Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR) of Brazil

6th International Seminar Problems of the Revolution in Latin America

Quito, July 15-19, 2002

The Imperialist War, Terrorism and the Response of the Workers and Peoples


The Revolutionary Communist Party, PCR, of Brazil, salutes all the revolutionary parties and organizations attending this 6th Seminar and particularly the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador, PCMLE, for the firm action of its members in the struggle for popular power and socialism in Ecuador and the world.

The real aims of imperialist wars

"There are wars and wars. Revolutionary wars are also possible. Therefore it is necessary to make it clear that in this case we are dealing precisely with an imperialist war. This is obvious, but to avoid false interpretations, so that one is not misunderstood, one must say it openly and clearly" (Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 34).

The imperialist countries make war in order to control the oil, gold, copper, water, in short, the natural and mineral wealth of the peoples, the raw materials, and in order to dominate the markets. Let us examine the reasons for the imperialist wars of recent years.

Asia's oil is the main objective of the imperialist war against Afghanistan

To get hold of the uranium, gas and oil of Afghanistan is one of the objectives that U.S. and English imperialism is carrying out with the war against Afghanistan. Therefore, one of the objectives of that war of aggression is to seize the wealth of that country. In fact, the world's biggest oil companies, U.S. and English (Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Texaco, etc.), who own almost all the oil in the world, have always wanted to control Asia's oil. Even though it is a poor country, Afghanistan possesses various kinds of mineral wealth, immense fields of natural gas, uranium and even oil, which have not yet been exploited. Besides, Afghanistan is in a strategic region of Central Asia. The countries there have huge quantities of oil underground. There are five countries in the Caspian Sea basin (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia and Turkmenistan). To get an idea of the wealth of those countries, one should note that the Caspian Sea basin has reserves calculated at 200 billion barrels of oil and that Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan alone have more oil and gas than all the countries of the Persian Gulf. Some of the U.S. companies have multimillion-dollar agreements with those countries to exploit their reserves.

Furthermore: war is the quickest way for the capitalists to shore up the seriously shaken world economy, particularly the U.S. economy. In the era of imperialism, war is the most efficient way of getting the capitalist economies out of crisis. That is why there are so many wars in the world, with bourgeois governments always finding pretexts to declare new ones.

In the war against Yugoslavia alone, the U.S. government has spent more than US $12 billion; those who profited were the military-industrial complexes of the big powers. That is, the magnates of the arms industry gained billions of dollars from the devastation of Yugoslavia.

As soon as the war against Afghanistan began, the value of the shares of various U.S. arms manufacturers (such as Lockheed, Northrop, General Dynamics, etc.) rose quickly in the stock market. Thus, 29 days after the bombardment of the people of Afghanistan began, the value of the stocks of those companies rose an average of 41.69% in the New York Stock Exchange. The demand for durable goods rose 12.8% in October of 2001, driven by the purchase of products related to the arms industry. This was its greatest increase since 1992.

The big U.S. companies that benefited from the imperialist wars include Raytheon, manufacturer of the Tomahawk missile; Lockheed Martin, which developed the Patriot missile system; Boeing North American, which specializes in target detection; Northrop Grumman, airplane manufacturer; Atlantic Research, which manufactures rocket motors; Honeywell, installer of tracking systems; Motorola, which manufactures resistors; and UDS, which fits out and reequips military vessels.

Besides that, the U.S. military budget, before the war began, was US $291.2 billion. After the attacks on the WTC it jumped to US $329 billion and, in April of 2002, it exceeded US $379 billion. Thus, in a few months, the military budget had grown by US $90 billion, all for a war against a country in which half the population goes hungry. In conclusion: the monopolies of the U.S. war industry were the greatest beneficiaries of the attacks of September 2001 in the U.S.

Why is there an imperialist war against the Palestinian and Iraqi peoples?

In the struggles for control of the sources of the raw material, the most important is the struggle for oil. The Persian Gulf region contains nearly half of the world's oil reserves; Iraq alone possesses about 10% of these. Of the total oil consumed in the U.S., nearly 10% comes from the Persian Gulf region. To subjugate Iraq is to control reserves estimated at 200 billion barrels of oil. Therefore, the reason that the U.S. is undertaking the war against Iraq is simply to seize the oil reserves of that country, to satisfy the interests of its monopolies. This is happening in the Middle East and Central Asia, where the world's greatest deposits of oil are found and the U.S. wants to maintain control of the flow of oil coming from that region.

The main reason for the war against the Palestinian people is that Israel is located in the most important geo-strategic area of the world for the interests of U.S. capitalism. Besides, the State of Israel has been continually entrusted by the USA to teach the most advanced torture techniques and train the death squads of various repressive governments, as it did in Latin America in the '70s and '80s, and – as everything indicates – it is doing it again.

In fact, Israel would never have been able to colonize and subjugate Palestine if it did not have the unconditional support of the biggest military power on the planet, the U.S., and of the other imperialist countries. In fact, Israel receives more financial and military aid from the U.S. than any other country, getting three billion dollars a year. But it is not only that: Germany and France are, after the U.S., the two countries that export the most war material to Israel.

Imperialist terrorism against the peoples of Latin America

For a long time, the U.S. has been planning, financing and carrying out interventions and coups in the Americas. Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil are, without a doubt, the victims that suffered most from the open intervention of the U.S. in recent years.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) stated that the U.S. presence in Colombia is currently larger than what it had been in El Salvador in 1980. The Colombian army, for example, received US $70 million from the U.S. in 2000, and in 2001 that figure jumped to US $519.2 million. Three large transnationals, BP, OXY and Total, have invested huge amounts of dollars in Colombia. BP hired 500 soldiers and 50 officers of the Colombian army to protect its oil installations (Resumen, March/April 2001). In this way, Plan Colombia was initiated by a lobby of U.S. businessmen interested in the Colombian oil reserves.

Between 1984 and 1992, 512 soldiers were sent from Mexico to the U.S. for training. Since 1996 the U.S. has already held classes for 4,000 Mexicans soldiers. It is important to remember that the School of the Americas, formed to train officers of the Latin American armies to fight against the revolution, was reopened and renamed the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation. All this is taking place at the same time as they are building military bases in our continent, such as in Manta, Ecuador, and in Alcântara, in northeast Brazil, and they are organizing military coups in Venezuela and Argentina. The military presence and military expenses of the U.S. in Latin America have grown in the last years, in the provision of weapons, equipment, technical assistance in the field of intelligence and training in all our countries. Officially 5,400 troops were trained in 1988 in various countries (the U.S. has military bases in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Europe; in south Korea and Japan alone there are nearly 100 thousand U.S. soldiers).

The truth is that, whether due to the sharpening of the anti-imperialist contradictions, or due to its fantastic natural and mineral wealth and its huge market, Latin America today is one of the main regions that the imperialist countries desire to control. Thus, the monstrous Plan Colombia is far more than just about U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Colombia. It is a matter of a strategy set in motion to establish the total and complete domination of Latin America by the U.S. monopoly capitalists. And part of that strategy is the creation of new military bases to guarantee the viability of the FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas) as well as the attempt to annihilate the advance and growth of the revolutionary struggle of the Colombian people.

The pro-imperialist coup d'etat in Venezuela last April, financed and directed by the U.S., has made clear the policy of U.S. imperialism to guarantee and deepen its domination in Latin America. This is being done by the installation, once again, of open military dictatorships to guarantee its interests in the region. To reinforce the policy of installation of military dictatorships, in June of 1999, the World Bank, after carrying out a "survey" in 80 countries, divulged a report in which one of the conclusions was that "there is no evidence that democracy helps the poor more."

Not just that. The report also shows that the real role of the communications media in our countries is to serve as propaganda for the international bourgeoisie and the big national bourgeoisie against the people and the national interests. Therefore, only the popular and workers' struggles in the streets can really defeat the bourgeoisie and win socialism.

The imperialist war against Yugoslavia

The U.S., Germany, France, England, Italy and 14 other countries, led by U.S. imperialism, bombed the people of Yugoslavia for more than two months, under the pretext of defending the rights of the Albanian people of Kosovo. The real interests that they defended in that war were, in the first place, the interests of the war industry monopolies of the imperialist countries, and in second place, the economic and political interests of the imperialist countries, in particular the U.S. and Germany, to extend their control over the Balkans. Previously, that region was made up of socialist countries that formed the Warsaw Pact, which was opposed to the capitalist countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The real interest of imperialism, therefore, was not to defend the population of Kosovo, but to seize the wealth that exists there. The Balkans are rich in oil and have large deposits of chromium, nickel, copper, gold and platinum. What the U.S., Germany and other imperialist countries want is to seize that wealth and exploit it in accord with their interests. To carry out this objective, they need to install a puppet government in Yugoslavia, one submissive to the monopolies and the international banks. In other words, the imperialist governments and countries of England, France, Germany, Italy and the U.S. carried out the war against the Yugoslav people to satisfy their interests of pillage.

Another objective of the imperialist war against Yugoslavia was to extend the limits of NATO to the borders of Russia in order to later subjugate her totally. It is no longer news that the U.S. wants to exercise still greater control over the whole European continent. Thus what is behind that geo-politics of imperialism is the hegemonic control of the Mediterranean Sea, of the straits region (the Bosphorus, Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles Straits) and of the Black Sea, within the perspective of a Third World War.

Apparently Germany and the U.S. have made a pact to delineate their respective spheres of influence in a civilized manner and decide who colonizes what in the Balkan region. But those who think that such a pact will last forever and that the U.S. and Germany will respect it "until death" are mistaken. The intense participation of Germany in that region since the Bosnian war makes clear what the interests of German imperialism are in the Balkans.

In fact imperialism, in its highest and final stage, is characterized, as Lenin said, by reaction all along the line. In that sense, violence and war are inseparable from capitalism in this epoch. Furthermore: under the conditions of the general crisis of capitalism, the imperialist circles are trying to resolve the fall in the rate of profit, the reduction of markets and the shortage of raw materials by increasing the slavery of the dependent peoples and the ferocious exploitation of the workers. Therefore, they constantly need to further militarize their States, that is, they need fascism. In fact, as Dimitrov defined it very well, "fascism is the most open, most imperialist, terrorist dictatorship of finance capital" (Dimitrov, Workers Unity Against Fascism). Therefore we are witnessing, in a series of countries (France, Italy, Germany, the U.S., Holland, Austria, among many other), the appearance of increasingly fascistic governments. It is important to emphasize, however, the role of shock troops of world fascism that the U.S. dictator, George W. Bush, is playing. In fact, by enormously increasing military expenses, financing and carrying out military coups, intervening in various countries and unleashing imperialist wars all over the planet, the United States dictator is at the head of the greatest reaction in capitalism, in world terrorism.

Modern imperialist war is for the control of oil and the sources of strategic raw materials

It is not for no reason that U.S. imperialism has such an interest in oil, the main raw material for the operation of the world economy. The U.S., Europe and Japan consume 52% of the oil extracted on the planet, although they make up barely 13% of the world's population. The United States alone consumes 25.5% of the world's oil production. Moreover: the U.S. has reserves sufficient for only another ten years, and its production has fallen since 1999 (Review of World Energy).

However, what is even more serious is that if the present rate of consumption of oil is maintained, it is predicted that, in 2020, two-thirds of the reserves of the world's fossil fuels will be exhausted. In an economy where various sectors – airline companies, automobile industries and fertilizers – depend on generators of electric energy (in the U.S. the main source of energy is fossil fuels) – it is imperative to lower the price of oil in order to get the country out of recession.

Also, it is important to remember that Venezuela is the world's fourth largest producer of oil and that 75% of the refining and trade in this product is in the hands of three monopoly enterprises, Exxon-Mobil (U.S.), BP Amoco (English-U.S.) and Shell (English-Dutch).

There, then, is the real reason for the voracity of the large oil companies and the imperialist countries: the domination of countries to take possession of the sources of that raw material which is of strategic importance for the world economy.

Capitalism increases the number of wars in the world

With the capitalist economy becoming continually more dependent and subordinated to the arms industry, wars have been growing in number and intensity all over the planet. In the last decade of the 20th century alone two million children died in armed conflicts, five million became invalids and another 12 million lost their homes. Every month, more than two thousand people die or become invalids due to mine explosions.

The wars are presented as "humanitarian" wars when in reality they are wars for economic and strategic interests, they are imperialist wars. Surprisingly, even the World Bank, after analyzing 47 wars that have taken place in the world since 1965, came to the conclusion that when one of the main sources of wealth of a country is the export of a raw material, the risk of conflict is the greatest (El País, June 16, 2000).

These, then, are the real reasons for the imperialist wars that are taking place in the world today. These are the reasons that the powerful and lying bourgeois media try to conceal in their disinformation news. The more wars that break out, the more bombardments that occur, the greater will be the profits of the monopolies. It does not matter, as it has never mattered to the capitalists and their governments, if children die, if schools are bombed, if a whole people is destroyed. The capitalist owners of the arms industries, just like vampires, are cruel, bloodthirsty, cold and calculating murderers; they are the real terrorists with suits and ties.

Capitalist imperialism and socialist revolution

"The furious struggle among capitalist groups is the cause of imperialist wars, that is to say, of wars for conquest of foreign territories, and this leads to their mutual weakening" (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism).

As the history of the humanity over last five centuries has shown, the capitalists have always violently defended their "right" to continue exploiting the people. Imperialism is waging a permanent war against the peoples who rise up against that domination, to prevent them from freeing themselves. To pretend, therefore, that the bourgeoisie will peacefully give up power and the means of production under its control is a vain illusion. Surely there is no other road to put an end to exploitation and to defend the interests of the workers against the exploiters, than to carry out a revolution.

Therefore, every day it becomes more evident to the workers that is impossible to free themselves from their ferocious and brutal exploitation without a determined struggle and without carrying out a revolution against the base which has generated and given birth to the world system of financial slavery, capitalism. Therefore Lenin, summing up in one sentence his whole analysis of the epoch of imperialism, declared: "Imperialism is the eve of the social revolution of the proletariat." In fact, the contradictions of capitalism, and particularly the contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, make socialism the only alternative to solve the crisis and save humanity.

Therefore, it is also necessary to build a vanguard detachment of the working class, a party that marches forward, that is steeled in the fire of the class struggle and that revives the true revolutionary doctrine of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. A party that conducts its work so that the working class and the popular masses become conscious of the need for the revolution and the seizure of power.


As continuers and heirs of the Paris Commune of 1871, of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, which established the first victorious State of workers and peasants in the world, of the heroic Cuban Revolution of 1959 and of the Popular Uprising of 1935 in Brazil, we are called upon to employ our force to the maximum in carrying forward the struggles for the liberation of the Brazilian people and for the establishment of true democracy in our country, socialism. Surely, it is this role that each of the members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, the party founded by the hero of the workers, Manoel Lisboa de Moura, will fulfill.

Communism lives!
Long live communism!

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