To become the next socialist South American nation, joining a litany of rejections of North Amerikkkan hegemony and neoliberal con games.
The Huayco is Coming
By Ángel Guerra, Jul 20, 2007, 08:01
Last week the telluric social explosion that Peru is incubating reached its higher point when strikes and popular protests against Alan García’s government virtually paralyzed all departments and big cities on the country.
Nobody should be surprised. It was totally foregone. But it surely has taken aback both García and his pals, unable on their arrogance to gauge the socially irreversible uneasiness that they have sowed. It is just not possible to make fun of people as local oligarchy, imperialism and their servants in Peru have been doing for so long without paying for the consequences.
During the last decades Peruvians have experienced a very traumatic social process. Their historical conquests have been snatched from them one by one, including the national usufruct* of their most important natural resources – a usufruct that was achieved by the nationalist and extremely paternalistic military government of Velasco Alvarado. It must be said: the notable advances then reached on sovereignty, independence and social justice could not be explained without the social sensibility that the most radical generals had acquired. But this sensibility was due to the impact made upon their conscience by the heroic popular struggle they were ordered to repress, as the most honest and patriotic from them recognized.
The recent protests not only shine for their mass-scale and extension but for having been able to articulate multiple local struggles for peasants demands, construction of roads, defence of environment and other social issues, with regional labour strikes and entire cities taken over by nonconformists who often blocked freeways and took over airports, rail terminals and buses. The protests were agglutinated by the combative schoolteachers union’s general strike against the approval of a Bill intended to privatize education and also by strikes by miners, textile workers and departmental contingents from Peru’s Central General of Workers against the prevailing labour slavery: working days of twelve and fourteen hours without a Sunday rest, wages of hunger and terrible work conditions. The rejection of ALCA, promoted by García behind the nation’s back – so betraying one more of his campaign promises in abject genuflexion before George W. Bush – was an omnipresent factor during the strike.
Workers and peasants, together with dissimilar popular detachments, have been a decisive factor on the events with the support of both left-wing parties and Ollanta Humala’s Partido Nacionalista Peruano (Peruvian Nationalist Party). This announces promissory unitary perspectives to the cycle of struggles now open in the Andean nation, especially if they succeed in coordinating on a large front.
The rebellion’s detonating factors have been García’s failure to keep his electoral promises, his subordination to both transnational capital and the US as well as the existing obscene social inequality – while at the same time the government proclaims the success of economic growth – an 8 percent in 2006. The addition of votes obtained in 2006 by García and Humala during the second electoral round shows that a majority of electorate reject the neo-liberal model. In fact García had recognized that “it [the neoliberal model] has gone as far as it could go” and that it was necessary to change it, although once he hold office he has deepened it.
For years Peruvians have been suffering a mountain of offences, intensified by the corrupt, submissive and repressive Fujimori Administration, which happily sold off public companies and granted the most advantageous conditions to foreign investments. President Toledo followed later the same path. He, Fujimori and García were all demagogic and mendacious when they promised everything to the people during their electoral campaigns.
It is obvious that regarding García, people have reached the point of no return. It is confirmed by the message alert Peruvians have just sent him before the end of his first year in office. After his election I wrote the following:
“He is committed to Washington … so no one should expect … more than neo-liberal continuity … and most probable he won’t be able to finish his mandate as he will be toppled … by a people’s coup.”
I now maintain what I then said and I make it extensive to several pro-Yankee Latin American governments, from Rio Grande to Patagonia.
Note from the author:
*Huayco (from Quechua language): avalanche of material on the hillsides swept along by the water down the bottom of the valleys, entombing everything.
*Usufruct: “the right of enjoying all the advantages derivable from the use of something that belongs to another, as far as is compatible with the substance of the thing not being destroyed or injured.” (dictionary.com)
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About the author: Angel Guerra Cabrera is a leading Cuban journalist who regularly appears on La Jornada (Mexico).
Translated for Axis of Logic by Manuel Talens, Tlaxcala. Revised by Les Blough