James Petras on Chile, Bolivia and the Middle East

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Analysis by James Petras
on CX36, November 19, 2019

In Chile “we have two forces in the opposition: on the one hand the parliamentarians who want to agree with Piñera and on the other hand, the social movements and the youth that are in combat,” said the American sociologist, Professor James Petras, in his weekly column pro CX36. He noted that the agreement signed between the government and opposition legislators has no future. “How can they agree on a new Constitution when the people are against it, when the streets are full and when a million and a half people have marched against Piñera?” He asked and sentenced that “I think he has no chance He also analyzed the situation that Bolivia and Ecuador are going through; as well as what happens in US domestic politics, where he said the impeachment process against Donald Trump is moving forward. We transcribe this analysis of the international situation that can be heard again here:

Hernán Salina: James Petras as always a pleasure to receive it from Radio Centenario de Montevideo. Good morning, James.

James Petras: Good morning to you, I hope that with the summer you are having a good time in Montevideo.

HS: Well, alternating the heat with some rain in the week before the second round of the elections, to the ballot.
The truth is that issues are not lacking, issues that require deep analysis. Let’s start with the situation in Bolivia, where mobilizations are reinforced, protests against the coup government, while Evo Morales says from Mexico that he does not rule out returning. What changes can be highlighted at this stage of what is happening?

JP: There are several things.
First that the mobilizations in Bolivia are growing, not only the peasants, but in El Alto which is a city very close to La Paz, there are protests in Cochabamba and other places. And I think that the opposition, the Evo Morales officials, are gaining strength and the government of the political self-titled are in retreat.
We could not rule out a civil war, because in reality there are three different forces in the coup: there are the military who are displaced; there is a group of military personnel who are now directing the self-titled president JeanineÁñez, and I think we could say that there are conflicts and differences between politicians and the different military groups. Meanwhile, Washington continues to support the coup, the most extremist and (Donald) Trump has announced that the United States will appear in Bolivia to lead the coup.
We can also say that the opposition is gaining strength and they have the possibility of obtaining armed support among the military. But in the meantime we can say that the murders continue to multiply, we already have 23 dead and the police are very discredited and have no support among the population. And that is very important.
The wealthy middle class and the upper class, focused on Santa Cruz, are looking for ways to use paramilitaries to strengthen repression in the typical Bolivian style.
Therefore, we could say that the repression is deepening, radicalizing on both sides: the extreme right backed by Washington and the other side; and on the other the workers, the peasants, the natives, the workers of the countryside and the city, as well as those who have left the countryside and live in the city and are another popular force.
Nobody wants the military and the politics of the extreme right to return because it is going to reverse all the advances that the people have achieved during the presidency of Evo Morales.
The only international support (that the coup government has) apart from that of the United States, is that of Luis Almagro, the Uruguayan, supposed representative of the OAS (Organization of American States), who as a spokesman for Washington is very discredited, is a person rotten that represents the worst of inter-Americanism.

HS: Is there any impact on the US? What about the role Donald Trump plays in the coup in Bolivia?

JP: Well, it is clear that Donald Trump and the hawks in his government have long been supporting a coup. It is not something new, it is something that began more than ten years ago when they tried to knock down President Morales in 2009. But we can say that at least, the Democratic Party – his left wing – particularly Bernie Sanders a candidate who seeks Presidency with a support of 20 or 25% of the electorate, has declared against the coup and supporting Evo Morales.
Then we could say that at least the Democratic Party on its left wing, supports Evo Morales and opposes the coup.
Republicans support the coup and big capitals want to return to Bolivia to get their national resources and also seek to support the coup to avoid protests.


James Petras on Chile, Bolivia and the Middle East

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