Welcome... / FRFI 200 Dec 2007 / Jan 2008

FRFI 200 December 2007 / January 2008

Genocide has been normalised. The utter devastation of Iraq is no longer news. Only the death of a British or US soldier merits significant media coverage; the fact that Iraq has been thrown back decades, the mass of its people reduced to destitution, prey to whatever imperialist savagery may be next unleashed is now not seen worthy of comment. That is why communists and anti-imperialists must constantly expose the horror of the imperialist occupation (pages 1 and 11) and the seemingly interminable list of British military interventions overseas (p12): the journalists of the bourgeois press certainly will not. Unending war: that is what imperialism offers the working class and oppressed of the world whilst fortunes are amassed by the already rich in the imperialist nations.

The normalisation of genocide is an indictment of those who led the anti-war movement in the US and here in Britain. Two million marched through London against the invasion of Iraq in February 2003. Where are they now? Completely demobilised by the disastrous leadership of the Stop the War Coalition, and in particular the SWP, which sacrificed every opportunity to build a real movement in favour of preserving its alliance with the cowardly and supine left of the Labour Party. Now its Respect coalition has split down the middle (p2).

In Cuba the mass of the people are actively involved in solving real and difficult problems that face them in this stage of the Revolution (p8). There is no room in socialist Cuba for careerist politicians: instead the people are enrolled to address urgently the problems of food production which threaten to create a dangerous position of dependency on imports. Genius lies in the people: in Cuba it is a genius that we are confident will solve these new sets of problems. We shall be fortunate to experience it through comrades Orlando Borrego, Jesus Garcia and Susel Rivera Antunez when they come to Britain next February (p9) on a speaking tour organised by Rock around the Blockade (RATB). Cuba is a pole of opposition to imperialism: hence the need of the US to continually ratchet up the blockade despite its overwhelming rejection at the UN (p9). The defence of Cuban socialism is crucial to building a genuine anti-imperialist movement in this country. FRFI urges all its readers to attend RATB mobilising meetings in their local areas and to get involved now in building the tour. Its success will lay the ground for tackling the left critics in Britain who have no answer to the principled positions of the Cuban Revolution.

Inspired by the example of Cuba, progressive and revolutionary forces in Latin America are developing their mutual collaboration. Symbolic of their progress was the verbal slap in the face that Chavez gave to the Spanish imperialists which led to King Juan Carlos storming out of the recent Ibero-American Summit (p5). In Venezuela itself a referendum on changes to the Constitution on 2 December will consolidate the power of the people against those who are acting as pawns of US imperialism (p4).

Imperialism breeds resistance – and not just in Iraq. Despite appalling pressure from the imperialist world, and with traitors in their midst in the form of Fatah careerists, the Palestinian people remain undefeated (p10). In Pakistan the Musharraf military dictatorship has been shaken by massive protests (p7). While corrupt bourgeois politicians of the past try to make deals with the army, thousands have been thrown in gaol and many face trial in military courts. The position of a crucial ally of US and British imperialism is under threat: the unravelling of imperialist designs for the Middle East has progressed a stage further.

Imperialism and racism go hand-in-hand. Within the US, vicious anti-immigrant legislation is being enacted across many states with Oklahoma in the lead (p6). The ruling class is terrified at the numbers and potential power of Latino immigrants, documented or undocumented, and is now unleashing a wave of racist repression. In Britain yet another piece of anti-terror legislation is under debate (p 1 and 5); its aim is to brand as terrorists Muslims, in particular, and all those who stand against British imperialism. However, repression creates resistance: activists have come together to support those who face trial following the uprising at Harmondsworth Detention Centre in November 2006 (p16). Resistance can also bring victory: early in November Eucharia Jakpa received a letter confirming she and her seven-year-old son Timeyi had won the right to stay in Britain after a two year campaign in which they were supported by FRFI (p16) .

As imperialism teeters on the edge of financial collapse (p6), communists, anti-imperialists and anti-racists must come together and take a principled stand in defence of the oppressed and working class. On page 14 we report the many activities in which supporters of FRFI are engaged on the streets against racism, repression, and in solidarity with Cuba. We urge all our readers to join in. We must show it is possible to build on a principled basis by making the RATB February Cuban speaking tour a resounding success, one which draws in hundreds of people determined to build a real movement inspired by the example of socialist Cuba. Get active now!

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