This is the text of the speech of Comrade Manzoor Ahmed, Member of the National Assembly in Pakistan, and editor of the Marxist paper "The Struggle", to the II International Gathering in Solidarity with the Revolution in Caracas, on April 14th, 2004.
Dear Comrades and friends,
I come from the other side of this planet to pay tribute to you, the workers, peasants and youth of Venezuela for you valiant struggle and defiance against imperialist manoeuvres and threats of aggression. I also bring with me the messages of support for your struggle from the workers, peasants, youth, trade unionists parliamentarians and left wing political activists of Pakistan.
Your defiance and resilience in this anti imperialist Struggle is a source of great inspiration and encouragement for the revolutionaries in Pakistan and around the world. I also want to congratulate President, Comrade Hugo Chavez, for his bold and courageous stand against capitalism and imperialist aggression.
The U.S. imperialism has gone berserk due to the deep and organic crisis of the capitalist system on a world scale. The imperialist aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq is the madness resulting from this desperation of the leaders. But the only thing they have brought to these lands is death and destruction. They have ravaged these societies and bombed them into Stone Age. But in spite of the huge unprecedented military might the imperialists have failed to win these wars. Rather the massive resistance of the Iraqi masses has shocked the imperialist invaders. They might have to face a fate worse than their humiliating defeat in Vietnam. This resistance has given a new courage and strength to the resolve of the oppressed around the world to fight and defeat these forces of aggression and capitalist exploitation.
I belong to the Pakistan Peoples party whose foundations lie in anti imperialist struggle and the programme of a socialist revolution. This party became a political force as a result of a mass movement that erupted in Pakistan in 1968-69. In this movement the workers had seized the factories and peasants had taken over the landed estates. Power was hanging in midair and the ruling classes had lost control of state and society. The PPP gained a mass support due to its socialist programme. Its founding manifesto called for the expropriation of imperialist assets, landed estates and national capital. The founding Chairman of the party, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became the most popular leader in the history of Pakistan. The ruling classes of Pakistan and India were so terrified of this revolutionary upsurge that they went to war to derail the revolution. After the war they had to give power to the PPP. The Z.A. Bhutto government carried out most radical reforms in the history of the country but it didn't overthrow capitalist system. This gave a new lease of life to the ruling classes and imperialist agents. As soon as they recovered they overthrew the PPP government and assassinated Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto through the gallows in April 1979. This was the result of doing half a revolution and not abolishing capitalism and imperialist interests in total. There are important lessons in this tragic episode.
While in his death cell, Bhutto wrote a small book called "If I were assassinated" in which he drew the lessons from the experiencie. He said: "I am suffering this ordeal partly because I sought an honourable and equitable middle way between conflicting interests, in order to harmonise the disjointed structure of our society. It seems that the lesson of this coup d'Etat is that a middle way, a modus vivendi, a compromise is a utopian dream. The coup demonstrates that the class struggle is irreconcilable and that it must result in the victory of one class over the other. Obviously, whatever the temporary set backs, the struggle can lead only to the victory of one class, the proletariat."
The imperialists and their toadies in our countries do not and shall not refrain from any heinous act to protect and preserve their interests and exploitation. Overthrowing their system of profit that breeds exploitation, poverty, misery, hunger and disease can only decisively defeat them.
Today Venezuela is at the crossroads. The outcome of the struggle between revolution and counter-revolution sponsored by Imperialism in Venezuela will have impacts far and wide. The victory of the revolution in your country shall strengthen revolutionary forces across the planet. It will also have implications in Pakistan. You have here a historical opportunity. By completely eradicating capitalism not only the salvation of the masses in Venezuela will come but also it would weaken imperialist aggression internationally. A socialist victory here would give a new impetus to the class struggle on a world scale and will bring the task of the emancipation of mankind more realizable. Hence your struggle is our struggle. Once again I pledge full support and solidarity from the people of Pakistan in your struggle to defeat imperialism and complete the revolution. We have launched the 'Hands Off Venezuela' Campaign in Pakistan under the guidance of El Militante and marxist.com. We have got the signatures of several trade union activists, political leaders and people from other important sections of the society. More than 50 members of the National Assembly of Pakistan have pledged support for the campaign. We are also expanding the campaign to India, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and several other Asian countries.
Go forward, Victory shall be yours.
We have nothing to loose but our chains.
We have a world to win.
Long live the socialist revolution in Venezuela!
Long live the world proletarian revolution!