Americas

Early Friday morning (3 Jan 2020), in an act of supreme arrogance the Trump administration carried out the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as top Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes in Baghdad airport. Yet again, US imperialism is adding to the instability in the Middle East.

Note: this dramatic development means we have postponed Alan Woods’ new year article, which will be published tomorrow.

On 4 December, the chamber of deputies approved the "anti-crime bill", presented by Justice Minister Sergio Moro. Overall, 408 congressmen voted "yes", including almost all of the PT (Workers’ Party) and three congressmen from the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party). This positioning from supposedly left-wing parliamentarians exposes the extent to which one can go while working within the system, demonstrating the wrong policy, ignoring the global class struggle, and showing a lack of confidence in the working class.

On 1 December, a feature article about the IMT made the main headline on the front page of one of Japan’s top daily newspapers. The Mainichi Shimbun (“The Daily Paper”) is Japan’s oldest major newspaper, founded in 1872 and published twice daily, with a circulation of 4 million. We publish below for our readers the English translation of the article, entitled The Internationale Resounds in NYC—Socialism Resonating with the Youth.

Lenin once said that “politics is a concentrated expression of economics.” For over a decade, we have been subjected to a deep and systemic crisis of capitalism. The only way out for the ruling class is to ramp up austerity and to intensify our exploitation even further. With inequality already at historic levels and relative standards of living in free fall for billions, this is a finished recipe for explosions of the class struggle. This explains why, just a quarter-century since the “end of history” was declared, the masses are again moving might and main to change their destinies.

Over 90 comrades from nine different countries on the American continent participated in the 4th Marxist Panamerican Cadre School of the International Marxist Tendency, held in Mexico on 28 November to 1 December. The meeting, taking place at a time of turbulence and mass uprisings in Latin America, was a success, being the largest Panamerican school we have ever held: revealing the advances of the IMT across the continent. For additional detail about the first day, click here.

On 28 November, the opening rally of the 4th Panamerican School of the IMT was held at the Trotsky House Museum in Mexico City (click here for a full report on the three-day event). Gabriela Pérez, director of the museum, spoke in front of an international audience and welcomed the school. Following this, Ubaldo Oropeza, leader of Izquierda Socialista (the IMT in Mexico), opened the school in front of an auditorium of around 80 attendees from different countries in North, Central, and South America, as well as some from Europe. The opening theme was The Communist International, 100 years

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The situation in Colombia is advancing very rapidly after the national strike on 21 November. What was a one-day strike became a permanent and daily protest that is already a week old. The protest did not stop, despite the curfew and militarisation decreed in the capital Bogotá (and in Cali) by the reactionary Duque government. The death of the young Dilan Cruz, who was shot by a tear gas canister directly in the head by ESMAD (Mobile Anti-Riot Squadron) has shocked the country. In response, the National Strike Committee decided to call for a new national strike on 27 November and to include among its demands the dismantling of ESMAD.

Chile is experiencing another general strike, as part of the uprising against the regime that has been going on for almost 40 days already. The government continues to intensify the repression (denounced by international organisations) and even modifies legislation by granting itself more powers to use the army “in the protection of public buildings”, without decreeing the state of emergency, while trying to bamboozle the movement through “agreements” and promises of negotiation. The conditions for bringing Piñera down are present, but what is missing?

In his latest podcast (recorded 25 November), Jorge Martin provides an update on the recent strike in Colombia, the month-long uprising in Chile, and the struggle against the coup in Bolivia.

The Fourth Panamerican Cadre School of the International Marxist Tendency will take place in Mexico from 28 November to 2 December. The school will gather comrades from all over the American continent, from Canada, to the US, Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina. The main theme will be the centenary of the Communist International, which will be marked with an opening rally at the Trotsky House Museum in Mexico City.

On 21 November, a powerful general strike paralysed Colombia. Originally called to reject a package of measures by the right-wing government of Ivan Duque, including a counter reform of the labour laws, a counter reform of pensions and massive cuts in education, it became the focal point for accumulated anger. The strike was the largest the country has seen since 1977 and there were mass demonstrations in every town and city. The government responded with repression and threats. This only served to escalate the situation.

We publish here a translation of an article written by Lucha de Clases, the Bolivian section of the IMT, originally published 18 November after the Sacaba massacre in which nine peasants were killed. Since then, there has been another massacre, in which eight people were killed by the army and the police as they forcibly lifted the blockade of the Senkata gas plant near the capital La Paz. Yesterday, the MAS parliamentary group made a deal with the coup government of Añez to elect a new presidency of the chamber and moved a draft law for the calling of new elections, which starts with a recognition of the legitimacy of the coup government.

One month has passed since an insurrectional movement began in Chile. The mass uprising has placed the government of Sebastián Piñera, one of the richest men on the continent, against the ropes. In the face of the movement he has proposed minimum concessions that are only a trap to demobilise the working class and youth.

To workers, left-wingers and activists. The dramatic times we are living through reveal before everybody’s eyes that Añez’s presidency can only be imposed through bloodshed and the massive use of the armed forces. That is to say: through a putsch that will cut across any democratic smokescreens. The forces that are now being released against farmers, indigenous people and coca growers from the Movement for Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS) in several areas around the country, and against the raising of the wiphalas in El Alto, will be used to militarise society against the working class in the future.

The International Marxist Tendency held its annual NYC Marxist School on the weekend of November 9 & 10. This year it was co-sponsored by the Queens DSA Political Education Working Group, which has worked with the IMT to organize the Marx Was Right Forum. This weekend’s school was the largest IMT Marxist School yet organized in the US, with nearly 100 in attendance!

The general strike on 12 November was a huge success that put the government against the ropes. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions marched across the country: 300,000 in Santiago, 40,000 in Valparaíso, 100,000 in Concepcion. The strike was solid in health, education, the public sector, the ports and sections of the mining industry, and had a widespread following in other industrial sectors. It revealed the strength of the working class in a capitalist country, which is able to paralyse the economy. Almost a month after beginning, the Chilean uprising continues to advance and has not been stopped by repression (with thousands of wounded and detained, more than 200 losing eyes and

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Lula’s release is a defeat for Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash – the criminal investigation that aimed to clean up the rotten Brazilian state institutions before the eyes of the masses). Therefore, his release is a positive development for the struggle of the working class. Esquerda Marxista (the Brazilian section of the IMT) has been fighting against Lava Jato since the beginning and we denounced the conviction and imprisonment of José Dirceu and Lula, who were sentenced without proof in a political trial that is a

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