ILC INTERNATIONAL NEWSLETTER
A dossier of weekly information published by the
International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples
October 21, 2006
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End the military intervention against the teachers and the people of Oaxaca! We
are publishing a letter from one of our correspondents.
The midterm elections will take place on November 7 to
renew a third of the Senate and all the House of Representatives. In a situation
where, according to one poll, 54% of U.S. citizens support the withdrawal of
U.S. troops from Iraq, 200 soldiers in Iraq have signed an appeal calling for
the return of the U.S. troops.
The Movement for the Construction of a Workers Party has
prepared, on the eve of the second round of the presidential elections, a
national conference around a Manifesto for a Sovereign Constituent Assembly of
the People, against the candidate of the oligarchy, Alvaro Noboa, to build
struggle committees and forge a united front for a Constituent Assembly.
The Association of Workers and Peoples of the Caribbean has
sent us an urgent appeal for solidarity with the teachers and people of Mexico,
the trade union, and the victims of the violence in Haiti, as well as the
general strike called by the trade unions of Guadeloupe for November 7.
Forced-labor camps were dismantled in the south of Italy.
: We are publishing an interview with Alberto Neto, the president
of the Democratic Party of Angola.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- United States: Two hundred U.S. soldiers in Iraq call for the removal of U.S. troops
- Brazil: The re-election of Lula
- Mexico: End the armed the intervention against the teachers and the people!
- Ecuador: Manifesto for a Sovereign Constituent Assembly of the People, All against Alvaro!
- Caribbean: Association of Workers and Peoples of the Caribbean
- Italy: Polish slaves in a labor camp
- Angola: Interview with Alberto Neto, the president of the Democratic Party of Angola
- Mexico: Communiqué of the ILC in support of the strikers and people of Oaxaca
Entente internationale des travailleurs et des peuples,
87, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis -75010 Paris - France
Tel: (33 1) 48 01 88 28
United States: Two hundred U.S. soldiers call for a return from Iraq
On November, 7 the mid-term elections will take place in the U.S., which will
renew a third of the Senate and all the House of Representatives. The Republican
Party, the party of Bush, is not at all assured that it will keep its majority
in the two chambers.
Bush recently affirmed that "the only manner to lose is to leave before the job is
done." The bloody chaos provoked in Iraq by the occupation is intensifying, with
thousands of U.S. soldiers losing their lives. "The candidates aim to
disassociate themselves from the mess," said one commentator.
This electoral fever is a symptom of a deeper crisis because the Democrats offer
no more of a solution than the Republicans. Though they dare to denounce the
"incompetence of Bush," the other main party of the U.S. capitalists, does not
at all call for the withdrawal of the troops from Iraq.
"We are offered a choice between staying on blindly or continuing on with a
distant timetable," declared a former advisor of the president. "The real
alternative is between escalation and disengagement," writes a journalist of the
New York Times, on October 30. "But an escalation would require more troops,
money, and most of all the will of the nation -- all things that are lacking."
In a recent poll, 54 % of citizens are in favor the removal of the troops within
a year. After the mid-term elections, the question is posed with even more
intensity: Seeing as no established party wants to bring back the troops, how
can the growing will of the U.S. people to end the occupation be expressed?
This sentiment was expressed by the 200 U.S. soldiers in Iraq who signed an
appeal calling to bring the troops home.
For the first time since the invasion of Iraq, it was not just the families of
the troops or the veterans, but active troops, serving in Iraq, who have called
on Congress to end the military occupation of Iraq.
This appeal will be distributed to the members of Congress in January 2007, on
Martin Luther King day.
"I am an American patriot loyally serving my country in uniform. I respectfully
call on the political leaders, members of Congress, to call for a speedy removal
of all the U.S. military forces and all the bases in Iraq. Staying in Iraq will
not work. It is not worth the price. It is time to bring the troops home."
Technically, it is not a petition, but, rather, to respect the military
constraints, an individually signed appeal. Nevertheless, this initiative is
first collective action of troops demanding a return home.
These troops utilized a law that authorizes troops to communicate in their own
names to Congress concerning any illegal actions or actions contrary to the
Constitution of the U.S.
The appeal names various reasons for their request: the financial cost, the cost
in terms of human lives, and the "suffering of the Iraqi people."
This appeal takes place in a context of profound political crisis, which is
reaching up to the summit of the political summits. This crisis has deepened
with the passing of the law authorizing torture.
This is the march to barbarism that two hundred U.S. soldiers in Iraq reject.
The cost of the war in Iraq: Four times the health care funds for all
Americans for over 10 years
"One minute in Iraq: 380 dollars," is the title of an article of the New
York Times, from October 25. Each minute more of occupation comes from the
pockets of the American people.
The article notes that, "while the war for Iraq was being prepared, Donald
Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, estimated that the total cost of the
operation would be at least US$50 billion. Concerning the reconstruction of the
country, Paul Wolfowitz, assured them that Iraq 'will use its oil revenue to
finance its own reconstruction.'"
But, today, studies have appeared suggesting that the total is more than US$1
trillion. This means US$6,000 for each American citizen.
"To get a sense of these totals, the amount of money represented," argues the
article, "it is necessary to understand that this represents four times the
funds needed to assure medical coverage for ten years for all U.S. citizens
without health coverage."
A powerful push "from below"
Lula was re-elected in Brazil with over 60% of the vote, which testifies to a
radicalization and push "from below" in favor of the candidate of the Workers
"Confronted with vicious attacks, the former trade unionist returned to the
class struggle rhetoric that pushed him into power four years ago," noted the
Associated Press, which also recalled that, "once president, he adopted a more
conciliatory attitude toward the market economy and the bosses, to the great
surprise of the conservatives. But after the first round, Lula returned to his
electoral base. Sometimes it is very easy to mobilize the poor, but it is
often difficult to demobilize them after the election."
It is a fact that the Brazilian people clearly demonstrated its desire for a
sovereign Brazil and for a government that deals with the big problems of the
nation: giving land to the landless, ending the sell-off of the national
resources and public enterprises, and ending the dictatorship of the debt, which
is imposing privatizations and misery.
This powerful movement of the workers and people of Brazil is also connected to
the struggles of their brothers and sisters in Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico and
the entire continent.
At the same moment, in La Paz, Evo Morales, who was pushed into power by the
Bolivian people one year ago, announced a law essentially nationalizing the main
mining resources of the country. Faced with the repeated destabilization
attempts by the oligarchies and the U.S. Embassy, Morales took the only path
that would guarantee the support of working people: the path of satisfying the
demands of the people and the nation.(1) This lesson is true for Bolivia, but
isn't it also true for Brazil? Isn't this the meaning of the massive vote for
(1) We should note, nevertheless, that at the same time, Morales retreated on
the agrarian reform, ceding to the big land-owners. We will return to this theme
in a later newsletter.
Armed goons and federal troops attack the strikers in Oaxaca: End the military
intervention against the teachers and people of Oaxaca!
In various past issues we have written about the situation in Mexico, before and
after the presidential election. We have written on the struggle of the teachers
and the first incidents that took place.
The most dramatic news is coming to us from Oaxaca, where armed groups in the
pay of the governor of the state, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, then the army itself, under
orders from the federal government, provoked a demonstration of forces that
could have resulted in a bloodbath. One of our correspondents from Mexico has
sent us a letter written below. The ILC immediately published a communiqué
calling for international solidarity with the teachers and people of Oaxaca (see
Yesterday at noon (Friday, October 27), I was in Mexico City, with 400
teachers and activists from Oaxaca, who have been there since October 9, after a
march of 500 kilometers, of more than 2,000 delegates of the teachers and the
population of Oaxaca to the Mexican capital. A few minutes after the granaderos
attacked our encampment to get rid of us, we learned that in Oaxaca, armed men
under direct orders of the governor, attacked the barricades, with the goal of
kicking out the defenders of Section 22 and the APPO from the center of the
city, which they have occupied since June 14.
Three people were killed during the attack: a New York journalist, Bradley Will,
from Indymedia, Emilio Alonso Fabian, of Section 22, and Esteban Ruiz, a
militant of the popular committees. At least 23 others were seriously wounded
and are currently in the hospital. Fourteen activists have been killed on the
barricades since the beginning of the movement in May.
We then learned that, in the neighboring town of Santa Maria Coyotepec, the
police arrested and imprisoned 20 strikers. Thirteen of them were wounded. The
teachers and their supporters also organized a demonstration and set up an
encampment in front of city-hall, to demand that Ulises Ruiz be kicked out.
The Mexican daily newspaper, La Jornada, reports that no less than 50 teachers
protesting in front of the governors' office, in Oaxaca, have disappeared. As I
write these lines, we have no more information concerning their whereabouts.
In a declaration published Friday night, the leaders of Section 22 and the
Popular Assembly accused Ulises Ruiz and Concha Arellanado (president in Oaxaca
of the CNC peasants federation, which is controlled by the PRI) of having
planned out and organized this brutal aggression by the plains-clothed police.
Ulises Ruiz and Concha Arellanado both publicly declared in recent days that the
encampment would no longer be in place after October 28.
Concha Arellanado was even more explicit, declaring on October 16 that: "We,
members of the PRI, will take matters into our hands if the federal government
does not end the occupation and vandalism in our State before Saturday. Radical
elements are the problem. We will do everything necessary to re-establish order,
law, and social peace."
The minister of the interior, Carlos Abascal Carranza, holding out both the
carrot and the stick, pressured, during the past ten days, the leadership of the
teachers' union to accept the agreement negotiated on October 10 in Mexico City.
The carrot is the creation of a Senate commission to examine whether it is
possible to dismiss Ulises Ruiz, as well as satisfy some of the demands on wages
and working conditions. The stick is the deployment in Oaxaca of more than 3,000
troops, with tanks and helicopters, who are waiting for the order to come in and
smash the strike and the mass movement built around support for the teachers.
As was to be expected, the Senate Commission decided that there was no reason to
fire Ulises Ruiz and a unanimous vote in the Mexican Senate ratified this
conclusion. The teachers, with other activists of the Popular Assembly, decided
to continue to demand the ouster of the governor, who represents the worst
vestiges of the corrupt and repressive PRI regime, which led Mexico with an iron
fist for over 70 years. The teachers will not feel secure enough to work until
Ulises Ruiz is gone. They fear repression by the governor and his death squads
against groups and individuals.
It is urgent that all the sympathizers of the teachers' movement and the people
of Oaxaca address the embassies and consulates of Mexico, throughout the world
to call for the end of the repression in Oaxaca, the punishment of the all
culprits of the violence against the teachers and Popular Assembly militants,
and the satisfaction of all the demands, which is the only way to bring back
Saturday October 28
No to the electoral fraud! Unity for a Sovereign Constituent Assembly of the
People in Defense of National Sovereignty and for a break with North-American
On Sunday, October 15, 2006 the first round of the Presidential elections took
place, in a context marked by a brutal propaganda drive by the bourgeoisie and a
premeditated and systematic fraud
In the second round of the elections, which will take place next November 26,
two candidates will face off:
Alvaro Noboa Pontón, owner of more than 120 companies, unconditional defender of
capitalist globalization, of the free market, of the signing of the Free Trade
Agreement with the U.S., and the maintaining of the North-American military base
in Manta, is one candidate. He aims to implement the full privatization plans,
the sell-off of the whole national patrimony.
The candidate of the Alliance for a New Country, Rafael Correa Delgado, raises
the banner of the sovereignty of the nation and the signing of the Free Trade
Agreement with the U.S., for the end of the military base of the U.S., against
labor precarity and for the convocation of a Constituent Assembly of the People.
In the face of the evidence of fraud, powerful demonstrations took place,
particularly in Quito. The Movement for the Construction of a Workers Party in
Ecuador is organizing a Conference of Committees in Struggle and Unity for a
Constituent Assembly, on November 15, 2006 around the "Manifesto for a Sovereign
Constituent Assembly of the People, All Out Against Alvaro Noboa!" which we are
On October 15, 2005, the elections took place in Ecuador, in a society where
the system of the private ownership of the means of production reigns, a society
marked by the struggle between the exploited and the exploiters. This is what is
at the heart of the discussion in these elections around class interests and the
convocation of a Constituent Assembly.
The second round of the elections, which will take place on November 26, will
express even more clearly the struggle for or against a Constituent Assembly and
will concentrate the mobilization of the working people of Ecuador against the
bourgeoisie and imperialism.
The candidacy of Alvaro Noboa represents the interests of the bourgeoisie and
imperialism. Alvaro Noboa and the leaderships of the Social Christian Party and
the Democratic Left have come out against a Constituent Assembly! Why?
Because they want things to remain the same in our country. They want the
corrupt institutions, such as the National Congress, the Supreme Court, the
Electoral Tribune, etc. to continue to work in the interests of exploitation and
oppression, in the service of privatizations, the TLC, and the payment of the
On October 15, the decomposition of the institutions in the service of the
bourgeoisie was demonstrated, through the electoral fraud organized by
institutions in the service of imperialism, particularly the OAS.
The resistance of the workers and peoples of Latin America expresses itself in
the struggles of the peoples of Bolivia in defense of the nationalization of the
hydrocarbons, in Venezuela in defense of national sovereignty, in Mexico against
electoral fraud, and in Brazil, where the workers demand that Lula break with
Despite the division of the presidential candidates who called for a Constituent
Assembly, despite the electoral fraud, the majority of the nation said:
Sovereign Constituent Assembly now!
The majority vote in favor of Rafael Correa reflects this popular aspiration, as
well as the nul and blank votes, as well as the votes for Luis Macas, Marcelo
Larrea, Luis Villacís. Unfortunately, the proposal of the Movement for the
Construction of the Workers Party for UNITY in defense of national sovereignty
against imperialism was not heeded because electoral and partisan interests were
privileged. This position of division, of course, helps the oligarchy.
Things cannot continue like this. There is nothing more urgent than creating the
unity of the working people and its organizations! It is necessary to fight the
candidate of the oligarchy. Not one vote for Alvaro Noboa!
But voting is not enough; it is necessary to organize the united struggle for a
The Coordinating Committee of the National Movement for the Construction of a
Workers Party, constituted on October 7, decided to propose to the political and
trade union organizations that they urgently unite and that they convoke an
Assembly or Parliament of the People for a Constituent Assembly.
We categorically affirm that it is not enough to vote for Rafael Correa, it is
necessary to fight to make the Constituent Assembly and the popular demands
become a reality.
With the perspective for a United Assembly for a Constituent Assembly, we call
for the creation of the united struggle committees for a Constituent Assembly!
We propose a big conference of united struggle committees for a Constituent
Assembly on November 15 to tell Rafael Correa what the popular mandate is, that
is, our platform of struggle. We had the popular will ignored after the fall of
Bucaram, so we must remain vigilant to tell Correa that we are ready to fight
-- A Sovereign Constituent of the People will full powers
-- The non-payment of the foreign debt. No to the TLC! No treaties with
imperialism! Break with the policies imposed by the international financial
-- The end of the U.S. military base in the city of Manta
-- The nationalization of the hydrocarbons and all the strategic sectors of the
-- The creation of a national production base with capital and technology at the
service of the majority
-- The end of illiteracy and public and free education
-- No to the concession/privatization of the drinkable water distribution
-- No to the division of the country into regions, which threatens national
sovereignty. No to autonomies which will break up the unity of the nation.
-- A rise in the education and health care budgets
-- Jobs with workers' rights and a decent wage. End precarity and flexibility.
No to the reforms of the labor code.
-- The defense of the pensions, health care, and child care systems
-- A real agrarian reform. For the end of the privatizations and the end of the
structural counter-reforms and privatizations of the economy, such as with
electricity, telecommunications, oil, and others. Nationalization of EMELC!
-- The Renationalization of the banking system, which are currently an
instrument to pillage our country.
-- A policy in defense of our immigrants to other countries, against their
exploitation and humiliation. International unity of the workers and oppressed
peoples of the world! International solidarity against imperialism! For the
recognition of the government of Manuel Lopez Obrador, the legitimate government
of the Mexican people! Solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Bolivia,
Venezuela, and Cuba!
To implement all these demands, a Sovereign Constituent Assembly is necessary.
Its content must these demands listed above, if we want to refound the country.
In conclusion, it is more than clear that the people, the workers, and the
unemployed are looking for a new political representation. The only guarantee of
this is the independent political organization of the workers. We propose to the
labor and political activists who agree with this proposal to unite with us to
build our political instrument, that is, a Workers Party.
For a government that breaks with imperialism! For a Constituent Assembly that
decrees the immediate end of the payment of the debt and an end to the plans of
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Association of Caribbean Workers and Peoples ATPC
Pointe à Pitre (Guadeloupe), October 27th 2006
Together we took part in the 2nd Caribbean Conference on December 15th and 16th
2005 in Guadeloupe FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF TRADE UNIONS AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF
NATIONS. After debates and analysis, we adopted resolutions in this way, which
notably encourage the reinforcement of links and exchanges and especially
solidarity between Caribbean Workers and People.
Since that conference there has not been much contact between us but we know the
workers and people from our different countries never stopped struggling with
their trade unions for their demands, against anti-trade-union repression,
against oppression, against the violence and the cruelty generated by
imperialism and the capitalist system. We also know that the governments, in the
pay of the multinationals and employers, with their police and army, with their
justice under their orders, do not stop attacking the workers' conquests and the
sovereignty of the people.
That is what happens in Mexico where they assassinated trade unionist teachers
on strike several times. Responding to the initiative of the International
Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples, we are leading a solidarity campaign
with the workers and the people of this country.
That is what happens in Haiti where violence strikes trade unions and their
families, and the popular masses. At the request of the comrades of the CGT and
the OGIT from Haiti we started a solidarity and financial support campaign.
That is also what happens today in Guadeloupe where, with the call of the trade
unions, a general strike is beginning on November 7th 2006.
WE ARE MAKING A URGENT CALL FOR SOLIDARITY WITH THE WHOLE OF THESE WORKERS AND
Send motions of protests to:
- For Mexico to:
Vicente Fox Quesada, President of the Mexican United States:
Carlos Abascal, Secretario de gobernación:
- For Guadeloupe to:
Mr le Préfet de Guadeloupe:
Tel: 590 99 39 00 Fax: 590 81 58 32
Mr le Président du Conseil Général: email@example.com
Tel: 590 99 77 77 Fax: 590 99 76 00
Le Conseil Régional: Fax: 590 81 34 19
Send solidarity messages to:
- For Mexico to:
Copy to Fernando Mendoza Perez
Member of the authority of national coordination of the section 22 of the
- For Haiti to:
Patrick NUMAS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gérard PIERRE: email@example.com
- For Guadeloupe to:
For the ATPC
ITALY: Polish slaves at work camps in Apulia (Province of Foggia)
During the summer of 2006, a forced labor ring was dismantled in southern
Italy. The Poles were held prisoners in labor camps of the region of Foggia
(Apulia), harvesting tomatoes, artichokesup to14 to 16 hours a day in the
scorching heat. They were supervised by kapos
and confined to slavery.
Any attempt at an escape was punished by the use of corporal punishment.
The investigation revealed a ring of clandestine labor that had been in
operation for at least two years between southern Poland and the Foggia region.
It is the deterioration of living conditions in Poland, unemployment and misery
that are the direct consequences of privatizations, the dismantling of public
services and the dislocation of the country put into action under the aegis of
the European Union that has driven the youth and workers in search of a better
future. But this is the reality they found.
With some variations, the story of these 113 Polish agricultural workers is the
same: "A small ad in a newspaper or on the Internet, the promise of
employment properly paid (5 to 6 euros, food and lodging), a loan from the bank
or the family to pay for the trip on a minibus, driving for hours through the
Italian countryside, waiting for night and the arrival in hell." (Le Monde,
September 22, 2006)
Over-exploited daily, the Polish workers had to pay to survive: pay to
sleep, to eat and even transportation. If they were unfortunate enough to fall
sick, they had to pay a 20 euros fine for each day lost from work.
Marek said: "I have lost all hope of being paid on the day six of them started
to beat up a strong guy who demanded his pay." According to Italian and Polish
authorities, at least four workers were killed, not counting the suicides and
those who died from exhaustion. A list compiled by the Polish authorities
counted 69 workers who had been in the Apulia camps and who have been reported
missing by their families. According to the Polish agency PAP, over 1,000 Poles
fell in this trap.
How have we arrived at this extreme in a country like Italy? There are three
elements that can explain it. Italian agriculture operates with illegally hired
workers. This accounted in 2005, for 33% of agricultural workers in Italy, that
is to say one out of every four throughout the south in all categories taken
Italian seasonal workers are replaced by clandestine ones who, in the context of
a veritable hysteria against migrant workers, have no rights, no papers, far
from their families and in fear of being deported, are totally at the mercy of
The well-developed Mafia, has strong links to local political powers and
encourages them to overlook their activities. In the framework of the European
Union, one of whose major objectives is to "lower the cost of labor", Italy
adopted the Biagi law in 2003, voted at the same time as the 'social cohesion'
plan of Borloo in France. These laws have permitted the casualization of labor
contracts and caused the labor code to be virtually ignored.
At the same time, after March 9, 2006 Prodi lowered the budget for labor
Other European countries are not exempt from these situations: the deterioration
of labor conditions for immigrants concerns all of Europe. In France, in certain
building sites in Saint Nazaire, where the state guaranteed supervision of
construction, over-exploited immigrant workers were used in spite of the Labor
code and collective bargaining. Throughout Europe, by attacking the rights of
migrant workers, by organizing the systematic exile of workers reduced to
repugnant exploitation, an unprecedented series of blows threatens the labor
class and its rights.
A brutal increase in rentals and privatization of public services The European Union causes all prices to soar
A correspondent from the Czech Republic informs us that she has gathered
information on the disastrous results of the policy of the European Union.
On October 12, 2006, we were informed that increase in rentals would begin.
Newspapers published a table showing the increases planned as of January 2007.
For 'regulated' 60m2 apartments in Brno the increase went from 1, 645 to 2,154
Czech crown; in Olomoue from 1,539 to 1,876; in Prague-1 (the center of Prague)
the increase went from 2, 224 to 2,899 crowns and in Hradec Kralove from 1,221
Newspapers also stated, "Thousands of renters have already received notices
advising of the deregulation of their apartments as of January 1, 2007rents
will increase from around 19.2% and by the year 2010 would rise to 5% of the
value of the apartment."
On October 19, another article indicated that as of "January, the price of
apartments and houses will increase 6%. This will continue."
The same newspapers reported: "Brussels wants to remove the monopoly of the
The European Commission has presented its plan, "to
totally suppress the monopoly of the postal services in all European countries
by January 2009. In less than two years, it will be possible to receive mail
through the postal service and private firms. The Czech postal services if
already confronted by competition by private companies handling parcel post."
Another article on October 12: "Water will increase 100% thanks to the
European Union. Czechs will have to pay more for water. The Czech Republic has
undertaken to construct water purification plants in every town from 2,000 to
10,000 inhabitants by 2010. Brussels does not plan to finance these projects and
therefore it is the citizens who may have to pay."
For the time being, each citizen pays around 47 crowns for a cubic meter of
water, but thanks to the Brussels decisions, "he might end up paying up to 250
In other words, thanks to Europe, the price of water will be multiplied by five.
ANGOLA: Interview with Alberto Neto, President of the Democratic Party of Angola
What is the result of 30 years of independence in your country?
From 1975 through 1991, Angola was under the direct domination of the
Popular Movement of Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a party that resulted from the
fight for national liberation which was transformed in 1986-87 into a labor
party. During this time, the party's orientation was Stalinist version of
socialism. And the people of Angola made many gains including public education,
free health care
The social conquests did not last. After the agreement between the MPLA and the
UNITA-the Lisbon-Bicesse agreements under the guidance of the UN and especially
the U.S.-Angola was opened to multi-parties and the possibility of ending a war
that had caused two and a half million deaths, more than in the fight for
In 1975 the Alvor agreement was signed by the MFA (Portuguese), MPLA, UNITA, and
the FNLA for the creation of new political structures: the election of
sovereignty organs, the presidency of the republic and the constituent assembly.
But it wasn't possible.
The MPLA took over via a 'revolutionary' power without the recourse of an
election. Having crushed other patriotic movements and refused to call for
elections, the MPLA created the Council of the Republic, a government that did
not represent the will of the people. This single Stalinist party was the reason
for the continuation of the war that ended with the Lisbon agreement in 1991.
From an economic point of view, since 1992 Angola was one of the new colonies
that produced and exported oil and diamonds. Angola produces a million and a
half barrels per day, with highly advanced technology. It was inconceivable that
a war could continue under the conditions. However the war continued until April
The mafia in Angola decided to end the conflict and postpone the political
division. This resulted in a coalition government presided by the MPLA with
components of the UNITA and other parties that continue to lead the country.
Angola is now subject to structures founded on the privatization of the national
economy. Since 1992, the opening to international capital was done with the help
of the IMF and the World Bank and the Paris Club. Angola contracted civil debts
was well as military debts since it had to pay a heavy tribute for the purchase
The mafias who control the country plan to hold it: Angola needs to be a country
at peace so that the great powers and the multinationals can pillage their oil,
their diamonds, uranium, gold and other minerals they need.
What is the situation of the workers in Angola?
We are witnessing the dismantling of Angolan agriculture. Angola used to be
the third producer of coffee on the continent. Thanks to the capitalist economy,
Angola now imports coffee for its own consumption. Angola now imports sugar
which it used to produce and export was well as rice. The dismantling of the
large farms was created in 1975 by the expropriation of land.
At present large extents of land are given to the members of the nomenclature
who often simply hold title to the property.
The war left mines everywhere and that is why a good portion of the population
has taken refuge in the principal towns in Angola. There are five million
inhabitants in Luanda where there were only 250,000 inhabitants in the colonial
era. There are eight large towns in the country. Peasants have sought refuge in
these towns to be safe from factional fights and the insecurity caused by the
existence of anti-personnel mines.
The economic dismantling of Angola is not obvious where oil and diamonds are
concerned, but there are mafias that have organized to obtain the greatest
benefit. The productivity of industry is 15% lower than that of 1973.
Unemployment stands at 23.4% of a population of six million inhabitants. The
informal economy allows people to survive but that is a powder keg that will
some day explode.
Is there an active trade union movement?
Even before the national liberation movement, in 1975 the trade union
movement was the National Union of Angolan Workers (UNTA) if we speak of the
MPLA. It was a trade union movement that acted in common accord with the
liberation movement. It was a trade union linked to the state.
After 1992, UNTA became an inoperative trade union, which was not interested in
defending the workers' interests. In 1993-94 another trade union was born with
the objective of defending primary, secondary and higher education teachers.
This trade union fought for punctual demands but was unable to extend itself
throughout the country, having little resources and was unable to develop into a
coherent and permanent trade union.
Today, faced with privatization and the sub-contracting of oil, another trade
union was constituted for the defense of oil workers. There is a considerable
difference between the wages paid the expatriate workers who work 28 days on and
28 days off in the Angolans who do not have this right.
The teachers' trade union has organized several strikes in the country's only
university named Agustinho Neto. This allowed an increase in wages but no
improvement in living conditions.
Angola suffers from a weak purchasing power. The government has no way to combat
the increase in unemployment or the misery in the country.
The PDA is preparing its congress. What is at stake for this congress?
The preparation for this congress is for Angola society to pressure this
government to accept a process that would allow the country's economy to be
under the control of Angolans, since Angola has a foreign debt of 12 million
dollars. At present, Angola is no longer in control of its resources and is at
the mercy of foreign interests in fixing the prices of its primary products.
This situation exists not only in Angola but in all other countries where the
neo-colonial government is not the master of the disposition of its resources.
That is why we say that Angola must have a government that can defend its
primary products and ensure the freedom of its people, a real democracy and an
Angolan economy designed to defend national sovereignty.
Today this sovereignty is fictitious. The PDA is conscious of the role that
Angola can play within the southern African countries: the defense of the rights
of man, and national sovereignty. We know there are foreign military bases in
southern African countries whose purpose is to assist foreign powers in
controlling the economy of these states.
The PDA estimates that in the area of culture and education, they would have to
go back to the gains obtained during 1975-free health care, free education.
There are two and a half million children that are outside the school system. It
is necessary to develop a construction industry designed to satisfy the need for
housing and get rid of the hovels existing around the principal towns in the
As for infrastructures, we need kindergartens, schools, social equipment. We
need an integrated development plan designed to develop the country taking into
account the need to improve the living conditions of the Angolan population and
the workers in particular.
What do you expect from collaboration with the ILC?
In Angola there are workers that are conscious of their struggle, of their
rights, right to health care, right to professional education, right to an
equitable wage, right to housing, right to leisurebut these are not possible if
there isn't a government to defend them. State property is indispensable to
create the proper conditions for development. What we are seeing in Angola, is
the dismantling of state powers: privatization of the principal companies,
privatization of insurance, airlines, maritime companies and other important
sectors. It is a world order to which we are totally opposed because it does not
improve the lot of workers.
MEXICO: Comuniqué of the ILC, October 29, 2006
The contradictory news coming to us from Oaxaca (Mexico) is a cause for
worry for all defenders of democracy and workers' organization of the world. It
seems that force has been used against the teachers and working people in
Let us recall that, with their organizations, particularly Section 22 of the
SNTE and the Popular Assembly, the teachers and the people have called for the
past months for equal wages for teachers, shoes and uniforms for the students,
and the ouster of the corrupt governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who they accuse of
being the true culprit of various killings of workers' activists.
Heavily armed groups, during the night of Friday and Saturday, brutally came in
to break up the occupation of the city by the strikers and the people, resulting
in four deaths and many wounded. Among the dead are a teacher, Emilio Alonso
Fabian, an activist, Esteban Ruiz, and an Indymedia journalist, Bradley Roland
Will, from New York. At the same time, the police (granaderos) have attacked a
picket line in front of the Senate in Mexico City.
While contradictory information is being sent out, according to various
newspapers, President Fox gave the order for the army to intervene to end the
strike and kick out the protestors; according to these newspapers, the order
came after the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, publicly called on the
Mexican government to "reestablish order in Oaxaca."
If this information is true, there is much cause to fear a bloodbath against an
The ILC recalls that, from the beginning of the movement, it has given its full
support to the legitimate demands of the workers and people of Oaxaca and has
called for a peaceful solution to the conflict, which today requires meeting the
The ILC urgently calls on all its correspondents, all activists, and all
workers', democratic, and popular organizations, to go to the representatives of
the Mexican government -- embassies and consulates -- to demand the end of all
armed interventions and the end of police violence against a people demanding
Coordinator of the ILC
Send your messages to:
Vicente Fox Quesada, President:
Carlos Abascal, Secretario de gobernación:
Send a copy to Fernando Mendoza Perez, coordinating member of the National
Leadership of Section 22 of SNTE-CNTE:
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