Paraguay. Martínez was elected Senator this year. She is also the former Minister of Health under President Fernando Lugo. She talks about the important and decisive moment that Paraguay is currently experiencing, and the mass movement in the Guarani nation.
Being the leader of the Guasú Front, a coalition of left-wing parties and social organisations, Martínez will be one of the five members of the organisation’s Senate from the beginning of next July.
Talking to Prensa Latina, Martínez was pleased to admit that for the first time, the left-wing Paraguayan party will be forming its own force in Parliament. This force will be identified by progressive and popular sectors, which is something new to the conservative society of the landlocked state.
“Today we brought together seven political parties and four movements, an advancement of the building of unity in within the organisation, as well as of the coordination among social sectors. This is because we know that the next government of Horacio Cartes will toughen neoliberal policies with hardly any palliative measures, in an attempt to control the dangerous increase in inequality” Martínez underlines.
This criteria leads Martínez to ensure that prior to the fabrication of poverty established in the country by the current economic model, it will be more necessary than ever to fight on the streets, squares and communities along with movements organised in order to deal with neoliberalism.
Analysing the outgoing government which emerged from the coup d’état resulting in overthrowing of the constitutional president, Fernando Lugo, leads Martínez to put forward the notion of a system characterised by great corruption, robbery of the state coffers and the practice of a model of “clientelism” and “prebendalism”.
“We have seen how this practice – which is common among governments of the Colorado Party – has risen above hundred percent by the liberals. The so-called “trash” businesses are expanding as well as the international ones”, Martínez adds.
Senator Martínez refers to cases such as that of the multinational Rio Tinto Alcan, which is suspended in other countries due to its policy of environmental pollution appropriating the abundance of energy in Paraguay.
Martínez does not fail to mention that the widespread entry of genetically modified food, coming from the multinational Monsanto and usage of the millionaire accounts from hydroelectric Itaipu Binacional to fund political campaigns without declaring accountability.
“This post-coup government has been characterised by great corruption, the concentration of wealth and goods in the hands of the oligarchic group of families that have been controlling the country for more than 100 years,” the Senator states.
Martínez blamed Franco for collaborating with the existing royal power in Paraguay, and for his connection with national economic powers; the cause and reason of the massive inequality and poverty throughout the territory.
According to Martínez, it was the neoliberal thinking of the traditional parties and the Military headed by Franco that provides the best explanation behind the reasons that led to the coup d’état in June 2012, along with the consequent rupture of the constitutional order, the lack of popular will and Lugo’s exit from power.
For Martínez, Lugo’s dismissal could have been prevented, less than a year before leaving office, in order to prevent a consolidation of the social and popular fields, in addition to stopping the advance of social policies that were started, and were still very weak, but which were demonstrated by citizens both before and after his dismissal.
Beyond the emergence of President-elect through his ranks, for Martínez the Colorado Party remains a political façade of the sectors of real power in Paraguay or rather of the owners of large estates, agro-exportation and livestock.
Martínez does not dismiss from the list the components that constitute the financial scheme, from which the public bank disappeared along with the permission of entry for multinational companies, exploiting Paraguayan land – its woods, minerals, water, potential petroleum and all the productive wealth.
All this power is in the hands of 350 families, which hold together Paraguay’s operation and future. These families are not interested in structural nor social transformations, but only in those which are necessary for a modern state with a redistributive tax policy and guarantees for full employment, the Senator said.
Referring to the international aspect, Martínez estimated that the next government, which will be appointed on August 15th, will attempt to regain a place in the international community in order to end isolation, as a result of the unfair dismissal of president Lugo. (PL)
(Translated by Loukia Katsiami)