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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 "Bolivarian Revolution" expropriates the workers’ struggle!

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Caracas: Meeting of the 6th Counter-revolutionary World Social Forum

From the 24 to the 29 of January the Sixth annual meeting of the counter-revolutionary international the World Social Forum met in Caracas, Venezuela. The LOI of Argentina, a member of the Leninist Trotskyists Fraction, gives its verdict.

The WSF, along with the “left” of the US Democratic Party, was responsible for betraying the US national ‘day of absence’ against poverty, racism and war called for the 1st of December by a Committee of more than 700 worker and antiwar organisations. This was the first time for years that militant elements in the US working class had coordinated a counter-offensive against the Bush government and the US capitalist class.

It is this same collection of social democrats, Stalinists, “Greens”, Castroites, Maoists, and fake Trotskyists – all associated with the WSF – that have mobilised to contain the awakening US working class in response to the crisis of the Bush administration, such as we saw in the Transit strike in New York, to make sure it remains subordinated to the Democratic party of US imperialism.

At the Sixth WSF were all those dedicated to the suppression of US workers struggles and all the mass struggles in Latin America in the name of the much heralded ‘Bolivarian Revolution’.First up was Chavez declaring “it is necessary to go forward to 21st Century Socialism”, speaking of “socialism or death”, shamelessly singing the ‘Internationale’ to close the meeting, and taking photo opportunities with Cindy Sheehan – the mother of the US soldier killed in Iraq who fights for the return of US troops – while at the same time he continues to sell the US regime the oil it needs to occupy Iraq and kill its people!

Or course Chavez never calls on the oppressed workers of Iraq, or the mothers, wives, or daughters of the thousands of Iraqi resistance fighters killed by the invaders, to organise for the military victory of Iraq and the defeat of Anglo-Yankee imperialism!

Following Chavez were all the supporters of Evo Morales, the new president of Bolivia, just finished appointing to his cabinet millionaire industralists like the ministers of Defense and Public Works, and ex-state employees of the former government of the murderer Goni overthrown in a popular rebellion in 2003, as well as peasants, miners and ex-union leaders.

In other words, the Sixth WSF was a meeting for all those backing the class collaboration of Morales who has already announced that he will respect and defend private property, allow the private exploitation of the Mutún mine (the largest manganese deposit in the world), made deals with the Santa Cruz bourgeoisie (home of most of Bolivia’s oil and mineral wealth), with the Spanish firm Corona, and with the oil monopolies, to contine to plunder Bolivia’s gas wealth.

After the Morales cheerleaders were the supporters of the current Ecuadorian government of Palacios such as the Maoist MDP, the Pachacutik and the CONAIE. They had tried to prevent the removal of his predecessor, Lucio Gutiérrez, who fell at the hands of a revolutionary mass uprising. Today these same forces are once more trying to stop the new uprising of the workers and poor peasants led by students, who have been fighting for two weeks against the the signing of a FTA between the Palacios government and the US.

These same leaders went to the WSF to embrace Chávez, who only months ago openly lent millions of barrels of oil to Palacios, thus sabotaging the strike and a political uprising of the workers and farmers of the Ecuadorian provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana against Oxy and other imperialist oil companies. With the aid of his friend Chávez, Palacios used the Ecuadorian army to fiercely repress the people and to militarize these two provinces.

They can both count on the support of the Cuban bureaucracy of Castro – as can Morales – which also comes to the rescue of the US client regimes of Lula, Kirchner, Tabaré Vázquez, Bachelet and Co., as it prepares to complete the restoration of capitalism in Cuba.

Not to be left behind, there were four ministers of the Brazilian government, representing Lula and the PT (Workers Party), one of the most servile lackey governments of the US (like Kirchner, who has paid off the billions owed to the IMF in cash) which allows its troops along with those of Argentina and Chile, to occupy Haiti in the service of the imperial master.

The Argentine delegation included the Kirchnerites of the FTV, Barrios de Pie, bureaucrats like Yasky of the CTERA and Gutiérrez of the UOM – today a supporter of Kirchner in parliament. During the WSF a number of workers were attacked and jailed by the police and local politicians in Tartagal and Mosconi (in the North of Argentina), while in Caracas the state servants of Kirchner, the ally of Bush, Repsol and the IMF, met with the union bureaucrats and pro-government officials of the piqueteros (unemployed workers movement), bosses’ politicians like Mario Cafiero, the mst, and Nestor Pitrola of the Workers Party which voted for the popular front government of Evo Morales.

Playing a key role in the WSF are the fake Trotskyists who destroyed the Fourth International and became reformists. Today, all are fervent defenders of Chávez, Morales, the Castro bureaucracy, and the “Bolivarian Revolution”. They have openly broken with the struggle for the workers and socialist revolution, and have adopted the old class collaborationist policy of “revolution by stages” of Stalinism, telling the workers to put their hopes in the “good”, “progressive” bosses, the “anti-imperialist” military, and the “democratic” and “pacifist” imperialists.

So the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’, the ‘star’ of the Sixth World Social Forum, is no more than a cover to disguise the sordid deals the national bourgeoisies make with each other and with the imperialistic monopolies, to decide who gets what share of the profits, according to what resources are available, and how each country is slotted into the global capitalist division of labor. It is also a cover for the politics of the Castro bureaucracy that wants to restore capitalism in Cuba and to re-invent itself as a new bourgeoisie.

Socialist revolution is the triumphant insurrection of the workers and poor peasants that seizes the power, overthrows the bourgeoisie and expropriates the imperialistic monopolies and all the bosses. That is the only way that the anti-imperialist struggle can be carried through to completion, breaking with the imperilialists and their national bourgeois junior partners and making a planned socialist economy possible.

That is why there are only two roads for the working class and the exploited masses of Latin America: either the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ in which the proletariat submits to the continued exploitation, misery, massacres and imperialistic sacking of our nations; or, the struggle for a victorious workers socialist revolution on the road to the Socialist United States of Central and South America which can plan production where the gas, iron and managnese of Bolivia, the meat and the soyabean of Argentina, the copper of Chile, the minerals of Peru, the oil of Venezuela, the industry of Brazil, etc., are all used to meet the needs of the vast majority of the exploited and oppressed workers and poor peasants.

Today the most important step along the socialist road for all workers and poor peasants of the continent is the fight for the victory of the heroic revolution of the Bolivian workers and peasants which the popular front goverenment of Evo Morales, backed by the counter-revolutionary WSF, is today trying to destroy.

  • Against the WSF, expropriator of the struggles of the masses! 
  • For the Workers’ and poor Peasants’ Revolution! 
  • For a Socialist United States of Central and South America!

Translated and condensed from Supplement to Democracia Obrera 3rd February 2006


From Class Struggle 65 Feb/Mar 2006