Sam Glasper is Head of Foreign Affairs at TPN and is studying for his Masters at the University of Durham
It has not been an easy month for the neoliberal rightist hawk, President Duque of Colombia. His defence minister was forced to resign after an attempted bombing of a dissident FARC camp led to the deaths of eight children. The Marxist army of the ELN has remained active, remaining a thorn in the side fot the government of landowners. And now, finally, a labour dispute has erupted into some of the nations largest protests as the masses make clear their discontent with the Duque regime.
The protests, led by unions and social movements, are against Duque’s neoliberal reforms that would slash minimum wage, eliminate the right to a pension and privatise state-owned companies and hike electricity rates by as much as 35%. The protesters also wish for a peace deal with the Liberation Theological armed group, the ELN who Duque has recently suspended talks with. A further indication of the nations disapproval of these reforms is Duque’s own disapproval rations which are at a staggering 69 percent. Evidently, the Colombian masses have made their feelings known with regards to the current government.
Yet did Duque seek compromise with the leaders of the ELN and the unions? No, instead he unleashed his attack dogs in the police on the protesters leading to the deaths of 3 people. In an alleged response to this blatant attack on civilians, potential revolutionary forces may have killed three police officers in a bomb attack in the country’s south-west.
To turn heads away from rebellion on the home-front, Duque has potentially laid out his boldest strategy to date. Believing socialist Venezuela is to blame for the tensions in his own country (whilst comradely solidarity does exist between the Colombian leftist rebels and Venezuela’s leftist collectivos, they are not to blame for Duque digging his own neoliberal grave), Duque may be preparing to attack the nation likely emboldened by the Fascist coup in Bolivia.
President Maduro of Peoples Venezuela has stated “All of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) should be on alert. I have first-hand information of a set of provocations for armed conflict at the Colombian-Venezuelan border, so as to divert attention from the popular Colombian rebellion against Ivan Duque,” He went on to say “I speak out against it and I’m telling the FANB to be ready to defend Venezuela’s sovereignty and right to peace … Be ready.” Evidently, the forces of counter-revolution maybe amassing for another bloodbath on the continent, no doubt egged on by their imperial oversees over in the United States of America.
The solution to this debacle remains as clear as it did from the start. The end to neocolonialism and US influence in South America, the eviction of neoliberalism from day to day life and the start of people led reformation of society and finally, a workable peace solution that respects the wishes of former combatants. If Duque thinks he can fight his way out of this self imposed mess via the dialectics of fists and guns then he has another thing coming. For the people are similarity armed and they are truly angry. Resistance remains prominent in spite of the setbacks and this mindset will inevitably lead the people of the Global South to victory over enemy forces.