Paraguay: Towards a government of those who never governed

Neither the right nor the traditional particracy. For an Anti-capitalist and Socialist Left Front

The Paraguayan working class is suffering in their own flesh the devastating policy of capitalism, developed by the Colorado Party, the national particracy together with the employers and the landowners that comprise 1% of the population. These individuals, without consulting anyone, decide over the rest, plundering our land with monoculture and agrotoxics, destroying ecosystems, casting out and taking over indigenous and peasant territories, as well as degrading workers’ conditions with misery salaries, price increases of all products, emptied education and health, expensive public transportation in terrible conditions, run by private companies that despite being subsidized by the Government are still requesting loans and bonds left and right, while the entirety of the people is paying the sky-high interests of these loans with more austerity measures and less rights.

By Nicolás Germanier, Juan Pablo Benítez, Adriana Aquino, Alternativa Socialista (Paraguay)

Since last month we have been witnessing how U.S. imperialism, through its ambassador in Paraguay, Marc Ostfield, is declaring significantly corrupt characters of the Colorado Party of the caliber of Horacio Cartes (ex-President) and Hugo Velázquez (Vice-President), who are internally disputing the hegemony of the ANR, a party that has governed the country for more than 70 years, negotiating with the same imperialism that today supposedly rejects it. Why is the U.S. cutting off one of the main bourgeois leaders of the ANR? It seems that Cartes and the ANR are no longer the most adequate manager to function as an arbitrator capable of keeping all the fractions of the local bourgeoisie united, as junior partners of the imperialist businesses linked to extractivism and tobacco in the country.  To understand what the U.S. is proposing we must look at what is happening in the world and the region with the social outbursts, the rebellions in Latin America and how these are deepening, opening space to develop more radical alternatives. Paraguay does not escape from that dynamic. Yankee imperialism expresses concern for a country that no longer has guaranteed bourgeois stability, with the breaking point signified by the rebellion of March 2021 that ended with the headquarters of the Colorado party being set on fire. The presidential elections of 2023 can be a channel of expression of the rupture of the masses with the historic dominant bourgeois party, and in this, the gringo interference expresses itself with its own line: it aspires to an anti-colorado change, within the framework of the bourgeois democratic regime.

The Concertación with the Frente Guasu shifting to the right

The Concertación with the Frente Guasu shifting to the right

The Concertación, the main opposition unit for the presidential elections of 2023, formed by the traditional parties, including the Frente Guasu, logically, appeared as the formation that unites all the traditional non-colorado forces, to be the “punishment” vote for the ANR. Forces that claim to be leftist, such as the PPP (Partido Paraguay Pyahura) -of Maoist current- and the PC, joined the electoral front Ñemongueta-FG, which until recently supported the Concertación. However, to the extent that agreements of the upper levels predominate, of the political caste which aspires to positions without even a seriously anti-imperialist program, and with the help of the bureaucratic leaderships, the contradictions have already begun to emerge. The resignation of Esperanza Martinez (Frente Guasu) from the presidential candidacy, who from the progressive party had centralized high expectations of the independent youth, and the confirmed appearance of Efrain Alegre (PLRA, bourgeois liberal) and Soledad Nuñez (former minister of Cartes), clearly expresses the profile of the “opposition front”. If we connect Yankee interference, on the one hand, against the ANR and, on the other hand, this shift to the right of the Concertación, we can clearly see the bipartisan-conservative panorama of continuity that Yankee imperialism is preparing for Paraguay. For that reason, more than ever, we call on the youth of the forces that claim to be of the left of that coalition, to the peasant grassroots leaders, to break with this formation at the service of the continuity of the capitalist and gringo businesses in our country, and to put before them a program of real transformations at the service of our plundered and impoverished people.

Horacio Cartes, ex president, hugging Hugo Vazquez, current vice president. Both compete in the ANR primary, qualified as significantly corrupted by US imperialism

For a third radical, anti-capitalist and socialist space!

The picture of the situation described above, for us, leaves no room for doubt: the left, the socialists, the independent activism that was the protagonist of the proud “March 2021” have to come together in an independent, class-based and profoundly anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist political front in our country. The logic of the “lesser evil”, the argument that “the power relations among the people are not enough”, or that “the right wing is very strong”, ends up justifying the pitiful role of tail wagon of continuist options, of the regime, pro-Yankee. Why not converge in a great unitary political movement of the left with freedom of tendencies within it? On the basis of a clear program that raises:

The non-payment of the fraudulent foreign debt of the ANR, which is validated by all the traditional political forces.

  • For a public works plan to reactivate the economy and provide jobs for the unemployed youth, based on taxes on large landowners and businessmen.
  • For a comprehensive agrarian reform, without compensation for the mega-owners of the countryside. No more agribusiness and extractivism: for an agroecological solution.
  • For the nationalization under social control of workers and users of Yacyretá, ignoring all previous corrupt agreements.
  • No more macho and patriarchal violence: emergency law on violence, separation of the Church from the State, no more subsidies to the clergy and compulsory Comprehensive Sex Education with a gender perspective.
  • For a comprehensive political reform, to put an end to the privileged caste: revocable positions, that they earn as a qualified worker, that they are obliged to use the public services on which they decide.
  • For trial and punishment for the crimes of the Stronista dictatorship.
  • For a Constituent Process that ends in a free, democratic and sovereign Assembly that reorganizes Paraguay on new bases, without corporations, big business or landowners.

All on the road to prepare a government of those who have never governed our country: the workers, the poor peasantry, the youth and the left.

On that road, we make this call from Alternativa Socialista. And if you are a youth activist, a militant of the social movements and you are looking for a new space of struggle and development, join our project to turn everything around in our country. Latin America and the world.