Colombia: Birth of Unidad Obrera y Socialista ¡UNÍOS!

Unification Congress of Impulso Socialista and Grupo de Trabajadores Socialistas

On September 2 and 3 the Unification Congress of Impulso Socialista (IS) and Grupo de Trabajadores Socialistas (GTS) was held. The date of our event coincided with the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International; a coincidence full of historical symbolism. We consider ourselves continuators of Leon Trotsky’s battle to build a worldwide party for the socialist revolution. That is why our unification takes place within the framework of the International Socialist League (ISL) which simultaneously promoted its First Pan-African Congress. These are times of crisis, wars and insurrections and our unified organization is preparing to build itself in the midst of the struggles waged by the working class, the youth and the popular sectors in Colombia and in the world against capitalism and imperialism.

In the heat of the struggle

For a prolonged period IS and GTS have acted in common. This allowed not only mutual recognition but also united political action in the social fronts in which we are structured: teachers, universities, precarious workers. We are related from the powerful social protest movement that shook Colombia with the National Strike and has given way to the government of Gustavo Petro and the Pacto Histórico (Historical Pact).

In this process we have presented a political profile independent from the government and we have encouraged the social struggle against the violent narco-paramilitary political regime that dominates our country at the service of national business, transnational corporations and global financial capital. It is thus, in the heat of the struggle, that we advanced our participation in the past World Congresses of the International Socialist International. We are unified around its program and its purpose of uniting revolutionaries from diverse traditions at the international level, promoting campaigns such as that of solidarity with the struggle of the Ukrainian people against Russian imperialism while demanding the dissolution of NATO.

Our Program

We have elaborated a program that tries to gather the Marxist methodological tradition applied to our national reality. It is a program for the socialist revolution in Colombia, because, only by eliminating private property of the means of production will the workers be able to plan the economy for the welfare of the majorities that today are excluded by the capital.

In this sense our program is opposed to that of the Pacto Histórico and the other reformist and progressive forces which seek the development of capitalism in collaboration with the business associations and subjecting the country to the plans of the imperialist organizations. That is why we demand the end of all the pacts that subordinate Colombia to the dictates of imperialism, be they economic, political or military, condemning us to the condition of a semi-colony.

Our program is also eco-socialist and anti-patriarchal, since capitalism is predatory of nature and exploitative and oppressive of women and other gender identities, and discriminates even on the basis of skin color. In the approved program there will be elements open to discussion, because we are aware of new social realities and ongoing debates within the anti-capitalist social movements, which we must take into consideration as revolutionaries.

Our Statutes

Our Statutes raise Democratic Centralism as a method of construction and action. Of construction, because only the broadest internal discussion allows the collective elaboration of our analysis and political proposals to spread and agitate among workers and the youth. And of action, because only the strictest discipline in applying the democratically adopted orientations allows us to test, criticize and perfect them, acting as a single fist in the social struggle.

This is why our statutes delimit the organization between those who are its members and its sympathizers. In a period of class struggle such as the one we are living through, the petite-bourgeoisie speaks of horizontalism and democratism in the political struggle, and thus contributes to conceal the brutal control of the State over society. That control can only be defeated if we act in a centralized manner as a political party and promote among the workers a similar discipline.

But our statutes also guarantee the right of minorities to express their points of view and defend them in order to reorient our actions if they deem it necessary. Finally, bodies independent of the leadership judge the morale of the militants without any privilege and attend to the gender contradictions that inevitably arise within an organization inserted in the social struggle and pressured by decomposing capitalism.

Our policies

We approved a document on the national situation which, while characterizing Colombia historically as semi-colonial capitalist, and locating its political regime as authoritarian despite its democratic facade, points out the bourgeois nature of the current Petro government. This definition of the government is what allows us workers, the youth and popular sectors to raise the need to continue defending with our independent mobilization the demands for structural transformations required by our society to achieve national self-determination, overcome the overexploitation of labor, the depredation of nature, the oppression of women and gender identities, and ethnic and cultural segregation.

From this characterization of the country, the State, the regime and the government, we derive the slogans that we raise at every juncture to fight to preserve class independence and the method of social mobilization, as will happen in the upcoming elections and in which we will promote a radical protest at the polls, to denounce the politicking and corruption of all parties and institutions of the regime.

We are not alone

We adopt as the name of our organization “Unidad Obrera y Socialista ¡UNÍOS!” We thus pay homage to the final slogan of The Communist Manifesto “Proletarians of all countries: UNITE!”, and at the same time we call for the unity of Colombian revolutionaries.

It is necessary to abandon the sectarianism that divides the workers, the youth and the popular sectors in the face of their class enemies and, simultaneously, to unmask the opportunist adaptation of the trade union bureaucracy and the parties of the Pacto Histórico to this authoritarian political regime and its corrupt electoral and parliamentary practices. We call on them to join our ranks and raise the red flag of the International Socialist League. As Leon Trotsky put it 85 years ago, “it is the banner of your coming victory!”


Unidad Obrera y Socialista

National Leadership

September 17, 2023