Renewed struggle has burst out in the streets of Colombia, where the panicked government’s concessions have by no means satisfied the militant demands of the masses.
We, the undersigned parties and organisations, express our total support for the people’s uprising in Colombia, begun again on 28 April after being initiated in November 2019 against the same oligarchic and pro-imperialist government of Iván Duque.
After fifteen days of this renewed and higher phase of the Colombian resistance, the people have shown much more militancy, heroism and conscience than before. This is the reason why the authorities haven’t been able to stop it, in spite of the repression by the national police, the anti-riot mobile squad (ESMAD) and general Eduardo Zapateiro’s army.
The bloodletting of patriots has been enormous, due to the repression ordered by President Duque. According to Colombian humans rights organisations, up to 12 May, 47 demonstrators had been killed, 548 had disappeared, 1,023 had been detained and 1,040 wounded. This is why grassroots and left-wing forces around the world have organised events and solidarity demonstrations.
The people’s starting point was the opposition to Duque’s proposed tax reform, and to his treasury minister Alberto Carrasquilla, who has imposed new taxes on products, services and income. The government argued that higher taxes on the people were needed to boost the treasury, but the very same ministers had previously reformed the tax regime to help big capital – the mining companies, oil companies and bankers – to avoid paying taxes.
The resultant social strife was wider and deeper than Colombia has seen in a long time. Despite the fact that the president withdrew his tax proposals on 2 May, the strikes and demonstrations continued, backed by a wide social coalition of forces: union and social organisations within the strike’s national committee are supported by workers, students, peasants, native peoples, intellectuals, traders, transport workers, small and medium entrepeneurs, etc.
President Duque is facing his worst-ever political crisis, increasingly isolated and with his approval rate falling to just 33 percent. It is possible that as a result of this struggle he may fall before the elections of May 2022.
The struggle has continued even after the panicked withdrawal of Duque’s discriminatory tax project, with mass demands that the government also withdraw the health system overhaul bill (aimed at further privatisation of Colombia’s healthcare), provide vaccines for all, dissolve the ESMAD, and give democratic guarantees to all those who are mobilising and protesting – among many other demands.
We extend our sympathy to the Colombian people, with special respect and value for the masses of youth on the frontline of street fighting. And we extend our greetings in solidarity with Colombia’s militant social and political organisations, committed to the uprising rather than to ‘talks’ with Duque for parliamentary or electoral advantages.
As well as condemning Duque’s current repression, we also repudiate the repression against social leaders and former demobilised guerrilla fighters, carried out in flagrant violation of the terms of the 2016 peace accords that were signed with the Farc-EP.
It is quite clear that Duque answers only to big capital and to the imperialist multinationals, as well as being a drug trafficker like his mentor Alvaro Uribe. Duque is a loyal servant of Yankee imperialism, to the USA‘s South Command and its military bases, aimed squarely at the legitimate government of Venezuela. As was made clear on 28 April, his hands are stained with blood, criminalising protests and repressing them by force, with police and paramilitaries.
‘Mr’ Almagro’s Organisation of American States (OAS) and the high commissioner of the United Nations Michelle Bachelet, so active against the government of Venezuela and, in his time, against Evo Morales in Bolivia, today maintain a quite contemplative attitude towards the drama in Colombia.
The undersigned political parties and organisations are part of several movements in solidarity with the Colombian uprising. With this joint statement, we reiterate our support for that noble cause.
If Duque falls, Colombia wins and we all win!
Down with the smaller associates of Yankee imperialism in Latin America!
Solidarity with those who struggle in Colombia; they are not vandals or terrorists, they are fighters against neoliberalism, fascism, corruption and drug trafficking!
Albanian Communist Party (PKSH)
Liberation Party (PL) of Argentina
Azerbaiyan Communist Party
Communist Party of Chile (Proletariat Action)
Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR), Chile
Socialist Workers Party of Croacia (SRP)
People’s Revolution Party (PRP), Dominican Republic
Egyptian Communist Party
Communist Party of Germany (KPD)
Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
Kurdistan Communist Party, Irak (KCP)
Italian Communist Magazine ‘Cumpanis’
Italian Marxist-Leninist Party (PMLI)
Communist Union, Mexico
Mexican Communist Movement
Bolchevique Communists of All the Union Party (VKPB), Russia
Communist Initiative, Spain
Foro Pacifista Ciudad Real, Spain
Spanish Youth Red Guard (JGRE)
Movement for Peace and Socialism, Cantabria (Spain)
Proletariat Union, Spain
Spanish Workers Communist Party (PCOE)
Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE)
Spanish Workers Party (PTE)
Communist Party, Switzerland
Simón Bolívar Coordinator, Venezuela
Workers World Party (WWP), USA
Translated by Eduardo Salgado, MA SolidarioGB