60 years of the criminal US imperialist blockade against the Cuban Revolution

Source: marxism.com

by Jorge Martin 09 February 2022

On 3 February 1962, US president Kennedy signed proclamation 3447, decreeing an embargo on all trade with Cuba, which was to enter into effect on 7 February. This marked the official beginning of a 60-year blockade (though the imperialist assault had started earlier), which has progressively been strengthened and tightened.

The aims of this campaign of imperialist bullying were openly declared in an April 1960 secret memorandum by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Lestor Mallory. The memorandum, optimistically entitled “The Decline and Fall of Castro”, starts by establishing the following fact: “the majority of Cubans support Castro”. What’s the problem, one would think? There is a government in Cuba that has the overwhelming support of the population. Why should this worry the US? Ah, but, as Mallory points out: “Fidel Castro and other members of the Cuban Government espouse or condone communist influence.”

Memorandum

Image: National Archives

That is the problem. “We cannot allow a country go Communist just because the population supports it!”, is what he seems to be saying. This line of reasoning sums up the total worth of Washington’s references to the US defending “democracy” in its dealings with Cuba. The Cuban people can give itself any government it wants… as long as that is the government US corporations want.

Punishing Cuba with hunger

Incidentally, at the time of writing this secret memorandum, 6 April 1960, the Cuban Revolution had not yet made any statement nor taken any measure which could be described as socialist or communist. It had implemented agrarian reform and had taken steps to reassert its national sovereignty (both national democratic measures). It was only later that same year and in response to US provocations (the refusal to purchase an agreed sugar quota, and the refusal to refine oil at US-owned refineries) that the Cuban Revolution proceeded to expropriate US property on the island, moving very quickly towards the abolition of capitalism. And it was not until a year later, on the eve of the US-sponsored Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) invasion, that Fidel Castro talked of the socialist character of the revolution.

But let’s return to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mallory and his memorandum. Not only is Castro’s government extremely popular and has communist leanings, he says, furthermore “there is no effective opposition”. He then considers the question of foreign intervention, which he seems to discard: “militant opposition to Castro from without Cuba would only serve his and the communist cause.” This is, of course, a sharp insight, but also a piece of cynicism. By this time, the US was already working closely with reactionary forces in Cuba and in Miami, sponsoring a campaign of terrorism, sabotage, aerial bombardment and counter-revolutionary insurgency in Cuba. Perhaps what Mallory was trying to say was that these methods were proving counter-productive, which is true.

Not that this appraisal would prevent the US imperialism from organising the counter-revolutionary disembarkment at Playa Girón in April 1961, which was swiftly defeated by the armed workers and peasants of Cuba.

What conclusion does Mallory draw from his observations? He writes: “The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship.” To achieve that, he then proposes “a line of action which… makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation, and overthrow of government” (my emphasis).

So, there you have it in black and white, from the horse’s mouth. If the Cuban people have the temerity to overwhelmingly support a government that “condones Communist influence”, then they should be punished, by bringing hunger and desperation until they change their minds and overthrow the government. This is the reasoning behind the policy of aggression US imperialism has followed for 60 years towards the Cuban Revolution. It is a criminal policy based on punishing a whole people for having dared to free themselves from imperialist domination and abolished capitalism.

The refusal of US-owned refineries to process oil bought from the Soviet Union led to their state intervention of Texaco, Shell and Standard Oil refineries between 28 June and 1 July 1960. To this, the US replied with a cut in the sugar quota they had agreed to purchase from Cuba, in what was known in Cuba as the “Ley Puñal” (“Dagger Law”, as it was stabbing the revolution in the back). But the Cuban Revolution did not retreat in the face of economic blackmail. On the contrary, it responded by nationalising (between July and October 1960) all US owned corporations On the island. US president Eisenhower then imposed a ban on all US exports to Cuba, except food and medicine.

The 1962 presidential proclamation by Kennedy, imposing “an embargo on all trade with Cuba,” was therefore not the first measure of economic aggression against Cuba, but it represented a qualitative turning point in the campaign of US imperialism against the Cuban Revolution. It imposed a blanket ban on all US imports from and exports to Cuba, which Washington had earlier calculated would deprive Cuba of hard currency earnings of 60 to 70 million US dollars (about US$650 million in today’s currency).

The decision was also informed by the complete disaster of the attempted Playa Girón invasion the previous year and was part of a broader programme of sabotage and paramilitary attacks launched from the United States, organised and coordinated by the CIA, aimed at regime change. These activities, under the name of Operation Mongoose, included the infiltration of armed counter-revolutionaries in the island, saw funding of several million dollars, were coordinated at the highest level, by presidential authority, and were supposed to culminate in the overthrow and assassination of Fidel Castro by October 1962.

Kennedy had wanted economic action against Cuba to be taken jointly by the Organisation of American States (OAS). At the January 1962 OAS summit in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Washington put pressure on all countries to expel Cuba from the body and subject it to an economic blockade, but did not get unanimity. When it realised it would not get unanimity, it then settled for a two-thirds majority of 14 votes and a watered-down resolution. In order to achieve the necessary 14 votes, Washington agreed to resume aid to Haiti, then ruled by the brutal dictator François Duvalier in exchange for a favourable vote at the OAS. The whole operation, clearly, had nothing to do with “democracy” nor “human rights”, but rather with containing “communism” and revolution throughout the continent. There was not even a pretence that it was about anything else.

Under instructions from their masters in Washington, the OAS countries expelled Cuba, and 14 of them also agreed to different measures of economic sanctions. It was not until 1964 that the OAS as a whole, under pressure from the US and with the excuse of Cuba’s support for guerrilla struggle in Venezuela, agreed to a trade blockade against Cuba, with only Mexico voting against. The resolution talks of Cuba having put itself outside the “Christian and democratic traditions of the American peoples” (!!) But of course, no such action was ever taken by the OAS against ruthless dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua (which was ruled by Somoza at the time of agreeing the Cuba blockade), etc. Perhaps these dictatorships did not violate the “Christian principles of the American peoples” …

While European countries did not formally join the US blockade, they also sharply curtailed trade with Cuba.

It is significant to note that the blockade was originally put into law under the Democratic administration of Kennedy. The failed military invasion of Playa Girón was also carried out under his watch. This should be enough to dispel any illusions that the Democrats in power have a somehow more “humane” foreign policy. The foreign imperialist policy of the US is bipartisan, as both parties defend the interests of the ruling class.

The Cuban revolution responded to Kennedy’s blockade on 4 April 1962, with a mass rally at which Fidel Castro proclaimed the Second Declaration of Havana, expressing continued defiance against US imperialism and calling for revolution across Latin America.

Resilience of the revolution as embargo tightens

It is a testament to the resilience of the Cuban Revolution that the blockade has failed to destroy it. There was a short period of time in the 1970s when there was an attempt at normalising relations between Cuba and the US, and there was a partial easing of economic measures, but that came to nothing, and under the Reagan administration in the 1980s the blockade was tightened again.

For a whole period of time, the close alliance with the USSR propped up the Cuban economy, though that came with strings attached. But after the collapse of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, the Cuban Revolution was left on its own, suffering a massive economic collapse.

It was precisely at this time that new pieces of legislation were introduced by US imperialism, widening the scope of the blockade. The 1992 Torricelli Act, sponsored by a Democrat, backed by Bill Clinton and signed by George W Bush, reintroduced the blockade for subsidiaries of US-based companies and prevented ships that had docked in Cuban harbours from docking in US ports for 180 days.

Donald Trump Signs The Pledge 18 Image Michael VadonTrump introduced 243 separate measures to tighten the blockade on Cuba, and Biden has continued this policy / Image: Michael Vadon

Then came the even-worse Helms-Burton Act of 1996, initiated by Republican representatives and signed by Bill Clinton, which made the US blockade extraterritorial by threatening non-US companies with legal action in the US if they traded or invested in Cuban assets confiscated by the revolution.

Later on, particularly between 2002 and 2014, the Venezuelan Revolution provided both a political and an economic lifeline to Cuba, proving the point that, ultimately, the fate of the Cuban Revolution will be resolved in the arena of world class struggle. But the economic crisis in Venezuela has also had a negative knock-on effect on Cuba.

60 years later, a section of the US ruling class has admitted that this policy has not worked and has not achieved its aims. The Obama thaw represented an attempt to pursue the same objectives (to smash the revolution) by different means (through the battering ram of world capitalism).

Trump put an end to that policy and introduced 243 separate measures to tighten the blockade, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which had been left in suspension. These had a catastrophic impact on Cuba. It is calculated that, in 2020 alone, the blockade has caused US$9bn worth of damages. It should be noted that not a single one of these measures has been repealed by Biden.

The US blockade is a criminal policy, which is designed, as clearly explained in the 1960 Memorandum, to punish the Cuban people with hunger for having dared to defy imperialism and having abolished capitalism.

The blockade has been consistently condemned by the United Nations General Assembly for the last 30 years. In 2020, only two countries voted against a motion condemning the blockade, the US and Israel. In its report to the United Nations, Cuba estimated the cumulative cost of the embargo over six decades at $148 billion dollars.

However, 30 years of UN votes have not changed the position of the US one single inch. This is a demonstration of how toothless of a talking shop this body is. The UN can pass any resolutions it wants. If US imperialism doesn’t agree, nothing will be done. On the other hand, if US imperialism thinks it can use the UN as a fig leaf for imperialist intervention, then it will; as in the case of the Congo in the 1960s, the first Gulf War in 1991, or more recently the UN intervention in Haiti.

Not all the problems the Cuban Revolution faces stem from the blockade. The isolation of the revolution on a small island with limited economic resources and the existence of a bureaucracy in the state are serious obstacles to building socialism. But certainly, the blockade is a factor of the first order of importance.

It is the duty of all revolutionaries, but also all consistent democrats, to wage a consistent struggle against this criminal imperialist blockade and unconditionally defend the Cuban Revolution.

Venezuelan Campesinos Receive Land Titles, Celebrate Historic Santa Inés Battle

Source:  venezuelanalysis.com

December 11 2021

The Venezuelan government handed 69 land titles comprising 1,817 hectares to campesinos in Santa Inés, Barinas state.

Under the slogan “Free land, men and women!” campesinos received the land titles during a large popular assembly on Friday in the remote area. The event marked the 162 anniversary of the emblematic Battle of Santa Inés and 20 years since the approval of Hugo Chávez’ Land Law.

Grassroots movements especially celebrated a Supreme Court ruling in favor of 40 campesino families in the 4800 hectare Los Tramojos land stead in Guárico state after a protracted legal battle.

The Battle of Santa Inés took place on December 10, 1859, during Venezuela’s Federal War (1859-1863). Venezuelan hero Ezequiel Zamora and his mostly peasant army defeated the conservative government’s troops under the banner of “Free Men and Liberated Land.” While the XIX century countryside rebellion was frustrated, the Hugo Chávez government reclaimed the fight under the Bolivarian Revolution in 1999.

A number of government officials praised the Santa Inés people for upholding food production and promised more support. “We have set up a permanent technical table with the campesino sector to reinvigorate the agro-productive activities in the area,” announced Agriculture Minister Wilmar Castro Soteldo.

The president of the National Land Institute (INTI), David Hernández, likewise pledged to continue working with rural movements. “The best way to honor the Land Law is together with the people. In Santa Inés, we listen and advance alongside the campesino movement, more committed than ever to defend national production,” he wrote on Twitter.

Hernández added that the Nicolás Maduro government would continue democratizing the land, a process that began 20 years ago when former president Chávez launched the Land Law. The historic 2001 legislation laid conditions for campesinos to rescue over 60 percent of large idle estates and receive land titles, with small and midsize producers currently accounting for an estimated 70 percent of food production. The land redistribution process slowed down in recent years, with campesino organizations staging several high profile demonstrations to oppose policies favoring landowning interests.

Former Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also attended the Santa Inés commemorative event, where he delivered the land titles and visited different areas. On Monday, the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) announced that the high-profile official would be the candidate for the re-run of the Barinas governor election on January 9, 2022.

“It is a privilege to hear criticism, to be interpellated and feel the love of these giants of resistance and dignity. With the people’s wisdom, we will find definitive solutions [to rural issues],” Arreaza wrote on social media.

Additionally, Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek William Saab opened an agrarian prosecutor’s office to address campesino struggles and demands. The announcement comes after rural populations have staged several rallies in recent months to denounce a “landowner offensive.” The Campesino Struggle Platform celebrated the decision, stating it is a step towards “justice in the countryside.”

Over 350 campesinos have been killed over the past 20 years, reportedly by hired assassins sent by powerful landowners. Campesino organizations have pointed the finger at the Cattle Ranchers Federation (FEDENAGA), a powerful guild pushing to reform the 2001 Land Law. However, the Maduro administration has promised to leave the legislation untouched.

In recent months, the country’s rural sector has emphasized that the majority of the targeted killings have gone unpunished, accusing local judicial authorities of working in complicity with powerful landowners to criminalize campesinos.

Venezuela’s rural communities have also been affected by fuel shortages that severely worsened in 2020 due to US sanctions. Campesino producers need diesel to power tractors and transport crops. The scarcity has led to fuel price hikes and reduced agricultural output.

Edited and with additional reporting by Ricardo Vaz from Caracas

Cuba: Return of fallen internationalists commemorated

Source: Granma

Thirty-two years have passed, but Cuba has not forgotten. On December 7, 1989, the remains of 2,289 combatants who gave their lives on internationalist missions in Africa were returned to the arms of the homeland

Author: Pedro Ríoseco | internet@granma.cu

december 7, 2021 11:12:53

All the country’s cities received the remains of their prodigal sons, and honored to them in Pantheons of the Fallen established in all municipalities. Photo: Liborio Noval

Thirty-two years have passed, but Cuba has not forgotten. On December 7, 1989, the remains of 2,289 combatants who gave their lives on internationalist missions in Africa were returned to the arms of the homeland, in an effort entitled Operation Tribute.
All the country’s cities received the remains of their prodigal sons, and honored to them in Pantheons of the Fallen established in all municipalities.
General Antonio Maceo’s mausoleum, in El Cacahual, hosted the symbolic national ceremony with the remains of 16 internationalists, one from each provinces and the Isle of Youth special municipality, on the date when the Titan and his faithful assistant Panchito Gomez Toro fell in battle against the Spanish colonialists.
“These men and women, to whom we give an honorable burial today, in the warm land where they were born, died for the most sacred values, they died fighting against colonialism and neocolonialism, racism and apartheid, plundering and exploitation of the peoples of the Third World, for independence and sovereignty, for the right to wellbeing and development of all peoples, for socialism, for internationalism, for the revolutionary and dignified homeland that Cuba is today,” said Fidel at that time, reaffirming the commitment follow their example.
Of these internationalists, 2,085 were participating in military missions in the defense of the nascent independence of the People’s Republic of Angola, and 204 took on civilian tasks, as part of the 377,033 Cuban volunteers who fought in that country during the 15 and a half years of Operation Carlota.
The Cuban government always informed families of the death of each internationalist (in combat, due to accidents or illness), but it was impossible, in the middle of the war, to repatriate their corpses and bury them in their hometowns. But the Revolution did not forget any of its sons and daughters, and to fulfill that humanitarian commitment, Operation Tribute was organized.
As Army General Raul Castro Ruz said on December 12, 1976, “From Angola we will take with us only the intimate friendship that unites us to that heroic nation, the gratitude of its people and the mortal remains of our dear brothers and sisters who fell in the line of duty.” And so it was.

Mass vaccination drive in Cuba shows power of socialist revolution

Source: The Militant

December 3 2021

BY SETH GALINSKY

With over 80% of the island’s population fully vaccinated as of Nov. 20, Cuba is on course to reach 90% before the end of the year. This striking progress is based on highly effective vaccines developed and produced in Cuba. This is despite stepped-up sanctions that are part of Washington’s more than 60-year long economic war against Cuba’s socialist revolution. 

People wait to be vaccinated for COVID-19 outside a doctors’ office in Alamar on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba,

Cuba is the only country in the world that has extended vaccinations to children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. In Cuba vaccination is voluntary. Their unprecedented success — which makes Cuba one of the top three countries in the world in vaccination rates, way ahead of the U.S. — shows what is possible when working people are convinced the government is theirs, not an enemy, and health care is a right, not a commodity to profit capitalist bosses. 

With deaths from COVID now three or less a day — on some days it has been zero — Cuba has begun once again to welcome solidarity brigades and tourists from around the world, with no quarantine; hold broader public events and political activities; and reopen schools and factories.  

The Joseph Biden administration has maintained all the economic and financial restrictions imposed by previous administrations, Democratic and Republican alike, and added more. The U.S. embargo “affects every aspect of life in our country,” Olga Lidia Jacobo-Casanueva, director of Cuba’s Center for State Control of Medicines and Medical Devices, told MEDICC Review earlier this year. 

Chemicals needed for testing are difficult to procure, she said, as are spare parts and new equipment. Even paper and toner have been “dangerously low,” she said. That’s not a small question for records essential to modern health care. “This gives you an idea of the comprehensiveness” of the U.S. embargo, she said. “Something as simple as paper is hard for Cuba to purchase on the international market.” 

Unlike Moderna and Pfizer, none of Cuba’s vaccines need storage at extreme cold temperatures, making them more suitable for rural areas and large parts of the semicolonial world. Cuba has already sent millions of vaccine doses to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Vietnam. With Cuba’s aid, the Iranian government is producing the vaccine there. 

Working people’s increased confidence

Young people joined in making millions of daily visits to people’s homes during the peak of the pandemic to make sure everyone who needed medical treatment got it. Many joined volunteer agricultural brigades to alleviate food shortages exacerbated by the embargo. They were deeply impacted by the experience. 

Alejandro López Rodríguez, a student at Havana’s CUJAE technology university, volunteered in the fields, in health centers and door to door. “It was a fantastic adventure, which has allowed me to learn about everything and grow as a human being,” he told the campus media. 

On Nov. 21, the first Cuban plane since June landed in Argentina, reinitiating weekly air travel between the two countries. Argentina is historically a major source of tourism to Cuba. That same day, thousands across the island took part in a day of volunteer labor, preparing fields for planting and building homes. 

Success in beating back COVID made possible the first national Day of Defense since the start of the pandemic. Workplace, campus, farm and neighborhood militias are a central part of Cuba’s revolutionary strategy of the “war of the entire people.” Thousands of volunteers refreshed their military skills while sending a message to Washington that it would pay a huge price if it tried to invade. 

The mobilizations of popular support for the revolution and willingness to defend it arms in hands, in the face of hardships imposed by the U.S. imperialist rulers’ economic and political war, are no small factor in preventing Washington from attempting a repeat of its failed April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. That’s also why threatened Nov. 15 disruptions against the revolution instigated by Washington fizzled. 

Working people and youth in Cuba are proud of what they have accomplished over the last year. At the same time, they’re aware that the worldwide capitalist economic crisis and the tightening of the U.S. embargo guarantee that shortages of essential goods and other challenges will remain. “There is a lot to do in Cuba, a lot to transform to overcome the challenges of so many external limitations and those of our own doing,” wrote Iroel Sánchez in the Nov. 21 Granma. “But we have good reason to celebrate one more victory against the most powerful empire in history

Venezuela: Chavismo Wins Governorships in 20 of 23 States

A man casts his vote, Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 21, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ALBATCP

“It is a victory for the humble people, the noble people of Venezuela, who have endured a brutal war,” President Nicolas Maduro stressed.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) President Pedro Calzadilla reported a 41.80 percent turnout in Sunday’s Subnational elections.

RELATED: ‘We Do Not Renounce the Transition to Socialism’, Maduro Says

Having counted 90.21 percent of the ballots cast in the elections, Calzadilla reaffirmed that the elections took place in a peaceful environment. 

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates hold leads in 20 out of 23 states for the governor’s race.

Meanwhile, the opposition coalition United Democratic Table (MUD) candidates secured a lead in the Cojedes and Zulia states. Neighbors Force (FV) party secured the other governor post for opposition sectors in the Nueva Esparta State.

“Nothing disturbed the electoral process … International observers move freely throughout the country to verify the electoral process… It is a victory for the humble people, the noble people of Venezuela, who have endured a brutal war,” President Nicolas Maduro stressed.

Over 21,000,000 Venezuelans were called to cast the ballots to elect 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 lawmakers, and 2,471 councilors.

The CNE delivered credentials to over 300 international observers from 55 countries and institutions such as the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and the Carter Center.

Nearly 70,000 candidates from all political forces in the South American nation contested the elections. They represented 37 national political parties and 43 regional organizations

The War on Cuba – Episode 3

Source: Youtube.com

Belly of The Beast is a media outlet that counters parachute journalism by providing stories directly from the island. The documentary series, The War on Cuba, gives an inside look on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Cuban people. Episode 3 explores Cuba’s healthcare program and medical brigades. We talk to doctors who served in Brazil, Bolivia and Italy, and of course the ones who held it down in Cuba during COVID-19.

Related: Why the Cuban Doctors should receive the Nobel Peace Prize

In Bolivia, MAS is more

Source: Granma

October 20 2020

The Movement Toward Socialism’s Presidential candidate, Luis Arce, defeated his closest rival, October 19, by more than 20 percentage points

Author: Elson Concepción | internet@granma.cu

The Bolivian people demonstrated that truth, dignity and struggle were not lost with the military coup, nor with the atrocities committed by the de facto government installed last year.

The overwhelming victory of the Movement Toward Socialism’s (MAS) Presidential candidate, Luis Arce, who defeated his closest rival, October 19, by more than 20 percentage points, shattered the right wing illusion that they could join forces to win in a second round.

“Congratulations to MAS, which has recovered, at the polls, the power that was usurped by the oligarchy, with the complicity of the OAS and imperialist guidance,” tweeted Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, early on Election Day, welcoming the news, and emphasizing: “Cuba shares the joy for Luis Arce’s victory… the Bolivarian ideal is reborn.”

Toward the end of the afternoon, the winner responded with heartfelt thanks: “Thank you President Miguel Díaz-Canel. The united people decided, with the vote, the return of economic, social and political stability. Today we share the same joy, because our people have regained hope.”

The results of the vote expose the farce mounted after the 2019 elections by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Lima Group and the United States, which led to the military coup, the departure of Evo Morales and repression that cost the lives of more than 30 Bolivians.

So forceful was the will of the people that de facto President, Jeanine Áñez, had no choice but to recognize MAS. Arce, in his first public comments after the victory, emphasized that he intends to construct a government of national unity, and redirect the process of change without hatred, learning from and overcoming past errors.

Along with his running mate, David Choquehuanca, he has the moral authority and experience to reverse the neo-liberal nightmare imposed following the military coup. The economic disaster protected by Áñez, aggravated by poor management of the pandemic, widespread corruption, and the handing over of natural resources and factories to large corporations injured the dignity of the people who opted for the peace of the ballot box.

Once in office – but attentive to the shadowy plans with which enemies will surely react, inside and outside the country – the new government will face the complex, challenging task of uniting political forces; strengthening the people’s confidence; charting the course for economic and social development; correcting the response to COVID-19, to control outbreaks and deaths; and restoring sovereignty and the international relations destroyed by the coup plotters.

Bolivia’s Social Movements Hold Massive Victory Celebration

Bolivia's Social Movements Hold Massive Victory Celebration

The official celebration of the MAS-IPSP was held in El Alto and attended by tens of thousands.

Social movements from around the country have descended on the city of El Alto, to attend the official celebration for the victory of the Movement Towards Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of Peoples (MAS-IPSP).

RELATED:

Bolivia’s TSE Declares Luis Arce the Elected President

It was called the “Grand cultural party for the recuperation of democracy” and incldued the presence of all peoples and nationalities of the country.

President-elect Luis Arce and Vice President-elect David Choquehuanca were in attendance as different regional groups and organizations paraded down the route on Avenida Civica, greeting the candidates.

The incoming executive was joined on stage by newly elected Senators, Lower House legislators and other union and social movement leaders of the MAS.

teleSUR spoke with Segundina Flores, leader of the Bartolina Sisa National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous, and Native Women of Bolivia.

She said today is a festive day in celebration of the restoration of democracy to come,”This process won’t end, it will continue for many years. That’s why our peoples are going to govern ourselves, that’s why today is a democratic party.”

“Today, a democracy will return which is egalitarian, a democracy participatory, a democracy for all,” said the national women’s leader.

Vice President-elect David Choquehuanca told teleSUR that today’s celebration was a cultural manifestation of the Bolivian peoples, “We are happy, there is a lot of hope on the faces of our brothers, who express their joy by dancing, showing our culture, that culture of brotherhood, of joy and happiness. The people have recovered their spirit, our people have recovered their “ajayu” their courage.”

The official presenation of results and declaration of the winners of the 2020 General Election took place on Friday evening, in statements by Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) President, Salvador Romero, before press and electoral observers. Arce and Choquehuanca won the election, receiving 55.1% of the vote, beating out Carlos Mesa by over 26 points.

Both Arce and Choquehuanca served as ministers, of economy and foreign affairs respectively, under the government of President Evo Morales who served as campaign chief for the MAS.

Socialist Presidential Candidate Arce Wins Bolivia’s Elections

Source: TeleSUR

October 18 2020

Results of Bolivian elections broadcast by local media October 19 2020

The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) won with 52.4 percent over the parties that were backed by the right-wing interim regime.

After midnight on Sunday, Bolivian authorities allowed the results of the exit polls to be known. The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential candidate Luis Arce obtained 52.4 percent of the votes, the Citizen Community (CC) candidate Carlos Mesa got 31.5 percent, and the “We Believe Alliance” candidate Luis Fernando Camacho reached 14.1 percent of the votes.

RELATED:   The Long Wait for Official Results Disconcerts Bolivia

Bolivia’s president-elect Arce thanked the people for their support and for their peaceful participation in the electoral process.

“We have recovered democracy and hope. We ratify our commitment to work with social organizations. We are going to build a national unity government.”

Previously, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) spokesperson Sebastian Mitchell made an official statement regarding the absence of definitive data on the elections. He said that mainstream media and exit-polls companies know that Socialist candidate Arce had already exceeded 45 percent of the votes.

“Election observers do not understand if the absence of information results from inefficiency or if the government is implementing a strategy to win two or three days, generate violence, and justify a military intervention,” Mitchell said.

The Bolivian Socialists’ message was categorical and clear: “we call on the community to avoid provocations… let’s end this nightmare we have been living for a year.”

A few minutes before the official information was issued, former President Evo Morales, who remains a political asylee in Argentina, recalled that millions of Bolivians cast their vote peacefully and demanded that the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez respect the results.

“Yesterday we denounced that the authorities suspended the presentation of the results of the exit poll companies. That was suspicious,” the Socialist leader said

“Everything indicates that the MAS has won the elections and won a majority of seats in both chambers,” Evo added.