The following statement was issued on September 17 by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, a Marxist tendency in Australia's Socialist Alliance.
The Democratic Socialist Perspective offers its solidarity to the people of Bolivia and the government of Evo Morales in the face of the campaign by US imperialism and the local oligarchy to overthrow the Morales government and destroy the process of change it is leading. We wish to draw attention to this threat and urge the widest possible expressions of support to help the Bolivian people defend their revolution.
We note the important statements by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during his Alo Presidente TV show on September 10, with President Morales by his side, that Bolivia faces a campaign of destabilisation initiated by Washington against the elected government along the same lines that led to the failed US-backed coup in Venezuela in 2002 and the crippling bosses' lockout the same year. We welcome President Chavez's call, invoking the spirit of Che Guevara, for full support for Bolivia against imperialist aggression, vowing any attack on a Latin American nation would be met with "10 Vietnams". This is an example for socialists around the world.
We note the evidence presented by US-Venezuelan lawyer Eva Golinger, as reported in the September 19 edition of Green Left Weekly, of funding by the US government to the groups currently working to destabilise the country, the legitimate government and the elected constituent assembly. Golinger points out that this is the same method used by US imperialism to intervene into Venezuela and attempt to overthrow the elected Chavez government.
History provides stark lessons on the brutal nature of US intervention into other countries aimed at protecting corporate interests. It is only six days since the 34th anniversary of the US-backed coup against the elected government in Chile on September 11, 1973, that was followed by the massacre of thousands and the destruction of the workers' movement. The ongoing US-led occupation in Iraq has resulted in more than 650,000 deaths.
We call for an end to US intervention into sovereign nations.
Powerful social movements in Bolivia have challenged neoliberalism, forcing the resignation of the previous two pro-imperialist presidents. These movements have been an inspiration to people around the world. The revolt of the oppressed led to the victory of Morales in the 2005 presidential elections, becoming Bolivia's first indigenous president. Since then, Bolivia's gas has been nationalised — a key demand of the population; social programs with Cuban and Venezuelan support have been implemented to help solve the poor's most pressing problems; and agrarian reform aimed at redistributing land to landless peasants has begun.
As demanded by the people, the Morales government has convoked a constituent assembly in order to refound the country to include for the first time the indigenous majority in order to overturn 500 years of racist colonialism and genocide.
We note the statement in the manifesto to the Bolivian people issued by a summit of Bolivian social organisations on September 10: "The demand for constituent assembly arose as a democratic and peaceful response by the working people, in the face of the genocide and massacres by ... the same ones who preferred to drown the homeland in blood or divide the country rather than lose their class and caste privileges." It is the threat to those privileges that lies behind the current campaign to overthrow the government.
We also note the inspiring resistance by the Bolivian people to the current offensive by the oligarchy, as seen in the mass, peaceful mobilisations by the oppressed in Sucre on September 10 and Cochabamba on September 13. It was mass mobilisations on the streets by the Venezuelan people that defeated the 2002 coup.
We give such resistance to the attempts to destroy the process of change our full and unconditional support.
The process of change in Bolivia is bound up with the revolution in Venezuela. The campaign to destabilise Bolivia is also aimed at destroying the growing movement for Latin American integration and isolating the revolutionary governments of Venezuela and Cuba. Following Morales' election, Bolivia joined the Venezuelan-initiated Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), which is providing a concrete alternative to US-pushed "free trade" policies. The indigenous-led revolution in Bolivia is also inspiring a growth in the movement for indigenous self-determination across Latin America — something Washington cannot tolerate.
The current battle in Bolivia, between oppressed and oppressor, is a crucial battle in the global struggle for a better world. This makes it essential that all who believe in a better world raise their voices now in defence of Bolivia's national sovereignty and against US intervention.
Defend Bolivian democracy! Viva Evo Morales! Viva the Latin American revolution!
[Visit the Democratic Socialist Perspective's website at <http://www.dsp.org.au>.]