Political changes in Ecuador
Saturday, January 22, 2000, 8:30 AM
General Carlos Mendoza has resigned from the National Salvation Committee formed with CONAIE (National Confederation of Indigenous People), jointly with the leadership of the army giving the power to the vice-president of the Republic, Dr. Gustavo Noboa. This surprising move is aimed at preserving the old order.
At this point the National Congress and the Palace of the Government are being evacuated. Members of the CONAIE and the Coordinadora de Movimientos Sociales (Coordinator of Social Movements) have voluntarily left the building and moved to the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture). Noboa says he will take power with the same program as Mahuad: privatizations, dollarization of the economy, State of Emergency, a firm stand to restore the oligarchic government. He has granted a pardon to those officers who participated in the popular rebellion.
The people who fought Mahuad, fought his program and will not adhere to a government which will follow this anti-popular line. The General Staff of the Armed Forces in this way is helping the forces of the bourgeoisie and imperialism to find a solution within the old system, as manifested by a series of communiqués sent within and outside the country.
Therefore, sooner rather than later the popular struggle will intensify. Today the popular revolt is continuing throughout the country. Many governors= offices are still in the hands of the Frente Patriotico (Patriotic Front) and the CONAIE, roads are blocked and rallies are mounting high in all cities.
The seizure of the three branches of State power and the governors= offices is a symbol that inspires further the people in their struggle for the seizure of power. Many people know today that the popular rebellion is not only able to oust one government, as happened with Bucaram, but also that they are in a position to create a government of a new type.
The activity of the masses will most probably increase, but it is hard to anticipate what will be the outcome of the struggle within the Armed forces, what will be the stand of those colonels and officers who took part in the rebellion and the response of the rank and file of the CONAIE.
The Popular Front will continue to struggle for the Patriotic Program and National Unity. The resignation of Mahuad was one of the objectives, but here the replacement of individuals was not the goal. On the contrary, the popular forces and the forces of the left are demanding the liquidation of the neo-liberal program and the adoption of an anti-crisis program to punish the corrupt bankers, to expel US bases from our soil and to lead an independent and popular development of our country.
Ecuador, Jóse Izquierdo.
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