April 22, 2005: Long Live the Liberation Struggle of the People of Ecuador!

On 20 April 2005, the working-class and people’s movement in Ecuador overthrew President Lucio Gutiérrez. That means that within the past eight years, Ecuador’s third president was driven out of office by the people. That is a crushing defeat for the imperialists and reactionaries in the entire world and an inspiration for all progressive forces. The MLPD extends its warmest congratulations to the working-class and people’s movement in Ecuador and declares its militant solidarity!
An acutely revolutionary situation has arisen!

Gutiérrez took up his office two years ago as a “man of the people”, but then he devoted himself completely to serving the exploitation and suppression of Ecuador through international monopoly capital and the domestic oligarchy and became a lackey of US-imperialism in particular. Since then strikes and demonstrations have not ceased. The people are no longer willing to tolerate a situation in which half of the population of 13 million live in misery and three million are forced to emigrate in order to feed their families. As a result of the introduction of the dollar as the national currency, many commodities have become unaffordable for the people. Their own products have no chance on the world market. The situation is worsening because of the new free trade zone ACLA.

The international monopolies bear the main responsibility. They plunder the natural resources such as crude oil, take claim of the state institutions and, in their greed for profits, they lift the last restrictions for the protection of the irreplaceable ecological balance in the Amazons. German monopolies like the West-LB also participate in ecologically destructive projects. These are the same enterprises which in Germany are ruthlessly sending millions of people into unemployment and are making gigantic profits in the process.

At the same time, their imperialist policies are coming under increasing pressure in the entire world through the struggles of the workers and mass movements. In Latin America this has led to a process of transnational revolutionary ferment which is in the process of maturing to a transnational acutely revolutionary situation.

It was on this background that the protests in Ecuador against the replacement of the Supreme Court judges developed into a mass movement against the government. When it also became impossible to impose the state of emergency and Gutiérrez personally disbanded the Supreme Court, a militant storm developed and the President was overthrown. Demonstrators marched down the streets of the capital city of Quito, the port of Guayaquil and other cities, following the call of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE) under the slogan “Lucio must go - we want a people’s government”.

The practical avant-garde of the struggles were the youth, organized in the JRE, the Revolutionary Youth of Ecuador (Youth League of the PCMLE) and in the national leagues of high school and university students, FEUE and FESE. When the first people died as a result of police intervention, armed conflicts actually arose in part and the police suffered defeats. The military, which had already threatened that it would not allow anarchy to develop feared that their intervention would aggravate the situation. The movement could no longer be stopped through repression. The revolutionary ferment transformed into an acutely revolutionary situation: Those in rule can no longer rule in the old way and the masses are no longer willing to go on being ruled in the same way.

In a rush the parliamentary rulers in Congress tried to rescue the situation by swearing in the pending Vice President Alfredo Palacio. But the demonstrations besieged the Congress chanting “Everyone has to go!” In the provinces of Azuay, Loja, Esmeraldas and Imbabura, the people occupied the seats of the government and convened organs of people’s power, the “asambleas populares” (people’s public meetings). In the city of Cuenca (Azuay Province in the Andes), the country’s third largest city, the chairman of the student league was declared by the people’s public meeting to be the new governor. The Marxist-Leninist PCMLE, with which the MLPD cooperates closely and in friendship, is the leading force in the revolutionary liberation struggle of the people of Ecuador.

With the support of the army, the new President Alfredo Palacio announced one concession after the other in the Congress of Quito to calm people down, but the people do not believe him. It is still undecided whether the situation will develop into a people’s democratic revolution or whether the rulers will succeed in defeating the working-class and people’s movement.

The imperialist states, from the USA to the EU and Russia, are reacting In unison, expressing their “concern” and hypocritically demanding “conformance to the constitution”. What they actually mean is their right to continue the exploitation and oppression of the people of Ecuador. US-Foreign Minister Rice hypocritically claims that her main concern is to prevent the use of “violence”. These are the same people who in the entire world and in particular in Latin America are responsible for torturing and murdering uncountable numbers of people. People who continue to support regimes and death squadrons which, for example in Columbia, have revolutionaries, trade unionists, journalists and other oppositionists be murdered. People who are responsible for the violent oppression of the people and the murder of revolutionary leaders like Jaime Hurtado. If for these persons, the threat of the people taking over power under the leadership of the working class exists, then they call for conformance to the constitution and non-violence; at the same time, they are preparing for violent suppression.

It is like what Lenin wrote in “Lessons of the Revolution” in 1905 about the Russian revolution:
“The first and main lesson is that only the revolutionary struggle of the masses can bring about worth-while improvements in the lives of the workers and in the administration of the state… The second lesson is that it is not enough to undermine and restrict the power of the tsar. It must be destroyed…The tsar made concessions when the tide of the revolutionary offensive was rising. When it ebbed, he took them all back. Only …the passage of power into the hands of the people, can deliver Russia …” (Lenin Collected Works, Volume 16, p. 299)

The struggle of the people of Ecuador is a signal for the peoples of Latin America who are also struggling against neo-colonial oppression. The courageous people of Ecuador are small in number, but they are showing the workers and working people of the entire world that it is possible to break the seemingly superior strength of the rulers with militant determination!
International solidarity must support the struggle of the working-class and people’s movement in Ecuador, particularly because the imperialists will hardly accept a country like Ecuador liberating itself from neo-colonial oppression.

In Germany, aside from practical international solidarity, the most important contribution is for more and more blue- and white-collar workers, unemployed people, young people and pensioners to take up the signal from Ecuador, organize themselves and increase the struggle for the most important demands against the same international monopolies and their imperialist politics. The coming May 1st, the international day of struggle of the working class, and the 12th International Whitsun Youth Meeting 2005 on May 14 and 15, 2005, in Gelsenkirchen are important opportunities to express the close international ties / in the common struggle for a society without exploitation and oppression of mankind through mankind, for genuine socialism.

The revolutionary liberation struggle of the courageous people of Ecuador deserves our full support! Your struggle is our struggle!
Long live international solidarity!
Workers of all countries, unite!

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