Forty years on from New Cross, the need to build a mass anti-racist, anti-imperialist movement is still paramount. No justice, no peace!
On October 7th, President Lenín Moreno announced that all seats of government within Ecuador were to be moved immediately to Ecuador’s second city Guayaquil, following mass political demonstrations against his government’s removal of fuel subsidies and the ensuing repression against protesters. The Partido Comunista del Ecuador (PCE) have released this statement calling for an immediate end to repression, a release of all prisoners, and a National Constituent Assembly to replace Moreno’s government.
While international focus on Latin American politics has recently been on other nations from the “Pink Tide” such as Venezuela and Bolivia, the political situation in Ecuador has deteriorated in the last few days. Lenín Moreno, elected president as the candidate of the PAIS alliance (the party founded by his predecessor Rafael Correa), has capitulated to US imperialist interests since coming to power and began implementing sweeping austerity measures, happily aided in this imposition by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Moreno, who has overseen a sharp rightward turn of the PAIS Alliance, has seen opposition grow since his election in 2017. Many of the forces which led to the growth and success of PAIS under Correa have left, Correa himself included, to form the Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana (Citizens’ Revolution Movement). The mass protests and strikes broke out last Thursday (October 3rd), following the implementation of a US$2 billion worth of austerity cuts, including the removal of fuel subsidies, which came into effect that day. In response to these actions, the Moreno government has acted shamefully, using both the police and the armed forces in an attempt to quell resistance to his neoliberal austerity measures. This has backfired spectacularly, with the capital, Quito, being at a practical standstill since October 3rd and his government now being forced to flee its administrative centres. In the wake of this, opposition forces such as the PCE and the MRC are calling for an immediate end to repression and the ouster of the Moreno government, with a National Constituent Assembly to take its place in forming a new government for the people of Ecuador.
Moreno’s government has in response attempted to remove the agency of the people, claiming that these protests are a coup manufactured by Nicolás Maduro and the PSUV, with Rafael Correa as a willing patsy. While this argument has not been accepted by the Ecuadorian people, it is likely to be aimed not at them, but instead Moreno’s allies to the north. US imperialism has long spread amongst the countries of Latin America, with current régime change efforts facing the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua. They have succeeded in installing the fascist Bolsonaro in Brazil, whose attacks on the Amazon rainforest have had effects not only on the indigenous peoples of Brazil, but also Ecuador and the other countries who share a border, and the rainforest, with Brazil. In calling for aid from the US, Moreno can only bring further pain to the people of Ecuador. He does not deserve to hold the name Lenin.
Red Fightback stands unequivocally with the people of Ecuador and echoes the PCE’s calls for an end to all repression and an end to the failed government of Moreno and PAIS. ¡Viva el pueblo ecuatoriano! ¡Fuera Moreno!