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.

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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

Catalonia can only be freed by its working class

Spain is enforcing massive state repression to keep Catalonia under its control. The criminal right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy Brey, has now started to arrest the Catalan bourgeois separatist leaders. The Catalan elections last year gave a tiny majority to the independence camp, but Madrid will not honor the democratic wishes of the Catalan people. They want to enforce the Spanish Constitution which forbids separatism, a last remnant of the fascist Franco period. The Spanish and Catalan ruling classes do not want Catalonia to be free from Spain and there are many working class people who also reject independence out of fear. This fear is justified because the bourgeois nationalists offer no clear alternatives for a independent Catalonia. Revolutionary socialists have therefore said that only a socialist revolution can lead to true independence from the dictatorial Kingdom of Spain!

The position of the Spanish left-wing is terrible, regarding the independence of Catalonia. Neither the United Left nor Podemos is offering a socialist alternative to the nationalist propaganda coming from the right-wing People’s Party and pseudo-leftist: Spanish Socialist Workers Party. Podemos is not even acknowledging that there are political prisoners, people arrested by the Spanish state because they stand for a independent Catalonia. Officially the Spanish imperialists claim that the Catalan separatists wanted to use violence to bring about the Catalan Republic. Reality was different, they never called for violence and instead opted for a referendum. This was rejected by Rajoy and the ruling class. After the Catalan government of Puigdemont kept the referendum, the Spanish state ordered its police forces to beat up anybody who tried to vote for the future of Catalonia!

In exile the former prime minister of Catalonia has been trying to get European support for his cause. In this Puigdemont has failed completely, because no European leader is willing to support him. The whole EU stands fully behind Rajoy and the undemocratic attacks on Catalonia. As a bourgeois nationalist; Puigdemont hoped for a capitalist Catalonia as part of the European Union. But neither Madrid nor Brussels has been willing to listen to him. After visiting Finland it because clear that Spain wanted Puigdemont arrested. A European arrest warrant has already been issued. On the Danish-German border, the former face of Catalan Independence was arrested. Now it is up to the Germans to decide what to do. It is very possible that Puigdemont will be chained back to Madrid. Germany is led by a right-wing government, which is friendly to the conservative regime of Rajoy. The days of freedom in exile for Puigdemont might be over. Like his allies who already have been arrested, the former prime minister could be jailed for 30 years!

The use of violence did not came from the separatists but from the central government in Madrid. Prime minister Puigdemont then called for the establishment of the Catalan Republic. But because he is not a revolutionary, Puigdemont showed weakness and proofed unwilling to call for mass resistance against the attempts by Spain to disband the Catalan Republic. Puigdemont fled Catalonia and went to Belgium. His supporters were abandoned and lack leadership. This is why the Rajoy regime was able to win in Catalonia, despite the massive support for independence from ordinary workers. Also we must not forget that because the separatists are not following a socialist plan of action, they are not trusted by all. Many working class people fear what would happen if their nation leaves the Kingdom of Spain. They fear that the Catalan ruling class will force the costs of independence onto them. Under capitalism there is not doubt that the workers will be forced to pay the price, because many Catalan capitalists have already moved their businesses out of Catalonia. This capital flight was done deliberately to weaken the independence camp!

Bourgeois nationalists still hope for independence under capitalism. Revolutionary socialists understand that this is a fairy tale. Rajoy will never allow Catalonia to be free, he will jail anybody who will be elected by the Catalan parliament as prime minister. Many of Puigdemont’s cabinet ministers have been arrested and how face up to 30 years in prison, because they stood against the Kingdom of Spain and rejected article 155 of the constitution. The actions of the Spanish state show that the Rajoy regime is not democratic and hides behind a constitution written largely by former fascists in 1978. Although it is noble to hope for a peaceful transaction to independence, the reaction of Madrid has shown that only mass mobilization and class struggle can defeated the regime. The bourgeois politicians are not willing to mobilize the working class, because they rightfully fear a revolution that will move beyond independence!

Catalan workers need to unite in a workers party on a socialist program. Such a party would then mobilize the workers and call for the defense of the Catalan Socialist Republic. If the working class is able to stand up to Madrid then we will see who will use violence. Should Rajoy order his army into Catalonia, then mass civil disobedience is needed. People must be willing to fight for freedom, if the Catalan workers do not understand this then they will never be free. Spain has already removed their autonomy and Rajoy has made very clear that he will only tolerant a pro-Madrid government in Barcelona. The outcome of the elections mean nothing to the Spanish tyrant. Democracy is only good as long as it serve Spanish capitalism and the unitary state. This intolerance towards those who call for independence is why the ETA started their violent war. Revolutionary socialists do not agree with their tactics, but we can understand why the ETA choose for violence. Because Spain would have never tolerated a peaceful way to independence as we have seen in Catalonia in 2017!

Revolutionary Socialist Media supports the demands of the Revolutionary Left in Catalonia, which calls for:

• Down with article 155! Freedom for all political prisoners! Withdraw the Spanish national and military police from Catalonia!

• Repeal all reactionary labour reforms and pension reforms! Retirement at 60 with 100% salary and equal conditions for young workers!

• A minimum wage of €1,100 and a 35-hour working week with no loss of pay

• Ban evictions! Expropriate empty homes held by the banks to create social housing!

• Re-nationalize all privatized public services, maintaining and increasing the workforce and respecting workers’ rights.

• Repeal the reactionary education laws! Public, quality, free and universal education from infancy to university!

• For the right to public, free and universal healthcare!

• Solidarity with refugees! Repeal the racist migration laws and close down the prison camps for migrants!

• For democratic rights to speech, meetings and organisation! Repeal the repressive laws!

• Nationalize the banks and strategic industries to bail out working class people and guarantee decent living standards.

• For the right of self-determination in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia. For a Socialist Republic of Catalonia, and a Federal Socialist Republic based on the free and voluntary union of the peoples of the Spanish state, if that is their democratic wish

Socialist Catalonia is the only way for working class people!

Letter to the YPG on the fall of Afrin City

To the General Command of the People’s Protection Units (YPG)

On 18 March 2018, Turkish imperialism and their puppets of the ‘’Syrian National Army’’ took control of Afrin City. This is a major defeat for all those who tried to build up a democratic society in the Afrin cantons since 2012. That the city has fallen is worse enough, but now it seems that the YPG has not even tried to defend Afrin City. Why did you command your brave men and women to abandon the capital? Why did you allow Turkish flags to fly above government buildings, signalling a major victory for Turkish imperialism in Afrin?

Now the region is almost fully under Turkish control. Their puppets from the Syrian interim government will ban any political party that is critical of the ‘’Sultanate of Erdogan’’. Dark days are ahead for the Kurdish population of Afrin, who will be subjugated to an ethnic Arabic regime once again. Because you might remember the days of the Syrian Arab Republic (pre-2012). The Kurds in south east Turkey are forced to live under Turkish cultural imperialism for centuries. They never knew what the people of Afrin got to know between 2012 and 2018, what it is like to be truly free from oppression!

Now that Afrin City has fallen, the puppets of Erdogan will turn towards Manbij. Will the YPG abandon this town too? Will they allow all cantons of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria to fall under control of these reactionary puppets of a Turkish sultan? The People’s Protection Units have to stand and fight. Because this is a battle of life and death. How many forces did the YPG had in Afrin? 10.000? 20.000? Have all these troops been killed or captured? Also what about the Self-Defense Forces (HXP)? Where were these locally conscripted forces trained in Afrin? If the YPG/YPJ and HXP are not able to defend the cantons then the light that is Rojava will go out, destroyed by the Sultanate of Erdogan!

Will the Syrian Democratic Forces now march on Afrin to liberate it? Is there any hope that the people of Afrin can be liberated? Or will the YPG move back because the Americans tell you? Was it American imperialism that told you to abandon Afrin City? Because it would be foolish to trust Washington DC. The USA is the one who is arming the Turkish state. American made F-16 fighters are the ones who bomb towns in Afrin to rubble. Do not think that the western world will come to the defense of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. Most capitalist countries have recognized the puppets of Erdogan to be the legitimate government of all Syria. Do not trust the forces of imperialism, neither America nor Europe or Russia are your friends. Imperialism is the enemy of all workers of the world!

Revolutionary Socialist Media stands in solidarity with you and all brave men and women, who are fighting against Turkish imperialism.

With salute,

Jorein Versteege
Revolutionary Socialist Media

Ypg

Pseudo-elections in Russia

Russians are allowed to go voting and there will be only one winner: Vladimir Putin. The dictator of Russia controls not only the state, but also the media and the minds of millions. He uses Russian chauvinism to hide the obvious facts, that Russia is suffering a huge economic crisis. Poverty is huge and many workers suffer from it. Yet the Kremlin oligarchy does not care, they hide the deep inequality by boosting nationalism and patriotism. To be openly critical about Putin is dangerous as many critics have face state prosecution. This is why any election in the Russian Federation will always result in a victory for the Kremlin and the oligarchy!

There are eight candidates for the presidency in this election. But none are a alternative for working class people. There are two official ”communist” candidates, one is from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and the other is of the party; Communists of Russia (KR). Both parties are deeply Stalinist and glorify the dictatorial bureaucracy that ruled the former USSR. However the KPRF is not a true communist party as it has nominated a billionaire to be its candidate. Pavel Grudinin is not even a member of the KPRF, yet the Stalinist party selected him to be their candidate. Maxim Suraykin of the Communists of Russia is very right when he criticizes the KPRF for nominated a member of the oligarchy as their choice. Despite this fact the KR itself is a typical Russian Stalinist party, that plays on nostalgia for the Stalin era. It also promotes social-conservative viewpoints like reintroducing the death penalty and a deep hostility towards LGBT+ rights!

The other candidates are typical bourgeois. Ksenia Sobchak is the only woman, but a deeply right-wing candidate. She wants to privatize the whole Russian economy, this makes her a true capitalist candidate. Like the others, Sobchak is an open nationalist and will support Vladimir Putin once he is ”reelected” as president. This is what all candidates share. They may oppose Putin during this election, but will never directly critize his regime. After the elections are over, all candidates will stand with the Kremlin against the enemies of Russia. This shows why the elections are nothing more then a propaganda show, to give Russians the illusion that these candidates differ from each other. The Stalinist candidates too have shown to support Putin, despite the fact that he is the richest man in Russia. In secret it is said that he owns billions in dollars, stored in banks under different names and companies!

There is no independent socialist candidate running. This is because the Kremlin will not allow anybody to run that could be a true force of opposition against their strong man. Revolutionary socialists therefore call for a boycott of the election. Russian workers have nothing to gain by voting for candidates that are approved by an oligarch government. Vladimir Putin knows that he will be the winner, he does not even campaign on his own behave. He does not enter debates and is not visiting places to speak to his supporters. Why would he? Putin knows the true game and waits until the bureaucracy reinstall him as President of the Russian Federation. The workers movement need to build their own political force against the reactionary forces led by Putin. A big obstacle is the position of the Russian left-wing regarding elections. Sergei Udaltsov is the face of the Left Front, which unites some radical leftist parties. Unfortunate this Udaltsov is not a real revolutionary socialist. He is supportive of the Russian nationalist separatists in Ukraine, he supports a (social democratic) capitalist economy and worked for the pseudo-Communist Party of the Russian Federation in 2012. For the 2018 presidential election the face of the Left Front openly supports Pavel Grudinin, an oligarch capitalist!

Reality shows that there is no true left-wing in Russia. What is called leftist is in fact social-conservative (anti-LGBT+), pro-Kremlin and even pro-capitalist. The communist parties all support the reactionary regime of Putin by standing with ”Mother Russia” against the western capitalist world. The KPRF is more a social democratic party that plays on nostalgia for the USSR while the Communists of Russia are proudly to call themselves Stalinist, totally ignoring the suffering of the Soviet working class under the Red Czar. This is something that unites both the moderate KPRF and the KR. Both use Stalin’s face and claim to follow in his footsteps. If Joseph Stalin had remain rejected by the Russian state as he was between 1956 and 1991, then these ”communists” would not have reused his image for propaganda. But since Vladimir Putin started to idolize the second world war and the leader who led the Soviet-Union at that time, Stalin is back and idolized by all official communist parties. This is only happening in Russia, no other communist party has readopted Stalin face in their propaganda outlets!

Meanwhile the western capitalist world and Russia are locked in a second Cold War. There is a information war happening between the traditional capitalist media of the west and the viewpoints of the Russian sponsored media like RT (Russia Today). Western media does not like the critical questions asked by RT and therefore the organisation is branded as a propaganda network of Russia. While it is true that RT would never critize Putin the way they critize American and western leaders, what they say about the west is not untrue. This is not liked by the media outlets of the west. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, SkyNews and others have denounced RT for spreading ”Russian propaganda” while they are spreading ”western propaganda” for years. Is RT spreading propaganda for Putin? Yes and No, they are not critical about the corruption and abuse of power in the Russian Federation and they are sponsored by the Kremlin. But will Fox News ever expose the corruption of Wall Street and the abuse of power by Donald Trump and his Republican Party? RT is not openly negative about Russia, just as the western media will never be openly negative about the capitalist ways of America and Europe!

Vladimir Putin will become the next president/dictator of Russia. Like Xi Jinping (now president for life in China) and Erdogan, the Russian czar will likely remain leader until his death. Russian workers will continue to suffer as they are the ones most effected by the failing economy. The average income is now around 466 euros (573 dollars) a month. For many this is not enough to meet ends in a society with prices sky rocking. Many Russians cannot live in the newly build houses of the cities, which have grown too expensive for ordinary workers. You spend already 500 euros for basic human needs (house rent excluded). A Four-person family monthly costs around 1500 euros. This would mean that both parents would have to earn at east 750 euros a month, 250 euros above the average income for ordinary workers. Many of the new rich are living in the newly build and renovated apartments. They enjoy the last remaining fruits of Russian capitalism, which is in a decline since 2014. While the few enjoy wealth and privileges, the vast majority is suffering. Russian workers have therefore nothing to lose by doing nothing. They need a workers party on a genuine socialist program to fight not only the Kremlin bureaucracy, but also the pseudo-left-wing represented by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Communists of Russia!

 

Pavel Grudinin, member of the oligarchy and candidate of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Afrin must become a Stalingrad for Turkey

The Turkish imperialists are closing in on the city of Afrin in Syria. Two months after the invasion began the Kurdish YPG is on the retreat. The battle is extremely unfair as Kurdish forces are only armed with light weapons. They lack modern tanks, heavy artillery and an air force. Erdogan’s army is playing a support role as Arab soldiers of the so called ‘’Syrian National Army’’ are doing the dirty work. Now these puppets of Ankara are closing in on the capital city of the Afrin Region. Revolutionary Socialist Media calls for massive resistance and international solidarity. Let Afrin city become a Stalingrad for the puppets of Turkish imperialism!

The situation in the city of Afrin is very serious. Turkish imperialists have cut off electricity and running water. 300.000 people are trapped as the storm-troopers of the ”Sultanate of Erdogan” close in. Revolutionary socialists give our full solidarity with all the men and women of the YPG/YPJ, who will have to fight till the death. Because there is no other way. Turkey wants to destroy their canton and their democratic freedoms. After the conquest of the Afrin Region, Turkish imperialism will install a puppet Syrian government loyal to Ankara!

For Turkish anti-nationalists and anti-imperialists it is very difficult to oppose the nationalist mood. Almost all newspapers are enforcing Turkish nationalism/imperialism and support the invasion of Afrin. To be a anti-nationalist is dangerous as opposition to Turkish nationalism is not even allowed. Many Turks have already been jailed under the pretense that they support ”YPG-PKK terrorism”. This is how the media is portraying the conflict, as if Turkey would ”defend” itself against a attack by the lightly armed YPG. Reality is that Erdogan feared the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and the system of democratic confederalism. This model stands in direct opposition to the brutal nationalist nature of the Turkish state!

Although some say that democracy is death in Turkey, Revolutionary Socialist Media points out that Turkey was never a democracy. Despite that it is not a single party state, Turkey has never been a true free society. Critics of state enforced nationalism have always faced prosecution, especially those who support an independent Kurdistan. It is because of Turkish intolerance towards the Kurds that the PKK started their war of resistance in 1984. Under the leadership of Erdogan the war has reached another level as Turkish armed Arabs are now fighting to destroy the beacon of democracy and freedom, that is the Afrin Region. The so called ”Syrian National Army” has only been so effective against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) because they are supported by Turkish tanks, Turkish heavy artillery and massive bombings by the Turkish Air Force. Their air attacks against Afrin are all possible because western imperialism and Russian imperialism allow it. Both Washington and Moscow have exposed themselves as true imperialists, who care nothing about democracy or freedom. The very idea that the west and east are fighting for the people is a hard lie!

What must be done? The Syrian Democratic Forces are the only ones who can come to the defense of Afrin. All available units from all ethnic groups need to march on the Afrin Region to fight the puppets of Erdogan. The Islamic State is defeated and no longer a major treat. Turkish imperialism is the new danger and it must be defeated. Unless the SDF is able to reach Afrin, it is very possible that the brave defenders of the capital will lose. They are outmatched by an army supported by a fast imperialist war machine, a war machine armed with German tanks and American planes. The criminals of NATO seem uninterested in the fact that Turkey is invading another country, unopposed. Washington DC does not want to offend the ”Sultanate of Erdogan” and therefore remains silent. We saw this behavior before in the 1980’s and 1990’s, when NATO weapons were used to destroy thousands of Kurdish towns!

The elected leaders of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria must not trust that America, Europa or Russia will come to there defense. The Kurds have never been supported as all imperialist powers want to stay friends with Ankara. No matter how much they plea, western imperialism will not help. This is because they value arms deals above human rights. Turkey is a major trade partner and is buying billions in arms in both the EU and USA. Kurdish rights have never been an issue, when it comes to making money the western powers show their true colors. Revolutionary socialists call for international solidarity of working class people against the Turkish imperialist propaganda. Because many Turks are brainwashed to support their nation. This brainwashing is a result of deep ethnic nationalism enforced by a dictatorial society. Turkish workers could end the war if they rejected Erdogan and rose up. But because of the poison that is nationalism, the fast majority of workers are believing the lies that the YPG is a danger to Turkey!

YPG and YPJ forces will have to fight fanatic and to the death. Because if they lose, they will lose more then just the battle. The conquest of the Afrin Region will send a clear message that no other canton of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria is save from Erdogan and his puppet; the ”Syrian National Army”. It is therefore that massive pressure must be put on America and Europe, they have the power to stop Turkey. But it is unlikely that western leaders will do anything, because they are right-wing and supportive of imperialism. Erdogan is only able to invade Afrin because Putin allowed it. Russian imperialism shares many elements with Turkish imperialism. Both countries are led by presidents with a personality cult and a nationalist system, that calls anybody a ”traitor” that rejects the state and its leaders!

Revolutionary Socialist Media calls for massive resistance and international solidarity with all those brave men and women of the YPG/YPJ in Afrin City!

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Ethiopia: Down with the capitalist EPRDF

Revolutionary Socialist Media calls for the revolutionary overthrow of the corrupt-dictatorial (and capitalistic) Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. This alliance used to claim allegiance to revolutionary socialism and Marxism. But after the overthrow of the militarist-Stalinist DERG (Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police and Territorial Army) the EPRDF silently abandoned their socialist facade and embraced neoliberalism as it main economic model. Ethiopia is under the rule of the EPRDF since 1991 and it is neither a democracy nor a socialist society!  

The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front is made up of the following political parties.

  • Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization
  • Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front
  • Amhara National Democratic Movement
  • Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement

Each party represents an ethnic community. The front was created in 1988 to combat the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, a Stalinist dictatorship that ruled the country since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1974. The regime mixed nationalism with Stalinist dogma and was at first a military junta, called the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police and Territorial Army (DERG). Opposition to the junta was not allowed and the DERG cracked down very heavy on the revolutionary left who opposed the regime. The military claimed to be ”Marxist-Leninist” to gain support from the Soviet-Union, but the officers never cared about giving power to the working class. They only used socialism as an excuse to rule unopposed!

Revolutionary leftists from the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party rejected the military’s claim, that they were the vanguard of the socialist revolution. The DERG understood that they needed to eradicate the EPRP in order to destroy all opposition. Amnesty International thinks that over 500.000 people were murdered during the Ethiopian civil war, with another 1 million dying due to a man made famine. Most were killed by government soldiers in what became known as the Red Terror. Ironically the victims of this ”communist terror” were communists themselves. The EPRP was eliminated and forced to abandon major cities to the military junta. In July 1977, the militarist Stalinist regime in Somalia tried to take advantage of the civil war by invading Ethiopia. Siad Barre was supported by the western imperialist powers when he attacked. The Soviet-Union and its allies rallied behind the DERG and with their help the Somalian invaders were defeated. American imperialism then choose to support any group that rejected ”communist rule” in Ethiopia!

Fidel Castro ordered 10.000 Cubans to fight for the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia. These Cuban troops would remain in the country until the regime collapsed. Castro feared that the opposition to the military government of Mengistu Haile Mariam would reinstall capitalist rule over Ethiopia. He was right in this, but in the 1970’s the biggest opponent of the DERG was the Marxist; Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, organized by the Tigrayan people in the north. The TPLF claimed to be ”Marxist-Leninist” in opposition to the military junta, much like the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party was. Fidel Castro however rejected anybody who stood against Mengistu as counterrevolutionary. This may have been because the TPLF was getting aid from American NGO’s and worked with the monarchists of the Ethiopian Democratic Forces!

In 1984, the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police and Territorial Army was dissolved and replaced by the Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE), as vehicle for Mengistu’s dictatorship. However it was clear that win-out the massive aid from the USSR and Cuba, he would not survive the growing opposition led by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. Like all Stalinist leaders, Mengistu Haile Mariam enforced nepotism to keep vital government functions under his control. The WPE was not a tool for the working class, but a vessel for the dictator and those who supported him. Personal loyalty to president Mengistu was far more important then ideological commitment to socialism. This only proofs how the words of Marx and Lenin became empty slogans used by both the government and opposition, as neither the WPE nor the TPLF would never give political and economic power to the working class and poor!

The TPLF was able to unite the opposition in 1988, this led to the foundation of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. They won their first major battle on 20 March 1989, when their allies of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front defeated the army of Mengistu and entered the city of Afabet in modern day Eritrea. The defeat was hard for Mengistu and with Soviet aid diminishing, he started to realize that his time was running out. Then his own generals tried to overthrow him in a failed coup. Mengistu ordered a massive purged and killed off the rebel generals. With major military leaders purged, the army was unable to stop the rebellion. The EPRDF won more battles and by 1990 was closing in on the capital of Addis Ababa. Moscow understood that the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was collapsing and they cut off all support. Cuban military advisers were pulled out as the WPE started to crumble. In order to save his own skin, dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam finally ended his ”Marxist” facade and renounced communism. He hoped that by enforcing austerity and capitalist barbarism, the IMF and World Bank would support his crumbling regime!

In May 1991, the army of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front entered the capital of Addis Ababa. Officials from the WPE abandoned their Great Leader, who fled to Zimbabwe. Mengistu was the only member of the former DERG who was able to escape. All others were captured and put on trial for their crimes, especially for the Red Terror against the members of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party. The EPRDF could have build up a socialist Ethiopia, but by 1991 the ideology of Marx and Lenin could no longer be exploited for Soviet support. This is why the leadership of the EPRDF and many African national liberation movements (like the ANC) choose to abandon socialism in favor of ”social democracy” (capitalism in reality). Now that the rebels had abandoned their socialist ideology, the USA was more then willing to help the new government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia!

For working class people the collapsed of the Stalinist regime of the DERG/WPE was not a major change. The EPRDF consolidated power and wins every election due to massive fraud and voter intimidation. Censorship in Ethiopia makes it difficult for members of the opposition to effectively campaign, it limits knowledge of political candidates as the media gives members of the EPRDF preferential treatment. There are many political parties in the country, but none are able to challenge the ruling alliance. Despite that the member parties still have some revolutionary rhetoric in their names, they are not instruments for socialist change. The whole Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front is a corrupt institution of those who have been in power since 1991. On the local lever, state leaders are left to rule unopposed like little kings. Their power is almost absolute and they use police officers to arrest anybody who criticizes their corruption. It is ironic that the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front created a single party state after they were able to bring about independence for Eritrea. The modern; People’s Front for Democracy and Justice that rules in Eritrea is working on the same corrupt-dictatorial model as the EPRDF!

In 2016 and 2017, growing opposition led to the installment of a state of emergency. It allowed the EPRDF to arrest and jail thousands of activists. Like the DERG/WPE regime, the modern day dictatorship is trying to silent their critics. Ethiopia and Eritrea are both led by former national liberation movements who may have defeated one dictatorship, but choose not to build a democratic and socialist system. Although the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front has not created a single party state like the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice in Eritrea did, both rebel groups have become what they used to fight against. The state of emergency was reinstalled in February 2018 as protests rose again. Working class Ethiopians are fed up with the corruption and injustice. They want genuine change and know that the EPRDF has not liberated them. The lack of a genuine revolutionary party is what preventing a massive uprising. There is anger and rejection, but the masses are not united in a workers party on a socialist program!

Despite their unity on the outside the member parties of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front are growing critical, about the way the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front has been leading the EPRDF since 1988. Not all members of parliament from the alliance voted in favor of state emergency. Under pressure from its people the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization started to talk about changes. Now the four parties that make up the EPRDF are talking about a new political course. Revolutionary socialists do not think that the alliance is working in the best interests of the working class. Like the DERG/WPE before 1991, socialism has never been more then a propaganda tool for the EPRDF and its member parties. Some say that the Ethiopian government is willing to following the Chinese model, a state capitalist economy under a authoritarian political system!

We say no to this model and present the workers of Ethiopia a socialist option.

A socialist program for Ethiopia

Democracy:

  1. No state of emergency – challenge with mass struggle
  2. Free all political prisoners
  3. Freedom to political parties and organisations, free and fair elections to a genuine democratic constituent assembly
  4. Politicians and elected representatives without privileges, with the right to recall
  5. For independent democratic fighting trade unions
  6. For elected committees in all workplaces, villages, universities etc
  7. For the right of organisation, including meetings and demonstrations
  8. Stop all censorship in media and internet, democratic access to printing, television and computers

The movement and the struggle:

  1. For a new democratic and socialist party and movement for all oppressed
  2. Unity in struggle of all workers and poor from all ethnic groups, against the common enemy: the regime, capitalism and imperialism
  3. No to all discrimination, equal treatment of all
  4. Local and regional autonomy for all, defend national rights for all

The regime:

  1. Down with the EPRDF regime – prosecute government criminals, confiscate their property and wealth

Arms and military:

  1. Purge the military forces of all dictatorship supporters
  2. All arms and troops under democratic control of committees of workers and farmers

Land:

  1. Stop all land grabbing – confiscate all land given to multinationals
  2. Land reforms, to ensure farmers have land
  3. Full compensation if land is used for roads etc., – local power over decisions
  4. State support to voluntary collective farms

Imperialism:

  1. Confiscate all imperialist property under democratic control
  2. Appeal to workers globally for support against imperialism and capitalism

The economy and welfare:

  1. A plan for food to everyone
  2. Fair distribution of the country’s resources
  3. For a democratic plan for the country: education, health care, infrastructure (water, electricity, roads)
  4. Equal job opportunity, free education and health service for all, including disabled.
  5. For a democratic plan of production and distribution of resources
  6. For a democratic and socialist government

Zuma out, ANC needs to go too!

Jacob Zuma of South Africa has left the office of president, after he was told by the African National Congress (ANC) to do so. Zuma was one of the most corrupt presidents of South Africa. He played the populist card to win elections and was even called ”leftist” by the capitalist media. In reality he was neither a socialist nor a leftist. Jacob Zuma and the ANC have proven what revolutionary socialists have been saying since 1994. They not only abandoned socialism, but also enforced brutal neoliberal austerity on the working class of South Africa. The removal of this corrupt president is good, but the rotten core is still in power. Like Zimbabwe, we cannot trust the ruling party as they serve only themselves. Workers of South Africa need to understand that the ANC has betrayed them since the 1990’s. This betrayal started with Nelson Mandela, who refused to carry out the socialist parts of his Freedom Charter. 

The Republic of South Africa is a very unequal nation at the very south of Africa. Until 1991 it was governed by a racist political and economic system that excluded the majority of people, because of their black skin color. Apartheid means separateness, it is a Dutch word that institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination. South Africa introduced this model in 1948, but racism against black people was part of the country even during British colonial times. White people believed that it was their right to exclude the black majority, whites had the audacity to call themselves ”Afrikaners” despite the fact that white people did not enter South Africa until the early 19th century. 12.000 Dutch colonialists formed the base of the modern day Afrikaners, who moved to South Africa in 1835. These ”Boeren” (early name for Afrikaners) founded nation-states like the South African Republic and Orange Free State. All these nations were created only for white people, blacks were regarded as inferior and not given equal rights!

Two wars were fought between the white Dutch and British forces. The ”Boeren” were able to win the first war, but in 1899 they were defeated during the Second Boer War. British imperialists then annexed the South African Republic and Orange Free State. Afterwards they created the Union of South Africa, a British crown colony. In 1915, British South African forces captured German South West Africa during the first world war. For 75 years this country would be ruled by white people from South Africa. Today it is called the Republic of Namibia and black people had to fight a brutal battle with the racist Apartheid regime in order to get independence and freedom. The USA and Great Britain were the ones who supported the whites in oppressing the black majority in both Namibia and South Africa. American imperialism needed the support from the Apartheid regime and because of the Cold War, the USA regarded the freedom fighters of the ANC as ”terrorists”!

In 1961, the Union of South Africa changed its name to Republic of South Africa and ceased to be a colony of Great Britain. Apartheid made sure that only 20% of the total population could vote and participate in society. Black people were completely segregated from the white ruling class. This injustice led to the rise of the African National Congress, led by Nelson Mandela. During the Congress of People in 1955, the ANC adopted the Freedom Charter, in it they rejected Apartheid and called for a free South Africa and a socialist society. The criminal Apartheid regime called it a ”communist document” and moved to arrest anybody who came out for it. Soon Nelson Mandela was jailed and the ANC banned. In response to the dictatorial methods of the state, an armed resistance movement was created called the ”Spear of the Nation”.  As the ANC fought back, the racist regime claimed they were fighting ”terrorism” and the USA agreed. The African National Congress was put on the American terrorist watch list and not removed until 2008!

Not all blacks were supportive of the ANC, members of the Zulu tribe supported the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). This right-wing party was founded in 1975 and opposed the leftist ANC. Since they were based on the Zulu people, the IFP never liked the idea of a united struggle against Apartheid. To protect their own interests the Zulu party started to collaborate with the Apartheid state. Angered by this fact, the ANC started to see the IFP as a traitorous, which they where and remain until this day (the Inkatha Freedom Party is a right-wing conservative party). 5.000 people were killed in clashes between the two parties. This only ended in 1990 with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. It is a common held believe that the white rulers let Mandela go because they were forced into it. Reality is more sinister, they agreed on releasing Mandela because he told them that he would ignore the socialist ideas of the Freedom Charter. By 1990 the so called ”socialist world” was  collapsing. Stalinist countries all embraced capitalism. The communist parties of Vietnam and China advised the ANC to embrace neoliberal capitalism, which they did by the time they won the 1994 elections!

The party that came out of the elections was not the same ANC of the 1960’s. Nelson Mandela choose to collaborate with the white ruling class. He was a traitor to the socialist ideas of the Freedom Charter, but because of the collapse of ”socialism” as the capitalist media called it, too few dared to stand up to the icon of struggle against Apartheid. Most blacks were happy that the segregation was over, but by the time Mandela left the office of president very little had actually changed. White people were still controlling most means of production and were still richer. Under the leadership of Thabo Mbeki, the ANC was still able to win 66% during the 1999 parliamentary elections. The New National Party of the white establishment was reduced to 6,76% of the total vote. By now many whites understood that the ANC was not a ”dangerous communist party” and choose to vote for Mbeki, who was a right-winger. Despite the revolutionary songs and rhetoric, the African National Congress had betrayed socialism just like all African national liberation movements!

Why did the ANC was able to win more votes in the 1999 and 2004 elections? This is because more people voted. This gave the African National Congress a big gain as they were regarded as the party of national liberation. Out of loyalty most black workers keep voting on the ANC, despite the iron fact that it is not a workers party and not leftist. By 2009 however the downfall began. A new generation of voters started to understand that you should not vote purely out of loyalty. Under the leadership of Jacob Zuma, the former national liberation party lost its first -3,79% at the 2009 elections. Zuma tried to play the populist card. He knew that Thabo Mbeki was the face of the pro-business wing of the party. Therefore Zuma wanted to be seen as leftist. Not that he wanted a revolutionary change. No, Jacob Zuma belongs to the upper class of rich blacks, people who became wealthy because of government corruption. As president of the country he used state money to renovate his luxurious villa for 19 million euro (22 million dollars). But because of the ANC monopoly in the minds of millions, he was able to be president between 2009 and 2018!

There is so much dirt on Jacob Zuma and the list is BIG. But the fact remains that he was a typical corrupt capitalist president. A person who did nothing to help the poor working class and only cared about his own status. The African National Congress thinks that by getting rid of Zuma they have cleared themselves from wrongdoing, this is wrong. Like the Zimbabwean African National Union – Patriotic Front that dumped Robert Mugabe, you cannot just wash your abuse of power away by removing the figurehead. Jacob Zuma was just the face of ANC corruption, the whole party is the problem. This is why the Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) is calling for the formation of a new workers party. Since the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa was expelled from the ANC dominated Congress of South African Trade Unions, there is a big opportunity to build such a new party. NUMSA has over 330.000 members, it is the largest trade union in South Africa. It is good that they have stood strong and rejected the corrupt ANC leadership inside COSATU. Another puppet of the former national liberation party is the South African Communist Party. This party claims to be a revolutionary force, but has been a loyal mouthpiece of the ANC since it became part of the Tripartite Alliance. This alliance is made up of the ANC, COSATU and the SACP. Politically it is dominated by the pro-capitalist African National Congress, despite that both COSATU and the SACP claim to stand for socialism!

New elections will be held in 2019. Revolutionary socialists say that NUMSA has the historic duty to be the front runner of a new workers party. They could organize 330.000 workers and if they are under revolutionary leadership, the ANC and their puppets will face serious opposition. The fact that the leftist-populists of the Economic Freedom Fighters won almost 6,35% of the votes in 2014, shows that there is need for anti-capitalist ideas. It is too bad that the EFF is not a genuine workers party and run like a militarist group around Julius Malema. This Malema praises dictatorial regimes like the government of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Also the EFF claims to be ”Marxist-Leninist” which we know to be a mask for Stalinist thinking. This is more then ever true in the fact that the Economic Freedom Fighters are not a democratic party, they are run in a top down military way with Malema as the ”Commander-in-Chief”. Despite the fact that the Workers And Socialist Party is very small, it is actively fighting for a new mass party of working class people. This is why they fight against the corrupt ANC and their puppets of the Tripartite Alliance. Jacob Zuma maybe gone, but the African National Congress will just replace him with another pro-capitalist candidate. What workers need is a party that brakes with capitalism and fights for the socialist ideas of the Freedom Charter!

 

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