Tag Archives: El Salvador

Workers in Honduras, El Salvador Unite vs. Coup Bosses’ Attacks

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.

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Urges El Salvador Guerrilla Vets to Join PLP

El Salvador — At the end of the 1970’s there were nine people in my family including seven brothers and sisters. The government army came into my settlement, killing children, youth, old people, and women; in my family four brothers were killed because they were suspected of helping the guerrilas.

In 1979, when I was 24 years old, I was pursued by the National Guard because of my revolutionary ideas. I joined a military detachment of the ERP (Revolutionary Peoples’ Army). We had massive confrontations with the government’s army at the same time that they bombed us. When we were invaded by the enemy in a combat zone, we sometimes spent up to eight days without food. After battle, we went to an area that was under the control of the guerrilas where we got our political and military training.

In 1989 we carried out a military campaign where I fought in the city of San Miguel, in the eastern part of the country. I spent nine days in a trench, seeing many of my comrades fall from the enemy’s weapons, and seeing the suffering of the civilian population from the bombings. But we also attacked and showed our political resolve and military strength, as we forced the army to flee and struck mortal blows. Hundreds of soldiers and police fell, brought down by the revolutionary shrapnel of the armed people. Here we were true to our slogan of struggle: victory or death.

At one moment when we were ambushed by the enemy army, a soldier in the bosses’ army (who today is my friend) warned us about this ambush, from which I escaped unharmed. This helped me understand that solders in the government’s army were winnable since most aren’t won ideologically to the bosses’ side.

Since the end of the armed struggle, as a disabled veteran of the war, I’m a member of ALGES — Association of the Disabled from the War in El Salvador. The ideas of a revolution to change society had me frustrated for a time, as I feel that I had been fooled by the high leaders of the guerrilas. After the war, many of them became brazen servants of the capitalists, while my conviction and that of my fellow disabled and dead fighters was to fight and win for the working class.

I then met a club of PLP and when I heard the strength of their political ideology, it didn’t seem foreign to me. Here I see true revolutionary ideology, which is the fight for communism. I hope that this story helps many fellow veterans of the war to join the Progressive Labor Party since the commitment to fight for the working class must continue.

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From El Salvador’s Horrors PLP Politics Shaped a Young PL’er

EL SALVADOR — In 1980 I was among a group of people from El Salvador who went into exile in Honduras. I traveled in my grandmother’s arms, while my father and a sister stayed in El Salvador.

The “orejas” (snitches that spy for the police and army) murdered my mother and one of my brothers. When I was in Colomoncagua, Honduras, I remember Honduran soldiers massacring people in the camp where we lived. When the soldiers came, the people went out to yell at them. Once all of us children were locked in a house for safety, while the adults confronted the soldiers with machetes, sticks and rocks.

In 1990, when we returned to El Salvador, I was 11. The war was still on; before that I had never heard the sound and terror of bullets and mortars in full battle. One day around 4 A.M., I awoke to the sounds of shooting; during the night the soldiers had broken into our encampment in Morazán. For two days we heard the sounds of guns and mortars. Someone said that all the people had to go to the mountains.

By that time, the fascist army had murdered three brothers and my mother. My father was still alive along with myself and another brother; he joined the ranks of the guerillas with many of the youth from the encampment. Many who I knew died.
One night we saw a helicopter shooting and launching lights with flares. My father said, “I wonder if my son is there.” Until then, I still didn’t know the reason for the war.

After the 1992 peace accords, I always talked to veteran guerillas, asking them the reason for the war. After those 12 years of armed conflict, I was still only 13. These veterans taught me the history and I came to identify myself with the left.
I firmly believed that revolutionary politics meant power was won through elections. Given what I had been taught, I became a reformer in the FMLN, which capitalism turned into an electoral party. Many veterans and commanders have become capitalists or small bosses. Nevertheless, I thought that was moving the revolution forward.

Then a long-time friend began reading CHALLENGE to me. He spoke about the PLP, gave me the paper and invited me to a meeting in his house. Others there talked to me about the international situation.

When the question of ideology arose, I described my electoral party (the FMLN) thinking that was the course to follow. After several meetings, I was thrilled with the PLP, and was invited to meet with international comrades to discuss the Party’s work. Most important to me was how we analyzed reality. Meeting PLP has meant learning about a true revolution.

While the FMLN held sway in my infancy, now in the PLP I consider myself the fruit of those who spilled their blood defending me during my childhood and made it possible for me to fight for communist revolution through the international Progressive Labor Party.
A Young PLP member

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