In solidarity with the Bolivian people, supporters of the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM) dropped two banners along high traffic sites. The banners read “DOWN WITH THE COUP – SOLIDARITY WITH BOLIVIA!”
Supporters of the RSM also leafletted along Skytrain stations to educate the people on the coup in Bolivia that ousted Evo Morales who had been president for 14 years.
The Situation in Bolivia
Bolivia like most Latin American countries is a bureaucrat capitalist regime. That is, it is a state held in a semi-colonial position which is sovereign in name but in reality, continues to suffer under the exploitation of imperialism. In Latin America today this exploitation comes primarily from America, the strongest imperialist power. Though America’s dominance in Bolivia and Latin America in general is increasingly being challenged by Chinese and Russian imperialism. Alongside this semi-colonial situation, Bolivia maintains a semi-feudal system where the country relies primarily on the system of exploitation of the mainly Indigenous peasants by the landlord class. On the backs of these two systems, bureaucrat capitalism has been produced, a system of dependent capitalism built on the rotten foundations of feudalism. The eruption of mass rebellions across the continent must be understood as a reaction by the masses against this exploitative system. It is clear from these mass rebellions that this assessment by the revolutionary communist organisations of Latin America and Europe is correct “All of Latin America is full of dry firewood, which will soon burn in a great flare”.
When the Morales administration came to power, the Bolivian masses were rebelling against the old bureaucrat capitalist regime just as they are today. Morales was able to temporarily curb this popular revolt through the introduction of a wave of economic concessions, only possible due to the economic boom the country was riding at the time. However, the Bolivian economy has fallen rapidly in recent years due to the fall in the price of primary resources that make up the bulk of the national economy. Without the continued economic health necessary to offer such concessions to pacify the Bolivian masses while also appeasing their imperial masters, the Morales government had no longer been able to serve its purpose and as a result was removed in a fascist coup.
Despite the reforms of Morales’ administration, the focus of the MAS party on class collaboration over class struggle has led to the deepening of bureaucrat capitalism and the hyper-exploitation of the nation’s peasants and workers. This is the fundamental reason behind the explosion of mass rebellions in Bolivia. The Bolivian people are angry at the Morales government, its opportunist brand of socialism, and the old state it protects. However, this anger has been co-opted and misdirected by the country’s fascists to uphold bureaucrat capitalism rather than tear it down.
It is crucial to note that both the Morales government and this new fascist one came to power in times of crisis for the regime in order to save it from revolution. Morales’ economic concessions were meant to pacify the masses while the exploitation of his nation by the US continued. The new fascist government comes to power now that the same economic concessions are no longer possible.
Following the ouster of Morales, this fascist coup has continued to target other progressive, democratically elected politicians in the country. Last week, senators from the MAS party were prevented from entering the senate allowing Jeanine Añez to be appointed president of the country with only a third of the senate in attendance.
Añez has a history of voicing anti-Indigenous racism. She has formalised this racism in her new cabinet which does not have a single Indigenous person in a country where nearly 90% of the population is of indigenous heritage. Since she took over as president she has begun to reverse the secularisation of Bolivia undertaken by Morales best seen in her swearing in ceremony which featured heavy catholic imagery. All of this is a part of the same movement to empower the European-descended Bolivians and strip away all of the formal gains made by the Indigenous Bolivians under the Morales administration.
While imperialist countries like the US and Canada have been quick to call Morales a dictator citing his 14 years as president of Bolivia, the truth is that politicians serving over many terms is common in the first world “democracies”. Both Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel and Angela Merkel in Germany have held their countries main positions of power for as long as Morales yet are not viewed as dictators.
While the coup in Bolivia must be condemned and combated, we must understand why it was allowed to happen at all. A country’s form of government must be understood to be dependent on which class holds power and not the other way around. No matter how many progressive reforms were passed in Bolivia under Morales, the old state of landlords and bureaucrat capitalists always remained intact.
The Communist Party of China under the great leadership of Chairman Mao Zedong lit the way for the oppressed nations under bureaucrat capitalism to gain their liberation: through new democratic revolution followed immediately by socialist and recurrent cultural revolutions. The new democratic revolution unites all the classes that support national self-determination and an end to feudalism to overthrow the shackles of imperialism and feudalism. This alliance is rooted in that between the workers and the peasants. Today in Bolivia this path is being organised toward by the People’s Revolutionary Front (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). No electoral means can undo the crisis of bureaucrat capitalism in Bolivia or any other oppressed nation in the world. Only by organising for the new democratic revolution can the Bolivian people ever truly be free.
DOWN WITH THE FASCIST COUP!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF BOLIVIA!
– MER-RSM Vancouver