Originally appeared at Resumen Latinoamericano, translation North America bureau
History does not seem to be playing out exactly as the establishment wanted in Chile. The trick did not last long as the people went back to the streets 10 hours following the vile unveiling of the new Constitution presented by a disastrous political coalition, while criticism and accusations spread again in the social media.
Right-wing leaders – together with the usual “servants” posing as opposition – immediately activated their media machinery to appear in TV channels pontificating how superb the agreement was endorsed by the party tents of the political duopoly.
In all honesty, the Right has strong grounds to show joy and pride. They managed to turn a crushing, humiliating defeat (as it was seeing millions of Chileans protesting in the streets against the Government and the neoliberal system) and turn it into a political triumph.
Nonetheless, the shaky ground for the new Constitution is evidenced in issues such as changing the name of the Constituent Assembly to Constitutional Convention and determining a minimum 2/3 of a qualified quorum (66% of the votes) to consolidate all and each of the articles of the future Constitution, as well as imposing voluntary voting for the April 2020 referendum to decide whether to set or not a ‘Constitutional Convention’ or a ‘Joint Convention.’ Doubtlessly it is a victory for the old Pinochet fans, which are still in control of the country using their articles of a Constitution of bayonets.
It’s very hard to argue that there is not an agreement between the Government and opposition to uphold, by whatever it takes, the current political and economic system, supported by a constitution written under totalitarianism and defended by local lords and servants who affirm they love democracy. A duopoly is still present and acting accordingly for the benefit of interests that are not precisely those of the population.
But there they are… Happy, self-satisfied and well off pontificating about the wonderful kindness created by the ineffable agreement reached in the small hours of Friday, disguised with very ad hoc garments such as “people’s victory”… And they sell it as if it was the news of the year.
Believing the plot that this is really a popular achievement would mean forgetting (or perhaps failing to know) that beyond the 2/3 quorum and voluntary voting in an initial referendum it is as well necessary to win with the optional Constitutional Convention (this is Constituent Assembly) next April 2020. Then, even more, that the debate for the new Constitution’s articles should include not only the obtained changes but also those ensuring social justice and equality before the State and the Law.
We know this will demand one vote more over the 2/3 but it’s worth recalling that the Right and its servants are going to risk everything to get a high number of constituent representatives on October 2020, so as to be able to define and control the course of the writing and the agreement over the new Constitution.
This is a long and steep path. We knew that. Unfortunately, some Chileans who long for a real change and for fulfilling people’s demands raised during these weeks of demonstrations and protests blindly believe what the rotten media says, as well as the poetry being said by the political party tents that signed the atrocious agreement.
People’s demands continue unfulfilled. The untamed colt that was supposed to be the new Constitution is trying to be tamed and saddled precisely by those who caused the people’s unrest.
The path towards a new Constitution, at the mercy of the “peace agreement,” could remain in the hands of those who were supposed to mediate in it. Let’s remember that as well as criminals do not punish themselves, there is not self-censorship among corrupt politicians either.
People managed to open the path for a historic process and they should not be marginalized from it by the parasitic political class.
It would be absurd and not a very happy defeat.