Statement by the National Action Committee, passed 11/27/16
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On November 25th, 1956, Fidel Castro and eighty-one revolutionaries set sail from Mexico to Cuba; a voyage whose implications would change the course of human history.

After the successful overthrow of Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Castro governed the Caribbean island for nearly fifty years. During that time, Cuba became an international leader in education and health care and stood against U.S. imperialism with strength and courage that continues to
inspire liberation movements worldwide.

We do not view Fidel Castro and the government he led uncritically. At the same time, we do not subscribe to the broad-brush denouncements of the U.S. government and media that are based in capitalist self-interest instead of support for the Cuban people. The shortcomings of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution should be understood, not to endlessly criticize, but to learn and develop ourselves and our politics.

Our thoughts now are not only with the revolutionary leader who has passed on, but with everything that he achieved. The successful struggle to end apartheid in South Africa was made possible in large part due to Cuban intervention. While the United States and Western Europe ignored the Ebola crisis until it had reached their countries, Cuba was on the front lines in Africa with doctors and medical supplies. The Cuban Literacy Campaign in 1961, which mobilized over three hundred thousand Cubans to become volunteer teachers, brought the national literacy rate from as low as 60% to 96% and set the stage for future, international work by Cuba to improve literacy in other counties.

Countless people are alive and have a better quality of life as a result of Fidel Castro committing the Republic of Cuba to a focus on international solidarity.

The Socialist Party sends its condolences to the Castro family and the people of Cuba. Fidel Castro is gone, but his revolutionary fire lives on in the resilience of the Cuban people and in anti-capitalist struggles across the world. Our solidarity remains with the Cuban people, both in this time of mourning and in the challenging days ahead.


 
 
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Statement Written by Zachary Medeiros, SPUSA Interntional Relations Committee Chair and passed by the SPUSA National Action Committee

Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad have unleashed a new round of hell on Syrians. On November 15, while the world was still coming to terms with the election of unhinged racist buffoon and professed Putin admirer Donald Trump, the Russian fleet stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean began to unload its payload on rebel-held parts of northwestern Syria, joined by the Russian Air Force and Assad’s warplanes and helicopters. Under the guise of targeting ISIS (which has no presence in northwestern Syria) and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham/Nusra Front, they have attacked Idlib, Homs, Eastern Aleppo, and the surrounding countryside with a ferocity unseen since the start of Moscow’s farcical humanitarian pause, which ended a period of bombardment that killed more than 600 people from September 19 to October 18. Over the course of less than a week, over 200 people have been killed so far, mostly civilians. On November 19 alone, the Local Coordination Committees documented 80 deaths across Syria, with 49 killed by Russian and regime bombs just in Aleppo The White Helmets’ spokesman, Ibrahim Abu al-Laith, placed the death toll even higher, with 80 deaths in Aleppo province.  That same day, Russian and regime planes took three hospitals in Eastern Aleppo out of commission, including a children’s facility. According to witnesses, they were hit by toxic gas and illegal vacuum bombs, an allegation supported by video evidence.  The images of the destruction and carnage caused by this offensive are horrifying, stark proof of modern-day barbarity in motion.  What we are witnessing is state terrorism, high-grade butchery of near-helpless innocents carried out in full view of the world. The Socialist Party USA vehemently opposes all aerial bombing campaigns in Syria, whether they are carried out by the United States, Russia, the regime, or any other government, and we consider all attacks on civilians war crimes that must be condemned in no uncertain terms and protested en masse. It is a fact, however, that the Russian and Assadist forces are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties in Syria . For that reason, we specifically call for an end to the murderous onslaught of Moscow and Damascus, which has already slaughtered so many and promises to slaughter many more, and we support all campaigns, but especially those organized by Syrians, to resist and stop it.

The fresh hell of the Russian-led offensive comes as the last of Eastern Aleppo’s food aid has run out, leaving its roughly 250,000 residents trapped with no supply route to the outside world, at risk of starvation with winter fast approaching.  Aleppoites do not suffer alone in these conditions. The Assad regime has habitually used starvation or the threat of it as a weapon throughout the war, wielding hunger and sickness along with bombs, shells, and missiles as clubs to beat rebellious but besieged communities into submission, as they did in Daraya and so many other places.  There are currently one million Syrians living under siege across Syria, predominately at the hands of the Assadist forces . In addition to an end to the bombings, we call for an end to these barbaric sieges, and the immediate emergency delivery of mass humanitarian airdrops to Eastern Aleppo, Douma, East Ghouta, and all other besieged areas. We demand that the United Nations, which is the only international agency logistically capable of providing such aid, stop coordinating all aid work with the Assad regime, which has not only continued its savage attacks on civilians, but blocked shipments of food, water, and medicine to rebel-held areas, re-directed it to its own territory, and systematically marked humanitarian workers for death, all while accepting tens of millions of dollars in UN contracts. Last September, 73 aid organizations, civil society groups, and local councils operating within Syria suspended their cooperation with the United Nations on these grounds.  Despite the staggering evidence of the Assad regime’s crimes and the UN’s ongoing collusion, the UN leadership still denies the charges and proclaims its impartiality.  Although the UN has always been dominated by the great capitalist powers and typically served as an agent of and vehicle for their interests, it is not immune to democratic public power. We urge all allies of the Syrian people to apply pressure on the UN and all member states, to hold Damascus (and all other violators of the lives and rights of Syrians) accountable. 

Finally, we stand with the heroic efforts by the Syrian masses to survive, combat, and hopefully end the fascist and imperialist assaults on their country. The SPUSA recognizes the reality and legitimacy of the Syrian Revolution, and the inherent right of all peoples, including those ruled by self-styled anti-imperialist governments, to democratic self-determination and self-defense in the face of oppression. We side with the Syrian people, and share their dream of a free, just, and peaceful Syria. Let that be clear to all. We side with the Syrian people. 

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https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/11/18/80-killed-in-aleppo-as-regime-steps-up-assault
http://eaworldview.com/2016/11/syria-daily-lavrov-russia-is-bombing-to-stop-isis-who-are-435-miles-away/
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/air-strike-hits-children-hospital-syria-aleppo-161118163200380.html
http://www.iamsyria.org/death-tolls.html
https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/11/18/aleppo-residents-face-very-bleak-winter-with-no-aid
https://leilashami.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/daraya/
https://breakthesieges.org/en
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/08/aid-groups-un-syria-concern-assad-united-nations


 
 
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Statement by Stephanie Cholensky and Pat Noble,
SPUSA National Co-Chairs


There are moments in which all of you can do is turn your head in shame. This is one of those moments.

After an election cycle in which the Democrats abandoned all pretense of being progressive and the Republicans entered unchartered waters with a right-wing, populist nominee, we have made it past election day.

This election began with the understanding that, regardless of which nominee from the two capitalist parties was elected, the working class would lose out. On the Republican side, a crowded field of seventeen candidates gave rise to Donald Trump; a nominee whose hate-filled rhetoric and racist proposals have allowed the far-right to enter the political mainstream. On the Democrat side, the coronation of Hillary Clinton to continue Barack Obama and George W. Bush's fifteen year War on Terror was briefly interrupted by Bernie Sanders, but has since continued on with Sanders as one of her most vocal advocates.

Now we look to the next four years, in which Donald Trump will be the President of the United States. We look to conflicts throughout the world in which hundreds of thousands of people are dead as a result of United States foreign policy. We look to a refugee crisis of almost five million people and a country more interested in denouncements or ignorance than acceptance. We look to an increasingly militarized police force that has not been held accountable for their violence against black communities. We look to the people around us that are drowning in debt and receiving a fraction of what could be considered a living wage. We look to a climate crisis spiraling out of control and any chance of saving the planet slipping away.

We look to the new president with no hope or expectation that any of these crises will be addressed in a meaningful way.

The election of Donald Trump signals the beginning of a new and dangerous chapter in United States history. It seems surreal that sixty million people could give support to a candidate who spoke openly about sexually assaulting women, proposed unprecedented discrimination against Muslims, and advocated for deporting millions of Latinx people. Through the election of Donald Trump, the alt-right has shed the “alt” and been empowered to operate openly. The election of Mike Pence to the vice presidency, despite his disgusting positions on open discrimination against the LGBT community, is also deeply disturbing. This all underscores how toxic, hateful, and fearful large parts of American culture continue to be.

This is not to say that Hillary Clinton was a suitable option. We recognize that electing the first woman to the presidency is an important and long-overdue milestone for the United States, but it is incredibly disheartening that the first woman president would have stood in support of the status quo radical feminists have fought so hard to dismantle. Having a woman hold the highest office of government is a hollow victory if that woman perpetuates the systemic oppression that cemented women’s status as second class citizens in the first place. When political leaders slash welfare, privatize entitlements, loosen environmental restrictions, bust unions, and send poor people to fight in yet another war: the race, gender, or political party of those leaders means little to the working poor, because the result for them is still the same.

There will be strong criticism levied against the third and alternative parties that ran in the presidential election. Specific to the Left, we will hear that we are responsible for Donald Trump's election because we ran against Hillary Clinton. Let's be perfectly clear on this: The Democratic Party is not entitled to the vote of every person who does not vote Republican. Hillary Clinton ran an unapologetically pro-Wall Street campaign and secured her party's nomination through an openly rigged primary process. She supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, instigated the Libyan Civil War and subsequent regime change, and enforced a foreign policy that is directly responsible for the Syrian Civil War and refugee crisis. No legitimate socialist or socialist organization would give support to such a person without betraying everything that socialism stands for.

The Republican and Democratic Parties have consistently failed to empower or defend the interests of the working class, and in many cases are directly responsible for the attacks on them. They exist to monopolize political power and represent the interests of capitalism.

Dark days are ahead. None of us know the specifics on what laws the Trump administration will push to enact or repeal, but we have all heard his rhetoric and seen his supporters. There is nothing any of us can say to make this better. What we can do is organize. What we can do is defend our neighbors and stand with the communities that will be under attack from President Trump and his right-wing army of supporters. What we can do is organize ourselves into an effective opposition.

Any hope for progress we have lies with us, our neighbors, our co-workers, our communities, and our working class that has the collective power to challenge capitalism and build a new system in its place.

To that end, we invite you to join the Socialist Party. Together, we can work to build a mass movement built on revolutionary politics and dedicated to ending this oppressive system called capitalism.


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There are a number of people that we would like to pay tribute to in this statement. Michael Anderson, who was the Socialist Party's nominee for Michigan State Representative in the 70th district, secured 5% of the vote in a three-way race. Jarrod Williams, who was the Socialist Party's nominee for United States Senate in Nevada, secured over 6,800 votes in the race to succeed Harry Reid. Seth Baker, who was endorsed by the Socialist Party in his campaign for Maine State Senate in District 27, secured 17% of the vote in a three-way race and out-polled the Republican candidate. Thank you all for your willingness to stand as advocates for democratic socialism in your respective races.

We would like to recognize Matt Erard, who serves at the Socialist Party's Campaign Clearinghouse Coordinator. Both in this election and elections past, Matt's knowledge and insight on ballot access has been a tremendous asset to Socialist Party candidates. Thank you for your continued dedication to our Party's electoral action.

We would like to recognize and thank all of the Socialist Party members and supporters throughout the country that worked on the Soltysik/Walker presidential campaign. Between ballot and write-in status work, organizing events for the campaign, and promoting the campaign on social media and in your communities, you all have made this the most positive and energetic Socialist Party campaign in recent memory.

Finally, and on behalf of the entire Socialist Party, we would like to pay tribute to Mimi and Angela for standing as our presidential ticket. The amount of time and energy that went into the presidential campaign is extraordinary and deserves to be recognized. The campaign's message of looking beyond our isolated circles and to our communities to organize for radical politics was a perspective that we desperately needed to hear. There is no question that countless people across the country will be better organizers for having come in contact with the Soltysik/Walker campaign and the ideas it put forward. Love and thanks to you both for all of your work.

 
 
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Passed by the SP USA National Action Committee

The following statement is made by the Socialist Party USA in solidarity with the water protectors fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, American Indians, and Indigenous Peoples everywhere.


The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation of North Dakota, and thousands of their allies, have united to stand up against the corporation, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), who threatens their natural water source, the Missouri River, and sacred cultural sites with plans to build a 1,172 mile long oil pipeline that crosses three other states, dubbed the *Dakota Access Pipeline.*

According to the news agency, Reuters, a subsidiary of ETP has had more oil spills/leaks than ANY of its competitors, and is tasked to be the operator of this project. This pipeline has the risk to leak into the Missouri river and poison the water supply of the reservation and all forms of life downstream.”[1]

As conflict around the construction of the DAPL continues, President Obama has stated, “the path of the pipeline can be diverted to avoid Native American sacred sites.[2]” However, we condemn ANY further
pipeline building.

“The Socialist Party recognizes the right of all people to equal treatment under the law, and to a humane criminal sanction system based on prevention, mediation, restitution, and rehabilitation rather than on vengeance, forced labor, and profits for the prison-industrial complex.[3]”

We read the high number of arrests and the exaggerated sentences (45 years and felonies for trespassing and conspiracy charges) to be an act of desperation by the law enforcement officers of a criminal justice system acting erroneously under the pressure that weighs upon those choosing to defend capital, rather than humanity.

The Socialist Party USA’s Platform also calls for public ownership and democratic control of all natural resources in order to conserve resources, preserve wilderness areas, and restore environmental quality. It also calls for the development of alternative energy sources including solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass to end dependence on fossil fuels.

The American Indian Student Association asks you to support the people of Standing Rock and protect the environment. Consider the role the Lakota and other tribes at Standing Rock are playing as it asks people to consider that water is life—not only in the global environmental sense which cautions the need to preserve this as a resource for people of the future—but also that in this immediate moment water is living, is a part of our bodies, is life.

Love water, not oil!

#NoDAPL

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[1] Thanks to the Central American United Students Association at Cal State Northridge for their input on this statement.

[2] http://fusion.net/story/365107/obama-dapl-standing-rock-rerouting/

[3] http://socialistparty-usa.net/platform.html