general strike in bolivia

The last two weeks have seen a series of general strikes in Bolivia, both called by the ‘official’ union federation COB and organised on the impulse of manufacturing workers and teachers. The workers are demanding a pay increase above the 5% figure advanced by Evo Morales’ left-populist government.

With occupations and some workers going on hunger strike for over a week, and police repression which has seen two deaths and thirty injuries (as well as the arrest of fifteen people occupying the Ministry of Work), the struggle is hard-fought. In this article Martín Camacho of Socialismo o Barbarie looks at the background to the struggle. Continue reading “general strike in bolivia”

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).

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”

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”