President-elect of Bolivia Luis Arce. Photo: @LuchoXBolivia
The ANSWER Coalition congratulates the people of Bolivia in their triumph over the fascist coup regime that seized power with the support of the U.S. government last year. The election of Luis Arce, presidential candidate of former president Evo Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism party, by a landslide in the first round is a stinging rebuke to those who attempted to rob Bolivia of its independence and natural resources.
This victory was the culmination of nearly a year of fierce struggle to recover democracy. Immediately after the police and military coup began, huge numbers of working class Bolivians, especially from the country’s Indigenous majority, began mobilizing in mass marches, strikes and blockades. Dozens were murdered in massacres committed by pro-coup forces in places like Senkata and Sacaba. Ruthless attacks by far-right, racist militias were also commonplace, but in the end this repression failed.
Ever since Evo Morales was elected president in 2005 on a program of nationalizing the country’s key resources and redistributing wealth to the poor, Bolivia has been targeted by the U.S. government for regime change. The Trump administration recognized coup figurehead Jeanine Áñez as president of the country two days after the overthrow of Morales had taken place.
The people’s victory in Bolivia is part of a growing counteroffensive across Latin America against the U.S.-backed right wing. On Sunday, Chile will vote in a referendum to draft a new constitution after a historic people’s uprising against neo-liberal capitalism. Venezuela is preparing to hold legislative elections in December in defiance of the U.S. government’s call to boycott the vote. And early next year Ecuador will go to the polls in a contest that may see the right wing ousted.
ANSWER activists across the country went into the streets last year to participate in solidarity actions denouncing the coup against Evo Morales, and we are overjoyed that the Bolivian people have overturned this injustice. But we know that the aggression of the U.S. government and its right wing allies against the people of Bolivia will not stop. We will remain vigilant and continue our work to build international solidarity against U.S. aggression.