[Marxism] FW: Bolivia's cogent responses to recent provocations from the Empire

Richard Fidler rfidler_8 at sympatico.ca
Thu Sep 26 18:00:43 MDT 2013

LA PAZ — Washington’s refusal to allow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro
to over-fly its colony of Puerto Rico, September 19, attracted little
attention in the North American and European media. 

But in Latin America this arrogant gesture drew immediate outrage. It
recalled the July 2 denial by four European countries — France, Italy, Spain
and Portugal — of landing and refueling rights and passage through their
airspace to Bolivia’s president Evo Morales while he was returning home from
a trip to Moscow. This unprecedented attack on Bolivia’s sovereignty,
clearly at Washington’s behest, had been defended on the fallacious grounds
that Morales’ plane harboured US espionage whistle-blower Edward Snowden. 

Evo Morales was quick to take the lead in the Latin American response to
this latest incident involving Venezuela’s Maduro. Initially, he called on
the presidents of countries in ALBA and UNASUR[1] to boycott the current
session of the United Nations General Assembly to protest the US
“aggression.” However, discussions with his counterparts resulted in an
agreement instead to attend in force the UN meetings in order to raise their
objections. (Maduro deferred on the grounds of an alleged plot to kill him
if he went to New York, the UN headquarters.) 

Morales also proposed to the other Latin American presidents that they
consider collectively expelling US ambassadors from their countries, as
Bolivia did a few years ago to protest Washington’s interference in its
internal affairs. And he proposed that they discuss the possibility of
launching international legal proceedings against Barack Obama for his
repeated violations of international law and diplomacy. 

In his UN address on September 25, Morales called for establishment of a
people’s tribunal, with support from international human rights
organizations, to try Obama for offences of “lèse-humanité.” As examples of
Obama’s crimes against humanity he cited the aerial bombing of Libya, events
in Iraq and the US world-wide interventionism aimed at seizing possession of
“our natural resources.” 

Since the death of Hugo Chávez earlier this year, Morales has emerged as the
Latin American leader most engaged in exposing the crimes of the US and
other imperialist powers and projecting an alternative anti-capitalist
approach on a continental and global scale. 

He was quick to turn the act of air piracy on July 2 into a mobilizer of
official and popular anti-imperialist action. Following an emergency summit
in early July of a number of Latin American presidents to protest this
incident, the Bolivian government, along with Bolivian social organizations
grouped in the Pacto de Unidad, proceeded to organize a people’s
international summit in opposition to imperialism and colonialism. 

Held in Cochabamba July 31-August 2, the summit was attended by some 1,200
persons representing 90 organizations in Latin America and Europe. During
the three days, a formal declaration drafted by the Bolivians was debated,
amended and supplemented by six mesas or workshops. Originally, five mesa
topics were planned: on Political Sovereignty, Economic Sovereignty,
Decolonization and Anti-Imperialism, International Human Rights Treaties and
Espionage. At the initiative of some delegations, including Venezuela’s, a
sixth was added: Communications Counter-offensive. 

On the final day, August 2 — exactly one month after the July 2 incident —
participants joined in a massive closing rally and march through Cochabamba
that was addressed by Evo Morales. Estimates of the number of those
demonstrating ranged up to a million. 

“We have to form an alliance,” Morales told the rally, “we have to unite our
anti-imperialist social movements, political parties and governments of
Latin America and the Caribbean with those in Europe to liberate ourselves
from North American imperialism. This August 2, for me, is the day of
.” He called for building “a world movement for sovereignty
and for the liberation of the peoples.” 

The final declaration, as amended by the mesas, was read out at the rally.
In addition, many websites published as well the full text of the
resolutions adopted by the mesas. To my knowledge there is no English
translation of the full text of the declaration or the resolutions. Below I
have translated large excerpts of the declaration, along with a summary of
some sections while noting the addition of some further demands adopted by
the relevant mesas. Taken together, these statements provide an insight into
the major themes and perspectives of the left today in Latin America in


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