The Tragedy of 21st Century Refugees

By Mercedes Petit

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The terrible images of the refugees show that this is a humanitarian catastrophe that was covered up by capitalist governments. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of refugees and displaced comes to 60 million people. This group of persecuted would be the 24th country in the world. There is a single explanation: the growth of poverty and wars caused by the capitalist-imperialist system.

This is the largest number of refugees since World War II. The numbers are growing every year from 2007-2008, when the capitalist economic crisis entered a new acute phase with millions of unemployed and new plans of adjustment and looting worldwide.

The military and economic actions of imperialism and the multinationals have exacerbated the suffering of the people. Social inequality keeps growing. Already 1.2 billion people are recordedin poverty, living on US$ 1.25 perday, according to the annual reportof the UN Development Programme(UNDP). Meanwhile the number of billionaires increased. Between 2009 and 2013 it went from 10 to 13.7 million (Clarin, Argentina, 23 November 2014). Africa has 60 percent of arable land on the planet but millions suffer from hunger and only 10 percent is in production and in the hands of multinationals and local elites. The refugees are fleeing from hunger and poverty in Africa, Central Asia (Pakistan), Central America or from the destruction of imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also they are fleeing the bombing of al-Assad in Syria.

In 2015 there is a leap in the number of refugees who risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The numbers are compelling. Throughout 2014, 260,000 people were recorded crossing the Mediterranean. By August 2015 the figure was already 550,000 people and with a tendency to grow until the end of the year. In 2014, 3,279 drowned and in September 2015 the number reaches about 2,980, while the risk continues for many more crossing in precarious boats and rubber dinghies.

Thousands risk their lives paying people smugglers between € 2000- 3000 per person; when a legal plane ticket from Istanbul to Athens costs € 250-300. Why does this happen? Simply because of the criminal policy of European and imperialist governments who refuse to give legal asylum to those who request it. This is what happened to the family of child Aylan who went to the Canadian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to seek asylum and they were demanded a certificate of “residence”; when it is known that the reactionary government of Erdogan denies the Syrians this “certificate”. Thus the Kurdish family of Aylan, originally from Kobane, had no choice but to risk the desperate action of crossing illegally in the worst conditions; with the known sad end result.

Where do the refugees come from? According to UNHCR 43 percent are Syrian, 12 percent Afghan, 10 percent Eritreans, 5 percent Nigerians, and Somalis 3 percent. The remaining 27 percent are distributed among Iraqis, Libyans, Pakistanis and, surprisingly, Kosovars (37,500) were also recorded. Kosovo (which was part of the former Yugoslavia) is in Europe and has about 35 percent unemployment.

Thousands come to the Greek islands from the Turkish coast. Initially, and under the pressure of their peoples, the governments of Germany, Austria and France had to open their borders faced with the dramatic and tragic images of refugees. And also due to the widespread repudiation to the repression by the Hungarian police on the refugees and to their right-wing government policy of erecting four metre high barbed wire fences at its borders. European peoples showed a high degree of solidarity. But this opening of borders was short-lived. Seventy-two hours later, Merkel and Hollande resolved to again close their borders and the EU. After long debates, they ended by agreeing to an asylum to 120,000 over two years, when Merkel had spoken of giving asylum to 800,000 refugees this year. An openly hypocritical attitude. To top it off, they agreed to a distribution in quotas where Germany leads with only 17,037 refugees, followed by France with 12,062 (data from EU Council, in El País, Madrid, 23 September). In addition, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark are outside these agreements of the EU and refuse to receive refugees.

Given this drama, the mobilisation of the peoples of Europe and the world should continue supporting the refugees and the rebellious Syrian people to finish with al-Assad. By way of the liberation of Syria it will be possible to stop the tragedy of death or exodus for hundreds of thousands that this war causes. Meanwhile the struggle of the peoples in defence of the refugees must continue, demanding the capitalist governments to open their borders and provide protection, food, shelter and work.

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Originally published in International Correspondence N°37, 2015

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Strong defeat and punishment vote against Maduro’s government

We publish here a statement issued by the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSL-Venezuela). -SC

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On 6 December the government of Nicolas Maduro and the PSUV suffered a heavy political defeat at the hands of the pro-imperialist opposition grouped in the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).

The MUD obtained a qualified majority of two-thirds in the National Assembly (NA) with 112 deputies, while the PSUV won 55 deputies. Chavism has thus lost the majority in the National Assembly, which had held for 16 years.

It was a crushing defeat. The MUD won 7,707,422 votes, representing 56.2 percent, while Chavez won 5,599,025 votes, or 40.8 percent.

The massive vote for the MUD reflects a clear punishment vote of the majority of the people and workers against the growing deterioration of their living standards. It was a vote of rejection of high inflation, the shameful queues, against shortages of basic products, low pay, insecurity, layoffs, and lousy public services. It was a punishment vote against a government that has criminalised protest, persecuted those who fight, laid off thousands of workers of public bodies, ignored collective agreements and systematically violated the autonomy of popular organizations and unions.

It is not a turn to the right, far from it. The vote obtained by the MUD is not accompanied by a great confidence in their leaders or their political proposals; it was above all a clear vote against the government and the disaster that has engulfed the daily lives of working people. It is not a blank check. Many voted for the MUD with a “handkerchief on the nose”.

Nor is it the failure of socialism, as some bosses and pro-imperialist sectors may seek to show. In fact, in Venezuela there is no socialism. What failed was a political, economic and social model that has allowed bankers, telecommunications and oil transnationals, Bolivarian bourgeoisie and corrupt officials to enrich themselves at the expense of deteriorating living standards for the population, benefitting from oil revenues, deceiving the people and hiding their business behind a false socialist discourse. Those responsible for these variants of centre right to strengthen are Chavism and the failure of its political project.

In the last two years the Venezuelan working people have seen their living standards plummet. Venezuelans are going through a lot of labour. Their salaries are destroyed by daily inflation. The hardship of long and exhausting queues to purchase basic products has overcome the patience of the people. The drama of the dismal public services, disastrous transport, lack of water and electricity, has caused the daily lives of millions of people to become unbearable. All these vicissitudes explain the strong punishment vote of the working people against the government of Maduro and the PSUV.

It is evident that the majority did not believe the tale of “economic war”, behind which the government has tried to evade responsibility in the severe economic crisis. The people did not buy the election slogans using the figure of the late president as a banner. “We are of Chavez”, “The candidates of Chavez” could not overcome the discontent that has been accumulating in the Venezuelan people. The election results gave the lie to a pollster linked to the government before the elections who said that the Venezuelan people were “culturally Chavist”.

The results of 6 December are just a new phase of the political, economic and social crisis. Now there are two opposing bosses’ powers: one is controlling the executive and other institutions, and another is controlling the majority in parliament. We understand the people’s rejection of the government, but we cannot place any confidence in the new National Assembly and the deputies of the MUD.

The Socialism and Freedom Party (PSL) argues that the workers and the people must continue to rely on our own strength, our independent and autonomous mobilisation, both from the government and the MUD. This is critical for fostering from below, from the workers, our own agenda of demands to the new Assembly.

In this regard, the PSL demands the NA to pass a law for a general wage increase, and for providing the minimum wage to be adjusted to the basic basket and increased every three months according to inflation. An Act of Reenlistment for all unfairly dismissed workers, including the reinstatement of our comrades Bladimir Carvajal and Orlando Chirino, and payment of lost wages. An Act of Amnesty for all union, community, students, and indigenous activists and political leaders arrested or with precautionary measures for protesting or expressing their political position. Including Rodney Alvarez, worker of Ferrominera Orinoco detained for five years for a crime he did not commit. The Pemon Indians with open trials. Parliamentary inquiry into the murder of Sabino Romero, as well as the slaughter of La Encrucijada, the killing of two Mitsubishi workers in January 2009 in the context of a strike, the slaughter of Hato Las Flores against Yukpa Indians, and the disappearance of Alcedo Mora in Merida. Raise the reform of laws restricting the right to demonstrate and strike. And the termination of joint venture contracts in the oil sector, for PDVSA to belong 100 percent to the state, without corporations, and managed by their workers, technicians and professionals, among other laws.

The own President Maduro and former PSUV’s Deputy Elvis Amoroso announced economic measures and a new adjustment, which would aggravate the hardships of the working people. It is possible they may be contemplating increasing the price of gasoline and other unpopular measures. In this, the deputies of the MUD have full agreement with the government. The new situation demands the strengthening of the self-organization of the people and the workers, and the mobilisation to confront the government and the National Assembly, to resist the adjustment plans and the regressive measures that seek to promote both.

11 December, 2015

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We condemn the attack of ISIS in Tunisia! We reject the implementations of state of emergency!

We publish here a statement in solidarity with the people of Tunisia  by the International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI)

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On November 24, ISIS attacked to the capital city of Tunisia once again after its massacres at the Bardo Museum in the capital on March 18 and in Susa on June 26. Aimed at the bus carrying presidential guards, the suicide bomb attack occurred in front of the headquarters of the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), the party of ousted leader Ben Ali, in Mohammed V Avenue, one of the busiest locations in the capital. Twelve people, who were all presidential guards, died and 20 were injured in the attack.

The government has declared state of emergency after the attack, just as it did after the Susa massacre. However, the law is enforced much more strictly this time. As part of the state of emergency, the curfew will be implemented between from 21:00 to 05:00 for one month across the country. The rights to assemble, demonstrate and march are also banned. Moreover, Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) cancelled the general strike of the private sector which was to be held in the capital city on November 25 with the excuse of the need for “national unity”.

As socialists of IWU-FI (International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International), we condemn this attack carried out by ISIS! With these terrorist attacks of ISIS, the government justifies its own repressive policies and causes the withdrawal of mass mobilization. The counter-revolutionary role of ISIS in the North African and Middle East revolutions strengthens further with these attacks.

All ruling governments after the ousting of dictator Ben Ali have been trying to control the movement of masses without fulfilling any of their demands, by the help of the implications of democratic reactionary policies pursued in the cooperation with the imperialism just as the current president Beji Caid Essebsi and the ruling party Nidaa Tounes. The government, once more, has used this attack of ISIS in order to justify itself as it has done before, and attacks the freedom of the Tunisian people and workers through the implementation of repressive methods, curfews, prevention of the rights of strike, of protest demonstration and of marching through a discourse of “national unity” and “fight against terrorism”. In the country, no progress can be seen under this so-called democratic transition; the social and economic crisis increasingly deepens and each day the importance of the struggle for a humane and dignified life becomes more crucial. Moreover, the government uses the attacks carried out by ISIS to improve its collaboration with imperialism. Regarding this collaboration, the government has signed an agreement with the European Union at the amount of 23 million Euros for renewal of the security forces in early November and announced that 20 percent of the budget for 2016 will be allocated to security and defence spending. To sum up, the government forces Tunisian people to make a choice between ISIS terrorism and the state terrorism.

As IWU-FI, we reject the repressive policies of the Tunisian government as we condemn the attacks of ISIS! In Tunisia, the main dynamics of the struggle against counterrevolution can only be provided by a struggle program targeting democratic, economic and social transformations. A struggle front led by UGTT, People’s Front, Revolutionary Front and other youth and labour organizations can stop the repressive policies and make it possible to set back the radical Islamists, through an action plan based on the mobilization of the masses.

We condemn the attack of ISIS in Tunisia! We reject the repressive implementations of the Tunisian government! No to the state of emergency! No to the curfew, the prevention of the right of strike, of assembly and of demonstrate in protest!

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

November 25, 2015

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We repudiate the terrorist attacks of ISIS in Paris!

Statement by the International Workers’ Unity-Fourth International 

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Statement by the Internationalist Socialist Group (GSI-France)

On the night of 14 November there was a series of bombings in Paris, the capital of France. The victims number about 150 people. The terrorist attacks were carried out indiscriminately on the defenceless population, killing people in an artistic performance or in a football stadium. A reprehensible and unacceptable criminal action.

The socialists of the IWU-FI repudiate this terrorist action that pollutes and weakens the legitimate cause of the Arab peoples, especially of the Syrian or Palestinian people fighting against imperialism and its reactionary allies like Bashar al-Assad or the Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu. And because, once again, this will be used by French imperialism, by its government of social democrat Hollande, to strengthen the repression on its peoples and its youth.

The origin of this attack is the conflict in Syria and the repeated imperialist intervention of the so-called coalition against terrorism headed by the US and which France is part of, carrying out bombings of Syrian territory. In the same way as Russia and Iran do it.

The dictator Bashar al-Asaad came out to declare the French government is also responsible for what happened because it “endorses” terrorism against his “legitimate government”. This is false. Both Bashar as well as France and US imperialism have their share of responsibility for these attacks. Firstly, the government of Bashar al-Asaad is not “legitimate”, but a dictatorship which faces since 2011 a popular rebellion that was part of the “Arab Spring” began in Tunisia and Egypt. Since then he has been slaughtering his people with tanks, bombs and chemical weapons. With the open support of reactionary Putin it is indiscriminately bombing civilians opposing the dictator. Secondly, also France, England, Turkey and the US with their “coalition” bomb rebel areas, coordinating with Bashar and Russia, with the same argument to fight the “terrorism” of ISIS. That is, they all objectively hold Bashar or seek a negotiated solution with the dictator. As they have been discussing in Vienna and at the meeting of the G20 in Turkey.

In the war of Syria there are three fronts: 1) the one headed by the dictatorship al-Asaad, 2) the reactionary ISIS (Islamic State) and 3) the remains of the armed rebel people which had started the popular revolution of March 2011, which includes the Free Syrian Army (FSA) militia and various independent Kurdish brigades from Kobane and elsewhere. ISIS, which has claimed to be the author of the criminal attacks in France, is a splinter of Al Qaeda; it is an ultra-reactionary jihadist militia that was created in 2013 and funded in the beginning by oil and pro-Yankee monarchies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and by Turkey. It is suspected that Bashar let them run, even releasing many of its militants who were prisoners in his jails. They play the role of fifth column to defeat the popular revolt against Bashar with the project of creating a “caliphate”, i.e. a new dictatorship but of a theocratic type. Therefore their terrorist actions in France or elsewhere must be repudiated, because they are at the service of a reactionary cause and contribute to create even further confusion in the masses about who their real enemies are, i.e. imperialism, Russia and their agents such as Bashar and all the reactionary governments in North Africa and the Middle East, including, among them, Israel and also ISIS.

Now France, USA, Germany and the whole imperialism and its allies will want to present themselves as “victims” when in fact they are, historically, those most responsible for this debacle.

French imperialism has a long history of colonial violence in Africa. Now they are part of the coalition that systematically bombs Iraq and Syria. Along with Germany and the US, they support the warmongering policy of NATO. And they support the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. They are insensitive to the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees coming to Europe to escape capitalist poverty and hunger and the wars they cause.

From the IWU-FI we repudiate, once again, these new terrorist attacks that taint the cause of peoples in struggle and objectively help imperialism to continue its policy of repression and bombings in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. Only the struggle of the peoples of the world will be able to end the imperialist aggressions and genocidal dictators like Bashar al-Assad.

We repudiate the attacks of the ISIS in France! Enough of Bashar al-Assad! No to ISIS! Stop the bombings by Russia, the US and France! Long live the struggle of the rebel Syrian people. Long live the Palestinian struggle! Full solidarity with the refugees!

International Workers Unity-Fourth International (IWU-FI)

November 14, 2015

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Greece: Another Failure of Neo-Reformism

By Miguel Sorans

Syriza is the expression of a new failure of the projects of the reformist left in the XXI century. Millions in Europe and Latin America break with the old parties and turn left seeking a fundamental change. This is what has been happening in Latin America in the last 15 years; with the PT governments of Lula and Dilma in Brazil and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela as the most prominent.

In Europe, as a result of the capitalist crisis and the cuts by the Troika, this turn has been expressed in demonstrations and electorally in Syriza, in Podemos, in the mayors of Madrid and Barcelona or in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain. We define as neo reformism these new and different political movements or formations. New because they come to occupy the place left by the fall of the apparatus of the bureaucracy of the former USSR and the communist parties. Also by the fall of the European social democracy due to the crisis that has been demolishing the PSOE, the French PS or PASOK in Greece, which were making it clear they are direct agents of imperialism and the EU. Throughout the last century the global apparatus of Stalinism stopped the revolutionary demonstrations and urged the governments of class conciliation, of unity with bourgeois sectors supposedly “democratic” and “progressive”.

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the hatred of the masses to the bureaucratic and reformist apparatus of the bureaucracies of the Communist Parties and Social Democrats resulted in millions to begin looking for alternatives. The absence of a strong revolutionary socialist pole has also facilitated the emergence of these “new left” variations which take on a centrist program, which do not claim socialism as the goal of this change and which reject the formation of parties for revolutionary action. They drive “broad” movements or parties, essentially directed to the electoral and parliamentary activity, with internal tendencies revolving around the central leadership, sometimes directly a oneman leadership, and not driving or being centred on the mobilisation and organisation of workers and youth as key factors to face the bosses’ governments and to achieve substantive changes.

Syriza: another failure

In the last two or three years Syriza was transformed in the dazzling “star” of the European and international left. What is its origin? It is a party that emerged from a coalition of several left Eurocommunist parties, former PASOK socialists, Maoists, Trotskyists and environmentalists, and which was first introduced to elections in 2004. Its main force was Synaspismos, of Eurocommunist origin, oriented by Tsipras and which was already a party in 1991. In July 2013 the coalition becomes a legal broad party, they designate a Central Committee and Tsipras is re-elected as president. In its statement of principles it is defined as “a party founded on Marxist thought”. And they adopt ambiguous points as that their objective is a society “based on social ownership and management”. And some not as ambiguous as that they will strive for the “nullification of the Memoranda of austerity” (note by Amelie Poinssot in Mediapart, 31 July, 2013).

In January 2015 they win the election by 36.6 percent when years earlier they did not reach 5 percent. They form a government of class collaboration, what we call a “popular front”, with the “shadow of the bourgeoisie”, in the words of Leon Trotsky. They formed government with the nationalist right Independent Greeks, giving them the important Ministry of Defence. And so they backslid in the way of the old reformist utopia of wanting to achieve a “positive” settlement for the hardships of the masses at the negotiating table with the major imperialist powers. False discourse to sell out and end up yielding. They discard the workers’ and popular mobilisation. In Greece there were about 30 general strikes. This was the deciding factor, even for Syriza to come to government. They quickly fell in direct betrayal, just six months after taking office.

Full article in International Correspondence issue N˚ 37•October 2015.

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Nuevos crímenes del sionismo: Solidaridad con el pueblo palestino!

A continuación publicamos una declaración de la Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores-Cuarta Internacional (UIT- CI) en repudio a la violencia del régimen colonialista en Palestina y en solidaridad con el pueblo palestino.-SC

A 11 días del reinicio de los enfrentamientos diarios del sionismo contra los palestinos, hay decenas de muertos y casi dos mil heridos palestinos. Desde la UIT-CI llamamos a la urgente la solidaridad con el pueblo palestino que sigue resistiendo heroicamente.

Como siempre, en la reunión de la Asamblea General de la ONU el premier israelí Benjamín Netanyahu en su discurso del 1º de octubre se presentó como víctima. La mayor parte de su intervención la dedicó a criticar el acuerdo nuclear firmado entre Estados Unidos, otras potencias e Irán. Sin embargo, escondió que ese acuerdo le garantiza a su estado invasor seguir siendo el único poseedor de poderío militar nuclear en la región, protegido por el propio Obama. Y por supuesto culpó a la dirigencia palestina por no avanzar en “acuerdos de paz”, mientras fue él mismo quien en vísperas de las elecciones generales de marzo renegó explícitamente de los acuerdos que supuestamente deberían permitir la existencia de “dos estados”.

Por su parte Mahmud Abbas, presidente de la Autoridad Nacional Palestina había denunciado que nunca Israel cumplió ninguno de los ya casi olvidados “acuerdos de Oslo” firmados en 1993. Abbas pidió protección internacional para el pueblo palestino.

Sin duda, la agresión del invasor sionista contra los palestinos se ha venido agudizando, en particular en Cisjordania. Se incrementó la radicación de israelíes en tierras que supuestamente estarían reservados a los palestinos, se siguen levantando muros, y los colonos están cada vez más agresivos. El 31 de julio fue estremecedora la noticia de un grupo de colonos que incendiaron la vivienda de una familia palestina, dando lugar a la muerte de un bebé de 18 meses e hiriendo gravemente a los padres y hermanitos. Desde entonces se vienen incrementando los ataques y agresiones. Y se sumó el intento israelí de impedir la presencia de palestinos en la explanada de las Mezquitas en Jerusalem, en particular en la mezquita de Al Aqsa, uno de los principales lugares sagrados de los musulmanes.

El descontento entre los palestinos viene en aumento. Se han producido ataques individuales de palestinos contra israelíes, varios de ellos con simples cuchillos. Y las movilizaciones arrojando piedras. Netanyahu ha redoblado su apuesta represiva. Ha autorizado la utilización de armas de fuego contra los jóvenes que arrojan piedas, habla de “ataques terroristas” ante esas piedras o cuchillos, viene demoliendo las casas de familiares de palestinos exterminados por sus tropas. Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramalla y otras ciudades son escenarios de crecientes enfrentamientos. Algunos medios y comentaristas se preguntan si se están transitando los primeros pasos hacia una nueva “intifada”.

En las Naciones Unidas ahora también flamea una bandera palestina (para furia de los invasores). Pero ese llamado a la “protección internacional” que hizo Abbas en ese ámbito no pasará de las declaraciones, alguna denuncia y los llamados a “ambas partes”, sin distinguir entre las verdaderas víctimas, el pueblo palestino, y sus victimarios, el estado invasor.

Son los luchadores democráticos y los trabajadores y los jóvenes de todo el mundo quienes tienen que tomar en sus manos la protección al pueblo palestino. Artistas e intelectuales de numerosos países se vienen sumando al boicot. Impulsemos la ruptura de relaciones de los gobiernos con Israel y la solidaridad con la lucha heroica con el pueblo palestino.

UIT-CI  

12 de octubre de 2015

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The European governments and the Syrian dictatorship of al-Assad are responsible for the deaths of thousands of refugees, like the child Aylan Kurdi

We publish here a statement on the European migrant crisis by the International Workers Unity-Fourth International (IWU-FI)-SCimagesThe whole world was shocked with a picture of a Syrian boy named Aylan Kurdi, only 3 years; the child died next to his brother and his mother; the only survivor of the family was his father. They came from the city of Kobane and were fleeing the atrocities of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, of the NATO bombings and the reactionary ISIS, which emerged as another force in Syria to destroy the struggle of the Syrian and Kurdish people.

The family was trying to get to Canada, where they had relatives. They had tried several times to get asylum in that country, which was denied. The same is true with the imperialist governments in Europe. What happened to toddler Aylan is part of the daily drama of thousands of immigrants and refugees who die or risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean.

The European governments build walls, fences and “shield” their borders with police, military, patrol boats, expulsions and immigration laws. While they let run, in fact, the dictatorship of al-Assad which is one of the reasons why thousands of Syrians flee their massive bombings and chemical attacks. The cynicism of the governments of the European Union (EU), of Merkel or Hollande, has no limits. They remember the war when the consequences reach them in Europe. These NATO governments which close their borders today are the same that directly or indirectly support the dictator Bashar al-Assad and his massacres, now totalling 300,000 victims. The refugees come from Syria and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and other African countries. They are about thousands and thousands of young people, workers, and families fleeing violence, persecution or poverty imposed by the economic and social crisis of the capitalist-imperialist system.

For the EU it is only about building walls, of addressing immigration as a problem of public interest. Each wall that arises in Europe opens a new business for the mafias that profit from despair. Its “market” is inexhaustible. The best way to fight against traffickers is to open the door to the legal entry of refugees and to end with the Schengen Agreement and immigration laws, it is to put an end to the pillaging, it is to stop endorsing and arming the tyrants.

The peoples of Europe, in contrast to their governments, are giving a show of solidarity with the refugees. The population of Iceland offers asylum in their homes to refugees; the Serbs in Belgrade give open solidarity; or the mobilisation of 30,000 people in Vienna (Austria) expressing their solidarity and willingness to open the borders to immigrants. It is urgent to open all borders in Europe allowing and facilitating the free movement of thousands of refugees, granting asylum, housing and work to each. They should be assisted to escape from their countries of origin and that they do not die in the attempt. This requirement extends to the world’s governments, to cease immediately their support for dictatorships like the one of Syria and of imperialist interventions and the reactionary ISIS. For all this, we must denounce the rulers of Europe and the United States who keep sentencing to death thousands of refugees, and instead we call to give support to the refugees and the struggle of the Syrian people. We call for the mobilisation of the people, of the workers and youth of the world; we call the workers’ organisations and of solidarity with refugees, to confront the immigration policies of governments and against the regime of al-Assad and ISIS, in solidarity with the Syrian people.

International Workers Unity –Fourth International (IWU-FI)
3 September 2015

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Los gobiernos europeos y la dictadura siria de Al Assad, son responsables de las muertes de miles de refugiados, como el niño Aylan Kurdi

El mundo entero quedó consternado con la foto del niño sirio llamado Aylan Kurdi, de tan solo 3 años, el pequeño murió al lado de su hermano y de su madre, el único superviviente de la familia fue su padre. Ellos venían de la ciudad de Kobane y huían de las atrocidades del régimen de Bashar  Al Assad  de Siria, de los bombardeos de la OTAN y del reaccionario ISIS, que surgió como otra fuerza en Siria para destruir la lucha del pueblo sirio y kurdo.

La familia estaba intentando llegar a Canadá, donde tenían familiares. Habían intentado varias veces el asilo en este país, lo que le fue negado. Lo mismo ocurre con los gobiernos imperialistas de Europa. Lo ocurrido con el niño Aylan es parte del drama cotidiano de miles de inmigrantes y refugiados que mueren o arriesgan sus vidas  cruzando el Mediterráneo.

Los gobiernos europeos  levantan muros, vallas y “blindan” sus fronteras con policías, militares, patrulleras, expulsiones y leyes de extranjería. Mientras dejan correr, de hecho, a la dictadura de Al Assad que es una de las causas de que miles de sirios escapen de sus bombardeos masivos y ataques químicos. El cinismo de los gobiernos de la Unión Europea(UE), de Merkel u Hollande, no tiene límites. Se acuerdan de la guerra cuando las consecuencias les llega a Europa. Son los mismos gobiernos de la OTAN que hoy cierran sus fronteras los que apoyan directa o indirectamente al dictador Bashar Al Assad y sus masacres que ya suman 300.000 víctimas. Los refugiados  provienen de Siria y, en menor medida, de Afganistán, Irak, Eritrea y otros países africanos. Se tratan de miles y miles de  jóvenes, trabajadores, familias que huyen de la violencia, la persecución o la miseria que le imponen la crisis económica y social del sistema capitalista-imperialista.

Para la UE sólo se trata de levantar muros, de abordar la inmigración como un problema de orden público. Cada muro que se levanta en Europa abre un nuevo negocio para las mafias, que se lucran de la desesperación. Su “mercado” es inagotable. La mejor manera de luchar contra los traficantes es abrir las puertas a la entrada legal de los refugiados y acabar con el tratado de Schengen y las leyes de extranjería, es poner fin al expolio, es dejar de avalar y armar a los tiranos.

Los pueblos europeos, a diferencia de sus gobiernos, están dando una demostración de solidaridad con los refugiados. La población de Islandia ofrece asilo en sus casas a los refugiados, el pueblo serbio da solidaridad abierta en Belgrado o la movilización de 30 mil personas en Viena (Austria) expresando su  solidaridad y disposición a que se abran las fronteras a los inmigrantes. Es urgente abrir todas las fronteras de Europa permitiendo y facilitando la libre circulación de los miles de refugiados, otorgando asilo, vivienda y trabajo a cada uno. Se les debe prestar asistencia para escapar de sus países de origen y que no mueran en el intento. Esta exigencia es extensiva a los gobiernos del mundo, cesando inmediatamente el apoyo a las dictaduras como la de Siria y las intervenciones imperialistas y del reaccionario ISIS. Por todo esto debemos denunciar a los gobernantes de Europa  y de Estados Unidos que vienen condenando a muerte a miles y miles de refugiados y dar apoyo  a los refugiados y a la lucha del pueblo sirio. Llamamos a la movilización de los pueblos, de los trabajadores y la juventud del mundo, a las organizaciones de trabajadores y solidaria con los refugiados, a enfrentar las políticas de extranjería de los gobiernos y contra el régimen de Al Assad y el ISIS, en solidaridad con el pueblo sirio

UIT-CI (Unidad Internacional de Trabajadores-Cuarta Internacional)

 3 de setiembre de 2015

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Tsipras’s resignation is a manoeuvre to strengthen the pact with the Troika

Statement by the IWU-FI

For a unitary block of the left and the workers to defeat the new memorandum

On August 20 Alexis Tsipras resigned as Prime Minister of Greece, to force a call to new elections in mid-September. It is a manoeuvre that seeks to overcome the political crisis caused within Syriza by their capitulation to the Troika (IMF, European Union— UE— and the European Central Bank—ECB).

On July 5 the Greek people had said NO to a new memorandum with the troika in the referendum called by Tsipras. A few days after that vote the same Tsipras and his government ignored that outcome. They said YES to the Troika and agreed to a new memorandum which means a worse adjustment than the previous ones. A betrayal in record time.

The deal triggered a serious crisis in Syriza. There was a majority vote of the Central Committee against the agreement, and this led to about 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) of Syriza’s left wing rejecting it in parliament. This forced Tsipras to negotiate with the MPs of the conservative bosses parties like New Democracy and others to achieve a parliamentary majority. On July 15 the Confederation of Public Employees and Teachers (ADEDY) called for a general strike and a march with support from sectors of the left who reject the pact and the government policy. The start of the European summer and the initial surprise of the masses prevented, incidentally, the protest from becoming massive. But the end of summer and the first effects of the adjustment will make the protests grow after September. Therefore, Tsipras comes forward and makes this electoral manoeuvre seeking to unify Syriza and his government. He aims to have parliamentary majority, getting rid of the left wing of his party, and reassert himself before the workers’ and people’s protests grow.

The new memorandum is a brutal adjustment against the people

The new agreement by Tsipras, called the “third bailout”, is an adjustment worse than the previous ones against the working people. With the myth that “there was no other way out” and that it will be “an adjustment socially balanced”, Tsipras and his government have agreed to an adjustment with a new reduction of pensions (retirement), liberalisation of labour laws and further privatisations so brazen that the memorandum directly states that 14 airports related to tourism will be purchased by the German company Fraport.

Never before has been put in evidence the complete failure of the political projects of the centre-left, which assures that agreeing with bourgeois sectors and negotiating with the IMF and imperialism there will be a solution to the social crisis caused by the capitalist system and its adjustments. They repeat the failure already existing in Latin America with bosses’ governments, of class conciliation, as in Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil, with “left” discourses which end up agreeing with the multinationals, big business and ruling against the people. The Syriza government repeats this path, in an accelerated way, agreeing with all Greek bosses’ parties and the Troika. After six months it resigns to try to stay in power.

Such is the covenant and the manoeuvre of his resignation, that most of the spokespersons of imperialism and banking support the play of the new elections for Tsipras to revalidate his titles. Given the growing discredit of the old parties and Greek bosses’ leaders, the Troika bets for Tsipras and Syriza to continue the adjustment and the looting in Greece. The chairman of Eurogroup, Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said, for example, that he hopes “the elections lead to an even greater support for the bailout in the Greek Parliament”. Thomas Wieser, the German who leads the directors of the European treasuries noted: “it was an expected stage and for many it was a desired stage for a clearer structure in the Greek government” (Clarin, Argentina, 21 August). More clear impossible.

For the break with the EU, the Troika and the non-payment. NO to the memorandum. For a block of struggle of all the left and the workers.

A new moment opens in Greece for the workers, the youth and the left. Tsipras approved the memorandum in agreement with the right. It is likely that Syriza will even win the elections because of the existing confusion and the blackmail that “it is worse if the governments of the right get back”. The new memorandum agreed by Tsipras and the Troika needs to be beaten with the mobilisation of the workers, the youth and the people. To open that path it is needed to prepare a new political alternative to convene mobilisation. Unity is needed, a block of all the left and the unions which have said NO to the memorandum and adjustment.

The left of Syriza announced the break with its party and the formation of Popular Unity, composed of 24 former Syriza MPs and defined as a front to regroup the left “against the new memorandum, against austerity and against the guardianship of the country”. Among the proposals are the rejection of privatisation and nationalisation under control of strategic sectors of the economy, starting with the banking sector, as well as the exit from the Euro zone and NATO (imperialist military alliance) and the rupture of military pacts with Israel. Its call is for the elections but it also says it is “to mobilise all social forces that want to fight against austerity and memoranda”. This break is a progressive step. Beyond the political differences we may have with these currents or other currents claiming to be revolutionary socialist may have with them, it is necessary to call for this proclaimed unity to materialize.

What is urgently needed is a block or united front of the left, for the elections and for mobilisation. A unitary block that takes advantage of the elections to present a united position to regroup the left and the militant sectors of the trade union and popular movement to prepare for mobilisation. A block or front that regroups Popular Unity with left groups outside of Syriza, as Antarsya, OKDE and the trade union and popular sectors which were for the NO and reject this betrayal. To launch a national mobilisation plan and impose an emergency workers’ and people’s plan to break with this agreement, to suspend all debt payments, break with the EU and the Euro, nationalise the banks under workers’ control, among other measures, calling for international solidarity for these banners of rupture. In the struggle for a new government, a government of the workers and the people. The workers may open a new path in Greece, a path of sovereignty against imperialism and colonialism.

International Secretariat of the IWU-FI (International Workers Unity–Fourth International)
24 August, 2015

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Related article: Greece gets a lifejacket made of lead

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La renuncia de Tsipras es una maniobra para fortalecer el pacto con la Troika

Declaración de la UIT-CI
Por un bloque unitario de la izquierda y los trabajadores  para derrotar al nuevo memorando
 
El 20 de agosto renunció Alexis Tsipras como primer ministro de Grecia, para obligar a convocar a nuevas elecciones a mediados de setiembre. Se trata de una maniobra que busca superar la crisis política que provocó en Syriza su capitulación a la Troika (FMI, Unión Europea –UE- y el Banco Central Europeo –BCE-).
El 5 de julio el pueblo griego había dicho NO a un nuevo memorando con la Troika en el referendo convocado por Tsipras. A los pocos días de esa votación el mismo Tsipras y su gobierno desconocieron ese resultado. Le dijeron SI a la Troika y acordaron un nuevo memorando que significa un ajuste peor que los anteriores. Una traición en tiempo record.
El acuerdo desencadenó una grave crisis en Syriza. Hubo una votación de la mayoría de su Comité Central contra el acuerdo, y esto llevó a que cerca de 40 diputados del ala izquierda de Syriza lo rechazaron en el parlamento. Esto hizo que Tsipras tuviera que pactar con los diputados de los partidos patronales conservadores como Nueva Democracia y otros para lograr la mayoría parlamentaria.  El 15 de julio la Confederación Sindical de los empleados públicos y maestros (Adedy) llamó a una huelga general y a una marcha con apoyo de sectores de la izquierda que rechazan el pacto y la política del gobierno. El inicio del verano europeo y la sorpresa inicial de las masas impidió que circunstancialmente, se masificara la protesta. Pero el fin del verano y los primeros efectos del ajuste harán que las protestan crezcan después de setiembre. Por eso Tsipras se adelanta y hace esta maniobra electoral buscando unificar a Syriza y a su gobierno. Pretende tener mayoría parlamentaria, sacándose de encima el ala izquierda de su partido, y reafirmarse antes de que crezcan las protestas obreras y populares.
 
 El nuevo memorando es un brutal ajuste contra el pueblo
 
El nuevo acuerdo de Tsipras, llamado el “tercer rescate”, es un ajuste peor que los anteriores contra el pueblo trabajador. Con el cuento de que “no había otra salida” y que será “un ajuste equilibrado socialmente”, Tsipras y su gobierno han pactado un ajuste con nueva rebaja de pensionados (jubilaciones), una liberalización de las leyes laborales y nuevas privatizaciones tan descaradas como que directamente el memorando establece que 14 aeropuertos relacionados con el turismo serán adquiridos por la empresa alemana Fraport. 
Nunca como ahora se ha puesto en evidencia el fracaso total  de los proyectos políticos de  la centroizquierda, que aseguran que pactando con sectores burgueses y negociando con el FMI y el imperialismo van a  dar salida a la crisis social que provoca el sistema capitalista y sus ajustes. Repiten el fracaso que ya se vive en Latinoamérica con gobiernos patronales, de conciliación de clases que, como en Venezuela, Bolivia o Brasil, con discursos de “izquierda” terminan pactando con las multinacionales, los grandes empresarios y gobiernan contra el pueblo. El gobierno de Syriza repite ese camino, en forma acelerada, pactando con todos los partidos patronales griegos y con la Troika. A los 6 meses renuncia para tratar de mantenerse en el poder.
 
Tal es el pacto y la maniobra de su renuncia, que la mayor parte de los voceros del imperialismo y la banca apoyan la jugada de las nuevas elecciones para que Tsipras revalide sus títulos. Ante el desprestigio creciente de los viejos partidos y dirigentes patronales griegos, la Troika apuesta a Syriza y Tsipras para seguir con el ajuste y el saqueo en Grecia. El presidente del Eurogrupo, el holandés Jeroen Dijsselbloem, dijo, por ejemplo, que espera que “las elecciones lleven a un apoyo aún mayor-al rescate- en el Parlamento griego”.Thomas Wieser, el alemán que dirige a los directores de los tesoros europeos señaló “era una etapa esperada y para muchos era una etapa deseada para tener una estructura más clara en el gobierno griego” (Clarín, Argentina, 21/8). Más claro imposible.
 
 Por la ruptura con la UE, la Troika y el no pago. NO al memorando. Por un bloque de lucha de toda la izquierda y los trabajadores.
 
Se abre un nuevo momento en Grecia para los trabajadores, la juventud y la izquierda. Tsipras aprobó el memorando en acuerdo con la derecha. Es probable que Syriza incluso pueda ganar las elecciones por la confusión existente y por el chantaje de “que peor es que vuelvan los gobiernos de derecha”. Se necesita derrotar con la movilización obrera, juvenil y popular el nuevo memorando pactado por Tsipras y la Troika. Para abrir ese camino se necesita preparar una nueva alternativa política que convoque a la movilización. Se necesita la unidad, un bloque de toda la izquierda y los sindicatos que se han dicho No al memorando y al ajuste.
La izquierda de Syriza anunció la ruptura con su partido y la formación de Unidad Popular, integrado por 24 diputados ex Syriza y que se define como un frente que reagrupará a la izquierda “contra el nuevo memorando, contra la austeridad y contra la tutela del país”. Y entre las propuestas están el rechazo de las privatizaciones y la nacionalización bajo control estratégico de sectores de la economía, empezando por el sector bancario, así como la salida de la zona euro y de la OTAN (alianza militar imperialista) y ruptura de pactos militares con Israel. Su convocatoria es electoral pero también dicen que es “para movilizar a todas las fuerzas sociales que quieran luchar contra la austeridad y los memorándums”. Esta ruptura es un paso progresivo.  Más allá de las diferencias políticas que podamos tener con estas corrientes o las que puedan tener otras corrientes que se reivindican socialistas revolucionarias, es necesario llamar a que esa unidad que se proclama se concrete.
Lo que se necesita con urgencia es un bloque o frente unitario de izquierda, electoral y de movilización. Un bloque unitario que aproveche las elecciones para presentar una postura única que reagrupe a la izquierda y a los sectores combativos del movimiento sindical y popular para preparar la movilización. Un bloque o frente que agrupe a Unidad Popular con los sectores de izquierda por fuera de Syriza, como Antarsya, OKDE y los sectores sindicales y populares que estuvieron por el NO y rechazan esta traición. Para iniciar un plan de movilización nacional e imponer un plan de emergencia obrero y popular que rompa con este acuerdo, suspenda todo pago de la deuda, rompa con la UE y el Euro, nacionalice la banca bajo control de los trabajadores, entre otras medidas, convocando a la solidaridad internacional por esas banderas de ruptura. En la lucha por un nuevo gobierno, un gobierno de los trabajadores y el pueblo. Los trabajadores pueden abrir un nuevo camino en Grecia, un camino de soberanía contra el imperialismo y su coloniaje.
 
Secretariado Internacional de la UIT-CI 
(Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores-Cuarta Internacional) 
24 de agosto de 2015.
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