[Marxism] White smoke in Ecuador talks

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 25 21:35:49 MDT 2005

I said: "Reuters and CNN's Spanish language network are reporting from
Quito that an agreement  has been reached between the representatives of
Ecuador's central government and imperialist oil companies." 

This is why I don't like to post things immediately to the list after a
day at work (my post this morning, for example, was all written the
night before). Which is that you wind up saying not just the stupidities
you meant to say, but also ones you didn't mean to say.

Like in the above. Frankly, Ecuador's central government dancing to
whatever tune the imperialists play is hardly news. But the agreement
was three-way, including leaders of the protest movement, a "small"
detail that somehow I managed to leave out in formulating the sentence.
Apologies to all.

*  *  *

Having posted again, I'll add a couple of more things. 

One, "it is believed" in journalistic circles in Quito (i.e., people
have been told on condition that they not say they've been told), that
the movement and its leaders did obtain private assurances of no
reprisals. Whatever the form, these were sufficient to induce the
leaders to accept signing the agreement. 

Second, the exact nature and forms of organization of the movement in
the Amazonian provinces should be explored. It involved at least workers
acting as workers, native peoples organized as such, and, quite a bit
more intriguing, the populations of these two provinces pretty much as
such acting together including through some sort of bidepartmental
assembly. The heads of the assembly apparently were the two governors,
who were at the head of the movement, but the composition of the
assembly I've not been able to discover. People I've talked to in Quito
aren't sure either. 

Third, there have been tons of slanders to the effect that this was an
ultraviolent terrorist movement that blew up oil pipelines and well
heads by the score. If there had been any such incidents, I can
*guarantee* you we would have seen pictures of it by now, what with oil
being flammable and wellhead and pipeline fires being notoriously
difficult to hide and extinguish. The rapid recovery of production to
nearly pre-strike levels suggests this is all bullshit propaganda. 

Fourth, opinion in bourgeois and petty-bourgeois circles in Quito, the
intelligentsia and so on, seems to be, at least from afar, that what has
happened is nothing short of catastrophic. They appear to believe this
will set off a whole chain reaction of other local movements which the
government, all the weaker after this episode, won't be able to resist.
They also fear reprisals by the IMF and other multinational bodies,
which Ecuador, they believe, is powerless against. The government and
"the nation" [by which of course they understand the current
semicolonial bourgeois setup] are seen as the big losers. 


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