A revolution is a situation where the masses take their destiny into
their own hands. That is precisely what we are witnessing before our very
eyes in Bolivia. On Friday 17, Sánchez de Lozada was driven from power. The
demonstrators blockaded La Paz and other cities. Soviets were formed in El Alto.
Bolivia, South America's poorest and most unstable country, had been paralysed
since mid-September by anti-government protests.
"This government is not at all different from the government of Sanchez de Lozada. Carlos Mesa has not listened to the message of the El Alto Indian rebellion against the sale of gas" These are the words of one of the leaders of the Bolivian October insurrection, Roberto de la Cruz. They sum up very clearly the real meaning of the bourgeois government of Carlos Mesa and the conclusions sections of the masses and most of the revolutionary vanguard are already drawing.
The brutal repression of the teachers' protest in Ecudaor in December highlights the fact that the period of waiting on the part of the Ecuadorian masses is over. The movement of 2000 brought Lucio Gutierrez to power, but he has merely continued with IMF policies. Now Ecuador is poised for a new movement on a higher level, comparable to that of Bolivia.
This is an article written for Pierre Broué's magazine Cahier Leon Trotsky under the name of Michel Wattignies in answer to Luis Oviedo's
article. See the original in French: Début de la deuxième
My attention was recently drawn to an article signed by Luis Oviedo, entitled The Counterrevolutionary Position of Socialist
Appeal. Having read the article, I could not decide whether it was the product of bad faith or simple ignorance. Certainly, the method used is contrary to every basic principle of Marxism and above all Trotskyism, which comrade Oviedo and the Partido Obrero claim to defend.
The national enlarged meeting of the Bolivian Workers’ Union (COB)
gathered in Cochabamba on January 22, and decided to call for an indefinite
general strike with road blockades in twenty days time if Mesa’s
government does not concede the demands of the October insurrection and
continues with its announced austerity measures. The COB meeting “ended
with the decision to take power, by closing down Parliament." This
decision marks the end of the truce given by the worker and peasant leaders
to Carlos Mesa’s government.