I am writing in response to Nikolas Kozlof's recent article, "From a Texan-Venezuelan to an Ecuadorian Giuliani: The New Secessionists" –
I commend Nikolas for educating us about the capitalist, neo-colonialist secessionist movements in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Thankyou for this detailed information, Nikolas.
However, as with a previous article that Nikolas wrote on this topic, I notice a crucially important factual error, which serves the capitalist, neo-colonialist propaganda machine, with its myths of Latin America, of "leftwing authoritarians imposing their will upon a democratic, rightwing, pro-capitalist majority". Indeed, it is the same factual error.
Nikolas wrote: "…Bolivia's largest and richest state overwhelmingly backed a referendum calling for greater autonomy earlier this month."
And: "As a result of the May referendum, the stage is now set for irrevocable future conflict: 85% of the residents of Santa Cruz voted for autonomy."
The crucially important fact that I am referring to is this:
What level of support does secession actually have in Santa Cruz? What percent of Santa Cruz's population actually voted for autonomy? No, contrary to what Nikolas claimed, it wasn't "the vast majority", it wasn't "85% of the residents of Santa Cruz". In the real world, as Evo Morales made clear, the no vote, combined with the widespread abstention equalled more than fifty percent of the eligible voting population of Santa Cruz.
I.e. LESS THAN HALF of the adult population of Santa Cruz voted for autonomy.
Check out the facts: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/3412
Therefore, Nikolas, I ask that you check the facts carefully, before you make such crucially important claims.
The corporate media is full of lies that support the oppressive and exploitative capitalist system (a system which involves widespread suffering and a huge deathtoll). Why? Because the corporate media is owned by corporations, and receives much of its funding from corporate advertisers. Naturally, the corporate media only gives us a picture of the world that is in the interests of corporations. Thus, we cannot realistically expect the truth from the corporate media. (The famous documentary, "Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media" explains this issue much better than I do, and I highly recommend it.)
With the corporate media propagating so many lies and hiding so much of the truth, we rely on our alternative media to give us the facts. We rely on CounterPunch to give us the facts. Please give us the facts.
So anyway, a MINORITY in Santa Cruz province, voted for autonomy. That is no democratic majority. On top of that, the vast majority of the people of Bolivia support the progressive, egalitarian government of Evo Morales. Thus we see that the myth of Latin America, propagated by the capitalist, neo-colonialist media, of "leftwing authoritarians imposing their will upon a democratic, rightwing, pro-capitalist majority" is proven incorrect, once again.
The reality is one of a democratic government (with the support of popular movements), imposing the democratic will of the majority of Bolivia upon a minority of Santa Cruz province's population, and this minority of Santa Cruz's population are pretending to be "democracy activists".
And what is the nature of this imposition of the will of the majority? In Bolivia the wealth of the nation is mostly monopolised by elites like those in Santa Cruz, while a poor majority with growing class consciousness, political consciousness and voice in government, want to share out Bolivia's wealth amongst everyone. The poor majority want to democratise Bolivia's wealth, while the rich minority are pretending to be "democratic" in order to keep control of their wealth. As you can see, this is the opposite of the capitalist, neo-colonialist media myth. In reality, the privileged minority of Latin America are not the forces of democracy. In reality, democracy means the will of the majority, and in Latin America, the majority are poor.
Back to the problem of Santa Cruz. Being aware that the majority of adults in Santa Cruz did not vote for autonomy puts talk of an "irrevocable future conflict" in a more realistic perspective. If people's response to the Santa Cruz referendum is anything to go by, the Santa Cruz secessionist movement does not even have support from the majority of the people of Santa Cruz itself, much less from the entire population of Bolivia.
"Irrevocable future conflict." Hmmm… it needn't be violent conflict. How about dialogue, negotiation, peaceful solutions? Egalitarian education to change the privileged people's racist, greedy and paranoid minds? Like Che Guevara taught us, a socialist revolution means the creation of a new kind of human being – it means creating a change in consciousness, from greed and selfishness, to generosity and solidarity. The white elite could have a change of heart and share their ill-gotten wealth with the poor majority, or if they don't like an equal and democratic society, they could simply leave and go somewhere else (like how many of them left Cuba and South Africa), couldn't they?
Now… onto other issues…. "Election Day was marked by violent clashes between government supporters opposed to the autonomy statute — mainly indigenous migrants from Bolivia’s impoverished western highlands provinces — and members of the rightwing Santa Cruz Youth Union."
Often it seems that people forget who are the "migrants" in the Americas. The Indigenous people of Bolivia cannot be migrants on their own land! If there are any "migrants" in Bolivia, it is the white people there, the people whose ancestors came to Latin America from Europe.
All of that said, Nikolas, please know that I value your articles, I appreciate your articles. I reckon you are doing a great thing by giving us so much information which we don't get in the capitalist media. Please do keep up the great work.
Ah, something else I noticed: this anti-Correa propaganda from Nebot "we refuse to be guinea pigs"… I wonder… this coming from a descendant of European colonists, and directed against the Indigenous people of Latin America… perhaps it has added symbolism in Latin America than it does for people in other parts of the world. I mean some Indigenous people traditionally ate guinea pigs, yes? So perhaps Nebot's propaganda, coming from the mouths of the white elite in Latin America, has an added racialist meaning, against "the other", "the primitive", "the savage"…. Could it be? "The natives are taking over! Help!" Sorry, but I just don't share the racial paranoia.
I welcome the empowerment of the Indigenous people, the poor majority! Time for them to get their share!
Peace and solidarity,
from Simon Ashworth Wood