History of the International Workers’ League

         Ever since the 1940s, we have been fighting a long and difficult battle to build revolutionary parties with mass influence in all the countries and to build an International. We regard our struggle as the continuation of the one initiated by Marx, Engels, Rose Luxemburg[1], Karl Liebnecht[2], Lenin[3] and Trotsky[4], as an effort to build the First, the Second, the Third and the Fourth Internationals.
         We recognize the First[5] and the Second[6] internationals as part of our own past, but our model world party is the Third[7], conceived as the Communist International. It responds to the needs of the imperialist epoch that we are now living in, as much for the programmatic propositions of its first four congresses as in its internal organization: democratic centralism[8].
         The Third International degenerated and dissolved because of Stalinism. The Left Opposition and then the Fourth International[9] drew together the revolutionaries who were most principled and who led a sustained fight against the Stalinist degeneration. Many organizations today claim to belong to the Fourth International. They hold forums and joint actions, but a Fourth International as a centralized organization does not exist any more. The Fourth International exploded because of both the defeats of the class struggle and the deviations of the leaders after Trotsky’s death. That is why we fight for its reconstruction.
         Many ask us, “why reconstruct the IV if it is barely a symbol of Trotskyism?” Today, to be fair, Trotskyism exists as a separate current because it has come to signify the constant struggle against the bureaucracy and for workers’ democracy. Trotsky has always been against the use of the term “Trotskyist” because he did not regard himself as a sector differentiated from Marxism and Leninism. It was Stalinism who dubbed “Trotskyist” – meaning that they were not Leninists – all those who supported Trotsky in his confrontation with Stalin. Trotsky’s trend called themselves Leninist Bolsheviks. This was the trend that created the Left Opposition and later on the IV International. It emerged to defend the principles of Marxism and Leninism -internationalism, workers’ democracy, workers’ power – and to provide an offensive program with which Nazism and World War II could be confronted after Stalin’s capitulation.
         The Fourth International is the continuation of the Third, when Lenin was in the leadership, and is the synonym of the conscious struggle against the Stalinist counterrevolution. It is necessary to rebuild it, not to build something altogether different, because the principles and the foundation of the theory and program expressed in the Transitional Program continues to be valid no matter what obvious updating that needs to be done.
         The Transitional Program systematized the resolutions of the first four congresses of the III International: workers’ and peasants’ control and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Apart from that, it posed the need to make a new revolution in the USSR, a political revolution against the bureaucracy. The Transitional Program, following the orientation of the IV Congress of the III International, overcomes the division between the minimum program and the maximum program. It provides the method to elevate the masses to the program of socialist revolution through the elaboration of a system of transitional demands that stem out of the need and the current level of awareness of the masses and lead to the conquest of the power by the proletariat.
         The Theory of the Permanent Revolution shows that during a revolutionary process, the democratic and socialist tasks combine; it highlights the need for the working class to lead the process and for it to spread all over the world.
         The validity of these premises makes it impossible for a revolutionary program to be built without stemming out of the Transitional Program and the Theory of Permanent Revolution. That is why, any revolutionary, no matter their origins, who wishes to fight for the defeat of imperialism and of the bureaucracy and for the worldwide triumph of socialism, is fighting  – even if unawares – for the central positions of the IV International.
         Today, faced with the revolutionary struggles in Latin America (Ecuador in 2000, Argentina 2001, Venezuela 2002, Bolivia 2003 and 2005), the mass mobilizations in Europe against the war in 2003, the heroic resistance of the Iraqi people, we feel the loss of not having a world revolutionary party to direct these struggles into a unified fight against imperialism and a fight for power in the different countries. We can draw similar conclusions about the revolutionary processes of 89,90,91 that destroyed the one-party systems in the ex-USSR and East Europe. In the absence of a revolutionary leadership, they were unable to reverse the process of restoration of capitalism. That is why, the reconstruction of the IV International is a central task to advance in the struggle against imperialism.
         This reconstruction is not a task for the so-called “Trotskyists” alone but for all those who agree as to the bases of the program. Trotsky tackled the task of the building of the IV International not only as a task for the Left Opposition (the “Trotskyists of those days”) but for all those who agreed to the Leninist principles and to the need to take up a mortal combat against imperialism, national bourgeoisies and bureaucracies. In the thirties, the advance of Nazism and Stalinism caused the capitulation of organizations and leaders with whom Trotsky was working in order to build a new International. It was for that reason, and because of the urgent need to construct a centralized organization that would fight for revolutionary Marxist principles, that the members of the International Left Opposition built the IV International. In spite of everything, Trotsky never gave up the fight to build a mass International, where “Trotskyists” would be a minority.
         We do not regard ourselves as the only revolutionaries on earth. Neither do we believe that the solution to the crisis of revolutionary leadership is to be found only in the growth of our trend. To the contrary, we have always fought to create revolutionary agreements, both at the national and international levels. That is why our history is the history of attempted mergers and also of splits that the most important events of the class struggle have caused.
         In this long and arduous battle to build the International, we have done some thing well but also we have committed many mistakes. In January 1982, when the IWL was being founded, Nahuel Moreno said: “the leaders of the Trotskyist movement thought they were colossuses, who made no mistakes. The Trotskyism under their leadership, however, was regrettable.” “This experience of constantly working with “geniuses” led us, indirectly, to create propaganda for our base to convince them that we made a lot of mistakes and that they must learn how to think for themselves, because our leadership is not a guarantee of perfection. As much as possible, we want to instill a self-critical, Marxist spirit, and not a religious faith in a limited leadership, that is narrow in its formation and unrefined in its culture. That is why we believe in internal democracy and why we see it as an uncompromising necessity. We move ahead through errors and defeats and we are not ashamed to say so.
         The problem is how to commit less errors, both in their number and their significance. In my opinion, the tendency is to commit fewer errors if we are in an international organization based on democratic centralism. This, for me, is a fact. I can say, without a doubt, that any national party that is not in a Bolshevik International, with an international leadership, tends to commit more and more mistakes: because being national Trotskyists inevitably ends with disowning the Fourth International and adopting opportunist or sectarian positions, and finally just disappearing.
Our Origins
         The trend that today is known as IWL-FI has been around as an international trend since 1953 and has been known under different names. On the national level, it emerged in 1944 in Argentina, as a small group directed by Moreno, the GOM (Marxist Workers Group). The main aim was to go to the working class, trying to overcome the marginal, bohemian and intellectual origin of the Argentine Trotskyist movement.
During the early years we suffered from a proletarian-ist, sectarian and propagandist deviation. No work was done among students and the main thrust of party activities was lectures on the Communist Manifesto and other classical texts. Between 1944-48, we also had a national-Trotskyist deviation, that is to say, we believed that there was a solution to all the problems of Trotskyism within the boundaries of our own country. Only in 1948 did we begin to participate in the life of the International, attending its Second Congress.
         Through our intervention in workers’ struggles and in the International, it was possible for us to overcome these deviations and the group was strengthened. In 1945, we took part in the great strikes of the packinghouses workers – at that time, the main sector of the working class in Argentina. It was very important and allowed us to recruit nearly all the comrades of the body of shop stewards. We got over our sectarianism and propagandistic tendency, but we fell into a trade-unionist deviation that, in turn, was to be overcome thanks to our participation in the International.
         Slowly but surely we began to grow in strength. We led factories producing cement tubes, leather goods and then the club of a working-class parish (Villa Pobladora). In spite of the fact that we were a small group of about 100 militants, we became deeply rooted in the working class and we built our principal proletarian cadres, the best example was Elías Rodriguez, who is today an example of our current.
         The Argentinian party turned into the most proletarian party within the Trotskyist movement, together with the SWP, which was built with Trotsky’s personal guidance.
Our Participation In The Fourth International
         After World War II, the leadership of the Fourth International, consisting of the SWP (USA), Pablo (Greece), Mandel  (Belgium ) and Frank ( France ) was very young and inexperienced and did not manage to get over the qualitative weakness caused by the murder of Trotsky in 1940. The essential feature of the Fourth International of those days was its sectarianism. Its Second Congress was an example of that. It was held in 1948, in the midst of great changes: in China, a revolution was underway and it achieved victory a year later; in Czechoslovakia, the bourgeois ministers were swept out of the government and the bourgeoisie was being expropriated, a process that had been happening in Yugoslavia since 1947. The Congress ignored these events and made their discussion hinge round the class character of the USSR and around whether the USSR should be defended from imperialist attacks. That discussion had already been solved in the American party in Trotsky’s lifetime, in 1939-40.
         In spite of the sectarian and propagandistic character of the congress, our participation in it was momentous for the GOM. From that moment on, we began to work within an international framework. Imperialism and its relations with national bourgeoisies received a lot of attention when political analyses were being made. There was also a lot of discussion on our international positions, like the position that the GOM – as a part of the IV International – defended in favor of North Korea in its confrontation with South Korea. Moreno always highlighted the importance of having joined the IV International even if our group was never acknowledged as an official section. At that time, the official section was the group led by Posadas.[10]
The Discussion On The New States In Eastern Europe
         In 1949, the discussion on the class character of these states began. Moreno defended the manner in which this discussion was held as a great example of democratic centralism. There were two main positions. According to Mandel (Belgium) and Cannon (USA), these states were capitalist. The opinion pushed by Pablo (Greece) and supported with some objections by Hansen (USA) and Moreno was that new workers’ states had emerged. The discussion was settled relatively soon. Mandel and Cannon acknowledged the existence of a real revolutionary process in Eastern Europe and that new deformed workers’ states had emerged. This political success increased Pablo’s prestige among the international rank and file and that was how, in 1951, we reached the III Congress.
The Struggle Against “Pabloism”
         In 1951, right in the midst of the cold war, all the international commentators were pronouncing the inevitability of armed conflict between the USA and USSR. Pablo and Mandel, following the bourgeois press arrived at a conclusion that proved fatal for the International: in their opinion, World War III was inevitable. Faced with this, the communist parties, eager to defend the USSR, would adopt violent methods to confront imperialism and seize power. The same was supposed to happen with the bourgeois nationalist parties in the dependent countries.
         Based on this analysis, Pablo and Mandel promoted entryism into the communist and bourgeois nationalist parties. We were expected to follow them without any criticism until after power was seized. Most of the international Trotskyists, following the lead of the French section, refused to carry out this policy. We, the POR (the new name given to GOM), denounced this position because it meant forsaking the definition of Stalinist bureaucracy as counter-revolutionary and abandoning the struggle against it. It was a complete revision of the essential points of the Trotskyist program. We asserted that these positions emerged because of the petty bourgeois, impressionist and intellectual character of the European leaders.
The Bolivian Revolution and The Division In The IV International
         The positions of the Fourth International’s leaders had important political consequences. Because of this position, Pablo refused to demand the withdrawal of the Russian tanks confronting the 1953 workers’ uprising in Berlin. What this really meant was support for the Soviet bureaucracy. But the most tragic consequence of this policy was the betrayal of the Bolivian revolution.
         In 1952, a classic workers’ revolution took place in Bolivia. Workers, organized in militias, defeated militarily the police and the army and the COB (Bolivian Workers Central) emerged as a dual power organization. In 1953, the peasant revolution began invading the large estates and occupying land. One of the first gains was the nationalization of the mines. Until 1954, the main armed force in Bolivia was the workers’ militias under the leadership of the COB.
         Ever since the 40s, the Bolivian Trotskyist organization (POR) was gaining enormous influence in the workers movement. Its membership included important leaders of the miners, factory workers and peasants. Its main leader, Guillermo Lora,[11] wrote the Pulacayo theses, an adaptation of the transitional program to Bolivian reality, and got it adopted by the Miners’ Federation. In the 1946 elections, Lora was elected senator by a front headed by the Miners Federation. In the 1952 revolution the POR was the co-leader of the militias and was the co-founder of the COB. The POR had great influence among the masses.
         Unfortunately, the International Secretariat of the Fourth International, led by Pablo, did not call for the COB to seize power. Instead, they granted critical support to the bourgeois government of the MNR (bourgeois nationalist movement). Without a revolutionary orientation, the masses were gradually disarmed and demobilized. A few years later, the revolution had been completely crushed. As a consequence of this betrayal, Bolivian Trotskyism became very deteriorated and a process of successive divisions began.
         Along with this policy, the international leadership, led by Pablo, employed a deadly strategy: they intervened in the French party to destroy the leadership who disagreed with their policy and, in the United States, they tried to form a secret fraction inside the Socialist Workers’ Party.
         Rejecting entryism, most of the French Trotskyists (led by Lambert) and British Trotskyists (led by Healy)[12], the SWP (USA) and the South American Trotskyists split from the Pablo-led International Secretariat and, in 1953, we created the International Committee (CI).
The Latin American Secretariat of Orthodox Trotskyism: The Peruvian Revolution
         In Latin America, the Argentinean POR, together with Trotskyists from Chile and Peru, led a strong campaign against the policy regarding Bolivia. In April 1953, Nahuel Moreno wrote the text “Two Guidelines”, stating that the policy of critical support for the bourgeois MNR party had been a betrayal, that they should have called for “All Power to the COB”. At the same time, we demanded that the International Committee should act as a centralized organization because this was the only way to defeat Pabloist revisionism. The refusal on behalf of the majority forces in the International Committee to act in a centralized way, with an offensive policy, allowed for a further advance of the Pabloist positions, in spite of the fact that most Trotskyists were against them. When our efforts to make the International Committee act in a centralized way failed, we began acting as an international tendency and, in 1957, together with leaders from Chile and Peru, we formed the SLATO (Latin American Secretariat of Orthodox Trotskyism).
         In 1962, the existence of SLATO allowed us to have a centralized intervention in the process of the agrarian revolution in Peru. We sent Hugo Blanco,[13] a Peruvian student militant in Argentina, to participate in the Cuzco process. Following the SLATO orientation, Hugo Blanco led the process of land expropriations and trade union organization unfolding in the countryside. The SLATO sent several cadres to give support to this work. That is how the FIR (Revolutionary Left Front) was built. FIR was led by Trotskyists and it formed the origin of what is now our Peruvian section.
In 1963, Hugo Blanco was captured by the army. Between 1963 and 1967, he was kept in isolation. In 1967, he was tried by a military court. There was a possibility that he would be given the death penalty so we launched an international campaign that got enormous support from well-known people like Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Isaac Deuscher, French, British and India trade unions, and French, British and other members of parliaments. Thanks to this campaign, he was sentenced to 25 years in jail instead of the death penalty. But the fight didn’t end there and another campaign got him released in 1970. During all these years, in all the Peruvian peasants’ congresses, Hugo Blanco kept on being elected as the principal leader of the peasants.
Cuban Revolution And The 1963 Reunification
The acknowledgment of and support for the Cuban revolution formed the basis for reunification of the IV International in 1963. That is how the USec (United Secretariat) was formed.[14] It was led by Mandel and the SWP (Pablo left the IV International to become a consultant for the bourgeois Ben Bela administration in Algeria).[15] All of the Trotskyist forces who saw Cuba as a new workers’ state joined the USec. The British and the French didn’t join because they didn’t see the significance of the Cuban revolution.
We waited a year to join because we asked first to see their evaluation of the poorly thought-out strategy that led to the betrayal of the Bolivian revolution, as a way of preventing similar deviations from taking place in the future. Even though they never made this self-critical balance sheet, in 1964, we decided to join. We were convinced that, in spite of our differences, a reunion based on a revolution was positive. We saw that this would put us in a better position to intervene with more strength in the future upsurges we anticipated.
The Struggle Against The Guerrilla Deviation, The Development Of The Argentine Party, & The Portuguese Revolution
         The Cuban revolution made a strong impact on the international vanguard, especially in Latin America. In Argentina, during the 60s, this was combined with a decline in workers’ struggle. The Castroite influence had serious consequences for our group.
         From 1957 until 1964, our organization (now known as Palabra Obrera – Workers’ Word – from the name of its periodical) used the tactic of entryism in the 62 Peronist Organizations[16], as a way of building ourselves in contact with the best and most advanced sectors of the resistance to the military dictatorship. During this time, our group built close links with the workers’ movement, much closer than any other left organization had been able to do in Argentina. This became a distinct characteristic of our current. But, in 1964, we went into a serious crisis when Vasco Bengochea[17], who was, with Moreno, one of the principle leaders of our organization, left us to join the Cuban leaders. A couple of years later, in 1968, we experienced a major split that pulled some of our main cadre support “foquista”[18] positions. The main leader of the split was Roberto Santucho, who we had united with in 1965 and who then became the main leader of the ERP.[19]
         But “foquismo” affected not only our Argentinean group; the leaders of the Fourth International also felt it. Mandel’s poorly thought-out methods had not been defeated. In the late 60s, they resulted in a new capitulation, this time, to the Castroist guerrilla conception of “foquismo”. The 9th Congress of the Fourth International (1969) voted to adopt the tactic of guerrilla warfare in Latin America. Consistent with this, Santucho´s party (PRT-El Combatiente) became recognized as the official section of the Fourth International. Our organization (PRT-La Verdad) remained the sympathizing section.
         The US Socialist Workers’ Party, the Argentinean PST (the name our section adopted after merging with Juan Carlos Coral, a split from the Socialist Party)[20] and all of the South American groups formed a tendency that led an unrelenting battle against these positions. We said that the “foco” theory was an elitist policy, isolated from the mass movement, that would prove disastrous. Unfortunately, facts proved us right. Trotskyism lost countless valuable militants mainly in Argentina, but also in other countries, by following this flawed policy. From that moment on, the USec started acting as a federation of tendencies with each one applying their own policy.
         The upsurge of struggles, starting in 1968, opened up new opportunities and the existence of a united world organization (the USec) created the possibility to take advantage of it. In France , for example, where Trotskyism had all but vanished because of the entrism sui generis, the LCR emerged and it got to gather 5 000 militants and they even had a daily newspaper.[21] In Latin America, the great growth of the Argentine PST began and the SWP was getting stronger in the USA because of their participation in the anti-VietNam war activities.
         But, In the 70s, far from having overcome the guerrilla deviation, we soon had to challenge a new capitulation of Mandel’s. This time it was a numerous advance guard stemming out of the French May and influenced by Maoism. Our discussion with Mandel is accounted for in a book by Moreno “El partido y la revolución” [The Party and Revolution].
         In the course of this struggle against guerrilla orientation and vanguardism, our Argentine party, the PST (emerged from a merger with a sector that split away from social democracy) developed as a strong advance guard party. This strengthening takes place applying a policy that was the opposite to that of Mandel carried out: taking part in the ascent of struggles known as “cordobazo” and participating in electoral process.[22] It was then that we organized the party in Uruguay and in Venezuela .
         In 1974, when the Portuguese revolution broke out, the PST sent cadres to take part in this process and we encouraged a policy that commenced the struggle for power hinging round the development and centralization of the dual power organizations cropping up around us. Thus we recruited a sector of high school students and organized the Portuguese party that provided important cadres for the International.
         That revolution evidenced another capitulation of Mandel’s who, following in the footsteps of Maoism, gave support to MFA (Armed Forces Movement)[23] co-governing with the Portuguese empire. This process also caused the 1975 split in FLT (a fraction that we constituted with the SWP to confront Mandelism)[24] for we found it impossible to share the same policy for the revolution. They thought that the central task was to pose democratic demands and to publish Trotsky’s works.
         Most of the organizations and militants of Colombia , Brazil , Mexico , Uruguay , Portugal , Spain , Italy and Peru left the FLT and, together with the Argentine PST built a tendency that soon turned into a fraction of the USec, the FB (Bolshevik Fraction)[25] that later on spawned the IWL-FI.
         The participation of the Portuguese revolution and the discussion with Mandelism and the SWP allowed us to advance in the work on theory on the building of parties in revolutionary processes and that was expressed in “Revolución y Contra-revolución en Portugal .”
The Party In Brazil
         A group of young Brazilian exiled in Chile contacted our trend. After the coup, they went over to Argentina and started militant activities in the PST. In 1974, they went back to Brazil to build the party. The Workers League[26] emerged and later on Socialist Convergence.[27] The group started growing up and, in contact with the leaders of the FB, they worked out a policy for a summons to a Workers’ Party (PT).
         The young Brazilian organization was developing for 12 years and dissolved itself in the bureaucratic leadership capitulated to it. That was possible because they belonged to an international trend that oriented the entrism in the PT, guided the work centered on trade union oppositions in the CUT[28] and provided clarity as to the bureaucratic character of the Lula leadership.
         In this way the Socialist Convergence (CS) could get out of the PT 12 years later stronger than it was when it joined in and with a policy of a revolutionary united front aimed at sectors of the advance guard that was drifting away from Lula’s party. [29]
The Colombian Party
         The military coup occurred in Argentina in 1976 and spawned Videla’s semi fascist dictatorship. The PST[30] had to remove important cadres from the country and this circumstance was taken advantage of in order to reinforce the international work At that time we built our organisations in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and we reinforced our work in Portugal and Spain. But the most important process took place in Colombia where we contacted the Socialist Block, an organisation drifting towards revolutionary positions with cadres coming from Castroism and the church. That is how the Colombian PST appeared. It was rapidly consolidated and became one of the two pillars on which our international work rested.
The Struggle Against The Argentine Dictatorship
         The Argentine PST has a heroic role in the resistance against the genocide dictatorship in Argentina.  About 250 militants were jailed and over 100 were killed and missing. Acting in the most absolutely clandestine conditions, the party kept on producing the paper and developed work among the workers, the youth and the intelligentsia.
         At the beginning of the Falkland War, the hatred towards the dictatorship did not prevent a principled policy of identifying and attacking invading imperialism as the main enemy. From the first moment, and without for one moment relenting in the denunciation of the dictatorship, the PST stood in the Argentine military camp for the defeat of imperialism. Surrounded by great prestige among the advance guard, the PST saw the end of the dictatorship with 800 solid cadres who started building the MAS incorporating to the task a group of cadres coming from another socialist trend.
Nicaraguan Revolution. The Simon Bolivar Brigade
         In 1979, when the Nicaraguan revolution began, our trend, in spite of the differences with Sandinism, decided to take part physically in the struggle against Somoza. Through the Colombian PST, a great campaign was launched to build the Simon Bolivar Brigade. It was formed with our militants and independent revolutionaries from Colombia , Panama , Costa Rica , USA and Argentina. Keeping total political independence, the Brigade joined the Sandinist and had a heroic role in the liberation of the southern region of Nicaragua; the campaign claimed lives and wounds. When the revolution triumphed, the brigadiers were received as heroes in Managua. We had been demanding that Sandinism should split away from the bourgeoisie and seize power together with workers’ trade unions. Sandinism, following Castro’s policy, joined a coalition government with Violeta Chamorro. The Brigade launched an organization of trade unions and in one week organized over 70 of them. This irked the Sandinist leaders and they decided to expel the Brigade from Nicaragua. Several brigadiers were jailed and tortured by the Panamanian police, allied to the Sandinists.
         The USec sent a delegation to Managua to say that we were an ultra left group with whom they had nothing to do and approved a resolution prohibiting the building of parties out of Sandinism. Their refusal to defend revolutionary militants tortured by the bourgeoisie was the consequence of having voted the internal resolution that, in the practice, was a decree of expulsion for our trend, forcing us to spit away from the USec definitely.
         These events reveal the real discussion within the USec. We defended the need to build revolutionary parties in Nicaragua , they did not. This discussion was the same as the one about Cuba , as far as the construction of the party was concerned and the need for a political revolution. Everything pointed out to the mounting capitulation of the USec to castroism and Sandinism.
Our Relation With Lambertism
         Who did offer solidarity with the Brigade was the trend led by Pierre Lambert.[31] And that was how our relation with Lambertism began, a trend with who we had had no contact since 1963. A process of discussion began, with principled agreements and accords as to the program expressed in the Thesis de Actualización del Programa de Transición (Theses for the Updating of the Transitional Program) by Nahuel Moreno. Stalinism and Castroism are defined in this pieces of work as counterrevolutionary and processes of the post war (East of Europe, China and Cuba ) are acknowledged as revolutionary in spite of the fact that they had not been led by the working class and a revolutionary party.
         At the same time, the need for launching a political revolution in the degenerated workers’ states emerged from those processes is posed. The guerrilla warfare and the opportunist policy of their leaderships is analyzed and special emphasis is laid on the defense of the right to self-determination of the oppressed nationalities and the democratic tasks. The beginning of the process of the crisis of the counterrevolutionary apparatuses is analyzed, especially of Stalinism, stating the possibility of fighting for Trotskyist parties and a mass IV International. The Parity Committee was established and in 1980 led to the formation of a joint organization: The Fourth International, International Committee (CI-CI). We carried out a campaign in support of “solidarity” in Poland.
 Everything led to believe that a great step was given in the direction towards the reconstruction of the IV. But this attempt failed. Our minute insertion in Europe led us to commit a serious mistake. We had not realized that Lambertism had strong links with the trade union bureaucracy and that made him capitulate to the Popular Front administration. When Mitterand won the elections in France, Lambert refused to discuss a policy for France and started expelling militants opposed to that policy and that led to the split in the CI-CI.
The discussion with Lambertism forced us to make headway in the work on Popular Fronts and that was reflected in the book ” La Traición de la OCI ” (the treason of the OCI) by Nahuel Moreno.
Foundation Of The IWL-FI
         In January 1982, a new international meeting was held of the parties of the FB and two important Lambertist leaders: Ricardo Napuri of Peru and Alberto Franceschi of Venezuela. One of the central points of the meeting was to organize a campaign in defense of the revolutionary ethos of Napuri attacked by Lambert for having political differences with the latter.  Another important item was how to advance in the construction of the International.
         Once the campaign was agreed on, a unanimous vote was taken to become the founding conference of the new International organization. The founding theses and the statutes of the IWL-FI were voted. This was not simply the IB with another name, for Franceschi and this party, the workers MIR that had broken off with Lambert joined. Some time later Napuri joined together with half the Peruvian party that had broken off with Lambert.
         In 1985, the Dominican party joined the IWL-FI. This group did not come from Trotskyism but from a split with the church. In 1987, the group of Bill Hunter from England[32], not originally from Morenism joined as well and a group of independent young Trotskyist from Paraguay spawning the Paraguayan PT, the biggest left wing party in that country.
         In 1985, the manifesto of the IWL-FI made a call to build a FUR (United Revolutionary Front) as from a minimum revolutionary program in order to confront the imperialist counter-revolutionary front, national bourgeoisies, the Church, Stalinism, Castroism, Sandinism and the trade union bureaucracies. It has since then assessed that such a call and strategy was a mistake.
Main Political Campaigns Of The IWL-FI
         The first one was for the victory of Argentina in the Falklands war with which we intervened in the anti-imperialist process that began in Latin America.[33] The campaign for the non-payment of the foreign debt with which we converged with great Bolivian mobilizations that forced the Popular Front government to suspend the payments of the debt.[34] There was an important campaign against the Esquipulas and Contadora agreements[35] launched by imperialism and supported by Castroism and Sandinism to put a brake against the revolutionary process in Centro America . In 1991 we carried out a campaign for the defeat of imperialism in the Gulf War.
The 1990 Crisis
         After the fall of the Argentine dictatorship (1982), the leadership of the IWL resolved to give priority to the work in that country where an objective and subjective possibility existed for the MAS to become a mass influence party. In the struggles of the mass movement and in the electoral participation, the MAS became the strongest party on the Argentine left. The party earned deep insertion in the main factories and in working class districts, headed lists of oppositions in trade unions, holds rallies with 20 or 30 000 attendants and a first Trotskyist representative gains a seat in the Argentine Parliament and there even was a rally in opposition to the government launched and led by the party attended by 100 000 people..
         In 1987, in the midst of this process, the IWL-FI received a terrible blow :the death of it founder and main leader, Nahuel Moreno. His absence caused a qualitative weakening of our international leadership. The new leadership committed many mistakes responding incorrectly to the 89-90 events. The process was correctly defined as revolutionary, but the contradictions remained unseen and so the characterizations were unilateral. That is why the attitude that cropped up for the East and all the countries was self-proclaiming and a policy with opportunistic features of capitulation to the democratic reaction.[36]
         At the same time, in Argentina we fell into a national-Trotskyist deviation: the international leadership had been actually monopolized by the leadership of the strongest party, the Argentine, who started acting as a mother-party and did not respond correctly to the great challenges posed in the country.
         All this caused the greatest crisis in our history and soon, this led to splits in the Argentine party and its shrinking back, the split in the Spanish party and the Colombian party leaving the International that has all but reached its destruction.
The Fifth World Congress Of The IWL-FI
         The first steps to revert this process were taken as from the V Congress of the IWL-FI (July 1994). A favorable objective situation (Chiapas, the resistance of the Bosnian people, an uprising in Santiago del Estero – Argentina, an ascent of the struggles of the working class in Europe, the process of reorganization in Brazil out of which stems the PSTU) combined with the subjective predisposition of the leaders to make every effort to bring the organization out of its paralysis.
         This congress produced a resolution to resume the campaign of Workers’ Aid to Bosnia,[37] to regularize the International Courier and to build an International Secretariat with leaders from different countries, top priority being the work in Brazil and Europe , to encourage a process of work on theory and policies and to rearm ourselves with a program. All these steps tended towards the reconstruction of the IWL-FI which, in turn, was to lead the task of the reconstruction of the IC International.
         Related to this strategic task, the congress takes the first step voting a liaison committee with Workers International (an organization with branches in England , South Africa , Namibia and some Eastern European countries). The victorious campaign of Workers Aid to Bosnia, our participation in the revolutionary process in Mexico, in the construction of a workers internationalist revolutionary party in Ukraine, the merger of our party in Spain, the regularity of our international magazine in Spanish, English and Portuguese, the headway in the construction of the PSTU, the strengthening of our work in Europe, the fact that we worked out a proposal of a program for the Liaison committee with WI,[38] that we are getting ahead with our work on Cuba, Bosnia, South Africa, the discussion on new form of labour, on the states of European East, all this proves that we are fulfilling the resolutions of the latest world congress. And that the IWL-FI is advancing in its battle for the overcoming of the paralysis and is making the first steps to overcome the crisis that started in 1990.
Our Strategic Project: The Reconstruction of the Fourth International
The new reality of the LIT-CI intersects with a new reality in the class struggle at the level of both Latin America and the World. The global and Latin American revolutionary situation that began to show itself with force at the beginning of the 21st century is now passing through a new period.
The Iraqi resistance showed the possibility of a new military defeat for US imperialism. The United States’ stabilization plans for the Middle East are not going well, as can be seen from the defeat of the Israeli military in Lebanon. Bush’s prestige has experienced a huge drop. In the imperialist countries, the responses to the economic crisis have provoked the reaction of the workers, in addition to the fierce struggles of the immigrant workers. In the case of the United States, this means that they are constructing a bridge with the struggles in Latin America.
But the imperialist attack continues. In Latin America, the colonizing imperialist offensive, the plundering of natural resources, the insistence on adjustment policies in order to pay back the foreign debt, all of these are increasing and are further sharpening today as a result of the world economic crisis. The response of the masses to this permanent plundering also continues. The difference is that today the workers and popular upsurge is beginning to be directed against the ones who are imposing the planes, that is, against the new governments that emerged in order to contain or prevent the upsurge: Lula, Chavez, Evo, Kirchner, Tabare…
Undoubtedly, this reality demonstrates the urgent need to progress in solving the crisis of revolutionary leadership, by constructing an international revolutionary leadership. At the same time, this new period of the world situation is producing important changes in the consciousness of the mass movement that are themselves facilitating this task. With the emergence of these governments, we can see the maximum expression of the effects of this “opportunist tidal wave”. The majority of the currents in the Left, including the majority of those that consider themselves Trotskyist, have capitulated to them. But this new reality, which had its ultimate expression in the electoral defeat of Chavez’s referendum, is producing splits of sectors to the left within these organizations that are looking for new national and international references.
Returning to what was laid out in the Introduction, facing this situation, the LIT-CI reaffirms its strategic project – the reconstruction of the 4th International – and calls for unity around a revolutionary program that contemplates not just the political answers to the principle facts of the class struggle, to bring the workers closer to the struggle for power, but also aspects of the conception of a Party and of revolutionary method and morality.
For the reconstruction of the 4th International, we propose applying the same method that Trotsky used in its construction. In the first place, this means putting forth a call not only to those who come from a Trotskyist tradition, but to all revolutionaries with whom we have programmatic agreement, regardless of their origin.
In the second place, it means not directing this call to all of those who consider themselves Trotskyist. On the one hand, this is because there are organizations that call themselves Trotskyist yet have abandoned a revolutionary program to support or participate in bourgeois governments. On the other, it is because there are self-proclaimed sects that, though they recite the program, use factionalist and disloyal methods that play an extremely destructive role.
In the third place, it means proposing unification not through open conferences and big events, but rather through patient programmatic discussion and common intervention in the class struggle. This will permit this advance to happen on the basis of solid agreements and relationships of revolutionary loyalty.
Given the deterioration that the “opportunist tidal wave” produced, it’s critical that we emphasize and clarify some of the most important points:

  1.     The embrace of a revolutionary strategy to achieve socialism through independent mass action and the establishment of a workers government based on democratic workers councils in contrast with the parliamentary path and the reform of bourgeois democracies “from within.”
  2.     The need to build a revolutionary party in order to reach such a goal, based on the working class, especially in its most exploited and oppressed sectors, and its productive core. We believe this party must be a combat organization of cadre that fights for leadership from within the struggles, that its regime should be democratic centralism and that it needs to be an international one.
  3.     The need to combat not only capitalist exploitation but also all imperialist aggressions and forms of exploitation and domination, and to embrace the class struggle everywhere from an internationalist perspective.
  4.     The recent wave of revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East have shown once again the relevance of the theory of permanent revolution against the stagiest view of revolution in non-imperialist countries. We need to combine the struggle for democratic demands (against dictatorships and self-determination from colonial rule or foreign intervention) with the fight for socialism.
  5.     The defense of class independence and the embrace of a critical approach towards parliamentarism and bourgeois democratic institutions: these are not our natural terrains of struggle, they are tactical spaces of intervention which should always be subordinated to a strategy of class independent mobilization from bourgeois parties and corporations, with the goal of clarifying the existing contradictions of reformism, and the development of independent working class power.
  6.     The need to clearly differentiate ourselves from classic reformist organizations and neo-reformist ones (such as the new horizontalist ones) and contest their politics and methods in the working class in order to defeat them politically.
  7.     The need to have a principled stance and program to proactively fight all forms of oppression in the working class, including but not limited to racism, islamaphobia, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and we must also differentiate ourselves from the existing reformist programs (nationalism, radical feminism, etc.) against discrimination.
  8.     The need to differentiate ourselves and our vision of socialism from that advocated by Left populist/nationalist or popular front governments despite their rhetorical claims to be “socialists” and “anti-imperialist.” These include Maduro’s Chavismo (Venezuela), Peronism (Kirchner in Argentina), Lula’s PT (Brazil) or the Tsipras’ Syriza (Greece), Morales’ MAS (Bolivia), AMLO (Mexico), or Assad (Syria) We can never give political support to these governments that continue to attack workers by implementing neoliberal reforms, repress workers in struggle and maintain the capitalist system of exploitation.
  9.     The defense of workers’ democracy and the differentiate ourselves and our vision of socialism from past bureaucratic socialist regimes that ended up restoring capitalism such as Russia and the Eastern Block, China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba. We consider that all of these countries are today capitalist dictatorships, and that the models of socialism in one country they defended, with no internal democracy and one-party political regimes must be rejected.
  10.   The need to defend our working class revolutionary methods and values of solidarity, loyalty, no tolerance to oppression, accountability of or our actions, the class struggle and the party, and the rejection of any collaboration with the bourgeois state institutions or the bosses.

This brief overview of our history aimed to demonstrate the central aspects of the long history of our construction, showing our achievements, our strengths, and our weaknesses, our deviations, our crises. As Moreno said, “we move forward through errors and setbacks, and we are not ashamed to say so.”   Our close link with the working class and our permanent relation with the International is what has always allowed us to overcome the errors committed throughout our history. Apart from that, a feature of our trend has always been extreme flexibility as far as tactics are concerned and extreme rigidity on issues of principles.
We continue searching for the best way of establishing relations with the mass movement, working out our demands taking into consideration the existing degree of consciousness in order to push forward the mobilization. But at the same time, we never water down our program in the slightest nor do we fear confronting the existing level of consciousness when it is a question of defending a principled policy.
That is why, in spite of all the errors committed, we are proud of our history. Obviously, we do not pretend that all of the LIT-CI militants agree with everything we did over the last 60 years. We come from different backgrounds and, more likely than not, we have different interpretations of many events. Certainly there will also be differences in some theoretic definitions because events have happened that changed the face of the earth and that are producing great debates within international Marxism. Apart from that, we do not want an International where there is unanimity on everything. We want a centralized organization as far as the central issues of program are concerned, but it must be a living thing, with open discussion on aspects of theory and policies in order to allow for constant improvement.
Today, after many years of crisis and upheavals, we are living a new reality. We are experiencing a process of strengthening that is placing us in better conditions to push forward this strategic project. We have a history, much accumulated experience, a program that we are continuing to construct, a structure for our sections, publications, and a strong base of cadre, who we place at the disposal of the toiling masses to advance towards the reconstruction of the 4th International.
A First Assessment of CSP-Conlutas and the INSS
One of the central projects of the international has been the development of an independent and democratic labor federation in Brazil, our political center. The CSP-Conlutas, which today federates around 4 million workers, is the most advance expression in the world of a new model of social justice and rank and file unionism, that is focused on struggle, integrates the struggle against oppression and has articulations with social and popular movements (homeless movements, landless peasant movements, student unions etc.)
The CSP-Conlutas was born out of rank and file strikes of public workers under Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) attacks on public pensions, and against the will of the major labor federation in Brazil, the CUT, which is tied to the PT. As a result of these strikes a new union was born, and our challenge was that it will become a political alternative in the labor movement for those workers who are tired of negotiating losses, making nice with the bosses and top-down bureaucratic methods. CSP-Conlutas union leaders also embraced what is known in the U.S. as “bargaining for the common good”, carrying political campaigns for reform that benefit working people as a whole and the oppressed and most importantly, as a catalyzer to unify the struggles.
CSP-Conlutas with French independent union SUD-Solidaires, which was similarly create din 1995 out of a massive wave of rail workers strikes, launched the International Network of Solidarity and Struggle (INSS) which is connecting different local unions and independent labor federations in the world to develop this alternative form of unionism worldwide. The INSS has partners in many Latin American countries and Europe, has done numerous solidarity campaigns and participates regularly in the Labor Notes conference in the United States.
Electoral Pressures and the 2016 Crisis of our Brazilian Section
Our major political center, the Brazilian PSTU, suffered a political crisis in 2016 in the context of a crisis of the PT and the pressures of electoralism and reformism to center the political strategy on elections and parliamentarism, and prioritize the construction of broad electoral fronts. We believe that the kind of unity workers need, is the unity in the struggle, and around a common political program, and not the unity to run for elections diluting our politics to get more seats.
Although the split of a minority of the party was a hard hit, it allowed us to re-center our politics and realize some mistakes we had made. Since then our party is rebuilding itself, and this time stronger. Crises are also moments where we can reflect and learn from what went wrong. The lessons from our mistakes in Brazil have helped strengthen all our international parties.
First we realized that because we are known as “the party of the struggles”, participating in all major movements and fights, we prioritize our intervention in the struggles without always centering our political program and consolidation of new and younger cadres.
Second we realized that we needed to ensure that our party leadership was composed by a majority of working class leaders. We need to develop party leaders who are the expression of the struggles of the most exploited and oppressed sectors of the class, and not a party of workers led by students and intellectuals.
Third we realized the value of being part of an international: it is likely that without the support, and the space for discussion, debate and reflection provided by the IWL-FI international congresses and leadership bodies, the crisis of our Brazilian party could have been worse. The active engagement of all cadres of the international in the comradely discussions on the political problems posed to our Brazilian comrades, helped the PSTU and the IWL-FI as a whole find the best solution to the crisis, reach some political clarity and and feel confident enough that we could make an honest assessment of our successes and mistakes.
Our Programmatic Re-Appraisal
The 2016 crisis and the ongoing wave of mass struggles all over the world since 2011 made urgent the political strengthening of our International. We realize we need to update quickly and effectively our political program so we can respond to the growing needs of the movements emerging. We also realized we need to develop more theoretically and consolidate politically all our party cadre.
Since then we have made important progress: we have included in all our World Congresses points of in-depth programmatic discussion, starting with the question of elections, reformism, liberal democracy, permanent revolution, and the meaning of a workers government.  In the upcoming World Congresses we will tackle the fight against oppression, update our program for women and LBTQI liberation, the question of self-determination of oppressed nations and our program to face climate change and the environmental crisis among other things.
This increased political discussion is already bringing results: many of our elaborations and discussions are being published in our theoretical magazine Marxism Alive, we have established an international Program Committee, and more importantly, we are testing our politics daily in the struggle.
The Centrality of the Struggle Against Women’s Oppression
The new wave of mass working class women’s struggles which started in Argentina in 2016 with the Ni Una Menos mobilizations has changed the political landscape of our class. We see these mobilizations as an integral part of the class struggle, and as a possible catalyzer for a larger class fight back against capitalism and environmental destruction.
The new wave of women’s movement has organized general strikes from below in many countries and showed the usefulness of the general strike tactic. It has also shown that we must combat women’s oppression in all aspects of life.
Like any mass social movement of our class, this one faces many traps, such as the temptation to substitute the struggle in the streets with the ballot box and the support of “left” or populist parties; or the pressures of lean-in and neoliberal feminism that want to contain the scope of the struggle in fake politics of representation and cosmetic reforms. Against these pressures we have organized to keep the movements focused on mass action with class independent politics.
As active participants of these struggles we have furthered argued that we will only win if we manage to mobilize the working class as a whole, and not only women, that is if class organizations take on actively and simultaneously the fight against sexism in their own ranks, and the struggle for a program of demands of women’s liberation.
A New Wave of Mass Struggles and the Urgency of Building Our Party
In the past decade we have seen an unprecedented explosion of mass movements and rebellions of our class. Starting with the first wave of the so-called “Arab Spring “in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria in 2011-2016, followed with the 2018 new wave of mass women strikes in Spain, Argentina, and Poland, and the teachers strike wave in the United States with  the Yellow Vests movement in France picking right after. In 2019, the struggle of French workers developed and became generalized, and we saw mass strikes erupt in Ecuador and Colombia, and mass rebellions burt in Chile, Hong-Kong and Haiti, in the midst of a still developing second wave of the “Arab Spring” (Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran).
Those recurrent big-scale struggles are just the indication that we cannot continue business as usual, because the capitalist system is killing us, is making us sick and spreading poverty, has robbed us of our present and our future, for public pensions, public education and public healthcare systems are being rapidly dismantled. The capitalist system is also killing our planet, destroying biodiversity at an alarming rate, and producing massive displacements of populations. And all of this is occurring in a context where the rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer. There has been no other moment to be an open advocate for a socialist strategy that can win, a revolutionary one. We have no time to waste, because we are running out of time. Now is the moment to build the one and only tool that can make all of those mass movements, general strikes and popular rebellions succeed: a workers socialist party rooted in the struggles. We invite you to join us in that task!
[1] Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were leaders of the leftwing of the German Social Democracy, which later became known as the Spartacist League. They took a revolutionary position in opposition to WWI on the grounds of it being an imperialist war. Both were killed by the Social Democracy in 1918.
[2] Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov – Lenin – was the main leader of the Bolshevik Party and the Russian Revolution. He was the founder of the 3rd International.
[3] Together with Lenin, Leon Trotsky was a leader of the Russian Revolution. He was the leader of the Russian Red Army and he led the struggle against the bureaucratization of the CP, the 3rd International and the Soviet Union. He was the founder of the 4th International.
[4] 1st International – The International Workingmen’s Association, founded by Karl Marx in 1964, uniting workers groups, unions and parties from many countries particularly Europeans.
[5] 2nd International – The Social Democratic World Party founded by Friedrich Engels in 1889. It lost completely its revolutionary character during WWI after supporting the war efforts of each national bourgeoisie.
[6] 3rd International – The World Revolutionary Party was founded by Lenin and Trotsky in 1919. It promoted struggles and Revolutions worldwide, but it lost its revolutionary character after its 4th Congress due to Stalinist rule.
[7] 4th International – The World Revolutionary Party founded by Trotsky in 1938. It reclaims the continuity of the 1st, 2nd and the four first congresses of the 3rd International. The Transitional Program was adopted as its program at its founding Congress.
[8] SWP – The Socialist Workers Party. The American section of the Left Opposition and then of the 4th International. Led by James Cannon it was the most consolidated section of the 4th International in its founding. It broke with Trotskyism and the 4th International in the 80s under the leadership of Jack Barnes.
[9] Michel Pablo, Ernest Mandel and Pierre Frank were the main European leaders of the 4th International after WWII.
[10] Juan Posadas was the main ally of Michel Pablo in Latin America. He broke with the 4th International in 1962, founding his own International. Politically, he capitulated to nationalist and reformist groups and leaders.
[11] Guillermo Lora was the main leader of the Bolivian Partido Obrero Revolucionario and one of the leader of the Bolivian Revolution of 1952 when he capitulated, giving critical support to the nationalist bourgeois government.
[12] Gerry Healy was the leader of the British SLL, renamed Workers Revolutionary Party. In the 80s, the WRP exploded after financial and political links to the Libyan and Iraq governments were revealed, together with denunciations of sexual abuse.
[13] Hugo Blanco later broke politically with the Moreno-led tendency and joined the positions of the American SWP.
[14] The United Secretariat of the 4th International was founded in 1963, after the Mandel-led International Secretariat and the SWP merged. The Moreno-led group joined in 1964 and broke in 1979, after the United Secretariat supported the Sandinistas repression against the membership of the Simon Bolivar Brigade (formed by the FB to fight in Nicaragua). The SWP also broke in the 80s, after formally abandoning Trotskyism.
[15] Ben Bela was the leader of the nationalist FNL that led the Algerian Revolution. After the victorious revolution, he became the prime minister of a bourgeoise government.
[16] The 62 Organizations were 62 trade-unions that fought back the 1955 coup d’etat against the nationalist bourgeois president Juan Perón. They carried out marches, strikes and occupations. Later, they went through a process of bureaucratization under the leadership of Augusto Vandor, the president of the largest union, the metalworkers UOM.
[17] Vasco Bengochea and Roberto Santucho were leading members of the Argentinean Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores – PRT. They broke with Leninism to join guerrilla warfare-efforts inspired by the Cuban Revolution.
[18] Foquismo is a vanguardist strategy inspired by Che Guevara’s experience. It consists in starting a guerrilla warfare foco as a way to spark a revolution.
[19] ERP are the initials of Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo, one of the most important guerrilla groups in Argentina in the 70s, after the Montoneros (a leftwing Peronist guerrilla).
[20] PST – Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores is the organization led by Moreno that emerged in 1973 after the fusion between the PRT – La Verdad and the Juan Coral-led split from the Socialist Party. It’s known to have resisted under harsh military dictatorship (1976-1983), when it had 100 members killed. Afterwards, it became the Movimiento al Socialismo MAS, the Argentinean section of the LIT-CI.
[21] The French LCR is Ligue Communiste Revolutionaire, the largest section of the USec.
[22] The Cordobazo was a mass workers’ and people’s uprising in the city of Cordoba in Argentina in May, 1969 against the dictatorship. It was very influential, leading to the formation of a strong national class struggle-oriented union tendency (tendencia clasista) and increased workers and students alliance-oriented groups on the campuses.
[23] MFA is the Movimento das Forças Armadas, the leading force in the beginning of the Portuguese Revolution. It opposed the independence of the colonies and opposed a socialist perspective.
[24] TLT (Tendencia Leninista Trotskista), which became later a faction inside the USec (FLT), was led by the US SWP and the Argentinean PST to oppose the guerrillaist and vanguardist deviation of the majority of the USec led by Mandel.
[25] The TB (Tendencia Bolchevique), later a faction inside the USec (FB), was led by the Argentinean PST gathering the majority of Latin American Trotskyism.
[26] The Workers League was formed from the “Ponto de Partida” (Starting Point) group by 5 Brazilian activists in exile in Chile in 1972 with a critical evaluation of the “foquismo” tactic of guerrilla warfare in Brazil. Standing for the building of Leninist-type parties, they linked themselves to the 4th International since its formation.
[27] The Socialist Convergence was one of the few Trotskyist groups that survived the entryism in the Brazilian PT. The DS (Socialist Democracy, the USec section) fully capitulated, joining Lula’s bourgeois administration with a minister appointed, and later breaking with the 4th International. The OT (The Labor, Lambertist organization in Brazil) after an initial sectarian approach towards the PT, joined it and capitulated to Lula leadership. In 1986, they lost the majority of their leadership, who broke with the 4th International to join Lula’s group. Currently they have 10% of the strength they used to have in the end of the 70s, when they led a militant and strong student tendency. Their current understanding is that the PT is a “strategic” Party in which they form a fraternal internal tendency. They are supportive of the bourgeois administration of Lula.
[28] The CUT is the Central Unica dos Trabalhadores, the main Labor Federation in Brazil, founded in 1983. Socialist Convergence developed as part of a strong leftwing based mainly in the opposition caucuses, some of which managed to overthrow bureaucratic leaders in important unions like the metalworkers of Belo Horizonte and Sao Jose dos Campos, and the bank workers of Rio de Janeiro.
[29] The Socialist Convergence was expelled from the PT in May 1992 after standing publicly for the immediate overthrow of President Collor de Mello, who was ousted a few months later. In June 1994, together with around 40 regional organizations mainly from the PT, the CS members founded the PSTU (Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado), a 2,000 strong Leninist-type party. A year later, the PSTU became the Brazilian section of the LIT-CI, allowing members of other International organizations to remain in the Party. Even so, 1% of the membership left the Party to form the section of the CWI.
[30] Founded in September of 1977, the Colombian PST became the center of the Moreno’s International tendency inside the USec (Tendencia Bolchevique and then Fracción Bolchevique – Bolshevik Tendency turned into Faction). They played a critical role in diverse areas, among them the critique of guerrillaism, work among industrial workers, the formation of the Internationalist Simon Bolivar Brigade to fight in the Nicaraguan Revolution and the founding of Editorial Pluma – that published the only version in Spanish of Trotsky writings.
[31] Pierre Lambert was the leader of the Parti Communiste Internationaliste, the French Section of the Fourth International. In 1953, the PCI joined the International Committee of the 4th International. Critical of the Cuban Revolution, the PCI (renamed Organisation Communiste Internationaliste in 1966) stood together with the Gerry Healy-led Socialist Labour League from 1963 until 1971. His OCI had a brief unification with Nahuel Moreno’s tendency from 1979 until 1981 when his critical support for the Mitterrand government in France led to a split.
[32] The British group led by Bill Hunter, whose militancy in the Trotskyist movement dates back to WWII, comes from the Healyite tradition. His adherence to the LIT-CI was critical as to bringing the strong tradition of the British workers movement to the recently-founded International.
[33] The Malvinas war (also called the Falklands war by the British) happened in 1982 in the southern Atlantic Ocean. A remnant from colonial times, British imperialism wanted to keep this outpost for geopolitical and economic reasons, as prospects showed the presence of oil under their sea bed. The Argentinian dictatorship tried a diversionist maneuver in order to redirect the workers attention from their struggles to war efforts. Ultimately, the British Navy with the support of US imperialism, defeated the much weaker Argentinian forces, whose strength were limited by the military Junta. The PST pushed for a strong campaign demanding the military to provide arms and military training in the workplaces during working hours under workers control, the nationalization of all British and US assets and the call for the TIAR (defense agreement of countries of all Americas to provide support for any member under military attack), among others. As the military did not meet any of these demands, the PST traded its “no confidence in the Dictatorship” gradually to “Down with the Dictatorship”. A year after the defeat, the Dictatorship was overthrown.
[34] Siles Suazo was the bourgeois president of Bolivia from 1982-1985. Facing huge inflation, a lack of reserves and a strong wave of strikes, he suspended the payment of the foreign debt.
[35] The Esquipulas and Contadora agreements were decided in the respective cities in Guatemala and Panama by bourgeois governments with the support of the guerrilla leaders and Fidel Castro in order to disarm the armed resistance and to provide a solution for the revolutionary process in the area through bourgeois democratic institutions.
[36] Democratic Reaction is the name employed in LIT-CI analyses to describe the new preferential policy of US imperialism after their defeat in Vietnam in 1974. Instead of the big stick (military intervention and dictatorships enforcement), the Carter administration talked about Human Rights and preferably used institutions of bourgeois democracy, like electoral processes and agreements/talks, to attract Leftwing leaders to capitulate and to prevent revolutionary processes. Later on, Ronald Reagan resorted to the same instrument, despite more aggressive speeches and threats.
[37] Workers Aid to Bosnia was a campaign led by the Liaison Committee between the Workers International and the LIT-CI. Strongly based on the efforts of the British WRP (WP) and the Spanish PST (LIT-CI section), they organized solidarity to Bosnian workers, under attack by both Serbian and Croatian nationalist armies. On top of building political solidarity, they organized ten convoys carrying primarily food, which were delivered inside Bosnia to the Miners Union of Tuzla during the 3 year war (1993-1996).
[38] Workers International was an International formed in 1990, centered around the British Workers Revolutionary Party (Workers Press,) led by Cliff Slaughter. The WRP, former SLL, came from the Healyite tradition. In 1985, Healy was expelled and the WRP suffered a process of fragmentation. A faction led by Bill Hunter split in 1987 and joined the LIT-CI.