Monday, October 26, 2020

The Coming New Coup Attempt In Bolivia

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. Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again . . . until their victory; that is the logic of the people, and they too will never go against this logic.

-Mao Zedong

Bolivia is one of the crucial pieces in the U.S. empire’s plan for continued vitality amid the shift towards a multi-polar world. Under the current Washington-installed regime, it provides lithium to U.S. plutocrats like Elon Musk (who’s said about last year’s Bolivia coup that “We will coup whoever we want), it provides Washington with geopolitical support for its plans to invade Venezuela, and it provides the U.S.-centered corporatocracy with more exploitable workers in a time when capitalist profits are declining. Retaining control over Bolivia is essential if the empire doesn’t want to become further economically weakened and forced into turning inward.

So even after the Bolivian coup regime was forced by the country’s proletarian movement into holding new elections, and after the regime has been shown to be too weak to stop the socialist candidate Luis Arce from winning the election, the imperialists refuse to give up. They’re now planning to carry out a new coup attempt, one which they hope will bypass the pitfalls which the last one fell into.

We know this because of a series of emails among U.S. security specialists, ones which were leaked when it became apparent that the socialists couldn’t be stopped from winning last week’s election. The Canary reported about these emails this week that:

The private correspondence, which has already been reported on by Morning Star, and which hasn’t yet been fully verified, doesn’t offer specific details of what’s to take place and when. However, it does make clear something significant, and highly sinister, is in the works in the country. And apparently has been for some time, with around 1,500 mercenaries signed on to contracts of up to seven months for the operation. The deployment of these mercenaries was delayed by the elections being moved from 6 September to mid-October. This suggests that whatever’s to take place is intimately tied to the crunch vote.

The fact that this operation has been intended to take place specifically after the election, rather than before, shows that the people planning them have decided upon a compromise: they’ve known Bolivia’s coup regime is too weak to prevent Arce from winning the election itself, so they’ve aimed to sabotage Arce after he wins. The specifics of this plan are still secret, but we can already be certain that it will involve violence, and that it will be better coordinated than Bolivia’s previous coup was.

According to Joe Milligan, one of the apparent ringleaders in what’s referred to as the “Bolivia project,” 250 U.S. law enforcement professionals in the periphery of himself have been signed up to “go south,” pose as inconspicuous visitors, and train for some unspecified further actions. Around 1,500 mercenaries overall are signed up for the job, a far greater number of participants than was the case in this May’s failed mercenary coup attempt in Venezuela (which provoked 99 arrest warrants in the first weeks after Maduro discovered the plot). This plot is also supported by a constituent headquarters in Bolivia to help assist the operation, one which exists because a pro-Washington regime is already in power within the country.

It’s possible that the mercenaries will spring into action sometime before the planned inauguration day of November 8th. But assuming they’re confident enough to feel that their members will remain hidden after Arce comes into office, and that Arce won’t track them down and arrest them, they’ll try something bolder. Something that harkens back to the 1973 Chilean CIA coup where the democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende was ousted and killed by the country’s military, and where the Pinochet dictatorship was established.

Whether or not something like this happens may depend on whether Arce’s government immediately purges the military of members who may join a future coup attempt. We won’t be able to know whether Arce will do something along these lines until he starts to govern, and if he doesn’t, we’ll have to understand that he’s in a compromising position given the violent power that the Bolivian right displayed just a year ago. Like was the case during when Morales was in office, the MAS will have many limitations on its control, and the coup plotters will exploit these weaknesses as best they can.

But these obstacles for the MAS stem from the bourgeois nature of the Bolivian state, not from any weaknesses within the popularity or organizing structure of the movement behind the MAS. In this last year, as pro-MAS crowds have shut down infrastructure and engaged in armed struggle and deprived the coup regime of large sections of land, the country’s indigenous and pro-worker movements have shown just how formidable they are. The regime had no choice but to call new elections, because if it hadn’t, its fraudulent president Jeanine Áñez would likely have been forced to flee the capital in a helicopter amid irrepressible revolts. And as a result of the coup, the militancy power of the MAS has strengthened, with Morales having called on the radio this year for his movement’s members to organize into armed militias.

So let these overconfident Yankees try to take on the MAS. Let them see how far they get before they’re defeated like the leaders of the last coup have been. At the end of it all, the opponents of imperialism worldwide will again be singing these lyrics from the anti-Pinochet protest song The People United Will Never Be Defeated:

Arise, fight

the people are going to win.

The life to come

will be better.

To conquer

our happiness.

And a clamor

of a thousand fighting voices will rise,


a song of freedom.

With determination

the fatherland will win.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

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