Originally published in Tinta Roja (12/19/17)
Translated by Red Phoenix staff.
POLITICAL REPORT OF THE SECOND PLENUM OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST PARTY OF BOLIVIA
The trend of external indebtedness continues in 2017, according to data from the Ministry of Economy. The balance of the debt disbursed up to September was US $ 8,718 million (more than 23% of GDP) and until that same month we paid over 180 million of US dollars in interest and commissions. Between January and November 2017, according to data from the legislative body, the country has contracted more than 2.245 billion dollars in foreign debt, being the main creditor China with 28%, followed by Japan with 24.4%, the World Bank (and dependent institutions) with 14.7%, the Inter-American Development Bank with 10.5%, the Andean Development Corporation with 10.3%, in addition with European organizations, 7.2%.
The country’s exports between January 2016 and January 2017, according to data from the INE, fell by 12.5% in the agriculture sector, decreased by 26.8% in hydrocarbons, in the mineral area there was a 51.4% growth in Despite the drop in tin due to the strong increase in wolfram, zinc, lead and borate. Imports of food and beverages increased by 22.8%, with basic foods suffering an increase of 112.5% and consumption items increasing by 11.3%. According to data from the BCB, the trade balance until June 2017 was -532 million US dollars, following the negative trend since 2015. The high increase in the importation of staple foods, indicating the lack of staple foods, indicating the lack of food sovereignty in the country.
The contribution of YPFB to the General Budget of the State has decreased from 85,110 million Bs (38.5% of the PGE) in 2015 to 52,914 million (25.2% of the PGE) in 2017, this decrease in income has affected direct to the income of IDH (Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons) that enter the municipalities, departments and public universities. This is compounded by the consequences of Law 767, which gives 12% of IDH resources to transnational corporations as an incentive to explore. The model of cooperation with the transnational ‘partners’ in the hydrocarbon plan is deepened, being that in the 4th Forum of Gas Exporting Countries the national government signed agreements with Shell, Gazprom, GEPI, Energy Bolivia and Pluspetrol for exploration purposes, provision of services and marketing.
The introduction of RON 91 gasoline to the national market under the pretext of product diversification could lead to a liberalization of fuel prices, at the same time revealing the lack of self-sufficiency in gasoline and diesel production and the cost State subsidies represent for this product, whose main beneficiaries are agroindustry and heavy transport.
Mining today is in the midst of a crisis because of the government’s expressed intention to ‘re-found’ COMIBOL, today plagued by the mismanagement and cuoteo (“quotaism”) personnel, which has bureaucratized the company even more, in fact this measure will cause labor instability for the thousands of employees of state mining. Along with this process, the lithium sector of COMIBOL is becoming independent, forming lithium deposits in Bolivia. There are still no concrete results in the production of lithium in the country due to the inefficiency in the timely development of the project. Even the private company maintains a majority presence, being that in 2016 according to the Ministry of Mining, 82% of the minerals produced correspond to the private company, 14.6% corresponds to the cooperative system and 3.4% is a state company .
Deposits in the banking system in the last 6 years have increased by 82.7%, and the profits of the banking system in the first half of 2017 grew by 15.2% compared to the same period in 2016, even with the modification of the legal regulations that raised taxes for this sector from 22% to 25%. In 2017, more than 85% of the banking system is bolivianized. Banking has a gradual trend of concentration, being a clear example of the intervention of Mutual La Paz by Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz. There is a growing presence of capital linked to the agroindustry in the banking system, giving rise to an incipient financial bourgeoisie in the country, likewise there is a presence of American, European, Peruvian, Venezuelan capitals, among others among the shareholders of the National banks,
After the financial system, agroindustry is the sector with the second highest level of growth in the Bolivian economy, being that in 2016 it grew by 10.7%. The third most important export sector in the country is the agroindustry (hydrocarbons and mining are the first). The current government policy fully coincides with the interests of large oilseed producers (soy, sunflower, corn), linked to transnational capital, transgenic seeds and chemical agents, the main producers are foreign investors (10 of the 13 members of the UNISOYA). Soy is exported in the form of cake to countries of the Andean Community, to complete the production chain abroad.
Constitutional Judgment 0084/2017 opens the way to the indefinite re-election of all the elected authorities in the country, including the President. This fact confirms the party characterization of the government of Evo Morales as semi-Bonapartist, since it requires a strong state and a stable government to be able to reconcile the interests of the various fractions of the bourgeoisie in conflict. There is an organic break between the agroindustrial, banking, commercial bourgeoisie and its parliamentary ‘representatives’, since with the stability and strength of the current government the interests of the big bourgeoisie are protected. The state is centralized in the personality of Evo Morales, through the discretionary execution of Evo Cumple program projects, the exaggerated management of the president’s image in all state works,
The government, with demagogic efforts to show itself as a leftist, has sought to instrumentalize historical events such as the 50th anniversary of the presence of Commander Che Guevara and the centenary of the Russian Revolution, seeking to reduce these heroic deeds to their historicist factor, denying the insurgent character, rebel and anti-capitalist essence. The anti-government left has not been able to counteract the bombastic state acts. On the other hand, the ‘citizen’ movements of the urban petty bourgeoisie, emerging demanding respect for democracy in the abstract, seek to fill the organic void left by the bourgeoisie, once again raising an anti-communist and racist discourse. The parties of the bourgeois opposition have been limited to the regional administration, without the organic capacity to articulate an alternative with a national scope.
Urgent the formation of an electoral front, from the popular left that allows to accumulate revolutionary forces, in the Leninist line of combination of all forms of struggle, the Party must analyze the mechanisms to participate in the upcoming electoral struggle.
The results of the Election of Judicial Authorities with a high percentage of white votes (greater than 13%) and null votes (greater than 52%) is a sample of the popular rejection of corruption and the ineffectiveness of the judicial system, at the same time constituted in an opinion poll before the government. We consider that the communiqué of the Party has been correct, in guiding the basic problem that can only be solved with a Socialist Revolution and Popular Power, calling for a null vote with a clear differentiation from the bourgeois opposition.
SITUATION OF THE WORKING CLASS
The minimum wage in the last five years has maintained the trend of increase, doubling between 2012 and 2017, year in which the National Minimum Wage is set as 2.000 Bs. The variation to the consumer price index between 2012 and 2017 was 27.9% according to INE data, between January and October 2017 the variation is 2.29% The main products that suffered increases are homes and basic services, health services, transportation, telephony, education expenses and food outside the home. This variation is directly related to the increases in electricity prices at the national level and in transportation passages in some regions. Until 2016, according to INE data, 38.19% of the national population has social security,
The trade union movement has been submitted by the ruling party to a corporatist model, in which the masistas seek to maintain a hegemonic control over workers’ organizations. Leaders who do not comply with official guidelines risk legal proceedings or union parallelism. It is expected that the Central Obrera Boliviana will convene its Ordinary Congress in the first months of 2018, it is important to strengthen the leadership with political independence, to recover the leading role of the COB in the social struggles.
The reforms to the Law of Pensions have given place to announcements of part of the government of forced retirements in the public sector (education, health, etc.), measure that will be hard fought by the public workers since the conditions of retirement do not guarantee a worthy subsistence. So far, with seven years of enactment of the Pension Law, the State Pensions Administrator has not been put into operation, the contributions in the private AFPs system are maintained.
The government maintains a linear vision of development through megaprojects, linked to international financing, such as Bala-Chepete, the road by TIPNIS, Tariquía, indiscriminate hydrocarbon exploration in indigenous territories and national parks, are clear signs of the divorce between the pachamamista discourse and extractivist reality, in addition to the imposition of the ‘interest’ of the nation-state over the self-determination of indigenous peoples and nations. The breakdown of the speech is also manifested in the brutal repression in Achacachi, in defense of the corrupt mayor, the government is moving away more and more from its social bases. In Yungas the conflict generated around the Coca Law distanced another traditional sector of government. The neighborhood organizations are still weak before the processes of cooptation to the leaders from the bourgeois parties. We must advance in the political-ideological clarification to generate a popular movement independent of the bourgeois government and the bourgeois opposition, under militant programs and with consistent leaders.
The data from the 2012 Census indicate that 28.4% of Bolivians go to health establishments of public dependency, 21.5% self-medicated, 20.6% resorted to home-made solutions, 9.3% resorted to public insurance system, 8.2% traditional medicine is used, 7.6% private facilities and 4.5% in private insurance have health care. The budget allocated to health at the national level corresponds to only 6.9% of GDP, this translates into the lack of objective conditions for health care. The population with disabilities, which staged a mobilization in 2016 and was the victim of a cruel state repression, still does not have structural solutions in the face of the insufficiency of the national health system. The government through the Penal Code seeks in the facts to demarcate from this responsibility, to establish high penalties for ‘malpractice’, without complying with the development of adequate public policies to guarantee minimum conditions in the national health system. Faced with the protest of health workers, they resorted to repression measures, criminalization of the protest and threats of dismissal.
The application since 2010 of Education Law 070, maintains a constant anti-scientific improvisation, with an insufficient budget, being that in 2017 this budget corresponds to 7.6% of GDP. The current government defends and strengthens the conception of education as a commodity, being that between 2005 and 2015 there was an increase of more than 13% in enrollment in private education, in addition to a strong state subsidy to the educational system “of agreement” in charge of the church. At the beginning of the year, the Confederation of Workers of Urban Education of Bolivia (CTEUB) starred in the ‘National March for Educational Quality, for the People with Quality of Life for All’, claiming the working conditions of teachers who have not substantially improved with the new legislation.
The decline in income from IDH has led the Bolivian University to a budget crisis that highlights the structural crisis within it. The government has divided the university movement in its eagerness to resolve the conflicts, negotiating separately with the universities, privileging the submissive rectors and punishing those who are more independent. The repression of UPEA mobilizations by budget marks another sector traditionally linked to the government that regains greater independence.
The University, once a debate space today, has become a pond, subject to the great majority of the student-teacher cliques. It is essential to promote a university movement of debate and proposal, which is capable of contesting the hegemony of institutional spaces and student leadership with a critical university project and at the service of the working classes.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, up to November 24 of this year, 92 feminicides and 28,000 cases of gender violence were registered. For its part, the INE reported that 75 out of every 100 married or free union women are victims of violence. The data was obtained from the “Prevalence and Characteristics of Violence against Women Survey”. It can be observed that the State is not guaranteeing the equality of Rights and Conditions effectively, but rather being an accomplice in some cases of this violence because it does not carry out effective care protocols or the necessary programs. The drafting of the Criminal System Code maintains the criminalization of abortion, just extending the causes of 3 to 8 and free access to it, being that abortion is the cause of approximately 480 deaths of women per year according to the National Pact for the Decriminalization of Abortion. This widening of the causes to carry out an abortion has provoked a fierce mobilization on the part of fundamentalist and retrograde religious groups in the supposed defense of life, but without caring about the lives of these women.
The Constitutional Sentence 0076/2017 violates the fundamental rights of the transgender and transsexual population of the country, responding to the interests of fundamentalist, reactionary and even neo-Nazi groups. The clarification of this ruling indicates that all human rights are guaranteed and instructs the Legislative Assembly to regulate specific points of the Gender Identity Law.
We must work from the perspective of Marxist Feminism in order to eliminate macho and patriarchal violence, to build a world where all of us are “socially equal, humanly different and totally free” (R. Luxembourg).
In this current context the role of the Party is to orient the working classes to understand the semi-bonapartist characteristics of the government, while denouncing the interests of the reduced bourgeois opposition, preparing our militancy for all forms of struggle to have the ability to act despite increasing state repression. We must redouble our efforts in the party construction, the political and ideological formation of our cadres, the presence of our mass fronts and our party press. The growing presence of revolutionary cadres in the student movement gives us the challenge of assuming a leading role in youth struggles and recovering the natural organizations of youth. We must boost our work in union, neighborhood and popular sectors, under a line of union independence.
The communists must direct our efforts in the construction of a revolutionary political project for the country: Popular Power and Socialism.
La Paz, December 16, 2017