Bolivia Today

Farooque Chowdhury

Bolivia is now a major theatre of interest. While the commoners there in the landlocked central South American country are striving to build up an imperialist-hegemony-free dignified life, the forces of reaction are working overtime to overturn people’s initiatives. The reactionaries are being organised and backed by their master—imperialism.

Imperialism can’t accept any people’s sovereign standing for a dignified life in any land. Bolivia is no exception. Imperialism’s conspiracy-machine is moving, therefore.

This led the Bolivian government to issue a warning: Another US-backed coup would be resisted.

Luis Arce, Bolivia’s President, said in mid-November: “We are not going to allow them to do what they did in 2019.” He was addressing assembled people in La Paz, the capital city. Arce said: “We are going to defend our process.” The Bolivian president was referring to the US-backed coup that overthrew Evo Morales, the elected president in 2019.

A few days earlier, the Bolivian government in a communiqué informed the global community: A destabilising process is being developed.

Prior to issuing the communiqué, the Bolivian president alerted people: The right-wing politicians want to seize with violence the October-2020 election. He was addressing thousands of people in a Cochabamba municipality. He asserted: The people will not allow a coup to overthrow the elected government.

Prior to this message of alert by the Bolivian president, a right-wing leader openly issued a threat: Arce’s government must be overthrown. Far-right groups are openly calling for another coup against the elected government led by the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).

Now, there are people’s mobilisations against the far-right forces backed by imperialism. Thousands of people are marching with slogans: “Long live the unity march. Long live the march for homeland. Fight, you are not alone.” Bartolina Sisa, the female farmers’ federation, has raised a demand: Imperialism-backed opposition has to respect people’s will.

Workers, indigenous farmers, students are marching. Defying Andean cold, they are crossing Bolivian Highlands, villages, towns and cities. Labour union and social organisations have joined the march. These include Bolivian Labour Union, Bolivian Confederation of Agricultural Workers, Confederacy of Intercultural Communities, National Council of Ayllus, Confederation of Indigenous peoples of Eastern Bolivia, six farmers’ federations.

It’s March for the Homeland. It’s a March in Defense of Democracy. The 200-km march is proceeding to the capital city. They will express support to the Arce.

The US-backed far-right groups organised a coup in November 2019. The rightist move was foiled by the Bolivian people. A landslide victory in elections pushed back the rightists. The MAS came back to power. Now, the forces of reaction are organising to push back people’s power.

Bolivia has a long history of bloody coups and seizure of political power by elite interests. Up to July 1980, the country witnessed 189th changes of government in 155 years since its independence. The coupists were backed by imperialists, their local cohorts and allies in neighbouring countries including Argentina and Brazil.

Now, the political scene is changing in Bolivia. The people there are successfully resisting the forces of reaction. The political fight is yet to be conclusive. It’ll be a long and hard fight. Expecting pro-people quick-result—pushing back enemies of people—will be a childish dream.

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Vol. 54, No. 24, Dec 12 - 18, 2021