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Bolivia

Durban climate talks: ‘Forests are not for carbon stocks’ -- climate justice activists condemn REDD

Photo: Anne Petermann/GJEP-GFC.

[For more on the COP17 Durban climate talks, click HERE.]

December 4, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "Bolivia came out swinging at its first press conference of the climate change conference" on December 1, reported the Durban Mercury's Yusuf Omar on December 2. Head of the Bolivian delegation Rene Orellana criticised the Green Climate Fund "– which is meant to help developing countries adapt to climate change – and opposing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation scheme (REDD). "The role of the forest is not for carbon stocks”, he said.

REDD is designed to use financial incentives to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation. The forest produces carbon credits and therefore becomes an emissions offsetting scheme.

Pablo Solon: What to expect from Durban climate talks: temperature to rise more than 4° C

Balance sheet and perspectives on the climate change negotiations

By Pablo Solon

November 17, 2011 -- Hoye es Todavia -- Almost a year has gone by since the results of the climate change negotiations in Cancun were imposed, with only the objection of Bolivia. It’s time to take stock and see where we are now.

In Cancun, the developed countries listed their greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges for the 2012-2020 period. The United States and Canada said they would reduce emissions by 3% based on 1990 levels, the European Union between 20% and 30%, Japan 25%, and Russia from 15% to 25%[1]. Adding up all the reduction pledges of the developed countries, the total reduction in emissions by 2020 would be 13-17%,[2] based on 1990 levels.

These greenhouse gas emission reduction “pledges”, according to the United Nations Environment Programme[3], the Stockholm Environment Institute[4] and even the executive secretary of the Climate Change Convention[5], would lead to an average increase in global temperature of around 4° C or more.[6] That is double the amount they established in Cancun: a maximum temperature increase of just 2° C.

Bolivia: Solidarity activists need to support revolutionary process; Rumble over jungle far from over

March from TIPNIS arrives in La Paz. Photo by Dario Kenner.

By Federico Fuentes

November 20, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The recent march in Bolivia by some Indigenous organisations against the government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) has raised much debate among international solidarity activists. Such debates have occurred since the election of Bolivia's first Indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005 on the back of mass uprisings.

Overwhelmingly, solidarity activists uncritically supported the anti-highway march. Many argued that only social movements — not governments — can guarantee the success of the process of change.

However, such a viewpoint is not only simplistic; it can leave solidarity activists on the wrong side.

Kevin Young’s October 1 piece on Znet, “Bolivia Dilemmas: Turmoil, Transformation, and Solidarity”, tries to grapple with this issue by saying that “our first priority [as solidarity activists] must be to stop our governments, corporations and banks from seeking to control Bolivia’s destiny”.

Bolívia: As ONGs equivocadas com relação a Morales e à Amazônia

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes

28/09/2011 -- Horadopovo.com.br -- Declarações, artigos, cartas e petições circularam na Internet durante o mês passado pedindo o fim da "destruição da Amazônia".

O objeto dessas iniciativas não têm sido as corporações transnacionais nem os poderosos governos que as respaldam, mas o governo do primeiro presidente indígena da Bolívia, Evo Morales.

No centro do debate está a proposta do governo boliviano de construir uma estrada através do Território Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS).

O TIPNIS, que cobre mais de 1 milhão de hectares de florestas, obteve o estatuto de reserva indígena do governo de Evo Morales em 2009. Cerca de 12.000 pessoas de três grupos indígenas diferentes vivem em 64 comunidades dentro do TIPNIS.

Bolivia: NGO's geven verkeerd beeld over Morales en Amazonewoud

Mars in Trinidad tegen de snelweg op 15 augustus.

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes, vertaald uit het Engels door Sabrina Verswijver

28/09/2011 -- DeWereldMorgen.be -- Het doelwit van de acties waren deze keer niet de transnationale bedrijven of machtige overheden die dergelijke bedrijven steunen, maar wel de eerste inheemse president van Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Aan de basis van het debat ligt het controversiële voorstel van de Boliviaanse overheid om een snelweg aan te leggen door het Isiboro Secure Nationaal Park en Inheems Gebied (TIPNIS).

TIPNIS beslaat meer dan één miljoen hectare aan bos en kreeg in 2009 de status van inheems gebied toegewezen door de regering-Morales. Ongeveer 12.000 mensen van drie verschillende inheemse groepen leven in 64 gemeenschappen in TIPNIS.

Bolivia: le ONG sbagliano su Morales e l'Amazzonia

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

di Federico Fuentes

25/09/2011 -- Radiocittaperta.it -- Dichiarazioni, articoli, lettere stanno circolando in Internet chiedendo la fine della "distruzione dell'Amazzonia".

L'obiettivo di queste iniziative non è rappresentato dalle corporazioni transnazionali né dai potenti governi che le appoggiano, ma il governo del primo presidente indigeno della Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Al centro del dibattito c'è la controversa proposta del governo boliviano di costruire un'autostrada attraverso il Territorio Indigeno del Parco Nazionale Isidoro Sécure (TIPNIS).

Il Tipnis, che copre una superficie di più di 1 milione di ettari di foresta, ha ottenuto lo statuto di territorio indigeno dal governo di Evo Morales nel 2009. Circa 2.000 persone vivono in 64 comunità all'interno del TIPNIS.

Bolivia: Las ONG equivocadas respecto a Morales y la Amazonía

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes, traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

28-09-2011 -- Declaraciones, artículos, cartas y peticiones han estado circulando en Internet durante el pasado mes pidiendo un fin a la “destrucción de la Amazonía”.

El objetivo de esas iniciativas no han sido las corporaciones transnacionales ni los poderosos gobiernos que las respaldan, sino el gobierno del primer presidente indígena de Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Al centro del debate está la controvertida propuesta del gobierno boliviano de construir una carretera a través del Territorio Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS).

El TIPNIS, que cubre más de 1 millón de hectáreas de bosques, obtuvo el estatuto de territorio indígena del gobierno de Evo Morales en 2009. Cerca de 12.000 personas de tres grupos indígenas diferentes viven en 64 comunidades dentro del TIPNIS.

Todos contra Wall Street: `Foro Social Latinamericano', GLW's Spanish-language supplement, October 2011 issue

October 20, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For environmentalists, Indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today. The people of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, among others, are showing that radical social change is possible and a better, more just society can be imagined and built.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.

The continent-wide rebellion is weakening imperialism’s power. As a result, it is taking increasingly threatening steps to push back the power of the people. Our solidarity, to help the people of Latin America defend and extend their tremendous achievements, is vital.

Bolivia: Letter from mass Indigenous movement CONAIE to Evo Morales regarding TIPNIS controversy

The following letter was translated by Federico Fuentes. The translation first appeared on Bolivia Rising. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. See "Bolivia: Avaaz, NGOs wrong on Morales and Amazon protests; police attack condemned" for more on the highway conflict.

* * *

Quito, September 26, 2011

Compañero
Evo Morales
President of the Plurinacional State of Bolivia

Dear Brother,

Receive our cordial greetings on behalf of the Confederation of Peoples of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador CONAIE. We would also like to use this opportunity to send via your person a deep hug of solidarity to the brothers and sisters in the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

During these days we have paid witness to all the events that your government has had to confront in regards to the march by the brothers from the indigenous peoples of the Bolivian east in defence of TIPNIS. In the face of this, we would like to make known out deep concern regarding the events that have transpired, especially the events that occurred yesterday afternoon.

Being faithful to the principles of the struggle of the people, we reject the violent repression that the indigenous brothers from the march have suffered at the hands of the Bolivian police.

(Updated Oct. 4) Bolivia: Avaaz, NGOs wrong on Morales and Amazon protests; police attack condemned

March in Trinidad, Bolivia, against a proposed highway that would go through part of the Amazon, August 15.

By Federico Fuentes

September 25, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon". The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the government of Bolivia's first Indigenous president, Evo Morales.

At the centre of the debate is the Bolivian government’s controversial proposal to build a highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). TIPNIS, which covers more than 1 million hectares of forest, was granted Indigenous territory status by the Morales government in 2009. About 12,000 people from three different Indigenous groups live in 64 communities within TIPNIS.

How Clara Zetkin helps us understand Evo Morales

 

Clara Zetkin.

By John Riddell

September 18, 2011 -- First posted at johnriddell.wordpress.com, it appears at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Is Bolivia “a case of a workers’ government in the sense the early Comintern/Clara Zetkin meant it?” The question comes from Pham Binh in a comment at johnriddell.wordpress.com. In my view, the “workers’ government” concept is certainly relevant but must be used with caution.

My article “Clara Zetkin’s Struggle for the United Front” states:

Bolivia: Development before environment?

Indigenous Bolivians begin a 500-kilometre protest march to La Paz.

By Federico Fuentes

September 8, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- The decision by leaders of the Sub Central of the Indigenous Territory and National Isiboro Secure Park (TIPNIS) to initiate a 500-kilometre protest march on Bolivia's capital of La Paz has ignited much debate about the nature of Bolivia’s first Indigenous led-government. The Sub Central of TIPNIS unites the 64 indigenous communities within the park.

Much analysis has focused on the supposed hypocrisy of the government headed by Evo Morales, Bolivia's first Indigenous head of state. The Morales government has been criticised for pursuing pro-capitalist development and trampling on the rights of its own Indigenous people.

Many analysts have also highlighted the contradiction between Morales’ public discourse in defence of Indigenous rights and Mother Earth, and the proposal of his government’s to build a highway that would run through this protected area of the Amazon.

`Foro Social Latinamericano', Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement, August 2011 issue

September 3, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For environmentalists, Indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today. The people of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, among others, are showing that radical social change is possible and a better, more just society can be imagined and built.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.

The continent-wide rebellion is weakening imperialism’s power. As a result, it is taking increasingly threatening steps to push back the power of the people. Our solidarity, to help the people of Latin America defend and extend their tremendous achievements, is vital.

Bolivia: How Jeffrey Webber's 'From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia' turns reality on its head

Review by Federico Fuentes

From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia: Class Struggle, Indigenous Liberation, and the Politics of Evo Morales
By Jeffrey Webber
Haymarket Books, 2011

August 19, 2011 -- Aborado - Latin America uncovered -- The Evo Morales government recently celebrated its 2000th day in power in Bolivia – a feat in its own right for a country that has had around 180 coups since 1825 – any serious attempt to explain the underlying dynamics of this decade long political process should be welcomed. Combining his academic research and extensive fieldwork in Bolivia, Jeffrey Webber sets out to do exactly that in From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia. Unfortunately, the end result leaves a lot to be desired.

The election of Bolivia’s first Indigenous president, on the back of a mass rebellion that overthrew successive governments has stirred great interest in this small Andean nation.

Bolivia: Evo Morales' fight to control the military

By Federico Fuentes

August 7, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Speaking to CNN en Espanol on July 27, Bolivia's President Evo Morales said, “When presidents do not submit to the United States government, to its policies, there are coups.” His comments are backed by attempts by the US and Bolivia’s right wing to bring down his government.

Recently released WikiLeaks cables prove the US embassy was in close contact with dissident military officers only months before a coup attempt was carried out in September 2008.

But the close relationship between the US and Bolivia’s military has a long history.

In recent years, the “war on drugs” provided the US with cover to extend its control over Bolivia’s armed forces. As a coca grower union leader from the Chapare region, Morales faced the direct and brutal consequences of the US “war on drugs”.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Chapare region, nestled in the heart of Bolivia, became the site of bloody massacres carried out by US and Bolivian anti-narcotics forces. As part of its attempts to destroy coca, seen by indigenous Bolivians as a “sacred leaf” and part of their traditional way of life, the US established and funded the Mobile Units for Rural Patrolling (UMOPAR) in the Chapare.

Bolivia: Cut war spending to aid victims of climate change

A positive initiative would significantly reduce military spending and allocate monies to a fund that addresses the impacts of climate change in developing countries.

Statement by Ambassador Rafael Archondo, permanent representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations, in the debate of the United Nations Security Council on maintenance of international peace and security: the impact of climate change, New York, July 20, 2011. Thanks to Climate and Capitalism for the text.

* * *

Thank you Mr. President.

Bolivia joins the statements made by the Group 77 and China, represented by Argentina and the Non-Aligned Movement, whose voice has been expressed by Egypt.

Mr. President:

Climate change is a real threat to the existence of mankind, other living creatures and Mother Earth, and given its systemic nature, can be analysed from multiple dimensions such as social, economic, cultural or environmental.

From Copenhagen and Cancun to Bonn and Durban, climate meetings are conferences of polluters

By Patrick Bond, Durban

June 21, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Judging by what transpired at last week’s global climate negotiations in the former West German capital, Bonn, it appears certain that in just over five months’ time, the South African port city of Durban will host a conference of climate procrastinators, the COP 17 (Conference of Parties), dooming the Earth to the frying pan. Further inaction on climate change will leave our city’s name as infamous for elite incompetence and political betrayal as is Oslo’s in the Middle East.

It appears certain that Pretoria’s alliance with Washington, Beijing, New Delhi and Brasilia, witnessed in the shameful 2009 Copenhagen Accord, will be extended to other saboteurs of the Kyoto Protocol, especially from Ottawa, Tokyo and Moscow, along with Brussels and London carbon traders.

Progress in Bolivia: A reply to Jeff Webber

Bolivia's president Evo Morales addresses a press conference during theWorld People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, April 2010.

[See also "Debate on Bolivia: Government, social movements and revolution". For more article on Bolivia, click HERE.]

By John Riddell

May 5, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Six years after Bolivians elected their first Indigenous-led government, their ongoing struggle for national and social liberation remains a subject of debate and disagreement among socialists around the world.

Montreal conference rallies support for rights of nature

By John Riddell

April 23, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Bolivia marked Earth Day (April 22) this year by formulating the Law of Mother Earth, which—when adopted—will establish 11 new rights for nature, including the right not to be polluted and the right to continue vital cycles free from human interference.

On April 20, the United Nations General Assembly debated a proposal introduced by Bolivia, with support of other South American countries, to adopt a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature. The proposed global treaty says that “Mother Earth has the right to exist, persist, and to continue the vital cycles … that sustain all human beings”.

Meanwhile, Canada’s political and media establishment have organised an election campaign in which the world’s ecological crisis is barely mentioned.

Debate on Bolivia: Government, social movements and revolution

[The following article is a reply to Jeffery Webber's article, “Bolivia’s reconstituted neoliberalism”, which appeared in the International Socialist Review, September–October 2010. Webber's reply to Fuentes' criticisms follows the article below. Fuentes is editor of the Bolivia Rising website and was based in Venezuela as a correspondent for Australia's leading socialist newspaper, Green Left Weekly. He is a member of the Australian Socialist Alliance. For more coverage of Bolivia, click HERE.]

* * *

By Federico Fuentes

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