Ecuador: strong rejection to neoliberalism

By Alberto Giovanelli 

Knowing the first results of the elections in the sister Republic of Ecuador, we can preliminarily reach several conclusions. As expected, Andrés Arauz, the candidate of Unión para la Esperanza, and the end of the former president Rafael Correa, got the first minority, achieving almost 33% of the positive votes, but without achieving his maximum goal of victory on the first round.

In second place and being one of the surprises of the election, we have the indigenist Yaku Perez from the party Pachakutik, who surpassed the conservative right-wing candidate Guillermo Lasso for a few points with around 20% of the votes. We must also highlight the 16% obtained by Izquierda Democrática, and the 13% among null and blank votes.

We believe these results confirm a strong trend seen throughout Latin America, which is the absolute rejection to clearly conservative and neo-liberal proposals. Lasso and the government of Lenin Moreno (whose candidate did not reach 2%) expressed this current and suffered a harsh defeat.   

It is the beginning of a new process that will face in the second round, on the one side, the possibility of a return to Correism by Arauz, in a lot more critical political and economic conditions that in the previous decade, and on the other, he who attributed himself the representation of the indigenous uprisings in late 2019, Yaku Pérez, an absolute controversial figure, who behind his “environmentalism and indigenism” holds pro-capitalist policies similar to the ones of Moreno and Lasso (who he supported in the 2017 elections)

Lasso has already stated his support to Pérez in the second round, as done also by Fidel Egas, the main representative of the banking sector and financial sectors, a few hours ago.

This surprising confrontation between two candidates with a speech of progressive nuances, sets an unprecedented scenario, where we will find very important the alignment that brings the other surprise of the election, the trader Javier Hervas, that from Izquierda Democrática, and leaning on the new technologies and with a speech targeted to the youth, went from being an absolute nobody to an unexpected arbitrator of the election. He also denounced neoliberalism and corruption during the campaign. Hervas seems to be the one Araus leans on to gain the necessary percentage and win in the second round. Correism has already stated their support to the dialogue with Hervas, whom apart from congratulating “for their brilliant election”, it invited to talk about a “common program”.

This first electoral round has passed then, where the blank and null votes have also expressed the dissatisfaction with the political class as a whole. The revolutionary left has rallied, but some exceptions, behind the “progressive” alternatives appealing to “possiblism” in the absence of independent and consequently anti-capitalist alternatives.

From the ISL (International Socialist League), we are convinced that neither Arauz nor Pérez are guarantees to face the economic and social situation, in a world in crisis and in a country completely collapsed due to the pandemic. Both of them have expressed their absolute willingness to negotiate with the USA, their trust in the new government of Biden and their intention to reach an agreement on how to continue the payment of the foreign debt. Beyond speeches and bombastic declarations, we understand that this struggle will define the immediate future. We believe that the way to finding solutions to the urgent situation the country is going through begins with declaring the non-payment of the debt to the IMF and other international institutions and we trust that only the mobilization will bring us closer to this possibility. Furthermore, we understand that it is essential to go forward in the development of an independent anti-capitalist alternative to try to turn everything around and a government of those who never governed: workers, indigenous people and the youth of Ecuador. Our efforts will be targeted in that perspective and we will surely come together with many of those who today honestly believe in the “lesser evil”. We are inspired by the unbreakable fighting will time and time again shown by the people of Ecuador.