Bolivia

Having suffered a clear defeat in the August recall referendum. The reactionary oligarchy of Bolivia is back on the offensive. It has unleashed its gangs, occupying government buildings and terrorising the workers and peasants, but the Morales governmenmet vacillates, not taking the required decisive action to stop what amounts to an attempt at a coup.

After Evo Morales' massive victory in the recall referendum in August, the pressure has been building up from below to move against the oligarchy. Now Morales has called a referendum on a new Constitution and for elections of the regional governors of Cochabamba and La Paz, steps in the right direction, but in and of themselves not enough to break the deadlock between the classes.

After having won a two-thirds majority in the recall referendum, Bolivian president Evo Morales made an appeal to the oligarchy to negotiate and for national unity. As was to be expected, the oligarchy responded by launching a renewed offensive against the democratically elected government using all means at its disposal. But now we are seeing an organised reaction against the oligarchy. Building on the movement that started on May 4th, the mass movement of workers and peasants is being in the streets once again.

In the August 10 recall referendum, President Evo Morales and vice-president García Linera were ratified with an increased number of votes and the two MAS prefects (governors) of Oruro and Potosí were also ratified. But at the same time, four of the six opposition prefects were also ratified with sizable majorities. So, who won? Who lost?

The mass media in the west continue to pump out lies about what is happening in Bolivia. They claim the oligarchy in Santa Cruz has won support from the people for "autonomy". We provide the facts that show the opposite is the case. Reaction is spurring on the masses to step up their revolutionary offensive.

The attempt of the Bolivian oligarchy to use the referendum on autonomy as a lever to push forward their reactionary agenda has failed. They failed to get the votes they required, and at the same time they have enraged the masses of workers and peasants, who have risen once more in huge mobilisations.

The oligarchy in Bolivia has launched a major challenge to the Evo Morales government in the form of a referendum on an "Autonomous Statute" in the Eastern Department of Santa Cruz. They are using this question to mobilise the forces of counter-revolution. Morales must stop dithering and take firm action.

A very successful first public meeting of El Militante Bolivia was held on February 28 in Potosí with 35 people taking part, some of whom expressed an interest in joining El Militante. All this while the city was erupting in mass rioting in protest against economic sabotage being carried out by the oligarchy.

The Bolivian oligarchy and imperialism are not prepared to accept democracy if the democratic will of the majority is to take away their power and privileges. Unfortunately, what is lacking in Bolivia is a programme to challenge the interests of the landlords and capitalists and a leadership that will fight for this programme.

Reaction is raising its ugly head in Bolivia. The strategy of the Morales government seems to be based on making more concessions. Taking advantage of the temporising and vacillation of the Morales government the oligarchy is gaining even more confidence. What is needed is a serious campaign among the masses to explain what is at stake and take firm revolutionary socialist measures.

In 2005 the revolutionary movemenet of the Bolivian masses produced the Morales government. Since then vacillation on the part of Morales has given the oligarchy room to manoeuvre and now it is stepping up its activities as it prepares to exploit the weaknesses of the government. Urgent revolutionary measures are required.

June 24, 1967, entered the memory of the Bolivian people and of the entire world as one of the cruelest episodes in history. The Mineworkers Trade Union Federation of Bolivia (FSTMB) sent us a message commemorating these events. See also in Spanish.

In the advanced capitalist countries people take water almost for granted, or at least they did until recently. Now more and more of us have to pay huge bills for our water. In the underdeveloped countries, however it is much worse, with over one billion having no access to safe water. Water will become a source of class conflict, as the experience of Bolivia has confirmed.

A statement of the Bolivian Mineworkers’ Federation condemning fascist provocation in the tense situation that has built up in the country.

Roberto Chavez, the general secretary of the FSTMB (Bolivian Miners’ Union), spoke to Alan Woods about the conditions of the miners and their role in the class struggle in Bolivia. Their view is that the Morales government is not going far enough. They want serious, radical change.

One year after the swearing in of the Morales government in Bolivia it is possible to make a sober balance sheet of the situation. Morales has attempted to carry out some reforms while trying to appease the oligarchy. The masses are drawing conclusions: that compromise is not possible. The struggle must go all the way.