Communist Worker

Archive of Communist Workers Group of Aoteaora/New Zealand up to 2006

Archive for the ‘POR Lora’ Category

The Bolivian Revolution at the Crossroads

leave a comment »


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.

—————————————————-

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 

Advertisements

Bolivia: Making the Revolution

leave a comment »

 

 
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