National Sections of the L5I:

Bolivia: outlines of an action programme for a revolutionary workers party

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In Bolivia a revolutionary party must be a workers party- not a populist party of all classes. To become this the task of creating it must be fought for in the national union federation, the COB, in the miners union and all other militant workers organisations, both trade union and political. It must aim to draw into its ranks the best fighters and organisers in the Fejuves and popular assemblies, the poor peasant organisations, the organisations of youth and women.

At the same time it can and must work tirelessly for a class alliance with the poor peasants and the oppressed indigenous peoples - helping the former as well as the rural workers to seize the land of the big agrarian capitalists, the ranchers and agribusinesses - helping the Aymara and Quechua traditional communities to win the degree of language rights and communal autonomy they wish, including the right to separate statehood if they so wish.

With these allies the working class can lead a revolution that passes from the fulfilling of bourgeois democratic and anti-imperialist tasks (ownership and control of the soil and its natural resources, the factories, democratic rights, etc.) to socialist tasks (a socialised and planned economy), from a national revolution to a continental and eventually world revolution. As the historic charter of the Bolivian miners and labour movement, the Pulacayo Theses proclaimed as early as 1946—

“The slogan of proletarian revolution and dictatorship shows clearly the fact that it is the working class who will be the leading force of this transformation and of this state. (…)The workers, once in power, will not be able to confine themselves indefinitely to bourgeois democratic limits; they will find themselves obliged-and more so with every day-to making greater and greater inroads into the regime of private property, in such a way that the revolution will take on a permanent character.”

This must be the foundation stone of a Bolivian revolutionary workers party.

A revolutionary party must as the urgent task of the day, demand that the Constituent Assembly re-convenes in El Alto and implements the policies the masses have struggled for starting with the complete and uncompensated nationalisation of all the hydrocarbon reserves, their extraction, refining, transport and sale. It must implement an agrarian revolution that expropriates the big ranches and estates and gives them to the control of the poor peasants or the agricultural workers. It must declare itself sovereign over the existing legislature and judiciary

It must fight for an action programme to meet the immediate needs of the workers, the urban and rural poor, such as a minimum wage, a shorter working day and a massive public works campaign under trade union and community control. The slums must be replaced by decent housing, hospitals, schools and roads, by installing, sewers and drains, water and electricity supplies, etc,

A revolutionary party should also fight for a series of immediate and transitional demands that challenge the economic rule of the capitalists including:

• Nationalisation of the factories, banks, mines and oilfields under workers control.
• Seizure without compensation of the holdings of the US and European multinationals, expulsion of all US and other imperialist advisors, cancellation of the countries foreign debt.
• Workers and peasants must organise themselves into councils of action that can defend themselves against the attacks of the neo-fascist right and the military and offer an alternative basis of political power.
• A workers militia must be formed and soldiers committees formed in the army – all officers elected- so that the hold of the right wing military hierarchy is broken for good.
• All forms of racism and ethnic and linguistic discrimination and privilege must be abolished, by fighting for the full and equal language rights of Aymara and Quechua people the revolutionary party will help win over the vast majority of indigenous people to socialism.
• A workers and poor peasant’s government, not ‘Andean capitalism’ or the confused petit bourgeois socialism of Morales but a government answerable to councils of elected and recallable delegates of workers and peasants.
• Socialism cannot be built in one country and the revolution must become permanent, spreading throughout the continent and the world.