[Marxism] another victory in Ecuador

Greg McDonald sabocat59 at mac.com
Wed Feb 14 10:29:44 MST 2007

I'm new to this list and have been reading the posts for a few days  
to become familiar with the terrain.  I like what I've read so far.  
The various topics are debated with rigor and, for the most part, a  
sense of collegiality.  I appreciate in particular the COSATU post.

Switching gears and continents, I'd like to provide a rough  
translation of an article in Rebelion this morning on the emerging  
Bolivarian consensus in Ecuador.

Yesterday in Congress a measure was passed approving a popular  
consultation to define the establishment of a National Constituent  
Assembly with unlimited powers to restructure the state apparatus and  
write a new constitution.

The resolution represents a victory for president Rafael Correa, who  
assumed office on January 15 with the promise of installing an  
Assembly with full powers to restructure the state, reform the  
Constitution of 1998, make socialism viable, and dismantle  

The 100 member unicameral Congress approved the measure which will  
now be voted on by popular referendum, an instance that was never  
envisioned in the current constitution, but which emerged as an  
expression of popular discontent with politics as usual. The  
resolution was approved by 57 of 58 deputies present. The electoral  
commission must now define the date for the referendum.

If a majority of Ecuadoreans vote yes, they will elect 130  
representatives to the Assembly, who will then have 180 days with a  
possible extension of 60 additional days to finish the job.

Edison Chavez, vice president of the Congress, called it a historic  
decision. Although critics of the popular assembly see it as a  
duplication of the Venezuelan socialist model that will lead to  
chaos, the consultation has been the direct result of the struggle of  
Ecuadorean social movements, politicians and indigenous organizations  
which were present in the street outside the halls of Congress again  
yesterday to pressure deputies to approve the measure.

The demonstration was organized by indigenous, political, social, and  
student organizations, and began in the morning next to the  
Parliament building. Later, 3,000 people congregated just outside the  
entrance to the building after learning that Congress had approved  
the measure. The demonstrators, flying Ecuadorean flags along with  
banners representing various left-wing parties and placards calling  
for the popular assembly, also showed their displeasure with right- 
wing congresistas who had tried to block a vote on the measure.

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