Walking The third way: the path to the betrayal of continental unity and socialism

By Ramón Edelberto Matus

The vast majority of the Sandinistas in the grassroots of our party, the FSLN, feel confused by the unexpected and increasingly frequent attacks on our leaders, our government, our state policies, and even the model of development that we have been so successfully implementing in our country for three decades.

We could say that the sustained antagonisms on multiple fronts have accustomed us to the fact that our traditional political and ideological enemies and adversaries on the international and local Right will attack us with their usual offensive fire from all possible angles and in all possible forms, without sparing resources or scruples. But it confuses us, surprises us, and even hurts us that there are attacks that are “friendly fire”, as it is customary to call a cunning attack that comes from our own ranks or allies in war.

The ebbing of the Latin American revolution and the processes of national liberation that began in 1990 with the unpredictable defeat at the electoral polls of the Sandinista Front in Nicaragua was halted, to the joy of the peoples of the Continent, by the arrival in 1998 of Commander Hugo Chávez Frías to the Presidency of Venezuela. Another virtuous cycle was beginning, dominated by progressive forces that would soon bring to power in several countries of the Great Homeland, men and women committed to alternative development, justice and, according to some of them at least, avowed Socialism.

Names such as Néstor Kirchner, Cristina Fernández, Tabaré Vázquez, José Mujica, Fernando Lugo, Luis Ignacio da Silva, Michelle Bachelet, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and others with less left-wing overtones, but presumably still sensitive to the historical demands of ethnic minorities such as Ollanta Humala, made it possible for the dreams of millions and millions of workers, and the impoverished and marginalised demographics of Latin America, to flow again.

The Socialism of the 20th century, the leadership of Commander Chávez, the creation of regional political, integrationist cooperative and regional solidarity institutions outside the domain of the United States, launched a new era that augured the much longed for and much needed aims of true Bolivarian independence and unity at a continental level.

Scared, global Capitalism, Yankee Imperialism and the local oligarchies conspired to abort or to slow down this continental process of liberation, compounded by a number of instances of gross errors committed by the progressive forces in these fraternal countries. Again, a powerful, reactive and extremely well-coordinated wave brought neoliberalism back to most of Latin America. The elites were enthroned again.

Some leaders (such as Commander Hugo Chávez himself) suspiciously fell ill or died, perhaps as a result of secret plots and the actions of the intelligence agencies of Imperialism, using murderous postmodern technologies. Others were simply removed from power by judicializing politics or executing blatant or covert coups. A few, as always happens, simply surrendered to the system, betraying their peoples and their own history.

Latin America was once again the backyard of the United States, that is to say, it was going backwards until it became, once again, a neo-colony, with the exception of in three most dignified and consistent projects: Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

However, today those other countries are experiencing a resurgence of the ancestral struggles of our peoples, this time by peaceful means, using the paths enabled by bourgeois democracy, pushing back fascism and an exhausted neoliberalism. New governments with great popular support come back to power. The Left has returned! But apparently those powerful leaders who used to confront Yankee Imperialism and oppose aggression against other fraternal peoples did not return, thereby squandering solidarity and wasting the opportunity to consolidate a single front of struggle against the enemies of social progress and the self-determination of our peoples.

These new (and even some “old”) leaders of the Latin American left, although they speak with the same words, the same textbook phrases as before, are no longer the same as then. Now they “manage”, take into account the situation, make calculations, avoid upsetting the “big brother” Anglo-Saxon and the global capitalist system of which they are part.

It is the new “fashion” of an insubstantial “left”: Do not disturb the Yankee and do not cloud an upcoming election for the party or coalition. The new decaffeinated Latin American left is fleeing from being considered or labelled as “socialist” and much less  as “communist” by the voters and by the leading countries of Western democracy. “God forbid”!

Rulers and leaders whose biggest dilemma is whether they should remain within the neoliberal doctrine or opt for a social market economy or a welfare state, but whose options are no longer to build a country outside of Capitalism, do not even consider an attempt to undertake an alternative path of its own making, where the greatest good is the welfare of the working people and the defence of national sovereignty.

They dream of the old and “reliable” theory of the “third way”, the one that some governments have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully in the past, and today many leaders and political parties promise it again, because it is where the best of the world is supposedly combined: a free market and social welfare policies, that is to say an “improved” Capitalism where there are hints of a Socialism castrated from the class struggle. Although no one wants to take that golden, placebo pill anymore, because history shows that such a path will always eventually reconnect again with the most brutal forms of Capitalism.

However, in the end these are sovereign decisions of each country, each people and their governments. What bothers us is the fact that several of these leaders and governments are acting against another sovereign and supposedly friendly country, such as Nicaragua and our government, that does nothing more than defend its self-determination, its laws and the peace of the Nicaraguan people.

Thus, we see how former presidents such as Pepe Mujica, Michelle Bachelet and Lula da Silva and senior officials of parties and governments that call themselves “left-wing”, as well as leaders such as Manuel López Obrador and Alberto Fernández, join the chorus of detractors and enemies of our virtuous Sandinista government, and point their accusatory finger against Commander Daniel Ortega, the best historical leader still alive in Latin America and the so-called Third World, and the most consistent fighter against Imperialist barbarism, whose results at the head of the Popular Sandinista Revolution rank him as the greatest ever Nicaraguan statesman.

The current political unreason has caught hold to such an extent that the governments of Mexico and Argentina, having failed in their attempts to establish themselves as “good adjudicators” between our government and its aggressor, the Yankee government (with the purpose that Nicaragua desists from enforcing its own legal system and yields to the pressures of Yankee imperialism, the ultra-conservative European Union and the treacherous Creole oligarchy), have withdrawn their ambassadors, freezing international relations between themselves and our country.

And, as if this were not enough, now they criticize the sovereign decision of our party, the FSLN, to nominate Commander Daniel and comrade Rosario Murillo as a candidate for the presidency and vice-presidency, this being a strictly internal matter. It is surprising that even a man so admired by our people as Lula da Silva, and who since his time as a union fighter has always received the unconditional support of the Sandinista Front, today insinuates that in Nicaragua “there is a dictatorship”, ignoring that it has been the popular will, expressed at the ballot box, by those that have brought the Sandinista Front to power and Commander Daniel to the presidency. Election times are coming in Brazil and Mexico and so, apparently, “you have to look moderate.”

The Peronist government in Argentina has not been able to shake off the ballast of Macrismo and in the face of the constant mistakes of President Fernández, both in politics and in economic, social and public health matters, it seems that he (without abandoning his poses as a left-wing continental leader) begins to oscillate between his campaign promises and the return to neoliberalism and the alignment with those who are supposed to be his ideological adversaries.

It is good that López Obrador and other Latin American leaders speak of the need to turn The Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) into an example of unity, collaboration and independence across the Great Homeland and to undertake the demolition of the OAS as an instrument of gringo domination over Latin America, but that process begins by being supportive and respectful with the countries of the region and, above all, being committed to the fight against injustice and against Yankee interventionism and its lackeys.

Let them take the development route and the political model that they choose. Let them walk their “third way” and renounce true Socialism with every step they take along that path. But let us fight for our own dreams, which are the dreams of the working people of Nicaragua.

SOURCE: Visión Sandinista http://www.visionsandinista.net/2021/08/05/tercera-via/

With thanks to Gilberto Ríos Munguía

Translation: Aaron Kelly