Declaration of the revolutionary left in the face of a convulsive Latin America.
Versión en castellano
Between the 15th and the 18th of November, the Latin American Conference, organized by Argentina’s Partido Obrero and Uruguay’s Partido de los Trabajadores, took place in Buenos Aires. It was the culmination of an intense campaign of debates destined to characterize the political convulsions that batter the continent, and especially the emergence of Bolsonaro’s government, supported by an intense mobilization of the Brazilian military apparatus, the Pentecostal churches and a large part of financial capital.
The realization of this conference has represented an inescapable political step. We need to develop a joint campaign to confront the continental political reaction, defeat it in all fields and open the way to a workers' and socialist solution to the decomposition of capitalism worldwide and to the rotten fruits of fascism. Numerous greetings and adherences have been added to the delegations that attended the deliberations, especially from Brazil. A greater involvement is necessary. We have kicked off for even bigger initiatives.
It is with this purpose that we begin to expose the characterizations and conclusions to which we have arrived.
First, Bolsonaro’s victory is part of an international process of ascent to government of the political reaction, Bonapartist or semi-Bonapartist, which expresses the degree of decomposition reached by global capitalism, its alleged 'globalization' and its democratic narrative. Trump, Xi Jing ping, Putin, Erdogan, Duterte, Salvini or Orban are nothing else, in the first place, than the political refraction of a world crisis, which translates into economic wars and wars themselves, and into more and more severe political crises in the most powerful states. At this very moment, the fate of Brexit is on its way to a gigantic political crisis in Great Britain and the whole of the European Union. Camouflaging this overall characterization by a supposed tendency of the electorate constitutes a mystification of reality, when in fact what characterizes the electorate is, precisely, an acute volatility, which goes from one extreme to the other of the political spectrum.
The global crisis has led, in Latin America, to the displacement of the Bolivarian movement by the continental right, in the space of a few years or even months. We are witnessing a reaction of international capital and its states, to the explosion of the Arab revolutions, since 2011, and to immense rebellions in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, in the 2001/4 period. The world crisis that brought Chavist currents of different origin to government in the preceding period, is the same that, even more severe now, leads to their collapse. The cycle of political crisis opened by the global crisis becomes more acute now.
Second, Bolsonaro’s victory is the culmination of the coup d'état initiated with the dismissal of Dilma Rousseff, executed without the slightest resistance from the political and all kinds of leaders among the popular movement. It constitutes an emergency exit to the outright failure of the substitute government and the right-wing parties to impose a traditional replacement. It expresses the growing political and operative advance of the Armed Forces, from Lula’s government, which has manifested itself in the appointment of troops to Haiti, the militarization of Rio de Janeiro, the interference of the Armed Forces in justice and in the whole of the institutions of the State, and in the prison and veto to the candidacy of Lula. The rural, evangelical and military blocks have grown. A semi-Bonapartist government is emerging, leant on international financial capital and dominated by the military high command, which contains a fascist component that has not hesitated in announcing its intentions: to destroy civil rights, to put education under the command of the evangelical reaction, to fight the political opposition with extra-parliamentary methods and, fundamentally, to destroy the labor movement. It is a contradictory coalition, which will quickly show its political contradictions.
Third, because of its very nature, the rise of political reaction, associated with fascism, triggers a period of political polarization. It operates under the pressure of capitalist decomposition and an extraordinary industrial crisis. The capitalist bankruptcy has done its relentless work of mole and has ended by breaking all political, economic and social balances. In Latin America, and at a global level, a process of political polarization is opened, which will not have a rectilinear character, due to its own convulsive nature, but which excludes any possibility of a return to the previous status quo. This explains why the opposition to militarism and fascism with the politics of the democratic front and the institutional struggle constitutes the main obstacle to a victorious struggle to defeat them. The policy of subordinating popular resistance to institutional mechanisms, to parliament and to justice, and of waiting until the electoral contest, has already proven its failure to prevent the dismissal of Dilma Rousseff and the political banning of Lula. This characterization applies to the whole of Latin America and, above all, to Argentina.
The initiative to massively win the streets in the decisive weeks before the elections did not come from the PT, but from the women's movement ("Ele Nao"). This is the way. It is necessary to break the regimentation of the workers movement to combat disorientation and discouragement. We call for the deliberation of the working class, through assemblies and congresses of elected delegates of trade unions and union centrals, and to do the same in schools and universities, in the movements of landless workers and in the women's movement. The participants in this conference call for a united front to fight for the disarmament of the 'task forces' and 'death squads', through direct action and organization. The great mobilization carried out by the women around "Ele Nao" is the path that must be continued and deepened, with a general program against military advance and state repression. This is the method that must preside the united front of workers against adjustment, against surrender, for democratic rights, against fascism.
The appointment of Paulo Guedes, a man of speculative funds, points to a gigantic wave of privatizations, including those prohibited by the Brazilian Constitution of 1988, especially the pension regime, and the destruction of labor law. It is the common agenda of capital throughout Latin America, which must be combated with a united workers front across the continent.
Bolsonaro’s educational reform constitutes a declaration of war against teachers, students, workers and the whole of Brazilian culture. The project "School Without Party" is that of a clerical and fascist school. The incitement to denounce and jeer teachers is a typical method of fascism, which must be fought through militant committees fighting in defense of public education. The defense of creationism in opposition to the theory of evolution constitutes an advance of the churches in the educational field. The participants of the Conference are committed to promoting contact and coordination between the teachers' unions of Argentina and Brazil to undertake a continental mobilization to defeat clericalism and fascism.
The "Ele Nao" movement, as well as the struggle of the women's movement against Macrism, in Argentina, the green tide in favor of legal and gratuitous abortion, reveals the enormous potential of women's struggle. The woman will be an object of strategic attack of the new government. The new political awakening of women infects the workers and the population and is a great impulse factor to address political issues. We propose starting from now on a campaign so that the fight against fascism is a central slogan in the mobilization of March 8thand to demand an international strike from the workers' centrals.
The appointment of Paulo Guedes announces an aggravation of the international economic war in Latin America. In Brazil it will be an explosive issue, because of Brazil's evident dependence on the Chinese market, and because of the crisis unleashed by China's investments with Brazilian and North American industrial capital. It is, in any case, a rivalry between large capitals, which accentuates the economic crisis and the super-exploitation and misery of the workers. We denounce the anti-worker character of the capitalist economic war and we oppose to it the international unity of workers, in defense and recovery of our riches, through the nationalization without payment to monopolies and workers' control of production.
The Latin American right operates under the leadership of Trump, although it does so in a contradictory manner, which is supported, fundamentally, by the United States Democratic Party. Bolsonaro has not hesitated in putting himself at the service of the American truant. This means the installation of Yankee military bases in Brazil, as well as a political offensive to submit all of Latin America and, ultimately, Cuba. Under the rubric of the gas trade agreement, Bolsonaro deploys open support to a victory of the right in Bolivia, which will hold elections next year; to the right in Argentina; and even encourages a complete boycott to Venezuela. The fight against fascism assumes, under these conditions, an international scope. Bolsonaro retakes a policy that served the coup against Lugo, for the benefit of Brazilian capital in Paraguay. Bolivian indigenism assists with impotence to this offensive, incapable to mobilize the people in a revolutionary form, and dependent on the great oil capital installed in Bolivia. Maduro, on the other hand, will implement Bolsonaro's threat to reinforce the police state in Venezuela, and hit even more the independent organization of workers in his country. We warn against Bolsonaro's purpose of repelling Venezuelan immigration to Brazil, with the aim of creating a reason for war against Venezuela. Free immigration, down with the wars at the service of imperialism, socialist unity of Latin America.
Even before taking office, Bolsonaro announced an offensive against Cuba, which coincides with Trump’s line, to the detriment of the agreements signed by Obama. The expulsion of Cuban doctors outlines a policy of shock, which contradicts the investments of Brazilian capital in the exclusive zone of Mariel. The defense of Cuba and the demand against the blockade of the island are being raised again. The accommodation that the Cuban regime has sought with imperialism, including the constitutional reform that incorporates the restoration of the right to property, has failed and will not be remedied by the expectation of a return of the Democratic party to the United States government. Another development has opened a crisis in the Caribbean: Trump's boycott to Puerto Rico in the face of the immense damage caused by hurricanes to the Lesser Antilles Island. The fight against the Trump-Bolsonaro-Duque policy, in the context of Macri and Piñera, cannot be approached from the angle of diplomacy, but of the international mobilization and the Latin American revolution. Down with the blockade against Cuba, for the national independence of Puerto Rico, for the Socialist Unity of Latin America.
In opposition to the militarization of the fight against drug trafficking, we reject the foreign military bases in Latin America. Derogation of all repressive laws. For full mobility and migration rights for Central American migrants and for all the workers of the world.
The struggle against Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil and in Latin America poses the challenge of defeating the adjustment and the capitalist adjusters and their governments in each of our countries. The defeat of Macri, Piñera, and Tabaré Vázquez is the best way to contribute to the fight against the right and the fascist threat and to strike a blow at Bolsonaro and his plans.
It is necessary to push the irruption of the working class into the crisis so that it emerges as an autonomous factor and an alternative of power. We call to encourage the deliberation of the working class to promote the struggle and discuss a joint program of exit to the crisis. For Workers' Congresses of Direct Representatives, with elected and mandated delegates from trade unions and trade union centrals.
Brazil's new government is conditioned by the global crisis, even more than its 'populist' predecessors, and threatened with the same fate. The combination of political struggles and crises is present in different degrees in all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean - Peru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay and Chile.
To the advance of the right and the fascist tendencies, we oppose, not the return of failed and impotent nationalism, and an impossible return to the past, but the struggle for workers' governments and the socialist unity of Latin America.
We call all the organizations of the left and of the combative workers' movement to open the discussion on the political situation that has arisen in Latin America in the framework of a common international action. As part of this task, those attending this Conference agreed to convene a new Latin American Conference to be held in Brazil, in June, to which we invite you to join in.
- Class unity to fight fascism
- Down with adjustments, labor and retirement reforms.
- Capitalists should pay for the crisis
- Nationalization of privatized companies, without payment and under workers control
- For full rights of mobility and migration
- For the emancipation of working women together with the working class
- Against the genocide of the poor and black people
-For the government of the workers of the city and the countryside
Brazil: Liga Pello Socialismo, Tribuna Clasista.
Uruguay: Partido de los Trabajadores
Argentina: Partido Obrero
Union leaders and political and academic personalities from Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Argentina