Colombia has a new president – in an historic poll victory for the masses

Youth in the frontline defending demonstrators from police attacks – their slogan says (No Mas Matarife) no more murder


‘We won, we did it, yes we can,’ are perhaps the most repeated phrases these days by the masses of the Colombian people who, for the most part, punching the sky, joyfully celebrate the electoral victory of the Pacto Historico coalition in the Colombian presidential elections.
They celebrate the fact that, as of August 7, a former leftist guerrilla and a black woman from the working class will occupy the Casa de Nariño as president and vice presidents of Colombia.
The victory of Gustavo Petro and Francia Marques represents a historic moment for the South American nation. It will be the first time in the history of the Republic that the presidential palace will not be inhabited by direct representatives of the privileged elites and oligarchs.
This oligarchy has been accustomed to governing by fire and sword and drowning popular expressions of discontent in blood.
These elections were no exception, the capitalists and landowners used their state and para-state repressive forces, turning a blind eye to the seizures of towns by the narco-paramilitary group Clan del Golfo, arresting social leaders, intimidating trade unionists, infiltrating the offices of the opposition, attacking the ‘Primera Linea’ (front line movements) of proletarian resistance in the cities, intensifying the massive disinformation campaign through the official press, using all its power to obfuscate the desires of the people.
All was in vain! Not even the former elector of presidents Alvaro Uribe, whose political movement has been mortally wounded after the electoral result, was able to stop the popular wave.
Petro will be the next president of Colombia. Given the above, the voices of the establishment were not long in coming, hysterically lamenting ‘the fall of Colombia, the end of democracy, the arrival of pure and hard communism,’ as Senator María Fernanda Cabal said upon learning of the election results.
Cabal, and the most retrograde forces of the Creole oligarchy would have preferred any government other than Petro’s despite knowing very well that Petro is a consistent defender of capitalist private property, that he is even opposed to expropriating the latifundia, and that in his victory speech he reminded the world that his government ‘will support capitalist development’.
Cabal and his friends know that Petro and his political project is explicitly alien to socialism.
But Cabal, Uribe, and the exploiting classes that so fiercely oppose Petro are not afraid of a government of alliance between exploiters and exploited, they are not afraid of a ‘National Agreement’ based on respect for bourgeois property relations and where the people will have to subordinate their slogans to the prerogatives of ‘capitalist development’. That’s not what makes them lose sleep.
The nightmares of the Cabal and their cronies come from the terror caused to the exploiting classes by observing a people that grows in illusions, in hope, in fighting capacity.
A people that has gone through a long school of class struggle and recently entered the intensive training of the national strike of 2019 and the uprising of 2021. The people are learning that through struggle a better world is possible.
What is really causing sleepless nights to the bankers, landowners and capitalists is to observing from their golden balconies how the Colombian people begin to wake up from the long stupefying sleep to which they were subjected.
An awakened people are a people that demands, a people that claims its right to a dignified life, its place on this earth.
A people that fights. That awakening among the masses, that joy, that hope is what causes the most terror among the ruling classes.
These exploiting classes that, thanks to the promise of non-expropriation, will remain absolute owners of the means of production, the land, the factories, commerce and industry; will continue to have the power to decide who eats and who does not, who is employed and who is not, what goods will be available and what will not.
It would be a gross error for the working class to think for a minute that these oligarchic classes who for 200 years have shown that no atrocity is too outrageous and no barbarism too reprehensible for the sake of defending their class prerogatives, that these exploiting classes are simply going to move aside allow the people their ‘fair share’.
The oligarchy and its allies will try everything to recover what was lost and advance their class interests.
Petro’s government, which promises to govern in a great ‘National Agreement of 50 million Colombians’ will have to face the objective reality that Colombia, like all nations on earth, is a society divided into antagonistic and irreconcilable social classes.
That this antagonism is not the product of a decision or attitude of the government in power that opts for the ‘policy of life instead of the policy of death’ (as per Petro’s slogan) but is an antagonism inherent in the relationships of capitalist property.
That same property that his government promises to defend ‘with life itself’ as he assured in his victory speech.
Petro has not taken possession and the Prosecutor’s Office has already responded to his demand for freedom for political prisoners, sending him to ‘change the law by convincing Congress’ if he wants the prisoners released.
Repeatedly, crocodile tears were heard about ‘executive interference in legal matters’, tears shed by Bonapartist politicians who only yesterday preached the accumulation of powers today become gendarmes of democracy and defenders of the ‘division of powers’.
The message is clear, Petro will not be allowed to advance the slogans of the people.
The oligarchy will sabotage and pressure the Petro government so that it cannot fulfil his promises. The result of this tug-of-war will be decided by the great masses, those who today shout ‘yes, we can’.
Great confrontations are coming between the bosses against the workers, the latifundio against the peasant.
Class-conscious workers and their allies must join shoulder to shoulder with the coming mass struggles and shout alongside them ‘yes we can’. A better world is possible.