5 October 2020 — See You in 2020
Mao Zedong, who had many years of experience with militarily fighting the forces of imperialism and reactionary nationalism, concluded that the mission of the retrograde facets of society is to “Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again…until their doom-that is the logic of the imperialists and all reactionaries the world over in dealing with the people’s cause and they will never go against this logic. This is a Marxist law. When we say ‘imperialism is ferocious’, we mean that its nature will never change, that the imperialists will never lay down their butcher knives, that they will never become Buddhas, till their doom.”
The indigenous and proletarian peoples of Bolivia, in their fight to throw down the fascist regime that’s terrorized them since Washington installed it in a coup last November, wish that this principle didn’t apply to the evil that they’re facing. They, like everyone else who fights capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism, always approach their battle for freedom with the hope that it won’t have to involve bloodshed. But as the Bolivian election scheduled for October 18th approaches, it’s becoming more apparent every day that additional violence can’t be avoided before the country is liberated from the forces of empire.
“The coup regime in Bolivia will do everything it can to stop free and fair elections taking place,” a spokesperson for Friends of Bolivia said this week to the Morning Star. This conclusion was made amid the revelation of documents which show that Bolivian far-right paramilitary groups with links to the army plan to stage “false flag” bombs scares, ones that the fascists can then blame on the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party in order to disqualify the socialists from running.
This is at least the most drastic action that they’ll potentially resort to as the fate of Bolivian democracy is decided in these next two weeks. Right now, the option preferred by both the far-right and “liberal-right” factions in Bolivia is one where the Supreme Electoral Court disqualifies the MAS based upon the accusation that its candidate Luis Arce has violated rules by commenting on polls during a period when restrictions apply. However obvious it is that this charge is illogical and politically motivated, the court may go along with it out of desire to speed along the project to sabotage the chances of the MAS. And the reaction from Bolivia’s social movements that such a move from the court would provoke could then be used to justify further persecutions against the MAS and its supporters.
Should this not work, the paramilitaries are waiting to get the green light to place bombs in the hotels where election observers are staying and leave traces that incriminate the MAS. These paramilitaries have been working for a month to find exactly where these observers will be staying, and they have a plan ready to frame the MAS like how it was framed for supposed “election fraud” a year ago. Should things come to this, expect the U.S. media to go along with the Bolivian right’s fabricated narrative, all while ignoring this revelation about the right’s plans for pulling off a false flag.
The Trump administration is very much behind this plot for a new Bolivian coup. The U.S. has been directly aiding Bolivia’s far-right paramilitaries from the start of the recent fascist takeover of the country. And Arturo Murillo, the coup regime’s interior minister, has been in the United States holding meetings with the U.S. State Department-as well as with the secretary general of the Organization of American States, the institution that fabricated data about last year’s Bolivian election in order to justify the false “election fraud” accusations against Evo Morales.
This is all predictable behavior from imperialists, especially imperialists who are losing their former global influence and are desperate to retain control over their neo-colonies. With this year’s unprecedented U.S. economic crisis, Washington continues to lose its financial hegemony while China’s economy grows. As Washington’s rival powers keep gaining international influence, the U.S. is unable to achieve regime change in Iran, Venezuela, Belarus, or Thailand. It isn’t even able to wrest back control of Hong Kong, or undermine Hezbollah’s presence within Lebanon. The U.S./NATO empire is in decline, and Latin American countries like Bolivia are becoming more and more important for the U.S. corporatocracy to continue to function. Neoliberalism must be maintained within these countries, and all the necessary austerity policies must be implemented, or the U.S. capitalist class will be in trouble.
Indeed, it’s lately become apparent that retaining control over Bolivia has become important for keeping up the profit intakes of U.S. plutocrats like Elon Musk. Musk, who’s been collaborating with the fascist governments of Brazil and Bolivia to exploit the lithium of these countries, has expressed his unapologetic support for this intensified campaign of neo-colonialism by tweeting about Bolivia: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” The friendly mask of empire has come off, with the benefactors of the Bolivia coup openly celebrating while Washington’s fascist paramilitaries within the country carry out plans to crush democracy.
The imperialists are showing their ferocious nature in Bolivia. And those resisting the attempts to restore dictatorship within the country are aware of how hard this will make their struggle. Should the MAS be disqualified, the resistance movement will exhaust all peaceful options for regaining Bolivia’s freedom, at which point a war of attrition against the capitalist state will have to begin.
“So that the de facto right listens,” stated one speaker at a pro-MAS rally this week, “the moment they try to carry out fraud Bolivia lifts the pause on protests. And we’ll take power, brothers.” Said another: “It shouldn’t even occur to them to carry out an irregularity or fraud, or provoke conflict…we have a national pause on protests, but at any moment, if they provoke an irregularity we lift the pause and the Bolivian people take back power in the streets.”
How naive it would be to assume that just because the coup regime lacks popular support and appears too weak to directly rig the election, the transition to democracy will be peaceful. The imperialists and their proxies will only make more trouble as the election approaches. And the only way to destroy their grip over Bolivia will be to wage a people’s war, like how Mao did.