[Marxism] Trecherous and bourgeois Bolivian regime...

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Wed Jan 25 16:50:13 MST 2006

Louis Proyect:

> Yes, but we have to take stock of Evo Morales's first steps as President
> which have been surprisingly--at least to me--uncompromising. The debate,
> if you'll remember, had a lot to do with the question of nationalization.
> But there is every indication that he plans to go ahead with this, using
> Venezuela for technical assistance. In some ways, the debate has taken on
> a kind of knee-jerk aspect with some people like Fred Feldman (who seems
> to have disappeared) automatically defending a decision not to nationalize
> as a sign of political maturity and immunity from Trotskyist ultraleftism
> and others making it a litmus test. As it turns out, there are clear signs
> that Morales will make the gas fields the property of the Bolivian people
> based on his appointment of a long-time radical to the Ministry of Energy.
> Let's not go overboard one way or another.
Unless I missed it, Morales hasn't changed his position on gas
nationalization. He's said for some time he intends to nationalize the
subsoil, which would give the Bolivian state more latitude to regulate and
tax the multinationals. His critics on the left have seen this as a retreat
from wholesale nationalization of the foreign companies and their assets.
But Morales' apparent purge of the armed forces high command, his early
visits and trade and aid agreements with Cuba and Venezuela, the decision to
strengthen the Bolivian national oil company, and the reported political
composition of the cabinet can't be encouraging to the US and his domestic
opposition. At the same time, there is nothing in these measures to threaten
relations with Brazil and other sympathetic Latin American and European
nations whose support is essential. It's in this context that I think the
new government's position on the gas fields - where Brazil, Spain and
Argentina have significant interests - and its political maneuvering in
general ought to be viewed. If it's able to change power and property
relations in Bolivia within these constraints, I'd be all for it.

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