Bolivia!

Bolivian social movements are once again on the verge of overthrowing a government. Their demands are for the government to go, and for the full nationalization of oil and gas. Bolivia was among the first countries to suffer neoliberal restructuring in 1985, accompanied by the destruction of its mining union. It was also among the first countries to develop unique forms of resistance to privatization and neoliberalism, first with the ‘water war’, and more recently with the ‘gas war’. No coincidence.


Bolivian social movements are once again on the verge of overthrowing a government. Their demands are for the government to go, and for the full nationalization of oil and gas. Bolivia was among the first countries to suffer neoliberal restructuring in 1985, accompanied by the destruction of its mining union. It was also among the first countries to develop unique forms of resistance to privatization and neoliberalism, first with the ‘water war’, and more recently with the ‘gas war’. No coincidence.

As for today, not only has much of the country been shut down by popular mobilization, but various areas have been seized and are under control of the movement. The government responded with a whole lot of tear gas and rubber bullets. The Catholic Church is trying to mediate, unsuccessfully, between the movements and the government of President Carlos Mesa (who took over when the previous President, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, was overthrown in a mobilization in 2003). Luiz Gomez of Narconews (www.narconews.com) says that Mesa could resign any time and the Army could declare a state of siege at any time as well. His replacement would be Senator Vaca Diez, president of the National Congress and a right-wing coupster.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.