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Oppose the US-backed coup in Bolivia!

Written by: CPA (M-L) on 13 November 2019


The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the US-instigated coup that has forced the resignation of democratically-elected Indigenous Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Morales and other senior leaders of his government have been forced to flee the country. Mexico has provided them with asylum and protection.

The Morales government dared to defy imperialism and set Bolivia on a course for economic independence. It sought to improve conditions for the Bolivian working class and to support Indigenous communities through a series of progressive reforms. These progressive policies gained Morales significant support amongst the Bolivian masses. However, his government did not extend its electoral popularity to a revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist elements in the country. He tried to govern with the old machinery of state (police, courts, army, parliament etc.) still in existence.

It was elements of that existing state structure, notably the police, who began rioting against the government which resulted in the coup. It was the head of the Bolivian Armed Forces Gen. Williams Kaliman, who went on national television and demanded that Morales resign. They were the leading players in the coup. They were ably supported by the right-wing opposition parties and the US-supported Organisation of American States which had alleged there were “voting irregularities” in the recent election victory of Morales to a fourth term of office.

Despite claims of “a restoration of democracy to Bolivia” by the coup plotters and supporters, the reactionary anti-working class, racist, and anti-Indigenous character of the coup quickly revealed itself. Police and military officers have filmed themselves cutting the Indigenous Wiphala flag from their uniforms and rioters burned the flag in the streets. The Wiphala flag, representing the Indigenous people of the Andes, was raised to the status of an official dual flag of the Bolivian state in 2009, a sign of the political progress that had been made by Indigenous people under the Morales government.  

The coup against Morales is a set-back for the people of Bolivia and for the broader anti-imperialist movement in South America. Its success will likely encourage US imperialism to further acts of destabilisation against Venezuela and Cuba, and strengthen the right-wing reactionaries in the region.

There will no doubt be important lessons to be learned by our South American revolutionary comrades.

Our solidarity and support goes to them, and all the Bolivian masses organising and fighting to resist this attack on democracy and their rights.


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