Puerto Rican Sociologist Ramón Grosfoguel: Anti-Imperialist Unity Is Paramount in Latin America

Orinoco Tribune, July 5, 2024 — 

In the opinion of Puerto Rican sociologist Ramón Grosfoguel, anti-imperialism is the horizon towards which Latin American revolutionaries must move, but they should do so in broad and united fronts, because without that it will be impossible to move forward and confront the imperialist political, military, economic, cultural and communicational apparatus.

During his participation in the program Los Uywiris y el Leviatán, broadcast on Youtube on June 24 and dedicated to broaden the concept of the politics of Liberation pioneered by the late Argentinian academic, philosopher, historian and theologian, Enrique Dussel, Grosfoguel explained the need of the Latin American peoples to prioritize unity against the machinations of the national oligarchies that are subordinated to Western hegemonic interests.

In this regard, he warned of the dangers threatening the nations of the continent after the United States lost markets in Africa and Asia and failed in successive wars in the Middle East.

In light of these failures, the empire first advanced in the colonization of Europe by means of an international coup d’état manufactured in Washington, by pushing NATO into a war against Russia via using Ukraine as proxy.

This allowed the empire to displace Russia from the European market by applying sanctions against all Russian companies and replacing them with US ones in the European market.

In Grosfoguel’s opinion, Europe is today what Puerto Rico is for the United States, a neo-colony, a territory without absolute sovereignty.

Today, Europe, which Grosfoguel called a second-rate empire, is subordinated to Washington.

Therefore, when the United States loses Africa, Asia and the Middle East, it has no choice but to escalate against Latin America to sustain itself as an empire.

However, for Grosfoguel, the escalation has been developing for several years.

As for the ongoing US crusade against Latin America, the sociologist referenced the soft coup perpetrated against the president of Peru, Pedro Castillo (2022), the betrayal of former President Lenín Moreno in Ecuador (2017-2021), the trap in the presidential election in Guatemala that banned the indigenous leader Thelma Cabrera from running and her replacement by Washington’s man, Bernardo Arévalo (2023) who has called on Latin America to align itself with NATO and the United States and Ukraine.

Grosfoguel also referred to the arrival of Daniel Noboa to the presidency of Ecuador (2023), who surrendered the sovereignty of the country to the United States and allowed the assault on the Mexican embassy in his country (2024).

He also mentioned the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, a man with a leftist disguise in the service of the empire.

During his electoral campaign Boric had claimed that Salvador Allende was his model politician, but after coming to power he expressed his admiration for former President Patricio Aylwin, a right-winger close to dictator Pinochet.

In addition to appointing a neoliberal as the minister of Economy, Boric continues the militarization of Mapuche territories and represses the social movements that catapulted him to the presidency, Grosfoguel said.

He added that when Boric attends international forums he urges Latin America to align itself with NATO and the United States against Russia, and attacks Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

And to top it all off, Grosfoguel pointed to the arrival of Javier Milei to the presidency of Argentina, who is dismantling the welfare state, has taken the country out of the BRICS, is trying to push China out of Latin America, has aligned Argentina’s foreign policy to the empire and is filling the country with US military bases, similar to what Lenín Moreno and Guillermo Lasso did in Ecuador.

Grosfoguel also referred to the words of the head of the US Southern Command, General Laura Richardson, who said that “Latin America is a matter of national security and sovereignty of the United States.”

From these words, it is understandable that the empire is going all out to get China out of Latin America and to destroy sovereign governments, and that is why it is besieging Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba.

In this regard, Grosfoguel condemned the blockade against Cuba, a crime which in his opinion should be understood in international law as a genocide. He added that the empire is intensifying the blockade against Venezuela, and Bolivia has to be aware of the situation because the empire lives by creating divisions.

The right wing in Latin America is fascist, does not respect democracy; it comes with vengeance, bloodlust, hatred against indigenous peoples, racism, and policies of massacres and cultural genocide.

Therefore, he called on Latin Americans to be alert and not to get carried away by egocentric deviations in politics. The anti-imperialist agenda should be the order of the day and unity should be a priority in the continent.

What is to be done

Grosfoguel said that some scholars assume that the imperialist issue is outside of the Latin American reality.

He explained how some self-styled decolonial scholars, who do not see imperialism anywhere, observe it as something external and distant as if the political economy of Latin American countries are not already penetrated by the global imperialist system.

Considering imperialism as something foreign to the Latin American nation states leads many people to erroneously conclude that the problems of Venezuela or Cuba are due to bad governance.

Grosfoguel stressed that this is incorrect because what happens inside Latin American countries is conditioned by what happens outside them, and it is not possible to establish this false dichotomy about imperialism.

Capitalism is inherent to the exploitative system and the only way out for a state is to free itself from that structure, and this cannot be achieved by a single state; it requires a global transformation.

In the analyst’s opinion, the multipolar world offers the possibility of making that rupture and Latin America has the potential to do so in the face of imperialist escalation.

Although multipolarity does not stop capitalism from existing, at least it respects the sovereignty of the peoples; it does not have neoliberal policies; it allows space and maneuverability for revolutionary and radical anti-imperialist processes, a space of rupture, although not essentially from the imperial structure and political economy.

Grosfoguel urged Latin Americans to fight against the national oligarchies, bastions of imperialism within the countries of the region, which work at the service of international finance capital and conspire so that the imperialist exploitative system continues in the Latin American societies by means of the privatization of all natural resources and coups d’état.

On this issue, the scholar gave as an example the imperialist campaign against the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, whose government is besieged and sabotaged from within by the local oligarchy.

Against Maduro and his government, the imperialists have perpetrated all kinds of aggressions: assassination attempts, economic blockades, and military invasions from Colombia.

The problem in Venezuela, he stressed, is not the bad government; it is the imperialist system in action at global, national, regional and local levels, with different specialties.

“It is not possible to put imperialism in the background,” he emphasized.

He highlighted the need to be clear about what the world imperialist system and its internal allies consist of, what are the social classes and elite groups linked to it, what its policy and orientation are, and the parties at its service; otherwise Latin American revolutionaries will run the risk of ending up in a fratricidal war and promoting destructive criticism.

“In other words, to use criticism to destroy the revolutionary transformation process is to side with the empire and the right wing,” he said.

In this regard, he condemned the destructive criticism coming from some pseudo-leftists who have signed documents against Venezuela and positioned themselves on the side of the coup plotters in Bolivia.

With respect to the decolonial theme, Grosfoguel highlighted the example of Venezuela, where, in his opinion, a unique process took place in moving towards a communitarian policy and turning it into the central and priority element of the Bolivarian process.

For Venezuela, the commune is the horizon of socialism and an essential part of its national security in the face of US imperialist aggression.

According to Grosfoguel, although the sanctions and blockades against Caracas influenced the nation’s historical trajectory, the new subjectivity also helped it, and thanks to a great extent to the vision of Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, the communal process was born as a new civilizational, ecological, political, economic and cultural project of the 21st century.

Chávez had said, “We must learn from our mistakes to build the socialism of the 21st century and not repeat the problems and mistakes of the socialism of the 20th century.”

To this, the Puerto Rican sociologist added the need to make a critical decolonial evaluation of the socialism of the 20th century to be able to think of a new project of civilizational transformation for the 21st century, which must be communal, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal to face the diversity of oppressions of the civilizational project of the world imperialist system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *