Colombia: Francia Márquez as vice-presidential candidate of the Pacto Histórico. Is this the expression of change that is needed?

By Impulso Socialista and Grupo de Trabajadores Socialistas

The participation of Francia Márquez as the vice-presidential formula of Petro in the coalition of the Pacto Histórico has become a subject of national debate, as it sets the entrance into the political stage of a woman who represents the most impoverished, exploited and ethnically excluded sectors of society and whose path of life allows her to present herself as feminist, anti-racist and environmentalist, and thus, in her speeches she states that her candidacy is in favor of the nobodies.

Francia Márquez and the contradictions of the Pacto Histórico

Francia Márquez is clearly a figure that inspires sympathy in public opinion, mainly among those who fought in the national strike of 2021 against the tax reform and ended up questioning the Duque administration together with the pro-imperialist and paramilitary Uribista regime of the last 20 years. It is a figure that generates expectations of change in the face of the conditions of economic and social inequality imposed by the capitalist system, through all the bourgeois governments. In spite of all this, it is necessary to analyze her role in the Pacto Histórico and in the electoral contest in the framework of the global economic crisis which is expressed nationally and in the “historic agreements” of the bourgeois governments with imperialism, where the links with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are evident, in addition to the Plan Colombia 3.0 embodied in the agreement with NATO which implies greater economic and military strengthening for the repressive forces.

It is in this context where the contradictions of the Pacto Histórico in terms of program and alliances arise, because although there are high expectations with Francia Márquez and Gustavo Petro, these are limited by the fact that they want to moderate the policies of exploitation imposed by the capitalist system and do not propose real ruptures with imperialism. Gustavo Petro has already tirelessly explained that he and his program are not anti-capitalist, that his projection is towards a “More Humane Capitalism” together with right-wing players such as Benedetti, Roy Barreras, Saade and also with sectors of national liberalism and the imperialist government of Biden, a matter that expresses the impossible illusion of this project, in the framework of the global crisis situation where the foreign debt, extractivism, repression, the precariousness of labor through labor flexibility, imperialist tensions (case of Ukraine), unemployment and the loss of rights previously conquered are advancing.

Nothing in the program of the Pacto Histórico is aimed at reversing this situation, since there is no mention of the non-payment of the foreign debt, the rupture with NATO, the trial and punishment of the military leadership in cases of repression and violation of human rights, no mention of a true industrialization with workers and popular control to solve unemployment, no proposal for a fiscal policy with a permanent and progressive tax on the great fortunes and no mention of the withdrawal of the VAT as a tax against the workers. It is precisely these omissions which would allow the construction of a program to defeat the Uribist regime, but which the Pacto Histórico is not willing to carry, an issue which could contribute to the conditions for the failure of a possible progressive government, which does not manage to break away from Uribism.

But why is Francia Márquez becoming the vice-presidential formula of the Pacto Histórico with all these contradictions?

Francia Márquez, by generating sympathy and recognition of many exploited and oppressed sectors, can contain the most fighting vanguard that confronted the Uribist and paramilitary regime in the national strike because she concentrates the most radical vote and represents the left leg of a progressive project that does not seek structural changes. In this sense, she is a figure that is there to contain the most radicalized sectors of society.

The expectation of change generated by Francia Márquez expresses an important symptom of the need for change for the most oppressed and exploited sectors. However, by being included in the program of the Pacto Histórico as the vice-presidential candidate, she wastes the possibility of building a movement with political and class independence for the struggles ahead, taking into account that she had the strength to become a revolutionary phenomenon, a possibility that was aborted by adapting to a reformist program limited to an electoral contest.

What is not achieved at the ballot box is achieved in the streets and in the organized struggle!

We revolutionaries must continue in the streets promoting the organization of the working class and popular sectors with class independence. In the parliamentary elections and inter-party consultations of March 2022 and in the current electoral stage, it is evident that the Uribista regime will not be defeated at the ballot box, because it continues to place its rules in the sphere of bourgeois democracy, in which it has all the machinery and the media to manipulate and continue in power despite the strong polarization with the Petrista project. This situation is aggravated by the policy adopted by the leaderships of the trade union bureaucracy and of the social organizations, which today are part of the Pacto Histórico and of the Coalición Centro Esperanza, and the channelling the struggle to the elections was what weakened the possibility of deepening the experience that arose in the social outburst of 2021, since it invites to abandon the streets and the mobilization, the only exits that would have allowed better conquests and defeat Uribism.

This policy of channeling all the energy to the elections gave oxygen to the parties of the regime to recompose themselves and act with their political machinery in the elections, reason why they continue being the majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, expressing that they are an electoral force that can win in the presidential elections with the project of the coalition Equipo por Colombia of Federico Gutiérrez. In other words, an electoral polarization will be expressed where the openly pro-Uribe sector continues to be the majority force in the State institutions and where the Pacto Histórico does not end up representing a real defeat against the regime. In conclusion, the slogan that “Uribism can be defeated at the ballot box” was an illusion.

We call on all those who fought in the national strike of 2021 to continue demanding the changes that drove the enormous mass mobilization in the country. Regardless of who is in the government, the program of the working class and the popular sectors must be defended in the streets until we achieve conquests that allow us to weaken the regime and overthrow it, so that the exploited and oppressed people will be the ones to govern and decide their future.

Whoever governs, see you in the streets!

Mobilization, organization and struggle!