Trip to kyiv: Excerpts from Alejandro Bodart´s intervention

“I bring you greetings from the comrades of the ISL. The League is a group of workers and young people who fight to change society, so that the enormous wealth that workers produce can be placed at the service of society as a whole and not as is happening now, that we work so that 1% of capitalists get rich. In general, young people and workers have the same problems everywhere. They want to convince us, both in the US and Europe, as well as in Russia and China, that with them we will be better off. The truth is that young people have practically no future anywhere in the world. They do not have the possibility of obtaining a decent job, studying or accessing their own home. Something similar happens in Europe, beyond the false propaganda they make about a good life, the majority of young people and workers are precarious and do not have secure employment.

Capitalism propagandizes that in the central countries the best living conditions are guaranteed for all. It is a lie, those who manage to enter the EU, despite the restrictions, do not get a job and if they do, they endure poor working conditions and become impoverished as second-class citizens. In Eastern Europe, which for decades suffered the consequences of governments of false socialism, there are many who have expectations in the capitalist countries. It happens the other way around in the capitalist countries, where there are people who also falsely say that everything is going well in Russia, in the East or in China. Both are lying when they say that life is better on the other side.

The Stalinist regimes were repressive, as those of Putin, Lukashenko or Xi Jinping are now, which is why, in comparison, there are people who tend to believe that “full democracies” exist in Western capitalist countries. What exists is a democracy for the rich. Those who do not have money do not decide anything. These days the Ecuadorian people have rebelled against the government’s policies of hunger and misery, and were harshly repressed. The same thing happened last year with the rebellions in Colombia, Chile and Peru. When people protest decisively and massively, the response of Western democracies is brutal repression, similar to what is practiced in Eastern Europe.

I will mention some more examples of oppression and repression. England dominates Ireland and Scotland, and if those peoples rise up, they suppress them. The Kingdom of Spain oppresses the Basque and Catalan nationalities and, when they mobilize for self-determination, the Spanish state represses them. We could talk about what France is doing with Algeria in the Maghreb and continue with a long list of repressive Western democracies. In short, when there are fair and massive claims, they do the same as Russia with the peoples of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, among others. The only ones who live well are the Russian oligarchs, the rich Ukrainians, the North American and European billionaires. The rest of us are getting worse and worse, that’s why we workers have to create our own organizations to fight for our demands, which are similar in all countries. They take away from young people the possibility of enjoying life, of having a decent job, of studying and being able to fulfill themselves. Women suffer the same exploitation, aggravated by the oppression linked to patriarchal sexism. And, on top of that, the capitalists are destroying the planet. If we don’t stop them, they can ruin the future for generations to come. We are heading into a world where they are taking us toward fratricidal wars, in which it is the workers and the poor who will lay their bodies on the line. There is a struggle to determine who gets control of the world, between the US-EU bloc and the Russia-China bloc. It is a dispute between the oligarchs of one block and another to keep the wealth of the poorest countries.

The powerful get together and have their institutions: the IMF, the World Bank, the BRICs, NATO commanded by the US imperialists and the CSTO commanded by the Russian imperialists. Although they are confronted, sometimes they get together to plunder and oppress the peoples. The ISL intends to be an opposing bloc, of the workers, youth and women, to fight against the handful of privileged people who appropriate the wealth. Entrepreneurs, oligarchs and billionaires are 1% of the world’s population. The working people are the remaining overwhelming majority. They dominate us because we don’t have our own organizations. If we organize ourselves, if there is a group of revolutionaries that proposes it to the rest of society, the world can be changed.

There is a strong presence of workers at this Conference, we have to take advantage of this reality to move forward in finding ways to exchange ideas and experiences between the Ukrainian and Latin American labor movements. We can organize a big international seminar with labor leaders from all continents, in support of the Ukrainian working class. The vitality of an organization is reflected in the presence of young people in its ranks. You have young people, so the challenge is to determine a policy for all precarious youth, with cultural, educational and other needs. The challenge is to organize many young people and many women, to form a powerful Socialist Youth, objectives that the ISL can help with.

There are many tasks ahead. The first is to make every effort to defeat Russia. This would liberate the forces in the working class of Russia and of all Eastern Europe, today conditioned by the repression of the labor movement and nationalities. It would help fight with greater strength against the neoliberal measures that they try to apply on the working class. There is a second task, to defend the interests of the working class that are being attacked, even if this leads to confronting the ruling party and the authorities. They will try to convince us that, because of the war, we must accept anything. We cannot allow workers to be the variable of adjustment. What was said here is very good, that the judicial struggle is fine, but the center has to be to promote the struggles, the strikes, to prevent the approval of anti-worker laws, to obtain social aid for the unemployed, for those who have lost their wages and employment. We must achieve a campaign for the State to guarantee social assistance to workers. And finally, there is a third great task: to explain to the Ukrainian workers and people that the campaigns that affirm that “there are good imperialisms,” which would be the US and the EU, are completely false. They want to bring Ukraine into their orbit to strengthen the corporations, not to benefit the workers and the people. Due to the capitalist crisis, it is no longer enough for them to live at the expense of the countries they subjugate in semi-colonial conditions, now they are also attacking the working class of their own countries, mainly harming the workers, the youth, women and immigrants. That is why there are national strikes, like the one in England, of a magnitude that has not been seen in 30 years. The European working class is coming out to fight.

Every time there have been wars, there have been revolutions. That is the story of the last 100 years. It was the tendency after World War I and World War II. Every time there has been a military conflict, the working class gained consciousness and went out to fight. We socialists are going to have a historic opportunity in the next period, if we work firmly we can take advantage of it and build great revolutionary socialist organizations. In less than two or three years the ISL has managed to gather and organize comrades in countries on all continents and is growing more among workers and the youth in the world. You are a young and small group. But in reality you are not few, you are part of an organization that has thousands and thousands of workers, youth, and women fighting all over the world. Count on the ISL, count on us to defend each other. Let’s work together to change the world, because life is beautiful and worth living.”