Translation to English by Machetera
Gloria La Riva is pushing for radical U.S. reform, including amnesty for immigrants, independence for Puerto Rico and the end of Wall Street.
By Fernando Mexía
LOS ANGELES, California – Glora La Riva is a Socialist, anti-imperialist, admirer of Hugo Chávez and a candidate for the presidency of the United States. At the age of 62, this political veteran born in New Mexico to a Mexican family has spent more than three decades trying to convince her fellow compatriots that another kind of government is possible, although it would probably mean exchanging the American dream for a Bolivarian one.
Despite her run for the White House, La Riva already has no chance of being elected not only because according to the polls, the majority of voters will either opt for the Democrat Hillary Clinton or the Republican Donald Trump, but also because her name is on the ballot in just eight states: California, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington. Florida has yet to be confirmed.
“The whole objective is to reach the people with socialist ideas, with the reforms that are within our reach. “Just by being a candidate one can reach millions and you never know when a socialist might win,” La Riva, who also leads the Marxist-Leninist Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) told Univision Los Angeles. PSL is presenting La Riva as its presidential candidate in six of the eight states where she’s on the ballot.
In California, La Riva was chosen as the candidate by the Peace & Freedom Party, which shares the PSL’s ideology, and in Vermont, by the Liberty Union Party, another radical leftist group to which current Senator Bernie Sanders belonged in the 1970’s. Sanders contended against Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination in the November elections and managed to mobilize plenty of young and disaffected voters.
“We believe that his campaign was a great help in opening people’s minds, to get them to stop fearing socialism. What he said about healthcare and education is not only a socialist concept but a matter of rights and needs, that are not impossible,” commented La Riva.
Her electoral program is based on ten proposals which include raising the minimum wage to $20 an hour (currently the federally mandated minimum is $7.25) and making work and housing a constitutional right, while health and education would be free of charge. Her plan supports the unrestricted right to abortion without cost, equal rights for the LGBT community and amnesty for all undocumented immigrants, like the amnesty approved by Ronald Reagan’s government in 1986.
Her agenda also includes expropriating the banks, ending police brutality, ending the U.S. military presence abroad and full independence for Puerto Rico.
During the interview, when questioned about the difficulty of implementing a socialist project in a country that champions the free market and a reduced role for government in individual affairs, the candidate said that she believed there are plenty of people who are ready to vote for socialism, but the lack of media coverage is a scourge that prevents that message from reaching the general population.
Although she believes that each country must find its own socialist model, La Riva pointed to Cuba as “a very admirable socialist country, a country with dignity,” and said she “admire[s] Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.” She attributed the problems these countries are suffering to “economic warfare,” the behavior of importers, and other economic questions that, in Venezuela’s case, she said, predated Chávez’s arrival to power.
Trump and Clinton
The Marxist candidate spoke harshly of Trump and Clinton, calling the real estate magnate “racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim, a horrible and dangerous person,” who’s made a career for himself on the basis of extensive media coverage. As for Clinton, La Riva insisted that the Democratic candidate is also “very dangerous,” since according to her, Clinton favors involving the United States in warfare.
“She bragged about having pressured Obama to bomb Libya,” said La Riva.
Gloria Estela La Riva was born on August 13, 1954 in New Mexico and has considered herself a socialist ever since she studied at Brandeis University in Boston, in 1972. In 1983 she ran for mayor of San Francisco – the city where she resides – and in 1994 and 1998 she ran for California governor. 2008 was the first time she ran for U.S. president.
According to data from the Federal Electoral Commission, through the month of July, her campaign had collected just over $25,000 in donations, against the hundreds of millions of dollars received by Clinton and Trump.
Read the full article in Spanish at Univision.