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Friday, March 16, 2012

The war on Imperialism needs to be fought at home AND abroad

In 1979 The Sandinistas pushed out the Somoza dynasty, last run by Anastasio Somoza from power and instituted a democratic form of Marxism in Nicaragua. They were much like the “Western Marxist” that many people here in the US wanted to see happen somewhere.
The Sandinistas and their government was Marxist. There were supporters of Castro, such as Tomás Borge and there were some who were influenced by the late President of Chile Salvador Allende, who was elected to power and never abused that power.
The Sandinistas allowed opposition parties; had two independent newspapers and one pro-government; allowed freedom of religion and even had Catholic Priests and Nuns in the party; and they had done away with capital punishment.
This was a great revolution for both Marxists and Democratic Socialists in the US because the government had taken some of both elements. The original Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) had some elements of this party, such as keeping the opposition parties legal.
There was also the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) Guerrillas of El Salvador and a coalition of four Guerrilla movements in Guatemala. The revolutionaries in Guatemala almost capture have the country at one time, but they were beaten back.  
Between 1980 and 1984, The Ronald Reagan Regime tried everything it could to economically strangle Nicaragua and had the CIA finance counter revolutionary guerrillas that he called “freedom fighters.” Reagan was an anti-communist crusader and he new the worst thing to have in the hemisphere was a liberal Marxist government that respected human rights. He focused on Nicaragua and tried to portray them as a “Pol Pot” like government were people were being shot on sight and people feared for their lives.

I joined Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) to support the FMLN. I supported every group that supported Nicaragua. Nicaragua was the country that could dispel the myth that socialism and democracy were incompatible. Never the less, our government and our press nit-picked at every thing the Sandinistas did wrong.
Since they were cut off from the US where they got most of their trade, they turned to the Soviet Union. Now Reagan could claim the “Soviets had a foothold in the US.”
While this was going on, we were often asked “What about poor people here.” We had many answers. Other groups worked with poor Americans and we supported their efforts. Some in our groups admitted they hoped the Central American actions would lead to a wider movement to include US workers. The Sandinistas had popularity and their party won two elections by a landslide. By the end of the 1980s, and possibly due to cheating on part of Reagan and the CIA, the Sandinistas lost to a coalition of rightist parties.
I had travelled to that country after the end of the Sandinistas left office. Some new coalition members were trying to erase any symbol of the past revolution, including whiting out murals by a revolutionary artist who had died.
In 1992 the Soviet Union fell. This left a hole where the third world Marxist could get help. There had been revolutions in Mozambique and Angola in Africa. All these governments had right-wing guerrillas trying to mussel them out. So with out the Soviet Union to aid them, out of desperation most of these ruling parties, including the Sandinistas, made an alliance with the Social Democratic Parties of Europe.
The FMLN and the Guatemalan Guerrillas made peace with the governments in their countries and had to give up on a real revolution.
After being in both countries, one thing was obvious. These countries were highly under-developed. It was more so in Nicaragua. The government there couldn’t even afford to rebuild the capital city, Managua, that had been demolished by an earthquake. 
Today there are several Maoist “people’s war,” in several countries, from India to Bhutan. India may hold its own, much as China did, if an armed revolution succeeds. Maybe the Philippines, with its New People’s Army can build an independent economy. 
Some countries such as Bhutan, are small and will probably need the aid of others for help. Or they may get lucky and the US simply doesn’t put much interest in such a place.
We see a split in the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) between those who are looking more like the Sandinistas and those who want to go for the whole revolution. Most outsiders have condemned Chairman Prachanda and his ideas of compromising with the other parties and the countries around him. But he isn’t a traitor. He may be wrong, but he may just be looking at the practical angles of this time. 
The struggle between these two factions is also against enemies with imperialist inside and outside of Nepal who will do anything to see the revolution fail.
In a recent statement from their site UCPNM;

“Present Situation and Historical Task of the Proletariat

Dear Comrades,

Today, our great and glorious party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has arrived at a serious and extraordinary juncture of possibilities and challenges.”

For the rest click here. 
That brings us to what we should do. So far I’ve supported these revolutions and the International Committee in Support of People's War in India. This group is not very big in the US, but many of us realize the situation and what needs to be done. I’ve supported such solidarity groups before and will continue to do so.
But we also have to attack imperialism at its core. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya and Colombia have shown us the might of the US military machine. The only way seriously stop it is to stop it here in the US. We need to use the Occupy Movement to demand an end to the imperialist war machine in the US. No change is acceptable without that. We want a socialist revolution. We can’t have that and allow our capitalist to wander around the Middle-east and parts of Asia willingly doing what ever they want with our military. The system needs to come down and imperialism is one of the most important issues both at home and abroad.
Greece and Italy may go into revolution before the US. If they do then the NATO countries will start to fall like dominoes. We’ll know we are on the right path.
We are on the right path anyway. -សតិវ អតុ

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