Communist Party of Colombia (M-L)

Political Declaration:
The people are not surrendering to the capitalist crisis,
they are fighting to make the rich pay

17th Congress of the Communist Party of Colombia (M-L)

In 2011 the Colombian people's struggle ended with the great victory of the university students in formidable and massive actions in the second half year, including students from the private universities and SENA (National Learning Service). They launched a general strike, winning broad solidarity from the educational community and the people for their just demands. In November, the youth forced President Santos and his parliamentary bloc to withdraw their university reform bill submitted to the Congress of the Republic which tried to increase the privatization of higher education and other neoliberal gems imposed by the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) together with the Yankee imperialists.

The forces for democratic and revolutionary changes have also been linked to the actions of the proletariat in the mining and energy industry confronting Pacific Rubiales and other multinational oil companies sponsored by the National Oil Agency and Ecopetrol (formerly Colombian Petroleum Company), which are competing for profits from the mining of coal and minerals. The anti-employer and anti-imperialist trade unionists, led by communists and other revolutionaries, overcame some effects of neoliberalism such as labour outsourcing and the Associated Work Cooperatives, which are obstacles to unionization.

The poor and middle peasants, very closely linked with the insurgent struggle, protested against the failures and abuses of the government. This is causing Alvaro Uribe and now the government of Juan M. Santos to lose sleep, as they cannot get rid of the social base of the guerrillas. The Santurban plateau was defended from the depredation of multinational gold companies, by persistent mobilizations in the defence of the environment and the water in Santander.

The teachers, transport workers, flood victims, victims of State terrorism and sectors of the urban middle strata have expressed their dissatisfaction through strikes and protests.

The broad masses turned their backs on the oligarchic parties in the regional elections of last October. These parties lost votes as shown by the growth of abstentions and blank ballots, despite the intervention by Santos and the manoeuvring of "independent candidates" and "citizens movements" not registered for elections.

Despite harsh blows to their leadership, the actions of the insurgent organizations have been remarkably successful, refuting the statements of the Santos administration that the conflict is over. The guerrillas are encouraging the opposition to the regime, dealing relentless blows to the army, which is unable to "consolidate" its presence because of the failures of the "democratic security" of Uribe and Santos, because of corruption in its ranks, the limitations in pushing forward its reforms and the defeats inflicted by the FARC, ELN and our EPL. The latter is getting stronger with the guidance of the Communist Party of Colombia (M-L), accumulating forces for the seizure of power through armed revolution. It is focusing on the struggle for unity of action of the insurgent movement, arguing for and defending the fraternal relations among the groups by keeping the differences among themselves, rejecting military action to prevent irreparable harm and giving advantage to the oligarchs and imperialists.

Without resting, the progressive, democratic, left-wing and revolutionary current is energizing the preparation and convening of a National Civil Strike, channelling the growing unrest, spurred by the global economic crisis and poor governance. This serves to achieve successes of the worker- peasant-people alliance against the regime and government. This harsh reality is opening up space for political debate and mass actions, building up forces for the struggle for social and national liberation, for people’s power and socialism, taking advantage of the immediate results to unleash the forces in 2012.

We must persist in the unity of action of the broad political movement of the masses, since the Alternative Democratic Pole – PDA – affected by parliamentary and electoral practices was not closely linked to the popular struggles and did not have the strength to bear the divisive attack of the oligarchy, which, with the support of social-democratic and other opportunist currents that are largely outside of the Pole, prevented the Pole from advancing to the left.

That crisis of the PDA, expressed in its weakening as a project of the left, does not stop the search for unity of action and organization of broad sectors of the people interested in the ideas of the left and the revolution.

New efforts at unity and the revolutionary, left-wing and democratic political currents, forming the Movement of Opposition to the regime, are arising, promoting a qualitative leap in the needed grouping of forces that were not resolved by the Pole.

England, France and Germany have seen big protests and strikes by workers and other working people, as in Spain, Italy and Greece, which led to the fall of their governments and today are still fighting fascist authoritarianism. Several uprisings for the freedom of the people and national sovereignty in the so-called "Arab Spring" are overcoming the attempts of the Yankee imperialists and their NATO allies to use them to their advantage. They are manoeuvring with the partial withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the internal struggles in Palestine and the role of the government of Israel to justify Yankee and Zionist aggression against Iran and Pakistan which, along with Afghanistan. These are key geostrategic components in the future clashes between the U.S., China, Russia, Japan and the powers of the European Union, with increasing rivalry over markets due to the spiralling crisis, triggering the danger of a new world war.

The popular victories in Ecuador and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela corroborate the existence of a weak link in the imperialist chain in this corner of South America, supplemented by Colombia.

Cuba remains steadfast in its anti-imperialist struggle and in promoting democratic programs such as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America "ALBA" – of President Hugo Chavez, who proclaims the idea of "21st Century Socialism." This is sparking a debate about the revolution and socialism as an alternative to capitalism, a debate in which we defend the scientific socialism of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

The difficulties of imperialism are increasing throughout the world, especially of Yankee imperialism ruled by the fake democrat Barack Obama. The imperialists, their junior partners and lackeys, are protecting their economic decisions with repressive measures; the political regimes are becoming more anti-democratic. The aggressive pacts such as NATO are being ratified, and the Yankees are carrying out brutal military actions such as the one against Libya, under the pretext of fighting against dictatorships, "terrorism" and drug trafficking.

The present economic crisis broke out in 2008 with the fraudulent "subprime" mortgages and has not been overcome. The galloping recession in the United States is continuing, China’s growth is slowing down and Europe is not only centred around Greece, erroneously pointed to as the cause of the disasters in the euro zone. Italy and Spain are major problems and Europe is walking on a tightrope by the threat of instability in Germany.

The frequent summits of presidents and prime ministers or heads of government have been replacing those of the International Monetary Fund, because it is a great political problem to resolve the cracks and failures of neoliberalism as a theory to rid the capitalist system of crises.

Nevertheless, they are blindly continuing the offensive with these policies, causing serious injury to the peoples whom they are trying to make pay for the crisis and who are responding with growing rebellion. These difficulties, part of the irreversible general crisis of global capitalism itself, are intensified and taken advantage of by the popular struggle in Europe, our America and the Caribbean. Even the United States and other parts of the world are seeing "movements of those outraged" with the regime, as the forces of the left and the revolutionary parties find fertile ground to increase their ranks and influence the masses.

In Colombia the "national unity agreement" for "democratic prosperity" is a disguise used by President Santos since August 2010; it is a bureaucratic invention to control more than 90% of Congress, where he has proposed laws to increase State terrorism against the social struggles, the authoritarian presidency and the reduction of social spending. This agreement does not harmonize the interests of all sections of capital, when they are pushing for direct State benefits. The friction has endangered the passage of laws and caused clashes over the application of the ones approved. Much less can false national unity take in most of the people.

To impose fascism from above, Santos is intensifying his populist demagogy and now he is addressing the peasantry with the misleading "victims' law" designed to make a mockery of the right to compensation, non-repetition and the "land law" or phony "agrarian revolution," as the denial of restitution to those ruined by official violence. He is proposing to legalize their displacement.

This is part of the bold change in method and image of Juan Manuel Santos compared to his predecessor Uribe Velez, hiding his presidential authoritarianism with demagogy, using political adventurers disguised as leftists, sell-out unionists signing accords and opportunist social-democrats – such as Vice President Angelino Garzon – giving him temporary success in his attempts to co-opt or neutralize masses of the middle strata of the countryside and the city.

Another tricky recourse to rid himself of the political crisis generated by eight years of the re-elected fascist, is the judicial revelation of the relations of the government of former President Uribe with corruption and State terrorism, with the fascist criminal provocations, as well as their link to the paramilitaries with its extension into "para-politics". In all this, care is taken to place Santos on the sidelines, although he was Uribe’s star as Minister of Defense.

The change in the form of Santos’ relations with the governments of Caracas and Quito is a pragmatism that benefits Santos. He is improving trade and differentiating himself from Uribe to fool the unwary. Santos does not support the Bolivarian integration of the President of Venezuela, but Santos is pushing Chavez to support the counterinsurgency along the frontier, to go along with the Southern Command of the imperial army.

The economic data favour a small group of Colombian monopolists and, above all, transnational capital, which is remunerated with high interest rates and the energy-mining industry of unbridled plunder, evading taxes without creating jobs, while destroying the environment and increasing poverty, unemployment and disease.

The growth in 2011 made headlines and provoked euphoria among the oligarchy, forgetting structural realities of the country such as the industrial backwardness, farming that fails to generate food self-sufficiency, dependency aggravated by the prolonged economic difficulties of the U.S. and the capitalist world, which are in irreversible crisis, as well as the temporary effect of capital influx.

There is also the large cost of recovering the productive and highway infrastructure, largely affected by the large floods.

These realities of life in Colombia are magnified by the signing of the FTA with the Yankee and other imperialists, the reduced contributions by the Yankees to the war, the political-electoral results in the neighbouring countries, the conflict with the damage to megaprojects and other businesses handed over by Uribe to the drug-trafficking paramilitaries, displacing or denying opportunities to old bourgeois conglomerates.

Santos will not have a fate different from Uribe’s by opposing the humanitarian hostage exchange, confronting the Human Rights movement and calling on the governments to support his militarism, while saying he "holds the key to peace" and simultaneously faking talks with the insurgency, placing entanglements while creating conditions for negotiating with the paramilitaries (or bacrim – emerging criminal gangs).

The opposition movement is growing; the rejection of Santos is increasing with mass actions called by the diverse social movement and many political parties and movements representing class interests opposed to those represented by the government.

The formation of popular unity is advancing along various paths and in the heat of the struggle against the regime on the political and mass level, as evidenced by the convergence of the opposition in the Coordination of Social and Political Movements of Colombia, Comosocol, the incipient expression of the worker-peasant-people alliance, and the formation of united national and regional political movements. These are confronting positions against unity, for class conciliation and the proposals of social democracy and people confused by the demagogy of the government, who are suggesting pacts with Santos in the name of isolating the fascist Alvaro Uribe.

Valid efforts are continuing in Colombia for a tactical anti-imperialist government, linked to the struggle for popular power with the victory of the democratic, anti-imperialist revolution on the road to socialism. Adherents of the changes that would promote the convening of a Constituent Assembly to serve the people are growing, demanding more energy to overcome the weaknesses of the revolutionary mass work and to expose the defenders of class conciliation.

The anti-fascist and anti-imperialist front in Latin America is a necessity; it leads us to the conscious work in solidarity with the struggles for national sovereignty and social liberation, to support democratic and revolutionary governments and leaders, as well as the movement towards the formation of Class Revolutionary Parties in line with the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations.

The 17th Congress of the Marxist-Leninists of Colombia emphasizes the fraternal and united call on all organizations and peoples who want change to continue fighting with all their energy, combining all forms of struggle to achieve national sovereignty, democracy for the people and a society without exploited and exploiters.

Long live the struggle of the workers and peoples!

Out with Yankee Imperialism! Down with the oligarchy!

Long live the democratic, anti-imperialist revolution on the road to socialism!

Fighting Together We Will Win!

17th Congress of the Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)
Colombia, December 2011

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