las fronteras a la gente que huye de la guerra –y de un terror mayor al vivido ayer aquí- o de la miseria. Ni tampoco, que se ponga en el punto de mira a los migrantes o a los musulmanes.

Pero igual que no nos encontraran tras las banderas del Estado encabezado por la Monarquía, saldremos a la calle a acompañar las familias de las víctimas y a gritar muy fuerte todo esto: ¡los muertos son nuestros, del pueblo, y no de la política de la violencia contra los pueblos de aquí y de todo el mundo!

Lucha Internacionalista, sección de la Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores-Cuarta Internacional (UIT-CI) en el estado español

Barcelona, 18 de agosto de 2017

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Labor unions must mobilize to fight the far right

The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia where far right nationalists and neo-nazis wreaked havoc on this Southern city resulting in the death of one person and many injured calls for a strong response from the left and working class people in the United States.

We recommend this article [Labor Can Stop the White Nationalists in Their Tracks] from the Oakland Socialist web site which places working class people and their organizations at the center of the fight against racism, xenophobia, and fascism:

“Even in their weakened situation, the unions have the power to stop the white nationalists in their tracks. Instead of putting out an occasional statement and occasionally endorsing a march or rally, the union leaders can call out their members and families to lead a real united, working class opposition to the white nationalists.”

While we think this is an interesting article for us to reflect and debate on the issue of fighting the far right in the U.S. and elsewhere, posting this link here does not imply endorsement of the author or recommendation of other articles on this author’s web site.

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Venezuela:Let us build a unitary instrument of the left to fight against Maduro

Debate in the Venezuelan Revolutionary Left : On the Open Letter by Marea Socialista

Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL– Socialism and Freedom Party)

Español

After the fraudulent election of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), the organization Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide) published an “Open Letter to the Chavista left and the autonomous left”, signed by its National Task Force, calling “to build a left, democratic, pluralistic, and inclusive movement” to function as a “common space for reflection, elaboration and action”.

Marea Socialista argues that there are three major political camps: the government, the MUD (Democratic Unity Roundtable) and the left, which includes both “critical Chavismo” and the autonomous and non-Chavista left. The PSL considers itself part of the autonomous left opposed to the PSUV and the MUD. In this context, we welcome the initiative of the Marea Socialista’s comrades.

We value this statement positively, and we agree with the imperative need to establish an independent left movement or unitary front. In fact, the comrades’ proposal has points in common with the search for the unity of action of the left that the PSL has been seeking within the framework of the current crisis, such as our call to “Left-wing organizations and discontent and critical Chavismo”, made on 19 May. There we raised that “we must reach agreements of independent common actions” against the government and thus contest the leadership of this process to the MUD, and not give it the space of popular rebellion. (laclase.info/content/basta-de-hambre-y-represion-no-a-la-constituyente-fraudulenta-fuera-maduro/)

In this sense, the PSL is ready to move forward in the direction of establishing a space for regrouping and action of the Chavista and not-Chavista left, and we propose to set up an exchange table to find the meeting points and to advance in the fight against the totalitarian regime of Maduro.

We take this opportunity to advance our points of view on how we conceive this regrouping, what program we propose for the debate, and what proposals for action we consider necessary; as well as to express our differences and nuances with the proposal.

We start from a basic agreement — we agree on the need to build a unitary political movement of the Chavista and autonomous left. Therefore, we consider very positive the call to the sectors of the left that we do not claim to be Chavistas.

We believe that any unitary leftist movement to be formed must respect these differences, both in its program, in its constitution, and in its name. In that sense, we do not agree that this future movement be based only on a “left” that maintains “Bolivarian dreams” or makes a “critique of their own legacy” as Marea Socialista points out in their letter. We respect the participation of organizations such as Marea Socialista and others that continue vindicating the “Chavez legacy”, but it should not be limited to that.

A regrouping of the left should include those that like the PSL and other sectors do not agree with that vision. For our current criticism of Maduro and the current government cannot be based on that they do not follow the “Chavez legacy”. We consider that there is an open debate on a necessary balance sheet of Chávez’s political course and the so-called Socialism of the 21st Century. For us, there was never progress in Chávez’s project towards socialism or in breaking with the capitalist structure of Venezuela.

The above does not mean that we condition the unity of the Chavist and non-Chavist left to be in agreement with our political position in relation to Chavism. However, for us, what is fundamental to advance is to open a political exchange, trying to agree on an anti-capitalist and socialist program for a future unitary movement.

We believe that the basis of this revolutionary minimum program are the nine points that were agreed at the time with Marea Socialista, the PSL and other sectors in the Platform of People in Struggle and Critical Chavismo, which included an Emergency Food Plan, minimum wage equal to the basic basket, the moratorium on foreign debt, the nationalization of 100 percent of the oil industry without joint ventures or transnational companies, the repeal of concessions of the Orinoco Mining Arc, among other points.

However, we cannot fail to raise that the Platform of People in Struggle and Critical Chavismo, created in April 2016, was a great opportunity to advance in the construction of this left-wing movement that Marea Socialista raises today, and which regrettably it did not advance, largely because of Marea Socialista’s responsibility, an organization that had the initiative to propose it, but that later moved away from its meetings and the activities programmed within the Platform.

This is a great weakness since it cut off the possibility of presenting an alternative left pole to the government and the MUD, in the midst of the popular revolt against hunger and repression, which has been developing since April this year.

To this is added the fact, that we consider wrong, that Marea Socialista has never raised the slogan of “Out with Maduro”, a matter which is not even mentioned in their letter.

The comrades correctly denounce the totalitarianism of Maduro’s government and its repressive advances. To the point that they speak of methods of “selective civil war”. But they do not vindicate the mobilizations and acts of popular rebellion against the government. They attribute everything to “a false polarization” with the MUD. They blame “two irresponsible and criminal political leaderships”, which would lead to a “bloody carnival”.

The PSL considers that it cannot be placed in the same plane the criminal repression of the Maduro government and the defence exercised by the youth and popular sectors that mobilize and confront the GNB (Bolivarian National Guard), the PNB (Bolivarian National Police) and the armed gangs of the government.

Marea Socialista refrains from assuming a clear position of support for those who are mobilizing against Maduro, including the popular sectors that until recently were the social base of Chavismo, which in fact favours the government. A political course that mistakenly also assume other sectors of the world left.

The PSL fights Maduro’s government but does not give any political support to the MUD. We cannot have any confidence in a political leadership of the bosses, which seeks a negotiated solution with the US and the EU, and that it would never break with the multinationals and the bankers, or with the payment of the foreign debt. Nonetheless, our party calls to be part of popular mobilizations against the government, although many have been originally convened by the MUD or where MUD sympathizers and leaders participate.

The sector that has the force of repression is Maduro’s civic-military government, which not only starves the people but also attacks democratic rights by prohibiting elections and imprisoning mayors and political leaders of the opposition. Although the dismissed, disqualified or detained may be bosses’ politicians, the left cannot look to the other side. One thing is to repudiate the attacks on democratic rights and another to support the MUD. Nor does it mean supporting the MUD to participate in massive mobilizations against hunger, against constituent fraud and for Maduro to leave.

Thousands and thousands of popular sectors that have broken with Chavismo are coming out on the streets in different parts of the country. Not actively joining the different forms of protest that are taking place in the country limits the possibilities of postulating oneself as an alternative left-wing leadership independent of the MUD. Especially, when we know that in many cases the MUD has been overtaken by the grassroots and popular sectors mobilized. Without any doubt, we believe that a unitary left movement can only develop in the heat of the struggle, and contest with the MUD, the leadership of the protests in the streets.

In this regard, we call on the Marea Socialista comrades not to hesitate before the increasingly totalitarian regime of Maduro. This necessary regrouping from the left must be forged in the struggle to end Maduro’s civic-military government, to end hunger, repression and fraud. Thus, we will create an independent alternative of the workers and the Chavista and not Chavista left, in the face of the MUD that wants to continue applying the packet of austerity measures against the people.

From the PSL we propose to the comrades of Marea Socialista that we call together a first meeting of the Chavista and non-Chavista left, and of all those fighters who want to join. And thus, to take steps in this unity so necessary and strategic to fight for a solution of the workers and the left to the serious crisis that we are living.

National Directorate of the Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL)
8 August 2017

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Venezuela:Construyamos una herramienta unitaria de izquierda para luchar contra Maduro

Venezuela: Ante la Carta Abierta de Marea Socialista

Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL)

Luego de la fraudulenta elección de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (ANC), la organización Marea Socialista publicó una “Carta Abierta a la izquierda chavista y la izquierda autónoma”, firmado por su Equipo Operativo Nacional, convocando a  “construir un movimiento de izquierda, democrático, plural, inclusivo”. Que funcione como “espacio común de reflexión, elaboración y acción”.

Marea Socialista plantea que existen tres grandes campos políticos: el del gobierno, el de la MUD y el de la izquierda, que incluye tanto al “chavismo crítico” como a la izquierda autónoma y no-chavista. El PSL se considera parte de la izquierda autónoma opuesta al PSUV y a la MUD. En ese marco, saludamos la iniciativa de los compañeros de Marea Socialista.

Valoramos positivamente esta declaración, y acordamos con la necesidad imperiosa de constituir un movimiento o frente unitario de izquierda independiente. De hecho, la propuesta de los compañeros tiene puntos de contacto con la búsqueda de la unidad de acción de la izquierda que el PSL ha venido procurando en el marco de la actual crisis, como el llamado “A las organizaciones de izquierda y al chavismo descontento y crítico”, realizado el 19 de mayo. Allí planteábamos que “debemos llegar a acuerdos de acciones comunes independientes” contra el gobierno y así disputar la dirección de este proceso a la MUD, y no regalarle el espacio de la rebelión popular”. (http://laclase.info/content/basta-de-hambre-y-represion-no-a-la-constituyente-fraudulenta-fuera-maduro/

En ese sentido, el PSL está dispuesto a avanzar en la dirección de concretar un espacio de reagrupamiento y acción de la izquierda chavista y no chavista, y proponemos conformar una mesa de intercambio para buscar los puntos de encuentro, y avanzar en la lucha contra el régimen totalitario de Maduro.

Aprovechamos para adelantar nuestros puntos de vista sobre cómo concebimos ese reagrupamiento; ¿qué programa proponemos para el debate, y ¿cuáles propuestas de acción consideramos necesario asumir?. Así como también expresar nuestras diferencias y matices con la propuesta.

Partimos de un acuerdo básico: coincidimos en la necesidad de construir un movimiento político unitario de la izquierda chavista y autónoma. Por ello, consideramos muy positivo el llamado a los sectores de la izquierda que no nos reivindicamos chavistas.

Creemos que cualquier movimiento unitario de izquierda que se forme debe respetar esas diferencias, tanto en su programa, en su constitución, como en su nombre. En ese sentido no acordamos con que ese futuro movimiento se base solo en una “izquierda” que mantenga” los sueños bolivarianos” o hagan una “critica de su propio legado”, como señalan en su carta. Respetamos que participen organizaciones como Marea Socialista y otras que sigan reivindicando el “legado de Chávez”, pero no que se limite a ello.

Un reagrupamiento de izquierda debe incluir a quienes como el PSL y otros sectores, no acordamos con esa visión. Para nuestra corriente la crítica a Maduro y al actual gobierno no se puede basar en que no siguen el “legado de Chávez”. Consideramos que hay un debate abierto sobre un necesario balance de la política de Chávez y el llamado Socialismo del Siglo XXI. Para nosotros nunca hubo avances del proyecto de Chávez hacia el socialismo ni hacia romper con la estructura capitalista de Venezuela.

Lo anterior no significa que condicionemos la unidad de la izquierda chavista y no chavista a estar de acuerdo con nuestra posición política frente al chavismo. No obstante, para nosotros lo fundamental para avanzar es abrir un intercambio político, intentando acordar en un programa anticapitalista y socialista para un futuro movimiento unitario.

Creemos que la base de ese programa mínimo revolucionario son los 9 puntos que se acordaron en su momento con Marea Socialista, el PSL y otros sectores en la Plataforma del Pueblo en Lucha y del Chavismo Crítico, el cual incluía, un Plan de Alimentación de Emergencia, salario mínimo igual a la canasta básica, la moratoria de la deuda externa,: la nacionalización del 100% de la industria petrolera sin empresas mixtas ni transnacionales, la derogación de las concesiones del Arco Minero del Orinoco, entre otros puntos.

Sin embargo, no podemos dejar de plantear que la Plataforma del Pueblo en Lucha y del Chavismo Crítico, creada en abril del 2016, fue una gran oportunidad para avanzar en la construcción de ese movimiento de izquierda unitario que hoy levanta Marea Socialista, y el cual lamentablemente no avanzó, en gran medida por responsabilidad de Marea Socialista, organización que tuvo la iniciativa de proponerlo, pero que luego se fue alejando de sus reuniones y de las actividades programadas en el seno de la Plataforma.

Esto es una gran debilidad ya que se cortó la posibilidad de presentar un polo alternativo de izquierda frente al gobierno y la MUD, en medio de la rebelión popular contra el hambre y la represión, que se fue desarrollando desde abril del presente año.

A lo anterior se suma el hecho que consideramos equivocado, de que Marea Socialista nunca ha levantado la consigna de “Fuera Maduro”. Cuestión que ni siquiera se menciona en su carta.

Los compañeros denuncian correctamente el totalitarismo del gobierno de Maduro y sus avances represivos. Al punto que hablan de métodos de “guerra civil selectiva”. Pero no reivindican las movilizaciones y los actos de rebeldía popular contra el gobierno. Atribuyen todo a “una falsa polarización” con la MUD.  Responsabilizan a “dos cúpulas políticas irresponsables y criminales”, que llevarían a un “carnaval sangriento”.

El PSL considera que no se puede colocar en un mismo plano la criminal represión del gobierno de Maduro, y la defensa que ejercen los jóvenes y sectores populares que se movilizan y enfrentan a la GNB, la PNB y las bandas armadas del gobierno.

Marea Socialista se abstiene de asumir una posición clara de respaldo a los que se movilizan contra Maduro, incluyendo a los sectores populares que hasta hace poco fueron base social del chavismo, lo cual favorece en los hechos al gobierno. Política que equivocadamente también asumen otros sectores de la izquierda mundial.

El PSL lucha contra el gobierno de Maduro pero no da ningún apoyo político a la MUD. No podemos tener ninguna confianza en una dirección política patronal, que busca una salida negociada con EE.UU y la UE, y que no rompería nunca con las multinacionales y los banqueros, ni con el pago de la deuda externa. No obstante, nuestro partido llama a ser parte de las movilizaciones populares contra el gobierno, aunque muchas hayan sido convocadas originalmente por la MUD o participen en ellas simpatizantes y dirigentes de la MUD.

El que tiene la fuerza de represión es el gobierno cívico-militar de Maduro, que no solo hambrea al pueblo sino que ataca las libertades democráticas, prohibiendo elecciones y metiendo presos a alcaldes y dirigentes políticos de la oposición. Porque sean políticos patronales los destituidos, inhabilitados o detenidos, la izquierda no puede mirar para otro lado. Una cosa es repudiar los ataques a las libertades democráticas y otra apoyar a la MUD. Como tampoco significa apoyar a la MUD participar de movilizaciones masivas contra el hambre, contra el fraude constituyente y porque se vaya Maduro.

Miles y miles de sectores populares que han roto con el chavismo, vienen saliendo a la calle en distintas partes del país. No sumarse activamente a las distintas formas de protesta que se vienen dando en el país, limita las posibilidades de postularse como una alternativa de dirección de izquierda independiente frente a la MUD. Mas cuando sabemos que en muchos casos, la MUD ha sido rebasada por las bases y por los sectores populares movilizados. Sin ninguna duda, consideramos que un movimiento de izquierda unitario solo podrá desarrollarse al calor de la lucha, y disputándole en la calle a la MUD, la conducción de las protestas.

En tal sentido le hacemos un llamado a los compañeros de Marea Socialista a no vacilar ante el régimen cada vez más totalitario de Maduro. Ese necesario reagrupamiento desde la izquierda debe forjarse en la lucha por terminar con el gobierno cívico-militar de Maduro, para acabar con el hambre, la represión y el fraude. Así crearemos una alternativa independiente de los trabajadores y la izquierda chavista y no chavista, frente a la MUD que quiere seguir aplicando el paquetazo de ajuste contra el pueblo.

Desde PSL proponemos a los compañeros de Marea Socialista que convoquemos en común a un primer encuentro de la izquierda chavista y no chavista, y de todos aquellos luchadores que se quieran sumar. Y así dar pasos en esta unidad tan necesaria y estratégica para luchar por una salida de los trabajadores y la izquierda ante la grave crisis que vivimos.

Dirección Nacional del  Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSL)

8 de agosto de 2017

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Unite the Struggles to Defeat the Offensive Against the Workers and the Peoples of the World Led by Donald Trump and Imperialism

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Here we are publishing an international appeal by the International Workers Unity-Fourth International (UWI-FI) calling on all revolutionaries to unite and fight against the new capitalist offensive and imperialism.-SC

The rise of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States is a serious threat to the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world. Trump is the head of world imperialism and the representative of a sector of imperialism that intends to launch a new counter-offensive against the workers and peoples, imposing reactionary labor reforms, especially on young people, worsening the depredation of nature, against the most basic rights of women, of oppressed people, of poor migrants, with the only goal of preserving the capitalist-imperialist system, and the profits of multinationals and big business. This offensive is economic and can translate also into direct or indirect military action and promote a repressive escalation of bourgeois regimes against their own people.

Trump is supporting the worsening of the genocidal politics of Israel against the Palestinians. In Greece, Brazil, France, and dozens of countries all social gains of the workers are under brutal attack. Multinationals and banks are still trying to submerge the peoples under new amounts of external debt to continue to dominate and exploit them and plunder nations. Hunger is on the rise again all over the world, while a small number of ultra billionaires controls most of the world riches. The crisis that continuously exacerbates the misery of the masses, threatening the very survival of the human species, has its roots in the existence of capitalism in its imperialist phase of decadence and decay.

A hundred years after the Russian Revolution it is a fact, as ever, that humanity’s only way out is a struggle to replace the capitalist-imperialist system with Socialism with Democracy for the workers. The multinationals and banks of the USA, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan, must be expropriated and turned into collective and social property. The same must be done with all the big businesses and the large expanses of lands in the hands of big companies and landlords in all countries. To do this, the workers, the youth, the women and all popular sections of society must fight for workers’ governments in each country.

Related article: Sixth Congress IWU–FI:Unity of Revolutionaries Advances

It is with this perspective that we must confront the new imperialist counter-offensive. The rebellion of workers, the oppressed peoples, women, and youth, is the answer to the reactionary politics of Trump, Merkel, Macron and the rest. In spite of the defeat of the Syrian Revolution, expressed in the massacre of Alepo, the rebellion of the Arab peoples continues today with the protests in the Rif area of Morocco, and the heroic resistance of the Palestine people. In France and Greece, workers strikes are the answer to austerity plans and labor reforms.

In Latin America, Dilma Rousseff of the PT fell for lack of popular support, and Temer is faltering. Popular rebellion is on the rise in Venezuela against austerity and the attempt of Maduro to establish himself as a dictator. Big strikes, especially by teachers, are growing in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and other countries. Huge protests by women against femicides and patriarchal violence, in support of abortion rights and equality, is another new international phenomenon on the rise. And the movement for the independence of Catalonia is another expression of the rebellion of the peoples in search of self-determination.

These struggles are boycotted by reformist leaderships and trade-union bureaucracies. The political confusion of sections of workers and the people that vote for right-wing alternatives is caused by the open betrayal of all popular demands by Social Democratic parties and governments in Europe, including new variants of the reformist left such as Syriza in Greece or Podemos in the Spanish state or the false “progressive” governments of Latin America. It is the case of the failure of the so-called “XXIst Century Socialism” of Chávez and Maduro, of Lula-Dilma and the PT in Brasil or Evo Morales in Bolivia, that governed and continues to do so in some cases, making pacts with the multinationals and imposing austerity on their peoples.

Considering this situation, we are calling for urgent and general united action of all struggles to confront Trump and imperialist and capitalist governments. We are calling for international united action against austerity imposed on workers and popular sections of society; against criminalization of protests; against the destruction of nature; for non-payment of foreign debts; in defense of democratic rights, of women, of popular health and education, of our jobs, of our food, of our future, exposed to lay-offs, hunger, repression and climate disasters.

The most important need of the masses today is to overcome their crisis of revolutionary leadership. Considering the betrayal of the reformist machinery, we need new revolutionary socialist leaderships in each country and in the world. We need to build strong revolutionary parties that struggle for class independence and internationalism. We must return to the revolutionary path of Lenin and Trotsky.

The VIth Congress of the UWI-FI ratifies the appeal to unite revolutionaries in each country and the world in an international revolutionary organization towards the reconstruction of the IV International. The UWI-FI rejects all sectarianism and self-proclamation in that path. That is why we are making a new appeal to all organizations that uphold the validity of the struggle for World Socialist Revolution and for Workers’ Governments to carry out common actions and define steps towards the unity of revolutionaries in each country and in the world.

Unity of struggles against economic austerity and anti-popular repression!Unity of revolutionaries to rebuild the Fourth International to struggle for the defeat of capitalism, for real Workers Socialist Governments!

VIth Congress of UWI-FI

July, 2017

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Posted in Donald Trump, English, International, Working class | Leave a comment