As pretext for war against leftist insurgents and repression of political opponents, the Colombian government conjures up terrorist enemies.

That’s of a piece with U. S. reasoning to justify both its own global war making and military support and funds for Colombia’s iron fist. The two governments are together in serving business and financial interests. To be sure, U.S. apologists for assistance to Colombia also raise the specter of narco-terrorism. That’s a hot potato for a Colombian government tied to rightwing paramilitaries who work for narco-terrorists.

Following the fall of the Soviet Bloc, terrorism or narco-terrorism seemed to supplant world communism as the advertised U.S. national enemy. In Colombia, however, a high-profile communist movement has persevered for many decades, and communists who are political leaders, teachers, unionists, and student activists have been mowed down regularly, or "disappeared."

Beginning in the late 1980’s, for example, the Patriotic Union (UP), formed by Communist Party members and demobilized insurgents belonging to the Marxist- Leninist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), fielded candidates for electoral office. Yet the toll of some 5000 murders plus disappearances, jailings, and departures into exile eventually forced that coalition into quiescence.

In fact, according to Carlos Lozano, director of the Communist Party’s "Voz" newspaper, anti-communism is making a return. Increasingly it’s being used as a tool for political repression.

In a recent article appearing below, Lozano provides historical and theoretical context for the build-up of anti-communist repression. He suggests that recrudescence of "red scare" may not be limited to Colombia.

Lozano’s analysis is useful now as the international campaign to free political prisoner David Ravelo Crispo moves ahead. That member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, jailed on a flimsy pretext on September 14, 2010, is yet to be tried or convicted.

For many years, Ravelo headed the CREDHOS human rights group in Barrancabermeja and helped lead the Movement of Victims of State Crimes. The previously jailed survivor of UP repression has received multiple death threats.

David Ravelo told an interviewer in December, 2011 that, "In this country to exercise the function of a union or social leader, or human rights defender, or member of the political opposition, you are exposed, if things go well for you, to incarceration, or [otherwise] to physical elimination through selective or collective assassination…There have been hundreds of comrades who have swelled the list of those murdered by the state or by government bodies, all with total impunity."

Here’s Carlos Lozano’s article, in both English and its original Spanish:


By Carlos A. Lozano Guillén, "Voz, the Truth of the People,"

January 11-17, 2012

Anticommunism dates back to the first appearance of scientific socialism. The first two paragraphs of the Communist Manifesto written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels set down the following for history: "A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies." They added that anybody opposing tyrannies of that era was branded as a communist in order to be persecuted and censured. The two immortal theoreticians took this as demonstrating that European powers, all of them, recognized communism as a force.

Since then, the fraud has continued without any modification despite all that has transpired over 164 years, with swift, radical changes in every domain of life. It’s a ghost passing throughout the world: the ghost of communism. That’s despite the Soviet Union having collapsed twenty years ago, and the Berlin Wall having fallen, events that brought joy to capitalists and led to declarations about the death of communism and even of history.

Nevertheless, a deep capitalist crisis did emerge in the unipolar world and is continuing. And with dissident movements shaking up old Europe and the United States, anti-communism has taken on new life in a most ferocious and belligerent manner. Recognition that this plays out amidst capitalist crisis serves as confirmation that the dynamic of class struggle is the motor of history and change. Marx and Engels predicted this almost 200 years ago.

This refashioned anti-communism signifies acknowledgement that communist ideology does exist and offers a real alternative to the historical capitalist breakdown, and to contradictions between capital and labor. What this adds up to is that the bourgeoisie, both then and now, is totalitarian by nature. It breeds conformity. Its supposed practice of ideological pluralism turns out to be just lip service. Communism, for them, is an error of history. It has to be eliminated in any way possible. That includes resort to violence, as seen in Colombia and elsewhere. Their practices are inherited from Nazi fascists operating midway during the last century.

In "civilized" Europe, there are governments wanting to prohibit communism, while in Latin America those in charge and ideologues of the right assail communism with every kind of nonsense and slander. It pains and frightens them even that youth, labor, and populist leaders are fighting within communist ranks.

What are not changed are capitalists themselves who spew forth old dogmas and the same absolutist ideas to hold onto power. (Translated by W. T. Whitney Jr.)

El anticomunismo

Por Carlos A. Lozano Guillén 

Voz, ed. 2621

11 al 17 de enero de 2012

El anticomunismo es tan antiguo como la aparición del socialismo científico. En los dos primeros párrafos del Manifiesto del Partido Comunista, escrito por Carlos Marx y Federico Engels, en 1848, quedó consignado para la historia lo siguiente: "Un fantasma recorre Europa: el fantasma del comunismo. Todas las fuerzas de la vieja Europa se han unido en santa cruzada para cazar a este fantasma: el papa y el zar, Metternich y Guizot, los radicales franceses y los policías alemanes".

Agregaron que cualquier opositor a las tiranías de la época es tildado de comunista para perseguirlo y zaherirlo. Concluyen los dos teóricos inmortales, que es la demostración de que el comunismo es reconocido como una fuerza por todas las potencias europeas.

Desde entonces, a pesar de que han transcurrido 164 años con veloces y radicales cambios en todos los dominios de la vida, la impostura no ha sido modificada. Un fantasma recorre el mundo: el fantasma del comunismo. A pesar de que hace veinte años se derrumbó la Unión Soviética y cayó el Muro de Berlín, hechos que motivaron la alegría de los capitalistas y la declaración de muerte del comunismo y hasta de la historia.

Sin embargo, surgida la actual profunda crisis del capitalismo en el mundo unipolar, estremecida la vieja Europa y Estados Unidos por movimientos inconformes, renace el anticomunismo de manera más feroz y beligerante. Es el reconocimiento de su plena vigencia, en medio de una crisis capitalista que confirma la dinámica de la lucha de clases como motor de la historia y de los cambios, como lo previeron Marx y Engels hace casi 200 años.

Este anticomunismo de nuevo cuño es la aceptación de que la ideología comunista es vigente y una real alternativa al fracaso histórico capitalista y a las contradicciones entre el capital y el trabajo. Lo que ocurre es que la burguesía, la de antes y la de ahora, es totalitaria por naturaleza. Fomenta el unanimismo; y el pluralismo ideológico que practica es de dientes para fuera. El comunismo, para ellos, es un error de la historia que hay que eliminar de cualquier forma, inclusive a través de la violencia como se ensayó en Colombia y en otras latitudes, prácticas heredadas de los nazifascistas en la mitad del siglo pasado.

En la "civilizada" Europa hay gobiernos que quieren prohibir el comunismo; mientras que en América Latina gobernantes e ideólogos de la derecha arremeten contra él con todo tipo de sandeces y calumnias. Hasta se duelen y aterrorizan que líderes juveniles, sindicales y populares militen en las filas comunistas.

Los que no han cambiado son los capitalistas que fomentan los mismos dogmas y las mismas ideas absolutistas para conservar el poder.