Long live the struggle of the Colombian people

Monday, 10 May 2021 12:42

TRFI Statement

Mobilizations and confrontations continue to take place in the streets of Colombia, after 5 days of fury against the tax reform that the government wanted to impose and that had to be suspended due to the massive protests. Duque’s government has launched a real hunt against workers and the poor people and, as of today, there are more than 37 dead, hundreds of missing persons and detainees.

Duque wanted to impose a tax reform in the middle of the pandemic, which is hitting Colombia very hard, where less than 10% of the population is vaccinated and continues to suffer the deteriorating situation of the economy. The government assumed that the fear of taking to the streets due to the level of contagion was going to allow them to impose the reform so that a large part of the population would pay for the pandemic crisis. But the reaction of the workers and the popular masses was to take to the streets because they were fed up with the situation. Cali was the epicenter of the confrontations, a manufacturing zone where the level of economic and health crisis in the region has been most expressed.

Now, after having to backtrack with the reform and see if he can reformulate it with some demagogic winks so that the richest sectors also pay more taxes, he is unable to contain the general situation and is relying on the repressive forces and his political boss Alvaro Uribe to, through the monopoly of the State's force, repress the demonstrations on the grounds that they are terrorists and arguing internal commotion. Now he is calling for a "dialogue table", since his more repressive line is bogged down in the face of the strength of the masses in the streets. Some referents of the opposition and the union bureaucracy are calling for this dialogue to divert the mobilizations.

The trade union bureaucracy of the CUT and the CGT, among other centrals, called for a national strike on May 5. The particularity of that call is that it was not a strike, but a mobilization, which, although it allows the streets not to be lost, doesn’t attack the heart of the Colombian bourgeoisie and foreign capital, which lies in production. We must prepare the general strike with self-defense pickets to defeat Duque’s government and blow-up Yankee imperialism's Plan Colombia. We cannot fall into any trap of the regime, which will seek to stretch its agony until 2022, when there will be elections, nor seek institutional way-outs as is trying to be done in Chile with its constituent process.

In the different regions of the country important sectors of young workers, indigenous movements and the urban petty bourgeoisie, who had already been fighting before the pandemic not only against the effects of the economic and health crisis, but also against the brutality of the ESMAD (Escuadrón móvil antidisturbios, in English Mobile Anti-Riot Squad), have stood out in the confrontations and in the organization of self-defense (as in "Puerto Resistencia"). This scenario shows that there is energy to confront Duque and the regime as a whole. This one isn’t very different from other Latin American governments and their leadership of the pandemic; the great majority relied on the armed forces and delivered the adjustment on the masses to keep the lead in the pandemic and safeguard the interests of big capital and its class.

The turn of the US administration by Biden, in the need to regain world hegemony, leads to greater interference in its backyard, Latin America, trying to curb the advance of China and Russia in the area, which is shaping rearrangements in the different governments of the region. The clearest example is Brazil, where the inauguration of Biden forced Bolsonaro’s government, which supported Trump, to rearrange itself, a situation that generated a political crisis not only because of the leadership of the pandemic, but also because different bourgeois and military fractions are beginning to ally themselves to the new Yankee master. A sector of the armed forces more allied to US imperialism and a sector of the so-called "centrist" parliament have begun to reposition themselves before the new post-Trump world scenario.

Essential to Bonapartism sui generis, which is a special form of state power of the semicolonies, is the role of the armed forces and the relationship with imperialism. The world crisis, added to the pandemic, generated a myriad of political crises and decomposition in the relationship between a weak bourgeoisie and the military apparatus of the semi-states. The role of the armed and auxiliary forces in the countries where the form of domination of the dictatorship of capital is more acute, such as Chile, Colombia and Brazil, is where this chaotic relationship is most expressed. It’s a concern of the U.S. to know by first hand which is the relationship of the military forces and their State and this is the reason for the trip of a commander of the U.S. army to meet with the generals of the different forces of the region. But it’s a mistake to fall into catastrophic visions of seeing coups everywhere or scenarios of civil war without any basis in class relations in a semi-colony.

The particularity of Colombia is that, from the end of the 90's until today, it’s a militarized country. With the excuse of pacification, elimination of the guerrilla and the fight against drug trafficking, both the industrial zones and the countryside have been heavily militarized for years in order to control the workers' movement. This militarization includes bases of the Pentagon's Southern Command, established as a result of Plan Colombia, where the Yankee marines trained and train the troops who today massacre the people. This makes the discussion of self-defense and the arming of the unions fundamental. On the other hand, Colombia has taken on the role in recent decades of Yankee representative, gendarme-like, especially against Venezuela and, before that, against Cuba and unstable Central America. It’s a key place where internationalist support for the struggle of the working class is required.

The open crisis in Colombia weakens the imperialist plans towards the region and opens a convulsive scenario that not even the pandemic can stop.

It’s the task of the forces that claim to be Marxists to support this uprising and contribute to its triumph. We must surround the Colombian workers and those of the region with solidarity and unite in actions in the embassies or consulates demanding the immediate cessation of repression and the dissolution of the ESMAD. In addition, we should call for a Latin American Conference with the currents that still raise the need for the dictatorship of the proletariat to discuss the explosive situation in the region and the tasks of the revolutionaries. This can help to develop in Colombia nuclei of revolutionaries who can draw conclusions on the tasks that the historical situation merits.


Let's organize resistance against the repression of Duque and Co. Dissolution of ESMAD

Long live the struggle of the workers and poor people of Colombia.

U.S. military bases in Colombia and Latin America, go home

Imperialism and puppet governments out of the region

IMF, go home. No to the payment of the foreign debt

For the United Socialist States of Latin America


TRFI - Tendency for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International

COR Chile - LOI Brazil - COR Argentina

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