An Important Event, Good Discussions and Many Debates

On July 30 and 31 and August 1, the Latin American and US Conference, convened by the parties of the FIT-Unidad was held. More than 40 organizations participated, resolutions reflecting important political agreements and tasks were voted, and important debates were expressed. From the MST and the ISL -which was an international organization with outstanding participation – we value the positive aspects of the event and also point to its limits and contradictions, topics which we will develop in various articles in this section.

By Sergio García

The event organized by the parties of the FIT-Unidad began by announcing the presence of dozens of organizations from across the continent, a significant number of leaders and activists of the convening parties’ international currents, plus a dozen invited organizations, who brought their contributions to the Conference. The presence of this invited sector, from various Latin American countries and the United States, were an expression of the importance of the event and its open character toward other voices from the left. We heard various political positions and exchanged experiences over the weekend, based on a general political agreement, according to a socialist strategy.

In the case of the FITU parties, some of their public figures also spoke at different times. In the central panel on Saturday, Bodart, Del Caño, Solano and Giordano, among others, spoke. Cele Fierro, Bregman, Vilma Ripoll, Luciana Echevarría and Pitrola also intervened at different times of the event, along with dozens of leaders and comrades from different parties and groups on the continent who also participated in the panels and in the central plenary.

The Event´s Balance Sheet

In our opinion, the Conference was positive. In the first place, for being carried out in the middle of a difficult pandemic situation in the continent. A great common effort was made by all the organizers and a long preparatory work was carried out, with the laborious task of reaching agreements up until its convention. It is not usual for the left to try to generate unitary events of a continental nature and we have passed that test. There were strong heated debates, friction and major technical problems before and during the event itself. However, we overcame all that and the Conference progressed, solving problems and improving throughout the three days, until reaching a final vote and closing with the singing of the workers’ International.

As we have already published on the MST website and also reproduce here, the Conference culminated by voting jointly and positively by show of hands, an important political resolution, which expresses important agreements at the political level and on a program to intervene in the capitalist crisis with a socialist and anti-capitalist orientation, and also established several concrete tasks and campaigns to carry out.

With this positive basis, the Conference also showed important limits and contradictions, which reflect various political and methodological problems, several of which we will take up in different articles to delve into each of them and make a new contribution in this regard.

Among other problems, we refer to the evident fact that there were interventions in various debates by the rest of the FIT-U parties or by comrades from their currents, with a high dose of provocation and in many cases direct falsehoods. Even public figures expressed definitions that are far from reality and supposed criticisms against past and present positions of the MST and the ISL, without any kind of serious argument or founded explanation. On some issues, only phrases of a low political level were thrown out. As is known, when debates are held without political level, without serious data, without actually listening to the other, in general, that speaks badly of those who use that method and not of those whom it was intended to criticize.

For our part, we expected and desired a deeper, more reflective debate, closer to what should be expected in the revolutionary left. Passionate and strong, yes, no problem. But far removed from the immature provocations we heard. Seeking to prioritize agreements and thoroughly debating differences with total seriousness and respect, with a working-class, not a student, method.

At the same time, we made a series of substantial proposals, for example, in relation to how to build an international organization at this stage, to be able to work together with others and without various vices typical of national-Trotskyism; or how to overcome the limits of the FITU in Argentina in the midst of the current economic and health crisis; or what concrete steps to take in Chile, Spain, Venezuela or France with the currents that were present. We heard no opinions on these issues, not even opinions critical of our proposals, in order to continue debating them. We did not even receive a response, which is a limit, a serious problem to overcome. Because it shows little determination to actually want to advance where it is possible to do so, and a strong tendency to argue in the abstract.

Outstanding Presence of the ISL

Based on this positive and critical assessment of the event, we believe that the political presence and the number of organizations and representatives from our young international organization was substantial; the International Socialist League strongly marked its political and strategic positions throughout the event. We informed in the International Situation panel with Luis Meiners’ report from New York, with Joaquín Araneda from Chile giving our vision in the Latin American Situation panel, and Guillermo Pacagnini explaining our trade union model in the Workers’ Situation Panel. Alejandro Bodart was in charge of giving our overview at the opening and closing of the event. Throughout the day, comrades and organizations of the ISL in Colombia (Impulso Socialista), Venezuela (Marea Socialista), Paraguay (Alternativa Socialista), Chile (Movimiento Socialista), the US ( Socialist League), Ecuador (Liga Socialista), Brazil (Alternativa Socialista), Nicaragua (Alternativa Anticapitalista), Argentina (MST in the FIT-U), and also the comrades from Uruguay (Rumbo Socialista) followed the event. In addition, our guests from the US (Tempest Collective) and Peru (Colectivo Juntos), with whom we aspire to continue developing political relations, had outstanding interventions.

With all this militant force of the ISL in Latin America and the United States, to which we must add the development of our organizations in the other continents, with a dynamic intervention in the most furthest reaches of the world, we are now heading towards a new Conference of the ISL in the next few days, where we will vote on new resolutions and tasks for the coming months. On this basis and as we said at the Conference, in addition to strongly promoting the resolutions that were voted and preparing our intervention in the joint panel in homage to Leon Trotsky that we will hold on August 21, we will continue to propose the best possible coordination between our organizations and the rest of the conveners, in all the things on which there is agreement, as we will continue to debate all the theoretical and political aspects that crossed the Conference and need to be debated in depth. Here we present a series of articles intended to signal agreements, disagreements, differences and clarifying positions. How it should be done in the revolutionary and internationalist left.