Tuesday - Sep 18, 2018

Morales struggles to satisfy Bolivia’s left


Evo MoralesEvo Morales

BOLIVIA - Something is going on in Bolivia and it is not the nationalisation claimed by the government and reported in the foreign press. Nor is it the power clash with rightwing autonomists in the east of the country. The real development is the pressure being brought to bear on President Evo Morales from the supporters that brought him to power but are positioned to the left of him.

Disenchanted with the speed of change promised by Morales one year ago, some of the president’s more radical supporters declared a (still-born) “revolutionary” government in Cochabamba during the recent uprising; they rose up in Camiri, in the Chaco region, on 2 February to demand “real nationalisation” of the gas industry, rather than the ostensible nationalisation announced by Morales last May; and then, on 6 February, 10,000 to 15,000 cooperative miners took to the streets of La Paz to protest against a new tax on the mining industry the government was planning to introduce.