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Engraving of Lenin busy studying

Economic and Philosophic Science Review

Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism is to be tested. V. I. Lenin

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No 1340 29th October 2008

Indiscriminate civilian blitz raid into Syria shows exactly how the collapsing US empire aims to deal with its desperate financial implosion – with more of the fascist warmongering already deliberately set going in Serbia, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan – exactly because the ruling class knew what was coming. McCain or Obama makes no difference, capitalist crisis is driving the chaos into eventual World War. Only ending this degeneracy by revolution will stop it. Leninist scientific leadership needs to be built now

Every day that passes confirms yet further the catastrophic nature of the capitalist system spiralling out of control – and still the entire spectrum of the fake-”lefts” cannot bring themselves to give a proper lead about the need for a revolutionary overturning of this degenerate imperialist system and the establishment of firm proletarian dictatorship to put and end to its shameful and world-destroying incompetence.

For decades these charlatans and opportunists have postured and preened around in front of the working class claiming to be “revolutionaries” but with nary a word of warning or even analysis about the apocalyptic collapse and chaos that is inevitable in imperialism, and of the class war to the end that the unfolding crisis it has already triggered for the last decade throughout the Third World, and which will spread rapidly in even the richest countries as their economies disintegrate.

Instead they have mocked and derided the tiny minority of Leninists as “deluded catastrophists” or the revolutionary perspective as “dangerously provocative” or “premature”, failing totally to see the huge rising tide of anti-imperialism across the planet, and its urgent need for clarity and Marxist scientific understanding.

Even now, as the proof of Marxist, and subsequent Leninist, understanding of the total failure of the profit making system stares the world in the face, few of them can yet even bring themselves to use words like “Depression” and “Slump”, tamely echoing instead the bowdlerised notions of “recession” and “hard times ahead” to be “resisted” or “defended against”.

It takes a high bourgeois, dizzy with potential defeat and disintegration, to blurt out the truth:

Charles Bean, deputy governor of the Bank of England, took the prize for the most apocalyptic vision yesterday. The economic slump is still in its early stages, he said, as a result of “possibly the largest financial crisis of its kind in human history”.

Even the arch-arrogance of Alan Greenspan, the most powerful finance capitalist on the planet throughout the 1990s’ artificial “boom”, has let through a glimpse of the pole-axed fears of the ruling class:

Greenspan admitted to a congressional committee yesterday that ... “the credit crunch had left him in a state of shocked disbelief. “I have found a flaw,” said Greenspan, referring to his economic philosophy. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is.”

Very permanent indeed is the answer the working class needs to give because only the very permanent complete ending of the bankrupt and historically outmoded capitalist system will stop the world descending into utter chaos and warmongering destruction, which will also be on the greatest scale “of its kind in human history”.

Capitalism knows no other “answer” than total war destruction to its “overproduction” crisis, the root underlying cause of three inter-imperialist wars since 1870, two of unprecedented World War horror, human degradation and destruction.

What needs stating loud and clear is the core Leninist understanding that this class exploitation system is historically defunct, unstoppable in its plunge to chaos except by revolutionary overturn by the world working class.

It has needed stating constantly throughout the long, desperate and permanently on-the-edge inflationary dollar boom of the post-Second World war period, in a crisis that already been unrolling for decades and which has been missing more than anything else the willingness to constantly argue for a revolutionary perspective.

But it was never heard from the Trots or the multiple shades of revisionism, arguing for “peaceful roads” and for endless tailending manoeuvres behind the ossified and opportunist Labour reformists and official bureaucratic Trade Unionism which props them up.

Even now as they rush to catch up by pumping out (a few) articles claiming to “explain” Marx’s Capital, in various academic or half-digested accounts, they cannot be definite.

Some try to drown the working class in defeatism, like the SWP (see inside) and others bog themselves down declaring that the world needs yet another decade of endless academic discussion about “setting up a framework for discussing possible options for the structure of the constitution etc for a new workers party”.

The petty bourgeois academicism of Workers Power is still busy issuing learned tracts “explaining” that Marxism is “not catastrophist”.

Galloway’s opportunist throwback to “Old Labourism” simply sneers that “we’ve heard it all before about the collapse of capitalism” – totally ignoring the evidence in front of it, in order to cling desperately to the lie of some former “left” reformism which, firstly, did not exist then – the “great left” Atlee government ran British imperialism on as brutal an anti-communist basis as any Tories – and certainly cannot exist now except in the corporate state “nationalisation” rescue of fat cats banks and dealers. Even those groups ostensibly directly explaining the crisis and suggesting the end of capitalism is signalled, like the CPGB-ML (the re-branded version of Lalkar, designed to avoid awkward questions (and honest answers) about the eight years creeping around behind the anti-communist Trade Union demagogue Scargill by pretending to be something else) – still wrap everything they say in caveats and qualifications. “It seems probable that the working class in even the richest countries could be facing Third World conditions” says its Proletarian paper.


Despite being hit round the face with the Wall Street panic, these Museum-Stalinists and their craven betrayal of the Soviet Union workers state (standing virtually alongside the sour petty bourgeois Trots in their slander against the USSR’s later history) cannot be certain about the enormous collapse of capitalism which has been unfolding off and on for decades since the Second World War and most of all in the last decades with the overt turn to generalised warmongering by US imperialism.

There is nothing ‘probable’ about it. The crisis has been glaringly clear long before its disastrous financial expression finally imploded.

Capitalism is already well advanced into the most degenerate collapse and war turmoil in all of history, and with the fascistisation of society rapidly intensifying through surveillance and unprecedented police state measures.

Exactly how this new phase of crisis further unfolds and the precise timing is impossible to predict exactly to the minute. Even the genius Karl Marx, analysing a much more limited and still-to-develop capitalism of the nineteenth century was hard pressed to set out that kind of a timetable.

But that is not the point. That it would implode, and imminently in the historical perspective, was basic ABC Leninism.

The point is to see the totality of world events and class struggle, and the underlying nature of all development as a revolutionary process, the molecular building of change and movement of all matter in contradiction and conflict which slowly intensify until they must be suddenly and totally transformed.

Without such a Marxist understanding (which the EPSR fully concedes needs urgently much greater depth of study and development through open polemical party struggle – the core of building a revolutionary party and leadership) the best that can be made of the eruption of civilian blitzkrieging and murderous torturing by US imperialism since the bullying attacks on Belgrade in 1998 and the Goebbels-Lie justified blitzkriegs still ongoing on Iraq and Afghanistan, is the shallow notion that they are all part of “a war for oil”.

The best that can be said of the resistance and insurgency in those countries, or Pakistan, or Palestine is separated, episodic accounts of national liberation struggles to be “supported” (wrongly) in solidarity rather than seeing the defeats of imperialism in the totality as the key understanding.

Marxism is for the defeat of imperialism however it happens but not fostering illusions in backward religion or demagogic macho “left” nationalist leaderships in South America.

But a perspective taking in the entire sweep of historical development and across the whole planet as one interconnected human development can see all this ferment as the political and military expression of the same underlying crisis erupting on Wall Street.

Is the latest deliberate US Nazi-style blitzing of civilians on the border with Syria, or were recent cross-border incursions into Pakistan, just some skirmishing to do with “securing strategic oil” or are they deliberate bullying and provocation, (in the style of endlessly recurring Nazi Zionist cross-border illegal raids), to keep an international warmongering atmosphere on the boil?

Clearly the latter. And not simply because the neo-con Republican agenda is trying to whip up a last ditch Empire aggressive ferment before the presidential election (though it is) but because the crisis of the monopoly capitalist system is driving all of it that way.

There is plenty more to come before Bush leaves.

But afterwards too: It is a delusion of the first order (one most of the fake-“left”s foster) to imagine that the US election will make any difference whatsoever.

McCain or Barack Obama the US Empire and all of monopoly capitalism has no choice but to plunge down a path of total war.

To quote the EPSR from 2003 (No 1190):

Imperialism is determined again to drag the Earth towards World War III to cover its tracks once more as the chaotic anarchy of capitalist profiteering yet again teeters on the brink of a collapse that will make the 1929 Crash look like a mild blip by comparison.

If this war strategy to combat crisis was not already obvious, and entirely predictable, then the evidence now pouring out that the Iraq blitzkrieg was fixed years ago by Washington’s deepest planners as the best place to feign a start for “the need to go to war”, - to be followed by the rest of the “axis of evil” countries, - now makes it crystal clear (see below).

Sept 11 has nothing to do with it. The farcical notion of a “war on terrorism” merely provided Washington with an excellent immediate propaganda cover for general militarised aggression all round the world that US imperialism had already decided upon (inevitably) as the obvious way for the Empire to continue its fabulously luxurious and advantageous world-domination, DESPITE the fact that the corporate monopoly capitalist basis on which it was built was about to come tumbling down in the most spectacular systemic global economic collapse in all of history.

Any fool knows that such an economic catastrophe for the world is going to plunge it totally into widespread REVOLUTIONARY turmoil such as would make 1917 and post-1945 look tame and unthreatening by comparison.

Obama is the US version of Blairism running capitalism – utterly vacuous and meaningless soundbite posturing about the “audacity of hope” and the “hope for audacity” – but taken strides further by the power and resources of the US Empire and with the PC “correctness” of having a “black face” in power (and PC support by a woman!!) to play the last-ditch reformist cards of anti-race and anti-sexism.

Both are totally fraudulent lies while capitalism continues to exist because the antagonisms and competition of the system will endlessly regenerate such splits and inequality. Small wonder the fake-“left” has done so much to foster these illusions, deliberately and cynically diverting workers away into “political correctness”, not only hoodwinking them with reformist nonsense but deliberately fostering hostility to arguments for revolution, the only possible real solution for all inequalities.

The working class needs just the opposite – clear warning that an Obama presidency changes nothing other than the most superficial cosmetic forms of the capitalist system.

His grovelling visits to the Nazi Zionists and stated willingness to blitz Iran “if necessary” – plus total collusion with the fat-cat crisis bailout of the banks – makes it very clear already that he is four-square part of the capitalist order, and as ready as Blairism to wind up the fascist warmongering reality of the bourgeois dictatorship.

The forces driving such “solutions” are escalating into desperation. Whichever president is “elected” (once again by a minority of the population) he is sitting on a powder keg.

American imperialism, setback by rolling defeat and failure in the Middle East and Afghanistan, spreading into Pakistan, and humiliated in Georgia by the Russian bonapartist Putin, has bankrupted its authority and prestige.

Now the American working class, one of the most streetwise in the world and exposed to the greatest inequalities, is going to find already difficult conditions becoming utterly intolerable:

What could possibly come along in the middle of this series of economic nightmares to make things even worse? How about a total depletion of local government finances that pay for the things that make up the very fabric of American society. Imagine that rippling across the rest of the world, reducing public services to skeleton operations.

California in need of about $7bn to meet short-term spending needs.

The money is raised in the bond market to pay the wages of police officers, teachers, judges, attorneys, the National Guard and every other civil servant you can think of. It is also used to pay for the general upkeep of the state - the roads, bridges, tunnels and the essential infrastructure.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is trying to raise a bond issue to help meet the payment, but it is proving very difficult. And time is running out. Schwarzenegger needs to raise the money before the end of this month or thousands of policemen, teachers and other civil servants will not be paid, prompting who knows what kind of industrial action and civil unrest.

...most state governments were already in a terrible state. But now things have worsened considerably and the credit markets have a real choke hold on almost all state treasuries. It is so bad that economic activity in most states has all but ground to a halt.’

States have become accustomed to borrowing their way out of troubles like these, but today state and local governments are having just as hard a time securing credit as the banks and financial firms .

In 1998 the 50 United States had just under $200bn of net tax-supported debt. By 2007, that figure had almost doubled to $398bn, according to the CSG, while tax revenues had fallen sharply.

Every day another state or city reports a fresh problem raising funds in the bond market. For the week ending 26 September 2008, some $6bn in new municipal debt issues were expected, yet only $100m came to the market.

...The financial problems of state governments stretch far beyond the bond market. New York State differs slightly from California and other states in that it cannot call upon the bond markets for short-term funding. Rather, the Empire State relies upon large cash reserves from once bulging tax coffers.

New York State has about $8bn of cash to meet its essential costs, but is in the midst of a budget crisis. Tax revenues for the next year are set to fall by about a third because of the troubles on Wall Street. is troubling to note that these dual problems facing governments across America - falling tax revenue and reduced access to debt - are universal. Brace yourselves for another great American export.

The world is being turned upside down and there has never been a better moment to expose the falsity and prosperity and progress of the “free market” and “democracy” as a bitter hollow joke.

The days of empty “celebrity and shopping” shallowness, philistinism and pointlessness are over; survival demands that workers everywhere start to get serious and fight to understand the world, with the best of them building a leadership for the working class to take over, and to create a rational socialist future for mankind.

Capitalism is finished as a system, say even many of the fake-“left”. But it is not finished until someone finishes it – which historically means the revolutionary working class led by a revolutionary party, battling for revolutionary theory and taking up honestly and clearly all the past mistakes, retreats and errors.

That is the part they don’t and won’t do.

But it is the very basis of Leninism.

The Leninist party and its understanding needs building. Don Hoskins

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Global bank crashes and stock market panic leave the capitalist class fearing extinction – because of a new Great Depression and the war and revolution that will stem from it – but the scared fake ‘left’ only desire to spread worse counter-revolutionary defeatism than ever


Far from having the Marxist-Leninist determination to urge the working class to get ready for revolution as its only answer to capitalist crisis, the fake ‘left’ Trots want to spread middle-class defeatism instead. The immediate reaction from the SWP, for example, stated:

Job losses, house repossessions, inflation, falling wages and welfare cutbacks are now staring millions of working people in the face. For many, the need to resist is obvious. But economic crises do not always produce resistance. Sometimes fear triumphs over anger and passivity over activity.

So the first reaction of the SWP is not to hail the triumph of Marxist-Leninist understanding about the crisis-ridden nature of capitalism, or to urge workers to drop their last illusions in Labour and parliamentary “democracy” but instead to tell the entire working class that their situation could be totally hopeless:

So what is the relationship between the economic crisis and the class struggle? This is the question that is now being asked throughout the labour movement.

Some guidance on this question is to be found in writings by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. In the 1920s and 1930s Trotsky made some valuable observations about the relationship between recession and resistance.

Trotsky started by rejecting the crude association of recession with rising class struggle.

Of course it may be the case that an economic downturn fuels resistance. But it is not always the case that if workers are hit with the big stick of recession they react by fighting back. Sometimes they are simply knocked politically unconscious. “There is,” wrote Trotsky, “no automatic dependence of the proletarian revolutionary movement upon a crisis.”

So just in case the workers reading the SWP’s rag don’t get the (miserable) point that the SWP are making, they repeat it, with the “authority” of the wretched charlatan Trotsky, who was so wrong about the Russian revolution that he only crept into the 14-year-old Bolshevik party a few weeks before October 1917. The anti-Marxist fraud Trotsky would have been instantly rebuffed by Lenin, who correctly always made systemic crisis a key part of his assessment of the development of any revolution. Trotsky is just showing what a buffoon he was.

Back to the cowardly anti-communist SWP:

Under certain conditions an economic upswing could even generate more struggle than a downturn. If workers get jobs and feel more confident of their bargaining position with employers, they may then struggle to recoup what they lost in a downturn.

This irrelevant speculative nonsense about a potential future upturn is the pure promotion of trade unionist class-collaborationism and to encourage any illusions out there that among more backward sections of workers that capitalism could well “recover”.

Far from wanting workers to rise up at capitalism’s pants-down exposure as a crisis-ridden system that will only offer worsening unemployment, more vicious exploitation, fascist scapegoating and an eventual turn to world war (the only Marxist analysis) – the SWP try to resuscitate the near-dead delusion that an upswing to “the good life” for all under capitalism is the best prospect. What a sick bunch of lying traitors to all working-class interests!

The crash is rightly killing off this insane delusion. The SWP’s bilge is all just a middle-class get-out from talking about the shattering reality of what is going on – an epoch-making exposure of the grotesque lunacy of the monopoly-capitalist economic system, the ruling class’s stinking lies about its “efficiency” and “economic superiority” to planned socialist economies.

It is patently clear that the SWP’s idea of working-class struggle is the impotent futility of class-collaborationist, reformist trade-union struggle; these Trot opportunists are totally hostile to urging the labour movement to become revolutionary in order to prevail against the bankers, the capitalist state and the useless liars of all the bourgeois parties in Parliament.

Instead, the SWP want to gull workers into viewing this earth-shaking crisis as a “recession” that may quickly pass; and that it might be better for workers to forget about fighting the capitalist bosses for the time being:

So the current recession comes after a prolonged period of slow economic growth. Indeed during the boom that immediately preceded this recession real wages in the US declined for four straight years in a row.

In Britain inflation has meant that real wages have been declining even before the recession took hold.

For many workers any sense of prosperity even in the boom years has been based on rising house prices and expanded credit. Now this is collapsing – and the full scale of the economic weakness of the system is being exposed.

Once again, the SWP’s very tame description of decades of the historic global class struggle from the Cold War times to the present day treats all workers as brain-dead dullards whose only thought is the tiny trade-unionist one of “wages”. Compare this with the blistering (but long-time) EPSR perspective set out in 2003:

“This economic crisis is unfathomably, unimaginably HUGE. To have kept an international communist triumph at bay for so long by printing unprecedented and uncountable volumes of fictitious capital via the “magic” of the bank credit system means to have stored up an eventual credit-confidence collapse; a markets crash; a trade war; a mass unemployment slump; and an inter-imperialist shooting war for vengeance and for survivals that will blast all other imperialist-crisis events (WWI and WWII) off the pages of history by their violence and their unimaginably dramatic consequences.” (EPSR 1202, 30 September 2003).

Being utterly anti-communist and counter-revolutionary, the SWP live in total fear of such dramatic true and revolutionary perspectives – perspectives that are now being so clearly proved in spectacular fashion to be both truly prescient and genuinely Marxist-Leninist. Instead, the Socialist Worker reader is dribbled out these feeble musings:

Moreover, since the end of the Cold War in 1989 this weakened economic system has had as its counterpart in a global state system that has become more unstable and prone to war.

The SWP’s choice of words is truly strange and sinister. Capitalism is always unstable, always riven by competition and international rivalry, and always class-divided. The neutral wording “prone to war” makes war a ghastly accident of the nation-state division – but in Marxist terms the capitalist ruling class and its top-dog Big Powers are very deliberately permanently warmongering – against the Third World (using armed brutality to keep control of world markets for exploitation and to put down colonial rebellions), and arms-racing all the time against rival advanced capitalist countries. For the past decade, the looming global economic crisis has seen the US Empire step up the savage barbarity with its blitzkrieg bombings and NAZI strafings of civilians in Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq (helped by its New Labour UK sidekick).

In fact, Marxist understanding explains the need of capitalism to wipe out surplus capital, to intentionally gear up for the next round of World War – in this case, WW3. This talk of “global state system” being “prone to war” is to absolve capitalism from its mark of Cain as being the permanent instigator of war, as described above and by all Marxist science, in favour of skirting round the issue to make international nation states, some non-capitalist class-ruled states, e.g. China, equally culpable.

But even the SWP can’t miss some of this; but it can play it down, and choose its words carefully to tail-end class-compromising trade-unionism’s “complaints” to the ruling class, and pretend that the period to make comparisons with is the trade-union struggles of the 1970s, rather than the explosive and world-historic class struggles that sprang out of the murderous tragedies of WWI, the first Great Depression and WW2:

The recession is likely, over time, to worsen these conflicts since much of the instability is caused by the US using its overwhelming military power to offset its declining economic weight.

Now let’s look at the second element in Trotsky’s framework – the political conditions that recessions interact with.

The end of the post-war boom in 1973 brought about a wholesale alteration in politics.

So we enter this recession with 25 years or more of experience of privatisation, deregulation and anti-union policies – and their effects in the minds of workers.

The latest crisis may be the most dramatic proof that the system doesn’t work, but it is not the first or only such proof.

The effects of the crisis will build on a deep scepticism about politicians and the political system in general, including scepticism about a Labour Party that has adopted Thatcherite economics virtually without amendment.

This sentiment has grown massively since the birth of the anti-capitalist movement in 1999. The scale of the anti-war movement after 2001 then radically enhanced it.

The same feeling has seeped into the trade union movement. Its first fruit in this area was the election of a raft of left wing general secretaries in 2002 and 2003. There has also been a political breach between the Labour leadership and many in the unions.

More recent and more important, though still limited, is the revival of industrial struggle that has been towed forward by this general radical mood.

Not all political developments have been to the left, of course. The rise in votes for the fascist British National Party and the resurgence of the Tories remind us that working class opinion polarises in a crisis – some blame the system, some blame the nearest scapegoat they can find.

Every crisis involves a race between the right and the left as to who can most convincingly express people’s anger at the system and suggest the most effective ways of fighting back.

As this recession strikes there is a pre-prepared disillusionment with the economic and political system among wide layers of the working class.

A mass anti-war movement has already mobilised millions and deepened scepticism about reformism.

Industrial resistance has been weak, though it has grown stronger in the last couple of years.

The push for coordinated public sector strikes remains a vital part of the response to the crisis. And the recent action# on the London buses may well portend further strikes.

We must bend our every effort to ensure that the weaknesses of the movement are diminished and the possibilities of resistance are magnified.

That means a clear political argument about the nature of the capitalist system and an equally clear political commitment to working with others to defend workers from the effects of the recession wherever we can.

There is great danger here – but also a great opportunity for socialists.

These later paragraphs of the SWP article attempt to cover their cowardly middle-class backs by broadening out the historic setting but are still riddled with sick defeatism, because their only perspective is still the utterly futile one of encouraging illusions in “left” pressure and “forcing the labour movement to fight” ie. total reformism.

The far bigger beast that is bearing down on Western monopoly-capitalist rule is the mass, Third World rebellion that is shattering its confidence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Latin America.

And what is this deliberate SWP soaping of the rope for working-class revolutionary interests of only talking about “resistance” or the charity soup-kitchen stained bathos (from these fake “revolutionaries”) of talking about “helping workers to defend themselves from the effects of recession”?

These Trot opportunists don’t want to call for revolution at all!

In reality their position – as shown by the “left” meeting at Conway Hall on 16 October, and as shown in their other articles (see EPSR lead article), is to urge workers to only demand that the government ameliorates conditions for workers in the worsening slump (including calling for more Job Centres ie. accepting lengthening dole queues in what is going to be a New Great Depression worse than the 1930s!), and suggesting that this would ease the “recession” as workers could spend more! The SWP/trade unionist ‘lefts’ want to save capitalism! The “left” Labourite Jeremy Corbyn – part and parcel of the governing pro-City spiv and warmongering, US-backing New Labour party – is supported (not exposed and denounced) and workers are urged to believe that Labour could “change its mind” – ie. stop war and side with the workers – at their very worst moment of exposure as doing nothing but throwing money at the City fat cats to save capitalism, and throwing troops into the US blitzkrieg on Iraq and Afghanistan to save imperialism!

Far from leading any working-class struggle, the SWP Trot opportunists are trying to save the Labour government from the wrath of the betrayed working class.

The truth is the SWP are so sick with sectarian anti-communism that they hate the prospect of workers rising and imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat (in order to win the revolution in this country) more than the Tories.

Bring down capitalism! Build Leninism.

Chris Barratt

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).
US Justice and the Miami Five, Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch

Rewarding terror

by Daram MacNeill

NOBODY in Ireland needs instruction on how a country’s judicial system will, when required, deliver the verdict that is demanded by the political system.

But even armed with that knowledge, there are occasions when it can be hard to fathom the sheer depths to which ‘justice’ will sink in order to satisfy the needs of the state.

The case of the Miami Five - Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzáles and René Gonzáles - Cuban nationals guilty of no more than defending their country from attack, is one such occasion. But when laid alongside the tale of two other Cuban nationals -Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch - the truly corrupted nature of the US judicial system becomes frighteningly clear.

The Miami Five have been held as de facto political prisoners in the US for the last decade. Their crime? Alerting US authorities to a terrorist network operating out of Miami and its role in terror attacks abroad, in which civilians had been killed and injured.

This terror network was originally created by the US government, almost 40 years ago. Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch - both exiles from the Cuban Revolution -were its most active members and, consequently, are perhaps two of the most infamous individuals in the sordid annals of global terrorism.

Indeed, Carriles and Bosch personify that most sinister innovation of the post war world - the employment of terrorism by states against progressive movements at home or abroad, or against progressive governments overseas.

Since 1959, terrorist attacks against Cuba and its citizens have left in excess of 3,500 people dead. But Carriles and Bosch are responsible for perhaps the single worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the western hemisphere.

In August 1976, following a car bomb attack on the Cuban embassy in Colombia, a warning appeared in a Miami newspaper which read: “Very soon we will attack planes in mid-flight.”

And almost 32 years ago to the day - on October 6, 1976 -that is precisely what happened: Cubana Flight 455 was blown out of the sky just after it left Barbados, en route to Havana. All 73 passengers on board Flight 455 were killed -57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five North Koreans. The dead included 24 members of the Cuban fencing team, who had just won medals in the Central American Championships. Many of them were teenagers on their first trip abroad.

Within days, both the FBI and CIA had listed Posada Carriles and Bosch as the chief suspects. The latter is reported to have spoken of how their campaign of terror demanded that they kill a load of little black girls and how there were no innocents on that plane. Bosch was imprisoned on minor charges in the US, in 1987. He was soon after released by then president, George Bush Snr.

Carriles was arrested by Venezuelan authorities in 1977, but escaped from custody twice with the help of Miami’s Cuban mafia.

Fast forward to the early 1990s and the Cuban mafia in Miami is growing increasingly despondent at the prospects for the collapse of the Revolution, which they had believed was imminent with the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact Cuba had begun to thrive, primarily because of income generated from a tourism boom.

Over the course of 1997, a no warning bomb campaign targeted civilian, tourist outlets in Cuba - bars, nightclubs, restaurants. Eleven people were injured and an Italian national was killed. That same year, Posada Carriles admitted to the New York Times that he was behind the campaign. He was never charged for his terrorist activities, but did incur the displeasure of immigration officials.

However in May 2007, a US court dismissed the immigration charges against Carriles and today he lives freely and openly in Miami. This despite his characterisation as an admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks by no less a body than the US Justice Department.

Yet, not only did US authorities have Carriles’ own admission to terror activities, in 1998 they were also presented with a comprehensive dossier on the Miami terror network and its activities - all in breach of US law. The dossier had been passed to the FBI by the Cuban authorities.

The information had, in turn, been collected by five Cuban nationals who were dispatched by their own government in order to infiltrate the network and pass on information that could prevent attacks on the island.

At the receiving end of these attacks for 40 years, the Cuban authorities had repeatedly called for action to be taken against the Miami mafia, to no avail. Thus, they decided to act themselves. Their reasoning was based on US law, which makes it illegal for a US citizen to take up arms against another country.

However, despite being presented with the evidence, the FBI failed to act. And so the information was then made available to the self-styled paper of record the New York Times. Not a single word ever made it into print.

Instead, the Miami Five - as the case has become known - were themselves arrested and charged.

They were held in solitary confinement for 17 months, before being convicted of an array of offences, including the infamous charge of ‘conspiracy’ which is almost impossible to defend against.

Gerardo Hernández received a double life sentence, while Ramón Labanino and Antonio Guerrero received life sentences, without parole. Fernando Gonzáles and René Gonzáles got 19 and 15 years respectively.

Today they are scattered in prisons across the US and family visits are made impossible by the authorities.

They were sentenced three months after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York, just as President Bush was embarking on his global War on Terror.

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Alarcón calls for increased awareness on the case of the Five – Granma International

After recent denial of the Atlanta Appeals Court, the defense will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court

THE 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on September 2 denied the defense’s request for a hearing to reconsider the case of the five anti-terrorist Cubans, who will have spent a decade of illegal incarceration in the United States on September 12.

In a news conference in Havana with the national and foreign press, Ricardo Alarcón, president of the Cuban Parliament, said that this Appeals Court refusal to reconsider the case is once again a result of injustice and terrorism. It ratifies and enforces a decision made by a three-judge panel from that same court on June 4 this year.

That decision upheld the convictions of all five Cubans and the sentences of two of them, Gerardo Hernández (two life terms plus 15 years) and René González (15 years). The sentences of the other three — Ramón Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González — were overturned, and federal court Judge Joan Lenard in Miami is to initiate a process to issue new sentences for the three.

Alarcón announced that the Five’s defense team will now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court; they have until December 1 to do so.

“We are seeking the return of each and every one of them, independently of their situation,” Alarcón emphasized.

Alarcón said this latest decision creates a new framework for the International Action Days in Solidarity with the Five, which begin September 12. He urged Cubans and non-Cubans to mobilize and raise awareness about the cause of these anti-terrorists based on knowing the truth about their case.

When the general public in the United States is finally allowed to learn the true facts, it will be possible to achieve the liberation of the Five, he affirmed.

On September 12, 1998, the Five — Heroes of the Republic of Cuba — were arrested in an FBI operation as they were monitoring right-wing anti-Cuban extremists. The Five were doing so to prevent acts of terrorism against the island from southern Florida with the backing of the White House.

Julio Martinez, first secretary of the Union of Young Communists stated on September 12 that the organization, together with the people, will rise up once again and denounce the cruel incarceration of the Five and ratify that “we shall continue fighting for their liberation.”

He added that the 2nd International Meeting to Free the Five is scheduled to take place from April 28-30, 2009 in Havana.

For his part Elio Gámez, vice president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, said that there are currently 346 Free the Five committees in 190 countries.

Gámez highlighted that as part of this international event that begins September 12, activities are planned in a number of nations in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, Africa and the Middle East.

They will be concentrated on publicizing the essence of the Cuban heroes’ cause, demanding their release and exposing how the U.S. authorities are protecting in their territories notorious terrorists like Posada Carriles, while imprisoning those working to counteract the criminal activities of the former.

Although knowledge of the case has increased worldwide, Gámez noted the importance of achieving a greater impact, above all in the United States, where the media corporations’ information blockade is preventing the truth about the Five from reaching that country’s citizens. •

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Nothing can justify them being imprisoned for even one more day

by Angel Guerra (Taken from La Jornada)

AS it is the 10th anniversary of the imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in the United States, it is worth making a brief recap. It is easy to comprehend why Cuba, in an act of legitimate defense, needs to keep its eyes and ears on Miami as an imperative of national security, given that it is the hideout of terrorist groups who have attacked the island for decades with absolute tolerance and encouragement from the self-proclaimed champion of fighting that scourge.

In June 1998, Havana officially presented, at Washington’s request, thick wads of evidence on the activities of those groups which the FBI acknowledged as being impressive. So much so that, far from using the evidence to stop them, three months later, in that Florida city, it arrested and tried members of the Cuban network that had collated the information. Meanwhile, its agents made sweet talk with ringleaders of anti-Cuba violence. The absence of ethics exhibited by the empire during these events is unsurpassed in the history of relations between the two states, however divergent they may be.

What followed was a trial in which U.S. constitutional and legal requirements which regulate the law to “due process” were grossly violated. The court refused to accept the defense request to change the trial venue, which was based on jurisprudence and was fully justified, given that it is well-known that Miami is the last place to impartially discuss any issue related to Cuba.

Thus it was confirmed that the trial would go ahead, in a atmosphere of anti-Cuban hysteria intensified by the local press, which is controlled by the counter-revolution. A jury was selected comprising unconditional supporters of the government, some of whom admitted to being pressurized into voting for the district attorney’s petition. Communication between the Five and their lawyers was reduced to almost nothing and, besides that they had no access to the massive amount of prosecution documents as they were deemed “classified.”

The sentences handed down were out of proportion to the crimes attributed to them and never proven. Except for the charges - lesser, in terms of U.S. legislation - of acting as foreign agents and using false documents, which the defendants admitted from the start, the prosecution saw how its case was debunked by the evidence and witness statements presented by the defense, including that of a U.S. military intelligence general who acknowledged that there was no evidence in the Five’s file to suggest that their activities posed any risk whatsoever to the national security of the United States.

Throughout the trial and the subsequent appeals, it has remained clear that their actions were limited to infiltrating the counter-revolutionary elements of the emigrant population and informing Cuba about its terrorist plans, solidly justified by the “defense of necessity,” a principle enshrined in the U.S.’ own legal doctrine, which establishes the right to break a law when the damage that will be prevented is greater than that which has been committed. Even if we accept, without conceding, that they were guilty of not registering as foreign agents, the penalty that corresponds to this crime is five years’ imprisonment, and the Five have already completed twice that sentence.

These men have stoically resisted pressure and offers to capitulate, long months of solitary confinement, the refusal of visits by family members and the denial of visas for the wives of two of them for allegedly posing a “clanger to the national security” of the superpower. They are five bright starts resplendent in the hearts of the Cuban people and have received warm and growing solidarity from the rest of the world.

There is nothing to justify them remaining even one more day in prison, but the only way to secure their release is to ensure that this injustice be heard and rejected by many more people throughout the world, principally in the United States, where the media has established a dense wall of silence. •

Important lawyers’ associations, citizens and human rights groups have given their support to the cause of the Five:

• International Commission of Jurists

• International Commission of Ibero-American Jurists

• The U.S. National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

• The U.S. National Association of Federal Defenders

• Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

• The Lawyers’ Guild of Brazil

• The Bar Association of Puerto Rico

• International Association of Democratic Lawyers

• American Association of Jurists

• The U.S. National Lawyers Guild

• The U.S. National Jury Project

• The Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsman

• Amnesty International

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World Revolutionary Socialist Review

(edited extracts from a variety of anti-imperialist struggles).

Why does Cuban and world revisionism continue to build false illusions in bourgeois democracy, “the peaceful road” and the demagogic nonsense of new-style electoral “21st century revolution” – lauding past betrayals like Allende-ism – when the reality it documents shows clearly the growing and urgent need to understand and fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat? Even as the fascists mobilise, the posturing of Chávez, Morales, Lula etc heads workers dangerously away from crucial Leninist understanding


U.S. prepared to do anything to prevent change

by Nidia Diaz Granma International

FOR those who still had doubts, I think that they must have been dissipated. United States imperialism, represented on this occasion by the fundamentalist Republican administration of George W. Bush, is prepared to do anything to avoid the national-liberation processes taking place with increasingly greater strength in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador. Paraguay and Nicaragua are in the sights of Washington which, prevented by the regional scenario - and not forgetting the existence of Brazil, Honduras, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina - from directly using its military forces like so often in the past, has turned its hand to the most barefaced interventionism and to million-dollar support for the discredited but still powerful political forces which, by majority decision, were displaced from government. Spearheads that imperial interests are trying to plunge into the very heart of those peoples.

Sowing chaos, making the region ungovernable, terrorizing the masses with assassination plots, buying those who have not as yet understood the reach of the processes of change on account of their class position or as a result of the manipulation and distortion of reality by the private and transnational media, are some of the weapons selected by Washington in a confrontation that, at this stage of events is of unpredictable consequences.

Nor should we forget the rearming of paramilitary groups of a fascist and racist nature which, in the case of Bolivia, have left a total of dozens of fatal victims and incalculable material damage, and have provoked the uncontainable anger of the majorities who, this time around, ... know that this is a war to remove them from decision making and the benefits denied them over centuries and which they, are now winning after long years of struggle.

These native emulators of the Blackshirts are, moreover, being protected by the Yankee 4th Fleet, which is navigating with impunity the waters bordering the above nations in a display of bravado and threat.

Moreover, it is a war in which - as I have just read in another press commentary -”as was the case in Salvador Allende’s Chile, the most reactionary dominant national classes are Washington’s infantry, directed by not-very-remote control.”

The U.S. embassies in the capitals of those countries have turned into the lairs and command headquarters of the unpatriotic imperial hordes. The rich world, however, is contemplating in silence the dirty and interventionist activities of the U.S. government which, in its final term of office, is no longer fooling anyone with its ambiguous rhetoric and its hypocritical defense of democracy and constitutional order.

The powerful neighbor to the North has deliberately ignored the fact that the governments that it is aspiring to bring down in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Nicaragua are the most genuine fruit of popular will. Some of them have been re-legitimized more than once via the ballot boxes and with unheard of degrees of acceptance on the part of the electorate.

All that flailing of the drowning is nothing more than the irrefutable expression of the empire’s awareness that the national-liberation process which has begun to consolidate and extend in Latin America and the Caribbean has put the model of domination in check and is aiming to defeat it.

Those processes are the fruit of the particularities of each nation, where the diversity of the political-ideological panorama is not braking the search for unity and consensus among them. On the contrary, the common denominator that identifies them is based on the founding principles of Simón Bolivar and José Martí, who sought in the defense of independency and sovereignty the common trunk from which each one of our peoples could freely grow.

Just a few days ago and before completing one month at the head of Paraguay’s future. President Fernando Lugo publicly stated that Colorado Party forces were plotting a coup against him. And the reasons? The external government program of the former bishop that contemplates Paraguay’s insertion in the new integration process, whose bases are solidarity and cooperation in relation to imbalances, and economic complementariness.

In the internal plan, the search for new contracts in Itaipú and Yaciretá, which will allow the state a larger income derived from hydroelectricity to be reinvested in social justice programs. It also seeks to do away with non-productive latifundia, bribery, sinecure, political and judicial administrative corruption, and the privileges of the elites to the detriment of the excluded majorities. Aspirations that, sooner or later, will clash with the interests of that exploited minority that remained entrenched in power for 61 years or were represented by it and who cannot come to terms with having lost it.

In Ecuador, the cards are on the table. There too, Washington has utilized provocations by neighbors that are its allies to block the process of change. There, as in Bolivia, the Yankees are betting everything on anti-patriotic separatism. They cannot forgive President Rafael Correa for not extending the contract to continue operating out of the Manta base, an espionage center for the region, and who is opening speaking of the viability of 21st century socialism.

In Nicaragua, the U.S. administration is trying to revert to its old tricks. It cannot overtook the fact that the Sandinista win opens a wedge in the up until recently docile Central America, where Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is beginning to leave the fold and, just a few days ago, in solidarity with his Bolivian counterpart, postponed acceptance of the incoming U.S representative in Tegucigalpa, a position that, without any doubt, will prompt a response from Washington. Zelaya knows that and is seemingly prepared to run the risk of defending his sovereign stance.

This scenario is inhabited by governments like those of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay which, with their own peculiarities, have joined this process of change in the context of integration, and with a clear political will to consolidate the South American Union of Nations (unasur), so that they can respond from a position of unity to the threats and dangers that are tarnishing this historical moment that Latin America and the Caribbean is experiencing.

In relation to the gravity of the Bolivian conflict, unasur members met in the Chilean capital on September 15 to adopt a shared position on the illegal actions of the Media Luna separatist prefects, on the basis of respect for that sister republic’s sovereignty and self-determination and a clear recognition - with no conditions - of the government of President Evo Morales. It is heartening that the framework for expressing that solidarity is that of the unasur rather than the Organization of American States (OAS).

Attitudes such as those, have met with the rejection of the empire, which is trying to create wedges and fissures among them, smacking of the old policy of divide and rule. Hence it has raised the specter of alleged Brazilian hegemony, and other stories like that of differences between Presidents Hugo Chávez and Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. Within those countries Washington’s hand is also manipulating the strings of fabricated discontent in certain sectors of society. The dispute between the Argentine government and the soy agribusinesses, or protest demonstrations in the education sector in Chile are evidence of that.

Venezuela and Bolivia merit a mention apart, given that they are the priority objectives of the empire and their leaders are facing revived assassination plots and actions of open warfare.

Because Washington fears a new defeat in the November 23 elections, when Venezuelans will vote in regional elections involving all the government structures, plus several hundred mayoralties and other posts.

In Bolivia because on August 10, President Evo Morales emerged fortified from the recall referendum with a vote of 67.41% at national level. On that occasion also, it could not down “el indio,” as he is disparagingly known.

Just a few days ago a conspiracy was exposed in Venezuela, and some of those involved have been arrested. A conspiracy that coincides with increasing popularity of President Chávez and various candidates of the Revolution in relation to important governmental positions.

Once again, Washington is turning to retired and active military personnel - but without the command of troops - to present an image to the world that the Army does not support the Bolivarian process.

On this occasion the “La Hojilla” program broadcast by Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) presented recordings of retired high-ranking officers talking not just of a coup d’etat but of assassination.

They are Vice Admiral Carlos Alberto Míllán (former inspector general of the National Armed Forces), General Wilfredo Barrosos Herrera, former chief of staff of the National Guard, and Aviation Brigade General Eduardo Báez Torrealba, who was involved in the April 2002 coup.

According to the source, one of the officers can be heard saying, “Here there is just one objective: we’re going to take Miraflores Palace, the television stations... all efforts to where the man is {a reference to Chávez). If he is in Miraflores, all efforts in that direction.”

Gustavo Rangel Briceno, defense minister, warned that one of the objectives of the plot is to force the suspension of the November elections and make it look as if there is a deterioration within the armed forces. “They want to divide us, separate us, they don’t want to see us as a team, as a solid bastion supporting the Bolivarian Revolution that is proposing a new country in which all of us will have opportunities.”

Faced with such events, Venezuelans from all over the country have come together in their hundreds of thousands and taken to the streets to demonstrate their support for the president and the Revolution, while five Integrated Defense Strategic Military Regions - grouping the different states -have been activated.

Of course, the lower the popularity of the pro-coup and counter-revolutionary sectors in the ratings, the greater the plots to prevent the elections. In the midst of such actions, the leadership of President Hugo Chávez is growing in both a national and international context. Not only are links within the country being reinforced, but cooperation with Russia and others nations is being extended, and relations with the government of the United States, the promoter of destabilization and interference, are being dispensed with in a gentlemanly way.

Bolivia is the other immediate objective of the empire and its domestic lackeys. The attempted illegal separatism of the prelects of the rich and racist eastern Media Luna has acquired such a degree of gravity that the government of the Movement Toward Socialism has been obliged to respond by applying the law and fresh calls for dialogue.

The massacre in Pando of campesinos and indigenous communities, promoted and sanctified by Prefect Leopoldo Fernández, the Civic Committee and paramilitary groups armed with Washington money, left 30 people dead and countless wounded last week. The victims were demonstrating against the violence generated by the anti-constitutional stand of the Pando authorities, which also led to the seizure of oil installations and public installations.

The Evo Morales government decreed a period of national mourning for the massacre victims and ordered a state of emergency in that region.

In Santa Cruz, having confirmed that the violence engendered by himself, the Civic Committee and the Santa Cruz Youth had gotten out of control, Ruben Costa, its prefect and most visceral enemy of the process of change, ordered the protection of institutions after the looting and virtual destruction of headquarters of the National Agrarian Reform Institute and the national telecommunications Company, among others.

Terror, fanaticism, vandalism and violence are added ingredients to destabilizing actions in Bolivia on the part of the opposition, protected and uplifted by the U.S. embassy in La Paz, which is why the MAS government declared Ambassador Philip Goldberg persona non grata.

At the time of writing [21 Sep - ed] the South American governments comprising UNASUR were meeting to express their support for and solidarity with the government of President Evo Morales, a symptom of the new times, and the prefect of Tarija had agreed to dialogue. The will to defend the constitutional mandate given to him by the people has increased the Bolivian president’s prestige in the midst of a difficult and critical situation which, if not addressed with responsibility and maturity, could provoke a bloodbath.

The days to come will witness fresh provocations by an opposition that has decided to launch a continental crusade against the forces of change, which are, in the final analysis, the forces of life and hope.



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