For several days now, large-scale workers’ strikes and mass popular demonstrations have been taking place in Kazakhstan against the high cost of living, rising gas prices, unemployment, low wages and poverty along with other major social problems resulting from the restoration of the capitalist system after the counter-revolution in the USSR 30 years ago.
The Communist Front (Italy) expresses its internationalist solidarity with the thousands of workers who, starting from the Mangystau region and the oil-producing areas of western Kazakhstan, are taking to the streets in a protest that has rapidly taken on mass proportions, spreading throughout the country and challenging the state repression of the anti-popular Nazarbayev-Tokayev regime. From the same places where the Zhanaozen anti-worker massacre took place 10 years ago, it was once again the oil industry working class that ignited and radicalised the popular protest for better living conditions in opposition to the plundering of the country’s wealth in energy resources by national and international monopolies, mainly Chinese and Russian, but also European (including ENI), American, etc.
Kazakhstan’s wealth of hydrocarbon resources has not prevented increases in the price of liquefied natural gas, which has led to a rise in the prices of fuel and basic goods, further aggravating the living conditions of workers and the impoverished masses. This is a manifestation of the contradictions of capitalism, where the sources of wealth are appropriated by the Kazakh bourgeoisie and multinational corporations, who enrich themselves by exploiting the country’s workers and plundering the assets inherited from the Soviet period. Once again, the true face of the “democracy” and “freedom” imposed on the peoples of the former USSR is revealed, characterised by exploitation, poverty and oppression of the working class, accompanied by anti-communism and repression of popular struggles.
Apart from a few insignificant concessions, the protests have been met with repression (at least 200 arrests, 500 injured and dozens of dead) and military intervention by troops of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), led by Russian imperialism. Moreover, they were used as a pretext for a settling of scores between sectors of the ruling class in government.
We firmly condemn the repression and all kinds of imperialist interference. We stand by the Khazak communists, who – we are sure – in the fire of the uprising are committed to extending this just working-class and popular struggle, to directing it against capitalism, the bourgeois government and any imperialism, in order to prevent foreign powers and sectors of the national bourgeoisie from exploiting the protest to their own advantage, as has already happened in Ukraine and Belarus.
We join our voice with that of the Kazakh comrades for:
- The withdrawal of special troops from the cities;
- The resignation of all Nazarbayev’s officials, including President Tokayev!
- The cessation of state repression;
- The release of the hundreds of arrested protesters and all political prisoners;
- the abolition of all anti-union and anti-worker laws, which criminalise strikes and outlaw independent class-oriented trade unions;
- the legalisation of the activities of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan and the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, which are currently outlawed in the country;
- Nationalisation, under the control of workers’ collectives, of all large-scale industry in the country, starting with the mining industry, as demanded by the workers who were mudered in Zhanaozen!
Only through their own independent struggle and leadership on the basis of their own interests can the Kazakh proletariat achieve the satisfaction of their current needs, creating the conditions for overthrowing this and any bourgeois regime and the system of capitalist exploitation.
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
The Political Bureau of the CC of the Communist Front (Italy)