Monday, October 30, 2006

Bolivia: Leninist Trotskyist statement on the fight for Huanuni

The revolutionary internationalist workers stand beside the heroic wage-earning miners of Huanuni!

The heroic resistance of the Huanuni miners made the counterrevolutionary forces of the cooperativistas, Villarroel and Morales' government retreat

After two days of hard fighting to resist the attack of the counterrevolutionary forces of the small cooperativista bosses supported and armed by Walter Villarroel – then mining Minister in Morales` government and a cooperativista boss himself –the heroic Huanuni miners stopped their attackers taking of the mine.
500 wage-earning miners and their wives, sisters and daughters of the Housewives Committee confronted 2000 cooperativistas and defended their mine, their houses, their town, their families and their historical gains. They had to pay the price of several comrades fallen in the struggle.

Thus while bargaining with the fascist Media Luna bourgeoisie and the transnationals in the fake Constituent Assembly, Morales intended to secure the huge tin reserves of the Huanuni mine, especially Posokoni Hill’s 948,000 tons valued in 4000 million dollars, for the profit-hungry “cooperativista” national bourgeoisie, driven by a world tin price which has risen from U$S 4890 per metric ton in 2003 to….. U$S 7385 in 2006!

The attack of the cooperativistas bosses was the Morales' government reply to the successful struggle of Huanuni miners who, with campesinos, unemployed and a sector of the workers exploited by the cooperativista bosses, had just forced the government to let the state mining company Comibol (Corporacion Minera Boliviana, or Bolivian Mining Corporation) work the mine in Posokoni Hill and to create 1500 new jobs in Huanuni.
Following this agreement, thousands of unemployed miners and many of those enslaved by the cooperativista bosses, started to arrive from all over the country at Huanuni in the hope of getting their jobs back in the state mines, and to win back their rights, their old living standards and their dignity.

The popular front government of Morales, servant of the transnationals, would not allow the agreement with the Huanuni miners to be honored. That is why it encouraged and organized the cooperativista bosses to attack the Huanuni workers and retake the mine.


But Morales’ plan failed because of the heroic resistance of the miners and their workers self-defence organisation. On the evening of 6 October, a provisional truce was signed between the wage-earning miners and the cooperativista bosses, and negotiations were opened.

During the next weekend, the wage-earning miners and Huanuni townspeople held a wake for the dead and then buried their five comrades who fell in combat, along with the three Huanuni townspeople killed by dynamite thrown by cooperativista bosses.

After the Huanuni battle, both Evo Morales and the bourgeois tried cynically to present themselves as the “peacemakers”.

But it is they, together with the imperialist transnationals, who steal the wealth of Bolivia and drive the masses into misery. And it is they who sent the fascist gangs, the army, the cooperativista bosses thugs to kill the workers.

Reaching the height of cynicism, Evo Morales asked the people to be “understanding” with him about the “mistakes” that he made due to his “inexperience” as he “had never governed” and that was “learning”. “Learning”….. yes! “learning” how to kill workers, as bosses do, and every bourgeois government serving the interests of the transnationals and imperialism like the one he is heading!
There is no doubt that Morales has proved to be a very apt “student”. In just a few months, he has murdered in Oruro a worker from the Movimiento Sin Techo (Movement of the Homeless); in the Chapare, two coca peasants, and now the Huanuni wage-earning miners.

After sending the cooperativistas to massacre the miners, Morales “denounced” it all as a “conspiracy” against his government and raised the alarm of a ‘coup’ being prepared by a “united front of destabilizers” including police, army officers, the separatist bourgeoisie of the Media Luna and… the school teachers with the wage-earning miners and their unions, the COB, the COR of El Alto, etc.!

Bastards! The only “conspiracy” here is that between Morales' government with Villarroel and the cooperativista bosses to massacre Huanuni miners and steal their mines! It is the transnationals and the national bourgeoisie together who conspire against the exploited masses of Bolivia to steal its hydrocarbons and its minerals! It is Morales' class collaborationist government and MAS members in the parliament together with the fascist bourgeoisie of the Media Luna, who conspire against the people and the worker and peasant revolution in that fake Constituent Assembly!

It was Evo Morales with MAS and the collaborationist leaderships of the worker and peasant organizations who in October 2003, conspired behind the rebellious masses’ backs, expropriated their victory in overthrowing Goni and handed power over to Mesa! And they conspired again in June 2005, when the masses in struggle had overthrown Mesa: they delivered the power to Rodriguez overnight, within a session of an unlawful parliament brought together in Sucre and surrounded by the hatred of those masses!

Morales' government –as every class collaborationist government led by the national bourgeoisie associated with the transnationals and the international financial capital –has not even thought about confronting the bourgeoisies from Santa Cruz/ Media Luna, which are openly secessionist and are barefacedly arming fascist brigades in order to smash the workers and peasants.

Before taking charge, Morales went to Santa Cruz to ask the oil and landowner oligarchy to “teach him how to govern” because he was going to take care of controlling the rebel worker and peasant masses. He has learnt perfectly from his teachers, to kill workers and poor peasants. This is the government that makes pacts with the secessionist bourgeoisie of the Media Luna in the Constituent Assembly, while sending the counterrevolutionary forces to massacre the miners.
This is the infamous role of the popular front, of the old Stalinist policy of class collaboration with which hundreds of revolutions and the world proletariat have been strangled for decades; a policy supported today by that den of counterrevolutionary bandits of the World Social Forum.

Down with the pact between the anti-worker and repressive government of Morales and the native slave-owner bourgeoisie, the Cruceña oligarchy!
Enough of making the proletariat and its struggle organizations kneel at the feet of the bourgeoisie!
Let’s regroup forces now around Huanuni heroic miners resistance!
The Bolivian working class needs a program and a strategy to win and renew the revolution that, from October 2003, has been snatched by the World Social Forum!

The COB and FSTMB leaders call for the “militarization” of Huanuni to subordinate the workers to the supposedly “patriotic” soldiers and give away the tin business to them.


Spilling their blood in their struggle, the heroic Huanuni miners spoiled the counterrevolutionary plan of the popular front. They prevented the mine from being stolen and re-opened the prospects for the worker and peasant revolution, now stolen, to rise up again. They could have re-conquered –this time in Huanuni- the “headquarters of the revolution”, raising its key demands.

Nationalization without compensation and under workers’ control of all the mines and the hydrocarbons!
Out with the transnationals, expropriation of the landowners!
Land for the peasants, bread and good jobs for all the workers!, etc.

But this prospect has been barred time and again until now by the collaborationist leaders of the worker organizations (mainly the COB and the FSTMB) that support Morales' bourgeois government

Facing this counterrevolutionary attack of the cooperativistas against the Huanuni wage-earning miners, these leaders called for “pacification” and asked their “friend” Morales to send the armed forces to Huanuni to “defend” the mine, as the COMIBOL is state property. Moreover, these leaders use the possibility of a new attack by the cooperativistas, as a gun pointing at the miners’ heads to scare them and their families so as to force them to accept the policy of leaving their fate in the hands of the “nationalist” sector of the murderous military.

Montes and the COB leadership are asking “their” government, “their” friend Morales to send the supposedly “nationalist” officers that support him, to impose order because of the danger that the workers in Huanuni fighting back could mean the regrouping of the whole Bolivian proletariat.

The policy of COB and FSTMB leadership is only one more step in their treacherous class collaborationist politics of keeping the workers subordinated to the bourgeoisie, their ranks divided, and the worker and peasant revolution strangled.

These same leaders – the COB bureaucracy in first place – have abandoned thousands of unemployed to their fate, without organizing them, so allowing them to be enslaved and super-exploited by the cooperativista bosses and today used as anti-union armed thugs against the Huanuni wage-labour miners. The COB bureaucracy – formerly Solares, now Montes- have devoted themselves to dissolve the embryonic dual power organisations that the masses had built. Moreover, they handed over power twice to the bourgeoisie, first to Mesa, then to Rodríguez, and on top of that they called for workers to support their “friend” Morales.

Today when demanding the “militarization” of Huanuni, Montes and the Miners Union leadership are only repeating the old treacherous Lechinite [from the MNR union bureaucrat, Lechin, who sold-out the 1952 Bolivian revolution] policy of the COB bureaucracy of looking for “patriotic”, “anti-imperialist”, “red” soldiers to subordinate the proletariat to those “saviors”.
In that way the bureaucrats manage to deepen the division in the proletarian ranks, keeping them subdued to the popular front and so preventing the workers and peasant alliance being reforged again. As a reward for this “service”, they lure the sector of the Armed Forces that supposedly supports the national bourgueoisie –offering it the lucrative tin business.

This policy of finding “patriotic officers” had been already raised by Solares during May-June 2005. Then he went to knock on the doors of the barracks looking for allies to sell out the masses’ revolutionary days of struggle which were aimed at completely disorganising the bourgeois power institutions.
It is the same policy of Juan Lechin Oquendo then leader of the COB, who along with the Stalinists and Lora`s POR, which betrayed the 1971 revolution. Then they hand the revolution to General Torres –who even talked about “socialism –and joined his “Revolutionary Anti-imperialist Front” while Banzer`s bloody dictatorship was massacring the workers and poor peasants.

The imposition of this ‘patriotic’ class collaborationist policy of the bureaucratic leadership, meant the miners victory won through their joint struggle with the poor peasants and the unemployed, winning 1500 jobs under COMIBOL collective contract conditions was lost.

This class collaboration policy deepens the divisions in the workers’ ranks because it separates the Huanuni wage-earning miners –supposedly “guarded” by the armed forces –from the thousands of cooperativista poor miners. It leaves these super exploited workers at the mercy of the cooperativista bosses to enslave them and use them as armed gangs against the working class.
This policy also separates the Huanuni miners from the poor peasants, because the miners are prevented from joining forces with the campesinos who had their martyrs killed Armed Forces in 2003, and today suffer the repression of the “anti-drug” army brigades in El Chapare or Las Yungas!

The COB called a “national strike” for October 10, precisely with this program of demanding Huanuni`s militarization. A program that that is intended to make the miners and the whole working class kneel down before the criminal policy of class collaboration with the supposedly “nationalist” sector of the murderous army officers caste! But this totally symbolic measure wasn`t followed by the large majority of Bolivian workers that hate the murderous officers caste and still call for justice for their class brothers and sisters killed in October 2003.

But once more, the COB and FSTMB leaders enjoyed the assistance of the fake Trotskyism to carry throug this policy. Lora`s POR joined the chorus of those calling for the militarization of Huanuni, applying that old policy of Stalinism in search of a “red” military to subdue the proletariat to. (see box below)

The same old Stalinist policy of a bloc with the “patriot” military has long been tragic for the Latin American proletariat. Thus, during the glorious Chilean revolution of the “cordones industriales” (industrial belts, the name given to the linked nuclei of soviet-type organizations in that revolution) in the ‘70s, the Socialist Party and the Comunist Party –both of the supported by the same counterrevolutionary policy of the Castroite bureaucracy – made the Chilean workers believe there could be a “peaceful road to socialism”.
They made them believe that without arming themselves they could defend their gains; that without creating dual power, splitting the army and the murderous officers caste, they could achieve national liberation. In hundreds of revolutions this Stalinist policy has been already been proved to be counter-revolutionary. In the Chilean tragedy, the “patriotic” officer who was appointed by Allende as Commander in Chief of the Amy, was no other than… Pinochet, the dictator who massacred the Chilean workers and poor peasants.

Stop the workers’ organizations kneeling at the feet of Morales’ government with its pacts with business and the Cruceña oligarchy!
Down with the murderous officers caste of the Bolivian army!
For committees of rank and file soldiers that democratically choose their officers and send delegates to all the worker and peasant organizations!


Against the policy of Morales and the COB Castroite leadership, we Trotskyists say that the only way to stop the killings in Huanuni and to smash the fascist gangs that are being formed , is to take the path of the heroic Bolivian revolution of 1952 that destroyed the army and created worker and campesino militias of the COB.

Throw out of the workers organizations the bosses’ agents and the murderous officers’ caste of the armed forces!
Everybody to Huanuni!
Assemblies from all the workers and campesinos movements to send delegates to Huanuni now!
The Bolivian revolution must rise up again, rebuild its headquarters, expel from its ranks the treacherous leaders who collaborate with the class enemy, and re-enter the road of October 2003 and of the Bolivian revolution of 1952.


Oppose the fraud of the “Bolivarian Revolution” proclaimed by the national bourgeoisie and their major imperialists partners all over the continent (such as MERCOSUR and the TLC) who are preventing the masses from defending themselves from the governments and regimes attacking them as in Mexico and Chile.
Oppose the traitors who make the proletariat kneel at the feet of Chávez whose oil feeds the US-UK war machine that massacres in Iraq, and prepares the way for Fidel Castro to restore capitalism in Cuba.
In summary, oppose the den of thieves of the revolution in the World Social Forum, and renew the Bolivian revolution again to fight for the workers and campesinos revolution, demolishing and destroying the machinery of the bourgeois state.

Out with the counter-revolutionary armed thugs of the cooperativista bosses sent by Evo Morales Government and the transnational companies to divide and smash the miners!
Stop the “Bolivarian Revolution” fraud!
For the worker and peasant revolution!


International Supplement of the Internationalist Trotskyists of Bolivia and Argentina
Jointly Issued by Octubre Rojo Internacionalista (Bolivia) – Liga Obrera Internacionalista-CI (Argentina) Members of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction (LFT)

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POR and LOR: The Role of the fake Trotskyists at Huanuni

The renegades –fake Trotskyists – (former Trotskyists who claim to still be Trotskyists) are a left leg of the treacherous class-collaborationist policy of the COB leaders that sells-out the workers struggle.

Facing the Huanuni events, Lora’s POR again played the same deadly role it has been playing since October 2003: as the fundamental support of the Castroite bureaucracy (first Solares, now Montes) at the head of the COB.

POR leads a number of unions e.g. the La Paz city teachers, retired miners of Cochabamba, and student unions in different Bolivian universities. POR could have sent dozens of delegates with a mandate from the rank and file, voted by grass-root assemblies of the organizations it leads, in support of the wage-earning miners. Those forces, together with the Huanuni miners, could have called for the El Alto worker organizations to break with the collaborationist leadership of Patana and Mamani and to recreate the headquarters of the revolution. POR has done none of this.

Far from this, speaking about Morales’ government, POR wrote in its paper:“Facing the bloody evidence of the systematic assaults of the cooperativistas whose aim is to control all of Posokoni Hill, (Morales government) refused to use the public force to prevent the confrontation. And when the bloody events occured, it proved its incapacity to prevent the slaughter choosing to transfer its responsibility to (the state office for) Human Rights, the Ombudsman and the Clergy (Masas Nº 2012, 13/10/06, our emphasis).

So Lora’s POR, like Montes of the COB and the leaders of the FSTMB, makes Evo responsible for not having sent the “public forces” –that is, the cops and the murderous Armed Forces- to Huanuni. Not very surprising! It is the same old POR policy of telling the workers they have to build an alliance with the (supposedly) “red officers” of the army, which that party has organized for decades in the organization “Vivo Rojo”.(Red Alive) Today the POR advances the same policy that 35 years ago help to strangle the 1971 Bolivian revolution, by supporting – together with COB bureaucracy and the Stalinists – General Torres the then-president of Bolivia whom they introduced as an “anti imperialist” and even “socialist” officer.

So, while the leadership of the COB, the Stalinists, POR and other groups were entertaining themselves talking in the Popular Assembly, they adamantly refused to organize the workers and peasants’ militias to confront the coup General Banzer was openly preparing. As a result workers and peasants were utterly defeated and massacred, while Lechín (then COB’s head), Lora and his POR and General Torres (already deposed), organized abroad, “in exile” a “Revolutionary Anti-imperialist Front” that had the goal of seizing power and achieving socialism in Bolivia.!!!

But POR`s infamous policy doesn’t end here. The article above also says “…in this struggle, the wage-earning miners embody Bolivian interests and it is inconceivable that the State will not assume its responsibility for holding onto its own wealth (…). The wage-earning miners’ struggle is the struggle of the entire country. It is all about the destiny of the national economy and that is why a big mobilization of the exploited is imperative to force this government to renew the state mining business. Which means the restitution to the COMIBOL of the management of the most important mines that are today operated by private (both national and transnational) medium and large mining companies," (our emphasis).

It is impossible to speak more clearly. Lora’s POR calls to exert pressure on the popular front government and the bourgeois state. It is feeding illusions of the possibility that a bourgeois government, which in the end is a servant of the transnational monopolies, to meet the Bolivian miners and entire working class’ demands of nationalization of the whole mining business without compensation and under workers control! Alas, it is the same government that has just handed over El Mutun hill, just sent the fascist cooperativistas’ armed gangs to kill the Huanuni miners!

POR proves once more to be the party of the Castroite bureaucracy in the Bolivian revolution, the same role played by all the liquidators of Trotskyism on our continent, having dragged the flag of the Fourth International under the feet of Stalinism.

As a fifth leg of this treacherous class-collaborationist policy, there is the PTS from Argentina and its satellite group in Bolivia, LOR (CI). The PTS says: “the wage-earning miners had got solidarity not just from their community but also from other miners, students and popular sectors of Oruro. The Bolivian Worker Center (that is, the COB) marched on Tuesday along La Paz streets in solidarity with Huanuni and its demands” (LVO 208, 12/10/06). There is no mention of Montes` policy of “militarization”, so in fact covering up and whitewashing the COB class-collaborationist leadership.

In these matters of life and death for the proletariat, the PTS and its satellites don’t show the least interest. Why bother? They already have their Constituent Assembly, that which they claimed during 2003 had to be set up in Bolivia! For them, the masses would be now “having their experience with bourgeois democracy”. PTS’ policy for an IPT [Workers Political Institution, a euphemism for PT] has already failed as well as their flirting with Solares [former COB head] and the COB bureaucracy. They are unquestionably a useless link in Bolivian reformism, but always happily hanging from the skirts of those responsible for the handing over of the Bolivian revolution –the COB bureaucracy.

We ask them: Would you please show us a program to confront fascism with a tactics of united front of all the working class and popular fighting organizations in Bolivia? Silence. Perhaps, a policy to remove definitely the COB treacherous leadership, sending delegates to fight in Huanuni and re-group working class ranks? Silence. What do you think about “national” armed forces going to “defend” the miners, as Montes and POR proclaim? Silence…. Silence is the only answer.
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