A Statement by Ecuador's Most Important Social Movements

Note by Al Giordano: During Thursday's coverage of events in Ecuador, we accepted on face value that it was an attempted coup d'etat and saw the same international forces behind the 2009 Honduras coup involved in these events. Now that the immediate dangers have subsided is the moment to reflect more deeply as to what occurred and why.

We also defended Ecuador's most important coalition of social movements, the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE, in its Spanish initials) from a vicious smear and innuendo campaign against it by North Americans like Eva Golinger, Jean-Guy Allard, and on her Twitter feed, Naomi Klein (see correction down below) who recklessly accused the indigenous women and men of the CONAIE of being agents of imperialism and recipients of funds from US AID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

In subsequent days, waving extremely flimsy and half-stated "evidence," Golinger and Allard have pressed their crusade to discredit the CONAIE further in a series of articles high on rhetoric and rumor and low on factual content or proof. If this is to become a duel of credibility and honesty between these gringo and Canadian voices and the dignified ones of the CONAIE, we give far more benefit of the doubt to those Ecuadorean voices who have proved for two decades that they hold the interests of their own country and their own peoples high and proud and who have effectively organized and struggled and continue to win real results.

We furthermore consider the efforts by Golinger et al against the good people of the CONAIE to themselves be a form of North American imperialism and view it necessary to call it what it is: dishonesty based on the imperatives of political expediency and worship at the altar of State power. McCarthyism and Stalinism were always two faces on the same coin, after all. Each make their lists, invent false charges, distort the whole truth, as they seek to purge, destroy and silence debate and dissent.

In recent days, Narco News reporters have been interviewing social movement leaders from throughout the hemisphere on the issues raised by this breach and a detailed report airing different perspectives is forthcoming.

Today, the CONAIE categorically refuted the accusations made against it as false, and responded in this public statement, which we now translate for English-language readers. To be continued...

The Alleged Coup d’Etat, Democracy, and the Indigenous Organizations

By Marlon Santi

President, CONAIE

We, the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE, in its Spanish initials) and the Pachakutik Bloc, in response to the events of September 30, 2010, and the claims made in recent days about the alleged  support by USAID-NED to indigenous organizations, standing firmly on our historic process of bringing about a true Pluri-national State, announce:

The struggle of the peoples and nationalities is not an individual one, rather, it corresponds to the collective dream of constructing a diverse country, inclusive of the diverse popular and social organized sectors that seek a real change to end the old neoliberal, exploitative structures and the decolonization of the institutions of the State. We seek a pluri-national democracy, respectful of the rights of individuals, of collective organizations and of nature.

We energetically announce that there never was any attempted coup d’etat, much less a kidnapping, but an event that responded to the uncertain political management of the government that causes popular discontent through permanent aggression, discrimination and violations of human rights consecrated in the Constitution.

We do not recognize this dictatorial “democracy” because of its lack of freedom of speech, the kidnapping of all the powers of the state by the executive branch in its political system of one government, that does not generate spaces to debate the projects, and laws elaborated from the indigenous movement and other social sectors.

We categorically refute claims that the CONAIE, the Pachakutik Political Movement, the peoples and nationalities have any relationship at all with the organism known as USAID, previously NED, not today nor ever. To the contrary, we know that this organization finances the “social programs” of this government like the forest partnership and that, yes, is condemnable.

We demand the constitutional suspension of the National Congress for its failure to comply with the constitutional mandate that it legislate much less audit as it is well known that all laws are approved by the president’s legal minister.

We condemn the usurpation of press freedom when on September 30 all media not allied with the government was forced to broadcast government news in “cadena nacional,” a means by which all access to information is controlled and manipulated with a version of the facts that does not inform about the real dimensions of the situation on that day in the country.

Quito, Ecuador, October 6, 2010

Government of the Peoples and Nationalities,

Marlon Santi

President, CONAIE

Update and Correction: A reader, Dawn Paley, writes us:

Hi Al,

In your post yesterday on Narco News, you wrote that on her Twitter feed, Naomi Klein "recklessly accused the indigenous women and men of the CONAIE of being agents of imperialism and recipients of funds from US AID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)."
 
I've carefully reviewed Naomi's twitter feed from that day and following days, and she did no such thing. On the contrary, she repeatedly challenged Golinger's position.
 
I hope that you'll correct this error as soon as possible.
 
thanks,
 
Dawn Paley
We have reviewed Klein's Twitter feed and conclude that Dawn is correct. The confusion stemmed from Twitter posts from Golinger to Klein. We regret the error and extend our apology to our readers and to Naomi Klein. Thank you, Dawn, for bringing the error to our attention. We are actually relieved that the truth is better than our error in this case.
 

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Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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