No to the lockdown of people in Asunción and other cities by the regime!
Joint Statement of the CCR (Brazil Section of the RCIT) and the International Bureau of the RCIT, 8 March 2021, www.thecommunists.net
Paraguay is rocked by a spontaneous youth and popular rebellion. On Friday, March 5, thousands of people marched in the capital Asunción. They call for the departure of Paraguay's president, Mario Abdo Benítez from the Colorado party, due to the bad management of the pandemic and against the draconic lockdown imposed by the government. At least 20 people were injured and one dead after street clashes between police and protesters.
The repression began around 8 pm, when police began to crack down on protesters in response to the provocation of a small group of hooded men. Security forces fired rubber bullets and gas bombs against groups who gathered near Congress. Activists broke down security barriers, built barricades and threw stones at agents. The popular uprising spread through the streets of the city center, which recorded scenes of pitched battle. The acts gained strength after the departure of the Minister of Health, Julio Mazzoleni. He stepped down after the Senate passed a resolution calling for his removal. His management was criticized for the lack of supplies in hospitals, the delay in the arrival of vaccines and for cases of corruption that were not punished. Protests continued until the following day.
The Paraguayan government is led by Mario Abdo Benítez, known as “Marito”. Benitez is a businessman whose family had strong ties to the military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. His father, also called Mario Abdo, was the private secretary of the deceased dictator. When Stroessner died in 2006, Mario Abdo’s father proposed that the Colorado Party Board of Directors pay tribute on the basis that Stroessner "did a lot for the country".
The mass movement, which was not satisfied with the fall of the Minister of Health, is now demanding the resignation of the president, shouting "Out Marito!"Other slogans of the movement are such as "united against corruption" and "out with all the corrupt”.
Pressed by the huge protests, the president said he understood that a change is necessary. "I have informed the entire cabinet that they will surrender their positions and the decrees of the new appointments will be published in the next few hours," he announced in the video. "I will appoint authorities in areas of peacemaking, ahead of positions such as health, education, women and the civilian office."
It is becoming increasingly clear that quarantine or lockdown policies are not the answers to solve the health problems for which they were supposedly imposed by the ruling class. In fact, these policy has aggravated the physical and mental health of most peoples, condemning them to all kinds of economic and social deprivation, which are the fundamental basis of the development of the plagues that mainly devastate the working class and the poorest sectors of society.
Exactly one year ago, the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) published its very first article about the COVID-19 pandemic and the following global counterrevolutionary offensive of the ruling class. In this article – called “The chauvinist campaign behind the “Wuhan Coronavirus” hysteria and the revolutionary answer” – Almedina Gunić analyzed, based on the knowledge at that time, the nature of the pandemic and elaborated several key aspects of its political consequences. Since then, we have published on this issue more than 70 pamphlets, essays, articles, and statements as well as a book of which a number have been translated into other languages. (1)
We also emphasized the necessity for an anti-capitalist approach on this issue. “The costs of all measures must be financed by the multinational corporations, especially the pharmaceutical industry which needs to be nationalized under workers control.”
To defend the health of workers, measures very different from those carried out by the corrupt governments of the region will have to be taken, firstly ensuring that they earn decent wages, live in comfortable homes, eat well, play sports, and have a good life, full access to culture, education – thigs which the capitalist system has no desire and is not in a position to guarantee.
The RCIT supports the call for the downfall of the Marito regime and its replacement by a workers and popular government. It must be brought by a general strike resulting in a popular uprising by the armed workers and poor! For this, it is crucial to build action committees in the workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and universities which could organize armed militias in order to defend the people against the state repression. Such popular mass organs would form a strong fundament for launching an indefinite general strike culminating in an armed insurrection.
* No to the lockdown of people in Asunción and other cities by the regime!
* Organize a general strike and popular uprising!
* Bring down the Marito regime! For a workers and popular government!
* For systematic and complete health screening of all people who might have had contact with the virus. This screening must be free for all people but should be mandatory. The same is necessary for any potential treatment which should include quarantine if necessary.
* For the nationalization of the health system under workers' control!
1) The RCIT on COVID-19: One Year Ago. The first anniversary of the beginning of the Marxists’ struggle against the capitalist counterrevolution taking place under the cover of the pandemic. https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/rcit-on-covid-19-one-year-ago/