Lebanon, Belarus, Argentina: LCFI Statement

Exposing the operations of the new hybrid war “spring” of American, European and Zionist imperialism!

Statement of the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International

The economic crisis, aggravated by the recession derived from the coronavirus pandemic, produced a new intercontinental “spring” of colour Revolutions in the second half of 2020. This process is most advanced in three countries: Lebanon, Belarus and Argentina.

Class war does not cease during tragedies. On the contrary, when the living conditions of their victims worsen, the predators of big capital take advantage to deal heavier blows. Reduced wages and mass layoffs are almost a worldwide practice of companies during the pandemic.

Large corporations in high technology, online retail and the pharmaceutical industry have seen their sales and share-prices skyrocket: this is the case for Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Tencent, Facebook, Nvidia, Alphabet (Google), Paypal, and TMobile, to list the top ten with the highest profitability. In the midst of a pandemic, the U.S. government orchestrated an attempted maritime invasion of Venezuela by mercenaries, accused Maduro of drug trafficking, and offered a $15 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Also, during this period, the Trump administration maintained or escalated sanctions against Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Russia and China. Israel attacked the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip mercilessly with air strikes and artillery fire. Domestically, bourgeois governments take advantage of the situation to remove democratic rights, carry out counter-reforms, reduce public investments.

In 2019, Evo Morales was re-elected with a large margin of votes. The pro-imperialist right’s candidacy did not admit the result and began a coup process with large demonstrations, fascist attacks, military-police blackmail until the coup d’état was consummated with the resignation of Evo Morales, who did not even finish his current term. On July 24, 2020, in response to a social media post that mentioned Elon Musk’s interests in preventing Morales from remaining in power, the billionaire, owner of the high-tech multinational carmaker, Tesla, and equipment supplier to the U.S. Air Force, wrote on his Twitter account: ” We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it. ” The largest lithium reserve in the world is in Bolivia. Lithium ion is the main component of Tesla electric vehicle batteries.

Lebanon

On August 4, a massive explosion occurred in the Port of Beirut. The attack destroyed much of the East of the Lebanese capital, killed approximately two hundred people, injured more than 6,000, and rendered 300,000 homeless. A large “mushroom” cloud was formed, very different from what can be seen in conventional explosions.

Mushroom cloud erupts in Beirut port explosion

Among the hypotheses raised for the explosion is that it was an attack of imperialist sabotage with a new weapon, similar to the explosion that was recorded in Syria in January 2020. It is no secret to anyone that Israel’s two main military defeats in the 21st century were directly influenced by the Lebanese guerrilla group and political party Hezbollah. In 2006, the Israeli infantry was humiliatingly defeated in their invasion of southern Lebanon to disarm and crush Hezbollah.

Since 2011, a hybrid war against Syria has been unleashed by the US and Israel as part of the “Arab Spring.” In this last war, Hezbollah was one of the main forces of the resistance, along with the Syrian Army itself, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Russian military. The hybrid war against Syria was defeated. Those allied with imperialism included the bloodthirsty ISIS, the so-called Islamic State. This was a great victory for the world proletariat against the expansionism of imperialist financial capital in the Middle East.

The Israeli right has long identified the Port of Beirut as an area controlled by Hezbollah. Benjamin Netanyahu had pointed to exactly the same location, and denounced it as Hezbollah’s weapons depot, at the UN Assembly on September 27, 2018. If Israel was behind the attack, it is very likely that Zionist military intelligence planned that a large-scale explosion in this port region depot, dumped in the Lebanese government’s lap could, with a single blow, impose political and military losses on Hezbollah.

Whether the explosion was the product of political irresponsibility or intentional sabotage of some secret service, is not yet known. That’s in the field of speculation. But it is a proven fact that the tragedy has provided supporters of Lebanon’s imperialist political agents, socially supported by fractions of the bourgeoisie and middle-class sectors, to reactivate protests against Hezbollah and the ruling coalition that houses it. The American and Zionist imperialisms set in motion their fake news machine to plant their versions of what happened.

Al-Arabiya TV news channel said the explosion occurred at an arms depot belonging to the ‘terrorist group’ Hezbollah. Fox News reported that many of the port’s operations are unofficially controlled by Hezbollah. Demonstrators took to the streets of Beirut with Lebanese flags and posters in English that said,

“Help! We are hostages to a corrupt government and an Iranian religious militia” (Lebanon, the Orange Counter-Revolution after the tragedy. https://frentecomunistatrabalhadores.blogspot.com/2020/08/libano-contra-revolucao-laranja-apos.html).

Under intense pressure, the entire government of the Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, was forced to resign. The first political battle of this hybrid war, initiated by means of this explosion, was won by imperialism.

Belarus

On August 9, an election took place in Belarus (formerly Byelorussia or White Russia). The results gave victory to former Stalinist bureaucrat Alexander Lukashenko against his rival, the “independent” candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, representative of a neoliberal and pro-NATO program. The result gave an overwhelming majority, 80% of the votes, to Lukashenko. It was probably tampered with and gave rise to a new protest movement in the country.

The Belarusian regime is an anomaly. Lukashenko’s local bureaucratic government came to power after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, but managed to avoid, through its declaration of independence, the massive neoliberal shock treatment and economic destruction that afflicted Russia under the Yeltin regime.

Belarus can perhaps be described as the only place in the former USSR where the old Stalinist oligarchy managed to cling to power after the August 1991 coup. Lukashenko came to personify this local bureaucratic faction. It cannot be argued that Belarus managed to remain a deformed workers’ state,but , as a local bureaucratic fiefdom, it slowed the process of capitalist restoration, more or less in the same way that ‘Gang of Eight’ directed by Yanayev wanted in August 1991 in the former USSR, keeping it under the control of sectors of bureaucracy. The Yanayev project was similar to that of Chinese bureaucracy, capitalist restoration, but in an organic way, planned and controlled by a state party whose origins were those of a degenerate/deformed workers state.

As Wikipedia noted:

“After the election of Alexander Lukashenko in 1994 as the first president of Belarus, he launched the country on the path of ‘market socialism’ (as opposed to what Lukashenko regarded as ‘savage capitalism’, chosen by Russia at the time). In line with this policy, administrative controls on prices and exchange rates have been introduced. In addition, the state’s right to intervene in the management of the private company was expanded, but on March 4, 2008, the president issued a decree abolishing the golden share rule in a clear move to improve Belarus’s international classification in relation to foreign investment. ” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Belarus)

We have no illusions in the Lukashenko regime, but the protest movement follows the modus operandi of all recent coups: it was orchestrated after the contestation of the election results, right-wing protesters, against corruption, national and Nazi flags, predominance of the middle class and a few disorganized workers. Something that is somewhat worrisome is the presence of red and white “Belarusian” flags, used by pro-Nazi elements in World War II, demonstrations, leaders’ links with Ukraine and the Baltic States, and the evocation of the Maidan movement in Ukraine as an example to be imitated.

Belarus Demo with pseudo-nationalist pro-Nazi flag

Unlike in Ukraine, under both Tsarism and Stalinism, a real national oppression in Belarus has not been historically true, as the national sentiment of Belarus was generally pro-Russian and emphasized Belarus’s affinity with Russia, even under Tsarism. Importantly, the use of symbols used by a fringe of Nazi collaborators in these demonstrations today has far less history behind it than Ukraine, and actually indicates that the inspiration of this movement comes from outside, from neoliberal tendencies, and not from something deeply rooted among the masses, despite Lukashenko’s despotism.

Behind the Nazi-neoliberal shock squad it is clear what the imperialists want. The World Bank’s prescription for the country is as follows:

“More urgently, Belarus’s state-owned business sector needs comprehensive restructuring. And what would that entail?

• First, keep for-profit state enterprises public or privatize them transparently at fair market prices.

• Second, keep public service providers and public regulators, but clearly define what they should provide in exchange for public funds.

• Third, restructure the loss-making state-owned companies that could quickly become profitable, providing a good return on any extra investment.

• And for everything else: closure or privatization.

The classification of companies in these categories should be made by independent experts in order to obtain objective assessments of which businesses are viable or not. “

(Why economic reforms in Belarus are now more urgent than ever, https://blogs.worldbank.org/europeandcentralasia/why-economic-reforms-belarus-are-now-more-urgent-ever-0)

Despite all Lukashenko’s corruption and undemocratic despotism, his government is the lesser evil. We saw the massive decline in life expectancy in Russia caused by Yeltsin’s economic shock in that country. The same will happen in Belarus if the neoliberals take power. We do not give him political support; in fact, the class-conscious proletariat in the former USSR needs to be rearmed politically through the creation of a new Bolshevik-Leninist Party in the region, but we defend the fragmentary social gains that have still been maintained in Belarus since the Soviet period, even if by bureaucratic inertia. We defend Belarus and Russia as relatively backward and non-imperialist capitalist countries. We consider Belarus as a semi-colonial country and Russia as a dependent country. We defend these two countries against imperialist representatives seeking “regime change” and “colour revolutions” like those now taking place in Belarus.

Against this offensive of our worst enemies, we call for a single anti-fascist and anti-imperialist front, with Lukashenko and Putin, against this revolution made by the CIA, to defend the social achievements still existing in Belarus, the nationalized property, against neoliberal privatization. This is one side of the objectives of our anti-fascist and anti-imperialist united front tactics. The other objective of this tactic is to struggle to overcome the illusions of the masses in Lukashenko and Putin. As in Ukraine, because of his bourgeois nature, Putin is not consistent in the anti-imperialist struggle or in supporting the fight against the fascist uprising inspired by NATO.

Argentina

Amid the decline of US hegemony, and divisions within US imperialism, sectors of the Republican political establishment itself are abandoning Trump.

Kichnerism and its allies take advantage of the crisis of US domination to deepen negotiations between the Peronist Justicalista Party and the Chinese Communst Party, boosting Argentina’s access to the ‘Silk Road’ and obtaining Chinese financing for infrastructure works in Argentina. In 2019, China became Argentina’s main buyer.

On August 6, 2020, 43% of the Argentine central bank’s reserves consisted of a swap in Yuan traded with China. In this swap financial operation, the Central Bank of China stepped in to pledge that it will invest billions of dollars to cover the devaluation of the Argentine currency, which may occur over the next three years.

Today, after Venezuela, Argentina is the closest country to the Russian/Chinese bloc in South America. That is why American imperialism uses hybrid warfare methods as embryonicly seen in the mobilization of August 17, to pressure and destabilize the government of Alberto Fernández.

Alberto Fernández also advanced measures such as freezing internet, mobile and cable television tariffs, declaring them public services. These measures harm the multimedia group Clarín, the main media consortium of Argentina.

Finally, since the formation of the official Frente De Todos (Front of Everyone) coalition, a judicial reform was instituted as a preventive measure against legal war, or  lawfare, which has been used in different countries by imperialism, such as the so-called Operation Lava Jato that began the coup process in Brazil in 2016.

In this context, the trends that have manifested since the mobilizations against the expropriation of Vicentin have taken a qualitative leap forward and demonstrate that in Argentina an incipient hybrid war driven by imperialism and its local agents is underway. Opposition sectors, mainly linked to former President Macri and his right-wing coalition Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) with an important element of the upper middle class that were supporters of the government, demonstrated against the Fernandez government. Macri supported the demonstration and his former Security Minister Patricia Bulrrich was one of the main drivers and participants in it.

Until the August 17 demonstration, the axis of the mobilisation was opposition to Fernandez’s judicial reform. In this war it is evident that the manipulation of online social networks, encouraged by all the opposition media, through disinformation: “news” that overestimates, nationally and internationally, the true magnitude of the opposition. In addition to this central political axis, the August 17 demonstration also incorporated the reactionary discontent of the merchant sectors, the small, medium and large bourgeoisie, against Covid-19 quarantine measures.

Argentina Demonstration against Judicial Changes

Under this same dynamic a new mobilization was called for August 26, when the Senate will vote on judicial reform.

Hybrid warfare is a weapon of imperialism that, ultimately, aims to consolidate parasitism on exploitation for surplus value suffered by workers. It aims to bring to power those who want political changes that represent their class interests, such as the end of social distancing.

Tactically, the working class require an anti-imperialist united front against the U.S. and its local Macrista agents because they oppose the rise of this parasitism. But it is necessary to organize in a politically independent way, criticizing the bourgeois limits of the Fernandez government in the struggle for national liberation against international big capital, including the social, economic and political costs of the Argentine debt to China.

The fight against the hybrid wars of imperialism, the national question and the Permanent Revolution

Imperialism lost almost all its colonial wars of military occupation. The US’s greatest trauma was Vietnam in 1975. So, it modified its methods of war against the oppressed, making use of internal agents, developing hybrid wars, false flag operations, lawfare, counterrevolutionary “popular uprisings”, etc.  So, the CIA and its arms around the world stimulate “revolutions” with anti-corruption programs, democracy and even trade-unionist programmes, like to some extent in Belarus now. These wars of position serve to divide oppressed nations, prevent unified national resistance of oppressed peoples, as has occurred with the heroic Palestinian resistance for more than seventy years.

Imperialism embarks on hybrid warfare campaigns with media and legal offensives to demonize its opponents for “corruption”, “electoral fraud”, “coups d’état” and “dictatorships”. But it is imperialism itself that exercises the dictatorship of capital on a planetary scale and is the greatest corruptor on the planet.  Strategically, imperialism seeks to privatize, loot, expand its parasitism when it is limited in some way by these immediate obstacles.

In the end, it is a struggle between imperialism and the proletariat of oppressed countries. In the fight against imperialism, the revolutionaries seek to overcome the limitations imposed on the struggle by bourgeois nationalist leaders, by Stalinist Parties, etc.

Revolutionaries fight for the strategy of the permanent revolution. Through the common struggle against imperialism, workers are helped to recognise, through experience, that the bourgeois or bourgeois-nationalist leaderships of oppressed peoples are incapable of consistently taking the necessary measures against imperialism. These traditional leaderships always seek agreements to coexist with the international big capital. Such agreements imply negotiations about the redivision of the surplus value created by the proletariat of oppressed nations between the bourgeoisie of the oppressed country and the oppressive monopolies of the imperialist metropolises. For this reason, Marxist revolutionaries maintain their complete political and organizational independence from the bourgeois and nationalist leaderships of oppressed countries, unmasking patriotism when it is used to conceal class exploitation by national exploiters

“The only ‘condition’ for any agreement with the bourgeoisie, because each separate, practical and convenient agreement must be adapted to each specific case, is not to allow both organizations and flags to mix directly or indirectly for a single day or even an hour; it consists in distinguishing between red and blue, and not believing for a moment in the capacity or will of the bourgeoisie to carry out a genuine struggle against imperialism or not to put obstacles to the political organization of workers and peasants.” (Leon Trotsky, The Third International after Lenin, Balance Sheet and Perspectives of the Chinese Revolution, his lessons for the countries of the East and for the whole of the Comintern, September 1928).

Today, organizations of the left globally, including many claiming to be revolutionaries and Trotskyists, give political support to the hybrid war maneuvers of imperialism, the colour revolutions, as if they did not know their results in Lebanon, Ukraine, Brazil, Bolivia. By this traitorous policy, such left-wing organizations help the war campaign of imperialism. These organizations, in addition to acting as a transmission belt of imperialism, renounce, within the semi-colonial or dependent nations, the struggle to bring consciousness to the oppressed peoples against the influence of the neo-Stalinist, bourgeois nationalists and theocrats.

As Lenin said, referring to the nationalist, chauvinistic, opportunistic leaderships of the labor movement within imperialist nations, “the fight against imperialism is a hollow and false phrase if it is not inextricably linked to the struggle against opportunism.” (V.I. Lenin. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916).

The nationalism of oppressor nations is reactionary, it is the “mask of world banditship”, as Trotsky said, referring to Japanese patriotism in the war against China,

“Chinese patriotism is legitimate and progressive. Whoever puts the two patriotisms on the same plane has not read anything of Lenin, who did not understand the attitude of the Bolsheviks during the imperialist war and who does nothing but compromise and prostitute the teachings of Marxism… Efeilists and Oehlerists oppose the ‘national and social-patriotic’ politics of class struggle. All his life, Lenin fought this abstract, sterile policy. The interest of the world proletariat dictates the duty to help the oppressed people against their oppressors in their national and patriotic struggle against imperialism. He who has not understood this to this day, almost a quarter of a century since the World War and twenty years after the October revolution, must be relentlessly departed from the revolutionary vanguard as his worst inner enemy.” (Ultraleftism on the national question, September 23, 1937).

Those leftists who in the name of “class struggle” support the colour revolutions made by the CIA are unconscious or conscious agents of imperialism. They are traitors and internal enemies of the struggle for the national liberation of oppressed peoples. After recent experience in Libya,  Syria, Ukraine, Brazil, Bolivia, such ultra-leftist “revolutionaries” are enemies who act within the workers’ organizations, which need to be treated by the current generation of fighters as they in fact are: part of the  coup offensive, in the service of imperialism and reaction.

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