People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 25

June 20, 2010

Working Class upsurge in Latin America


THE whole world is today watching with great curiosity and pride the remarkable upsurge of revolutionary and popular forces in Latin American continent. This region was once known as a backyard of US imperialism which has now become the front runner in the struggle against neo-liberal globalisation and criminal perpetration by US imperialism. The entire movement in the continent has convincingly shown to the world that it is possible to oppose imperialism and defeat its evil designs if the people are united to oppose the hegemonistic policies of imperialism while trade union movement and the working class can play a significant role in strengthening the global struggle against capitalistic exploitation.


The process of trade unions coming together on a new platform of powerful struggle commenced with a meeting of leading trade unions at Quito (Ecuador) on May  5-7, 2008 which issued an appeal to all the fighting trade unions of Latin America to rise in protest against the policies of imperialist globalisation. The appeal stated, “The unity shall be on the struggle to defend the interest of the working class against imperialism and neo liberal globalisation, which left a balance of mass unemployment, depressed wages, increased discrimination and flexible or reduced duties. In response to neo liberal globalisation, we will open the way for the globalisation of struggles, the integration and unity of the working class in Latin America to work hard and give a more social character of the progressive integration of the region.”




The working class in Latin America has waged innumerable struggles to oppose the policies of globalisation and intervention of US imperialism. The Quito appeal therefore called upon the working class to strengthen the process. It further noted,


“It is a major challenge and duty to expand the awareness and mobilisation of the working masses to fight alongside other progressive forces, for two inter related goals of defeating the neo liberal reaction and promote action for change. Focussing the energy in this way, the labour movement can overcome difficulties, recover strength, expand in capacity to mobilise and make a decisive contribution towards the affirmation of the concrete unity of the working class and the rise of the role of the working class in the political ways of Latin America.”


The heightening of the level of the trade union struggles have created a political impact in the entire continent. The pro-US imperialist groups were soundly defeated in electoral battle and progressive groups came in their place, the millions of people joined the struggle against US imperialist hegemony of Latin America making the entire continent a bulwark of popular struggle against US imperialism and neo-liberal policies of globalisation.


The Quito appeal concluded by giving a clarion call to the working class of the entire Latin American continent in the following words, “We are convinced that the course of history in Latin America, where it became clear that the impasse between the shadow of imperialist oppression and the light of a sovereign and socialist future will depend on the role of the working class in the great political struggles that are already underway. Trade unionism committed to social progress can play a large role in shaping our common destiny, if it can overcome the economy matters and raise the level of its movements and battles in the political field.”


The second meeting of Our America movement held in Sao – Paulo (Brazil) on September 22-24, 2009 was attended by 161 international delegates representing 85 trade union organisations from 21 countries of America. They include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, USA, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela.





The meeting was attended by fraternal organisations from other continents namely, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Galicia, India (CITU), Japan, Basque Country, Portugal and Vietnam.


The meeting thus became a unique get together of anti imperialist forces to fight the policies of neo liberal globalisation and for an effective alternative for a better world.


The working class and the popular upsurge in Latin America against the neo liberal policies of globalisation affected several defeats against imperialist hegemony. The electoral success of Hugo Chavez in 1998 set in motion a new wave of struggle against depredation of multi national corporations. The success of Lula, a son of steel worker in Brazil (2002), Kirchner in Argentina (2003), Tabare Vazquez in Uruguay (2004), Evo Morales in Bolivia (2005), Rafael Correa in Ecuador (2006), Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua (2006), Fernando Lugo in Paraguay (2007) and Mauricco Funes in El Salvador has changed the face of Latin American countries. These defeats were inflicted when US imperialists clandestinely supported morally and materially all reactionary forces. Despite campaigns of lies by newspapers in Latin America, these electoral defeats of US imperialism assumed special significance in the entire continent.


The proposal for a platform for united action advanced in the Quito (Ecuador) meeting received wide support in most of the Latin American countries. The proposal covered three main topics for consideration of the trade union movement in the region. They include:


1.     Protection of Labour and Social Rights

a.     Full employment    b. The state should assume its role as a promoter of economic and social development c. reduction in working hours without loss of pay d. Against precarious work e. against privatisation f. universal public policy on education, health, welfare and transport g. Campaign in Latin America on “Education is not a merchandise” h. against discrimination in employment on grounds of gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

2.     Solidarity and Sovereign integration

a.     Solidarity between people and support for political and social changes b. Unity against the military offensive of imperialism and its conservative and corrupt allied forces in the region.

3.     Struggle in defense of food sovereignty, in defense of sovereignty over strategic resources, water, bio diversity and environmental sustainability. 


The platform energised a powerful campaign all over Latin American countries which gave a new boost to the struggle against neo liberal policies of globalisation and imperialist intervention. It also contributed to the strengthening of the unity and solidarity of the trade union movement in the entire region. In spite of ideological differences in the trade union movement, the platform brought together several trade unions despite different international affiliations   and perceptions.





To carry forward the objective laid down by the Sao Paulo meeting, a 13 member co-ordination committee has been formed consisting of leading trade union organisations from Uruguay, Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Columbia, Chile,  Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Venezuela.


The co-ordination committee will “Strengthen the defense of fundamental class interests, their commitment to solidarity, internationalism and search for path that leads to unity in action.”


The third meeting of “our America” movement will be held in Venezuela in July 2010 which will review the advance made by the movement since September 2009 and consider steps to further intensify the class struggles in the entire continent of Latin America to foil all conspiracies of US imperialism in the region.


Despite several setbacks, US imperialism has not given up its conspiratorial activities, it is still helping all reactionary forces in Latin American countries. The US imperialists inspired repression of the democratic movements in Peru, the CIA engineered army coup in Honduras where a democratically elected president was overthrown and to give a legal sanction to the illegal act, a farce of election was organised in the country. Many Latin American countries have refused to recognse the stooge government of US imperialism. The US backed by CIA further resorted to armed intervention in Ecuador and destroyed military base in Manta and established large number of military bases in Columbia  to protect a puppet regime in that country. With true backing of US imperialists in Mexico too, the US government is protecting an unpopular government which resorted to brutal suppression of legitimate trade union movement, an act which is condemned by trade union movement all over the world.


The formation of Bolivarian alternative for the peoples of our America (ALBA) has created a new basis of international co operation without involvement of World Bank, IMF or WTO. It lays the foundation of new integration of economics in the developing countries based on a break with neo liberal globalisation economic model. Along with a proposal to create a South Bank which would meet the credit needs of the developing countries in Latin America so that they would not have to depend on the World Bank  and the IMF with their unfavourable conditionalties, there is also a proposal for creation of  a union of South American Nations (UNASUR) which will be a new political union of the people of the Latin America which will oppose all US imperialist policies  to dominate the world.



The positive developments in Latin America are hitting the backbone of US imperialism. The trade union movement in the region is playing a crucial role in the struggle. Huge mobilisation was seen all over Latin America on every aspect of struggle against globalisation. It is a reflection of the fighting spirit of the working class and the toiling masses in Latin America. These movements are inspiring working class and progressive movements in all other continents and paving the way for a global struggle against the hegemony of US imperialism.