- Created: Sunday, 11 February 2018 17:51
- Written by FRFI
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 10 – May/June 1981
El Salvador: the people fight on
The revolutionary war of El Salvadorean workers and peasants led by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) to crush US imperialism and its puppet military regime continues unabated.
Imperialist hopes that with the massive $25m US military aid, the regime would succeed in delivering a rapid and devastating blow to the revolution in El Salvador have been shattered by the bombs, bullets, courage and heroism of the FMLN. Throughout the months of March and April fierce battles raged in the country’s provinces, the fiercest being those in Morazan now under virtual FMLN control. Strengthened by the recent supply of new helicopters, armaments and military transport, the regime made a desperate bid to destroy FMLN strongholds before the onset of the rainy season beginning in May. In each and every battle the regime’s forces were compelled to retreat. And now with the rainy season making roads impassable for army transport, the regime’s already shaky control of El Salvador will be further weakened.
In response to this failure to defeat the armed organisations of the oppressed masses, the military junta has further escalated its barbaric repression of the people. The barbarism of imperialism has now reached genocidal proportions. On 27 March 1,500 refugees from Morazan sought safety from the junta's forces by hiding in mountain caves. Some of these were sealed off by the army suffocating those inside, others were saturated with teargas and as the refugees – mainly women, children and older men – staggered out they were shot down. Such massacres are now common place in El Salvador. The army surrounds a group of unarmed and helpless refugees – the women are raped and their throats slit, older children are shot dead, babies strangled in front of their parents and sadistic soldiers tie grenades to little children and explode them. In the words of a bourgeois journalist working for the imperialist Sunday Times, these acts of savagery are:
‘... not the excesses of a few brutal and disobedient soldiers, but a coordinated military campaign by the Salvadorean military assisted by the Honduran army ...’
And the El Salvador junta base their campaign of genocide on the military handbooks of the USA.
Imperialist politicians, these utterly loathsome and bestial creatures of imperialism, who never tire of proclaiming their warped support for democracy and justice when referring to the USSR and Cuba are the very same creatures who are providing the military and political support for this escalating barbarism. The ruling class of US and British imperialism has only one concern – the defence of its capitalist property and the accumulation of more wealth. The agony of a raped and mutilated mother, the cry of a terrorised and dying child, the pain and suffering of millions of oppressed workers and peasants – to all these the imperialist ruling class is utterly indifferent. Witnessing all this a senior Washington official declared:
‘… we’ll be pumping in military supplies and money to keep the economy afloat and the private sector encouraged.’
So long as the capitalist economy remains ‘afloat’, so long as the private sector remains ‘encouraged’ imperialism will raise neither cry nor whisper at the regime’s brutality. President Duarte, head of the military junta is fully aware of this:
‘I don’t remember the exact figures for the foreign debt, but we could borrow 10, 20, 30 times more than we have already borrowed. Provided exports keep growing.’
Such is the reality of the war in El Salvador. And the FMLN fully understands this reality – that imperialism in defence of its property and profit will tolerate and indeed encourage every form of barbarism against workers and peasants to break their revolutionary resistance. The FMLN is therefore responding by hitting imperialism where it hurts most. Coffee is El Salvador’s main export – the FMLN is waging a campaign of economic war destroying coffee crops, warehouses, freight trains and railway lines. In addition during the months of March and April it burnt down the firm of Cartooners Centroamerican causing $800,000 of damage, bombed the Agricultural Commercial Banks and destroyed numerous electricity generators.
Two months ago, the US State Department launched a major propaganda offensive to dis-credit the FMLN. It had no popular support they said, it was merely an instrument of Soviet ‘subversion’, there would be no war in El Salvador if it was not for the interference of the USSR and Cuba. This stupid and reactionary conspiracy is now exposed. Even the CIA, in its own report of Cuba’s and the USSR’s international role, refutes its own State Department’s allegations! The State Department’s propaganda offensive was designed to justify increasing military aid to the Duarte regime and prepare ‘public opinion’ for direct US military intervention if this was necessary. Military aid has been provided and the revolution remains undefeated. US imperialism is no doubt going ahead with preparations to invade El Salvador. Communists in Britain say No US intervention in El Salvador! The war in El Salvador is a class war of the oppressed and exploited workers and peasants against US imperialism and its lackey ruling class in El Salvador. Communists say Victory to the oppressed masses of El Salvador! Victory to the FMLN.
In the course of a press conference, held during the recent celebrations in Grenada of the second anniversary of the 13 March 1979 revolution Prime Minister Comrade Maurice Bishop was asked whether the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) was surprised that Britain had recently cut off all aid to his country.
Comrade Bishop replied by first clarifying that in fact aid had been cut off since the revolution and that Britain’s announcement was simply ratification of a prior decision. He went on to say that the PRG was not at all surprised.
‘Look at Britain’s ruling party, they are totally racist. If you don’t believe me, look at how they treat Ireland.’
Bishop denounced the British Government as:
‘... racist, ruthless and totally lacking in humanitarianism …’
Noting Britain’s good relations with South Africa and Chile, he added:
‘Then they come out here and talk about human rights. What type of human rights are they talking about?’
It is hardly surprising that the PRG which also maintains a firm alliance with Cuba is the subject of attacks from US and British imperialism. The US has already sent a mission to Europe to try and stop the EEC from giving Grenada a $60m loan to help build an international airport. Britain and the USA are also sending constant illegal flights over Grenada and British marines have been engaged in military manoeuvres in Barbados. As in Nicaragua, imperialism, and in this case in particular, British imperialism are searching out every opportunity to foment counter-revolution.
In July 1979, following a long and bitter popular war led by the Sandinistas, the Nicaraguan people smashed the hated US-backed Somoza regime and established an anti-imperialist people’s government. Great strides have been taken in organising workers and peasants, in eliminating illiteracy and in the provision of social and health care. Nicaragua stands as a symbol of a successful anti-imperialist revolution.
Imperialism, however, can never reconcile itself to such defeat. It will relentlessly pursue counter-revolution; it will stop at nothing to destroy the social and democratic victories of the people and re-establish its ruthless rule. Using the pretext of alleged Nicaraguan aid to the FMLN in El Salvador the US administration took its first major step by cutting off $24m in aid. $9m of this was for the purchase of grain to supply bread for the people. US imperialism hopes that by starving the masses and making 12,000 bread workers unemployed it will turn the people against their own government.
Simultaneously US imperialism is providing increasing material and political support to the counter-revolutionary National Democratic Union (UDN) composed of rich businessmen and merchants. This organisation calls for the end of all international aid knowing that such an act would destroy the Nicaraguan economy and bring increasing suffering to the masses. But this precisely is its aim. It then hopes to emerge as the ‘spokesman’ of the people who they hope will turn against the Sandinistas. The UDN is also organising, with the assistance of the US, a counter-revolutionary army, which it will no doubt try to turn against the revolutionary masses of Nicaragua.
The Sandinistas have warned US imperialism:
‘We do not want it, but if they are looking for confrontation then we can give the green light to the class struggle.’
Communists extend their full solidarity to the Sandinista government and demand ‘Imperialist Hands Off Nicaragua!’