Lesson from Elections in El Salvador

Build ICWP as the Alternative for the Working Class

El Salvador, May Day, 2016 Mobilize the Masses for Communism

EL SALVADOR, March 11—“In the factory there are comments that the fmln simply reaped what they had sown,” said a comrade from the maquila, a statement that sums up exactly what happened in the latest elections in El Salvador.

The elections for mayors and deputies the first weekend of March were a disaster for the fmln and its electoral strategy. The legislative assembly will be made up mostly of deputies from the right-wing parties. They won’t need to take the fmln into account to pass the laws that they want in the next three years.

The defeat of the electoral bourgeois “left” is not due to massive support for the right, but rather it is a vote of punishment and abstention. ARENA, the winning right-wing party, actually a fascist party with a long history of anti-worker violence, did not increase its vote count. In these elections they actually got fewer votes than the last time. The masses who had supported the fmln in the past decided to stay home this time or turn in a blank ballot.

The fmln leadership blamed the media and criticized public workers in the different ministries of the government. But their electoral defeat did not come about due to tactical errors or organizational problems.

The electoral parties of the supposed left, like the fmln, are being discarded internationally. Their inability to humanely manage such an inhuman system as capitalism has made traditional tools of struggle obsolete. However, this creates the need to build something new.

This something new is the International Communist Workers’ Party (ICWP). Our strategy is to mobilize the masses for communism. That is why we base our organization among the working class in El Salvador and around the world. Although the fmln has a history of decades of struggle by the masses in this country, it never fought for communism, and it underestimated the need to mobilize the working class masses. By becoming an electoral party, it discarded the most important lesson of the Paris Commune: the need to smash the bourgeois state.

Disenchantment with the electoral “left” is a valuable opportunity to mobilize the masses for communist revolution. As a consequence of the election results, many students, factory workers, farmworkers and public workers have intensified their desire to fight for a new world. In the university, students are holding broad meetings to discuss what should be the line of a new left. In the factories, workers increasingly see organization as necessary, knowing that a decade of right-wing governments is ahead. Public workers are getting ready to fight against the cuts that the IMF and World Bank have demanded from the Salvadoran state.

“We have to organize our own. We have to learn from the mistakes of the fmln so that we never find ourselves in the situation that they are in now,” commented a maquila worker. The organization of more ICWP clubs and strengthening those that exist is our main task. We must convert ICWP into the masses’ alternative to build a decent life for all.

For ICWP to be the alternative for the working class it must continue its process of formalizing the Party’s structures in El Salvador. We must continue the process of collective teaching and learning of communist ideas, the mass distribution of our propaganda and develop a new communications strategy that adapts to the new forms of communication internationally.

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