by Pedro Fuentes
We are at the end of a stage in Latin America and on the beginning of another we’ve already entered, and from which we can already define several features – so there are still many uncertainties. At the same time, there’s the end of a cycle of governments and leaderships arisen at this period of time, from Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party/PT)’s social liberalism to bolivarianismo and its current deformation in Maduro’s bonapartism.
Such as any/every new step, it is unequal and has its contradictions, bringing with it part of the old (that doesn’t end automatically) and the new that are rising.
Incredibly, for the first time in our tendency’s history at the last two decades, (since Argentinean MAS became Latin America and perhaps the world’s strongest Trotskyist party), we are in the eye of the storm in many places: intervening in more objective processes on Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and especially in Peru. Unlike that period’s MAS, it is now part of wider processes, coalitions that do not carry our entire program, just as Peru’s FA, Brazil’s PSOL and even Marea Socialista.
We believe this hasn’t happened by pure chance, but because we understood a period of wider rearrangements and processes had unfolded; as it’s not by pure chance those who grasped onto MAS’s scheme (correct in the 80’s) now do not encounter big progress, vegetate or have crisis.
However, nothing’s determined; we don’t possess a crystal ball. The current Latin America reality has become complex and we stand in front of the great challenge of trying to understand it in all of its features and provide ourselves with the best politics to keep moving further.
In Peru we’re at a qualitative situation because FA’s and Veronica Mendoza’s rising as new masses alternative and we keep following that direction. There are, in fact, a third field in Peruvian politics, as they were a decisive factor on Kusinsky’s victory against Keiko Fujimori.
Also in Brazil, because PSOL has great election running chances in Belém with Edimilson Rodriges, in Rio with Marcelo Freixo – who has just woke a very representative 5 thousand people march – and in Porto Alegre with Luciana Genro, with all the symbolism and political fact meaning winning in some of those places. In the case of Porto Alegre, triumph would mean world left getting back its 90’s self-constructed space.
On the other hand, our politics in Venezuela marks a qualitative change with regard to the old one, what differentiate us from Maduro and right’s Stalinist-bureaucratic, leading to gains and expansion of Marea in 18 states.
In these countries, just as in Argentina, it’s already been created as a general politics for the new situation to build a “third field”, an alternative to the old left (its “progressivism”) and to reactionary right and to imperialism forces that are coming back.
To understand this process with its contradictions, its inequalities and combinations on development and to put ourselves in this new moment is fundamental, but it isn’t easy. The “end” of the old PT-ism in Brazil, as well as the degeneration of the bolivarianism in Venezuela (two different models in the apex, but with matching points), also origins crisis by the absence (with some exceptions) of an alternative model: the crisis expresses itself in sectors that yield old left, and, in parts, in sectors that reaffirm ultra-situations. At the same time, as it could not be otherwise, there’s also some confusion in new vanguard sectors.
Because we have to specify what it means to put an “end” in big quotes. “End” as governments apparatus, and “end” as far-reaching masses organizations, but that doesn’t mean that its extreme weakness for these ????
Despite that, if we reach a clear and distinct position on class conflict and political crisis of the regimes that occur in the continent, we open the possibility of creating alternatives for a third field, with losing sight of the inequality between countries. For example, situation in Venezuela isn’t the same as in Bolivia, the Bolivian indigenism will hardly lose itself, and is related to Peru where Verónica Mendoza swept across South, a place of extractivism reluctance. It’s about acting in wide processes without neglecting our internationalist Marxist formation and organization.
This question of the new stage and new cycle has to be the focus of left and vanguard’s debate. We enter in a new Latin American stage with its uncertainties and at the same time with its each time bigger synchrony with all global situation of a major capitalist crisis. If the previous stage was of an offensive against imperialism and in a certain measure a withdraw of these. This stage is of an attempt of advance of imperialism and its national agents and, therefore, of struggles and resistance against them.
This occurs with a continuity element, the struggles never ceased since 1998 when they started in Equator, since then, even though they’re more resistance-like now, mass-movements never surrender. It has featured memorable journeys in all Continent since Mexican teachers to Chilean students.
- The stage of the Bolivarian process, its inequality in Latin America set and the “end” of a direction cycle.
Thus we have widely worked the ending stage, it’s important to have the greater clarity as possible of its balance, since it will help us define the new that’s yet to come.
- In the ending stage, there’s been a change in the correlation of forces with imperialism.
In our tendency, we always take as reference all different stages of continent correlation of forces established between masses movements on one side and the government that arose from this situation and imperialism on the other. On this step, there has been a great change on the general correlation of forces with imperialism that particularly happened in South and Central America, since in Mexico, despite Zapatista rebellion, the USA imposed NAFTA, which led to a new colonization and a major crisis, global type, in this country.
We can define this change as the bankruptcy of 90’s stage, of neoliberalism governments from pro-imperialist bourgeoisie, arisen after the 80’s debt crisis, sold-out imperial democracy governments as defined by Nahuel Moreno. Although imperialism has weakened, it hasn’t lost all control of the situation or economic and political control; therefore, there were inequalities which allowed the signing of bilateral agreements and remain the redoubt of NAFTA.
The major expression of this change was the defeat of ALCA, a newimperialist colonization plan that the USA strongly tried to ensure on its backyard. During this period of time, a new and alternative economic model emerged, the bolivarianism with its continental alternative of ALBA, which we will see next why it hasn’t developed in a larger scale.
- The change in correlation of forces was caused by the insurrectionist processes started in 98 in Equator.
Actually, this period’s been opened through riots, insurrections and semi-insurrections in Equator, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela and other smaller processes as Paraguay, Honduras struggles. Those were true revolutionary, democratic and popular processes, where the working class didn’t act as such, but as part of a spontaneous popular mobilization. The unprecedented thing was the fall of governments which were elected through the bourgeois democracy mechanisms. We have a deepest movement in Venezuela on behalf of Caracazo, having loads of derivations until Chavez’s triumph, and immediately the state coup defeated in 2002 through popular mobilization, an essential part of this semi-insurrections process.
- New types of radical nationalist governments and independent countries appear in subsequent elections.
These revolutionary mobilizations culminate in election which changed political regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Equator, and opened the bolivarianism process. These processes’ richness leads to power situation petty bourgeois radical nationalisms breaking with the dominant bourgeoisie in these countries. This unleashed a new theoretical issue. “Orthodox” Trotskyist left described them as bourgeois, at most as populist fronts. We developed a much wider profiling. We said they could become something similar as the peasants – workers governments from Third International, we described them as radical nationalisms (without essentially and clearly defining class nature), independent governments, using morenismo characterization, or in some cases by characteristics of a pretty sui generis bonapartism, using Trotsky’s definition for Lázaro Cárdenas’s government in Mexico.
This discussion wasn’t idle, and will not be in the future, because there’s a possibility they’ll also repeat here and also in Europe in this new stage and period of capitalism. The fact is that we hadn’t clarified or conceptualized this subject. We had, in fact, the right position that politics in regards to them was the anti-imperialist front, and was even stood to unite us and push them to an anti-imperialist course, strengthening ourselves as a tendency in this process, always keeping our position as an independent organization under the tactic way it’s been created.
Just as we supported Ronald Denis when he served as Minister of Development and faced shutdowns and sabotage in the petroleum sector, we were at Chavez’s operative tables in Miraflores developing plans of courter insurgency, and supported Luis Bonilla’s government engagement.
This is a new and open debate in Marxist left, and it’s linked with another discussion, which is the government and State in this new period of capitalism which we should remind but not extensively portray in this document.
- Our politics in regards to Venezuela and to bolivarianism was the adaptation of anti-imperialist front’s politics
On Third International (Thesis about the Orient ). Over the situation of the petty bourgeois radical nationalisms and similar to (but not the same as) to Moreno’s situation in the 60’s and 70’s, that was less developed through pressings from mandelismo and SWP.
Since there are no bourgeois sectors in government, we not only were part of PSUV in Venezuela but also had fellow members who were part of the government in its progressive stage. This politics consisted in supporting all government progressive measures, and against bourgeoisie, keeping an independent position as Lenin would call for Third International. The unique Front distinguishes from action unity, while this is an agreement over a punctual and conjuncture aspect. The Front really means an agreement over many aspects, as the laws that would permit it, etc.
- ALBA as a project of a new political and economic continental model and its inability of its performing without breaking with bourgeoisie
For the first time in Latin America modern history, chavist bolivarianism formulated a project of a new continental economic and political model. Was possible because the changes in correlation of forces and the privileged economic situation due petroleum prices and commodities in general.
This model raised interesting possibilities of a different Latin American unity, that partially existed between ALBA countries, but wasn’t achieved in a continental scale. In meant a great struggle and mobilization so the process would move forward to all continent.
The fundamental reason it hasn’t extended is the opposition they had from neoliberal governments and especially Brazilian sub-imperialism that allowed huge companies to extract surplus-value from ALBA countries through investments from their “multilatinas” as Odebretch, Camargo Correa, etc. On the other hand, they never broke the bridge between which linked them with USA, even if they never used this to transit the same way previous governments would.
Huge “multilatinas” companies as Mexican Slim, Odebretch, Gerdau from Brazil, Bunge from Brazil and Argentina and, certainly, important Chilean bourgeoisie, to mention a few, are intertwined with corporation international network, with investments on imperialist countries. Through this point of view, they have a specific bourgeois character, unique, since for their own economic interests aren’t, in first place, defending their origin country, but global economy as a whole, which is, of course, overpowered by imperialism.
So, it was impossible to the bourgeoisie to integrate a project of continental unity, since ALBA’s extension would mean breaking politically and economically with it. Its advance would open an anti-imperialist course in continental scale. The American South-Center extension of ALBA, Bank of the South being a step, would mean a complete rupture with imperialism and an unique path to independence, which would mean a great economical rupture with bourgeoisie and imperialist monopolies and companies.
At this point, Chavez restrained his bolivarianism halfway, favoring diplomatic policy with Brazilian government, which would talk about Bank of the South but never spend a real. Chávez was then influenced to join Mercosul, an unfeasible project of Latin American unity. It was correct that Chávez would maintain diplomatic relations to these countries, but not to subordinate politics to economy.
- This politics and the non-nationalization of banks are, maybe, the biggest chavist limitations.
This is also linked to the ease of Venezuela’s bureaucratization process and, finally, its surrender in Brazil in exchange for entering Mercosul, an economic integration that never existed as such, instead of ALBA. The creation of Fifth International was like words gone with the wind. Were the conditions to leverage a continental process? We do not know where it could go, but it wasn’t promoted and wasn’t a central axis to the revolutionary vanguard this time.
This was the central task Lenin would point to after Russia seizure of power. Somehow we tried to influence this politics, even with our own debilities and placement of PSOL (we reached the embassy, brought Chávez to FSM [Global Social Forum] etc. But Chávez decided to prioritize diplomacy with governments (except for a period with Colombia, where he supported FARC, what, indeed, was not a very positive way of extension and, therefore, had to retreat and hand over a militant). We do not oppose to government diplomacy, but it was just wrong to transform this into strategy, which should’ve been supporting class struggles, telling superstructure relations of continental politics, without creating any illusions on lulismo and kirchnerismo.
But the end line would’ve been – and we insisted on this after having relations to chavism in Brazil – the need of PSOL supporting, boosting new mobilizations, such as Argentinian where Chávez would support fully.
Chavez’s critics (and perhaps ourselves) emphasized and still do in what socialism hasn’t deepened. But it was a part, and partial. It wasn’t central, which was the struggled against bureaucracy and international politics in Latin America.
- Regardless, ALBA was very progresses, especially in regards to Cuba.
Since it has broken the island’s isolation, it’s given a new impulse to equalitarian exchange and reinforced the island’s independence. It’s no coincidence that in this period of time we practiced FUA’s policy, obtaining a privileged relation with Celia Hart, daughter of revolution, as she was called. It’s no coincidence that since Chavez’s death and with social and economic Venezuelan crisis has also boosted Cuban crisis. One of the reasons that explains the agreement between Castro and Obama, which is a very important element in this open cycle, as the agreement between Santos government and FARC which we will discuss soon.
- Fundamental differences between PT’s social liberalism and Bolivarianism. Also contact points.
During this period of time, we can define three types of governments:
- a) Classical pro-imperialist bourgeoisie governments, as Uribe in Colombia, Mexico and Chile, and many countries in Central America, including Guatemala.
- b) Radical bolivarianism nationalism (Venezuela, Bolivia, Equator)
- c) Non-traditional governments, because they led to let classical bourgeoisie govern and started doing so, in Brazil, PT’s social liberalism, kirchnerismo in Argentina, Frente Amplio (Wide Front) in Uruguay, Ortega in Nicaragua, El Salvador with FMNL, Peru with Humula and Lugo from Paraguay.
But both governments b) and c) had this matching point and it was certainly an important change, since it was about governments which hadn’t had their origins in bourgeoisie. PT had a working class origin and also left’s church. Uruguayan Frente Amplio in workers’ parties and a general that incorporated petty-bourgeois sectors. Evo Morales based on indigenism and the Kirchner in Argentina (petty-bourgeoisie origins) and the historically lesser-political-weighted province in their country. Father Lugo and Tecoyoya in the formation of intellectuals with urban and peasent petit bourgeoisie in Paraguay, etc.
- These non-bourgeoisie originated governments weren’t the same, but opposites in their politics in regard to imperialism
We will pass on now to these new governments which are from two types and have two extremes: bolivarianism and PT’s social liberalism. It is important to mark this difference because neostalinism or so called Emir Sader or Atilio Boron’s “progressivism” and many other great leftist intellectuals put them all in the same bag, and qualified them as progressives and independent governments, unlike PSOL’s position since before its advent, since its leaders from the beggining of Lula’s government were Left Opposition. Bolivarian petty-bourgeoisie radical nationalism was an exercise of political rupture with the bourgeoisie and, to a lesser extent, but also economical, and in that case through huge nationalizations, in Venezuela’s specific case with redistribution of petroleum income and the already mentioned politics of continental unity against imperialism. These governments made these countries independent.
These parties have governed without their governments making alliances with old traditional parties, unlike PT, who has governed since the beginning along with PMDB and PP, and next, with old parties connected to “coronelismo” and bourgeoisie.
Chavism broke with Cuba’s isolation and out to Latin America a new milestone, a model of new constitutions and income redistribution, and as we discussed, the most import thing for its development was the extension of this process to other countries (to some degree, as Chavez understood) when proposed UNASUR and BANCOSUR, although it’s been done through government pressing, particularly PT, who’d finally capitulated in international politics. On the contrary, he stopped halfway specially blocked by diplomacy policy with Brazilian government, which was totally opposite and maintained major bonds with the USA and BRICS.
At the other end, the most important exponent was PTism we qualified as social liberalism, continuing FHC’s policy and promoting the Brazilian sub-imperialism. It has governed with and for huge bourgeoisie exponents (Meirelles from Bank of Boston, Furlan, owner of a huge food complex, etc.) favoring relations with main infrastructure builder complexes, agribusiness and banks.
It has used resources from the three main State banks to favors these sectors and their sub-imperialist expansion in the continent. This “sub” characteristic isn’t new at all, since Brazil, after World War II was a privileged USA bridge. This “sub” aspect (which was made of this are and also Africa), was facilitated through EUA withdraw and because, in certain measure, they knew how to “represent”, playing an associated sub potency (conflictive association, as defined by Brazilian Marxist Marini)
Brazil was a barrier to stop bolivarianism process to become continental, which was a defined task to trying independent development and also avoiding isolation of more developed countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia.
Out policy in Brazil was, from the beginning, of frontal opposition to Lula’s government, shaping a “Movement for a New Party”, soon after becoming PSOL, insisting now on fighting against Temer and against “Dilma’s return”, instead pleading general elections.
- This inequality and Brazil’s opposition brake on bolivarianism couldn’t be solved in this period of time, though class struggle’s increased deeply
Humala’s victory in Peru in 2010 looked like the reactivation of bolivarinism, but it wasn’t. It was swallowed by Brazilian politics. An objective explanation is that since 2007 huge insurrections wouldn’t repeat their selves, especially because of the type of government that arose and accommodated thanks to a privileged economic situation, caused by commodities exportation to China and rise in petroleum prices.
- Emergence and consolidation of State bureaucracy
Among all different processes of PTism and bolivarianism there was, however, a unity nexus that was built along time, getting stronger: the State apparatus in all these countries; 13/14 years of PT, 18 in Venezuela, Bolivia and Equator 9. It’s not something little, and it originated a State apparatus and the emergence of bureaucracy castes, more independent in Venezuela. They’ve worked for their own behalf and in the creation of the bolibourgeoisie, in Brazil as agents of big bourgeoisie or part of it, with whom they had organic relations or made billionaire amounts of money, in many cases.
In Brazil’s case, PT was an organic agent of big bourgeoisie sectors. In Venezuela, Chavez and PSUV were independent. But as soon as they put their hands in the State (or in the most part of their institutions), State bureaucracy took place with their privileged caste rules, a process that also exists in its better expression of State domain of capitalism in Cuban state.
State devices as base for their countries (are logical processes to govern) create bureaucracy (expect maybe for Uruguay) in all places (in Venezuela especially after Chávez’s death). Following a global wave there were huge elements of lumpenization (corruption, “illegal moneymaking”, as “Lava Jato” shows us), and a discriminatory use of State apparatus what would also annoy the bourgeoisie (also corrupt), because it would take, in Venezuela’s case it’s still taking, surplus value or income.
This situation eased reactionary campaign of bourgeoisie sectors against these governments, as well as popular rejection, because of the corruption cases which would appear more and more frequently, engaging hatred by all population to all politics, which have also been getting a high degree of rejection.
- In this last part of this stage and during all of it, important struggles continued on
In Chile, youth struggles’ and all strikes have opened a crack in neopinochetinst political regime, as our fellows marked; In Argentina, where it’s never stopped, or popular struggles against extractivism and mining in Peru; in Brazil and Mexico the education workers’ strikes, in Brazil the June Riots, to remind some of the most important ones.
II- The new stage more coherent with the global situation
The key-elements that conclude this phase are: a) the death of Chávez, b) the entering of the economic crises in the continent, c) the collapse of PT and end of its cycle with the insurgency of June 2013, d) it is affirmed later, with the triumph of Macri, the impeachment of Dilma and the madurismo in terminal crisis in Venezuela.
In the same way, a fortification of reactionaries politics of the local bourgeoisies supported by imperialism comes up. Although, it can be noted that it occurs without a defeat of the popular movements, counterrevolutionary or reactionary, as it happened in the great defeats or counterrevolutionary triumphs in the 80s.
There are reactionary triumphs; defeats essentially occurred by the crises we indicated of the progresses governments, which are more super structural than structural.
Therefore, there is a dialectical relation between superstructure and structure, as they come to implement plans of strong adjustment that, in the case of Brazil, Dilma was already intended to apply, but had no force to do so. A more negative fact produces some dismay or confusion in the popular movements and it is increased by the economic crises that also affect the absence of an alternative economic model. Anyway, as Sergio Garcia of Argentina MST (Popular movement for agrarian reform)insists in his writing, there is no possibility of a return to what were the golden years of the neoliberalism in the 90s, that is, a phase of total giving and semi-colonizing of imperialism. The correlation of global and Latin-American forces does not permit it by now.
There is a struggle made against the more revolutionary plans and we will see the result of it. They are reactionary, dangerous governments but, meanwhile, weak or feeble, because they are not consequence or result of a counterrevolutionary or reactionary defeat over the popular movements; because they face an enormous economic crises; because they come from processes in which the whole bourgeoisie is discredited by the political crises of the Latin-American regimes and the global economic and by the political crises itself.
The desires of the bourgeoisies and imperialism, of Macri, Temer and Serra (his minister of International Relationships), is to favors once more the politics with the north-American imperialism (never completely broken in Brazil). However, against what thinks the so named progresses, it does not mean the return of the pure neoliberalism, rigid and pro-American. And it happens because, as we said, there are completely different conditions in the world and in the continent since the 90s.
The Latin America synchronizes itself with the worldwide situation
This is the reality of our continent; the new phase means that the Latin America is still synchronized with the worldwide crisis. The Latin America was somehow, in the last stage, in the opposite direction of the worldwide situation. It was favored by the price of commodities and petroleum, thanks to the Chinese Economy efforts, and in the beginning of the 2008 crises kept the nationalist features imposed by the radical nationalisms.
All this changed in the last two years, in which the capitalism global crises came directly. And it is an essential point to understand the new situation that the Latin America will live now and on. It enters more warily and maybe it is the reason why it will suffer more. Thereby, in a way to summarize, it is important to note some essential characteristics of the worldwide situation that explain a lot of what is happening in our continent.
The new phase of capitalism and the new period of worldwide class struggle and its expressions in the Latin America
We superficially pointed out in little thumbnails and previous documents, many characteristics of the worldwide situation and imperialism that we believe necessary to repeat, without dispelling from the text shaft. They are essential to understand how Latin America is synchronized with them.
We live in a new phase of the imperialism, of globalization or mondialization of the capital, in which the characteristics defined by Hilferding and Lenin are expressed in a much more increased manner, but also other characteristics, that mark a period of global decay, are added: the structural economic crises and the intensification of ecological and moral crisis, that in Latin America have its specific expressions. If the Latin America was preciously favored because of the exportation of commodities for China, now the crisis will be more explosive, as it was in Africa.
With the restructuration of the capitalism in Russia, Eastern Europe and China, the capitalism reached the mondialisation of the capital (total expansion, breaking borders and, meanwhile, increasing the concentration and interrelation of capital and wealth and emphasizing the social differences). The data of the Dumenil and Levy’s last book, published in a recent interview (www. fuhem.es), demonstrate clearly this situation. In this context, the increase of inequality in Latin America will be very sharp.
It is about a capitalism that develops well the productive forces and new technologies, appealing, with the crisis, to new destructive ways in the environment destruction point of view, and the accumulation by dispossession, which high points are the forced displacement in the cities for rentist speculation and extraction that are happening in Africa and Latin America, in open-air mines in the Andes and in another regions.
It would be hard to explain the neoliberal mondialisation if many politic episodes that modified the situation had not happened. The Thatcher and Reagan neoliberal courses imposed in the 80s and the downfall of the so-called “real socialism” and the technological revolution in informatics that also caused a revolution in communications, and allowed a qualitative change in the international fusions of the capital. It also allowed that the great corporations created a global supply chain, which internationalized the production of the multinationals and, as consequence, created a new problem to the proletariat the existence of a global reserve army. The “multilatinas” that we talk about are part of this process and also the fact that the supply chain somehow weakens the working class, as the internationalization of the workers’ struggle gets too unequal with the internationalization and network production of the corporations.
There was also an important modification in the structure of the State. The Welfare state disappeared more and more and changed into instrument (or co-opted, we can also say) to the great corporations that rule the global economy. To say nowadays that the capital does not interfere in the State is an unreality, because it makes it in a much more directly manner. Brazil, in its own manner, plays part in this phenomenon, as it is also in service to the great companies. But in fact, during the previous stage and thanks to the favors that it had to convert itself into exporter, the State could share a little slice of the cake with the workers in countries like Argentina and Brazil. This ends now. As happened in Mexico, the dismantling of state begins, with much more serious consequences than in developed capitalist world.
The bourgeois democracy regimes were deformed, what explains its state of crises in the social democracy or in PT in Brazil. The great corporations converted the parties in its agents. The global economic crisis that leaded to a permanent counter-revolution caused a strong crisis of the classic bipartisanism regimes that are founded in all sides. As the mates of Podemos approached, there is a political caste that has its own interests and organic relations with this corporations and this state.
The economic and political crisis extends itself in the time (by the incapacity of capitalism to solve it), with an inequality or contradiction, that the socialists believe is hard to solve, but that has leaded to intermediary phenomenon that are fundamental to be understood by the revolutionary left wing. It comes to the fact that nowadays there is not an alternative socialist model to capitalism.
Since Vietnam, there is no expropriation of the bourgeoisie, and it has been more difficult because of the large and wide domination of the global economy by the great corporations, that makes difficult the existence of autarchic models and even the deepening of the socialism or the transition to socialism in a unique country. And it makes it even more difficult because of the absence of an alternative model, point related to an ideological crisis caused by the failure of the unique model people have known: the “real socialism” or fake socialism.
The crisis of the bipartisanism regimes and the debility of alternatives among the great migration flows (the greatest since the II World War), caused the emergence of the right wings proto-fascists of Le Pen in France, of Trump in the United States, the triumph of the Brexit in Great Britain and the regression to barbarism in the Middle East (The Isis is a particular and sharp case of it); The Brexit, if dismantles even more the EU, also has this component anti-immigrants and Islamophobia, that makes it wrong to support. There is no progressive element, but the change for better of the Scottish independence, but by the democratic point of view and for the working class it is a regression. As we are in the process in which the unity of the European working class and its progressive processes are an essential point to defeat the politics of Troika, and in this way we have to understand the Plan B for Europe, leaded by Varoufakis.
3-The Class Struggle continuous and new political processes emerge
However, the Class Struggle continuous. The outraged, the great strikes of workers resistance, the democratic mobilizations emergence and its culmination in expressing itself, also, in the political ground. By the contradictions we pointed out, “pure” alternatives have not come out, but new alternatives emerged (we call it intermediaries, real democrats) outside the old scheme of the classical bipartisanism democratic bourgeois regime of alternation between conservative right wing and social democracy (decadent and corrupt), that are different processes in this way: Syriza in Greece, although its capitulation, Corbyn in England, Sanders in the United States and the voting of the Left Wing Block in Portugal. We must add to this, processes that are not disruption, but that find place in this situation, like the liberal left wing in Canada.
4- The USA Politics towards Latin America
We doubt that Latin America is the privileged point of the Yankee imperialism politics to recover part of the global hegemony lost in the chaos that runs the world and specially the great Middle East and Europe, now sharped by the Brexit. It does not mean that it has no conditions to get back some attack and it is doing it.
→But the global process is too complicated, and the USA has as priority the answer to the great commercial and also armament conflict increased now by the Russia politics, first in Ukraine and now in Syria, to what are added global agreements between China and Russia. These proto-imperialisms or imperialisms fray the debilitated American hegemony in the mark of a conflictive situation that also has associative elements, especially between the USA and China, which needs this great intern market for its exportations. The economic competition is hard, to what is added the Chinese attempt over its area of international influence, that has been until now dominated by the USA.
→The external politics of the USA is by now undefined until the next elections. Trump personifies the proto-fascist right wing. Some anti-imperialist sectors think that, as this global right wing is more chauvinist or nationalist it would bring less danger to Latin America. They make the same mistake Stalin and many Stalinists made with Hitler. Behind this speech is the worst racism supported in the most reactionary white class, that discharges its loath against immigrants and their country, that is, Latin America and how the Israeli Zionism intents to build a wall.
→ by the part of the Clinton clan, the representation of the great capital and corporations, which leaded the USA to crises. However, the democratic party, the Trump difference, has to adapt itself to a new reality expressed in Sanders and Warren inside the party, that express to the workers their loss of achievements, the Black Movement and immigrants.
→ The democrat establishment draws different politics with similar points to the “carrot and stick ”. The agreement of reestablishment of relations with Cuba means a change as it concerns to the island. It is necessary to reclaim the Cuban independence and its actual burocratic government, breaking the actual political situation with Florida. On the other hand, it is an opportunity for the entering of new capital and investments that Cuba needs, but that will lead it into a situation of dependence and wider inequality, like China, but with worse characteristics. On the other hand, the USA accepted the agreement of peace with FARC, which is a Colombian people’s triumph after 50 years of war and forced removals. A dodge peace, as it says an article of “Portal de La Izquierda”, but that releases the Colombian people of the situation of war.
→The Cuban State Capitalism imposes two economies, in fact, the state-owned and the capitalist of little entrepreneurs, of imperialist usufruct by the Cuban tourism and of some raw materials and important metals the island has. It causes an enormous inequality among the population. However, definitively, the part that does not belong to the little bourgeois entrepreneurs is not socialist, because, in the end, what we have in Cuba is a State Capitalism that will benefit itself by the agreements with imperialism and little owners.
→ The politics to Latin America, as the most important external politics of the USA, partially member of the TTP , even if attempts to use Brazil as its main bridge or it’s in its priorities because of the political crisis that the country lived and its uncertainties. The axis of the USA is Asia and the competition with China and in this it privileges the TTP that includes Chile, Peru, Colombia, in which these countries enter, but mainly Vietnam, South Korea and other Asian countries, are instruments that fights the Chinese presence.
→ By all manners, USA do not leave Latin America. Its imperialist strategy is based also in preventive coercive elements. Because of that, a fact to be noted is the increase of military presence in Peru, as part of global strategy against the danger of a wider interference of China, wich today already has an important presence.
- A challenge for Latin American anti-imperialists: to splice with North countries’ class struggles:
Migration wave doesn’t stop and won’t stop as much as the economic crisis deepens. This situation, along with crescent poverty, black people’s struggle that are also a great part of South population, what also establishes an structural nexus, narrowed with the USA and that also determines part of the policies from the Empire to Latin America.
Theorists and politics from the so called “campism” explain the crisis that sweep through South governments, and it’s caused by Yankee’s policy (for example, Maduro covers all crisis that in a certain way exists because of its bureaucracy and corruption). A half-truth. In expressing the essence of confrontations and struggles, they manipulate workers and people. There’s also class struggle in North countries. Let’s remember how Chavez, in his way, had this policy of sending cheap petroleum to determined areas of the USA.
One thing’s the empire international policy; the other’s the relation between Latin-American masses and American masses. Precisely the “campist” obscurantism sees the country as a whole, and it’s be unable of separating composing social classes and contrary superstructures who represent them. This can change as much as the huge Sanders phenomenon happened, who gave birth to a strong polarization in the USA, on behalf of the crescent inequalities, of socials movements struggles and workers struggles, such as the $15/hour for living wage.
Without taking this into account, it’s impossible for us to have a policy against imperialism that doesn’t consist only on reporting and burning Yankees flags on protests. We need to explore a new process and more structural that links USA with Latin America (especially Mexico and Central America) in a more dialectical manner in their relations. It’s evident that the USA, despite its slight recovery, did not step out of the crisis. And it’s evident there’s a worsening of poverty, especially from the ones of Latin America and African continent. They’re part of a new stage of classes’ struggle, which obviously exists in there and has pretty direct effects over Latin America. These are interconnected effects.
This combines with an important political change in North countries, expressed through Sanders, which we do not know how it will unfold. We are sure, however, it will continue on, because of the relation of masses and movements and parties in Latin America with this sector, a decisive one.
As we said, the interaction between North and South mass movements exist  since poverty and economic crisis move forward through all surroundings. A demonstration of the obstacle the American dominant class faces is, for example, the opposition in most of the Unions to this deal, what would mean work loss for millions.
- Struggles continue. Even there’s a reactionary course in governments, a counterrevolution hasn’t triumphed in any country, at this point there’s a debate with old left.
We disagree with old left before the imminent Venezuelan collapse and others (as Macri’s triumph and Dilma’s impeachment), that are all producing from imperialist coups. We couldn’t deny the action and exploitation imperialist forces are using of this situation, but the fundamental causes of the end of this cycle are a combination of elements from which the directions played with and still do.
Imperialism for now plays a “stick and carrot” policy, more carrot-like than stick. It tries to impose its policy more through economic supremacy than political stick. For example, the bilateral agreement with Raul Castro in Cuba and the peace with FARC’s guerilla warfare in Colombia.
Since its imperialist offensive “putschist” stance, old left deduces they have to continue supporting in unique front critic to this government, because according to them, the key enemy of what they face is imperialism. This stance stands in Brazil where some sectors of vanguard and also Trotskyists organizations support Dilma. For us, all this confusion amongst sectors weakens us. As we’ve mentioned in the beginning, our political axis is the construction of a third field.
The truth is crisis leads to emergence of super-reactionary rights. In Brazil there are proto-fascists sectors as Bolsonaro. A social field that polarizes right will exist, but it’s highly unlikely Latin America will come back with strong bonapartists or dictatorial regimes. Masses, first place in Argentina, are going through this experience and, also, there are no migration waves that leads to Europe and USA.
- New resistance struggles to these governments’ plans
There’s a new element which is the incorporation of new youth actors, women, the anti-extractivism struggle, democratic and popular. But we shouldn’t forget the counter-revolution affects the heart of the working class with all outsourcing tries (already rejected and rebound by Peruvian youth) and dismissals. This is where it’ll be decided a great part of these government’s defeat in the future. At some point classes do not count on with new organizations but unions (where we should be), but there’s also a younger working class who’s also moving through the outside of a traditional class running structure.
There are important processes in class struggles, in 2013 June in Brazil, in Chilean and Argentinean mobilizations, in popular struggles against mining in Peru, in land strikes in Colombia and Panama strikes.
- The deep structural economic crisis prevent a capitalist development (what doesn’t mean a GDP growth)
Economic crisis combines itself with political crisis in places like Brazil and Venezuela, as they feed one another. In a still unequal manner, it affects all countries and the way out won’t be easy for bourgeoisie. In a way we can say Latin America’s crisis will be a stronger than in advanced countries, since it takes all governments (no exceptions) to a policy of adjustment – European style – and then appearing a social crisis and exponential increase of poverty.
→ Governments have to apply major adjustments plans just as Troika and South Europe, and these will be defeated. Adjustments plans, like Europe, will be recessive e that’s why we cannot see it provoking a wave of productive investments.
→ Investments who wait for these governments from big capitalists who run global economy to reactivate economies won’t have only one element that allows a stage of capitalist development of local bourgeoisie or an increase of the devastating dependence. Investments will aggravate social and ecological crisis and, essentially, won’t change the economic crisis that’s become structural (Macri’s haven’t received a cent). In Brazil’s case, it could be a little wider, but what is expected is unrealistic, because there’s no way to isolate economic situation from political crisis itself in all these countries. High income rates will enter and the situation will stabilize, bringing speculative capital with it.
However, what Latin America imperialism wishes the most aren’t productive investments, even though there could be industrialized countries where there a high in in exploitation and productivity rates, such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile Colombia, Mexico. What they’ll try to boost deeply (and are already) is what Harvey calls accumulation by dispossession, the spoliation, the wild extractivism, as Arco Minero do Orinoco, other enterprises in Peru, Argentina (the entire cordillera, including Central America, Santo Domingo, Honduras, etc.). The control of agricultural production through pesticides specially Monsanto´s monopoly.
→The result of these plans we call permanent economical counter revolution is a bigger impoverishment of the poor people, of moor social crisis and unemployment and an increase of social inequality. Venezuela is an extreme case, but Brazil already lives a very harsh increase of poverty (after the over-consumption stage), which also took place in many other Latin America countries, and had its higher point in Chile, as our fellow mates very thoroughly explained.
→ At the same time there will be more repressive measurements against mass movements and selective towards left, and at the same time are dangerous as they will attempt in all ways to stand against these movements, with antidemocratic measures and extreme repression, which take place in bourgeoisie democratic regimes. They prepare themselves for a firm repression or selective curtailment over left, avoiding through legal ways any new masses alternative.
- The political regime crisis and the weakness in bourgeois alternatives of domination
This stage happens through a discredit of political castes (also previous heritage), product of its lumpenization (corruption), what makes any arisen government (very visible in Brazil and also with Bachelet in Chile), while Macri in Argentina hangs in balance, and even stronger in Mexico, that intrinsically weakens these governments. Thus, they’re weaker theirselves, beyond classes’ struggles.
The corruption phenomenon is an organic issue of capitalism, enhanced at this crisis period where bourgeoisie searches through quick greedy. Lumpenization and dominant classes revolves around easy and quick profit around financial speculation, narcotrafficking, hiding their earning and taxes (as we can see in Panama Papers). For that there are governing agents, and corrupt political castes that have an organic or almost organic with these sectors. We refuse to say corruption’s only in political castes as it starts in bourgeoisie as we ‘ve seen in Brazil’s Lava-Jato. That’s why fighting against corruption in also anti-capitalist.
III. The end of the cycle of directions that had the hegemony in the last period.
We are refering to Petism with São Paulo’s forum ( Foro de São Paulo) and, in the other hand, bolivarianism. These administrations dominated last period and both went into crisis for many reasons, with some similarities. The major responsibility is from petismo and its lack of interest in expands the Bolivarian process because of its agreements with Brazilian bourgeoisie and the imperialism. Unlike Chávez, PT ruled for the bourgeoisie.
The end of this age (called “progressism” by the old pro-stalinism) brings the search of new alternatives and a third field – nor old administrations or new bourgeoisie’s governments. As we already said, it is possible to see, except in Peru, new alternatives that will have masses influence.
1- In this context, it is time to fight for the creation of these new process and directions it is hard, since the vanguard segments (majorly the elder but even the youth) are misled by its now opponent policy, but not the mass movement, which remains open. The mass movement rejects the old progresses administrations, but the vanguard is more confuse. The construction of a third field, detached from Stalinism is fundamental. It is not about distinguish from “progressim”, as said Olmedo. It is about having mass politics to compete with skepticism and the discredit of these administrations. Our policy is to foment this process without getting contained with the old habits. . In Brazil, PSOL has a great opportunity to grown with municipal elections, most importantly in Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and Belém do Para, but also in other cities.
2- About these old administrations that even dead keep on operating (such as PT and its Frente Brasil Popular, the PSUV and Maduro em Venezuela, Kirchnerism in Argentina), our segment needs to distinguish ourselves from them, only participating in unities of action in resistant struggles that may appear in the future.
3- There is a quality change in our policy for Latin America expressed by the political change in Venezuela. We are critical chavists, that means a rupture with bolivarian summit and its politics. This policy has to grown into a continental level. We are against this foreign administration in Venezuela, but, as our comrades well said, we are not against the referendum and we stand for the democratic liberties attacked by Maduro We distinguish ourselves from the right-wing and Maduro and support independent and popular actions against poverty.
4- We need to draw a distinction from two positions:
- a) the simplified position that explain everything in Latin America by the imperialism offensive politics. For these, the ideal policy would be to defend Brazil and Venezuela’s governments from imperialism. The continental axis would be the support for Maduro and Dilma (In Panama, Olmedo and the Polo Ciudadano are doing a protest action against the coup in Brazil) leaving aside all the responsibility that these governments have in the discredit of the mass movement, as a consequence after all the corruption and poverty in these countries. Everything vanishes in the shadow of imperialism.
- b) the ultra-left-wing that always says that these administrations are all the same and never fought the imperialism and that why they have decreased. And always denied any anti-imperialism front.
IV – About our program, politics and watchword
1- About the model issue and the relation with the exploited in USA
It is the most far from reality discussion, but has its actuality since its part of the strategy. In this regard, that is a series of latinamerican watchwords that cannot be just about the second independency in abstract. Should we return to the bolivarian politcs in scale (even being superior in propaganda)? It is impossible to fight the Venezuelan right-wing, whose told to the mass movement that Chavez took great fortunes to help Cuba and other countries, without saying that we are in favor of America’s integration in its whole ensemble, even with the North, but this could only be possible with a continental unity ready to fight the transnational´s corporations and the financial capitals that have been tearing us down. And we must say that this possibility is not so abstract, since there are great sectors in USA defending immigrants, the working class and the poor population.
It is a risky policy since it could appear as a capitulation to the USA, but it involves the many changes that are happening in this country. It shows a new kind of defense of the international solidarity (and internationalism itself) adapted to this new reality we are living.
That is why is so important (more than Europe) our relation with the North America, and also to establish relations with new segments that have been emerge around Sanders.
2- The fight against imperialism remains fundamental, expressed in the struggles against privatizations, the miner extractivism, Monsanto and the seeds and agro-toxins monopoly, military basis in Latin-American territories (with the pretext of the narcotrafficking war). It is also expressed in the struggles for audits and in the solidarity against the military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A great anti-imperialist watchword for the control of speculation capitals, strong taxes to banks and monopolies against the profit shipping, which are bigger than its investments.
3- Democratic revolution in the political regime: political revolution
The democratic watchwords gain a special influence facing the representation crisis in the political parties, and so it does the struggle against political regimes in crisis in most of the countries. This is really eloquent in Chile, Mexico, Peru, and with a more propaganda value in Brazil. But the regimes’ cracks are everywhere, combined with the decreased in improvements for black and poor students, which have, in some way, been made by PT in Brazil such as the progressive constitutional changes in Bolivarian countries.
We will watch to more attacks to democratic liberties coming from the governments, more repressive measures, such as the anti-terrorist law enacted by Dilma in Brazil or even the one in Argentina by the Kirchner, now prefunded by Macri.
However, it is not only about the defense of democratic liberties (although it is necessary), but also about taking the breach to separate us from the powerful ones and to fight for another kind of political regime, with real democracy and citizen participation, that can only be made with a political revolution.
That brings the theme of the Constitutional Assemblies, with a new form of representation and sovereign character to decide. Therefore, we must have this concrete task in Peru, Chile and with a more propaganda value in Brazil.
4- The struggle against corruption inherent in capitalism, in its most decadent phase
Lenin talked about “parasitism and decomposition” as elements that could explain the production monopolization and inherent decadency of the system in the First War.
Although we are not in war, we can see it in the present. Besides the imperialism “parasitism and decomposition”, that are new elements that only reinforce this character. Among them, nature’s destruction, the extrativism and the accumulation by dispossession brought by Harvey. It is improbable the possibility of a new world wide war, that would be much more than decomposition, We live in the financialization era, the speculation era by greediness. We live in the era of greediness by the easiest way, the corruption, cartel and mafia, and that is what happened with the contractors in Brazil.
In Brazil, the main point that exposes the political castes is Lava-Jato Operation. This action, although it is used by the bourgeoisie against the government, has been exposed the bourgeoisie as well, besides politicians. It is gaining its independency from the regime’s crack maintained since the great protests in June 2013.
→ environment protection.
We have no doubts that the environmental protection is a major issue in the struggle against the imperialist monopolists that are destroying our natural resources. In Peru and Venezuela, we have exemplary struggles that stopped miner enterprises. In Argentina we have another example, a great struggle against Monsanto factories.
→ minorities rights.
In spite of all the oppression that exists, Latin America has been going through some progress in the field of human and specially minority’s rights. Although we have progress, it is still not enough. But there is an evolution in the population conscientious level, and so is the vanguard organization in LGBT community, black and Indian movements. This rich process gains strength with the historic resistance of the so-called “oppressed minorities”, added to the extension of the human rights defense and the urgency of democratic rights and individual liberties defense. Therefore, this democratic issue conflicts with bourgeois conservatism and so our program must express vividly. We are part of the civil rights struggle and we claim for: end of all kinds of violence, oppression and prejudice against LGBTs and recognition of gay marriage. End of racism and any kind of discrimination and repression. Defense of the original territories and culture for the indigenous people of all Latin America.
→ women mobilization role.
The women struggle has been growing all over the world. We are watching the rise of a new feminist wave attached to the economic, social and moral crisis that affects society and has ISIS and Hoko Baran as critical issues. We are in front-line in the protests in Argentina and Brazil. We must highlight Brazil with the mobilizations against rape culture and Eduardo Cunha, with the participation of Juntas. By the other hand we have the “Ni Una Menos” movement in Buenos Aires. Some important feminist figures were consolidated, like Verónika Mendoza, Luciana Genro, Vilma Ripoli and Luciana Echevarria. The representation and institutional crisis affects especially young women, an important fact that results in the search for someone who talks about issues never brought onto public debates (fact that will make difference in October’s elections in Brazil). We have the opportunity to elaborate a program about the lack of women in politics and administration level, report the violence against women and the inequality in labor market.
Our segment has the duty to foment organization spaces for women like Juntas in Brazil and Argentina, to train feminist leaders and defend ant capitalism and internationalism among feminism, as seen in relations established with Kurdish women.
→The workers struggle against adjustment plans.
The major segment in the resistance struggle to the new reactionary plans will be the workers movement. The economical counterrevolution has in its plans the reform of labor and retirement laws and the flexibilization of outsources laws.
It is no coincidence that these laws have been already discussed in Argentina and are in Brazil’s agenda. We think that would probably are the same situation in Venezuela.
We will have here a decisive battle to decide the labor class orientation and also the burocratic directions. These operate pressuring manifestations only to negotiate with governments later.
Will the workers class return to its vanguard role as in 1970s? It will certainly not be the same. But its role is still decisive. The teachers in Mexico are given us a sample of its amazing capacity to struggle in Chiapas and Oaxaca. We haven’t doubt on the rule of white collar workers. Dos empregados públicos, não há dúvidas sobre o seu papel. We must monitor the direction of the industrial proletariat in this new moment, if will be renovated and its news leaderships.
New alternatives to fight the reactionary bourgeoisies and the decadency of “progressim”
We must build new alternatives outside the regime for a political revolution that will fight austerity, extrativism and imperialism. Is a new process that has already started and we must be part of it, as a strategy for this period.
Is about, as we were saying, to profound two combined process. In a hand we have the construction of a political social movement that unifies segments willing to fight new or old governments and the policy of once-told progresses directions, like Foro de São Paulo.
We must have an especial tactic to social segments of Kirchnerism, Lulism, Madurism since we have the possibility, inside the social movements, to do combined actions. But our relation will be guided by the element of dispute.
All of our efforts are applied in the formation of a third social-political field, a power alternative, process that has intima connected. We know that the social is insufficient and the politics can only be given by a broad political organization that carries a program similar to the Peruvian Frente Amplio – its policy has to be defined by its localization among the process. Besides that, its position to unify the social to the political must be present in all social struggles and also in electoral field.
We believe we have a political basis to develop this plan, with concrete examples in our segment.
→ In Peru, there is an advanced process by Frente Amplio and the postulation of Verônica Mendoza as a mass leadership.
Our weak point is the frailty of our leadership. We need a organically structure well trained by our segment,
→ In Brazil, we have PSOL, a process that has been gaining great space in municipal elections but still can’t postulate a politics among the social struggles. Inside the party, MES has been making an effort to this construction, especially in the youth and women movement. PSOL fights a battle to distinguish itself from the old, because of some segments and leaders who still acts in a reluctant way.
By anyway the municipal elections challenge PSOL with important races in Rio, São Paulo and Porto Alegre.
→ In Venezuela we have Marea Socialista, a new organization that formed itself in national range and build strong leaderships, creating interior process very well located inside its politics. This process will inevitably expand to other sectors unhappy with Chavism. Venezuela has as particularity the brave vanguard from the bolivarian process, and most part of it is not settled in the apparatus like Kirchnerism and PT. Therefore, the processes our comrades have been patiently lead over a year has great’s possibilities to grown, luckily without the repression from Maduro. In the same time the unities of action move forward in the country, like in the case of extrativism.
→In Argentina, MST has good objective conditions with the workers and women struggles, but has the contradiction, despite its great number of militants, from the sectary politics from FIT and from segments of Kirchenerism. But we are making progress with a segment from CTA an also in the electoral politics with our leaders.
About Paraguay, Chile and Panama we risk saying that they must have this policy and enter process like these. It is impossible to invent them, they have to be part of reality, but we cannot act in a sectary way and ask them to adopt our program. This politics cannot be applied anywhere.
– The work in the youth and in feminist movement. The youth is a privileged segment of our work. Is the sector who most suffer with the crisis and unemployment, besides the lack of perspective and rightist repression.
The youth has become, so as women, the most dinamic segments in mobilizations in Chile, in Peru against the Pulpin law, in Argentina and in Brazil in 2013 and now with the school occupations such as in Paraguay.
Although this document is not about Europe, we must highlight France with its “Nuit Debout”.
Our youth movements must have their own names, independent from our organizations they must be a friendly structure.
About the alternatives
The alternatives are not building with a finish program. Is not the case of Podemos, nor Sanders, Corbyn neither Frente Amplio Peruano. We must ask ourselves, them; why we talk about intermediary process”. It has to be with the actual correlation of forces between the classes: because there is a lack of an alternative model and not only by the end of the so-called “real socialism” but the failure of Madurism and Petism.
It seems that is more important its location face the regime and its policies, than have a definite program.
So we must be patient with the fight against extrativism, regime, labor reforms, because they lead to the anticapitalist program that is still not formulated.
VI Internationalism importance
Our duty: to grown in Latin America.
The world crisis can’t be resolved by only one organization. Nobody can apply to this task alone. To make progress in these issues we must expand our relations and experiences to all possible countries and establish a relation with USA vanguards.
We are having some good experiences in Latin America and this must be seen by the IV International. We can extend the process in Asia to Latin America with tradition and experience.
Therefore is the importance to the relation with all the process that is occurring. We must relate not only to share experiences but also to make progress to collective elaboration. We can contribute with Portal de la Izquierda and participating as observers in the IV Secretariat. We know we have important lacks of information, but even more in elaboration and these tools are fundamentals to supply that lack.