The state of emergency, transfer of the government to the city of Guayaquil, military deployment, absurd accusations of interference by Venezuela, curfew and assassinations at the hands of the security forces. Workers, women, students, teachers, professionals, peasants and indigenous people, the drones, as Moreno defined them, corner a government that is implementing measures defined by advisors to the International Monetary Fund.
For 10 days now, in Quito, helicopters have been heard flying over the city, tanks are running through the streets, and the mist of tear gas pervades the capital. Rubber bullets were replaced by lead that is embedded in the brown bodies of the townspeople.
All this is a symptom of the imposition of an economic model that has historically found no other way to establish itself in the region but through agreements between elites and violence as a method.
Latin America is a field of dispute. The right-wing wave that appeared in the region, particularly after Chávez’s death, is showing signs of exhaustion characterized by the resistance of the peoples. In Honduras the mobilizations against Juan Orlando Hernandez were massive at the beginning of the year and now new evidence of his links with the drug trafficking sectors that undermine his government is emerging. In Haiti, a people historically punished for being the first example of independence, people on the streets continue to confront the consequences of the neoliberal program carried out by President Jovenal Moíse and the Central Group (representatives of the UN, USA, OAS, EU, Germany, Brazil, Canada and France). For the past few weeks the mobilizations have been increasing in scale, with a response identical to that of the one deployed by Lenin Moreno: repression and death. In Argentina, Macri’s program met with resistance from social movements before the National Congress at the end of 2017, marking the turning point for the current electoral defeat of the candidate supported with more than 50 billion dollars by the IMF. Peru shows the same signs of instability, an inability to impose such an agenda that would be sustainable and have the necessary popular support.
Even in its best moments, the right-wing wave could not break the most advanced processes in the region. Cuba and Venezuela continue to be subjected to the siege and intensification of the criminal blockade imposed by the United States and international capital. Bolivia is on its way to a new victory for Evo and Sandinismo is sustained in Nicaragua.
Neoliberalism arrived in Latin America under the dictatorships of the 1970s, gained momentum again in the 1990s and had a new boom in recent years in the region, a boom that currently shows signs of regression.
The answers given by the Ecuadorian government by massacring its people is the same as those offered by Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela, De la Rúa in Argentina or Carlos Sánchez Losada in Bolivia in the 1990s and early 2000s. The causes are also the same, the attempt to impose measures and packages that lower “labour costs” in favour of concentrated capital.
The plans deployed by the United States once again meet with the resistance, both street and electoral, of the great majorities.
In Ecuador, as in Haiti, there are moments where the correlations of forces are reflected between concentrated capital, protected by organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, and the majorities that refuse to mortgage their future. A scenario comparable to what was experienced in the region at the beginning of the century, when the neoliberal night was falling in most countries, and the correlations in favour of the peoples materialized in the rejection of the FTAA and the birth of other organisms such as ALBA and Unasur and the advances in the construction of other types of societies, following the direction and example of Bolivarian Venezuela.
“There is a confluence between different sectors, a confluence that had not been generated before. All these sectors rose up against the neoliberal measures that the IMF is applying in different parts of the world. Ecuador is mobilized, there are more than 200 mobilization points in 20 different provinces”, assures Viviana Rojas, reporter for the Via Campesina in the city of Quito.
The battle of Ecuador is not only the battle of the indigenous peoples. The actors are varied, it is an entire people who are not willing to give up their future without a fight. Moreno raised the flags of dialogue and peace on the cannons of the tanks and beyond holding out in government, he is politically defeated. His project, based on his betrayal and reversal, cannot be sustained. The media siege could not conceal a country in the streets.
“New illusions will succeed the old ones and after hesitating for some time among a thousand uncertainties, it will perhaps be our destiny to remove tyrants without destroying tyranny” (Mariano Moreno – 1810).
In order to transform rejection into a sustainable popular victory, it is necessary to generate an option of power that capitalizes the fight of the different sectors of society. A unitary option of power that builds hegemony from and for the people. Venezuela and Bolivia, Chávez and Evo, are examples of the construction of this possibility of majority power.
Just as in the 1990s it was not the “end of history”, as the ideologues of capital expressed it, today the “progressive cycle has not been exhausted”. The battle is being fought, as the great Latin American majorities know, as they begin to write a new chapter in their own history.
Translation by Internationalist 360°