To the people and the Left of Pichincha
A considerable sector of the left wing party of the province of Pichincha has launched my candidacy as representative of the National Assembly. For me, such a designation is the best stimulus coming from whom it comes and because I know where it goes.
My candidacy is not a further disintegration from the Ecuadorian Left, it is an expression of the wish of those who support high political and social values for my country--- to seek a stronger tie for the union of these. Because I, before being a man of some special party, I am a man of the Ecuadorian leftists.
I have the satisfaction of having been the initiator of the old Ecuadorian Socialist party that has grown and has branched out into different parties that, if today they march along different paths, they will have to unite one day as the waters return toward the sea.
Still more, the political sector of profound democratic roots that assembles around me is the link for the Ecuadorian democracy that is seen impelled irresistibly towards union, union for the return of constitutionality and social progress.
Sensitive incomprehension in some of the parties of the Left has provoked the division of these parties in the electoral fight. Electoral law prescribed union and they disintegrated, some searching for the political preeminence of the others; the mistaken concept, the erroneous path, which has revived sectarianism and passions.
Delayed, we go to the electoral fight on the side of the other sectors of the left since we want to exhaust every middle that conveys unity. The nobility of our ends was not understood and, against our will, we have to walk along separate paths. More, I want to remember the Ecuadorian people that are branching of paths that will carry us, in spite of everything, toward a single, main road.
Before outlining my criterion on what is and what should be our country, about the tasks of the moment, one more time, I want to reaffirm my political conviction that has been, is, and will be of socialist ideology. Do not do it; it would appear as a demagogic maneuver to win voters. Far from ní the insecurity. If leaving the routes that could have driven me to personal prosperity, I dedicated my life to the cause of social justice in Ecuador --- wretched would I be to make that high elevated purpose a source of private benefit and laurels of triumph. Triumph at this price is untrue to one’s principles. To the demagogy, I prefer to oppose the sincere voice, as crude as that can seem.
Our country is beautiful, rich is its soil and subsoil, the town has, in itself, latent energies, unsuspecting, but, it is necessary to confess, we are a nation delayed in the progress. Seeking the method to transport prosperity to Ecuador; I have there the key to the question.
They constitute the rust of our social machinery, the forms of semifedual production of our agrarian economy that united to the industrial delay, and to the deficient means of communication, they reflect in our social and cultural lives and in the defective organization of the State. The results? A national economy that struggles in a chronic depression, in the mass’s misery and lack of culture, in the slow growth of the population and in a political life sown by the destructions of mutinies and putsches.
One must leave this suffocating situation and because of it, it owes all the free men, all those that desire for the enlargement of their native land, that fight and fight without rest, without vacillation; plethoric of enthusiasm and of confidence, carrying political honor as a model and social justice as a guide.
At this moment, the development of the forms of capitalist production that have resulted in the liquidation of the feudal signs, in the industrialization of the country and in the increase of road service, is a historic imperative. The economic increment will permit the efficient defense of human lives, the most precious capital, the development of the culture, and the consolidation of citizenship. We have the need to have a robust economy, free from the subjection of foreign capital, to be able to enjoy complete political independence, but we should find the cooperation that always is a factor of national progress without diminishing its sovereignty.
Advising our future, men of the Left wing, we have to sit down the bases of the country’s subsequent socialist development, the only form that will conduct the maximum material and cultural development of Ecuador under new forms of justice.
This evolutional process, that carries itself in the germs of revolutionary advance, assumes the destruction of all it created here in our country? No, not by any means; we want to build on all of the good, all of the great that the past generations left us; but we do not want to remain in stasis, that is routine and ruin. In economic things, in social things, in cultural things, in political things, we have to select and reconstruct. Thus, we will have one great, prosperous, free and just country.
We have to collect the heritage of those that gave us land, culture, and nationality: the aboriginal Indian people and the colonizing Spaniards, the men of the Republic and the men of social progress. The Duchicela, the Atahualpa, the Rumiñahui, the men of the Alcabalas Revolution, the Espejo, the patriots of independence, the liberalism with Rocafuerte, Montalvo with Alfaro; the martyrs of our social fight in the contemporary era, the showed us the path of liberty. The Maldonado, the Velasco, the Caspicara, the Santiago, the González Suarez. They were our teachers of science and art; we should collect their teachings.
Whatever were our philosophical beliefs and our political beginnings, we have to agree that in respect to the religious beliefs of others and their free exercise, they should not have another limit that is necessary for social consciousness in a country where distinct ideologies and diverse creeds exist.
Liberalism has determined an advance in the familiar organization, we should conserve and extend these conquests with the new postulates of social happening. For the woman, in her function as mother, a privilege, a unique privilege acceptable for us: to endow the special resources to defend the child, a revitalizing force of our population.
For us, men of socialist ideology in a society divided in classes, in a world divided in nations, the existence of the Army is justified as an entrusted organ of defending peace, democracy, and national independence. Demagogy is blindly attacking it; maintaining it in the sphere of professional obligations, exiling militarism as a dominant political force, is owing of all democrat conscious.
A nation is not conceived without territory, territorial defense is owing of all the Left wing element. A people cannot develop with all their creators’ energies without defending their national independence and we are prepared to sacrifice for her.
A million and a half Ecuadorians of indigenous races slowly mixed their blood with that of the conquering Europeans and immigrants. If, through our veins runs the Spanish blood of warriors and constructors, there also flows the native blood that our ancestors illustrated creating great civilizations. Ending the shame of a million and a half slaves is a duty and an honor for all the men of the left wing.
Putting in movement all our material and vital forces, we can renovate the State, organizing it scientifically, setting down standards of unbreakable honesty, making it efficient and just.
An international politics worthy and of approach with the democratic countries of sincere Americanism will contribute to honor our country.
The National Assembly, close to reuniting themselves, can mark a decisive stake for our nationality. Their center of gravity should be in the elaboration and approval of a profoundly democratic Constitution that permits a powerful material, cultural, and political advance for the country.
In the National Assembly, they should banish all partisan sectarianism, all destructive hate. All of those that the actual government made in favor of progress and national independence; it is necessary to conserve it, all that is good for the working masses, it is necessary to defend it, trying to annul this is a crime of an injured mother country, is demagogy and regression. But to the Assembly, one must go with righteous spirit, with courage to work without rest, with independence to criticize the blameworthy, to take measures that conduct to the organization of a democratic Government that can carry the country forward.
The Liberal Party will vainly seek to monopolize, for himself the national party direction, but it should be one of the democratic factors that, with the Leftist sectors, form an insurmountable wall against the reaction that inexorably flatten all dictatorial outbreak that is of a fascist shade of Creole execution.
Whatever the result may be of the electoral fight, the Left wing should regroup in an indestructible front; they have been subjected at the test of fire and they should acquit oneself of the experience.
Before the men of the party, I am a man of the Left, of socialist ideology. That all men that think like us be next to us while we are all in favor.
The Unity of the Ecuadorian Left.
Quito, July 10, 1938.
Ricardo A. Paredes
Imp. Editorial de El Correo Quito. Oimedo 52
Source: Ricardo A. Paredes, “Al Pueblo y a las Izquierdas del Pichincha,” Quito, Julio 10, 1938, Private Collection of Leonardo J. Muñoz.