Bolivia: we condemn the prosecution of the COB and the arrest warrants against all labor leaders

The International Socialist League, ISL, firmly repudiates the prosecution of the COB, the Bolivian labor union, the arrest warrants issued against several of its leaders and the requirements issued today by the government ministry of coup leader Jeanine Añez, accusing them of very serious charges such as sedition, genocide, terrorism, attacks on security and health, due to the carrying out of blockades and protests for days in the sister country of Bolivia.

Far from what her illegitimate government says, the blockades were carried out in demand of just and humanitarian social demands, in rejection of the repeated postponement of the elections and demanding the immediate resignation of Añez and her government. The accusation of terrorism, sedition and genocide is inadmissible for those who demand elementary social rights and rise up against the real traitors, coup plotters and murderers. It is they (the coup plotters) who violently appropriated power and want to maintain it by any means, even supported by para-police forces, fascist gangs, at the service of plundering the natural resources, increasing the public debt, incurring in corruption and applying austerity on the Bolivian people.

Faced with the recent law that was agreed on by the government of Añez and the MAS of Evo Morales – which has two thirds in both houses of the Bolivian Parliament – to move the date of the general elections to October 18, the COB and the social organizations of the so-called Pact of Unity, correctly condemned that agreement, made behind the people’s backs, as “treason.”

Unfortunately, the COB later intervened, ordering the lifting of the blockades, a decision that was resisted by grassroots sectors that continue to demand solutions to the people´s needs and the resignation of Añez, as was the case in the militant city of El Alto in La Paz, in Oruro at the exit to Potosí and Sucre, in addition to other points as in Santa Cruz.

Scandalously, even Añez’s Minister of Health sent a Circular demanding a report of how many deaths from COVID-19 there had been between August 2 and 15 to attach it as “evidence” to condemn the COB and those who led the blockades. The ISL repudiates all this and calls on the peoples, workers, students and democratic sectors to demand an end to all persecution.

Añez, her ministers and dependent judiciary, subservient to imperialism, have no authority. They must be the ones imprisoned and sentenced as the people demand. And justice must be done for the still unpunished Sacaba and Senkata massacres, as well as for all of the Añez regime´s repression to advance its austerity, plundering, indebtedness, surrender and corruption.

We condemn this prosecution against the COB and the arrest warrants for its leaders, as well as any prosecution and persecution against workers, the youth, miners, social militants and peasants who continue to protest for a free Bolivia. We call for international solidarity to stop it.

The Añez government has to go. The key is the organization and continuity of the struggle to get rid of Añez and his entire de facto government. There is no solution at all in the attempts to divert the mobilization process towards the dead end of the elections, without any certainty or expression of the demands of the mobilized people among those who run to continue managing, in one way or another, exploitative capitalism, of austerity, plundering and eternal indebtedness in Bolivia.

The real democratic solution is a Free and Sovereign Constituent Assembly to rebuild the country on new bases, effectively advancing towards what the working class and the people have fought for for years, with mobilizations, blockades, revolts and revolutions, socialism with the democracy of its workers, peasant, native and popular organizations.

International Socialist League, ISL