We are publishing below the statement of the revolutionary Marxist organization Opción Obrera of Venezuela on the Ukraine war. In its general approach to the war, this statement is in broad agreement with the statements put out earlier by the International Socialist Center Christian Rakovsky and, later, by several members of the Center (EEK, DIP, MTL, Association Soviet Union, and ROR), all published on our website. Since both the Rakovski Center and RedMed are primarily focused on the Mediterranean, Eurasia, and the Middle East, we generally publish statements and news from parties and organizations of this part of the world, in languages that are widely used in the region (English, Russian and French) as our pivot. But the war in Ukraine is so overwhelmingly important and the confusion on the left is so great that we wish to bring in all contributions from the world that resists the general drift on the left towards the various positions of pacifism, of "neither...nor..." or pure capitulation to imperialism, i.e. the US and NATO.
The war in Ukraine was initiated with the US plan to set up NATO bases in this country, to corner Russia on its western borders. NATO commanded by imperialism is the largest and most murderous war machinery, with the most destructive atomic weapons, not in the Atlantic, but in the world, therefore, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the result of the need to prevent the extension of the NATO to that country.
This war, limited to two countries until now, but threatening with its extension, exacerbates the world economic crisis, today billions of people await a response to their material needs, caused by the capitalist crisis, they are also overwhelmed by the hysteria of the capitalist media network.
Against these facts, it is necessary to define a revolutionary position not only for a clear political perspective but most of all to set the activity of the proletariat and the oppressed masses, especially when among the Left, including many self-titled Trotskyists, transmit a lot of confusion and demoralization. Both the Left and the imperialists denounce the Russian invasion, however, the second actually has the power to take action. So, who is useful to whom?
In this sense, it is urgent to explain the nature of this war, where, on the one hand, the brightest of imperialism, the USA, the United Kingdom and the European Union, are involved, nothing homogeneous, with immense contradictions that will have their consequences and on the other, Russia, a country, a former workers' state, with a lower GDP than Brazil, according to the IMF.
Furthermore, China targeted with economic sanctions by the US, and also through the military pact with the United Kingdom and Australia, looks more neutral than an ally of Russia, despite being the greatest strategic enemy for the US.
The reality in context is the aggression by the US to maintain its markets, it is vital in its decline, from the open and unsettled crisis of 2007-2008, submitting Russia, through NATO, is a step in its strategic fight against China, which, in Europe and secondarily in Latin America, has taken away markets.
At the same time, China is not imperialist either, something fundamental in the dialectic is understanding where they come from, how they got to their current state and their financial and military location in the world, however, their cowardice does not save them from the "Ukrainian” problem with Taiwan and the siege of AUKUS.
We consider it necessary to defeat imperialism as the lesser evil, in order to advance in the struggles of the workers, including those of the masses of Ukraine against their government with fascist features, with a puppet president imposed by Washington and Tel Aviv, for their part, the Russian workers will collect their accounts against their government, but not under the orbit of NATO. In short, the Russian proletariat, in order to reconquer power, cannot be subdued by imperialism. Nor any sector of the world's proletariat. That’s the reality.
Putin and Russia
Russia, led by Putin, represents the capitalist restoration of the former workers' state, however, in defence of the Russian oligarchy, it had to act in the face of provocation through Ukraine, by the gringo imperialist capital, who needs to control Russia and its economy, as a necessary stage in its fight against the expansion of China, in the most important market in the world, Europe. Both have nuclear weapons, the possibility of reaching the use of these extremes aggravates the situation.
This analysis serves to clarify some erroneous and serious positions for the world proletariat if reality is not shown dialectically, therefore, defining Russia as imperialist generates, as we have already said, a great confusion that it is only sustained by an attempt at geographical extension, similarly to the slave society of the Roman Empire more than 2000 years ago, contrasting with Lenin's concept of the expansion of financial capital, of the distribution of the world for a little more than 100 years, whose product is the division between oppressive and oppressed countries. In addition to this, defining the role of Russia in this war by the authoritarian characteristics of the Putin regime or worse still, due to his personal dreams of rebuilding the tsarist empire, is just nonsense.
The use of the term, self-determination of the people, is laughable when the reality is the product of the putsch that began with the so-called orange revolution in Ukraine in 2004, the exchange of presidents Yanukovych-Yushchenko and ending with the bloody events called the Euromaidan in 2014, where the Democrats Biden and then Obama, again Biden, through Victoria Nuland, decided the fate of that country.
The intervention of the Russian troops generates a conflict between the reaction, all along the capitalist line, and a peripheral country with a process of capitalist restoration, the latter means quite the opposite of forcing another market, it is its resistance to subjugate its market even more to the guidelines of imperialist capital.
The Russian government decided to invade Ukraine with a conscious policy of preserving its interests and defending its privileges, which are in danger due to the wishes of NATO.
We Trotskyists take a position on the invasion from the point of view of defending an oppressed country, we do not condemn the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine, which would be a pro-imperialist position, we denounce and oppose the methods, the policy of Putin and his government at the service of the Russian oligarchs, we are not neutral in the face of this war and we place ourselves in the camp of the not unconditional defence of Russia against imperialism and the struggle of the Ukrainian working class against its puppet government.
This position does not mean in any case to support the methods of the Russian army against the Ukrainian population, Putin's goal is to negotiate with imperialism, even at the expense of handing over conquests of the masses. The Russian army, intervening outside the will of the Ukrainian masses and their independent organization, is the main cause of the breadth that the resistance in favour of the Zelensky government may acquire.
Ukraine is a hinged border between Europe and Russia which is why it becomes an area of conflict for world control, a Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis cannot be tolerated by the US. Today the war circumscribed to this region is not outside the world-class struggle, the validity of the abstract principle of national self-determination in Ukraine represents the victory of imperialism and, from here, of a more brutal national oppression. The struggle for the true freedom of the oppressed people passes through the defeat of imperialism, which will extend the area of the world revolution. We are clear that for Putin it is about preserving his privileges and the apparent tranquillity of the borders at the expense of the masses and their interests, but prioritizing this is diversionist. That situation pushed Russia to war, in terms of national survival it was inevitable, in fact, it is since NATO settled in Poland and then advanced to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Slovenia, all joined the war device commanded by the United States.
Ukraine and Zelensky
Ukraine is a fascist-style government set up since 2014, promoted by NATO, with proclaimed heroes like Stephen Bandera and it goes against Russia. These responded earlier, they did not wait for NATO to be installed. It is not an imperialist war and the lesser evil is the defeat of that imperialism, as supported by the Transitional Program. In 1979, the TCI, which included the Bolivian POR and the argentine PO, supported the invasion of Afghanistan by the army of the USSR bureaucracy, in support of the PPDA government and against the US-backed Taliban. Trotsky on Finland, in 1939, says "In a world war, to approach the issue of the fate of small nations in terms of "national independence", "neutrality" is to stay within the imperialist mythology"
The strategy of the Trotskyists in this situation must be defined from the point of view of the imperialist offensive and not the other way around. All this requires writing it in large letters at the beginning, not going around so much and then taking sides between the lines, it is shameful, or on the other hand, not assuming the defence of an oppressed country, hiding the fact, getting entangled in a strategy without head or tail and narrow the perspective for workers on the world stage, not from any particular country.
The invasion of Russian troops highlights that neutrality, which is not the same as having an independent position, is completely unfeasible; the knack or the asepsis when levelling counterrevolutionaries on both sides, in this war is to discover the lukewarm water because it is innocuous it can truly become a counterrevolutionary function for those who watch the activity from the box. With imperialism "ni un tantico así."
We know that any negotiation between Putin and imperialism promises respect for private property, but where least expected the hare jumps, even Melenchon in France is anti-NATO, the workers of all Europe after the Ukrainians are the most affected.
The need for a common Latin American strategy
The survival of the Russian oligarchy and the permanent retreat of US domination, beyond its borders and within the same country with its workers, particularly black people and Latin Americans; for more negotiations or truces after the war in Ukraine, will get even worse, the global economic crisis, due to the increased prices of energy, oil, gas and the rise in food prices, such as the cereals produced by Ukraine and Russia, is an explosive element.
Latin America itself, is already a powder keg, we cannot turn our heads and dictate lectures, instead, we must take class-oriented, real, concrete measures, united, to lead the workers in one direction, a matter that we have left to the bourgeoisie, to the reformists, to the pseudo-left, with their media, literary, and ideological apparatuses to confuse and put the carpet to fascist, and religious governments.
While it is true that unity is not decreed, it must be created, built, and fought for immediately. The workers of Latin America and the world require orientation, the workers' program exists, the transition program, its realization depends on those of us who declare ourselves Trotskyists.
It is enough to look at this new scenario and its implications, Russia supplied Venezuelan oil to the US and gas to Europe, on March 5 a delegation from the US government came, without taking into account its Venezuelan puppets, to directly negotiate local oil for the refineries of Texas, how quickly war changes things, "what is solid melts into thin air."
Colombia: NATO global partner.
Venezuela: a threat to the security of the USA
On February 28, the joint US and Colombian forces carried out naval exercises near the port of Cartagena, in which an American nuclear submarine participated for the first time: the USS Minnesota.
The Colombian defence minister, Diego Molano, justified these trials in defence of common interests in the Caribbean. Venezuelan Defense Minister Padrino López responded that drug trafficking, the war on the Arauca River border, systematic assassinations and terrorist groups are not fought with nuclear submarines, denouncing Washington's expansionist interests through NATO and its allied governments and also recalled the attempted invasion from the border through Cúcuta into Venezuelan territory.
On the other hand, Joe Biden, extended for the umpteenth time this March 3, the validity of the decree that declares Venezuela "an unusual and extraordinary threat, to the national security and foreign policy of the United States", issued by decree 13,692, by Obama in 2015 and continued by Trump.
The legislative elections in March and the presidential elections in May in Colombia could result if Gustavo Petro wins, the first president of Colombia not directly associated with the oligarchy or drug traffickers. The Vox party of Spain is promoting an anti-communist front, through a "Madrid forum", and has already held meetings in Mexico, and recently in Colombia to put together a front against Petro's candidacy. This monstrosity of the pro-fascist right has as members the former Chilean presidential candidate Kast, the former Colombian president Uribe, representatives of the Peruvian Fujimore, of Bolsonaro, of Venezuelan coup plotters, the Paraguayan and Ecuadorian right.
Without a doubt, the workers will make themselves felt and for now, any proposal in the fourth internationalist framework within this Latin American context is absent, which indicates its urgency, beyond the sea of declarations about Ukraine that do not go beyond a computer monitor.
Out the American troops in Europe.
For the dissolution of NATO
stop fascism stop the barbarism
For the defeat of imperialism
For a United Socialist Europe.
For a Republic of Workers in Ukraine.
For a Socialist restoration of Russia.
10 03 2022