The Workers' Advocate

Vol. 15, No. 11


SPECIAL ISSUE November 1, 1985

Down with Reagan's war on Nicaragua!

Representative of MAP/ML tours the U.S.

Come hear the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists!

Which way for the anti-intervention movement?

Lessons of the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia

Nicaragua at the crossroads

MAP/ML - A workers' party steeled in the revolution

Support the Nicaraguan workers' press!

Victory to the struggle against S. African apartheid!

Down with Reagan's war on Nicaragua!

During the last month, we have seen yet another attempt by the capitalist establishment to plunge the country into a wave of mindless "anti-terrorist" hysteria. We have been told that the U.S. government is the paragon of peace and civilization. We have been given the impression that Washington is the poor innocent victim of "barbarian terrorists" lurking in every corner of the world. And we have been asked to rally around the flag.

But the truth is, we've again been lied to. We've been given tall tales churned out by the propaganda mills of government and big business. Every day, world events refute these lies. Take a look, for instance, at Central America. There, Nicaragua, a poor and tiny country of three million people, is caught in the midst of a dirty war conducted right out of the White House. This war helps to expose that the U.S. government, far from being a helpless victim, is in fact the biggest terrorist in the world today.

You will not find the news of this war splashed across the front pages of the newspapers. You will not see headlines roaring, "CIA-BACKED TERRORISTS KILL, RAPE CIVILIANS," or "REAGAN DECLARES TERRORISTS AS HIS BROTHERS." But that's only because the corporations run the news media and because most journalists have no loyalty to any higher ideal than the almighty dollar.

There is indeed a very real war being conducted by U.S. imperialism in Nicaragua. This is a war which is daily responsible for much death, suffering and destruction.

Workers and progressive people! This war is being fought in our name. But we have no interests in Mr. Reagan's war. We must stand up against this filthy war of intervention. We must build up a movement against this war, just as a massive protest is taking place today against apartheid in South Africa.

While the Nicaraguan people have been brought much pain and suffering by the war, they have also set an inspiring example. Six years ago, they rose up in a powerful revolution and brought down the hated U.S.-backed dictator Somoza. And for six long years, they have resisted the U.S. government's attempt to turn the clock back.

In our fight against Reagan's war, we must stand by the side of the brave workers and peasants of Nicaragua.

The Truth Behind the Hypocrisy

What has Reagan not thrown against Nicaragua? His administration has trained, funded and organized an army of thousands of contra terrorists. He has brought military, political and economic pressure on that country. And he has turned the neighboring countries into American bases to threaten a direct military invasion of Nicaragua by U.S. troops.

All the while Reagan has thrown every curse at Nicaragua -- "terrorists," "totalitarians," and what not. But his war tells more about U.S. imperialism's real nature than the tons of pious declarations against "international terrorism" coming out of his mouth.

Take, for example, the fact that last year the White House made a big noise about some mysterious mines in the Red Sea. It was never discovered who set up those mines, although the incident was used to create hysteria about Arab or Iranian terrorists. But what about the mines planted in Nicaragua's harbors? The whole world knows, and U.S. politicians have admitted as much, that it was the CIA which planted these mines.

Or let's take the fact that the U.S. gives itself and its allies like Israel the right to cross borders at will, or send their warplanes thousands of miles to bomb foreign countries, all in the name of "legitimate response to terrorism." But should Nicaragua merely defend itself from terrorist raids coming from across the Honduran border, Reagan cries "terrorist," "aggressor," and "threat to U.S. security" and rattles his sabers some more.

Or take the case that in various incidents around the world, a handful of U.S. civilians become the unfortunate targets of desperate individuals opposed to U.S. imperialism's criminal policies. Reagan relishes such incidents for creating hysteria about "terrorism"; and what's more, he even lumps in the same bag the attacks on U.S. occupation forces in foreign countries. But what about the fact that in the U.S.-organized war on Nicaragua, more than 6,000 Nicaraguans have died and thousands more injured, most of them civilians? What about the fact that Reagan's terrorist thugs have made themselves notorious for murder, rape and pillage?

Washington Seeks to Restore Tyranny

Why is Reagan attacking Nicaragua? Because six years ago, the Nicaraguan people dared to overthrow the U.S.-backed tyrant Somoza. Somoza was a man after Reagan's heart. He made himself filthy rich by squeezing the working people dry. He allowed the U.S. corporations free rein to share in the plunder of Nicaragua. And he ruled with murder and torture against his opponents.

This is the kind of regime that the U.S. government wants to restore in Nicaragua. And that explains why Washington is not bothered by the fact that its contra terrorists are nothing but savage murderers and thugs. In fact, the core of the contras are the remnants of the old National Guard, which was the iron heel of Somoza's dictatorship.

A Bipartisan War of U.S. Imperialism

Let it not be forgotten that the war in Nicaragua is not Reagan's alone. His partners-in-crime are the smooth-talking ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Party, who can do Reagan better when it comes to hypocritical talk. They not only have fine phrases about "freedom" and "democracy" but they can also prattle on about "human rights" and "humanitarianism."

The Democrats in Congress had in the past struck a pose of criticism against Reagan's Nicaraguan policies. But make no mistake, they never disagreed with Reagan's goals of counterrevolution, only how to properly clothe it with "human rights" rhetoric. In recent months, the Democrats have eagerly joined Reagan in openly funding the contras. But of course they have come up with the proper lie of calling it "humanitarian" assistance. Armed with all this "humanitarian aid," the contras have only stepped up their murderous activities.

Confront the Imperialist Warmakers!

A snake is a snake. And neither the Reaganite Republicans nor the Democrats can stand for anything but policies of aggression and war. They are after all merely the political parties of the rich and powerful capitalists who rule the U.S. The American exploiters are thoroughgoing imperialists. Their system lives by exploiting the labor of the American working class and by squeezing super-profits out of the workers and peasants of many, many nations abroad.

The answer to U.S. imperialist terrorism cannot be found in appeals to the moral goodwill of the Washington politicians, nor in appeals to the United Nations or World Court. It can only be found in struggle.

One front of this Struggle is abroad. It is in the fields and mountains of Nicaragua where the courageous sons and daughters of the Nicaraguan people are resisting the U.S.-backed counterrevolution. It is in the struggle of the Central American toilers who are fighting against U.S.-backed reaction.

The other front of this struggle is right here at home. We, the workers and oppressed people in the U.S., must stand up and fight in the belly of the U.S. imperialist beast.

Let us expose Reagan's lies and hypocrisy. Let us strip off the rhetoric of the liberal Democratic smooth-talkers. Let us spread the truth about what is going on in Nicaragua and build up a powerful mass movement against the U.S. war on the toilers of Central America!

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Representative of MAP/ML tours the U.S.

Come hear the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists!

The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA is pleased to announce a solidarity tour to the U.S. by a representative of the Marxist-Leninist party of Nicaragua, the Popular Action Movement/Marxist-Leninist. He will speak at meetings in New York, Chicago and San Francisco between November 9 and 17.

We invite all workers and anti-imperialist activists to attend these meetings. This will be a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the revolutionary work and stands of MAP/ML. All those interested in building a fighting movement against Reagan's war on Nicaragua should come hear the perspective of the revolutionary workers of Nicaragua.

We believe that the work of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists is extremely important for the struggle of the Nicaraguan toilers against U.S. intervention and for deepening the Nicaraguan revolution. Unfortunately, more often than not, MAP/ML's history and activity have either been obscured or distorted in the generally available coverage of the situation in Nicaragua.

We Are Daily Bombarded with the Lies of U.S. Imperialism

There is no end to the capacity of U.S. imperialism to manufacture and spread its lies about Nicaragua.

We regularly hear every kind of lie and distortion about the Nicaraguan revolution. We get every excuse for Reagan's attempts to strangle Nicaragua and restore a bloody dictatorship there. We see constant attempts to cover up the brutal crimes of the U.S.- organized contras against the Nicaraguan people.

Such lies come not just from the mouths of Reagan and his cronies. They come from political hacks of both the Republican and Democratic parties. And they are echoed a million times over by the corporate news media, which, behind lies about "objectivity" and "truth," functions as a shameless propaganda machine for the war-makers.

The Reformist Views of the Sandinistas Can Also Be Heard Widely

The views of the Sandinista government also manage to get quite wide exposure. One can get some idea of it from the capitalist press, but more importantly, there are numerous social-democratic and reformist forces in the U.S. left who echo the stands of the Sandinistas.

The Sandinista leadership is following a policy of compromise with the capitalist right-wing opposition, who are merely the civilian voices of the contra thugs and the Trojan horse of U.S. intervention. And to please the capitalists, they are putting brakes on the revolutionary mobilization of the toilers and restraining the workers from the class struggle.

This and other policies of theirs are creating a very dangerous situation for the revolution. While the masses are being demobilized, the positions of reaction are getting strengthened. Even so, the reformist supporters of the FSLN are covering up this critical situation and instead they are boosting the Sandinistas' harmful reformism as the latest word in revolutionary wisdom.

The Voice of the Workers and Poor Peasants of Nicaragua Should Not Be Ignored

But what about the workers and poor peasants of Nicaragua? They were the ones who made the revolution and it is only on their shoulders that the revolution can be defended and deepened.

To hear their voice, we must listen to the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists. It is MAP/ML, the working class party, which champions the cause of the working class and exploited.

But the capitalist press in the U.S. hides their presence. To them, there are only contras, right-wing capitalists, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. The reformist boosters of the FSLN also believe that only these same forces are of any consequence. But when events force them to acknowledge the presence of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists, they resort to slandering them as "ultra-left" for the sin of organizing the workers and toilers as an independent revolutionary force.

However, the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. have not forgotten their internationalist duty to the Nicaraguan proletariat. The Marxist-Leninist Party, USA has been working hard to popularize and lend active support to the work of MAP/ML. We hold that a crucial part of building the fight against U.S. intervention is militant solidarity with the workers and poor peasants -- the bulwark of the revolution and the backbone of defense against U.S. aggression. Therefore we are extremely happy to have a delegation of MAP/ML come to the U.S. to assist us in building this solidarity.

At the upcoming meetings where MAP/ML will speak, workers and anti-imperialist activists will get the opportunity to learn first hand about the rich experience of the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists.

* Come find out how, contrary to the popular myths, there was more than the Sandinista Front organizing in the struggle to overthrow Somoza. Learn of the struggle of the revolutionary workers' movement under Somozism and the MILPAS militias organized by MAP/ML for the insurrection.

* Come find out how the revolutionary workers in Nicaragua are building up a vanguard party of the working class based on the lessons of the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and through uncompromising struggle against Soviet and Castroite revisionism, which have worked as roadblocks for the revolutionary struggle.

* Come hear of the work of MAP/ML to strengthen the defense of the revolution against U.S.-backed counterrevolution. And above all, come and hear how, contrary to the illusions spread widely in the left, the Sandinista leadership is placing the gains of the revolution in jeopardy and how MAP/ML is fighting hard to defend and extend the revolution forward to revolutionary socialism.

The visit by MAP/ML will undoubtedly contribute to the deepening of the bonds between the working people and revolutionaries of Nicaragua and the U.S. in the face of the menacing aggression of U.S. imperialism.

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Which way for the anti-intervention movement?

Today activists are asking what happened to the big mass actions against U.S. intervention in Central America. They are debating the future course for the movement.

Our Party holds that it is the domination of the movement by reformists tied to the Democratic Party that has been responsible for the winding down of the mass actions and mass enthusiasm. The reformist road of begging the liberals for favors has been proven bankrupt many times over by the experience of the last few years. Instead, to build mass struggle, the anti-war activists must build an anti-imperialist movement, independent of the capitalist parties, and centered on rousing the enthusiasm and fighting spirit of the working people, progressive youth, and revolutionary activists.

The Democrats Help Prepare for Invasion

The reformists are enslaved to the latest mood in Congress, but they are especially tied to the Democrats. So who are the Democrats?

The Democratic Party has fully supported the Reaganite war on Nicaragua. Behind a facade of hand-wringing and reservations, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has voted hundreds of millions of dollars for stepping up U.S. intervention in Central America. The congressional Democrats fought for years to have Reagan take up the present fraud of "humanitarian" warfare against Nicaragua. And, this year alone, they have made use of Nicaraguan President Ortega's trip to Moscow and the recent emergency proclamation to denounce the Nicaraguan revolution.

The anti-imperialist activists must break with both the Democratic and Republican Parties. In order not to embarrass the Democrats, the reformist leaders have toned down or eliminated altogether one demonstration after another. Instead they have told the movement to write letters to Congress, to vote for Mr. "Quarantine Nicaragua" Mondale (the so-called "peace vote" in '84), and to eliminate revolutionary agitation. The only result of this has been to liquidate the mass actions and help the Reaganites wage war on Nicaragua.

Support the Workers and Peasants of Central America, Not the Contadora Regimes of Exploiters

The fighting force in Central America is the workers and peasants. They are fighting against terrible exploitation and the denial of basic rights. It is their revolutionary movement which has overthrown the tyrant Somoza in Nicaragua, created the guerrilla movement in El Salvador, and frightened the tyrants in Honduras and Guatemala. It is their movement which we must support, and the justice of their cause must be taken to the American working people.

But the liberal Democrats say we must support the so-called Contadora group. "Contadora" is a group of regimes trying to smother the revolution in Central America in order to preserve exploitation in their own countries. Contadora is not a neutral force, standing between U.S. imperialism and the revolution, but a partisan force interested in crushing revolution. It includes such governments as those in Venezuela and Colombia, which have years of experience in the dual tactics of murdering revolutionaries while patting themselves on the back for their "national dialogues," "democratic openings" and "liberalizations." It includes the bourgeois government of Mexico, experienced in enforcing the most brutal exploitation in the name of the "institutionalized revolution."

At most, the Contadora regimes want a slightly more sophisticated policy of counterrevolution than Reagan, out of fear that Reagan's open aggression will arouse an even greater revolutionary storm in Central America. At the same time, the Contadora group has no objection to being the fancy facade behind which Reagan carries out his war on Nicaragua. Support for Contadora means no support for the Nicaraguan workers and peasants.

Fight the U.S. Imperialist System

The U.S. aggression in Central America is not an accident, nor is it simply the misguided policy of one or another mistaken politician. It is a conscious and thought-out policy -- not mistaken, but evil. It is the result of decades after decades of capitalist exploitation of Central America by the American corporations. It is the result of the bipartisan policy of the capitalist parties, pursued year in and year out.

We must fight U.S. aggression tooth and nail and show how U.S. imperialism is a two-headed monster, which exploits the people in the U.S. while it stains the world red with the blood of the insurgent peoples abroad. We must show that no working class can be free unless it fights the imperialism of "its own" exploiters.

Arouse the Working Class

And the anti-intervention activists must work to rally the working masses to the struggle. We must inspire the working class with confidence in its own forces and contempt for the exploiters, so that it will rally all working people, progressive youth and honest forces around itself. The working masses must see that the anti-imperialist cause is just and that it faces an enemy as corrupt and brutal as the American capitalists. They must learn contempt for capitalism both in its "liberal" face, with which it labels Reagan's war on Nicaragua as "humanitarian" aid, and in its "conservative" face, which revels in anti-communist lynching.

Only this road will enable the anti-intervention movement to grow and play its full role. Only this road will enable the movement to break out of the confines of congressional debates and enforce their own "debate" in the U.S., in which they challenge U.S. imperialism, uphold the cause of the toilers of Central America, and bring forward the banner of the socialist revolution in the U.S., the revolution which will destroy the threat of the U.S. "global policeman" once and for all.

[Photo: 5,000 students at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) shout down Vice- President Bush in protest of U.S. aggression in Central America, October 7. Placards read "Embargo South Africa, Not Nicaragua!"]

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Lessons of the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia

In October 1917 the workers and poor peasants of Russia ushered in a new era, the era of the socialist revolution. Led by the Bolsheviks, the toilers overthrew the capitalist system of exploitation and began building a new society, a society where the working class is the ruling class, a socialist society, a society moving towards the classless society of communism. Because of the socialist revolution, the poor and backward toilers of Russia were able to stand up to the exploiters of the whole world and make unprecedented progress in a short time.

This year, the 68th anniversary of the October revolution, a number of Marxist-Leninist parties around the world are celebrating the October revolution and linking it up with work in support of MAP/ML and the Nicaraguan revolution. Our Party is happy to take part in this. We regard the lessons of the October revolution as crucial for the struggle of the Nicaraguan workers and poor peasants.

Not "Perfect" Democracy, But Socialist Revolution

The October revolution completed the struggle against tsarism and semi-feudalism as well as overthrowing capitalism. The Bolsheviks believed in first carrying out a democratic revolution against tsarist autocracy and then immediately proceeding to socialist revolution. So once the tsar was overthrown in February 1917 they did not stop and say that a "perfect" democracy must be established before the revolution could be continued to socialism. Instead they proceeded to prepare for the socialist revolution, which would carry out the remaining tasks of the democratic revolution in passing. And the October revolution of 1917 was that world-shaking proletarian revolution.

This lesson has been taken to heart by the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists. They threw themselves into the struggle against Somoza's tyranny. And with the overthrow of Somoza, they worked to continue the revolution through to socialism. They have constantly shown that the Nicaraguan capitalists are in league with U.S. imperialism and the contras, and they have opposed the Sandinista path of concessions to the exploiters. Instead they have worked to link the struggle against U.S. imperialism with establishing a workers and peasants power that would advance on the road of proletarian revolution and socialism.

The Leninist Path of Party-Building

The October revolution showed the need for a solid proletarian party, independent from the vacillating petty-bourgeois democrats such as the Mensheviks. The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists have worked to build up such a proletarian party, the MAP/ML, and have opposed illusions in the vacillating Sandinistas. They have sought to build up the class independence of the proletariat through building the communist party of the Leninist type.

Confidence in the Revolutionary Capacity of the Working Class

The October revolution inspired the revolutionary workers around the world with confidence in their strength and contempt for the bourgeoisie. The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists have worked to inspire the Nicaraguan workers and peasants with confidence in their strength and have opposed all bowing and scraping before the U.S. imperialists and the domestic capitalists.

Spreading Revolutionary Theory Around the World

Above all, the October revolution brought the influence of revolutionary Leninism around the world. The Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists have studied closely the Leninist teachings in working out their tactics and their overall world view. And they play an active role in the building up of the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

For Leninist Work in the U.S.

These are lessons that should be followed here in the U.S. too. We must work to build up the class conscious workers' faith in their own forces, and contempt for the capitalists and their parties, the Democrats and Republicans. We must show that it is the socialist revolution that offers a way out of this capitalist hell. And to accomplish these things, we must build up a genuine communist party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, the party of socialism and revolutionary struggle.

Soviet Revisionists -- Betrayers of the October Revolution

Although several decades after the October revolution a process of degeneration took place in the Soviet Union, leading to the restoration of capitalism in the 1950's, this could not wipe out the significance of the world-shaking struggle unleashed by the revolution of 1917. The degeneration of the Soviet Union was marked by their departure from Leninism, which they tried to justify by pretending that new world developments had wiped out the basic class alignments discussed by Lenin.

Thus even the revisionist tragedy only emphasizes all the more the need to follow revolutionary Leninism and the lessons of the October revolution. We must fight the revisionists who have turned the Soviet Union into a new capitalist superpower. They are enemies of socialism and oppose revolution all around the world. And we can only fight them by upholding Leninism and by opposing all revisionists in the U.S. who would turn aside from the path of Leninist class struggle.

Hail the 68th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution of 1917!

Inspire the working masses with confidence in the forces of the socialist revolution!

Build up the working class political party of the Leninist type!

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Nicaragua at the crossroads

Official Washington oozes with hypocrisy. Both the Reaganites and the liberal Democrats are wagging their fingers at the recently decreed State of Emergency in Nicaragua. "A violation of rights!" -- the hypocrites cry. As if these fine gentlemen weren't conducting a dirty war of terror against Nicaragua. As if they haven't dispatched the CIA to overthrow the Sandinistas and rig up a new tyranny of the capitalists and landlords. No, such "human rights" champions -- who back every death-squad dictator and racist from El Salvador to South Africa -- have no business pointing their finger at anyone about "violations of rights."

But let us look at the State of Emergency and the situation in Nicaragua from the opposite side of our lying government -- from the standpoint of the revolutionary struggle of the Nicaraguan workers and peasants. What we will see is another zigzag in the vacillating policy of the Sandinista (FSLN) regime, a policy that is compromising the gains of the revolution.

The Revolution -- An Historic Advance

The Nicaraguan people got a much needed taste of freedom with the triumph of their insurrection over the Somoza tyranny. The 1979 victory was a giant step forward, but by no means the last step of the emancipation struggle of the workers and peasants.

The FSLN leaders, however, wanted to go no further. They proclaimed "Nicaragua libre" as a land of class harmony where workers and factory owners, field hands and big landholders could now live in patriotic brotherhood.

But this petty-bourgeois dream wasn't to be. The Somoza dictatorship was swept away only to unleash the age-old strife between the wealthy exploiters and the impoverished masses.

After settling accounts with Somoza, the workers and poor peasants rose in struggle to settle accounts with the big businessmen and farm owners who had grown fat off their blood and sweat. But with the help of the FSLN regime, the capitalists and landlords were able to hold onto their wealth and property. They were able to regroup around the right-wing parties and the chiefs of the Catholic church, hurling themselves against every progressive step. They have even fought the literacy campaigns as a "communist plot."

Giving Ground to the Exploiters

This bourgeois opposition has made common cause with Reagan's contra armies, forming the two fronts of the counterrevolution. Together they have been turning up the economic, political and military pressure. And in response, in the vain hope of relaxing this pressure, the leadership of the FSLN has given ground on every front.

The capitalists demand more political privileges; and the FSLN has gone out of its way to provide them public forums and state subsidies for their reactionary organizing.

The exploiters demand profit guarantees; and the FSLN has opened up the national treasury to underwrite profits and guarantee loans for the private sector. At the same time the government has saddled the workers with wage freezes, price hikes and other harsh austerity measures.

The bourgeois opposition wants the people disarmed; and in practice the FSLN has demobilized the militias of factory workers and peasants in favor of the regular army. Of course, the capitalists sleep better knowing the weapons are under the strict control of bureaucratic army officers.

These concessions have cost the revolution a great deal. They have also cost the new government much of the prestige it has had among the people. The masses made the revolution, but they can see that the gains of the revolution are being negotiated away behind closed doors between the FSLN and the bourgeoisie. The workers go without meat or soap, while they see the wealthy fatten on state subsidies. The popular militias are disbanded and the mass mobilizations for defense are scrapped, while the people are saddled with an unpopular military draft.

Discontent Among the People

Such crying contradictions of the Sandinista policy have planted seeds of discontent among the working people. Last spring there were big strikes and slowdowns against austerity measures. There have also been protests against the military draft.

The mass discontent will either strengthen the counterrevolutionary right or strengthen the revolutionary left. The conscious workers led by MAP/ML have been working hard to steer the disillusioned masses against reaction and towards deepening the revolution.

The State of Emergency

This brings us back to the new State of Emergency. In its attempt to balance between the revolution and the counterrevolution, the FSLN regime has followed a zigzag course, applying more severe repression one day and easing up the next. At times it opens up in its attempts to balance off the pressures of the bourgeoisie with the revolutionary drive of the masses. At other times it becomes frightened by the pressures from the right or the left or both and clamps down. At no time, however, has it followed a firm policy of backing the revolutionary initiative of the working masses against the capitalist reaction. This vacillating policy is advertised as "pluralist" and allegedly neutral in the class struggle; but in fact it has hurt the interests of the masses and strengthened the hand of the reactionaries.

President Daniel Ortega has now declared that emergency measures are needed to cope with the difficulties that are being created under war conditions by both the right-wing and the left-wing opposition. Once again strikes and public assembly have been banned, the press censored, and other emergency steps have been taken.

It was only last year that similar emergency measures were lifted. And like the other bureaucratic and repressive measures of the FSLN, these measures came down hardest on the workers and peasants and their revolutionary organizations. While the capitalist opposition was hardly touched by these restrictions, it demagogically fumed against them as part of its reactionary propaganda.

MAP/ML Responds to the Challenge

On top of the CIA's dirty war and the attacks of the right wing, the FSLN's compromising policy has put the revolution in an even more difficult situation. But the Marxist-Leninist workers of MAP/ML are responding to the challenge.

MAP/ML and its Workers Front (FO) trade union center have plunged into the strike movement to give open battle to both the right-wing opposition and the FSLN bureaucracy. They are doing everything in their power to make sure that the discontent of the workers goes towards deepening the revolution, and doesn't become a weapon in the hands of reaction.

The Marxist-Leninists are waging an open fight for the pressing needs of the workers against the capitalist owners and bureaucratic administrators. From the Plastinic plastics factory, to the cotton fields of Chinandega, to the new Sebaco agriculture complex, the Marxist-Leninists are building up the independent organizations of the workers and field hands. In some of the most important work centers in the country, FO committees and workers' struggle committees have gained the following of the rank and file beneath the FSLN bureaucracy.

MAP/ML is also organizing the workers to put their stamp on the tasks of defense against the contras and U.S. intervention. With this aim it works within the Sandinista army as well as campaigns for the reactivation of the worker and peasant militias.

MAP/ML also fights for the interests of the toilers in the National Assembly. In recent months the MAP/ML delegates have been protesting the austerity plans and other anti-worker measures negotiated between the FSLN and the bourgeoisie. And now they have entered the debate over the future constitution, exposing the common platform of the Sandinistas and the capitalists to rig up an ordinary bourgeois republic in Nicaragua.

MAP/ML tells the truth that the National Assembly will accomplish nothing. The defense and the deepening of the revolution will take place through organizing the working masses in the factories and fields. It tells the truth that only the revolutionary struggle of the masses can bring the workers and peasants to power, break the back of the exploiters and the other tools of U.S. intervention, and bring Nicaragua towards socialism.

[Photo: "NOT A SINGLE VOTE FOR THE BOURGEOISIE! BULLETS FOR IMPERIALISM!"--a slogan of MAP/ML in last November's elections.]

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MAP/ML - A workers' party steeled in the revolution

The Popular Action Movement/Marxist-Leninist of Nicaragua is a party of the workers, a party tempered in the fires of the revolutionary workers' movement.

The formation of MAP/ML:

MAP/ML was formed in 1971 by workers and revolutionary militants who rejected the reformism of the pro-Soviet revisionists of the Socialist Party. They also rejected the Castroite tactics of the isolated guerrilla band and social-democratic ideas, both of which were combined in the policies of the Sandinista Front. In practice both the revisionists and the FSLN left the masses at the mercy of the bourgeois liberals. MAP/ML took up the task of building the Marxist-Leninist party of the Nicaraguan proletariat to organize the masses for the overthrow of the hated dictator and the exploiting classes.

The 1973 construction strike:

MAP/ML led the month-long national strike of 20,000 construction workers defeating Somoza's decree imposing a 60-hour work week.

The formation of the Workers Front (FO):

In 1974-75 MAP/ML formed FO as their revolutionary trade union center.

On the barricades of the insurrection:

In September, 1978 MAP/ML forged the Popular Anti-Somoza Militias (MILPAS). The MILPAS were the second army of the 1978-79 liberation war; apart from the FSLN, the MILPAS were the only other organized armed force, mobilizing thousands of workers. peasants and barrio youth.

The daily El Pueblo:

In March 1979, MAP/ML launched the daily newspaper El Pueblo which became the workers' voice in the revolution.

The revolutionary upsurge of workers and poor peasants:

After the victory over Somoza, MAP/ML and FO plunged into the wave of strikes and land seizures and the workers control movement against the big capitalists and landlords, organizing sugar combine workers, construction workers and other key sectors of the working class.

The repression:

The new FSLN government cracked down hard on this upsurge of the working masses and MAP/ML and FO bore the brunt of the repression. In 1979-80 El Pueblo was suppressed, FO unions were suppressed, and 150 MAP/ML and FO leaders were jailed for months.

MAP/ML rebounds:

Step by step MAP/ML has been recovering its strength. FO committees are spreading in the factories and fields beneath the FSLN bureaucracy. In last year's elections MAP/ML gained two seats in the National Assembly running on an open platform for the proletarian revolution and socialism in Nicaragua.

[Photo: A column of the Popular Anti-Somoza Militias that took part in the liberation of Managua, July 1979.]

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Support the Nicaraguan workers' press!

The Nicaraguan working people need our help against U.S. imperialist aggression. The MLP is organizing material aid through the Campaign for the Nicaraguan Workers' Press. In defiance of Reagan's blockade, the Campaign is sending much needed printing materials and supplies to assist MAP/ML and its Workers Front trade union center to build the workers' press. Send letters of support and contributions to: [Address.]

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Victory to the struggle against S. African apartheid!

The black people of South Africa persist in mounting heroic battles against the racist Botha regime. Defying the brutal arrests and killings under Botha's "state of emergency," the oppressed masses have now begun to carry their struggle into the white business districts of Johannesburg and Cape Town. Meanwhile strikes, school boycotts, township rebellions, and other stormy protests continue. The masses are fighting to demolish apartheid; to establish majority rule; to smash to dust the dirty system of legal segregation and brutal exploitation for the black majority, the Asian Indians, and the mixed-race "coloreds."

Talk of Reforms to Save Apartheid

Feeling the heat from the popular rebellion, the Botha regime and other stalwarts of apartheid are combining brutal repression with a lot of talk about "reform." Botha is posturing on such issues as a possible minor adjustment of the racist pass law system. White big businessmen are shaking their heads -- "not enough" -- and appealing for "dialogue," "negotiations," and even "power sharing" to put a few blacks from the upper stratum into the government. Even imperialist bigots from Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher are speaking of the need to urge "reform."

But for all of their dance around reforms, these diehard racists won't touch such basic demands as one man, one vote. They are like snake-oil salesmen, talking of reforms, promising great solutions in the future, if only the black masses take their medicine and give time for the Botha-elixir to work miracles.

The racist leaders will simply not give up apartheid peacefully. The white capitalists have made too many dollars from the exploitation of the black masses. The racist rulers have gotten too many privileges from segregation. The Western imperialists have reaped too much super-profit from black, virtually slave labor and have enjoyed for too long the help of the apartheid regime as an imperialist bulwark against revolution in the rest of Africa. Their talk of reform aims only at prettifying the racist system and heading off revolutionary mass struggle which alone can bring apartheid down.

The black and other oppressed masses in South Africa can only win their freedom by completely smashing the racist regime. Only a revolution can bring majority rule and sweep away the racist army, police, government structures and all the other oppressive institutions.

Fight Our "Own" Imperialist Government

Here in the U.S., the anti-apartheid movement has burst forth with demonstrations, occupations of campus buildings, and other protests. We must build up this movement by supporting the fighting black masses, by supporting revolution in South Africa, and by exposing the sham "reforms" which are being pasted on the ugly face of the white minority regime.

It is especially up to us to organize a storm of struggle against our "own" government. The U.S. government, whether headed up by Democrats or Republicans, has backed the racist South African regime for decades. Today the liberal Democrats, despite their talk of "human rights," will take no more than token measures against the white minority government and these, they admit, are only "symbolic." Meanwhile Reagan further waters down even these token congressional gestures while praising the Botha regime's meaningless reforms. This is because the U.S. has an imperialist government, a government that enforces exploitation of the workers at home and backs up reactionary regimes against the working people all over the world.

Embargo South Africa, Not Nicaragua

Now everybody knows what the Democrats and Republicans do when they really oppose another country. The imperialists are against the revolution in Nicaragua so the U.S. government calls an embargo, the CIA mines the harbors, the White House organizes contra murderers, and so on. Racist South Africa should be embargoed, not Nicaragua. But when the oh so "militant" Democrats, and the reformists who back them, claim they oppose apartheid, they don't even give the Botha regime a slap on the wrist.

The solidarity movement in the U.S. must be organized independent of and against the Democratic Party as well as the Republicans. It must raise its banner against imperialism. And it must turn its energy towards organizing the U.S. working people who are the most reliable support for the oppressed masses of South Africa.

The black masses of South Africa are rising in battle. The solidarity movement in the U.S. is building. Let us march forward in struggle!

Apartheid no! Revolution yes!

Support the struggle of the black people in South Africa!

[Photo: Anti-apartheid demonstrators defy South African military police in the Athlone neighborhood of Cape Town, October 26.]

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