Sudan: Down with the military junta!

The Sudanese Revolution that toppled dictator Omar Bashir is at a crossroad. If the masses put their trust in capitalist politicians then nothing will change. The country is in need of a revolutionary party, a force that mobilizes the working class. There is a Sudanese Communist Party, but this political party is not revolutionary and remains paralyzed after years of living underground. One thing is clear, the working class does not accept the Transitional Military Council. Massive protests and strikes keep on going. In response the army has set in their violent militia: The Rapid Support Forces. These thugs attack protesters and harm anybody who dares to stand against the army!

The Rapid Support Forces were founded in 2013 by Omar Bashir. He recruited its members mainly from the Janjaweed militias, who fought for the government of Bashir in Dafur. Here they showed their cruelty by raiding none-Arab towns. The Rapid Support Forces are responsible for the Khartoum massacre that killed over 100 people and injured 650. Also RSF forces are said to have raped over 70 women, who participated in the pro-democratic demonstrations in the capital. In response to the killings, the (capitalist) opposition suspended the talks and called for a general strike. This resulted in more death as the RSF went on a rampage!

For three days over 60% to 100% of all workers in Sudan refused to work. This resulted in the fact that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) agreed on freeing political prisoners and resume talks. However revolutionary socialists do not trust the official opposition. We believe that no genuine democracy can be build with the TMC in power. The Committee for a Workers International calls for a revolutionary government to be set up by workers and poor. This government would then force a program that calls for:

  • Convening elections to a revolutionary constituent assembly

  • For the establishment of workers’ tribunals to bring to trial of all those collaborating with the former Bashir regime and Transitional Military Council

  • A purge of the supporters and collaborators of the old regime

  • Disband the Rapid Support Forces

  • For the right to organize political parties, and free and democratic trade unions

  • For a democratic press and media based on public ownership of printing and broadcasting resources and outlet, under democratic control and allocation of press and media facilities, based on support

  • Nationalization of all major companies, banks and multinational corporations under democratic workers’ control and management

  • For massive investment in infrastructure and the economy

  • No to foreign capitalist intervention

  • For a democratic socialist Sudan, with full democratic rights for all minorities, and an international appeal for support and solidarity from the working class of Africa and internationally

It is vital that soldiers are asked to abandoned the TMC and join the revolutionary masses. What is lacking in Sudan is a workers party on a socialist program. The Sudanese Communist Party lacks revolutionary energy and stands on the side lines. They give support to a ”democratic Sudan” and do not call for socialism nor a revolutionary transformation. Meanwhile the TMC knows that the masses won’t obey them. In order to control the media the junta cut off the internet. They wrongfully think that digital information is what drives the people. Although the internet and social media can play an important role during social protests and struggles, it is not a replacement for the need to organize!

Many workers have set up local neighborhood committees. These have become vehicles for organizing and planning. Like the soviets in Russia (1917), the Sudanese committees have the potential to take political power away from the military junta. This can only be done if the masses understand that they have the potential to overthrow the TMC. The (capitalist) opposition does not want decentralize control. They hope for a parliamentary democracy with capitalism intact. Revolutionary socialists hope that the neighborhood committees will develop into genuine power-structures. Because the state bureaucracy needs to go. Its members must be replaced by democratic elected representatives in committees of the working class!

 

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Cutting off the internet will not stop the revolutionary masses! 

Despite all, never forget

On 4 June 1989, soldiers and tanks of the pseudo-People’s Liberation Army crushed the dreams of workers and students for a democratic socialist China. Many had come to the ”Gate of Heavenly Peace” Tiananmen Square to protest against the repressive and capitalistic politics of Deng Xiaoping, who had abandoned Stalinist economics for capitalist ”pragmatism” as the west called it. Workers demanded an end to privatizations and deregulation, while students wanted more rights. The elitist caste around Deng feared for their privileges, so on 3 June they ordered the ”People’s Liquidation Army” to eliminate the people. Over 2.000 were murdered as soldiers and tanks cleared the square! 

Wei Fenghe is the Minister for Defense of the People’s Republic of China in 2019. 47 years ago he joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a teenager. At that time the party was still Maoist and dogmatic loyal to its leader: Mao Zedong. Wei graduated from the Second Artillery Command Academy’s Command Department in 1984. By the 1990’s he was a general in the PLA. Today this piece of shit claims that the ”People’s Liquidation Army” had to crush the workers and students in 89. Because otherwise, China would not have become so ”prosperous”. This general seems to forget that the wealth of his nation is build of massive exploitation!

Chinese workers are producing most products of the world. They are enslaved to thousands of  big capitalist companies, both domestic Chinese and foreigners. General Wei Fenghe started out as a Maoist in 72, now he wears a uniform that does not look revolutionary socialist at all. The PLA has adopted the uniform style of the western world. This is the ”stability” this ex-Maoist trash speaks of. Stability under massive exploitation, betrayal and oppression. General Wei made a good life for himself as Minister of Defense and senior member of the communist party. But he is no communist, in fact his support for the killings on Tiananmen Square are anticommunist!

His master and President for Life: Xi Jinping has more in common with Chiang-Kai-Shek then with Mao Zedong. Teen Wei Fenghe was told to hate the nationalists on Taiwan and the western capitalist world. Today however he wears the uniform of a typical bourgeois army. People like him and Xi Jinping are class traitors and deserve the hatred of all working class people. The icon of state-capitalism in China also faced massive rejection in May 1989. Despite that Deng Xiaoping never held the position of General Secretary of the CCP nor President of the PRC, he was paramount leader. His vision of a strong country under capitalism became a reality, but only for those who can profit from a system build on exploitation!

State-capitalist China began in 1978, after the right-wing of the Chinese Communist Party removed Hua Guofeng from power. Hua was the successor of Mao Zedong and had already purged the Gang of Four (Mao’s closest allies). Because of the Cultural Revolution, China was in deep economic decline for at least 10 years. Deng Xiaoping wanted to reform the country by introducing (state)capitalism. Under Mao Zedong this would have been impossible. But now that Mao was death and his allies removed from party leadership, Deng started his move. He put Hu Yaobang up as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party!

Deng was very impressed by the special economic zones in Singapore. In these zones, foreign capitalists were free to exploit workers with no regards for national laws. He decided to set up special economic zones in China too. In January 1979, the first zone was build and many more would follow. Western capitalists praised the Chinese (ex)maoists for opening up the closed nation. Officially the propaganda of the CCP remained revolutionary, but Deng Xiaoping said that the idea of becoming rich should no longer be rejected. It proofed the counterrevolutionary nature of Deng as he wanted to made China powerful by building capitalism. He claimed that China was not ready for socialism and that it needed to become capitalist first, the two stage theory set up by Stalin!

China was praised by right-wing leaders like Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. As representatives of western capitalism, the British and American leaders became good friends of Beijing as more foreign capitalists were allowed to exploit Chinese workers. These workers were raised to reject capitalists, now their own ”socialist” government started to praise the market economy which they called: ”Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” (de facto state-capitalism). The new system brought huge monetary wealth for those with access to it, like capitalists and state bureucrats. Yet the majority of Chinese did not profit from the reforms. All socialist ideas about were put aside as the new dogma of the PRC became: ”becoming rich is good”!

By 1988, economic growth rose each year, however corruption and greed grew with it. Due to the totalitarian system, nepotism was very common. State bureaucrats favored their own family and friends. This resulted in a system that promoted only the greedy and those with connections. At the same time the CCP was in a identity crisis. Many workers understood that the party was lying to them about the ”socialist” nature of the country. Inequality could no longer be hidden under the typical ”Marxist-Leninist” propaganda. It was clear that the Chinese ”Communist” Party had become a hypocrite party that was only communist in name. Revolutionary socialists are not surprised that the Chinese Stalinist party moved towards (state)capitalism!

Most Stalinist communist parties started to abandon the idea of a planned economy as neoliberalism became the new economic world order. Top down centralism failed and stalinists could no longer hide the fact that the capitalist world was more productive and more wealthy, compared to the their ”socialist” world. In March 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev was elected by the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union (CPSU). He was the Soviet ”Deng Xiaoping” who also tried to include political liberalization. This is something the Chinese did not do. Deng Xiaoping always wanted China to remain under a single party state. Gorbachev did not use force to keep the USSR together. This is what the CCP today criticizes about the fall of Stalinist Russia!

In 1986 many students in the capital of Beijing came to be very critical of the Deng regime. They showed criticism of the government by staging mass demonstrations on universities. Their anger was directed against the nepotism and privileges of the Stalinist caste. 150 universities participated in student strikes, they were portrayed in the western media as ”pro-democratic”. In reality, the majority of students rejected the corruption, nepotism and inequality, but did not (yet) called for political freedoms. Deng Xiaoping rejected their demands. The communist party attacked the students as ”bourgeois liberals” and silenced them. Their anger however was not silenced and would only grow in the next three years!

Hu Yaobang was removed as party leader because he was seen as too ”liberal” by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. His sudden death on 15 April 1989 lay the seeds for what became the biggest protest against the CCP regime. Workers and students used the death of Hu as a rally cry against the injustice of the government. On 17 April over 3.000 students in Beijing marched to Tiananmen Square with seven key demands!

  1. Affirm Hu Yaobang’s views on democracy and freedom as correct.

  2. Admit that the campaigns against spiritual pollution and bourgeois liberalization had been wrong.

  3. Publish information on the income of state leaders and their family members.

  4. Allow privately run newspapers and stop press censorship.

  5. Increase funding for education and raise intellectuals’ pay.

  6. End restrictions on demonstrations in Beijing.

  7. Provide objective coverage of students in official media.

None of these demands called for an end to the single party state. Yet it was clear that these students had the will to fight for greater freedoms. On the funeral day of Hu Yaobang, Tiananmen Square was filled with 100.000 students from across the city. The ”People’s Police” had ordered them not to go, but students ignored them. Now the working class of the capital started to look towards the square. By May, the students started a hunger strike which gave them great sympathy from the workers. Deng Xiaoping understood that this protest was endangering his state-capitalist regime!

The Chinese ”Communist” Party tried to make it look like they were willing to talk. Hu Yaobang’s successor even gave a emotional speech to call for the hunger strike to end. However the next day on 20 May, the government declared martial-law and ordered 250.000 troops into Beijing. Workers blocked off the roads into Tiananmen Square. It was clear that the students were not alone in fighting for change.  The army had no choice but to retreat to the city’s outskirts and wait for a general order to attack. Meanwhile the situation inside the square was getting disorganized. The demonstrators lacked an organization to lead them. There was no political force with a revolutionary leadership to coordinated between students and workers!

On 1 June 1989, premier Li Peng told the Politburo of the CCP that it was time to clear the square of ”terrorists” and ”counterrevolutionaries”. The Ministry of State Security agreed and openly called for violence against the students and workers. Inside Tiananmen Square there was growing disillusion as many students had become tired. They had been out in the open air for weeks and with different factions arguing with each other, it was clear that there was a general demoralization going on. The Politburo ordered the use of force to end the demonstrations on 3 June. Tanks and soldiers from the ”People’s Liquidation Army” started their march into the city!

This angered many, even those who were not part of the protests. With force the tanks made their way to Tiananmen Square. At 4 am, PLA soldiers claimed that they were following orders by the students themselves to clear the square. Another lie put up by the ”People’s Liquidation Army”. Students and workers stood side by side as they sang: The Internationale, the international anthem of the working class. Then the army moved in and destroyed the famous statue of the Goddess of Democracy. Those who did not moved freely were shot or rolled over by armored cars and tanks. As some tried to return to the square they were shot at. Next morning on 5 June, the world became witness to a famous scene between a lonely man and a column of PLA tanks!

One man with a shopping bag was able to stop five PLA tanks from moving. This ”Tank Man” has gone down in history. It is unknown who he was as his identity has not been revealed. ”Tank Man” became symbol of the brutal crackdown of 4 June 1989. Officially the government claimed that only 218 civilians were killed along with 10 soldiers. However it is save to say that between 1.000 and 3.000 Chinese were murdered. It was the most brutal mass-murder since the end of the Cultural Revolution. After the crackdown, the CCP was purged and Deng Xiaoping selected Jiang Zemin as the new general secretary. Jiang was a technocrat and in line with state-capitalism!

Deng went into retirement after 1992. He died of old age in 1997, praised by the world capitalist class. Jiang Zemin lay the groundwork for a technocratic China with little ideological commitment. In 2002, Hu Jintao succeed Jiang as the next party leader. For 11 years, China was ruled as a technocracy with millionaires and even billionaires entering the CCP as members. The technocracy led to massive increase in wealth, but only because Chinese workers became the most exploited working class of the world. Made in China is written on almost all plastic and electrical products. The Chinese may not design them, but they all produce them. Even Donald Trump’s hotels use products almost all made outside the USA!

Hu Jintao was replaced by Xi Jinping in 2012. This Xi ended the technocratic era and now embraced Chinese nationalism as the dominating ideology of the CCP. On paper the party is still a ”Marxist-Leninist” party guided by ”Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”. However we know that this is only a facade. The supporters of the CCP today are capitalists, nationalists, bureaucrats and militarists. Xi may use some Marxist talking points sometimes, but that is only done to keep the illusion alive that the Chinese ”Communist” Party remains revolutionary. Revolutionary Socialist Media has no illusions as we honor those brave students and workers, who in June 1989 stood side by side under The Internationale as they faced the ”People’s Liquidation Army”!

General Wei Fenghe and his boss are the enemy of the Chinese proletariat today. They are dressed in business suits and bourgeois army uniforms. The ”People’s Republic” of China is not a republic of people, it was not none under Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping or the technocratic leaders. Mainland China is a state-capitalist dictatorship that is competing with other powers for the wealth of this world. Xi Jinping uses nationalism to rally his country against others. This poison is typical as Donald Trump plays by the same nationalist rhetoric. Revolutionary socialists will never call China a socialist country. Despite the wall of lies spread by capitalist historians!

4 June 1989. A date that few will think of in China today. The regime will do anything to let the 30th anniversary go past. But class struggle is building and it is clear that the ”People’s Government”, the ”People’s Liberation Army” and the Chinese ”Communist” Party are hostile to the interests of the Chinese working class. Therefore in good old communist rhetoric, we calls for the overthrow of the Xi Jinping regime and the building of a Chinese socialist democracy, in honor of the 2.000 deaths on Tiananmen Square!

Despite all, never forget

尽管如此,永远不要忘记

1989-2019

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ANC loses more support

The elections in South Africa resulted in the worst results for the African National Congress. They ended up with 57,50% of the votes, compare this to 69% they had twenty years ago in 1999. It is clear that the only reason the corrupt ANC wins elections is due to voter loyalism. Most black workers vote ANC out of respect for what the party did in the fight against Apartheid. Few realize that Nelson Mandela betrayed the struggle in 1990, when he agreed not to carry out a socialist revolution. Mandela sold the black workers out by accepting the power structures of the white ruling class. By the time he was elected in 1994, the party was transformed into a pro-capitalist party along with the South African Communist Party!

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were able to portray themselves as a revolutionary party. With their opposition to the ANC’s corruption and revolutionary rhetoric, many black workers have come to see the EFF as a alternative to the corrupt political parties of capitalism. However revolutionary socialists are critical of the EFF for the fact that it is a very militarized group. Its members are dressed in uniforms and their leader (Julius Malema) is called ”Commander in Chief”. Also the Economic Freedom Fighters failed to rally young workers to vote. They only increased their support with 4,4% of the vote. Problematic is also their willingness to work with capitalist parties in local councils and their support for dictatorial figures (Robert Mugabe)!

Julius Malema himself is also in a world of trouble. He has been accused of corruption and although this has not yet hit the Economic Freedom Fighters, it will harm them in future elections when it becomes clear that Julius Malema and many high ranking EFF leaders are in fact corrupt. This is not new in South Africa, but the Economic Freedom Fighters have always claimed to stand against corruption. If Malema and his inner circle are found guilty and the evidence is clear, then the EFF will lose all credibility as a authentic force against political corruption!

In this election, revolutionary socialists called for a vote on a new leftist party called the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP). Founded in March 2019, the SRWP was set up by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, after they split from the Congress of South African Trade Unions. The African National Congress has been in a alliance with the main trade unions and the South African ”Communist” Party, who is communist only in name. In 2013, NUMSA broke off from COSATU due to the fact that the ANC failed to carry out the socialist principals of the Freedom Charter. The Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party was build by the leadership of NUMSA, but too late to be seen as a socialist alternative!

Most workers did not knew of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party. The party only won 24.000 votes, despite that NUMSA has over 300.000 members. This meant that even among members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, the SRWP was not seen as a socialist alternative to the ANC. Revolutionary socialists from the Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) warned that accepting money from billionaire Roy Singham and campaigning as a NUMSA party would not sit well. The SRWP should have been launched in 2013 after the split from COSATU as a party for all workers. The fact that it only happened in March this year shows the inability of the NUMSA leadership to build a workers party on a socialist program!

The ANC, COSATU and SACP (communist party) have completely discredit themselves by supporting the millionaire butcher of Marikana, Cyril Ramaphosa. This capitalist scum was made leader of the ANC in 2017. It shows the complete degeneration of the former anti-Apartheid party into a typical corrupt capitalist force. Ramaphosa owns at least 500 million dollars in personal wealth. This while the poverty level stands at 50%, meaning that half of all black workers are living in relative to absolute poverty. Even white workers are growing poor due to the corrupt politics of the ANC. The growth of the EFF is a direct result of the desperation and anger. Right now the African National Congress wins elections only out of voter loyalism!

Voter turnout was 65%, this is low for South Africa were voters used to come out in massive force to vote. In 1994, over 86% of all voters came to cast their vote. The turnout has now been reduced to 65%, meaning that 1/3 of the electorate does not believe that voting helps them. As the ANC carries out more capitalist politics with an increase rise in corruption and poverty, it is clear that life in South Africa will remain hard for black workers. The failure of the SRWP shows that a workers party cannot be build from the top-down. Workers will not vote for a party that looks like a mixture of the capitalistic South African ”Communist” Party and the militaristic Economic Freedom Fighters. Stalinist top-down thinking will not build a party for workers!

The only thing NUMSA and the SRWP can do is participate in the building of a genuine workers party. But that would require them to understand that they failed, their ”Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party” project is a complete humiliation. Only 24,000 voted for this supposed ”workers party”, while over 276.000 NUMSA members voted on other parties. NUMSA should abandon their failed political project and this sectarian believe that they are the vanguard of the working class. The union must join with other left formations in the new South African Federation of Trade Unions ”Working Class Summit”!

 

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The SRWP looks like a mixture between the capitalistic SACP and militaristic EFF

A socialist Europa is needed

In late May there will be elections to the European parliament of the European Union. Revolutionary socialists know that there is little support for the parliament, because true power is centralized in the unelected European Commission. The parliament has little real power as the EU is build mainly for big business and the free flow of money. We therefore reject the union and call for a socialist Europe. Unfortunately this is not the position of the European left-wing, who are stuck in illusions about reforming the EU or they have a nationalist view! 

The European left-wing is divided in two main groups. One reformist group and one nationalist one. The reformists want to reform the European Union by working inside the established institutions. However these reformists fail to understand that the union is build on capitalist principals and that any attempt to change it from the inside would result in opposition from the mighty European Commission, that works as a mouthpiece of the national capitalist governments. The Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 established the EU as a single capitalist market economy with open borders. Revolutionary socialists do not oppose open borders, we do however reject the market economy that allows western capitalist companies to move jobs to low income EU nations like Bulgaria or Romania!

Next to the reformist camp are the left-wing nationalists. These leftists oppose the EU and use nationalist rhetoric against Brussels. In their propaganda they rightfully reject the union, but they offer no international socialist alternative. An example is the Dutch: Socialist Party. This party is moderate civil-nationalist and wants to keep a lot of political power in the hands of the Netherlands. Their vision of Europa is of vague cooperation between countries, not a single European state. We agree with their opposition to the current EU, however giving more power to a national government is no alternative. Our alternative is a Europe that is socialist, with a democratic planned economy build and operated by working class people!

We oppose leftist reformists and leftist nationalists. We are internationalists who support a unified Europa, but only under a socialist system. Our European Federal Socialist Republic would also have a single currency and economy, but in contrast to the EU it will serve working class people. A socialist European government would end the exploitation of the poor nations and makes sure that wealth is fairly distributed. The present EU is a loose union with little political unity. This is understandable because the union is not build to unite people, it is build as a tool of the European capitalist class. The European Commission is made up of politicians elected by the national governments, not directly by the people of Europe!

When we talk about the European left-wing we exclude the old social democratic parties. European social-democracy may use left-wing rhetoric but they are not leftist when it comes to governing. The only social democratic party that may return to its leftist roots is the British: Labour Party. But the others have gone too far down the path of neoliberalism. Still, the European social democrats are portrayed by the capitalist media as ”leftist” and many workers still have illusions in them. This is why the social democratic group in the European parliament is larger compared to the actual European left-wing. A person like Bernie Sanders might be shocked to find out that many of his ideas are no longer enforced by the parties he considers role models!

This is the biggest difference between the left-wing of Europa and social-democracy of Europe. The actual left-wing is made up of moderate socialists, leftist social democrats, leftist greens (in opposition to the pro-EU green group), moderate communists and leftist nationalists. What they lack is a strong revolutionary socialist current. Inside the European Parliament the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (EUL/NGL) is the main political group of the European left-wing. Social democrats are united in the much larger ”Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats” (S&D). Despite using the name ”socialist”, the S&D political group is not socialist!

The S&D political group is pro-EU, meaning that they support the union and its institutions. They are called the ”pro-European left-wing” by the capitalist media, which is actual a false presentation. Instead they should be called the: ”pro-capitalist pseudo-left-wing” as S&D member parties do not oppose capitalism, the single market economy and the austerity cuts that the EU enforces. Another pseudo-leftist group that is supportive of the European-Union are the greens. Despite starting as a critic of capitalist exploitation of men and nature, many greens abandoned their anti-capitalism and embraced the illusion that they can reform capitalism within the union!

There have been two revolutionary socialists elected to the European parliament between 2009 and 2014. Joe Higgins of the Irish: Socialist Party was elected in 2009. Unlike other members of the EUL/NGL group, Higgins choose to fight very aggressively against the EU establishment. He did this from a internationalist vision and did not fought for Irish workers only. Higgins saw himself as a fighter for all European workers and used his seat to combat not the right-wing, but also the S&D and their support of capitalist politics. Central in Joe Higgins fight was his commitment to a socialist Europe, which made him different compared to other EUL/NGL politicians, who’s propaganda did not aim for socialism!

In 2011, Joe Higgins was elected into the Irish parliament for the Socialist Party. His seat in the European parliament was taken-over by Paul Murphy. This revolutionary has the same fighting spirit as ”old Joe” and he was a true fighter, an annoyance to the establishment. Murphy lost his seat in 2014 after another Irish leftist party choose to compete against him in the EU elections. This caused the authentic anti-capitalist leftist vote to be split. His lose was a sad result of sectarianism which is also a problem among the left-wing. In 2019, the Socialist Party has put forward Rita Harrold as a candidate for the EU parliament. Knowing the fighting spirit of Higgins and Murphy, European workers would have a strong voice with her!

Unfortunate there are no known revolutionary socialists like those of Rita Harrold, who can be elected. Other European leftist candidates are either reformists, nationalists or between both. The EUL/NGL group is very loose and has no clear socialist ideology. It makes no clear definition of socialism and gives its members the freedom to make their own interpretation. This is why you had the internationalist Irish: Socialist Party next to hard-nationalists like the Romanian Socialist Party, Party of Socialists of Moldova and moderate-nationalist Dutch: Socialist Party. Also part of the EUL/NGL group are leftist social democrats, who may claim to be ”democratic socialists” but who are reformist enough to compromise with the ruling class!

A united workers party is what Europe needs. Consider the ideological weakness of the EUL/NGL group, it seems this is unlikely to happen. There is a European wide political party of leftists called the European Left Party. It is headed however by reformists who do not call for socialism. Also the European Left Party recently split due to the support its leadership gave to Alexis Tsipras in Greece. This pseudo-leftist came to power with the promise of stopping European imposed austerity. The EU reacted very aggressively and Tsipras capitulated. Like others before him, Tsipras proofed that reformist socialists can never brake with the system. Because they have not the political will to do it!

Braking with the establishment is not easy. A single socialist nation cannot survive surrounded by a hostile capitalist world. This is why the revolution must spread to other countries. The weakness of Tsipras lay in his inability to move beyond capitalism. As a former communist he should have known that Greek capitalism would never bow to his regulations. Gregor Gysi who leads the European Left Party claims that Tsipras did what he could. The left-wing therefore must not abandon the Greek government only because they cowered before the might of the European Commission. Revolutionary socialists disagree with this position. Alexis Tsipras is a traitor and weakling, who abandoned the Greek workers just like the social democrats did before him!

This betrayal of working class people is why the far-right is growing. Social democrats have abandoned their socialist roots, but the refusal of the European left-wing to brake with capitalism and fight for a socialist Europa, is why they do not profit from the deep anger and hostility many workers have towards the capitalist establishment. Revolutionary socialists will keep up the internationalist banner and call for a unified socialist Europe under control of working class people. 100 years ago, Soviet Russia was under siege by hostile capitalist forces. ”Democratic” European governments did their best to destroy the revolution. Unlike Tsipras however they prevailed and capitalism did not return until late 1980’s!

The 2019 EU elections will not result in a major victory for the left-wing. They may win a few extra seats, or they might lose more as they did in 2014. Working class Europeans do not look at the left-wing as a alternative, due to its inability to put forward a socialist program. In a world poisoned by growing racism against migrants and Muslims, many workers might fall for the far-right. It is up to the left-wing to expose the far-right as agents of capitalism. Their voting record should proof that they do not vote in the interests of the working class. With no clear socialist program for a unified Europe, workers are faced with left-wing parties who stand either on reformist ideas or nationalist ones!

Our vision is clear. We say:

  • No to this European Union
  • No to the European Commission
  • No to the capitalist market economy
  • No to racism, hatred of migrants and ethnic nationalism
  • Yes to a unified socialist Europe
  • Yes to a democratic planned economy under management of workers themselves
  • Yes to a European workers party on a socialist program
  • Yes to open borders and internationalism

If the left-wing would follow these ideas, then it could win back the support of millions. Because there is need for socialist politics, in a Europe dominated by big money and huge income inequality!

 

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Venezuela: No to the coup, no to the government

Juan Guaído the self-appointed ”President of Venezuela” has abused Labour Day to call for a counterrevolution against the official government of Nicolas Maduro. Millions of working class people are suffering due to massive state mismanagement, U.S imposed sanctions and attempts by the ruling class to sabotage the ruined economy. At the same time the U.S Empire is working closely with Guaído to install him as the next leader of Venezuela. That is what Donald Trump wants, a puppet like Guaído taking control of the largest oil reserve on the planet!

The world capitalist media has been attacking the Maduro government for years now. Using their bureaucratic and top-down methods as a weapon to discredit the ideas of socialism. Venezuela is often used by right-wing personalities to smear leftists and anybody who stands for socialism. Revolutionary socialists have always been critical of President Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez (1999-2013). However unlike most bourgeois-democrats, we do not accept Juan Guaído nor his violent attempts to overthrow Maduro. The authoritarian reaction of the Venezuelan government is because the opposition is using violence and even murder!

On Labour Day (1 May), Juan Guaído called for the army to stand with him in the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro. Guaído has been calling for violent demonstrations for two months now. But the reality is that he lacks popular support. Yes, millions do not support the current president, but that does not mean they all ally themselves with a guy who is supported by imperialist powers. Working class people are critical of Maduro and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), many even rejecting him. But that does not translate into automatic support for Guaído, who’s agenda is to bring political power back to the class who used to control all aspects of the country!

Media outlets have portrayed Guaído very positively. CNN, Sky News and many other western news networks show him as a ”genuine democratic” leader. They do not mention his program and what consequences that would have for the poor. Pro-government supporters are almost never shown and it gives you the picture that Nicolas Maduro is only supported by the state-bureaucracy and the army. The Venezuelan president they call a dictator and the country a dictatorship. In reality the opposition has been free to speak out. They have organized huge anti-Maduro rallies for six years now. Never have they been silenced or oppressed. The media of Venezuela remains in private capitalist hands with only one network supporting the government!

Juan Guaído attempt to get the army on his side failed. But this does not mean that the military will back Nicolas Maduro forever. In Venezuela, the armed forces are the third pillar of power (with the government and capitalist class acting as the other pillars). If that military pillar fears that it loses power and privileges (as they would under genuine socialism), army officials will happily drop all ”revolutionary”rhetoric and join the side of Juan Guaído and his American masters. This may happen in the future as nothing in certain. This is why we call for a socialist revolution, to prevent the restoration of full capitalist control over the nation. Nicolas Maduro cannot be trusted to be the leader for the working class as he and Hugo Chavez created the military pillar of power!

A few anti-government demonstrators have been killed in clashes with security police. No doubt their deaths will be portrayed as ”proof” that the Maduro government is ”evil”. Nothing will be mentioned about the violence and brutal assaults that the opposition is enforcing against those who support Maduro. When European anarchists choose to attack police officers and vandalize shops, the capitalist media is the first to denounce the whole revolutionary left as ”violent scum”. However in the case of Venezuela, things are different. This is because the anti-Maduro opposition is led by people who want to restore capitalist control. Therefore the newspapers and news networks owned by billionaires, will never portray the supporters of Juan Guaído as ”violent”!

Nicolas Maduro has been very modest in dealing with the opposition. Next to Juan Guaído is Leopoldo López, his mentor who has been called a political prisoner after he was jailed by the government. López was freed from prison by soldiers royal to Guaído and fled into the embassy of Spain. Politically he and Guaído are not right-wing or even liberal. The political party Popular Will, to which the two belong is in fact social democratic and a member of the pseudo-Socialist International. Popular Will is portraying itself as a progressive center-leftist party. In reality Leopoldo López has proclaimed to be a support of the markets and he rejects price controls. He also wants to privatize the oil sector and that is why he is supported by western imperialism!

Due to the failure of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro to build a socialist society, people like Juan Guaído and Leopoldo López are winning support. Until 2013, their base of supporters was limited to the middle class and upper class of Venezuela. However now even the working and poor classes are drawn to the propaganda of the opposition. Partly out of disillusion, but mostly because of desperation. There is no shortage of food, but there is huge inflation and wages are so low many workers cannot pay for basic needs (water, food, electricity) anymore. The capitalist media portrays this as a failure of socialism, when in reality it was the failure of Chavez to mix capitalism with elements of state interventionism (social-democracy)!

In a real dictatorship like Saudi-Arabia (fully supported by the USA), anti-government demonstrators would have been murdered at the first day of protests. Saudi forces waste no time in hunting down and killing those who stand against the king. Nicolas Maduro has done nothing alike. Never has Juan Guaído been jailed despite that he has a record of a brutal violent street thug, a guy known for attacking police forces since 2007. Leopoldo López was jailed, but only after he initiated violent demonstrations. For years, Lopez has been leading opposition marches against Hugo Chavez, who never ordered his arrest. It was only after the western world choose to ally themselves with the Venezuelan opposition, that right-wing leaders started to use violence more often, as we seen in 2014 and 2017!

The failure of the May Coup by the opposition maybe due to the fact that many Venezuelans now understand that people like Juan Guaído and his mentor López are underdogs for foreign imperialists. We known that Guaído is working very closely with the Americans and there is one man who has been installed by Trump to be his Special Representative in Venezuela: Elliott Abrams, a convicted criminal who participated in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration. He also was part of the George W. Bush government and gave green light for the failed 2002 coup against Chavez. Elliott Abrams is now trying to finish what he started 17 years ago. He wants to install a government that will privatize the oil sector, which would give American oil capitalists free reign over the largest oil reserves on the planet!

After they realized that the army would not support their coup (again), Guaído and Lopez fled. The mentor was able to get into the embassy of Spain, but Guaído has disappeared again. Revolutionary socialists have said it before. We call for massive mobilization of working class Venezuelans and poor against the coup attempts. At the same time we give no political support to the PSUV and their leader Nicolas Maduro. What to be done is building a true socialist Venezuela, under democratic control of workers councils (as the soviets in Russia 1917). The Bolivarian Revolution has stagnated for six years now and if the working class does not intervene, it will collapse to a violent and brutal counterrevolution!

The supporters of the International Marxist Tendency in Venezuela say:

  • Jail Guaidó,
  • Disband the coup-plotting National Assembly,
  • Strengthen and spread the Bolivarian militias,
  • Respond to the seizing of assets by expropriating foreign multinationals,
  • Expropriate the coup-plotting bourgeoisie,
  • Workers control of production,
  • Down with the PSUV bureaucracy,
  • Complete the revolution with rank-and-file organisation.

 

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Guaído failed again, now he is on the run.

Myanmar remains a dictatorship

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar remains a dictatorship, despite the fact that noble-price winner Aung San Suu Kyi is now in power for three years. In April 2017, she became the first State Chancellor of the country. Millions hoped for change after Myanmar (also known as Burma) was a military dictatorship. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) won the election, but their acceptance of the 2008 Constitution and the fact that the military remains in control of key ministries, shows that they betrayed their commitment to genuine democracy. The arrest of two journalists who exposed the crimes of the army regarding the Islamic minority, proofs that Myanmar remains a dictatorship! 

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are two journalists who are jailed in September 2018. They reported top secret information about crimes committed by the armed forces against the Rohingya, an Islamic minority. The military was not happy that their crimes were exposed and the two journalists were arrested and jailed for seven years. Aung San Suu Kyi did nothing to help them. As State Chancellor, she is the head of government and the face of Myanmar. She got the noble-price due to her opposition to practices like this. Now Aung San Suu Kyi looks the other way as the military controlled: Ministry of Home Affairs, keeps arresting critics!

The army controls three key ministries directly in the NLD led government.

These are the:

  • Ministry of Border Affairs
  • Ministry of Defense
  • Ministry of Home Affairs

Next to these three important ministries the army also control 25% of all seats in the Assembly of the Union. The political party: Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) serves as the civilian wing of the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces). They started as a mass organization of the State Peace and Development Council (military junta 1988-2011) and got transformed into a political party. Today the USDP is a right-wing to far-right party, it promotes Bamar nationalism and Buddhist supremacy. The Bamar people are the majority and make up 2/3 of the total population. Ethnic Bamar are also at the top of the Tatmadaw, this is why Muslims and Christians are prosecuted in Myanmar!

Aung San Suu Kyi claimed that she had to compromise with the army to bring about change. Her excuses are based on the typical bourgeois motion that you have to make compromises with your enemies. What she and her National League for Democracy did was more then just accepting a flawed constitution. They worked with the political party of the military and did nothing to bring the former leaders of the military junta to justice. Suu Kyi seems to have forgotten that ex-junta scum like Than Shwe (leader 1992-2011) and Maung Aye (vice leader) still enjoy wealth and privileges, while the majority of workers suffer from poverty and exploitation!

The arrests and imprisonment of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, have shown us that you are not allowed to expose the crimes of the ”democratic” government led by Suu Kyi. The world knows of the prosecution of the Rohingya. Still the military claims they are only fighting ”Islamic terrorists”, an excuse often used by dictatorships when silencing critics. The NLD did not ended the dictatorial practices of the army, they in fact joined the Tatmadaw by accepting the 2008 Constitution. Also the cabinet of Suu Kyi allowed two ministries to be controlled by the USDP. The right-wing party that promotes Bamar supremacy is controlling the:

  • Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture
  • Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population

These Bamar nationalists also serve as key deputy ministers to other important ministries like those of President’s Office and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. Again, we talk here about a political party that was set up by the army in 2011 and ruled Myanmar as a civilian tool of the Tatmadaw from 2011, until they were reduced to a minor political party following the 2017 elections. The NLD might have won the election three years ago, but in the pesent cabinet they play a minor role. Most ministries are not controlled by Suu Kyi’s people. It seems the first female State Chancellor choose a cabinet with little power for her own National League for Democracy!

We can conclude that the Armed Forces of Myamnar control de-facto the following ministries:

  • Ministry of Border Affairs (direct military control)
  • Ministry of Defense (direct military control)
  • Ministry of Home Affairs (direct military control)
  • Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture (indirect through the USDP)
  • Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population  (indirect through the USDP)

By creating the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the army got extra parliamentary seats and extra government ministries to control!

The western world never cared about the flawed nature of the ”new Myanmar” after 2008. American imperialism was deeply supportive of Thein Sein, a man who was made president by the military junta in 2011. Sein was the first civilian leader since 1988. However his civilian look was only a facade. Because in reality he used to be a general who resigned in order to play his part in the USDP. Thein Sein made many reforms that were promoted by the USA under Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar and gave support. Revolutionary socialists were not fooled and we knew that the 2008 Constitution and the USDP are products of the criminal Tatmadaw!

We therefore reject the 2008 Constitution, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the whole Armed Forces and anybody who is affiliated to them. At the same time we denounce the National League for Democracy as traitors. They betrayed the trust of a whole generation of pro-democracy activists. From 1988 until their legalization, many NLD members got arrested, tortured and killed in their struggle for democracy. Three years ago Aung San Suu Kyi betrayed that struggle by not only accepting the political system the army set up, but also including the USDP and Tatmadaw in her government!

It is clear that a new political force is needed. We therefore call for a workers party to be build. A socialist workers party that opposes nationalism and religious extremism. The prosecution of the Islamic Rohingya and Christian Chin people must end. This can only happen when the Bamar majority understands that their culture and religion must not rule supreme. In a democratic socialist society there is room for all political ideologies and religions. The problem remains that Buddhist fundamentalism is very strong in Myanmar. It has been used by Bamar rulers to suppress anybody who stood against them!

It seems that Aung San Suu Kyi does not want to lose support among Bamar nationalists. This is why she allows the Tatmadaw and USDP to spread their supremacist hatred of minorities. Workers of Myanmar need to abandon the NLD and build a party that stands for a united working class. Socialism is the only way to end the sectarianism and injustice that is happening. But because Myanmar is a dictatorship, these changes can not happen by reforms. A socialist revolution is needed as the Tatmadaw will never abandon its power. They have ruled the nation since the first military coup in 1962!

Despite the lies of militarist like Ne Win (1962-1988), the country was never socialist. The so called ”Burmese Way to Socialism” was nothing more but a toxic mixture of Buddhist supremacy, totalitarianism and the same militarism we see today. Journalists like Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are what a genuine democracy would tolerate. Their arrest has proven that despite three years of Aung San Suu Kyi….

Myanmar remains a dictatorship!

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Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo arrested in 2018 for exposing the crimes of the army.

Update: On 7 May, the President of Myanmar pardoned over 6000 political prisoners including Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. However this changes nothing to the fact that the military keeps too much political power!

A comedian is now President of Ukraine

The election for the next president of Ukraine resulted in a victory for comedian Volodymyr Zelensky. He will succeed oligarch: Petro Poroshenko as president. Zelensky won the election because Ukrainians had enough of oligarch rule. They saw in the comedian an outsider, who is not yet corrupted by big money. Revolutionary socialists knew that this election will not change anything fundamental in Ukraine. Because Zelensky is pro-western and even opted for NATO membership. With anticommunist laws in place, it is difficult to set up a workers party against the forces of the oligarchy. Because any opposition to the ruling class can be denounced as ”communist” and therefore banned by the state!

The lack of a true alternative to capitalist scum like Poroshenko led to the rise of Volodymyr Zelensky. This 41 year old was only a child when the Soviet-Union collapsed. Unlike the first four presidents of Ukraine, Zelensky was never part of the Stalinist caste and therefore an outsider to Ukrainian politics, which have been dominated by people linked to oligarchs and former Stalinist bureaucrats. Poroshenko was never a member of the Communist Party of Ukraine in Soviet Ukraine, he did however joined the Social-Democratic Party of Ukraine, a party set up by former stalinists who wanted to become pro-European (and pro-capitalist) social democrats. As with most Ukrainian political parties they do not act as groups for different ideologies. Instead they work as vehicles for those with money to get elected!

Many hope for change under Zelensky. However it remains to be seen if the comedian is a true democrat. If the anticommunist laws remain in place then Zelensky is just another politician that uses the crimes of Stalin against the left-wing. Petro Poroshenko and the far-right used the pro-Stalinist line of the Communist Party of Ukraine to ban it from participating in any election. The ban includes all political parties who call themselves ”communist”. This is how the ruling class keeps any anti-capitalist force out of elected bodies. Revolutionary socialists have legitimate criticism of the communist party and its nostalgia for stalinism. But the anticommunist laws that were installed by Poroshenko are undemocratic and must be abolished!

62% of all Ukrainians voted in the second round of the presidential elections. The result was a clear victory for comedian Zelensky, who beat the unpopular oligarch-president with 73% of the votes. Poroshenko will remain a person with a lot economic power. As owner of the Roshen Confectionery Corporation, he has enough money to influence politics. Capitalists like him have the means to spread their ideas. This is reality in the oligarchy that is capitalist-Ukraine. Revolutionary Socialist Media knows that only a workers party with a socialist program can bring genuine changes. The left-wing needs to build a movement against capitalism. At the same time we must make clear that genuine socialism is not stalinism, which the state and media use as a weapon against the democratic ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and others!

Mass mobilization against poverty, war and capitalist exploitation are needed. Zelensky should be made aware that workers do not wish to live under the rule of oligarch scum like Poroshenko or any other capitalist class. The war with ethnic Russian separatists can only be ended by showing them that Ukrainian nationalism is no longer enforced by the state. Zelensky should start by forcing the Lviv Oblast to end their ban on Russian language and culture. Furthermore the anticommunist laws must be dropped and the law banning any criticism of pro-Hitler nationalists abolished. Nationalism is a poison and in Ukraine we have seen its results. Russian chauvinism in Donetsk and Lugansk led to separatism with support form the Kremlin. Crimea was also annexed because of anti-Russian hysteria on the part of Ukraine!

This does not justify the imperialist actions of the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin is no fool and only took Crimea because a majority of its people wanted a return to Russia. The propaganda from Moscow claims that Ukraine is run by far-right thugs and that the separatists are hero’s who fight fascism. This is not true as far-right forces are used by both sides. The war in Donbass is a nationalist conflict and can only be ended by building socialism in both Ukraine and Russia. Volodymyr Zelensky will not bring the changes millions hope for, because he is a typical western liberal who believes that capitalism is working. His victory over Poroshenko happend because Ukrainians want change. But joining the EU or NATO will not improve anything. Workers haven nothing to win, only to lose as the European Union is build for capitalist companies!

The new president will have to proof that he is different. Siding with the EU and USA against Russia is what Poroshenko did and it did not helped the working class. Corruption and capitalist exploitation remain high in the former Soviet republic. Despite the anticommunist laws there is nostalgia among those who remember the days when the state gave some social security. Capitalism dumped the Ukrainian working class into the brutal reality of a market dictatorship, where harsh competition and greed are the laws of life. Millions ended up in poverty and remain so until this day. Only under genuine democratic socialism can Ukraine become a free and prosperous society. Volodymyr Zelensky has to proof that he is not like his predecessors. The next four years will show if this comedian has the will to brake the power of corruption and oligarch rule, that plague Ukraine since 1991!

 

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The new President of Ukraine, age 41 and a comedian!

Julian Assange betrayed by Ecuador

After seven years of living as a refugee in the embassy of Ecuador, Julian Assange was arrested by British police. This was done after the new president of Ecuador turned on the Wikileaks founder and betrayed him. Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés is named after Vladimir Lenin, but he has nothing in common with the Russian revolutionary. Moreno is a right-wing member of the Proud and Sovereign Fatherland Alliance (PAIS). He has stated that under his leadership; Ecuador would abandon the leftist populist ideas of Rafael Correa, who gave Assange refuge in 2012. Now Julian Assange is in the hands of the British police while the USA has already asked for his extradition!

By all accounts, Julian Assange has been betrayed by the country that gave him sanctuary. During the last elections the official right-wing candidate already said that he would deport Assange from the embassy. Moreno of the (former) leftist PAIS won that election but soon removed many pieces of legislation that targeted the rich, banks and capitalists. By doing so Moreno showed his true colors as a president supportive of the Ecuadorian ruling class. Assange was told that he could only remain in the embassy if he kept his mouth shut. He did not after Wikileaks showed that Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés was named in a corruption case!

The USA has made up a plan to arrest Assange and put him on trial. Knowing from experience, that trial would not be fair. Because the Americans have already rearrested Chelsea Manning for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. With Manning jailed and Assange in British custody, the U.S Empire is preparing to unleash the full LAW on these brave whistle-blowers, who exposed the real nature of American imperialism to the world. Revolutionary socialists knew this long before Wikileaks showed the crimes of Americans in Iraq. Now the empire wants to send a message to all future whistle-blowers, that they should never expose crimes of the U.S government!

Ecuadorian workers should show solidarity by exposing the pro-American actions of their president and the pseudo-leftist: Proud and Sovereign Fatherland AllianceAlthough PAIS used to be leftist populist it abandoned that road to become a pro-capitalist mainstream social-democratic party, in-favor of western imperialism. Back in 2017 this was already shown when the former leftist alliance lost -17% of its voters during the parliamentary elections. PAIS is no longer seen as a alternative because it abandon key leftist ideas for reformism and acceptance of capitalism. The betrayel of president Moreno does not come as a surprise to those who have watched his politics in the last two years!

Mass protests are needed against the arrest of Julian Assange and to prevent his deportation to the USA. If he ends up in the states there is no telling what the Americans will do. Since Chelsea Manning was tortured during her seven years in jail, it is clear that Assange could also receive that ”special treatment”. Americans consider him a traitor for exposing the crimes of the U.S Army and Republican politicians have even called for his execution. Whistle-blowers are among the bravest people in the world. People like Manning, Assange and Edward Snowden have sacrificed their freedom for it. They are hero’s and need protection against vengeful governments. Ecuador under Rafael Correa gave that protection. It was Moreno who betrayed not only Julian Assange but also his parents, who named him after Vladimir Lenin!

 

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Julian Assange after his arrest by British police.

Khalifa Haftar = Gaddafi 2.0

The second Libyan civil war might result in a victory for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. He is seen by many as the leader Libya needs to restore order after the collapse of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in October 2011. Because in the last 8 years there has only been chaos, civil war, sectarianism and violence. A second civil war started in 2014 and now forces loyal to this ”field marshal” are about to conquer the Libyan capital of Tripoli, which is under control of the Government of National Accord. It is clear that Khalifa Haftar wants to become leader of the whole nation and might rule as Gaddafi 2.0!

Field Marshal Khalifa Belqasim Haftar is an old man age 75. This guy hails from the Arab-nationalist generation of young officers, who took power in the Kingdom of Libya. Haftar was a supporter of colonel Gaddafi and a high ranking member of the Revolutionary Command Council, the ruling body of the Libyan Arab Republic until the Jamahirya system (pseudo-direct democracy) was introduced. During the nine year war with Chad, Haftar commanded the Libyan troops fighting to keep dictator Goukouni Oueddei in power. Despite their superiority in firepower the Libyans were defeated by the unity of the Chad people. Khalifa Haftar and 600 of his men were captured in 1987, a humiliation for Muammar Gaddafi!

The Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya disavowed Haftar and his officers for losing in Chad. He choose to oppose the ”Dear Leader of the Revolution” and became a member of the anti-Gaddafi: National Front for the Salvation of Libya. During the first Libyan civil war in 2011, Khalifa Haftar was part of the NATO supported rebel army. He took the third most senior position as the commander of ground forces with the rank of lieutenant general. After the capture and murder of Gaddafi, Haftar did not feel at home in the sectarian drive chaos that Libya became. He returned to the USA while his country descended into anarchy as the former rebels fought among themselves. Khalifa Haftar returned to the public view in February 2014, announcing the dissolution of the General National Congress (GNC) controlled by Islamist forces!

His coup failed as the Islamist GNC remained in power in Tripoli. But after the international recognized government fled the capital, Haftar made himself leader of the Libyan National Army, an army that until 2014 only existed on paper. It was Haftar who organized the many militias and fused them into his personal fighting force. Three years later his army captured Benghazi, the city that started the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi. By now the Islamist government only controlled Tripoli and the north western part of Libya. Haftar had the advantage that his army was international recognized and got support from major Arab countries like Egypt. When a Government of National Accord was formed, Haftar refused to accept it. It was clear that only he would be the next leader of Libya!

It is clear that the old field marshal is appealing to Gaddafi supporters. He wears the white uniforms of the former ”Dear Leader” and even uses the Jamahiriya eagle as emblem. Because Khalifa Haftar used to be a friend of Gaddafi, he was able to secure the support from the Gaddafa clan, the family of Muammar Gaddafi. It was the government in Tobruk that gave amnesty to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second eldest son of the murdered Jamahiriya leader. Haftar allowed him to participate in the upcoming elections if they are to be held in 2019. With this push to capture Tripoli from the Government of National Accord, it is clear that Khalifa Haftar does not want to end the conflict peacefully. He wants to defeat his opponents and then rule Libya!

Western media have forgotten about the civil wars in Libya after the death of Gaddafi in October 2011. Libya was hot news in 2011 and western news always projected the war from the rebel point of view. After the fall of the Jamahiriya, NATO got a problem as the rebels turned on each other. The terror-group: Islamic State, took advantage of the chaos and took control of Sirte, birthplace of Gaddafi in May 2015. They controlled the city for one year before troops loyal to the Islamist government in Tripoli defeated them. Sirte was ruined again after already suffering much destruction as it was the last stronghold of the ”Dear Leader” in October 2011. Suddenly Libya was in the western news again, but only for a short time. After the defeat of IS, the sensation was over and the suffering of Libyans ignored again!

The Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar does not look like the ragtag militias we seen in Libya fighting since 2011. Unlike them the LNA is uniformed and more disciplined. Haftar has organized his troops and now moves towards Tropoli as of early April 2019. However it is unclear how the march on the capital will end. Because the official recognized government also has troops of its own. Among them are the Presidential Guard, the Misrata Brigades, the Sabratha Revolutionary Brigades, the Petroleum Facilities Guard, the Tripoli Brigade and the Misratan Third Force. Islamist militias like the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room and the Libya Shield Force are also known for their opposition to Khalifa Haftar!

Fayez al-Sarraj, chairman of the Government of National Accord has stated that he will send troops to defend the capital and his government. However as of 6 April 2019, the LNA of Haftar has already captured the former Tripoli International Army. The airport was destroyed in 2014 after the second civil war began, with its main terminal completely burned. There are still over 25 aircraft scattered around the field, but most are old wrecks stored at Tripoli Airport long before the collapse of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. With 80% of Libya now under control of the government in Tobruk, it seems that Fayez al-Sarraj will not last long. He has been serving as chairman of the Presidential Council since 2016. But with Khalifa Haftar refusing to recognize the Government of National Accord and with most of Libya tired after years of civil war, it is clear Haftar has the better cards!

Over 8.000 have died since the second civil war began. At times there have been more then four major factions fighting. This included the General National Congress (GNC), the Government of National Accord (GNA), the House of Representatives (HoR) and Islamic State (IS). From 2014 until 2016, the battle was between the GNC and HoR. Islamic State took advantage of the chaos and captured many coastal towns including Sirte. After 2016, the GNA tried to become a government of all Libya, but this was soon rejected by the HoR and the LNA led by Haftar. In Tripoli there have also been clashes between militias loyal to the GNC and those supporting the GNA. Fayez al-Sarraj is a very weak leader as his GNA is only supported by the UN and the international world. There are even militias who never accepted the GNA and remained loyal to GNC leaders, like most Islamist groups!

Libyans are tired of civil war and in this atmosphere it is understandable why many would prefer Khalifa Haftar, who shows many similarities with Muammar Gaddafi. Despite the anti-imperialist (anti-western) rhetoric of Gaddafi loyalists, the ”Dear Leader” of the former Jamahiriya was (like Haftar today) not against western influence. Gaddafi opened up to the world in 2003 and carried out major capitalist reforms, reforms that pleased international capitalism. As a man who worked with the CIA, Khalifa Haftar has shown that he can be a leader in support of the west. But his move to capture Tripoli is something the USA and EU do not want. Mainly because they recognize the GNA led by Fayez al-Sarraj. For the LNA however it is time to capture all of Libya under the banner of the HoR. Haftar agrees and we might see an end to the second Libyan civil war in 2019. After all the blood and death since 2011, many would welcome it!

Revolutionary Socialist Media knows that even after a LNA victory in Tripoli, a alternative out of poverty is lacking for Libyans. Khalifa Haftar is a military leader and no democrat. He only became anti-Gaddafi because he was captured in Chad and caused embarrassment. Had Gaddafi not disowned him and his men, it is very possible that Haftar would have remained a high ranking officer in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. We therefore conclude that this field marshal has all the requirements to become a dictator. The House of Representatives might function as a political body, but the actual power lies with the soldiers of the LNA, who are loyal to Khalifa Haftar. Despite the promise of elections, we should be very skeptical. Libya has no history of a electoral democracy. The Kingdom of Libya until 1969 was a absolute monarchy, the Libyan Arab Republic a military controlled junta and the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya after 1977, a regime disguised as a direct-democracy!

The Libyan working class need a political force that fights for socialism. Revolutionary socialists reject all sides in this civil war as none serve the interests of working people. Khalifa Haftar serves himself and the GNA is a puppet of powers outside Libya. The 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi was genuine, but because there was no force to unite the workers for socialism, many militias and tribes turned on each other. Libya remains a very tribal based society. We know that only a workers party on a socialist program can end the suffering of millions. Our alternative is a socialist democracy based on a democratic planned economy. Libya used to have a planned system that was introduced in 1977. Thanks to the nationalized oil sector, the country was the richest in north Africa. We call for a economy to be owned by society and under democratic control of elected workers councils. These will be the bases for a Libya owned by workers, not by ”Dear Leaders” like Muammar Gaddafi or Khalifa Haftar!

 

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Khalifa Haftar: Gaddafi 2.0