Federico Fuentes

Speaking to CNN en Espanol on July 27, Bolivian President Evo Morales said “When presidents do not submit to the United States government, to its policies, there are coups.”

His comments are backed by attempts by the US and Bolivia’s right wing to bring down his government.

Recently released WikiLeaks cables prove the US embassy was in close contact with dissident military officers only months before a coup attempt was carried out in September 2008.

But the close relationship between the US and Bolivia’s military has a long history.

War on drugs

Recently released United States embassy cables from Bolivia have provided additional insight to the events leading up to the September 2008 coup attempt against the Andean country’s first indigenous president.

On September 9, 2008, President Evo Morales expelled then-US ambassador Philip Goldberg as evidence emerged that Goldberg and embassy officials had been meeting with several key civilian and military figures involved in an unfolding coup plot.

No sooner had information come out that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was undergoing surgery in Cuba than the international media was full of speculation and rumours regarding his imminent demise.

Projecting their hopes that an illness could succeed in removing Chavez where military coups and assassination attempts had failed, the right-wing Venezuelan opposition went into overdrive.

They demanded the president step down and hand over power to the vice president.

When I asked Alfredo, a dairy farmer and president of the Prolesa milk processing co-operative in Tachira state, what food sovereignty meant to him, he said: “Food sovereignty is not only about being able to produce enough food to feed ourselves, it also means getting to a point where we can export food to other countries.

“There’s a global food crisis, and each day more and more people are going hungry. As Venezuelan campesinos [peasants] we need to realise that we have an obligation to the people of the world.”

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Colombian daily El Espectador reported on May 18 that the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice ruled the infamous “FARC files” as inadmissible evidence in court, as they were obtained illegally.

The ruling refers to supposed documents acquired from the laptops of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leader Raul Reyes who was killed in the March 2008 Colombian military bombing raid of a guerrilla camp in Ecuador.

Having arrived back in Caracas after more than two weeks visiting various rural communities, leaders from the National Campesino Front Ezequiel Zamora (FNCEZ) told us that the bodies of two of their comrades, missing since April 12, had been found.

Jose Joel Torres Leves and Agustin Gamboa Duran were leading land reform activists in the Comunal City Antonio Jose de Sucre, in Barinas state.

No sooner had the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) released its dossier The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of Raul Reyes on May 10, that the international media was once again claiming more proof that Venezuelan government links to terrorism had been uncovered.

Almost none mention that the entire basis of the document were files that Interpol and US and Colombian officials have admitted are dubious at best.

In another important step towards winning Bolivia’s national sovereignty, the country’s Plurinational Assembly has announced the expulsion from Bolivia of USAID’s Environment and Economic Development (EED) program.

USAID is funded by the US government and on its website says one of its aims is “furthering America’s foreign policy interests”. The agency has come under fire for its role in funding pro-US right-wing organisations in Bolivia and the region.

A number of left groups in Venezuela and solidarity groups internationally have expressed concern over the April 23 decision by Venezuelan authorities to arrest well-known Colombian journalist and supporter of the Venezuelan revolution, Joaquin Perez Becerra.

Perez Becerra was arrested when he tried to enter the country through Caracas Airport. He was deported two days later to neighbouring Colombia to face trial for supposed “terrorism” charges in Colombia.

Since January, tens of thousands of United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) militants, together with activists from other left parties and social movements, have been debating the future of Venezuela’s revolution.

Their sights are set on the crucial 2012 presidential elections.

This years’ pro-revolution May Day march will be the platform to officially launch Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s re-election bid.

The US-funded right-wing opposition is yet to decide its candidate, but the election will be critical to the future of a country undergoing a profound process of change.

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