Cinco de Mayo 1998

From the Revolutionary Communist Party,
Los Angeles Branch

Revolutionary Worker #956, May 3, 1998

Support the Struggle of Our Mexican Brothers and Sisters!

The Mexican giant is beginning to rise up, a people of 80 million with much reason to hate Yankee domination. The great revolutionary leader, Mao Tsetung, taught that "A single spark can start a prairie fire." Today the dry prairie of the Mexican countryside threatens to burst into flames--from the armed uprising of peasants in Chiapas in January of 1994 to the struggles and rebellions in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, in the Huasteca region, in Nuevo Leon, Baja California, Tabasco, Morelos. In San Jerónimo Tulijá, Chiapas, March 1, hundreds of peasant women armed with sticks faced off against the army. This scene has been repeated other places in the campo: women and children with rudimentary weapons in stand-offs with the army. Scenes of a people rising in struggle.

There are millions of poor peasants in the Mexican countryside. They work as day laborers or eke out a living farming tiny plots of land. They are crushed by usury and debt, forced to work for the landlords or in public works projects, under the thumb of the caciques and their bands of armed thugs. It's right to rebel against these conditions!

The struggle of the Indian peasants has rocked Mexico and inspired support the world over. Their bold actions fill our hearts with joy. They are the oppressed and exploited of the earth, those on the bottom of society whose labor creates all the wealth of the planet. The rebel peasants of Mexico are our brothers and sisters. Our people are locked in a fierce battle with the enemy, and that's our blood down there.

The situation in the Mexican campo is testimony to the fact that the conditions for revolutionary outbreaks are ripening. This gladdens our hearts, and at the same time it fills our class enemies--the Yankee imperialists, the comprador-bureaucrat capitalists (big capitalists subordinated to the imperialists) and the landlords of Mexico--with rage. Right now, one-third of the Mexican army, 70,000 troops, is deployed in Chiapas. The murder of peasants by soldiers and death squads is now an everyday occurrence. In the cities, demonstrations of street vendors, teachers and parents have been violently attacked. Hundreds of peasants, Indians and activists have been arrested and tortured.

The countryside is being militarized. There are checkpoints everywhere under the cover of the "war on drugs" orchestrated by the Yankee imperialists, the very ones who financed the Contras in Nicaragua with cocaine money and whose CIA sold crack in the ghettos and barrios of this country. These mafiosos have the gall to use their phony "war on drugs" as a cover for their repression against the Mexican people!

The U.S. has long considered Mexico its private preserve to exploit to the max. They have investments of $26 billion in corporations like Ford, General Electric and IBM, which pay Mexican workers a sixth of U.S. salaries. The majority of working Mexicans receive less than the minimum wage of $3.60 a day. From Africa to South America, this is the dirty secret of their imperialist system: it lives off of the super profits it wrings out of Mexico and all the other countries oppressed by imperialism.

Imperialist investment distorts Mexico's economy. Today Mexico has less ability to feed its people than it did in 1910. 158,000 children die each year of malnutrition and preventable diseases while Mexico produces 69 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. during the winter season. And now with NAFTA, Mexican farmers and peasants are forced to compete directly against U.S. agro-industry, with the consequence that millions more will be forced off the land.

Mexico is a key pillar of the U.S. empire, and the imperialists react like a desperate, wounded beast to the people's just struggle which cries out for freedom, land and dignity. In the wake of the uprising in Chiapas in 1994, U.S. arms sales to Mexico increased from $16 million to $54 million. They have sent military advisors to Mexico and brought Mexican officials here to this country to train them in counterinsurgency and torture.

The Mexican government preaches dialogue and says that "violence is not the answer," while the army and PRI paramilitary groups terrorize the people every day and unleash bloody attacks against them. The most recent example is the brutal massacre of 45 Tzotzil peasants in the town of Acteal on December 22. Why is it that those whose hands are covered with the blood of the people always insist that violence is not the answer?

According to the logic of the oppressor, it is fine for them to burn down entire villages, but the people are not even permitted to light a candle. Our logic is just the opposite: It's right to rebel!

It is illusory to try to reform the system or hope that the government will become more humane. Just look at the experience of the San Andrés Larrainzar agreements between the EZLN and the Mexican Government. Not only has the government not respected the accords, it has violated them shamelessly and systematically at every turn. For example, the recent violent attacks on pro-EZLN communities by the army and the deportation of their foreign supporters.

There is much to learn from Mao Tsetung who led the Communist Party of China in developing this kind of revolution and in going on to build a whole new society. The New Democratic Revolution mobilizes the peasants under the leadership of the proletariat and its Communist Party as the main force to liberate a country dominated by imperialism.

The New Democratic Revolution confiscates the property of the imperialists, the big capitalists and landlords. It carries out the slogan of "land to the tiller". Semi-feudalism is destroyed by distributing the land to the peasants who work it, and this in turn lays the basis for the voluntary collectivization of agriculture. The revolution cancels the huge foreign debt, appropriates the banks and large corporations and puts them in the hands of the people. The new people's state reorganizes the economy to serve the needs of the people instead of the profits of a handful of bloodsuckers. The New Democratic Revolution is not just a dream, it is being fought for right now in a number of countries--Peru, Nepal, and the Philippines.

Throughout history the Mexican people have risen up to fight the oppressors again and again. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Battle of Puebla against the French invaders in 1862. Today the cry of the Mexican people for liberation is being heard anew, especially in the campo, and the people are once again beginning to rise up, demanding to be free of domination and exploitation.

One of the worst nightmares of the Yankee imperialists is a revolutionary storm in Mexico. The militarization of the border and the war on immigrants are part of their agenda for stamping out the flames of rebellion and revolution. The oppressed of Mexico and the U.S. have a common cause. Our lives and our struggles are completely interconnected. We are brothers and sisters.

Let revolutionary struggle transform Mexico into a dagger aimed at the heart of the Yankee empire!

Revolutionary Communist Party,
Los Angeles Branch

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