Wed Feb 08, 2023
February 08, 2023

What does the Rafael Correa administration stand for?

The election of Correa reveals – as indeed do many Latin American processes – the distorted result of massive discontentment and craving for a change. It also points out the lack of a left-wing organisation that might lead the toiling masses towards the necessary split with the capitalist system and put an end to hunger and destitution, unemployment and all the unevenness and injustice that the population of our country has to deal with on everyday basis.

 We have done a lot of fighting in Ecuador these years. The strong feeling for a change has driven us to a relentless battle hat has toppled pro-imperialist and bourgeois presidents such as Mahuad and Gutierrez and has ensured the achievement of important victories in defence of the sovereignty of the country, such as expulsion of Oxy and the fact the FTA was not signed.

 It is against this background that Rafael Correa emerges with a nationalist-like message, a seeming alternative for the change in the country. We characterise this government as a bourgeois nationalist in times or re-colonisation and, even if he appears with demands that may be feasible in other countries, his real aim is to become the pacifier of the process of social struggles.

 Bourgeois nationalist governments stemmed out of nationalist movements, challenged and had rubs with imperialism (essentially the American one) and the best examples of this type of government in Latin America are the Mexican Lázaro Cárdenas and the Argentina Juan Perón. The Cárdenas government expropriated and nationalised oil in 1938. Peronism nationalised very important branches of production: oil, electricity, railway, telecommunication, etc. But precisely, because they did not go beyond the limits of capitalism, the economic bases of imperialism and its national allies remained mostly untouched allowing them to advance later on and dominate the country.

 Administrations such as Chavez and Correa are bourgeois nationalist governments in times of re-colonisation and the difference between them and those of Perón and Cárdenas is because the latter existed during a time of the post-II World War economic growth, something that allowed them to grant important concessions to the toiling masses. Currently, world political and economic conditions have reduced the likelihood of a more or less steady permanence of such processes to practically nothing. The application of neoliberal plans and the imperialist raid to loot on our countries leave no room for similar possibilities of improving the living conditions of the people without radically splitting away from the system.

 Seen from this angle, the palliative measures promised by Rafael Correa – even if they might mean improving the standard of living of the most impoverished, do not solve the most serious problems such as unemployment and the tremendous social unevenness that exist in the country. Furthermore, this type of palliative remedy is intended to act as a “pacifier” of the radicalised masses leading them to accept the bourgeois ruling institutions that appear wearing a “democratic” face.

 Rafael Correa and his movement Alianza País are part of a sector of intellectuals who claim that revolution “is not possible” and that it is better to support somebody who is “fighting for the poor” and for a capitalism that will distribute wealth. This is a palliative policy that appears in times of social convulsion or to prevent great popular explosions from happening. It is often applied by reformist governments or the so-called bourgeois nationalists that use it to convince the toiling masses that it is possible to solve the grievous problems generated by capitalism (hunger, appalling conditions in health service, lack of housing for the poor, racial discrimination, etc.) without resorting to revolutions, without splitting from the bourgeoisie and imperialism.

 Where is the Correa administration heading to

 According to Rafael Correa himself, Alianza País is a movement that consists of intellectuals and was founded to reject polarisation (something he has already said he would not do during his term in office) and to defend representative democracy, making it quite clear that the vote of the Ecuadorian people was against “disreputable neoliberalism”. They have the support of sectors of entrepreneurs and would not be excluded.

 Following this way of reasoning, the programme of Alianza País proposes “a great national agreement to build opportunities for all”. They propose to guarantee “adequate access of all the inhabitants of the country to where decisions are taken” and also a new strategy of development, dubbing the current one as “excluding, margining, unfair, racist, looting on society and nature.”

Alianza País describes their programme as “viable, transforming, and progressive, in search of a RADICAL CHANGE of the structures of power, of the way of organising the state, of our international insertion, of distribution of national income and wealth.”

 The general discourse, what Alianza Pais proposes, expresses the wishes, hopes and feelings of broad layers of the Ecuadorian population, for they want political changes and they demand to take part in the re-foundation of Ecuador, but when it comes down to concrete things, we can perceive the limits of the changes the president and his political trend propose.

 The limits of the Rafael Correa administration

 The administration programme invites people to build proposals and solutions that we need. The MAS calls on the workers, the peasants and the poor of the country to fight and defend our banners and demand from the government the RADICAL CHANGE that the rulers are talking about for when we examine the programme we can conclude that:

 When they talk about foreign debt, they do not clearly say anything about the non-payment; they only say “the debt will be paid as long as it does not affect the priorities of national development”. But we already know that if we keep on paying the debt, it will be impossible for the state to invest in housing, roads, irrigation channels, refineries, etc so as to encourage the growth of jobs. That is why we stand for NON-PAYMENT OF THE FOREIGN DEBT!

 When they talk about labour, they defend a just and heartening salary policy, but they barely propose to regulate the absence of control and abuse of outsourcing. We stand for and demand NO MORE OUTSOURCING!

 When they speak about the distribution of land, they refer to a reform of the ownership of the land coming out of the building of a consensus, but they do not say anything about a radical change that would guarantee the land for the peasants. Let us defend and demand: RADICAL LAND REFORM UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE PEASANTS!

 When they speak of a sovereign energy policy and the defence of natural resources, they mean the protection of Petroecuador and some improvement of the State revenue. But not even in this point of such great weight for the country do they propose a radical change. Let us defend and propose: NATIONALISATION OF OIL WITH NO INDEMNITY TO THE MULTINATIONALS!

 These and other demands, such as free education at all levels, the expulsion of the mining multinationals, efficient and free health services, etc have always been part of our priorities for real change.

 Let us keep up our struggle and independent organisation!

 The MAS calls on all the Ecuadorian workers, peasants and toiling masses in general not to give any trust to this administration. We believe that after so many struggles and uprisings that we, the fighters, have carried out, our proposal is an independent organisation and struggle.

 Left-wing organisations, which, in search of seats in this new administration, invite people to trust the new government, are wrong. We believe that only our struggle and organisation for our demands and our rights will achieve the promised radical changes.

 We assert that there are no real possibilities of seriously improving our living standards unless we attack the roots of the capitalist-imperialist system and advance in the direction of a workers’ and socialist revolution. Unless we attack the very heart of the interests of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, unless we put an end to the looting on our wealth, there is no way of definitely improving the situation of Ecuadorian toiling masses nor of those in the rest of the world.   

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