The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Bolivia:
The Right Wing Appropriates the Presidency

Nov 25, 2019

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

The resignation of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and his departure to Mexico caused a cascade of resignations by his political allies who could have succeeded him. A very conservative senator was quick to fill the void.

Jeanine Añez proclaimed herself president in front of a rump legislature, since the majority, deputies from the MAS, the party of Morales, had boycotted it. The Constitutional Court found nothing wrong in her power grab. And, of course, she was greeted by the army, the right wing, and Washington.

The senator entered the presidential palace with the Bible in her hand, declaring, “God let the Bible enter the palace again. Our strength is God, our power is God,” delighting the reactionary right wing all over Latin America. It was also a provocation against the secular constitution put in place by Morales.

She repeated that she will announce new elections, but she may not be in a hurry to do so. She has already insisted that if the MAS presents a candidate, it cannot be Morales.

Añez also claims she will pacify the country. But her arrival fans the fires. She is known for racist statements in the past against Bolivians of indigenous origin, including Morales. She stirs the anger of the outgoing president’s supporters, who refuse to be governed by a racist.

The right wing and the bourgeoisie of the Santa Cruz region, led by Fernando Camacho, stopped their own demonstrations. But the population favorable to Morales continues to demonstrate. Signs saying “No to the coup” and indigenous flags are numerous. On independence day, the city of La Paz was blocked, stores and schools were closed, and daily life slowed down. In Cochabamba, there were violent clashes with the police and calls for civil war. The tensions are far from being appeased.

The next day, protesters from the Altiplano began a march toward La Paz. Even though the leaders of the MAS made statements to appease the right wing, the party’s base is aware that the right wing will try to unravel the social programs that significantly improved living conditions for the poor. This base intends to fight.