The following is the slightly edited text of a leaflet distributed by ASR (Revolutionary Socialist Alternative – CWI in Bolivia), following the approval of the constitutional referendum put forward by the MAS (Movement for Socialism) government of Evo Morales, on 25 January 2009.
New Constitution approved
On Sunday, 25 January 2009, more than 60% of Bolivians voted “Yes” in a referendum on the new constitution and more than 80% voted against the large-landowners and in favor of a lower maximum land ownership limit of 5,000 hectares [the referendum gave Bolivians the choice whether to limit private property at 5,000 or 10,000 hectares of land]. It was a crushing victory for workers, peasants, and indigenous and poor people in the social movements, and for the Evo Morales MAS government.
However, as we said throughout the campaign, nothing will change just because the new constitution has been approved. Now more than ever, we have to organize, educate ourselves politically and mobilise and struggle so that the changes promised in the constitution are actually implemented.
According to the new constitution, everybody now has the right to a dignified job with a just wage, free universal education and health care, adequate housing, water, nourishment, basic services, etc. But how is it possible for us to have all of these things if the huge majority of our natural resources, the land, and big industries continue to be controlled by big businesses, large-landowners and multinational corporations that are only interested in their own profits? The answer: it simply is not possible!
We need a socialist Bolivia!
The benefits of the new constitution can only be guaranteed if the Bolivian people have democratic control over their natural resources, land, businesses and the distribution of wealth. Workers, peasants, indigenous and poor people need to bring about these changes through their own organisations of struggle.
Big businesses and multinational corporations earn millions, while their workers struggle to live on poverty wages. The capitalists are parasites that cannot fulfill a social function (as is required by the new constitution, for a private company to be allowed to operate). We need to nationalise the multinational corporations and put them under the democratic control of Bolivian workers and poor.
The large landowners are capitalists that do not work the land: earning millions by exploiting indigenous peasants, exporting the majority of Bolivian crops to other countries and charging high prices for the food products that do stay in the country. We need to nationalise the land and put it under the democratic control of the peasants, the indigenous communities and the Bolivian people.
The new constitution is an important step forward in the Bolivian struggle. But to create a socialist Bolivia, we need political organisation and struggle. Join ASR (Revolutionary Socialist Alternative – CWI in Bolivia), to begin this process in your workplace, community, university, union, etc.