By Press IWU-FI (Untranscribed version)
26/1/2023. From the International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI), we want to deepen the situation of the struggle of the Peruvian people. We do so as part of our unconditional solidarity with their struggle.
Thus, we interviewed Miguel Sorans, a leader of the Socialist Left and the IWU-FI, about the situation in that country, its perspectives, and other aspects. Interviewer, Rosario Tamini, a member of the youth of Socialist Left.
RT: Miguel, how do you see the situation of the struggle in Peru?
MS: The first thing to say is that the popular-peasant rebellion in Peru is one of the highest points of the struggles in the world. Comparable to the revolution of the women and people of Iran.
Since December there has been a revolutionary mobilisation that has not stopped demanding the departure of the criminal government of Dina Boluarte and also the right-wing and corrupt parliament. In fact, the country is paralysed, without a formal general strike having been declared. With regional strikes, roadblocks, airport blockades, and zonal marches, especially all over the south of the country.
All this despite the brutal police repression that has already taken over 60 dead and hundreds injured. On Thursday 19, they made a great march to Lima from all regions of the country. It is called the new March of the 4 Suyos (the four cardinal points) remembering the one made in the year 2000 that toppled the dictatorship of Fujimori. They combined the march with a general strike called by the power stations.
It was massive, although repression marred it because the media highlighted the burning of a historic building. The origin of this fire is dubious. The demonstrators did not start it.
The repression was ruthless, but the struggle has not stopped. Delegations continue to arrive in Lima from inside the country. And the actions continue in Cuzco, Ayacucho, Arequipa, or Puno. The rebellion is determined to continue until Dina Boluarte leaves, the state of emergency is lifted, the murderers are punished and a Constituent Assembly is called.
They caused this rebellion by the social and political debacle that has been going on in Peru for years. A country of over 33 million inhabitants and has 70 per cent precarious and informal work and 20 per cent of the population under the poverty line.
A country where the last five presidents were dismissed for corruption and because they ruled for the rich, for multinationals, mining companies, and agribusiness.
Pedro Castillo’s failed government, who in 2021 came to power with a massive vote of the exploited south also caused the rebellion. Castillo presented himself as a leftist, promising that he would nationalise the gas and convene a Constituent Assembly. And like all the false governments of the Latin America left, it did nothing. It continued with pacts with the Peruvian oligarchy and multinationals, deepening misery and social inequality.
Castillo, faced with the great wear and tear he was suffering in front of the popular sectors, wanted to make the move to dissolve the Congress, but it went wrong. His vice president Boluarte, another fake leftist, allied to the right, arrested him and took over the government.
But the exploited masses, despite their criticism of Castillo, do not accept that it is Boluarte, united to the right and the corrupt parliament, who has abruptly assumed the government, supported by the police and the armed forces. For all this, a popular-peasant rebellion broke out in Peru. Working and peasant people took to the streets because they are fed up with the poverty of capitalism and want fundamental changes.
RT: What is IWU-FI doing and proposing in Peru?
MS: Our sister party, the Workers’ Party-Unios (PT-Unios), is intervening from the outset in the mobilizations. Mainly in Lima, Cuzco, Ayacucho, and Pu Together with our historic leader Enrique Fernandez Chacon. In Cuzco, we are part of the regional coordinator. In Lima we performed with comrade Angelica Liliana Mayhuasca who is leader of the health union of the hospital of San Juan de Lurigancho.
We are part of the mobilisation that has as a central slogan Out Dina Boluarte. The PT-Unis says that victory is possible and that, besides overthrowing the government, we must end the corrupt and right-wing Parliament, that all leave, and that it is necessary to call elections for a Free and Sovereign Constituent Assembly to discuss a new constitution at the service of the working and peasant people.
Along with this, we say that the only people who never ruled, the workers and peasants, have to govern. A government of organisations in struggle such as the Strike Committees, the Defence Fronts, the regional coordinators, the militant unions and any other body that may arise.
This slogan is key because Boluarte will fall, and it will be a first triumph. But the working class, the peasantry and the youth of Peru will not have basic solutions unless the capitalist system imposed by imperialism, the multinationals and the Peruvian oligarchy is ended. And for that, there must be a government of the working class and peasants.
A workers’ and popular economic plan is needed with basic measures such as the nationalisation of gas and mining companies and the cessation of foreign debt payments, among other measures, so that there are funds for wages, work, education, housing and health for the Peruvian people.
RT: Based on the situation in Peru, with the criminal government of Dina Boluarte, and also the facts of Brazil provoked by the bolsonaristas, there is the doubt or the question that the far right is advancing in Latin America. How do you see it?
MS: On the one hand, it is real facing the debacle of capitalism, the failures of the liberal or center-left employers’ governments, there are growing ultra-right political sectors that channel the fights and confuse many popular sectors. Like the Bolsonaros, the Trump, Milei in Argentina, Vox in Spain, Le Pen in France or Georgia Meloni in Italy.
What we see growing and predominating in Latin America and the world are the popular rebellions. They overthrow or encircle the employers’ governments that adjust and repress the peoples in the service of the multinationals and the IMF. Last year, there was the great popular rebellion of Sri Lanka. Iranian women and people have been in the streets for months against the theocratic dictatorship. In France, there has just been a general strike with 1.2 million people in the streets against Macron and his retirement reform. In Portugal, since December there has been a teachers’ strike, in the United Kingdom there has been a wave of strikes. In Latin America, there was a strike in Panama, a popular rebellion in Haiti, in Argentina there were the successful strikes of the workers of the Tire, of the self-contained teachers or of the resident doctors. There are now major strikes in Venezuela by teachers and public employees. In Peru, he assumed a repressive government, but there is an extraordinarily popular and peasant rebellion that ignores him and demands that he leaves. And the repression, so far, does not stop the mobilization.
In Brazil, Bolsonarism came up with a failed claim of military intervention against the Lula government. But, first, they failed and second; it was because after 4 years of the neo-fascist Bolsonaro government, they lost the elections. His reactionary action took place within the framework of his political-electoral defeat.
We can no longer minimise or ignore that these neo-fascist sectors, including Milei, have grown up and are a danger to the democratic rights of women and the working class.
The only alternative to finish defeating these ultra-reactionary projects is to continue promoting the mobilisation of the working class and the people, as in Peru, France, or Iran. And to build an independent working-class and socialist political alternative in Peru, Brazil, Iran, or Argentina as we are doing with the Socialist Left and the FITU.
RT: Finally, what are the prospects and tasks facing the struggle of the Peruvian people?
MS: All shows that the Boluarte government has failed to break the movement. Repression has radicalised popular and peasant mobilisation.
From PT-Unios and IWU-FI, we state we must continue to promote the mobilisation in Lima and throughout the country, preparing a real general strike.
The still weak point of the mobilisation is the lack of clear and unified leadership of struggle throughout the country. That is why we in the PT-Unis have been arguing about the need to achieve a national coordination that, for now, has not arisen. Coordinators in the regions such as the Coordinadora del Cuzco, some strike committees, and the Defence Front are growing and strengthening. But it is important that a national event of regional organisations in struggle be convened to discuss a unified plan of struggle and form a national coordinating body.
The other very important thing is to increase international solidarity with actions before embassies, consulates or acts with Peruvian residents in each country. Supporting the Peruvian people and demanding that the government of Dina Boluarte be ignored and relations be broken. As for Brazil, it is totally repugnant that Lula recognised Boluarte.
In Argentina, the Socialist Left, together with the FITU, is promoting these unitary actions. As the event before the CELAC meeting in Buenos Aires.
From the IWU-FI we continue to call on the left, human rights organisations, trade union, student, women’s and environmental organisations to take unified actions in Latin America and around the world.
Along this path of internationalist solidarity, we will help the Peruvian working and peasant people to win their heroic struggle.