The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Previous constitutions never represented the Ecuadorian people's interest

Via Mathaba
Caracas, Sep. 27th. ABN.- The Ecuador’s ambassador to Venezuela, Francisco Suéscum, affirmed that the creation of the twentieth Magna Carta in the Andean country is essential because the previous 19 were just attempts to have a Constitution and that they never represented the Ecuadorian’s interests.

During an interview conceded to the Bolivarian Agency of News (ABN, by its acronym in Spanish), Suéscum explained the main changes that the Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, aims to carry out, through his champion project, the setting of a new Constituent Assembly and the subsequent drafting of a new Magna Carta.

Regarding to this, he spoke on the possibility to reform the institutional system of the State; the concept of the revoking referendum; the territorial reorganization; regional autonomies and on the necessity to dismantle the legitimized neo liberal model in the 1998 Constitution (currently in force), according the expressed by Correa in different opportunities.

All the mentioned above will be debated by the 130 assembly members to be elected next September 30th, date in which around 9 million 300 thousand Ecuadorians will vote by the representatives they choose out of the 3,229 who are nominated.

The interview, which content is stated below, was also useful to raise national issues with the Ecuadorian diplomacy leader in Venezuela, as the Constitutional Reform Bill and the XXI century socialism.

''We are not talking about a foreign doctrine without answers. We are talking about a socialism adapted to our own reality and we are building it,'' he said on this matter.

ABN: What is the basic purpose of creating a new Constitution, number 20, in Ecuador? Why not presenting the possibility of promoting the essential changes through a constitutional reform?

FS: In Ecuador we have had, in a kind of pseudo-democracy that has been historically becoming evident in our country, many attempts to have a Constitution. But the result of such attempts are negative because there has not been a constitution that really express the interests of a sovereign people, which desires to be the owner of its auto determination, as it should be.

As you just said, we have had 19 constitutions that in the end the only thing they have done is to repeat the previous vices and faults without giving that answer that the people are demanding, is not that they ask for it, they demand it, because it is part of their rights.

Now, we are promoting the setting of a Constituent Assembly really representative of these people, which is a considerable switch to those institutions apparently democratic that definitively did not reflect what a real democracy should reflect.

The current constitution we have (1998) is the result of a Constituent Assembly that bothered to benefit the sector of the traditional political parties, those who certainly President Rafael Correa calls the ''Ecuadorian partidocracia,'' because they represent the vice interests of emaciated groups that no longer have any credibility and who have been rejected in all elections.

ABN: What is the institutional reform of the State about, as stated Rafael Correa in his electoral campaign?

FS: Look, the thing is that, in Ecuador, we have an institutional system that has always been managed by that political class I told you about, associated and representative of economic interests which have nothing to do with social interests.

Those institutions, as the National Congress or the Supreme Court of Justice, to talk about two essential bodies of the State, Legislative and Judicial, have been showing all those vices. Those same things that had been happening in all Latin American countries, before the revolutionary processes in which our America is now immersed.

Then, those institutions are occupied by sectors that, abusing from people’s confidence, using economic means by illegal ways just as a merchant does, they sell the image of a candidate to achieve an objective: get a seat in Congress, for example, and then betray the people they are supposed to represent. At the moment the reach the seat, they become enemies of that people, forgetting and dissociating from everything they said wanted to represent. They become what I call representatives of the anti-country.

ABN: And what does this Government aim to do in order to change that reality?

FS: President Correa, in his government program he presented to the Ecuadorian people before becoming president, talked with great clarity on this politic institutional crisis of our country. He said it was necessary to call for a Constituent Assembly, but one integrated by people chosen by Ecuadorians, involving those sectors previously excluded; like Ecuadorians living in other countries, giving them the chance to be represented in this process.

This Constituent Assembly intends to draw a new Constitution, yes, but not a clone, a copy of all previous vice constitutions, like the one we currently have. The new Magna Carta compulsory has to reflect the interests of a people tired of so much atrocity and outrage. It has to be that way.

From this point of view it has been proposed that, undeniably and because we are dealing with a Constituent Assembly with full powers, the President should operate according that Constituent, and so should do all the officials of free removal. The Assembly has to ratify them.

That is the whole problem of the current Congress. We have a Parliament that reflects all the vices of the emaciated political class that resists to the change, which only tries to maintain their privileges untouched. For this reason, they opposed to the fact that the Constituent has full powers, because they know the will have to go home if the people decide so.

ABN: So, this reform of the institutions would consist on making them more representatives instead of creating new ones, right?

FS: Look, the Assembly has full powers to do everything that should be done in a country to be rebuilt, and the reconstruction of a country demands a change from its basis. The reach of this change is in the hands of the people: it is on Sunday September 30th.

It is an opportunity that the Ecuadorians have to express our real interests, as the Venezuelan people did with the Constituent that wrote the Venezuelan Magna Carta of 1999, and as we have to go improving things, since surely, if necessary, we will make steps towards the basic reforms, as well as the Venezuelan government is doing here, through the Reform Bill.

ABN: Had previously occurred a process like this in Ecuador, in which people vote for the installment of a Constituent, choose the assembly men and then go back to the polls to approve the new Constitution?

FS: No, this is an unprecedented process in Ecuador. Apparently, any supporter of the Statu Quo (the established power system) may say it is not, but it is. It is a deeply and genuinely democratic process.

ABN: President Rafael Correa says that, in economic matters, the 1998 Constitution legitimize neoliberalism. Why?

FS: Because the 1998 Constitution is one that, as I said at the beginning of the interview, the only thing it pursued was to fit the situation according what the government of the moment needed; fit the country and its institutions to the neoliberal leanings imposed to the Latin American countries; preserve the parameters of a society where individuals, human beings are merely numbers, almost merchandise, countable goods for economic and commercial means, instead of beings subject to a comprehensive development of a society where the human being should be more important than the resources a country possesses.

Neoliberal globalization, which has brought disastrous consequences for our countries, insists on counting us as necessary subjects for trade exchange. This is one of the realities that leads us to consider everything from a different perspective, to evolve into a socialist world, a human one, from the XXI century, from there it comes XXI century socialism.

ABN: Now that you raise the issue, what would you answer to those who perceive the XXI century socialism as a ''ghost consideration, a theory which is still not written''?

FS: I would say that we are talking about a kind of socialism adapted to our own realities and that we are building. We are not talking about a foreign doctrine that no longer has answers. That the dialectical evolution of the world, of humanity, has taken us to make reconsiderations away from foreign dogmatisms we know do not lead us to that better and progressive realization of the human being.

I would tell them to update themselves, to live reality and to coexist with the society we live in. to get out of their cenacles (isolated rooms) in which they just hobnobs with big bankers, with the representatives of the big transnational companies, and to realize that the world has changed, that the receipts that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were not the more suitable measures. That, if they continue like that, they will be out of history.

ABN: Will the new Constitution of Ecuador include mechanisms of citizen participation for the taking of decisions of the State, besides going to polls?

FS: Absolutely, if we had kept on that we would do nothing but to repeat the already done. It will now exists, for example, the possibility of revoking the term of office to every governmental official at the moment that the people verify that such representative did not carried out with what he was supposed to do, starting with the President as well as the local governors, majors, etc.

ABN: Have you ever consider any mechanism similar to the Communal Councils here in Venezuela?

FS: I might not foresee that because the Constituent Assembly has not been set, but I am sure that our clear-sighted assembly members will establish the mechanisms they consider necessary according the Ecuadorian reality, in order to carry on the best goals.

ABN: How does this Government conceive the so-called regional autonomies? How should they be and which what purpose?

FS: Autonomies should be clearly understood inside the organic whole of the country but not as a few absurd sectors pretend to conceive them, almost like kind of independent republics or mini-republics. That is definitively ridiculous.

They should be understood as the autonomies the municipal governments need to manage those municipalities with the resources they generate.

The autonomies should be promoted in the regions of the country where they are required and needed for an administration of the most efficient resources, to break with the lock that a total centralism means.

ABN: There is another proposal to be debated on the Constituent and it is the territorial reorganization. Why is it necessary to rethink the political-territorial division of the country?

FS: The government has a very clear idea on this issue: the country has to be administratively conformed in a different way to that which is currently traced, which is from north to south.

What happens is that we have three regions that are like three vertical stripes: the coast region on the occident; the region of the mountain range in the center, and the Amazonian region or west region.

Then, regarding the configuration of the political map of Ecuador, we are thinking in the establishment of regions aligned horizontally instead of vertically as they are set. It means that there will be provinces that integrate in their territories the coast, the mountain range and the Amazonian region, that all of them form part of those three regions.

We have always seen in our country such regional division: coast provinces, mountain provinces and Amazonian provinces, like three remnants. What we pretend is to change those isolationist perspectives. That would be a substantial change.

ABN: So it means that there will be created new provinces or the 22 already existing will be reduced?

FS: There will still be the 22 provinces, unless the Constituent Assembly decides another territorial conformation, it proposes any kind of formation of federal states or something like that, but for the moment thing will keep that way.

Translated by Felitza Nava

No comments:

Post a Comment