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Latin America

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Situation in Bolivia and Venezuela

Situation in Bolivia and Venezuela

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  • 1. Latin America
    • In recent years pre-revolutionary situations in:
    • Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Mexico.
    • US imperialism weakened by Iraq & Afghanistan.
  • 2. Second choice
    • Direct military intervention not possible.
    • Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay.
    • Maintain class rule by using “left” neo-liberal governments.
  • 3. Inequalities
    • Liberal counter-reforms continue.
    • Social inequalities growing.
    • No autonomy from imperialism.
    • Respect wishes of IMF and world bank.
    • In Bolivia 66% is engaged in the informal sector, and the illicit coca trade
  • 4. Social movements
    • Brazilian landless, Argentine unions, indigenous peoples.
    • Can re-emerge as opposition.
  • 5. Bolivarian
    • Bolivia and Venezuela are obstacles to stabilisation for imperialism.
    • Providing health, education & food.
    • Economies remain largely capitalist.
    • Islands of workers’ control.
    • Attempt to restore state control over Bolivia’s hydrocarbon reserves puts the issue of social ownership back onto the agenda.
  • 6. 1200 Venezuelan factories taken over after being shut down
    • Faced with the same problem as the recovered factories in Argentina.
    • How to survive in a sea of capitalist economic relations?
    • How to ensure supply of raw materials?
    • how to ensure a buyer for the finished product?
  • 7. Differences
    • Chavez dominates the mass movement.
    • Morales is directed by mass movement.
    • Morales vacillates between Chavez and Lula.
  • 8. Oil
    • Oil price since Chavez took office in 1998 rose from $9 a barrel to the current of $78.
    • Chavez has said that he expects the price to rise to $100.
    • Made it possible for Chavez to finance many social projects without coming to conflict with the local capitalists.
  • 9. Income decline
    • Oil exports fell 15%.
    • Production dropped 7 percent in the first quarter of this year .
    • With lower global oil prices during part of this year income from oil exports may decline by about 24 percent in 2007.
  • 10. Struggle against counter-revolution
    • Make it a decisive blow against the capitalist state apparatus.
    • Move towards the nationalisation under democratic workers' control of the main levers of the economy (banks, large scale industry and the land).
  • 11. The Army
    • The idea that the Army is under control and is loyal to the revolution could prove to be fatal.
    • In all revolutions the revolutionary mood spreads into the Army.
    • Soldiers and lower-ranking officers.
    • Senior officers side with the counter-revolution.
  • 12. United Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV)
    • Has signed more than 5 million new members.
    • It can only be a state party, a populist party .
  • 13. Congress of Factory Workers of Bolivia in October 2006
    • Argue that the neoliberal model deepened of the neocolonial character of the Bolivian economy as a producer of raw material.
    • Natural gas taking over the role that tin played for much of the 20th century.
    • Penetration of international capital in most important productive sectors of the economy.
    • Creation of unprecedented levels of unemployment.
    • Over110,000 factory workers and miners lost their jobs in the 1980s as a consequence of privatization and the closure of factories.
  • 14. Gas and tax
    • 1998-2002 gas exports earned $232 million annually for the Bolivian state.
    • 2006, due to transitory high tax period and the new contracts, the Morales government took in $1.65 billion.
    • Expects that annual figure to rise to $2 billion in 2007, and $4 billion by 2010.
  • 15. Reformist measures
    • Acceptable tax arrangement does not mean nationalization.
    • Measures fall well short of those enacted in following the 1952 revolution.
    • Transnational petroleum companies remain in control of the industry.
    • Bolivia continues to be trapped in the export of a primary commodity with no value-added
  • 16. U.S. Council on Foreign Relations
    • “ Morales, despite the persona he has tried to cultivate, is in many ways a traditional Bolivian political actor who doles out patronage to major supporters while simultaneously condemning those who came before him for doing the same .”
  • 17. Contradictions
    • A president at the head of a mass movement pushing ever more in an anti-capitalist direction.
    • In the midst of struggle to create a revolutionary state and destroying the old state
    • Urging working people on towards socialism.
  • 18. Situation is not stable
    • Can only be transitional to a workers’ state the reestablishment of bourgeois control over the government.
    • Such a government has to move to work to dismantle the bourgeoisie state and replace it with a revolutionary one.
  • 19. Cuba
    • Raul Castro has identified low incomes as weakness.
    • Revolution still has legitimacy for masses.
    • Debate in leadership on Chinese model.
  • 20. Tasks
    • Continue coverage in press.
    • Firm up contacts in Latin America.
    • Maintain involvement with BSC & HOV.
    • Readers’ groups discuss Latin America twice per year.

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