The Party of the European Left expresses solidarity with the working class, trade unions, and indigenous groups of the Plurinational State of Bolivia for their mobilizations to contrast the ongoing governmental abuses in their country. The de facto government of Bolivia, led by the self-declared president Jeanine Áñez, is using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to postpone the national elections for the third time. Since Tuesday, after a general strike, several protests occurred against the decision to further delay the vote. In light of these events, the European Left has hosted a meeting with Evo Morales, former President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, to discuss the events since the further postponement of the presidential elections.
What is happening in Bolivia is a serious threat to democracy. It is evident that the de facto government wants to exclude the Movement to Socialism (MAS-IPSP) of former President Evo Morales from electoral competition because it is clearly leading in the polls. The coup government’s concern for the electoral results stem also from the fact that the de facto government (becked by hate speeches and incitement to violence against popular masses in Bolivia) failed to address the health crisis and to provide support to Bolivia’s development.
“We strongly support Bolivian people fighting for democracy and for a step back of their country on the path towards democracy – says Heinz Bierbaum, President of the European Left. Rather than organizing elections, the current regime criminalizes dissent and files criminal lawsuits against Evo Morales. Rather than cope with the priorities for the entire country, the unelected regime is sabotaging state public projects”.
While the Movement to Socialism (MAS-IPSP) of former President Evo Morales has strongly boosted public health investments in Bolivia, in the last months the governmental actions and activities have seriously undermined the ability of the country to cope with the impact of COVID-19. Their neoliberal project is to promote investment by concession and privatizations, a project that now is paralyzing Bolivia’s economic development.
“Bolivia has become strategically important, especially for the United States, as governing it involves the management of the natural resources of the country.The development of the country must represent an opportunity for the entire Bolivian population and not just for the corporations” – continues Bierbaum.
“This vote in Bolivia is crucial for all the peoples, not only the Bolivian one. Against the rising colonialist rhetoric, Bolivia must be progressive and democratic, free from a small minority whose interests are exclusively linked to the economic interests of transnational corporations and the USA. We must unite against this injustice and the serious threat to democracy that it represents” – concludes Heinz Bierbaum