Morales pledges to rule for the oppressed

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EVO MORALES is the first Indian to become the President of Bolivia ending decades of rule by a white ruling class elite which presided over the imperialist exploitation of the natural resources of the country.

He leads a movement that claims to represent the interests of the country’s Indian majority, and the poor and oppressed.

With his plans to legalise the production of the coca leaf – which Bolivians use to make tea and chew to help them cope with their arduous working lives in mines and quarries – and to nationalise the gas and oil industry, Morales is bound to clash with US and British imperialism.

He will then either seek support from the Bolivian working class and from other left regimes in South America from Chavez’s Venezuela, to Lula’s Brazil, or turn to the right to clash with the Bolivian workers.

These left regimes have arisen out of the indisputable fact that the weak bourgeoisie of Central and South America is incapable of standing up to the demands of US imperialism, which is now working all out to dominate the Americas with a free trade agreement for the whole of the continent.

The national bourgeoisie balances between the working class and US imperialism and out of fear of its own working class, falls into the arms of the US and seeks to carry out its privatisation and other policies.

In the past five years there have been as many regimes in Bolivia, as the masses have sought to bring forward a leadership capable of defending their interests against the imperialists and the national bourgeoisie. Morales will either go the way of the others and be brought down by the masses or else expropriate the imperialist owned gas and oil fields to raise the standard of life of the masses of the people.

This is the role of general Chavez in Venezuela. While the national bourgeoisie sought to hand over Venezuela to the US, Chavez has based himself on a radical section of the army, and armed the poor and the working class to keep himself alive and to keep himself in power.

He has even sought to make a relationship with the working class and the poor of the United States, countering all of the anti-Chavez propaganda by using Venezuelan owned petrol outlets in the US to sell cheap petrol and fuel to the US working class and poor.

Meanwhile in Brazil, the first workers’ President, Lula, seeks to administer Brazilian capitalism and to gain concessions from it to keep the working class and the poor quiet.

While as far as Cuba is concerned, the US is seeking to position itself to take advantage of the situation when President Castro dies to seek to bring the regime down from the right.

Castro came to power in a nationalist revolution against the US and mafia stooge Batista. Faced with US hostility he was able to shelter under the umbrella of the USSR and take advantage of the cheap fuel and military assistance that it was able to provide. He embraced Stalinism and its outlook, but was able to withstand the crisis when the Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR moved far to the right and under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, ruthlessly cut off Cuba’s supply of cheap fuel and other subsidies.

Now the whole of the continent is in transition with US capitalism itself shuddering from the impact of the world capitalist crisis on its major industries.

What the working class of the Americas requires is its own revolutionary leadership, sections of the Trotskyist movement, the International Committee of the Fourth International.

This will march separately from the revolutionary nationalists but strike together against the common enemy.