ECUADOR: A NEW HOPE FOR A SOCIALIST WAY
In the current weeks of March, the political process unfolding in Ecuador – a country located, as the name suggests, in the center of the world – has become an arena of fierce disputes between representatives of the ultra-right reactionary forces and left forces belonging to different parties and movements, moreover these disputes are being conducted not only within the country, but also among the public of other Latin American countries, as well as Europe, the USA, South Africa and India. The controversy stems from the ongoing presidential election process, in which Andres Arauz won the first round, nominated by Rafael Correa’s center-left coalition Unión por la Esperanza (UNES), the Union for Hope, last year. Political analyst Isabel Ramos stressed on her Twitter page that Arauz victory is a significant achievement as it reflects that the Ecuadorian progressive movement has overcome all the obstacles posed by the establishment. However, in the period remaining until the second round of elections, the reactionary forces made more than one attempt to prevent A. Arauz’s supporters and the Correa followers – the followers of Rafael Correa, from taking revenge for the rollback of Ecuador to the devastation of neoliberalism, which took place after the transfer of power from R. Correa to his friend and party member L. Moreno, who sharply deserted to the camp of an ideological enemy.
At the time of this writing, the latest attempt by the Ecuadorian pro-Washington establishment to invalidate the first round of the presidential elections in Ecuador in order to remove a candidate interfering with their plans, despite the fact that he received the largest number of votes – 34.5%, is not ruled out. This attempt consisted in the fact that the Attorney General of Colombia specially came to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to present the alleged “evidence” that he had to fund his campaign, Andres Arauz received money from the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN) – a popular communist guerrilla group … Despite the overwhelming evidence provided by the Unión por la Esperanza coalition that ELN was not involved in Arauz’ company, the dirty political games around the winner of the first round of the presidential election in Ecuador, as expected, continue. The visit of the representative of the Colombian Supreme Court “proof” was, of course, not accidental on the part of the country, which is the most loyal satellite of the United States, where the president is ultra-right I. Duque, who violated the peace agreements with the FARC. The actions of the odious pro-Washington forces around the presidential elections in Ecuador are a topic for a separate future study. Here is another fact: the secretary of the influential international Latin American organization OAS is a very sinister figure who has repeatedly helped legitimize military coups, as was the case in Bolivia, as a result of which Evo Morales resigned. This time, the leader of the OAS, Luis Almagro, met earlier this year in Washington with the incumbent president of Ecuador, the corrupt politician L. Moreno, who betrayed his friend R. Correa and the ideas of civil revolutionary socialism in the 21st century. Luis Almagro, like L. Moreno, acting in concert with the imperialist circles of the United States, does not hide his favor to the banker, right-wing liberal, presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso, who took 2nd place in the first round of elections in terms of the number of votes, therefore, the meeting in Washington is not surprising.
Surprising at first glance, it was only that the third presidential candidate nominated by the indigenous organization Pachacutik – who received less than 10% of the votes in the first round of elections – Yaku Perez – supported the suspicions put forward by Colombia against A. Arauz …
But soon this fact also became clear to us: as it turned out, the presidential candidate and leader of Pachacutik Yacu Perez has not been supported by the indigenous peoples of Ecuador for a long time, acting rather as an independent political figure of a small scale, in accordance with the pro-Washington interests of the government of modern Ecuador. It is characteristic that, in fact, the Pachacutik organization itself, which first appeared on the political scene as a political wing of the famous CONAIE – the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador, currently only nominally represents the indigenous peoples, and most likely – uses their interests for the purposes of their political patrons. And this is the most unpleasant thing in this situation: Pachacutik, politically engaged by the government of L. Moreno, is causing serious discord in the growing forces, as elsewhere in Latin America, of the movement of indigenous peoples.
The second round of presidential elections in Ecuador was postponed from February to early April. But all this time, political squabbles around the result of the midterm presidential elections, unexpected for official Washington, flared up every week as if with renewed vigor, introducing sometimes unexpected players into its vicious circle. Representatives of some left movements and parties, in particular, the Communist Party of Ecuador, were dissatisfied with the figure of Arauz. Meanwhile, the future potential leader of Ecuador has already shown his character, saying that he will refuse any communication with the IMF officials if steps for the normal development of the country go against their recommendations. Therefore, our comrades from Quito have almost no doubts that if Andres Arauz becomes the winner of the second round of the presidential elections, the country will again begin to return to the course of “Socialism of the XXI century”, which was conceived and began to be embodied by the government of ex-President R. Correa. Then it is obvious that the movements of indigenous peoples, who in Ecuador have long declared their rights, will also fall into the orbit of progressive development.
For many years in Ecuador, publicists and political scientists, sometimes with different political views, believe that the project of building a multinational state in the country with the concept of intercultural interaction is one of the most promising and progressive ways for the development of a Central American country. In their works, analysts note that, speaking about the direction of development of the concept of a multinational state, they pin serious hopes on the representatives of Indian indigenous peoples who have shown significant activity in recent years in Ecuador in the struggle for their rights. For many years, CONAIE – the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador, together with the organized communities of various indigenous ethnic groups of Ecuador supporting it, have been fighting for the possibility of full integration of indigenous peoples into a society of free intercultural relations, as well as against large capitalist forces from TNCs and the government that exert negative impact both on the life of the Indians and on the lands of their indigenous residence.
If you turn the pages of history back, many in Latin America will remember that in June 1990, CONAIE first became widely known, leading the uprising of the female ethnic leader Inti Raymi, demanding that the government just and promptly resolve the land conflicts of peaceful Indian communities using armed violence against them by large latifundists, thereby pulling the country back into the feudal relations of the past, as well as against the state’s permission for the free oil production of TNCs on the land of the indigenous peoples. This uprising marked the beginning of a new, significant historical moment: it is time for the indigenous peoples of Ecuador, neglected by government institutions and systems, to enter the arena of socio-political struggle. Having gone to an organized and numerous uprising in the struggle of indigenous peoples for their rights, CONAIE in those years became the protagonists of the social and political reality of Ecuador. The Inti Raimi uprising marked a major milestone in the history of Ecuador, presented as a symbolic and epoch-making event for the subcontinent, bringing organized indigenous peoples to the political arena, whose communities and representatives are the most oppressed social stratum of society, located at the very bottom of the ranks of the agrarian workers.
The emergence of bold social activists from the grassroots structures of the indigenous peoples of the country on the political stage of the country has become a reality of modern Ecuador. For the urban community and workers, for the first time, the multiple reality of the problems of indigenous peoples was first revealed, which became an important component of socio-political life, emerging from the shadow of the agrarian hinterland. Historically, over two centuries, the most disadvantaged and socially vulnerable groups are representatives of the Indian peasantry of Ecuador.
Although the representatives of the indigenous Indian peoples are inherent in life in traditional communities – communes, many of them were ruined as a result of the industrial capitalist transformations in the country, bringing to the sidelines the life of the Indian lumpen-agrarians. However, due to the fact that the community values remained intact in the minds of the representatives of the Indian peoples, and the fact that the surviving communities of many indigenous peoples partially retained their independence of life, it was not difficult for them to be able to organize themselves and unite in the struggle for their rights into larger conglomerations. To act more effectively, CONAIE and other organizations formed an alliance, the Coordinadora de Movimientos Sociales (CMS), which has come to represent a serious alternative to the traditional political parties that have operated so far in the political arena of Ecuador. Numerous facts of the successful struggle of Indian communities for their rights have brought a different vision of reality into the socio-political discourse of the country, because for most Indian peoples life outside the circle of the traditional communal society is unimaginable, and, therefore, capitalist alienation between people is more alien to them than to the townspeople -Ecuadorians, and the natural world around for indigenous communities is filled with much more meaning and proportionality than for other Ecuadorians. Indians of different nationalities equally revere mother earth, seeing as one of the important goals of their existence – the careful care of all the biodiversity of life given to man by the Earth in possession. It was the representatives of the Indian indigenous peoples who were consonant with the theme of the fight against disturbances in the ecological balance, which in Latin America occur due to the fault of powerful oil, gas and ore mining influential corporations, barbarously devastating natural resources. It is known that large miners, both local and foreign, do not shy away from the forcible resettlement of communities from their traditional habitats – if they are “not lucky” to live on lands, in the depths of which, often – as a result of illegal geological exploration and pilot developments, also illegally carried out by representatives of the oil mega-corporations, have discovered rich deposits of oil or gas. The powerlessness of oppressed indigenous peoples, as a legacy of the imperialist colonial era, freely flowed into the neo-imperialist reality of the global Capital of modern life. Native American peoples, whose few communities are not only engaged in successful agriculture and cattle breeding, but also make sure that all forms of natural life are without hindrance with a commensurate unity with the land on which they live, suddenly turn out to be a hindrance to large corporations. To cope with the stubborn reluctance of the Indians to relocate “help” the power structures of the state, as well as Private Military Companies guarding TNCs, often with unprecedented cruelty.
Increasingly, for many peoples of the economically backward countries of Latin America, whose bowels are rich in natural resources, ores and oil, it is now becoming clear that the only way to achieve independence and a life worthy of human beings, which they are denied by the class oppressors, is a revolutionary struggle against the international Capital, which is guarded by states, with their troops and power structures. The class struggle against the capitalist oppressors, for the need for structural, fair social transformations and reforms, as one of the most important parts, traditionally includes the struggle for land, for the implementation of fair land reforms by governments. However, the peculiarity of Latin America is that in the struggle waged in this direction, the revolutionary peasantry is not limited only to raising the question of the right to land. For many Indian peoples, the issue of land is closely intertwined with the problems of preserving terrestrial ecosystems – and also has to do with the problems of access to water, its purity for people and animals, since as a result of the barbaric intensive oil refining, rivers and other water resources are hopelessly polluted…
With the emergence of indigenous peoples in the social and class struggle against oppression from the capitalist system, the thesis of a multinational state first entered the life of Ecuador. This thesis can become the spearhead of the social struggle of Ecuador, since it was he who was always associated with the struggle of peasants for land.
The proposal to include in the main document of Ecuador the concept of a multinational state and intercultural interaction was first voiced at the end of the twentieth century. , but it was first embodied in the adopted by ex-president Rafael Correa within the framework of the government program in the context of the Latin American political paradigm “Socialism of the XXI century”, in the Constitution of the country adopted by the progressive government.
But at present, the position enshrined in the Constitution is not supported by the government of Lenin Moreno. During his reign, there has been a serious rollback of the cultural and economic life of Ecuador back. Therefore, in order to achieve the fulfillment of the paragraph laid down in the Constitution of the country, a stubborn struggle of organizations and indigenous peoples is necessary for the observance of their rights by state and social institutions. A multinational state is an expression of unity in diversity and allows not to forget about any group of socially oppressed: if the paradigm of socio-cultural plurality prevails in the country as opposed to uniformity, only then it can be assumed that in Ecuador the problems of other forgotten peoples will be remembered and included in the political discourse, such as those without basic rights and the most vulnerable Afro-Ecuadorians. Therefore, many in Ecuador, a country where indigenous peoples are far from the last, were struck by the fact that the presidential candidate from the Movement for Multinational Unity Pachakutik (Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachakutik), Yaku Perez, during his campaign did not a single statement concerning the problems of the seizure and pollution of the lands of indigenous peoples, a statement in which at least simply mentioned the multinational way of life of the population of the country. which, since its formation in 1995, has expressed left-wing political views – to advance the interests of a wide variety of indigenous organizations in Ecuador. And it’s not a bad thing that the serious deviation of presidential candidate Yaku Perez from the aspirations and hopes of the very beginning of the company manifested itself from the political wing of the indigenous peoples movement CONAIE from involvement in the project of the indigenous peoples movement, which has developed historically. And vice versa – it is the candidate from the left-wing political platform, Andres Arauz, who promises to prioritize the themes of multinationality in his government, equal rights and priorities for all nationalities, and intercultural interaction. A unitary Plurinational State assumes a democratic form of relations and coexistence at all levels, which is expressed in intercultural interaction. Without recognition of Ecuador’s ethnic diversity, harmonious intercultural development and interaction is questionable, or simply does not exist. Andres Arauz, as well as Rafael Correa, not forgotten by the people, believes that it is fundamentally “important to bring the multinational state and intercultural relations out of the Constitution into specific laws and state policies.”
Meanwhile, indigenous peoples and their leaders are showing increasing socio-political activity. Earlier this year, Nemonte Nenkimo, the leader of the Vaorani indigenous people, was awarded the prestigious environmental award for her contribution to the protection of nature and the rights of ancestors. Nenkimo spearheaded a campaign for indigenous peoples who were able to gather evidence to sue the oil-producing Trans-National Corporations, which are carrying out illegal oil exploitation in the Waorani area. As a result of a long struggle, the Waorani people, led by their uncompromising leader, achieved the adoption of a court order to protect their territories from uncontrolled exploration, leading to the collapse of forest ecosystems. The issuance of a legal decision to protect the 202,342 hectares of the Amazon forest, the area inhabited by the Waorani people, from oil production is a great achievement in the struggle of indigenous peoples for their rights. Thus, the fearlessness and active struggle of Nemonte Nenkimo and the Waorani activists created a serious precedent for other peoples to believe in the possibility of achieving their demands, especially the protection of the right of indigenous peoples to live in their ancestral territories of residence in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
The danger of the termination of the existence of some modern small indigenous peoples in Ecuador remains very relevant in the present, neo-colonial era of the existence of the capitalist socio-political formation, which is experiencing another round of globalization and redivision of the world. The number of some indigenous peoples experiencing serious difficulties with drinking water, with clean grazing for livestock, is steadily declining. That is why state reforms are so necessary, which should lead to the manifestation of utmost attention and care on the part of the new state for each of its multinational parts. The public and the peoples of Ecuador expect from the future new President an institutionally fixed attentive and caring attitude to the indigenous way of life of the Indian peoples, to the originality of their worldview and relationship with the natural world. All this in a complex in the language of many Indians sounds like “Ushai”. Also, the Indians say that the guarantee of the harmonious existence and prosperity of the country lies in “Ushai”, manifested in the power of “kichwa” – that is, improvement of the living environment together with the manifestation of the state’s benevolent assistance to the preserved traditional way of life, intertwined with gradually emerging opportunities for individual creative development while maintaining the communal collective consciousness.
Indigenous peoples throughout Latin America are today involved in the socio-political struggle for their rights, and the public listens to them and supports them. In some countries, despite the repression of the dictatorship of the ruling bourgeois class, such as in Chile, the townspeople organize numerous events and actions of solidarity with the Indian people of Mapuche fighting for survival on their native land. In Bolivia, thanks to the policy that once again triumphed in the country of the MAS People’s Party – “Movement to Socialism”, the main steps in the socio-economic transformation are being carried out together with the indigenous peoples of this country. In Ecuador, according to many activists, it is also time to build Ushai.
The reactionary rule of President of Ecuador L. Moreno has led to the fact that the country is currently experiencing a deep recession. Investments by TNCs in the exploitation of new oil fields, mainly in the rainforests of the Amazon, where illegal exploration and point resource extraction were previously carried out, which proved that the depths of the Amazon are extremely rich in oil, which, according to the neoliberal government, could improve the country’s stagnating economy and help pay off huge national debts. As a result, in northern Ecuador, kilometers of pipes pass through the rainforest for many kilometers, and they were laid in haste and in violation of safety procedures. Many sections of such pipelines are corroded and explode from time to time. Oil seeps into the ground and spills into rivers, a source of life for the local population. Even Yasuni National Park, one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet, is threatened by uncontrolled oil production, according to local and environmental organizations.
Based on the experience of the Indigenous Peoples’ Movements fighting for the purity of their land, the issue of it should be part of the cultural and economic requirements of the entire oppressed people of Ecuador, both urban workers and peasants from among the ethnic autochthons of America. Ecuadorians, especially the still remaining socially unprotected Indian communities, can expect an even more unenviable fate than now, with the stagnating economy and the inactive neoliberal government of L. Moreno, if the people allow the right-wing representative of the business elite G. Lasso to come to power, which is associated with oil and other trans-national companies by its shares in them. For the capitalists, what kind of activity can be more motivated than the one that leads to super-profits, even if for this it is necessary to sacrifice some nationalities…
For the outspoken pro-capitalist Guillermo Lasso, the 21.7% gained in the first round of elections is still too large a figure. Andres Arauz, who is already considered by many as the President, a progressive popular leader, called upon to change the course of development of Ecuador for the better, in the first round broke away from his ideological rival by a little more than 10% of the vote. For his victory, and with it – the victory of the most progressive left forces in the country, is still to be fought. But the supporters of Andres Arauz and Rafael Correa, who, if his like-minded person wins, will become vice president of the government, believe in their victory. They supported Arauz tweet with a huge number of “likes”: “We won! The huge victory of the candidates from UNES in all regions of our beautiful country suggests that the future victory over the banker should reach a score of 2: 1. We will wait for the official results and celebrate. “
Perhaps it is not for nothing that the party of the candidate from the left is called the Union for Hope, because it is with hope that the working people of Ecuador united in a multi-ethnic union are called upon to look to the future.
Manuel Alonso Gutierrez
Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana (MRC)
Specially for Resistentiam.com