Uruguayan School Textbook Shows Smurfs as Model for Communism

By: Priscila Guinovart - @PrisUY - Feb 16, 2017, 9:03 am
Pitufos 2
Communist Smurfs: this is happening in Uruguay today. We aren’t talking about crazy old texts. (Youtube)

EspañolA sixth grade textbook shows the author’s sad comparison between Communism and the Smurfs. And while it’s just one page out of a middle schooler’s career, the implications are massive.

The text reads as follows:

“Perhaps the following example will help you to understand the idea of a communist society. Do you know the Smurfs? They are a community that lives in a village. They all have access to housing. No one goes hungry. The water well is for collective use, it is not for anyone specifically bur rather belongs to everyone. Everyone has obligations to the community. For example, one Smurf will cook, one Smurf is a carpenter and fixes what breaks, and so each of the community contributes with their work and receives from the work of others. Communism could be a situation similar to that. ”

This is happening in Uruguay today. We aren’t talking about crazy old texts. This is the Uruguay of the 21st century, the Uruguay of the “moderate left” that so many praise.

It is clearer, however, that the left has never learned the meaning of the term “moderation” and that in fact “left” (whether in its communist or socialist forms) and “moderation” contradict and nullify each other.

As if it were a kind of attenuation, and cornered by the resulting controversy, Counselor of Initial and Primary Education Hector Florit said the text is used only in private schools, adding that “texts used by private institutions are not subject to censorship or control.” He admitted, however, that the comparison is “unfortunate.”

I have trouble believing Mr. Florit. It is almost impossible for me to think that private schools have so much freedom, particularly since I have worked in private institutions a good part of my teaching career and I know that these schools must comply, perhaps more than their public peers, with regulations.


But even if Florit is being honest, we should not be any less alarmed. This is still a very clear example of brainwashing.

Perhaps the scariest defense of the text came from Director of the publishing house Adriana Fernandez, who referred to the book as “excellent” and “super-objective.”

Fuente: Autor
Fuente: Autor

This is not the first time in Uruguay that we have faced such ideology.

We saw a similar episode from the publisher Santillana in 2015. Its text, which was geared toward high school students, affirmed that “neoliberalism” is a “school of economic thought” for which “neither priorities nor justice nor freedom nor equality” are priorities.

“The neoliberals or neoconservatives took up the idea that the state should not intervene in the economy, that the ‘great regulating agent’ is the market, ‘the invisible hand’ and ‘private initiative.'” But the names behind this series of huge lies are Leonor Berna, Pablo Lignone and Silvana Pera!

The book also says that neoliberalism “was applied in Uruguay, first by the military dictatorship (1973-1985) and then by the first governments that succeeded it, directed by the Colorado and National parties, whose status as democratic is in question. ”

In other words, it dismisses the validity of fully democratic governments. I wonder what the authors’ reasons are for extending their “judgment.” Were they not leftist governments?

The Frente Amplio and his serfs are convinced they invented the country. Nothing exists outside the Frente Amplio, not even democracy itself. The Frente Amplio does not respect democracy.

It rips apart secularism as much as the Soviet Union did, and washes as many brains as Castro. Let’s be clear: it is not possible, nor is it ethical to minimize the seriousness of this episode.

We must not believe that the Frente Amplio is against the ideas that soak the pages of these books. One need only read President Vázquez’s statements from Germany last week: “In Venezuela there is democracy.”

Uruguayans, keep believing you are the moderate, and that you are the exception. Just look away and believe nothing bad comes of our government that has become an accomplice to hunger and torture.

Neither book mentions the millions of lives that communism has taken and is still carrying with it. None of the books makes the slightest reference to the fate of the opposition during communism.

None of them imply that Communism is more than just a comic. And oh how I wish it were only that.

Priscila Guinovart Priscila Guinovart

Priscila Guinovart is an Uruguayan teacher and writer. She has written for outlets in Latin America, the U.S., and Europe. While in London, she wrote her book La cabeza de Dios. Follow her: @PrisUY.

Ecuadorean Opposition Looks Ahead to Second Round to Build Coalition

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - Feb 15, 2017, 10:38 pm
The Ecuadorean opposition is loudly protesting delays in reporting the final vote count in Ecuador's presidential election (

Rafael Correa has so dominated political life in Ecuador for 10 years that the election in many ways appears to be a referendum on his legacy. While the opposition criticizes Correa for dramatically expanding the size of the state at the expense of the private sector, excessive hiring of public servants, cracking down on freedom of the press, and ruling with an authoritarian style, supporters praise him for investing in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and transportation. Read More: Ecuadoreans Ready for Change as Opposition Gains Momentum Read More: Ecuador Vice President Denies Corruption in Oil Sales to China However, every one seems to agree that Correa's famed confrontational style worked to his detriment. The word often repeated here in reference to his administration is "prepotente": indeed Lenin Moreno, Correa's hand-picked successor herein faces his greatest electoral challenge: seeking to disassociate himself from the imperial nature and penchant for conflict of his mentor and predecessor. Former Vice President Moreno served from 2007 to 2013 under Rafael Correa. Coming from humble origins in the Ecuadorean Amazon, Moreno enjoyed a distinguished career in both the public and private sector. In 1998, while serving as head of the Pichincha Chamber of Tourism (Ecuador's second largest province where the capital Quito is located), he was the victim of a tragic crime, when he was shot in the back during a carjacking in a Quito parking lot. The accident left him a paraplegic. Following a lengthy and arduous convalescence, Moreno went on to become a motivational speaker and public figure, ultimately prompting Correa to include him on his ticket. Moreno was indeed a shrewd choice on the part of Correa and the Alianza Pais party: he is reasonably well-liked, he is reasonably well-respected, and, most importantly, he does not engender the type of visceral reaction that made Correa such a polarizing figure. However, to the sizeable Ecuadorean opposition, Moreno is little more than a figurehead at best, or a puppet at worst. They charge that current Vice President Jorge Glas, who has been implicated in the Petroecuador scandal, will be the one truly running the show, and suggest that Moreno has been served up on a silver platter to the Ecuadorean people precisely as the inoffensive, palatable new face of Correa's "Citizens' Revolution." Lenin Moreno has good reason to be concerned. Averages of the most recent polls show Cynthia Viteri of the Partido Social Cristiano and Guillermo Lasso of the Movimiento CREO are winning a higher vote total than the Moreno/Glas ticket of the Alianza Pais. It is certain that the vast, vast majority of Lasso and Viteri supporters will vote against Moreno in the second round. Thus the election may largely fall in the hands of supporters of former Quito mayor Paco Moncayo, who is running on the Izquierda Democratica or "Democratic Left" ticket. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); He recently made headlines recently by vehemently denying that he was going to support Lenin Moreno, and attributed the false story to the Guillermo Lasso campaign. Moncayo is an Ecuadorean military hero who led a brief and successful war with Peru, known as the Cenepa War, over disputed territory. He subsequently served as Quito mayor from 2000 to 2009, followed by one term as assemblyman representing Pichincha. Paco Moncayo's strong denunciation of Moreno and the Alianza Pais movement does not bode well for Moreno, should Sunday's results necessitate a second round election. The vast majority of analysts and commentators believe that Moreno, facing the Petroecuador/Odebrecht headwinds, will not reach the necessary 40% threshold. Under Ecuadorean election law, a candidate can only win in the first round with 50%, or with 40% plus a 10% margin of victory over his nearest opponent. This has only been accomplished once, by Rafael Correa in the 2013 elections. If, as expected, Banco de Guayaquil president Guillermo Lasso and former Vice President Lenin Moreno face off in a second round election on April 2, the election will undoubtedly be in the hands of Paco Moncayo and Cynthia Viteri. But the election is likely to be so close, that even minor candidates, such as Abdala Bucaram and Ivan Espinel, could play pivotal roles. A nail-biter of a presidential election would be nothing new for the Andean region. Juan Manuel Santos narrowly defeated Oscar Ivan Zuluaga in Colombia's 2014 presidential elections. Nicolas Maduro beat Henrique Capriles Radonski by just 1.5% in 2013. And most recently, Peru saw its closest presidential election in history, with PPK defeating Keiko Fujimori by just 40,000 votes, or just under a quarter of one percent. The great challenge for the Ecuadorean opposition will be uniting around a single candidate. That candidate is most likely to be Guillermo Lasso, although Cynthia Viteri could have a surprisingly strong showing on Sunday as well. Heading into a second round, the opposition must also conduct their political business with integrity and transparency. Yes, politics is a game of horsetrading by nature. But the opposition can not become so blinded by their desire for power that they engage in the same kind of tactics and practices that they have so long criticized in the current administration. In order to win, the leaders of Ecuador's major opposition parties must begin to strategize now regarding the most honest and transparent fashion for putting together a coalition capable of winning 51% in a second round against a well-oiled and well-funded ruling regime that has considerable resources at its disposable. They must eschew corrupt bargains in favor of pragmatic discussion. And we must not forget that Lenin Moreno and Alianza Pais, who will still enjoy a large majority in Ecuador's National Assembly, will also be on the lookout for opportunities to appeal to smaller parties as well. One thing is for certain: Like its southern neighbor Peru, Ecuador is likely in for a photo finish. Source: Elecciones en Ecuador

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