Between August 25 and 27, more than 300 delegates, representing 134 working-class organizations in 27 countries in the Western Hemisphere, met in Managua, a “Red Mecca” for over three decades. There the Encuentro Sindical Nuestra América (ESNA) plotted out the demise of the “bourgeois” nations. Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s past/present Marxist dictator, was present at the meetings.
The communist-controlled World Federation of Trade Unions founded ESNA or, in English, the Union Meeting of Our America, four years ago, about the same time the WFTU moved its historic HQ from Prague to Athens.
The publication of the New York-based Workers’ World Party relates: “In plenaries and workshops, delegate after delegate described the suffering in their country caused by neoliberal (capitalist) economic policies, brutal political repression and the capitalist recession.” Taking a page from the communist playbook, Víctor Mendibil, secretary general of the Judicial Federation of Argentina (FJA) and a communications coordinator for ESNA, spelled out the goals of the conference:
In agreement and unity with the working class of the continent, we will give an alternative response to those initiatives that aim, at a global level within a reformist framework and with close ties to the dominant economic powers, to be the social arm of the World Bank or the IMF.
We, with a deep spirit of class and liberation, will work within ESNA with the prospect of building a large movement that will help transform society and advance along the path of social justice, the integration of our peoples, sovereignty and peace.
To the advances the multinationals are making against workers’ rights, we should put up a barrier and for this, dozens of delegations in Managua were here today in class solidarity to develop that strategy of the workers against the multinationals and imperialism.
The first day of the ESNA hugfest began with a rally in solidarity with the “Cuban Five” espionage agents, cooling their heels in a US federal prison. To help her denounce the USA, Irma Sehwerert, mother of Cuban spy René González, was joined by Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former Catholic priest, Nicaragua’s foreign minister during the first Sandinista regime in the 1980s, and former president of the United Nations General Assembly (2008-2009); Tomás Borge, Maoist, the only living co-founder of the ruling Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN), and presently Nicaragua’s ambassador to Peru; Gustavo Porras, secretary general of the Sandinista-backed National Workers’ Federation of Nicaragua (FNT); and Salvaldor Valdés Mesa, secretary-general of the regime-controlled, WFTU-affiliated Workers’ Central Union of Cuba (CTC). Porras is pictured above, left, with his boss Ortega.
Delegates applauded loudly for Juan Barahona, Honduran union activist and leader of the National Resistance Front of Honduras, which is devoted to re-installing former president Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in June 2009 and earlier this year legally returned to his homeland. Barahona was optimistic about the re-accession of Hugo Chavez’s lackey to power in Tegucigalpa, crowing: “We are organizing and mobilizing for total power.”
Incidentally, what do Barahona and Honduras’ “center-right” president, Porfirio Lobo, have in common? They’re both “ex”-cadres of the Communist Party of Honduras, which may explain why Lobo tamely accepted Zelaya’s repatriation.
Delegates also listened to Humberto Montes de Oca, a leader of the Union of Mexican Electrical Workers (SME), describe the “struggle” of 44,000 workers who were fired by the state-owned power company and bodily removed from their jobs by soldiers. SME members have been occupying the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City since March 3 in opposition to privatization.
For their part, Chilean delegates related the revolutionary activities of students and workers in their country in a bid to topple the pro-business government of President Sebastian Pinera. On August 25 and 26, students, teachers, and Chile’s main umbrella labour union (CUT) held a violent two-day strike in Santiago, agitating for a “better educational system,” meaning free post-secondary education, as is available in some countries of the European Union.
The ringleader of the current protests in Chile is Camila Vallejo Dowling, a 23-year-old geography student at the University of Chile and president of the student federation at the same institution. Vallejo, according to the publication of the Communist Party USA, is a card-carrying member of the Young Communist League of Chile and daughter of Communist Party cadres who fought against the government of President Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), the bête noire of commies and lefties everywhere.
In a final resolution, ESNA expressed solidarity with “the dignified resistance of the people of Libya” (meaning the ousted terrorist regime of Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi), “the Palestinian people” (meaning the terrorist quasi-state ruled by the Palestine Liberation Organization), “the Cuban people” (meaning the terrorist state ruled by the Communist Party of Cuba), “the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela” (meaning the incipient communist regime of President Hugo Chavez), “the Chilean students” (who are led by young red Vallejo), and “the people of Colombia” (meaning the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and presumably, too, the National Liberation Army).
ESNA also passed a special resolution that offered “unconditional support” for the (unconstitutional) re-election bid of “Comandante” Ortega, to occur on November 6, praising the second Sandinista regime (2007-present) for its participation in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). According to the delegates, the FSLN government has demonstrated that “there are alternatives and our revolutionary parties of America can change conditions of social injustice” created by “traditional parties and oligarchies linked to and subordinate to imperialist [US] interests of international finance capital.” The resolution stated that “capitalism is confronted with one of its deepest, most integral and most systemic crises” and “the salvation of humanity is only possible with a new social system, socialism.”
The Nicaraguan president, whose top general is currently rubbing elbows with the brass of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, closed the ESNA conference, praising the resolutions and “blasting capitalism and imperialism.” After Ortega’s rant, delegates joined hands to sing the Marxist anthem “The Internationale.” The next ESNA pow-wow will take place next year in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán in Mexico. Previous conferences were held in Ecuador, Brazil, and Venezuela, all three of which tout leftist presidents, namely Chavez “mini me” Rafael Correa, ex-urban guerrilla Dilma Rousseff and, of course, Chavez himself.
Yup, communism’s dead all right. That’s why the WFTU and its offspring like ESNA are committed to overthrowing private property and free enterprise, even as reds like Ortega make tactical and pragmatic compromises with capitalism, to wit Nicaragua’s schizophrenic membership in both the US-led Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement and the Havana/Caracas-led ALBA.