SOCIALISM – YES! THE NEW PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA, COMRADE LUIS ARCE
In the first round of the presidential elections in Bolivia, the candidate from the people’s Socialist Party MAS, Comrade Luis Arce, won again. His main opponent, on whom opponents of the Movement to Socialism were betting, Carlos Mesa, gaining 31.5%, came in second, while Fernando Camacho, nominated by the country’s ultra-right forces, received only 14.5%. Victory of the candidate from the “Movement to Socialism” completely unexpected, but logical: taking a smart step against the internal resistance of the party, Morales nominated his former minister of economics, Arce, who constantly led all polls before the elections. In addition, Comrade Arce went to victory along with the indigenous people in the person of David Choquehuanca, an experienced diplomat and former foreign minister, now nominated by the party as vice president. Thus, the indigenous peoples, who make up the majority of Bolivia’s population, are again represented in the country’s leadership.
The results of the polls in Bolivia, as well as common sense, indicated in advance that the victory would go to the candidate nominated by the party, Luis Arce. Indeed, even if there is a sudden outbreak in the motivational attitudes of the ruling local business elite of at least some other interest than their own profit and the desire to retain power at any cost, a more progressive interest, even if it had a populist motive behind it, at least something to fix exhausted by instability and bloodshed country – nothing would have helped the head of government, Jeanine Áñez, to cope with the stalemate. She, like the members of her team, by October 18, 2020, to which once again, already finally, the elections were postponed by her, had to face the reality: the remnants of trust in the last, more or less loyal to this government, part the electorate – the middle urban class, which is tired of the sight of political reprisals and the mass of the military on the streets of the capital.
Plus – the readiness of the population, united in its desire to see the People’s Socialist Party at the helm of Bolivia again, not to give a single opportunity to rig the election results. Moreover, the readiness is serious, suggesting – in extreme cases – to stand to the end, with a manifest promise – to block all streets, highways and entrances to cities. The results have exceeded the expectations of many interested in continuing the neo-liberal government’s previous leadership – minimizing the chances of two candidates nominated by the Bolivian establishment. Moreover, by this time it had already become obvious to many that no foreign patrons who had hitherto favored him could have helped the puppet government of J. Áñez (neither Trump himself, with his political experts, nor the president-dictator of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro ). No one wants to set in motion a special contingent of US Southern Command, based in a ring on different sides around Bolivia, if the majority is so firmly in their political positions.
It was thanks to the emerging understanding of her impossibility to remain in power – Áñez, unexpectedly for everyone, even before the start of the elections, congratulated through social networks the alleged, according to her, the winner of the 1st stage – a representative of the MAS party, emigration has become even more popular and beloved by the majority of Bolivians. Janine from her Twitter account, congratulating Luis Arce, condescended to advise him – “to lead Bolivia the right way.” And after the first round took place on October 18 and the counting of popular votes, when the need for a second round of elections was automatically eliminated (the case when the first two candidates are more than 10% apart, and Arce won 53% of the votes), to congratulations to the incoming Soon, in addition to jubilant like-minded people, those who did everything to ensure that not only Evo Morales himself was not at the head of this country, but whoever had anything to do with the persecuted, but not the surrendering party “Movement to Socialism”. Not only left-wing supporters and leaders of independent progressive countries, from Cuba and Venezuela to the presidents of Mexico and Argentina, congratulated the candidate from the socialists hated by the bourgeoisie on the victory in the elections in Bolivia, but, surprisingly, aside from congratulations to the newly elected leader of Bolivia not even Bolivia’s ultra-right neighbor Sebastian Piñera (who heads the reactionary interstate forum PROSUR), nor the president of another organization of a similar kind – the OAS, Luis Almagro, who, in fact, has always been “for everything bad against everything good.” Another surprise – there was no empty space left among the congratulations from President Trump himself, as well as from the heads of the EU countries. We will return to these non-random moments of history below in our attempt to analyze the Bolivian news.
Until the moment when Luis Arce himself had to take part in the general elections – the party guarded the candidate in its bunker, and even to vote he had to leave him under the protection of “left-wing radical militants MAS”, as the liberal press immediately wrote.
Like the left in all Latin America and in other parts of the world, rejoicing in the return of the MAS representative to power in Bolivia, so the overwhelming majority of jubilant Bolivians, whose emotions that swept the streets of the capital and other cities of the country, are difficult to convey even to participants and eyewitnesses who shared with us With this news, people are full of joyful hopes that the political map of South America will change for the better: Bolivia will once again shine a red light on the entire high-mountainous Southern Cone, which has received new chances for development independent of the world hegemon.
The retreat of reactionary political forces in the recently still de facto ultra-right Bolivia was made possible by the continuing desire of the Bolivian majority to continue building a fairer, socialist system in their country, which began with the victory in the 2006 presidential elections of the leader of agricultural trade unions Evo Morales and the most progressive party in the political spectrum of Bolivia. Despite the fact that in 2019 the Movement Towards Socialism was torn away from power by right-wing neo-imperialist forces with the help of a military coup, the generators of which put the puppet power of the local oligarchy at the head of the country, the government of J. Áñez was able to stand for only a year. Although during this year the Bolivians, who remained loyal to their President Evo, have fully felt the punishing hand of the new, “liberal and democratic” government, which nearly drenched Bolivia with people’s blood. Yes, most likely, if Carlos Mesa had the majority of votes, Bolivia would repeat the thorny path that it has traveled since 73 of the twentieth century. neighboring Chile, in which a military junta lasted much longer than the government of Áñez.
The time has come really different, and the history in this high-mountainous country cannot be turned back for a long time. The past 12 months is perhaps the most unattractive picture in the history of Bolivia in the 21st century, with mass massacres in two cities, where there was the largest number of grassroots party cells, since the repressive suppression machine began to spin up. However, the specificity of the population of Bolivia is such that its inhabitants are 90% composed of Indian indigenous peoples, in whose blood – strength, patience and constancy – akin to the rocks that raised these peoples and the inaccessible heights of the ridges of the ancient Andes. The people of Bolivia amazed even their enemies and implacable class enemies with their constancy and faith in the transforming power of the MAS party, as if it had grown directly from the single root of their Indian hearts. It defeated the reactionary forces united against it, oriented towards the transnational capitalist class. Its representatives on this race did not “drive a wave” of reactionary indignation or indignantly keep silent – they had to follow the laws of international etiquette, together with the entire world community congratulating the representative of the “Movement to Socialism” party Luis Arce with the party name “Lucho” on the victory.
Although, perhaps, representatives of the stock exchanges, capitalist governments and other servants of world imperialism have a faint hope – that the victorious Louis Arce, although a member of the left MAS, is perhaps very moderate, as he is an economist certified in Great Britain. After receiving a master’s degree in economics, he served for many years at the Central Bank of La Paz, and with it, with a hidden background inducing a dip. bridges, think the right-wing South and North America, – can there be any agreement? Therefore, remembering the situation with the elections in Ecuador by Lenin Moreno, we also will not rush to conclusions, allowing time to put everything in its place. Although, it seems that the political hopes of the right are incompetent for the venality of a person, although not at all similar, at first glance, to his fellow party member Evo Morales – with a capital origin and a prestigious foreign education, but – always remaining the Minister of Economy, transforming Bolivia hand-in-hand with comrade Evo.
Bolivian Lucho Arce is still a mystery to many: having worked in the Central Bank of the country for so many years, being a very good specialist, he did not rely on a career, remaining true to himself, when, in his student days, he made a personal political choice in favor of socialism. Moreover, in the Marxist context, meaning socialism only as a transitional stage, and not an independent socio-political formation. All the years of his work as a small banking official, Arce did not show loyal feelings towards any of the bourgeois governments that alternately change in Bolivia, on the contrary, without fear of losing a job as an employee in the Central Bank of Bolivia, criticizing the economic movements of the power elites that are incomprehensible to anyone, almost one popular step – attracting, attracting and attracting, on any terms, any foreign investors interested in a mountainous country with rich mineral resources.
The local ruling bourgeoisie, thinking only about its own benefits, as elsewhere in the small and hegemonic countries of Latin America, shamelessly connived at the plundering of Bolivia’s natural resources, mercilessly exploited by TNCs on the most humiliating conditions for the country. In the meantime, Comrade Arce, doing analytics in his spare time at the bank, theoretically grew into one of the best economists in the region, which was not for nothing that Evo Morales, who became the first Indian President in the world and truly people’s leader of Bolivia, by that time, to the MAS party and became one of its activists, a wide arena for action in the role of the Minister of Economy.
By the way, many Western analysts-economists, apparently having the right to be objective specialists in the field of economics, consider the permanent Minister of Economics Arce in the government of Morales to be the architect of what else can be called as an economic Bolivian miracle, they could not: after all, overcome the constant, dragging out decades , the desire of the country’s macroeconomics to regress, not every economist appointed to a government post is capable of. And even during the global economic crisis that hit the Third World countries with particular force, the Bolivian economic structure did not collapse into recession again, but continued to grow gradually. Many changes were made possible thanks to the nationalization of companies and economic sectors by the ruling “Movement to Socialism” party. In addition, the government of Evo Morales regulated the extraction of natural resources, and during the entire period of popular rule, the national income, which the new economic concept gave the country, increased almost sevenfold, due to which there was a serious reduction in the level of poverty – by 42%. Other economic indicators also showed positive dynamics: between 2008 and 2019, the unemployment rate fell from 7.7% to 4.4%, and public investment increased even during the outbreak of the general economic crisis. The breakthrough in the economic dynamics of Bolivia led to the fact that the production of hydrocarbons doubled, moreover, in the mining industries nationalized by the government.
During the entire period of the MAS party’s rule, which lasted almost 14 years, Luis Arce, as we mentioned above, was the permanent minister of economics in the president’s team. Over the years, slowly, gradually, and, perhaps, imperceptibly for a superficial glance, there have been quite serious positive changes in the country’s economic appearance. They were hushed up in the media of the region, where news about human rights violations in Bolivia and the dire poverty of the population prevailed. Moreover, if it were not for the double standards inherent in the “democratic press”, it would be more understandable that, despite the possible mistakes inherent in the people’s government, it is thanks to the positive economic shifts that the poverty of the population has significantly decreased; that it was this period that gave rise to the very middle urban class, which very soon, succumbing to the neo-liberal propaganda of the opposition, began to rock the country, taking to the streets of cities, especially the capital, with protest marches, although – the quickly formed middle urban class had behind it prosperous families and students in decent educational institutions for children.
So, maybe it is not so difficult: to improve the infrastructure that was shaken during one of the most powerful international economic crises, to create jobs while fighting unemployment and poverty? And governments that set themselves such a goal (after all, in the election programs of almost every winning party or alliance – promises to keep unemployment and improve the economy), only need the right cadres and desire, and then everything will go like clockwork for them? But with the pace of the fight against poverty and the growth of income from various industries, which Bolivia achieved during the time when it was headed by the MAS party, no country in such a problematic region as Latin America could compare and stand next to it. Even with a moderately socialist government (as recently in Bolivia’s neighboring Chile), where, it would seem, democratization after a long dictatorship and Pinochet’s departure from the political scene, reached the level of development that Michelle Bachelet, a candidate from the center-left coalition, won the elections twice. But its government for 8 years (with a break of 4 years) was unable (or did not want to conflict with the interests of the big bourgeoisie) not only to stop the dynamics of the socio-economic polarization of the population, and to take at least some steps in order to stop the widespread impoverishment of the masses that began during the crisis, but even failed to carry out the educational and pension reforms promised in two pre-election periods, causing indignation of the masses, deprived of social and educational lifts in Chile. Quality education – only for people from wealthy and wealthy social strata – has remained the norm in democratic Chile. When the moderate socialist Michelle Bachelet was replaced by the outspoken right-wing pinochetist, “Chicago boy” Sebastian Piñera, in the fall of 2019, the most massive spontaneous protest wave in its history swept across the country. However, the spontaneous, disorganized demonstrations of the masses, which probably allowed provocative facts of street riots and looting in shops and shopping centers, which came down to the destruction of several metro stations, did not leave the feeling of “waking up Chile” for a long time. Apparently, for this to finally happen, it is necessary that the Chilean people, brotherly for the Bolivians, undergo changes associated with the possibility of self-organization around the political force expressing the people’s aspirations and interests, its vanguard, which has a party program and leaders.
In Bolivia, similar changes seem to have begun. Of course, many MAS members understand that the political problems in the country destabilized by the 2019 coup d’etat, as well as the global problems in the economy and health (fighting the coronavirus pandemic) are still far from being solved. The problem also remains whether the Bolivian far-right, led by the militarist Murillo, will put up with it? .. party and its leader. Here the ultra-right forces are most loudly showing themselves. Will the representatives of the newly established ruling party MAS find the possibility of any kind of peaceful solution, with the opposition, which is not numerous in general, but concentrated in large cities and the capital, and is not going to reconsider its political preferences due to its class origin? The future fate of the people depends on many factors Bolivia, pinning its hopes on the new President L. Arce.
The party, which emerged from the agrarian lower strata, and for the second time nominated worthy candidates from its ranks who won the elections, realized its mission. With renewed vigor and, having revised and re-formulated its immediate tasks – tactics, and once again having understood for itself the more distant goals in time – the strategy, Bolivia, as he expressed his thoughts with tension following the elections from the Argentine border town, Evo Morales noted: “ now that Luchio (Luis Arce) is President and David (Choquehuanca) is Vice President, we are going to push our beloved Bolivia forward again … With Luis Arce as President, we will bring back our beloved Bolivia! “
I would like to add to this today the words spoken by the new President of Bolivia, comrade Luis Arce back in 2014: “Karl Marx says: to make the leap towards socialism, you need to develop the productive forces. This is what we are doing today”- and hope that no external, internal enemies will knock Bolivia off the only true and uncompromising path of development in its movement towards Socialism!
Member of the political party MAS
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
specially for Resistentiam.com