Costa Rica General Strike

Fight Capitalists’ Attacks by Struggling for Communism

October 8—“How good that the workers rise up and fight,” said a worker from Costa Rica who now lives and works in Los Angeles. She was referring to the general strike in Costa Rica that has been going on for almost a month. Public workers are protesting the new fiscal reform, which is an attack by capitalism more than anything else on the workers’ ability to buy the daily food they need.

“I come from walking 5 kilometers, supporting the strike,” said a Red Flag reader, living in Costa Rica. Thousands of workers, teachers, farmworkers, students and others have taken to the streets in support of the strike. There has been an outpouring of large and small activities.

The global crisis of capitalism has forced large and small governments, in order to continue functioning, to tighten the rope around the workers’ necks even more by making them pay more taxes and receive fewer benefits.

But the fiercest attack of capitalism is exploitation, wage labor. The workers produce everything and the capitalists take everything, leaving the workers only enough for them to get the strength to return to work the next day. In a communist world, workers will produce only to meet the needs of the workers themselves and not for the bosses’ profits.

Union leaders have played the role of protectors of capital. Although they called the general strike, from the beginning they pushed the dangerous ideas of patriotism, nationalism and trust in the laws and the State.

They have pushed the idea that the president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, is responsible. But the truth is that Alvarado and his government are only the executioners of the day, carrying out the orders of the bosses and the big international banks.

Last Friday, October 5, the deputies voted in favor of the tax reform, to convert it into law. This makes the possibility of reversing the reform proposal even less likely.

The police unleashed a violent attack against demonstrations, hitting and arresting demonstrators. They also stopped, detained and confiscated buses which transported workers to the marches.

The government, through the courts, threatened to fire thousands of hospital workers and declared the strike illegal. This caused many workers, after a month without being paid and under threat of being fired, to return to work, weakening the strike.

Now the law goes to the Supreme Court for final approval. The union leaders are asking to defend the “autonomy” of the court, creating the illusion of depending on the institutions of capitalism to protect the workers.

This clearly shows us that the struggle for reform is a dead end. Relying on union leaders means putting the rope around our necks.

The struggle of the working class in Costa Rica and worldwide should be the struggle for a communist world. A world without exploitation, without wage labor. It is urgent that Red Flag readers in Costa Rica re-double their efforts in creating discussion groups and distributing the newspaper.

With the worker mentioned at the beginning, we have had many discussions about her questions about this struggle and the struggle for communism. She is part of a collective of communist discussion and participates in the distribution of Red Flag at a garment factory in Los Angeles, USA. Every struggle, big or small, must be a battlefield between communist and capitalist ideas.

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