Friday, May 08, 2009

Three Bolivian Miners Killed - No Accident!

Yesterday (May 6, 2009) three miners were killed in Caihuasi [town near the Huanuni tin mine]. This was no accident. We hold the government of Morales and his army responsible. These deaths that the direct result of the drive for profits by the bourgeois government of Evo Morales and imperialist transnationals. Stop killing the workers!

On May 6, in the mining district of Huanuni, as they finished their shift, Coca Edwin Cucuna, 24, Julian Lajares Policarpio, 35, and Simón Rodríguez Mollinero, 38, died in a mine explosion. This tragedy happened at the 160 level (at 160 meters below ground) while preparing the site to be worked by the next shift of miners.

All the media talk of the bourgeoisie is that what happened is the result of an "accident."

This a lie! It is nothing but murder! The government of Morales which did not spend any money on maintaining the mine and the safety of miners is responsible. While the minerals, oil and other raw materials are still high on the world market, the "Bolivarian" governments like that of Morales, Chavez and the boli-burgeoisies profit from the bones, muscles and blood of workers.

Thus, while the workers hit by inflation fight for better living conditions, wages and to defend their jobs, and, like the miners of Huanuni, for a decent retirement pension, these governments have responded with brutal repression at the hands of the murderous army of Morales, or like Chavez, brutally suppressed the workers of Sidor steel workers striking for their just demands.

Bullshit! It is the workers who always pay with their lives, while the union leaders like Montes collaborate with this government and its agreement with the counterrevolutionary fascists of the Media Luna [the Eastern part of Bolivia that contains around 80% of the mineral wealth] that smashes our brothers and sisters in the East.

These leaders, Montes, Solares and Mitma [Guido Mitma, the head of the Bolivian Federation of Mining Unions] subordinate the workers organisations to the government of Morales, negotiating with the SMTMH [Sindicato Mixto de Trabajadores Mineros de Huanunian - Huanuni Miners union] an agreement whereby if the government invests in the Huanuni mine, workers will forgo a wage increase for many years!

This is a lie, there is no investment. Already they are making miners redundant and stopping production bonuses. They're just false promises! The government did not invest during the mining boom, how will it invest when mineral prices are falling! Once again trying to con miners!

Huanuni miners, like all workers in Bolivia, are super-exploited: the surplus value is torn from our labor by the national capitalists, the imperialists and the Morales government uses a small part of it to buy the services of the treacherous union leaders to control the workers and make them submit to the pact between the MAS and the fascists!

Last year Montes and Solares disarmed the miners of Caihuasi in the face of armed police repression causing the assassination of two miners and many more badly wounded. Now today they serve the greed of the capitalists to run down the conditions in the mines so that once more Huanuni goes into mourning for the dead! Stop killing the workers!

With the death of fellow miners, the SMTMH decreed a mourning period throughout the mine for 48 hours. This should become a day of mourning and protest in the whole of Bolivia to unite the workers' ranks. The Huanuni miners vanguard should again stand alongside the miners of San Cristobal, who occupied the mine of the multinational Pan American Silver, taking hostage the bosses, technicians and contractors to press their demands; and alongside the superexploited workers of the cooperatives and those thousands of miners out of work.

We must return to the Pulacayo Theses, there must be unity in the ranks of the miners vanguard:

* The sliding scale of wages and working hours to create jobs for all!

* National Congress of rank and file delegates of COMIBOL [State Owned Mines] unemployed and cooperative workers!

* To raise a militant campaign for the nationalization of all the mines, beginning with Mutún, and under workers' control!

* Any miner who does not exploit another miner can get a job in the nationalised mines and share in the gains of all miners!

* Industrialization will come from the expropriation of all the transnationals as demanded in 2003-2005!

* To win this we must fight for the resolutions of the general assemblies of the miners of Huanuni in July 2008, which declared Montes, Solares and Mitma as traitors to be implemented! Collaborators get out of the leadership of the COB [Bolivian Trade Union Central], the FSTMB [National Miners Union], and all local unions!

To build a miners militia that will strike terror in the hearts of the cowardly Santa Cruz oligarchy, the proletariat and poor peasants must break with the MAS, return to the revolutionary road of 2003-2005, re-founding the COB of 1952 together with its armed militia!

* Its Us or Them: Class against class!

* The miners will not be blackmailed with dismissals or wage cuts to pay for the crisis of the national bourgeoisie and the transnationals!

* Huanuni miners unite with all workers such as industrial workers, the teachers of La Paz, and the militant youth of the UMSA [University Mayor de San Andres in La Paz]. For a Congress of delegates of the COB, along with the poor peasants and militant students fighting to rebuild the 1952 COB militia!

The hundreds of miners who have been killed in the mines of Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Latin America, Africa and Asia are the martyrs of the international working class. Their blood stains the banner of the many millions of immigrant workers and and low paid workers in the U.S. and the imperialist powers of Europe, the workers of the former workers' states now exploited by the former Stalinist bureaucracy reborn as a new exploiting class.

Raise the bloody flag of these martyrs to workers everywhere! Throughout the world the working class has begun its battle against the capitalist parasites: the workers of Madagascar, the militant workers and youth of Greece, France, Guadeloupe and Martinique and the former states workers!

International Trotskyist League (LTI)
Of the Leninist Trotskyist Fraction
May 7, 2009
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