Week after week, the situation in Latin America deepens. To the demonstrations in Haiti and Chile, as well as the resistance to the coup in Bolivia, we need to add Colombia, which had not made a strong General Strike in 30 years. “Aquí se respira lucha” (“Here, we breath struggle” – Calle Trece) as the song says, and our country cannot be an island in this frame.
Just like in Chile about a month ago, Colombia has also awoken: “two and a half million people went to the streets to protest against the labor, Social Security and taxes reforms of the Duque government – encouraged by the OECD and the IMF – and against the murder of social activists.” It is easy to see how the problems causing these struggles in each country of our America are very similar. And the government’s answer did not differ from the other ones confronting massive demonstrations: brutal repression and an attempt to dialogue with the political and union leaders to stall the mobilization.
Bolivia: Resistance and Betrayal
The situation in Bolivia is not stable yet. However, the pro-coup government of Áñez continues to advance, and not without help. For the first time in ten years, the Bolivian government recovered diplomatic relationships with the United States. The heroic resistance of the Bolivian people is touching; it expresses the strongly combative history of its people, of centuries of oppression and the conviction of not taking one step back.
The Bolivian masses confronted the coup with their own bodies, but Evo Morales and the MAS, supported by all the “progressive” politicians in the continent, did the exact opposite. Evo resigned and left, “to avoid a bloodshed,” but those dead in hands of the pro-coup repression exceed 35, already. Furthermore, the parliamentarians of the MAS agreed, in the Legislative Assembly, to call for elections together with the Áñez government… so acknowledging it as such! With the excuse of “pacifying” the country, Evo and the MAS set the path for the transitory government to consolidate in power.
Front Lines and a Generation Without Fear
Another common element of the processes, in addition to the demands, are the “front lines” to confront the repression. Most of them young people – we can see a generation that fights before a capitalist society that only offers misery, pauperization and uncertainty.
Women are also in the front lines, growing for years in the struggle against oppression, and now occupying a place also in the common struggle. It is not by chance that the repressive forces persist in attacking these young women through sexual violence.
Why Don’t We Win?
The peoples’ struggle is heroic. The disposal in broad segments of the society to give their lives if needed is impressive. But why is this not enough? Why none of the governments that confronted these massive mobilization processes fell, yet? In this issue of Avanzada Socialista [Argentine PSTU journal] we dedicate the page approaching the Chilean process to this question.
However, it is a question common to every process, as well as the answer: because of the union and political leaders’ role, stalling these struggles and channeling the outrage through the mechanisms of this democracy in favor of the rich ones. Like this, the CONAIE, peasant leadership in Ecuador, stalled the process in the country; the MAS agrees with the pro-coup to call for elections in Bolivia after a coup; and they try to deviate the Chilean revolution via a Constitutional Assembly with the same rules in favor of the powerful ones of always.
And Here, in Argentina?
The situation in our country is not apart from the rest of the continent, with all its complexities. The “ordered transition” in which we are now implicates the continuity of the adjustment, now covered up with the “hope” that everything can change on December 10. To leave Macri finish his term signified a 13% increase in the inflation rate just since the PASO [first round, in October this year – TN] plus thousands of layoffs, and more hunger and misery for millions of workers.
Broad sectors of Kirchenirsmo, social and union leaders, are proud that in Argentina the outrage was channeled via the elections. The same outrage that in December 18 of 2017 was seen in the streets against the Social Security reform – journey since which strugglers like Sebastián Romero, Daniel Ruíz and César Arakaki are persecuted until today. An outrage that, instead of being developed by the union leaders to take Macri and the IMF’s plans down, was stalled and deviated back to “voting well” in 2019. The strength of the “green tide” for legal abortion, which touched the country, was also deviated to this solution.
Two more years of adjustment, misery and deaths due to clandestine abortions, all on our backs to sustain the “governability.” And today, Alberto Fernández government, even before taking office, already talks about the inheritance [from Macri’s term] and how hard it will be to change things. Even regarding matters that he had declared to face right away, like the legalization of abortion, he already started requesting more time.
But workers have no more time. We have waited too much. Children and elder in hunger cannot keep waiting. Poor and working women cannot keep waiting, either. The winds coming from the other side of the Andes are showing us that.
A Common Enemy…
The problems of almost all countries in Latin America are similar, because we face the same enemies. The worldwide economic crisis deepens, and so they want to charge it more and more over the workers’ shoulders in every country of the world. Specially in those countries they call “from the Third World,” so semi-colonial. The plans of the IMF and imperialism as a whole are simple: to squeeze more and more our labor force, natural resources, and everything that can increase their profits.
Sadly, no government of the ones during the last decades, across the whole continent – no matter how anti-imperialist their speeches are – made deep changes before this situation. On the contrary, we are closer and closer to be a colony, as we were from Spain before the Independence Revolution.
… A Common Struggle
Workers in Chile, Haiti, Colombia and Bolivia are showing us the way to follow. To support them and adhere to this struggle is the task posed for the entire America.
Political and social leaders of the continent that claim to defend the rights of workers, if they really want to avoid an even worst situation for our class, must take concrete, categorical measures to really affect the interests of businessmen and servile governments. Why not make a continental General Strike to defeat the coup in Bolivia, for Out with Piñera, Moïse and Duque? Why not demand the immediate break of relationships in each one of our countries with governments that repress and kill? Why not to make a major campaign for trial and punishment to all ones responsible for the repression that already killed hundreds of workers?
We cannot stay still while the peoples around us are fighting. On December 10, we will have no more excuses. If Alberto Fernández is a “national and popular” government, as he claims to be, he cannot tolerate the crimes against humanity of Piñera, the repression in Colombia and Haiti, neither validate the murders of the usurper government of Áñez, in Bolivia. He cannot tell us that we should keep on waiting to be able to eat meat and for our children to have some milk, neither to stop dying in clandestine abortions, nor to stop persecuting and repressing activists. And if on December 10 he does not take immediate measures on this regard, we need to go out to the streets, no matter who we voted for.
Today, it is evident that the struggle is worldwide. This is why workers must organize internationally as well, to be able to win. From the PSTU, together with our sister parties in 24 countries of the world – among them the Chilean MIT, and the Colombian PST – we build the International Workers’ League serving the development of a workers’ revolutionary tool that embraces the task of carrying out a Socialist, Workers’ Revolution across the world, for the profits of a few to stop sentencing hundreds of millions to death and suffering. It is a long-term, harsh task, but it is necessary if we do not want for the future generations to end up in barbarianism. We invite you to be part of this project.
Translation: Sofia Ballack.