Political Declaration 

Unity and the Popular Struggle Are Progressing in Colombia, Latin America and the Caribbean 

Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)

The crisis of the Uribe government is increasing the cracks in the State and dissension within the bourgeois

The demand for the resignation of the President is growing

The movement of opposition to the regime is spreading starting with the broad rejection of Uribe and will unleash new forces

International political events show the growing difficulties of imperialism, especially Yankee imperialism and its genocidal government.

The economic summits of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization have failed. The fall in the stock markets is approaching, showing new signs of recession of world capitalism in its phase of internationalisation of capital or globalisation. Neo-liberalism is making clearer its failures to free itself from the effects of the crisis of imperialism and the capitalist system. Even so, the bourgeois offensive with those policies is continuing and causing serious harm to the peoples.

The conflicts in the Near East are growing; the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine are confronting the Yankee and Zionist aggressions with outstanding success. Tensions and clashes among the imperialist countries that are competing for world hegemony are also multiplying, as is evident in such cases as the Korean peninsula and Iran.

The imperialists and their local allies are accompanying their economic decisions with repressive measures of various kinds that are making the political regimes of the countries more anti-democratic; they have ratified aggressive pacts such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, and the Yankees are carrying out military actions such as Plan Colombia and the Andean Regional Initiative, using pretexts of the ‘struggle against terrorism’ and  ‘against drugs’, which have even been rejected by U.S. public opinion.

These rivalries and difficulties that are part of the irreversible general crisis of imperialism are stoked and taken advantage of by the people’s struggle in Europe, our America and the Caribbean, in the United States itself and in other parts of the world.

The triumphs of the workers’ and people’s struggles in Ecuador and Bolivia, the democratic advances in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, remind us of the existence of a weak link in the imperialist chain in the corner of South America formed by Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia.

Cuba remains firm in its anti-imperialist struggle, in the revolutionary construction of society and in the hemispheric and global solidarity against the oppression of the peoples and nations that includes the support for democratic proposals of integration such as the Bolivarian Alternative for the peoples of Our America, ALBA, designed with the Venezuelan government.

From Latin America a left-wing ideological and political current that is not yet coordinated is spreading around the world, a positive debate has been launched from Caracas by President Hugo Chavez with his proposal called ‘21st Century Socialism’. This proposal places the construction of socialism as an alternative to capitalism on the political scene, facilitating participation in the debate in defence of the scientific socialism of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

The progress of the anti-fascist and anti- imperialist struggle of the people is clear, the progress of the progressive, democratic and revolutionary forces that we are taking up without trying to sound triumphant. The political and mass tendencies are promoting the favourable accumulation of the struggles for social and national liberation, for people’s power and socialism.

In that continental and world context, the difficulties of the Colombian government are increasing. There have been important demonstrations of inconformity, such as the recent workers’ and people’s uprising of February 10 in Jagua de Ibirico (Department of Cesar), against the abuses of the government and the multinationals Glencore and Drummond that are planning the most ambitious coal strip mine in this part of the world. These local and regional actions, together with the national days of protest, show a tendency to unleash new forces.

Besides confirming the revolutionary energy of the poor and middle peasantry, closely linked to the insurgent struggle, broad sectors of the urban middle strata are showing greater political and social activity outside of the dictates of the parties of the oligarchy, creating better conditions for the people’s worker-peasant alliance to work. In the middle of the struggle to overcome the crisis of the trade union movement there has been a limited presence of sectors of the masses of the proletariat which are recovering thanks to their class energy and to the effort of the communists and other revolutionaries.

Uribe, with his ‘Community State’ of a fascist type and his application of extreme neo-liberalism, is maintaining a reactionary and ruthless offensive to sweep away the economic, social and political gains. This is NOT yet the same as the imposition of fascism nor has he brought about the defeat of the workers’ and people’s movement; therefore his effort to accentuate the exclusion of the popular sectors, the authoritarianism, presidentialism and militarism are continuing.

The government alliance serves the interests of the most reactionary and criminal elements of the monopolist oligarchy, including the narco-paramilitaries emerging from El Ralito. Therefore one must be very clear that being ‘anti-Uribe’ is NOT the same as being anti-fascist and anti-imperialist, nor does it mean being against the neo-liberal model. Uribe does NOT benefit non-monopolist bourgeois sectors nor, much less, does he benefit the middle strata and the workers sectors who are not yet disillusioned and who are looking to ‘economic and social adjustments’ or who hope for solutions in ‘business unionism’ or misnamed ‘popular capitalism’, which will just bring more and worse of the same thing.

The class interests of the alliance that is governing are causing Uribe to be riddled with weaknesses, as can be seen by his crisis that has been obvious since 2005 and has become intensified since the end of 2006, although in order to impose fascism from above he has decided to intensify the use of populist demagogy, the cooption or neutralisation of vacillating elements and to change his image to disguise his authoritarianism. With these maneuvers he has achieved some success but he is facing serious difficulties in consolidating them.

The major exposure of the multiple relations of the government and President with State terrorism and its paramilitary figure includes the ‘false positives’ of the Armed Forces [a conspiracy in which military authorities planted bombs in Bogotá and then ‘found’ them before they exploded – translator’s note] as another key point of the fascist criminal provocations. These are added to the ‘paramilitary-politics’ that little by little are obstructing the operation of the State institutions and doing harm to the oligarchy.

The improvements in the economy are for a limited group of national monopolist and transnational capital while misery and unemployment are growing. The 6.4% growth in 2006 is unstable and untenable due to the structural situation of the country, the difficulties of the U.S. and the entire world capitalist economy, as well as the transitory effect of the income of the fortunes of the narco-paramilitaries.

These realities are associated with the internal contradictions among the exploiters, sharpened by the signing of the FTA [Free Trade Agreement]; the changes in Yankee imperialist politics with the victory of the Democrats in Congress; the political results favourable to the people’s struggle in the neighboring countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil; the favouring of narco-paramilitarism in mega-projects and other businesses which are displacing old groups of capitalists, as well as the consequences of the clashes with neighbouring countries due to submission to the policies of Yankee imperialism in economics, anti-terrorism and the fight against drug-trafficking.

It has become particularly costly for Uribe, nationally and internationally, to oppose the humanitarian exchange [of prisoners, proposed by the FARC – translator’s note] and the petition to the governments of support for his militarism.

The crisis of the illegal, illegitimate and criminal government of Uribe is a fact, the cracks in the State and dissension within the bourgeois are growing, and the demand for his resignation is growing. It is necessary to mobilise the workers, youth, women, peasants, indigenous people and people of African descent, to call on all popular sectors to fight in the streets and paths to win a government of broad convergence, with a democratic and anti-imperialist essence, without falling into the illusion that Uribe will fall by himself, easily or immediately.

The movement of opposition is spreading starting with the broad rejection of Uribe with varying forms of organisation, action and views that flow from the social diversity and the plurality of political parties and movements that represent those class interests.

The construction of popular unity is advancing from the ground up and in the heat of the struggle against the regime on the political and mass level, as is shown by the opposition convergence of the Great Democratic Coalition and the formation of the PDA [Alternative Democratic Pole] as a massive political movement of great historic significance, which expresses a level of the people’s worker-peasant alliance. These are achievements that demand skill to fight against positions that are against unity, for class conciliation and for proposals of agreements with Uribe, which we flatly reject.

The challenge to confront the bourgeois-imperialist offensive with greater political and social forces is very great, especially when we are faced with weaknesses in the mass work of the revolutionaries, as well as with a notable weight and negative role of social-democratic currents and other rightist positions that are fighting for the conciliation of class antagonisms within the political movement of masses and the trade union and people’s organisations.

The struggle for changes in favour of the people with the convocation of a Constituent Assembly at the service of the people and the efforts from the people’s camp to become the government and to be in power continue to gain strength.

The permanent action of the insurgent organizations is strengthening the morale of the opposition to the regime, it has struck blows to the morale of the army and forced changes in the government’s military plans. The Patriot Plan was replaced in 2006 by the Victory Plan as a victorious symbol of Uribe’s ‘democratic security’ but it has already begun to be defeated in the battlefield against the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], ELN [National Liberation Army] and our EPL [People’s Liberation Army] which is persisting in dealing harsh blows to the enemy, as it carried out against the combined forces of the army and the DAS [Administrative Department for Security] in Hacarí (North Santander) a year ago.

The EPL, guided by our Party, continues fighting for unity of action of the insurgent movement, as we did in the Guerrilla Coordinator ‘Simon Bolivar.’ We believe that the political differences among the insurgent forces should be resolved by fraternal discussion and never by military actions that leave victims among revolutionaries and the people, which the government, the oligarchs and imperialists are taking advantage of in different ways.

The organisational and ideological recomposition of the so-called ‘political map’ or of the parties is a reality that is most noticeable with the rise of the PDA with 2,700,000 votes for its presidential candidate, Carlos Gaviria Diaz, and the unexpected support of more than a half million members. These are figures that show a mass political phenomenon which is newly and most notably seen in the advance in the relationship of forces in the popular camp.

The Pole is a ideological and political advance of broad sectors of the people who are looking towards the left. Hundreds of thousands of Colombians, with their instinct of struggle against the system, have adhered to the positive thing of their realisations in search of an instrument of struggle for economic, social and political transformations.

The PDA is a broad political organisation that represents a leap in the grouping of social forces interested in opposition to the regime; it is a result of the political work of the masses in the democratic framework of struggle against the Uribe government that created a state of mind favourable to the broad political and unitary struggle of the people. The Pole is not a result of the right-wing ‘political reform’, nor is it the sum of the influences of the organisations and personalities that make up the PDA; it is a new space won by the opposition that includes revolutionary forces in various forms of struggle, although not all revolutionaries are taking part in the Pole.

The parties of the oligarchy are in the greatest crisis of their history because imperialism has implemented the process of fascisisation and the application of the neo-liberal model that has brought them into increasing alienation from the people. The oligarchs have been forced to manoeuvre with the figure of ‘independent candidates’ and to create new parties that go beyond the traditional tactical dissidents seen formerly in the liberal-conservative two-party system, as is taking place with the ‘U’ party [a party founded by Uribe in 2000 – translator’s note] which succeeded the failed ‘New Party’.

The ‘official’ liberalism is trying to differentiate itself and reconstitute itself to appear as an alternative before the people and to bar the way to the progressive, democratic, left-wing and revolutionary forces. The official liberal decision to form a ‘constructive opposition’ to Uribe expresses basic political agreement with the prevailing policy that has contributed to building and maintaining them near the open pact with Uribe.

In the meantime, the parasitic conservatism in Uribe’s coalition is day by day lacking leaders and forces to assume political control of the main concentrations of the population.

The redesign in the sphere of the political organisations is linked to the greater class polarisation. The parties are not above nor outside the reality of classes and their interests of all types. Some political sectors and sectors of opinion erroneously soothe the profound implications of these political changes with expressions such as: ‘it is an advance of the democratic left’.

We will intensify our internationalist effort promoting the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist front in Latin America and the work in that direction that is advancing in other areas, promoting solidarity with the struggles for national sovereignty and social liberation, spreading the popular achievements and valuing the role of the progressive, democratic and revolutionary governments and leaders.

In the midst of this broad and revolutionary political movement we will continue to contribute to the consolidation of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations, as well as to the formation of revolutionary class Parties that guarantee the revolutionary course of the process in each country.

XVI Congress of the Communist Party of Colombia (Marxist-Leninist)

Colombia, February 20, 2007

Translated from the Spanish by George Gruenthal

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