“The mobilizations are the resistance of the peoples to a neoliberal agenda,” according to Txema Guijarro of Podemos.

05.11.2019 - Madrid, Spain - Juana Pérez Montero

This post is also available in: Spanish

“The mobilizations are the resistance of the peoples to a neoliberal agenda,” according to Txema Guijarro of Podemos.

Txema Guijarro has been a deputy for Podemos and is running again in the elections on November 10. Of Ecuadorian nationality, his relationship with South America is permanent.

In this interview, we wanted to know your opinion on the popular protests that have taken place in Ecuador and what is happening in Chile.

On the future to which he aspires, “That change will have to come from the hand of more democracy, and an organized conscience among the peoples.

Pressenza: We know about your relationship with South America. How do you think the processes in Ecuador and Chile will continue?

Txema Guijarro: The element that unites both mobilizations is the resistance of the peoples against the attempt to impose a neoliberal agenda. Now, I believe that the main differentiating element is that Ecuador has traditionally been resistant to these tendencies. The history of Ecuador in the last 25 years has been the history of resistance to neoliberal imposition, hence the Ecuadorian people have overthrown up to three presidents of the country. In this case, I am referring to a popular resistance that does not hesitate to confront any neoliberal adjustment programme, known as the Washington Consensus, which has never been fully implemented in Ecuador. Meanwhile, we have seen how it has been imposed in neighbouring countries such as Colombia, Peru, Brazil, etcetera. On the other hand, the case of Chile is different; I would say that it is the opposite case. Chile was a country “disciplined” by Pinochet’s terrible dictatorship, who introduced the neoliberal agenda, accompanied by brutal repression. Since then, a strong malaise has been brewing among the Chilean people, who understand that their democratic solution depends on a new constitution. In Chile, this old constituent demand has been combined with the resistance to this new neoliberal package that Piñera has tried to impose.

Q.- Do the events in Ecuador and also in Chile, as you can see, show the ineffectiveness of the neoliberal model? Are they sufficient indicators to sustain that the root problem is the globalized capitalism in which we live? and if so, how do we get out of this model?

T.G.- I would rather speak of a deregulated capitalism that, of course, is in the context of a globalization that began centuries ago. What I would say characterizes the present moment, besides this phase of advanced globalization, is a phase of “misgovernment” that is the consequence of having implemented so many years of neoliberal policy.

How to get out of there? I believe that, above all, we must demand the sovereignty of peoples and the value of States. When faced with a problem of deregulation, I believe that two things are needed: firstly, States that regulate and, secondly, a new world order under a more democratic governance. In this sense, for there to be regulation at the global level, there must be a more effective multilateralism, implemented by the United Nations System. Here I would like to highlight an initiative that we have been defending, the International Binding Treaty on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations, which is precisely a means to generate global regulations that ensure decent working conditions throughout the world.

Q.- The populations are mobilizing in different parts of the planet, demanding what corresponds to them. Do you think that such demonstrations will be essential so that the governors change their policies or will there be politicians who anticipate events?

T.G.- Politicians and politics are always behind social movements. Moreover, if history has taught us something, it is that rights have not been graciously granted to us, rights have always been conquered. Therefore, for me the secret lies in the struggle and, hand in hand with it, creativity. Faced with complex challenges and new contexts, creativity and audacity are required in the struggle.

Q.- Yes, as it seems, this type of peaceful and nonviolent mobilizations can multiply. Do you think it would be interesting to generate networks of work and mutual support between the North and the South of the planet and to build a global movement?

T.G.- This is what I was referring to earlier with the need to be bolder and more creative. Certainly, it is time to build a network of networks. We know that networks already exist but, in the face of an economic globalization like the one we are living through, we need a network of networks to help us shape the resistance to the globalization of advanced capitalism.

Q.- How is the future you aspire to?

T.G.-I hope to achieve a more sustainable system, in which diverse families are what is at the centre and not the benefit of a minority, and where equality between people is a reality. That change will have to come hand in hand with more democracy, and an organized consciousness among peoples.

Translation Pressenza London

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