Since the re-election of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) government in 2020, led by former economic minister Luis Arce, the Bolivian government has ensured that the social progress initiated by Evo Morales’ government continues across all sections of society. These progressive steps can be seen in a range of measurers: the introduction of progressive and pluralistic economic policies, the implementation of bold education policies centred around improving access to education for every community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiation of partnerships with fellow progressive governments across Latin America and leading the fight to bring justice to those who have previously been victimised by the Bolivian ruling class.
The IMF released a report today on the Bolivian economy in which it recommends adopting drastic neoliberal measures, including; reducing workers’ salaries, cutting public investments, and ending currency controls. These policies have turned Bolivia from one of the poorest countries in the region into it’s fastest-growing economy. The report takes aim at the government’s spending on development, saying, “The government must restrict spending, including eliminating the end of year wage bonus for workers, they must restrict the growth of wages for public sector workers, and limit the growth of public investment and subsidies.” The ‘end-of-year wage bonus’ for workers (in both the public and private sector) refers to a policy introduced under Evo Morales that requires employers to pay their workers a bonus equal to double their monthly wage, but only if annual GDP growth is over 4.5%.
In late July, a large sinkhole appeared near the town of Tierra Amarilla in Chile’s Copiapó province in the Atacama salt flat. The crater, which has a diameter of more than 100 feet, emerged in one of Chile’s most lucrative regions for copper and lithium extraction. The nearby Candelaria mining complex—80 percent of the property is owned by Canada’s Lundin Mining Corporation and 20 percent is owned by Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation—had to halt its operations in the area. On August 1, Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) tweeted that it had assembled a team to investigate the sinkhole that appeared less than 2,000 feet away from human habitation.
Very few people in the United States trust the mainstream corporate media. This is confirmed by a July survey from the major polling firm Gallup, which found that just 11% of North Americans trust television news, and a mere 16% have confidence in newspapers. It’s quite easy to understand why. The US media apparatus has repeatedly shown itself over decades to be completely unreliable and highly politicized. The corporate media’s treachery has been especially clear in the demonstrably false stories it disseminated to try to justify the US wars on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. This disgraceful legacy continues today, in the proxy war that Washington is waging on Russia via Ukraine. Fake news echoed by the press has served as a powerful form of US information warfare.
When Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, was overthrown in a British-backed coup in November 2019, many believed his life was in danger. Latin America’s history is littered with liberation leaders cut down by vengeful imperial powers. Legendary resistance leader Túpac Katari, like Morales from the Aymara indigenous group, had his limbs tied to four horses by the Spanish before they bolted and he was ripped apart in 1781. Some 238 years later, Bolivia’s self-declared “interim president,” Jeanine Áñez, appeared in Congress days after the coup against Morales brandishing a huge leatherbound Bible. “The Bible has returned to the government palace,” she announced. Her new regime immediately forced through Decree 4078 which gave immunity to the military for any actions taken in “the defence of society and maintenance of public order.” It was a green-light.
The First Anti-Corruption Sentencing Court of La Paz sentenced former de-facto Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez to 10 years in prison in the ‘Coup d’état II’ case on Friday, June 10. In the case, Áñez stood accused of crimes of acting against the constitution and illegally assuming the presidency of the country in November 2019, following a right-wing civic-military coup that overthrew democratically elected socialist President Evo Morales. The court found her guilty of “breach of duties” and “resolutions contrary to the Constitution and the Law” in her capacity as the former second Vice President of the Senate. In addition to Áñez, eight former police and military officials also faced charges in the trial. Over 70 pieces of evidence and around 20 witness statements were presented.
Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of Cuba, Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela, and Evo Morales, Former President of Bolivia send messages of solidarity to the people of the United States and the organizers of People's Summit, an alternative to exclusionary Biden’s Summit of Americas.
Bolivia's President Luis Arce warned that he will not attend the next Summit of the Americas if the United States excludes Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. “Consistent with the Bolivian Plurinational State's principles and values, I reaffirm that a Summit of the Americas, which excludes American countries, will not be a full Summit of the Americas. If the exclusion of sister nations persists, I will not participate,” Arce tweeted. “Bolivia bases its international relations on the diplomacy of the peoples, with inclusion, solidarity, complementarity, respect for sovereignty, self-determination, and collective construction of a culture of dialogue and peace,” he added. In the past week, President Joe Biden's administration confirmed that he would not invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela because these countries "do not respect" democracy.
It must be remembered that Latin America and the Caribbean was declared a Zone of Peace in 2014. A few days ago, the anniversary of signing of the Treaty of Tlatelolco for the prohibition of nuclear weapons was also celebrated. There is huge potential in CELAC and we have to make our own space, away from the OAS, away from the United States and Canada, which have other interests. Their priority is elsewhere in the world and where they begin to apply interventionist policies, the results are disastrous. We will have to ask the people of Libya how they are now, or the people of Iraq or the people of Syria, or remember what happened in Yugoslavia. It may not be too late. I think we are moving slowly. These processes are slow, but the goal is to have a strong CELAC.