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.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ecuador-Bolivia: Conspiring oligarchies

BY NIDIA DIAZ —Special for Granma International— February 18, 2008

• LATIN American right-wing forces are not happy at the failure of their maneuvers against the popular nationalist and revolutionary processes unfolding in the region with the support of the vast majority of the electorate, and which have swept them off the political stage.

First it was Venezuela, where the Bolivarian Revolution has been, and is, the target of the most vicious campaigns to discredit its efforts, including sabotage of its oil industry, the kidnapping of Chávez and multiple plots to assassinate him, the fascist 47-hour coup and innumerable actions that for more than 10 years now simply corroborate the bankruptcy of the opposition within the country, despite the extensive support that it receives from the United States.

The opposition, which is none other than the displaced oligarchy, can feel the earth moving under its feet, with the loss of its privileges spreading irreversibly throughout the region

It is no accident that a number of oppositions are beginning to design a common strategy, something like an international terror blanco (white terror) organization, establishing alliances – always with White House money – to obstruct and subvert internal order with the goal of regaining power in countries whose governments are not in tune with the so-called Washington consensus.

Bolivia and Ecuador have not escaped these machinations. The new year has barely begun, with Evo Morales and Rafael Correa starting the second and third years of their terms, respectively, and confrontations with the most violent sectors of the national oligarchies, entrenched in separatist positions, have increased.

In Ecuador, for example, opposition representatives have warned that the political climate may heat up, even more so than in Bolivia. Well aware of the strategy being employed by governors of the so-called eastern Media Luna departments, the Ecuadorian right wing has allied itself with them in the common cause, particularly at this time, of derailing the Constituent Assemblies established in both countries with the goal of developing new constitutions in which the principles of equity, sovereignty, social inclusion and the recuperation of natural resources will be explicitly established.

Important in this context is that leaders in both countries have publicly denounced these attempts, getting in ahead of the media powers that are playing their part in this dirty war in which separatism will be one of the pieces in play, in order to checkmate those processes, that raise territorial unity as one of the pillars of the national strategy.

In the case of Bolivia, much has been said about the consolidation of the right wing racist oligarchy of the so-called eastern Media Luna

—including the departments of Santa Cruz, Panda, Tarija and Benin, plus Chuquisaca—which has given the Movement Toward Socialism government no respite with its secessionist demands and other contrivances looking to undermine the success of the Constituent Assembly and, of course, that of the new constitution that would re-found the country.

The Bolivian right wing has resorted to violence and racism as weapons against the process led by President Evo Morales, even reaching the point, given the paucity of its ideas, of attacking Assembly members and those sympathizers of the government’s revolutionary project who, in Santa Cruz for example, are simply in the streets.

By raising the banners of departmental autonomy, the opposition is attempting to pressure the government into renouncing its principles and promises to the people and accepting an autonomy which, beyond just words, is nothing else but leaving control of natural resources and jurisdiction over land so as to obstruct agrarian reform in the hands of the oligarchy and in those of the parties representing them.

The current players in this strategy are the opposition governors who a few weeks ago agreed to sit down and talk in the Quemado Presidential Palace, in the face of Morales’ decision to call for a recall referendum of the presidency and the governors’ positions if the political situation in the country did not improve.

For his part, President Rafael Correa in Ecuador, who has just completed the first year of his term, denounced the conspiracy of the Guayaquil right wing opposition with its counterpart in Santa Cruz. He pointed out the similarities between the two groups, both being "opulently rich, semi-ignorant and elitist."

The issue of department autonomy, which is now emerging in Guayaquil as well, has become a veritable Trojan horse to erode and destroy the revolutionary work that, despite the obstacles, is not being halted in Bolivia or in Ecuador.

What this issue is about is preventing the social, political and economic transformations both countries need as a foundation for the fair and equitable use of resources for the good of the people, which, obviously, lacerates the interests of the minority national oligarchies and the discredited party machine; individuals, moreover, who are angry because, in their respective countries, the era of servility and dependence on foreign interests has been brought to an end.

In the case of Ecuador, it is Social-Christian Jaime Nebot, mayor of Guayaquil, who is leading the opposition and receiving multi-million dollar support from Washington to subvert internal order within the country.

Just days ago, the Ecuadorian minister of the interior presented a video revealing a million-dollar blackmail scheme directed towards members of the Constituent Assembly, pressuring them to vote against the new constitutional project and obstruct the process until the end.

Gabriel Rivera, one of the Allianza País assembly members, revealed that he had been contacted and offered one million dollars to join the "zapa" mission and a further $250,000 for every other legislator he recruited. There are indications that point to the participation of former president Lucio Gutiérrez in the obstructionist maneuver.

As is to be expected, the opposition front in Nebot is made up of bankers, cattle ranchers, business operators, displaced politicians who do not find convenient proposed reforms that would eliminate tax evasion, much less state assumption of control over concessions on natural resources granted by neoliberal governments to the transnationals, whose profits which never remained within the country to promote development. Nor do they like measures such as those of price controls to deter speculation, not to mention their rejection of the use of state funds for works of a social nature.

The fact is that they have much to lose with an honest administration willing to do whatever is necessary to bring equity to society and eliminate the enormous social debt that has accumulated within the country.

The days to come will witness an increase in violent activity by the right wing elitist opposition against the revolutionary processes in Bolivia and Ecuador. These maneuvers will increase in direct proportion to the losses of their ancestral privileges. •

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