The poison of Greek and Macedonian nationalism

Since the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992, Athens and Skopje have been in a conflict over the name of the former Socialist Republic of Macedonia (1945-1991). Today this country is named Republic of Macedonia, but internationally only recognized as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greece has never accepted the country’s name, because it claims the current people living there have no historical links to Hellenic Macedonia. Because of the name dispute, the Republic of Macedonia has not been able to join the EU or NATO as Greece would veto any attempt by Skopje to apply for membership. Revolutionary socialists reject nationalism on both sides. The ruling class is dividing the Greek and Macedonian workers to weaken class struggle. Out of all former Yugoslav republics, Macedonia was the least developed. Its capitalist class would love to join the neoliberal EU to strengthen their rule. We say NO to both EU and NATO membership.

Revolutionary Socialist Media stands in opposition to any kind of nationalism. The name Macedonia has become a battleground for nationalists in both countries. Greece has a province they call Macedonia and there is a Slavic country that is called Macedonia since 1943. The Greeks did not seemed to care about that when Yugoslavia was still around. But after the collapse of the federal state, the Republic of Macedonia became independent. Greek nationalists could not accept this. All Greek governments have used their veto’s in the EU and NATO to oppose Macedonia attempts to join these institutions of capitalism and western imperialism. Skopje wants to join the western world, their capitalist politicians have this illusion that EU and NATO membership would make the Republic of Macedonia stronger. As demonstrated by eastern European countries, EU membership turns out only to benefit the ruling class, who own the means of production!

The Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked country of 2,1 million people. Its economy was the weakest of Yugoslavia and the collapse of the federal state resulted in a decline of living standards. Capitalist institutions have praised Skopje with its neoliberal reforms since 1996. Opening up the economy has resulted in a rising GDP for those who benefit from the system. Unemployment is 27% of the total labour force and 22% out of all Macedonians live in poverty. The majority of working class people (72% according to a national poll) have indicated that they struggle financially as wages are low and prices high for basis needs. Macedonia is only a success story for those who are part of the political and economic elite. For average workers life is not easy, with incomes no higher then 385 euros a month. The government does not care, they have lowered corporate taxes and are very happy that European capitalists ”invest” in the country!

Politically the republic is led by two major parties of capitalism. The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity is the main right-wing national conservative party. This party is promoting Macedonian nationalism combined with right-wing populism (anti-Muslim bigotry). Unlike other European populists the VMRO-DPMNE is not anti-EU. In fact the national-conservatives are supportive of the European-Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This is because VMRO-DPMNE wants Macedonia to be part of the western capitalist world. Its main opponent is the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia. This pseudo-leftist party was founded by the members of the old communist league. As titoism (Yugoslav stalinism) collapsed the Macedonian wing of the Communist League of Yugoslavia quickly abandoned Marxism. In 1990 they added the title: ”Party of Democratic Renewal” to their name. A small year later the former ”champions of the proletariat” dropped their facade and became fully supportive of capitalism as the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia. Together with neoliberals they won the 1996 elections, only to promote austerity and deregulation!

Because Macedonia lacks a workers party, the traitorous ex-stalinists are still portrayed as the only left-wing force. But their so called leftism is a scam, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia is no alternative for the suffering working class. Like all European social democrats, these class traitors only serve one class: the capitalist class of Macedonia. In 2016 a coalition around the social democratic party won the elections, forcing the national-conservatives into the opposition. The new government started to talk with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras (another class traitor) over the name dispute. Until now the Republic of Macedonia is known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia internationally. Prime minister Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras came to a compromise. Macedonia would be called; ”Republic of North Macedonia” this is what Greece would accept. However the nationalist president of Macedonia has rejected this name. Gjorge Ivanov said he would veto any attempt to change the name of the country. In Greece the far-right nationalists of the Golden Dawn have also called for demonstrations. Like the Macedonian nationalists these Greek fascists claim that the name; ”Macedonia” only belongs to them!

The deep betrayal of Alexis Tsipras in 2015 resulted in the fact that Greece has suffered the full blow, as Europe forced privatizations of its last state-owned enterprises. Airports, once under state ownership are now sold to foreign capitalists to exploit. The same is done with seaports, which means that Greece has no control nor ownership of its air and sea bases. For Greek workers, Tsipras is a traitor who sold them to European capitalism. Right-wing nationalists like the Golden Dawn know how to exploit their anger into racism and hatred. Many who live in Greek Macedonia are using racial slurs to denounce the Slavic Macedonians, who are called ”inferior” and ”Albanian” as nationalist Greeks refuse to call them Macedonians. Tsipras and his ”Coalition of the Radical Left” (SYRIZA) face a certain election defeat in 2019. It does not take much guessing to know that the conservatives of New Democracy will return to power. The Greek left-wing is still unable to build a socialist alternative after SYRIZA turned out to be a party of class traitors!

Revolutionary socialists reject both the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE and the Greek nationalists of Golden Dawn and others. A name change will not improve the lives of workers in both countries. Capitalism is the main reason why 72% of Macedonian workers face financial difficulties. Capitalism is why 68% of all Greek workers are facing relative poverty. Although the Greeks still earn 800 euros above the average income of Macedonia, we must not forget that prices for basic human needs are almost equal to that of western Europe. The main difference is that German,  French and Dutch workers earn 1000 euros above the average Greek income. 72% of Macedonians and 68% of Greeks do not enjoy the fruits of their labour. They are excluded from the wealth they create by working for capitalists both domestic and international. Greece has always been called a ”developed” nation, while Macedonia is often called a developing country. Reality is that because of austerity and privatizations, the living standards in both countries has declined. To end this, working class people need a party of their own. Not a bunch of ex-Stalinist scum like the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia or the pseudo-leftists of SYRIZA!

We say:

  • NO to nationalist demonstrations in Macedonia and Greece organized by the far-right.
  • NO to political leaders like Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras
  • NO to ethnic nationalism and austerity cuts
  • NO to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • NO trust in politicians and parties of the bourgeoisie
  • Greek and Macedonian workers need to unite in parties of their own
  • For a Socialist Macedonia and a Socialist Greece, part of a Balkan Socialist Federation!

 

Greek

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Criminal John Bolton Tried To SABOTAGE Peace

American war-hawk and imperialist criminal John Bolton tried to sabotage the peace talks in Korea on purpose. We know Bolton to be a right-wing imperialist who worked with Dick Cheney and Ronald Rumsfeld in 2003 to invade Iraq. Also he supported the 2011 bombings of Libya and would love to go to war with Iran. Bolton is the NATIONAL security adviser for that hypocrite in the White House, who claimed to be against war and foreign interventions. Like many neoconservatives, John Bolton does not like it that south and north Korea are talking. He also is not in favor of the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore!

Bolton is a criminal, like Cheney and Rumsfeld who organized the invasion of Iraq. As a war-hawk he has supported all imperialist interventions of the USA. At age 69, Bolton is no strange to the political elite. He held numerous functions during the Reagan era and got his best promotions under that idiot George W. Bush. But it was Donald Trump who made John Bolton the 27th United States National Security Adviser. This is the same Donald Trump who called Hillary Clinton a war-hawk and said that he would never choose people like her at his side. Now we know that Trump is a big old sexist liar. Because by appointing a war-hawk like Bolton who openly calls for regime change in Syria, Iran and North Korea, Trump has proven that he is just like Clinton: a war-hawk!

By trying to sabotage the upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un on purpose, John Bolton is not only a scumbag. He is also a traitor and should be fired for trying to undermine the actions of the president. It shows the criminal intent of Bolton and how this man is trying to prevent peace in Korea. Because John Bolton is just a puppet for the true war-hawks, the military companies who would make huge profits if a war brakes out. Bolton is their man, their political puppet who openly calls for war, destruction and regime change. In 2001 and 2003, military capitalists got very wealthy by selling expensive weaponry to the U.S Army, Navy and Air Force during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bolton all promoted this and therefore he is a criminal and an enemy of the working class of this world!

The war-hawks may have turned Trump against Iran, but they have failed to do so in Korea. Bolton’s plan to stop the meeting with Kim Jong Un has not yet worked as Trump is willing to meet the North Korean leader in Singapore on 12 June 2018. This North Korea–United States summit is very important as no North Korean leader has ever spoken to a U.S president. Jimmy Carter did speak with Kim Il Sung in 1994, but that was after he was president. Because of the deep hostility of all U.S governments towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Juche regime strengthen its own anti-American propaganda and paranoia. The neoconservatives always favored a war with North Korea, they were never happy with the cease fire of 1953. People like John Bolton fully supported the totalitarian anticommunist regime in the south, which was famous for its suppression of individual freedoms and basic democratic rights!

Revolutionary socialists have no illusions that these peace-talks will result in any improvement for the working class of North Korea. Kim Jong Un is a absolute monarch who has shown interests in the state-capitalist model of China, Vietnam and Laos. In reality the DPRK has already a limited market economy. Behind the facade of the planned economy, there is a shadow capitalist one. Also since Kim Jong Un became leader there have been some minor reforms. Should there be a full peace between the USA and North Korea, then it is possible that economic liberalization will happen. The ruling caste of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK) would love to have access to the world capitalist market, like the members of the communist parties in China, Vietnam and Laos. But for ordinary workers any capitalist reforms will only benefit those who are part of the ruling WPK bureaucracy!

What is needed is a proletarian revolution and the complete overthrow of the Kim dynasty. John Bolton would also like this, but for different reasons. He wants war so that his financial backers are getting rich. Bolton may also like the idea of a new regime in North Korea that is willing to sell their workers to American capitalist companies. This is where capitalist scum like Bolton show their true colors. They don’t give a shit about democracy, human rights or freedom. Because we never hear Bolton about regime change in countries like Saudi-Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or even China. Why? Because these countries are pro-capitalist and produce things the ruling class of the USA needs. Because of this fact, revolutionary socialists will reject any foreign intervention of the USA. We will say NO to any war with North Korea or Iran. This does not mean that we give political support to these regimes. We call for a socialist revolution and the establishment of workers rule in all parts of the world!

 

2018-03-23-Trump-John-Bolton

John Bolton, a traitor and a war-hawk!

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

In December 1975, the Kingdom of Laos was replaced by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Laos became a Stalinist dictatorship under the leadership of a former monarchist called Souphanouvong. This ex-monarchist had joined forces with the left-wing nationalists of the Pathet Lao. Those nationalists fought a long war against the monarchist Lao government and the criminal CIA. After the collapse of South Vietnam the Pathet Lao marched into Vientiane, ending the Laotian monarchy. The new Lao PDR was isolated from the world on the orders of Hanoi. After the Vietnamese started to reintroduce capitalism, the Laotians followed in their footsteps. Laos embraced state-capitalism and abandoned Stalinist economics!

Since Vietnamese soldiers had aided the Pathet Lao, the new ”Socialist” Republic of Vietnam demanded that Laos closed all relations with the world. Only Vietnam was allowed to trade with the tiny nation. This isolation resulted in the fact that Vietnam had a lot of controle over the Laotian government. No high-ranking politician would criticize Hanoi and their demands, because Laos was completely depended on Vietnam. It can be said that both Laos and Cambodia/Kampuchea (after 1979) became puppet states of Hanoi, as the Vietnamese were the ones who gave political power to the ruling Stalinist parties!

Like in all so called ”people’s democracies”, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) is the only party allowed to rule. In 1979, it created the Lao Front for National Construction, that front united all mass organisations around the LPRP. In today’s Laos, all organisations must be registered with the Lao Front for National Construction. This includes all religions and their institutions. Since Laos was a backward nation in 1975, the LPRP had little opposition. Only the Hmong people proved to be anticommunist. Those Hmong aided the criminals of the CIA during the secret war between 1954 and 1975. The new Stalinist government started to hunt down ethnic members of the Hmong. Anticommunists say that the Lao government was starting an ethnic genocide against the Hmong people!

While a change in power can led to a power-struggle in many Stalinist nations. In Laos every change in leadership goes very smooth. Stalinist leaders have been raised to rule their nation from child birth. Young people are trained in the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union. Here they train their youth to be good patriots and always to obey the party. Marxism-Leninism is only a propaganda ideology, used for propaganda purpose only. There is little enthusiasm for the party in today’s Laos. Only those from elitist families can enjoy the fruits of the new capitalist market economy. People like Od Phongsavanh, a capitalist who owned Lao Central Airlines (went bankrupt in 2014) and a private bank. Phongsavanh is one of many new capitalists who benefit from the capitalist reforms that started in 1986!

Workers however don’t benefit. Capitalism has not led to more wealth for ordinary people. Some state-bureaucrats got wealthy, but almost all Laotians remain very poor. Corruption by these bureaucrats and greedy capitalists is turning Laos into a paradise for exploiters. Prostitution is now more common then 10 years ago, since sex is now big money. Like in Thailand, the Lao people find out that they can make money with the female body. Girls from poor backgrounds sell themselves in order to get a stable income. Because salaries for working class people are very low. The state-capitalist government keeps it that way, they want Laos to be ”attractive” to foreign capital!

Meanwhile the red flag with the yellow hammer and sickle still flies next to the Lao national flag. Like in Vietnam you see this flag a lot. But it has little meaning, most Lao know the red flag to be the party flag of the LPRP. But its historical meaning is unknown to many. They have no idea that the hammer stands for workers and the sickle for peasants. Red is the color of the workers blood that were spilled. Unfortunate there is no class struggle in Laos. That is how the elitists like it. Because if there was a genuine Communist Party of Laos, it could pose a danger to their wealth and status as rulers. Some students have already ”disappeared” after they called for democracy!

But the LPRP has nothing to fear. The people are kept stupid as criticism of the government is not allowed. Marx and Lenin are abused to legitimatize the rule of the old guard, who are all 60+ by 2018. Bounnhang Vorachith is the current president of Laos. He was ”elected” president and party leader in 2016. Vorachith is one of the old guard, an old man aged 80. Laos leadership is still very much centered around the people who were members of the Pathet Lao. Ex-prince Souphanouvong was the one who became the country’s first Stalinist president. However true political power lay with Kaysone Phomvihane, a pro-Hanoi Laotian who controlled the LPRP since 1955. Souphanouvong was only a figure head, with little actual power inside the party. Today both the position of General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic are held by the same person!

Unlike other dictatorships who fear their population, Laos is not that well armed. The Lao People’s Army only has about 30.000 troops. Compare that to Vietnam were 400.000 soldiers are active. Its ground forces have 30 outdated T-55 battle tanks, no modern ones are in service. The People’s Liberation Army Air Force of Laos completely lacks air fighters and only owns a few transport helicopters. This army is so weak, it cannot defend the corrupt LPRP bureaucracy, if the workers and peasants rise up. Laos has 6 million people, who could overthrew the regime if they would organize themselves. But this is what the LPRP never wanted to create: class consciousness. As a party of the state-bureaucracy, the workers were forced to bow to people like Souphanouvong, who could mix his monarchist upbringing with Laotian (Stalinist) nationalism.

The people of Laos have no understanding of class struggle. Marxist books are censored, only to produce propaganda for the ruling party. The capitalist world is happy enough with the market reforms in Laos. They don’t need a democracy. So it is up to genuine revolutionary socialists/communists to take a stand against the LPRP and all anticommunists who want to turn Laos into a another capitalist hell on Earth. Although the hammer and sickle still flies next to the state banner, the nation is not a socialist society. Workers do not own nor control the means of production. Political power remains centralized in the hands of the old guerrilla fighters who overthrew the corrupt monarchy in 1975!

At age 80 the president of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic proofs that the country has become a gerontocracy. A nation ruled by old men who have totally disconnected themselves, from the needs of workers and peasants. They now wear typical capitalist business-suits and flirt with the forces of capitalism like the IMF and World Bank. The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has evolved from a typical bureaucratic communist party into a nationalist party, promoting capitalism and ethnic Lao nationalism. Like the communist parties of Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam, it is now the enemy of the very people it once claimed to championed!

What this country needs is a political force on the genuine ideals of revolutionary socialism. The ruling bureaucracy will not allow such a force to be build. Therefore a revolution is needed, one that can only be socialist. A capitalist democracy will not bring any genuine changes. We have seen this in Cambodia, were a parliamentary monarchy was founded by the United Nations in 1993. This monarchy however remains a dictatorship of the same people who ruled the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1989) and the State of Cambodia (1989-1992). The restoration of the old monarchy will not bring about freedom to the working class of Laos. Only a socialist revolution can result in the true liberation of  the working class. As of 2018 they remain oppressed by the new capitalist class and the old men of the LPRP!

 

Propagada

The symbols of socialism are now abused for Laotian nationalism!

Trump proofs the evil of capitalism

The Americans have withdrawn from the deal with Iran. Now the right-wing regime of Donald Trump will resume the sanctions imposed on Tehran. Capitalist Europe is facing a hard choice. If they keep the deal with Iran alive they risk harsh sanctions against European businesses by the U.S government. Any company that is trading with Iran will be blacklisted and unable to trade with the USA. The oil-capitalists of TOTAL have already made up their mind. They are withdrawing from Iran, because 90% of their profits are from trade with America. Airbus, the European airplane builder might also stop the delivery of airplanes to Iran Air. Despite the good intentions of the Iranians, the reactionary Trump regime proofs that American imperialism holds huge economic power over Europe!

Iran can look towards Russia and China for new trading partners, but Europa is not so lucky. Most European businesses are trading with the USA and they cannot afford to lose the American market. Donald Trump’s threats are working as many capitalists are abandoning their plans to invest in Iran. American imperialism holds considerable power of the economy of the world, especially the European Union. Despite the fact that the Iranians showed good intentions and held up their part of the deal, the untrustworthy Americans proofed again that they don’t want peace with Iran. Another major player who wants to resume hostility between Tehran and Washinton DC is the terror regime of Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister succeeded in turning Trump against the Iranians, by showing pseudo-proof that Iran was building a nuclear weapon. The documents Netanyahu showed are outdated. Most are from 2002 and none show actual information that proof the government of Hassan Rohani is violating the deal. Donald Trump is however an idiot and easily manipulated by a mass-murderer like Netanyahu!

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of Israel. For 1 million Palestinians there is nothing to celebrate. 700.000 of them were deported from their homes after the victory of Zionism in 1948. Another 300.000 were forced out after the Israeli regime invaded the Gaza Strip and the West-Bank in 1967. In the occupied West-Bank over 6.000 Palestinians are in jail under harsh conditions. Among those is the 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who was sentenced to 8 months in jail for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier who wouldn’t leave her family’s courtyard. The incident happened after Ahed heard that her cousin had been shot in the face, by the criminal occupation forces. Netanyahu has shown that he is a mass-killer and his henchmen have already murdered more then 10.000 Palestinians since the year 2000. Another fifty have been killed at the Gaza border by Israeli snipers, after they demonstrated against the decision by Donald Trump to move the U.S Embassy to Jerusalem. The Netanyahu regime is fueling the anger by printing a special silver coin with the face of Trump on it. This special 70th anniversary coin proofs how happy the Zionists are with that idiot in Washington DC!

Capitalism as a system cannot be defeated in one country alone. Most countries are linked to the global capitalist market and will face the full wrath of the system, should they reject the laws of  capitalism. This is why revolutionary socialists call for international socialism and a socialist revolution in all nations of the world. Europeans need to understand that they are not independent of the USA. Their economy is linked to the economy of the United States. Europeans enterprises are dependent on the American market and profits. Should the U.S government decide to put EU companies on black lists then many would face a crisis. This is why oil-capitalists like TOTAL already moved out of Iran. It remains to be seen what others will do. Airbus has sold many new airplanes to Iran Air. These planes carry American technology and if Trump puts Airbus on the U.S blacklist, then it is no longer allowed to sell planes or parts to American airliners. The USA has proven to be a big bully, a bully with a lot of power because many enterprises need the American market. Iran is the victim of a move by two far-right leaders, who don’t care about nuclear weapons or democracy at all. The Trump administration does not care that Saudi-Arabia is using American technology in committing a genocide in Yemen. It does not care that Israel is ignoring UN resolutions while killing Palestinians. The USA and its reactionary allies pose a much greater threat to world peace then the Islamic Republic of Iran!

 

Idiot Trump has resumed the sanctions on Iran!

Armenia needs socialism

There is political turmoil in the former Soviet republic of Armenia. 28 years after the Armenian Socialist Soviet Republic transformed into the bourgeois; Republic of Armenia, we can say that capitalist rule has not benefited the nation. In a way the current republic echo’s the short-lived republic of 1918-1920. The first Republic of Armenia was also marked by instability as the ruling bourgeoisie fought nationalist wars with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. By August 1920, the capitalist regime collapsed and the Armenian Revolutionary Committee established the Armenian SSR. 71 years later the Republic of Armenia was re-founded by bourgeois nationalists, who again choose war and instability. Now there is chaos as acting prime minister Serzh Sargsyan stepped down, only to be replaced by another oligarch puppet called Karen Karapetyan, who worked for the Russian GASPROM company. What Armenia needs is a workers party on a socialist program. Unfortunately this is what the country lacks!

Present day Armenia only has two official left-wing parties and both offer no socialist alternatives. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) is a junior partner in the government of the right-wing Republican Party. Despite the name ‘’Revolutionary’’ and the use of the red flag as its symbol, the ARF is not a revolutionary socialist party. It started out as one in 1890, but by 1918 the Armenian Revolutionary Federation choose to support the Armenian bourgeoisie over a socialist revolution. After the fall of stalinism and the Armenian Socialist Soviet Republic, the ARF was again supportive of capitalist rule instead of workers rule. In the 1990’s it participated in austerity governments, this is why the party never became a party for workers. Its best result at the elections was in 2007 when it got 13%. This result was destroyed in 2012 after the Armenian Revolutionary Federation had participated in a right-wing government, with the Republican Party. The ARF was again in power with the conservatives after winning lightly in 2017, they obtaining three ministerial posts. Revolutionary socialists reject the ARF as a bourgeois nationalist party and not a force for socialism!

Another pseudo-leftist party is the Armenian Communist Party (ACP). In the 1990’s, this party represented the remnants of the Stalinist caste who remained faithful to Marxist-Leninist dogma. The communist party was popular in the 90’s, winning 12% of the votes in 1995 and 1999. However by 2003 the party was voted out of parliament. Out of all political parties, the Armenian Communist Party is the most pro-Russian and supported Armenia’s entry into the Eurasian Economic Union. Like many communist parties in the former USSR, the ACP wants Armenia to join a State Union with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. Despite calling itself a party based on Marx and Lenin, the Armenian stalinists do not wish for a socialist revolution under control of soviets (workers councils). Instead the ACP is calling for a parliamentary republic and a mixed market economy. We therefore conclude that the Armenian Communist Party is not a revolutionary party for socialism!

Revolutionary socialists reject both the pro-capitalist ARP and the pro-Russian ACP. We call for a socialist republic to be build and decentralized planning of the economy. Politics in Armenia are however dominated by the Republican Party and Prosperous Armenia, a pro-Russian conservative party. 2/3 of parliament are under their control and with the ARF supporting the Republican government, there is no genuine leftist force that opposes the capitalist rulers. Voter turn-out during elections is rather low. 40% of all Armenians did not vote during the 2017 elections. Despite losing 11 seats, the Republican Party is still in control of the National Assembly. Armenian workers lack a understanding what socialism is about. The youth born after 1990 may only know it from their parents who experienced a façade, something that only looked like socialism. Antisocialist forces have been able to brand socialism a ”failure”. Only the post-Soviet generation is able to learn what socialism is truly about. It is not a system of a single party dictatorship with a centralized economy run by corrupt bureaucrats!

Karen Karapetyan is a puppet of the ruling class. As mayor of the capital Yerevan between 2010 and 2011, Karapetyan became very unpopular when he ordered the municipality to enforce a strict ban on street trading. After he left the office of mayor, Karapetyan went to Russia where he worked for the GAZPROM company. In 2016, the Republican Party led by Serzh Sargsyan recalled their man and Karen Karapetyan was made prime minister. Two years later president Sargsyan abandoned the presidency to become prime minster, a move seen by many as a power grab since the office of prime minister holds more power than that of the president. On 13 April 2018 massive street protests started against the move by Serzh Sargsyan. Many working class Armenians demanded not only removal of Sargsyan, but also the removal of the conservative Republican Party from power. They are very right to demand this, since the Republicans are an elitist party of power hunger bureaucrats!

The protesters demanded that Nikol Pashinyan was made interim prime minister. However the conservatives know that Pashinyan is very hostile of the Republican Party. As a member of the liberal Civil Contract, Nikol Pashinyan supports the EU and rejects the Eurasian Economic Union created by the Russian Federation. Therefore the Republicans reinstalled their GAZPROM man as prime minister. This move was not well received by the protestors who see Karapetyan as a puppet of Sargsyan. Revolutionary socialists understand their rejection of the current conservative government. But Nikol Pashinyan and his pro-EU party are not the alternative. Civil Contract is a capitalist party that promotes neoliberalism and deregulation of the Armenian economy. Also they wish for Armenia to come closer to the EU and its institutions. This is why socialists reject the liberals, who would trade one imperialist master (Russia)  for another (Europe)!

Our alternatives are:

  1. Complete rejection of the conservative government (and the ARF)
  2. No trust in the liberal opposition or any other pro-EU group
  3. No to Karen Karapetyan or Nikol Pashinyan
  4. Build a workers party on a socialist program
  5. Rejection of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union
  6. Nationalization of the means of production under democratic elected councils
  7. Expropriate the ruling class, removal of their control over the Armenian state, media and economy
  8. Build a socialist democracy with a decentralized planned economy!

A man holds down a portrait of former prime minister Serzh Sargsyan

The betrayal of the FSLN

The Sandinista National Liberation Front has been in control of the Republic of Nicaragua since 2011. It used to be a guerrilla group that fought the Somoza family, who ruled from 1937 until 1979. The Sandinistas were supported by many leftists and although they have won democratic elections, they never made the move towards genuine socialism. President Daniel Ortega used to be a Marxist-Leninist (Stalinist). However with the fall of the USSR, Ortega abandoned his revolutionary believes and the whole FSLN became a party that claims to be democratic socialist (in the social democratic tradition). After being out of power for 21 years, the FSLN gained a clear majority in 2011. However Nicaragua is not a socialist democracy under the rule of Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front! 

Why has the FSLN not introduced a socialist system based on working class control over politics and the economy? The answer may lay in the fact that the Sandinistas never understood what genuine socialism is about. For many; socialism was what the Soviet-Union did or Cuba. They idolized the Stalinist system and the top down bureaucracy. Still the FSLN did not nationalized the whole economy and not introduced a system of planning, after they overthrew the corrupt Somoza dynasty in 1979. What the Sandinistas tried was much closer to classic social democracy, were a private sector is allowed under a regulated market economy. However the development of the Sandinista Revolution was stalled by their isolation and the attempts of world capitalism to destroy the revolutionary government. The USA was not happy that another Latin American country had liberated itself from the grips of capitalist corruption. American governments all supported the right-wing Somoza dynasty and never complained about their abuse of power. However with the FSLN victory in 1979, suddenly the U.S administration started to complain about ”economic rights” and human rights in general!

Under Ronald Reagan, the USA started a criminal campaign to overthrow the revolutionary government in Nicaragua. Reagan believed that the FSLN was a ”communist” party that enforced the will of Moscow on his backyard. To aid the counterrevolution, the White House started to supply arms to a right-wing terror group called the Contras. With CIA training and arms, these terrorists were responsible for more then 1300 attacks between 1979 and 1990. Reagan and his thugs downplayed the crimes of the Contras, while claiming that the Sandinistas were a brutal oppressive regime that abused human rights. Because of the terrorist attacks by the Contras, the FSLN did use brutal methods to fight them. It alienated many working class people and by 1989 the USA had succeeded in weakening the population. Ten years of brutal civil war and a economic embargo resulted in the fact that the pro-capitalist opposition to the Sandinistas won the 1990 elections. The USA had threatened to keep Nicaragua under an embargo unless the right-wing won the elections!

Violeta Chamorro succeed Daniel Ortega as president after the 1990 elections. She is the only woman who ever became president. As a member of the National Opposition Union, Chamorro worked hard to make sure Nicaragua followed the neoliberal model set out by the ruling class of the world. The National Opposition Union got massive financial support from the USA, over 50 million dollars were donated to this capitalist coalition. It is ironic that the official Communist Party of Nicaragua joined hands with the right-wing in 1990, to topped the Sandinista government. There is no excuse for this classic act of betrayal by the communist party. Today the official ”communists” keep calling on working class people to vote for neoliberal candidates, who oppose the Sandinista National Liberation Front. It shows the complete bankruptcy of this political party, which is not providing a socialist alternative to the FSLN and the massive inequality that exists in the country!

President Chamorro succeeded in restoring capitalist law and order. It led to a massive decline in human development.  From 1990 to 2001, the country fell from 60th to 116th in the world in terms of human development and has become the poorest in the whole Latin American continent after Haiti, according to United Nations Development Program. Violeta Chamorro and her capitalist masters did not care, they had only one mission: To make sure that the Republic of Nicaragua would never challenge the Washington Consensus, set out by the U.S government and the IMF & World Bank. Daniel Ortega remained the leader of the FSLN, he however changed his revolutionary rhetoric and became a moderate leftist politician. Soon the former president allied himself with the employers unions and with their help; Ortega was able to win the 2006 presidential elections. Ortega emphasized peace and reconciliation in his campaign and even selected a former Contra leader, Jaime Morales Corazo as his running mate. It showed that the Sandinista National Liberation Front had transformed itself into a leftist nationalist party with social democratic characteristics!

Ortega allied with other leftist nationalists like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. These three Latin American leaders wanted to stand up to American imperialism. However all three lacked a clear socialist line of thinking. More so they were populists and never dared to move fully against their ruling classes. Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua did tried to build a alternative trade organisation called the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America. Still it does not change the fact that the economies of all three countries remain capitalistic. Their inability to overthrow capitalism in a socialist revolution led to stagnation and growth of capitalist forces, who are already besieging Venezuela. On the social front, Daniel Ortega choose to embrace conservative viewpoints to win the support from the Roman Catholic Church. Back in the 1980’s he used to support abortion rights for woman. Now Ortega is following the line of the Catholic Church and his government has fully banned any abortion, even therapeutic abortions!

In January 2014, the FSLN dominated National Assemble made it possible for the president to run for office unlimited. The new constitutional reforms gave Ortega the sole power to appoint military and police commanders. We therefore know that top military and police leaders in Nicaragua are not only politically loyal to the Sandinistas, but also to their leader: Daniel Ortega. Despite ruling as a capitalistic president who owns means of production, Ortega and the FSLN remain popular as the country lacks a clear socialist alternative to the Sandinistas. Also the Ortega government has brought stability and economy growth (for a few). Still, it does not hide the fact that the Sandinista National Liberation Front betrayed its original socialist ideology, by working within the framework of a bourgeois system. Revolutionary socialists therefore do not call them a socialist party. Officially however they are still regarded as ”socialist” by many, this includes Wikipedia. A split of the FSLN is called the Sandinista Renovation Movement. The splinter-party never won the popularity of the mother-party, simply because it was never able to build a socialist alternative to the now capitalist Sandinista National Liberation Front!

There is a second reason why politics in the Republic of Nicaragua are divided between the FSLN and the main conservative party, the Constitutionalist Liberal Party. Since 2011, the Sandinistas fully control the state and politics. The capitalist opposition is weak and unable to fully challenge Daniel Ortega. However the recent clashes over pension reforms might give them new strength. Because the Ortega administration wanted to enforce new social security reforms that raised income and payroll taxes, while reducing pension benefits by 5%. Many pensioners feared a loss in income and the right-wing uses this unpopular measure to call for massive strikes. Students and workers joined as they did not wanted to pay more money into the pension system. Ortega only wanted to speak to those who own the economy (capitalists such as himself). This sparked massive outraged and riots started. Police brutality was enforced and over 26 people were killed. After massive protests against the brutality of the police and the mass arrests of students and critics, the FSLN government choose not to implement the reforms to the pension system!

Revolutionary socialists are very critical of president Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front. Nicaragua needs a workers party on a socialist program that brakes with the bourgeois state and the capitalist system. Politicians like Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez (since 2013: Nicolas Maduro) and Evo Morales have not broken with the system. They think that capitalism can be contained or reformed to serve ”them”. This is a very wrong mentality, we know that capitalism cannot be made good. At its core lies the exploitation of people, nature and society. Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia need socialism. Unfortunately the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the Movement towards Socialism in Bolivia and the Sandinista National Liberation Front will not build it. They are stuck in social democratic methods mixed with leftist nationalism. As the limits of their political projects become more clear, leaders like Maduro and Ortega are growing more authoritarian. Even Evo Morales is using the state against working class Bolivians who criticize his administration!

Between 1979 and 1990, the FSLN faced the whole capitalist world against them. The USA played a very dirty game by destabilizing Nicaragua intentionally. After the FSLN lost the elections in 1990, the party moved to the right and choose to abandon the revolutionary path towards socialism. Despite their betrayal, many in Nicaragua support the Sandinistas for what they did in the 1980’s. The generation born after the civil war with the Contras only knows the FSLN of today. A party that is not building a socialist alternative to capitalism. Out of fear of returning to the days when the right-wing ruled the nation, many keep voting on the party of Daniel Ortega. This fear is understandable, but voting for the lesser of two evils will not bring about an end to the massive inequality in this Latin American country!

 

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Abby Martin in Venezuela

Abby Martin talks to Venezuelans on the streets of Caracas and investigates the main claim that there’s no free press, and that there is no food in the supermarkets. Using hidden cameras, she takes you through local grocery stores and the underground black market currency exchange, the main source of inflation in the country. Abby sits down with economist Pasqualina Curzio to learn more about the nature of the black market and chronic shortages of goods. Knowing that world leaders are calling for foreign intervention, Abby finds out if locals agree.

Hungary needs a socialist alternative to Viktor Orbán

The Hungarian elections have strengthen the right-wing and far-right. Viktor Orbán’s Hungarian Civic Alliance (FIDESZ) won 48,48% of the votes, an increase in almost 3,61% since 2014. The far-right Movement for a Better Hungary (JOBBIK) lost -0,68%, but with 19,54% of the votes the Hungarian nationalist party remains the second largest party in parliament. With a turnout of 68% more people have come to vote and a clear majority voted right-wing or far-right. How is this possible? We must understand that the political climate in Hungary is very toxic. Nationalist rhetoric and hatred against refugees has dominated the debate for years now. The official left-wing is paralyzed as the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is a party that promoted austerity and capitalist barbarism in the past. Hungarian workers therefore do not trust these pseudo-socialists!

Hungary has been under nationalist rule since 2010. In the early 2000’s a coalition of the social democratic MSZP and the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats ruled the country. This neoliberal austerity coalition was hatred by many because it followed the doctrine of privatizations and deregulation of the economy, set out by the EU commission. Viktor Orbán is not an opponent of capitalism, but by rejecting the EU imposed austerity; FIDESZ was able to portray itself as an opponent of neoliberalism . As the Syrian civil war grew more brutal many refugees came to Europe and entered Hungary. Seeing an opportunity to boost ethnic nationalism, Orbán started to mix racism with Hungarian nationalism. Refugees became the new Jews, the ‘’dangerous foreigners’’ who would bring Islam and barbarism. With racist stereotyping the nationalist conservatives won the 2014 elections. Second biggest political party became the fascists of the Movement for a Better Hungary (JOBBIK) a party that is known for its antisemitism, racism and hatred towards minorities in Hungary!

Many liberals are shocked by the victory of Orbán, the pro-EU parties only got around 20% of the votes. Even with a higher voter turnout the national-conservatives and far-right nationalists remain in complete control over the country. What these liberals fail to understand is the deep rejection and anger many working class Hungarians have towards the MSZP, the Hungarian Socialist Party. This party was founded by the majority of the Stalinist: Hungarian Socialist Workers Party in 1989. After the Stalinist party abandoned its monopoly on power in the Hungarian People’s Republic (1956-1989), it choose to embrace capitalism and the European Union as its new role model.

The MSZP returned to power in 1994, many Hungarians hoped for a government more social and fair, instead they got the same austerity regime. Angered by four years of neoliberalism and EU imposed privatizations, the social democrats lost the 1998 elections. They were however able to form a coalition government in 2002 with (neo)liberals, this led to another four years of austerity rule. Meanwhile the conservatives of the Hungarian Civic Alliance (FIDESZ) were campaigning on an anti-privatization platform. It is ironic that the ”socialists” of the MSZP called for deregulation and free markets, while the conservatives of FIDESZ rejected them and called for government regulation. The Hungarian Civic Alliance won the 2010 election and got a majority of votes. With a parliament fully under nationalist control, Viktor Orbán started to build a Hungary based on the Russian/Turkish model. Democratic institutions are slowly disassembled, the free press is attacked as ”unpatriotic” and even silenced. Hungary is no longer called a free nation for journalists. Instead it is partly free as the government tries to control what newspapers and television networks are saying and writing.

Orbán knows however that he cannot go too far. He needs to balance between his nationalist populism and the demands of the ruling class, who love the common European market. FIDESZ claims to stand with the people, but in reality they only stand with the elite and the ruling class. The conservatives mask their true colors under waves of nationalist propaganda, targeting Syrian refugees as the main reason for Hungary’s problems. This is not new as Hitler did the same with the Jews in Germany. Orbán plays on the fear of Muslims, a fear that JOBBIK is also enforcing with a campaign build on the fear for the foreigner. Ethnic minorities have been attacked by the storm-troopers of the far-right. JOBBIK leaders have also proven to be antisemitic!

One of the main reason why most Hungarians vote for the right-wing and far-right is because they (wrongfully) believe that the conservatives and nationalists will care for them. However the facts show that Orbán has not reduced poverty nor changed anything about the capitalist nature of Hungary. The gap between the rich and the poor has only increased, now that the cronies of the president have grown richer in the last 8 years under FIDESZ. Wages remain low and many young Hungarians between the age of 15 and 30 do not want to work in their own country. That is understandable since the average income is only 558 euros a month. Hungary is the third poorest nation of the European Union behind Romania and Bulgaria.

What is lacking is a workers party that exposes the corruption, the poverty and the lies of FIDESZ and its far-right allies. The MSZP cannot be a party for working class people. It is has been a force for capitalist exploitation since 1994. Also the social democrats were exposed as liars when MSZP leader Ferenc Gyurcsány used crude language in admitting that the Hungarian Socialist Party had misled the electorate. Since the revelation the social democrats have been reduced to a minor political party. Their liberal allies were voted out of office completely and in 2013 the Alliance of Free Democrats dissolved itself. The anti-nationalist camp is now led by a weakened MSZP and a few social liberals, they pose no threat to the mighty conservative party and the far-right!

The only official party that can be called anti-capitalist are the Stalinist remnants of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party (MSZMP). When the majority of the MSZMP choose to abandon Marxism-Leninism (Stalinism) a small minority rejected them. Under  the leadership of Gyula Thürmer the Stalinist party had different names, from Hungarian Socialist Workers Party to Workers Party, Hungarian Communist Workers Party to finally Hungarian Workers Party under-which they operate today. Thürmer is a supporter of the Hungarian People’s Republic as it was led by Janos Kadar. His party is very positive about the period that is called ”Goulash-Communism”. Between 1956 and 1989 the MSZMP under Kadar was less dogmatic to Stalinist orthodoxy!

Although the regime did not tolerate criticism of the MSZMP, it was more tolerant toward those who would not oppose its rule. Janos Kadar showed greater care for the lives of working class people. Because of the inequality that capitalism produces, those who lived in the era of Kadar tend to be more positive and nostalgic. However that never resulted in political support for the party of Thürmer. The Hungarian Workers Party is not a socialist alternative as it does not call for socialism to be build. In fact the stalinists are siding with FIDESZ and are supportive of the anti-refugee toxic spread by the conservatives and nationalists. Gyula Thürmer praised Viktor Orbán for putting Hungary first, the Stalinist leader seems to be blinded by nationalist pride!

To reject Orbán or FIDESZ is not popular in Hungary. You could face outright rejection, discrimination and even hatred. Hungary is in a state of ”We against Them”. If you reject the president and the state, you are with THEM and THEM (the EU, the refugees, the liberals) are the ENEMY of  the people. Since most media outlets are owned by FIDESZ it become harder and harder to fight back. The youth of Hungary is leaving and the rest are blinded by a false sense of nationalism. What the country needs is a socialist alternative. Which is very difficult to build up since the ruling class is abusing the past for anti-leftist propaganda. They claim that the anti-Stalinist revolution of 1956 was aimed against leftism, against the ideas of socialism. In reality the brave workers who rose up in Budapest against the Soviet-Union were not motivated by a desire to restore the capitalist-regime that allied itself with Adolf Hitler. The workers-councils founded after the Stalinist parasites fled, were not calling for a capitalist Hungary under control of a new class of exploiters. This fact is not mentioned by the conservatives and nationalists, who have hijacked the events of 1956 to spread right-wing nationalism, hatred of foreigners, Syrian refugees and leftists!

Trade unions are weak and not effective in fighting for workers rights. This is because the unions do not fight for a socialist alternative, which is common in capitalist countries. Many union leaders are under the influence of social democracy and lack a class consciousness. Following the victory of the conservatives in the 2018 elections, the political leaders of the anti-nationalist camp resigned, making Orbán’s victory complete. Revolutionary socialists know that is not easy to fight for socialism in a country poisoned with lies about the ideas of Marx. Right-wing populism is now the dominate ideology and those who reject it are marginalized as the outcome of the elections show. The lack of a true anti-capitalist socialist alternative makes it easy for FIDESZ and JOBBIK to portray themselves as people’s parties!

It is sad that many workers do not realize how corrupt and capitalistic Orbán and his cronies truly are. They fail to see the corruption, the inequality and the low wages as proof that after 8 years in office, the conservatives only care about themselves. Also Hungary has not left the EU and remains loyal to the common market economy of Europe. All nationalist propaganda aside, foreign capitalists are still free to exploit the proletariat of Hungary, who voted for another four years of capitalist barbarism under the Hungarian Civic Alliance and its Führer!

 

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More Palestinians getting murdered by Israel

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have opened fire on a number of protesters who were demonstrating against the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israeli imperialism since 1967. It is reported that 17 Palestinians have been murdered by bullets coming from the IOF. The far-right Zionist media brands anybody a ”terrorist” who stands up to the occupation. They also claim that anybody is antisemitic and a Jew hater, if you show solidarity with the Palestinians. Because of the occupation and killing of innocent Palestinians, the hatred against Jews will keep growing. Revolutionary Socialist Media condemns the murder and the criminal occupation of the West-Bank by the IOF and far-right Jewish colonialists!    

Off-course the world media will support the Israeli side as they always do. The right-wing regime of Benjamin Netanyahu (a mass-murderer) is notorious for killing Palestinians. In 2014 during a massive bombing campaign against Gaza, over 2.000 Palestinians were slaughtered. Now the IOF has opened fire on demonstrators who stood on the Palestinian side of the Gaza border. Their crime? They were waving Palestinian flags and burned tires. In the eyes of the Terror State of Israel, you are a ”terrorist” when you are waving flags and burning car-tires, 200 meters from the actual border itself. Netanyahu will blame Hamas, as he always does. It is true that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) had organized the demonstration on the border, but it was the IOF who opened fire on people standing two-hundred meters away!

Many Israeli workers are supportive of their far-right government out of fear. This fear has been the result of failed methods by the secular Palestinian leadership in the past to fight the occupation. Because of terrorist attacks against civilians, many Israelis became afraid of Palestinians and started to support the far-right Zionist party of Netanyahu. Revolutionary socialists have called for mass class struggle of both ethnic working classes. As the Socialist Struggle Movement explains: ”The interests of the Israeli working and young people is to fight for peace based on genuine recognition, including the historical injustice of the Nakba, and profound social change, a socialist change that will enable the uprooting of a reality of extreme inequality, and will facilitate also the return of the refugees who wish to do so, while guaranteeing well-being, life and personal security to all and equal rights without any discrimination for both national groups” 

More then 1.000 have been wounded during the protests, which Israel rejects. The soldiers of the IOF are trained to shoot and kill. In their eyes anybody who stands against Israel is a ”terrorist”. Nazi soldiers during WW2 also called the popular resistance ”terrorists”. These brave men and women who stood up to the brutality of the Nazi regime were always denounced as ”terrorists” by the media of Nazi Germany led by Joseph Goebbels. Benjamin Netanyahu is doing the exact same thing. He calls anybody who stand up the occupation a ”terrorist”. The only reason the Terror State of Israel is not under massive UN sanctions is because of the USA. Every time the Security Council wants to enforce something on Israel, the USA uses its veto to render the motion useless. It proofs the complete failure of the United Nations to act as a force against the criminal occupation and the imperialist forces, who arm and support it!

Because of the far-right nature of Hamas, the pro-Zionist media is already saying that all those who were killed were just far-right scum. Hamas maybe a far-right movement fueled by Islamism and antisemitism, but it was the betrayal and failure of the secular resistance (PLO) to mobilize the Palestinians, that led to the growth of Hamas. Yasser Arafat betrayed his own people when he singed the Oslo Accords. These accords did not ended the occupation nor the colonization of Palestinian land by Jewish colonialists. Hamas was a small sectarian force until it grew massively after 1993. The Palestinian National Liberation Movement lost support among the working classes, even the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was reduced to a minor force. For many in Gaza who are living in a open air prison, the Islamic resistance is the only way to fight back against the IOF as the PLO came to reject armed struggle!

After the killings the Israeli Occupation Forces released a video showing two Palestinians shooting at soldiers. This video is used to justify the killing of the other 16 who were not armed and who did not attack the IOF on the border. There is even a video showing a Palestinian running away from the border and he is still shot and killed by Israeli snipers. Attacking the border guards is a foolish and counterproductive thing to do, as Palestinians will always lose. It is however a justified act of resistance as Israel is still occupying the West-Bank. Capitalist media outlets say that Palestinians should not fight back and only use democratic methods. This is what the secularists have been doing since 1993. Arafat and the PLO hoped for an end to the occupation by ending armed resistance. They were wrong as Israel ignored the Oslo Accords and kept the colonization going. Today there are over 350.000 Jewish colonialists living on occupied Palestinian grounds in the West-Bank!

Revolutionary Socialists Media will publish below the ideas and solutions of the Socialist Struggle Movement.

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The Socialist Struggle Movement calls for

• The establishment of an independent commission of inquiry – comprising of Israeli, Palestinian and international representatives from workers’ organizations, community organizations and independent human rights organizations – to investigate the killing of demonstrators. Prosecute the chain of those responsible for the killings, including the political echelon.

• Solidarity with the Palestinian protest. Enough with the trigger-happy policy, enough with the killing of demonstrators! Enough incitement, protest is not terrorism!

• Yes to joint demonstrations by Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, against the siege, occupation, poverty, inequality and Netanyahu’s government of capital and settlements.

• Yes to expanding the protest movement, yes to mass struggle of the Palestinians for national and social liberation. The establishment of democratic action committees to help organize protests and defend the demonstrations.

• Enough with the policy of “Conflict Management”, enough with the war for the peace of the settlements. Stop the warmongering and nationalist-racist incitement.

• Get the military out of the territories now! Enough with the occupation, enough with the siege on the residents of the Gaza Strip. Enough with the imposing of poverty and distress, enough with the nationalist expropriation, an end to the national oppression of the Palestinian people.

• A just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. Recognition of the historical injustice of the Nakba – the destruction of hundreds of villages and the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of residents – and the right of the refugees who wish to return, while ensuring a life of welfare and equality for all inhabitants.

• An end to the denial of the right to self-determination – for an independent, democratic, socialist and equal Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, alongside a democratic and socialist Israel that will guarantee true equality of rights to all.

Letter to the Syrian Democratic Forces

To the Syrian Democratic Forces,

The situation is northern Syria is serious. Turkish imperialism has invaded the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and conquered the Afrin cantons thanks to Russian, American and European silence. I have asked myself why did the YPG not stand and fight? Why did they abandoned Afrin and retreated? This gave the Turks and their ‘’Syrian National Army’’ puppets a major propaganda victory. We all have seen the pictures of Turkish flags flying over government buildings. Afterwards the undisciplined thugs of the so called ‘’Syrian National Army’’ started with massive plunder as Afrin City was captured intact!

I warn the YPG and you the Syrian Democratic Forces, not to abandon any more ground. Towns and cities like Manbij must not be surrendered. We know how brutal the puppets of Erdogan are. They are a barbaric horde of Jihad fundamentalists, far-right imperialists and plunderers. Will the YPG allow Manbij to be captured and plundered? Will the Syrian Democratic Forces allow it? I call on you to organize all people of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. You have the people and the support. Rally Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmen and other ethnic groups and march on the Turkish puppets. They may have the support from an imperialist superpower, but this is not a guarantee for victory. American imperialism was defeated in Vietnam, Turkish imperialism can be defeated in northern Syria!

Do not expect help from capitalist countries. America, Europe and Russia are not your allies. Moscow allowed Ankara to attack and invade, because Putin is like Erdogan. The People’s Protection Units cannot trust American imperialism either, Trump is also a man like Erdogan and Putin. These three leaders are right-wing and care nothing about the people of northern Syria. Mass mobilization is now needed, because your federation is at risk of being overrun. Turkish imperialism will not stop in Afrin, they will move towards Manbij and finally Kobane, Hasakah and your capital at Qamishli. The ‘’Sultanate of Erdogan’’ wants the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava) destroyed, because of your democratic confederal ideology. The capitalist countries choose to remain neutral and allow Erdogan to move against Rojava. Western leaders have never truly liked you because they consider your sister in Turkey to be ‘’terrorist’’. The Kurdistan Workers Party is designated as a ‘’terrorist group’’ by the EU and USA. All because they want to please that sultan in Ankara!

There is only one path to victory. Mass mobilization of all people. The Syrian Democratic Forces may lack modern weapons, but you have the fighting spirit. You have the will to fight as the YPG and YPJ showed in Kobane (2014). If there is no resistance to Turkish imperialism then northern Syria will fall under the control of Arabic exiles who care nothing about democracy and secularism. They care nothing about women’s rights, workers self-management and socialism. Now I’m not win-out criticism of Rojava and your economic system. Despite massive support from the working class, the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria has not broken with capitalism and led a movement towards genuine democratic socialism. There is bureaucratism and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has not enforced a socialist program, since it took control over many Kurdish era’s after 2012. I know that northern Syria is underdeveloped, but this is no excuse for keeping capitalism intact. A market economy will only create inequality as the wealth ends up in the hands of those who own. Workers need to be in control and all means of production are to be put under ownership of society. I agree with the position of Claus Ludwig of Socialist Alternative in Germany. He wrote a supportive (but also critical) article on Rojava in 2015. We revolutionary socialists support many ideas of the PYD, but we put socialism forward as the only alternative for working class people!

The Syrian Democratic Forces are the only beacon of light in the Syrian civil war. Your democratic federation is the blue print for all of Syria. Do not let Erdogan and his puppets destroy it. Mobilize the people, strengthen the Self-Defense Forces (HXP) and do not abandon Manbij or any other town and city to Turkish imperialism. I know it is not easy, fighting against a powerful enemy who is allowed to invade and oppress you by world capitalism. It also shows the core reasons why Afrin was conquered. The capitalists and their puppets (western leaders of the EU and USA) have no interests in what they see as a backward part of the world. Revolutionary socialists however support you and we will call the workers of the world to rally towards your cause.

With socialist support,

Jorein Versteege
Revolutionary Socialist Media