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Ballots Defeat Bullets: MAS Wins Historic Mandate in Post-Coup Bolivian Election

BY BENJAMIN DANGL

MAS supporters celebrate in La Paz following electoral victory. Photo credit: Thomas Becker.

Against all odds, the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party won the October 18th elections in Bolivia with 55.1% of the vote. This is better than even Evo Morales did in 2005 with 53.75% support. It gives MAS President-elect Lucho Arce one of the biggest mandates in Bolivian history, and is in part a major endorsement of MAS policies and its 14 years in power.

The election took place a year after a coup overthrew former MAS President Evo Morales and installed right wing Senator Jeanine Áñez in power. Under Áñez and her notorious Government Minister Arturo Murillo, the government repressed dissidents and anti-coup activists, killing dozens and wounding hundreds of people in massacres in Sacaba and Senkata, Bolivia last November. They politically persecuted MAS figures, allies, and leftist activists over a tumultuous year leading up to the recent election.

The MAS victory is a rejection of the racist coup government. Áñez pushed the MAS down, but the party and its diverse base of supporters rose up and won.

The movements that defended democracy over this past year brought Bolivia to this historic moment. For weeks in August, massive road blockade protests organized by MAS-allied campesino, indigenous, and labor groups successfully pressured authorities to hold elections after months of delays.

Following its resounding victory at the polls, the MAS will enter government next month, raising many crucial questions.

How much will the party leadership change? The crisis of the past year has resulted in a diversity of new leadership rising up through the party ranks. For example, young MAS cocalero leaders Andrónico Rodríguez and Leonardo Loza were just elected as Senators in Cochabamba.

How will the MAS address critiques from the left? Vice President-elect David Choquehuanca is largely considered a representative of the more critical left-wing of the MAS party, which is oriented more directly by the grassroots base of labor, campesino, and indigenous organizations. This is a sign that the MAS leadership may strengthen its relationship with its bases, and further democratize the party’s ties to social movements.

What will Evo Morales’ role be? Following the electoral victory, President-elect Arce said Morales will not have a role in the new government, but is welcome to return to Bolivia from Argentina, where he took refuge following last year’s coup.

Will the right accept political defeat in the government and streets? Presidential candidate Carlos Mesa, Áñez, and the Organization of American States all notably accepted the MAS victory. However, the right-wing Comité Cívico pro Santa Cruz, coup leader Fernando Camacho, and other anti-MAS groups have rejected the MAS victory. Considering the actions of racist, paramilitary groups in the country over the past year, it is likely they will continue to foment unrest in Bolivia.

These are major questions guiding the coming months. The fact that they will be addressed with the MAS in power makes all the difference.

The MAS has adapted to and overcome incredible challenges this year. Now they will have to navigate the disastrous pandemic, rising fascism in the country, and an economic downtown. They have a historic mandate to carry out this work on behalf of all Bolivians, not just the oligarchy and racists who were just defeated at the ballot box.

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Bolivia: coup government blinks ahead of October election

 by Cassandra Howarth

Rally for Evo Morales, Buenos Aires November 2019

As the much-delayed Bolivian election approaches, and with the presidential candidate of Evo Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) way ahead in the polls, the right-wing coup government that seized power a year ago is panicking. The mass mobilisation of the Bolivian working class has blocked any hope of postponing the vote for a fourth time, and so it is resorting to every dirty trick in the book to attempt to maintain its illegitimate hold on power. 

On 16 September, a major poll carried out by the Jubileo Foundation confirmed that, on current trends, Luis Arce of MAS would comfortably win the presidential election in the first round, with 40.3% of the vote. His nearest rival, the ‘centre-right’ figurehead Carlos Mesa of Civic Community, is on 29.2%. Candidates need 40% of the vote, with a 10% lead, to avoid a run-off in November. On 17 September, the unelected interim president Jeanine Añez, trailing in fourth place on 7%, announced that she was withdrawing her candidacy to avoid splitting the right-wing vote. The neo-fascist Luis Camacho, who led last year’s coup against the socialist president, Evo Morales, is on 10.9%. The youth wing of Añez’s political party has announced it will support Camacho.

Having stolen last year’s election through violence and lies, it is clear Bolivia’s coup government fears being exposed to democratic scrutiny. It has already attempted to stave off electoral defeat three times by simply postponing the election, conveniently citing the coronavirus pandemic. But when the 6 September election – postponed from May – was once again cancelled, the Bolivian working class had had enough. From the end of July onwards, mass mobilisations by unions and indigenous organisations brought large parts of the country to a standstill. Blockades, strikes and marches were organised across Bolivia, calling for the immediate resignation of the Añez regime and for the September election to go ahead. The indigenous organisations had sworn to maintain their actions until the election was held. Under pressure, the government passed emergency legislation guaranteeing no further postponement beyond 18 October – a concession that fell far short of the movement’s demands. But the compromise was accepted by Bolivia’s largest trade union federation, Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and the mass mobilisations were called off. Although the COB has played a major role in organising working class resistance to the coup government, this is not the first time it has compromised at crucial moments. After last year’s October election, as Bolivia was wracked by orchestrated rightwing violence in the lead-up to the coup, the COB added its voice to those publicly demanding Morales’ resignation. COB’s political stance reflects its base – a better-off section of the working class who benefit from stable jobs and a regular income, whose interests are at odds with MAS’s core supporters, the rural poor and majority indigenous working class. It is the latter who benefited most under Morales, who have suffered the most under the coup government and who have no choice but to fight back.

Coup government raises the stakes

What the coup government cannot win by fair means, it will continue to try to win by foul. It is already churning out propaganda – much of it with an eye to its ‘liberal’ supporters in the international bourgeois press, such as The Guardian, whose constant attacks on Evo Morales helped usher the right wing into power. It has fabricated accusations against Morales of inappropriate sexual relations with a minor and asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Morales and MAS for crimes against humanity, accusing them of co-ordinating the blockades that took place over the postponed election with the bogus claim that these were intended to prevent coronavirus victims from receiving medical care. It has used the courts to prevent the exiled Morales from standing as a senator in his native stronghold of Cochabamba. Even the pro-imperialist Human Rights Watch recently accused the coup government of using the justice system as a weapon, documenting dozens of instances of baseless or disproportionate charges, due process violations, infringement of freedom of expression, and excessive and arbitrary use of pretrial detention. In one case, Morales’ former chief of staff, Patricia Hermosa, has been charged with terrorism and sedition for making a phonecall to him after he went into exile. She was arrested in January and held in pretrial detention without access to medical care while pregnant. She had a miscarriage in March, and was not released until August.

Political opponents to the regime are still being persecuted. Most recently, on 19 September, a lawyer supporting families of victims of last November’s Senkata massacre of indigenous people by the Bolivian military was arrested outside court. Right-wing thugs have attacked MAS rallies, burning supporters’ tents, and setting fire to the indigenous Wiphala flag.

These are the same tools that Bolivia’s viciously reactionary, wealthy elite used last year to force Evo Morales out of power. They were backed to the hilt by imperialism, in particular the Organisation of American States, a US proxy, whose claims of fraud based on a totally discredited ‘audit’ of the October 2019 election results provided spurious cover for the coup. According to US media, Carlos Trujillo, the US ambassador to the OAS, ‘had steered the group’s election-monitoring team to report widespread fraud and pushed the Trump administration to support the ouster of Morales’.
It is clear that the ruling class will not give up power willingly and even if it loses the election, will continue to sabotage and undermine any future progressive, socialist and democratic government. Only the continued resistance of the Bolivian working class and oppressed, especially the rural poor and indigenous communities, can stop them.

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Will There Ever be Elections Again in Bolivia?


by VIJAY PRASHAD – MANUEL BERTOLDI

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

On November 10, 2019, President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia announced his resignation from the presidency. Morales had been elected in 2014 to a third presidential term, which should have lasted until January 2020. In November 2019, protests around his fourth electoral victory in October led to the police and the military asking Morales to step down; by every description of the term, this was a coup d’état. Two days later, Morales went into exile in Mexico.

On November 16, Morales told Mexican daily newspaper La Jornada that the coup that unseated him “was prepared” by the U.S. embassy in La Paz. The reason for the coup, he said, was—among others—Bolivia’s considerable lithium reserves and his government’s failure to surrender to North American multinational mining corporations. Morales told La Jornada’s Miguel Angel Velázquez it seemed his “sin” was that he “implemented social programs for the humblest families.”

The coup was justified by the Bolivian oligarchy and the United States government as the restoration of democracy. By “democracy,” the oligarchs and the U.S. government mean rule by elites who politely hand over resources to mining firms at concessionary rates; they do not mean that the people—who should have sovereignty over their lives and their resources—actually govern. This is why there is no anxiety in large sections of the Bolivian oligarchy and the U.S. government that Bolivia will not have an elected government in at least a year.

A Coup Government Remains

Morales was replaced by Jeanine Áñez, a minor politician who was outside the constitutional chain of succession. Áñez said that she would not seek election after her interim period was over, but quickly turned her back on that promise; this was the first of many promises she would break. The presidential election was set for May 3, 2020. Due to her government’s inability to control the coronavirus, the election was postponed until September 6, 2020.

Áñez and her coalition are polling far behind the Movement for Socialism (MAS), Morales’ party whose ticket consists of Luis Arce Catacora for president and David Choquehuanca Céspedes for vice president, as well as behind the center-right Civic Community party of Carlos Mesa (a former president of Bolivia who also ran against Morales in the October 2019 election and lost). Afraid of a humiliating loss, Áñez pressured the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to postpone the election to October 18, 2020. There is no guarantee that there will not be a further postponement.

The TSE is now headed by Salvador Romero, whom Morales had decided not to reinstate when Romero’s term ended in 2008 because of Romero’s dangerously close relationship to the United States government. After he was not reinstated, Romero complained to Philip Goldberg, the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia. Goldberg met Romero warmly but could not force Morales to put him back in his position. Nonetheless, the United States provided Romero with a nice post: he took a job in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, at the National Democratic Institute. (The National Democratic Institute, based in Washington, is loosely affiliated with the U.S. Democratic Party.)

While in Honduras, Romero ensured that the violent conditions during the 2013 Honduran presidential elections did not provoke any kind of international condemnation as the far right’s Juan Orlando Hernández (favored by the U.S. government) defeated the left’s Xiomara Castro. Romero and others like him covered up the dirty tricks (such as minimizing the significance of a power outage as Hernández pulled ahead of Castro during vote counting) that led to Hernández’s victory. Romero told the New York Times that despite “the general perception of fraud,” the election was fine. After she took power in November 2019, Áñez—with the backing of the U.S. government—brought Romero back to Bolivia to head the TSE.

Fractures in the Right

All is not well in the camp of the far right in Bolivia. Áñez does not command the field. Carlos Mesa, the candidate of the center-right, is eager to make this election between himself and the MAS, with Áñez stepping aside to allow the votes of the right wing to consolidate behind him. But he has had no luck; she would prefer that he stand down and prolong the wait for an election while she leads.

Áñez came to power due to the shock troops of the far right, groups such as the Santa Cruz Civic Committee (a misnomer), the Resistencia Juvenil Cochala, and the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista. The main figure who had galvanized these groups was Luis Fernando Camacho, a businessman from Santa Cruz with the sensibility of a fascist thug. After the coup, Branko Marinković, who had absconded to Brazil after he was charged with sedition, returned to Bolivia and tried to regain control of these various far-right platforms. The rivalry between Camacho and Marinković, and the uncertainty about the possibility of a right-wing triumph at the polls, has stayed the hand of Áñez and Romero; they would prefer to have no election (using the excuse of the pandemic) over an election that returned the MAS to power.

Protests for the Election

A week of blockades, marches, and gatherings in early August took place across Bolivia to insist on an election. The protests demanded that the election date of September 6 be reinstated. That is unlikely to happen. But the protests have put the TSE on notice that any further delay of elections—or blatant intervention in election results when they do take place—is likely to result in public outcry.

All the polls suggest that the MAS will win the first round of the election; if the far right and center-right do not coalesce after the first round, and if the left is able to unite, then the MAS might win a two-way second-round election. If the left remains disunited, then this promises to hamper the election prospects of MAS.

In power for 14 years, MAS moved an agenda that made impressive gains for the people. At the same time, over that long period, MAS was not able to please every social sector, every time. Fissures in the camp of the left opened up when Morales was in office, so much so it was the country’s largest trade union federation (Central Obrera Boliviana, or COB) that publicly asked for the resignation of Morales.

Groups such as COB, the Ponchos Rojos, the National Confederation of Indigenous Peasant Women, and the Pact of Unity led the recent protest; they galvanized the people behind the demand for the immediate resignation of the Áñez regime and for immediate elections. Unity between these groups—which have excited the core of the left with their public actions—and the MAS is not yet established. These fissures weaken the left as these organizations proceed toward a continuation of struggles and the election. If the left were to stand together, the return of MAS to power is virtually guaranteed. The main task of the left is to consolidate the unity of the popular forces and to promote the young leadership that has come to the surface in these mobilizations. Unity, they say, is their focus.

Still, though, many people in Bolivia fear that the full array of dirty tricks—including blackouts during the counting of votes—will steal the election from them. It is not hard to imagine that this is what a coup regime has in mind; it did not annul democracy to allow democracy to remove it from office.

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Elon Musk on Bolivia: ‘We will coup whoever we want!’

Bolivia’s ‘lithium coup’ is yet another example of a regime-change operation carried out at the behest of imperialist corporations.

Proletarian writers

Lithium mining at Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. The salt flat contains more known lithium carbonate reserves than any other location on earth.

In July, billionaire Elon Musk, a grown man with all the maturity of a rebellious teenager, took to his favourite attention-seeking platform, Twitter, to make known his opinion, not that anybody asked for it, on a proposed economic stimulus package to help soften the blow of the latest crisis of overproduction that the capitalist world is presently reeling from.

“Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo,” the sagacious entrepreneur opined. To which another user fired back: “You know what wasn’t in the interests of the people? The US government organising a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.”

Outraged and well out of his depth, Musk threw his toys out of the pram, exclaiming: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

This candid and frankly stupid remark neatly encapsulates the mentality of the capitalist class as a whole, and of the imperialist Americans in particular, who consider the whole continent to be their ‘back yard’.

It is their firm belief that the world, with all of its resources, is not a beautiful shared home to all of humanity and the animal kingdom, to be respected and nurtured in order to sustain life, but their own exclusive property to do with as they please. The inhabitants thereof are not human beings, but so much potential labour-power to be exploited or cannon fodder to be used to further enrich the capitalist class and fulfil its hegemonic desires.

Bolivia’s lithium reserves

Bolivia is blessed with a vast wealth of natural resources. In particular, it has been found to possess some 43 percent of the world’s known supply of lithium, buried beneath the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in the country’s southern highlands.

Underneath the flats, large aquifers rich in lithium brine are to be found. Extracting lithium in this context, as opposed to mining from hard rock, carries a number of benefits: the cost is significantly lower, the production timeframe is shorter, and returns are much higher – an extremely attractive prospect to profit-mad corporations. (A cost comparison: lithium brine vs hard rock exploration by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist, 2 June 2015)

However, it was not Morales’s goal to allow foreign companies to exploit Bolivia’s lithium reserves, nor was it his intention to act as a supplier of raw materials for high-end manufacturing abroad.

Instead, under his leadership, the state-owned Bolivian Oil Fields (YPFB) proudly worked towards building the capacity to mine and process lithium within the country, bringing in large sums of money to be used for the benefit of the whole Bolivian people.

Such was the success of the plan, part of a larger ‘Bicentennial Agenda’, that, in June 2019, it was estimated that the country had the reserves and capacity to produce some 400,00 lithium batteries each year. (Bolivia: Morales to industrialise lithium for battery exports, Telesur, 19 June 2019)

Then, in October 2019, the first domestically manufactured electric car, produced by state-owned YLB (Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos, or Bolivian Lithium Deposits), was showcased at the opening of a new lithium technology centre in Potosi, a city near Salar de Uyuni.

The centre, consisting of 18 classrooms, laboratories and conference rooms, aimed to teach students about the production and uses of lithium, and to provide the future workforce for the industry. (Bolivia to introduce first domestically-made electric vehicle, Telesur, 2 October 2019)

A similar strategy was pursued in Bolivia’s natural gas industry, which before the Morales government’s initiatives was exporting unrefined gas and importing its refined counterpart. During Morales’s presidency, the YPFB began refining gas domestically and exporting value-added processed gas canisters to neighbouring Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Paraguay – once again using the proceeds to better the lives of poor Bolivians.

Of course, this did not sit well with the imperialist US, which cannot stand the sight of human progress, and could not stomach another socialist-oriented country in its ‘back yard’.

The November 2019 ‘lithium coup’ in Bolivia

“Our sin, our crime, is to be an indigenous person and to have begun change with the participation of the Bolivian people,” noted Morales during his first press conference in Argentina after the violent coup that overthrew him in November 2019 – a coup that had been led by the Bolivian elite with the murderous CIA acting behind the scenes.

“We nationalised energy and water, which were previously privatised,” continued President Morales. “We said that another world is possible without the IMF.”

“We did three important things. In the political realm, we refounded Bolivia. We left a colonial state behind and created a plurinational state. In the economic realm, we promoted nationalisations. And most importantly, in the social realm, we achieved wealth redistribution.”

The government of Evo Morales, the Movement Toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, or MAS), greatly increased the quality of life for the working masses of Bolivia, reducing extreme poverty from 38.2 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in 2018.

This shocking redistribution of wealth and resources was just too much for the US to bear.

Accordingly, the US-led Organisation of American States (OAS) declared the results of the October 2019 presidential election, which MAS won by a wide margin, to be fraudulent, purely because they did not align with its own desired outcome.

“We won in the first round,” said Maduro. “According to the OAS, however, winning with a wide margin is electoral fraud … the OAS said there was fraud because in 225 tables the MAS obtained between 70 and 90 percent of the votes. In rural areas, we even obtained more … The real fraud is the OAS report.” (‘Fascists, racists plotted the lithium coup in Bolivia’ Morales, Telesur, 17 December 2019)

Using this pretext as a springboard, the opposition, backed by the police and armed forces, and, most importantly, by the US, ousted Maduro with a campaign of violence and intimidation. On 12 November 2019, opposition senator Jeanine Añez Chávez appointed herself ‘interim president’.

The demonstrations of Bolivian workers and peasants that followed the coup were drowned in blood. The armed forces were granted immunity from prosecution as they used live rounds against demonstrators, killing 30 and wounding 800 more in the clashes that immediately followed.

Evo Morales: a popular, well-respected leader

Evo Morales held the position of president from 22 January 2006 until 10 November 2019. He was, and still is, immensely popular with the Bolivian working masses. His illegitimate ‘successors’ enjoy no such popularity, and rule over the people with naked terror.

The story of Bolivia since the coup has been one of misery and suffering, combined with unrelenting struggle on the part of the popular masses of Bolivia.

Public companies are being dismantled and privatised, people are without food, embassies in fraternal, anti-imperialist countries such as Iran and Nicaragua have been closed, and members of MAS face political prosecution, all while ties between the coup regime and its puppetmasters in Washington are continually reinforced.

Such is the dependence and subservience of the US-backed regime on foreign capital, that newly appointed lickspittle foreign minister Karen Longaric penned a grovelling letter to Mr Musk asking his company to supply ventilators to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk ignored the request, perhaps advised to do so by his PR team, and the illegal government instead purchased 170 ventilators at the exorbitant cost of $27,683 each from a Spanish supplier, relying on a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (with headquarters in Washington DC) to do so, even though they could have been supplied by Bolivian companies at a fraction of the price.

This flagrant corruption blew up in the face of the regime, and health minister Marcelo Navajas was arrested in a panicked act of damage limitation. (Bolivia investigates health officials over ventilator deal after public outcry by Daniel Ramos, Reuters, 20 May 2020)

So what became of the elections that were apparently so near and dear to the OAS in November last year? Unsurprisingly, they have already been postponed twice (which did not bother the OAS one bit) and are now scheduled for 18 October. Whether or not they will go ahead this time no-one can be sure.

What we can be sure of, is that the results will once again be considered fraudulent by the ‘international community’ should the MAS win, as it is expected to do.

We stand with our brothers and sisters in Bolivia in their struggle to restore peace and independence to their country, and to restore their chosen leader to the position of president.

Both in Bolivia and Britain, workers are fighting a common, mortal enemy, the enemy of all mankind: imperialism, the most hideous, reactionary stage of capitalism and human exploitation in its final decaying, moribund form.

Every blow the Bolivian working masses land against the US and its lackeys, every defeat or setback they inflict, weakens our joint adversary, and is to be celebrated as a victory for us all.

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‘We Will Coup Whoever We Want’: Elon Musk and the Overthrow of Democracy in Bolivia

by VIJAY PRASHAD – ALEJANDRO BEJARANO

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

On July 24, 2020, Tesla’s Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that a second U.S. “government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people.” Someone responded to Musk soon after, “You know what wasn’t in the best interest of people? The U.S. government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.” Musk then wrote: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

Musk refers here to the coup against President Evo Morales Ayma, who was removed illegally from his office in November 2019. Morales had just won an election for a term that was to have begun in January 2020. Even if there was a challenge against that election, Morales’ term should rightfully have continued through November and December of 2019. Instead, the Bolivian military, at the behest of Bolivia’s far right and the United States government, threatened Morales; Morales went into exile in Mexico and is now in Argentina.

At that time, the “evidence” of fraud was offered by the far right and by a “preliminary report” by the Organization of American States; only after Morales was removed from office was there grudging acknowledgment by the liberal media that there was in fact no evidence of fraud. It was too late for Bolivia, which has been condemned to a dangerous government that has suspended democracy in the country.

Lithium Coup

Over his 14 years in office, Morales fought to use the wealth of Bolivia for the Bolivian people, who saw—after centuries of oppression—remarkable advances in their basic needs. Literacy rates rose and hunger rates dropped. The use of Bolivia’s wealth to advance the interests of the people rather than North American multinational corporations was an abomination to the U.S. embassy in La Paz, which had egged on the worst elements of the military and the far right to overthrow the government. This is just what happened in November 2019.

Musk’s admission, however intemperate, is at least honest. His company Tesla has long wanted access at a low price to the large lithiumdeposits in Bolivia; lithium is a key ingredient for batteries. Earlier this year, Musk and his company revealed that they wanted to build a Tesla factory in Brazil, which would be supplied by lithium from Bolivia; when we wrote about that we called our report “Elon Musk Is Acting Like a Neo-Conquistador for South America’s Lithium.” Everything we wrote there is condensed in his new tweet: the arrogance toward the political life of other countries, and the greed toward resources that people like Musk think are their entitlement.

Musk went on to delete his tweet. He then said, “we get our lithium from Australia”; this will not settle the issue, since eyebrows are being raised in Australia regarding the environmental damage from lithium mining.

Suspension of Democracy

After Morales was removed, an insignificant far-right politician named Jeanine Áñez set aside the constitutional process and seized power. She showed the character of her politics when she signed a presidential decree on November 15, 2019, that gave the military the right to do whatever it wanted; even her allies found this to be too far and repealed it on November 28.

Arrests and intimidation of activists from the Movement for Socialism (MAS)—the party of Morales—began in November 2019 and still continue. On July 7, 2020, seven U.S. senators published a statement that said, “We are increasingly concerned by the growing number of human rights violations and curtailments of civil liberties by the interim government of Bolivia.” “Without a change in course by the interim government,” the senators wrote, “we fear that basic civil rights in Bolivia will be further eroded and the legitimacy of the crucial upcoming elections will be put at risk.”

There’s no need to worry about that, since the government of Áñez seems unwilling to hold an election. By all polls, Áñez looks likely to be defeated in the general elections. A recent poll by El Centro Estratégico Latinoamericano de Geopolítica (CELAG) says that Áñez will get a mere 13.3 percent, far behind the Movement for Socialism’s Luis Arce (41.9 percent) and the center right’s Carlos Mesa (26.8 percent). The election was supposed to have taken place in May, but it was rescheduled for September 6; it has now been postponed once more, this time to October 18. Bolivia would not have had an elected government for an entire year.

Luis Arce of MAS recently told Oliver Vargas, “We face persecution, we face surveillance… we are facing a very difficult campaign.” But, he said, “we are sure that we will win these elections.” If elections are permitted.

The CELAG study shows that 9 out of 10 Bolivians have seen their incomes decline due to the coronavirus recession. Because of this—and of the attack by this government on the MAS—65.2 percent of Bolivians have a negative appraisal of Áñez. It is important to note that due to the positive policies of Morales’ MAS, there is widespread support for a socialist orientation; 64.1 percent of Bolivians support taxes against the rich, and Bolivians in general support the resource socialism of the MAS and Morales.

CoronaShock and Bolivia

The government of Áñez has been utterly incompetent regarding the coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this country of 11 million people is 66,456; since testing is low, the number is likely much higher.

Musk returns to our story. Earlier this year, on March 31, Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Karen Longaric wrote an obsequious letter to Musk asking him about the “offer of cooperation posted by you regarding ventilators ready to be dispatched to countries where they are needed the most.” Longaric said, “If it is not possible to send it to Bolivia, we can arrange its receipt in Miami, FL. and transport them from there as quickly as possible.” No such ventilators came.

Instead, the government bought ventilators from a Spanish supplier for $27,000 for each of the 170 devices; Bolivian producers had said they could supply ventilators for $1,000 per unit. The health minister in the Áñez government—Marcelo Navajas—was arrested for this scandal.

Morales

Evo Morales read Musk’s tweet about the coup in Bolivia and responded: “Elon Musk, the owner of the largest electric car company, says about the coup in Bolivia: ‘We will coup whoever we want.’ Another proof that the coup was about Bolivian lithium; at the cost of two massacres. We will always defend our resources!”

The reference to the massacres is important. In November, from Mexico City, Morales watched as the government of Áñez let loose the dogs of war against the people of Bolivia from Cochabamba to El Alto. “They are killing my brothers and sisters,” Morales said at a press conference. “This is the kind of thing the old military dictatorships used to do.” It is the toxic character of the government of Áñez, backed fully by the U.S. government and Elon Musk.

Protests across Bolivia began on July 27 for the restoration of democracy.

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Elon Musk Confesses to Lithium Coup in Bolivia

The billionaire CEO of Tesla and lithium-exploiting capitalist has admitted his role in the November coup.

The CEO of the U.S.-based Telsa car manufacturer has admitted to involvement in what President Morales has referred to as a “Lithium Coup.”

“We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” was Elon Musk’s response to an accusation on twitter that the U.S. government organized a coup against President Evo Morales, so that Musk could obtain Bolivia’s lithium.

Foreign plunder of Bolivia’s lithium, in a country with the world’s largest known reserves, is widely believed to be among the main motives behind the November 10, 2019 coup.

Lithium, a critical component of the batteries used in Tesla vehicles, is set to become one of the world’s most important natural resources as manufacturers seek to obtain it for use in batteries for electric cars, computers, and industrial equipment.

The defacto administration of Jeanine Añez has already announced its plan to invite numerous multinationals into the Salar de Uyuni, the vast salt flats in Potosi, which holds the precious soft metal.

Right-wing Vice Presidential candidate and running mate to Añez, Samuel Doria Medina, proposed a Brazilian-Bolivian project which would use lithium from the town of Uyuni.

Meanwhile, letter from the coup regime’s Foreign Minister Karen Longaric to Elon Musk, dated march 31st, says “any corporation that you or your company can provide to our country will be gratefully welcomed.”Bolivian Coup Comes Less than a Week After Morales Stopped Multinational Firm’s Lithium Deal

Social movements have repeatedly warned that lithium and natural resources would be surrendered to foreign capital by coup authorities, in a reversal of plans by Evo Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) administration to process the lithium within Bolivia rather than exporting the raw material to the global north.

The project represented a rejection of the neocolonial relationship Latin American countries have often had with the imperialist cores.

Bolivia’s former MAS government oversaw the production of batteries and its first electric car by the Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) state company, in partnership with German company ACISA. In the deal, the Bolivian state kept majority control.

With the agreement now scrapped along with countless other state projects, and with elections now thrice delayed by the illegitimate defacto authorities, the people of Uyuni and social movements around the country say they’ll continue to oppose the ongoing privatization and are organizing against the return of looting of Bolivia’s natural resources by ruthless and exploitative foreign capital.

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Featured image: Tesla CEO Elon Musk (L) Authorities of Chayanta (R), Norte Potosi, Bolivia. May 24, 2020 | Photo: Twitter/ @KawsachunCoca

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Bolivia: Coup-Born Regime Closes Embassies in Nicaragua, Iran

Jeanine Añez at the Government Palace, La Paz, Bolivia. June 4, 2020.

The self-proclaimed President Añez says her administration’s priority is “the economy.”

Bolivia’s coup-born government led by Jeanine Añez Thursday announced the closure of its diplomatic offices in Nicaragua and Iran.

RELATED: COVID-19 Death Threat to Bolivian Amazon’s Indigenous Peoples

“We have nothing against those noble and brotherly countries that we respect and are friends, but we are going to close those embassies to save and invest those savings in health and against the COVID-19,” Añez said.

She did not offer the embassies’ closure date or the alleged savings amount. Nor did she specify what would happen to Bolivian diplomatic representation in both nations.

“I also have ordered the cabinet to make a detailed review of all the unnecessary charges and all the absurd expenses that the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party invented, which were a pure waste. MAS had other priorities, ours is the economy,” Añez added. 

Kawsachun News@KawsachunNews

Teachers unions are protesting in La Paz, Bolivia, after the government cut 500 jobs, despite their own law against layoffs during the quarantine. The regime has sent riot police.13411:00 PM – Jun 4, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy90 people are talking about this

Bolivia’s self-proclaimed president also announced she announced a reengineering of institutions covering the ministries of culture, sports and communication. 

Añez urged Bolivian companies to work together to resume economic activities amid the South American nation’s health crisis. 

As for Friday morning, Bolivia Health authorities reported 12,245 COVID-19 cases, 415 deaths, and 1,658 recoveries from the virus.

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Bolivia: COVID-19 Death Threat to Bolivian Amazon’s Indigenous Peoples

Members of an indigenous Amazonian people, May, 19, 2020.

The Bolivian state recognizes at least 36 Indigenous nations that are sparsely populated.

Bolivia’s Center for Legal Studies and Social Research (CEJIS) denounced that the COVID-19 pandemic can devastate the Bolivian Amazon’s Indigenous peoples close to the Santa Cruz and Beni regions.

RELATED: Bolivia: Añez Summoned To Declare On Ventilator’s Alleged Scam

“We are very short of witnessing a catastrophe,” the CEJIS director Miguel Vargas said to warn of a possible “ethnocide” in more vulnerable Indigenous populations.

He explained that 46 out of 58 indigenous territories are close to municipalities in which the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase exponentially.

This happens, for example, in Lomerio and Urubicha in the Department of Santa Cruz, where the Yuqui and Guarani indigenous peoples are settled.

As of Tuesday, in the Lomerio region, six COVID-19 deaths, 17 infected oil workers, and four infected Yuqui indigenous persons were reported.

Vargas explained that there is no precise information on the impact of the pandemic on indigenous Amazonian peoples because the Health Ministry did not include the variable of ethnic self-identification in the epidemiological records used to report on COVID-19 cases.​​​​​​​

Task Force on the Americas@TaskAmericas

IACHR Warns Ecuador on COVID-19 in Amazon’s Indigenous Nations – https://go.shr.lc/3eHUm06  via @shareaholicIACHR Warns Ecuador on COVID-19 in Amazon’s Indigenous NationsAt least 180 cases were confirmed among Amazon’s Indigenous peoples in Ecuador, while seven deaths were reported.telesurenglish.net6:55 PM – Jun 2, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee Task Force on the Americas’s other Tweets

“The situation is complex and dramatic because the Government could not respond to the needs of the indigenous territorial organizations,” the CEJIS director remarked and recalled that the Yuqui nation has a population that does not exceed 370 people.

The risk of genocide increases every time an indigenous person has to leave their territory to seek medical attention or to receive cash transfers, which the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez promised to send.

“There is no health system in the indigenous territories,” Vargas said and recalled that there is no possibility of accessing tests to detect the coronavirus.

The Interim government “has not taken into account” the recommendations on the vulnerability of indigenous peoples made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in April, he added.

The Bolivian state recognizes the existence of at least 36 indigenous nations that are sparsely populated and scattered in subtropical and Amazon regions of the country.​​​​​​​

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Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

by BENJAMIN DANGL

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

Returning to La Paz, Bolivia after last November’s coup was like returning to the scene of a crime. Since Bolivian President Evo Morales was removed from power, right-wing interim President Jeanine Áñez has led the country with an iron fist.

State repression immediately following the coup left dozens dead and the government has been throwing political enemies behind bars. The Áñez administration, now using the pandemic as a pretext for further crackdowns on dissent, is part of a rising right across the Americas.

The fierce conflicts following the October 20 election had left their mark on the city when I visited in March. Intersections were scarred from barricade bonfires. Graffiti across La Paz denounced the “Murderer Áñez.” A general sense of fear hung in the air. Rumors of government surveillance and political arrests were rampant. Everyday life continued as usual in the downtown traffic and sun, while state violence was meted out in the shadows.

One morning, I took the city’s aerial cable car system to El Alto to meet with journalist Julio Mamani. I passed hundreds of miners marching into La Paz from El Alto, their helmets shining in the sun, their yells blending with bus horns. Above, participants in a women’s march gathered, wearing green bandanas and denouncing both Morales and Añez for rising feminicides.

Mamani compared the Áñez government to past Bolivian dictators. “I was a witness of the 1979 Massacre of Todos Santos of General Busch. Now [state repression] is more sophisticated. They won’t hunt you down in the same manner. They use other forms, and in this case, it is intimidation.”

“I call it a kind of revenge,” he said.

The country arrived at this moment because of the coordinated efforts of the right. But many different elements converged to oust one of the most popular presidents in Bolivian history.

President Morales and the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party governed the country for 14 years. During that time, the MAS dramatically reduced poverty, used funds from the Bolivia’s vast natural resource wealth for popular social programs, and exerted economic and political sovereignty in the face of US imperialism and global capitalism. The indigenous rural poor benefitted greatly from this political project, and it’s from this sector that the MAS enjoyed its base of support

But in the eyes of Bolivia’s racist right, this was a crime. They wanted their power and profits back.

Certain negative actions and policies of the MAS government over these years in power also contributed to its own crisis of legitimacy in the lead up to the October 2019 elections. Critiques from the left and various movements have been levelled against the MAS government for years for the rise in violence against women, the harmful aspects of deepening extractivism, the handling of last year’s mass fires in the country, and state corruption and abuses of power.

“To understand what’s happening right now in Bolivia, it’s key to also understand the process of increased division and degradation that the social movements suffered during the tenure of Evo Morales,” Bolivian sociologist and historian Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui wrote in November of last year. “The movements who were initially the president’s support base were divided and degraded by a left that would allow only one possibility and wouldn’t allow autonomy.”

Such critiques and issues accumulated over the years. A breaking point was when Morales ignored the results of a 2016 referendum in which a majority of the population voted against allowing him to run again for president in 2019. In the lead up to the October 20, 2019 election, the MAS and Morales were already mired in a crisis of legitimacy, making them an easier target for the right, which had been consolidating forces and capitalizing off of the errors of the MAS.

Meanwhile, the opposition promoted a narrative about the likelihood of fraud in the weeks leading up to the election. The issue of fraud during the October 20th elections, which indicated Morales won another term, has been widely debated and investigated. Many of the people I spoke with in La Paz in March did not believe “monumental” fraud had been committed by the MAS, as the opposition claimed, but that a “typical” low level of irregularities had taken place. Regardless of the extent or existence of fraud, the Organization of American States strategically threw gasoline on the fire during a critical moment of the October crisis with their early claims of fraud, pushing the country into violence.

Following the election, protesters against Morales allied with right-wing leader Fernando Camacho and other racist figures, fomenting destabilization and violence in the country in an effort to force Morales out of office. These efforts ultimately created the pretext for a police and military intervention in the name of order, which is exactly what happened. On November 8, police across the country mutinied against the government, and the military “suggested” Morales step down on November 10.

Within this climate of violence and threats, Morales and other MAS leaders were forced to flee or go into hiding. Fearing for his life, Morales left the country for Mexico on November 10. The right, having planned for a seizure of the government, took advantage of the power vacuum and entered office with the crucial blessing of the Bolivian armed forces and the US embassy.

Right-wing Senator Jeanine Áñez declared herself president in front of an empty Congress on November 12. She celebrated entering office holding a massive Bible. “The Bible has returned to the government palace,” she declared. “My commitment is to return democracy and tranquility to the country.” Days later, state repression left over a dozen unarmed protesters and bystanders dead in Senkata and Sacaba, key areas of resistance to the coup regime.

Various elements contributed to the coup, from the MAS’s crisis of legitimacy to the resurgence and orchestrations of the Bolivian right. Yet the coup would not have been successful without the support of the police, military, and US embassy.

Following Áñez’s seizure of power, Bolivia has endured the worst state violence and political persecution it has seen in decades.

“They’re criminalizing social protest and social leaders—all of them are under severe investigations,” Bolivian journalist Fernando Molina explained to me at a café in La Paz. “If they are found to be linked to Evo Morales, they are detained and investigated. This fascist society uses justice so that their lynchings are not so vulgar, but rather more institutional. It’s a disaster for human rights.”

“There’s a ‘Bolsonarization’ of Bolivia,” Molina explained, referring to Brazil’s far-right President Bolsonaro. “It’s the Latin American version of the alt-right in the US, Trumpism.”

The coup and Áñez’s government empowered this movement. In general,” he said, “I see a right-wing movement, anti-institutional, anti-party, pro-arms, pro-Trump, catholic or evangelicals, as in the case of Añez, also Camacho, the Santa Cruz leader. Anti-gay movements, anti-feminist – those groups are very powerful and they were consolidated by these actions.”

The Áñez government threatens to roll back major progressive policies of the MAS, as well as victories won in the streets by Bolivia’s broad social, labor, and indigenous movements.

“The coup d’état is not just against the state, the government, but also the social movement organizations,” Aymara feminist activist Adriana Guzmán explained last November.

“What we lose is the possibility of carrying forward this process of transformation alongside the state,” Guzmán said. “But we don’t lose hope. We don’t lose conviction, we don’t lose our dreams, we don’t lose the urgency of making another world possible. It is much more difficult in a fascistic state, but we will continue to do it.”

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Bolivia: We Call for the Release of the Afrobolivian Leader

Bolivia We Call for the Immediate Release of the Political Prisoner and Afrobolivian Leader, Irene Elena Flores Torrez

Elena Flores is the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers).

By: Social Organizations, Inviduals

  • Elena Flores is the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers). | Photo: CDR

by Gilbert MercierVideos

We call for all the de facto government’s charges against Elena Flores to be dropped immediately and for Flores, Choque, Hermosa, and all political prisoners to be released.

Elena Flores, the elected union president of Adepcoca (the Departmental Association of Coca Producers) and the beloved eldest sibling in her family, has been harassed and jailed without cause by the racist, misogynist and anti-labor coup regime of Jeanine Añez.

RELATED: Plurinational State of Bolivia: Revolution and Indigenous Resistance

She has been imprisoned for more than a month under deplorable conditions. The regime has subjected her to a smear campaign with continued threats of violence.

The de facto government is responsible for stealing a presidential election and ordering 36 deaths and at least 890 illegal detentions. They have carried out forced disappearances, rape by military and police, and three massacres in Sacaba, Senkata, and Ovejuyo. The Añez government censures media, attacks, and tortures journalists, and celebrates the violence of white supremacists who are granted immunity from prosecution.

In the Yungas where the majority of Afrobolivians live, US interventionism disguised as anti-narcotics, together with illegal gold mining operations, has sown paramilitary violence.

Who is Elena Flores?

Elena Flores is a highly respected Afrobolivian and union leader. She began union work in her youth, carrying out many leadership roles in the Association of 35,000 coca leaf farmers of the Yungas, 5,000 feet below the city of La Paz. Flores says she always dreamed of leading the Association, which since 1983 had been led only by men. When she was elected in August last year, she won on a platform of ousting paramilitaries and uniting the three regions of the Inquisivi and the North and South Yungas. She is a strong labor leader and profoundly dedicated to the wellbeing of women.

Flores is the eldest of four siblings. They care for her elderly mother who is unwell and a brother has a severe disability. She would, of course, want to be protecting her family during the dangerous times of the coup regime and the coronavirus pandemic.

She denounced the criminality of the former union leadership, who are trained in paramilitary tactics and bankrolled by the Bolivian right and the U.S. The former union leaders refused to leave office or hold elections. They created cocaine networks, and ran vast corruption schemes using the considerable income of the union. 

More recently, Flores’ enemies have served as paramilitaries under the direction of the army and police of the Añez regime. They enter the city of La Paz as one contingent of the right-wing “shock groups” and “pititas”, made up of mobs of conservative neighbors. Añez calls them heroes and has taken smiling photos with them.

Since the coup, Flores has been at the forefront of denouncing the Añez regime’s militarisation, harsh repression and disregard for democracy. She vows to protect and unify her unionised, campesino, Indigenous and Afrobolivian region. 

The current situation of women political prisoners 

Since March 4th Elena Flores has been imprisoned at the Centro de Orientación Femenino de Obrajes or Centre for Women’s Guidance. 

María Eugenia Choque Quispe is also detained there, the 60-year-old president of the Supreme Electoral Board who was falsely accused by the coup regime of committing fraud (she is also a social worker and professor of Indigenous women’s histories). 

Another Indigenous woman in that prison is Patricia Hermosa, a lawyer, and notary for Evo Morales. Hermosa has been imprisoned ever since she tried to file the formal papers for Evo’s candidacy for the Senate. His candidacy is entirely legal but has been blocked by the de facto government.

Numerous other political prisoners have been jailed since the November 10th coup that brought to power Jeanine Añez.

The so-called crimes of Elena Flores

Flores led a takeover of a Health Centre, el Centro de Especialidades de Atención Integral, which rightfully belongs to the union of which Elena Flores is the elected president.

The clinic had fallen under right-wing paramilitary control thanks to the previous union leader, Franklin Gutierrez. He installed corrupt networks and refused to hold elections, in complete contempt of Adepcoca’s governing statutes.

Elena Flores has been targeted by the regime because she is a Black woman leader, a key union organizer, and an elected leader in the coca-growing region. She appeared at the side of Evo Morales repeatedly during the months leading up to October elections. The Yungas has always been a strong base of the Movement toward Socialism (MAS).

The coup government’s false charges 

The regime’s court imprisoned Elena Flores for aggravated robbery, harming public property, forced entry, and preventing the State from exercising its services. 

They charge her for an offense they allege took place in July, 2019. More than six months later, the coup regime filed against her. Strangely, the legal team presented photographs taken in November as evidence, and the coup judge accepted them. Flores’ lawyer argues that she was not given adequate notice of these charges and has been denied due process.

The coup regime

The coup regime was launched by the United States, working with racist oligarchs and Luis Almagro’s Organization of American States (OAS). They aim to protect multinational business interests and return the country to neoliberalism, racism and general misery.

The civilian shock groups who built a climate of chaos for years before the coup, in 2019 attacked Indigenous women and cut off their braids, likewise tearing at Afrobolivian women’s afros.

In the months following the coup, the de facto government has institutionalized their hatred of women by dismantling social programs that were destined for young mothers. They have destroyed public health care that in the last 14 years had tremendously decreased infant and maternal mortality.

Within days of the coup, Añez made evident her misogynist goals through systematic rape of women and girls by the security forces, including after they had murdered them. 

The Añez regime must release Elena Flores. She must return to her family, community, region and union work. Her people have been robbed of her leadership. 

We call for all the de facto government’s charges against Elena Flores to be dropped immediately and for Flores, Choque, Hermosa, and all political prisoners to be released.

Organisations
HAITI and THE CARIBBEAN

Haiti Action Committee
Jamaica Peace Council
Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago
Movement for Social Justice, San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago
Assembly of Caribbean People, Trinidad and Tobago Chapter

BRASIL

Rede de Mulheres Negras de Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil
Movimento de Mulheres Camponesas, Via Campesina Brasil
Instituto da Mulher Negra do Piauí, Ayabás, Teresina, Piauí, Brasil

ARGENTINA

Feminismo Comunitario Antipatriarcal Bolivia
Colectividad Boliviana Autocomboda, Córdoba, Argentina
Feministas de Abya Yala
Grupo Matamba
Movimiento Afrocultural, Argentina
Ni Una Menos, Argentina
Asociación de Ex Detenidos Desaparecidos (AEDD), Argentina
Colectivo Editorial, Marcha Noticias, Argentina
Sindicato Unico de Trabajadores de la Educación de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (SUTEBA), Lomas, Argentina
Equipo de Educación Popular Pañuelos en Rebeldía, Argentina
Movimiento de los Pueblos- Por un Socialismo Feminista Desde Abajo
Frente Popular Darío Santillán- Corriente Nacional, Argentina
Movimiento por la Unidad Latinoamericana y el Cambio Social (MULCS), Argentina
Izquierda Latinoamericana Socialista (Movimiento 8 de abril), Argentina
Columna Antirracista, Argentina 
Frente de Organizaciones en Lucha (FOL), Argentina
La Ciega, Colectivo de Abogadxs Populares, Argentina
Frente Popular Darío Santillán, Argentina
Espacio Feminista de Mujeres y Disidencias del FPDS, Argentina
Madres Víctimas de Trata y Blanca Rizzo
La Comisión de Vecinos por Campomar, Argentina
Venceremos – Partido de Trabajadorxs, Argentina
Todos de Argentina
Federación de Organizaciones de Base Autónoma, Argentina

USA

Chiapas Support Committee, based in Los Angeles, California, USA
Anticonquista, based in Los Angeles, California, USA
CODEPINK Women for Peace, USA

Individuals

Pierre Labossiere, Co-Founder, Haiti Action Committee

Blaise D.K Tulo, Convener of the Accra Collective of the Socialist Forum of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Horace G. Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University, New York, USA

Emeritus Professor Shadrack Gutto, Laikipia University, Nyahururu, Kenya

Akinyele Umoja, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Co-Founder, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Cikiah Thomas, North American Region Chair, Global Afrikan Congress, Canada

Jean Saint-Vil, author of Viv Bondye! Aba Relijyon! and Listwa Pèp Ayisyen Depi Nan Ginen (audio recordings on the history of the Haitian people), Ottawa, Canada

Michael McEachrane, Founding and Consultative Member of the European Network of People of African Descent (ENPAD), Lund, Sweden

Miriam Miranda, Garifuna, Coordinadora, Defensora de los derechos humanos, Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), Honduras

Lisa Owens, Executive Director, City Life/Vida Urbana, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Quincy Saul, independent scholar, Ecosocialist Horizons, Sri Lanka

Song Dae-Han, Head of Contents Team, International Strategy Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Maria Saturnina Us Alvarez, Maya K’iche’, Representante de la Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral de La Mujer del Área Rural Ixmukane Adimar, Guatemala

Martha Guadalupe Tuyuc Us, Maya K’iche’, Junta Directiva de Adimar del Grupo de Mujeres de Sololá, y Coordinadora de Moloj Waix y miembro del Consejo Oxaluju Noj, San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Flora Fermina Jiménez Ramírez, Maya Mam, Lideresa en pro de los derechos humanos en Guatemala

Choj B’alam Itza, Maya Mam, Pastoral de la Tierra, Diócesis de San Marcos, Guatemala

Lolita Chavez, Consejo del Pueblo K’iche’, Guatemala

Tanalís Padilla, Associate Professor of History, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA

Leslie Mullin, Haiti Action Committee, San Francisco, CA, USA

Jeb Sprague, author and Research Associate on Haiti, Colombia and paramilitarism, University of California, Riverside, USA

Vanessa Peña, Solidarity Delegation Facilitator in Cuba, California, USA

Caribbean
Keith Comrie, General Secretary, The Union of Schools, Agricultural and Allied Workers (USAAW), Jamaica

Paul Works, Union  Organiser, Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory  Employees (UCASE),  Kingston, Jamaica

Evan “Mose” Hyde, President, Christian Workers Union, Belize City, Belize

David Denny, General Secretary, Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, Bridgetown, Barbados.

Katie Numi Usher, Ladyville, Belize

Trevor G. Brown, President, Jamaica Cuba Friendship Association, Kingston, Jamaica

Patricia Northover, Senior Fellow, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Patrick Rogers, Political Leader, Belize Progressive Party, Belize City, Belize

Jhanelle Davy, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Kingston, Jamaica

Kadafi Shakur, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Shakiel Weir, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Alexander Scott, Leader of Jamaica AL 1, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Jonathan Wilson, Leader of Mona Cadre, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Kingston, Jamaica

Alex Smith, Policy Research Officer, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Joash Smith, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Javarnie Johnson, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Demar Royes, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Breanna Bisasor, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Christophe Simpson, Leader of St. Ann AL, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Gabrielle Patmore, Leader of Jamaica AL 2, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Jada-Lee Thompson, Central Committee Member, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Richard Chin, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Tafari Hylton, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Tajna-Lee Shields, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Cheryl Hewitt, Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, Jamaica

Brasil
Rejane Maria Pereira da Silva, Activista da Rede de Mulheres Negras, Recife/PE, Brasil

Sarah Menezes, Instituto Negra do Ceará, Educadora Popular, Fortaleza/Ceará, Brasil

Piedade Marques, Institutional Relations Coordination, Rede de Mulheres Negras de Pernambuco e Rede de Mulheres Negras do Nordeste, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco, Brasil

Eleonora Pereira, Coletivo de Mulheres Defensora dos Direitos Humanos, Coordenação Colegiada, Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil

Junéia Batista, Secretária Nacional da Mulher Trabalhadora da Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) Brasil, Assistente Social, São Paulo SP, Brasil

Ana Bartira da Penha Silva, Centro de Estudos Afro Brasileiro Ironides Rodrigues (CEABIR), Presidenta, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Reginaldo Gomes Salvino, Batuque Grupo Cultural Afro, Coordenador Geral, Paulista, Pernambuco, Brasil

Luciane Reis, Merc´afro, Idealizadora, Bahia, Brasil

Suzineide Rodrigues de Medeiros, Presidenta do Sindicato dos Bancários de Pernambuco, Cidade Recife PE, Brasil

Emilia Raquel da Penha Silva, Tenda Espírita do Boiadeiro, Presidenta, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Lúcia Rincon, Profesora, União Brasileira de Mulheres (UBM), Goiânia, Goiás, Brasil

Rosimere Nery Peixoto, Organização FASE/Pernambuco, Educadora Social, Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil

Vivian Delfino Motta, Coordenadora do GT Mulheres da Associação Brasileira de Agroecologia, São Paulo, Brasil

México, El Salvador, Nicaragua
Andrea Nieto Dávila, Ciudad de México

Mayleth Echegollen Guzmán, Agenda de Género, Facultad de Derecho, Ciencias Sociales, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Puebla, México

Liliana López Marin, Posgrado en Estudios Latinoamericanos, UNAM, México

Karla Alegría Martínez Roa, Ciudad de México

Rosa Barajas, Raíces sin Fronteras, México y USA

Enrique Dávalos, Raíces sin Fronteras, México y USA

Elisa María García Dueñas, El Salvador

Xochilt Sánchez, Organizer, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Los Angeles, USA

Jesús Durán, member, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Los Angeles, CA, USA

Mattie Conway, National Organizer, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Los Angeles, USA

Elvira Padilla, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Los Angeles, USA

Angel Villalta, Chapter Member, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Los Angeles, USA

Karen Oliva, Regional Organizer, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Los Angeles, USA

Jenny Bekenstein, Friends of the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo, Nicaragua, and CISPES, Los Angeles, USA

Avery Raimondo, Friends of the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC), Nicaragua, Los Angeles, USA

Dr. Maria Páez Víctor, Venezuelan-born sociologist, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre, Canada

Argentina
Sandra Chagas, Movimiento Afrocultural, Argentina

Delia Ramírez, Movimiento 138, Investigadora UNSA/CONICET, Argentina

Giselle Santana, Secretaria General, Central de  Trabajadores de la Argentina (CTA) Capital, Regional Norte, Argentina

Ricardo Valdueza, por la dirección de Opinión Socialista, Argentina

Alejandro Sirota, Secretario de Prensa, delegado ATE INTI, Argentina

Carlos Zerrizuela, Delegado General, Frigorífico Rioplatense, Argentina

Guillermo de los Hoyos, Congresal de CTERA por la Asociación del Magisterio de Santa Fe (AMSAFE), Argentina

Marita Roquero, de CD la Asociación del Magisterio de Santa Fe, Rosario, Argentina

Sabrina Simioni, de CD la Asociación del Magisterio de Santa Fe, Rosario, Argentina

Gastón Kutnick, Delegado de APTA Aeronáuticos, Argentina

Pablo Fonti, Delegado ATE Niñez, Santa Fe, Argentina

Gastón Alvarado, Delegado de ATE-INTI, Argentina

Mabel Morel, JI de ATE Educación, Tigre, Argentina

Gastón Covino, Delegado de ATE PAMI, Argentina

María Elisa Salgado, Secretaria General, Sindicato Unificado de Trabajadores de la Educación de Buenos Aires (SUTEBA), Tigre, Argentina

Angel Cáceres, del CES de SUTEBA, Matanza, Argentina

Andrés Machuca, del CES de SUTEBA, Matanza, Argentina

Juan Carlos Maceiras, Delegado de SUTEBA, Lomas y CD de CTA Autónoma de Lomas de Zamora, Argentina

Patricia Ramos, Delegada de SUTEBA, Lomas y CD de CTA Autónoma de Lomas de Zamora, Argentina

Marcela Ojeda, CES de SUTEBA, Tigre, Argentina

Alfredo Cáceres, CES de SUTEBA, Tigre, Argentina

Cecilia Vega, Secretaria de Organización, CTA Autónoma y delegada de SUTEBA, Matanza, Argentina

Virginia Mesones, Delegada y Congresal de SUTEBA, Matanza, Argentina

Mario Tarres, Delegado y Congresal de SUTEBA, Mar del Plata, Argentina

Sergio Córdoba, Delegado de SUTEBA, Luján, Argentina 

Gonzalo Sandez, Lista Verde de SUTEBA, San Fernando, Argentina

María Ibarreta, Actriz, Argentina

Europe/UK/Canada
Daniel Thorpe, Jamaica Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, United Kingdom

Holly Harwood, Jamaica Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism, United Kingdom

Haja Salifu Dagarti, Chair, Salifu Dagarti Foundation and board member of the International Decade of People of African Descent Coalition, Northampton, United Kingdom

Nana Asante, Secretary, International Decade of People of African Descent Coalition UK, London, UK

Line Algoed, PhD Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Olalekan Odedeyi, Save The Woman, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

Claudia Chaufan, Director of Graduate Program and Associate Professor, Health Studies and Global Health Program, York University, Toronto, Canada

United States, California
Philip Brayley, Cayuga/Tuscarora Nation, Chiapas Support Committee (CSC), Niagara Falls, New York 

Inem Richardson, CSC, student at Barnard College (Africana Studies and Comparative Literature), New York, NY

anayansi alatorre romo, CSC, Latin American Studies at Pomona College, and Chicago, USA

Karina López, CSC, Latin American Studies at Scripps College, and Houston, Texas, USA

Cristian Padilla Romero, CSC, PhD Student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Nicholas Ayala, CSC, Co-Editor at Anticonquista, Los Angeles, California, USA

Allison Matamoros, CSC, Teacher, United Educators of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

Alan Peral, CSC, PhD Student, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz CA, USA

Jeanette Charles, CSC, History PhD student and Cota-Robles Fellow at University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Natalia Mendoza, CSC, Educator, Pasadena Unified School District, Los Ángeles, USA

Pambana Gutto Bassett, CSC, Youth Representative, Global Afrikan Congress, New Orleans, USA

Sara R. Roschdi, Chiapas Support Committee, Los Angeles, USA

Cindy Forster, CSC, Latin American and Caribbean Studies professor, Los Angeles county, USA

New York City area, San Francisco, Oakland, New England, Minneapolis, Texas
Devon Howell, Member, Take Back the Bronx, New York City, USA

Ebony Sinnamon Johnson, educator and social worker, Bay Area, USA

Miah McClinton, Oakland, USA

Sarah Davenport, PhD Student, Africana Studies and Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, USA

Carolina Morales, political organizer, San Francisco, USA

Tanya Kinigstein Pascoe, public school teacher, New York, USA

Myriam Burger, Student at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, USA

Julia Thomas, journalist and Digital Fellow, Democracy Now!, New York City, USA

Lee Schlenker, Regional Organizer, Witness for Peace New England, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Jeannine Erickson, Witness For Peace Solidarity Collective, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Andrew Klein, PhD student, University of California at Berkeley, USA

Catherine Walker, Law Student, Washington DC, USA

Ivan Morales, student, Houston Community College, Texas, USA

Matty Norris, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Caro Vera, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Nathan Núñez, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Mari Tejada-Leon, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Daniel Inojosa, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Lola Hourihane, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

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