Atilio Boron’s Shameless Defense of the Authoritarian Left

Atilio Boron with Nicolas Maduro

By Andres Kogan Valderrama*

HAVANA TIMES – After the bogus trials held by the Ortega- Murillo dictatorship began against political opposition members in Nicaragua, such as the case of former Sandinista guerrilla fighter Dora Maria Tellez (convicted of conspiracy to damage national integrity), different opinions soon came flooding in about the injustice.

One of these opinions was made by Chile’s future minister of Foreign Relations, Antonia Urrejola, as well as by the president-elect himself, Gabriel Boric, who have condemned human rights violations in Nicaragua on repeated occasions, calling it shameful.

In the case of president elect Boric, his condemnation of State terrorism practiced by the Nicaraguan Government as well as many others, as well his unlimited defense of human rights, wherever this be (Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Israel, US, Russia, China or Venezuela), has placed a target on his back and certain fanatical groups, both from the Left and Right, are trying to defame him.

They haven’t forgiven his criticism of what authoritarian Leftist governments are doing in the region, and certain progressive intellectuals have hinted that he is moving towards the Right and the US.

Argentinian sociologist Atilio Boron has perhaps been one of the figures that has contributed the most in this slander campaign against anyone who questions the authoritarian Left, having acted more as a spokesperson for certain governments on many occasions, rather than as a critical thinker with a Social Sciences background.

An example of this is Boron’s recent statements after President Boric said that Venezuela’s political experience had failed, which he said can be seen in the exodus of millions of Venezuelans, which has led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis at a regional level.

In response to this, the Argentinian sociologist’s response came on Twitter, charged with a tone of intellectual superiority, in which he said: “The inexperienced president needs classes in Latin American history, cultural colonialism, imperialism and international relations. Professors show up at La Moneda Palace, Santiago, Chile, after March 11th. Bring reading materials and a lot of patience.”

Accordingly, a sad response from Boron, who gives off a whiff of by-the-book Stalinism, of those who have defended oppressive regimes with dogma, which have only benefitted the ruling elite.

It comes as no surprise then that Boron went so far as saying, after the protests in Venezuela in 2017,  that “the only sensible and rational attitude of President Nicolas Maduro’s government can adopt is to go ahead with a forceful defense of the institutional order in force and swiftly mobilize his armed forces to crush the counter-revolution and restore normalcy to public life.”

In other words, he made an explicit call for State terrorism in Venezuela, in the same way the Right have in countries such as Chile or Colombia, which have fabricated the idea of a domestic enemy to justify repression and human rights violations.

You could say that the US’ historic interventionism in the region can’t be forgotten and that huge oil reserves in Venezuela are strategic for its imperial practices but going from that to say that the CIA or US intelligence service is behind any political criticism of these governments is normally a linear and dichotomous line of reasoning.

Thus, Boron has no problem justifying everything Ortega and Murillo have done in Nicaragua, despite the Nicaraguan dictatorship having come to an agreement with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (unlike Venezuela) and is a patriarchal government against women’s basic rights, prohibiting any form of abortion up until today even when the woman’s life is in danger.

Several key figures from Chile’s Communist Party, such as Camila Vallejo, Karol Cariola and even Daniel Jadue, who have also condemned Ortega/Murillo’s political persecution and policies of terror, have understood this; yet, Atilio Boron has made a point of saying that they are only doing this to look good against the status quo and to win votes from the Right.

Luckily, there are many critical voices in the region that are against Boron’s conservative fairytale of the Left, as the Argentinian only simplifies very complex political processes, denying the chance to question what really matters, which is the concentration of political and economic power, beyond the ideologies they proclaim and wherever they are.

One of these voices, Eduardo Galeano, warned in an interview he gave in 2013, of the need to recover the meaning of words, after Daniel Ortega’s leftist regime upheld the therapeutic abortion ban in Nicaragua, after it was legal previously for decades under right-wing governments, in cases where women’s health is at risk and in cases of rape. We are all crazy Galeano said at the time.

*Andres Kogan Valderrama is a Chilean sociologist

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