Albert Moreau

Latin America Jobless Fight

Hundreds of Thousands Starving to Death

Source: Daily Worker, February 5, 1930
Transcription/Markup: Paul Saba
Copyleft: Internet Archive( 2018. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons License.

The workers of Latin-America are suffering terribly from capitalism’s chronic disease, unemployment. From Mexico to Argentina the toiling masses in factory and fields are being daily thrown out of work and are rapidly swelling the army of the unemployed.

The growing world crisis particularly strikes the Latin-American colonial and semi-colonial countries subjected either to American or British imperialism. In the agrarian countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay, the crisis is already so acute that the peasantry is taking a rebellious attitude toward their reactionary governments.

In Argentina, the country of cereals and meats, virtual starvation is facing the toiling peasant masses. The export of grain has fallen considerably, with the result that huge stocks accumulating in the villages are on the verge of rotting, unless the government furnishes at once loans to transport the grain into the ports for export.

The rationalization methods introduced into agriculture have seriously affected the poor peasants who have no capital for the necessary implements, and the British-owned railways charge such high freight rates that the peasants cannot pay transport rates, bring the poor peasants into total bankruptcy, and forcing them to starve beside their harvested grain rotting for lack of storage and transport facilities.

The big landowners are completely ruining the farm tenants. Modern agricultural machinery is replacing manual labor with the result that agricultural wage laborers are also really starving to death.

In Brazil, the overproduction of coffee, due to the shrinking of the coffee market and the refusal of British and American financial interests to make further loans to a government which is on verge of collapse, is forcing Brazilian peasants into the city and into the unemployed. It is estimated that by March the coffee warehouses will be filled with 10,000,000 bags of coffee.

In Mexico, over 700,000 unemployed, in a country of 13,000,000 people, with all their dependent families, face starvation. There is no sign of relief. The result is a fighting mood that deeply worries the landowners and their government. The “strong” government of Mexico, supported by Wall Street, is shaking before it is installed.

Cuba has 300,000 unemployed workers and peasants. The series of strikes which took place recently (tobacco and millinery workers, etc.) were actively supported by the unemployed, who demand “work or wages,” bread for their wives and children.

Throughout Latin-America, so famished are the great masses, that hungry children are forced to abandon school and go to begging in the streets.

In the face of such a situation the exploited are losing confidence in the reactionary labor leaders who try to tell them to “wait and be peaceful.” The solidarity of the employed with the unemployed is shown in every strike taking place in Latin America. The Latin American Trade Union Confederation has taken up the fight for the unemployed, and is mobilizing a series of great demonstrations throughout the southern continent.