England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Bolivian masses defeat coup attempt

By ISA Latin American Bureau 
Republished from internationalsocialist.net

On June 26, sectors of the Bolivian army, led by the General Commander of the Armed Forces, Juan José Zuñiga, mobilized in a new coup attempt. The Central Obrera de Bolivia (COB), the most important trade union centre in the country, called an indefinite strike against the coup attempt while former President, Evo Morales, and current President, Lucho Arce, also called for mobilizations.

The military mobilization took place shortly after General Zúñiga made statements to the effect that it would be unacceptable for Evo Morales to return to the presidency of the country. This occurred in a context of political split, between Evo Morales and the current president Lucho Arce (who was elected as a candidate of Morales’ political party, MAS). Parts of the right wing, such as that led by Jeannie Añez, who usurped the presidency after the military coup in 2019, quickly rejected the coup attempt and called to remove Lucho Arce in next year’s elections. However Zúñiga’s announcement that prisoners detained for the 2019 coup would be released, such as Añez or Luis Fernando Camacho, then governor of Santa Cruz where the 2019 coup began, indicate that other sectors of the right had given the go-ahead to the attempt to overthrow Arce’s government.

The COB’s call for a general strike, other calls for mobilization, as well as the situation of Zuñiga vis-à-vis the Bolivian army, seem to have, at least temporarily, defeated this new coup attempt. However, the attempt shows that the military were confident that they would be backed by other sectors, who ultimately left them hanging out to dry. In other words, the right wing and the oligarchy have let this attempt pass but it will not be the last one.

Therefore, contrary to the triumphalism of some sectors that hail the defeat of the coup with the intention of slowing down the mobilization and organization of the Bolivian workers and peasants, from International Socialist Alternative we call for the deepening of the organization and mobilization of the Bolivian working people. Only by strengthening the peasant and workers unions, electing committees in schools and workplaces and raising a program that gives voice to the demands of the workers and oppressed, and fighting for those demands, will it be possible to wrest all initiative from the right wing and the military.

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