Re: Russia Prepared To Fight War Over Ukraine, Senior Government Official AdmitsFeb 25th, 2014
2002 – Bolivia (Morales; leftist/MAS): success (SE)
Good news, you can fade into Bolivia and oblivion all at once. Giddy up gaucho.
News that Lozada's government was selling off the country's one great prospect for wealth, its recently discovered gas reserves, to multinationals brought the ferment to a head in October 2003. What began as spasmodic agitation suddenly erupted into mass strikes and confrontations after the police shot down scores of protesters marching towards La Paz. It was then that El Alto became the centre of the movement. It was then too that the miners rediscovered their old traditions and their old militancy by marching with gelignite in clenched fists to join the masses in the capital.
The spontaneous October rising caused President Lozada to flee the country in a helicopter (the third Latin American president to do so in three years). But there was neither the consciousness nor the organisation among the hundreds of thousands of protesters in La Paz and El Alto to determine who replaced him. His deputy, Mesa, took his place in the presidential palace, the mass of demonstrators departed believing they had won a great victory and the neo-liberal policies continued as before. The next day delegate after delegate at an expanded meeting of the COB union lamented the fact that they had not been able to raise the question of a workers' and peasants' government.
As is often the case in revolutionary upheavals, the first successful uprising was followed by a period of precarious stability. There were attempts to divert popular anger into a nationalist agitation against Chile, which had annexed Bolivia's coastal region and blocked its access to the sea more than a century before. Mesa held a referendum over the gas issue and managed to get away with phrasing the issue in such a way as to get a majority. Attempts at new mobilisations never seemed to get the head of steam to repeat the October events.
The Bolivian Uprising