By Fernando Dorado
América Latina en movimiento (Latin America on the Move)
March 12, 2021
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
Here’s what’s unprecedented in the current situation
We have suggested that Colombia has entered into a new moment in politics. That doesn’t mean that it’s a certainty that the progressive and leftist forces will prevail. It’s only a window of opportunity.
What’s unprecedented is that the dominant castes know that progressive and leftist forces have a real opportunity to gain control of the national government. And they are afraid of that.
Those who have always monopolized power in Colombia are on the defensive. They don’t have a political blueprint for the future. They are afraid, and they can only offer fear as a political strategy.
Those dominant castes, that manipulated the Constitution of 1991 to strengthen their banks and their businesses with money from drug trafficking, know that they can’t yield the Office of the President.
They are aware that the Congress, courts, agencies of control, etc., depend on the Executive, and there’s a danger that political sectors they don’t control could take over that office.
Much more so at a time when the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) is beginning to investigate crimes against humanity, compromising important sectors of the dominant castes.
In 1991, they sold us the idea of an economic and democratic opening.
“Welcome to the future” said César Gaviria, who inherited the political capital of the assassinated Luis Carlos Galán, whom they themselves had murdered.
In 2001, they turned the screw on Colombian politics with Álvaro Uribe Vélez, who, taking advantage of the serious mistakes and crimes by the FARC, convinced the Colombian people that all of their problems would be solved with the defeat of the guerrillas.
And between 2014 and 2018, faced with evidence that they wouldn’t be able to defeat the guerrillas militarily, they timidly accompanied Juan Manuel Santos in the search for “peace”, which for them, just meant the demobilization and disarming of the members of the FARC.
Today there is a crisis in the neoliberal model that they sold us as a solution. The economy that they built in those 30 years, the one that depends on exports of raw materials (oil, coal, gold, export agribusiness), is taking on water. If it weren’t for the drug traffic, this country would have collapsed already.
Besides, the pandemic has aggravated the situation. The government is broke and in debt, and the Duque administration, in order to demonstrate some kind of social investment, has to approve new taxes and reforms that will affect the middle classes and the people.
That is the tragedy that we are experiencing. All of the predictions are negative for them. The perfect storm that affects their interests has been diagnosed and announced. Uribe said it: “Watch out for 2022”.
But besides, they don’t have a candidate that shows leadership and can unify his political followers, who are in complete moral and political decomposition. And that’s why they have unleashed a full-blown carnival of presidential aspirants in the oligarchy’s political parties.
The politics of fear
With this political reality, where it’s evident that progressive policies are going forward , and with the weakness of “centrist” forces, the dominant castes are clinging to the politics of fear.
They allow the illegal armed groups to gain strength in the regions in order to generate a climate of destabilization. They want to relive the FARC, headed by Gustavo Petro. They already did that in 2018.
They are trying to identify social protest with armed groups and what they call vandalism. They carry out massacres of every kind to create reactions among the democratic sectors that the communications media manipulate toward the matrix “castro-chavista”.
They generate phony initiatives like lengthening Duque’s term to show their loyalty, to weaken the legislators that show a certain independence, and to gain congressional majorities to push forward their regressive “reforms”.
Their desperation is not surprising, especially among the Uribist forces; they want to generate an artificial chaos to press for some adventure like a coup.
What’s unprecedented at this moment is that anything goes.
A Historic Agreement that conquers fear
A group of political powers headed by Colombia Humana, PDA, MAIS, UP and others has suggested the drafting of a Historic Agreement.
It’s an important and viable proposal for the moment, keeping in mind that:
There has to be an effort and an extraordinary action to break with the traditional practice.
The mere unity of the parties, movements, and existing political groups, even if it included all of those that are called alternatives, would not be enough to guarantee success.
This unprecedented situation has to lead to examining the weaknesses of our political processes.
We have to be more aware of how difficult it will be to defeat the dominant castes in the elections.
We will be confronting the most brazen vote buying, blackmail, lies, and manipulation.
There has to be an overwhelming and dominant victory in order to defeat the electoral fraud of CNE.
We need an enormous effort to be able to mobilize the non-voters, who are those that don’t believe in political parties or even in government institutions.
It will be urgent to regain the enthusiasm of thousands of social activists; those who are disappointed with the bureaucrat practices and individual aspirations that have taken over the small groups known as “alternative parties”.
The program of the Historic Agreement has to touch down in every province and municipality.
We have to take advantage of the division in the traditional parties. We have to attract all of the sectors that have been part of the struggle for peace and are working on the task of defeating Uribe.
It’s indispensable to develop a very broad action, with new sectors of society that are “unorganized” but that can express themselves politically in the street and in daily life, in production, culture, education, health, environmentalism, gender struggle, etc.
Popayán, March 12, 2021
 1946: The Communist Party supported the oligarchy’s Liberal Party candidate against Jorge Eliécer Gaitán.
 1991: The M19, after being the principal force in the Constituent Assembly, took part in the neoliberal government of César Gaviria, lending itself to a series of agreements with the oligarchy that stripped away the pressure for a process of change.
 Six Conservative aspirants, five Liberals, four from the U Party, two from Radical Change, four from Democratic Center are already active, along with several independents emanating from those traditional parties. Outstanding are the current Vice President, several former Treasury Ministers, and former governors and former mayors from Bogotá, Medellín, and Barranquilla.