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(en) South American anarchists and anti-militarists say NO to war

Date Fri, 07 Mar 2008 17:45:10 +0200

The threat of armed conflict involving the governments of Colombia,
Ecuador and Venezuela has mobilized anarchists and anti-militarists
across the continent, in words and in action, to repudiate what would be
a monstrous aggression by state powers against our peoples. Below there
are two documents that call for struggle against this evil. ----
Declaration of Latin American antimilitarists: We don’t need another
war. We don’t need another war. We, conscientious objectors and
antimilitarists from Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and the whole of Latin
America and the Caribbean together, categorically refuse to participate
in belligerent escalades that will lead to a war that, again, will
attempt to divide us. We have enough with hunger, corruption, rampant
militarism, the obscene military budget, insecurity, the continuous
violations of human rights by our governments, for them to give us yet
another armed conflict. ---- War will only strengthen nationalism in the
countries involved, increasing the xenophobia already existing in our
countries. It will empower the armed forces giving them another excuse
to increase their budgets and will hide the problems that plague us even
more as Latin American and Caribbean peoples: the out of control
exploitation of our resources, the ever so high levels of unemployment,
discrimination and gender-based violence, corruption and the mafias in
power, whole communities displaced because of war or single crop
agriculture, racism and class discrimination, etc. None of these can be
solved by war. On the contrary, war will mean that these problems will
increase just as they have in every dictatorship and in every civil war.

A war among Latin American states is also a civil war among brothers,
driven to slaughter by militarist governments, either of the right or of
the left. The only winners in a fratricide war are the global arms
merchants who in the United States or in the Russian Federation build
their laboratories of war and oppression in our countries under the
euphemism of “Plan Colombia”.

We say no to war and its preparations. No to empowering the military,
either of the left or of the right. Yes to people’s autonomy and their
struggles. Yes to Latin American brotherhood.

We call for massive action against militarism and war, we are committed
to working together for justice and solidarity, outside the barracks, in
each of our countries.

Latin American and Caribbean Antimilitarists / Antimilitaristas de
Latinoamérica y el Caribe

Organizations & persons:

Internacional de Resistentes a la Guerra - IRG/WRI
Grupo de Afinidad Antimilitarista de Asunción GAAA (Asunción-Paraguay)
Pelao Carvallo, consejero IRG
Yeidy Luz Rosa Ortiz, Casa Feminista de Rosa - Quito, Ecuador
Periódico El Libertario - Venezuela
Xavier León, Grupo de Objeción de Conciencia del Ecuador - GOCE
Movimiento Antimilitarista y de Objeción de Conciencia MAOC Chile
Adriana Castaño Román, Red Juvenil de Medellín, consejera IRG
Accciòn Colectiva de Objetoras y Objetores de Conciencia (ACOOC) Bogotá
Colectivo Antimilitarista de Carabanchel, españa
Movimiento de Objeción de Conciencia de Paraguay Moc Py
Alicia Zárate-artista visual-SOS Tierra. Arte acción. Arg.
Claudia Ruiz Herrera- artista visual
Osmar Arturo Duran
Ateneo Autonomo de Contracultura y Estudios Acratas
Elda Munch Comini, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.
Laura Fernández, Argentina
Rafael Cuesta
Colectivo "Libertarixs-Guayaquil", Ecuador
Violeta Franco, feminista antimilitarista
María Luisa Rojas Bolaños, mujer, madre y abuela. Médica, profesora de
la Facultad de Medicina de la UADY e integrante de UNASSE una ONG
feminista y defensora de los Derechos Humanos, en Mérida Yucatán. México.
Banda "Grito Libertario"
Ernesto Soltero Resistencia Civil, Caracas, Venezuela

Further signatures to antimililat@gmail.com <mailto:antimililat@gmail.com>


__Revolution is not possible without peace__

Castro said it: “The din of war sounds loud in South America”. The
verbal escalade between Uribe and Chavez appears to be more than
rhetoric. Tanks sent to the border, ambassadors kicked out and heated
speeches and public appearances up the ante of confrontation. Maybe it
won’t be this time, though there’s no doubt the situation is alarming.
Perhaps the waters will return to their level, waiting for a future
occasion to unleash the conflict. I wholeheartedly hope this will never
happen because I am repelled at the prospect of our peoples killing each
other because of state interests, whatever the circumstances may be. But
for now everything looks dark.

The truth is that bellicose rhetoric favors both Uribe and Chavez, the
latter perhaps more so. The truth is that the Comandante’s revolutionary
discourse has seen better days. After the December 2nd defeat, the first
electoral thrashing he has got, the floodgates of discontent within
chavismo have swung open. Not the discontent seen on TV with high
sounding declarations, but that of the people who abstained and caused
the constitutional reform defeat, the same people who are tired of empty
supermarket shelves and abandoned Missions while the Boli-bourgeoisie
drives expensive cars. The same people who denounce corruption and
confront the Ministry of Labor bureaucracy and get shot by the National
Guard in return. The very same people who those chavistas closest to the
presidency accuse of being left deviationists, ultra-left or anarchists,
of whom it is said it isn’t ready for socialism after nine years waiting
for some real moves, and who get desperate seeing Chavez flirting with
the right in the past few months. Not in vain calls to internal
discipline by the constituted power multiply, demanding unity for the
coming electoral battle. Those who complain within the PSUV (Venezuela’s
socialist party) are summarily expelled even when they’re just
denouncing corruption, even though said party is not yet formally
constituted, has no statutes but it already has a disciplinary committee.

It is not the first time that when the revolutionary rhetoric of a
populist movement is exhausted they resort to rancid vociferous and
aggressive nationalism. It’s the best remedy against dissent, since when
you have an external enemy you can conflate it with any internal threat
to the stability of the regime, thus solving the problem of the
dissidents, no doubt on the enemy’s payroll. We’ve seen a lot of this in
Venezuela: Bill Gates implants chips on people, so and so work for the
CIA, same old same old. In reality an open conflict with Colombia will
be just another step forward in this game, a life saver for a chavista
regime that’s losing its bearings and its base. Thus it is not strange
that although the main problem is the Ecuadorian border violation by
Colombian troops, the Venezuelan government wastes no time joining the
fray and increases tension by sending troops, instead of playing a
pacifying role that could really be of diplomatic benefit.

Of course Uribe also feeds off the confrontation. He has done everything
possible to sabotage any dialogue with the guerrilla, to impede the
freeing of the hostages, in order to advance an armed solution to the
conflict (or its continuation for that matter) since he came to power
with that discourse and already he’s exploring the possibility of
constitutional reform that will allow him re-election. There are
frightening coincidences. If not, explain to me why kill the mediator
responsible for the liberation of Betancour a few days before his
release was announced. He has clearly shown he prefers war to a peaceful
accord. His has always been an aggressive and para-military policy that
says organizing a lively and active civil society, an urgent necessity
in Colombia after sixty years of conflict, equals supporting the
guerrilla. Another example of how a known enemy can be used to persecute
that which is perceived as a threat. Of course the Unites States
supports all this as they stand to be the greatest beneficiary of a
conflict that would mire Venezuela in a long war. Nothing pleases the
established powers more than consensus, and Uribe exploits it as much as
he can, to the point of accusing any critic of the government of being
in the guerrilla, to say nothing of union activists, human rights
defenders, etc. Uribe has bet on personal power at the expense of all
Colombians, who are now threatened with the possibility of war, and
because of the resumption on the part of the FARC to a campaign of
indiscriminate attacks. There are few people in the world that suffer
their governments as much as the Colombian people.

After all a war will only serve to perpetuate both rulers in power, each
one waving the colored rags that move the nationalists so much, flags
that in this case are painfully similar. Meanwhile the people bleed in a
war that’s not their war, not the class war, crying for their children,
without justice, bread or peace. Neither the bourgeoisie the politicians
nor the bureaucrats will take part.

But in the case of Venezuela there’s an added evil. Let there be no
doubt that in case of war the revolution is finished. Once again
politicians of every ilk will trade the people’s hope for mirrors and
beads, in this case bullets and machete blows. In case of armed
confrontation nothing is easier than to intensify the calls to
discipline, disqualify those who dare take the initiative apart from the
government; nothing easier than to change the priorities of building the
socialism for the XXI century for victory in war. Socialism for later,
when it will again be possible, if at all. We’ve seen it in Spain, at
the end we have no revolution, we lose the war and we’re really fucked.

As usual, the only solution to the governmental madness is the people, a
revolutionary tide that will run over the demagogues, the populists and
those who sell their mothers on both sides of the border, dedicated to
building a strong civil society from below, independent of that power
that always tries to perpetuate itself, a self-managed society,
revolutionary by vocation and nature, without blinding leaders,
internationalist and in solidarity, that recognizes that the people of
Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador are brothers for many reasons, brothers
in suffering, brothers in their desire for peace and justice. For
starters, nothing would be better than not being deceived by war
proclamations and totally rejecting war among states, any war except
class war. Mobilizing for peace must begin as soon as the drums of war
start beating. Later it will be too late.

Miguel Martin
[More info in www.nodo50.org/ellibertario
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