Be Alert Our America!

By José (Papo) Coss on January 12, 2022

MST school in Brazil, photo: Bill Hackwell

In the last decades, progressive social and political movements have successfully made inroads in the electoral activity of our continent, with its ups and downs. However, we cannot let our guard down, given our impressive advances of the last four years.

This hopeful political counteroffensive has been achieved through the creation of broad fronts or coalitions, which have had the massive support of the peoples impoverished by the neoliberal wave.

This unity in action has been concretized through electoral programs that prioritize social justice, national sovereignty and democratic socialism as the best alternative for the peoples.

We can locate the origin of this contemporary historical tendency, as a result of the foundation of the “Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brazil” (MST), in 1984.

This powerful Marxist-oriented peasant organization supported the legendary labor leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of the Workers’ Party (PT), helping him to win the 2002 and 2006 elections.

With Lula as president of Brazil, the extraordinary “Zero Hunger” social project was carried out, lifting more than 20 million people out of extreme poverty. During this period, social inequality was combated as never before in Brazil’s history. An unprecedented event on an international scale.

For its part, the MST has been the most numerous social movement of our times, grouping together one and a half million peasants. Its organizational bases extend throughout practically the entire vast national territory of the South American giant.

In the particular case of Brazil, let us remember that the soft coup d’état against President Dilma Rousseff in 2016, was executed through a false accusation of violating a “tax regulation”. Thus the right-wing controlled Congress, managed to stop the revolutionary process from 2002 to 2016.

The subsequent illegal imprisonment of Lula two years later, ended up stopping the progressive political change in the country with the largest territorial extension and the largest population in the Americas and the sixth largest in the world.

This political setback was planned through the intelligence operation known as “lawfare”, adopted by the Latin American right wing, advised by the CIA.

It involves inventing criminal cases against progressive leaders, using corrupt judges such as Sergio Moro in Brazil. Its objective is to “legally” impede the electoral victories of the peoples in struggle.

In reality, from a historical perspective, this Machiavellian model of “lawfare” was first tested in the military coup d’état against the agricultural businessman and president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, in 2009. This was also orchestrated by the Congress and the judicial system, dominated by the neoliberal wing in collusion with the empire.

Later, they rehearsed it as we have already established in Brazil and they executed it again in a more grotesque and violent way in Bolivia, against the indigenous continental leader Evo Morales, in 2019. The crude support of the OAS and its unnamed lackey at the service of the US, played a shameful role in that military coup d’état, which unmasked and discredited them internationally.

However, such attempts of “lawfare” failed in the cases of the charismatic lawyer Cristina Fernández in Argentina (Unidad Ciudadana) and partially with the intellectual and economist Rafael Correa (Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana), in Ecuador.

Both were part of the left leaning  group of presidents who founded ALBA in 2004 and Celac in 2010, under the able leadership of Hugo Chávez Frías and Fidel Castro Ruz.

Recently, lawfare and political obstruction operations have been unsuccessfully promoted in the politically divided Congresses of Peru and Bolivia. However, the hardened peasant and teacher president Pedro Castillo and the respected economist president Luis Arce, together with the social and political movements, have been able to stop the onslaught for now.

As we can see, once the peoples acquire class consciousness and awareness of their rights, they do not give it up. Next May, everything indicates that the former guerrilla fighter and university professor of economics Gustavo Petro, backed by the powerful coalition “Pacto Histórico”, will win his presidential race in Colombia by a wide margin.

The same will happen with Lula in Brazil in September, being these two countries strategic bastions of Our America. In the case of Lula, it has been the Supreme Court of Justice itself, which has revoked the fabricated accusations and convictions, endorsed by lower courts.

Let’s not forget that Lula served 19 months in jail, opening the way for the dictatorial pigeon Jair Bolsonaro. At the time, just before the 2018 elections, Lula had 80 percent approval in the polls.

However, by September of this year, most Latin American and Caribbean nations will be governed by coalitions of hope.

Let us recognize that the last four years have seen electoral triumphs in key countries in our hemisphere: Mexico (Andrés López Obrador and MORENA), Argentina (Alberto Fernández and the Frente de Todos), Peru (Pedro Castillo for Peru Libre), Bolivia (Luis Arce of the Movimiento al Socialismo), Honduras (Xiomara Castro, Zelaya’s wife, of the Partido Libre) and Chile (Gabriel Boric for Apruebo Dignidad).

Also in this year 2022, the banners of dignity will be raised in Our America, as a recognition to the historical pillars of the anti-imperialist struggle: the heroic Cuba, inspired by the Jose Marti and the Father of the Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz; the resistant Bolivarian Venezuela of the Eternal Commander Hugo Chavez Frias and the indomitable Nicaragua of Augusto Cesar Sandino.

However, we cannot lower our guard. Let us keep in mind that this hopeful political panorama, at the same time, makes the ultra-right-wing fascist sectors of the region and their masters in the North desperate. We must be ready to defend our gains at all levels, including the massive response in the streets and use all the methods of struggle at our disposal.

One of the issues that must be effectively planned is the strengthening of self-defense organizations by the political and social fronts. This is so, because the murderous alternative of military intervention and coup d’état is already being seriously considered by those most reactionary sectors.

It is enough to observe the public forums of the right wing in Chile to understand their revanchist attitude. These spokesmen are comparing the victory of former student leader Gabriel Boric, with that of Salvador Allende and expressing the “inevitability” of a military coup d’état in the style of Pinochet.

Because of their painful defeat, they are hysterical about the ample triumph of the progressive forces, headed by the Chilean youth.

It is therefore necessary to raise our guard and denounce internationally this unhinged option, before it takes flight. At the same time, it is necessary to mobilize the working masses as Pedro Castillo in Peru and Luis Arce in Bolivia are doing, to defend the political, economic and social conquests achieved.

We cannot be careless, thinking that these ultra-right sectors will remain with their hands folded. Having defeated the “lawfare” operation on a continental scale, that neoliberal and fascist mob is now considering its last resort, which is the military coup d’état.

Be Alert Our America!

Source: telesur, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English