by RAY LIGHT
We are the 99%
Also included in this issue:
“The 1% is attempting to pull off the greatest swindle in the
history of our Nation, the theft of an entire National Institution and
Treasure that is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of
America. The Postal Service has served the People for over two
centuries, is the linchpin of the $1 trillion mailing industry, vital
for commerce and supports over 7 million jobs. It must not be
sacrificed for the sake of Wall Street criminal investment
opportunities and private profits! The 99% are mobilizing for the
On December 5, 2011 the Postmaster General of the United States, Patrick Donahoe, announced that the U.S. Postal Service was pushing ahead with unprecedented cuts to mail service, including first class mail, as of early Spring. For the first time in 40 years, this would eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day. According to PMG Donahoe’s plan, about 3700 local post offices would be closed and about half of the mail processing centers in the country would be “consolidated” into the remaining 250 or so centers. These actions would result in the immediate elimination of 100,000 postal jobs. While a number of different bills addressing the postal service are currently pending in the U.S. House and Senate, including additional draconian measures such as the elimination of six day delivery, Donahoe claimed that he had to act right away because of the imminent default this month on a $5.5 billion annual payment to the U.S. Treasury for retiree health benefits.
On the surface, PMG Donahoe seemed to be responding to a genuine postal crisis by attempting to create a leaner more efficient postal service. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth!
In direct response to PMG Donahoe’s plan, on the very same day, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) responded: “I don’t think there could be a more short sighted proposal. ...
If these proposals go forward and this congress continues to fail to act, the Postmaster General gets to continue to put in place his vision of a future for the postal service, and the White House continues to be silent, we will no longer have a postal service in this country.” Like the guileless boy who declared that the Emperor was naked in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the Oregon Congressman is apparently uncorrupted by the corridors of power in the United States Congress. He exposed PMG Donahoe in all his naked treachery: “The so-called Postmaster General, who should be fired because of a lack of any imagination or initiative, is proposing the death knell for the postal service.” (Press Release, 12-5-11) Tragically, Congressman DeFazio was a lonely voice in Congress in defense of the people’s universal public postal service in this moment of crisis.
Fortunately, however, there was an immediate popular backlash against the announced service cuts among the people, suddenly awakening to the danger of losing this valuable service. It resulted in widespread media coverage of the many sectors of U.S. society that would be drastically affected by the PMG’s plan — from the poor, seniors, rural communities and oppressed nationalities in urban ghettoes who seem especially targeted with the post office closings to specific major businesses like Netflix, Amazon, ESPN The Magazine and other newspapers and magazines for whom the current level of mail processing centers and daily mail delivery is an integral part of their operations. For the first time in years, the mass media exposed how vital, vibrant and important today’s U.S. Postal Service is to the workings of contemporary U.S. society.
Within a few days PMG Donahoe backtracked. He announced a five month
moratorium on the drastic postal service cuts; these draconian measures
would not take place before May 2012. But piecemeal destruction of the
USPS (including post office closings, curtailed service hours and plant
consolidations) is proceeding apace; and the clock is still running on
Donahoe’s planned major assault on the public postal service, the
institution he is supposed to be leading.
In the meantime, a number of truths about the current status of the USPS have begun to come out.
1. The Manufactured Postal Crisis: While over the long run the impact of automation (email, etc.) will require innovation for the post office to survive, there is no current short term crisis due to declining postal revenues. The U.S. Postal Service actually made a profit of over 600 million dollars over the last four years (prior to 2011), even though the U.S. economy has been in an economic crisis for much of this period! The loss of $20 billion over the period and the imminent default on the $5.5 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury were the result of the Congressional theft of billions of dollars of postal revenue based on a provision of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. This law, passed by the Republicrat Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, requires the postal service to pre-fund postal retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance (that’s right, for postal retirees not yet born!) and to pay this total amount of money over the first ten years. No other government (or semi-government) entity nor any private company in the United States has this terrible financial burden!Clearly, this unprecedented treatment of the USPS represented a deliberate effort by Congress to make the productive and profitable USPS a “cash cow” to help cover the increasingly bankrupt U.S. government’s spending on the U.S. military-industrial complex.* An added benefit for the corporate and Wall Street puppets in Congress was that, in the event of a financial crisis or a serious economic slowdown, as has actually occurred, the postal service would be placed in a vulnerable financial position, providing an opportunity for postal privatization.**
* U.S. imperialism spends an amount of money greater than all the other governments in the world combined on weapons of war, prosecution of unjust wars around the world, etc.
** A postal worker activist wryly observed: if Congress wants to “level the playing field” in the postal industry, let them place the same burdens on United Parcel Service, FedEx, DHL et al.
2. The Postal Service uses no tax dollars and has had no part in the bankrupting of the U.S. government. For the past forty years, since the Postal Reorganization Act of 1971, the USPS has been a self-sustaining institution, operating on the basis of postage revenue provided by postal patrons as they use its services. In the current debate in U.S. society about the future of the postal service, the corporate privatizers and Wall Street bankers have largely been successful in burying this fundamental fact as they try to win the people of the USA to become hostile to the USPS and its union workers. Nevertheless, despite the powerful and constant disinformation campaign by the U.S. monopoly capitalist ruling class and its media outlets, and the sabotaging of the service by Congressional attacks from the outside and by at least the past few Postmaster Generals and their postal management underlings from the inside, for the past six years in a row, the people of the USA have continued to vote the U.S. Postal Service their most trusted government agency.
3. The “Republicrat” U.S. Congress has no concern for the people of the USA. This is reflected in the record low assessment of Congress by the people of this country. Among other things, with its plunder of the public postal service, Congress has shown itself quite willing to deprive the people of our fundamental right to a universal postal system with uniform rates across the country, as provided by the U.S. Constitution in 1789. If not for the widespread popular support of the U.S. Postal Service by the people, the Wall Street puppets in Congress would have long ago destroyed the public Postal Service. Not only did Congress pass the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 with its unprecedented burden of pre-funding future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, but, according to the USPS Inspector General and two independent actuarial studies, the USPS has overfunded its pension obligations by at least $50 billion dollars! And the bankrupt “Republicrat” Congress refuses to return any of the billions it stole from the postal service. This helps explain why Congressman DeFazio was a lonely voice in Congress exposing the recent effort by PMG Donahoe to dismantle and destroy this 220 year old venerable U.S. institution.
4. Wall Street finance capital controls the U.S. government and is driving the attack on the public postal service, its patrons and its union workers. On April 15, 2010, more than a year and one-half ago, Ruth Y. Goldway, Chair of the Postal Regulatory commission, had exposed Donahoe’s predecessor, PMG John Potter, before Congress regarding his (and his assistantDonahoe’s) strategy for the future of the USPS. Apparently, taking seriously her responsibility to protect the integrity of the postal service, Ms. Goldway stated, “The basic outcome of all these ideas is that there may well be less mail and less Postal service … an axiom in the business community is that a company cannot cut its way to success … the plan’s proposals seem likely to spur further declines, a downward trajectory that suggests further shrinkage of the system, with mail and this fundamental communication infrastructure disappearing in tandem.” (Our emphasis, ROL)
In response to Chairwoman Goldway’s critical observation, in our Statement, entitled, “Defend the Public Postal Service, Good Jobs and our Communities” we then posed the question: “Why would the top official of the USPS deliberately point the USPS toward disintegration and dissolution? The answer lies in the march toward postal privatization driven by the corruption of private profit. As a non-profit entity, the USPS brings in over $70 billion a year, enormous booty for private industry to get their greedy hands on.” (Statement by the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA, May 15, 2010)
For those who may have thought we were exaggerating the danger to the survival of the public post office in 2010 at the hands of Wall Street finance capital, the “smoking gun” that provides the explanation for the “strange” conduct by PMG Potter and PMG Donahoe and the U.S. Congress (and the U.S. President who, in concert with PMG Donahoe, is now calling for the elimination of Saturday delivery) was revealed in the October 5, 2011 Wall Street Journal.
In a blatantly dishonest, reckless and highly inflammatory column, entitled “Junking the Junk Mail Office,” the author pushes all the current “conventional wisdom” buttons (i.e. lies) about the Postal Service to justify his proposal for the planned destruction of the more than 200 year old public postal service. The author even discusses the prime real estate that post offices occupy across the country and the 200,000 postal vehicles that can be sold off. His punch line is the following: “With a well-managed Postal Service wind-down, FedEx, UPS and others could easily and efficiently pick up much of the volume. Some could also be handled by a host of local delivery companies now serving most major cities. ... UPS has long delivered to the most remote locations … FedEx, UPS, DHL cargo airlines and others can handle long-distance and international shipments. Entrepreneurs will see the demise of the USPS as an opportunity, and new companies will emerge. Indeed, this transition can be one of the badly needed bright spots in a troubled American economy.” (Our Emphasis, ROL)
There is not one word in the column about the millions of people and thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that would be adversely affected by the wholesale destruction of the USPS. And no wonder! Gary McDougal, the shameless author of this column, turns out to be a former CEO of Mark Controls Corp. and a recently retired thirty-four year director of the United Parcel Service!! Neither the Wall Street Journal nor McDougal felt compelled to provide “full disclosure” of his massive personal stake in the privatization of the U.S. postal industry, the position he was so passionately arguing in favor of. And it was only after McDougal’s virulent Wall Street attack on the public post office that PMG Donahoe announced his plan to begin the wholesale dismantling of the institution that he is responsible to safeguard.
5. The leaders of the four postal unions are fatally linked with the Wall Street ruling class, especially through the Democratic Party, the “Republicrat” congressional leaders and President Obama. These postal union leaders, in conjunction with the AFL-CIO bureaucracy, are conducting themselves in line with a long tradition of class collaboration with postal management and with the monopoly capitalist system. What else explains their individual and collective silence in response to PMG Donahoe’s December 5th declaration of war on the postal service, its half a million unionized postal workers and its three hundred million postal patrons who make up the people of the USA?! (Compare Congressman DeFazio’s indignant call for the firing of PMG Donahoe.)
The leadership of the two largest postal unions, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) under President Cliff Guffey and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) under President Fred Rolando, had done a decent job of rallying their members in solidarity with each other and with the members of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, a division of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), in informational pickets on September 27th. These pickets were aimed at each and every member of Congress throughout the country.* Recognizing the threat to their jobs, many postal workers, for the first time in decades joined in protest and participated in the September 27th events. And the postal patrons, the people of the USA, had a largely positive reaction.
* However, these leaders insisted that the message of the protest be narrowly focused on the need for Congress to pass HR1351, a bill which would give the postal service back some of the money stolen by the Congress.
Reflecting the relative success of the September 27th protests, both the NALC Committee of Presidents and the APWU Presidents Conference (made up of local union presidents of the respective unions) overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on their respective national leadership to hold a joint national march and rally in Washington, DC to defend the public postal service and half a million unionized postal jobs. It was at this point that the bureaucratic leadership of NALC and APWU each substituted for a national march and rally of all the postal workers and their postal patrons in defense of the public postal service a petition campaign addressed to Congress exclusively conducted by their own members and narrowly focused on defending postal jobs in their respective crafts.*
* For example, the NALC petition focused on an appeal to Congress to retain the six day delivery of mail, a letter carrier function; while the APWU petition focused on post office and plant closings, APWU job functions.
From their refusal to denounce PMG Donahoe and contemplate a mass union-led campaign for his discharge in defense of the public postal service (along the lines of Congressman DeFazio’s argument), a campaign which would alert the public to the imminent danger of the destruction of the USPS, it is apparent that the APWU leadership and the NALC leadership are afraid to unite the forces of the four postal unions, linking all the union postal workers with each other and speaking with a unified voice to the people of the USA, the postal patrons who still trust and support the public postal service. Apparently, they lack confidence that their own members will do the right thing once they understand the situation; they lack confidence that the people of the USA will continue to demonstrate support for the public post office, for this most venerable institution enshrined in the U.S. Constitution more than 200 years ago. The substitution of the petition drive is an indication that the leadership of the APWU and NALC would rather rely on the U.S. Congress which has stolen billions in postal revenue and refuses to give it back! They would rather rely on continued negotiations with PMG Donahoe for salvaging some jobs for their craft employees at the expense of their fraternal postal unions. And this is despite the fact that this same treacherous PMG went to Congress before the ink was dry on the collective bargaining agreement with the APWU to attempt to abrogate key elements in that new agreement; it is the same PMG whose plans clearly call for the dismantling and destruction of the U.S. Postal Service itself!
Another indication of these truths is the following: these postal union leaders have refused to appeal to the emergent Occupy movements around the country who themselves have just recently learned the bitter truth that Wall Street is the enemy of Main Street, a truth that the unionized postal workers in the USA need to learn at the peril to their jobs and the public postal service.*
* As we pointed out recently, “One of the most promising union campaigns which would perfectly suit the Occupy groups throughout the USA is the effort to defend and preserve the United States Postal Service (USPS), with its universal six day delivery and uniform rates. On the basis of a Congress-manufactured phony ‘postal crisis,’ the USPS is currently threatened with dismantling and privatization by Wall Street, with the connivance of the Postmaster General who is supposed to be the leader of the institution he is helping Wall Street to destroy! ... It is only because the USPS is by far the most popular government service among the people of the USA that it has not been privatized already. Widespread OWS participation in defense of the USPS would be seen in a very positive light by the people on Main Street. And at least two of the four postal unions, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), are virtually everywhere there are Occupy groups. It would be a great help to the more than half a million union postal workers and to the Occupy groups around the country if they reach out to each other in this popular struggle to thwart Wall Street’s drive to take one more right away from the people, the right to a universal, public postal service.” (“‘Occupy Wall Street!’-Why this Rebellion Deserves our Support,” Ray O’ Light Newsletter #69, November-December 2011)
No wonder Guffey’s APWU leadership seems paralyzed. Meanwhile, Rolando’s NALC leadership seems to be pursuing a two pronged strategy: First, they are counting on the fact that the letter carrier’s job involves the “last mile” of postal service, the most difficult work to replace. (In fact, FedEx and UPS currently pay the postal service to take many of their packages on “the last mile” to remote addresses. It is on this basis, that Rolando and NALC hired Ron Bloom, a Wall Street operative, to prepare a postal restructuring proposal that saves enough letter carrier jobs at some substandard level (similar to his role in the automobile industry restructuring) or at least saves face for the NALC’s Washington bureaucrats. Secondly, they are focused on creating new services providing new revenue streams for the postal service. However, unless accompanied by a mass popular fight against Wall Street to save the public postal service, any success in generating additional revenues, would only make the Wall Street financiers that much more frantic to privatize the public postal service and place it in their greedy, profit-mad hands.*
* In our 5-15-10 Statement, we raised one campaign that would take on Wall Street and provide a new substantial revenue stream for the postal service and an added benefit for the people of the USA, as follows: “Fight for the placement of basic banking and insurance functions into the 37,000 USPS stations and branches. This will provide these needed services to the people on a non-profit public basis. It will nationalize part of the banking monopoly that is criminally responsible for the economic crisis. (Postal Services all over Europe and Japan have provided banking services for many years.) Wal-Mart and other large retailers are currently jockeying to become licensed to do just this, on a for-profit basis. Fight for the public option!”
The unwillingness or inability of the postal union leadership to break with their class collaborationist position as tools of the Postmaster General and postal management as well as Wall Street and the U.S. monopoly capitalists renders them incapable of arousing their members to action and incapable of arousing the postal patrons. And this will likely result in the demise of the public postal service for the people of this country and the destruction of a half million decent union jobs in the post office.
PROPOSITIONS AND CONCLUSIONS:
Proposition #1: As Simon Johnson, former chief economist for the pro-imperialist International Monetary Fund admitted, “The U.S. government has been captured by the financial oligarchy.” (“The Quiet Coup,” Atlantic Magazine, May 2009) The U.S. Congress is bought and paid for by Wall Street finance capital. Both McCain and Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaigns were bankrolled by Wall Street. Obama, McCain, and the Congress supported the trillion dollar bailouts of Wall Street at the expense of bankrupting Main Street. The U.S. Congress, which now has the U.S. government in record debt, has stolen billions of dollars from the U.S. Postal Service since 2006. And Congress has no intention of ever paying it back to the Post Office. Once there is no postal service, the pressure to account for that money, to pay it back, etc. will also disappear. President Obama is helping to drive the nails into the U.S. postal coffin by supporting the elimination of Saturday mail delivery, a huge step down the slippery slope to public postal oblivion. None of these political forces will lose any sleep over the half million decent union jobs (and their disproportionate impact on Afro-American workers for whom the post office has historically provided access less restricted than other industries and unions more dominated by the legacy of segregation). Nor will they lose sleep over the terrible hardships the elimination of a public postal service, a key element of the U.S. infrastructure, will place upon the rural and urban poor, the elderly, and many other vulnerable sectors of our society.
Conclusion #1: The postal union workers and postal patrons cannot rely on the “Republicrats” to save the postal service and the postal union jobs. We must politically organize community by affected community to: resist post office closings, plant closings, elimination of six day delivery, demand the ouster of treacherous PMG Donahoe, etc. We can unite with Afro-American and Latino and other community organizations and with business folks who rely on the public postal service, and with other public sector workers fighting against privatization of education, health care, social security, etc.
Proposition #2: There are a half million decent union jobs in the U.S. public postal service. At a time of record low unionization rates in the private sector, Corporate America and Wall Street have taken aim at the public sector unions. Over the past year the major struggles in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states against the blatant monopoly capitalist attempts to smash the public sector unions has inspired a new burst of militant and democratic union activity. In the federal sector, the postal unions have had the highest levels of membership, participation, education, etc. The destruction of the U.S. Postal Service would be accompanied by the destruction of the half million union jobs and of the four unions. This would constitute a victory for Wall Street and Corporate America and a defeat for the working class; it would greatly strengthen the U.S. monopoly capitalists against the U.S. sector of the international working class; it would lead to greater profits for U.S. capitalists from the labor of the U.S. working class.
Conclusion #2: The U.S. working class, beginning with the workers and leaders of the four “rival” postal unions, must re-learn the old union truth that “united we stand and divided we fall” and “in our unity lies our strength.” And postal labor must help educate, organize and unite with the other AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions in our areas, states, etc. around defense of the public post office and the immediate demands of the rest of the organized and unorganized sectors of the U.S. working class, including the demand for decent jobs for all.
Proposition #3: The acute capitalist economic crisis has made Wall Street increasingly desperate in its efforts to seek out areas to invest in and labor to exploit everywhere in the world. On this basis, U.S. monopoly capitalism and imperialism is continuing to wage a war against the working class and oppressed nationalities at home as well as a war against the peoples of the rest of the world. Consequently, the ongoing “war of terror” begun under the George W. Bush Administration in 2001 has no end in sight. And Wall Street currently wields so much political power within the USA that it has been able to take a healthy, thriving, public postal service that processes half of all the mail in the world on a daily basis, and is cherished as no other institution in the USA is appreciated by the 99%, and make it ripe for destruction so as to provide new investment opportunities for the one percent!! It has done this by manufacturing a phony crisis brought on by Congressional theft of billions and billions of postal service dollars. As the Wall Street Journal column by United Parcel Service director Gary McDougal makes clear, the one percent will strive for maximum private profit no matter what it costs the society as a whole.
Conclusion #3: Salvation for the postal union workforce,
the postal unions and the public postal service of the USA lies through
mass struggle against Wall Street greed, against U.S. monopoly
capitalism and imperialism, and against Wall Street’s
political stooges: the Democrats and Republicans of the “Republicrat”
Party. And this just struggle in defense of the public postal service
needs the support and solidarity of the workers and oppressed peoples
all over the world fighting against our common Wall Street enemy,
against the main enemy of humanity, imperialism, headed by U.S.
We concluded our 5-15-10 Statement, “Defend the Public Postal Service, Good Jobs and our Communities” with the following:
“The Postal Service is ‘community.’ So much so that V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution, pointed to the post office, even under capitalism, as an example of how socialist order could be carried out after workers gain power. The battle to save the public Postal Service is a battle for ‘community.’ It’s part of the way forward to workers power and socialism, a society run for the good of all working men and women of all nationalities.”
In the long run, for the 99%, capitalism cannot deliver the mail or anything else of value.
by GREGORY GREEN
Occupy the Capitol
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy the Capitol of capital
That’s where our wealth is
The Wall Street Barons robbed the wealth of the world
They have stored it at the New York Stock Exchange
Occupy the New York Stock Exchange
We are the 99%
We want a government of the people, for the people and by the people.
We want an economy of the people, for the people and by the people.
We want a world of the people, for the people and by the people.
We are the 99%
The Ninth Party Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) was held in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India from November 8 to November 12, 2011. The following is the greeting to the Congress from the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA.
October 30, 2011
Dear Comrades of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist),
Revolutionary Proletarian Greetings to you on the occasion of your upcoming Party Congress! As the General Secretary of the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA, I can assure you that we have been looking forward to this Congress for many months. There are several reasons for our unbounded enthusiasm regarding your Party Congress:
1. Your Party has demonstrated by the Conferences to which we have previously been invited (though unable to attend) that you respect the initiative of the masses and the working class as well as the responsibility of the Party to the class and masses. This was clear, for example, in your vanguard conference initiative in December 2003 which you held just prior to the Mumbai Social Forum and the Mumbai Resistance.
2. Your Party has demonstrated a non-sectarian approach to other vanguard level organizations. This means that you are not afraid to engage in the process of unity-struggle-unity or struggle-unity-struggle as the situation demands. And your invitation to other Indian Marxist-Leninist formations, in particular, is a concrete manifestation of your Party’s non-sectarian approach to the struggle.
3. Moreover, your Party leadership and the CPI (ML) membership clearly respect themselves and each other as evidenced by your willingness to involve fraternal parties and organizations in the deliberations of your Party Congress.
4. This willingness to involve fraternal parties and organizations in your Congress deliberations is at the same time a profound act of proletarian internationalism in practice.
5. The proletarian revolutionary struggles on the Indian continent or sub-continent are of great importance for the world proletarian revolution. As we learn more about the diverse and complex history of the class struggle in India, we also want to share our own scientific socialist understanding that powerful multi-national reactionary capitalist states like the federal Indian state may well have to be overthrown by the proletariat after being ripped apart piece by piece. This could be accomplished through successful national liberation movements of a number of peoples whose nations are oppressed by the Indian state and its local puppets, backed by U.S. imperialism and other foreign imperialist powers. This approach also underscores the importance of Leninism on the National Question as, for example, in relation to the unresolved Bangla national question, the way forward in Kashmir, etc.
6. The late Moni Guha, an outstanding anti-revisionist Bengali
communist, taught us that ours is a “world-historic task.” As a small
vanguard organization based in U.S. imperialist society, in the belly
of the beast, we are keenly aware of the need for an international
communist movement that has a global strategic approach to the
proletarian revolution in individual countries. From our practical
experience and personal contact with a few of your Party leaders in the
Founding Conference of ICOR, (International Coordination of
Revolutionary Parties and Organizations) and other international venues
as well as our acquaintance (though limited) with your theoretical
writings on the legacy of the Communist International we believe your
Party to be one of the most serious and consistent fighters for a new
Communist International that we have found anywhere in the world.
7. On a number of occasions we have observed that the historical
experience of the class struggle between labor and capital over the
past hundred years has revealed the following: With Leninism, the international working class movement has achieved great victories, even in objectively unfavorable conditions. Without Leninism, the international working class movement has sustained catastrophic defeats, even in objectively favorable circumstances. Long live Leninism!
Given all the above, it should be clear why we are filled with revolutionary optimism as we look forward to participating with your Party and other fraternal parties and organizations in the work of building up the revolutionary fighting capacity of the international working class and all of our vanguard organizations at your upcoming Party Congress.
With warm comradely greetings,
Ray O. Light
Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA
From the opening mass march and public meeting on November 7, the 94th anniversary
of the great October Socialist Revolution, attended by thousands of
militant CPI (ML) Party members and supporters from eighteen different
states of the reactionary Indian federal state; through five full days
of intense discussion and debate on the Party Program and Constitution,
as well as work reports and evaluations of Party work around the
country; to a number of seminars addressing important questions
including the ideological challenges confronting the international
communist movement; to the closing ceremony where the red flag was
lowered and Congress delegates, observers and fraternal international
guests chanted militant slogans like “Inquilab Zindabad!” (Long Live
Revolution!) and sang the “Internationale” together in many different
languages; the CPI (ML) Ninth Party Congress proved to be even more
positive than the leader of ROL, USA had foreseen. The dedication and
hard work of the Indian comrades, the non-sectarian approach to the
struggle, the proletarian internationalist spirit, the revolutionary
outlook, and the commitment to socialism and communism displayed
throughout the CPI (ML) Ninth Party Congress was exemplary.
by MIKE S.
When Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, was rocked by a catastrophic earthquake in January 2010, hundreds of thousands of people died, more than a million people were left homeless, and widespread disease followed. The U.S. imperialist government’sprimary response was to send 15,000 U.S. occupying troops to “maintain order” – translation – to keep the aroused and angry Haitian people from overthrowing their utterly discredited U.S.-backed puppet government and from returning the democratically elected President Aristide to power. (Aristide had been driven from power in 2004, infamously kidnapped and forcibly removed from Haiti by none other than the U.S. military.)*
* The Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA opposed the U.S. imperialist military occupation of Haiti at the time. See our leaflet, “Defend and Help the People of Haiti – No to U.S. Troops!” 1/18/10.
On the other end of the political spectrum, in the aftermath of the earthquake, the anti-imperialist government of Cuba sent doctors and medical workers to help. Even the New York Times, major mouthpiece of the U.S. ruling class, recently acknowledged this fact in an article entitled “Cuba Takes Lead Role in Haiti’s Cholera Fight.” (November 8, 2011)
This article went on to point out that: a) Today Haiti has the world’s highest rate of cholera, caused primarily by contaminated water, infecting an astonishing 5% of the population. b) The cholera epidemic has sickened almost one half million Haitians and killed an estimated 7,000 people. c) It was Cuban doctors who initially identified the spread of the disease and sounded the alarm. d) The Cuban medical mission in Haiti has treated over 76,000 cholera cases with only 272 fatalities, a death rate much lower than the average for cholera victims across Haiti as a whole!
The New York Times admitted, “There is no doubt that the Cuban mission has been vital here. It was among the largest international aid contingents to respond after the January 2010 earthquake that tumbled Haiti into crisis.” (ibid.)
From Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, to Pakistan, Colombia and Yemen, the U.S. imperialists export death and destruction from a plane, gun or drone – in defense of maximum Wall Street profits, in defense of the military industrial complex, for control of the world’s oil and natural gas and other valuable resources.
In stark contrast, the small pro-revolutionary country of Cuba, despite the many hardships caused by the decades-long U.S.-led economic blockade, has not only created one of the best medical systems in the world for its own people, but “exported” internationalist solidarity and goodwill in the form of medical assistance to poor and oppressed countries throughout the world. From Venezuela to South Africa, tens of thousands of Cuban doctors and health care workers voluntarily and selflessly work. This same internationalist and humanitarian spirit was on display when the Cuban government offered to send 1,500 doctors to the United States after Hurricane Katrina to tend to the medical needs of the abandoned Afro-American people of New Orleans and its surrounds who had been left to die by “their own” U.S. imperialist government.
In spite of the constant barrage of anti-socialist and
anti-communist propaganda emanating from all corners on behalf of the
Wall Street/Capitalist ruling class – the politicians, the bosses, the
educational system, and the corporate controlled U.S. media – the
exemplary internationalist spirit and practice of the Cuban people
speak louder than the reactionaries’ words.
|*A good bumper sticker reads, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” If you are paying attention, please send me the items that are enraging you. Thanks.
- the Editor
|Revolutionary Organization of Labor (ROL), USAis a
revolutionary working class organization that fights for working class
power and the elimination of all human exploitation. Ray O’ Light Newsletter
is the regular publication of ROL, USA. We believe, with comrade Lenin,
that the working class “… needs the truth and there is nothing so
harmful to its cause as plausible, respectable petty bourgeois lies.”
In the spirit of Karl Marx who taught that “our theory is not a dogma
but a guide to action,” we welcome your comments.
Ray Light — Editor
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