Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
Jones: Attention, attention. News of the day.
Five Latin American leaders meet with [President Jimmy] Carter in Panama City, Panama to talk in firm terms about the reduction of arms purchases in Latin, Central, and South America. These nations include Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Peru, still considered to be bastions of some democratic form of government. Also, there was a proclamation on human rights, though the news noted that Carter’s making much less in tone about his human rights matters. He said– Carter said, we cannot afford to lose our friends in Latin and Central and South America. We will pledge continued economic assistance to maintain the fraternal goodwill that we now have. A strong implication of his speech was that I’m in enough trouble trying to protect the interest of the exploiters, imperialist multinational corporations in the USA sucking the blood of Africans, so I would sort of like to placate South America and not get embroiled in any disputes.
Fidel Castro accuses the CIA in a rare news conference with US media. He shows photographs, tape recordings to prove that the CIA are involved again in covert activities against the Cuban people, but more directly inside Angola. He repudiated USA charges that he was the responsible force for liberation in Africa as being degrading and racist towards the black people of Africa.
Zaire. One thousand rebels strong gather again in Nwaki [phonetic], just inside the Angolan border, in what appears to be a new thrust attempt into Shaba [Province], their own land. The Katangan rebels do not give up easily. USA is crying for peace-keeping con– contingency forces to be increased. Dictator Mobuto Sese Seko is also calling for USA direct support. Presently the United States has been, according to BBC, bringing in 1500 of its own troops. BBC says the USA commander has been placed in charge of 1500 USA troops outside of Lumumbasha [Lubumbashi], in spite of USA denials that no USA troops are present. Presently most of the peace-keeping has been maintained by the poor soldiers from Morocco. Now there’s a call on the United States by Carter, calling on the military-industrial complex, for an all-out defense of exploitation of the Zairian people.
USA pressing Israel on occupied West Bank and Gayza– Gaza Strip, because USA has had to give concessions to Egypt that passed a referendum giving Anwar Sadat, prime minister, dictatorial powers in Egypt. USA need Egypt support badly in Zaire, where so many mineral riches are at stake.
A heavy tornado overturned a vessel in a lake in Kansas. Sixty people on board missing at this time. The tornado did upwards of millions of dollars of damages. (tape edit) –other loss of life, but at this time, there’s been no statistics on the effect.
China, mainland China, with good domestic sharing policies for its own people, but chauvinism in its foreign policy to the point of renegade running with the imperialist and outright lackey of US imperialism and the Trilateral multinationals, gives the honest honor that it has to the king of Spain [Juan Carlos I], a fascist who served willingly under Generalissimo [Francisco] Franco, an open ally of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. This special honor was always in the past reserved for only the special Marxist-Leninist friends of China.
Gabor [Gabon], Togo and Senegal have been manipulated by USA to send some of their starving troops from those troubled neo-colonial lands – the few that still remain in Africa – into the Zairian conflict. President [Nicolae] Ceausescu enters into more ne– negotiations with the USA and Britain to try to normalize relations in Europe before he says we find an outbreak of war. The Soviet bloc, the Warsaw Pact, have used President Ceausescu as their moderate peace feeler. President Ceausescu of Romania has relations both with Israel and Arab nations, the only Communist nation to do so.
There’s a tax revolt so serious in the United States that Carter is appealing to it by trying to get the House to ap– deny eight water projects necessary for urban centers that’re being plagued with contaminated water in United States. However, the House overrode his veto, in spite of the president threatening that the public will have their day by voting the congressmen out of office. The tax revolt in USA, as I told you, is based on a racist platform, so it’s nothing for people to take heart who are our background.
Radio East Berlin Internationale, the voice of free Communist East Germany, said the Portugal parliament has banned the use of the neutron bomb in spite of USA intimidation. Strong protest from Portugal also, the parliament in a clear two-thirds majority, demanding that South Africa must abandon Namibia. Portugal, in spite of USA intimidation, NATO intimidation, moving more leftward.
South Africa used violence today to disperse an assemblage of peope– people protesting the 600 people that had been murdered by the imperialist police of Union of South Africa, the apartheid regime upheld by US capitalism and our tax dollars, this year alone, 457 million poured into that fascist, murderous, racist state, which should cause guilt in every one of our hearts. Sixty again were killed today, as the crowd was dispersed by chemicals heretofore that had not been utilized by the Union of South Africa and had been imported from USA.
International Lawyers Guild denounce South Africa and its policies, and Rhodesia. They’re sending a special team from both capitalist and socialist countries to examine the inhumane conditions in Rhodesia that is upheld by US and British imperialism, as well as South Africa. [U.N.] Secretary General Kurt Waldheim sharply criticizes South Africa as a racist regime, guilty of genocide comparable to Adolf Hitler. So said the Radio Free Germany. He said they have formed their own illegal electoral list in Namibia and are attempting to breach international law, where they’ve given their word to honor Namibia in its plight for freedom by the end of this year.
USA Congressman [Jim] Leach – we should know him and make him a part of the team that we invite, take note in the radio room – said the United States has reached such a degree of involvement in Africa that it is outright interference on the behalf of multinational corporations.
Chinese decision to halt economic assistance has hurt relations with all of the Chinese allies in Southeast Asia, even the Peoples Democratic Republic of North Korea, that has been very friendly to us, our delegation, and is being very helpful to Guyana in its struggle now by giving many trade agreements that I mentioned on yesterday’s news, that we need to concern ourselves about Guyanese news. We are Guyanese. We will have a more severe test coming because there’s less interest being shown. So find yourself in the library and (unintelligible word) the blackboards taking down, understanding the news, because we have to be informed. The last traitor [Debbie Blakey] would not study Marxist-Leninism. Without knowledge, there can be no loyalty, there can be no sensitivity, no compassionate dedication to one another.
Frankfurt, Germany. In the fascist west part of Germany, under the domination of US imperialism, police attacked 15,000 anti Nazis, protesting a large Nazi rally of some 20,000 strong in the industrial city of Frankfurt, West Germany. The 15,000 were hurt, six killed, seventy-some severe injuries, and others, unestimated at this time, damaged from the gases used by the Nazi police of the West German republic. There’s an upsurge of neo-Nazi activity throughout the entirety of the fascist Federal Republic of West Germany. There is an fascist and Nazi upsurge in Austria, to such a degree that the Vien– Vienna Town Council and the government of Austria has banned all Nazi activities, because, so said Radio Austria – which is not a socialist nation, it’s not in the Warsaw Pact, and it is not in NATO, it is a neutral nation – but the Nazi activity pro-Hitler sentiment is so strong in Austria that the government has had to ban all neo- – which means new – Nazi activities.
Eleven hundred Palestinians, according to Radio Czechoslovakia, the voice of Free Communist Czechoslovakia, have been sent to prison without trial under a new repressive law in Israel. Including those being sent to jail were children as young as 12 years of age.
Soviet cosmonauts have made a new success in establishing platforms in outer space. USA is very nervous about these space satellite platforms, because they say that they are the basis for la– laser, which will enable the Soviets to stop any incoming missile from imperialism that would be striking at its homeland.
Famine threatens West Africa. Seven million people in the Sahel countries of West Africa are once again facing the prospect of famine. Rainfall in 1977 was very, very low, and a repetition of the catastrophe which followed the drought of 1968-74 is very much feared. Worst harvest this year down by some 60%, the Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, of the United Nations estimates that nearly three million of the total population – which includes Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Chad, Upper Volta – will die. The Gambia and the Cape Verde Islands are also threatened with severe food shortages. The United Nation agency claims that about 457,000 tons of relief grains are needed immediately. USA had been putting up blocks from Soviets bringing planes of food into the troubled areas, saying that it is a Soviet aggressive posture. The hurting populations of the northern sections of these countries are the most threatened. Imagine USA imperialism even being threatened by the fact that the Soviets are trying to meet the 457,000 tons of relief grains, essential to keep the people alive for the next few months. (Covers microphone with hand, back to mike) Memories of the last drought, which ended only four years ago, are very vivid. Then at least one million, one hundred thousand persons died, along with 40% of the livestock, which forms the economic basis for the Fulani, F-u-l-a-n-i, the Tuaregs, T-u-a-r-e-g-s, and other ethnic groups in the region. In some countries such as Mauritania, cattle losses were as high as 90% of the herds. Who could believe that there’s a loving God, when babies die like this, like flies. The animals died from lack of water and food. Senegal, however, continued to ship animal feed in the form of peanut cake to Europe during the entire period of the emergency, due to US imperialism’s exploiters in the country, when the people were starving from lack of grain. The capitalists in the country– the capitalist holding of US multinationals, continue to make money, sending peanut cake to Europe and America.
A dreadful kind of situation, hard for us to imagine, hard for us to feel. But we must try. Then we’ll keep in touch with the revolution, and not give in, as some of you have, to indulgence, lack of work, passivity, not giving your best creativity. Some of you in movies and television programs are there all the time. My purpose for being there is only to interpret or to get away from the radio for a moment, but the idea of being able to spend the entire night and day is beyond what we can accept. We should not be indulging ourselves all night. The television programs will be res– required for the use of the television to keep it safe, that at least a minimum of 15 people be present for any showing.
Some herders remained in the usual pastures, hoping the rains will come. When they didn’t, some people found themselves stranded far from food and water. Other left their encampments and made arduous treks to the towns and cities where eventually some relief supplies became available. Sometimes only the men left, hoping to find jobs as watchmen or laborers, so they could earn money to buy food for their families. In too many other families, women became prostitutes to get some cash to feed their babies, and people of both sexes and all ages had to turn to begging. It is still common for Europeans and North Americans, USA imperialists, in the Sahel, S-a-h-e-l, to encounter an emaciated Tuareg, T-u-a-r-e-g, asking to sell his handcraft sword or other hair– heirlooms. Now that they know that USA have fetishes for eyes or kidneys, they offer to sell parts of their body so that they can feed their family. Malnourished weakened children became very vulnerable to diseases, particularly measles which reached epidemic proportions in many areas during 1972 and ’73. Vaccines that could’ve prevented many deaths arrived too late for inadequate quantities, due to USA protest about Soviet intervention. That’s why the Soviets have been very determined in their now-current stand, that they will help those who seek to be liberated.
The international relief effort was late in getting underway, and was fraught with delays and bureaucratic entanglements. The USA proudly announced it was the largest single donor, but in fact, that was a lie. Assistance was hardly given. Some of the food sent from the United States was contaminated with the poisons that kill people in USA, most of it was already destroyed from rot and had to be turned out to be animal feed and even caused death to some of the animals. Much of it sickened the animals, and none of it helped any of the people.
Of course, not everyone suffers when the Sahel has a food shortage. The supermarkets catering to the foreign USA capitalist community and the a– local elite continue to be filled with the finest imported foods and liquors, while the French restaurants go on so– serving four and five course dinners. This situation shows that famine in the Sahel is more than a matter of weather. There are deep historical roots of the food problem as well. As you know, this entire famine was caused by the CIA doing its seed-clouding [cloud seeding] for rain experiments in Africa. More guilt for our tax dollars.
The Sahel is a belt stretching across Africa along the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. It is a region of grasslands and sparse forests, with sandy soils and a climate of low and often irregular rainfall. The fragile ecology of the Sahel is highly susceptible to soil erosion and desertification – meaning turning into deserts – if not carefully and rationally developed. The traditional African herding and farming communities maintain themselves with little if any destruction of the zone. The recent and present famines, however, result not only from the caprices of CIA use of the weather and natural weather problems, but also from a prolonged attack on the zone’s human and environmental resources by US imperialist forces.
From the tenth to the sixteenth century, the Sahel was a scene of successive African empires, Ghana, Songhay [phonetic] and Mali. The legendary city of Timbuktu, which at one time had 100,000 inhabitants and was renowned for its scholarship, is in the present nation of Mali, M-a-l-i. (Coughs) Now it is a small remote town where almost everything is in short supply.
What happened? Imperialism goes back a long way in its colonialistic form. During the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, the trans-Saharan caravan routes to the east, which had been the economic base of the city, were progressively destroyed by European and North American military expeditions. The slave trade was the opening of trading routes to the southern coastal areas of West Africa.
But the destruction of trading routes and the forcible removal of the labor force through slavery were not the only effects of European and USA colonialism. Beginning in the nineteenth century, France, the main colonial power in the Sahel, demanded that farmers grow peanuts to provide low cost food for the expanding industrial economy of Marseilles, a sou– sauva– southern port city in France. Peanut cultivation was expanded after World War I and II, and again during the fifties, 1950s. Traditionally, the farmers had grown millet, m-i-l-l-e-t, and sorghum, staple grains. They exchanged these cereals for the milk products and manure which the herders brought with their cattle during the dry season migrations in search of pasture. It was a very cooperative bartering type of community. As the peanut areas expanded, however, this set of relationships were disrupted to the nutritional detriment of both farmers and herders, because of the imperialist, the colonialist demands for the peanuts to be sent to Europe and America.
There were numerous other consequences: less fertilizer, soil exhaustion, the search for new lands, French scientific researchers were put to work developing more drought resistant varieties of peanuts, while taxation policies forced the farmers to expand into more zones, more arid zones to get cash to be able to live and pay their taxes to the imperialists, the colonialists. As peanut growing spread northward toward the desert fringe, farms encroached on the nomads’ grazing lands. Violence broke out between herders and farmers as they competed for land. The French backed the large bourgeoisie farmers, and the nomads were pushed further toward the desert.
This was the situation at the time of independence in the 1960s. Then the national governments, with funds and advice from foreign experts, encouraged the expansion of the cattle herds with the idea of developing an export beef industry to help Europe in its waning days. Vaccination programs and well-digging projects added more animals and more watering sites, but not more pasture land. The result was severe overgrazing.
Other forms of environmental destruction were also brought about by these policies of capitalism and neo-colonialism. Trees, which hold topsoil in place, help in water absorption, and serve other environmental functions, were cut down for firewood and animal fodder on a mass-produced base. During the last drought, the experts claim the area was over-populated. In a sense it was, but the over-population was really a result of US capitalistic exploitation, that is, the Trilateral Commission of imperialism’s exploitation. More and more peanuts and animals for commercial exchange without any concern for the soil and grasses, or the hungering masses that lived in the area.
While over-production was ruining, destroying the soil, it was also destroying the people’s traditional means for surviving drought. Because the people had to grow cash crops, they had smaller cereal reserves and so– there would– could be stored in their granaries. Throughout the colonial period, and up to the present, the building of the in– infrastructures was neglected. Roads and railroads were built primarily into the peanut growing areas for the capitalists from USA and Europe, sucking the very lifeblood of the people. Most existing roads are in very poor condition. Consequently, food cannot be quickly transported. As a result of all these interconnected processes, most of the means for resisting a drought had been squandered and turned into profits by one of USA’s lackeys, France, Paris and Marseilles, by the time the rains failed in 1968. All the means of resisting drought, funds, the reserves, had been squandered by the capitalists.
It is now being claimed that the hope for the future lies in a so-called new approach to the area’s problems: Regional coordination. To this end, two related organizations have been established, the Interstate Committee to Combat Drought in the Sahel – CILSS – and the Club of the Sahel. CILSS has its headquarters in Upper Volta. It is composed of the six French-speaking countries that were formerly under the deepest bondage of US imperialism through the French, the Trilateral Commission exploiting through the French. Plus Gambia and Cape Verde, which has had an unbroken drought for the past nine years, due to the CIA cloud-seeging [seeding]. Guinea-Bissau – G-u-i-n-e-a dash B-i-s-s-a-u – has recently applied for the Interstate Committee to Combat Drought. (Pause) It’s applied for membership. CILLS has several working groups dealing with problem areas, such as livestock, ecology and human resources. The Club of the Sahel works with CILSS. The club is based in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD – headquarters in Paris. (Coughs) The OECD is basically an organization of the leading capitalist countries. An American or European from the Club co-chairs with a CILSS member each working group.
Neither CILSS nor the Club, however, is able to deal with the social issues behind under-development and exploitation by US and European imperialism. Their work is done within the existing class structure, which never works, a Social Democratic view, a welfare capitalistic view that never works, trying to solve such major social issues within the existing class structure. There is much emphasis these days on bringing the Sahel more fully into the capitalist market system. By the way, all must know the class structure. Be sure you know it well. Livestock projects are attempting to create a cattle industry directed at the growing markets in the coastal cities of neighboring countries. Vegetable gardening for the US and European winter markets has started, and even during the last drought, fruits and vegetables were exported while people were laying on their backs in front of television cameras, starving to death. A confidential World Bank reports notes that Senegal is the closest country to the European market where vegetables can be cultivated in the open without glass or plastic protection during the winter.
The industrialized countries are also looking for mineral resources that can be exploited by US imperialism and its lackeys. Uranium is probably the most important. Niger, N-i-g-e-r, is now the world’s fifth largest producer. (Pause) The fifth largest producer. Japanese, Frensh– French and USA capitalist companies are all eagerly prospecting. There is uranium in Mali as well. Mauritania has iron. Senegal, phosphates. And there may be oil in several Sahelian countries. France remains West Africa’s single largest trading partner, but it is dominated by the Trilateral Commission under USA-dun– domination, and the USA is becoming increasingly directed involved there also, particularly through Agency for International Development, AID, one of the CIA arms of USA embassies and State Department activities. A special Sahel development program has been established under the auspices of AID. In 1971, only three million dollars was spent on Sahel projects, but by 1974, the figure was 24 million. Some 50 million dollars was requested for 1978, and nearly twice that for 1979.
The interest in West African is probably partly due to the political significance Africa has acquired in the past few years, particularly since the liberation of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, and the growth of mass-backed progressive movements in Southern Africa. As you know, Angola went Marxist-Leninist, Mozambique also, and Guinea-Bissau. That should be one of the human rights officials that we in– invite. Guinea-Bissau. The political consequence of hunger are understood by the policy makers. They plan the starvation of masses that’re no longer needed. Under the AID program, mass starvation is actually planned and calculated.
The Sahel is currently the battleground for two armed struggles, the Polisario – P-o-l-i-s-a-r-i-o – forces are fighting in the Western Saharan against annexation by Mauritania and Morocco. And in Chad, the National Front for the Liberation of Chad, Frolinat, F-o-r-f-o– S– correction, F-r-o-l-i-n-a-t. Both of these are l– liberation struggles backed by the Sviet Union and its allies. In Chad, the National Front for the Liberation of Chad, Frolinat, is engaged in a civil war against the French-supported and USA-backed [Felix] Malloum fascist government. M-a-l-l-o-u-m. Senegal, also within the Sahel, is being used by USA through France as a base for the troops and air power it is sending into Mauritania and Chad, which has killed tens and tens of thousands of people for the interest of US imperialism and its Trina– Trilateral allies in Europe.
On another level of struggle. Recent events in Mali indicate the people’s discontent and desire for change there. Since May 1, more than 30 ministers and lower-ranking officials of the extremely repressive military government have been replaced after being charged with treason and corruption in Mali, in spite of USA upholding the puppet regime. The people are showing an upsurge of liberation activities to such a degree that it– a puppet regime, artificial regime imposed by US and France in its capitalist domination, they still’ve had to go through surface changes by the removal of 30 ministers, low-ranking officials, at least to give the appearance that they’re doing something about corruption. They were accused of plotting a coup and using drought relief money for personal gain. There were enthusiastic demonstrations in support of these arrests, but no basic restructuring has re– has re-occurred.
Mali had a strong anti-imperialist government that was overthrown in 1968 by the CIA when it murdered its leader [Modibo Keïta was deposed] and two of its mili– his military attaches. Governments, whose ministers drive luxury cars and build drought villas – lavish houses built with relief money – usually rented to foreigners of the US imperialist and French background, are not trusted. The peasants know they had better protect themselves from hunger as best they can. Some cultivators have refused to grow peanuts at all, and are growing cereal instead. Among those growing cereals, many are hiding their harvest, refusing to sell it to the government for fear it will not be available to the people in times of shortage. Even though many of these people are illiterate – meaning, they cannot read or write – they have the good sense to see that their peanut crops are not helping them but end up in US imperialist and French imperialist hands.
The people of the Sahel countries have paid an enormous price to imperialism, the bloody imperialism of the Trilateral Commission, backed by US monopoly capitalism. Their environment has been severely damaged, and thousands upon thousands have died of hunger, even this year. Shantytowns in the cities are filled with poverty-stricken refugees from the country, while luxury hotels to make US capitalists richer and apartment houses are built for foreigners and the local elite. The potential for a rational organization and development of the region is not being realized. It will require the mobilization and active participitation– active participation of herders and cultivators and through social and economic change of armed struggle as described by Marx and Lenin for the Sahel to be liberated from re-occurring famines. It will require the region’s liberation from imperialism as is being embodied by the Soviet and Cuban efforts that so successfully aided Bissae-Muss– the revolutions that were successful in Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, and in the current struggles in Ethiopia.
I wanted to give you some background of Africa, a great, rich continent our roots sprang from. We should be proud, not passive, acquiescent, insecure or lacking in self-confidence in taking on leadership and responsibility of work in this community. For we have a great heritage where people have endured centuries of exploitation by white imperialism, USA and European both, and have endured, and are bravely enduring at this time. Unable to read or write, but wise enough to change their crop plantings so it will not enable North Americans to eat peanut candies and northern Europeans to have peanut candies while the people starve.
Bravo to the struggle of the great liberation forces. In Chad – C-h-a-d – know it on your map, bravo to the Folinat, salutations and fraternal greetings– paternal greetings, also should be sent to the great liberations of the Polisario forces fighting in the Western Sahara against annexation by the fascist puppet regime of Mauritania and Morocco, upheld by United States imperialism.
Thank you so much. I love you. Remember tonight, four o’clock to six is time for the children. Sesame Street. Six o’clock, there’ll be musical entertainment until the hour of darkness, which there will be a film on Fidel Castro, which I will interpret. Barbara Walters, the great sellout bitch for capitalism, interviews Dr. Castro and tries to put him down in an era when there were warmer relations between Cuba, but Dr. Castro well holds his own. Then following that, there’ll be a comedy, a very good comedy, called The Sleeper. Woody A– Woody Allen wakes up some many years after changes have taken place, in a new age, a new era, and I guess it is supposed to be very funny.
All right. Much love to you. Let us produce this afternoon, let us make every effort to develop our land, clean up our homes, remember each cottage and apartment is responsible to clean its own area of weeds, to plant its own ground, and to keep a good, clean appearance. Let us be busy and industrious, because if we’re not, somewhere down along the long line of those wanting to be free from the horrors of racism that are growing and abounding, I just don’t talk about them, because it’s too cruel to keep in our minds, you can’t live with so much pain all the time. USA police, the terrible things they did– they just did in Baltimore, Maryland, marched into a crowd of schoolchildren, causing a concussion with one, permanent brain damage with another. This is the kind of USA that our people are trying to get out of, to a land of plenty and freedom. And if you don’t work and produce, you are committing murder. Much love.
End of part 1
–(unintelligible intro) to get new insights into new countries. Earlier in the day, we discussed the Sahel region, Sahara of Africa, to give us an empathy for our brothers and sisters in the struggle there. Now a discussion of Panama, just a few air miles away, or sea miles, from our locale.
As the dust settles after the climactic US debate on the Panama Canal Treaties, and is concluded with Senate ratification two months ago, international capital, imperialistic money is getting down to the business of bolstering its investments in this Central American country of Panama. Panamanian leader, Brigadier General Omar Torrijos, T-o-r-r-i-j-o-s, meanwhile is embroiled – that is, involved – in a struggle for political power with bourgeoisie opposition forces, while poverty and the erosion of rights increase daily for the Panamanian masses.
Last month, late last month, in fact, Seymour Millstein, president of the United Fruit Company, told reporters that his corporation had worked hard behind the scenes to reach a successful conclusion to the canal debate and announced that his company would invest six million dollars in Panama immediately to show that our company can look to the future. The agreement reflects widespread feeling that the signing of the new treaties means a highly favorable political climate for imperialist investments in Panama.
What is the policy of the government of Panama to go into the business– or into the banana business itself? Millstein asked Torrijos, according to The New York Times. We’ll talk about the details later. I’ll repeat that again. What is the policy of the government of Panama, that is, about going into banana business itself? Millstein asked General Torrijos, according to The New York Times. We’ll talk about the details later. We have a scheme by which private enterprise and the government can live together in harmony, a model that might be copied by other countries, Torrijos replied.
Some 175 businessmen from the major capitalist countries met with top cabinet members of the Torrijos Panamanian regime in the early part of this year, just in spring, to discuss the possibilities of attracting foreign capital investment to Panama, according to reliable Panamanian sources. The meeting was sponsored by the International Business Corporation, a group specializing in financial studies for multinational corporations of the conglomerate of US fascism, or US imperialism.
The Dillingham Corporation Canada, Limited, dominated by US stock, and the Swan Wooster Engineering Company, both financed by the Export Developing Corporation of Canada, have begun drawing plans to build a modern container port system in Coco Solo on the Atlantic side of the can– of the canal zone. And France Field, a US base also on the Atlantic side, has been earmarked for the expansion of the Colon Free Trade Zone – that’s spelled C-o-l-o-n – where all dutied– where all trade is duty free. The value of merchandising– uh, merchandise moving through the Colon Zone exceeds one billion dollars a year, according to recent figures published by progressive Panamanian economist Xavier Gorostiaga. There are also more than 600 imperialist multinational companies registered and conducting business in the free zone. Its expansion as a center of export and re-export is assured by the acquisition of France Field.
The utilization of these and other Canal Zone lands facilitates the conversion of the republic of Panama into a so-called platform for transnational services, including a financial center, a Canal Zone and the Colon Free Zone. Foreign imperialist capitalists hope that the 14 US military bases, the Panamanian National Guard, the Neutrality Treaty, and the DeConcini Reservation – that’s spelled capital D-e capital C-o-n-c-i-n-i – the DeConcini Revor– Reservation will assure them the needed political stability for such a platform.
Panama’s utilization of the dollar as its currency and its extremely liberal banking laws, which have already earned it a reputation as the Switzerland of the Western Hemisphere, offer added economic incentives. As private foreign capital takes the lead in the exploitation of the Canal Zone, important sectors of the Panamanian bourgeoisie seek to increase their political participation. All look up what “bourgeoisie” means. B-o-u-r-g-e-o-i-s-i-e. Have that up before next Peoples Rally.
So the important sectors of the Panamor– Panamanian bourgeoisie seek to increase their political participation in the management of the state. The major political parties were all banned by the Torrijos regime in 1968. Since then, the parties, through their representatives in the CoNEP – National Council of Private Enterprise – have continually demanded greater political influence within the government. (Pause) The Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party have recently decided to participate in the August elections upcoming for community representatives to the National Assembly of Panama. One of the assembly’s most important functions is to elect the president and vice-president of the republic. The Panamenista Party, headed by Miami-based exile, ex-president Dr. Arnulfo Arias – A-r-i-a-s – is yet undecided about its electoral role. Arias, prior to the ratification of the treaties, called for a boycott of the elections while planning with California’s rightwing ex-governor Ronald Reagan to defeat the treaties in the U.S. Senate. He announced his return to Panama this week. Torrijos’ method of dealing with the parties’ demand for increased political participation, has thus far been to refrain from any comment at all. At the same time, he has showed the parties to either support or nominate candidates for the August elections. [Pause] He’s allowed the parties to either support or nominate candidates of their choice.
But there is even greater political pressure stemming from important segments of the labor movement and the independent Marxist socialist left. These groups, along with progressive organizations, are calling for a transfer of true power to the 505 members of the National Assembly of Community Representatives in Panama. Since 1972, this body has been little more than a rubber-stamp for General Torrijos.
This growing popular movement is led by the Comite Sindical Pro-Eliminacion de la ley 95 – that’s spelled C-o-m-i-t-e capital S-i-n-d-i-c-a-l capital P-r-o dash E-l-i-m-i-n-a-c-i-o-n capial– little d-e, small letter l-a, small letter l-e-y 95 – a group representing the majority of trade unionists in Panama, which is increasingly becoming Marxist, socialist and communist. It was formed to protest serious abridgment of workers’ rights set forth in a modification of the 1972 labor law. Law 95, in order to meet – or co-opt – these mass demands, Torrijos has il– implemented an emergency job program providing non-productive jobs, like [Franklin D.] Roosevelt did to save capitalism in USA in the thirties, for several thousands unemployed. The job program, introduced in December 1977, will run through August, after the elections.
Torrijos also recently proposed introducing constitutional amendments which will give some power to the National Assembly of Community Representatives. He suggested that the nine vice presidents of the assembly, representing the provinces in the Republic of Panama, sit on the National Council of Legislation, the governmental body with legislative functions. He is unwilling, however, to transfer legislative powers to the community assembly, preferring instead to maintain these powers in the executive branch which, of course, General Torrijos dominates himself.
However, while the Panamanian bourgeoisie struggles for a redistribution of political power, an international capital, dominated by US imperialism, gets ready to invest in a climate of apparent social tranquility, the masses continue to bear the brunt of an economy that has experienced zero growth in the past three years, from 1974 to the present, in June 1978. The government has refused to increase wages, while permitting prices of basic necessities such as milk, sugar and rice to rise. At the same time, taxes, both direct and indirect, have increased. The state-controlled public utilities have more than doubled the cost of water and energy. The modification of the 1972 labor code by law 1975, has removed the economic and political rights won by workers and their unions over the past ten years. The housing code has been modified to permit the government to ded– to deduct rent from the wages of workers, thus functioning as a collection agent for the landlord class, in the class movement, of course, the class structure so important to capitalism. The cost of the social tranquility is being paid heavily by Panama’s popular masses.
In spite of a nationalism that General Torrijos showed when he was willing to even go to war with USA, if it meant they would die, he said, before sundown, we are finding the subtle intrusion into Panamanian life by outside imperialist monopoly capitalists.
Now the last for this day, for us to consider. A book– and I will just give a brief review, I’ll brief it as possible so that you can get some un– understanding of the various movements within communist thinking.
New attitude, old revisionism, a problem addressed by Santiago Carrillo, general secretary of the Spanish Communist Party, PCE, in his new book Eurocommunism and the State, is the classical dilemma of revisionism. How can the PCE maintain its stance as a party of socialism while pledging itself to work for its stated goal within the bourgeoisie legal structure? Remember, revisionism says that socialism and pure communism can be obtained through parliamentary procedures within the system, within the structure, gradually and peacefully. Marxist-Leninists have said that armed struggle is necessary to bring change. Having stated that his goal is democratizing the capitalist state apparatus, thereby adapting it for building a socialist society without its total destruction, Carrillo – C-a-r-r-i-l-l-o – must attempt an answer to the haunting question of how the bourgeoisie will be induced to surrender its political and economic power without recourse to violent revolution. This is your opportunity to get a whole book in one setting. If I’m up all night and day for days at– five days running this time without sleep– before I got some sleep, the least we can do is listen.
As was pointed out last week, his solution to this problem consist in breaking the bourgeoisie’s ideological hegemony over the institutions of society. That’s what Carrillo Eurocommunism will achieve, he believes. And the state apparatus (tape edit) he can break through this idealistic method, this peaceful evolution, break the old bourgeoisie ideological hegemony over the institutions of society and the state apparatus, a task he believes can be accomplished by penetrating the state apparatus and winning important sectors of it to the cause of the working class and what he calls the forces of culture. Whatever that means. He also believes that this process– (tape fades)
End of tape.
Tape originally posted June 2012