The Socialist Workers Party and the Militant stand for the unconditional defense of self-determination and independence for Ukraine. This is part of our communist continuity back to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. We fielded a series of reporting teams in 2014-15 to cover firsthand the working-class mobilizations in Maidan that brought down the pro-Moscow regime of Viktor Yanukovych, and the battles by workers, farmers, Crimean Tatars, Chernobyl victims and others to defend their interests from Moscow and the Ukrainian capitalist rulers alike.
We redouble our commitment to fight for this amid the murderous assaults of the regime of President Vladimir Putin, who is determined to crush Ukraine independence and rebuild a Great-Russian prison house of oppressed nations. The defeat of the Russian rulers’ invasion is in the interests of the working class in Ukraine, Russia and worldwide.
But working people in Ukraine cannot look to Washington to protect their freedom. Washington — like its imperialist rivals in Europe and elsewhere — is interested first, foremost and always in how it can protect its domination over markets and profits.
The capitalist rulers here have a long record of military interventions worldwide. U.S. intervention is always carried out under the banner of protecting people from tyranny, to disguise the fangs of a conquering power bent on exploitation, as its unmistakable record shows.
The U.S. capitalist rulers clawed their way to the top of the imperialist pecking order through a series of wars and colonial interventions — from Puerto Rico and the Philippines in 1898 through its longest-war-ever in Afghanistan. This also included invading Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and the Balkans. Their central goal today is to fight to stay on top.
Washington imposed a no-fly zone on Iraq in the 1990s, carried out in the name of protecting Kurds from the brutal Saddam Hussein regime. But in fact, the U.S. rulers stood back and let Saddam massacre an uprising of Kurds after the 1991 Gulf War. They used their no-fly zone to severely weaken Iraqi air defenses, preparing the way for Washington’s second Gulf War.
Washington’s countless interventions in Latin America have trampled on the rights of nations there to self-determination. Under the pretext of saving lives, U.S. forces invaded the Dominican Republic in 1965 and crushed a monthslong popular upsurge against a coup backed by the U.S. that overthrew a popular government. In 1989 Washington bombarded and invaded Panama, toppling a sovereign government and imposing one more submissive to the U.S. rulers.
Not one cent and not one person for U.S. imperialist intervention anywhere should be the watchword of workers and our allies.
We should look to the determined resistance of fellow working people in Ukraine and the solidarity they are inspiring from people in Russia and worldwide. This is the bedrock of the class forces that can defeat Moscow and throw off its yoke. Their struggle today is an indication of our capacities to unite, win support, and our potential power. It heralds deeper resistance and new Maidans to come.
Nothing can stop the capitalist rulers from going to war. But the decaying capitalist world order and the brutal consequences of its wars prove why working people need to set out on the road charted by workers and farmers in Cuba in 1959. They forged a communist leadership in the course of fighting to overthrow the U.S.-backed dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista, took power into their own hands and made a socialist revolution.