Bolivia

Letter from Bolivia

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The Bolivian government is launching a counter-offensive against the very successful and popular campaign of the indigenous peoples from Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (Tipnis). This is a massive rainforest in which a number of indigenous nations either live or depend on.

With money from the Brazilian government a road is being built connecting Brazil to the Pacific Ocean. The route of the road goes through this important environment. It is estimated that a million trees will be destroyed.

Mass revolt against poverty in Bolivia

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The streets of the city of Potosí, 600 kilometres south east of the capital, La Paz, are desolate, distended with the uncollected garbage of 18 days of general strike and popular revolt against poverty.

Stores are closed and public and private institutions boarded up, along with schools, markets, and banks. Cash machines are out of money, supplies of food and fuel are low, and inflation is lifting the prices of remaining basic commodities into the clouds. Only vehicles authorised by Potosí's Civic Committee are permitted to navigate the streets.

Revolutionary Horizons

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Forrest Hylton and Sinclair Thomson

Some years before the French Revolution, Bolivia's indigenous masses, the Aymara, the Quechua and others, rose up. The names of the heroes of the 1780-1 rebellion - Tomás Katari, Tupaj Amaro and Tupaj Katari - still echo through Bolivia, where two thirds of the population define themselves as indigenous.

No saviours or substitutes

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The words of the Internationale strike a chord for all socialists who believe society can only be transformed from below. It is a message that could not be more urgent than for today's working class in Venezuela and Bolivia.

No saviour from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer.

So runs the second verse of the socialist anthem the Internationale. It is rarely sung in Britain. But the message is very important.

Bolivia: Right Wing Threatens Morales

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The fledgling left wing administration in Bolivia faces growing challenges to its programme of reforms.

Recent weeks have seen "strikes" coordinated by business organisations and renewed demands for regional autonomy in the east of the country. The growing tensions flow from the attempts by the new government to reconcile competing demands from different sections of Bolivian society.

Bolivia: Standing Tall in El Alto

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Bolivians are fighting to protect their natural resources.

Bolivia may be the second poorest country in Latin America (after Haiti), and one of the least known outside the region, but in the struggle against neoliberalism it is playing a key role. In 2000, in the town of Cochabamba, a mass movement of small farmers, market traders, workers and indigenous community groups reversed a government decision to sell off the regional water supply to Bechtel.

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