Bolivia

On Thursday October 5, violent confrontations broke out in the mining city of Huanuni, Oruro, in Bolivia, which left 16 dead and scores of others injured. Clashes started as 4,000 "cooperativistas" tried to take over the main Huanuni mine, and the 1,100 miners who work there, organised in the powerful Bolivian Union Federation of Mine Workers, FSTMB, defended the mine.

The Bolivian revolution is at the crossroads. The government has moderated its policies and retreated on many fronts. The reaction manoeuvres against the government and any of the reforms its attempts to implement. There exists a mood of confusion and anger amongst the masses, which at any moment could explode into a fresh insurrectionary movement.

The recent announcement by the Evo Morales government in Bolivia of the “nationalisation” of the country’s hydrocarbon resources has shaken the multinationals. This move, although in reality not complete nationalisation, is a reflection of the overall revolutionary wave sweeping across Latin America.

The massive victory of the MAS in the elections was the distorted by-product of the revolutionary movement that Bolivia has witnessed for the last two years. This is why the imperialists are worried. The choice faced by the Morales government is clear: either with the workers and peasants or with the multinationals. If he attempts to please both he will please none.

Evo Morales has won a handsome majority in the presidential elections getting more than 50%. This massive victory can only be explained on the basis of the revolutionary movements that have shaken Bolivia in the recent period. Now Morales faces a choice: carry out the demands of the workers and peasants or bend under the pressure of the oligarchy and imperialism. The masses are waiting to see which way he goes.

Bolivia goes to the elections on Sunday. In the past period the masses could have taken power but at the crucial moment the workers’ leaders talked about taking power but never did. This has thrown the ball back into the court of the ruling class. The masses will be concentrating their attention on the elections. Their only option is Evo Morales and his party, the MAS, the same man who used his position to derail the movement in the past. What should the attitude of the Marxists be?

Here we publish some messages of support to the Bolivian people which we received in the last few days. Please raise the question of the Bolivian Revolution in your trade union branch, party branch, local associations, etc., get resolutions of support passed and send them on to us at !

After three weeks of a struggle that had acquired revolutionary dimensions, Bolivia now has a new president and the workers and peasants are discussing how to continue the struggle. With the help of the MAS the ruling class has managed to delay the process once more, but for how long? The masses are learning from each turn of events, and with each betrayal wider layers are being radicalised.

The Bolivian revolution is an inspiration to the workers and youth of the whole world. In the last few days it has reached a decisive stage. The masses have risen. Power has passed to the streets. However, the time for making revolutionary speeches is over. It is necessary to pass from words to deeds.

We wish to express to our Bolivian brothers and sisters that their courageous stand is a source of great inspiration to the workers, peasants, students and youth of the world. Therefore we are appealing to all our readers to send a clear message of support to the Bolivian people. Raise the question of the Bolivian Revolution in your trade union branch, party branch, local associations, etc., get resolutions of support passed and send them on to us at . We will publish them on our website and forward them to Bolivia. The workers and peasants of Bolivia must be made aware of the fact that the workers of the world support them.

We publish here a translation of the resolution launching the People’s Assembly passed yesterday in El Alto (Bolivia) at a meeting of about 150 people representing 60 different organisations. The meaning of this cannot be underestimated. It is a first step towards the creation of an organisation of workers’ power.

The revolutionary crisis that has gripped Bolivia for the last three weeks has reached new heights. Last week ended with the parliament unable to start its sessions, torn apart by the class war that divides the country. The revolutionary movement of workers and peasants has increased in strength, its national spread has broadened and it has radicalised its political positions, now clearly challenging bourgeois democracy.

On Tuesday, May 31 a series of marches and demonstrations with people numbering in the tens of thousands surrounded the Bolivian Parliament. On the third week of protests, demonstrations and roadblocks, as many as 100,000 workers, miners, peasants, the people of El Alto, and teachers, etc. vented their anger in central La Paz.

On Monday, May 16th a new wave of mobilisations of Bolivian workers and peasants broke out, which is increasingly raising the question of power once again. The Bolivian masses are revealing an unprecedented level of revolutionary determination to see the struggle through to the end.

The situation in Bolivia has undergone a sharp change in the last few days. Faced with a new upsurge of the mass struggle against the policies of the Mesa government, a movement in favour of the expulsion of Aguas de Illimani (the water company controlled by French multinational Suez), and for the nationalisation of hydrocarbons, the forces of reaction decided to go on the offensive by using bourgeois institutions, their mass media and the reactionary mobilisation of sections of the petty bourgeoisie.

The situation in Bolivia has undergone a sharp change in the last few days. Faced with a new upsurge of the mass struggle against the policies of the Mesa government, a movement in favour of the expulsion of Aguas de Illimani (the water company controlled by French multinational Suez), and for the nationalisation of hydrocarbons, the forces of reaction, led by the multinationals and the oligarchy, decided to go on the offensive by using bourgeois institutions, their mass media and the reactionary mobilisation of sections of the petty bourgeoisie.

Bolivia is living through a revolutionary situation. There is a popular insurrection, led by the working class, which has formed a workers' militia and is clashing with the army. The government has responded by unleashing a white terror. The supporters of Marxist.com in Latin America and all over the world will do all in their power to aid the Bolivian revolution. But we need your help!
We have produced a model solidarity message. We invite you to use this as the basis for messages of solidarity to the Bolivian working people, and protests to the Bolivian authorities.

After the manoeuvre of the so-called referendum on the privatisation of gas, in August transport workers and community organisations organised protests against the rise in the price of gas. They were joined by the Landless Peasant Movement (MST). But the most striking development is what has become known as the "University Revolution" at Oruro.