Reject Privatization of Electric Power (Eng.; Esp.)

In the aftermath of the hurricanes, right-wing forces in Puerto Rico are striving to privatize everything from public schools to electric power.

Political Commission of the Puerto Rican Communist Party

January 24, 2018

Source: http://abayarderojo.org/2018/01/comunicado-de-prensa/

Translator’s note: AEE refers to what in English is the Puerto Rican “Electrical Energy Authority.” Formed in 1941, the publically owned company has enjoyed a monopoly in generating the island’s electricity. On January 2, Governor Ricardo Rossello announced that AEE’s assets would be sold to private investors. According to the Communist Party website abayarderojo.org, the Wall Street – based Financial Control Board, in charge of debt –ridden Puerto Rico’s financial future, met on February 1 to begin the process of liquidation. Portrayal there of the utility as obsolescent and existing in chaos fulfills a “premeditated plan, implemented over many years, for weakening AEE … so that the people would be inclined to favor privatization.” Therefore, “we of the working class, particularly the AEE workers, have to fight back in order to rescue public patrimony from private hands.”   

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Finally, with [Governor] Ricardo Roselló’s announcement that AEE is being dismembered in order for it to be handed over to private interests, it would seem that the final point has been reached in the long agony of administrators’ threats and missteps, one after the other, aimed at advancing the agenda of their capitalist bosses. Nevertheless, this announcement serves as the opening bell in a new stage in the development of the class struggle in the territory. We are not saying that the sale of AEE represents the first blow that the capitalist class has directed against the working and dispossessed masses in this long process of disrupting colonial structures as we knew them. Instead it’s quite different. This announcement represents one more assault in a long chain of aggressions that we workers have put up with over the past decades at the hands of the PNP (New Progressive Party) and PPD (Popular Democratic Party) administrations. They’ve caused our living conditions to be eroded, and in absolute terms.

The passage of hurricane Maria aggravated the already worsening impoverishment of the masses, caused by austerity policies. It’s been continual and is now at unprecedented levels. Nevertheless, the hurricane only stripped the veil away from a reality of shortages, marginalization, and profound suffering of our people, all of which is due to constant, harsh attacks by the capitalist class. The bare-faced plunder of public moneys by means of massive indebtedness, robbery of the pension systems of public – sector workers, the continuous attacks on labor rights, massive dismissals of employees, destruction of the education and public health systems, environmental destruction, marginalization, and criminality: these are only some of the attacks we the masses have suffered from in recent years – and all without being able to mount a politically effective response, one we could have used to halt the offensive.

At this point, however, it seems that the exploiters now find themselves in a position of strength that enables them to continue with the model of super-exploitation we are dealing with. But it’s one that only betrays the early stages of their decadence. That’s why, when we say that this announcement represents a new stage in the class struggle, we are referring to accelerated degradation of the minimal living conditions required for our survival. This is why it’s certain that sharp class-based confrontations are on the way. Literally, they have us cornered, up against the wall.  And although liberals, skeptics, and cynics have no idea of movement toward “improving things” - other than leaving solutions to the conflict in the hands of their capitalist bosses - we communists can see two locomotives heading rapidly toward an inevitable collision, and we may not survive.   

At the same time, there’s something different about this new stage. We see the masses searching in various ways for solutions to their problems and also see their complete distrust of politicians who represent the capitalists. Their spreading community demonstrations for re-establishing electrical service and the police strike are only two examples of deep popular discontent that is building. The territory has been converted into a huge powder keg ready for blowing apart the capitalist system in these latitudes. But jerks like Ricky and the Wall Street Junta, in their arrogance and contempt for the masses, have taken measures for reinforcing their repressive apparatus. They are hoping we’ll pull out of the struggle. And, as their track record before and after Maria has shown, the working masses must never doubt that they will be implacable when they respond.

There’s also no room for doubt that still more difficult times are ahead of us. Nevertheless the working class is the only class capable of reversing thisapparently unsolvable situation. But for that we must organize ourselves and begin to take effectives measures for building a political opposition. They won’t spring from the bourgeois electoral system, but instead from a perspective of independence. At this critical juncture, when conditions for revolutionary struggle are beginning to mature, we communists once more declare that, for the sake of organizing struggle against the capitalists and their representatives, workers’ councils become the necessary method for building unity of all sectors of the working class. Also, we re-dedicate ourselves to our socialist political program that allows the working class, once it gains political power, to establish measures that attend to the basic necessities of all of society. 

Organize workers’ councils!   Communism or barbarism!

Translated by W. T. Whitney Jr.

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Comunicado de Prensa

24 de enero de 2018, Comisión Política, Partido Comunista de Puerto Rico

Finalmente, con el anuncio de Ricardo Rosselló del desmembramiento de la AEE para entregársela a intereses privados, parecería que se pone punto final a una larga agonía de amenazas y traspiés de los administradores de turno para adelantar la agenda de sus amos capitalistas. Sin embargo, este anuncio se presenta como el campanazo inicial en una nueva etapa en el desarrollo de la lucha de clases en el territorio. No nos referimos a que la venta de la AEE represente el primer golpe que nos propina la clase capitalista a las masas trabajadoras y desposeídas en este largo proceso de desmantelamiento de las estructuras coloniales como las conocíamos, sino todo lo contrario. Este anuncio representa un golpe más de una larga cadena de agresiones que hemos sufrido los trabajadores por las pasadas décadas, por administraciones PNP y PPD, las cuales han significado una erosión de nuestras condiciones de vida en términos absolutos.

El aumento continuo en el empobrecimiento de las masas, resultado de las políticas de austeridad, se ha agravado a niveles inauditos como consecuencia del paso del huracán María. Sin embargo, el huracán solo quitó el velo a una realidad de carencias, marginación y de profundo sufrimiento de nuestro pueblo producto de los constantes ataques inclementes de la clase capitalista. El saqueo descarado de los fondos públicos por medio del endeudamiento masivo, el robo de los sistemas de pensión de trabajadores del sector público, los continuos ataques a los derechos laborales, el despido masivo de empleados, la destrucción de la educación y la salud pública, la destrucción medioambiental, la marginación, la criminalidad, son solo algunos de los ataques que hemos sufrido las masas en años recientes sin poder dar una respuesta política efectiva capaz de detener la ofensiva.

No obstante, en esta coyuntura, en que parecería que los explotadores se han colocado en una posición de fuerza para continuar con el modelo de súper explotación que sufrimos, solo evidencia el comienzo de su decadencia. Es por esto que, cuando decimos que este anuncio representa una nueva etapa en la lucha de clases, nos referimos a que el ritmo acelerado en la degradación de las condiciones de vida mínimas para nuestra supervivencia asegura agudas confrontaciones de clase. Literalmente nos están arrinconando contra la pared. Y aunque los liberales, los escépticos y los cínicos no ven movimiento para “mejorar las cosas”, sino que dejan en manos de sus amos capitalistas las soluciones al conflicto, nosotros los comunistas vemos como aceleran dos locomotoras hacia un inevitable choque por la supervivencia.

De la misma forma, esta nueva etapa tiene un carácter distinto: la búsqueda de las masas por diversas vías de solucionar sus problemas, su plena desconfianza en los políticos que representan a los capitalistas, las vemos en las crecientes manifestaciones comunitarias por el restablecimiento del servicio eléctrico, la huelga de la policía, son solo algunos ejemplos del profundo descontento popular que se está gestando. El territorio se ha convertido en un inmenso barril de pólvora que hará estallar el sistema capitalista en estas latitudes. Pero los guaynabitos de Ricky y la Junta de Wall Street, en su soberbia y desprecio a las masas, han tomado las medidas necesarias para reforzar su aparato represivo en espera de que “nos tiremos”. Y como han demostrado sus ejecutorias antes y después de María, las masas trabajadoras no debemos dudar que su respuesta será implacable.

No cabe duda que nos esperan tiempos aún más difíciles. Sin embargo, la clase trabajadora es la única clase capaz de revertir esta aparente situación sin salida. Pero para eso debemos organizarnos comenzar a dar pasos efectivos para construir oposición política, no desde el sistema electoral burgués, sino desde una perspectiva independiente. En esta coyuntura crucial en la que van madurando las condiciones para la lucha revolucionaria, los comunistas nos reafirmamos en los consejos obreros como método para construir la unidad de todos los sectores de la clase obrera para organizar la lucha contra los capitalistas y sus representantes. También nos reafirmamos en nuestro programa político socialista que permita a la clase obrera, una vez conquistado el poder político, establecer medidas que atiendan las profundas necesidades de la sociedad en su conjunto.

¡Organicemos consejos obreros!

¡Comunismo o barbarie!

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