A Communiqué from the Coordinator for the Defense of the Gas

The Coordinating Committee for the Defense of Water and Gas sends a communiqué from Cochabamba to the people of Bolivia and the international community. To our mobilized comrades in Cochabamba and in Bolivia:
To the national and international public:

The Coordinating Committee for the Defense of Water and Gas releases our view of the current moment:

  • With the enormous mobilziation of the Bolivian people and the indigneous people throughout the country we have temporarily avoided the greatest maneuver of the transnational corporations, the U.S. government, the Santa Cruz oligarchy and the traditional Bolivian political parties.

  • Yesterday, the efforts of thousands of men and women, and with the life of the miners’ cooperative leader Juán Coro, we stopped the return of Vaca Diez’s mega-coalition to the government, which would have meant a bloodbath for the Bolivian people and the continued sacking of our natural resources.

  • This, comrades, is nothing small: all the power of global capital was brought down against us yesterday, and we have managed to stop it. For that reason, we have achieved much more, although we have not gotten exactly what we proposed as strategic objectives for the whole of the simple and hard-working Bolivian people.

  • These objectives continue to be 1) NATIONALIZATION, the social expropriation of Bolivian hydrocarbons, today, in fact, from the hands of the transnationals, and 2) the realization of a sovereign CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY with the majority presence of the Bolivian population – and not of the political parties – to design a new form of internal coexistence and social regulation for all of us, constructed by a new collective will from below.

  • In the coming days we should begin a massive discussion on how to go forward in these two objectives.

  • We feel that after three weeks of confrontations and mobilization it would be a good time to declare a period of rest so that the population can replentish its supplies of food and fuel; and also to see what position the new president, Mr. Rodríguez, will assume toward the peo0ple of Bolivia. To Mr. Rodríguez we say clearly that he must understand that objectives of the people are the two points outlined previously, and that he is now in the Palace of Government because his predecessors did not listen to us, did not take our opinions and proposals into account, did not command by obeying the people. We will not accept it if he tries any new tricks, because he has seen the force we are capable of unleashing.

  • It is important, also, to reflect upon the following. In this May-June mobilization we have seen two things. On one hand, the great force that we are capable of deploying: we, the diverse social movements, are capable of paralyzing the entire country, and of avoiding the maneuvers of the businessmen and bad politicians. On the other hand, we have not been capable of imposing our own decisions and objectives on these same politicians, who today are in the worst crisis they could possibly confront. Based on these two considerations, we have opened a wide debate in all the neighborhoods and communities of Cochabamba and the country, about the need to build, little by little, our own capacity for SELF GOVERNMENT, to push for that in the next mobilization.

  • Our immense strength that enables us to shut down the entire country should correspond to a great and creative capacity to carry out our own decisions beyond the official institutions and traditional political parties, which always drive us to the edge of the precipice. On this occasion, this has begun to happen with the occupation of hydrocarbon wells, gas plants, and refineries, and on the next occasion we must be capable of operating them ourselves for our own good.

  • We will continue, unwavering and irreversible, on this collective goal that the people have been putting together for years, to build a country for us, for our children, and for our children’s children.

Cochabamba, June 10, 2005

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