THE Bolivian tragedy eloquently offers us lessons that our peoples and popular social and political forces must learn and record in our consciousness forever.
Here is a brief list, as events develop, a prelude to a more detailed analysis in the future.
First: No matter how well the economy is managed in an exemplary fashion, as the Evo government did – with growth, redistribution, investment all assured, and all macro and microeconomic indicators improved – the right wing and imperialism will never accept a government that does not serve their interests.
Second: Manuals published by various agencies in the United States, and their spokespeople disguised as academics or journalists, must be studied, so we recognize signs of an offensive in time.
These writings invariably highlight the need to destroy the reputation of popular leaders, with accusations of misappropriation, corruption, dictatorial behavior, and ignorance, which in the specialized jargon is known as character assassination.
This task is entrusted to social communicators, self-proclaimed “independent journalists,” who given their quasi-monopoly control of the media drill such defamations into the brains of the population, accompanied, as seen in this case, by hateful comments directed toward native peoples and the poor in general.
Third: Once the aforementioned has begun, next come right wing political leaders and economic elites demanding “a change,” an end to Evo’s “dictatorship,” who, as the unpresentable Vargas Llosa wrote a few days ago, is a “demagogue who wants to eternalize his term in power.”
I suppose he is toasting with champagne in Madrid, watching coverage of the fascist hordes looting, burning, chaining journalists to posts, cutting a female mayor’s hair and covering her with red paint, destroying result reports from the last election, fulfilling the mandates of Don Mario, freeing Bolivia from an evil demagogue.
I mention this case because Vargas has been, and is, the immoral standard bearer of this vile attack, a horrendous crime that has crucified a popular leadership, destroyed democracy, and established a reign of terror run by hired gangs, to punish a worthy people who have the audacity to seek freedom.
Fourth: “Security forces” now enter the scene. In this case we are talking about institutions controlled by numerous military and civilian agencies of the United States government.
These professionals train the local forces, arm them, conduct joint exercises and educate them politically. I had the opportunity to verify this when, on Evo’s invitation, I presented a course on anti-imperialism for high ranking officers in the nation’s three armed forces.
On this occasion, I was horrified by the degree of penetration, among these individuals, of the most reactionary U.S. slogans, inherited from the Cold War era, and by the open irritation they felt given the fact that the country had an indigenous President.
What these “security forces” did was to withdraw from the scene and leave the field open for the uncontrolled action of fascist hordes – like those in Ukraine, in Libya, in Iraq, in Syria – to overthrow leaders who annoyed the empire – or attempt to do so, in the last case – and thus intimidate the population, activists, and government figures themselves.
In other words, a new socio-political phenomenon: a military coup “by default,” letting reactionary gangs, recruited and financed by the right, impose their rule. Once terror reigns, and the government is defenseless, the outcome is inevitable.
Fifth: Bolivia’s security and public order should never have been entrusted to institutions such as the police and the Army, colonized by imperialism and its lackeys in the national right wing.
When the offensive against Evo was launched, a policy of appeasement and not responding to the provocations of fascists was chosen.
This served to embolden the right wingers and increase their confidence. First, they demanded a recount; then, cried fraud and called for new elections; finally insisting on elections without Evo – as in Brazil, without Lula.
At last, Evo’s resignation. Given his refusal to accept the blackmail, terror was sowed with the complicity of police and the military, forcing Evo to resign. By the book, straight from the book. Will we learn these lessons? (From the author’s blog)