Santos will hold a referendum, on the agreement he is negotiating with the FARC, and which is about to be signed. The workers and popular sectors must have a position on the referendum. This mechanism of “consultation” is the most antidemocratic of all because it does not allow opinions, since it gives the voter only two options: YES or NO.
To vote yes means to support the government of Santos and the agreement with the FARC, whose content is to support the economic and political plans that mainly favor the landowners, entrepreneurs and multinationals. This is to the detriment of the situation of the workers and the poor. Therefore, we should not support the YES.
To vote no means the rejection of the armed conflict that has produced death, displacement, and the poor peasants’ land expropriation, among other crimes. Uribe and his sector decided to support the NO option to achieve more impunity for their crimes, by pretending to negotiate another agreement, better to his own interests. The NO represents the refusal to hand over the usurped lands and the refusal to legally integrate the FARC into political life with democratic guarantees. Hence, the NO is an option that we should not support, either.
Abstention generally means indifference. In this particular case, it may be a way to express the rejection of Santos and Uribe instead, or try to hit the threshold so it will not reach approval, as Uribe had contemplated. However, we must not remain simply in denial. We should propose an alternative. Either the victory of the YES or of the NO, negotiations with the FARC will continue because they said they will not go back to the armed struggle, and they will negotiate to integrate once again to the legal political activity. Therefore, the cessation of conflict in fact is not at stake as we are led to believe.
We must not fall for what the union bureaucracy and the reformist have already fallen into: they supported Santos in the second round of the last elections, for his reelection. Today, they are in debt and they are calling to support YES, which means to support Santos’ plan. That is the reason why they oppose centralizing the struggles in a national strike against the government. It is the reason why they do not seek for mechanisms to unify the conflict, and when the popular discomfort begins to manifest they summon controlled days to decompress the social unrest, or event -controlled statements rigged, as the national meeting of social and political organizations, in last July.
For the reasons outlined above, we suggest a campaign from the point of view and interests of the working class. For the convening of a free, comprehensive, democratic and sovereign National Constituent Assembly, conquered through mobilization and struggle, and whose constituent representatives are the leaders of the struggles and conflicts instead of those who hold economic and political power through an electoral process controlled by themselves.
This Constituent, with such character, can discuss and legislate on the social issues most felt by the working class and the poor. In it, the Socialists propose a program that includes, among other things, the following:
- A democratic and radical agrarian reform expropriating the landowners and multinationals.
- No impunity: punishment for those guilty of paramilitary genocide.
- Broad democratic freedom. The dismantling of the repressive apparatus, like Esmad, and the paramilitaries.
- Breaking pacts with the imperialism, and non-payment of the fraudulent foreign debt.
- Distribution of working hours among all the economically active population to solve the problem of employment and ensure job security.
- Nationalization and free health, education and transport.
- Decent housing for the population, guaranteed by the State.
- General wages’ rise, and the minimum to correspond to the cost of the basic market basket.
- Elimination of indirect taxes and implementation of strong progressive taxation for the bourgeois.
1st August, 2016
Executive Committee- PST.
Translation: Camila Polgar.