As Leninism-Trotskyism taught us, the Popular Front opens the way to fascism! For more than a decade, left-wing populist and traitor governments ruled by applying imperialist plans and attacking the Latin American working class.
The coup d’état in Bolivia and the instability throughout Latin America is a consequence of the terminal crisis of capitalism, which shows that this system cannot be improved, as the “progressive” governments of the region wanted us to believe.
These popular front and reformists leaders demoralized and demobilized the direct struggle of the workers. They created illusions in the bourgeois democratic regime and they never tired of saying that capitalism was now “democratic” and military coups were no longer possible. Just as they sold imperialist propaganda with the end of the USSR and the neoliberal offensive, of “good” and “peace” capitalism.
The global crisis of capitalism is the affirmation of the Leninist theory that capitalism in imperialist times is destructive, that this is the epoch of crises, wars and revolutions. “21st Century Socialism” proved to be a farce, as well as its supposed “sovereignty” and the theory of a “multipolar” world, which they use to justify their alliances with Chinese imperialism and the BRICS.
The trigger for this coup is the decline of US imperialism that loses influence over the Bolivarian ALBA that turns to China for trade and investment. But China is not just a semi-colony capable of rescuing the ALBA from US imperialism. She is the largest imperialist rival of the US, globally and also in Latin America. It is their economic power that is turning American semi-colonies into Chinese semi-colonies. It is Morales’ agreement with China on raw materials, especially lithium, that has deprived the US and the Santa Cruz oligarchy of most of this great wealth.
The reformist left that shifts all direct workers’ struggle to bourgeois elections and now allies with Chinese imperialism as an alternative to American imperialism is part of the counterrevolution. Bolivia and the whole world are being drawn to the growing inter-imperialist impulse leading to the war between the US bloc and the China / Russia bloc. And the “left” is splitting, supporting one or another imperialist bloc!
Stalinists, RT socialists and some fake Trotskyists defend the imperialist bloc of China / Russia and their allies in LA (Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia) against US imperialism. These LA governments have confrontations with American imperialism that are not at all “anti-imperialist” but pro-Chinese and Russian imperialism. To this left, it is no longer fighting the large foreign enterprises that often drive workers from their homes and lands, and devastate the environment as do the lithium mines today, which destroy the water and destroy the whole Uyuni Salt Flat region. They advocate handing over to Chinese companies, repeating Beijing’s propaganda that their worldwide expansion would be “win-win,” “help” for the semi-colonies. They join with the “progressive” or “democratic” bourgeoisie nationally, and in a great popular front with the imperialist bloc of China and Russia, internationally.
Latin American leftist organizations, Trotskyists like LIT and UIT, do not support Evo or Maduro, and have always placed themselves in leftist opposition to these governments. However, their solution for a way out by bourgeois democracy have placed them in positions of direct defense of the reactionary actions of the bourgeoisie, such as support for the maneuvers that led to Dilma’s impeachment in Brazil. There are also ultra-leftist organizations that stand directly on the right side, defending the coup in Bolivia or Venezuela as progressive that will overthrow the dictators and establish bourgeois democracy. The LIT comes to the nonsense of calling to combat the coup in Bolivia with “free elections!”. LIT, UIT and FT do not see China and Russia as imperialists, but they do not defend them as the Stalinists do. They ignore Chinese expansion into the world and rivalry with the US in their daily politics, and the issue is restricted to a mere formality decided by their leadership, with empirical methods that lead them to revisionist theories of “sub-imperialism” as the LIT thinks, or in “transition” to imperialist, as the FT leadership concluded.
The FLTI says China and Russia are semi-colonies and accuses as revisionist the position that these countries are imperialists. She is right when she says that in the imperialist era, because of its destructive character, it is not possible for a semi-colony to develop its productive forces and become imperialist. This theory of “developed”, “multipolar”, “transitional” capitalism is revisionist and serves the reformist politics of the left to ally itself with the “progressive” national bourgeoisie or “good” China / Russia or “democratic” imperialism. from the USA. FLTI concludes from its analysis of the coup that Morales sold out to the US. If that was the case then how to explain a US backed coup? China and Russia are today imperialists because their revolution recognised that it was only possible to develop the productive forces by ending capitalism. That’s what these countries did. But they failed to defeat global capitalism and were forced to rejoin it. With capitalist restoration they return as rival powers of the USA. Failure to recognize the imperialist character of the China / Russia bloc creates illusions about who is the enemy and precludes a program that fits reality, and that consequently combats imperialism and traitors within the ranks of the working class, especially the Stalinists, who advance in their alliance with China and Russia, defending dictatorships like Assad’s in Syria.
Workers need to get rid of these opportunistic leaders that tie them to the bourgeoisie and its “democratic” regime. The masses that have been suffering the fury of the counterrevolution, as in Syria or the repressions of the coup in Bolivia, show that fascism is growing in this crisis as a necessary method for the bourgeoisie to attack the class and crush it. The only force capable of combating imperialism, fascism and military coups is the organized and independent working class and its revolutionary struggle for the end of capitalism and the bourgeois state, with its Party with a Revolutionary program.
Faced with the crisis in which the country was in, with roads and streets blocked by protesters, government-linked and opposition parliamentarians attacked and their homes being burned down, the COB has spoken publicly to call for Evo Morales to resign without giving any class alternative to the offensive of the traditional right allied with American imperialism. The reformist, “trade unionist” leadership of the COB, and the bureaucratization of the unions where there is no grassroots organization led to capitulation for the coup and betrayal. It is important to call on the COB to form councils and militias and fight for a workers’ government, but this will not happen without a Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard party leading the struggle.
After the coup, the COB bureaucracy gave more proof of its reformism and treason giving the coup-makers a 24-hour ultimatum “to restore the constitutional order, social peace and unity of the Bolivian people and to avoid further bloodshed, sadness, mourning and violence,” if left unattended, will make a “general strike to march to La Paz.” The sectors linked to Evo’s MAS party demand that the march demand the return of Evo.
For Bolivian workers and peoples not to fall into the counter- revolutionary trap of the bourgeois elections and not be defeated by reaction, a revolutionary party with a Marxist program is needed to lead organized workers in the COB, unions and indigenous organizations to break with their opportunistic leaderships, to build their grassroots and self-defense committees, and General Strike, march to La Paz to defeat the reaction, seize government buildings, occupy the factories and strategic facilities of the Bolivian economy, expropriate the Transnational and landowners, break with all imperialism and install a Workers’ Government that advances the measures by Socialism.
From Bolivia to Syria, Iraq, Lebanon to Hong Kong, from Barcelona to Chile and Ecuador, popular uprisings and revolutionary processes have been driven to defeat by the Popular Front and illusion in the bourgeois democratic regime. The necessary class independence and solidarity among the world’s workers has been replaced by class division to support one or another imperialist bloc and their respective regional bourgeois government allies.
Faced with the capitalist crisis combined with the threat of a climate collapse, capitalism must die! Long live Socialism!
red rave is the loud mouth of members of the Communist Workers' Group of Aotearoa/New Zealand, committed to building a new communist international to lead workers to the revolutionary overthrow of global capitalism. Since 2010 we have been in a Liaison Committee with the Communist Workers' Group (USA), the Revolutionary Workers' Group (Zimbabwe) and the Revolutionary Workers' Group (Brazil). In December 2019 the LCC became the International Leninist Trotskyist Tendency (ILTT) on the basis of agreement on program and perspectives, and the need for a higher level of democratic centrism in the fight for a new world party of socialism.