Lenín versus Lenin in Ecuador
Aznárez, based in Buenos Aires, is the director of Resumen Latinoamericano (resumenlatinoamericano.org), which published this article on Oct. 8. Translation by Michael Otto.
As the revolutionary Franz Fanon wrote, insurrection has always been a weapon of the humble people — of the “wretched of the earth.” It is a necessary alternative and a mirror through which one must reflect — when the moment comes, when the possibilities of dialogue with those who rule are exhausted and when those from below move to the left. One fine day, the humiliated and dispossessed do stand up and shout a forceful “¡basta ya!” (Enough is enough!). From that moment on, everything becomes possible, including the seizure of state power.
Class struggle takes priority
In terms of political practice, it also means that the class struggle takes priority. No matter how much anyone wants to keep it under wraps, it explodes with all its strength and moves the foundations of the “winter palaces.” That is precisely what is happening in Ecuador today. Lenín Moreno’s government has no more bandaids, excuses and lies with which to “buy time” as it prepared the “paquetazo,” the bundle of measures the International Monetary Fund imposed on the country.
This means that a time will come when those who sold their souls to the devil will have to pay up their part of the deal — and thus they will not hesitate to enforce the deal. Bending, submissive and shamefully distant from whatever principles he might have had, Moreno executes what Washington orders him to. If he has to kill, he kills with total impunity. Sometimes this is done with bullets (Haiti is a similar example). In other countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, it includes the agony caused by unemployment, extreme poverty and loss of sovereignty.
However, the Ecuadorian people are tough nuts to crack. In historic situations like the events happening today, they have overthrown several governments just as corrupt and criminal as the aforementioned Moreno’s. The last of them was headed by Lucio Gutiérrez, who lost the possibility of leading a revolution of workers, Indigenous peoples and peasants by submitting to the Empire and its dictates.
Like a lackey of the bourgeoisie, Gutiérrez abruptly ended his administration in the middle of a great popular uprising which provoked his flight through the courtyard roofs of the government palace, climbing on a helicopter, to leave Ecuador forever. It’s something that Moreno must surely have had on his mind when he abruptly decided to move the government house from Quito to Guayaquil in the heat of the early demonstrations which began to surround the Carondelet Presidential Palace.
Masses demand Moreno’s ouster
Now, the die has been cast for this miserable government, since tens of thousands of Indigenous people, workers and students are going to occupy Quito and Guayaquil. They are demanding not only the repeal of the IMF package, but also the departure of the despised one who ordered the shooting down of the people and who ensured the impunity of police who threw three young demonstrators from the San Roque bridge in Quito’s historic center. [One of the youth, Marco Oto, died on Oct. 8 while the other two are in critical condition.] That man [Moreno] who came to head the government thanks to the naiveté of Rafael Correa, then betrayed him like a vulgar Judas.
On the other hand, the popular uprising and the consequent Indigenous-peasant march has generated a current of sympathy in all the towns through which it passes. So much so that even the most timid or uncompromising people take to the streets to demonstrate that they are willing to be the protagonists in this historic moment. They do so with the joy that comes from joining their peers, chanting the slogans of the moment and demonstrating to each other that “The people united will never be defeated.” But also, they have enough anger to allow themselves to be convinced that now is the time to put an end to those phony politicians who deceive them every four or five years to support bourgeois democracy.
‘Out with all of them!’
That’s why it’s not surprising that at least the Indigenous people represented by the CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) and the United Front of Workers (FUT) chant the well-known slogan: “Out with all of them!” For this to really happen, there must be alternatives that do not lead an eventual victory into a blind alley — where others who don’t represent the masses’ interests wind up grabbing the spoils of our many struggles and sacrifices, as has already happened so many times. Neither can we put on the table the loss of freedom and the deaths due to repression.
That and similar issues will most likely be discussed now — in the midst of this immense community effort. The legacies of the authentic [Russian revolutionary] Lenin, the brilliant sun of so many battles of the universal proletariat, and Comandante Che Guevara can help defeat this caricature of a puppet ruler, who wasn’t merely unfaithful to his name. Because of his greed and submission to the Empire, Moreno aims to condemn his people to misery, causing them the greatest possible pain.