Revisionists, Brezhnevites and supporters of the pro-imperialist “Communist Party of Ecuador” have rallied behind the social-democrat Correa and launched a hysterical campaign of lies and slander as usual against the communists in Ecuador. This article is written in defense of the Hoxhaist Partido Comunista Marxista-Leninista del Ecuador (PCMLE) and defending the revolutionary forces in Ecuador from attacks and lies by anti-communists.
“Any action that a social movement takes can be read, understood, or publicized as an action in support of the Right, since this government is supposedly a Leftist one. This has produced a climate of uncertainty over what positions to take, what actions to take.”
– Ivonne Ramos of Acción Ecologica
No doubt you’ve heard the leftist forums alight with news of the “coup attempt” in Ecuador against President Rafael Correa. Perhaps you’ve also heard rumors that the PCMLE and MPD are complicit in this so-called “coup attempt,” while the social democrats in power have their hands clean of any sordid deeds. In fact, this is simply not true. The Marxist-Leninists, or “Hoxhaists,” as they are sometimes called, did not support the coup attempt against Correa.
Many so-called “socialists,” particularly Brezhnevites and Trotskyites, have joined the chorus in calling for the destruction of the Hoxhaists in Ecuador based on the fact that they did not support the government of Correa and instead backed the uprising, which was not limited to the police but rather extended to that institution.
Organizations have thus seen the need to disgustingly label Marxist-Leninists on the international scene as “sinners” for not supporting the social democratic government in Ecuador. They claim that they “backed the right-wing coup.”
The PCMLE are now being compared by traitors and revisionists as the same as the pro-Hoxha Maoist CIA-infiltrated group “Bandera Roja” in Venezuela.
The “Bandera Roja” has been expelled from the ICMLPO for 6 years now and now has less than 100 people left, since their actual MLs formed a new ICMLPO-supported party.
Oddly, the Hoxhaists in Ecuador are also falsely charged with calling Correa a “social-fascist,” when in fact it was Ecuador’s Maoists who made this trumped-up charge. There is no document, announcement or evidence for such an action or announcement by the PCMLE or MPD, nor any of its affiliated trade unions.
I will counter these slanders below and deal with many of the questions surrounding the stance of the Hoxhaists in Ecuador and internationally.
These anti-communist slanders against the ACTUAL communists in Ecuador should come as surprise to nobody, since in the Brezhnevite view one can never support communists without empowering the right. This article sums up the Brezhnevite line on Ecuador, which extends to the PSL and other Marcyites, et al:
Firstly, this article is from the pro-imperialist PCE, which was openly infiltrated by the CIA for many years.It also calls Hoxhaists “fascists,” which is sheer reactionary filth that the author of this blog, BJ Murphy, should be ashamed for re-printing!
In his response to a commenter, notice he says “Well the PCMLE are not in power. They’re actually one of the least [!!!! – E.S.] communist groups to have support of the mass people. Now if they can start gaining better solidarity & actually do something other than support US-backed coups, then they may have a chance. As you can see, Communists that protected the government of Ecuador were far larger in numbers & power than the PCMLE. Nothing in the world is better than worker’s power. I want to see such in Ecuador, but this coup was an act of imperialism. An act we must always declare opposition against as top priority.”
This really should’ve been a time to invoke the “no investigation, no right to speak” clause of being a Marxist. In the mid 1960s the U.S. State Department estimated the party membership of the PCE to be approximately 2500. Later, the PCE was legalized, although it had only an estimated 500 members in 1988. The PCE participated in congressional and presidential elections as part of the coalition of the Broad Left Front (Frente Amplio de Izquierda – FADI), which gained thirteen seats in Congress in 1986.
Meanwhile, the Hoxhaist PCMLE is over 200,000 people and controls unions amounting to 2,000,000 Ecuadorian workers, peasants, students and teachers.
At the same time Brezhnevite bloggers were calling the vanguard of the Ecuadorian working class “fascists[!]”, on Revlib, the Mos Eisley spaceport of the left and a wretched hive of Trotskyfascists and Anarchskkkum:
Brezhnevites and “New Communists,” who are uniformly in European social-democratic countries, walk in lock-step with Trots, ultra-lefts and those with FBI informant George Orwell avatars in condemning the PCMLE and the MPD in Ecuador. From the CubaNews email list, one PCE supporter says about the PCE and the PCMLE:
“They have always had a rather ultra-left discourse, but in practice they are great street-fighters. It was the alliance between the CONAIE and PCMLE, as well as the unions, which helped to topple successive governments, including the regime of Gutierrez in 2005. The PCE and the CTE also played an important role, but the PCE has always been more [petty-bourgeois] in social composition.”
What Do Marxist-Leninists Say?
I support the PCMLE’s position, and above all PCMLE is the needed party. It has a mass movement, a mass line and can really act. That’s why Correa tries to show them as “imperialist agents” and “terrorists” and as puppets of whatever foreign intelligence agencies are fashionable. Given U.S. history in the region, this wouldn’t be hard to believe were Correa not himself seeking rapprochement with U.S. imperialism.
While PCE can only watch and give lessons, the PCMLE are actually waging a struggle against capitalism in Ecuador. When you are a small bunch of urban intellectuals and you have no mass movement or illegal military wing (unlike the PCMLE), to go on and start people’s revolution, you end up working for the bourgeoisie as loyal servants.
However, foreign Marxists should really know better, perhaps to listen to the countless public statements of Ecuadorian revolutionaries (NOT reformists like the PCE), about what actually happened. Otherwise they should keep their mouths shut.
What Do the Mass Organizations of Ecuador Say?
CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, asserted:
We reject President Rafael Correa’s racist, authoritarian, and antidemocratic statements, which violate the rights of [indigenous] nationalities and peoples enshrined in international conventions and treaties. This constitutes an attack against the construction of a pluri-national and intercultural democracy in Ecuador. Correa has assumed the traditional neoliberal posture of the rightist oligarchy.
Ah, but don’t you see? It’s all CIA, of course!
Straw Men, False Accusations
Here are some other attacks from “Revleft.com”:
A coup against a leftist president, albeit one who is a capitalist head of a bourgeois government, would be a major blow to the workers movement in Ecuador. Let’s hope that this does not succeed or there could potentially be a serious crackdown and repression facing workers struggles in Ecuador.
Criticism is good, as long as you don’t cross the line. When the workers are supporting a guy you don’t like, you should NOT take arms side to side with the right counter-revolutionaries.
“The Vegan “Marxist” had this to say:
Exactly. I don’t see what’s wrong in having a military backing a Socialist government. It’s tactical, & in a lot of cases, as we can clearly see, it’s necessary.
When someone objected, stating the OBVIOUS FACT that the government was not socialist, the situation was distorted by another poster:
Right, we probably should have backed the police here!
Oddly, supporting police – in active striking – was NOT okay in these swampy parts of the internet, but supporting a bourgeois state’s military machine – notably not striking as they cracked down on the left with machine guns and tear gas – is just fine.
In fact, any dissent from this line is CIA, but not backing the US-supporting Correa.
Is this true? Does the PCMLE represent nothing more than the drives of imperialism, of the CIA?
PCMLE response to these accusations:
The lie as the official discourse
It is known the trick of the offender that, when is felt exposed , screams “catch the thief, catch the thief” so that the eyes of the witnesses go over elsewhere and in this way keep free of the responsability. By this logic works the President when he feels concerned in his image, and releases all sorts of insults, lies, and defendants who are considered the opposition.
Insolent – as normally acts- on the last Saturday called fascist and criminals to the members of the _Movimiento Popular Democratico. “Criminals? Is not this government that must answer for the murder of Professor Bosco Wisuma, produced a year ago in Morona? Was not this government that ordered the assault to the Police Hospital- actions not allowed even in war conditions , which cost the lives of eight Ecuadorian? Who is responsible for the brutal repression unleashed in Dayuma or against Zamora Chinchipe miners?
The struggle of the revolutionary left to transform this country has claimed the lives of militants from the MPD and other organizations committed to the workers and the people. Jaime Hurtado is the most emblematic example that illuminates the workings of the MPD and thousands of popular fighters of Ecuador. The revolutionary left does not lower their flags and is front-line fighter against the right and imperialism. Correa’s insults do not change the nature and purposes of those who fight for a revolution.
Correa has betrayed the political project of change and the hope that millions of Ecuadorians han nested. He moved away from positions of the left when said infront to the imperialism spokeswoman, Hillary Clinton h he is not anti-capitalist and imperialist, applies a neoliberal policy that causes rejection of our people, its government has become increasingly anti-democratic and authoritarian, Correa could be further from the constitutional provisions adopted in Montecristi. Missing space to show how far the government is of the change which the people voted.
Surely the trick correista continue and we continue listen “they are criminals … they are the fascists.”
In 1964, M-Ls formed the Ecuadorian Marxist Leninist Communist Party (PCMLE). The PCMLE operated largely as an illegal and clandestine party, but in 1977 formed the Popular Democratic Movement (MPD) as a legal electoral front.
Is the PCMLE / MPD in Ecuador the vanguard of the working class or a student-led petty-bourgeois organization?
MPD: The relationship between MPD and the workers, peasants, teachers, students etc… is political and ideological. This relationship is a natural one. It is important that people in the parliament come from workers’, peasants’, teachers’ etc. organization. The organizations that work directly with us are UGTE (Workers organisation – 30, 000 members; 2nd largest trade union), UNE (Teachers’ organisation), FEUE (students’ organisation – 350, 000 members), UCAE (peasant organisation), PCMLE etc. We work with and organize in total 15 of these organizations (total membership – 2 million). In the last 20 years we have been working with this structure. All candidates for the elections come from these organizations. This is the principal way in which to obtain victory for the people.
The MPD on the present situation:
The National Executive of the Popular Democratic Movement, to the events that occurred yesterday in the country, notes solely responsible to President Rafael Correa, who in an attitude of arrogance challenged in Quito Regiment to the police, who made use of the right constitutional resistance, which degenerated into clashes that we all know.
The people of Ecuador, the troops and military police along with social and popular organizations, launched a righteous protest against the adoption of neoliberal laws, sent to the Assembly by Correa, these laws remain acquired rights public servants and encourages the dismissal of 225,000 workers.
The MPD, rejects the violation of the right of freedom of expression the regime committed yesterday in the state of emergency and the only voice heard is the official channel, restricting freedom of expression, selling the world the false information of a coup attempt, when in our country that there is a people who disagree with government policy which aims to pass laws affecting the achievements and rights of workers and peoples of Ecuador.
The revolutionary left supports popular actions, which today has risen in protest along with thousands of public servants in the country, with social organizations continue raising actions to continue the defense of university autonomy, our natural resources, national sovereignty, by the way of real change in the New Nation and Socialism.
We reiterate the call for unity of all political leftist, progressive, workers, teachers, students, peasants, indigenous people, to prevent President Correa to continue violating their human and constitutional rights of all social sectors.
Articles on the Subject Endorsing this View
From the author Greg McDonald on the “Marxism” List:
According to that line of reasoning, neither the high command of the military nor the police deviated from their loyalty to President Correa. The discontent emerged from below. demands were purely economic. Finally, the president even received support from the bourgeois right-wing in Guayaquil. All of these groups have backed the presidential decision to institute a state of siege inside the country, which has now been prolonged inside Quito.
Outside the country, Correa received the support of the OAS, President Obama, who called him personally to express his support, the UN, the UNASUR, and even the right wing governments of the region such as Peru, Colombia, and Chile.
There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that the president was not really a victim of kidnapping either. Correa had access to his cell phone, guards were not posted outside his door, and he even had negotiated his peaceful exit from the hospital with his presumptive kidnappers. All of this has been verified by Dr’s Gilberto Calle and Fernando Vargas, as well as by journalists who were present in the room with the president.
To be sure, Lucio Gutierrez tried to take advantage of the situation to press publicly for Correa’s replacement, but his was the lone voice among the right wing bourgeoisie and partidocracy crying in the wilderness.
Not only does Correa represent the bonapartist head of a bourgeois government, seeking to disarticulate the social movements and push forward with a neo-extractivist economic program, he is even deviating from Chavez’s foreign policy by working with the Colombian government to encircle the FARC rebels.
With friends like these….
Correa Himself Admits There Was No CIA Coup:
President Correa was interviewed last week by a Colombian TV network, and an Ecuadorian paper published the transcript. In the interview, the President states unequivocally there was no USA involvement in the attempted coup on September 30th, and while he has suspicions of right-wing US involvement, his government has no proof of any US complicity. They do have proof that the extreme right-wing in the USA has funded the right-wing opposition inside Ecuador, but the Ecuadorian government has no proof of any direct US involvement in the events of September 30th. In terms of right-wing US funding, the president did not indicate one way or the other whether these are private or government sources of funding. Ricardo Patino, head of foreign relations for Correa, has underscored publicly that the USA was not involved in the coup attempt.
The MPD is the legal, parliamentarian front for the PCMLE. They backed Correa up until this year, but since they have a large membership in the public sector unions and the student organizations, they withdrew their support after Correa began his attack on the unions and on university autonomy. One of the leaders of the FEUE, a student organization aligned with the PCMLE, has been in jail on “terrorism” charges for 10 months. Marcelo Rivera is currently on hunger strike, and is considered by the MPD and FEUE to be a political prisoner. Over 100 social movement leaders have been arrested on trumped up “terrorism” charges.
The MPD asserts that Correa is trying to break the unions. Luis Macas and some members of CONAIE agree with this analysis. According to a recent NACLA article, the furor over the Public Services Law, which provoked over 1000 police to stage countrywide protests, was due to the fact that Correa vetoed sections of the bill which had been negotiated in the Legislative Assembly between union representatives, the MPD, and members of Correa’s own Alianza Pais.
Coup in Ecuador?
Written by Kristin Bricker
Tuesday, 12 October 2010 18:21
On September 30, about 1,000 Ecuadoran national police officers took to the streets, blocking key intersections and taking over public space, in protest of a new law that eliminated their bonuses and other benefits.
Even though the protesting police represented a small fraction of the 42,000-member force, things quickly spun out of control. A small number of low-ranking Air Force soldiers shut down airports, the police occupied Congress, and they held Correa hostage in a hospital for more than 10 hours until a mixed Special Operations team rescued him. The unrest left 10 dead and 274 injured.
The police rebellion began after Correa used line-item vetoes to change certain parts of the Public Services Law, which reportedly aimed to streamline Ecuador’s public sector by doing away with certain bonuses and forcing many public servants into early retirement. The president’s line-item veto power is provided for under the country’s 2008 constitution, and the president has often used it to overrule Congress.
According to Edwin Bedoya, vice president of the Ecuadoran Federation of Unitarian Working Class Organizations (CEDOCUT), the version of the Public Services Law that Congress originally passed was crafted in negotiations between Correa’s Alianza PAIS party and public servants. “But we saw in the second round of voting that the president had vetoed the agreements and had gotten rid of certain workers’ rights,” Bedoya said. When Congress, including some members of Alianza PAIS, balked at Correa’s changes to the legislation, the president threatened to use his right to dissolve Congress to pass his version of the Public Services law.
But the ensuing rebellion, Correa and others have emphasized, was not a spontaneous uprising. While still being held hostage, Correa declared: “It is a coup attempt led by the opposition and certain sections of the armed forces and the police.” Many Latin Americans, still rattled by the successful coup against leftist President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras last year, feared Correa would be next. Others argued that calling the unrest a “coup” is an exaggeration, or even that Correa kidnapped himself in order to increase his popularity and political power.
Yet the protests took place in at least four provinces in Ecuador, casting doubt on their spontaneity. And as Correa pointed out, the protests were “coordinated with the closure . . . of the airport, coordinated with the attacks on the [state television’s] relay antennas, with the invasion of [government-owned] Ecuador TV’s studios,” and the police takeover of Congress.
Moreover, video footage of the striking police during the operation that freed Correa clearly demonstrates that the police were shooting to kill. Correa told the press that the armored vehicle that drove him away from the hospital was shot multiple times.
While police held Correa hostage, former Ecuadoran president Lucio Gutiérrez—an outspoken critic of Correa—gave interviews from his exile in Brazil, hailing the police rebellion as a coup. “The end of Correa’s tyranny is at hand,” he said, and called for the “dissolution of parliament” and “early presidential elections.” Former president of Congress Alberto Acosta, a Correa supporter turned critic, reported that “ex-soldiers and ex-police, the very people that make up the fat of the Lucio’s party,” were seen in barracks in multiple cities. When police briefly occupied Congress, Acosta added, the representatives who are members of Gutiérrez’s Patriotic Society Party entered and exited freely, while members of other parties “had trouble entering.”
Both Correa and former National Police commander Freddy Martínez, who resigned after his failure to control his troops, argue that outside instigators infiltrated the police, misled police about the austerity measures in the Public Service Law, and provoked the uprising. Labor and indigenous organizations in Ecuador, however, have taken a more nuanced line. The police rebellion occurred, they argue, because Ecuador’s right wing is taking advantage of weaknesses created by Correa’s alienating governing style. Although they opposed any coup attempt and demanded that constitutional order be respected, they also criticized Correa for marginalizing his natural allies in the social movements and leaving himself vulnerable to attacks from the right.
A joint statement from four of Ecuador’s largest indigenous organizations rejected the “right-wing’s actions that in an undercover way form part of the attempted coup” and called upon its members to “be on alert and ready to mobilize.” However, the statement criticizes the Correa administration for violently repressing mobilizations against transnational mining, oil, and agro-industrial companies. The organizations argued, “The social crisis that was let loose today was also provoked by the authoritarian character and the unwillingness to dialogue in the lawmaking process. We have seen how laws that were negotiated [with social sectors] were vetoed by the President of the Republic. . . . This scenario nurtures the conservative sectors.”
Labor leader Bedoya says that on September 30, the CEDOCUT called on all sectors to hit the streets to restore constitutional order. However, like his country’s indigenous organizations, he qualified his organization’s defense of Correa: “We do believe that part of the blame for what is happening lies with not accepting dialogue with social sectors.”
Acosta, who co-founded the Alianza PAIS with Correa, echoed this. “The president and his government don’t know how to dialogue,” he said. “They impose their laws, without even respecting the criteria of the assembly members of their own block.”
Even worse, argued indigenous organizations on the day of the coup, the Correa administration has repressed them just as right-wing governments have. “Faced with the criticism and mobilization of communities against transnational mining, oil, and agro-industrial companies,” wrote the CONAIE, the ECUARUNARI, the CONFENIAE, and CONAICE, “the government, instead of creating a dialogue, responds with violence and repression. . . . The only thing this type of politics provokes is to open spaces to the Right and create spaces of destabilization.”
Bedoya shares this analysis: “Of course the right takes advantage of this, and takes advantage of the most powerful sector, which is the national police and the military, and it begins to sow discontent . . . but the government’s behavior is making that possible.”
Acosta hopes that his former ally will learn from the police rebellion. “History has given to President Correa, once again, the opportunity to reacquaint himself with the origins of the revolutionary process, to rectify. Hopefully he understands it that way.”
“A Citizens’ Revolution,” argued Bedoya, “implies a respect for the rights of all people, of the workers, of organizations’ collective rights, and to establish a dialogue to reach a minimum consensus with the social sectors.”
Finally, below is the analysis from the union federation CEDOCUT website:
According to CEDOCUT, the entire passel of new laws created by Correa’s party–the laws on mines, water, public finance, education, public sector, and public businesses, were instituted autocratically without the participation of the popular movement, and undermine popular initiatives to the benefit of the private sector and multinational corporations. Furthermore, the government is pushing for “labor flexibility”, and we all know what that means.
There is a growing consensus among all the various sources I have researched, from Accion Ecologica and the MPD, to Pachakutik and CONAIE, as well as various labor organizations and student organizations, representing the vast majority of organizations of the social movements of Ecuador, that the primary thrust of Correa’s government is capitalist developmentalism.
It remains to be seen whether or not Correa responds to popular calls for a Golpe de Timon, or a rapprochement with the left. Given the institutional and legal ramifications of all the recent laws his government has passed, one cannot help but be pessimistic at that prospect.
There is also further analysis coming from the left in Latin America which disputes the argument that the events of september 30th constituted even a poorly orchestrated coup attempt. A spokesperson for the Argentine PT agrees with the Ecuadorian unions, student groups, and indigenous organizations, that the police rebellion was not a coup attempt.