Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (Ecuador): “The Indigenous and Popular Uprising of October. Its Lessons and the Perspectives for Revolutionary Struggle.”

The country was shaken by the outbreak and development of great struggles of the indigenous
peoples and nationalities, of the workers of the city and countryside, the working class and poor
peasantry, small merchants, the inhabitants of popular neighborhoods in the cities, the teachers
and the progressive intelligentsia, of the great demonstrations of the insurgence of the youth of
the indigenous communities, the youth strata of the factory workers, the secondary and
university students who went out onto the highways, the streets and squares, indigenous and
working women, teachers, students and housewives.

These massive manifestations of the discontent and anger of the workers and peoples were
transformed into the indigenous and popular uprising that brought down the attempts of the
government and imperialism to apply neoliberal measures.

The popular and indigenous uprising that lasted for 12 days in October 2019 demonstrated that
workers and peoples, women and youth are on their feet, fighting for their interests and rights,
for freedom and democracy.

The struggle of indigenous peoples and nationalities, led by the CONAIE (Confederation of
Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador); the workers and social organizations led by the FUT
(Unitary Workers; Front) and the Popular Front; the workers of the city and countryside who do
not belong to any social and union organizations and broad sectors of the youth won a great
victory: the repeal of Decree 883, the suspension of labor reforms and the reformulation of the
Project of Growth of the Economy.

The victory of the workers and peoples forced a modification of the policies of the IMF and the
government, and won their economic, political and ideological demands. But it did not change
the nature of the regime, the rules imposed by the IMF are still in force, big national and
international capital maintain these demands. The Moreno government will seek to comply with
these demands.

The Draft Law on the Growth of the Economy has already been proposed, excluding the labor
reforms, with some reforms from the original draft. It is a project that mainly benefits the large
business owners and bankers, exempts them from taxes on profits and eliminates the advance on
taxes on profits and the tax on the outflow of foreign currency. This measure was rejected by the
majority of Assembly members in order to maintain their prestige, faced with the next elections.
Along the same line of subordination to the International Monetary Fund, the IMF sent the
Simplicity and Progressive Tax draft that was finally approved by the National Assembly, which
responds mainly to the interests of the capitalist class.


Regarding the price of fuel and transportation, the government is seeking to apply a policy of
targeting subsidies and fares and the implementation of compensation.

The political events of October 2019 and their results have created a new balance of forces.
During the most important periods of the denunciation of the corruption of the Correa regime, of
its high officials and the unmasking of acts of authoritarianism, of the verbiage of the open arms
and outstretched hand, the dialogue with all Ecuadorians, a large part of the population was
favorable to the presidential administration. Moreno's approval rating was over 70%, he
managed to hide the specter of electoral fraud that allowed him to win the election with 51%.
Now, after the victory achieved by the popular and indigenous uprising, the credibility of the
Moreno government fell to only 14%.

The National Assembly has less than 10% approval. The armed forces and the police have
largely been unmasked as repressive forces serving the interests of the government and the most
powerful economic groups.

During the days of the popular struggle, the big media, television and press showed an
extraordinary partiality towards the theses and proposals of the government and the bourgeoisie;
these circumstances were seen by the workers and have somewhat diminished the credibility of
these media.

The capitalist class, the bourgeois political parties, the Social Christian Party, CREO (Creating
Opportunities), SUMA (Society United for More Action) and Alianza País, which stood firmly
on the side of the neoliberal measures, considering them sacred and blessing them, were
unmasked, in part, as enemies of the people.

The diversionist policies that were promoted with the so-called white marches that defended
"peace and tranquility, the sacred principle of private property" failed; they did not fulfill their
purpose of delegitimizing the indigenous and popular uprising, they were reduced to an
important and solitary march in Guayaquil, to small showings in other cities.

Nebot, who tried to promote his presidential campaign in the midst of the people’s struggle, saw
his political project crumble, as he himself recognize; his racist shouts lost him a part of the
strength he had accumulated. The Social Christian party from within the Guayaquil Mayor’s
Office was seen to be racist.

The pro-Correa forces suffered a new setback. After the unmasking of the feast of public money,
the corruption, prosecution and imprisonment of the former vice-president, of several former
ministers and high officials, he tried to establish himself as the popular opposition to the Moreno
regime. He denounced the neoliberal policies and organized some marches and demonstrations, a
five-day peasant strike that was unsuccessful. People saw that the pro-Correa forces did not go
out into the street; they did not fight for their authoritarian leader. In the local elections of March
2019, the pro-Correa forces supported the party of a corrupt man who is facing prison and won
11% of the vote and two out of the 23 prefectures.


In the popular and indigenous uprising the pro-Correa forces opted for a conspiracy, they
infiltrated the indigenous movement, the inhabitants of the popular neighborhoods; they carried
out acts of provocation, used the assets and resources of the prefectures to finance their forces,
which they kept in action through daily payoffs to participate. They took up positions against the
indigenous nationalities and peoples, the FUT and the Popular Front, the denunciation of the
repression that they advocated when they were in power, the provocations and acts of vandalism,
as well as the denunciations by the government contributed to their isolation. After the uprising
they were isolated, they denounced what they called the betrayal of the CONAIE and they
claimed that they were being politically persecuted.

The pro-Correa forces are weakened but not eliminated. The assessment that he might win the
next elections is maliciously promoted by the government and the bourgeois political parties that
raise the ghost; they are completely unfounded concerns but worries of the middle strata and
considerable sectors of the workers.

In reality, the pro-Correa forces are a political force, they have a firm base; but they are losers. In
the last elections they only won 11% down from the 54% that they obtained in the 2017
legislative elections. They were a defeated political alternative in the popular and indigenous
uprising. They are not a big political force, they do not have the potential they claim, but they
should not be underestimated since their social base comes from sectors of the impoverished
laboring classes of the city and the countryside.

In the popular camp important qualitative changes took place that are influencing the social and
political forces, the consciousness of the working masses and youth, of the whole of society.
The indigenous movement and particularly the CONAIE are better situated than in the
immediate past, they are recognized for their organization, consistency and courage in the
struggle, for the correctness of their proposals, for the seriousness of their main spokespersons
and leaders.

The accumulated strength of the indigenous movement forms an important force in the workers’
and popular movement, in the political parties and organizations of the left.

Pachakutik, a party that is an important part of the indigenous movement, reaffirms its validity in
the territories where it has been showing strength and significance and it is growing in the minds
of the workers and peoples throughout the country.

The working class, above all, its sectors organized in the class federations that are part of the
FUT waged an important struggle; they were organizers and protagonists of the national strike
that took place on October 9, within the framework of the popular and indigenous uprising. The
demands proposed, mainly the opposition to labor flexibility, were taken up by the working class
as a whole, including by the rank-and-file of the yellow union federations made up of the pro-
Correa forces and sponsored by Moreno.


The victory of the workers was materialized in the suspension of the original Draft Law on the
Growth of the Economy during the popular and indigenous uprising and later, in the withdrawal
of the parts of the labor reform from the new draft of the same Law after the end of the people's

The FUT reaffirmed its position as the main organization of the workers among its own rank-
and-file and beyond, to a good part of the working class centered in other plants, to considerable
sectors of the unorganized workers who make up the majority.

The UGTE (General Union of the Workers of Ecuador) took a decisive part in the call,
organization and development of the national strike. To a great extent, it developed the debate in
the union assemblies, promoted the nature, ideological and political tasks and the responsibilities
of the working class towards the other laboring classes and society. As a result of its
participation and the end of the popular and indigenous uprising, the UGTE can show the support
of its rank-and-file and the sympathy of other sectors of the working class; it can be proud of the
possibilities for its reaffirmation and development, it must take advantage of the situation in
order to advance.

The union and social organizations that make up the Popular Front, the UGTE, FEUNASSC
(United National Federation of Affiliates to Peasants’ Social Security), UNE (National Union of
Educators), CUCOMITAE (Unitary Federation of Retail Merchants and Self-Employed Workers
of Ecuador), CUBE (Unitary Federation of Neighborhoods of Ecuador), Women for Change,
FESE (Federation of Secondary Students of Ecuador), FEUE (Federation of University Students
of Ecuador) and UNAPE (National Union of People’s Artists of Ecuador) participated with a
good part of their rank-and-file in the various days of the popular and indigenous uprising; their
leaders were determined and courageous fighters, their members and rank-and-file were fired up
and nourished by the lessons of the struggle of the masses, by the development of new and varied
forms of struggle, their banners were seen by the fighters in the streets and squares.
The Popular Front, the social and political forces that comprise it, came out strengthened from
the struggles of October; they have the space, the conditions and responsibilities to situate
themselves in the new scenarios and to advance in the consolidation of their organization, to
develop new struggles and, above all, to insist on the obligation to educate the rank-and-file
politically, to build revolutionary consciousness in the minds, organization and action of the

The Popular Unity reaffirmed during the events its nature as a party of the revolutionary left; its
leaders, its rank-and-file, affiliates and sympathizers were actively integrated into the direct
political response to the anti-popular and anti-national policies of the Moreno government. They
denounced them in a timely manner and clarified their neoliberal nature, the intention to shift the
weight of the crisis on the shoulders of the workers and peoples.


The members of Popular Unity were present within the social organizations; they took part in the
debate and making of decisions and they joined the struggle in the neighborhoods, the unions and
the organizations of teachers, peasants and students.

The Popular Unity said “we are present,” its banners flew in the streets and squares of the
country. On October 2, in the street demonstration that began the struggles that developed into
the popular and indigenous uprising, the Popular Unity raised the slogan "Neither Moreno Nor
Correa; Only the People Can Save the People", which was chanted by thousands of protesters
during the days of the popular struggle.

The Popular Unity confirmed its character as a left party that represents and fights for the
interests and rights of the working masses and youth. It has put forth new challenges and the
possibility to face them in order to advance steadily in their organization and relevance in the
minds of the people.

Other organizations and movements of the revolutionary left, the Revolutionary Movement of
Workers (MRT), the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), the José Carlos Mariátegui
Movement, the Guevarista Liberation Movement, Revolt and others were directly involved in the
fight; they fought side by side with the indigenous people, the workers and youth; they
disseminated their proposals and slogans. A good part of the rank-and-file of the Socialist Party
were also involved, despite the silence of its leadership. In the course of the struggle, unity in
action was concretized. It was possible to fight together against the common enemy,
neoliberalism and the Moreno government. These circumstances pose certain possibilities for
advancing in the unitary process of the revolutionary left.

The popular struggle became the crucible and the test by which these formations of the
revolutionary left were made visible and strengthened.

An important result of the development of the popular and indigenous uprising is the
considerable level of unity in action, among the parties and organizations of the revolutionary
left, which was forged in the midst of the struggle. The common objectives, the justness of the
cause, the strength and decisiveness of the indigenous movement and, of course, the nature of the
forces of the revolutionary left allowed them to put aside, on a secondary level, the ideological
and political differences and place unity in the center of the struggle.
These events pose for the present, the immediate future and the medium term the possibility of
finding meeting points for the discussion of the projects and policies among all the left
revolutionaries, to advance to agreements of a programmatic nature in the medium and long

A new scenario arises for the party of the proletariat, the certainty that it is possible to speak, to
discuss projects, that progress can be made in building the unity of the revolutionary forces.
We propose to open the debate on the basis of equality, to put aside prejudices, to get to know
each other and to set goals and paths. We maintain, as in the past, that nobody has the right to


impose their project or their points of view, as well as that no organization has the power to veto
the agreements. We are in favor of open, frank and democratic discussion of majority
agreements. We reject the policy of consensus, which is nothing other than the right to veto.
The party of the proletariat was involved in a direct and responsible manner, in the orientation
and propaganda, in the debate among the social organizations and groups to propose and guide
the resistance and the struggle against the neoliberal policies implemented by the government of
Moreno. We committed ourselves to work in the provincial and national assemblies and the
congresses of the workers and social organizations; we were present at the Conventions of the
FUT and we encouraged unity and the call for the national strike.

For months the Party and its forces have been involved in spreading and discussing the call for
the national strike, the work of organizing it among the rank-and-file of the social and union
organizations, in the places where we have an impact and responsibilities. We understood that
the decision and the call were important but that they had to be taken up by the masses.
The Party took a decisive part, its members and sympathizers were in the frontlines of the battle,
in the streets and squares, on the roads and highways. They were able to involve a good part of
the party's social base, important sectors of the masses of workers, youth and women.
The participation of the membership in the popular struggles of October provided great lessons:
it reaffirmed the proletarian conceptions of the role of the masses in history, of the role of unity
in the struggle, in the objectives and proposals, in the present and the future, in the struggle as
the way to defend and win the interests and rights of the masses. It allowed the forging and
steeling of the revolutionary convictions; it broadened the view of the communists of the role
and nature of the other revolutionary political organizations.

The assessment that is being carried out regarding what the popular indigenous uprising was and
meant, of the new scenarios and spaces that resulted from the victory achieved by the struggle,
shows that the vast majority of the members were directly involved in the fighting, that this
participation affirmed them in the positive evaluation of the Party and its policies as an
expression of the most advanced revolutionary thought, as the most determined and ready for the

In these battles, we made significant progress in the process of the accumulation of revolutionary

The bourgeoisie is trying to delegitimize the popular struggle

The ruling classes and the political parties of the bourgeoisie are aware of these new
circumstances, above all, of the potential of the popular forces and the revolutionary left, and
they are unleashing a big ideological and political offensive; they are unleashing a real witch
hunt, they are criminalizing social fighters and the leaders of the indigenous people and of the


Now, after the defeat inflicted by the indigenous and popular uprising, they are claiming that the
country has been devastated by vandalism and the excesses of the protesters, that they have lost
hundreds of millions of dollars and that finally, "we are all losers", that the struggle and its
outcome did not lead to winners or losers.

They talked of the existence of an international plot, the participation of foreigners, of
Colombian guerrillas and pro-Maduro activists, of the planning and carrying out of terrorist acts,
of the establishment of the urban guerrilla, all in order to discredit the struggle.

The entire bourgeoisie is telling these lies, calling the masses who took part in the struggle
irrational, contingents led in an authoritarian manner by leaders whom they demonize as enemies
of democracy and freedom. They are announcing and preparing anti-insurgent policies and
actions, as well as the improvement of the information and intelligence services, whose actors
are the Armed Forces and the Police.

The work of the big media in the development of this ideological and political attack is intense
and demands a timely and sustained response from the revolutionary forces and, especially, from
the party of the proletariat.

They boast of their democratic "disposition" and that they recognize the right of workers and
peoples to protest, to make demands; but they condemn what they call acts of vandalism and
terrorism. They call the popular and indigenous uprising just, they recognize that they were
wrong in their analysis and proposals, but they denigrate the social fighters, they call them
violent, that they are attacking peace and private property. They recognize the right of the
indigenous people to oppose the cultural discrimination and segregation of which they are
victims and at the same time they accuse them of being revanchists, of opposing progress. They
declare themselves to be friends and supporters of the peasants, of the rural workers whom they
identify as the forgotten ones, those ignored by all the governments and they claim that the
decrees and measures are aimed at their salvation. They say that the regime is the standard bearer
for dialogue, that it has its arms outstretched and its hands open to talk and build consensus for
the good of the country, of the need to make sacrifices now in order to enjoy tomorrow and at the
same time they call for repression, the use of tear gas, horses and motorized vehicles to defend
the order threatened by the people’s struggle.

These tales of the government and the reactionary political parties, of the chambers of
commerce, of most of the big media, of the heads of the Catholic Church lie about the events that
occurred in the indigenous and popular uprising in October; they distort them. For the tens of
thousands of people who took a direct part in the struggles, in the city and the countryside, in the
streets and squares, things are clear, but this is not the same for the vast majority of the
population who ar the object of this ideological manipulation.

Facts are stubborn things; they show the reasons for the social struggle
The proletarian revolutionaries, the men and women who make up the workers’ and popular
movement, the social actors of the indigenous movement must take up the responsibility of


denouncing these fallacies and make clear again and again the nature of the events and their

We, the indigenous people and the workers of the city and countryside, are not criminals,
vandals, much less terrorists or saboteurs; we are the labor force that sustains the life and
development of society.

These were hard days for the workers in industry, in the mines and construction who create the
wealth of the country that allows for the satisfaction of the vital needs of the Ecuadorians, even
though for now, much of that wealth is expropriated by the employers. It is the labor of millions
of peasants that allows us to meet the daily needs of the Ecuadorians, food; it is the work of
agricultural wage earners that makes possible the export of agricultural products and livestock,
which provides foreign exchange for the purchase of products that need to be imported. It is the
daily work of the self-employed workers that allows for much of the production and exchange of
useful goods. The activity of the teachers, health-care workers and public servants provides the
daily dynamic of society.

The acts of vandalism that took place during the uprising, which certainly took place, were the
work of the provocateurs of the pro-Correa forces and the repressive forces that were trying to
place the blame on the popular fighters.

It is recognized by all that the 11 dead, the 1,340 wounded and the 1,152 arrested were from the
ranks of the social fighters, who were victims of the brutal repression ordered by the
government. The Mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights itself reaffirmed
this. That means that the social mobilizations and the action of the popular fighters were
defensive, responding to the bullets and tear gas with shouts, sticks and stones.
On the other hand, the indigenous and popular uprising in October set goals and achieved them;
the government and the oligarchy set goals for themselves and were unable to achieve them.
There were massive battles that achieved a great victory.

The clearly established truth is that Ecuadorians do not have to pay more for fuel and
transportation, that the hourly contract and labor flexibility did not pass, that the wages of the
workers were not lowered. The reality is that we millions of Ecuadorians were able to see on
television how the President surrendered to the just demands of the indigenous and popular
movement. The workers and peoples won a momentous victory.

It is clear that the great loser was the government and the whole of the ruling classes that were
forced to back down from their attempts to free up fuel prices.

The democratic verbiage with which they supposedly recognize the people's right to make
demands and protest aims at masking the authoritarian, arrogant and repressive nature of the
regime; it clashes with the facts, with the measures to strengthen the military capacity to silence
the social protest.

Unity was forged and developed in combat


The indigenous and popular uprising was a great example of the unity of the workers and
peoples, of the working women and youth, the left-wing political parties and organizations. The
political unity was forged in the discussion among the indigenous communities of the CONAIE,
among the rank-and-file workers in the unions, in the provincial and national federations, in the
FUT, in the trade union and social organizations that make up the Popular Front, in the debate
among the social and political activists and collectives that defend nature and the environment.
This political unity was concretized in a common Platform, in specific targets, in the demand that
the government repeal the neoliberal measures and the labor flexibility. Unity was expressed in
the struggle, in the streets and squares, in the territories and on the highways, in the daily
assemblies that analyzed the progress of the fight.

These important expressions of the unity of the working masses, the peoples and the youth form
the basis to advance more decisively in the building of unity for the seizure of power, for the
building of socialism.

Our responsibilities demand that we continue developing, under current conditions, the unity of
the workers, peoples and youth in order to confront and overcome the arrogance of the
employers, for the defense of our rights, for the winning of the demands of the masses.
Only the unity of the workers within their trade union and social organization will allow us to
clarify the reasons for the fight, to identify our true friends and determine our enemies, and fight
decisively against their policies and for the interests of the masses. A union unified around the
immediate and medium-term aims of its members will be able to develop a consistent leadership
that will have the courage to achieve its goals. The unity forged in each of the social and union
organizations is the stage for the politicization of the masses, to forge and affirm the political
objectives of the seizure of popular power.

It is necessary to move from unity in one union and one commune to unity among the unions, to
the forging of fraternal ties among the workers of one Federation, one province, one sector of
production. We must advance in the formation of unitary structures with the other sectors of the
working class and peasantry, the youth and teachers.

The achievements made in the formation of the Collective of Social Organizations and in the
Parliament of the Peoples should serve as a basis to advance in forging the ideological and
political unity of the workers with the indigenous movement, social organizations and activists
who defend nature and the environment. We must work so that the activists of the indigenous
and popular uprising work in a united way to take up all the tasks of social and political life.
The Party must learn from the experiences achieved in the forging of the revolutionary
movement of the masses, the unitary organizations that are being built; it must work to
consolidate and develop them; it must use it as a basis to broaden the unity to other social

The Popular Front as an expression of coordination and action of the class-struggle union
organizations, of the poor peasantry, the small merchants, the poor neighborhood residents, the


secondary and university students, the women must be taken seriously by the provincial
committees, by the national leadership, by the members and leaders of the party.
The FUT is an organization in which various union federations and different political positions
converge; it is an organization that has won an important place within the working class and
people. The responsibilities taken up by the FUT must be completely fulfilled. We must actively
participate in the debate, in the making of decisions and be consistent in the application of these

The political situation in the country, the important development of the organization and struggle
of the indigenous peoples and nationalities, the presence and activity of the CONAIE reaffirm
the proposals of the Political Line regarding the role of the indigenous movement in the
Ecuadorian revolution; they demand a sustained and long-term work for building the unity of the
workers and peoples and, especially, with the indigenous peoples and nationalities.
The multicultural nature of the country exists within the workers’ and popular movement; in it
workers, men and women, youth and adults, mestizos, indigenous and blacks come together, the
variously colored nature of the workers and the peoples. The building of a fraternal and
revolutionary interculturality among the social historical actors of the Ecuadorian revolution is a
responsibility shared by all of them. The banners of social and national liberation, the red flag of
the workers, the wipala of the indigenous movement, the national tricolor must fly in all the
popular struggles, in all the proposals and programs.

The political and organizational ties that are being developed within the popular movement show
the party's decision to work in that direction and make clear the readiness and determination of
other political and social forces to come together in actions and organizations to strengthen the
popular bloc, to lead it to the seizure of popular power.
Marxism-Leninism, the general guidelines of the PCMLE, the concrete conjunctural proposals
serve as a guide for the work of the proletarian revolutionaries; work must be done to bring the
revolutionary theory, the programmatic proposals of the revolution and socialism to the broad

The unity of the leftists

The task of building the United Revolutionary Front requires a unitary work of the Party within
the working class, the other laboring classes and the indigenous movement; it also demands a
unitary policy towards the other parties and political organizations of the revolutionary left.
The overthrow of the power of imperialism and the big bourgeoisie, the establishment of popular
power and the building of the society of the workers are objectives of the working class and
peoples, they require the struggle of the workers of the city and the countryside, of the youth,
they demand the building, in the course of the struggle, of the unity of the motive forces of the
revolution, of the social and political actors.


The PCMLE has been taking up its responsibility in organizing the revolution, in the process of
accumulating forces, in the multiple activities that are taking place in the confrontation of the
workers and youth with the employers, the bourgeois state and the governments in office.
On this path, other parties and political organizations of the revolutionary left are converging
with whom we agree in the streets, in the strike movement, in the joint confrontation with the
policies of the bourgeoisie; they also involve the ecologists and environmentalists, the supporters
of the Yasuni [a large national park in the Amazon region of Ecuador – translator’s note], the
fighters for human rights, the activists of the movement of the women, of the LGBTI, the leftist
intellectuals and non-party fighters. With all of them we must build unity against the
establishment, against imperialism and the government in office.

Each organization has its own programmatic proposals, political lines and strategic objectives;
they have a leadership and membership that fights for those purposes. We all consider ourselves
revolutionaries, we call ourselves anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist fighters; we carry out actions in
the workers’ and youth movement.

In the daily fight against the policies of imperialism and the bourgeoisie, basically, there are
common points, reasons to unite our energy and forces.

On the basis of these facts, the PCMLE proposes to open the debate, on the basis of equality,
with all the political parties and organizations of the left, to find the points of union, to point out
differences but not to raise them as barriers to hinder unity, to seek concrete agreements, to walk
and fight together.

The PCMLE does not have attitudes of hegemony. It does not try to impose its lines on anyone,
but it does not renounce its obligation to circulate them and put them forward among the masses,
to discuss them with other revolutionaries.

The PCMLE proclaims its willingness to seek agreements, under all circumstances and in all
places, to join forces to win, through struggle, the demands of the masses, to work persistently
for commitments of programmatic content that go beyond unity in the struggle, that propose
political objectives.

Ecuador, March 2020

Categories: Ecuador

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