[Marxism] Roger Burbach: Confrontation in Bolivia over Agrarian Reform

Fred Fuentes fred.fuentes at gmail.com
Thu Nov 30 18:58:31 MST 2006

Given the initial agrarian reform law was part of the 49 laws that
were decreed in December 2001 by Chavez, and from memory was more far
reaching than the proposed modification of the previously existing
agrarian reform law pushed through by Morales, im not sure that the
Bolivian law itself is more radical. What is different however is that
in venezuela 2001 there was close to no organised campesino movement,
and it took several years before the Chavez government was able to
implement just small parts of this law (see my article on this issue
available at http://www.greenleft.org.au/2005/645/33621). That is, the
key difference in may ways beyond the content of the law, is that the
campesino movement in Bolivia is much more organised and combativity
even before the law is passed.
Interesting much of the media has not covered at least one of the two
other bills that were passed in this session of the senate. The first
of the two others was the approval of the gas deals signed by the
transnationals. more interesting is the passing of the military pact
with venezuela that was signed earlier this year in May and has also
been opposed not just by the opposition, but sections of other
governments in the region, the media and a section of the Bolivian
military. The pact will allow for the construction of joint "military
bases" between venezuela and bolivia in strategic points in Bolivia.
According to AP "The treaty would create closer ties between the armed
forces of the two leftist governments and have Venezuela help Bolivia
construct a military base in the northern city of Riberalta and a
river port on its border with Brazil.
While the agreement easily passed the House months ago, opposition
leaders here have questioned provisions that propose cooperation in
areas such as "control of armament and disarmament" and "democratic
control of forces." (read the rest at
The Chilean press especially went ballistic over this claiming this
was Venezuelan imperialism arming the region and preparing for war
(ironic given the Chilean military is by far the biggest and
continuous well funded military in Latin America). Whilst the pact was
put to the sign a month or so ago, high officials in the Bolivian
military met with the chilean military to sign a different pact. Many
feared that is part of an alignment pushed by Washington, of the
Chilean pinochetistas in the military and the more conservative
sections of the Bolivian military. (for more on this see the link to
Dieterich's view on the chile-bolivia military relations

On 12/1/06, Michael Perelman <michael at ecst.csuchico.edu> wrote:
> This sounds more dramatic than even what Chavez has done.  Am I correct?
> --
> Michael Perelman
> Economics Department
> California State University
> Chico, CA 95929
> Tel. 530-898-5321
> E-Mail michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
> michaelperelman.wordpress.com
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