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PST-CI: first conference of FI supporters

Friday 11 October 2002, by Ernesto Herrera

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On June 15-16, 2002 the PST-CI (a nucleus of supporters of the Fourth International inside the Corriente de Izquierda) held its first Conference since the split in the Uruguayan ’section’ of the FI in March 2001.

In reality, it was more than anything a militant Assembly, where our own comrades (both ’old’ and ’new’) participated with activists from the social movements, militants of the Corriente de Izquierda and its national leadership, and comrades from other countries.

The agenda of the meeting centred on the regional conjuncture (socio-economic crisis, political instability, revival of popular struggles), and on the tasks that present themselves to revolutionaries in a perspective of building an anti-capitalist left. In such a sense, debate centred on the problems of tactics and strategy, of how to act in the framework of broad unity (Frente Amplio), and how to intervene in the social resistance with a socialist programmatic horizon.

For the nucleus of militants who make up the PST-CI, such a perspective of construction of an anti-capitalist left is posed in practice "starting from the Corriente de Izquierda and in the direction of a political and social left as a whole... so as to reorganize a radical left camp inside the Frente Amplio and the social movements which structure the resistance to the neo-liberal model".

Without the pretension of voting on ’balance sheets’ or ’resolutions’, still less of establishing sectarian ’organizational’ schemas, the Assembly attained its objectives: an open debate between social militants who collectivised their experiences in the popular movement, in the Frente Amplio, and in the construction of the Corriente de Izquierda.

Of extraordinary utility was the participation of comrades from the Corriente de Izquierda who did not belong to our nucleus, and with whom we share everyday militant tasks; of equal usefulness was the presence of comrade Javier Carlés of Izquierda Revolucionaria, a Uruguayan group linked to the International Socialist Tendency (whose main organization is the British SWP).

In the same way the participation of comrades from other countries allowed us to accumulate experiences, broaden our field of vision and situate Uruguay’s revolutionary struggle in the framework of a regional and international scenario of reconstruction of an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist left. Participants included: Edgard Sánchez Ramírez (Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores-Mexico), Lucio Costa (Democracia Socialista-Partido de los Trabajadores-Brazil), Daniel Libreros (Presentes Por el Socialismo-Frente Social y Político-Colombia), Antonio Rodríguez (Convergencia Popular Socialista -Paraguay), Charles-André Udry (Mouvement pour le socialisme-Switzerland), Pedro Pujals and Enrique Morales (Movimiento de Izquierda Socialista-Partido de los Trabajadores-Brazil).

Profiting from their presence we held a public meeting on June 17, to discuss the common problems facing revolutionary militants active in the popular struggles of Latin America and Europe, in the campaigns against the FTAA, against Plan Colombia and for non-payment of the foreign debt and in the World Social Forum. The urgent necessity of reinforcement of a coordination of activities in the framework of the process of regroupment of an anti-capitalist, democratic and pluralist left, emerged clearly from this debate, while the importance for the radical left of avoiding any sectarian and self-proclamatory orientation was stressed also.

There were also radio interventions and public debates with the comrades from other countries both in Montevideo and the department of Maldonado. More than 150 militants from the Corriente de Izquierda, the Frente Amplio and the social movements spoke on the situations in Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay and Mexico.

Finally the Conference received a number of greetings: from the Bureau of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, Taller de Formación (Puerto Rico), the Tendencia Socialista Revolucionaria (Chile), the collective of the review Herramienta (Argentina), comrades Juan Berterretche (Floriánopolis-Brazil), Luis Sanguinet (Madrid-Spanish state), Ruben Navarro (Lyon-France), and Eduardo Lucita (Cuadernos del Sur-Argentina) and Claudio Katz (Economistas de Izquierda-Argentina).