Behind the Bolivia Miner Cooperatives Protests and the killing of the Bolivian Vice-Minister

As per usual the US has instigated unrest and suppression of the working classes in order to manipulate the situation to it’s own self interest. The sooner a resistance is formed to combat US undermining of democracy and workers rights and a united front determined to take the fight to the US neoliberals fuelling conflict with the eventual aim of blocking US intervention, the better. Isolating the US and it’s regressive ideology is the way forward. That requires that countries all over the world unite to accomplish a common goal of demanding the US retreat and legislation passed through the UN courts to make US intervention illegal.


by Stansfield Smith


The Bolivian cooperatives protests and their August 25 killing of the Bolivian Vice Minister of the Interior Rodolfo Illanes requires us to question our assumptions about cooperatives. What are the Bolivian mining cooperatives? Most began during the Great Depression as miners banded together to work a mine in common. However, like many cooperatives in the US that arose out of the 1960s, they have turned into small businesses. Regardless of their initial intentions, cooperatives existing in a surrounding capitalist environment must compete in business practices or go under.

The Bolivian mining cooperatives themselves underwent this process, and have become businesses whose owners hire labor. Roughly 95% of the cooperative miners are workers, and 5% are owners. It is common for the employed workers to be temps, or contracted out employees as we refer to them here. They have no social security, no job security, no health or…

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