The Workers' Advocate Supplement

Vol. 3 #9


September 10, 1987

[Front page: The Central American regional agreement -- Plan for stabilizing the death-squad regimes and undermining the Nicaraguan revolution]


Text of Central American Peace Pact........................... 19


Redwing on the Literary Debate................................... 2
Support the Nicaraguan Workers................................. 4
"Nuevo Octobre" On Madrid Communique............... 4

News from Kurdistan..................................................... 5

Hospital Strike in Buffalo.............................................. 6
Nurses Strike in S.F. Bay Area...................................... 7
"Freedom" -- the Capitalist Way -- at Bodine Electric Company........................................................... 8
Against Contracting Out and AFL-CIO Scabbing at Boston Transit................................................................. 10

On the Sectarian Madrid Communique....................... 13
Text of the Communique................................................ 12

The Central American regional agreement -- Plan for stabilizing the death-squad regimes and undermining the Nicaraguan revolution











For your reference:


An indirect confirmation of the importance of rank-and-file discussion of the controversial issues of the international communist movement


For your reference:


The Central American regional agreement -- Plan for stabilizing the death-squad regimes and undermining the Nicaraguan revolution

The millennium has come! The CIA and the Pentagon have been defeated by mere words about lasting peace and universal goodwill. The fierce contradictions in Central America between hungry toilers and overbloated corporate exploiters, the problem of death squads and repression, all have been resolved by words about national reconciliation and purer and purer democracy.

A new era is supposed to have been ushered in by the August 7 peace pact signed in Guatemala. This message is being trumpeted to the world. The war in Nicaragua is all but over. The united Central American states have stood up to the U.S. giant. And Reagan, Congress, and even the contras have all allegedly been converted to the new gospel. All that is supposed to be necessary is to reinforce Congress so as to prevent Reagan from backing out and subverting the agreement.

But the truth is a little different. The desire of the people to live free of this mad imperialist slaughter is being trifled with. The people, who are exerting themselves to the maximum to free themselves from this reign of death, are being deceived.

The text of the peace pact was reproduced in the New York Times on August 12. (See inside starting on page 19.) You would never know that this was the pact that has been trumpeted as ending the dirty war against Nicaragua.. It never mentions the contras specifically, nor does it condemn the U.S. war on Nicaragua. It is concerned with ending the threat to all the regimes in Central America -- all but one of which (Nicaragua) are reactionary, pro-U.S. regimes which( oppress their own people.

This pact does spout high-flown words about universal peace in Central America: its official name is the Procedure for the Establishment of a Strong and Lasting Peace in Central America. This can supposedly be accomplished without resolving the class conflicts in Central America, without eliminating foreign imperialism, without anything but "national reconciliation". All that is allegedly needed is that everyone agree on peace and democracy and universal reconciliation.

Let us see what this works out to be in practice.

Who Is Covered by the Agreement?

It is a pact between the heads of five Central American states. There is revolutionary Nicaragua, which is the target of U.S. aggression. There are three pro-U.S. death squad regimes (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras). There is one "moderate" pro-U.S. regime (Costa Rica). Both Honduras and "moderate" Costa Rica are major bases for the contra aggression against Nicaragua; and El Salvador has been a base for U.S. resupply flights for the contras.

What the Agreement Deals With

This agreement concerns the threats to these regimes from "irregular forces or insurrectionist movements". With this phrase, it lumps together CIA mercenaries like the contras with the popular forces in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Some people say that the agreement "legitimizes" the Nicaraguan government. But the truth is the exact opposite. It legitimizes the miserable, murdering contras; these CIA mercenaries, fighting to restore a Somoza-style tyranny in Nicaragua, are to be granted every consideration that is due to the insurgent workers and peasants of other countries. The contras, a miserable appendage of the, U.S. military and diplomatic agencies even according to pro-contra fanatics like Oliver North and his aide Robert Owen, are to be equated with the heroic workers and peasants who rise up, hungry and with few resources, to fight against exploitation and injustice.

National Reconciliation

Supposedly everything will be solved by "National Reconciliation". If everyone just talks together, things will be fine.

What a fraud!

In the U.S., for example, workers and capitalists can't decide on wages and working conditions without fierce struggles, including big strikes by the workers and the use of layoffs, firings, lockouts, and labor spies by the companies. But the fight against exploitation in Central American can allegedly be resolved by talks. All the years of pro-capitalist dictatorship and working class revolt was a mere mistake, a failure to communicate. Now the age of universal enlightenment is upon us.

Of course, the regional agreement doesn't pretend to suggest what kind of agreement could satisfy both downtrodden peasants and overbloated landlords, both impoverished worker and multinational corporation. Instead the treaty entrenches itself in "the objectives and... principles" established by a long list of former agreements, charters, treaty proposals, etc. Why, all this paper should simply smother the conflicts in Central America.

Yet the treaty promises the people amnesty, "dialogue with all unarmed internal political opposition groups and with those who have availed themselves of the amnesty", and a variety of measures concerning press freedom, elections, etc.

These measures are supposed to be evenhanded. They are to apply both to Nicaragua and to the pro-U.S. death-squad regimes.

But this even handedness is a facade. For example, in the death-squad countries, it doesn't matter whether there is a state of emergency or not, the left-wing forces find themselves tortured and left dead at the side of the road. This treaty says nothing about the death squads and how to deal with them.

So the workers and peasants in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala would find their freedoms rather hollow. Every corpse would have the right to do what he pleased. All, these regimes already pretend to be "democratic", while the killing continues. While in revolutionary Nicaragua, the treaty calls for amnesty, for the actual death squads, the contras, and would give them full rights.

Indeed, the agreement allows the pro-U.S. regimes to continue to take any amount of U.S. aid to slaughter the insurgents who refuse to give up their arms. This is aid to governments, not to "persons, organizations, or groups attempting to destabilize the governments", and is acceptable under the agreement. Meanwhile "moderate" Costa Rica, where the exploiters rule under a bourgeois-democratic facade (while U.S. advisers and trainers continue to train the forces of suppression) would be celebrated as a model of freedom.

What This Means in Nicaragua

But the provisions for "democratic" reforms are to be applied in full rigor against Nicaragua. No emergency measures against the contras or the bourgeoisie are to be allowed. Costa Rican President Arias, the guiding spirit behind the regional agreement, has already stressed that this is the one part of the agreement that is absolutely clear and binding. He says that by November 7 Nicaragua must implement the part of the treaty aimed at easing conditions for the contras. He doesn't say that this depends on ending the contra war. He doesn't say that this depends on obtaining cease-fires and national reconciliation all over Central America. No, "the language of the agreement is very explicit and not open to interpretation on this point." (New York Times, Aug 12) The reactionary pro-contra and U.S.-backed newspaper La Prensa, must be back in operations, all emergency measures against pro-contra formations ended, etc.

Now, according to the agreement,

"Ninety days from the signing of this document, the commitments pertaining to Amnesty, Cease-Fire, Democratization, Cessation of Assistance to Irregular Forces or Insurrectionist Movements, and the Non-Use of Territory to Invade Other States, will enter into force simultaneously...."

So Central America is to enter the realm of absolute democracy, total peace and cease-fire, the release of hostages and political prisoners, the end of contra bases in Honduras and Costa Rica, by November 7.

Oh really? Now, for example, what about ending all aid to the contras? This part of the agreement is to be "discussed" according to Arias. He says that, even after a cease-fire, it must be "discussed" whether supplies should still be supplied to the contras. (Ibid.)

So Nicaragua is to be asked to honor all its commitments even though Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador remain death-squad regimes, Costa Rica keeps its clandestine contra bases (it can't dismantle what it never admitted to having, now can it?), and U.S. armed forces remain pointed at Nicaragua from ships and from bases in Central America, etc.

Subjecting Nicaragua to International Control

The real point of these agreements is to force Nicaragua to abandon the revolution and submit its internal situation to the international control by the U.S. government and the pro-U.S. regimes.

Of course, the agreement doesn't say that. Oh no. It promises that it recognizes

"the right of all nations to freely determine, without outside interference of any kind, its economic, political, and social model...."

But then this international agreement goes on to specify exactly what should take place, when, how it should be verified internationally, by whom and by what date. Even the composition of "national reconciliation commissions" are to be specified. For example, the position of the church must be safeguarded at all costs. There is to be one government representative, one church representative, one opposition representative, and one prominent individual (and alternatives for all these positions).

For that matter, behind this talk of the right of nations "to freely determine, without outside interference of any kind," their politics, is the demand that the reactionary newspaper La Prensa be allowed to publish. There are not only supposed to be no restrictions on the internal Nicaraguan reaction, but the business groups and intelligence agencies from outside Nicaragua are to be allowed to flood Nicaragua with reactionary propaganda. Already business groups in Mexico, Spain and Venezuela are talking of financing a TV station in Nicaragua (New York Times, September 3, page 7) In general, the CIA and foreign capitalists are to be given the right to pour in the (money and expertise, while any Nicaraguan toiled would have the right to compete -- if they happened to have a million, dollars. That's bourgeois democracy for you.

Nicaragua has already appointed its "national reconciliation commission." And the outside forces are already interfering on that. They want to determine who is on the commission. For example, they complain that the opposition politician appointed to the commission isn't sufficiently rabid against the revolution and so must be regarded as a hidden Sandinista. (New York Times, August 27, page 6.)

The agreement talks a lot about democracy. The pro-U.S. regimes and the Reagan administration denounce the revolutionary mobilization of the masses as allegedly opposed to democracy. But it is the height of "democracy" for the CIA to finance the biggest newspapers of a country and the political parties.

Who Will Verify the Agreement?

And who will determine what all the high-flown words about "democracy" means? The Sandinista government thinks that its view of what these words mean will count for something. But it is imperialism and its allies who will insist on their interpretation.

The agreement provides for an International Verification and Follow-Up Commission. It is this commission which

"will have the duties of verifying and following up the compliance with the commitments undertaken in this document, as well as the support and facilities given to the mechanisms for reconciliation and verification and follow up."

And what a kangaroo court against Nicaragua and the Central American revolutionary movements this will be!

The commission is supposed to consist of (a) the secretary generals (or their representatives) of the United Nations and the Organization of American States (the OAS was organized to reinforce U.S. hegemony in Latin America), and (b) the Foreign Ministers of the Central American governments, the Contadora Group, and the Contadora Support Group. In short, the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister would be swamped in a sea of foreign ministers of pro-U.S. capitalist states.

And then the Reagan administration and the Congress will insist on their own interpretation of the treaty no matter what the verification commission says. Since the U.S. government is not directly bound by the agreement, it will be able to continually demand new concessions for going along.

Does the Agreement End the U.S. War on Nicaragua?

It is repeated over and over that this agreement, if followed, would end the CIA war on Nicaragua. So it is said that the task is simply to ensure that this agreement is respected.

But even if Central America were to enter the heaven of simultaneous observance of the major provisions of this treaty by November 7, it wouldn't necessarily mean the end of the contra war.

For one thing, this agreement never condemns that war directly. It deals with all the conflicts in Central America at one time. It would make as much sense to say that this agreement ends the mass guerrilla struggle in El Salvador as to say it ends the contra war. But let us look at the various provisions in this regional agreement that would apply to the U.S. war on Nicaragua.

<*>There is a provision that cease-fires should be negotiated in every country. Of course, if you can negotiate a cease-fire, then the war ends. You didn't need the regional agreement for this.

<*> There is a provision that the five signers of this agreement "shall request" other governments not to "openly or covertly provide military, logistical, financial, propagandistic aid in manpower, armaments, munitions and equipment to irregular forces or insurrectionist movements...." Wow! Look at that long list of types of and that are to be forbidden. How all encompassing. Unfortunately, all this is simply a "request." A request, as everyone knows, can be turned down.

Besides which, the agreement itself goes on to make loopholes for certain sorts of what the U.S. congress calls "humanitarian" aid. It specifies that "the above does not include assistance for repatriation, or... assistance necessary... to become reintegrated into normal life." And by now everyone knows how the slightest "humanitarian" loophole is used by Reagan and the CIA as just another way of funding the war against Nicaragua.

But why worry about loopholes? Doesn't the agreement itself go well beyond such things? Why, it says that the irregular forces themselves "will be asked to abstain, in yearnings for a true Latin American spirit, from receiving such assistance." Sure, just go and convince the contras and the CIA's so-called "unilaterally controlled Latin assets" that, as true Latin Americans, they should abstain from the war.

And the Contra Bases?

<*> The agreement has a section that would apply to contra bases in Honduras, Costa Rica and elsewhere. It states that such countries "reaffirm their commitment to prevent the use of their own territory... to destabilize the governments of the Central American countries...." As well, these countries reaffirm their commitment not to "render or permit military or logistical support" to others trying to do that.

This looks real strong. But wait a minute. This doesn't commit Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador to eliminate contra bases. Instead it pats them on the head for allegedly having tried to eliminate the contra bases in the past. They were.real committed to not having contra bases. But, against their will, these bases just appeared of themselves.

<*> The agreement does not ban the American military bases in Central America nor the American ships off the coast of Central America.

Condemning the Revolution in El Salvador

As we have pointed out, the agreement doesn't talk of the contra war but of all conflicts in Central America. The point of this agreement is to denounce any "destabilization" of the pro-U.S. regimes. And what is more destabilizing than revolution?

The agreement condemns all "irregular forces" and all attempts to upset any established government in Central America. If this agreement had been in effect in the 1970's, it would have specified measures against the Sandinistas and in favor of the tyrant Somoza. And today it aims to stop the revolutionary movements in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. They are to be forbidden outside support, even propaganda in their favor.

An Act of Defiance Against U.S. Imperialism?

It is also trumpeted that this agreement is an act of defiance against U.S. imperialism. Look, these countries stood up against Reagan's dictate.

In fact, the agreement was developed with the aid, support, and encouragement of various U.S. politicians. It represents an attempt to secure U.S. objectives in the situation when the contras are being torn apart on the battlefield. And it would have no significance unless the U.S. goes along.

The pro-U.S. regimes that signed this agreement continue to be subsidized by tens and hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Their armies and police departments continue to be trained in the massacre of the local workers and peasants. Their territory continues to serve as bases against Nicaragua.

As long as the CIA war against Nicaragua has gone on, so has the diplomatic war. And that is all this agreement represents. <>

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August 27, 1987

Dear Friends,

Below we reproduce a letter from Redwing, an active participant in revolutionary cultural work and a contributor to Struggle magazine, on the literary debate. We welcome additional letters and comments from comrades, including from the discontented comrades mentioned in the original articles on the literary debate in the August 20 issue of the Supplement.


It seems that The Workers' Advocate Supplement has offered me one more point of education in its Aug. 20, 1987 issue. Up until now I didn't know that anyone was opposed to Struggle magazine's editorial policy. Of course, not everyone likes the same poems or songs, but I honesty thought that everyone around the MLP basically supported what Struggle was doing. Imagine my surprise when I read the two articles by a member of the Central Committee on just that subject. I'd like to comment on two points that were raised by the writer; setting leaflets to music and depicting comrades in artistic works.

Setting Leaflets to Music

It is hard to comment on views you have only read second hand, but these issues have been raised by other people in a somewhat different form. For instance, some of us who have been involved in writing songs and poetry have argued for time to be spent raising the level of artistic work for the purpose of increasing the audience for the Party's political work. I can remember getting up and wailing like an alley cat in front of an audience of appreciative comrades at an MLP meeting who were grateful to us for making the effort. Time and practice made us better singers, I'm sure to the relief of our audience. We couldn't have done it if we'd had to live up to some exalted, and for us unreachable, artistic standard. I believe we were able to make a small contribution to the spirit of those meetings. The same held true for our efforts in the mass movements. Though unpolished, our songs and skits were well received by the ordinary people because the ideas we presented broke through the dead weight of the opportunist politics that dominated the events. The opportunists were worried enough about our work to take active measures to counter it. Like trying to make up bureaucratic rules on the spot to drown us out. They didn't take these measures because we were totally wooden, one-sided or one-dimensional, but as a result of the popular appeal of our work. Of course, the main reason they fought us was because of our association with revolutionary politics and the MLP.

The value of the cultural work I have seen has been increased both by the respect the MLP has won among the activists and the ordinary people by its stands in the class battles, and by the slowly elevated level of the cultural work itself. Without the ever-maturing political line of the Party the cultural work would probably either die out due to the demoralization of the cultural workers or degenerate into the bourgeois culture that surrounds us. At the same time the greater elevation of the cultural work catches the ear of more people and helps them to counter the liquidationist spirit. In this sense, while I strongly advocate that cultural workers try to elevate the level of their work whenever possible, I do so from the stand of presenting the politics better, not of abandoning them. This or that line in a poem or song might inspire people more by not saying "Down with U.S. imperialism" in so many words. That is not the same as banning those words from our songs and poetry altogether. If you are trying to present the politics in your work, then the question of what exact wording to use may be an artistic question. If you are embarrassed by the politics, you will surely be able to find plenty of excuses for not using certain words or phrases at all.

In another sense, however, I think that much of our cultural work will be not only leaflets set to music, but slogans set to music. The song The People Of El Salvador Have Taken Up The Gun is an example of the former, and Down With Ronald Reagan and We Say No! are examples of the other. These and other songs have been used to advantage at meetings and demonstrations to help bring people closer to the Party's politics. They will be replaced by other songs (like the recent rap songs) that will continue to do the same thing in increasingly popular ways. I am totally in favor of this work.

Struggle magazine is playing a crucial role in assisting this work. Where else can the technically untrained worker or activist express their outrage against injustice or enthusiasm for the class struggle in a journal with national distribution. Ordinary people must be encouraged to participate in this work if it is to be constantly infused with new ideas and new forms. In addition, instead of the haphazard distribution of new songs for cultural workers that used to prevail, we now have a journal that can popularize all the new material in a relatively short time. The editor is providing food for thought with his reprints of material from the past and commentary on literary style. I hope this all continues, and fail to see the objective basis for dissatisfaction with the basic policy Struggle has been following. Perhaps those who are dissatisfied can send in their views for all to read.

Depicting Comrades in Artistic Works

It boggles my mind that anyone could object to the presenting of comrades lives in artistic works as a matter of principle. The MLP has taken a principled stand against the use of self-congratulatory material, after all, the Party is here to organize the revolution, not to win Grammy's or Oscar's. To equate this with any presentation of comrades in cultural work, however, is totally wrong. Is the Party not involved heart and soul in the life of the working people? Are comrades not building ties deeper and deeper in the working class? It would be totally dishonest not to portray these things in the real world. Or shall we join the bourgeoisie in only portraying the workers in the most trivial and backward ways? I think not. Moreover, you can't inspire people to take up the politics if you ban the depiction of those who are most active in carrying them out. Since the editor of Struggle has no objection to works being printed in both Struggle and the Supplement (as they reach somewhat different audiences), and because I can think of no better way of illustrating the arguments in favor of depicting comrades in cultural work, I am submitting the enclosed short story titled The Stone. [The Stone will appear in the future in one or more Party journals.--ed.]


Redwing <>

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August 1987

Oxford, England

Comrades of the Workers' Advocate:

I have seen a little news from Nicaragua in your paper. It was very interesting.

In England I became aware of the existence of the workers' organization of MAP-ML through the supporters of the Communist Party of Iran.

In England wherever you go you are faced with these Nicaragua Support Committees, which all support the Sandinista government and they do not give you any news of the workers' movement at all. They talk about the economy as a whole, not about the economic condition of the working people. They talk about Sandinista Revolution. But not about the revolution of the Nicaraguan workers. I wanted to let you know the importance of your work in support of the Nicaraguan workers for the world's workers' movement. And not to let the voice of the workers fade away in the midst of social-democratic propaganda!

[The letter ends with a request for documents or the program of the MLP of Nicaragua and with a contribution for the Nicaraguan workers' press.]


[Name deleted] <>

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15 August 1987

Nuevo Octobre [Address.]

Editorial Staff

The Workers' Advocate

Dear comrades,


On reading the unjustifiable discredits against your Party contained in the statement issued at the end of last month by a meeting of six organizations [referring to "the multilateral meeting in Madrid" of July 1987], please receive the expression of my complete solidarity and sympathy towards your Party.

As a reader of The Workers' Advocate and other documents of your Party for the last ten years, I have verified that, despite the difficulties of working in the heart of imperialism, the MLP, USA strives to organize the American working class for the overthrowing of capitalism and, at the same time, carries out true proletarian internationalism, not only in words but in facts, such as in the case of actively supporting the Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninists or the black masses of South Africa.

Today the International Marxist-Leninist Movement faces serious ideological and political divergences. It is your open and public stands towards these vexed questions which has roused the attacks of those who oppose any criticism or discussion, who resist rectifying their errors and avoid carrying to an end the struggle against revisionism.

But, [whether] they like if or not, your Party enjoys the sympathy and support of Marxist-Leninists and class-conscious revolutionaries around the world, among which I include myself.

Wishing, your Party further successes in your work, which will be of help for the communists and revolutionaries in other countries, and encouraging you to continue in the path advanced, warmest revolutionary greetings

[Nuevo Octobre] <>

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The following is reprinted from the Aug. 1-15 issue of Report, newsletter of the Communist Party of Iran -- the Committee Abroad. It is from the column entitled In Revolutionary Kurdistan. Subheads have been added.


Khomeini's Troops Attacked in Kurdistan

During the last few weeks, Komala [Kurdistan organization of the CP of Iran] Peshmargas [armed fighters] carried out many successful attacks on the regime's forces in different areas in Kurdistan and have managed to inflict heavy damages on them.

On the Baneh-Saghez and Baneh-Marivan Roads

In two operations on the occasion of the Day of the Komala Peshmarga (21 June), two of the regime's columns fell into the Peshmargas' ambush and suffered considerable casualties. The 'first attack took place in the Baneh-Saghez road at 10 o'clock at night. Units of Peshmargas began the attack by opening fire on the regime's vehicle passing through the ambush zone. The armed men demanded reinforcement and the conflict continued with the arrival of 10 of the regime's vehicles at the scene. The operation lasted 2 and 1/2 hours, during which 40 of the regime's men were killed or injured. Our Peshmargas left the area unhurt. The Baneh-Saghez road is of great importance to the regime for communication purposes and tens of bases have been set up alongside the road.

The second operation took place in the Baneh-Marivan road and lasted half an hour. Tens of the regime's vehicles were involved in this operation. They suffered damages and casualties, though the number is not known.

In Marivan

In mid-May, units of Peshmargas entered the city of Marivan on two consecutive days, and attacked three of the regime's bases in the city.

The extend of the casualties and damages were high. During the operation, the slogans "Long live the CPI" and "Long live Komala" could be heard in different parts of the city.


Meetings in Sanandaj for the "Day of the Komala Peshmarga"

The people in the city of Sanandaj celebrated the Day of Komala Peshmarga by holding a number of gatherings. Hundreds of people took part in these ceremonies and commemorated the fallen comrades. Speeches, on the history of this day and the importance of Komala in the class struggle of the proletariat and the Kurdish people were parts of the program.

Dozens of Women Attend

In another ceremony tens of women took part. The program began by singing the International and one minute of silence was observed in memory of the fallen comrades. Then, the message of the Central Committee of Komala was broadcast. One of the women spoke about methods of helping the Komala Peshmargas and of strengthening their ranks. At the end of the meeting, a resolution in 18 articles was approved. In the resolution, deep support for the Peshmargas was expressed and democratic demands were stated: an immediate end to the Iran-Iraq war, condemning the extension of the war to the borders in Kurdistan, an end to the Komala-KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) war, prohibition of conscription policy, equality between men and women, freedom for political prisoners, prohibition of the Islamic Hejab (wearing according to the Islamic rules), etc. <>

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Extracted from the August 31 issue of Buffalo Workers' Voice, paper of the MLP-Buffalo:


Workers at DeGraff Hospital are out on strike. The strike began on August 11th, when members of Nurses United (CWA) overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement. Practical nurses, cafeteria workers, housekeeping staff, technicians, and office and clerical workers have taken a stand against the administration's proposal -- 4% a year and a 3 and 1/3 year contract.

The demands of the workers are for a higher wage increase and a two-year contract. Hospital workers nationwide are notoriously underpaid and overworked. The situation at DeGraff is no different. The administration's offer barely keeps up with inflation and, does nothing to compensate workers for the low wages, increasing inflation, and overwork forced on them over the past number of years. With an uncertain economy, and new recessions predicted, on the horizon, workers want a chance to re-negotiate their wages in two years.

The workers are putting up a determined struggle. Besides, picketing all entrances to the hospital, workers are employing a tactic of roving pickets. Picket lines have been set up at the temporary agencies through which the hospital is hiring scabs. At least one agency has been pressured into not sending any more temporaries to scab. As well, picket lines have been set up at the homes of some hospital administrators.

While DeGraff has hired scabs and obtained a restraining order, the situation is not "business as usual" for the hospital. Since the strike began, the patient count has dropped to 90 (out of 150) beds. Besides running at 60% capacity, it has had to reduce the number of surgeries.

More importantly, support for the strike is growing. Inside the hospital, a section of Registered Nurses have circulated a petition in support of the striking workers. As well, RNs are wearing "Nurses United" buttons. Mass support from the community is also evident. On August 23rd, a rally of 500-600 was held in front of the hospital to voice solidarity with the striking workers. And workers from all over the area have come to join the picket lines, including supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Party. <>

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The following articles are taken from a report from, and the August 13 leaflet of, the San Francisco Bay Area branch of the MLP.


During the Week of August 3, some 1,200 nurses at three Bay Area hospitals went on strike. They demanded better wages and increased staffing levels. The hospital administrations have been dumping more and more work on all health care workers without increasing the staffing levels or compensation. The nurses want relief from the extreme overwork that has resulted from the Reaganite cutbacks in the health care industry.

The strikes were met with broad sympathy from workers and progressive people. In particular, solidarity came from the ranks of 1,300 other Bay Area nurses whose contracts Were being negotiated and who were also threatening to strike. They joined the picket lines and rallies of the striking nurses and contributed to their strike funds. Registry nurses (temporaries) refused to scab. And many workers from other sectors in the striking, hospitals supported the strike individually. They had to defy the wishes of their SEIU Local 250 union leaders who refused to honor the strike.

The strikes, and the acts of solidarity, crippled the hospitals. Patient levels dropped to between 5-20% of normal levels. Several hundred workers from other sectors were laid off. The emergency rooms were closed. And other departments were effectively brought to a stand still.

But the maneuvers of the leaders of the California Nurses Association (CNA) snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. During the second week of the Strike, the CNA settled a sister contract at a nonstriking hospital for 5% each of the next two years. This won't even keep the nurses pay up with the rising inflation. Nevertheless, the union hacks praised the agreement as a great victory. Then, they broke the strike solidarity. They settled contracts at two of the hospitals, Alta Bates and Herrick, for 5% and 5%.

Despite this sellout, the strike wave is not over. There are 300 nurses at Providence Hospital who remain on strike. On August 18th, 300 nurses at Brookside Hospital voted overwhelmingly to strike. As well, contracts are under negotiation for thousands of health care workers in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and for 600 nurses at other hospitals. The Contra Costa workers have already sanctioned a strike. <>

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The hospitals are continually crying about their "money problems". They say that spiraling costs, falling medicare and insurance levels and unused beds leave no room for workers' raises. "What to do? Everyone loses," they cry. Is this true? Is everyone in the health care industry losing?

Let's look at Medicare. This is where Reagan's cutbacks have really taken a toll. But on whom? Not on the hospitals who take Medicare patients. Their profits are rising! According to a report published by the Congressional Budget Office in 1987, profits earned off Medicare patients have increased over the past three years. Medicare profit rates were at least 15.7% in 1986 and 17.6% in 1985, well above the 1984 rates. (New York Times, March 9, 1987)

These profits are a direct result of cost containment. Since DRG's (diagnostic related groupings) have been implemented, hospitals have profited off the fixed payments for illnesses by discharging patients early and collecting the balance of unspent money.

Medicare cuts have been passed on to the patients in the form of decreased coverage, premature discharges and lack of public health support. At the same time, hospitals are boosting their profits through workers' layoffs, job combinations, reduced benefits and wage cuts. This amounts to deteriorating patient care except for the very rich. <>

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Extracted from a September 1 leaflet of the MLP-Chicago:


Unlike those totalitarian communists passing out this leaflet, the kindly capitalists of Bodine Electric Company stand for freedom. Not your freedom of course, but the freedom of management to oppress their employees. Bodine has now expanded its espionage operations from gathering reports on what the workers are saying at "Quality Circle" meetings to spying on workers off the job!

Videotaping the Workers' Private Lives

Two weeks ago Bodine fired a tool crib clerk who was moonlighting. The way this firing was carried out has shocked and angered every worker that's heard about it.

Bodine had a company flunkey stakeout the clerk's house and then follow him to the site of his roofing job. There he was videotaped. When he returned to work, the clerk was called into personnel and confronted with the videotape. The company rejected his doctor's excuse and he was fired.

Why the spying? The company frequently sends workers to the company doctor to verify the reason for their absence. In fact for some illnesses the company will not allow a worker to return until the company doctor has given his o.k.

The point of following the clerk around and videotaping him is to intimidate everyone else. If you call in sick, go see the doctor and bring in a doctor's excuse, you still may be in trouble. What if Bodine videotaped you at the shopping mall that day? Then you will have to step into personnel's interrogation room:

"So, you say you were only getting a prescription. Then why did you go into Sears? If you're really sick you can't be shopping, can you? Impudent swine! We have ways of making you talk."

Bodine Wants the Workers Chained to the Machine

Bodine made the rotten absentee policy in the first place. Get 6 points in a year and get warned, get 12 and get suspended, get 15, get fired. There are no excused absences except with a note from your doctor. There are no sick days for production workers (only white-collars get them), no personal days....

And as if spying on workers off the job is not enough, Bodine is also saying that they may not accept valid medical excuses. At present, some of the foremen refuse to take no for an answer anyway. Sue Thurmond, for example, calls one Hydraulics worker up when he is sick and asks him to come to work anyway!

Bodine wants to make money, that's all. And they mean to press the workers to the wall to do it. "You're not allowed to miss time," they say, "because we own you. If you are sick we will give you points. Even if your doctor says you're sick, we may give you points."

But this isn't all. In order to further chain the workers to the machine two lesser events have taken place:

Phone Harassment

1) Alan Carlson gave all the foremen the phone numbers of all the maintenance workers. Why? The only possible reason is to harass them about their work. After all, maintenance has people on all three shifts and if somebody is on call, then the maintenance foreman is the one who calls them. In fact, if the company needs to know something about a repair job, the maintenance foreman can call the mechanic. But now the whole gang of Bodine morons can presumably call any mechanic to bitch about anything. No doubt, many maintenance workers will change their phone numbers. Bodine should be made to reimburse them for the added phone costs.

Captive Lunch Time

2) On Saturday, Aug. 22, the second shift workers were locked in the building at lunch time. Now there is a policy that those on a 20-minute paid lunch are not allowed to leave the building and on Saturdays, everyone is on a 20 minute lunch. But this rule had not been enforced on second shift because the cafeteria is closed and the machines are usually empty at night time. So if you don't bring your own food, you go out for lunch. Not anymore. Now John Meyer sits by the door to watch. Workers on 30 minute unpaid lunch breaks can go out, but those on 20 minute break are only allowed to go to the canteen truck outside the front door and come right back.

Part and Parcel of the Productivity Drive

Why are these things happening now? Because of Bodine's productivity drive. When you eliminate a lot of jobs, you can't have workers missing time. When someone does the work of three or four people (which is what the new machine centers are all about) and they miss a day, then the company misses the labor of three or four workers, not just the one who took off, but the work of those that were laid off.

The productivity drive at Bodine is typical of what's happening in every industry. Massive job elimination and speed up. What results is an ever growing army of the unemployed ("who are free to choose where they want to work" -- Paul Bodine) and a workforce that is pushed to exhaustion. It's poverty if you get laid off and a living hell on the job if you stay.... The productivity drive is turning the factories into prisons!

Capitalism, the Democracy of the Rich

What kind of system is it that promises "democracy" while it abuses the people who produce all the wealth? Capitalism, the democracy of the rich.

The bosses take all the time off they want. Their managers are highly paid and are given all kinds of privileges; including sick pay, longer vacations, etc. Just look at how some of the foreman are always missing time.

But it's the production workers that make the motors and the profits. The managers, are just there to push the workers, to get the work out of them as fast and as cheap as possible. Capitalism has no concern about a workers life.

Socialism, the Democracy of the Workers

Socialism will change all this. The socialist revolution will take power away from the rich and smash the whole oppressive apparatus of government which serves them. Socialist revolution will not only take the wealth away from these parasites but will eliminate their privileges as well. Then we will have real democracy in this country, proletarian democracy. Workers will be the ones to decide how their labor is used, what the work rules are, etc. Managers and foremen will be elected and paid a worker's wage. Socialism is freedom for working people. And that is the most horrifying thought in a capitalist's mind.


Fight to get rid of the oppressive absentee policy. The old system was bad but the new system is worse. Production workers must have sick days and personal days.

Fight company spying and fascism at the workplace. Workers must get organized to carry out. collective action against the company's attacks.

Resist the productivity drive and speedup. Fights against rate changes and cuts in bonus. Resistance to job elimination is vital. <>

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Extracted from the July 29 and August 26 issues of Boston Worker, paper of the Marxist-Leninist Party-Boston:


Subcontracting the Work to Break the Repairmen's Resistance

The MBTA [Boston transit authority] management has subcontracted out the air-conditioning modification work on Green Line cars to punish the repairmen for their resistance to the management's attempts to unilaterally change seniority lists. This will cost the T [short for MBTA], by its own figures, $2,000 - 3,000 more per car than if the repairman did the work all on overtime.

Clearly, to be paying out that kind of money, the management is interested in breaking down the workers for bigger concessions. And in fact they are pushing one of those wage-cutting schemes already. They have established the new classification of part-time shifter in the repair barns. Repair barns had so far been spared the divisive part-time system, but now the T is trying to get a foot in the door.

Repair Workers Continue the Fight

The workers, in the Green Line repair barns have responded to subcontracting of the air-conditioning work by continuing their overtime ban and throwing up daily picket lines at the Watertown carhouse where the work is being done. The picket lines started as a symbolic action by the union executive board but while most of union officials quickly disappeared from the lines, 20 repair barn workers have been showing up every morning at 5:30 a.m. to picket before going to work. Workers from all departments should come out in support of the repairmen on their picket lines.

Partial struggles in individual departments such as the repairmen are waging cannot defeat the "management rights" takeback drive by themselves. But such struggles are important for building up the unity and fighting spirit of the [transit] workers system-wide.

Look Who's Scabbing -- the AFL-CIO

The air-conditioning modification work on the Green Line LRV's is being done by workers from the Pipefitters Union, the Electricians Union, and the Sheet Metal Workers Union. These workers are being told by their union leaders to cross the picket lines of the MBTA repairmen. This is not just some jurisdictional dispute: the building trades workers are being used to break the ongoing struggle of the repair barn workers against attacks on their seniority rights and against the introduction of the part-time system.

This is straight-up union-organized scabbing. This kind of treachery by our AFL-CIO leaders shows once again that uniting the working class for a fight against the Reaganite offensive of the rich is something that will have to be done by the rank and file in spite of and against these "leaders".

More on the Air-Conditioning Scandal

The MBTA management wanted to punish the workers by taking work away from the repairmen. But the officials have shot themselves in the foot this time. The modified air-conditioning units don't work.

Most of the new units run only a week or two before breaking down. Because of a number of design blunders by the T management, the new units tend to self-destruct much faster than the old ones. The units have been charged with too much freon. This leads to high system pressures and destruction of motors, compressors, and seals. The cooling fans on the roof shut off while the compressors are still running, leading to high pressures and rapid breakdown of components.

The units are a fire hazard. When the compressor, motors stall (which happens frequently), the motor-slowing resistors glow red hot and burn Up the wiring for the air-conditioning system, the insulation under the floor, and the wires for the motors that drive the street car. Fires and baked wiring have already occurred on several cars.

The MBTA managers have once again proven their scandalous inability to do anything except harass, slander, and attack the workers.

What the "Free" Capitalist Press Is Like

Workers have provided information on this scandal to the reporters of the capitalist-owned media but the newspapers and TV stations refuse to carry it. The owners of the news media know full well that the air-conditioning work was contracted out to intimidate the workers. They know that the T contract is coming upland that if the T can force more concessions on its workers, it will be that much easier for all rich men to beat down their workers. And so the same newspapers that print any slander of T workers, no matter how false, are suppressing the truth on the air-conditioning-gate to support O'Leary and the boys at High Street [T management]. The rich and their officials stick together against the workers.

Build the Workers' Press

For the truth to be told about the conditions and struggle of any section of the working class, the workers will have to do it themselves. They will have to build up their own working class press like the Boston Worker. They will have to organize demonstrations and mass actions to fight for their rights. Only in this way can they tell all the working people of their common struggle against the rich capitalists and their arrogant officials, managers, and politicians. <>

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For your reference:


The following statement was taken from the August 3-9 issue of Revolucion, central organ of the Communist Party of Colombia (ML). The translation is by the Workers' Advocate staff. We have underlined the section containing the sectarian denunciation of our Party.




The Communist Party of Colombia (ML), the Communist Party (ML) of Ecuador, the Communist Party of Spain (ML), the Communist Workers Party of France, the Communist Party of Mexico (ML), and the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigre, have held a multilateral meeting in Madrid in July of 1987.

In this multilateral meeting, documents have been presented of great importance for the work of our communist parties: the youth, responsibility of the Marxist-Leninist parties; the organization of the workers' movement, primary task of the Marxist-Leninist parties; and the strengthening of the press of the Marxist-Leninist parties.

This multilateral meeting has enriched and ratified, the document "The Youth: Responsibility of the Marxist-Leninist Parties" and has decided to continue the discussion of the other two documents in the next multilateral meeting. In the document that was ratified and which will be published by the participating parties, the importance is stressed for each party and for the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement in general to develop and consolidate the youth organizations of the Marxist-Leninist parties and to mobilize the youth for the revolution and socialism.

This profound discussion, that has developed in a spirit of internationalist camaraderie, has been based in the rich and many-sided experience of the parties that participated and in the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement.

The parties present in Madrid manifest their conviction in the. justness of these multilateral meetings as a concrete contribution to the strengthening of the unity of the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement and as opening the way to the bringing together of the Marxist-Leninist parties.

The multilateral meeting has stressed the importance of the Theory and Practice magazine, and the parties present have expressed their commitment to continue publishing it in a regular manner.

The participating parties have unanimously condemned the acts of defamation, of provocation, and of confusion carried out by the Workers' Advocate group of the U.S. against the Marxist-Leninist parties.

Finally, the multilateral meeting expresses its total support and commitment in favor of the International Gatherings of the Youth and concretely to the one which will be held in Spain this year as a common activity that reenforces the work of the youth organizations of the Marxist-Leninist parties.

Madrid, 26 July 1987 <>

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An indirect confirmation of the importance of rank-and-file discussion of the controversial issues of the international communist movement


At the end of July, some of the organizations grouped around the international journal Theory and Practice issued a joint statement in Madrid, Spain. This statement contains few specifics and much general phrases.

One particular feature of this statement is that it denounces "the Workers' Advocate group" for "acts of provocation". There are no specifics. But everyone is supposed to accept the word of these parties, without proof or evidence of any kind, and spit on our Party. Everyone is supposed to be impressed by the "unanimity" of these parties, ignoring the fact that no such unanimity exists in the Theory and Practice grouping. Neither on the question of our Party nor on the burning questions of the Marxist-Leninist movement, such as the evaluation of Albanian policy and the stand towards united front tactics, is there unity.

How Is Unity To Be Obtained?

The leadership of the CP of Spain (ML) has advocated that, in the face of differences, one should ban the open discussion among communists of these problems. This is supposed to assure unity. One should find ways to slur over the differences and to appease the more rightist forces and the leadership of the Party of Labor of Albania. One should close one eyes and let a few leaders solve everything behind closed doors.

But the present communique itself shows the inability of this plan of the CPS(ML) leadership to ensure unity. It drapes itself in unity. But it ends up denouncing our Party and, in essence, calling on all those in the Theory and Practice grouping to split with us. It calls upon all those in their own ranks to take a sectarian stand, ignore our Party's views and struggle, and refuse to support the building up of a Marxist-Leninist Party in the U.S.

We, on the contrary, hold that Lenin was right and unity must be based on the firm foundation of revolutionary theory and the interests of the working class. We stand for combining the open discussion of the burning issues of the present-day movement with solidarity in the struggle against the bourgeoisie.

World Forces of Revolutionary Marxism-Leninism

And this is not just the stand of our Party. We are only one part of the forces of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. The communique pretends that the two world poles are Theory and Practice on the one hand and the Workers' Advocate on the other. This is certainly flattering to us, in an indirect sort of way. But we are actually only one part of a world movement. And we think that if these organizations extended their view to the needs of the world clash between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and not to behind-the-scenes maneuvering, they would realize how narrow and absurd the standpoint of their communique is.

What Is the MLP,USA Being Accused Of?

But let us look further at what motivates these organizations to attack us. What are the particular "acts of defamation, provocation, and confusion" that our Party is being accused of? It shouldn't be too hard to find out, seeing as the leadership of the CP of Spain (ML) and certain other forces have been berating us for years for these acts.


Should the Errors of Party of Labor of Albania Be Criticized?

(1) First of all, our Party has publicly criticized the errors of the Party of Labor of Albania. We have done this in a comradely way, as true friends who wish to help the Albanian toilers and communists avoid the disaster that their recent stands threaten them with. What was one supposed to do in the face of the years of Albanian praise of the hangman regime of Khomeini's Islamic Republic in Iran, the years of silence about the atrocities of the Turkish butchers, the replacement of promotion of class struggle and revolution in Europe with promotion of European "independence", the revival of various errors reminiscent of "three worldism", etc. There is also the Albanian passivity on the struggle in Central America. For example, the Albanians say more in favor of the Mexican government than in support of the Nicaraguan revolution, and they identify this revolution with the Sandinistas.

There was a time when some of the organizations that signed the present communique hinted at their differences with the Party of Labor of Albania, as in the Bogota multilateral statement of November 1983. And indeed a few even tried to convince us that they allegedly had no differences with us on the analysis of Albanian policy. But while they may still grumble in private, they have retreated from anything but praise for the Party of Labor of Albania in public. They are afraid of jeopardizing their position with the Party of Labor of Albania, their invitations to Congresses, or their back room dealing with rightist parties that more fully embrace the current stands of the PLA.

Liquidationism or Leninism on United Front Tactics?

(2) Second, our Party has dealt with the theory and practice of Leninist united front tactics. We have counterposed Leninist united front tactics to revisionist and liquidationist united front tactics. We have also looked into the history of this question and found that the Seventh Congress of the Communist International in 1935 marked a backward turn in the line of the world communist movement, a turn that should be rejected.

But such organizations as the CP of Spain (ML), on the contrary, have been revising their united front tactics to the right. And the leadership of the CPS(ML) makes use of the opportunist legacy of the Seventh Congress to support this rightism.

At one time the CP of Spain (ML), despite certain long-term weaknesses in its views, waged a spirited revolutionary fight under harsh conditions. This was the case in the struggle against the Franco dictatorship. But the leadership of the CPS(ML) held trouble dealing with the post-Franco situation. And in the last two years, its line has moved dramatically to the right. It has fallen prey to the rightist and petty-bourgeois nationalist ideas that are being spread in the world movement. It has itself fought to spread these ideas. In the name of broad united front tactics, it has turned towards conciliation with reformism.

Should There Be Criticism and Self-Criticism?

(3) Third, the leadership of the CP of Spain (ML) and of certain other organizations believe that they are above criticism and self-criticism. It is easier to criticize the Pope than to discusses the plus and minuses of the work of these organizations.

The present Madrid communique is, in part, the reply of the leadership of the CP of Spain (ML) to our discussion of their stands. We analyzed Spanish party leader Raul Marco's idea of the "silent polemic" in the article "On the burning questions in the world Marxist-Leninist movement Silent stagnation or rank-and-file discussion" (the Workers' Advocate, Oct, 1, 1986). And we discussed the general political line they are giving in the article "On the line of the CP of Spain (ML)" (the Workers' Advocate Supplement, Oct 15, 1986).

We discussed Comrade Marco!s ideas and the line of the CP of Spain (ML) in a calm, comradely, communist manner. We pointed to past achievements of the CPS(ML) as well as weaknesses. But the theory of the CPS(ML) leadership is that any discussion at all is automatically, by definition, a hostile attack. It is impatient, one-sided, immature, splittist, and provocative just because it exists. It doesn't matter what it actually says.

Should the Mass of Communists Decide Matters For Themselves?

(4) It is hardly a secret in the international movement that the leadership of the CP of Spain (ML) and others are upset about the public discussion of the differences in the world movement. Our Party's crime is that we have advocated that the rank-and-file communists around the world, the activists who do the fighting, the sacrificing, the dying for the communist cause, have the right to take part in deciding the burning issues of the international communist movement. We have upheld the Leninist teachings on democratic centralism, on the active role of the communist militant, and on the importance of conscious adherence to theory and tactics.

Well, if the leadership of the CP of Spain (ML) and the signers of this communique are so opposed to Leninist discussion, criticism and self-criticism, and democratic centralism in the world communist movement, what do they want to replace it with? In practice, they have resorted to trying to settle things in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms. They have resorted to saying one thing in private and another in public. They have resorted to trying to settle the burning issues of world's politics behind the backs of the masses.

And they are not silent from legitimate considerations of secrecy. Everyone knows that, faced with the savage terror of the bourgeoisie, various organizational matters must be kept secret so that the communists aren't massacred in cold blood. But such considerations clearly don't apply to the major issues of theory and political line. The signers of the communique aren't silent on these issues to prevent massacres. They aren't silent on what "acts of provocation" we have allegedly committed in order to protect anyone from the bourgeoisie. After all, the "acts of provocation" they are referring to are the public dissemination of literature, the public discussion of communist theory and tactics, and the carrying out of theoretical work concerning the line of the communist movement. They could given their stand on these things without putting a single communist militant into danger. No, they are silent only to protect their backroom deals from exposure. They are silent because the world would kill them with laughter if they dared write down the list of these so-called "provocations".

The Communique And Sectarian Wrecking

The Madrid communique aims at destroying our Party. This is not the first time that the leadership of the CPS(ML) has had this aim. In the past it was an avid backer of the so-called CPUSA(ML) of the social-democrat Barry Weisberg, a group that dissolved several years ago in a fit of liquidationist blues. It can also be noted that none of the signers of the Madrid Communique have ever established fraternal relations with our Party.

We hope that the signers of the Madrid communique will reconsider their stand. Their stand is not only an attempt to harm our Party, but it also is harmful to their own organizations and the communist and revolutionary movements of their own countries. Smothering the discussion of the burning issues of political line may seem like a convenient thing to do. It may seem like it makes it much easier to organize. But it is a potent factor for decay. Especially at the present, when truly harmful orientations are widely fashionable, the smothering of political discussion is a powerful factor pushing organizations towards disaster and ruin. We would like these organizations to take revolutionary stands and prosper. But this depends not on our wishes, but on their concrete stands in the class struggle and on the burning issues of the revolutionary tactics and orientation.

The Struggle for Revolutionary Leninism Cannot Be Stamped Out

The communique brings out into the open something that has been going on in the international movement for a long time. The communique's anger on public discussion is in its own way a confirmation of the powerful role that this discussion has been playing. The signers are upset at the fact that the struggle for revolutionary Leninism and against fashionable errors simply cannot be stamped out.

Marxist-Leninists of the world!

Let us stand up for revolutionary honor against backroom deals!

Let us demand that the signers of the Madrid communique repudiate its anti-Leninist methods!

Let us stand up for Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary interest and refuse to be intimidated by bluster!

And above all, let us continue the struggle against the bourgeoisie, the struggle against opportunism, and the struggle to unite into a powerful world Marxist-Leninist movement! <>

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For your reference:


Below is the text of the agreement signed in Guatemala on Friday, August 7 by the presidents of Nicaragua and four nearby pro-U.S. Central American states. It is from the New York Times of August 12 (including the bracketed words), which claims it is as translated from the Spanish and made public by the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry.


The Governments of the Republic of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, determined to achieve the objectives and to develop the principles established in the United Nations Charter and the Charter of the Organization of the American States, the Document of Objectives, the Caraballeda Message for Peace, Security and Democracy in Central America, the Guatemala Declaration, the Punta del Este Communique, the Declaration of Panama, the Esquipulas Declaration, and the Contadora Treaty Proposal for Peace and Cooperation in Central America of July 6, 1986, have agreed on the following procedure for establishing a firm and lasting peace in Central America.


To urgently carry out, in those cases where deep divisions have resulted within society, steps for national reconciliation which would allow for popular participation with full guarantees in authentic political processes of a democratic mature based on justice, freedom and democracy. Towards this end, to create those mechanisms which, in accordance with the law, would allow for dialogue with opposition groups. For this purpose, the corresponding Governments will initiate a dialogue with all unarmed internal political opposition groups and with those who have availed themselves of the amnesty.


In each Central American country, except those where the International Commission of Verification and Follow-Up determines that such a measure is not necessary, an Amnesty decree will be issued containing all the-provisions for the guarantee of the inviolability of life; as well as freedom in all its forms, property and the security of the persons to whom these decrees apply. Simultaneous with the issuing of the amnesty decree by the Government, the irregular forces of the respective country will place in freedom all persons in their power.

National Reconciliation Commission

In order to verify the compliance with the commitments that the five Central American Governments subscribed to by the signing of this document, concerning amnesty, cease-fire, democratization and free, elections, a National Reconciliation Commission will be established whose duties will be to verify the actual carrying out in practice of the national reconciliation process, as well as the full exercise of all civil and political rights of Central American citizens guaranteed in this document. The National Reconciliation Commission will be comprised of a delegate and an alternate delegate from the executive branch; a bishop Relegate and an alternate bishop delegate recommended by the Episcopal Conference, and chosen by the Government from a list of three candidates which should be presented [by the Conference] within a period of 15 days upon receival of a formal invitation. This invitation will be made by the Governments within five working days from the signing of this document.

The same procedure will be used to select a delegate and alternate delegate from the legally registered political opposition parties. The. said list of three [candidates] should be presented within the same above mentioned period.

In addition, each Central American Government will choose an outstanding citizen, outside of public office and not pertaining to the party, in power, and his respective alternate, to be part of this commission.

The decree, which puts into effect the agreements for the nomination of the members of the respective national commissions, shall be communicated immediately to the other Central American Governments.

Exhortation for the Cessation of Hostilities

The Governments make a vehement appeal so that in the States of the area, currently suffering from the activity of irregular or insurgent groups, a cessation of hostilities be arranged. The Governments of these states commit themselves to undertake all the necessary steps for achieving an effective cease-fire within the constitutional framework.


The Governments commit themselves to promote an authentic democratic, pluralist and participatory process that includes the promotion of social justice; respect for human rights, [state] sovereignty, the territorial integrity of states and the right of all nations to freely determine, without outside interference of any kind, its economic, political, and social model; and to carry out in a verifiable manner those measures leading to the establishment, or in their instances, the improvement of representative and pluralist democratic systems which would provide guarantees for the organization of political parties, effective popular participation in the decision making process, and to free access to different currents of opinion, to honest electoral processes and newspapers based on the full exercise of citizens' rights.

For the purpose of verifying the good faith in the development of this democratization process, it will be understood that there shall exist complete freedom of press, television and radio. This complete freedom will include the opening and maintaining in operation of communications media for all ideological groups, and the operation of this media without prior censorship.

Complete political pluralism should be manifest. In this regard, political groupings shall have broad access to communications media, full exercise of the right of association and the right to manifest publicly the exercise of their right to free speech, be it oral, written or televised, as well as freedom of movement by members of political parties in order to proselytize.

Likewise, those Governments of Central America, which have in effect a state of exception, siege, or emergency [law] shall terminate that state and re-establish the full exercise of all constitutional guarantees.

Free Elections

Once the conditions inherent to. every democracy are established, free, pluralist and honest elections shall be held as a joint expression of the Central American states to seek reconciliation and lasting peace for its peoples. Elections will be held for a Central American parliament, whose founding was proposed in the Esquipulas Declaration of May 25, 1986. In pursuit of the above 'mentioned objectives, the leaders expressed their will to progress in the formation of this parliament and agreed that the Preparatory Commission of the Central American Parliament shall conclude its deliberations and submit to the Central American Presidents the respective treaty proposal within 150 days.

These elections will take place simultaneously in all the countries throughout Central America in the first half of 1988, on a date mutually agreed to by the Presidents of the Central American states. These elections will be subject to vigilance by the appropriate electoral bodies. The respective governments commit themselves to extend an invitation to the Organization of American States and to the United Nations, as well as to governments of third states, to send observers who shall bear witness that the electoral processes have been held in accordance with the strictest norms of equality, of access of all political parties to the media, as well as full guarantees for public demonstrations and other kinds of proselytizing propaganda.

The appropriate founding treaty shall be submitted for approval or ratification in the five countries so that the elections for the Central American parliament can be held within the period indicated in this paragraph. After the elections for the Central American parliament have been held, equally free and democratic elections shall be held with international observers and the same guarantees in each country, to name popular representatives to municipalities, congresses and legislative assemblies and the presidencies of the republics. These elections will be held according to the proposed calendars and within the periods established in the current political Constitutions.

Cessation of Assistance to Irregular Forces or Insurrectionist Movements

The Governments of the five Central American states shall request the Governments of the region, and the extra-regional governments which openly or covertly provide military, logistical, financial, propagandists aid in manpower, armaments, munitions and equipment to irregular forces or insurrectionist movements to cease this aid, as an indispensable element for achieving a stable and lasting peace in the region.

The above does not include assistance for repatriation, or in lieu thereof, the reassigning of assistance necessary for those persons having belonged to these groups or forces to become reintegrated into normal life. Likewise, the irregular forces or insurgent groups who operate in Central America will be asked to abstain, in yearnings for a true Latin American spirit, from receiving such assistance.

These petitions will be made in accordance with the provisions of the Document of Objectives regarding the elimination of arms traffic, whether it be inter-regional or extra-regional, intended for persons, organizations or groups attempting to destabilize the governments of the Central American countries.

The Non-Use of Territory to Invade Other States

The five countries which signed this document, reaffirm their commitment to prevent the use of their own territory and to neither render or permit military or logistical support to persons, organizations, or groups attempting to destabilize the governments of the Central American countries.

Negotiations on Matters Relating to Security, Verification, Control and Limitation of Armaments

The Governments of the five Central American states, with the participation of the Contadora group in exercise of its role as mediator, will continue negotiations on the points still pending in the Contadora Treaty Proposal for Peace and Co-operation in Central America concerning security, verification and control.

In addition, these negotiations will entail measures for the disarmament of the irregular forces who are willing to accept the amnesty decrees.

Refugees and Displaced Persons

The Governments of Central America commit themselves to give urgent attention to the groups, of refugees and displaced persons brought about by the regional crisis through protection and assistance, particularly in areas of education, health, work and security, and, whenever voluntary and individually expressed, to facilitate in the repatriation, resettlement and relocation [of these persons]. They also commit themselves to request assistance for Central American refugees and displaced persons from the international community, both directly through bilateral or multilateral agreements, as well as through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other organizations and agencies.

Cooperation, Democracy and Freedom for Peace and Development

In the climate of freedom guaranteed by democracy, the Central American countries will adopt agreements permitting for the intensification of development in order to achieve more egalitarian and poverty-free societies. Consolidation of democracy presupposes the creation of a system of economic and social justice and well-being. To achieve these objective the Governments will jointly seek special economic support from the international community.


International Verification and Follow-Up Commission

An international verification and follow up commission will be established comprised of the Secretary Generals of the Organization of American States and the United Nations or their representatives, as well as the Foreign Ministers of Central America, of the Contadora Group and the Support Group. This commission will have the duties of verifying and following up the compliance with the commitments undertaken in this document, as well as the support and facilities given to the mechanisms for reconciliation and verification and follow up. In order to strengthen the efforts of the International Commission of Verification and Follow-Up, the Governments of the five Central American states shall issue declarations of support for [the commission's] work. All nations interested in promoting the cause of freedom, democracy, and peace in Central America can adhere to these declarations.

The five Governments shall offer all the necessary facilities for full compliance with the duties of verification and follow-up of the National Reconciliation Commission of each country and of the .International-Commission of Verification and Follow-Up.

Calendar for the Implementation of Agreements

Within a period of 15 days from the signing of this document, the Foreign Ministers of Central America will meet as the Executive Committee to regulate, promote and make feasible compliance with the agreements contained herein, and to organize the working commissions so that, henceforth, the processes leading to compliance with the contracted commitments may be initiated within the stipulated periods by means of consultations, undertakings and other mechanisms deemed necessary. Ninety days from the signing of this document, the commitments pertaining to Amnesty, Cease-Fire, Democratization, Cessation of Assistance to Irregular Forces or Insurrectionist Movements, and the Non-Use of Territory to invade Other States, will enter into force simultaneously and publicly as defined herein.

One-hundred-twenty days from the signing of this document, the International Commission for Verification and Follow-Up will analyze the progress [made] in the compliance with the agreements provided for herein.

After 150 days, the five Central American Presidents will meet and receive a report from the International Commission of Verification and Follow-Up and they will make the pertinent decisions.

Final Provisions

The points included in this document form part of a harmonious and indivisible whole. The signing of [the document] incurs an obligation, accepted in good faith, to simultaneously comply with the agreement in the established periods.

We, the Presidents of the five States of Central America, with the political will to respond to the longings for peace of our peoples, sign [this document] in the City of Guatemala, on the seventh day of August of 1987.

Oscar Arias Sanchez

Jose Napoleon Duarte

Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo

Jose Azcona Hoyo

Daniel Ortega Saavedra <>

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