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Bolivia: Morales represses landless occupations

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Statement of ORI (Workers Red International)

We reprint a statement of the International Red October (ORI) of Bolivia against the repression of landless peasants’ occupations by Evo Morales Government. Those who say that Morales’ government is a progressive, popular, even revolutionary, government, must answer to these betrayals. The fact is that the ex-Trotskyists who are the left wing of the popular front in Latin America are covering for Morales anti-worker, anti-peasant and pro-imperialist regime. 
 
The government of Evo Morales savagely represses workers and farmers who occupy land

Spurred on by the numerous declarations of the government of Evo to make an “agrarian reform”, thousands of landless farmers, homeless unemployed and even “cooperative” miners (1) , have seized land in different departments of the country. Some land has even been seized from big landowners in Santa Cruz. In Oruro too, hundreds of poor farmers, – many led by the Movement Without a Roof (2), “cooperativistas” and members of the Movement Without Land (MST), have camped in tents, facing cold and hunger in the hope that the government will make grants of land to those who have occupied it.

On the contrary, Evo Morales, the “government of the people”, the defender of the indigenous peoples ordered that the occupations be savagely repressed and the poor farmers evicted from the land which was then occupied by the military. This action of the government has already caused one death and a number of children are now missing. With tear gas, rubber bullets and dogs, the police savagely attacked the demonstration the landless peasants (MST) with their supporters and relatives staged days after in Oruro.

But not only this, in Caracollo, – a town near Oruro – there was another forced eviction and brutal repression. The government returned to attack and injure the poor farmers with rubber bullets and ferocious dogs, arresting the leaders of the MST.

Is this the government “of the indigenous people” that is going to give land to the poor farmers? Or, on the contrary, while it beats, jails or kills those poor farmers who fight for their right to have shelter, house and land to produce and to be able to live, it defends by force the private property and large farms of the big landowners. The fact is: this is the ‘agrarian reform’ of Evo Morales, representative of the big estate owners; a ‘reform’ in the service of the interests of landowners and the church.

  • No confidence in this repressive government that defends the interests of large estate owners and big farmers, the coca bourgeoisie! 
  • Immediate expropriation of the properties of the landowners and big estate owners! 
  • Distribute all the land among the poor farmers!

The agrarian reform that returns the land to the poor farmers will not come from the hand of Evo Morales – nor his concocted Constituent Assembly. HHe has demonstrated that he is representing and defending the private property of the landowners. Only a workers and poor farmers’ government based on organs of self-determination and workers and poor farmers militias, that expropriates the large estate owners and landowners, will be able to take the land for the poor farmers.

The bourgeois government of Evo Morales is already killing the people!

The government of Evo Morales is another government of the Rosca (3), a servant of the transnational companies and the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie. And as such it defends the property and the interests of the classes it represents.

We saw the so-called “nationalization” made by Evo on May 1st. It was same policy of the Chinese ex-bureaucrats who became the new bourgeoisie of the “mixed economy” when they restored capitalism in China. In Bolivia it only made the state company – YPFB – into a 51% shareholder and partner of the transnational companies that produce most of the hydrocarbons in Bolivia. Thus, this nationalization of Evo Morales, – devised and defended by Chávez, Castro and the WSF along with the fake Trotskyists – was an attempt to expropriate the heroic anti-imperialist struggle of the masses to throw out the transnational companies, to truly expropriate without compensation their assets. Instead Morales protects the right of these companies to make super profits, and in exchange for strangling the revolution, negotiates for a larger share of the profits.

Morales’ policy toward the so much promised “nationalization of the mines” of COMIBOL applies the same principle as his ‘land reform’. So not to frighten the landlords Morales will only make available the state owned barren land of the desert of the high plateau! Nevertheless, the poor farmers have already paid the price of his ‘land reform’ with their dead and wounded and imprisoned. That is the price they have paid for believing in his promises and trying to act accordingly solving the problem of land reform themselves.

On the other hand, while he promises the nationalization of the COMIBOL and all the mines, it has isolated and threatened the wage-earning miners by forming an alliance with the leaders of the cooperatives who employ thousands of rank and file cooperative workers as virtual slaves without any rights (4).

But this nationalisation promise is worthless when Morales has just granted the right to exploit the El Mutún Mountain, the greatest iron (5) reserve of the world, to the greedy imperialistic monopolies, like Jeindal Steel, in a joint venture with the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz!

It is obvious that the bourgeois semi-nationalization of Evo Morales, along with his promised nationalization of the mines and ‘land reform’, are a fraud perpetrated against the masses! They are part of a plan devised by a popular demagogic bourgeois nationalist leader to deceive the masses, so that the imperialistic monopolies, as well as the mining bourgeoisie and the great landowners, make small concessions to the masses to prevent a real expropriation of their property, and by this means are guaranteed both their property rights and their super profits.

Break with the treacherous labor leaders, agents of the bourgeoisie!

Before these serious attacks on the more radicalized sectors of the peasantry, as with the attacks on the LAB airline workers, and the health female workers in Santa Cruz, the leaders of the main workers and peasants organizations have maintained a shameful silence. Neither the COB, CODs, CORs, nor even the CSTUB have done anything to free the militants imprisoned by the ruling class. A few leaders have made lukewarm declarations of support of the members of the MST and poor farmers brutally repressed by the government. But this is not enough! We need to break the silence now and turn those weak declarations of support into actions to release our prisoners from the claws of the ruling class!

The rank and file teachers of La Paz have shown they are part of the revolutionary vanguard that confronts the repressive government of Evo Morales. Nevertheless, their leaders who claim to be revolutionary Trotskyist members of the POR, did nothing to coordinate the workers struggles, not even with the militant rank and file students that the POR leads in Cochabamba and La Paz (where they are fighting against the university authorities). But this is nothing new, since the bureaucracy of Solares guarantees that the left will maintain the social peace so that the government can try to strangle the revolution and not alarm business interests.

While this situation remains, the COB does not have any weight nor the strength to attack the government because Solares –while he remains in charge – is in fact the guarantor of the destruction of the COB. Yet, the workers still see the COB as their organization. For that reason the congress of the COB planned for the 19th June, must be transformed into a congress of real rank and file delegates with revocable mandate to prepare it for the struggle against the government and the treacherous leaders. This is the only possible way to arm the the COB. Enough of bureaucratic congresses that do not serve the workers fight. For a national congress of delegates of the broad base of workers, farmers, students, etc. Unite the workers ranks and all the sectors in fight to declare war on this repressive government which represents the ruling class.

Following Evo Morales, Chávez, and all whole World Social Forum that defend the interests of the national bourgeoisie, the landowners and the imperialistic monopolies, there will be no gas for the Bolivians, land for the peasants, or liberation of the nation from imperialistic oppression.

Only by defeating the “Bolivarian revolution” – the caricature of socialism of Evo Morales, Chávez, Castro and all the WSF –can the workers and poor farmers of Bolivia return to the revolutionary road of October 2003 and May-June 2005 to take up again their demands raised almost 3 years ago, and go on to the victory of the workers and peasants revolution!

For that reason, against the conspiracy that confuses the masses, there is no time to lose in reviving the semi-soviet of the El Alto workers, miners and peasants as the “headquarters of the revolution”, and to raise once more the demand: ‘Neither 30 nor 50%, nationalization!”

Kick out the transnational companies!

Neither 30% nor 50%! Nationalization without compensation and under worker control of hydrocarbons, all the refineries, pipelines, oilfields, plants, facilities, and all the properties and funds of the bloodsucking transnational companies!

The only way to win minimum demands, for land, the mines, and the gas for all the Bolivian masses, health, decent jobs and wages, etc., is to return to the road of October and May-June. We have to centralize and coordinate our struggles.

It is necessary to create a National Congress of rank and file workers and peasants’ delegates to unite the worker ranks, to defeat the collaborationist leaderships, to organize a great fight to revive the road of May-June, 2005, the road to the workers and peasants revolution. A congress that unifies immediately the CODs, CORs and returns to the tradition of the revolutionary COB of the Theses of Pulacayo so that the workers can prepare for a general strike to defeat the counterrevolutionary government of the popular front and to win all our revolutionary demands:

· Immediate nationalization under workers control of the iron deposit of El Mutún!

· Renationalisation without compensation and under workers’ control of all the mines, LAB, Illimani Water, and all other privatised companies!

· Down with the trap of the concocted Constituent Assembly and the autonomy referendum!Immediate freedom to the poor farmers, the cooperativista workers, and of those in the Movement Without Roof and the Movement Without Land, the comuneros of Ayo-Ayo and other political prisoners in the jails of Evo Morales and La Rosca!

· Punish the assassins of over one hundred worker martyrs of October!

· Sack the murderous officer caste of the Armed Forces!

· For committees of soldiers who democratically choose their officials and who send their delegates to the Workers’ and Peasants’ Congress!

· For immediate wage increases, with a minimum wage sufficient for the family shopping basket and indexed to inflation! Reducing working hours until all who want to work have jobs!

· Expropriation without payment of all the large estates, in the first place of rich territories of the landowners of the East, and distribute the land among the poor farmers! This is the only and true ‘land reform’!

· Only a workers’ and peasants’ government, supported by the independently organised, armed masses, can achieve a true nationalization, fulfil the demands of October 2003 and May-June 2005, and guarantee a truly democratic and sovereign Constituent Assembly!

Unite now all those who are in struggle!

Form a National Committee of struggle!

ORI (International Red October) Bolivia, member of the Fraction Leninist-Trotskyist, June 2006
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Notes

(1) Self-employed miners organised in cooperatives. When the Bolivian tin mines ceased to be profitable, the government “privatised” the least operative by leasing them to groups of the previously sacked miners –organised into cooperatives- to exploit the remaining few, poor, and laborious to mine, deposits of the mineral.

(2) i.e homeless movement. Many unemployed or poor employed workers do not have theur own houses – that they cannot afford an apartment or small house- and have to live many packed into each room of an old or derelict apartment-house. Or they set up cardboard, tin or adobe huts on an abandoned piece of land, risking eviction by the owner with the help of the police or the gendarmes. Or they go to shantytowns, where they are harassed by the police and the petty criminals. Like in Brazil, in Bolivia these Dwellers Without a Roof are organized in a movement.

(3) Rosca used to mean the group of very rich tin mine-owners that “owned” Bolivia and controlled governments up to the 1950s. But now the word refers to the Bolivian national ruling class, mostly landowners who are also oil barons or small partners of the oil and gas companies, and more recently, also big coca growers.

(4) While it is supposed that the cooperatives have a democratically elected and recallable board of cooperative directors as leaders, the reality is that they are led by an entrenched and treacherous bureaucracy – the equal of that of the COB that seeks agreements with the government and the ruling class. These bureaucrats act as agents of the bosses, deciding about everything (investment, purchase of tools, etc.) , not paying the rest of their fellow miners their share of profits, subcontracting other miners, etc. The rank and file cooperative miners earn even less than a common miner, because the bureaucrats use the excuse of ‘low’ profits and ‘high’ costs to rob the cooparative and fill their own pockets. They have lost the basic conditions of ordinary workers such as health services, pensions, etc. because they are legally considered as “owners”, not as workers under a boss. The same has happened – thanks to the fake Trotskyists that covered for the bureaucrats or became bureaucrats themselves – with the workers of the “recuperated” factories in Argentina, all of which have been turned into “coooperatives”.

(5) In fact, the El Mutun Mountain contains huge reserves of iron and manganese.

From Class Struggle 67 June/July 2006

The Popular Front Government of Morales tries to strangle the Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolution

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Statement by the Internationalist Red October of Bolivia, February 2006.

Evo Morales has just assumed the presidency of Bolivia. His inauguration ceremony was attended by the representatives of the imperialistic powers, the client governments of South America and all the reformista political currents who are members of the. World Social Forum such as the Zapatistas, the CONAIE and the Pachakutik of Ecuador, the MST of Brazil, etc. Even before he took office Morales as head of state, he travelled to Cuba, Venezuela, France, Spain, China, Argentina and Brazil. He took every opportunity to state clearly that he will respect, defend and protect private property; and that he wants a good relationship with US imperialism.

In China, he embraced the former Stalinist bureaucrats who as the new national bourgeoisie, have become the servants of the imperialist transnational companies who make big profits from exploiting millions of Chinese workers as wage slaves. In Spain, before Zapatero and Corona, he swore his loyalty to the oil company Repsol; in France, in front of Chirac, president of the 5th Republic of imperialist France, he swore fidelity to the oil company Totalfina, an important partner of the Brazilian state-owned Petrobras, which is one of the major foreign investors in Bolivia.

Before the tour to reassure the oil companies that their property would be protected, and only days after his victory in the elections, Morales met and embraced the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz, saying he shared their economic program. So, it is clear that the victory of Morales has created a classic pro-imperialistic popular front that can only serve to strangle the Bolivian revolution which still remains very much alive.

This government is supported at a continental level by the foreign bourgeoisies – imperialist and national – and by the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy. This is proof that Evo Morales heads a government of all the fractions of the bourgeoisie, the US and EU imperialist monopolies, the national bourgeois ‘sepoys’ of Latin America, and of all the various factions from the Bolivian bourgeoisie, including the the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie.

All of them gamble that the government of Morales, by breaking the worker and peasant alliance forged in the streets during October 2003 and May-June of 2005, will strangle the Bolivian revolution, forcing the masses back from the semi-dual power regime that they won during their heroic uprisings – removing two presidents and throwing all the institutions of the Rosca [mine owners] regime into crisis – to that of a ‘parliamentary republic’ to prepare for a further backward step with the Constituent Assembly this July.

That is to say, we now have a new regime of the mine owners oligarchy, based on a pact between Morales and the oil and mining monopolies, and the rich farmers, to guarantee the imperialist monopolies superprofits from the gas, and to allow the exploitation by these companies of billions of dollars from the manganese and iron deposits at the Mutún mine. As a result, the fate of the working class and the poor peasants is to sink further into misery and a new and more brutal exploitation of the oppressed people.

At the same time – in case the siren songs and the sweet phrases of the popular front and class collaboration does not suppress the proletariat and strangle their revolution – imperialism, the bourgeoisie and and Morales government have already prepared the officer caste and the fascist gangs of Santa Cruz to use brute force against the revolution, while in reserve there is the ring of military bases surrounding Bolivia. The US has built a military base in Paraguay, has held ‘Operation Ceibo’ and other joint manoeuvres involving Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in Argentina. US and UK imperialism has armed the Chilean army with the latest technology for direct armed intervention against the Bolivian revolution.

The “Bolivarian revolution” is the expropriation of the anti-imperialist fight of the masses and the subordination of the working class to the interests of the bourgeoisie

Morales’ government is prepared to renegotiate with imperialism in the interests of the Bolivian bourgeoisie as a whole to save it from the attacks of the revolution. At the same time, the Bolivian national bourgeoisie discusses how it will collaborate with Morales to renegotiate its contracts, disputing the price of the gas paid by the national bourgeoisies of Argentina and Brazil, so as to guarantee Petrobras (and its partner Totalfina) and Repsol will continue to make superprofits.

Morales is a supporter of the so-called “Bolivarian Revolution” led by Chavez, Fidel Castro, with the backing of the World Social Forum and the fake Trotskyists who provide a left cover for populist regimes that try to do deals with imperialism for a slice of the profits created by workers and peasants in their countries.The “Bolivarian Revolution” uses the masses like bargaining chips in pursuing the class interests of the national bourgeoisies. This policy of class collaborations is sold to the workers by the Stalinists, Castroists and the fake Trotskyists that voted for the goverenment of Morales.

The “Bolivarian Revolution” is opposed to the workers and poor peasants revolution. It aborts the anti-imperialist struggle of the masses by doing deals between the national bourgeoisies and imperialism, and so preventing the workers and peasants from expropriating the imperialistic monopolies and bourgeoisie property which is the only way that the anti-imperialist fight can be won.

For that reason, the victory of the workers and poor peasants revolution in Bolivia has to break all ties with imperialism and to begin the advance towards the socialist revolution to meet the needs of the exploited masses, as a first step in the struggle for the Socialist United States of Central and South America. A socialist revolution is necessary to plan production on a continental scale where the gas, iron and manganese of Bolivia, the meat and the soyabean of Argentina, the copper of Chile, the minerals of Peru, the oil of Venezuela, the light industry of Brazil, etc., are all used to meet the needs of the vast majority of exploited and oppressed workers and poor peasants.

The treachery of the workers leaders

The expropriation of the heroic struggle of May-June 2005 that overthrew Mesa, the deal done to make Rodriguez interim president, the diversion of the struggle into the December elections, and the electoral victory of Morales, would not have been possible without the treachery of the leaders of the working class, Solares of the COB, Patana of the El Alto COR, and the bureaucrats of COR and COD.

The workers leaders took the workers and poor peasants off the streets, breaking the alliance of workers and poor peasants and handing back to Morales the leadership of peasant masses. They sidelined the COB, subordinated the COD and COR – the regional organs of dual power in the cities – to the local mayors and civic committees, stopping the workers organs from centralising and coordinating their embryonic dual power.

Even so, they did not manage to convince the proletariat which hates Evo Morales to fall into the trap of the elections. In order to convince the workers they were forced to call a popular assembly one week before the elections, demanding that all workers vote for Morales to prevent the right from winning, and then go forward to the new Popular Originary (indigenous) Assembly in April.

And now, while they debate the ministers appointed by Morales to his bourgeois government, the leaders and bureaucrats of the working class are preparing to sabotage the revolutionary threat of the Popular Originary Assembly by postponing it and transforming it into a Constituent Assembly, and founding an “instrument of the workers” (IPT), that is to say, of a reformist working party that will send its representatives to the Constituent Assembly to finish the task of strangling the organs of dual power of the masses.

Morales – last stop before fascism

The Morales government is the third crisis regime of the mineowners oligarchy. It is the government of the bourgeoisie. The treacherous leaders of the COB, the COR and the COD are today advising Morales on who he should appoint as ministers. In this way these leaders have put the workers into the popular front government of the mine owners, of Repsol, Totalfina, and other imperialist monopolies such as Techint steel. Whoever is in the cabinet the government is one that will act only on the interests of the class of Goni, Mesa and Rodriguez.

Imperialism and the national bourgeoisie have won a great victory They have put a left bourgeois government in power to smother the fire of the Bolivian revolution. But in doing it they are aware of the risk of playing with fire. Trotsky said: “When the bourgeoisie is forced to establish, by means of its left wing, an alliance with the workers organizations, it has more than ever the necessity of maintaining its officer corps as a force in reserve. For them the question of the protection of private property is the most important question.”

Thus, like when Morales was in opposition, now he is in government he has promised the Bolivian bourgeoisie to protect the officer caste of the army. The parliament has voted to declare as “heroes of the nation” those who killed Che Guevara so that they are allowed to remain in the army and avoid criminal prosecution. Those who were responsible for killing more than 100 workers and peasants in the revolutionary uprising of October of 2003 have not been punished. But the militant workers have their own popular justice [hanging] such as that they used against the corrupt bourgeois mayors of Ayo-Ayo and other places.

The Santa Cruz bourgeoisie, while it applauds Morales, at the same time keeps its fascist bands formed during the revolutionary days of May-June 2005 at the ready. With its left hand the regime plays with class collaboration to smother the revolution while with its right hand it keeps its officer caste in reserve in case the workers throw out the treacherous Morales and misleaders of the workers.

And if all these measures fail, the Chilean army armed to the teeth and the Yankee military bases in Paraguay will be mobilised to massacre the revolutionary Bolivian workers.

The survival and future destiny of the entire working class of Latin America depends on the outcome of the workers and poor peasants revolution that has begun in Bolivia. The Bolivian working class and poor peasants have many times shown that it can win the streets with the slogan “neither 30% nor 50% nationalization of hydrocarbons” [meaning we want 100%!]. In the ranks of the masses of workers this government is not trusted, yet the corrupt and treacherous leaders of the workers try to tie the workers hand and foot to the new government.

  • “Gas for the Bolivians”, “Out with foreign and the transnational companies!”, and “Nationalization of gas, petroleum and the mines now!” 
  • These are the slogans of the Bolivian revolution that the masses have made their own, as well as the demands for land and machinery for the poor peasants. This new class collaborationist government can deliver on none of these demands!
  • Only a workers and poor peasants government based on the armed organizations of the masses, destroying the government of mine owners, expropriating the property of the expropriators, will be able to grant the minimum demands for which the workers and poor peasants of Bolivia have risen up!
  • The heroic workers and poor peasants revolution cannot be left to its fate: It is the hands of the national bourgeoisie, the union bureaucracies and World Social Forum, that strangles the heroic Bolivian revolution! 
  • No confidence in the Morales government and the servile bourgeois of Mercosur that want to defeat the Bolivian revolution! 
  • For an immediate National Congress of rank and file Delegates of the workers and poor peasants organizations! 
  • It is a task of the Latin American working class to break through the hostile ring of the regimes of Mercosur and the imperialist monopolies! 
  • For a coordination of all Latin American workers in support of the victory of the Bolivian workers and poor peasants revolution to ignite the revolutionary struggles in all of these countries against the superexploitation oppression of the imperialist monopolies! 
  • No confidence in the government of Evo Morale and the mine owners!  
  • For assemblies of workers and poor peasants to demand that not one worker representative collaborates with the bourgeois government!  
  • Long live the Bollivian workers and poor peasants revolution!

For a new revolutionary internationalist party

Besides the imperialists and national bourgeoisie, Castro’s bureaucracy and the treacherous labor leaders of Latin America, the Morales government has the support of the fake Trotskyists, such as the Lambertists who control the oil union in in i.e. CUT in Brazil which organized the “Continental Encounter” to subordinate the revolutionary vanguard of El Alto to Chavez last August; such as the Mandelist United Secretariat, the P-SOL (Party of Socialism and Liberty) of Brazil, the Uit-ci, the Workers’ Party (PO)of Argentina, etc., that supported the election of Morales and today welcome his victory.

On the other hand, POR Lora has taken a position covering the left flank of the popular front. Its role is to contain the most militant and radicalised sectors of the Bolivian working class, that in El Alto, the mines of Huanuni, in the heart of the proletariat,who hate Evo Morales for defending the interests of the bourgeoisie. In order to contain this sector of the working class, POR Lora today denounces Morales government as pro-imperialist, raising the same demands of the masses for “gas for the Bolivians”, land for the landless, living wages, work for all, etc., but saying that the key is the fight for the “independence of the unions”.

That is to say, they refuse yet again as they have done right throughout the revolutionary struggle, to defend the organs of semi dual power that the masses have built, or to centralize them at a national level along with workers and peasants militias. The role of POR then, is to take the political fight out of the hands of the working masses, and to divert it into a struggle for power in the unions. That is the route by which POR collaborates with the popular front to drive the masses back from their position of semi dual power to that of the parliamentary republic. The bankruptcy of POR Lora and the fake Trotskyists is total.

For that reason, it is more urgent than ever to build a new revolutionary Trotskyist, internationalist party of the Bolivian revolution, that can confront the popular front, defeat the false Trotskyists who tie the workers hands, and defend the workers from the terror of fascism. The forces to build this party are still strong: they are in the proletarian heart of El Alto, the mines of Huanuni, and the advanced workers and militant youth who support the Theses of Pulacayo, that historical program adopted by the Bolivian proletariat in 1946 under the influence of the Trotskyists of the 4th International founded in 1938.

The Theses of Pulacayo are more than ever a living program in the revolutionary struggle of the Bolivian working class. That internationalist Trotskyist program of the Bolivian proletariat has been a guide to its revolutions for more than half a century and has passed the test of history. The Theses call for a struggle against the popular front, and all politics of class collaboration, and for the independence of workers’ organizations from all bourgeois governments and the state. Today they remain completely valid 60 years after they were written. It is the Lorists, the Pabloites, and other false Trotskyists who have not passed the test of history and who have betrayed the Theses of Pulacayo, just as they betrayed and destroyed the 4th International.

The comrades of the Internationalist Red October of Bolivia (ORI), along with the LOI-CI/Workers’ Democracy of Argentina and all the groups who belong to the Leninist-Trotskyist Fraction, have taken on our shoulders the responsibility to build that new revolutionary party that can lead the revolution of the workers and poor peasants of Bolivia to victory. To achieve this, we must struggle to reclaim the authority of the founders of the 4th International in 1938. As its defenders we must return to the vanguard of the Bolivian proletariat today with the living program that the Trotskyists of the ‘30s and ‘40s took to their parents and grandparents: the Theses of Pulacayo.

And we must make the same commitment as the founders of the 4th International: to unite the American working class, from Alaska to Terra del Fuego, by means of a new revolutionary proletarian organization that can take any class struggle at any place in the Americas, and transmit it immediately the length and breadth of the continent.

This is the challenge which has been taken up by the internationalist Trotskyists of the FLT, first, by our comrades of the ORI of Bolivia, who in their leaflets keep alive the program of the Theses of Pulacayo against the popular front government of Morales.


From Class Struggle 65 Feb/March 2006

The Bolivian Revolution at the Crossroads

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This document is proposed as a draft founding document of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction of the Liaison Committee for an International Conference of Principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations which was formed in December 2005.

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The magnificent revolutionary uprising of May-June of 2005 has been contained by the class collaborationist popular front of the reformist leaders who have once again rescued the government of Rodriguez representing the mine owning bosses. But the revolution has not been defeated and will re-emerge following the Presidential elections
 
The huge Bolivian uprising of the masses of 2003 removed Sanchez de Losada, and the uprising of May-June 2005, removed Carlos Mesa. As in 202003, in May and June of 2005 the working class had the opportunity again to finish off the regime of the mine-owners and replace it the centralized and armed organise of workers and farmers power, a regime of dual power, opening the way to the victory of the workers and farmers revolution.

But this victory was snatched from them, once again, by their treacherous leaders, Evo Morales, Solares, Quispe, Mamani, and POR Lora, who once more saved the regime of Rosca by making a truce with the government of President Rodriguez. Meanwhile, the hydrocarbons, which the Bolivian masses have twice mobilized to nationalize, are still in the hands of the imperialist transnational companies. And all this is covered with the smoke screen of the elections of December. This it is the result of the popular front that supports Rodriguez and guarantees the continuity of the regime of the mine-owners.

In May-June of 2005, the Bolivian masses uprising opened up a crisis in the ranks of the ruling class., that is, a vacuum of power at the top. The insurrectionary general strike of 16 days saw the working class and its organizations use both legal and military means to create a true dual power with more than 100 blockades, barricades, street fights. Confronting the police in the streets with the sticks of dynamite, the miners united with poor farmers to defeat the policy of Evo Morales of increasing the oil taxes on foreign companies to 50% of the value of the hydrocarbons”. The workers and poor farmers’ slogan was “Neither 30%, nor 50%, but full Nationalization”!

This heroic uprising had its most conscious expression in the COR [regional union central] of El Alto [workers’ city of 1 million above La Paz]. On the 8 of June the COR El Alto passed a resolution for a revolutionary course of action, that reaffirmed the struggle for the nationalization of hydrocarbons, rejected all new elections as a trap, summoned the Aboriginal Popular Assembly [in which the masses who are ethnic Almara or Quechua are represented] and created a congress of rank and file delegates and a workers and farmers’ militia, declaring El Alto to be the “headquarters of the revolution”. That call was in reality to form a centralised organ of workers and peasants power that could prepare for a victorious insurrection to form a workers’ and poor peasants’ government.

The insurrectionary general strike succeeded in overthrowing Mesa. But once again, the treacherous leaders allowed the bourgeoisie a way out. Solares, Quispe, Mamani and POR prevented the Aboriginal Popular Assembly with its congress of base delegates and its centralized military services from being founded. Meanwhile, Evo Morales and his MAS (Movement for Socialism) MPs in Parliament in Sucre, where it had fled to escape La Paz, but still surrounded by the masses, agreed to Rodriguez succeeding Mesa.

Thus, we see the politics of class collaboration of the popular front – that has one “leg” of the poor peasants led by Evo Morales; and another “leg” of the labour leaders headed by Solares that once more joined forces to prevent the masses from smashing all the institutions of the state and of the regime and imposing a regime of dual power, before taking the taking of power by the proletariat.

The actions of the popular front of the labour leaders collaborated with the bourgeoisie to support its regime and government and to strangle the revolution

The leaders of the workers movement took the proletariat from the streets. In this way, they broke the worker peasant alliance, and allowed Evo Morales to divert the peasants’ movement into the reactionary elections thus supporting the social base of the bourgeoisie and the regime of the mine-owners and their policy of bargaining with imperialism over the division of the spoils from the hydrocarbons.

At the same time, the leaders of the workers movement under Solares excluded the COB and put the COD and COR (that are, in the cities, true organs of dual regional power), under the control of the mayors and the Civic Committees. By that means they strangled the embryo of workers and peasants power and prevented it from centralising and coordinating as an El Alto soviet.

Meanwhile, under the cover of this popular front, finance capital and the transnational companies have mobilized the officer caste of the army, and the landowning bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz – main collaborators with oil interests of the imperialists – supporting and revival of fascist bands to drown in blood the proletarian revolution.

In spite of this new treachery, the Bolivian revolution is still alive. The revolutionary situation is temporarily on hold pending the elections. The crisis of the regime that had its head split open by the masses in its two revolutionary attacks of 2003 and 2005 is still far from being resolved. The breaches at the top are still open. The question of hydrocarbons has not been answered, and the demand for its nationalization still drives the political struggles of the masses. In each struggle, road block, strike, and demonstration, “Nationalization of hydrocarbons” continues being the demand and the slogan that expresses the feeling of the masses.

The pre-insurrectionary mood of the masses remains seething below the surface. What does this mean? That the masses are conscious that none of their demands, not even the most elementary, will be won without an all out fight. For that reason all demands in whatever sector are expressed as struggles, road blocks, strikes, mobilizations, and occupations of universities.

The tragedy continues to be that the organs of struggle were not centralized nationally by the treacherous leaders. Yet they remain as organisms of semi-dual power localised in CORs and CODs, since the working class keeps them alive as their organs of struggle, and is them that workers go to solve all their demands and problems.

Thus, the revolutionary situation remains unresolved. Much more water will need to be thrown on the fire, and counter-revolutionary repression in the streets will be needed, to smash the heroic Bolivian revolution that not yet said its last word, far from it.

 
The politics of the popular front that tries to strangle the heroic Bolivian revolution are not “national”

The imperialistic monopolies that extend their businesses in all Latin America, employ all their concentrated counter-revolutionary intelligence in smothering the Bolivian revolution, because they know that if this revolution advances and wins, their property, their businesses and their dominion in the subcontinent will be under threat. For that reason, they have a highly centralised international General Staff acting from day to day to defeat it.

The “Summit of the Américas” on 4-5 November in Mar del Plata, Argentina, had as its main task that of guaranteeing a continuous increase in the super-exploitation of the proletariat and the plundering of the natural resources of Latin America.

The “Summit of the Peoples”, an appendage to the main summit, was organized by the native bourgeoisies. Evo Morales and Chávez were the main protagonists along with Castroite unions, Stalinism in all its variants, union bureaucrats and the liquidators of Trotskyism. Its main objective was to strengthen the popular front surrounding the Bolivian revolution to abort and defeat that revolution, burying the nationalization program, and unearthing the bourgeois policy of bargaining over shares of oil rent with imperialism. That is the famous “Bolivarian revolution” that they proclaim: nothing but the haggling of the national bourgeoisies with their imperialistic master, to try to get a greater slice of the surplus gained from the working class and the plundering of the oppressed Bolivian nation. The “Bolivarian revolution” is the expropriation of the anti-imperialist and revolutionary struggle of the masses, it is a caricature of a revolution.

The ‘sepoy’ governments of the region, who participated in both “Summits”, like that of Lula, Kirchner, Vázquez, Duarte of Paraguay, and Chávez, are those that organize the “power ring” that guarantees the supply of Bolivian gas so that they can supply the imperialistic monopolies and their smaller partners, the national bosses, in the countries of the MERCOSUR. They protect and guarantee the interests of the biggest foreign investors in Bolivia, Petrobras and Repsol, and that act as the ‘beach head’ for all the imperialistic transnational companies that want to keep expropriating tens of billions of dollars from the reserves of Bolivian gas.


Despite the enormous poverty of the oppressed masses in Bolivia, this nation is not only rich in its natural resources, but these are strategic resources for the economy of the continent

Although the working class and the poor farmers do not have natural gas, the gas ducts are mere hundreds of meters from their homes. The gas reserves of Bolivia are appraised between 80,000 and 100,000 million dollars. The masses know this, and the fact of such wealth rubbing against their poverty is what motivates their revolutionary will and their intransigence in the fight for the nationalization of hydrocarbons.

The proletarian vanguard already knows that only the nationalization of the hydrocarbons meet the needs of the workers and the poor farmers. The imperialistic bourgeoisie, that needs each cent of Bolivian hydrocarbons, also knows it, and for that reason it has concentrated against the Bolivian revolution all the forces of the reaction, it has called on all its agents, and without a doubt prepares the counter-revolution to smash the revolution, if the current policy of the popular front and elections fail to strangle it to death.

It is the central demand of the revolution and the international character of the struggle over the nationalization of hydrocarbons – that began in 2003-, that makes the revolutionary thrust of the Bolivian proletariat so powerful, and likewise the response of the international counter-revolution so reactionary.

Bolivia concentrates the expression of the struggle of the masses of Latin America against plunder and super-exploitation. Its victory will put on the immediate agenda the expropriation of the expropriators, not only imperialists, but all the native bourgeoisies that are their junior partners. For that reason, to a great extent, the destiny of the exploited ones of the continent will be defined by the result of the magnificent Bolivian revolution.

 
In Bolivia there is a life and death situation: either the workers and poor farmers revolution prevails overthrowing the bourgeoisie, expropriating the expropriators and imposing the dictatorship of the proletariat as the beacon for the Latin American and world; or, on the contrary, under the leadership of the World Social Forum of Chávez, Fidel Castro and Evo Morales and their fantasy of the “Bolivarian Revolution”, the revolution will be strangled and the counter-revolutionary defeat will end transforming Bolivia into a direct colony or protectorate of imperialism and transnational companies. Such a defeat will rank with those they made in Chile in 1973, Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s, or in Argentina and Brazil in the 1970s

Now is the moment for regrouping internationally the healthy forces of principled Trotskyism and for the struggle to build internationalist revolutionary parties in Latin America that do not bend to the siren songs of the popular front to the terror of fascism.

While the leaders of the masses make their “meetings of two cities” – to make a ‘Holy Alliance’ of “peace” between El Alto and Santa Cruz -, the oil barons and the bourgeoisie of the ‘cross’ openly organise the fascist bands. The General Staff of the bourgeoisie knows perfectly well what is the problem is and how it must solve it: it knows that it faces, no more or less, the proletarian revolution.

Following the truce with Rodriguez, the reaction tries to seize of the organizations of struggle out of the hands of the masses

Once the truce with Rodriguez and shut down the revolutionary crisis of last May-June, the immediate objective of the leaders of the truce was to prevent the national congress of delegates of base of the Aboriginal Popular Assembly from meeting and forming workers and poor farmer’s militias. And once this was achieved their objective was the one to win the leadership o0f all the struggle organisations.

Thus the truce opened up a reaction inside these struggle organisations. In El Alto on the 8 of June there was a meeting to bury the resolutions of the COR, and to smooth the way to the fraudulent elections of the regime of the spiral.

Once sure of the leaderships in El Alto, the reaction organised the meeting of the “two cities” where the leaders of the COR of El Alto embraced the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz. Then behind the backs of the rank and file of these organisations a meeting was arranged in Cochabamba on the 9 of July, headed by Solares, the FEJUVE of El Alto, representatives of Evo Morales, and of POR.

On the 12, 13 and 14 of August s Continental conference on the Nationalization of Hydrocarbons was organized by representatives of the CUT of Brazil, the Lambertists, the LIT and the PSTU of Brazil, the “Revolutionary Marxist Tendency” of Alan Woods, the Uit-ci, the P-SOL of Brazil, the bureaucratic and Stalinists PST of Argentina and other renegades from Trotskyism. Once more the leaders of these currents went behind the backs of the revolutionary vanguard to hand over the Bolivian revolution to Chavez and the “Bolivarian Revolution”.

This meeting decided to hold a symbolic day on the 17 October in all Latin American countries dedicated to the ‘nationalisation of the hydrocarbons’ – that nobody observed -, and summoned a new “Continental Encounter” in 2006 hosted by Chávez in Venezuela.

That conference was a vile trick against the Bolivian revolution. All the currents taking place have collaborated time and time again against the Bolivian revolution, yet claimed to speak in the name of the revolutionary.

At the same time, regional or departmental congresses of the federations and unions were being held all over Bolivia. In them all the reaction tried to dominate. The clearest example was the congress of the FSTMB – the mining Federation based in Huanuni, where a scandalous fraud organized by the employer’s association of the private companies expropriated the leadership of the Federation from the Miners leaders that had consistently fought for a national congress and a revolutionary program.

But against this reaction a tenacious resistance of the workers rank and file and radicalised youth against the truce began. Its vanguard was centered in the COR El Alto, and was the one that it prevented the endorsement of Evo Morales as Presidential candidate in the elections. Nevertheless, because the revolutionaries lack sufficient weight in the vanguard and the masses able to centralise and organise this resistance of the radicalised rank and file, the oppressed masses have not been able to break the stranglehold of their misleaders and throw out this new truce.

Then another example of the control of the masses organs of fight by the collaborators was the anniversary of October 2003. This commemoration was turned into a symbolic act. Thousands of young people, workers and poor farmers were mobilized all over the country, but the treacherous leaders did not allow these acts to be united across all the sectors. Once again, on the 17 of October, they did not allow the mobilized masses to transform the Continental meeting on nationalisation of the hydrocarbons into a true congress of the delegates of the rank and file of the Aboriginal Popular Assembly, for fear that it would spark of a return to the revolutionary road of October of 2003 and May-June of 2005.

The masses try to keep alive the COR’s and semi-dual power COD’s as local and regional embryo soviets. Solares, Patana and the treacherous labor leaders on the other hand try to dissolve them into the institutions of the bourgeois regime


Between February and October of the 2003, the workers and the farmers threw out the old leadership of the COB – that collaborated with Sanchez de Losada -, and began to centralise the mass organisations of struggle

After the fall of Goni, and his succession by Mesa with whom Morales and Quispe made a truce in October 2003, Solares worked inside the COB to prevent the workers and poor farmer from transforming it into an organ of dual power as was the case in the 1952 revolution.

Despite this treachery, the masses, with great determination, began to win influence in the departmental and regional Workers Unions – the COR and the COD -, and to coordinate their organizations of struggle at local and regional level. It was this influence that enabled the blockades, the insurrectionary general strike and the fights around the barricades of last May-June. The poor farmers blocked the routes all over Bolivia and occupied oil wells of the multinationals. This influence came to a head in the dual power organs of El Alto, especially the COR which brought together many workers including the vanguard of the miners and poor peasants.

The treacherous leaders aborted the implementation of the resolutions of the COR El Alto of June 8; the reconvening of the congress of Aboriginal and Popular Assembly that could have centralized the masses fight for militias and soviets. They broke the workers and poor farmers’ alliance by imposing the truce with Rodriguez. They divided the labor movement with Solares dissolving the COB and making each department fight alone, while Patana was going to hug Rodriguez and the fascist bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz in “encounter of two cities” with the blessing of the church. They diverted the poor farmers into a demagogic campaign of Bolivian nationalism promoted by Morales and other servants of the Bolivian employer’s association.

But nevertheless, the treacherous leaders of the labor movement could not prevent the COR and COD -, the true revolutionary organizations that led the revolutionary days of last May-June from remaining organs of semi-dual power at the regional and local levels.

Today, to try to eliminate that semi-dual power character of the COR and COD, the leaders of the workers’ leg of the popular front truce, Solares and Patana, subordinate them to the hated, discredited and battered bourgeois institutions of the mine-owners regime in the cities and regions, such as the Civic mayors and Committees, and the projects of these bosses’ institutions. Typical of this collaboration is the inclusion of Patana by Rodriguez in the Pre-Constituent Assembly Commission.

Another example; when the government decreed that the budget of the departments had to be proportional to the wealth that these generated, the mayors of the different departments began to demand that the government increase the taxes on the Hydrocarbons (IDH). For, without more taxes the money would not be available for guaranteed health, education, etc. The bourgeois mayors began to organize pressure to haggle over their share of the oil taxes, allowing the oil companies to continue to exploit the hydrocarbons.

The treacherous labor leaders tried to get the masses in the COR and COD to endorse the policy of the Mayors to increase the oil taxes, thus bringing back Morales defeated position of bargaining over taxation and rejecting the popular demands for outright nationalisation won in the heat of the struggle of May-June of 2005.

Similarly, the students and university Federations were dragged into the process of bargaining over increasing oil taxes to pay for the education budget. POR Lora, which has an important influence in the student movement, played a central role in this subordination of the students to the Mayors in, for example, Cochabamba.

The working class does not have its own revolutionary leadership that can embody the historical experience of the world revolution. The bourgeoisie and the transnational companies do have a general staff

Thus, the proletariat, lacking a revolutionary leadership, was contained by its treacherous leaders, and the poor farmers were diverted down the road of Bolivian nationalism by Morales and co; yet the big bourgeoisie was able to subordinate the organs of revolutionary struggle to its established institutions such as the Mayors and civic councils.

What we see in Bolivia today is the same policy applied by the German social democracy when Hilferding argued that soviets could coexist with a Constituent Assembly. With that policy they strangled the revolution of 1918-19 in Germany. First, with sweet phrase to win over the rebel workers, and them with massacres perpetrated by the Social-Democratic police. In both cases the ruling class understands clearly that the existence of its state (a Constituent Assembly) is irreconcilable with the existence of the independent organs of the centralized and armed dual power of the masses. The battle for state power can only be decided by a civil war of the classes in which one must win and one must lose.

Today, in Bolivia, we are at the tipping point, when the sweet phrases and the policy of class collaboration in the popular front, disarms and it demobilizes the revolutionary masses while the class enemy buys time to prepare the armed reaction.


After making the truce with Rodriguez, Solares wanted to use the COB to nominate himself in the fraudulent elections, with the program to create a “Political Instrument of the Workers” (IPT), that is, a reformist workers party. But this program was already in existence in practice with the plan of the popular front with its two legs (one in the unions the other in the farmers organisations) to subordinate the workers and poor farmers organizations to the bourgeois institutions.

The IPT policy was a reformist attempt to try copy what happened in Brazil with the founding of the PT (Workers Party) at the end of the 1970s. In that country, the formation of the PT was the method used by the bourgeoisie, the church and the reformist labor currents to abort the process which threatened to open a revolution in the years 1978-79. But in Brazil, this diversion of the vanguard into a reformist workers party succeed because the revolution had not yet begun, and the military dictatorship had just fallen at the hands of the masses. The state and the bourgeois regime were left intact.

In Bolivia, on the contrary, the masses have already mounted huge revolutionary attacks, to throw out two presidents with street actions and to carry out one of the greatest revolutions of the history of the continent in 1952. The revolutionary masses, definitively, could not be strangled by means alone of creating a reformist workers party.

It was a reformist variant that lost all legitimacy when the revolutionary workers organized in the COD and the COR the revolutionary uprising of May-June 2005. The rank and file openly repudiated Solares, and many extended congresses and, such as those of the FSTMB, the COR El Alto, etc., called for an emergency congress of the COB to dismiss the traitor Solares.

The reality is that Solares – now a political advisor to Morales and the boss’s regime -, alongside Patana, supports the leg of the truce that supports Rodriguez and the fraudulent elections. They could do this because they followed the program of Fidel Castro to control the labor organisations from the inside to prevent the centralisation, their arming, and the formation of organs of dual power.

It is a life or death question for the proletariat, to defeat the treacherous leaders and their front popular policy, that is, class collaboration. Only with a revolutionary leadership and program will the working class be able to ensure its independence of all the fractions of the bourgeoisie and to take over the leadership of all exploited and oppressed classes.

For this to happen it is necessary that the radicalized rank and file of workers to break with the treacherous leaders of the COR and COD and their policy of class collaboration with the bourgeois institutions, and to set this in motion to call for an immediate national congress of rank and file delegates of the COR, COD, FSTMB and all the organizations in struggle to return to the unfinished tasks of October and May-June.

Thanks to the treason of the leaders of the proletariat like yesterday in Venezuela, Evo Morales and Chávez, today prepare the abortion of the Bolivian revolution by means of a bourgeois nationalist policy.

Thanks to the treason of the workers leaders, Evo Morales managed to divert the poor farmers movement back into the electoral trap, thus maintaining a social base in the petty bourgeoisie in the cities and the rural areas to back him as a candidate to reform the regime of the mine owners, and by that route, to gain a social base in the masses for a return to the bourgeois nationalist policy of haggling with imperialism over the share of spoils of hydrocarbons

The revolutionary uprising of May-June, to the shout of “Neither 30” nor 50”; Nationalization!”, had attacked head-on this bourgeois policy. In that struggle, the urban centers, that is, the working class, influenced the poor farmers’ movement with its program of nationalization. The treason of the workers leaders has once more pushed the peasantry back into the arms of the bourgeoisie.

The peasantry is not a homogenous class. Only when the proletariat wins the streets and can demonstrate to the poorer farmers that it can carry the fight to victory and has the power to give land to the tiller, provide machinery, fertilizers and cheap credit, can it be separated from the rich peasantry who side with the bourgeoisie in the hope that they can enrich themselves with more land or businesses in the cities. The stronger the proletariat the more will the masses of poor farmers follow its lead and weaken the petty bourgeois social base for fascism.

The popular front policy of class collaboration is an attempt to abort the Bolivian revolution by dividing the peasantry and isolating the workers’ vanguard 

This is similar to what happened in 1998 with Chávez in Venezuela. During the Caracazo of 1989 the masses began an anti-imperialist insurrection that exploded the rotten regime of the ‘Pact of Fixed Point’ and broke with the main the bosses’ parties: COPEI (Christian Democracy), and AD (Social-Democracy). After several failed attempts to strangle the uprising of the masses, imperialism and the bourgeoisie resorted to the ex- lieutenant colonel Chávez (who was in prison for his role in failed military coup). They released him from jail and after winning the elections Chavez formed a left-populist bourgeois nationalistic government which expropriated the anti-imperialist struggle of the masses and aborted the Venezuelan revolution.

We can see the same happening in Bolivia. Evo Morales was one of “stars” of the “Summit of the People” in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the ‘alternative’ to the “Summit of the Américas” where Bush and its crew members discussed how to strangle the Bolivian revolution and how to distribute superprofits to the monopolies by sacking the Latin American nations and oppressing its peoples. Evo Morales was embraced by Chávez signaling clearly that the super-exploited Bolivian workers and poor farmers, and of all the continent must be prepared for Morales to complete the abortion of the Bolivian revolution, like Chávez did in Venezuela.

But to carry out this plan, as we already said, the need to be able to count on the ability of the treacherous leadership of the proletariat. That is, they need that the traitors to guarantee that the revolutionary organizations of struggle are subordinated to the bourgeois institutions of the mine owners regime

Evo Moral and the MAS, in the event of winning the elections, want to be sure that the COB, the COR and the COD will be subordinated to the bourgeois state, and by that route, to have under its control the great part of the revolutionary masses, and in particular, the heart of the working class: the miners and the revolutionary workers of El Alto.

That is why Morales did not want to make specific the electoral proposals that Patana of the COR, and Mamani of the FEJUVE had made to him. Because their role is to drive the workers leg of the popular front and along with Solares to do the dirty work of making the COR and COD bow down to the Mayors and city councils. In this way, having already totally paralyzed the FSTMB thanks to the employer’s association electoral fraud, Morales wants to be guaranteed that, as President, he can count on controlling the great part of the working class. Because only in this way will he be able to begin to rearm the bourgeois state structure and defeat any further attacks of the masses.

It is for that reason that, Morales meanwhile, maintains the openly pro-imperialistic government of Rodriguez, and at the same time threatening blockades and “revolutions of 1952” if the reactionary bourgeoisie puts barriers in the way of the elections.

This he is then the plan of the reaction, the popular front and its policy of collaboration of classes that, with a leg in Evo Moral and the MAS, and another one in the working direction with Lots and Patana at the top, maintain to the regime of Rosca, to the government of Rodriguez, and guarantee that the hydrocarbons follow into the hands of the transnational companies.

The bastion of the counterrevolution: the bosses keep the officers caste of the Armed Forces at the ready, and the bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz builds its fascist bands as an insurance policy. If the popular front does not manage to contain the masses, they will drown it in blood.

While it currently adopts the popular front policy of containing the masses, the big bourgeoisie and the officers’ caste maintain the armed forces at the borders, prepared for deployment to massacre the people

At the same time, in Santa Cruz the General Staff of the mine owners concentrates the bastion of the counter]-revolution, with the bourgeois ‘cruceña; faction who represent the transnational companies, it is preparing to use military methods to crush the revolution if the popular front does not abort it completely. It maintains and strengthens the fascist bands, holding periodic congresses to openly recruit new members to the fascist bands.

There is not doubt that it will if necessary stage a military coup, or secede from Bolivia, if that is the only way to guarantee delivery of the hydrocarbons to imperialism and their own slice of the dirty spoils. Meanwhile, threatens secession so as to negotiate in better conditions for its interests, like for example, on the question of its influence in the “new” parliament that will be elected in December.

Although they are not likely to win the presidency the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie are the most powerful fraction of the native bourgeoisie because they are the allies of the transnational companies. They are the bunker and the General Staff of the counterrevolution, and they do not have in mind to back down. They are those that issue the orders of the transnational companies to its agents in the popular front to throw water to the fire, to divide the proletariat, to disorganize its forces, while at the same time they arm themselves to the teeth preparing the counter-revolution.

The General Staff of the transnational companies, uses its left hand to pull the strings of its bourgeois nationalist agents and the reformist leaders so that they divide and they disorganise the oppressed, and with its right hand, at the same time, it pulls the strings of the fascist bands and officer cast of the military.

They are daring: they know that if the plan of class collaboration Chávez, Evo Morales and Fidel Castro fails, and the transnational companies cannot take the lion share of the superprofits of Bolivian gas, they will have no problem with dissolving the “power ring” of Mercosur and Chávez, and leaning on the western flank of the counterrevolution – with Chile and Peru ‘ – they will secede from Bolivia to retain the huge gas reserves of Santa Cruz.

The disputes between the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie sitting on the hydrocarbon reserves of Bolivia -, and the fractions of the native bourgeoisie that want bigger taxes imposed on the transnationals, are exacerbated by the masses opening up the prospect of full nationalisation and a loss of profits for all bourgeois fractions. These are the breaches that remain open, and that each struggle of the masses, small as they are, can use and develop.

The plans of the reaction and the counter-revolution of the bourgeois and imperialistic front are being kept in reserve. At the moment, the transnationals are able to extract their superprofits through the policy of the popular front. For that reason, Chávez and the Morales are a bourgeois nationalism with empty hands: because the lions share of the profits of the hydrocarbons goes to imperialism and the transnational companies. And if the transnational companies cannot get it superprofits by this means, it will use the force, mobilising fascism and the open counter-revolution.

For that reason, the only and true alternative for the Bolivian revolution in its future development, is Communism or fascism. Only by the defeat of the revolutionary masses, thus solving in their favor the question of hydrocarbons, will imperialism and the bourgeoisie be able to impose a stable bourgeois regime in Bolivia. That will mean without doubt a colonisation a thousand times more brutal and rapacious than the mine owners’ regime.

The proletariat needs its own general Staff. Without this its enormous energies and the organisations of struggle that were created from February 2003, will be subordinated to class collaboration and their forces will be dissipated or smashed.

At this present juncture of the Bolivian revolution the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the Bolivian and Latin American working class has been become critical in the extreme.
The nationalization of hydrocarbons continues to be the motor which drives the revolutionary struggle of the masses


The working class continue to see their organizations of struggle, the COR and the COD, as the tools of fight for the nationalization of hydrocarbons

The revolution still lives, and the masses do not abandon it for a moment, despite their treacherous leaders, the struggle for the hydrocarbons. Week after week blockades and tough but isolated fights are provoked, all motivated by the fight for hydrocarbons.

This shows that the motivating demand of this huge revolution that is underway continues to be the fight for the nationalization of hydrocarbons.

The working class is pressing to return to street fighting to continue the heroic uprisings of October 2003 and May-June 2005. The labor movement knows that the only solution to its oppression and suffering is the nationalization of the hydrocarbons; that the elections will not solve any problem.

As we said, because of the treachery of the workers leaders, large numbers of poor farmers who in May-June had taken up the fight “No to 30%, nor 50%: Nationalization!”, today have been pushed again into the arms of Morales, thinking that in the elections they will be able to increase his majority, and solve the question of the hydrocarbons by negotiation with imperialism.

But, in spite of this, the demand to nationalise the hydrocarbons continues to drive revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle in Bolivia, because the oppressed, exploited people know that none of their necessities – work, bread, good health, education, and wages can be solved without also solving in their favor this key question.

For that reason, each struggle of the fight of the working class and the exploited ones, small as they may be, has at it centre the question of hydrocarbons. The budgetary problems of health, education and a living wage do not have a solution if the hydrocarbons are not nationalized. Neither the mayors today, nor the government, nor Evo Morales tomorrow, can give a solution to the daily problems, for example the current shortage of bottled gas, without this key demand of the struggle of the exploited ones of Bolivia.

Nobody can think seriously about Bolivia solving its situation of hunger and misery, if the hydrocarbons are not nationalized, without compensation and under workers control. For that reason, it is the main demand of the workers to direct at the poor farmers so as to divide the petty bourgeois and to split the army between the officer caste and the ranks.

It is the fundamental demand to unmask the treacherous leaders. It is the demand that pushes the masses to break to each step the truce. It is the demand that keeps alive the semi-dual power of the COR and COD as proto-soviets, despite their current leaders. It is the demand that motivated three revolutionary uprisings – February and October 2003, and May-June 2005- even during the lapse of two years; that it keeps the revolution alive, and makes the treacherous truce unstable. It is the demand and the struggle that can expose the politics of the popular front of Morales and Co and their attempt to lend the poor farmers movement to the service of the reaction.

It is the demand that puts on the daily agenda the need for the proletariat, and only the proletariat, to become the leading class in the oppressed nation. It is the one that calls for a workers and poor farmers’ alliance, for the proletariat to lead this alliance. It is the revolutionary demand that manages to unite the great masses, and causes them to combat the forces that try to abort their revolution.

It is the demand that will only prevail in Bolivia with the victory of the workers and socialist revolution, that can win only as a Latin American workers and poor farmers international socialist revolution alongside the North American proletariat that begins to stand up, alongside the heroic young French workers, and all those oppressed by the imperialist powers that rise against the imperialistic transnational companies that plunder Bolivia and all Latin America; the same ones that face the blood and fire of the massacres of the people of occupied Iraq by the troops of the Anglo-US imperialists.

In order to win the nationalization of hydrocarbons, it is necessary to defeat the mine-owners regime and to lay the way open to the victory of the proletarian revolution There is still time: it is necessary to convene a Congress of rank and file delegates of the COD, COR, COB and all the organizations in struggle, and its worker and poor farmer militias!


In order to revive the street fighting for the nationalization of hydrocarbons, it is necessary to break the truce that supports the government of Rodriguez, and that allows that the imperialistic transnational companies continue plundering the gas and the petroleum of the nation

For that reason, because only the working class leading the poor farmers will be able fight until the end for the nationalization of hydrocarbons, the COR, the COD and the COB must break with their subordination to the mayors and the agents of the mine-owners.

Enough kneeling before the bourgeoisie! It is necessary to strengthen the hand of the working class to win back most of the poor farmers who have fallen under the influence of the bourgeoisie:

For an immediate National Congress of rank and file delegates of the COR, the COD, the FSTMB, and of all the organizations of fight! That is the way to make sure that the Aboriginal Popular Assembly is created, that is, the centralised organ of workers and poor farmers’ soviets and militias.

The centralization of the COD, the COR, the FSTMB, etc., in a national congress of rank and file delegates, would have all the authority to call on the forces of combative youth and the miners, to create a workers and farmers militia. . . It would have all the authority to call the soldiers who are the children of workers and farmers under arms not to follow the order of their officers, to constitute committees of soldiers and NCOs, and choose delegates to go to the workers and poor farmers’ congress. It is necessary to destroy to officer caste and to smash the fascists! It is necessary to set up workers and poeples courts to judge the killers of the martyrs of October and of all the oppressors of the people and plunderers of the nation!

Only the working class can solve the demands of the peasantry oppressed by the great landowners and the imperialistic monopolies, since it does not have any ties to these classes. But today the poor farmer, because of the treachery of the workers leaders, have lost much confidence in the working class ability to free them from the yoke of oppression

Evo Morales, the representative of the national bourgeoisie, cannot offer any solution to the demands of the poor farmers. Not even it he could impose a “50% tax on the value of hydrocarbons for Bolivia” because the most of this taxation would be needed to pay the national debt to the IMF, and the rest would be pocketed by national bourgeoisie who are the junior partners of imperialism.

Only the proletariat, coming to power, breaking with the IMF and repudiating the fraudulent external debt, expropriating the bourgeoisie, nationalizing without compensation and under workers control the hydrocarbons, expropriating the banks without compensation and creating a single state bank under control of the workers which provides cheap credit to the small farmers, and imposing a monopoly of foreign trade, can end the sufferings of the poor farmers.

But to reclaim the worker-farmer alliance destroyed by the reformist leaders, the working class must get rid of its present treacherous leaders. Without revolutionary leadership, the working class will be unable to win back the support of most of the poor farmers, that is, to advance on the road to the victorious revolution begun in October 2003.

Whenever the working class won the streets, it demonstrated that it can lead the poor farmer. But every time its leaders snatched victory out of its hands and it gave the power back to the bourgeoisie, as in October 2003 and May-June 2005. Those experiences prepared the poor peasants for the nationalist demagoguery, the big mouth and empty hands, of Evo Morales and company.

For that reason, there is no more important task in Bolivia – an international task of the healthy forces of Trotskyism worldwide -, than to fight create a new revolutionary party such that the heroic Bolivian working class deserves. Building a new revolutionary Trotskyist and internationalist party is the most urgent task to enable the revolutionary working class to break the truce and the subordination of the workers organizations to the bourgeois institutions, and to convene a National Congress of rank and file delegates of the COD, COR, COB and all the organizations in struggle, and its workers and farmers militias.



Then the proletariat could say to the poor farmers with authority that if they want to realise the full numerical weight that they have in the society, the only class that can guarantee to take the fight to the end; that is, the only class that will be able to create a true free, democratic and sovereign Constituent Assembly, is a provisional revolutionary workers and farmers government based on the self-organisation of the masses and the workers militias, able to win a victorious insurrection that overthrows the bourgeoisie, its government and his parliament, and that destroys the officer caste killers of the people.

Evo Morales won over the poor farmers to boost his majority in the elections by raising the demand to “legalize cocaine”. But even the national bourgeoisie cannot solve this problem. Because even if Evo Morales is elected President and his majority votes a law that legalizes the culture of the cocaine leaf, the poor farmers are already ruined, indebted, without investments, or machinery, and are near bankruptcy, so that their land will be bought up by the great landowners who alone will benefit from the new law.

For that reason, a workers and farmers provisional government can not only guarantee the peasantry the free and sovereign Constituent Assembly that is wants, but the free culture of the cocaine leaf breaking with imperialism, expropriating the banks and creating a single state bank under workers control, that reduces the debts of the poor farmers, gives cheap credit to the ruined farmers, which expropriates the great landowners and five the land to the landless, and guarantees the agricultural machinery needed to improve the productivity of the land.
 
The basic democratic tasks of the Bolivian revolution are the break with imperialism land to the poor farmers, and gas for the Bolivians. But none of those tasks will be able to be fulfilled and be solved completely unless the working class, leading the poor farmers and all the oppressed of the nation, does not establish its own government to expropriate the expropriators and destroy its oppressor state

Leading this struggle, the working class will freed itself of the yoke of capital. The Bolivian working class in power will be able to enjoy, alongside the rest of the exploited, the immense resources of Bolivia, and to have sufficient gas, wages, work for all, and quality health and education for the workers and the farmers.

The Bolivian working class, in its different revolutions of the XX century and in the present XXI century, has marked out the road to socialism. The Theses of Pulacayo, proposed by the Trotskyists in 1946 and taken as their own by the Bolivian proletariat, are still the departure point to conquer the independence of the organizations of struggle of the revolutionary masses from all the fractions of the bourgeoisie, and to advance to a victorious revolution.

In order to create a revolutionary party of the Bolivian working class it is necessary to defeat all the liquidators of Trotskyism. The healthy forces of international Trotskyism and the workers and young peoples vanguard together must refound the internationalist Trotskyism in Bolivia.

The Bolivian revolution once more tragically affirms the premise of the Trotskyists Transitional Program the crisis of the humanity is reduced to the crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat

This huge revolution has begun without a revolutionary party in front of the working class. They Bolivian masses did not want for anger or an accurate class instinct during the series of revolutionary attacks that they have carried out since February of 2003. Against the petty bourgeois cretins who speak of a “crisis of subjectivity” of the proletariat, we Trotskyists say that what exists in Bolivia is an overabundance of counter-revolutionary leaders.

This revolution already has taken several giant leaps, and to contain it, all the counter-revolutionary forces of the world and the continent have been united. It has been surrounded from the outside and penetrated on the inside. The policy of the popular front not only uses sweet talk and deception to get the masses to retreat from each victory, but also prepares international blows in the rear.

Beware Bolivian workers of the policy of class collaboration of the Latin American Stalinism and its hangers on in Bolivia; of the policy of the Venezuelan and Bolivian bourgeoisies, of Chávez and Morales, who prepare – before the sticks and the bullets of fascism -, counter-revolutionary blows in he rear of the labor movement, stabs in the back by the fifth columns. This is what happens in every revolution to break and defeat the revolutionary vanguard of the masses.

Beware Bolivian workers! The proletariat one cannot lose the leadership of the poor peasantry. If the proletariat today does not give answers to the poor farmers they will fall into the hands of the Chávez and Morales, and will be used to attack the proletariat – as was the case yesterday when Mesa tried to use the urban middle-class, blaming the workers for their disastrous situation. This is what they are preparing.

The revolutionary party of the Bolivian proletariat will not be built by the treacherous leaders of the working class that supports the government, nor the renegades of Trotskyism whose programs did not pass the test of this huge revolution. They periodically announce the “insurrection” and then betray it at each step, as they did it in 1952 and 1971. The renegades of Trotskyism in Bolivia, as in all Latin America, always promise victory to the proletariat and the oppressed people, but only offer them defeats. History is full of examples.

There is no time to lose. The forces needed to build a new revolutionary leadership of the Bolivian proletariat one, exist; they are known, they debated and fought together in El Alto, in the mines of Huanuni, in the universities of the UTO Oruro and Cochabamba, in the students and the worker youth that rebel at each trap and truce. Those forces are in the revolutionary vanguard that continues to raise the Theses of Pulacayo; that consistently fights for workers democracy in the workers organizations, to strengthen and extend them. Those workers and young people need an international strategy to win.

The ruling class has devised a strategy to contain the Bolivian revolution: a “power ring” of the bourgeoisies of the Southern Cone, a popular policy front directed from Havana and Caracas to strangle to the Bolivian revolution. There is a US military base with 400 marines in Paraguay on the border with Bolivia. The task to create the revolutionary party that the Bolivian masses need and deserve, is a task for all the internationalist Trotskyists forces of the world. 100% of the forces of Internationalist Trotskyism must be put to the service of the fight to break through the encirclement of the Bolivian revolution; in order to defeat to the policy of the containment of the Latin American revolution of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Stalinism, the union bureaucracy and the liquidators of the IV International!

Chávez announced his alliance with the bourgeoisies in Mercosur, that is, with Duarte, the president of Paraguay who has allowed the installation of a Yankee base and hundreds of marines with guaranteed immunity, ready to invade Bolivia if it is necessary to guarantee the plunder of the hydrocarbons for the transnational companies. Chávez announced the alliance with the election of the “popular government” of Tabaré Vázquez and the PC in Uruguay, who holds a join military exercise (UNITAS) with the US Navy.

Thus, the US base in Paraguay; the UNITAS exercise in the Atlantic, and the North American military base in Ecuador’s Pacific coast, are all counter-revolutionary forces ready to smash the Bolivian revolution, supported by Chávez, Fidel Castro and their policy of the popular front and its political class collaboration, that induces the masses to go to sleep so they can be subordinated to the bourgeoisie.

We reject that those who pretend to speak in name of the Bolivian revolution, who subordinate the Latin American proletariat to Chávez, to Kirchner, Lula, and the party of the North American imperialist Democrats, and make possible the sacking of our countries and the killing of our people by the murderous Bush, can speak in the name of Trotskyism!

100% of the forces of the international Trotskyism to build the revolutionary party of the working masses and Latin American poor farmers!

100% of our forces to defeat the liquidators of IV International so we can refound it.!

The 100% of the healthy forces of the Trotskyism internationally in the service of the fight to make the Bolivian revolution victorious and to fight at continental and world-wide level to defeat all those who betray it!

The Bolivian working class needs a party that links them to directly to the Iraqi resistance, to the revolt of worker youth in France, to the days of action that are being prepared in the United States – in the heart of the imperialistic beast – for 1-3 December. It needs an international General Staff of the socialist revolution: it needs to refound the IV International as the world party of socialism.

As the healthy forces of Trotskyism internationally we are regrouping our ranks in the Liaison Committee for an International Conference. 

Our last pre-conference of July 2005 – with the participation of Chilean, Peruvian, Bolivian, Brazilian, New Zealand, Argentine, -, has made the call to create an international centre as the embryo of the General Staff of the revolution.

It was decided at that pre-conference, that the healthy forces of principled Trotskyism internationally will have to intervene in the heroic revolution of the workers and Bolivian poor farmers, to stand by the side of the revolutionaries against the servants of the bourgeoisie and the treacherous labor leaders.

For that reason, we can say that we consistently fight against Lula and Petrobras, Kirchner and Repsol, and the traitors of the Latin American revolution that subordinate the proletariat to the bourgeoisie. We are Ilave in Peru ‘; we are the workers resistance and of the young revolutionary students against the civic-military regime in Chile. We are those that say to the Bolivian working masses that its revolutionary combat lives in the heroic Iraqi resistance, that their forces are with the French working class youth that threatens to burn imperialist France of the V Republic and to extend to all Europe. We are the Trotskyists.

Class brothers and sisters of Bolivia: your forces are enormous, and your true allies will rise 1° of December in the United States, to the heart of the imperialistic beast, with the day of struggle of the North American workers against Bush and their own imperialistic bourgeoisie.

Our central tasks are to break with the bourgeoisie, to fight for the program of the proletarian revolution, to defeat the treacherous labor leaders, to create a revolutionary General Staff of the Latin American and world proletariat. Then the heroic Bolivian working class will be invincible.

Trotskyist International Fraction (Fourth International) 18 of November of 2005. 

From Class Struggle 64 Nov 05/Jan 06 

Bolivia: Long live the revoltionary program of the the workers, peasants, miners and students of El Alto!

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For the Nationalisations of the Hydrocarbons!

Out with Mesa! Dissolve the Parliament!

For Workers’ Militias and a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government!

The masses of Bolivian workers and peasants have begun a new revolutionary fight. This uprising has not come out of the blue. It takes place just weeks after the Ecuadorian workers and students, rising up as an independent mass, demolished the pro-imperialist government of Gutiérrez, shouting “Que se vayan todos” [“all go away” the cry of the Argentinazo of 2001] not only against the bourgeois institutions, the bosses’ parliament and the politicians, but also against the Stalinist, Maoist and Castroist leaders that helped to elect Gutiérrez as President and that, along with World Social Forum, continued to defend him.

US imperialism has imposed a severe defeat on the nation of Iraq, crushed the Palestinian workers and people, and because of the treacherous betrayals of the leaders, contained the masses in Latin America, strangling the revolutionary struggle in Argentina and holding it back in Bolivia. Now it has relaunched an offensive in its back yard to impose new colonial laws like the FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] and the FTAA [Free Trade Agreement of the Americas] to guarantee access to the natural resources and payment of the external debts of all the nations of the continent.

The renewed revolutionary uprising of the masses of Ecuador and now in Bolivia, the struggle of the workers and students in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the revolt of the students in Chile, the build up of workers and students struggles in Argentina, are the anti-imperialist response of the Latin American masses to the intensified attacks by imperialism. The revolutionary uprisings in Bolivia and Ecuador in Latin American; Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in Eurasia; the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses and the resurgence of anti-imperialist struggles in Afghanistan in the hearts of these Yankee protectorates, pose a challenge to the fragile stability created by imperialism with its victorious counter-revolutions.

These events in Bolivia accelerate from day to day. The government of Mesa did not oppose the hydrocarbon law passed by parliament. It will become law automatically. Obviously, fearing a new revolutionary uprising the bourgeoisie has made some small concessions to keep negotiations open. This is the position of Evo Morales: to negotiate with the bourgeoisie over the percentage of the gas royalties, where the national bourgeoisie acting as the junior partner of imperialism in the exploitation of the natural resources of Bolivia, asks for the scraps, while imperialism takes the lion’s share of the huge wealth made from plundering the gas and oil.

The workers and peasants, with the miners in the front line, once more rise up with the central objective: “Nationalization of the gas without compensation, out with Mesa, close down Parliament”

But the passing of the law far from calming the situation has stirred it up. From Monday May 16, the revolutionary masses have taken to the streets, with pickets, roadblocks, general strikes like that of the teachers, and barricades, raising the slogan of the moment: ¡nationalization without compensation of the gas and oil, down with Mesa and the parliament that serves the oil companies!

Since Monday the 16 there has been no halt to the demonstrations in La Paz, with thousands of workers and peasants, now headed by the miners, surrounding the parliament and carrying out pitched battles with the police, responding with “puppies” of dynamite to grapeshot and tear gas. The Congress of the Federation of mining workers that was being held in Huanuni suspended its sessions, and the miners are already in La Paz at the head of the fight. The urban and rural teachers have declared an indefinite strike.

On the 20 of May, El Alto stopped for 24 hours, blocking the Freeway, and once more tens of thousands led by the miners were mobilized in La Paz, and the bourgeoisie, terrified, evacuated parliament. A indefinite general strike was planned to begin on Monday 23 of May by the ‘extended’ emergency meeting [delegates of all organizations in struggle] of the COR [Regional Workers Centre] of El Alto, which included the miners, the COB [Bolivian Workers’ Centre, affiliates of the national organization of Bolivian workers] the Fejuve, [Federación de Juntas Vecinales, or federation of community groups] the students, the teachers and other sectors in struggle.

In February 2003, the cry was “Fusil, metralla, Bolivia no se calla”, [“Guns, shrapnel, Bolivia will not be quiet”], in October 2003 the cry was “El gas y el petróleo para los bolivianos” [“gas and oil for the Bolivians”]. With the repeated uprisings of the masses they have learned from experience, even without the presence of a Marxist party, that the bourgeoisie uses different manoeuvres to counter the revolutionary situation.

With this experience, the masses have not only confronted the government of Mesa, but their own treacherous leaders in the COB and the peasant organizations. In February 2003 and October 2003, the revolutionary masses rose up, despite these leaders, and brought down the murderous government of Goni [Lozada]. But the leaders of the COB and the peasants then took back control over the workers uprising, giving the power to Mesa [Goni’s deputy who continued his policies] who formed a new government of the Rosca [mine owners] and oil companies.

For one and a half years, the treacherous leaders made truces and pacts with the new government. The national bourgeoisie, with Evo Morales at its head, used the enormous mobilization of masses to increase its share of the gas royalties. Today, with this third revolutionary uprising, the workers and farmers are trying to break out of the containment pacts made between their leaders and the different bourgeois groups, and to free the masses to directly confront the capitalists in Bolivia and in all of Latin America.

Therefore, on one side of the barricades are the mine owners and its puppet government; the Castroite leadership of the COB (Solares) and Evo Morales, who represents the national bourgeoisie in negotiating an increased share of the oil wealth at the expense of the Bolivian masses. On the other side of the barricades are the revolutionary masses of workers and farmers who raise the demands “Out with Mesa, down with parliament and nationalize the gas and oil without compensation”.

In the same way, on the bosses’ side of the barricades are the members of the World Social Forum, supporting Mesa in the same way they supported Gutiérrez – the servant of the IMF in Ecuador. On the other side of the barricades alongside the masses of workers and farmers in the struggle, are the internationalist Trotskyists, the Latin American revolutionaries. These barricades separate the classes in struggle in Bolivia and the whole continent.

The bourgeoisie is divided on how to defeat the masses that once more rise up to complete the revolution. Again the treacherous leaders of the masses are called upon to betray the masses’ struggle.

Facing the new revolutionary offensive of the masses the bourgeoisie is divided. One fraction, the bourgeoisie of Santa Cruz, Tarija and the Medialuna, where most of the oil and gas reserves are found, are campaigning, with the support of the oil companies, for much greater regional autonomy. On the other hand, there are two other fractions advancing different policies to try to prevent that the masses from throwing out Mesa and destroying the mine owners’ regime.

One fraction of the bourgeoisie, with Mesa and Evo Morales at its head, tries to contain the masses within a ‘democratic reactionary’ solution. It proposes new elections for a Constituent Assembly, elections of prefects, and a referendum on regional autonomy. This is designed to stabilize the regime and allow time for the different bourgeois fractions to negotiate their shares of the oil wealth and the surplus value of the working class. Thus Evo Morales opposed Mesa’s resignation and advised him to send troops to the oil wells to prevent mass occupations. He constantly acts as a ‘safety valve’ turning the revolutionary struggles of the workers and farmers towards parliamentary elections and referendums, rescuing the government of Mesa, the reactionary regime of the mine owners, and the Bolivian state from collapse.

Another fraction of the bourgeoisie tries to abort the revolutionary uprising of the masses by promoting a nationalistic way out. Mesa would be replaced by a ‘patriotic’ military regime that would contain the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle of the masses like Chavez has done in Venezuela. Solares and the Castroist leadership of the COB are working to implement this bourgeois solution under pressure of the masses to call for the resignation of Mesa and the closing of parliament.

That’s why Solares has said: “If there were an honest military man like Hugo Chávez, I would support him” (Clarin, 20/05/05). But the lesson of Venezuela clearly demonstrates to the workers and farmers of Latin America that, because of Chávez, Venezuelan oil fuels Bush’s military machine in Iraq while Repsol makes superprofits. In the same way, any general or colonel of the Bolivian army, even though Solares dresses him up him as “patriotic”, will give the gas to the Yankees and not the workers and farmers. Meanwhile, POR [Revolutionary Workers’ Party] of Bolivia – that has already openly renounced the program of Trotskyism – calls for the convening of a Popular Assembly like that of 1971. That is to say, to repeat what General Torres, that supposedly ‘patriotic’ military man, did in 1971. POR therefore provides a programmatic left cover to the policy of class collaboration of Solares and the Castroite leadership of the COB.

The main objective of i.e. Castroite leadership of the COB and of Evo Morales is to prevent the masses from throwing out Mesa, destroying the mine owners regime, winning the rank and file soldiers in the army, and creating dual power organs capable of making an insurrection. For that reason, all their forces are used to prevent the miners, workers, farmers and students who have been struggling for ten days against the police and army, from taking the Plaza Murillo in La Paz, the seat of Parliament.

The treacherous leaders fear like death that the workers and peasants will take the same road as that of the workers and oppressed people of Ecuador. They know that if the workers and farmers take the plaza and occupy parliament, the mining bosses’ regime and the Bolivian semi-colonial state would be split wide open, and a period of dual power would be opened where the masses would counterpose to the weakened bourgeois state their own power based on their organs of struggle, direct democracy and self-defense.

For that reason, in the different regions and departments the bureaucracy has decided against a massive march to La Paz, but only to send delegations of the COD’s [Departmental sections of COB] and COR’s [Regional sections of COB] and the Civic Committees [FUJEVE] headed by bureaucratic leaders whose task is to restrain the masses and to withdraw them from the Plaza Murillo. All the bureaucrats of the COB, COD, COR’s and FUJEVE that converge on La Paz, although throwing some dynamite “puppies”, have only one objective which is to stop the masses from taking the Plaza Murillo and the Parliament. For that reason, Evo Morales called for the roadblocks to be lifted and a truce until Monday 30 of May.

That fraction of the bourgeoisie that is trying to revive the puppet parliament – to meet in session while surrounded by the miners, workers and peasants who have returned to occupy La Paz and face the police defending the Plaza Murrillo and the seat of Parliament – seeks to divert the masses by calling for new presidential elections, referendums or for a Constituent Assembly, to prevent that the masses from carrying through their demands to bring down Mesa and parliament and open up a revolutionary crisis in the regime.

Meanwhile, the officers of the armed forces are on alert over the “danger of the disintegration” of the regime. What deceit: the real disintegration of the Bolivian nation has been caused by the capitalist gangs –the oil companies and the national bourgeoisie. It has been caused by the national bourgeoisies of Latin America that, hanging on the apron strings of the oil companies like Repsol, Petrobras, British Petroleum, and Totalfina, try to profit from the plunder of the natural wealth of Bolivia that passes through Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Social disintegration is the political program of the bourgeoisies of Santa Cruz, Tarija and the Medialuna, that want to keep most of the reserves of the gas and oil for themselves, while 80% of the population of Bolivia must use firewood, charcoal etc for cooking and heating.

It is the insatiable drive for superprofits by the imperialistic monopolies and the native bourgeoisie that continues to oppress the Bolivian nation. The only class that can unite the nation and end the oppression and “disintegration” is the working class, leading the poor peasantry, and creating its own government, with its own militias, reviving the best traditions of the heroic revolution of 1952.

The Armed Forces, at the moment, remain on alert to defend the bourgeois state and safeguard its security, prepared if necessary to drown the revolution in blood if they cannot otherwise contain or divert the revolutionary advance of the masses. But the bourgeoisie will only resort to open repression if all else fails, because it is aware that to do could lead to another massacre like that which led to the downfall of Goni, and run the risk of splitting the army so that the conscripts would mutiny against the officers. This is the greatest danger posed by the revolutionary uprising of the masses because, since, in the last instance, whoever controls the army rank and file, wins. If the bourgeoisie retains control, it will suppress the workers and peasants uprising with blood and fire. If the workers and poor farmers win control, the workers militias will be reinforced by soldiers committees.

Long live the revolutionary program of the democratic base of the COR of El Alto and of the miners: down with Mesa! Workers must dissolve the puppet parliament, build worker militias and form a provisional workers’ and peasants’ government to nationalize the gas and oil, and carry out the program of the working class and the Bolivian people!

The strong revolutionary upsurge that has erupted in Bolivia must prevail. Only a provisional government of revolutionary workers and peasants supported by the organs of direct democracy of the masses, workers militias and soldiers committees, will succeed in winning the most elementary national demands of the Bolivian workers and oppressed people, on the ruins of the regime of the mine owners and their imperialist partners, who are the real expropriators of the natural resources of the millions of Bolivians and Latin Americans.

The masses, betrayed by the truces and pacts which their leaders used to prop up Mesa and his crony oil bosses, have begun a new revolutionary uprising. Against the containment policy of Morales and Solares, the exploited workers of El Alto have marked out the revolutionary road to the masses’ victory. On May 17 the COR of El Alto meet with the miners, the teachers, the neighborhood committees, the students, and voted for a program of struggle to bring down Mesa, for workers to dissolve the puppet parliament, for workers’ militias and Workers’ and Farmers’ provisional government to nationalize the gas and oil, and to carry out all the demands of the Bolivian workers and oppressed people. This program was re-affirmed on May 25. Long live the revolutionary program lives of El Alto, that marks a clear course of action for the preparation of a decisive revolutionary struggle that does not leave a stone standing of the government of Mesa and the mine owners regime!

This resolution and this program voted by the COR of El Alto is a slap in the face of the liquidators of Trotskyism and the reformist left of Latin America and the world. It says that the problem is not that the working class does not suffer from a “crisis of the subjectivity” “or underdeveloped consciousness” but rather too many treacherous leaders. The demand of February 2003 “Gun, shrapnel, Bolivia will not shut up”; of October 2003, “Go away Goni, the gas is for the Bolivians”, and now the program of the COR of El Alto demanding the “nationalization of the gas and resources, a workers and peasants government and workers’ militias”, proves that the Bolivian working class has raised the flag of socialism for the workers of the world.

Some months ago, during the March events, the bourgeoisie claimed that there were ‘soviets’ in El Alto. They were not mistaken. The COR of El Alto, coordinating and representing workers, miners, students, teachers, unionists, drivers and all of the masses in struggle in that revolutionary city, acting independently, called for an indefinite general strike, for armed pickets and militias –a call that was taken up by the COD in Oruro and other cities – creating the most advanced and authoritative organs of the masses in struggle. It is without a doubt the highest point reached in the creation of workers organs of dual power that is now being strengthened and extended. There is no more urgent task than to develop, extend and centralize the organs of self-determination and self-defense of the militant masse in preparation for the insurrectionary seizure of power.

The COD, the peasants’ organizations marching from Caracollo towards the La Paz, , and all workers, peasants and students organizations that are engaged in struggle, must elect and sent delegates of the rank and file, mandated and recallable, to the COR of El Alto!

In the dynamite charge of the miner, in the stones of the picketers, there are already the embryos of the workers’ militias called for by the resolution of El Alto. It is necessary build them urgently because the army generals have warned that the revolution means ‘the disintegration of Bolivia’; that is, threatens the profits of the oil companies and the big capitalists. They are preparing another blood bath against the workers and farmers. Nor will they hesitate, as they did in October 2003, to shoot the troops – the children of the workers and farmers – that refuse to repress their class brothers and sisters. It is necessary for the people to surround the barracks to win over the rank and rile soldiers, the children of workers and farmers! It is necessary to call on them to form committees of armed soldiers, and to send their delegates to the COR of El Alto! For the dismissal of the officers of the Armed Forces, killers of the people! The committees of soldiers will elect their own leaders!

With thousand of delegates of the rank and file workers and peasants meeting in El Alto, it is necessary to build a ‘soviet-type’ organ that represents the legitimate and democratic expression of the will of the vast majority of the Bolivian people. That organ would be the only one with the authority to create a provisional revolutionary government of workers and peasants supported by the organs of direct democracy of the masses, workers militias and soldiers committees. The government would nationalize without compensation the gas, oil and mines, and place them under workers control; break with the IMF; distribute the best land to the poor peasants; nationalize the banks without compensation and under workers’ control; create a single state bank that grants cheap loans to the small peasants; make a general wage rise and a sliding scale of wages and working hours; and provide free public quality health and education for the workers and the people.

This revolutionary workers’ and farmers’ government is the only one that can guarantee the unity of the Bolivian nation. It is the only one that can realize the most advanced form of bourgeois democracy, such as a truly free and sovereign Constituent Assembly. And it will enable the peasants to learn from their own experience that the most democratic of the bourgeois republics it nothing but a cover for the ruthless dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and that the Workers’ Republic, born out of the self-organization and the arming of the workers and peasants in struggle, is the only way to realize their demands for land and to break with imperialism.

Build centralized and armed organs of dual power, in which the revolutionary party can fight for the program that is necessary for the victorious revolution!

The crisis of revolutionary leadership of the proletariat is acute facing the new uprising of the Bolivian masses. The collaboration with the counter-revolutionary leadership of the renegade Trotskyists reveals in its true light their total bankruptcy. POR Lora, in 1952 supported the “progressive” bourgeois Paz Estenssoro and the MNR (Military Revolutionary National) government, breaking all connection with the program and strategy of Trotskyism. In 1971 POR Lora supported General Torres and the class collaborationist front (FRA). Today it is in the counter-revolutionary camp in the third Bolivian revolution.

We are on the threshold of decisive battles. The revolutionary uprising of the masses begins to break the strangle hold of the treacherous leaders. The counterrevolution forces are preparing to abort or smash it. It is a race against time to build the internationalist revolutionary party that can lead this uprising to the victory of the workers and farmers.

In order to close overcome this crisis and build a true proletarian revolutionary party, the key is to extend the program of the El Alto workers and peasants so that organs of direct democracy and of dual power (councils or soviets) extend across the whole country. In those class struggle organs, the programs of all those who claim to represent the working class and its interests can be put to the test of experience of the workers and farmers who can then get rid of their treacherous leaders. In those organs the alliance of the working class with the poor farmers can can develop a unified command and break all subordination to the different bourgeois fractions. Inside these organs a small nucleus of revolutionaries, fighting uncompromisingly against the treacherous leaders, explaining at each point who are the workers’ allies and enemies, convincing workers of the correct program through their own experience, can create the revolutionary leadership needed to win.

The forces necessary to create a revolutionary party already exist. They are the miners, the poor workers, farmers and revolutionary students of El Alto who have voted for a revolutionary program. They are the miners, the workers and the farmers who, in Oruro, Cochabamba, in every city, every land occupation, every mine, agree with the El Alto program and try to unite and centralize all their struggles. The place of the revolutionary internationalists is with them, to unite with these advanced forces and fight for international Trotskyism in Bolivia; a fight that is inseparable from the struggle to regroup internationally all the healthy forces of Trotskyism, confronting all over the world the treacherous leaders of the liquidators of the IV International.

We call for a united struggle of the whole Latin American working class: Not a cubic centimeter of gas or oil must leave Bolivia unless authorized by a provisional government of revolutionary workers and farmers!

The pro-imperialist bourgeoisies of Argentina, Brazil and Chile say that because of the fight of the Bolivian masses, they will increase the price of gas. This is a lie, as the capitalist governments of Latin America raise the prices of the gas to rob their own nations in complicity with the imperialist monopolies!

Not a cubic of Bolivian gas or oil must leave that country, if is it not authorized by a provisional revolutionary government of workers and peasants! This must be the common cry of the workers of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and the whole continent!

The struggle of our Bolivian brothers and sisters is a slap in the face to Chavez, who has decided that Venezuelan oil’s not for the Venezuelans, but for Bush to enable him to fuel the military machine to kill in Iraq and the Middle East, and for the profits of Repsol or Corona of Spain.

The Castro bureaucracy – which has opened up the first Latin American workers’ state to imperialist companies – is on the same side of the barricade as Chávez, Repsol, Kirchner, Lula and Tabaré Vázquez, against the Bolivian revolution. It did the same in 1973, preaching the “peaceful road to socialism” in Chile, and in the ’80s it betrayed the heroic Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Central American revolution with the pacts of Esquipulas and Contadora. These “peace accords” brought about the submission of Central America to the US imperialism and to their recolonization today by means of NAFTA, the FTAs and the FTAA. Meanwhile the old “commanders” of the Sandinista’s and the FMLN have turned into “yuppies” and agents of the IMF plans, or become officers in the bourgeois armies, as is the case in both Nicaragua and El Salvador.

The revolutionary uprising of the masses in Bolivia, after the exemplary action of the Ecuadorian masses, means that it is now necessary for the workers and exploited people of Latin America to unite behind the demands of the Bolivian workers and peasants against imperialist plunder, oppression and wage slavery. The fight to stop any gas from leaving Bolivia for the oil monopolies, and for its nationalization without compensation and under workers’ control, now leads the fight of all the oppressed nations of Latin America to reclaim their natural wealth exploited by imperialism.

To achieve this, the most important task of workers and exploited people in Latin America, is to oppose and defeat all the regimes and governments that support Mesa and are subservient the imperialistic policy of the IMF and the multinationals in Latin America, such as that of Lula, Kirchner, Tabaré Vázquez, Toledo and Lagos. It is necessary to take the road opened up by our class brothers and sisters in Ecuador.

What the exploited people of Bolivia and Ecuador, and of all Latin America, need, is that the continental working class settles accounts with all the sell out collaborationist bureaucrats of the workers and mass organizations, to be able to create a coordinated and centralized movement of workers and peasants able to defeat imperialism and its regimes client states.

Against the revolutionary uprising in Bolivia, signified by the workers and peasants of El Alto calling for the formation of workers militias, the officers of the Bolivian army are preparing for repression. All the client states in Latin America are ready, if called by their Yankee master and the gang of thieves of the OAS, to sent their armies against the workers and peasants to “defend the constitutional order” in Bolivia. The US military bases in Latin America at Chapere in Bolivia, Manta in Ecuador, in Colombia, etc. have been put on alert.

As revolutionary internationalists we alert the workers of Latin America to this threat. We call for the expulsion of all imperialists military bases such as Chapare, Manta, the Malvinas! Immediate recall of the Chilean, Brazilian and Argentine mercenaries in the service of US imperialism in Haiti! We call on the workers and anti-imperialist organizations of Venezuela to put the 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles bought by Chávez into the service of workers’ militias that the COR and workers and peasants organizations in El Alto have called for in Bolivia! Left in the hands of the Chavista national bourgeoisie those guns will be used to prevent the victory of the Bolivian revolution, and to repress the anti-imperialist masses of Venezuela and Latin America.

It is necessary that the Chilean working class – whose bourgeoisie profits from the oil pipeline from Bolivia across Chile to the sea – takes in its hands the fight for the territorial rights of Bolivia. A workers’ and peasants’ government arising from the defeat of the civic-military regime of Lagos could establish fraternal and cooperative relations with a workers’ and peasants’ government of Bolivia to determine the future of the disputed territory.

The organizations who have signed this declaration declare that it is our duty as to devote 100% of our forces to the revolutionary struggle for victory of the workers and farmers of Bolivia, and to take to the workers and mass organizations in the countries in which we are based, the resolution that “not a cubic centimeter of gas or oil leaves Bolivia for the imperialist monopolies”, and to adopt as our own the revolutionary program of the workers and farmers of El Alto who are in the vanguard of this heroic struggle.

Long live the uprisings of the masses in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstán and Uzbekistán! Long live the heroic Iraqi resistance and awakening of the North American working class! Long live the revolutionary uprising of the masses of Ecuador! For the victory of the revolution in Bolivia, Ecuador and in all Latin America! For a Federation of Workers’ and Peasants’ Republics of South and Central America!

The revolutionary uprising of the Bolivian masses is not alone. Their allies are the workers and students of Ecuador who, like Bucaram and Mahuad yesterday, threw the US lackey and poster boy of the WSF Gutiérrez, into the waste-basked of history; they are the workers and peasants who threaten another uprising in Ilave, Peru; they are the rebellious workers and students of Nicaragua and Chile; they are the militant vanguard of the labor movement in the US, the Million Worker March Movement that stands against the killer Bush’s war.

They are the Afghan anti-imperialist fighters that are resisting the humiliations they have suffered under Bush’s occupying troops, and the anti-imperialist fighters of the Middle East who are imprisoned in Guantánamo. They are the Iraqi masses that continue a strong and heroic resistance against the imperialistic occupation and its colonial puppet government.

The allies of the proletariat and exploited people of Bolivia are the rebellious workers and farmers in Kyrgyzstán and Uzbekistán – nations of the former USSR where capitalism has been restored by the stalinist bureaucracy who became a new bourgeoisie as junior partners with imperialism. The workers and oppressed people rose up against dictatorial regimes and ‘pinochet’ governments, headed, as in the case of Uzbekistán, by the head of the KGB in the former stalinist bureaucracy, who ordered the army to repress the uprising, massacring more than 700 workers and farmers. In all the former workers’ states it is necessary to build revolutionary parties with transitional programs that can lead the fight for the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The workers and oppressed people of Latin America, the United States, of the Middle East and Central Asia; these are the allies of the Bolivian workers and peasants who march on the revolutionary road of October!

The renewal of the revolutionary uprising of the masses in Ecuador and Bolivia demonstrates the urgency of a continent-wide struggle of Latin American workers and peasants. These two great struggles prove that the only solution to imperialist plunder, starvation and slavery is the victory of a Federation of Workers and Peasants Republics of South and Central America. The North American and EU proletariat have a key role to play in defending the revolutionary victories of their class brothers and sisters of Latin America. They must strike at the heart of their own imperialistic bourgeoisies, expropriating the monopolies –British Petroleum, Exxon, Totalfina, Repsol, and other oil monopolies – the IMF, the World Bank and international financial capital that plunder and oppress the workers and people of Bolivia and Latin America.

Build the World Wide Party of Socialist Revolution, to provide the working class of Bolivia, Ecuador, of Latin America and the world, with the revolutionary leadership it deserves.

To make revolutions in Ecuador and Bolivia that can spread like wildfire, the masses need world revolutionary party. Today, all the liquidators of Trotskyism and the Fourth International have become the disciples of Chávez, Fidel Castro and the World Social Forum, and act as leftwing public relations agencies of the pro-IMF regimes and governments such as Lula, Kirchner, Lagos, Toledo, and Tabaré Vázquez.

The liquidation of the Fourth International into Stalinism began in 1948 with the adaptation of pabloism to Tito who was called an “unconscious Trotskyist”, and with the entry of the pabloites into the communist parties. Today, the liquidators of Trotskyism have been subordinated to the Castro bureaucracy under the ideological authority of a leader of the Cuban PC Celia Hart Santamaría. She, with the collaboration and support of the renegade currents of Trotskyism, appeals to the legacy of Leon Trotsky, falsifying it in order to conceal the continental policy of class collaboration of Castroism and the completion of the process of the restoration of capitalism in Cuba.

The liquidators of the Fourth International have abandoned the struggle for socialist revolution. Some openly like the United Secretariat in Brazil, that has a minister for land reform in the Lula pro-IMF government that represses and continues to kill the landless farmers. Others, of many stripes and colors, proclaim the socialist revolution on holidays, but during workdays betray it day after day.

Today, the revolutionary program of the COR of El Alto is a new test that serves to separate the reformists, liquidators of Fourth International from the revolutionaries. On one side of the barricade of El Alto, are those fighting to implement their revolutionary resolutions in action, to defeat the government and create a regime like that of 1952 based on the dual power of the armed masses that is capable of taking state power. On the other side of the barricade are those on their knees before the “patriotic” generals, or before those who seek to defend the bourgeois parliament and constituent Assemblies in order to salvage the collapsing regime of the mine owners.

The theory and the program of Trotskyism have passed the test of history. The opportunist liquidators of the Fourth International have gone over to the camp of the World Social Forum.

The healthy forces of Trotskyism and revolutionary workers organizations, have begun to rally our forces and to regroup in the Liaison Committee for an International Conference. The objective must be rebuild the World Party of Socialist Revolution on the base of the program foundations of the Fourth International from 1938-40, to equip the Bolivian, Ecuadorian working class, of Latin America and the world, with the revolutionary leadership that they deserve, with true insurrectionary parties of struggle that give programmatic expression to the historical objective of the proletariat and lead if to victory.

Ecuador and Bolivia are the current life and death tests of the revolutionary program. The masses in struggle demonstrate their heroism, and they are already distinguishing, more and more clearly, their enemy. The revolutionary program and will to fight brought to the Ecuadorian and Bolivian revolutions, are and will be the rallying points to regroup the internationalist Trotskyists.

The revolutionary organizations who have signed this declaration call on all the healthy forces of Trotskyism to commit 100% of our forces to the victory of the Bolivian revolution and to combine to make an International Conference, on the base of revolutionary history and a correct program founds a transitional international center of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary workers organizations with the objective to found the World Party of Socialist Revolution as a centralized force to confront the counter-revolutionary leaders of the liquidators of the Fourth International.

  •   Long live revolutionary struggle of the workers and exploited people of Ecuador and Bolivia!
  •  Long Live the uprisings of the masses in Afghanistan, Kyrkystán and Uzbekistán!
  •  Long live the Iraq heroic resistance ‘! 
  • The revolution lives in the workers and peasants of El Alto!
  •  Down with Mesa and his puppet parliament!
  • For a National congress of the COB and the farmers organizations; for workers’ militias and soldiers’ committees!
  • For a Revolutionary Provisional Government of workers and farmers to nationalize the gas and petroleum, and to impose all the demands of the working class and the Bolivian people!

  • Down the truces, pacts and class collaboration with the bourgeois governments of Lula, Kirchner, Lagos, Tabaré Vázquez, Toledo! All of them must be watched in the mirror of Gutiérrez: all of them must fall at hands of the proletarian revolution!
  • Not a cubic centimeter of Bolivian gas or petrol for Repsol, Petrobras, Totalfina, or British Petroleum, or for their small partners, the national bourgeoisies of Latin America!
  • Down with the TLCs, NAFTA, FTAA and Mercosur of the exploiters! 
  • For a Federation of Workers’ and Farmers’ Republics of South and Central America!
  • Long live the anti-imperialist fight against Bush’s war by the dock workers of Oakland in the United States, because in the awakening of the North American working class the lives the possibility of the final triumph of the revolution in South and Central America! 
  • Against Stalinism, social democracy, all reformists and liquidators of Trotskyism! 
  • For an International Conference of the healthy forces of Trotskyism and or revolutionary workers organizations! 

From Class Struggle 61 May-June 2005
 

Bolivia: The Revolution Re-opens

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Events have again taken a turn towards mass insurrection in Bolivia. The Bolivian workers uprising of October 2003 that caused President Losada (Goni) to flee to the US, was halted by the union leaders who did a deal with Vice-President Carlos Mesa. But Mesa did not carry out his side of the agreement. Once more the masses are on the move blocking roads and striking against Mesa’s proposal to sell the gas to multinationals. The path ahead must be the call for the downfall of Mesa and for a National Congress of the delegates of the COB (national union) and peasant organisations, backed by the formation of workers militias and soldiers committees, to nationalise the gas without compensation and under workers’ control, and to expropriate the imperialist corporations and put in place a workers’ and poor farmers government. Here we summarise the Theses on Bolivia of the International Trotskyist Fraction (Fraccion Trotskista Internationalista – FTI).

Bolivia is a hinge of the world revolution and counter-revolution

The events in Bolivia are critical to the whole balance of class forces internationally. US imperialism has gone on the offensive in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, and has contained the revolutionary upsurges in Argentina, Equador and Peru. A new worker and peasant uprising in Bolivia may tip the balance once more in favour of the masses and begin a new offensive against capital lthat is already signalled in the awakening of the US working class, the French mobiilsation against its government attacks on the pension. Thus much rests on the success of the Bolivian masses in breaking out of the containment imposed on them by the bureaucracy and the left reformists and fake Trotskyists who have come together in the World Social Forum.

The crisis of Bolivia’s semi-colonial economy shape the events today. First, the question of who will benefit from the gas resources, the imperialists or the poor people of Bolivia, makes this fight a fight to the death. Second, Bolivia’s national debt is not 80% of GDP and this dictates that the state must pay the debt by attacking the masses. The uprisings of February and October 2003 and December 2004 were all caused by increasing prices and taxes on poor workers and farmers. Third, the Bolivian bourgeoisie are weak and divided about how to solve the crisis. This thrusts the union and peasant leaders to the fore as the managers of the crisis. Each time the masses rise up the bureaucracy rescues the situation by doing a deal with Mesa. But this time the mass pressure from below forced the bureacuracy to call a 24 hour general strike on January 10. This coincided with an indefinite strike in El Alto (working class suburb above La Paz) to expel the French multinational Illimani which now owns the water supply. But the leaders of the unions and peasant organisations managed to prevent these strikes from turning into an offensive against Mesa.

March events

By early March 2005 the economic crisis was now expressed as a national political crisis. The mobilisations, strikes, pickets etc threatened to paralyse the country. The indefinite general strike of March 2 in El Alto was joined by a blockade of the refinery of Senkata on March 7 by 40,000 workers. In the rest of the country the occupation of oil fields and the cutting of roads in seven of the nine departments of the country continued. Again, the workers demanded that the leadership of the COB call a 48 hour national strike from March 15. Once again there was the possibility of a new revolutionary uprising of the masses. Mesa reacted by offering his resignation on March 6. This was an ultimatum to the ruling class to back him with new powers as a ‘referee’ to bring the different fractions from the bourgeoisie into line, to appeal to the reactionary petty bourgeoisie for support, and to try to go on offensive against the workers and farmers. Thus Mesa would impose social order and guarantee both the plunder of the gas by the US monopolies and payment of the external debt to the IMF.

The COB and peasant leaders stepped into solve the crisis again. They wanted to avoid an uprising such as October 2003. Evo Morales, the main peasant leader, and Solares of the COB signed a unity pact, proposing that the government impose a 50% royalty payment on the gas, and called for a Constituent Assembly. Against this pact with the national bourgeoisie against the workers, revolutionaries could have broken this pact with a program of transitional demands: “Neither 18% nor 50% royallties but nationalization without compensation and under workers control of the gas, petroleum, water and mines! Expropriation without compensation and nationalization of the banks under control of the workers, to reduce the debt of the small farmers and to give them cheap loans “. A call for a political general strike in the middle of the political crisis would have thrust the proletariat immediately to the head of the struggle and demonstrated to the rest of the exploited classes that only it can resolve the crisis of the oppressed and exploited nation by leading the fight against imperialism. The united intervention of the working class, led by the miners vanguard, would quickly have solved the situation in favor of the exploited, and would have sealed the fate Mesa, the puppet parliament and the mine owners state!

The result was that Mesa was re-confirmed as President by the unanimous vote of all the Deputies including the MAS (Morales) and MIP (Quispe). With this move the government bought some time. Yet it could not overcome the deepening division in the ruling class between those openly serving imperialism, and those acting for the reactionary national bourgeoisie. Mesa risked an open controntation between the army and the masses that could have seen a section of the military split in support of the insurrection. While Mesa still had the upper hand there was the potential for the masses to stage another insurrection. For that reason the oil monopolies held Mesa back. Instead they proposed new elections to win electoral legitimacy. But Parliament refused and voted to impose royalties of 18% and taxes of 32% on the monopolies. Mesa threatened to veto this law if the Senate did not reduce the royalties and taxes. Morales, who demanded 50% royalties, then claimed that the new law would provide another $600-$750 million dollars for distribution to the people and so called off the strikes and blockades.

At present there is an impasse. The ruling class is agreed on Mesa remaining in power and a pact of national unity to contain the masses. Imperialism is only interested in political stability to allow it to super-exploit the oil and gas. They do not yet have the power to defeat the masses outright in an armed showdown, and have to rely on the leaders of the peasants and workers to hold them back. They know this situation is unstable as the masses have the potential to break through this strangle hold.

Background to the current crisis

The events of March means that the truce made between the regime and the leaders of the workers and peasant organisations in October 2003 has come to an end. Already the existing regime based on a longstanding peasant/military pact had come under attack in February 2003. The October truce followed an uprising that included a split in the army forcing the resignation of President Lozada (Goni).

The truce with Mesa depended on the key role of Morales, Quispe etc who promised real gains for the masses to prevent them taking the insurrection on to the seizure of power. But this truce gave Mesa the time to rebuild his regime. He could not rely on the army because of the risk of further splits. Behind the cover of the truce he tested the masses resolve to fight with selected attacks on the most militant sectors, but met with strong opposition like the rebellion at Ayo Ayo and the student occupation at Ururo.

Mesa also tried to bolster his regime with the referendum on oil royalties and the local body elections of December of 2004. The result was the March crisis and Mesa’ re-confirmation under a new truce more favourable to the bosses. Mesa’s has been strengthened elevated as a Bonaparte balancing between imperialism and the national bourgeosie on the one side, and the masses on the other. Nevertheless, he is not strong enough to dispense with the treacherous petty bourgeois role of Morales, Solares and Quispe, still tying the masses to the bourgeois camp.

The present situation is therefore the direct result of the treacherous role of the misleaders of the workers and peasants organisations. Twice, between January and March this year they have held back workers from embarking on new revolutionary attacks on the regime. Instead they harness the pressure from below to bargain for more oil rent for the masses.

The Revolution is in Danger

The revolution that initiated the heroic workers and Bolivian farmers in February 2003 and was interrupted twice by truces is in danger. If the bourgeois fractions manages to use its unity pact with the labour and peasant misleaders (apopular front) to contain the masses, the revolution will come to a haltand counter-revolution will gain the upper hand. If the masses break this new truce, then Mesa may fall and the revolution will once more re-open. The crucial factor that will decide which way Bolivia goes is the independent organisation of the workers and peasants breaking with their treacherous leaders and freeing themselves to complete their insurrection against the hated bosses’ regime.

In colonies and semicolonies the dominant bourgeois fraction always serves imperialism. The national bourgeoisie may squabble over its share of the rent with imperialism on one side and the masses on the other, but ultimately its class interests are aligned with imperialism against the masses.

Opposing it is the working class leading the small farmers and all oppressed people. This can only mean victory or defeat for one class or the other. Either imperialism imposes its repressive regime of super-exploitation, or imperialism is overthrown and a workers’ and small farmers’ state is established.

This means that Morales and the petty bourgeois leaders of the farmers and workers must objectively act for the national bourgeoisie and ultimately imperialism. Their program is no more than to negotiate and haggle over the rent. They will not fight to overthrow the bosses regime because that would elimitate their role as negotiators of class truces. Even if Bolivia won a larger share of the rent, say 50% royalties on oil, this money would go to pay off the national debt and not go to the workers or small farmers. That is why Morales and Co voted for Mesa to stay in power while at the same time calling for a Constituent Assembly as a talkshop for the bourgeois fractions to debate who gets what share from the oil rent

Will the masses, or will the imperialists, pay for their crisis?

The exploited masses of Bolivia rose up in October 2003 against the imperialist plunder othe hydrocarbons (oil and gas) “Out Gringos, the gas is not for sale!”. Today their misleaders tell them that the problem has been solved by increasing the royalties to 18% so that $750 millions are prevented from leaving the country. But increasing the share of the oil rent cannot solve the problems facing the workers and poor farmers.

At every meeting of the COB (Confederation of Workers), and at every meeting of the striking people of Al Alto (working class city above La Paz), the demands were:

· Down with the pact of nation unity between Mesa, Morales, Solares etc that allows the monopolies to rob the gas and petroleum and the national bourgeoisie to haggle over its share!

· Neither 18% nor 50% royalties! Oil and Gas for the Bolivians! Nationalization without payment and under workers control of the gas, petroleum, the water, the mines!

· Expropriation without payment of the banks under control of the workers, to reduce the debts of the small farmers and to give them cheap credit!

· Expropriation without payment of the great landowners and distribution of land to the farmers;

· Break with the IMF!

· A sliding scale of wages and working hours, as raised in the Theses of Pulacayo (the program of the COB in 1946 modelled on the Trotskyist Transitional Program) to end super-exploitation, poverty and unemployment; an emergency plan of public works and economic plan to make the bourgeoisie, the imperialists and the IMF to pay for the crisis.

For a national Congress of workers and small farmers delegates!

Workers are openly questioning the betrayals of their misleaders. Every meeting over the last few weeks of miners, teachers, regional and local COB branches, etc is demanding that Solares consult the rank and file before making agreements. There is no support for increasing royalties only nationalisations. In El Alto, the rank and file said that if Morales and Quispe betrayed again, they would apply popular justice like the mayor of Ayo Ayo (he was lynched).

After February 2003, to overthrow Goni and begin the revolution, the workers had to replace the old bureaucratic leadership of the COB. Today they have to break from their new leaders.

Against Class Collaboration! Against the leaders of the COB who want to trap workers in national pacts!

A National Congress of workers and farmers delegates, representing democratically the exploited millions of Bolivia would immediately have a million times more authority than Mesa, or the puppet parliament and that the handful of representatives of the imperialist monopolies and employer’s associations that conspire against the people in back rooms.

It could immediately make a revolutionary decree calling for the nationalisation without compensation and under working control of all the natural resources, and for the immediate release of the jailed leaders of Ayo Ayo, the landless farmers and other political prisoners.

Mesa has once already called on the reactionary petty bourgeoisie to attack the workers and farmers in the streets. No doubt a National Congress would be met with a similar call for armed reaction to smash the Congress and its program. He will also call out the armed forces when he needs them to massacre the people. To defend themselves from armed attack, the Congress must immediately create workers and farmers militias and send out a call to the rank and file soldiers – the children of the workers and farmers under arms – to mutiny, to form committees of soldiers, and to send its delegates to the workers and farmers Congress.

This Congress would replace the collaborationist leadership of the COB with a General Staff of revolutionary workers and small farmers leaders, who would prepare and organise an armed showdown of the workers and farmers militias alongside the soldiers committee, to bring down the government of the mine-owners and the imperialists so that the Congress can take the power into its own hands.

For a class alliance of workers and small farmers led by the workers

The misleaders of the COB, while subordinating the workers to the capitalists, also breaks the workers’ alliance with the small farmers, beraying the farmers, also throwing thenm into the arms of the bosses. Only the workers can meet the demands and needs of the small farmers, because of the decisive role they play in production. They extract the oil, the gas, the minerals; they work them, they refine them, they transport them. Workers run the banks and telecoms. Workers can meet the interests of small farmers by taking over the refineries, banks, mines and gasfields, and distributing land, cancelling debts, and giving cheap credit, and providing access to water, machinery, technical advice etc.

But to lead the small farmers in a class alliance the workers must retain their armed independence of the capitalists. A national Congress of workers and small farmers deputies must have an independent program backed by workers militias and soldiers committees proving to the small farmers that they will fight to the end to over throw the regime. This would quickly teach the small farmers to abandon their petty bourgeois misleaders and their polices of truces with the national bourgeoisie.

Workers’ power lives in the strikes, blockades and occupations!

Solares and co have tried to smash the independent power of the workers organisations. But they have not succeeded, The flame of ‘dual power’ (workers’ power opposed to bourgeois state power) is alive in the workers city of El Alto which maintained a strike for 8 days. And when Morales and Solares called off the strikes and blockades in favour of negotiating 50% royalties, the popular meetings resolved: “Mesa, his ministers and all MPs out!”; and to continue to fightor the nationalization of the hydrocarbons for which more than 60 died and 400 were injured during during the street battles of October 2003. It is no accident that the bourgeois newspaper La Razon of Bolivia, has stated with alarm that today in El Alto “a soviet has been formed”!

In the same way, the flame of the dual power is alive in those militant organisations that made armed pickets and blocades of 72 highways, bringing transport and commerce to a halt and creating an embryonic dual power. These organisations already have the authority to convene a National Congress of workers and farmers delegates, to create workers militias and soldiers committees, capable of organising a decisive showdown with the government to dissolve the puppet parliament and take power in its hands by constituting a workers and farmers government!

The Bolivian masses are the best allies of the Iraqi resistance and militant US workers

The politics of class collaboration of the reformist misleaders is not ‘national’. It is the politics of the reformists of the World Social Forum of Lula, Chávez, the restorationist Castro bureaucracy, the union bureaucracies of every colour. At this year’s WSF at Porto Alegre, these people conspired to defeat the Bolivian revolution in the same way they did with the Argentine revolution. The treacherous Morales, Quispe and Solares want to make the workers and farmers of Bolivia believe that by electing them to parliament they can make solve all o their problems by making the national bourgeoisie extract higher royalties and taxes from the oil monopolies.

They point to Chavez to make their case. The same Chavez who sells oil to the US to use in killing Iraqis, and who agrees to a joint fight with Uribe of Colombia against ‘terrorism’. Solares hold up Castro as the model for socialism in Venezuela. The same Castro who backs Kirchner in Argentina and restores capitalism in Cuba. They praise Lula who attacks the landless farmers occupations, and allowed the recent massacre of 60 by landowners; or Kirchner who imprisons scores of political opponents; or Tabaré Vázquez, who rules Uruguay in the interests of imperialism.

It is not the national bourgeoisie who are the allies of the Bolivian workers and farmers! They are their enemies! Their allies are the heroic Iraqi resistance!+ They are the Brazilian workers who have formed CONLUTAS to fight Lula and the union bureaucrats of the CUT; they are the workers of the Subte, telephone, schools etc of Argentina, who struggle against the government of Kirchner and the rotten union bureaucracy of the CGT and the CTA.

But the main ally of the Bolivian masses is the North American proletariat, in particular the oppressed black and Latino workers who are treated as pariahs by the bosses and the union bureaucrats of the Afl-cio. They are the black workers of Local 10 of the ILWU (harbour workers) of Oakland, who stopped work on March 19, to mark two years of the US occupation of Iraq, and who sparked the militant workers who formed the Million Worker March Movement. These are the true allies of the workers and small farmers of Bolivia and Latin America!

The crisis of revolutionary leadership of the working class must be overcome

The re-opening of the Bolivian revolution reveals once more the absence of a revolutionary party. Without that party the revolution will not be finished and suffer again counter-revolutionary defeats.

Once more the events of the 2005 expose the treacherous politics of Stalinism and Castroism. For the second time in less than two years, Castroism has stopped the workers revolution from taking power. This new betrayal is of the same order of those of Chile in 1973 and of Nicaragua in the 1980s. But the Castoites need the fake Trotskyistst to cover their left flank. This is the role of the POR Lora (Revolutionary Workers Party of Guilliemo Lora). POR talks of “insurrection” but without building workers’ militias or arming the masses. Like the Castroites its program is subordinated to a popular “anti-imperialist” front with the national bourgeoisie like 1971. This will defeat the 23rd Bolivian revolution as it defeated the 2nd in 1971.

Others, like the LOR-CI – the satellite group of the PTS of Argentina exhibits a enthusiams for parliamentary and trade union cretinism, calling on the COB to liquidate itself into a reformist workers’ party! The COB which keeps alive the embryo organs of dual power will become another parliamentary talking shop. The 3rd Bolivian revolution reveals the total bankruptcy of those who have broken with Trotskyism.

We are in a race against time to build a revolutionary party to lead the revolution before the forces of the counter-revolution prevail. Only the workers’ vanguard breaking with the bureaucracy can rescue the revolution by fighting for a national congress of the COB and farmers organisations, and to transform these into soviets, workers’ and farmers’ militias and soldiers committees capable of taking power.

In those organs, a small nucleus of revolutionaries can openly fight to win the masses, convincing them of the justice and correctness of our revolutionary program. For this it is necessary that that nucleus of revolutionaries is part of the struggle to regroup internationally all the healthy forces of the Trotskyism against the all the treacherous liquidaors of the 4th International.

The student-worker group Internationalist Red October (a member of the FTI-CI, born in the heat of the rebellion of the students of the UTO of Oruro, has made this fight as its own. In support of IRO we must mobilise all the forces of healthy Trotskyism for the socialist revolution. A start is the Call for an International Conference of Principled Trotskyists and Revolutonary International Workers Organisations made be the Liaison Committee (see Class Struggle 59, January-February 2005).

The full text in Spanish is on our website http://www.geocities.com/communistworker/boliviatheses.html Any errors in translation and condensing are the editors.

From Class Struggle 60 March-April 2005

Leaflet for the 5th World Social Forum, Porto Allegre, January 2005

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The 5th meeting of the WSF prepares new sellouts of the Castroite restoration bureaucracy and US imperialists.

The World Social Forum (WSF) – meeting in Porto Allegre in January 2005 for the fifth time, has an ominous significance for the organizations and the struggle of the workers of Brazil, Latin America and of the world. It mystifies and confuses with its reactionary strategy of class conciliation, suppressing the direct action and revolutionary politics of the masses. The WSF unites the worlds reformists (social democracy, stalinism, and pseudo-Trotskyism), such as the PT [Workers Party of Brazil], the petty bourgeoisie, the NGOs, the church, the CUT [pro-Chavez bureaucratized union movement of Brazil] and leadership of the MST [movement of landless workers]. “Another World is possible”, in the after life in the sky; here and now the WSF adapts to the declining capitalist State and its barbarism.

The 5th WSF takes place at a time of intense class struggle with the US offensive against the Iraqi people. The re-election of President Bush and the election of Abu Mazen in Palestine demonstrate that imperialism will ruthlessly pursue its objective to exploit, dominate and oppress the Iraqi and Palestinian people, in a wild drive to sack and plunder the natural wealth of the Middle East. Oil, vital to the survival of North American industry, is what made it go to war to loot and plunder Iraq which has the 3rd largest reserve. As well as oil, the US war industry also profits from the war.

The United States must exercise its world domination by the use of the force, occupying Iraqi territory, and trampling on every principle of national sovereignty, supported hypocritically by the international organisms of the bourgeoisie, like the UN, and the class collaborationist line of the World Social Forum. Yet the occupation of Iraq has fallen far short of what the Pentagon wanted because despite the huge and escalating cost of suppressing the Iraqi resistance it has not yet forced the Iraqi people to accept the occupation. Already, the US has had more than 1,500 casualties (according to the bourgeois media). Another test of the hypocrisy of the US is its insistence on holding elections in Iraq, a farce which is designed to legitimize it domination military behind a screen of bourgeois democracy.
 
All this proves that the use of ‘revolutionary terror’ by the Iraqi masses against the US occupation is totally legitimate, and that the calls for peace and condemnations of the use of violence by Iraqis is a demagogic conspiracy by the bourgeoisies, the petty bourgeoisie and their agents designed to suppress the peoples’ instinct to defend their country. All the gangsters are united internationally in the defense of the ideals and security of the capitalist society and their state regimes, that have as their ‘mission’ the exploitation and the domination of the semi-colonial nations by imperialism and “the legitimate” defense of imperialistic super-exploitation and oppression.

For that reason the servile lackeys of imperialism and defenders of capitalist exploitation daily condemn the use of the revolutionary violence of the Iraqi people, since this is the one true, real threat to the power of the imperialistic bourgeoisie and its accomplices. If the opposition to violence was grounded in the interest of the working class, why do these pacifists not condemn the reactionary violence of the US that almost daily drops their bombs on thousands of innocent civilians, young and old; that daily destroys public buildings, historical and cultural treasures, houses, hospitals and schools, causing indiscriminate and immeasurable genocide? Why do they shut up before the tortures inflicted on the Iraqi militia in the prison of Abu Graib and the prisoners of Guantánamo? Or perhaps these do not constitute forms of violence? The only violence condemned by the lackeys of imperialism, is that directed against bourgeois hegemony.

Bourgeois and petty bourgeois pacifism condemns the violence of the exploited against the exploiters, organizing themselves globally to legitimize the violence of capitalism including of state fascism, as is the case of the politics of the World Social Forum. Thus it disarms the proletariat of its militant ideas and reinforces the oppression and domination of imperialism and capitalism in decline.

The WSF is an initiative of the global reformists (social democracy, Stalinism, and the pseudo Trotskyism), of the Workers Party (PT), the petty bourgeoisie, the NGOs, the church, the CUT (Workers Union Central of Brazil) and direction of the MST (union of landless workers of Brazil) all are financed by the governments and international organisms of imperialism, to put pressure on the imperialistic bourgeoisies (that meet at the World Economic Forum at Davis) to give more breadcrumbs to the poor countries. The main organizers are ABONG (Brazilian Association of non-Governmental Organizations), ATTAC (Action by the Taxation of Financial Transactions to the Citizens), CBJP (Brazilian Commission of Justice and Peace of CNBB), in addition to CUT, MST, UJS, UNITES, CMP and others, all related to national and international governmental organs. Indeed because the FSM arose to make a counter-pressure to the Economic Forum of Davis, their meetings always precede it. (Leaders of the WSF like Lula, also go to the WEF).

The WSF announces that “Another World is possible”, without violence, shared by all, with justice, without social exclusion, and of equality between all peoples. It recycles as its principles and justification, old clichés long used to suppress the independent struggle of the working class from the time of the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels that first said that “the liberation of the workers will be work of the workers”, that is, that liberation will only come from the victory of the proletarian revolution, nationally and internationally. Thus, the World Social Forum orates at the funeral of the workers who are made to wait for a better world after their death.

Another method used to mystify the unions and workers struggle: the NGOs penetrate these movements with their humanitarian, pacifist and ecological ideologies, trying to replace the method of direct fight against capitalist exploitation, in all its forms, with the method of the pacific appeals and voluntary aid (alms, something typical of the religious mentality). They say, that the proletarian method of direct action, armed or not, is ineffective in the transformation of the capitalist society into a world of social equality. They say that the proletariat organized as a class to fight Capitalism, does not bring about any improvement in the lives of the workers and the people. For that reason they try to sell to the governments their assistance projects (especially in the poor countries) which they claim can provide solutions to the social evils of prostitution, unemployment, violence, illiteracy etc.

Therefore, the WSF is promoted and justified by the strategy and world-view of the petty bourgeoisie desperate to survive as a class that lives on the dregs and the breadcrumbs of the bourgeoisie. It is most damaging because it infects the movement of workers of Brazil, Latin America and of the world, with a conformist, stingy and anti-proletarian ideology. More importantly, the WSF is supported by the treacherous leaders of the masses, whose objective is to strangle the proletarian struggle on a global level and, in the case of Latin America, the revolutionary struggle of the workers and the exploited masses, like yesterday in Central America, today in Bolivia and Venezuela, and soon in Ecuador and Argentina, to subjugate them at the feet of the bourgeoisies.

In this fifth World Social Forum the NGOs and the churches are a key element, where they play the role “of mediators” sprinkling holy water on the revolutionary struggles of the masses, to bless those that were the key figures at previous WSF meetings, including its predecessor, the Forum of San Pablo, that are all today participating in bourgeois regimes and governments, or openly supporting them.

There is colonel Gutiérrez, leading the government of Ecuador, who presented himself in the previous meetings of “the patriotic” WSF as an “anti-imperialist”, but selling out to the plans of the IMF, and preparing to sign a free trade agreement with the Yankees, and starving and repressing the workers and the farmers.

There are the old Sandinista commanders of Nicaragua and those of the FMLN of El Salvador, founders of the old Forum of San Pablo next to Chacho Alvarez of Argentina, the bourgeois red Cardinal of the PRD of Mexico, Aristide of Haiti, friend of Fidel Castro and killer of his people -, administering declining semi-colonial Capitalism in those nations and as mayors and parliamentarians, ‘dolarizing’ El Salvador, applying the plans of the IMF and making deals for imperialist re-colonization.

There we see the supposedly “anti-imperialist” Chávez who continues selling petroleum to Bush and the Yankees, who use it to fuel the military machine to massacre the Iraqi people.

There, in that Forum, are the communist parties of Latin America which hold their “World Seminar” every year to agree on their counter-revolutionary politics before traveling to the meeting of the WSF. They are the stalinists and Castroists in all its variants, that all openly support the US lackey Kirchner in Argentina, as demanded by Fidel Castro when he visited that country in 2003; that like the Peruvian CGTP supports the hated government of Toledo; that in Bolivia, along with Solares and Quispe, support Mesa with their truce; that in the case of Castroite bureaucracy is prepared to complete the capitalist restoration in Cuba.

There, also in that Forum, are the communist parties and the union bureaucracies that in Europe have led the working class, as in Spain, Germany, Britain, into the governments of the social-imperialist parties who create the illusions of French-German-Spanish ‘democratic imperialism’. There also is the union bureaucracy of the US AFL-CIO that yesterday supported Bush and marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, and today wants the US working class prostrate at the feet of the imperialistic killers in the Democratic Party.

Against this den of liquidators of the proletarian revolution and expropriators of the workers struggles, the members of the Committee of Connection counter pose the struggle for an International Conference of principled Trotskyists and revolutionary international workers organizations, fighting to regroup the healthy forces of Trotskyism to recreate a World Party of the Socialist Revolution. For that reason, we commit ourselves to confront and to fight against that treacherous Forum, and to mobilize all our forces and energies, to defeat social democracy, stalinism, the labor aristocracies and bureaucracies of all types, and the liquidators and renegades of Trotskyism, who are dragging in the mud the name, the program and the flag of the 4th International.

The revolutionaries who have signed this declaration, follow the Transitional Program of the 4th International, and repudiate and fight uncompromisingly against popular fronts and all political groups who hang onto the aprons strings of the bourgeoisie; our task is the abolition of the capitalist domination; our objective, socialism, our method, the proletarian revolution.

We must make this fight with all our forces, because the international proletariat needs to raise a spotless flag, a program based on the international experience of the proletariats fight for the freedom of all oppressed peoples of the world; that is the flag of the Trotskyism.

For that reason, we are not part of World Social Forum, nor do we support it in any way. On the contrary, we are here to denounce the farce called for WSF before the worldwide activist vanguard who are gathered here, the mass union movements, students’ movements, and unemployed people etc., who believe in the goal of socialism. The World Social Forum is an anti-proletarian den. For that reason, we denounce it before the poor people of the world; we say that its politics does not serve the interests of workers; we denounce its organizers as parasites that live off the taxes paid by the exploited labor power of the people.

The greatest violence that humanity imposes on the oppressed is capitalism itself (private ownership of the means of production) and the crises of overproduction that are inherent in that system, (the minimum wage does not correspond to 10% of working families’ necessities). According to bourgeois sources: the number of poor people in the world has risen to around 307 million. The Report of the Conference of the UN Committee for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published recently, shows that in the last 30 years the number of people who live on less than one US dollar a day has doubled. It predicts that by 2015, the poor countries will have 420 million people living below the poverty line. In some regions, mainly in Africa, part of the population already live on less than US 57 cents, while a Swiss citizen spends US$ 61.9 per day. In the 1970s around 56% of the African population lived on less than a dollar a day. Today, this proportion is 65%. Poverty is increasing, not diminishing. The workers and youth in general are at the mercy of this absolute violence, of hunger, misery, unemployment, prostitution, drugs etc..

The remedy for the violence of the capitalism that social science reveals, is the international socialist revolution, the expropriation of the expropriator, the socialization of the means of production.

· Out with the imperialistic troops of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Haiti!
· For the military defeat of all imperialistic troops occupying Iraq!
· For the victory of the heroic resistance of the Iraqi masses!
· For the triumph of the Latin American working class and the world socialist revolution!
· Long Live the struggle on the workers and exploited people of Bolivia who lead the way!
· Imperialism out of Bolivia! Down with the government of Mesa, break the truce made by Evo Morales, Solares of the COB, and Quispe of the CSUTCB!
· For a national Congress of delegates of rank and file of the COB and the farmers unions, for a political general strike, with barricades, pickets, workers militias and committees of soldiers, that can overthrow Mesa and the regime of the mine-owners, imposing a revolutionary provisional government of the COB and the farmers unions, supported by the armed, independent organizations of the masses!


Signed by FTI-CI (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia), CWG (NZ), FT-PV (Brazil) and CLA (Australia)

From Class Struggle 59 January-February 2005

Written by raved

January 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Bolivia: Making the Revolution

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February 2004 marks one year from the re-opening of the revolutionary struggle in Bolivia when workers’, peasants and youth began their uprising against the hated president ‘Goni’ Sanchez de Lozada. In October, peasants and workers blockaded La Paz forcing Goni into exile. He was replaced by Carlos Mesa who called for a truce. Mesa has failed to deliver on the COB demands and has used the time to stabilise his rule. On 22 January the COB met and called for a mobilisation in 20 days to prepare for a national general strike on 21 February to bring down Mesa and put in place a Popular Assembly. Here we argue that there is mass support to go beyond a Popular Assembly to a real Workers’ and Peasants’ State if a revolutionary leadership can be created. We support our sister group POB in this task!

COB ends truce with plans for general strike

In a meeting that lasted all day, delegate after delegate of 42 of the 65 COB (Bolivian Workers’ Centre) affiliates, including miners, transport workers, teachers, shop assistants and civic committees, called for the unity of all the popular forces in Bolivia to be mobilised to launch an indefinite general strike in 20 days to bring down the Mesa government.

Jamie Solares a miners leader of the COB said that Bolivia was a colony of the US and that Mesa was continuing the same policies as Goni on behalf of US imperialism. He said that it was an emergency situation, and that the time for theory was past and time for action had arrived to build a great popular assembly to take power.

He had invited the peasant leaders Evo Morales and Felipe Quispe to meet with the COB to build a united front against the government. Morales was visiting the Chapare region where more than 200 died in the war against the selling of the gas in October. Morales replied condemning the COB plan to attack parliament were he is a member. He said that the COB plan was to make a coup that would only invite the US to make its own military coup. But when some of his supporters present spoke in favour of participating in parliament and the referendum on selling the gas they were booed. Quispe, for his part, did not come to the COB meeting but immediately came under pressure from the militant peasants of the Altiplano and quickly endorsed the call to bring down Mesa.

Most speakers called for the COB to build grass roots support for strike action to replace the government with dual power organs, repeal the gas agreement with the multinationals, nationalise industry and provide free health, education and pensions. Delegates from the media said that it was necessary for the people to replace the leadership. They questioned Morales claim to defend democracy. What democracy? We can expect no solutions from parliament! The workers union leader Roberto de la Cruz of El Alto (the working class town above La Paz) who was not at the COB congress challenged Morales to say which side he was on, the peoples or imperialism.

The students also made the call to organise to fight for power, to prepare the general strike with blockades in February, to split the army and win the support of the military rank and file. In an separate meeting of youth organisations on the 25th January in El Alto many resolutions were passed in support of the COB call for a general strike, including re-nationalising the gas, exprorpriating the multinationals, the US out of Iraq and for a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government.

The miners cooperatives representatives warned that if the workers and peasants were not united they would face a military coup d’etat. Other workers warned the leadership of the COB that they would be thrown out unless they provided militant leadership. The pensioners delegate spoke of the need to finish with the capitalist system and replace it with a socialist system.

Speaking for the artists and writers a delegate put the position of POB (Poder Obrero – Workers Power) calling for the renationalisation of the mines and the gas and oil, but under workers control which the program of the COB does not raise. He said that the unfinished revolution in Bolivia could not rely on the support of the anti-neoliberal governments who had just met at Monterrey, or the WSF, because Bolivia was not facing neo-liberalism. The enemy was the capitalist system and the drive of imperialism and its lackey Mesa government to rob Bolivia of its gas. The answer was to create a popular assembly of the workers, peasants and rank and file military to prepare for an insurrection and not a Constituent Assembly which was an example of parliamentary cretinism.

The POB comrades speech was in part echoed by the regional bodies of the COB – the CODs or local workers’ confederations of Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Beni, Huyuni and Montero. The government of Mesa was rejected. The gas law was rejected and the demand raised for gas to be under national control. War was declared against all the imperialist multinationals. The COB had to begin educating the masses for the national mobilisation. The CODs would provide the leadership along with the COB national executive to unite the forces to bring down the government and put in place a government of the COB representing the workers, peasants and rank and file military.

The resolutions passed ended with the demand that all the sectors declare an emergency, and organise within 20 days for an indefinite general strike to demand a 3% salary rise for all government workers, and a new monthly minimum wage of $820 up from $55.

From General Strike to Workers Power

It is clear to the people that Mesa is continuing to act like Goni as the open US agent in Bolivia. His class interest is to do a deal on behalf of Bolivian capitalists with imperialism that allows some share of the gas to be retained in Bolivia and trickled down to pacify the poor. But imperialism will not allow enough gas wealth to be kept to feed the children of the poor. US imperialism can only survive by taking the maximum super-profits from the Bolivian gas. The Bolivian children will continue to beg on the streets in their thousands.

The rank and file of COB have rejected the truce with Mesa and are calling for a ‘workers’ and peasants’ government.’ But this means different things to different camps. On the right, the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) led by Evo Morales who represents the coca growers in the tropical east of Bolivia believes that it is possible to mobilise the people to force the Bolivian state to strike a deal with imperialism for a larger share in the gas wealth than Mesa can deliver. This will enable the coca growers to cultivate their land in peace and prosperity.

That is why Morales has used Chile’s demand to share in the proceeds of the gas being piped across its territory to activate Bolivian national resentment of the defeat in the war with Chile in the late 19th century. Morales does not agree to the strike action on February 21 because he believes he can be elected president in Mesa’s place and win these concessions from imperialism. For him a ‘Workers’ and Peasants’ government’ is a left social democratic government led by the peasant bureaucracy rather than the national bourgeoisie. He fears that to go any further and allow workers and peasants to really take power would bring down an imperialist military coup on his head.

In the centre are the current leaders of COB such as Jaime Solares, and Filipe Quispe who represents the impoverished Quechua indian peasants of the altiplano. They are being pushed left by the mass rank and file militancy of COB and the grass roots revolutionaries who dominate the regional CODs. Since 1946 the COB has had in its program demands that originate in the Pulcayo Theses based on Trotsky’s transitional program for a workers’ and peasants’ state. Against this revolutionary program, Solares adopts the position of the labour bureaucracy that wants a return to the Popular Assembly of the 1970s, in the form of a Constituent Assembly that will write a new bourgeois constitution. Essentially the labour bureaucracy is petty bourgeois, and sees itself as a ‘middle class’ able to guide the Bolivian people to national independence. Its model is a petty bourgeois government that represents the national unity utopia of the popular or patriotic front, like that of 1952 and 1971 in Bolivia. They hope and pray that imperialism will come to terms with a radical popular front government and not smash it as has always happened in Latin America. Like all petty bourgeois politicians unless they are kicked aside by the revolutionary workers and peasants they will be used by the bosses to strangle and kill the revolution.

The camp followers of the labour bureaucrats are the centrist former Trotskyists of POR-Lora whose class compromises always betray the workers at the crucial hour. POR-Lora provides a left cover for the labour bureaucracy sowing illusions in workers that ‘democratic’ imperialism can make concessions to progressive anti-neo-liberal governments based on the unions in Latin America. The centrists are more dangerous than the open reformists as they speak about socialist revolution but act for the counter-revolution. For them a COB-led Popular Assembly would be a ‘Workers’ and Peasants’ Government’.

But their ‘Popular Assembly’ was and will always be a popular front joining workers and peasants to the petty bourgeois parties defending private property. Workers may call for a Constituent Assembly to defend bourgeois democracy against fascism or military dictatorships. But when workers are on the offensive, the Constituent Assembly is a trap which prevents them advancing to seize state power. The POR-Lora allowed the COB to join a popular front government in 1952 during a revolutionary upsurge, the first major post-war betrayal by Trotskyists of a workers’ revolution. Today they disarm workers who are mobilising to take power, by covering up these past betrayals and by refusing to call for a Workers’ and Peasants’ government based on workers and peasants councils and militias.

Revolutionary Party

On the revolutionary left the POB (Poder Obrero Bolivia) demands a return to the Pulcayo Theses, for the formation at the base of the COB and CODs of workers’ and peasants’ councils, for the splitting of the rank and file military from the officers, and for the formation of workers, peasants and soldiers militias to take power and form a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. That is why the POB delegate at the COB meeting on the 22 January raised a number of transitional demands including the nationalisation of industry under workers control. This calls on workers to go beyond the COB demand for mere nationalisation of industry by the capitalist state. This is because even under a COB-led Constituent (Popular) Assembly the capitalist state can re-nationalise the oil and gas in the interests of imperialism to head off the revolution and prevent control over the profits from falling into the hands of workers. By raising the demand for workers control militant workers, peasants and youth are confronted with the necessity of going beyond capitalist nationalisation and of struggling to expropriate industry and land under workers and peasants control.

We see that an unlimited general strike beginning on February 21 can be the beginning of a victorious revolution. But for this to happen the rank and file workers have to take the Pulcayo theses and the POB program seriously. The program of the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie and the centrist betrayers to limit a ‘Workers and Peasants government’ to a Constituent (Popular) Assembly has to be defeated. The best militants have to join the revolutionary vanguard and carry its program into the base of all the workers, peasants and youth organisations. As the Solares leadership attempts to contain the strike short of these objectives it will have to be replaced by a revolutionary leadership.

The demand for workers’ control must mean that workers and youth occupy and manage industry, factories, gas and oil, health and education. It means that peasants must occupy the government departments that administer the land. It means that the rank and file of the military must mutiny against the officers and take control of the military apparatus. Such occupations will create a situation of ‘dual power’, in which the workers power can only be defended by armed workers and peasants smashing bourgeois state power. The seizure of power by the workers and peasants must be organised centrally as a Workers’s and Peasant’s Government based on workers’ and peasants’ councils and militias, and on the rank-and-file of the armed forces who come over to the revolution. A Workers’ and Peasants’ State in Bolivia will survive only if the workers of Latin America intervene to prevent the US from mobilising the state forces of its Latin American client states to smash the revolution.

For an indefinite general strike to bring down Mesa and to impose a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government!

Call on the coca growers of the tropical east of Bolivia around Cochabamba and Chapare break with Morale’s parliamentary cretinism and join the COB plan for a general strike!

Call on Bolivian workers and peasants to elect delegates to the Popular Assembly that are prepared to take power in the name of the workers and peasants organisations!

Build workers’ and peasants’ militias and for the rank and file of the military to take control of the state repressive apparatus!

Stop the chauvinist call for war with Chile over control of the gas pipeline!

Call on Chilean, Brazilian and Argentinean workers to blockade all gas stolen by the imperialists from Bolivia!

For a continental anti-imperialist workers bloc opposed to imperialism and to the anti-neoliberal WSF false international of Lula, Chavez and Castro!

For a new Bolshevik/Leninist International to lead the revolution in Latin America!

For a Socialist United States of Latin America!

 
From Class Struggle 54 Feb-March 04

Written by raved

December 27, 2009 at 10:24 pm