Voices in defence of Bolivia

Issue 

The following statement was originally posted on , in response to the current US-backed campaign of destabilisation against the democratically-elected government of President Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, elected in December 2005 with just under 54% of the vote. Visit the site to add your name.

The democratically elected government of Bolivia's first indigenous President Evo Morales Ayma, which is heading a process of democratic change, is Washington's immediate target in Latin America today. Bolivia is in Washington's sight, not only because it is viewed as the weakest link of the growing "axis of hope" in the region, but because of its role as a catalyst for inspiring the struggles of indigenous peoples, regionally and internationally, for real social justice.

The US government, in collaboration with the gas transnationals, large agribusiness and the old political class of Bolivia, organised through the so-called "civic" committees of the wealthy departments [states] of the Bolivian east, have already begun to set in motion their plan aimed at destabilising this government, potentially through a civil war as a pretext for foreign military intervention. This plan includes: the distribution of racist material inciting people to "bring down this Indian shit", provoking violent confrontations, US government funding of opposition political parties and organisations, mobilisation of fascist youth groups, and the smuggling in arms to the country, among others.

The majority of Bolivians have vested their hopes for democratic change in the Constituent Assembly — convoked on August 6, 2006, with the task of enshrining in a new constitution the vision of a new Bolivia that has emerged out of years of struggle against neoliberalism.

The majority of Bolivians have made clear what form they want this new Bolivia to take: a plurinational, democratic and communitarian state, which recuperates control over natural resources and recognises autonomy, within the framework of national unity, at the departmental, municipality and regional levels as well as for the 36 indigenous nations that make up Bolivia.

The old ruling elites, whose positions of economic and political power were based on centuries of racist, apartheid-like oppression of the indigenous peoples, are unwilling to accept even the tiniest reforms for the benefit of the indigenous majority, to accept the continuation, in any form, of this peaceful and democratic revolution even if it means drowning the country in blood.

It is crucial for the governments and peoples of the world to speak out against any attempts to trigger off a civil war, and any ensuing US/UN military occupation or military government, and reject the imposition of any illegitimate government in Bolivia.

Now is the time for all intellectuals, union militants, solidarity activists, political parties and progressive-minded individuals who believe in real justice and equality to raise their voices in defence of the Bolivian government and its people. No to US interference in Bolivia!

Signed (in a personal capacity) — Australia: Federico Fuentes (Green Left Weekly/Bolivia Rising), Kiraz Janicke (Venezuela Analysis), Peter Boyle (national secretary, Democratic Socialist Perspective), John Percy (national president, Democratic Socialist Perspective), Adrian Fuentes, Rohan Pearce (editor, Green Left Weekly), Lisa Macdonald (Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network), Brianna Pike (national coordinator, Resistance), Dick Nichols (national coordinator, Socialist Alliance); Bolivia: Georg Ann Potter; Britain: Pablo Navarrete (Latin America editor, Red Pepper), Alfredo Saad Filho (head of Department of Development Studies, University of London), Andrew J Silvera, Janet Duckworth; Canada: Michael Lebowitz (Professor Emeritus, economics department, Simon Fraser University), Derrick O'Keefe (publisher, Seven Oaks magazine), Sid Shniad (research director, Telecommunications Workers Union), John Riddell (co-editor, Socialist Voice), Roger Annis (co-editor, Socialist Voice), Susan Spronk (Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University), Nelson Rubio (Lucha Indigena Support Network), Canadian Dimension editorial collective, Vancouver Bolivia committee, Vancouver Socialist Forum, Judy Rebick; Chile: Marta Harnecker (Miranda International Center), Maria Eliana Astaburuaga; Cuba: Camila Pineiro Harnecker; France: Susan George (author, Transnational Institute); Mexico: John Ross (author and correspondent); New Zealand/Aotearoa: Grant Morgan (organiser, Residents Action Movement), Vaughan Gunson (Socialist Worker), Mike Treen (UNITE); Nicaragua: Felipe Stuart Cournoyer; Norway: Marta Sanchez; Peru: Hugo Blanco (campesino organiser); South Africa: Ighsaan Schroeder (Khanya College); Sweden: Eva Bjorklund, Anki Ahlsten (secretary, Left Party); US: Gregory Wilpert (editor, Venezuela Analysis), Michael Albert (ZNet), Benjamin Dangl (Upside Down World), Martin Hart-Landsberg, Michael Parenti (journalist), Walter Lippmann (editor, CubaNews), George Ciccariello-Maher, Al Campbell, Kirkpatrick Sale (director, Middlebury Institute), Chesa Boudin, Greg Grandin (history department, New York University), Thomas Mertes, Ronald Christ, Chellis Glendinning.

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