“Let us stand with Evo Morales & let us fight for that vision of progressive government here, too. “Marcus Barnett
We are pleased to present below the speech of Marcus Barnett (Young Labour International Officer) to the recent Friends of Bolivia meeting against the coup in Bolivia:
Comrades and friends,
Allow me to pass on fraternal greetings to you from Young Labour, a socialist organisation which stands firmly in its hundreds of thousands behind Evo Morales and against what is happening right now in Bolivia.
At this time of great upheaval in Bolivia, a country has made such great strides for its people in the last decade and a half, we should entertain absolutely no illusions about what is taking place.
No matter what the liberal press in this country tell you, with their handwringing stories of the dictator Evo Morales, there is no need for nuance. Theres a word for when a democratically elected president is forced out of office by the butt of a military rifle – it is called a coup, and we in Britain need to be saying that loud and clear.
This is a seizure of power by the army and the white elites of Bolivia, who have never accepted Evo Morales and the platform of radical change he has been consistently elected on.
Theyre aided in their task of reversing social progress by the CIA and scores of armed fascist gangs, who at this very moment are terrorising workers and indigenous people across Bolivia.
Watch them as they rip the hair off of our comrades in the streets of Cochabamba, and shoot at socialists and indigenous activists across the land.
Watch as they build barricades and point weapons at workers to intimidate them out of standing with the government.
Watch as Jeanine Anez, a passionate racist who proudly displays her contempt for the indigenous population, declares herself the head of state, despite the Parliament not reaching quora because nobody can guarantee the safety of left wing MPs.
These reactionaries are reacting with such violence because they are motivated by nothing but hatred.
They hate the progress that Evo Morales has made.
They hate the dignity that socialist governance has given to millions of Bolivians.
They hate the strength that the dispossessed gain from Evo’s governance
And they hate how he intended to socialise Bolivia’s vast lithium resources in the service of the people, not the multinational corporations.
They hate the fact that Evo will never be one of their own, and this is why they have desired for so long to depose him.
But it is not all over on their terms. Removing him won’t solve all of their problems or silence people.
As we speak, thousands are on the streets demanding the return of the democratic government. Many have decided that whether through the ballot box or organised resistance, the Bolivian masses will dig the grave of fascism on the streets of La Paz and Cochabamba.
And here in Britain, we must raise amplify these cries of protest wherever we can.
But just as importantly, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to elect Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has already offered his support for the Bolivian people as an opposition leader, as the prime minister of this country.
We need him at the news of a Labour government that can ensure real international pressure is mounted from Britain in support of the Bolivian people.
This progressive government in Britain, which will stand for social justice at home and abroad, could demand that America keeps its hands off central and Latin America, demand that Evo Morales be returned to power, and ensure that there are no more Pinochets, ever again, in the region.
Let us stand with Evo and let us fight for that vision of progressive government here, too. No Pasaran! Venceremos!