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(en) BOLIVIA: THE TYRANT FALLS! (08-07-01) (ca)

From Ethan Mitchell <tr11_mx@yahoo.com.mx>
Date Sun, 19 Aug 2001 01:55:49 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

>From Juventudes Libertarias, Bolivia. Email: jjll_bolivia@hotmail.com


During the course of a year a general strike almost
forced president Banzer to resign, but in the end it
is illness that has forced him to resign today, August
6th.  He walks amidst the cheers of the church
vultures, the imperialists, the national bourgeoisie,
and the cynicism of politicians left and right.  But
history will ever know him as the gorilla, fascist,
killer, and drug dealer that he has always been.

The man that headed the military coup of August 21st,
1971, the assassin, jailer, persecutor, and genocide
of Tolata and Epizana, he who handed over our natural
resources to external impoverishment, he that
destroyed the state industries; the mines and the oil
wells, he that tried to sell the Bolivian Amazon to
South African racists in order to establish a white
republic, he that smuggled gasoline to Paraguay in
exchange for whiskey.  He that sold the human blood of
our indigenous people to Canada.  The general who owns
the Argentine Pepsicola industry.  The man who joined
Pinochet in sex orgies.

He of the celebrated phrases, such as those spoken
after the massacre of ’74:  “My brother peasants, I as
leader am going to give you a command.  The first
communist that comes to the countryside, I am
authorizing you, I am expecting you, to kill him.  If
you bring him to me here, understand I will personally
reward you.”

The general who in glorious battle conquered the free
territory of La Paz University, bombing it with
airplanes and tanks.  The man who trampled the
Bolivian working class under his iron heel for seven
years of dictatorship undermined by the hunger strike
of the miner women.

The man who ordered the assassination of every
political activist that denounced his regime of
terror.  The information gathered by the Human Rights
organizations indicate at least a minimum of 300
executed and 200 disappeared between 1971 and 1978;
14,750 persons jailed for ‘crimes against the state’,
19,140 forced into political exile.  The press was
repressed: 68 journalists exiled, 32 jailed, 20 radio
stations censored, the labor unions outlawed, the
universities shut down.

But these things had no effect on the general; the
blood slid off his hands.  He turned himself into a
paladin of democracy, protected by the politicians of
the left and the right and within US imperialism. 
Everyone bedded down with the general giving him carte
blanche, which changed his Fuhrer uniform for that of
a peaceful grandfather of democracy, and then anointed
him president in ’97.  Four years of terror engulfed
by international capitalism, four years in which the
working class was kept from freely considering the
infamy being committed, four years of death in which
the bloody work of the general and his US accomplices
was re-written.  The balance points to more than half
a century of workers killed in the streets and fields,
killed for demanding liberty, equality, shamefully
harried by snipers and warplanes.  Hundreds of exiles
in inhospitable regions, hundreds of wounded through
gunshots, crippled for life.  Until the last day the
tyrant has repressed all opposition.  Such is the case
of the eight youths now imprisoned for reminding the
tyrant of his merits.

The regime of the 90’s has been marked by corruption,
to such an extent that the NGO Transparency
International has classed Bolivia, in ’97, as the
second most corrupt country in the world and in 2001
as the most corrupt in the hemisphere. 

But the gorilla Banzer did not appear out of nowhere. 
In the 70s his supporters were US imperialists, the
Vatican, the Brazilian dictatorship, and the national
bourgeoisie.  The Banzer government shares the same
characteristics as the ‘Southern Cone Model’,
characterized by the prohibition of union activity, by
an authoritarian prison state, and by the bellicose
exaltation of Western Christianity and nationalism,
and by corporatist systems of social organization.

The repression was generalized and extraordinarily
cruel.  The left was routed on a regional scale,
causing the death and disappearance of tens of
thousands of people.

While the international bourgeoisie presents
themselves as democrats questioning the military
involvement in the Condor Plan, in Bolivia they
fomented and supported the rise of the dictator and
genocide General Banzer, fearful of a social explosion
that the Bolivian working class carried to a true
example of class revolutionary anti-capitalist

But they has not prevented the intense class struggle
that lives on in Bolivia.  We are in the presence of a
movement in its ascent, that is accumulating
experiences of self-organization and that continues
preparing and training its base both in ideology and
in military tactics and strategy.

The indigenous peasant movement is operating in
communal assemblies, in the democratization of society
and the decolonialization of the State.  There are
other ways of making politics that collide with the
political structure and the traditional hypocrisy of
the parties that are accustomed to co-opt any new
activists that arise in order to moderate and subdue

The resignation of Banzer changes nothing, except
forcing his family to remove their hands from the
nation’s resources and finances.  The figure of the
new president, Jorge Quiroga Ramírez, with his US
education and political trajectory, makes an expert
henchman for US State Department, and therefore a
mutant of money, cynical and calculating. 


Juventudes Libertarias, Bolivia.
Email: jjll_bolivia@hotmail.com
Solidarity info: tr11@sover.net
Translation by Ethan Mitchell and friends


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