Relaunch The Struggle Plan Against MAS’ Pensions’ Law With a PT’s Political Campaign
27 Temmuz, 2013
The strike’s conclusion is that the working class must organize with the left
PT’s second Congress will take place after the termination of the COB’s (TN: Bolivian Workers’ Central) historical general strike against MAS’ pensions’ law. The enormous leading role of the working class during the strike reaffirms that we’re in a turning point in the political situation, of the workers from Bolivia and Latin America. After the decree N° 21060 that broke de central power of the Bolivian mineworkers with the “relocations”, the streets were hegemonized by the peasants. However, in the same sense of the general strike against the “Gasolinazo” (TN: increase in the gas tariffs promoted by Evo Morales) and the struggle for Colquiri, today the COB takes the scene once again.
Therefore, the PT, which is leaded by the same bureaucracy from the COB that leaded the strike, can’t limit itself to discuss how to comply the legal requirements for 2014 elections but, first of all, has to answer this question: why didn’t we conquer the 100% for pensions? If more than 14 days of strike weren’t enough, how can we conquer our claims? Electoral fight, in order to represent truly the workers’ interests, at least it must be the concentrated expression of the conclusions and immediate tasks that the strike stated. A Congress behind the backs of the workers’ struggle is a Congress that aims directly towards integration with the capitalist class. We can’t allow that. The workers that were protagonists in the strike for pensions must be the protagonists in PT’s Second Congress.
BUREAUCRACY CAPITULATES BEFORE EVO MORALES: IT CALLS FOR THE STRIKE AND FINISHES IT WITHOUT ACHIEVING ANY RESULT. IT CALLS FOR PT’S CONSTRUCTION AND DOESN’T EVEN PUBLISH A PT’S STATEMENT TO ANSWER THE GOVERNMENT.
What bureaucracy did along the whole strike was no to take charge of its role as leadership. COB’s bureaucracy decided to launch a struggle plan but didn’t organize CODs and CORs (TN: departmental and regional workers’ centrals), leaving the miners, factory workers, health professionals, urban and rural teachers, to its own luck. On the other hand, despite the COB had decided to fight for 100% for pensions, bureaucracy negotiated against the bases and went to discuss with the government for a 70%, going against the unions’ mandate. For the negotiations, COB’s bureaucracy accepted and then imposed the termination of the workers’ blockages, and finally the suspension of the strike. Lastly, when they said they had achieved an arrangement, Evo Morales’ government and the MAS refuted them saying that “there was nothing signed”. A provocation against workers. ¿What did the COB do? Absolutely nothing.
Facing this situation, the question is: What did PT’s leadership voted during PT’s first Congress do to organize the strike’s triumph and combat MAS’ government that attacked us through all flanks? Did the PT do anything during the strike? Definitively, no. It isn’t a coincidence. This is because of Guido Mitma and all PT’s leadership’s responsibility (all placed in that position by Trujillo, Pérez and Solares). In fact, from Huanuni till now, PT hasn’t advanced a bit in its real development as a party. It’s because of bureaucracy’s complete incapacity to break with the capitalist State and develop an independent workers’ party against MAS, MSM (TN: “Movimiento Sin Miedo”, Movement Without Fear, a center-left opposition party) and the right.
The thing is that they didn’t publish nor a flyer, nor a poster, nor an act supporting the struggle, nor nothing. Meanwhile, even the Chavist media “TeleSur” permanently attacked the strike, saying that its goal was to destabilize the government because the COB had founded a “political party” of “trotskist orientation”. All MAS’ propaganda was directed to generate the idea that the strike was “putschist” and, therefore, functional to the right. Facing this attacks, the PT didn’t assume the responsibility of intervene in this political struggle, denouncing the anti-workers’ provocations from the MAS and firmly supporting our legitimate claim and our legitimate right to fight.
MAS’ RESPONSE TO THE COB’S STRIKE: REPRESSION, ASSASSINATED, DETAINED, CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS AND VIOLATION OF THE UNION IMMUNITY
As we said, because of its impact, the strike is already historical. Unlike all the other strikes convoked by the COB during the last years, for example, this time Huanuni stopped its production totally, which was a torment for the MAS. But also there were almost 40 blockades in all the country, and at least the main roads of seven departments were affected. If the strike loss, it wasn’t because there wasn’t enough fight, but because bureaucracy leaded towards defeat. Also, because we didn’t have what we said we needed after Colquiri: a Workers’ Party to DEFEND US.
Almost 500 detained were registered, and in Huanuni comrades denounced the assassination of Marcelino Quilla, because of repeated police beatings. In Cochabamba, the repression left 2 industrial workers with gunshot wounds. After the violent repression against miners in Huanuni, in the district of Caihuasi, the government initiated criminal proceedings against 22 of them, including Oruro’s COD’s executive, Vladimir Rodríguez, violating his union immunity, with sentences that could reach 6 years in jail. Not only the COB hasn’t resolved any struggle plan facing these abuses against workers’ human rights: PT itself doesn’t stand for these causes.
As we said, in several opportunities the bureaucracy weakened workers themselves, placing two alleged “vigils” of 48hs each, which ended up liquidating workers’ resistance. Not only that: the “Ampliado” (TN: COB’s direction body) of April 29th established the fight for 100% for pensions with base in the tripartite contribution, a contribution we consider must only be from the capitalists (on the contrary, it’s an undercover wage cut), and to top this was taken to 70% without consulting the workers, in the limits of the solidarity fund and the present individual capitalization system.
This whole time, MAS’ government threatened and complied to declare the strike illegal, and therefore discounted day strike. That was a factor that contributed to break the resistance and, once again, bureaucracy is just now going to the ILO, but didn’t take any measure against the discounts, which implies the demoralization of health professionals, rural and urban teachers affected. Even, in Huanuni the government ended up convincing miners to produce to cover up the lost days! This is the contrary of what PT must state! PT must denounce discounts and organize the COB to fight against them, and spread the real numbers of Huanuni, showing that Evo Morales and MAS’ government are the ones who boycott national mining.
INSTEAD OF SUPPORTING THE STRIKE AGAINST THE PENSIONS’ LAW, PT’S LEADERSHIP PRETENDS TO CHANGE THE PROGRAM TO TAKE A NEW TURN TO THE RIGHT
The conclusion, therefore, is that, by not supporting the COB’s strike as PT, it’s the Political Committee itself who boycotts PT’s launch as an independent workers’ party from its birth.
This has a lot of sense because PT’s leadership, who should have appeared in the media giving press conferences refuting Alvaro García Linera’s lies, instead of calling the people to unite the PT against MAS, MSM and the right, has been preparing a new document in order to silence the internal criticism and organization of those who denounce al this opportunist course and really want to defend the COB and the PT. This has been prepared by the hand of PT’s vicepresident and Cochabamba’s lawyer, Gonzalo Rodríguez, with the excuse of the Political Parties Law.
From the Tendencia Piquetera Revolucionaria (TN: TPR – Piquetero Revolutionary Tendency from Argentina), we state: any tactical grouping against bureaucracy must be defended, as far as it expresses the rights recognized to form an opinion group, tendency or fraction, and that allows us to delimitate from the programs marathon which are increasingly pro-imperialist. To that extent, any motion against bureaucracy maneuvers has our total support.
However, we also want to state that we reject making a fetish of the defense of the “original” program”. Our program isn’t, in any way, complementary to the one voted in Huanuni. To the left, the miners, health professionals, teachers and all workers that leaded the strike, we say: in order to build an alternative leadership, we cannot base on the reformist program the bureaucracy imposed in PT’s first Congress. We need a revolutionary program to clarify the political strategy of the working class against the capitalist State. On the contrary, the left didn’t unify in order to build a revolutionary tendency in the PT against the bureaucracy in the first Congress, now they want to unite in the defense of the “original program” imposed by the bureaucracy. The list includes practically all the left organizations that entered the PT, that is, LOR-CI (TN: Bolivian section of FT-FI, in Argentina called PTS), MST, ARP (TN: linked to UIT-FI), Socialist Struggle (TN: Lucha Socialista, Bolivian section of LIT) and ASR (TN: Bolivian section of CWI). ASR’s case is the most striking, because they first said that the program “didn’t matter” and now they suddenly transformed in patriots of bureaucracy’s program. This is a fundamental error because a “tactical” argument is used to justify the total ideological dependency of the left to the union bureaucracy. The left has to claim its left condition, that is revolutionary, and must struggle with the flag unfurled because, on the contrary, it will end up turning up in a mere decorative embellishment of PT.
This denaturation of the left is fully developing, as it can be seen in the cases of LORCI and MST, given the fact that, far from disputing PT’s leadership to the bureaucracy, they did exactly the contrary: they presented themselves towards the workers as “representatives” for the Political Commission, and now they pretend to be the defenders of an “agreed program”… with the bureaucracy. From the TPR, we don’t discuss with ultimatums but neither with fictions. The original program must be defended against bureaucracy maneuvers in order to allow all workers to develop its own experience with reformist positions. But this doesn’t mean, under any point of view, that the left must make apology of reformism and, in fact, abandon the revolutionary program and transform in an appendix of bureaucracy. For the PT to be revolutionary, the axis must be the workers and peasants unity in the fight for the destruction of the capitalist State and imperialism’s expulsion. This is proletarian policy’s ABC in a semi-colonial country such as Bolivia, and it’s expressed in AMR’s program for the first PT’s Congress – program that we submit for the discussion for all fighters as a base to build a revolutionary tendency. The debate about the program, in conclusion, can’t limit to a statutory problem but it concentrates the problem of power: all the discussion reduces to whether we enter PT to thrive around bureaucracy or if we enter PT as part of our fight against union bureaucracy and, therefore, propose the left as a revolutionary tendency to dispute the leadership with the most combative sectors of the workers’ movement.
THE PT HAS TO BE LEADED BY THOSE WHO WERE ON THE STREETS AND BLOCKADES DURING THE GENERAL STRIKE, NOT BY THE BUREAUCRACY THAT SURRENDERED THE FIGHT
Because of all this, from the Tendencia Piquetera Revolucionaria (TPR) from Argentina, we propose the Agrupación Marxista Revolucionaria (TN: AMR, Revolutionary Marxist Group from Bolivia), all Bolivian left and, specially, the comrades that leaded the COB’s general strike, Huanuni’s miners, Colquiri’s, industrial workers, health professionals, urban and rural teachers, that they are the ones that have to organize themselves to lead the PT. You were the ones that made the blockades, that suffered repression, and that are suffering, today, economical damages because of defending their due: not Mitma, nor Trujillo, nor Pérez. They have left the strike orphan in all sense.
In this perspective, the agenda is concrete: boost a campaign of the PT to relaunch the struggle against the pensions’ law, and prepare the PT itself to intervene in the actual political fight in the country, allied with CONAMAQ and CIDOB’s peasants, calling them to break with the right, and making a campaign against Evo’s reelection.
However, bureaucracy’s policy is another: they don’t even insinuate the possibility of making the PT a reformist workers party, but they come to impose a program completely compatible with the capitalist regime such as of the program of any other capitalist party. It’s not about opposing the proletarian dictatorship and socialist revolution (something bureaucracy repels like the plague), but they directly erase any mention to class struggle and pretend to run as the defenders of the interests of all society: that is, of the national bourgeoisie and even to negotiate with imperialism itself. For workers that have been on the streets and the blockades can impose its combative orientation, the Second Congress must be completely different to the first Congress.
PT’s first Congress concluded with a complete triumph of bureaucracy’s maneuvers, because the left rejected the proposal of a Revolutionary Tendency, and starting from the LORCI and after that MST, they placed themselves as “representatives” of the COB’s Political Commission. Their argument was: “this is the agreement we achieved”. “Agreement”, of course, made on the backs of everyone and that the bureaucracy didn’t respect because it was wet paper.
In fact, hostility against the left was so big that, even with the backing of the most combative workers of Huanuni and Colquiri, bureaucrats voted to eliminate freedom of currents within PT. The left opposed, but in that moment was already irrelevant because we hadn’t developed a common struggle BEFORE for a revolutionary program, that was the position of the AMR to the left and combative unions. The other organizations from the left, therefore, instead of contributing to a differentiation between vanguard workers and bureaucracy, contributed to its confusion and political dissolution. This second Congress of PT, in order to advance, must be the contrary: the left must work together, facing a serious debate with the strike vanguard, in order to discuss the necessity of a new leadership for the PT.
Workers must organize with the left against COB’s bureaucracy, to defend their interests and fight against traitors. That’s why we propose:
1) Relaunch the struggle plan against Evo’s pensions’ law:
a) PT must organize the COB to return to the streets against MAS’ pensions’ law
b) For 100%, the mandate must be respected
c) Tripartite contribution (capitalist-State-workers) in the way of 100% capitalist contributions
d) Struggle against the 22 prosecutions and respect to union immunity for Vladimir Rodríguez, Oruro’s COD’s executive
2) Reject government’s pretension of suspending PT’s second Congress. The PT has the right and obligation to deliberate and take position about COB’s strike
3) Develop PT’s construction supporting COB’s claims:
a) Launch a campaign of the PT in support of the workers’ claim, through a central political agitation against MAS because of its anti-working pensions’ law, with spots, posters, releases, acts, debates, presentations in the media
b) Form base committees and departmental directions of the PT that guarantee the campaigns and boost PT’s construction
c) Campaign for the 100 thousand firms to achieve legality
d) Call CIDOB to break with the right, so that with CONAMAQ, its members militate with PT for a workers-peasant alternative against MAS, MSM and the right
e) Launch a campaign from the PT, the COB, CONAMAQ y CIDOB against Evo Morales’ reelection, and for a workers-peasants government
4) In order to construct a new class leadership in the PT, let’s reject any attempt to limit the freedom of criticism and organization within PT:
a) No to modifications proposed by PT’s leadership, that include eliminating the right of fraction, tendency and opinion group in the pre-Congress period
b) For the currents organizational freedom within PT, against what the bureaucracy imposed in the last Congress
c) We denounce the maneuvers of the bureaucracy to impose a new program totally integrated to the capitalist regime. We defend the revolutionary program proposed during the first Congress by the AMR against the reformist program of the bureaucracy
d) For a Revolutionary Tendency to struggle for a new class leadership of PT
e) For a proletarian, revolutionary, anti-imperialist, democratic, internationalist and mass PT
TPR (TENDENCIA PIQUETERA REVOLUCIONARIA)