Thursday, March 06, 2008

On the Assassination of Raúl Reyes and the Colombian Government’s Aggression Against Ecuador and Venezuela - CMR Statement

By Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria in Venezuela
Thursday, 06 March 2008

1)American imperialism is intensifying its offensive against the Latin American revolution. They are witnessing how control is slipping through their fingers and are stepping up their campaign against the revolution. In particular, the imperialists are aiming their fire against the Venezuelan revolution, a point of reference for the masses across the whole of Latin America. All this explains the manoeuvres of the imperialists and the pressure they are exercising in an attempt to put a halt to the shift to the left taking place in the whole continent and especially in Venezuela.

2)In this sense, Chávez's successful mediation to free the hostages, on top of the internal crisis in Colombia and the perspectives for peace, have pushed the Colombian oligarchy and the American imperialists to brutally attack the FARC, assassinating Raúl Reyes, who was in charge of the negotiations to release the hostages. Chávez's mediation in the process has generated huge expectations amongst the masses and has provoked further divisions within the ruling class. At the same time, this very success meant that for the imperialists it would be much more difficult to try to criminalise the Venezuelan revolution in the eyes of the working masses around the world.

3) The assassination of Raúl Reyes and the killing of other 18 FARC guerrillas exposes, once more, the policy of the Colombian State and the US government of trying to avoid any peaceful way out of the conflict with the guerrillas, revealing thus their complete lack of interest in the lives of the hostages. The Uribe government survives on the basis of inciting internal war and constantly using the "struggle" against the guerrillas as a means of attacking the Colombian left. With this massacre, the Uribe government and American imperialism aim to derail the negotiations over the release of the hostages and thus deny any peace in Colombia.

4)The Colombian government, in its attempts to sabotage the release of the hostages and any peaceful way out of the conflict, has not hesitated to invade and bomb Ecuadorian territory. To cove up this abuse, the Uribe government has had to resort to a mountain of lies. Firstly, Uribe stated that the Ecuadorian government knew about the attack and that this had taken place after the FARC had attacked them. He also said that the guerrillas had been killed while the Colombian army was chasing them, something which later was proven to be false. The troops deployed in the area by the Ecuadorian government were witnesses to the fact that most of the dead guerrillas were in pyjamas, having been taken by surprise while asleep. When evidence about these lies started to pile up, the Colombian government changed its tune and pointed the finger at Ecuador, accusing the governments of Rafael Correa of supporting the guerrillas, using alleged documents found in the attack against the FARC.

5)The tactic that the American imperialists and their puppet in Bogotá are following is to criminalise the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela, trying to link them up with the guerrillas and drug trafficking in order to criminalise the revolution in both countries and prepare new acts of aggression against them.

6)While all this has been taking place the Colombian government has moved troops towards its border with Venezuela. Faced with the threat that this means, president Chávez ordered that 10 battalions be move to the border with Colombia in order to prevent any aggression against Venezuela or incursion of the Colombia army.

7)The working class of Latin America and around the world must be aware of the danger of an attack on Venezuela or Ecuador. North American imperialism will not hesitate to divide the peoples of Latin America, who are all brothers and sisters, to set them one against the other and subdue them; they will not think twice about balkanising Latin America to maintain the capitalist system and imperialist exploitation. The reactionary government of Uribe, a puppet of North American imperialism, could serve as an instrument for a military aggression on Venezuela or Ecuador. The Colombian government, armed to the teeth by the imperialists, is a threat to the Venezuelan revolution and the whole of the continent. Should Colombia carry out a new aggression, the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador would be justified in defending themselves with any means at their disposal.

8)The assassination of Raúl Reyes demonstrates that the only way of achieving peace in Colombia is through the revolutionary overthrow of the Uribe government by the Colombian working class in alliance with the peasants. Only a mass movement struggling for socialism can guarantee peace, with the struggle for the expropriation of the means of production from the bourgeoisie and the destruction of the Colombian state. A purely military victory over the Colombian state is impossible. More than 70 years of heroic guerrilla struggle have demonstrated the limitations of this method of struggle, leading up to the current impasse. The guerrilla struggle in the countryside can only be victorious as an auxiliary to the working class struggle in the cities. Only the insurrection of the armed working masses in the cities can put an end to this reactionary and bloody regime.

9)The Marxists of the CMR repudiate the assassination of Raúl Reyes and the violation of Ecuadorian sovereignty by the Colombian army, and support the preventive measures taken by the governments of presidents Chávez and Correa. There are powerful interests within the Colombian state not to deliver peace. More and more the Colombian bourgeoisie is divided due to the weight of the paramilitary in the country and in the State apparatus. This crisis reflects the awakening of the masses after years of brutal repression and a unilateral civil war carried out by the Colombian State and their paramilitaries.

10)Should American imperialism move in the direction of imposing a military action by the Colombian army against Venezuela, the workers, peasants and poor of Colombia must rise up against this imperialist intervention. Any aggression against Venezuela or Ecuador should be seen as the rallying call for the socialist revolution in Colombia. In his attempt to put out the revolutionary fire in Latin America, Uribe will find that he is sparking it off in Bogotá.

11)In Venezuela and Ecuador, the people and the workers would help to free the Colombian people and undermine the threat of the Colombian bourgeoisie and of American imperialism, by deepening the socialist revolution in each of these countries, expropriating the capitalists and building an authentic revolutionary state. That is to say, they would show the way to the oppressed people of Colombia in their struggle to shake off the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. That is the best way of preventing war and the manoeuvres of imperialism.

12)Our slogans are: Against the Uribe-Bush aggression against Ecuador and Venezuela! Unite the workers and peasants of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela! Down with the reactionary Uribe government! Long live the socialist revolution in Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador! Long live the socialist federation of Latin America and the Caribbean!


MC Fanon said...

This situation is immensely complex. It has brought a lot of interesting questions to the table. A couple of my major ones I am wrestling with before I write a short piece on this extremely volatile situation: (1) What should the left's attitude towards FARC be, considering that both Uribe's government and FARC have been complicit in a plethora of human rights atrocities and terrorist acts? (2) Are the documents recovered by the Colombian government legitimate (I reserve judgment until the OAS and the U.N. get a chance to examine their authenticity) and if so, should Chavez be held accountable the same way Reagan and Bush should have for Iran-Contra? (3) Will Chavez be able to use this to polarize some of the more moderate-to-left Latin American leaders, such as Cristina Kirchner?

To this point, I think Chavez has responded appropriately to Colombia's actions. What no one seems to recognize is that it is in Chavez's interests to see an end of the Colombian civil war, because the unrest in the region subverts the spread of Bolivarianism. Though I have no doubt Chavez wishes a regime change in Colombia, I'm still not convinced his support for FARC is anything more than a choice between the lesser of two evils who happen to be his neighbors.

Frank Partisan said...

Dave: Chavez has correctly labeled FARC, a belligerant force, as opposed to a terrorist group. They hold land and use military rank.

1) The post doesn't have one word of political support to FARC. Notice in the last paragraph, none of the slogans call for support to FARC. In addition catch the part, where the article says only the Colombian working class can lead a revolution. It also says that fight has been going on for seventy years. I saw FARC's website, and it totally lacks program.

I do know Fidel hates them.

Locally there's a Maoist group in Minneapolis that supports FARC. They don't attend events in support of Venezuela.

2) Not even the bourgoise news commentators believe they are legit.

3) It's not in Venezuela's interest to have a war. It would cripple the socialist project. The moderate governments denounced Uribe, without Chavez having to tell them to.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Rather appropriate slogans!

The US...anything she touches in that part of the world (and most others) is not for the good of the people of any particular country. It is for the interests of the US (empire) and nothing will change until we change it.

Until the American people wake up from their blissful slumber I'm afraid the world will have to wait...or in the famous words of a naked man, "Bring `em on!"...

Most haven't a clue as to the tentacles of empire that have stretched bloody paws in Venezuela, Cuba, Africa, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq...and coming soon to a theatre near you- Iran.

Wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

Columbians are sick of those FARC'in Iceholes! And support for Hugo's aggressions in Columbia amongst Venezuelans is rapidly approaching zero. Venezuelans are more interested in the oil for food trade deal with Argentina than in any grand Bolivarian wet-dreams of Hugo Chavez.

Anonymous said...

Uribe's attack on Reyes' FARC camp in Ecuador received an 83% approval rating from the Columbian people...

sonia said...


You could spare us such extreme pro-FARC propaganda.

1) The post doesn't have one word of political support to FARC.

Are you kidding ? Raúl Reyes was a FARC leader. The article denounces his assassination. It's a pro-FARC article.

Locally there's a Maoist group in Minneapolis that supports FARC. They don't attend events in support of Venezuela.,

How ungrateful of them. Sometimes love is very one-sided. Chavez's foam-in-the-mouth reaction to Reyes's assassination is all the prove I need that Chavez is fanatically pro-FARC.

2) Not even the bourgoise news commentators believe they are legit.

False. Everybody (except Chavez supporters) know that Chavez supports FARC. That's obvious even without any documents. Chavez's own statements are more than enough.

3) It's not in Venezuela's interest to have a war.

Correct, but it is in Chavez's interest to have a war. He believes (he might even be right) that Uribe's regime is on the brink of collapse. All it needs is a little push from the Venezuelan military.

Besides, since Uribe is 100% convinced that Chavez supports the FARC, Chavez must also be convinced that Uribe supports Venezuelan opposition against Chavez. That's the real reason Chavez wants a war with Colombia.

Anonymous said...

Update - Another FARC'in Icehole bites the dust today in Columbia.... Ivan Rios.

Anonymous said...

(2) Are the documents recovered by the Colombian government legitimate (I reserve judgment until the OAS and the U.N. get a chance to examine their authenticity)...

I think that the death, today, of Ivan Rios is a pretty good testament as to the authenticity of the intelligence collected in Ecuador.

Foxessa said...

This situation feels much like the policies that were being put in place by the regime prior to 9/11, to triangulate Venezuela and Cuba via Colombia.

One feels the pressure the warmongers are putting on Uribe. His move was a bad one, strategically speaking, crossing national lines into another nation with an armed force.

Once again the U.S. regime is putting this nation and its military in a no-win situation: Iraq is still grinding up our military forces and supplies; it wants to hit Iran; and it wants to hit Venezuela -- all before they're taken out of office. But, you know, they'll have McCain to play proxy for them and their long-term goals.

Love, C.

Frank Partisan said...

Foxessa: Obama and Clinton are equally reactionary on Latin America, if not more so.

Poetryman: Atleast the US is reduced to using proxies. It can't intervene, like in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s.

Farmer: Nobody disagrees FARC is unpopular.

You might find this interesting.

I wonder if this was on the computer of documents supposedly found. See this as well.

Sonia: I'm sure you know that you can condemn an assasination, without agreeing with the victim's politics. I don't agree with religious Zionism, but I have no problem condemning those who killed the people in the library. The Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria, if they politically agreed with FARC, they would say so. To start with FARC is a Stalinist formation.

The news reports as at Yahoo this AM, has been saying Chavez has been playing a reconcilatory role, mediating between Colombia and Ecuador.

A war is not in Chavez or Venezuela's interest.

Under all the rhetoric, there is no proof of Chavez supporting financially the FARC. I do think there are corrupt, bureaucratic people in the Venezuela government, who need to be removed.

Frank Partisan said...

this is from BBC, a few minutes old.

It clearly shows Chavez didn't want to go to war.

sonia said...


I'm sure you know that you can condemn an assasination, without agreeing with the victim's politics.

Chavez's over-the-top foam-in-the-mouth overreaction to the raid went far beyond "comdemning an assassination". This wasn't a reaction of a neutral observer concerned about a border violation. This was a reaction of a passionate supporter driven insane by grief over the death of a beloved comrade.

sonia said...


, this is from BBC, a few minutes old.

It clearly shows Chavez didn't want to go to war.

No. It only proves that Ecuador's Correa is a reasonable guy. It also proves that Nicaragua's Ortega is a reasonable guy, by re-establishing relations with Colombia.

Chavez is probably sulking in a corner, angry at his allies for being so forgiving.

Frank Partisan said...

Sonia: You are blessed with telepathic powers, and can read minds that the rest of the world is unable.

troutsky said...

The reporting on this little drama was some of the worst Ive seen, and that's really saying something.Even public radio was completely de-contextualized propaganda. Grim.

sonia said...


reporting on this little drama was some of the worst I've seen (...) completely de-contextualized propaganda,

I wonder why... Gee, might this have something to do with the martyrdom of Ingrid Betancourt ? Let's see: FARC kidnaps and tortures her. Then, her torturers are killed in a cross-border raid. And the Western media refuses do "contextualize" that raid. What an injustice !

Earth to Troutsky: after that kidnapping, the FARC have about as much international sympathy as the neo-Nazis. The Colombian military can play cricket with the severed heads of FARC leaders and the Western media will look the other way.

Foxessa said...

Ren -- Honestly, really, I am aware of just how ignorant both billary and obama are about everything to do with the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Latin America and Brasil.


Love, C.

Frank Partisan said...

Foxessa: I didn't really understand the McCain reference.

The poor fool bottled himself into being George Bush's proxy.

Larry Gambone said...

All this hypocritical raving about how evil FARC is from the resident brown shirts is just too much! Let's look at it rationally for once. The nucleus that became FARC would have never developed without the bloody 20 year civil war between Liberal and Conservative factions of the Columbian ruling class. This same FARC nucleus would have never developed into an insurgent army and lasted for 40+ years without the Columbian state terrorizing and murdering non-insurgent socialists, trade unionists and social activists. Armed struggle occurs when peaceful change is blocked and few ruling classes on earth have been as brutal and violent in their suppression of peaceful change than the Columbian oligarchy. They are the real cause of FARC.

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