Costa Rica: Strikes Show Need for a Life of Struggle

Costa Rica, Sept. 13 “No to the Fiscal Adjustment! Let the rich pay for the crisis!”

COSTA RICA—“If they want war, war is what they’ll get,” said an irate worker, after the police threw tear gas bombs on the striking workers, also affecting their families at home. There have been dozens of confrontations between the police and demonstrators blocking the roads. Dozens have been arrested. Many riot cops have been stoned.

Since September 10, thousands of government workers (teachers, electricians, and other public employees), men and women, as well as students, truck drivers, fishers and farmworkers have been in an indefinite general strike against the government’s new fiscal plan that attacks the working masses.

This plan would increase taxes on all products, including the basic food basket, by 13%. Other aspects of life like rent, professional jobs, soccer and online sales will also be affected. Everyone knows that all products will be more expensive and life will deteriorate even more.

Many protesters are furious about the high pensions that are paid to magistrates, deputies, and high government officials. For example, they say that the pension of a laborer is $150, and that of an office worker is $440, that of a magistrate is $15,000 and that of other officials can reach $30,000 a month!

The government is saying that it is in an economic crisis and to be able to pay its internal and external debts (to international banks), it needs this plan, where workers must tighten their belts. These kinds of attacks are not only happening in Costa Rica. The rebellion in Nicaragua, the mass demonstrations in Argentina, and the pacts in Mexico show the crisis of capitalism worldwide.

Costa Rican workers, men and women together, have blocked roads, confronted the riot police and gone massively into the streets. But the union leaders do not attack capitalism as the cause of this situation and do not say that communism is the solution. Instead they only attack the president and his government. Their demand is to stop these attacks and have a dialogue to negotiate the terms of exploitation and lower the fiscal attacks a little.

The mobilization of the working class in Costa Rica shows the potential to fight for a system without exploitation, a communist world. A world where money won’t exist, where there won’t be taxes to pay. We will produce collectively to meet the needs of all.

We have made a modest advance with Red Flag readers in Costa Rica. These workers must take communist ideas as their own and join us to build our International Communist Workers’ Party. They should begin by distributing Red Flag and organizing ICWP clubs.

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