Ecuador: a Severe Blow to Correísmo

By Ángel Guerra Cabrera on April 15, 2021

Photo: Santiago Fernández / EFE

What caused the electoral debacle of the candidate of the Union for Hope (UNES) Andrés Arauz in the April 11 election against the money-laundering banker Guillermo Lasso? True, Correism has had to face colossal adversities to survive and compete electorally: political persecution, fabricated trials, imprisonment, the exile of its historic leadership, unprecedented lynching by the media pack, meager financial resources compared to its adversaries, the opposition of the United States and the oligarchies. But that is elementary to expect this from the empire and the right-wing.

The vote of the other popular forces, divided from the Citizen Revolution (CR), and the fact that their leaders identified this as their main enemy instead of neoliberalism and imperialism, ordering their militants to annul their vote, is part of the explanation but it requires delving deeper into the causes that led to this.

The hard vote of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) annulled approximately 30 percent of their votes, although many indigenous people voted for the banker. This is seen in the data from Pichincha, where Quito is located, which with 17 percent of the electoral roll, gave 30 percent to Lasso. Similar happened with the vote of Xavier Hervas, of Izquierda Democrática (ID), another popular force. But it would not be revolutionary to blame the indigenous and ID supporters for Andres’ defeat.  Although the leadership of these forces is based on sectarianism, anti-correísmo, dogmatism or lack of principles, the leaders of the CR owe an explanation to their followers, to the Ecuadorian people and to so many of us who were and are in solidarity with their political force. There is no simple explanation for the fact that Lasso has taken a lead of almost half a million votes over Andres.

This advantage means a severe blow to the Citizen Revolution. Although it is not yet clear to them, the blow is extensive to all social organizations and the common people. Very soon they will have to face, in unfavorable conditions and disunited, a terrible onslaught of anti-popular, starving policies, dismantling what is left of public services and labor and social rights won during the governments of Rafael Correa, which will surpass the fierce neoliberalism of outgoing President Moreno, the most hated in the contemporary history of the country.

It is public and notorious that Moreno co-governed with Lasso despite the fact that he has made a good part of the electorate believe the contrary in a cunning and mendacious publicity maneuver of Jaime Durán Barba -, expert in dirty war, consultant of Lasso and also of other neoliberal politicians such as Macri -, always with unlimited funds and armies of bots. One of the latest feats of Moreno and the banker is the ongoing privatization of the Central Bank, a measure that will prevent the entity from defending national interests and will grant even greater benefits to the bankers while accentuating the impoverishment of the popular sectors. Lasso’s victory also implies a greater subordination to the US, opposition to regional unity and integration, and the establishment of a team with Uribe-Duque directed against Venezuela and the progressive governments and forces of the region.

It is an anthology when, before the second round in the 2017 election, Yaku Pérez, also then-candidate of CONAIE, stated that he would rather vote for a banker, in reference to Lasso, than for a dictator, alluding to Moreno, who had not yet consummated his vile betrayal. Perez does not have in his endorsement the social struggles of other referents of CONAIE and he does have an excellent relationship with the US embassy and with NGOs of imperialist and ecologist light. He has all the traces of an agent planted by the CIA to further divide the indigenous movement. CONAIE has an admirable history of rebellions that overthrew several neoliberal presidents, but since it was part of the government of Lucio Gutierrez, it began a drift that was lacking in principles and corruption of some of its leaders. Already in Correa’s government, it did not condemn the coup d’état of 2010, openly supported by its political arm Pachacutik. As far as we know, none of this has been the subject of a self-critical analysis by the leaders of the indigenous movement. Hopefully, we will hear it soon.

I would also expect to read a review of this nature from UNES because it is very clear that the indigenous people are not oligarchs and I am afraid that the leaders of the Citizen Revolution did not do their best to achieve, with due humility, a dialogue with this indispensable sector of the Andean-Amazonian liberation project. Nothing should be left out of the analysis. Was it right for Correa to leave the leadership and the country without having a party or an organized social

Source: La Pupila Insomne, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English