Bolivia: Defeat the Right-Wing Coup!


Build democratic popular assemblies and self-defense committees! For a broad anti-coup united front! But no political confidence in Morales!


Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Partido Revolucionario de las y los Trabajadores (Costa Rica), 12 November 2019, and




1.             Bolivia’s President Evo Morales announced his resignation on 10 November after General Williams Kaliman, the head of the armed forces, called him to step down “to help restore peace and stability”. The intervention of the army command takes place after weeks of violent mobilizations by the right-wing opposition against the defeat of the conservative candidate, former President Carlos Mesa at the recent elections.


2.             There can be no doubt about the class character of this event. This is a reactionary coup d'état by an alliance of conservative, Christian fundamentalist and semi-fascist forces as well as the tops of the army and the police. In other words, it is a coup which should bring power back to the traditional right-wing oligarchy centered in Santa Cruz. It is no accident that the leader of the protests, Luis Fernando Camacho, is called the "Bolivian Bolsonaro" given his similar views to the extreme right-wing Brazilian President. It is also characteristic that the right-wing mobilizations have gone hand in hand with racist attacks against the indigenous people who represent about 60% of the total population. ("Indians out of the university" read graffiti in front of La Paz's public university.) And, finally, it is also telling that U.S. imperialism and the most reactionary governments in Latin America – from Bolsonaro to Piñera – are hailing the coup as a victory for their cause.


3.             There have been a number of progressive counter-mobilizations against the reactionary demonstrations which resulted in numerous street battles. However, they suffered a devastating blow when Juan Carlos Huarachi, reformist leader of the Central Obrera Boliviana the country’s main trade union federation – dropped support for the government and called Morales to step down “if that would help end recent violence.”


4.             Our opposition against the reactionary coup must not be confused with any political support for or confidence in Morales and the Bolivarian leaders. Resembling the policy of the Chavista government in Venezuela, they failed to expropriate the traditional bourgeoisie or to purge the army and police of reactionary forces during their rule of the country for nearly 14 years. Instead they descended into corruption and implemented a state-capitalist policy which left large sectors of the economy in the hands of the traditional oligarchy. In the end, the coward resignation of Morales – without any serious fight against the coup plotters – reflects the rotten character of the Bolivarian leadership. Revolutionaries have correctly argued in the past that the MAS and the Bolivarian leadership must be challenged via mass mobilisations and self-organization of the rank and file workers and oppressed. However, the current mobilisations against Evo Morales have a completely reactionary character.


5.             However, only traitors and ultra-left muddle-heads can deny the chief task of the hour: to build a broad united front in order to defeat the right-wing coup! The current situation in Bolivia opened a power vacuum. Irrespective of deep political differences, revolutionaries in Bolivia must call all workers, poor peasant and indigenous mass organizations to join the struggle against the coup! They must demand from the reformist and populist leaders to support this struggle. The RCIT and the PRT consider it as urgent to organize self-defense committees and popular assemblies to coordinate the struggle against the coup. The tradition of self-organizing of the indigenous people, the miners in Bolivia and other parts of the working class and oppressed must be revived! The workers unions and peasant mass organizations must organize a general strike and street blockades to defeat the coup! Hence, we strongly welcome the call of the Federación de Juntas Vecinales of El Alto to "form self-defense committees, blockades, permanent and forceful mobilization" against the coup. We call all sectors in resistance to defend the cities of Cochabamba and El Alto, which are the main focus of the struggle against the coup. If they succeed, the reactionary advance in other regions can be defeated. A successful struggle against the coup can create the basis to take the power and to create an authentic workers, indigenous, peasant and popular government.


6.             We call to link the struggle against the coup in Bolivia with the current global wave of class struggles. From Chile, Ecuador, Honduras and Haiti, to Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan and Syria to Catalunya and Hong Kong – one joint struggle against imperialism, dictatorship and reactionary forces, for freedom and social justice!


7.             The bankruptcy of the Morales government and the treachery of the COB leadership demonstrate once more the urgency to replace the existing bureaucratic leaderships in the mass organizations of the workers and oppressed – in Bolivia as well as globally. The RCIT and the PRT call revolutionaries in Bolivia and internationally to build an authentic revolutionary leadership, i.e. to build a Revolutionary World Party fighting for a socialist future!


Unity! Struggle! Victory!




Partido Revolucionario de las y los Trabajadores (Costa Rica),


Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Israel/Occupied Palestine, Yemen, Nigeria, Kenya, Russia, Britain, Germany and Austria),