06 June 2006

Bolivia's Forces of Reaction Declare War on its Democratic Government

The AP recently reported on the Bolivian government's announcemnt over the weekend of "a sweeping land reform plan," which would hand over "roughly 9,600 square miles of state-owned land to poor Indians."

The piece explains:
Morales marked the start of his "agrarian revolution" just weeks after nationalizing Bolivia's natural gas industry, giving foreign-owned energy companies six months to negotiate new contracts or leave...

The land currently targeted for redistribution was set aside for that purpose before Morales took office in January. None of it was been confiscated from large landholders. But the government says it will eventually seize and redistribute privately owned land that is unproductive, was obtained illegally or is being used for speculation.
A piece by Hal Weitzman in the Financial Times noted that, "according to a recent report by the Roman Catholic Church, almost 90 per cent of Bolivia’s productive land is owned by 50,000 families."

Needless to say, these 50,000 ruling-class families - families who, along with Uncle Sam's ambassador David Greenlee, constitute the chief forces of reaction in Bolivia - vowed to oppose the move. Weitzman interviewed Carlos Rojas, the head of the National Association of Oil Seed and Wheat Producers, who asked his members to defend their illegal land claims “by any means.”

Another AP report expanded on the type of disobedience planned by the forces of reaction against the government's legal land-reform.
Bolivia's largest agribusiness group said Wednesday it would form "self-defense" units to defend land it fears the country's new leftist government will confiscate to give to the poor.

The National Farming Confederation said in a statement that it rejected President Evo Morales' land reform policy and said he "was trying to destroy the country's productive apparatus"...

The group did not detail what they meant by "self-defense" groups, but in other parts of Latin America, the term has been used to describe armed citizens groups.
In other words, even though "much of the land targeted for distribution is unused state land located in the fertile eastern lowlands," the forces of reaction - groups opposed to democracy in the region (like the NFC and the NAOSWP) have threatened to provoke the government by hiring mercinaries and paramilitary gangs like DynCorp - the sex-slave trading, "Drug War" exploiting band of killers bankrolled by Uncle Sam to massacre peasants throughout the Colombian countryside.

Such a foolish decision by these forces of reaction to wage a war on the government will undoubtedly quicken the popular revolution in Bolivia, bringing to their doorsteps more radical changes - like outright expropriation of the expropriators - than they can imagine.

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