Updated: Jan 15
19 October 2020
MPs and Lords from the Labour Party, SNP and Sinn Féin, as well as nine trade union leaders and solidarity activists across the UK, sign a letter in support of Bolivian democracy ahead of this weekend’s election.
In Bolivia, last November, the elected President, Evo Morales, was removed in a military-led coup. Since then, the unelected government that seized power has governed outside the rule of law with a racist, anti-indigenous and extreme neoliberal economic agenda.
Trade unions, indigenous organisations, and left-wing political activists have faced widespread persecution, repression and violence.
Despite all of this, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) is ahead in the polls ahead of the presidential election due to be held on October 18th, after numerous delays.
There are fears that these elections will not be free or fair and that right-wing, anti-democratic forces will once again seek to deny Bolivians their wish to build a progressive and democratic country.
We, the undersigned, therefore express our support for all those struggling for democracy, human rights, equality and social progress in Bolivia.
Apsana Begum MP, Labour Party Richard Burgon MP, Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Party Diane Abbott MP, Labour Party Ian Lavery MP, Labour Party John McDonnell MP, Labour Party Ian Mearns MP, Labour Party Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Labour Party Jon Trickett MP, Labour Party Claudia Webbe MP, Labour Party Beth Winter MP, Labour Party Zarah Sultana MP, Labour Party Kenny MacAskill MP, Scottish National Party Chris Hazzard MP, group leader on behalf of Sinn Féin Westminster MPs Christine Blower, Labour Party member of the House of Lords John Hendy QC, Labour Party member of the House of Lords Shami Chakrabarti, Labour Party member of the House of Lords Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the union Gail Cartmail, President, TUC Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT ManuelCortes, General Secretary, TSSA Chris Kitchen, General Secretary, NUM Paddy Lillis, General Secretary, USDAW Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU Gabriel Rodriguez, ITWF Ian Waddell, General Secretary, CSEU Ronan Burtenshaw, editor, Tribune Marcus Barnett, associate editor, Tribune Ben Chacko, editor, The Morning Star John Pilger, journalist and filmmaker Yasmine Dar, Labour Party NEC Rachel Garnham, Labour Party NEC Ann Henderson, Labour Party NEC Colin Burgon, Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America Tim Young, Friends of Bolivia
This letter was originally published by Tribune Magazine here.
Update: Early exit polls suggest Luis Arce, an ally of former President Evo Morales, may have enough support to avoid a runoff vote. Sunday's poll was a repeat of the 2019 election, which led to Morales fleeing the country.
Tonight 19/10 there is an online solidarity event.