Red Youth and the CPGB-ML strongly condemn the coup that took place yesterday, 10 November, in Bolivia, where army chiefs forced the elected President Evo Morales to resign, with a warrant for his arrest being issued a few hours afterwards. The apparent leader of the coup is a prominent representative of wealthy Santa Cruz capitalists, bible thumper Luis Fernando Camacho, and its organisers have during the past few days been sending fascist gangs around the country to terrorise members of the government and of the party of government, the Movimiento al Socialismo and their families, while the army and police have sided with the perpetrators of the coup as they did in 1975 in Chile when the popular elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown under the direction of US imperialism.
We send greetings to President Evo Morales of Bolivia and wish to express our Party’s support for him as President of his country and for his right to occupy that position, earned through tireless and intelligent labour to improve the living conditions of the Bolivian masses over the last 13 years. In our Party’s view he remains the legitimate elected President of his country notwithstanding his forced resignation, and certainly has every right to stand to be re-elected in the re-run of the presidential elections which he has called at the request of the treacherous US-controlled Organisation of American States which without producing a shred of evidence questioned the validity of the results of the 20 October presidential election won by President Morales by a wide margin. However, it is now clear he will be prevented from standing, if indeed the elections are held at all.
With the backing of his Party, the Movimiento al Socialismo, Evo Morales has been exceptionally successful in achieving his aims, as even his enemies are forced to acknowledge. This, for instance, is what the Washington Post has written:
“… 13 years after his Movement for Socialism won at the ballot box, it’s indisputable that Bolivians , are healthier, wealthier, better educated, living longer and more equal than at any time in this South American nation’s history.…
“Using cash from the natural gas industry wrung from foreign investors — most of whom nevertheless remained profitable and have stayed in Bolivia — Morales’s government lifted up neighborhoods such as Huancané, an enclave of more than 3,000 working-class indigenous people transformed by government investment.
“With new stone roads, the neighborhood is now accessible by minibus, connecting residents to the world’s highest mass transit system — the aerial cable cars.”
Until Morales came to power vast amounts of Bolivia’s wealth was channelled towards imperialist multinationals by well-rewarded local magnates. Under Morales’ leadership the Bolivian people were able to put a stop to this daylight robbery so that a far greater proportion of the country’s wealth could be directed towards benefiting the masses of the people. Social spending by the government has reduced extreme poverty by more than half. Roads, schools and hospitals have been built throughout the country and welfare funds are distributed to help the most vulnerable. Per capita income has increased three-fold, and social inequality has diminished dramatically. At the same time the economy has grown at twice the rate of the Latin American average.
It is no wonder then that the Morales government is highly popular with the people of Bolivia, especially the indigenous population who had previously never had the opportunities they have now to lift themselves out of poverty and backwardness.
Of course, the Morales government has never been popular with the imperialists at whose expense the Bolivian people have been thriving. US imperialism has tirelessly throughout Morales’s tenure of office sought to mobilise disaffected sections of Bolivian society – the compradors and their hangers-on who have of course lost out under the new dispensation – to try to bring about regime change, so far with no success.
However, as a capitalist economy, that of Bolivia is not exempt from the ravages of the world economic crisis, and it is a fact that demand has been falling for Bolivia’s main exports, especially gas, resulting in price reductions on the world market and reduced government income. Imperialism has seized upon those aggrieved by the necessary consequences of this to renew its efforts at regime change. Although the compradors and the aggrieved together are only a minority of the population, they are, with the covert backing of imperialist NGOs, able to threaten the country’s normal functioning with violent demonstrations, involving the destruction of government property and acts of extreme violence against government supporters, including the burning of their homes.
In response to this, millions of Bolivian people have come out on the streets to demonstrate their support for their government and for their President, which needless to say receives little attention from the imperialist media who prefer to focus on the mayhem caused by the counter-revolutionary forces.
There is no doubt that were imperialism able to re-impose on Bolivia a government servile to imperialist interests the Bolivian people will stand to lose all or most of what they have gained in the last 13 years. For this reason we say: Hands of Bolivia! Respect the result of the October 20 election. No interference in the re-run election. Let the Bolivian masses be their own election monitors! Bolivian wealth for the Bolivian people!
Venezuela condemned the coup in the strongest possible terms:
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically repudiates and denounces before the international community grotesque coup d’etat perpetrated in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, against their constitutional president, Evo Morales Ayma, his government and the vast majority of the humble, noble and hardworking Bolivian people.
Throughout three weeks since the electoral day of last Sunday, October 20, a sophisticated operation carried out by radical racist sectors of the political opposition, private media, the US embassy and the Organization of American States (OAS), has sought to cast Bolivian society back into times of dictatorships and neoliberal policies, to privatize the natural resources of the Bolivian people and submit it to the designs of the White House and transnational corporations.
The international community must not remain impassive in the face of this outrage against democracy and the institutions of a country, whose government for almost fourteen years has guaranteed social peace, driven by remarkable economic growth, which is the result of the rescue of national sovereignty over natural resources, which has made it possible to guarantee the cohesion and social inclusion of its population, historically discriminated and fractured.
President Nicolás Maduro, the Bolivarian Government and the Venezuelan People, accompany the sister people of Bolivia in the current struggles for the defence of their sovereignty, their democracy and their right to live in peace, demanding that the coup sectors depose their violent behaviour and the forced seizure of institutions, respect the physical integrity and life of the public servants who are being harassed, including President Evo Morales and his government team, as well as citizens who demonstrate in support of the constitutional government.
Venezuela will always accompany the people of Bolivia, land of heroic resistance of Tupac Katari; favourite daughter of El Libertador Simón Bolívar, created and founded by Marshal of Ayacucho, Antonio José de Sucre; free and independent homeland of Our America.