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Perestroika for the Revolutionaries...

Author(s): G. P. D.
Source: Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 24, No. 15 (Apr. 15, 1989), p. 762
Published by: Economic and Political Weekly
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4394662
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really come out ot them.

Perestroika for the Revolutionaries... In the meanwhile the bloodshed-would
go on. Gorbachev has proposed more
GPD 'civilised' terms for class war. The god (of
the Russian Orthodox Church) alone
Gorbachev has proposed more 'civilised' terms for class struggle, knows what he means by that. Grenada
conducted a very civilised class war. Chile
but Afghanistan, El Salvador, Grenada and Chile are reminders
did the same. Both came to grief. Allende
that the time for 'civilised,' forms of class-conflict are still many, and Bishop both tell a story which has
many years away as far as the coloured world is concerned. only one moral. The Americans and their
cronies in Latin America do not know
THE victory of Alfredo Cristiani in the continue to function under the facade of what the civilised forms of class conflict
presidential election in El Salvador is no moderate government. The ruthlessness of are. El Salvador is yet another example,
less important than Yeltsin's election in the Latin American politics is, of course, in or at any rate threatens to be one; A coun-
Moscow poll a week later. Cristiani and a class by itself. South Asia has not known try of the size of Hyderabad or Bangalore
his Nationalist Republican Alliance anything of that order as yet. But it may will probably continue to witness further
(ARENA) managed to capture 53.8 per well be a question of time. Hence one loss of lives.
cent of the vote. It has been an easy and, must watch how things are going in theseEl Salvador' has an uncertain future
from ARENA's point of view, a dazzling countries. before it. Afghanistan, El Salvador,
victory. There are two problems with that Cristiani has promised a 'moderate' Grenada and Chile are reminders that the
victory. One, the voter turnout was less government. In the Latin American con- time for civilised forms of class conflict
than 50 per cent. Two, the rebel Farnbundo text it may not mean much. As a first sign are still many many years away as far as
Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) of his 'moderation', he has promised to the coloured world is concerned. In the
had boycotted the election in protest privatise banking and the coffee and sugar name of fighting (the unjustified) Soviet
against the rejection by the El Salvador industries. With coffee and sugar privatis- intervention in Afghanistan, the west has
government of its proposal to postpone ed, almost the entire economy would be created a situation in which the Afghans
the election by six months so that it could privatised. There is nothing else which is would continue to bleed for god knows
participate. The government thus kept a nationalised or even co-operativised. Cris- how long. The west has an extraordinary
major challenger out of the election fray. tiani has thus proposed a thorough-going sense of civilisation. It attacks Imam
The term of the ailing president, Jose perestroika of the economy. He has pledg- Khomeini for his barbaric Fatwah to kill
Napoleon Duarte, ends on June 1. Gran- ed to reinstitute a 'free economy', giving Rushdie and at the same time works over-
ting the FMLN request would have meant the impression that the outgoing president time to put- fundamentalists in power
postponement of the inauguration of the Jose Duarte is some kind of Latin wherever it can. FMLN was willing to play
new president by no more than three American Yigor Ligechev. He has promis- the electoral game. It was not allowed to
months. It is not clear if any attempt was ed to revitalise the economy by privatis- because it asked for more time. Allende
made to persuade the FMLN to bring its ing it, a language now not altogether un- and Bishop played it and paid with their
six-month embargo on elections down to familiar in most parts of the globe. From lives for doing so.
three months. Probably not. The objec- Beijing to Rio de Janiero via Moscow and The third world radicals are caught in
tive was to keep the FMLN out of the elec- New York, the free economy has become an impossible situation. If they win power
tions and that has been achieved. The the fashion. Some call it socialism. Some electorally they are not allowed to retain
ARENA is no ordinary anti-communist others call it capitalism. But what is there it. If they continue to fight, Gorbachev
party. It was founded by Roberto in a name warned the Elizabethan play- and his freedom-loving comrades advise
d'Aubuisson, an ex-army major, who wright long ago and not entirely without them to pursue more civilised forms of
quickly took over the nation's political reason one would think. class struggle! Deng Xiaoping, in fact, ad-
right. An agonising, bloody civil war has In the meanwhile the FMLN would vised the Mozambique president not to
been going on in this small country of lit- probably pursue its strategies. Guillermo think of socialism. In 1974 he had told the
tle over three million people for the last Ungo, the unsuccessful candidate of the UN conference that the socialist camp was
nine years. Over seventy thousand people Democratic Convergence Party has blam- dead. Now, with Allende and Bishop
have already died. ed the FMLN for its tactics. He has said behind them, the coloured world has
Not all of them of the civil war though. that its boycott of the elections has given neither the civilised nor the violent ways
D'Aubuisson has earned his 'status' in the presidency to Cristiani on a platter. of class conflict open to them. At any rate,
Latin American politics and history as the The presidency is unlikely to be very com- the perestroika of the liberation ideology
organiser of death squads which hunted fortable though. There were attacks on currently fashionable in Moscow would
down and killed the leftists. How many San Salvadore, the capital, immediately seem to suggest that. It is perestroika for
have been killed by these death squads after the election results were known. The the radicals and the glasnost for the free
would be difficult to guess. But the FMLN has called upon the president-elect economy! Let us see how the FMLN faces
number could not have been insignificant. to share power with the FMLN and for the dual challenge.
The ARENA found dAubuisson's reputa- the merger of the rebel and government Economic and Political Weekly
tion a trifle uncomfortable. The result was armies. Cristiani has rejected the call. The
Available from:
that the killer was replaced as candidate negotiations on a peace settlement bet-
by Alfredo Cristiani who has captured the ween the government and the guerillas Bhaskar & Co.

presidency in an oppositionless elections were started in February. Cristiani and the News Agents and Book Sellers
market by low turnout of voters. This FMLN have both pledged to resume
Trivandrum - 695 001, Kerala
means that the death squads will probably them. It would be hard to say what would

762 Economic and political Weekly April 15, 1989

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