Central Organ of the
Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE)
November 26 to December 5 2002
"The proletariat will make use of its political domination to gradually deprive the bourgeoisie of all its capital, to centralize all the instruments of production in the hands of the State, that is to say, of the proletariat organized as the ruling class, and to increase as rapidly as possible the totality of the productive forces."
The victory of Lucio Gutiérrez in the elections Sunday November 24 opens the possibility of the beginning of a period of positive changes for the peoples of Ecuador. The oligarchies and imperialism have been defeated and the workers and peoples of Ecuador have achieved a major political victory, which has no historic equal.
In this second round of the elections, the people had to overcome an aggressive anti-communist campaign unleashed by the oligarchic group headed by Álvaro Noboa. This shows that the need to achieve a government that will lead to the realization of social, political and economic changes has taken hold in the popular consciousness. Our Party, together with the organizations making up Popular Unity, has been working since the first round for the candidacy of Lucio Gutiérrez and Alfredo Palacio. This is because it was born in the struggle of the popular organizations that are fighting against neo-liberalism and corruption, and because the program they raised to confront the present crisis of the country contains popular elements and elements of resistance to foreign interference. For these to be really carried out demands the formation of a government of the people.
But Gutiérrez's electoral victory does not yet mean the victory of the political demands for which the people voted. There are many factors and forces that are acting on the scene in or the other direction, that can make the next administration carry out important popular demands or, on the other hand, continue what the people have gotten until now: nothing. It is evident that the candidacy of Lucio Gutiérrez contradicts the interests and aspirations of the local oligarchic groups and the U.S. embassy and, of course, these forces will not remain with folded arms, as they have not done in the previous electoral process. The pressures, maneuvers, blackmail and provocations to reverse the course of the government promised by Gutiérrez will be insistently present in one or another form. We cannot discount the possibility, the goal of overthrowing the government.
But the pressures and maneuvers will not only come from the bourgeoisie and imperialism. They will also come from positions of the "infantile left", such as those that are now being expressed by the leadership of the so-called Coordinator of Social Movements which, before the end of the second round of elections had already declared its opposition to Gutiérrez, threatening to withdraw its support from him. In return the workers asked: what support did they give to Lucio during the campaign? There will also be attitudes that, coming from Trotskyite positions, condemn the new government for its "soft" attitude and demand socialist changes. In a previous editorial in En Marcha, we warned of the danger of sectarianism by popular forces that are surrounding Gutiérrez.
In such circumstances, the guarantee that the next government will have a popular character depends on two main aspects. That Lucio Gutiérrez does not move away from the essence of the programs presented in the first round of the elections, that call for defense of national sovereignty, attention to the spiritual and material needs of the masses and respect and promotion of the rights of the workers and peoples. Secondly, that the organized masses play a leading role in that government. They must be initiators of the changes that they have longed for; their organizations must put forward proposals and the commitment to work for their crystallization. At the same time, they must become active defenders of the victories they will achieve. If Gutiérrez bases himself on the masses and their demands, this will be a strong government, that will confront the attacks of the enemies of the people and, in reality, will become the first popular government of Ecuador.
For us communists, the difference between a popular government and one of revolutionary content is clear. We have supported Gutiérrez knowing the extent of his program and we will continue doing so to the degree that he does not depart from it in essentials. Of course, we know that it is not a question of a revolutionary government. This the proletariat will win by politically and militarily defeating the bourgeoisie, seizing by force the capitalist State in order to build the socialist State on its ashes. This implies putting an end to wage slavery and private property. That is not the nature of Gutiérrez's government and we should understand the limit that it has.
Despite this, a revolutionary attitude today is expressed by contributing, with all our initiatives and efforts, so that, in reality, Gutiérrez can head a government of popular unity.
"The left together with the people has again defeated the oligarchy." Interview with comrade Oswaldo Palacios, National Spokesperson of the PCMLE and of Popular Unity
En Marcha: What is the significance of Lucio Gutiérrez's victory?
O.P.: A candidate who does not belong to the oligarchic establishment, who is not a bourgeois, who is not bound to the ruling classes, has won in a bourgeois democratic electoral process, supported by the broadest popular movement of the workers, indigenous people, teachers, youth, poor women, professionals, small merchants, artisans, etc., represented by their political organizations, the parties of the left and their social organizations, such as CONAIE [National Confederation of Indigenous People of Ecuador], UNE [National Union of Students], Trade Union Federations, FEUE [Federation of University Students of Ecuador], etc. This is happening for the first time in the recent history of our country. We the workers and peoples have defeated the oligarchy and its candidates, which creates the conditions for carrying out very significant democratic changes, to the benefit of the majorities.
E.M.: What are the expectations of the party in this new government?
O.P.: The expectations that we, the communists together with the peoples of Ecuador, have are important ones, to the degree that the new government pushes through the urgent changes that have been demanded by the various struggles that the social sectors, the workers, teachers, indigenous people and peasants, the student youth, the retired, etc. have lead. If that movement is willing to struggle and the government fulfills its promise, a real battle can be started against corruption, to confront impunity and to punish all those who have benefited through crime from the resources of the country.
A movement of the masses, propelled by the revolutionary left, a government willing to advance, can deliver the bases to go forward in defense of national sovereignty, against the impositions of the imperialist agencies. This requires that our peoples become united, that we mobilize and are ready with our action to see our aspirations realized, to support the government in undertaking the changes that are needed.
E.M.: Have the people come to power or to the government?
O.P.: The people have supported a patriot, a military rebel who before and during the campaign raised the banners of anti-corruption, of change, of social justice and this has allowed a great movement to be formed that now put Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez in the presidency of the Republic. The Marxist-Leninist communists have worked for this candidacy, to crystallize those changes.
The government, depending on its composition, its politics and the direction that it takes, has the best perspectives to be a government at the service of the people, to make a reality of and advance the fundamental changes that Ecuador needs, that serves the interests of the down-trodden, of the dispossessed, of the excluded, of the Ecuadorian nation and of the nationalities and peoples.
The struggle for popular power, so that the people come to power, continues and this electoral victory is an important step in winning it.
E.M.: What are the present tasks of the Party and the peoples?
O.P.: I mentioned at the beginning, that social changes, above all the most transcendental ones, do not fall from the sky. We, the workers and peoples, cannot sit down to wait for what Lucio "will give us" or "what Lucio will do." Nothing like that. Together with the rebel Colonel, the patriot that Lucio Gutiérrez is, together with the parties of the left and our trade union, peasant, indigenous and popular organizations, we must advance toward the changes that are required. As a party, as peoples and organizations we have demanded, for example, the reactivation of the productive agricultural, industrial and artisan apparatus, in order to generate employment, to win national rights for the indigenous people, to eliminate illiteracy, to achieve education for all, proposals for state policies for health, social security, protection of the environment, etc. We must raise these banners high, make all the members of our organizations understand the extent of those demands and that they must be willing to fight for them. Together with the words spoken by Lucio we must undertake the actions needed to make them a reality, to defeat the opposition of the oligarchy to these changes.
In any case, we are living through a new and important period of the class struggle in Ecuador. One must understand that the subject of history, those who will carry out the changes and make the transformations are the peoples, the large social groupings, and we revolutionaries have to march together with them, to help guide the course, to advance in the process of our revolution. This is the task that the present imposes on us and projects into the future. ....
Click here to return to Ecuador Index