The Mythical Demise of the Left in a Time of Great Popular Mobilization

Orlando Oramas León

Fernando Buen Abad might hold many titles, although he prefers to be introduced as an academic.

However, this multifaceted Mexican is also a political analyst and from that trench, he says that the end of the cycle of the left wing in Latin America ‘is a myth to discourage us’.

A Mexican, a Latin American, a university professor in his country, the United States, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, Buen Abad is the author of over a dozen books.

He is an expert in philosophy of image, philosophy of communication, cultural criticism, esthetics and semiotics. He is also a filmmaker who graduated from New York University, a graduate in sciences of communication, a master in political philosophy and a PhD.

With that list of achievements, one should think that Buen Abad’s opinions must be taken into consideration, when he speaks about current events in Our Americas, Jose Marti’s term that he adopts for himself. Above all, when politics and communication go hand in hand and with sinister purposes. According to Buen Abad, information is sometimes very biased in an environment where most media organizations serve the cause of the oligarchies and the northern empire, now in the Trump era.

In that regard, he told Prensa Latina, ‘Sometimes information is very scattered, but when you edit, you realize that something is happening in the continent. I speak about the social movements with redoubled activity. It is enough to see the mobilizations, for example in Argentina, breaking records at Plaza de Mayo, either against the neoliberal economic policies or against the pardon to oppressors of the military dictatorship.’

‘Also in Guatemala and other countries, even in Belize. In Mexico you see it against the increase in gasoline prices, against the crime against the Ayotzinapa students, those by the Zapatista National Liberation Army, the boom of the National Regeneration Movement, against the assassinations of journalists, among others.’

‘In brief, the prospect that I see is a time of great mobilization that is encouraging and promising and demonstrates that the proclaimed end of the cycle of the left wing and the progressive forces in Latin America and the Caribbean is a myth to discourage us, to demobilize us.’

However, he noted, in Venezuela mobilizations by either side continue. In that regard, Buen Abad stressed:

‘In Venezuela, there is a desperate and crazy right wing that is attacking the revolutionary project with episodes of terrorism, including copying the so-called Islamic State. They are few very violent people with many photos and media organizations around them, as part of another Operation Condor in the entire continent. They are punctual episodes, now with more funds, infiltration and the use of paramilitaries led by former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.’

‘But Venezuela is also a country that is organizing a Constituent Assembly called by President Nicolas Maduro on May 1. It is the referendum of all referendums, with extraordinary mobilization to elect the constituents and to improve the Magna Carta with three axes.’

‘They are the modification of the economic model that does not depend on oil, towards a totally-different productive model; the transformation of the political model to break, once and for all, with the bourgeois democracy that has its bad habits in the country and needs to join a process of much more dynamic participatory democracy; and the great cultural revolution, including a constituent of communication, which is where the right wing strikes most.’

For Buen Abad, there is a topic that is especially sensitive to him. It is the situation in his country, Mexico:

‘I see my homeland with much pain, because we are up in a blind alley. Manuel Lopez Obrador is winning the popular elections to transform this macabre disaster to which we have been led, and through fraud, even with support from judicial institutions, results are reversed. It is an affront to the people.’

And he adds:

‘It is an absolutely irresponsible act of provocation by the government and the State institutions to ignore the demands and the voice of the people, who expressed themselves in the state of Mexico with large participation in the election in favor of a female candidate who represented a thoughtful transformation, but a will that was different from the hegemonies that make the country their latifundium.’

‘I am certain that there is tremendous proliferation of awareness and boredom in the Mexican people against that model established by the PRI, the PAN, the PRD that is exhausting its capacities to lead the destinies of the country.’

According to Buen Abad, who is also a member of the Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defense of Humankind, unsustainable violence prevails in his homeland, expressed in other scourges that affect Mexicans.

‘There is a situation of State violence exercised not only by the repressive apparatuses like the Army, the police and all financed services to repress and spy. There is another violence, a very difficult situation with more than half of the population under poverty. And more, the country’s debt is an irresponsible craziness, another act of economic and political violence against the nation.’

‘Add to these the missing people, whose number is not known with any certainty, but they exceed 150,000; those murdered, with intolerable figures that are a shame for any government that considers itself democratic. The unresolved and unpunished cases like that of the 43 normal school students of Ayotzinapa, without an official, serious, deep and committed response; the crimes against journalists. It is, in conclusion, a brutal anguish, a way to terrify with permanent impunity and indecency. It is the violence by a State being executed against the people.’