LETTER: Defend Democracy in Bolivia

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.

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