[Marxism] (English) Failure of the strike of the COB against Morales

Russell Morse russell.morse at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 24 06:40:31 MDT 2006

[Here's a translation of the item Nestor posted. RM]


The announced 24-hour strike by the Bolivian Workers Central (COB) on
Friday the 21st failed due to the scarce or null response of labor
sectors, and the executive secretary of the national federation, Jaime
Solares, found it necessary to suspend the organic congress until May
15; it was originally planned for the first of May.

In statements to the press, Solares declared that the organic congress
which is to elect the new National Executive Committee (CEN) of the COB
has been suspended until May. "Due to an organic problem the Organic
Congress of the COB will be held May 15 and is not postponable further,"
Solares stated.

At about 10:30 am on Friday, a small group of demonstrators arrived at
the Plaza San Francisco. There were about 20 labor groups carrying an
equal number of banners.

As the column of about 200 persons advanced (showing the [strength of
the] general strike), many bystanders whistled and booed. "Why don't
they go to work? Let the government function!" were some of the shouts
that were heard on the part of people discontented with the labor
mobilization only three months into the regime of Evo Morales Aima.
There were even a few fistfights.

A few minutes earlier, at the doors of the main building of the National
Health Fund, workers affiliated with Fensegural suspended their march,
since they had waited in vain for Solares or some other leader of the
strike to appear in that location.

Nonetheless, it was reported that the 19 unions affiliated with the COB
participated in the strike. The health workers also answered the call to
halt work.

Visibly affected by the scarce presence of workers, Solares branded as
traitors the leaders of various labor sectors, including the
Confederation of Urban Education Workers of Bolivia, the Regional
Workers Central of El Alto (COR), and other guilds and factory unions
that did not join the strike, and other labor sectors such as the miners
and cooperatives, who questioned his leadership. "Those who did go on
strike are the companeros of the National Social Security Federation
(Fensegural), as well as the companeros in Health. This isn't about
Solares' influence, he's not the master or the superman who can paralyze
the country, it's about revolutionary consciousness," he declared.
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