May 31, 2020

A solidarity message from Guatemala in the wake of the death of George Floyd

From: José Alfredo Zarazúa Sesám, Guatemala City, Guatemala

To: The National Comrades of Color Caucus of the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women

Dear Compañeras and Compañeros.

I agree with the statement you issued on May 30 in response to the police murder of the Afro American man George Floyd.

In your statement entitled, “I can’t breathe” six years later -- and the fight against police violence continues, you call for unity to make the police accountable for their actions. I agree with this as well as the following words in your statement: "Capitalism and the police go hand-in-hand and we can only fight for a real accountability through the multiracial solidarity of the working class."

Given the current situation, it is important to recognize what you, as the people of the U.S., have experienced over time during many different stages. These include the invasion of Native American land by the English, the colonial period, your country’s independence from the British, the period of the enslavement of Africans and people of African descent, the War of Secession, the liberation of slaves, and the emergence of the U.S. as an economic and political superpower. At the same time, the U.S. working class has made important contributions internationally such as the worldwide celebration of Labor Day/May Day and commemoration of International Women’s Day. These are two especially important contributions you have made. There are others.

The current uprising against racism and white nationalism is a turning point in the history of abuse of the African descendant population, the Latino population and the Indigenous American population, since these groups deserve the same rights as every other human being.

What happened to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Why is it that all U.S. administrations have refused to sign even a single international agreement regarding human rights? These include the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families, the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, the Convention against Torture (and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment), and the International Covenant of San José in Costa Rica, among others.

The answer is obvious. No imperialist government wants to have their hands tied when violating the very rights they claim to respect, fulfill, and protect.

However, one would expect the U.S. government to respect these rights when it comes to its own citizens. However, this is not the case since these rights are applied selectively in the U.S. to bolster the institution of white supremacy.

The current moment is particularly important because it brings together Afro Americans, whites, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Indigenous Americans to put an end to the police state and demand respect for all human beings -- for just being human.

José Martí, the Cuban liberator, wrote in the 19th century "Don't say Indigenous, don't say Black, don't say white, just say human being and you've said everything."

That phrase is valid and will continue to be valid as long as women and men exist on this Earth.

Comrades, I stand in solidarity with your struggles from this relatively much smaller Guatemala that has suffered so greatly due to discrimination, structural and political violence, the persecution of thought, the closure of organizing spaces, the super exploitation of labor -- and now the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Guerry says, it is in the streets that the struggle for change is won. They will hurl insults at us. They will call us leftists and communists. They will threaten us. But the organization of the working class will continue. It is by planning, action, and constant analysis that we will achieve the victory that we all desire.

Take heart and take care of yourselves. José Alfredo Zarazúa Sesám