Bolivia: the Return of the Left

By Atilio A. Boron on October 19, 2020

Photo: Alina Duarte, #BoliviaDecide

The resounding victory of the MAS in the Bolivian presidential elections ratified the social density of the political organization of the Bolivian people. The figures took even the most rigorous analysts by surprise: the polls carried out by four of the five most renowned consulting firms in Bolivia anticipated a vote for the MAS duo that oscillated around 45 percent of the votes and close to 34 percent for its most immediate challenger, Carlos Mesa. In other words, the vote of Evo’s followers concealed their voting intentions while overestimating the real support base of the Citizen Community

The victory was much wider than expected, as assured by the two consulting agencies certified by the government to carry out the results of the ballot box”: CIESMORI and Jubilee. Both of them gave the Arce-Choquehuanca ticket a proportion that oscillated around 52 percent of the votes and to Mesa-Pedraza barely 31 percent.

Some observers venture that the final figure will be around 55 percent. In the early hours of the morning, a tweet from the dictator Jeannine Añez said that “based on the data we have, Mr. Arce and Mr. Choquehuanca have won the election. I congratulate the winners and ask them to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind. (That is, to govern as she did not). At noon Carlos Mesa recognized the triumph of MAS.

The official counts of the 35,000 polling stations have not yet been published and it would be innocent thinkinh that the imperialist enemy and its allies on the racist right will bow respectfully before the verdict of the ballot boxes. It is difficult (but not impossible) that there could be surprises or last minute maneuvers to frustrate the will of the Bolivian people. If the difference had been less, say twelve or thirteen points, surely the bandits under Luis Almagro would have repeated what they did just a year ago and stolen the election; but with a difference of twenty points or more the maneuver would have been thwarted by their intolerable obscenity. In any case, it is only on Wednesday that the official figures will be released and then we will know what the next move of the right is.

The elections showed that the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) is the only social force in all of Bolivia. Carlos Mesa demonstrated that he is an electoral stamp, a conspiracy of groups that only had in common their hatred of Evo and what he represents. And Luis Fernado Camacho is the leader of an important social force whose stronghold is in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. But outside that department – which is equivalent to a third of the national territory – his gravitation is very low. Building a right-wing with solid bases at the national level is an arduous task, which in Bolivia, even with the terrorist violence of its dictatorship, the complicity of judges and prosecutors, and the support of the media sewer at the service of the empire, proved to be a mission destined to fail. The deep political crisis in which the United States is debating on the eve of a complicated presidential election has reduced the importance of “the embassy” and limited its margins of action. And the local right – in Bolivia as in Argentina and throughout Latin America – without the guidance, the money and the media and legal resources that Washington manages, there is little it can do.

The strategic factories of the right have a project of global scope (compare, for example, the demonstrations and slogans of the “antiquarantine” and “anti-infection” in the most diverse countries) and work to prevent the stabilization of progressive governments or the inauguration of one of that political persuasion. Of course, history is capricious and friendly to surprises. Who would dare to discard the idea that in the heart of South America, which is where Bolivia sits, the sun has just risen whose rays will illuminate the next elections in Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela and the presidential elections in Ecuador, in February 2021? Perhaps, without realizing it, we are witnessing a historical turning point that was unthinkable until a few weeks ago.

Source: Pagina 12, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America Bureau.