MEXICO: The Fight to Cancel the Fraudulent July 1 Presidential Election! - Statement by the OPT and Interview with Luis Vasquez of the Socialist Workers Organization
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKERS AND PEOPLE (OPT) (*)
"For national liberation and social emancipation"
UNITY OF ALL ORGANIZATIONS TO DEMAND THE CANCELLATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!
(Unity of Morena, Yo Soy #132, Proclama, the social organizations, etc.!)
Enrique Peña Nieto was "created" by the media dictatorship, by U.S. imperialism, and by the oligarchy of Mexico.
They have sought to impose Peña Nieto in order to privatize Pemex [national oil corporation] and the CFE [Federal Electricity Commission], suppress labor rights, destroy social security, expand the so-called "war on drugs" -- in addition to dismantling the nation.
The elections of July 1 have profoundly altered the political landscape in the country. We have entered into a period of mass protests against the electoral fraud. This is creating a new political opening through which the movement for democracy is developing, placing front and center the question of the government.
Peña Nieto's designation as a "winner" of the election is the result of a process that is both illegitimate and illegal. Throughout his campaign, huge financial resources were devoted to buying votes (mainly through redeemable grocery-store gift cards), the manipulation of election polls, the use of the mass media, and outright coercion.
Immediately after the election, the ruling National Action Party (PAN) and current President Felipe Calderón recognized the election of Peña Nieto. A few hours later, Barack Obama, on behalf of the U.S. government, congratulated Peña Nieto for the election results provided by the IFE [Federal Electoral Institute].
Even then, Peña Nieto only obtained 24% of the votes of the total registered voters. [Left-wing candidate] Andrés Manuel López Obrador claims that 5 million of those votes were bought.
U.S. imperialism and the Mexican oligarchy have "created" Peña Nieto to impose the counter-reforms that Calderón could not complete or carry out: privatize Pemex and CFE, destroy the edifice of labor rights and social security, as well continue with the "war on drugs" to increase the violence and chaos and thus turn over the wealth of the nation to the foreign corporations.
And to accomplish this aim, Peña Nieto has just hired the former director of the Colombian police, General Oscar Naranjo, who is an agent of the U.S. government and who has a long record of repressing social movements, in particular trade unions, in Colombia.
RESISTANCE TO FRAUD
The youth have risen up in the struggle for democracy. Mass marches on June 10 and 30, and again on July 7, expressed the sentiments of millions of workers and people who voted for López Obrador or who abstained or cast spoiled ballots. This struggle began with a movement against Peña Nieto.
Young people are focusing their outrage and that of an entire nation around the slogans of "For a Mexico Without the PRI!" - "Down With Peña Nieto!" and " Democracy, Democracy!" And they have characterized the IFE as the "Electoral Fraud Institute."
For his part, López Obrador has not recognized the results of the elections provided by the IFE. The pressure of the masses and of López Obrador's own supporters has continued to grow around the demand to cancel and invalidate the election.
Given this situation, as the Political Organization of the Workers and People (OPT), we hereby launch this appeal for the broadest unity to fight for the cancellation of the presidential election of 2012.
We propose to struggle for the unity of all the fighting political and trade union forces because we are facing the regime of the PRI and the PAN, the oligarchy, and U.S. imperialism, which has already shown its capacity for aggression with the recent coups in Honduras and Paraguay.
We urgently need a broad and united national mobilization of Morena [the political movement of López Obrador], Yo Soy #132 [the new youth mass movement], the trade unions, Proclama, and the social organizations, for the cancellation of the presidential election.
The strength displayed by the young students in their demonstrations these recent weeks is extremely significant. It reflects the deep discontent that exists among the working masses and the oppressed across the country. But these actions are not sufficient in themselves to stop the policies of imperialism and the oligarchy. This requires a much larger force. This is why the struggle to unite all the fighting forces around the concrete demand of "Cancel the Elections!" is of such tremendous importance.
For our part, we also want to affirm that the demands raised by the youth express the aspirations of all the population. The people no longer trust the institutions of the regime of the PRI and PAN. It is therefore necessary to put forward the perspective of fighting for new institutions.
In this sense, the new political situation has opened a process of struggle for a Constituent and Sovereign National Congress and a government responsible to that Congress -- a government that can provide a solution to the pressing demands of working people and can restore the country's sovereignty.
It all depends on the mobilization of workers and their organizations -- of students and peasants -- around demands that flow from the struggle for "national liberation and social emancipation."
-- Political Organization of the Workers and People (OPT) -- July 14-15, 2012
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(*) The OPT is a multi-tendency Organizing Committee for a mass workers' party in Mexico that was launched in 2011 at the initiative of the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME).
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Inerview with Luis Vasquez, member of the Socialist Workers Organisation (OST)
[Note: The following interview is reprinted from issue no. 82 (new series; no. 451 old series) of the weekly ILC International Newsletter, July 13, 2012]
QUESTION: Following the elections that took place Sunday, July 1, in Mexico, the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) declared that the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Enrique Peña Nieto, was elected with 38% of the votes. His left-wing opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), got 32% of the votes. As for Josefina Vazquez Mota, the candidate of the National Action Party (PAN), the party in power since 2000, she came in third with 25% of the votes. Lopez Obrador has denounced a "fabricated result." What is there to this allegation?
LUIS VASQUEZ: First of all, Peña Nieto only got the vote of one out of four registered voters. Nearly 40% of the registered voters did not go to the polls. About 2% of the total votes cast were blank or invalid ballots. The massive abstention, the blank and invalid votes, and the large vote for Lopez Obrador were all the expression of the people's profound rejection of the Mexican regime and its institutions.
Then, before they had even finished counting the votes, the IFE and current President Felipe Calderon quickly recognised Peña Nieto as the "duly elected president of Mexico." There was a mad rush by everyone to convince the population that this time there had been no fraud, that everything was "legal." This included U.S. President Barack Obama, who spoke about a "free, just and transparent electoral process." Everyone fears the mobilisation of the Mexican people.
In reality, the "votes" for Peña Bieto were the product of a gigantic operation organised before the elections: agreements passed with the main TV station, Televisa; the illegal distribution of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of redeemable gift cards at the Soriana grocery stores and building materials in exchange for the promise to vote for Peña Nieto; huge sums of money for the PRI campaign, far exceeding the established campaign funding limits, mostly derived from drug laundering and financial malfeasance (Monex); and repeated doses of violence. The IFE, whose councillors are nominated by the same institutional parties, were not content to just close their eyes; they added their own manipulations during the vote count.
QUESTION: All the media are talking about the PRI's "new face." What do you think of this?
LUIS VASQUEZ: A new face? Peña Nieto has announced that he intends to continue Calderon's policies and his "reforms": VAT on medicines and on staple goods; drive to privatise the national oil company, Pemex; destruction of the national electricity company (CFE); generalisation of casual work; wages based "on merit"; destruction of collective-bargaining agreements; multiplication of the obstacles to union action and the liquidation of social protection institutions (IMSS, ISSSTE and the Ssa). And to impose these anti-worker policies, Peña Nieto has launched an appeal for "national unity".
He also wants to bring the country into a "greater integration with the United States", i.e., to make Mexico a colony of the United States. This "greater integration" can only increase the violence and the chaos caused by the "war on drug trafficking" and the Merida Plan, a military-police agreement imposed by the U.S. administration.
QUESTION: How have the people and the youth reacted to these election results?
LUIS VASQUEZ: Millions of people took part in the Lopez Obrador campaign rallies to assert their will to chase the PAN from power. Unions, like those of the miners, the electrical workers, the telephone workers, and sections of the primary school teachers, took to the streets, shouting: "Not one vote for the PRI or the PAN!" All of them are outraged over the results.
Now the youth have organised huge demonstrations with this slogan: "Out with Peña Nieto!"and "For a Mexico Without the PRI!"
QUESTION: But Lopez Obrador came in second. Does fraud explain everything?
LUIS VASQUEZ: Lopez Obrador is also, without a doubt, partly responsible for this result. He disappointed his supporters by speaking of a "loving Republic" instead of denouncing the institutions and the criminal anti-democratic regime. He also disappointed them when during the so-called debates he did not answer Peña Nieto's threats against the Mexican nation. Instead of taking a stand for a break with Calderon's policies -- that is, for a break with the PAN and the PRI -- he put forward the vision of "returning to a more serene Mexico." This vision was in total contradiction with the will to fight of the youth, who have risen up because they've had enough of the PRI.
QUESTION: What is the position of your organisation in terms of what needs to be done next?
LUIS VASQUEZ: We consider that the existing institutions in Mexico represent the interests of institutional parties, of the oligarchs in the country and of the foreign corporations.
This is precisely what the workers and people of Mexico want to do away with. For that they need candidates who call to fight for new institutions, for a sovereign constituent congress made up of true representatives of the people, to affirm policies of national sovereignty and to take the measures that address the needs of the people in terms of jobs, housing, education and health.
We are fighting so that workers of the cities and the countryside, and the youth, can have an anti-imperialist party at their disposal to put an end to the regime and its policies.
A first step in this direction has been taken with the setting up of the Political Organisation of the Workers and People (OTP) at the initiative of the Mexican Union of Electrical Workers (SME), an initiative that has already been supported by thousands of workers and youth. The Socialist Workers Organisation (OST) is a component, an organised member, of this OPT.