Message to the unemployed.

Camilo Torres

Even though it's certain that in every capitalist country, including the most developed as the United States, there always exists a great percentage of unemployed population, it's necessary to understand that in the underdeveloped countries this percentage is even greater. The lack of work, for million of men and women constitutes precisely one of the characteristics of those underdeveloped countries. And we have then that in a rich country as Colombia, our oligarchy has been unable to create sufficient industries in order to offer work to thousands of Colombians that every year arrive to the age in which they want to produce, in which they want to be converted into useful men and women for society.

That oligarchy neither wants, nor can, open new work sources. It doesn't want, because it's an oligarchy that thinks more about itself rather than the country. It prefers to draw its money for Canada or for Switzerland rather than invest it again in the country. It's an oligarchy, that because it knows how many pains has caused to the people, is afraid of it, is afraid of the revolution, and therefore prefers to draw its money rather than open new industries. It prefers to invest it in luxurious clubs and in sanctuary expenses rather than invest it in new factories. It doesn't has interest to create new inconveniences disputing the market to the Northamerican companies, neither has personality nor sufficient energy to seek in other countries - outside the United States - the necessary economic and technical help to industrialize our country. It's a conformist oligarchy that "was born tired", and that has always thought more about itself and its foreign associates rather than in the real needs of the Colombian people.

But, even if our oligarchy wanted it couldn't industrialize Colombia. Its northamerican associates will not permit it. Everybody knows that there are many companies that seem Colombian, but that they are more Northamerican than Colombian: Avianca, Peldar, Icollantas, Croydon, etc. Everybody knows that our economy depends on the coffee sales‚ that we make mainly to the United States and to the "aids" that the same United States give us. Everybody knows that our State is a charitable one that depends on the crumbs that Northamericans want to give us, and that they aren't neither interested in industrializing the country. The "aids" they give us are to build some schools, some pilot neighborhoods, perhaps some lavatories, but they will never help us to create new heavy machinery factories, factories that at the same time produce factories and open, consequently, new work fronts. Northamerica is interested to have countries that can supply it of cheap raw materials - mineral and agricultural - and that can buy to it, at high prices, products of its industry, that we need for our use. NorthAmerica rules our economy, and our oligarchy is very glad of being here its agent and its serving.

That's why the unemployed are those who more severely sustain the consequences of our underdevelopment. The misery of their homes, the anxiety of not being able to carry home the necessary market, to pay the lease, to educate children, is demonstrating to all the unemployed the need of undertake the definitive struggle against the system. They know very well that they aren't poor just because they don't want to work, but because there is no place where to work. They know that it's not because people is lazy, but by the fact that oligarchy is now the owner of work sources and it's "owner" of the State, it doesn't make nothing effective in order to truly solve our problems. Therefore the unemployed should be also head of our struggle by snatching power to that minority and give it to the majority. They should be the first in understanding the need of the fact that the people gets organized, they, who are suffering the weight of the system, they should be the first in understanding that, while people may not have been taken power, it will be impossible to solve the problems of our economy and, consequently, it will be impossible to solve the problems of each one of the Colombian households that today suffer the consequences of unemployment.

But the most serious thing is the fact that this chronic unemployment situation doesn't tend to be solved, but on the contrary, each day the problem becomes worse. There are several hundred of company petitions in the Work Ministry that request authorization to license personal. And there are many other that license them without requesting authorization. All we know that there are daily new cases of collective dismissals and we know about many small industries that are breaking down as consequence of the dollar increase, that at the same time increased dramatically theraw materials costs .

On the other hand, hundred of thousands persons have been displaced from the field to the city by the violence that oligarchy unleashed against our peasants. All they should understand that their problems solution should not come from their own hangmen, from those who created violence, from those who have mortgaged the country, from those who precisely cause misery, but the solution is in the majority hands, one of whose numerically more important sectors is that of the unemployed.

Crisis becomes worse. Oligarchy, by being more wretched each day, more egotistic and more anti-national, is launching every day new contingents of people to the revolutionary struggle. When a man or a woman do not have nothing to lose - neither even an employment with hunger salary -, when upon participating in the struggle has, all to win and only their chains to lose and when‚ this is the situation of a whole people, it means that the hour of our release is nearest each minute.

This is the struggle of a whole people against a handful of oppressors, whose only support are foreign support and weapons, and in that struggle the people will win because there are no capable forces of preventing the victory of a united people that fights by its rights, that fights inspired in noble and generous ideals. Before dying by hunger, cold, before suffering more misery and humiliations, people prefers to fight for conquering the power definitely. It has been obligated by the oligarchy. Oligarchy has challenged our people and we have accepted the challenge.

Published in the weekly "Frente Unido" ("United Front"), October 28th, 1965.


Most recent revision: March 27th, 2002.