From Socialist Voice, February 2006

Bolivia and the Axis of Good

When Evo Morales, the recently elected President of Bolivia, visited Cuba and Venezuela after his election a commentator described the three countries as an “Axis of Good.” Certainly the election of Morales with an unexpected 54 per cent of the vote, and a parliamentary majority as well, was extremely unwelcome to Condoleezza Rice and the American oil companies she represents. It was a manifestation of the enormous mobilisation of the people of Bolivia, especially the indigenous majority.
    This mobilisation has, over the past few years, reversed the privatisation of water in the city of Cochabamba, which had been carried out in accordance with the dictates of the IMF and forced the resignation, and flight, of President Sanchez de Lozada (“el Gringo”), who had signed away the natural gas reserves to transnational oil corporations. Subsequently his successor, Carlos Mesa, was also forced to resign.
    Bolivia, now the poorest country on the South American continent, has been a source of great wealth since its “discovery” by the Spanish conquistadores. The silver mines of Potosí enriched the Spanish crown for three centuries. In the twentieth century an equivalent fortune in tin was extracted; and a third robbery, of natural gas, was well under way. This is something the popular movement is determined to prevent, and the main reason why Evo Morales was elected.
    The Bolivian people have clearly rejected the neo-liberal economics that the imperialist powers, in particular the European Union and the United States, wish to impose on them. They are far from isolated; the revolt against imperialism is manifesting itself in different ways throughout the entire continent.


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