What follows is the reproduction of an Open Letter to Social and Left Organisations emitted on 1st May last, calling to build an alternative of class independence for policies, programmes and electoral platforms of workers of the countryside and the cities, emitted by Workers’ Party of Paraguay


 


For an alternative of class independence


for policies, programmes and electoral platforms


of workers of the countryside


 


The possibility for defeating the Colorado Party


 


The possibility of the fall of Colorado Party already 6o years in the office opens a new transcendental period in our country. This probability stems out of thorough wearing away of this party’s model, based on privileges and clientelism* and the increasing sensation of exasperation spreading among the workers of the cities and the countryside.


 


Nothing else could be expected. After 60 years of mafia and economic stagnation, of poverty, massive emigration, invasions by great foreign proprietors and loss of national sovereignty in the Mercosur, IMF, DEA, CIA, etc, And it is now 18 years of democracy for the rich and mafiosos during which the colorados, on the one hand offered full liberty to legal exploiter as well as for the mafioso mercenaries and drug dealers and, on the other hand, the offered repression to workers, peasants and homeless who struggle for jobs, land and housing.


 


With the downfall of the Stroesner dictatorship the blessed “democratic transition began. They promised the moon and the stars but these promises were nothing but fairy tales: wolves were disguised as lambs so that they now can keep on robbing the country.


 


Because of everything this corrupt and mafioso Colorado Party administration represents, main enemy of the popular sectors and responsible for decades of hardship suffered by the Paraguayan people, we, the workers of the cities and the countryside, have a fundamental challenge ahead of us: PULL THEM DOWN!! And we shall achieve this if we unite the exploited sectors and resort to the best and most efficient weapon of the poor: mobilisation and struggle.


 


It is against this background that Lugo‘s declarations cause concern. On 20th April 2007 he declared in Misiones, “Nobody is thinking of pulling down the Colorado Party. The idea is to build a different country with the participation of all the Paraguayans of good will.


 


National Accord is a wolf dressed up as a lamb


 


Now that the population is fed up with the Colorado Party, despair spreads over certain sectors foreseeing their defeat. A sector of the rich is changing colours, just as a chameleon would and once more is trying on the costume of lamb so as to be able to keep their fishy business, and now also trying on a new camouflage.


 


As a matter of fact, faced with this situation, a sector of the rich represented by the political parties of bourgeois opposition (PLRA, UNACE, PPQ, PEN, PPS) launched an Accord from where they propose to “change 6 for half a dozen”, which means that they want to look as though they are changing something so that actually nothing should change.


Because of the righteous anger and indignation against the Colorado Party it is possible to fail to see what sort of characters is to be found in the political opposition of the Accord. Many would even criticise them but will finally yield to them and bow to them as long as they displace the Colorado Party.


 


We must not forget that these political parties of the bourgeois opposition have been the accomplices and co-responsible for the application of the neoliberal measures against the poor of our country. The strongest criticism they posed against the colorado Nicanor administration was that he did not carry the neo-liberal prescriptions to the bitter end, that he was not quick enough in displacing the landless from the countryside and the cities and did not privatise all the public companies. They, parties of the Accord were the great fans of the taxes that most harmed the poor and fans of the criminalisation of social struggles as well as they were furiously against a tax that could have obtained a little money from the very rich. This political opposition is of the worst kind and they are part of the problem that the toiling masses have to put up with, not part of the solution as they now try to appear to be.


 


Fernando Lugo candidature and people’s expectations


 


In these transcendental times of the political life, up comes the candidature of Fernando Lugo who – because he is a former bishop and on different opportunities he participated in several social struggles – enjoys certain credibility and arouses hopes and expectations among the toiling masses. He is also the candidate with the strongest chances of winning the 2008 presidential elections if electoral polls are anything to guide you.


 


Lugo‘s attitudes cause concern


 


These great expectations of the toiling masses of the countryside and the city have to be taken into account with great care because if they are disappointed once more, an ever blacker period will open than the one we have been going through so far. That is why we must pose some topic the PT finds most disturbing.


 


It is with great concern that we have noticed that Lugo has signed an agreement (March 07) with the parties of the oligarchy and the fascism that are in the Accord. Lugo adhered to the Accord and we can read his declarations in the papers: “The Accord is a political space where taking turns in the government must be guaranteed and also the deep change that that the great majorities demand.” And that is altogether wrong no matter what angle you look at it from.


 


We are sure that the Accord parties are basically discussing the posts they want to keep for themselves in the future Lugo administration (Customs, Vice-presidency, Central Bank, Home Ministry, etc.). Lugo and the Social and Popular Block should remain a single minute more at the negotiation tables with the parties of such an Accord.


 


A wink for Oviedism


 


The party of the putchist Oviedo is in the Accord. Fernando Lugo, crossing all the expected limits had said that he saw nothing wrong with Lino Oviedo as his vice-president. Oviedo‘s project is to have a dictatorship so as to guarantee the mafia business on a large scale. You just cannot be a democrat and get together with a mafioso putchist!


 


No deep changes coming from the rich


 


Definitely and categorically, you cannot talk of changes in the country if your allies are the rich, be they colorados, liberals or Oviedists. Lugo must understand that it is not possible to conciliate the interests of the exploiting oligarchy with the demands of the people.


 


Further concerns pile up. Other ensuing issues              


 


For example, in relation to sovereignty, we can see Lugo in the written media and we can hear him in some radios saying that he defends “juridical security for foreign investors” and he says that foreign investment is not invasion referring to agribusiness produce, mainly proceeding from Brazil. Nobody can speak of sovereignty without driving all these foreign producers of soybean out (they are driving Paraguayan peasants from their land) and without replacing the monoculture model for export.


 


We read and we hear that the wants to be the great peacemaker and carrier of reconciliation. That he wants to harmonise the interests between the great foreign producer of soybean and the landless smallholder. In this kind of agreement only the poor can be losers:  the government will provide the tree, the great producer the rope and the peasant his neck! This will be the end of this tragic story. How can anyone fail to see that by getting together with the rich he is dooming land reform and elimination of the great estates in our country where we have one of the greatest unevenness in land distribution in the world?


 


In other declarations published in the newspapers, Lugo stated that he defended the “capitalisation of state-owned companies”. And workers know, if from nowhere else then from the experience of workers of other countries, that capitalisation is nothing but another name for privatisation. We are totally against such proposals in the same way as what is in the Social and Popular Block. 


 


Lula’s Brazilian model and Bachelet’s in Chile are neoliberal models and consequently no good for workers


 


That is how so far we can unfortunately see in his exposés for the press, Fernando Lugo tries hard to please the rich with who he is arriving at good agreements and is drifting away from the programme of defence of the interests of poor, of the great majorities. Is it possible then to expect deep changes that the great majorities need with such guidelines in the programme? If Lugo keeps on walking along this path, he will turn into an umbrella that the rich will use to get through the storm that is looming on the horizon against their interests.


 


That is why we warn the people in general and the social organisations that if Lugo keeps on along this dangerous path, once more the toiling masses will be deceived in their expectations. You cannot serve two lords. Either you serve the rich, the way he is doing so far or he must definitely opt for the poor. You cannot serve God and the Devil at the same time. As long as he keeps on walking along this path, we the workers and the social organisations will not be able to trust his project.


 


A deceit or a farce: discussing the programme for the poor with the rich!


 


A new trap has now been set: the Accord opens up to discus a “programme” with social organisation, the BSP, Tekojoja and the left parties. We can discuss no programme with the rich! How could we discuss the elimination of the large landed property with the owners of the large landed property? How can we discuss higher taxes on large properties with the great producers of soybean and the large estates? How are we expected to discuss sovereignty of Paraguay with those who have been selling the country away? This is just a circus and we cannot act the clowns in it.!


 


We demand that Lugo should split away from the Accord and the rich and join the workers, peasants and popular sectors to fight for the necessary and deep changes!


 


We call on the social organisations, on the Social and Popular Block, the trade union centrals and the organisations of the poor of the cities, the peasants’ organisations, left parties and organisations (Tekojoja, CP, PT, P.MAS, PCPS, PH, PUP, Communers Movement) to demand that Lugo should pose the following political guidelines for the programme.


 


                                  Break off all links with Accord


 


                                  Public split with former general Lino Oviedo


 


                                  Public split and no agreement with the leaders of sectors of the Colorado party


 


                                  Out with all the representatives of the oligarchy from Lugo Project!


 


                                  For sovereignty of Paraguay. For a re-negotiation of the Itapú and Yaciretá treaties. Split from the Mercosur Treaty, cancel all agreements for the permanence of American troops in Paraguay. These troops are to be sent home now together with CIA, DEA and so on.


 


                                  Suspend the payments of the foreign debt and use that money for the economic development of Paraguay and its people.


 


                                  Elimination of large landed properties and guarantee of a radical and integral land reform ensuring land and credit for the production of food for the people.


 


                                  Expulsion of the great soybean and cane producers. End the agribusiness and monoculture for export.


 


                                  Increase tax on the great properties and great fortunes. Use this money to promote a massive plan of public works to build popular housing, hospitals, schools, and roads, electrify the countryside, etc using all the resources of the country.


 


                                  Jail for the corrupt and thieves of people’s wealth and public resources. Confiscation of all the ill begotten wealth. Use the retrieved resources for the people to serve a plan of autonomous development of Paraguay guaranteeing its military, political, economic and nourishing sovereignty.


 


                                  No to privatisation of state-owned companies and for workers’ control of the running of these companies.


 


                                  Let the President of Paraguay be in the service of the poor guaranteeing land, Jobs and Sovereignty


 


Executive Committee


Workers’ Party


01-05.07                   






* A term coming from ancient Roman history refers to a plebeian who was under a patrician’s protection. Here: reference to corruptive protection given by politicians.