Australian and New Zealand socialists support Chavez's call for a new international organisation of the left

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Socialist Alliance members in Caracas.

Dear comrades,

December 3, 2009 -- On behalf of the Socialist Alliance of Australia, we would like to send warm, socialist greetings to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), thanking you once again for the invitation to participate in the International Meeting of Left Parties held in Caracas, November 19-21, 2009.

The outcomes of this event are already having an important impact on the world, particularly among left and progressive forces, and we are grateful that we could be part of it and contribute to its success in our own modest way.

Similarly, we believe that the PSUV’s Extraordinary Congress, which began on November 21, is of great significance, not just for revolutionary forces in Venezuela, but for the left internationally. We hope to follow the proceedings of the congress, particularly through the reports and articles that our members Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes will be sending us from Venezuela, where they are currently based.

Both of these events come at a time where the international left is beginning to come out of a period of crisis under the devastating impact that neoliberalism has had on the working class internationally. The clearest example of the advance of left and revolutionary forces is in Latin America. The revolutionary processes underway in Venezuela and Bolivia, together with Cuba’s enduring struggle for more than 50 years, today represents the frontline of the fight for a better world.

We also understand that the left today is confronted with the greatest crisis that capitalism has ever seen; a crisis which goes far beyond a simple financial crisis. The economic crisis, the environmental crisis, the food crisis, the energy and natural resources crisis represent in their totality a structural crisis of the capitalist system itself.

More than ever, the response of the left must be global and must be for the replacement of this system, which threatens to plunge the world into barbarism. The only other alternative today is socialism, which must be built internationally.

For this reason, we greatly welcome the outcomes of the International Meeting of Left Parties, which your party convened, and reaffirm our support for the final declaration.

We also convey our support for the call for a Fifth International, and our willingness to participate in whatever way possible to ensure its success. The unity of left and revolutionary forces is vital if we are serious about replacing capitalism.

We believe that all those struggling for socialism need to coordinate our efforts, and the proposal for a Fifth Socialist International goes clearly in that direction. In this respect, we believe that there are many other left forces in the Asia and Oceania region that would be willing to join efforts in the construction of such an International.

Finally, we reiterate our thanks for the invitation to participate in this historic event and wish you all the best for your Extraordinary Congress.

In solidarity and struggle,

Margarita Windisch, Bea Bleile and Dick Nichols

Socialist Alliance national conveners.

New Zealand-Socialist Worker on the historic decision to form socialist Fifth International

By Grant Morgan

November 29, 2009 -- UNITY -- A meeting of 55 left organisations from 31 countries, held in Caracas on 19-21 November 2009, passed a resolution to convene a global left conference in Venezuela next April that will form an international socialist coalition (to be known as the "Fifth International").

Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, called for the creation of "the Fifth Socialist International as a new organisation that fits the time and the challenge in which we live, and that can become an instrument of unification and coordination of the struggle of peoples to save this planet”.

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President Chavez addresses conference of left parties.

Chavez said it would be a new body without manuals and impositions, where differences were welcome. He criticised the practices of the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which imposed its dogmas such as “socialism in one country” on its satellite parties internationally...

Chavez said the new international should reject the failed projects of “real socialism” and social democracy. It should embody the spirit and heritage left to humanity by the founders of the first four internationals. It should also incorporate the ideas of past Latin American revolutionaries.

It has to be an international to confront imperialism, and defeat capitalism, said Chavez. He said it was necessary to work together to create a manifesto to spell out the content of “socialism of the 21st century”.

Chavez gave a swift and sharp response to a delegate’s interjection that there already exist organisations for left coordination. There exist many spaces for discussion, said Chavez, but none for concrete action. “We have wasted a lot of time, we continue to waste time, looking for excuses to justify our inactivity”, said Chavez. “I consider such behaviour to be a betrayal of the hope of our peoples.” The unity of left parties is needed, “but [of] parties that are truly left”.

Decisions of Socialist Worker-New Zealand

On November 29, 2009 the central committee of Socialist Worker-New Zealand unanimously decided:

● The Caracas decision to move towards forming a Fifth International is of "world historic importance". Such a Fifth International will "boost the legitimacy and organisation of socialism around the world" at a time when global capitalism in terminal decay threatens the existence of humanity through climate change, mass poverty and imperial conflicts.

● Consequently, Socialist Worker-New Zealand will do all we can to support the April 2010 global left meeting to form a Fifth International.

● Socialist Worker-New Zealand is looking to send two delegates to the April conference. We are launching an appeal to raise funds for their return air fares to Caracas.

● Socialist Worker-New Zealand will be talking with other socialists in New Zealand about the April 2010 global left conference. Our aim is to cooperate with all those who, like us, support the formation of a Fifth International.

● Socialist Worker-New Zealand will be urging socialists in other lands, including the International Socialist Tendency to which we are affiliated, to likewise back the formation of a Fifth International.


Grant Morgan

International secretary

Socialist Worker-New Zealand

PO Box 13-685


New Zealand


+64 9 634 4432 (10am-10pm NZT)