Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bolivia: 5th August. We must stop the murderous repression of Evo Morales!

Evo Morales and his "popular" army is killing Bolivian miners, already 3 miners are dead and hundreds seriously wounded by gunfire.

The government of Evo Morales has made a pact with the prefects [governors] of the fascist Crescent [Media Luna states of the East] to set the trap of the recall referendum, meanwhile it kills the miners of Huanuni and represses the blockades of the workers.

Thousands of miners are at this time resisting the repression of the government troops of Evo Morales on the roads of Oruro. Many others are outside the General Hospital where 3 young miners are dead and dozens fight for their life. The government of Evo Morales is killing the Bolivian working class!

Tbis follows the general strike at the end of July organised by the COB [Bolivian Workers Central] to demand the replacement of the "Pensions Act".
[i] The government of Morales had rejected these demands and defended the neo-liberal law. Teachers, transport workers, miners and factory workers then went on strike and set up road blockades. The government responded with its "popular" pólice using live ammunition, smashing blockades, and imprisoning and torturing workers.

The miners of Oruro went on strike blocking the roads that connect the Altiplano [between Ururo, La Paz and Cochabamba]. On Saturday, August 2 a general assembly of Huanuni miners rejected the unión officials call to end the strike and wait for the results of the bourgeois referendum to be held on August 10. They voted for an indefinite strike and blockades.

On August 4 the government sent its army with dogs, tanks and live ammunition to unleash a repression against the mining proletariat. With snipers, the government murdered 3 young miners and hundreds were wounded by bullets, while on Tuesday, August 5 it continued a brutal gunfire in Oruro against two blockades maintained by angry workers.

They seek to impose the recall referendum of the MAS, in agreement with the right-wing PODEMOS by shooting workers, and staining their damned polls with the blood of the miners. Here we see the results of Evo Morales’ popular front policy of a pact with fascism to repress the workers while the transnationals continue plundering the nation. Today, Evo Morales tries to prove to the imperialist transnationals that his government can defeat the workers and that it is not necessary to use the fascists to control the Bolivian proletariat.

While the treacherous leadership of the COB mobilizes workers to pressure Morales to negotiate reforms in the pension law and waits for the recall referéndum, the government responds with this repression, prison and death. This proves clearly that to win bread, labour, land, education and dignified retirement, and to have the right to protest without being shot, workers must build their own democratic organisations and militias.

We must replace the current leaders of the COB and the FSTMB [miners union] with a Popular Assembly of delegates of the base of the combative labour movement, poor peasants and students in Huanuni to build now a workers' militia to defend ourselves from the repression of Evo Morales government and to crush fascism, and to return to the path of revolution with the struggle for nationalisation under workers control of hydrocarbons and the entire mining sector, the expropriation of landowners to give land to the rural poor and thus ensure the bread, work, education and health for workers.

This assembly can creat a workers and popular tribunal to punish the murderers of the working class killed in 2003-2005, and being killed today by the regime of Evo Morales. This Assembly will be the alternative for the poor farmers to the government of Evo Morales that protects the transnationals and the landowners and acts as their agents. This assembly must break from the bourgeois popular front of Evo Morales and from the class collaborator leaders of the COB, Montes and Solares.

[i] The main demand of the COB [Bolivian Workers Central] is the end of the neoliberal pension law and for a new ‘solidarity’ law under the joint management of employed workers, the employers and the state. The neoliberal system is managed by the AFPs Zurich Financial Services and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. It is limited to 10% of retired workers so that the other 90% must beg, starve or work to death! It is based on individual contributions of 12.5% of wages, the employers make no contribution, and the private administrator makes millions in profits from the $3.2 Billion fund. Morales want to keep this neoliberal system but have the fund jointly managed by the state. The COB, however wants: i) reducing the retirement age of 65 years to 55 for workers, ii) return to the solidarity system for workers to control the pension fund iii) remove the administration from the private pension funds iv) that the State , TNCs and private companies make compulsory contribution to pension funds at a level that guarantees an adequate level of retirement income.

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