By: Gilberto López y Rivas
The fundamental proposal of the seminar of critical reflection: “The walls of capital, the cracks on the left,” –convoked by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) in the installations of CIDECI-University of the Earth, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, from April 12 to 15 of this year–, was to analyze the international, national, legal, political and ideological context around the proposal to create an Indigenous Government Council for Mexico, from which will result an independent woman candidate for the 2018 presidential elections. Besides those invited to develop each one of the agreed upon themes, the EZLN’s Sixth Commission and three delegates from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) participated actively in the sessions, contributing reflections that will be used as input for the CNI meeting next May.
Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés initiated the gathering remembering, clearly and dramatically, starting with conversations with indigenous elders, the fincas of the past, with their extreme forms of exploitation, which included the strenuous labor of men, women children and old ones, violent structures of domination, cruel physical punishment, the use of peons as beasts of burden [animalization] for transporting the woman of the plantation owner over the difficult roads of that time, the use of cattle bosses, overseers, majordomos as instruments of violence and the owner’s absolute control of their lives; all that Dantesque hell from which only some peons escaped that collectively founded a community in rustic and secluded territories. This description was useful to Sup Moisés as an allegory for signifying today’s capitalism, in which countries no longer exist as such, but rather exist as fincas on which the capitalist owner rules, while the governments are no more than overseers, majordomos and cattle bosses at its service.
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, rummaging in the papers of the late Subcomandante Marcos and in the last conversation, read an important text: “Kagemusha: April is also tomorrow,” in which he makes a sharp critique of the social science developed during the period in which the Soviet Union held itself up as the central command of revolution all over the world. “The science of history, political economy, stopped being science and abandoned scientific analysis, substituting it with the slogan. If reality didn’t coincide with the Central Committee’s vision, reality was catalogued as reactionary, petty bourgeois, divisive, revisionist, and many more “similar isms.” In this context of manuals and dichotomous visions of a bipolar world, the Cuban Revolution irrupted with its memorable leaders: Fidel, Camilo and Che. “After a long calendar of defeats in that pain called Latin America, an entire people organized and changed their destiny and extended their name. Since the failed mercenary invasion with United States sponsorship, Cuba was called Fidel and Fidel Castro had Cuba as the last name of resistance and rebellion, of struggle. The smallest country, the most despised, the most humiliated, rose up and, with its organized action, changed the global geography. The statesman that the Cuban people put in front, in a few years practically erased the other “world leaders” and, as had to be, extremes convoked around his figure: a few to flatter, others to attack. Only a few looked and learned that something new had emerged and that the Cuban Revolution not only had broken the domination that the empire of the stars and stripes imposed over all of America, the ‘rough and brutal north.’ It had also smashed the already gutted social theory that was shepherded by the managers that, in the whole political spectrum, are the constant and never the exception. […] Perhaps, it occurs to me now, the sand of this hourglass is Playa Girón  sand, which is how they call that crack in the wall of capital and that, with its persistence, taught us all that the great and powerful can be defeated by the small; and weak when there is organized resistance, impertinent boldness and horizon. Let me tell you that the late Sup Marcos, and not only him, felt a great admiration for the Cuban people and a profound respect for Fidel Castro Ruz.”
Carlos González, of the National Indigenous Congress, warned that neoliberal capitalism means a war of destruction of the indigenous peoples and of Mexico as a nation, also, taken to its ultimate consequences, the very destruction of humanity, because of which the Government Council and the indigenous candidacy respond to this possible drift of the capitalist system. In the seminar’s closing, Subcomandante Moisés reiterated the necessity of organizing to fight in the whole world against the new finqueros;  he commented that you don’t have to be much of an expert to know how capitalism exploits on other continents and he urged everyone to be experts in how to destroy capitalism; to not just study but to practice what you have studied in order to advance. He commented that revolution and change must be for all the men and women of the world, as well as justice, democracy and freedom must be for everyone. He pointed out that now the compañeros and compañeras of the CNI call to get organized in order to fight against capitalism in the countryside and in the city. He insists that the call is not for seeking the vote, but rather so that millions of poor people in the countryside and the city will organize to destroy capitalism in the world. The problem is not voting or not voting, the problem is capitalism; it is the exploitation that we suffer. “There is no other path, the remedy for these evils that we suffer because of capitalism is to organize ourselves; that’s what the tour of the candidate and the Indigenous Government Council is about, it’s like a commission that’s going to make its national tour, to call on each other to ORGANIZE OURSELVES.”
It’s everyone’s responsibility to put into practice the most adequate forms of struggle and to develop bodies centered on the Indigenous Government Council for Mexico and the candidate of the CNI and the EZLN. We certainly have no other option than to make the earth tremble at its core.
- Playa Girón is the beach on the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, where on April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched a failed invasion of Cuba.
- Finqueros are the owners of the estates or cattle ranches on which indigenous peoples were oppressed and exploited as serfs.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, April 21, 2017
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee