Thursday, January 05, 2006

Evo Morales

In Bolivia a yearning of the peoples for change has triumphed

Editorial Board of En Marcha

Central Organ of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE)

(December 21, 2005)

The electoral victory of Evo Morales in the last elections is a political phenomenon that one could see coming, but the final results notably surpassed the predictions and polls that said that the candidate of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) would obtain 38% of the electorate.

This victory is part of the democratic, progressive and left-wing current that is taking shape in the Latin American countries, shown in various electoral processes and in the development of the struggle of the workers and peoples fighting for change; it is the answer to three decades of structural adjustment policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund and by governments submissive to U.S. policies that have notably affected the conditions of life of the Bolivians.

Morales knows how to concentrate popular feeling and he has raised a political proposal that contradicts the one defined by the United States for the region. He proposes to defend national sovereignty, to oppose endorsing the Free Trade Agreement and the presence of Yankee military bases in the continent, he promises to nationalize the oil and gas resources; he demands the political and material rights of the indigenous peoples and of the working classes; this has led him to gain the support of a people that is mobilized, as has been shown in these last years through the popular uprisings that have put an end to two anti-popular and pro-imperialist governments.

Morales has not only won due to the support of the indigenous peoples (Aymaras, Kichwas, Guaranis and others), but due to the support of sectors of the workers, miners, peasants, small traders, youths and unemployed who voted against neo-liberalism and for social change. Now he has a great commitment and an enormous responsibility towards a people that expects the new government to attend to their needs disregarded for years. Some social sectors (such as those organized in the Bolivian Trade Union Federation, COB) have set a time limit for Morales to meet certain demands and apply determined political measures. The level of mobilization of the masses will be a determining factor for the political program to be applied. But Evo Morales will also face a series of boycott actions from inside and outside the country promoted by U.S. imperialism and the pro-imperialist bourgeoisie. Certainly the oligarchy from Santa Cruz and that of other regions will persist in their plans for autonomy to break up Bolivia; and the demand to legalize the cultivation of coca will be taken as a pretext to call that country of the high plateau an emporium for drug trafficking, to justify interventionist actions.

We revolutionaries look with sympathy on this political victory gained by the workers and peoples of Bolivia, which is also a harsh blow to imperialism and the local bourgeoisie. The Bolivian people and their new government count on our solidarity and support in all those measures directed at striking a blow against the privileges of the ruling classes and at foreign domination; in all those actions that demand the sovereign right of that people to live with liberty and in equity.

Some facts about Bolivian reality

The last two decades of the application of neo-liberal policies in Bolivia have meant that, in the countryside, the number of wage workers has diminished from 73 thousand to 64 thousand. The number of households that work for themselves – basically with subsistence economies – went from 43 thousand to 447 thousand. In the cities, the so-called informal sector, composed of household units, artisans, based on family labor and not wage labor, grew from the 60% to 68% of the total working population. Thus, the number of people with work contracts fell from 40% to 32% of the total labor force.

Bolivia has very bad indices of income distribution, only exceeded – negatively – by Brazil. The richest 20% dispose of an income 30 times greater that the poorest 20%. Sixty percent of the population lives in poverty in the whole country, but that index reaches 90% in the rural areas. Official unemployment figures tripled in the last 17 years, since the monetary stabilization plans began to be applied, reaching 13.9%, while the proportion of persons in the "informal" sector – that is, those with precarious jobs – grew from 58% to 68% in 15 years. Infant mortality is 60 for every thousand live births, while the average for the continent is 28. Life expectancy at birth is 63 years, while the average for Latin America and the Caribbean is 70 years.

Two and a half million peasants have as their main instrument of labor the Egyptian plow, which is 3,000 years old. Modern technology is only utilized in the extraction of oil and gas, in telecommunications, the banks and in 10% of mining extraction and industrial production.


Renegade Eye said...

The blog of yours looks improved since I last saw your blog.

Evo Morales comes from the background as a parlimentarian. I hope he stays responsive to the mass movement.

Earlier in 2005, Bolivia had a situation of dual power. It was a revolutionary period, without a vanguard. Hopefully the masses don't go into despair.


Renegade Eye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Renegade Eye said...

I added a link to your blog at mine. I don't make a condition to link to someone, that I agree with everything.

Umer A. Chaudhry said...

Thank you for adding my link to your blog. I can see that we have difference, but that should not restrain us from communicating.

Morales is a ray of hope. I don't say that he might be the final solution, but I am not arrogant to say the otherwise as well.

Latin America seems to follow a very different revolutionary path.

CB said...

The problem Evo will have will not come from the U.S. it will come from his own people. He will have to build up a tremendous security force and a network of eyes around the country to stave off discontent. If he nationalizes the oil and gas industry as promised and expects to direct other aspects of their economy, he is doomed to failure. If he remains in power, he will end up killing his own people to surpress discontent. Economies cannot be effectively managed any attempt to do so will produce shortages where they cannot be afforded and surplusses where they are not needed. The Soviet Union made that reality clear. The nation with the greatest natural resources in the history of any government in the world couldn't feed its people.

Gorbachev famously asked Maggy Thatcher how she fed her people. Her reply was, "I don't." In other words, the market distributes resources more efficiently and equitably than any well meaning socialist program ever has.

CB said...

I got here through your posting on my friend Renegade Eye's site.

Umer A. Chaudhry said...

cb wrote, "If he nationalizes the oil and gas industry as promised and expects to direct other aspects of their economy, he is doomed to failure."

A political analyst wrote, "However, when Morales talks about the nationalization of gas or mineral reserves, he does not mean the confiscation of assets or the expulsion of foreign capital but, rather, a fairer share of the profits."

I would also like to know, how through nationalization, Evo's government is doomed to failure.

You wrote, "Economies cannot be effectively managed any attempt to do so will produce shortages where they cannot be afforded and surpluses where they are not needed."

The central planning in a nationalized government is meant to curb the economic cycles. It is a fact that nationalized government has been very successful in doing that.

You wrote, "The Soviet Union made that reality clear. The nation with the greatest natural resources in the history of any government in the world couldn't feed its people."

You must be talking about post-Stalin, revisionist Soviet Union. Under the leadership of Comrade Stalin, the SU proved that nationalized economic system is far supperior than a market-based economic system, as far as the welfare of people is concerned.

The health and education statistics of Soviet Union show that that lived a life with material security.

You wrote, "Gorbachev famously asked Maggy Thatcher how she fed her people."

It would be a mistake, a big one, to say that Soviet Union was socialist under the Gorbachev. After the introduction of perestroika and glasnost policies, private property had its place in the SU.

Gorbachev was not a socialist, and came, as he confessed in 2001, to remove socialism from USSR.

You wrote, "I got here through your posting on my friend Renegade Eye's site."


Umer A. Chaudhry said...

"James Petras and others seem to be leading a herd of while animals frothing at the mouth in opposition to the Bolivian indiginous leader whose election by a broad, unquestionable majority even the righteous likes of the Wall Street Journal have been compelled to accept, for a moment. Such people think that they can only affirm their existence,
their reason-for-being on this earth, through "criticism". I have now begun to think such a posture should be called "criticism-ism", as in "I criticize, therefore, I am", analagous to Jean-Jacques Rousseau."

To read the complete article visit:

CB said...

Please review the history of the Soviet Union, not Stalinist propaganda. Stalin was supported by western liberals in search of effective implementation of their collective belief in the lofty egalitarian rhetoric of Socialism. Walter Durante of the New York Times seemed to provide that hope for a time when he reported back on the "Soviet Miracle." He reported of everyone being well fed, industrial efficiency and general happiness. What western liberals who flocked there found was that Durante had been bribed with women and lots of vodka. In fact, Stalin had implemented the "terror famines" which killed 20 million Soviets and that he had built the world's largest penal system in the gulags where he imprisoned those political opponents he didn't kill.

Renegade Eye and other Marxists, will tell you that Stalin banned Trotsky killed Lennin and was no Marxist. I don't believe in Stalin, Marx, Lennin or Trotsky. Economies organized around markets, property rights and the rule of law sans corruption, have proven to be the most efficient, effective and equitable distributor of resources in history. It is a moral imperative, especially for the poor of the world, that this economic system be implemented for the benefit of the least well off.

Umer A. Chaudhry said...

There appears to be a contradiction in your statements. Your story about Durante might be correct, even tough you have not provided the source for your claim. However, while rightly telling me to disown western propoganda, you are asking me to accpet the Nazi propoganda with open arms.

Thomas Walker, who is often cited as the observer of famine in Ukraine, worked for William Randolph Heast. Heast met Hitler at the end of the summer of 1934 to finalize an agreement under which Germany would buy its international news from the Hearst-owned company International News Service. At the time, the Nazi press had already started up a propaganda campaign about the `Ukrainian famine'. Hearst took it up quickly, thanks to his great explorer, Walker. It later turned out that Walker didn't even visit Ukraine.

Or maybe you want me to believe in the "scientific calculations" of Robert Conqest. By the way, according to that method, millions of people died in Canada between 1932-41. It is scientific to believe that Conquest's methods, who have been given high academic prestige, are bull shit.

Stalin was supported by all the Marxist-Leninists, including Lenin's wife, Comrade Krupskaya, and Lenin's sister, Comrade Maria. One single individual, Trotsky, who joined Lenin on the eve of revolution, did not agree. The problem was obviously not with Stalin.

Please refer to:


You wrote, "Economies organized around markets, property rights and the rule of law sans corruption, have proven to be the most efficient, effective and equitable distributor of resources in history."

Depends on the presepective that you are employing. My prespective is that these are the most unfair economic policies. Only a small minority, 5 percent, benifits and the others have to suffer. Had it been a good system, the conditions in Africa, and other third world countries would have been different. I wonder where the equity, that you have pointed out, is.

Please refer to