evo morales and the constitutional referendum in bolivia

In September 2008 we carried extensive coverage of the coup attempt by white right-wing oligarchs in the east of Bolivia, who wanted to split the country, overthrow Evo Morales’ soft-left MAS government and crush the mighty workers’ movement. There were numerous racist attacks on indigenous people, with dozens massacred by fascist militias. As Morales vacillated and called on the mass movement triggered by the coup attempts to keep ‘calm’, it was up to the urban poor, indigenous peasants and workers to defend themselves. Eventually the failure of the coup resulted in Morales sitting down to talks with the oligarchy, and after making concessions over his planned State Political Constitution, the document will go to a country-wide referendum on Sunday 25th. The article below examining the issues is a translation of a piece by Socialismo o Barbarie.

Before the constitutional referendum of Sunday 25th January 2009, we say…

Neither the ‘no’ of the reactionary racist oligarchy in the east…

Nor the ‘yes’ of MAS, which wants to introduce “Andean capitalism…

We call for abstention!

Declaration by Socialismo o Barbarie Bolivia
La Paz, 22nd January 2009

Continue reading “evo morales and the constitutional referendum in bolivia”

morales tones down constitution to secure his re-election

Bolivia’s President makes a deal with the parliamentary right-wing and seals the ratification of a bill calling a referendum on the new Constitution. The far-right, the fascist governors and the ‘hardest’ oligarchs, who control half the country, are preparing resistance and civil disobedience.

La Paz, October 21st 2008 – translated from Econoticias Bolivia

Early this Tuesday evening president Evo Morales could boast of achieving half of his objectives after the Bolivian Congress voted for the staging of a referendum in three months’ time to ratify his new State Political Constitution, re-formulated at the eleventh hour with right wing MPs, who agreed to make legal the re-election of the president, in exchange for eliminating from the constitution’s text all reforms they considered radical. Continue reading “morales tones down constitution to secure his re-election”

between secession, revolution and suicidal deals

The Commune has published many reports from Bolivia, mostly translations of articles by the trade union news website Econoticias. We have also established contact with Socialismo o Barbarie, a group who have comrades in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Paraguay as well as Bolivia, and so are pleased to publish this translation of a recent SoB report on the social crisis there.

Bolivia on the brink of partition
By José Luis Rojo and Martín Camacho
From Socialismo o Barbarie in La Paz, 17th September

“The fascists shall not pass: the people will crush them”.
La Paz – Once again, events are moving rapidly in Bolivia. After two years of relative “calm” in the class struggle (2006-2007) in recent months the social and political convulsions traversing the country have again become red-hot.
Continue reading “between secession, revolution and suicidal deals”

new section: ‘videos’

We have added a new section to the website – videos– in order to advertise films portraying working-class struggles and other videos which may be of interest to our readers.

Currently the ‘videos’ section features links to three films relevant to our discussion series on class struggle in the 1970s, as well as the press conference held by Iranian socialist student activists on September 29th 2008; footage of the massacre of Bolivian peasants in Pando; and a debate with the Communist Party of Great Britain on the lessons of France’s May-June 1968 general strike.

the fascists make a mockery of morales’ dialogue

The Bolivian government has mobilised indigenous people and peasants to achieve an alliance with the separatist oligarchy. The “dialogue of the deaf” continues on Thursday. An Econoticias Bolivia editorial, translated from the Spanish. Continue reading “the fascists make a mockery of morales’ dialogue”

socialismo o barbarie: 21st september ’08

Readers of the commune keen to learn more about the class struggle in Latin America (and who can understand Spanish) may well be interested in the website of Socialismo o Barbarie. This group have activists and publish papers in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica and Paraguay, and they tell us that they are soon to establish a section in Honduras.

The group publishes a weekly newsletter each Sunday, and the 21st September issue includes this lucid piece by José Luís Rojo and Martín Camacho in La Paz on the current situation in Bolivia. Due to the length of the article we are yet to translate it into English, but will do so shortly.

We can also advertise the latest issue of their Bolivian newspaper Socialismo o Barbarie, which carries the front page headline “Don’t negotiate with the fascists: crush them”.  Click here for the pdf (Spanish language).

bolivian union disapproves of morales’ negotiations with fascists

translated from the spanish from econoticias bolivia

The Central Obrera Boliviana sees no value in the current dialogue between the indigenous-peasant government and the separatist oligarchy. The president is urging the fascist governors to sign a grand national accord in the next four to five days. Continue reading “bolivian union disapproves of morales’ negotiations with fascists”

witnesses to the pando massacre

Below are eye-witness reports from the massacre perpetrated by fascists in Pando province, northern Bolivia, on Thursday 11th September, in which thirty peasants were killed and fifty wounded. Over one hundred people are still missing. 

This video (the speech is all in Spanish but the footage can speak for itself) show fascists shooting at peasants as they swim across the river in a desperate effort to escape the violence.

Continue reading “witnesses to the pando massacre”

new pamphlet on bolivia

We have produced a pamphlet on the current class struggle and social crisis in Bolivia. The pamphlet, costing £1, includes analysis of the far-right’s mounting coup attempts and the state of the workers’ movement, along with translations of documents produced by the Central Obrera Boliviana union federation and the miners’ union.

If you would like a copy of the 18 page pamphlet, email uncaptiveminds@googlemail.com or write to us at The Commune, 2nd Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY.

morales and the fascists prepare an agreement

Translated from the Spanish from Econoticias Bolivia

La Paz, September 15th 2008: Amidst the pain suffered by the Bolivian people and the moral condemnation they have made of the murder of almost thirty peasants in the north of Bolivia, who were attacked by the oligarchy and fascists acting with impunity, in La Paz dialogue continues between Evo Morales’ indigenous government and the fascist National Democratic Council (Conalde) which brings together the genocidal right-wing opposition governors.   Continue reading “morales and the fascists prepare an agreement”

morales opens negotiations with the fascists

An article on the latest developments in the crisis in Bolivia. Translated from the Spanish from econoticias bolivia

The indigenous president, who only has control over the Altiplano and part of the valleys, has opened dialogue with the fascist oligarchy who have absolute power in the other half of the country and who are massacring peasants and indigenous people without mercy. Continue reading “morales opens negotiations with the fascists”

morales, the bolivian oligarchy and the workers’ movement

by David Broder

The social crisis in Bolivia is deepening as the oligarchy and the far right step up their struggle to break off chunks of the country and lay their hands on its natural resources. Yesterday (Thursday 11th September) eight people were killed during a fascist attack in Cobija, at the same time as the right continued its occupation of municipal buildings, government treasury offices and natural gas regulators. They also set fire to the house of Lucio Vedia, the leading trade unionist in Santa Cruz, the country’s largest city. However, although Evo Morales has sent troops into the natural gas extraction plants and has now dismissed the United States ambassador for his role in supporting right-wing coup attempts, he still refuses to organise any effective action to stop the violence waged by the oligarchy and militias such as the fascist Union Juvenil Cruceñista. Instead, the Morales government offers talks on a “negotiated re-distribution of power” and has called on what it calls the “violent minority” on the right to “return to the negotiating table”. As he seeks the reconciliation of the “Andean” and oligarchic strata of the bourgeoisie, workers and indigenous people under attack from the UJC are having to organise against the violence themselves, once again showing that the class struggle underlies the near-civil war in Bolivia. Continue reading “morales, the bolivian oligarchy and the workers’ movement”

coup threat in bolivia

A week ago we carried a report from La Paz on the deepening crisis in Bolivia, where the oligarchy are using fascist shock troops to seize control of public buildings and attack trade unionists and indigenous people in their efforts to take back control of the country. The oligarchy already control half of Bolivia, including most of the east and south, and now they are even more openly mobilising for a coup: yet the Morales government continues to sit on its hands and offer ‘negotiations’ with the oligarchs. The article below is translated from the Spanish from www.econoticiasbolivia.com

Continue reading “coup threat in bolivia”

fascists attempt to split bolivia

evo morales’ plans to rule in concord with bolivia’s oligarchs are unravelling ever further, as the right wing of the ruling class have now effectively split the country in two and the central government has lost authority over five out of nine provinces, now patrolled by fascists. the workers’ movement betrayed by morales has been left with the task of fighting the gangs hired by the landowners to ‘keep order’. from la paz, september 3rd:

The oligarchy plans to consolidate its power in the east and in the valleys, with its fascist bands seizing control of roads and the streets as the Morales Government continues to place its trust in the ballot box.

With sticks and whips in hand and using their fascist bands as a spearhead, the oligarchy – governors, right-wingers and the 100 powerful clans who own the land and big business – are consolidating their power over the east of Bolivia and the valleys. Continue reading “fascists attempt to split bolivia”