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News :: International
Mexican Trotskyists on Trump and Protectionism - Workers Vanguard
01 Nov 2016

Workers Vanguard No. 1098 21 October 2016

Mexican Trotskyists on Trump and Protectionism

We reprint below an article translated from Espartaco No. 46 (October 2016), newspaper of the Grupo Espartaquista de México (GEM).

On August 31, the U.S. Republican presidential contender visited Mexico on the invitation of President Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party]. In a joint press conference, Trump set out the “shared objective” (!) of building a border wall to stop the “illegal movement of people.” Peña Nieto didn’t say anything in response—except to promise that he would reinforce Mexico’s southern border! The pathetic performance by Peña Nieto even allowed other outright imperialist lackeys, like former regional president of Coca-Cola (and of Mexico) Vicente Fox, to come off as defenders of national honor. In the process, the entire bourgeois media—from the right-wing pro-government [TV station] Televisa to the populist [newspaper] La Jornada—have been burnishing the credentials of Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats and the Republicans are twin parties of U.S. imperialism. Supporting bourgeois candidates will never serve the interests of the working class, which needs its own party. Clinton is a rabid warmonger who has established herself as the candidate of a real hall of shame of war criminals and mass murderers, including many Republicans who don’t trust Trump. Clinton was secretary of state under Obama, the “Deporter in Chief” who, as president, has carried out a record number of deportations: more than two million. While Trump unabashedly promotes chauvinist protectionism with the nonsense that NAFTA “has benefited Mexico more,” Clinton tries to balance between the same protectionism and defending the “free trade” rape of Mexico—implemented under the presidency of her husband Bill—explaining how she wants to make it even more beneficial for the U.S. NAFTA and its Central American equivalent, CAFTA, are agreements to pillage the semicolonial countries and strengthen the North American imperialists against their European and Japanese rivals. In a joint statement by the Spartacist League/U.S., the Trotskyist League/Ligue trotskyste of Canada and the GEM in 1991 we explained that “the fight against the FTA [NAFTA] is a battle against American imperialist domination of Mexico” and said, “we call on Mexican, U.S. and Canadian workers to join in opposing this anti-labor pact” (“Stop U.S. ‘Free Trade’ Rape of Mexico,” WV No. 530, 5 July 1991).

Our internationalist opposition to NAFTA is counterposed to the protectionism that is also embraced by the pro-capitalist bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO, tailing the Democratic Party. The capitalists will always go where the cost of production is cheapest in order to maximize their profits. To make foreign workers the scapegoats for the loss of jobs in the U.S. is a reactionary response that undermines the perspective of struggle by poisoning the consciousness of the working class and preventing solidarity with its class brothers in China, Mexico, Central America and elsewhere. Down with NAFTA and CAFTA! Full citizenship rights for all immigrants!

For its part, the Mexican bourgeoisie, notwithstanding the ideological differences between the technocrats of the PRI, right-wing clericalists of the PAN [National Action Party] or populists of the PRD [Party of the Democratic Revolution] or Morena [Movement for National Regeneration], is too weak to put an end to its own subordination to the imperialists. It is necessary to break with the bourgeois nationalism of [Morena leader] Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The main potential ally of the Mexican toilers is the multiracial working class in the U.S. No combination of Democrat or Republican in the White House and neoliberal or nationalist-populist in [the Mexican presidential residence] Los Pinos will fulfill the hopes of the Mexican workers and peasants for their national and social emancipation, which requires socialist revolution and its extension to the imperialist beast. The SL/U.S. and the GEM, as sections of the International Communist League, fight hand in hand to reforge the Trotskyist Fourth International, the essential instrument to carry out this perspective.
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