Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Ecuadorian Coup: Its Larger Meaning

by James Petras, Dissident Voice, October 11th, 2010

The abortive military-police coup in Ecuador, which took place on September 30, has raised numerous questions about the role of the US and its allies among the traditional oligarchy and the leftist social movements, Indian organizations and their political parties.

While President Correa and all governments in Latin America, and significant sectors of the Ecuadorian public described the violent actions as a coup, the principle organ of Wall Street – the Wall Street Journal – described it as a “police protest”. Spoke persons for Goldman Sachs and the Council of Foreign Relations referred to the police and military power grab against the democratically elected government as a self-induced “political crises” of the President. While the coup was underway the “Indian” movement CONAIE, launched a manifesto condemning the government, while the “Indian” party Pachakutik supported the ouster of the President and backed the police coup as a “just act of public servants”.

In summary, the imperial backers of the coup, sectors of the Ecuadorian elite and Indian movement downplayed the violent police uprising as a coup in order to justify their support for it as just another “legitimate economic protest”. In other words, the victim of the elite coup was converted into the repressor of the peoples’ will. The factual question of whether their was a coup or not, is central to deciding whether the government was justified in repressing the police uprising and whether in fact the democratic system was endangered.

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