[News] Neoliberalism, Hell No!
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/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
(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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