[Marxism] Bolivian COB Sends Open Letter to Evo Morales DemandingNationalization of Hydrocarbons

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 17 15:50:47 MST 2006

A truly remarkable document, only missing to make it complete is the
call for Morales to resign. It's been going on two MONTHS since this
letter was signed and, presumably, what's been demanded in the the
hasn't taken place. The political meaning of this letter can be
summarized in the two words, "Fuck You!"

Jaime Solares didn't run for president of Bolivia, and wasn't elected
to that position. Yet that doesn't seem to stop him or give him pause
to reflect for a moment on what he's now trying to do. Wasn't Solares
involved, actually, in having Evo Morales expelled from the COB?
Recently Morales was re-elected the head of his own union. I wonder
if Solares has polled his own membership to find out if they think he
should be pressing Evo Morales this hard this soon?

Thanks to the San-Francisco-based U.S. Committee of the International
Liason Committee for a Workers International (ILC) we have this
document circulating around the planet in a professional translation.
All of the English-speakers from around the planet who have been
complaining about Evo Morales since long before his election to the
presidency of Bolivia TWO WEEKS AGO can have something else to help
them deepen their understanding of the unfolding process in that

Don't Yankee radicals have anything better to do with their time than
to campaign against this newly-elected indiginous president of

The guy has barely begun to find out where the offices are in the
building where he works. He's already fired the central leadership of
the capitalist armed forces. He's faced with the aftermath of a
tornado which has wrecked havoc with the country, and is now part of
an international campaign which demands. He's trying to call together
a constituent assembly to re-write the nation's constitution. The
appratus of the capitalist state remains relatively intact. There's
been a strike of airline workers. Morales has demanded extradition of
a former president, rightist Gonzalo de Lozada who is at present
hiding out in the United States of America but none of this seems to
matter to Jaime Solares or Alan Benjamin, whoever they are.

It really seems that these correspondents are basically saying that
the main danger to the Bolivian revolution is in its own leadership,
just as the Socialist Workers Party of the United States used to say
about Fidel Castro. It's well-known that there are now groups in the
United States of America who think their mission in life is to
disabuse the public of any illusions in Evo Morales. 

Here's one such:

"it runs counter to raising the political consciousness of working
people to call for support for any pro-capitalist political party 
-- even a left-talking peasant-based one, like that of Evo Morales."
"Popular illusions in Morales and a party like MAS in the Bolivian 
situation can only be a step backward, and have to be combated."
"But in a relatively short time, unless there are new socialist 
revolutions in Latin America and a new rise of the socialist movement 
worldwide, the Cuban Revolution will remain essentially isolated and 

"Thus, it is essential for revolutionists to combat illusions in
Morales and similar parliamentary solutions and to support the fight
to make a government directly reprensing the working people a reality."
[Socialist Action on Bolivia, January 2006, lead article, pps. 1,6-7]

A solid majority of the Bolivian people seemed to have such illusions, 
which is why they voted for Evo Morales instead of the "revolutionary"
candidate, whose name escapes me right now. 

This sounds pretty much like the squishy sound of sour gripes.

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles 

Bolivia Riveted on Assembly

La Paz, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian Parliament and social
organizations are slated to examine Wednesday the call for a
Constituent Assembly

The analysis of the assembly is held amid President Evo Morales´ last
warning that they will resort to people´s actions if the Congress did
not approve the proposal in a rush.

Rightist members at the Parliament obstruct the government proposal
and present the forced implementation of alternative initiatives
supported by regional forces of similar tendencies.

Dozens of social bodies will hold a three-day Social Summit in the
eastern city of Santa Cruz to seek ways to present a new Constitution
and discuss the government plan.

The government bid suggests electing grassroots delegates by July,
three per every constituency (70), and granting unlimited powers to
the Constituent Assembly to re-found the nation under a new

Amid denunciations of rightist ruses to obstruct or delay elections
and the assembly, Morales said the norm should be approved in early
March, conforming to a previous regulation establishing to hold the
Constituent Assembly in July.

Otherwise, we must stage demonstrations in which people have demanded
to hold a Constituent Assembly over the last years and have forced
two presidents to resign, he stated.

The opposition has other proposals and wants the assembly to
transform the Constitution without making the profound changes
spearheaded by governing Movement to Socialism and local

Governmental Coordination Vice Minister Hector Arce asserted the
government would endorse its bill because it is backed by social
bodies and was elaborated after extensive consults with them.

Senate Chairman Santos Ramirez made it clear the government and the
MAS gives top priority to the Constituent Assembly.


Bolivia Readies for US Agencies Pull-out

La Paz, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian government has
announced it will begin talks with the US on removal of the DEA and
some other agencies operating in central Chapare, a coca producing
region.Bolivia Riveted on Assembly

Tuesday, the congress of El Chapare coca-leaf growers in Cochabamba
requested the withdrawal of the DEA, as well as the US Antinarcotics
Office, the Alternative Development Program and the Community Habitat
and Finances Cooperation Agency.

In this region the DEA base contains special troops where servicemen
from other nations are trained.

Bolivia´s new anti-drug policy confirms limited coca cultivation for
legal purposes, a campaign for international coca legalization for
industry and export, plus placing the anti-drug battle under social
control, including former coca leaders as deputy ministers in this

President Morales noted the existence of international conditions to
legalize coca at a global anti-drug summit in 2008, and stated that
it is unacceptable to permit coca exports legally for use in Coca
Cola and not for other licit ends.

In a parallel development, the new government announced it would put
an end to US spy services in Bolivian security organizations.


There is no valid reason to postpone enacting the decisions that are
required by the grave situation facing our country. The immediate
nationalization without compensation of the oil and natural gas
resources and the implementation of the demands of the exploited and
the oppressed is the mandate that the Bolivian people entrusted you
with -- and it must be respected. The Bolivian people can not
continue hungry, unemployed and landless while the multinationals and
the oligarchy continue enriching themselves to satisfy their greed.

We therefore demand that you, as President, fulfill the promises that
you made during your campaign. This is what the people expect.

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