IN DEPTH: Turning the Pink Tide – Lessons of Leftism in Latin America

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Every Communist must grasp the truth; “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” — Mao Zedong

The neoliberal cancer which unseated leadership in Brazil and Argentina has reached Ecuador, inflicting disastrous consequences.

It began with former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa’s persecution on 11 June.

A communique revealed that Attorney General Paul Perez conspired to charge him for opposition legislator Fernando Balda Flores’s 2012 kidnapping.  Criminal Guarantees judge of the National Court of Justice (CNJ) Daniella Camacho later ordered Correa’s extradition from Belgium to Ecuador, conveniently in time for America’s 4 July festivities.

Correa lambasted the charges as politically motivated “lawfare” from the onset. “They might be able to get false testimonies, but never material evidence,” he scoffed on Twitter. When asked who was responsible, Correa forcefully asserted in an AFP interview,

Without a doubt the government. [It] announced it in November, met Balda in secret on April 20… with his lawyers as well.

Correa then spoke about his erstwhile colleague, current Ecuadorian president and frenemy Lenin Moreno, whose referendum barred unlimited presidential terms and ended his incumbency,

[Moreno] is behind this. But that’s obvious. He’s pushing it. I insist, he met with Balda… He is behind all this, the judicialisation of politics.

Several media outlets rushed to Correa’s defence. Escambray denounced the CNJ’s actions as,

a US-led well-orchestrated attempt to demoralize and delegitimize progressive political leaders, in order to prevent them from returning to power or to undermine their leadership.”

Nevertheless, Washington’s new neoliberal muppet Moreno began following orders to the letter, culling Ecuador’s social welfare programmes and, with the graces of the National Assembly, passed the Organic Law to Promote Productivity in favour of international business interests.

Again, marches have erupted to protest these ‘reforms’, rallying the Ecuadorian people behind legislator Gabriela Rivadeneira of the Citizen’s Revolution Movement, who publicly decried that,

“in this march we have the participation of those citizens whose rights are being violated [to prevent] the regression in labor rights, educations, health, wealth redistribution, and sovereignty.”

She continued,

“The hardest hit is the effort to diminish, de-legitimize, not only the leader of the Citizens’ Revolution, but an entire project that began from below, that had strength for ten years [and] made itself one of the biggest political forces of our day. This is what they want to end through judicial processes because they can’t arrive to power through the popular vote.”

Yet another Latin American leader is overthrown, leaving behind a disoriented public. To make sense of it, one must always study the material conditions (base) leading up to these events in order to determine which errors were committed.

 

As Latin American “socialism” is dismantled, piece by piece, state by state, economically, socially, and politically, a deep reflection on the nature of socialism is required before disaster strikes again.

Right hand man, Left Hand path

While it is true that president Moreno is a backstabber, the White House provided him the knife.

US Vice president Mike Pence met with Moreno during his June Latin American tour, primarily to discuss the prospects of isolating Venezuela, stating that,


“We respectfully urge Ecuador and all of our allies across the region to take steps to further isolate the [Venezuelan president Nicolas] Maduro regime.”

Whilst Moreno agreed to share security intel, he refused Pence’s initial offer, replying that,
“[we] believe that the solution for Venezuela can only be provided by Venezuelans.”

Reuters reports that around 150,000 Venezuelan refugees fled to Ecuador during its economic crisis, the result of unilateral US sanctions from both the Obama and Trump administrations, and slumped economy resulting from the 2015 Saudi oil glut, which decimated oil revenues.

Currently, president Maduro is fiercely counteracting these sanctions and US-backed colour revolutions with the country’s National Constituent Assembly and burgeoning Petro cryptocurrency.  Maduro additionally plans to launch Local Defence Committees—domestic militias—capable of defending Venezuela sovereignty as outlined in the government’s 2019-2025 Homeland Plan.

Prior to this, Pence phoned Moreno to discuss deepening cooperation as well as the “need to work together with like-minded nations to protect and promote [bourgeois] freedom”.

These talks served multiple purposes: to isolate Venezuela, dismantle Pink Tide governments, attack UNASUR after six pro-US countries temporarily suspended their memberships, and additionally, pressure Moreno into extraditing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

One should note that Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship on 11 January and many speculate he could leave the UK embassy under such grounds. A band of US senators led by lickspittle Sen. Bob Menendez [D-NJ] wrote a letter opining Assange’s “subversion”, urging VP Pence to;

[R]aise U.S. concerns with President Moreno about Ecuador’s continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.

Most importantly and underreported was an IMF statement detailed a meeting, where;

Staff from the IMF met [to] discuss macro-economic issues and the avenues of cooperation between the IMF and the authorities of Ecuador, including the forthcoming Article IV consultation and support to develop capacity in a range of technical areas identified by the authorities.

The meeting also took place 11 June, sealing Ecuador’s imminent privatisation. Correa, who wrote off Ecuador’s IMF debt in 2007, was targeted by his former creditors, just as Argentina and Brazil.

Pink Tide socialism vs. Marxist-Leninism

A previous article outlined the failures of Latin American socialism and their causes: bourgeois parliamentarianism, and no expropriation of the bourgeoisie or dictatorship of the proletariat.

Fundamentally, Pink Tide movements occur when Leftist (‘left’ of what?) Latin American countries pretend to carry out socialist revolution without observing the basic tenants of Marxian science.

This sugar-coated socialism is simply a mixture of red (left-wing) and white (right-wing) classes with a chewy, effeminate power structure, with plenty of natural resources to appease supporters.

On a Freudian level, one could call Pink Tide socialism “50 Shades of Pink”, in which a sadomasochistic relationship forms between the Left and their wealthy bourgeois patrons.

Like his Pink Tide counterparts, Correa is a social-democrat who foolishly believes that capitalism can peacefully transition to socialism via gradual reforms. Unbeknownst to him, violent revolution is a prerequisite for socialism and is non-negotiable.

As a socialist, Correa was tasked with smashing the old capitalist republic like his Cuban and (finally) Venezuelan compatriots had done, and then cultivating a skilled, militant proletariat class to expropriate the bourgeoisie and command the means of production, but he and his party refused.

Like a faithful social-democrat, he did the exact opposite and let them flourish under his watch.

Speaking on the need for violent revolution, Chairman Mao Zedong reminded his compatriots that,

The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution [which] holds well universally, for China and for all other countries.

This tenant stems from Marx, who outlined in Capital, Ch. 32, the natural laws governing capitalism, reiterating,

That which is now to be expropriated [is] the capitalist exploiting many labourers [which] is accomplished by the action of the immanent laws of capitalistic production itself, by the centralisation of capital [which] grows the revolt of the working class [that is] always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself.

Therefore, according to Marx, capitalism contains the inherent seeds of its own demise, which makes preserving capitalist modes of production futile and counterproductive.

He continues,

 

 

The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production […] Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.

Correa’s government was that integument—a thin socialist veneer painted over a capitalist base—and as a consequence, Ecuador’s government will experience two stages of capitalist crisis:

1. The end of Correa’s PAIS Alliance rule over Ecuador, followed by chaos and

2. The collapse of Lenin Moreno’s PAIS Alliance (and US) rule over Ecuador

For example, the Cuban revolution used its 26 July Movement civil resistance groups (armed and marching) to achieve this through violence, beginning with an assault on the Santiago de Cuba barracks in 1953 and culminating with US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista’s overthrow in 1959.

The new government immediately purged members of the old imperialist state, postponed elections, commandeered the means of production through forced nationalisation of foreign industries, and developed ties to the Soviet Union, Argentina, Venezuela, and many others.

Cuba’s first Prime Minister Fidel Castro reminded his cadres of the necessity of revolutionary struggle,

The Cuban Revolution takes up Marx at the point where he himself left science to shoulder his revolutionary rifle [not] in a revisionist spirit, of struggling against that which follows Marx [and we], practical revolutionaries [simply] fulfill laws foreseen by Marx [which] are present [independently] of what its leaders profess or fully know of those laws from a theoretical point of view…

However, it is precisely this revisionism that have wrought destruction on Pink Tide nations. By ignoring fundamental tasks given to socialist leaders and their cadres, Ecuador and others have endangered the UNASUR dream through a careless, revisionist understanding of Marxist theory.

Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Uruguay and Cuba, now encircled by hostile imperialist camps in Columbia, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, and others, are the last bastions of hope for Latin American socialism, and will undergo a fierce, protracted and deadly struggle to secure its victory.

The world will also watch as Brazil votes for its next leader on 7 October. One can hardly call this process a revolutionary struggle as Brazilians continue the folly of social-democracy.

Correa, from the comfort of his Belgian residence, should reread Castro’s 1960 speech on US aggression in order to prepare for the coming months,

The Latin American nations will see that the U.S. Government does not want people to develop. It does not want hunger to end; does not want the peasants to have land; does not want illiterates to have schools; does not want nations to have culture or high living standards [and] does not want them to enjoy their work and their land.

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