Revolutionary Communist Party of Bolivia: The Rise to Power of the Fascist Oligarchy in Bolivia

Secretariat of the C.C. of the Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR Bolivia)

On the night of Sunday, November 10, the High Command of the Armed Forces militarized the
country; the streets were occupied by paramilitaries, soldiers and tanks, while light aircraft and
helicopters flew over the Bolivian sky. President Evo Morales had already resigned his office,
along with the Vice President and the Presidents of both Houses of the Legislative Assembly. On
November 11, in an empty parliament, the military high command placed the presidential sash
over right-wing senator Jeanine Añez, as they proclaimed God's return to the presidential
palace. The fascist oligarchy under the command of Yankee imperialism fulfilled its objective of
regaining the direct exercise of political power in Bolivia.

It is important for us to carry out a deep study on the basis of Marxism-Leninism of the rise of
the fascist oligarchy to the government; this is not an isolated event in time and space, but a
product of the objective and subjective conditions in the country. The populist government of
Evo Morales handed over the country to the fascist hordes on a silver platter. During 14 years of
government, it facilitated its economic growth, it coexisted with its shock groups, it disorganized
the working class and peasantry, and it repressed the popular movement that was fighting for its
legitimate demands. In the context of a dispute between imperialist powers for control of the
region's economy, it was the peoples of Bolivia who paid with their blood for the new redivision
of the country's natural resources.

In our time, the problem does not arise of copying the revisionist pseudo-socialist
theories, or of inventing new socialist theories. Socialism exists and is developing
both as a theory and as a practice. It has accumulated a wealth of historical
experience, summed up in the Marxist-Leninist theory, the vitality of which has
been con-firmed in life. By relying on this scientific theory and applying it in the
conditions of each country, the revolutionary forces will find the correct road to

– Enver Hoxha
[From “Marxism-Leninism — An Ever Young and Scientific Doctrine,”
in Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 773]
“21st century socialism,” “communitarian socialism” or “vivir bien” (well-being – a term coined
by Evo Morales’ government) has failed on a regional level. There is no socialism without
socialization of the means of production, without the seizure of power by the working class,
without changing the capitalist relations of production. The slogans of “complementarity” that
the MAS-IPSP (Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the
Peoples) government proclaimed from the upper echelons during 14 years in fact represented a
clear policy of class conciliation. The “process of change” of Evo Morales was nothing more
than the modernization of the bourgeois state (including the repressive apparatus) and the
demobilization of the popular organizations.


The conflicts unleashed in the first years of the Morales government, between the central state
and the so-called “half moon” (a crescent-shaped grouping of four departments in eastern Bolivia
that is the center of the right-wing – translator’s note) were resolved with the social pact
between the MAS-IPSP and the oligarchy in the new State Political Constitution. The
constitutional text that was approved in the Constituent Assembly was negotiated in a
parliamentary commission, which strengthened guarantees for big private property. Paramilitary
groups such the Santa Cruz Youth Union, which raised their heads with their racist and hateful
actions, reached agreements with the MAS-IPSP to become government youth groups. The large
landowners benefited from a series of laws that guaranteed their ownership of lands whose size
exceeded constitutional limits. The laws regarding private banking and the financial sector were
negotiated between the MAS-IPSP government and the representatives of the bankers. The
growth of the financial sector during the 14 years of the Morales government exceeded 375%;
instead of fighting the oligarchy, populism created the conditions for it to grow and develop.
In the heroic days of 2003-2005, the organized people defeated the traditional neoliberal parties;
the workers and peasants were at the head of the Bolivian Workers Federation (COB) and the
Unified Trade Union Confederation of Rural Workers of Bolivia (CSUTCB); the Marxist-
Leninist Party that takes the leadership of these struggles and guides them towards the seizure of
power did not yet exist. During the 14 years of MAS-IPSP these union leaderships were co-
opted, bought off and divided by the government. The disorganized people did not have the
necessary tools to present a systematic resistance to the coup, their leaders lacked legitimacy
with the rank-and-file, the organizations lost internal democracy and institutionality.
The popular movements fought against oil exploration, against the building of highways and
hydroelectric plants without consultation, against the corruption of local authorities, for a bigger
education and health budget, among other things. The accumulation of legitimate demands of
various social sectors of the country that were harshly repressed, found a common slogan when
the Constitutional Court ignored the popular will expressed in the constitutional referendum of
February 21, 2016, in which the majority of the voters rejected the change that would have made
the re-election of Morales possible. The inability of the forces of the revolutionary left to
influence and become the vanguard of the social struggles allowed the reactionary forces to
capitalize on social unrest.

The 2019 general elections mark a turning point in Bolivian politics. National regulations state
that the team of President and Vice President that wins 50% + 1 of the votes or a vote greater
than 40% with at least 10% more than the next candidate, wins. On election night, the rapid
transmission of electoral results was suspended for 24 hours, with a difference of less than 10%
between Morales and the main opposition candidate (Mesa); this resulted in massive protests and
confrontations at the national level, with the burning and destruction of electoral headquarters
commanded by paramilitary groups. From the technical point of view, there are a series of
studies (University of Michigan, MIT, OAS, among others) regarding the statistical trend and
computer management during the key hours of the election. There is no doubt that the computer
system subcontracted to a private entity did not have the minimum security conditions for a

national election. There is evidence of electoral fraud although the degree of this is not precise.
The protests against electoral fraud that lasted 21 days led to the hegemony of the oligarchic
right-wing. Racist, regionalist and religious fundamentalist hate speeches made possible the
resurgence of the “half moon” paramilitary groups of 2007-09.

The change in the influences of the imperialist powers was seen in the country in the fight for
control of the lithium of the Uyuni Salt Flat, the iron of Mutun and the hydrocarbons.
Throughout the whole conflict that was unleashed, the embassies of the United States, the
European Union and Brazil, together with the envoys of the OAS, played a decisive role. The
OAS Secretary General, Almagro, publicly endorsed the “right” of Evo Morales to be re-elected,
passing over the Constitution. When the fast vote count was suspended, the first ones consulted
by the MAS-IPSP government were representatives of the embassies of the U.S., European
Union and Brazil. These same embassies, together with the Catholic Church, the right-wing
parties, the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee and CONADE (National Committee for the
Defense of Democracy) decided behind closed doors that Añez would be self-proclaimed as

The coup regime of Añez is an organic representative of the country's most reactionary
oligarchy, whose party barely had 4% support in the 2019 elections, and wasted no time in
coming down with a heavy hand against the people. With the cowardice of Morales and his
entourage in fleeing the country, the popular movement bravely resisted the fascist bullets and
repression in the Sacaba and Senkata massacres. With more than 35 dead, 800 wounded and
2000 arrested, the peasant and popular movement made it clear that there is no evil that lasts a
hundred years nor a people that will tolerate it.

The oligarchy has demonstrated its sell-out intentions, in the few months that it has illegitimately
occupied state power, and it has already been involved in several corruption scandals and frontal
attacks on state enterprises (among them the country's flagship airline – Boliviana de Aviación,
and the telecommunications company Entel). The ministerial cabinet today is made up of former
executives of the big banks and the agro-industrial conglomerates. Official acts are conducted in
the presence of medieval bibles, candles and crucifixes, with which the authorities are sworn in
(despite the fact that Bolivia is constitutionally a secular state). Given the minimal threat of
social protests, the regime does not hesitate to reinforce the militarization of the country,
claiming the existence of an internal enemy (terrorists, leftists, drug-traffickers, communists,
Marxists, etc.) The general elections have been suspended indefinitely, under the pretext of the
COVID-19 health crisis.

Groups that proclaim leftist ideologies, what they want is power because they are
financed by drug-terrorism; they must be identified, persecuted, surrounded and

– Jeanine Añez
For the Marxist-Leninists it is clear that there can be no revolution without an armed people and
there is no socialism without the socialization of the means of production. In this new political

context, we communists have the task of supporting the independent organization of the popular
movement, propagating the program of struggle and strengthening the ranks of the Party in order
to combat the fascist oligarchic regime that has usurped state power in Bolivia. It opens the way
to the regrouping of the popular movement for anti-fascist resistance, the fight against neoliberal
measures, the defense of the natural resources and state enterprises. The Second Plenum of the
Central Committee of our Party has given clear directions for the anti-fascist struggle, with its
sights set on building a patriotic and popular alternative for national liberation.

Categories: Bolivia

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