The oligarchy in Bolivia has launched a major challenge to the Evo Morales government in the form of a referendum on an "Autonomous Statute" in the Eastern Department of Santa Cruz. They are using this question to mobilise the forces of counter-revolution. Morales must stop dithering and take firm action.

A very successful first public meeting of El Militante Bolivia was held on February 28 in Potosí with 35 people taking part, some of whom expressed an interest in joining El Militante. All this while the city was erupting in mass rioting in protest against economic sabotage being carried out by the oligarchy.

The Bolivian oligarchy and imperialism are not prepared to accept democracy if the democratic will of the majority is to take away their power and privileges. Unfortunately, what is lacking in Bolivia is a programme to challenge the interests of the landlords and capitalists and a leadership that will fight for this programme.

Reaction is raising its ugly head in Bolivia. The strategy of the Morales government seems to be based on making more concessions. Taking advantage of the temporising and vacillation of the Morales government the oligarchy is gaining even more confidence. What is needed is a serious campaign among the masses to explain what is at stake and take firm revolutionary socialist measures.

In 2005 the revolutionary movemenet of the Bolivian masses produced the Morales government. Since then vacillation on the part of Morales has given the oligarchy room to manoeuvre and now it is stepping up its activities as it prepares to exploit the weaknesses of the government. Urgent revolutionary measures are required.

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