[News] Neoliberalism, Hell No!

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 14 11:01:48 EDT 2019


  Neoliberalism, Hell No!

By Elias Jaua - Horizonte en Disputa - October 14, 2019

Recent events these past weeks leave no doubt that the people are very wise.

The strong popular rejection of [Mauricio] Macri's government and its 
policies in Argentina (1); the institutional crisis in Peru (2); social 
upheaval in Colombia, unfortunately amid a new massacre of social 
leaders (3); and social protests and political instability in several 
countries in the region and the popular rebellion in Ecuador, in 
development, (4) are evidence that our societies have been innoculated 
against the neoliberal recipe.

In Latin America, all of us were sold that recipe, which was applied in 
the early 1990s, under the idea that monetary restriction was an 
antidote to the evil of inflation. Privatise, reduce social "spending," 
freeze wages, liberalise imports and prices, weaken labour relations, 
these were the main steps to be taken to cure the economic ills stemming 
from our "populism.”

"Hold on a bit longer, austerity is only for the short term, later on 
the champagne glass will trickle down to everyone," was the meta-story 
of the monetarist choir of the time, and it is the same line used today.

However, the cure turned out worse than the disease.

By the end of the 1990s, the region's gross domestic product (GDP) had 
fallen dramatically. Poverty and inequality had also increased, and 
there was a drastic deindustrialisation and loss of sovereignty over our 
resources. Chaos, as well as social and political violence among other 
aggravated evils, prevailed in all our nations.

In the first decade of the 21st century, our peoples' struggle against 
the previous decade’s neoliberal model created the conditions for the 
emergence of a popular democratic leadership thatattained 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/773> political power in most 
Latin American countries.

This leadership enabled the development of a sovereign and inclusive 
economic model in each of these countries.

We, the Venezuelan people, alongside Commander [Hugo] Chavez, were the 
forerunners of this insurgency through the [Caracazo]popular rebellion 
of 1989 <https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11868>, the1992 [4F] 
military rebellion <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11185>, Chavez’s 
1998 electoral victory and the popular adoption of the first 
constitution that safeguarded against neoliberalism, the 
currentBolivarian Constitution of 1999 

Sound state intervention in all our countries during the period of the 
so-called progressive governments allowed the region to maintain 
sustained GDP growth. This was achieved through policies including the 
recovery of economic control, the defence and restoration of sovereignty 
over our assets and resources, the restitution of labour and social 
rights, the expansion of the purchasing power of the working people, and 
the support and massive financing for national production.

As such, both the historic social inequality and poverty decreased, and 
we would become the region with the greatest political stability in the 
world and with significant advances in the integration and unity of our 

As we contrast the two models and their results, no one can be surprised 
with what is currently happening on thestreets of Ecuador 
and other countries.

The people are not going to let themselves be sacrificed again for the 
sake of a model that offers them hunger today and breadcrumbs tomorrow. 
People have proved that we can live with equality, justice and dignity, 
and they will fight for it. They will always fight.

Here in our homeland, we must cast out any doubts about the urgent need 
to recover our model of economic control. If we want to avoid greater 
ills, we must ignore the siren chants of monetarist fundamentalism. It 
is in the midst of economicaggression 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14685> andblockade 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14615> when we must stay furthest 
away from the neoliberal fallacy.

Today, the phrase of Commander Chavez is more relevant than ever: 
"Neoliberalism is the way to hell." Likewise is the reaffirmation of our 
economic path through the2012 Homeland Plan 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/images/7497> which we approved some 7 
years ago when welast elected Hugo Chavez as president 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7331>. Chavez told us in that plan 
that "We will continue to shape a system of social relations of 
production, based on the values of knowledge and work and at the service 
of the full satisfaction of the human needs of our people."

Alongside [Simon] Bolivar, we can say that faltering is losing 
ourselves. It is through Chavez’s way, and no other, that our people 
will clear the horizon towards a better future.

Neoliberalism, hell no!


(1) Public cutbacks, real wage decreases, spiralling inflation, and the 
agreement of huge IMF aid packages for Argentina have meant that Macri 
is trailing in the initial voting tendencies to the progressive and 
Kirchner-esque candidate of Alberto Fernandez in the upcoming 
Argentinian presidential elections, scheduled for November 24.

(2) Sitting Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra dissolved the opposition 
controlled parliament late in September and called for early 
parliamentary elections in order to force through his nominations for 
the Supreme Court, sparking accusations of a coup and international and 
local condemnation.

(3) Protests, led by left wing sectors and students, have rocked the 
Colombian capital Bogota in recent weeks. Likewise, the return to arms 
of a faction of the FARC-EP has sparked a new wave of persecution 
against social leaders, mayoral candidates, and trade unionists in the 

(4) Indigenous and left wing groups have led anti-neoliberal protests in 
Ecuador this week, which stormed the parliament building, forced the 
government of Lenin Moreno to move to the country’s second city, and 
brought the capital Quito to a halt. The protests were sparked by 
Moreno’s move to eradicate a state subsidy on fuel and agree to an IMF 
bailout package conditioned on labour law changes and other austerity 
policies. Moreno was eventually forced to walk back the measures.

/Elias Jaua is a former vice president of Venezuela, and has also held 
offices including the minister for education, communes, agriculture, as 
well as foreign minister, during the governments of Hugo Chavez and 
Nicolas Maduro. He is a member of the national leadership of the ruling 
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)./

/The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not 
necessarily reflect those of the Venezuelanalysis editorial staff./

/Translation and additional notes by Paul Dobson for Venezuelanalysis./

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