Notes on the Revolution
November 15, 2019
The world war for the future of humanity
By Charles McKelvey
On October 25, 2019, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, at the Eighteenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku, Azerbaijan, appropriating a concept from Fidel, declared that we are in the midst of a Third World War, which began when “imperialist armies, mercenary soldiers, and terrorists, disguised as liberators combating terrorism or defending democracy, freedom, or human rights” attacked “noble and peaceful nations” which have “sovereign governments that refuse to serve the hegemonic power.” It is a conceptualization that was confirmed by Ralph Gonzales, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, when he declared, at the Antiimperialist Meeting of Solidarity for Democracy and against Neoliberalism, held in Havana from November 1 to November 3, that the most important conflict of our time is the conflict between imperialism and the victims of imperialism.
Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua have been in the front lines in the anti-imperialist front, with China, Russia, Vietnam, Iran, and Laos allied with them. Bolivia was an important part of the anti-imperialist front until a few days ago, when Evo Morales was obligated to step down as president before a violent, neofascist coup d’état directed by the United States. Ecuador was also an important part of the front, until the Citizen Revolution lead by Rafael Correa was highjacked in 2017 by term limits and a Trojan Horse. Brazil, under the Workers’ Party governments, was an important ally of the anti-imperialist front, until Dilma Rousseff was removed from power in 2016 by a parliamentary coup d’état. Argentina, during the progressive governments of the Kirchners, also was an important ally until 2015, when the political process of the nation fell victim to term limits and to the electoral manipulations of representative democracy. In Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador led a social movement to the taking of political power, and during the past year the government has been seeking to become part of the anti-imperialist front, in spite of the profound contradictions in that nation.
The anti-imperialist front reaffirms principles of the Third World project of national and social liberation of the period 1948 to 1979, including the self-determination of peoples, the sovereignty of nations, the right of the state to nationalize foreign enterprises to establish control of its natural resources, the responsibility of the state to direct and regulate the economy in order to protect sovereignty of the nation and the social and economic rights of the people, and the need for South-South cooperation in order to circumvent to the unequal exchange that often occurs with respect to economic relations with the imperialist and ex-colonial powers. These principles were included in the proposal of the Non-Aligned Movement for a New International Economic Order, approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1974. In addition to affirming common principles that are alternatives to the ideologies of the capitalist world-economy, the anti-imperialist front seeks to develop among one another economic, commercial, and cultural interchanges that are mutually beneficial. Through this process, the anti-imperialist front is building an alternative to the neocolonial world-system and indicating the necessary road for humanity toward a more just, democratic, and sustainable world-system.
Some academics and intellectuals, implicitly defending the forces of imperialism in the unfolding Third World War, have proclaimed the end of the progressive cycle in Latin America. However, as the Cuban journalist Enrique Moreno writes, what has occurred in recent years is not “the end of the progressive era, but the offensive of the neoliberal right in complicity with great international capital, the media conglomerates, and the support and financing of the government of the United States.” Moreover, the recent gains of the neoliberal Right were attained through methods that violate the constitutional order of representative democracies, methods that lack legitimacy, and therefore that undermine their authenticity of the Right in the eyes of the people, provoking popular opposition and rebellion. In Honduras and Paraguay, presidents with progressive orientations were removed from power by parliamentary coups d’état; today, the people of Honduras are in rebellion, demanding the resignation of a president who is connected to drug trafficking. In Brazil, Workers’ Party president Dilma Rousseff was ousted by a parliamentary coup d’état in 2016, and former President Lula was unjustly imprisoned in a politicized process. These dynamics led to the election of Bolsonaro, whose neoliberal agenda and ultra-Right proclamations are provoking rejection by the people. In recent days in Bolivia, the democratically elected president was forced to resign by a violent fascist and police coup d’état, with the support of the armed forces, provoking mass demonstrations repressed by the police and armed forces. In these cases, the methods used to recapture power, the policies and comportment after recapturing power, and the popular rejection and rebellions in response all point to the unsustainability of the recent restauration project of the Right.
Even the recent gains of the Right that were based on apparent electoral legitimacy where characterized by strategies that contradict the norms of liberal democracy in its best sense. When the opposition won the parliamentary elections in Venezuela in 2015, it did so on the basis of an economic war by Venezuelan importers against the people and the nation, hoarding and refusing to import goods, and blaming the government for the shortages that the opposition commercial class had caused. When Mauricio Macri won the presidential election in Argentina in 2015, he made vague promises of change, without any indication of the return to neoliberalism that he implemented once in power. Macri, it should be noted, accepted his electoral defeat in the recent elections, and he did not falsely charge electoral fraud in order to promote destabilization. This indicates that either Macri refused to cooperate with the U.S. agenda for Latin America; or the U.S. neocons do not consider the Kirchner-Fernández project as threat in and of itself, if the socialist projects of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia can be brought down. In the case of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno accepted the banner of the alliance headed by Rafael Correa, without announcing his return to the neoliberal agenda. With the neoliberal agenda hidden behind the banner of the Citizen Revolution, one Cuban scholar has characterized it as a Trojan Horse strategy. In recent weeks, the people have been in open rebellion against Moreno, just as they had been before the emergence of Correa and the taking of political power by the Citizen Revolution. So even the recent gains of the Right that are based on apparently more democratic methods have clear signs of unsustainability.
In observing recent dynamics in Latin America, we see that the when the Right recaptured political power, it did so through illegitimate means, such as maneuverings by politicians, the use of force and violence, and deception of the people. Once in power again, the Right returned to its neoliberal agenda of the 1980s and 1990s, already rejected by the people and discredited in the eyes of the majority, thus provoking popular rejection and rebellion. The Right restored to power has demonstrated that it has not creatively invented some way of negating the progressive and socialist agenda of the Latin American Left while yet maintaining the support of the people. The restauration project of the Right is demonstrating that it cannot establish itself as a viable political project in the long run. The revolution and rebellion of the people continues and will continue, as it must, in accordance with the everlasting insistence by the people that they have the right to a more just social order, that they do not accept a social order in which the majority work and sacrifice in order to bestow privileges on the minority.
Enrique Moreno notes that the Brazilian theologian and social commentator Frei Betto has observed that the Right acts on the basis of interests, whereas the Left acts on the basis of principles. Accordingly, Moreno maintains that the Left must unify on the basis of defending historical principals. It is a matter of “rescuing the liberating values of the people and breaking out a communicational battle for the truth in all possible spaces, confronting the hegemony of the great media monopolies.”
In the Third World War, the neocolonized peoples of the world, who constitute a majority of humanity, struggle to defend principles, like cooperation among nations and respect for the sovereign equality of nations; and they struggle to defend truth against lies and ideological distortions. The imperialists have guns and money to defend their particular interests and privileges; but the peoples, knowing that they defend the just and the true, have faith that, in the long run, the struggle by and for the peoples will prevail.
This is Charles McKelvey, reflecting on the unfolding global popular socialist revolution forged by our peoples in defense of humanity.
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