EL SALVADOR, September 13 — Recently at a meeting of teachers from El Salvador and Honduras, the latter (a member of the federation of Honduran workers) thanked the Salvadoran workers for their working-class solidarity in the face of the current crisis besetting workers in Honduras following the coup that ousted Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya is a millionaire member of the Honduran bourgeoisie who opposed trade deals with the U.S. and its allies, instead veering towards the Russian and Chinese imperialists through Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
The teacher from Honduras told of the temporary reforms financed by Chavez (to expand his influence in the region), enabling Zelaya to raise teachers’ wages to $1,000 a month (as compared to $500 a month for a teacher in El Salvador); afternoon snacks at schools; free uniforms and notebooks, among other measures. This has put Zelaya in conflict with sections of the Honduran ruling class, who were angered by Honduras joining ALBA (Chavez’s trade alliance) and Petrocaribe (Chavez’s oil alliance).
In Honduras they barely had time to cry for Roger Vallejo Soriano, a 38-year-old teacher shot in the head last July 30th during a demonstration protesting the coup, when another teacher, Martin Florencio Rivera, 37, was stabbed 25 times and killed after having participated in a wake for Soriano. All this is part of the brutal repression carried out by the security forces of the government of Roberto Michelleti.
Soriano was a victim of the on-going attacks by the police and the army, along with rapes of women. The teacher who spoke at the meeting was sprayed with cancer-causing chemicals when she participated in the marches.
In response to a PLP comrade’s question about the lessons drawn from this brutality, workers from Honduras replied: “We definitely must organize much better against the attacks of the system; we’re certain that the international bosses, including those in El Salvador, were involved in this coup.”
Said a PLP comrade, “If the bosses are organized, why can’t the international working class be organized for our own interests.”
This story reminded us of the massacres teachers in El Salvadoran suffered in the 1970’s and 1980’s. A PL teacher who participated in these struggles and saw the army and police kill many teachers in front of their students related his experiences in the teachers’ resistance in El Salvador and invited the teachers from Honduras to organize with PLP internationally to resist the bosses’ attacks.
The teachers and the international working class must see that the return of Manuel Zelaya, another capitalist exploiter, or any other capitalist president, will not end our problems. Those who exploit and kill the workers continue in power. There’s no reason to keep electing them.
The working class must fight for power by building its international party to organize for communist revolution, not continue supporting the murderous, rotten capitalist system. We must spread our networks of our revolutionary communist newspaper CHALLENGE internationally, to organize at work, school and in the fields to fight for a just system, communism. That’s how we can avenge the deaths of our class brothers and sisters.