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U.S. Culpability with Racist Fascist White Bolivians!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Pro-MAS rally in Bolivia

Pro-MAS rally in Bolivia

During work this morning I was listening to a podcast of Democracy Now! and heard president Bush state this:

Unfortunately, Bolivia has failed to cooperate with the United States on important efforts to fight drug trafficking.  So, sadly, I have proposed to suspend Bolivia’s trade preferences until if fulfills it’s obligations.

Does anyone believe a single word this dumb mother fucker says anymore!?  Yes…of course…drugs…that’s what you’re concerned about…DRUGS…You couldn’t possibly be concerned about Bolivia’s Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party that has begun nationalizing industries and wants to take steps in redistributing land to the majority indigenous population of the country!

From watching the video it seems that even Bush doesn’t believe what he is saying.  Much of his argument falls apart with just a minor look at what is going on at the surface in drug trafficking in the Andean region.  A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has found that there was only a modest increase (5%) in coca trafficking in Bolivia while there was a 27% increase in the reactionary right-wing state of  Columbia (which is the U.S.’s biggest ally in the region).  But, this is beside the point; what I really want to talk about is Bolivia’s fight for genuine autonomy and freedom from capitalism and U.S. imperialism and the U.S. policy of aligning itself with fascist elements in Bolivia.

As soon as Evo Morales, the first indigenous leader ever in Bolivia’s 470 year history and a former coca farmer and labor leader, the opposition reacted in their classical reactionary fascist fashion.  According to president Morales:

Well, from the time I was sworn in as president of the republic in 2006, the [right-wing] opposition continually tried to stop my presidency. During the first few months, they said, “Oh, poor little Indian,” that “he’s going to be four, five, six months as president, and then he’s going to leave. He’s not going to be able to lead, to be in the government.”

Nevertheless, a year went by, and I was still president. I gave my speech to the Bolivian people.
And from that time on, what did the opposition do? They said, “We think that this Indian is going to stay here for a long time. We have to do something.” That something is like, get him out. In the financial and political issues, with false arguments that I was going to end with private property in Bolivia, they tried constantly to wear me down.

That right-wing opposition, to put it more descriptively, is the landed Ladino (white) class that has controlled the political and cultural scene in Bolivia since the time of the Spanish conquistadors.  They have unprecedented control of the country despite being an extremely tiny minority.  According to Sarah Hines:

The Bolivian research group Econoticias reports that the 100 largest landowners (known in Bolivia as the “100 clans”) own five times as much territory as the country’s 2 million poorest farmers–more than 25 million hectares (62 million acres).

Part of the reason they have held onto power is through their extremely racist reactionary ideology, severe political repression through a near-police state over the centuries (especially in the 20th), and near-blind support (monetary and military) from the United States.

Because Evo Morales, and more importantly MAS and the indigenous and workers movement, have begun nationalizing industry and setting up a country that is independent from U.S. imperialist-capitalist clutches, as well as giving more power to the majority indigenous population the elitists in Bolivia and the United States government has reacted stealthfully and violently.  Roger Burbach writes:

The Bush administration has pursued a two-track policy similar to the strategy the United States employed to overthrow the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. The diplomatic negotiations initiated by Shannon centered almost exclusively on differences over drug policies, with the Bush administration continually threatening to cut or curtail economic assistance and preferential trade if Bolivia did not abide by the U.S. policy of coca eradication and criminalization. At the same time, the United States – through its embassy in La Paz and the Agency for International Development (USAID) – funded political forces that opposed Morales and MAS. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with 37 in-country agents, appears to have acted like the CIA in Bolivia, gathering intelligence and engaging in clandestine political operations with the opposition.

The U.S., through its embassy in Bolivia, the DEA, USAID, and even the Peace Corps, has funnelled money and weapons to the minority elitist fascist sect in Bolivia, kept tabs on labor and peasant leaders, and has tried on numerous occasions to destabilize the MAS lead government.

Fortunately this has failed (for now) due in effort to mass mobilizations by MAS supporters and pragmatical political maneuverings by Morales himself within his country and with other countries in his region.

While I am nervous about the destabilization policies by the U.S. (which will more than likely continue under Obama) I am hopeful due to the fact that Bolivia’s new constitution will be put to a referendum in January and will more than likely pass.

It has been noted, however, that there have been some “major” concessions conceeded to the now fragmented and politically unstable right-wing in Bolivia that have weakend the socialist aspects of the constitution.  However, I would like to point out that revolution is protracted, it is long term, and cannot be viewed in the short term.  Hopefully this constitution (if won in January) will give the MAS government more support and in turn will be a launching pad in helping to build up socialist alternatives within the country itself, weaken the reactionary-fascists, empower the peasants and workers, and in turn will lead to a socialist government in the future.  Only time will tell however.  As of now, Bolivia needs everyone’s full support.

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