Saturday, October 14, 2006 

Coup in Boliva?!

I first head about this earlier today. Does anyone else know more?!

Coup d'etat in Bolivia planned for Wednesday, October 11, 2006
By Heinz Dieterich in La Paz, Bolivia.

Translated by John Manning
Oct 11, 2006, 15:55

High level government sources requesting anonymity have revealed that the first coup d´etat against the government of democratically elected President Evo Morales is under way. Wednesday, October 11, is the crucial date. Driving forces are police officers and the Air Force. The army is divided. Chilean military officers, at the rank of generals, are participating with the conspirators.

1. Looking for Pinochets

A few weeks ago, officers of the Bolivian police approached generals of the Armed Forces of Bolivia (FAB) investigating their disposition for organizing a coup d' etat of both forces. One of the key military officers for the success of the coup refused to participate, and notified the President. The preparations are now proceeding without him. And the radio broadcasts continue which eulogize the "patriotic army which killed Che Guevara and the subversives".

The military never undertakes a coup in a social vacuum, my friend General Alberto Mueller Rojas, today a member of the Presidential General Staff of Hugo Chavez, told me seven years ago. It is this logic which can be seen developing at present in Bolivia. An extensive conspirational network, composed of different social and state forces is accelerating its preparations, to finish the government of President Evo Morales by force.

2. The institutional conspirators

The prefects (governors) of the separatist and energy states, Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Tarija, are promoting the formation of the so-called "Civil Committees", which are the spear points of visible political subversion. The prefects, like the civil committes have entered into frank rebellion against the constitutional government of Evo Morales, in declaring that they "will not respect the Political Constitution of the State emerging from the Constituent Assembly if it is not approved in all its articles by two thirds of the votes of the constituents”. They warn that they will advance "departmental autonomies" if this condition of theirs is not complied with.

They can certainly count on the support of the National Supreme Court of Justice - as reactionary and corrupt as its bourgeois counterparts in the rest of the world - that will provide the conspirators with the apology for the planned overthrow of the government.

On the recent declaration of the Constituent Assembly that it considered itself as "original, plenipotential and functional", that is, not restricted in its constitution of the new State by the existing norms, the magistrates sustained the position of the prefects. They dictated that according to constitutional law, the power of this Constituent Assembly is not "original-foundational", but "derivative-reformist" and therefore, subject to the existing legislation which requires a two thirds vote on all articles.

3. The social conspiracy

The "civil committees" count on the financing of employer sectors and the collaboration of high officials of the police, colonels, for example. Their actions are inflated and promoted by the private media of communication, often with the patterns of fascist propaganda that have been used against President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Some of the most important media are in the hands of capitalist magnates with big agricultural investments in the separatist provinces and who fear the land reform of the government.

The associations of heads of families, which are generally reactionary and controlled by the Church, in Latin America, in alliance with educational sectors of private colleges and universities promote strikes, blockades and demonstrations against the government. Enterprises of the energy-retail market are generating shortages of diesel fuel and gasoline, supplying the black markets in the higher priced neighboring countries, producing resentment among the population.

4. The Chilean model

The same as in Chile during Salvador Allende, the transport sector has been assigned the function of breaking the economy and the public peace with a national stoppage, called for next Wednesday, with the intention of bringing all the anti-government sectors to join together in a great destabilizing front. Referring explicitly to the subversive strike of Chilean transporters against Salvador Allende, (1972), financed by the CIA, Evo Morales last week characterized the planned entrepreneurial transport strike as an "ideological" strike: "It is the struggle for power", said the popular leader, and made clear what is at stake: "Either the gamonal (elite) groups, or the people's movements".

The Bolivian President´s comment is right on target, as show the Church Committee documents (1976) and the recently published (February, 2006) memoirs of the military leader of the fascist Chilean organization "Patria y Libertad", Roberto Thieme, in which he details how his organization, the Chilean Navy and the transport sector cooperated subversively in order to destroy the legitimate Allende government.

5. The political costs of the Huanuni massacre

The armed confrontation between cooperativist and salaried miners in Huanuni, Department of Oruro, which has left some fifteen dead and more than a hundred wounded has pushed the Bolivian Labor Central (COB) and the Regional Labor Union (COR) in El Alto, which historically have been dissociated with Evo Morales and his peasant-popular MAS-movement, towards a more confrontational position against the government.

The conflict in Huanuni is of economic origin. It was brought about by the intent of some four thousand cooperative miners organized in the FENCOMIN, that is the social base of the Minister of Mines Walter Villarroel, to take over exploitation of the richest tin mine of Bolivia, Posokoni, expelling in a violent manner some thousand salaried miners of the State enterprise COMIBOL.

Although the state had knowledge of the conflict and tried more than a dozen times to deactivate the “social time bomb”, it was taken by surprise by the violent operation. Faced with the dilemma of killing miners with the Armed Forces, on one hand, and of being accused of "negligence” and “absence of the State" on the other, 24 hours went by which were converted into a propaganda and political gold mine by the Right. This was used to the maximum with their hegemony of the media and, very much like the media manipulation during the days of the coup in Venezuela (2002), has been brought to bear incessantly on the government.

6. The international Falange

In Bolivia the United States manual of antidemocratic subversion is being followed meticulously. The factional machine is lubricated with money, propaganda experts and policy programming by the US governent, which since September 11, 2001, had put Evo Morales on its list of possible terrorists which the security forces of the U.S use to track down security risks.

The accomplices in the European Union and the energy transnationals fill out the subversive falange. "BP Tony", British Prime Minister and political agent of British Petroleum, has suggested to the energy enterprises of the United Kingdom not to invest in Bolivia's gas.

This is the policy which Petrobas, the Brazilian-International transnational guided by Wall Street and the City in London, practices and whose predatory and neocolonial attitude toward Bolivia and the other Latin American countries makes the behavior of other Western transnationals look pale: A neocolonial policy which requires urgently the organization of a boycott of all its products in all Latin America to break its chauvinistic technocracy, the same as that of PDVSA before the Bolivarian government.

7. Stop the coup d´etat in Bolivia

They all want to remove the "Indian" Evo, who disturbs business, the same as the “Negro" Chávez, in Venezuela. For Chavez, after the failure of the military coup, the medium of "removal" selected is poison or accident. In Bolivia, the elite and its imperial godfathers coincide in that a military coup d' etat could be the adequate medium. Only that a military coup, as friend Mueller Rojas says, can not be done in a social vacuum. What we are seeing in Bolivia is the intent of the world Right to fill the vacuum.

The exit of a military coup, as much as a bank assault, depends on the moment of surprise. That moment has been taken away from the conspirators. The world wide discussion of their plot makes it impossible for them to proceed as planned.

Thus, for now, they have been defeated. But, as in Chile, they will come back with a vengeance, if the government doesn't crush their conspiracy completely.

Today, more than ever, The Bolivarian Revolution needs our world solidarity.

© Copyright 2006 by
(This report is an abbreviated version of the one published in Spanish elsewhere on the Internet.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 


Dear friends,
As most of you know, Oaxaca is experiencing difficult times. The information that is out on the national and international news is generally far from reality. I know you all dont believe everything you read...please don´t in this case. Oaxacans are trying to end years and years of repression and horrid human rights violations. I just spoke to friends in Oaxaca and they have asked that we all call or e-mail the Mexican Consulate and demand a peaceful solution.

The Federales ARE camped out around the outskirts of town. Town is tense. The protests have been non violent, but the supporters and paid thugs of the dictator, Ulyses Ruiz, have used night time raids, shootings etc upon the protesters. The following link is fairly accurate in it´s description of what is happening.

PLEASE read the following, and if you are willing to send an email or call your nearest Mexican Consulate, it will help tremendously. Pass this on to your friends who might be willing to give a few minutes of their time, as well.
Thank you so much.


At the federal level in Mexico, the current discourse signals an imminent arrival of Federal Police Forces in Oaxaca. The feds claim that, if federal forces are sent to Oaxaca, they will only maintain a presence on the outskirts of the city, to "ensure civilian safety." However, it is widely known that local PRI-sympathizing groups can be mobilized to provoke a confrontation with the sectors of civil society partiapting in the popular movement, which would justify the entrance of the federal police.

If the federal police enter Oaxaca, it will be a blood bath...

Please call or send faxes and emails to President Fox and to Secretary of Interior Affairs, Carlos Abascal, demanding the immediate withdrawal of threats to send police forces into Oaxaca, and the immediate resignation of Oaxacan governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. Write in Spanish. Write in English. Just write, or call, or both.

Get down to your local Mexican consulate or embassy. Make a lot of noise. Spend the night out front if you have to.

President Vicente Fox:
Email: [at]
Fax: 011-52-55-52-77-23-76
Phone: 011-52-55-27-89-11-00

Sec. of Internal Affairs, Carlos Abascal
Tel: 011-52-55-50-93-34-00

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 

A Politics of Nothingness: "Trade-unionists" and Phil Bredesen

As the November elections approach, electoral politics, especially Democratic Party Politics asserts itself rather strongly in left circles. One helpful way to discuss which candidates to vote for, or more often against is to compare platforms and political track-records. Nothing special about that, folks from every political tendency do it. So to better inform potential voters out there, here's one such scorecard:

  • Workers Comp Benefit: Changes administrative rules to force workers to non-binding arbitration with employer prior to involving the courts. Cut the "multiplier" nearly in half - meaning that were you to lose a hand, thumb, finger, leg, arm, foot, etc. the amount of money you receive is roughly half of what it was prior to the "reforms." Used bought-off former State-Fed (AFL-CIO) President as axe-man for the whole thing.

  • State Medicare: Cut state Medicare program with no alternative in place, depriving thousands of state residents from their only health insurance ultimately resulting in hundreds if not thousands of deaths. Pushed through a cobbled-together cluster of bullshit stop-gap measures calling them a successful program.

  • Immigration: Further criminalized immigrant workers, promptly sending over-deployed National Guard troops to defend "the border," bragging about both in campaign commercials.

  • Continued One-sided Class Warfare Via the State's Tax-System: Forced through massive cuts in social services to "prove that we can balance our budgets without a state income tax," while working to kill legislation that would cut the nearly 10 percent sales-tax on food.

  • Support for Company Unions and Labor Aristocracy: Gave tens of millions in TennCare savings blood-money to the state employee's company-union. The only union cause he is known to have championed was a wage dispute between the Carpenters and the Department of Energy - and at a time when the Carpenters were actively bashing the immigrants rights movement.

  • Gave Higher Education Workers Raise "Left-overs": While giving the company union for state-agency employees a fully funded 3 percent raise and $21.1 million to address pay compression, he provided NO funding in his budget for state higher education workers, despite the fact that over 40 percent of the hourly higher education workers currently make poverty level wages.

  • LGBTQ Rights, the Marriage Question: Publicly promises to vote for and encourages supporters to vote for fascist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-people Constitutional Amendment on November ballot
And this agent of the employing class is up by 30 points in the recent polls. You might think that the man being described is a Republican, but all these great deeds were carried out by the Democratic Governor of Tennessee, Phil Bredesen. If ever there was a governor's race that deserved an election boycott, or at least an abstention on the part of labor when endorsement time rolled around, this is it. But did the above list give the State-Fed even a moment of pause? Did the litany of this bastard's evil, anti-worker policies provoke some debate in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge CLC? Were these issues even discussed, mentioned, footnoted, alluded to? Not a chance in hell. Yellow-dog to their core, craft-unionists and labor aristocrats gave this champion of our class enemy sounding endorsements; they even handed them out early!

Yesterday, members of my union the United Campus Workers - Communications Workers of America local 3865 turned out at the first debate between Bredesen and his far distant opponent. We were there to hand out a flyer asking for the Governor to include funding for a real, cost of living raise for all workers at state-sponsored higher education institutions in his next budget. Next budget...he's not going to have one of those before the November election. What's the implication? If you asked me, the flyer operates from the assumption that he's gonna win. In fact, this is beyond question.

Did the flyer advocate for his opponent? Nope. Did it call him a lying, blood-sucking scum-bag? Nope. Did it call him a murderer, maimer of working women and men, health care executive parasite? Nope. No call for class revolt in our workplaces, schools and streets. No calls for sit-ins at the Capital, or picket-lines at his residence.

It simply told the truth. The truth that a plurality, a near-fucking-majority of us higher education workers make poverty level wages. It demanded fairness. No more two-tier raises where some well paid state agency employees see 7+ percent raises while we struggle to by bread and milk with 2 percent or $600 raise, whichever is greater. No more "merit" increases at the expense of across the board raises, policy decisions that translate to many university lecturers and adjunct faculty receiving criminally low raises of $250-$400 in a year when the increase in the Consumer Price Index was 4.2 percent.

Our members were met with jeers, shouts, taunts and threats. Not from Bredesen's staff. Not from nameless Democratic Party hacks. But from so-called local "trade-unionists," namely members of the Carpenters and Laborers. The most right-wing, anti-immigrant members of the remaining craft union labor aristocracy. Among the most vicious of the attackers was one Harold Woods, the lesser (his father, Harold Woods, and his mother have both been main-stayers in the EastTN craft-union movement for decades). This blow-hard sits on the Knoxville-Oak Ridge CLC's Executive Council, a position which apperently gives him the power to tell other union workers to stand-down with any criticism of their CEO (the Governor serves as Chair of the UT Board of Trustees).

These are the instances that in aggregate form create politics of nothingness that our trade-union "movement" clings to. Phil Bredesen isn't a John Kerry that needs us to sell part of our souls to get him elected.
He's polling at 60 percent of likely voters with nearly 20 percent undecieded and his opponent barely topping 22 percent! Any work to convince union members in this state that they should, let alone need to vote for him is out-and-out deception. It feeds our members the worse kind of misinformation, buttressing the worse kind of "faith-based politics."

Phil Bredesen, Nail Him UP!

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