The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, has called on Saturday to defeat the “coup adventures” of the “old right” before the beginning in a week of the indefinite strike called by the Pro Santa Cruz Committee.
“That international context today is even more worsened in our country when the right wing, when the old coupist right wing, has again removed its claws. Again it has reorganized itself in all this time, wanting to generate destabilization to the national government”, Arce said during an act of the Single Union Federation of Peasant Workers of Oruro, according to the newspaper ‘Página Siete’.
The Santa Cruz town council and “civic” groups have given the government until October 21 to repeal Supreme Decree 4760, which sets the census for 2024, and that the survey will be in 2023. Otherwise, an indefinite strike will begin on October 22.
Arce has warned that this is a “coup attempt” against his administration, that is why he called for the “unity” of Bolivians. “Unity must be preserved. United we will win, united we will not be subdued, united we will continue winning and defeating these coup adventures, brothers and sisters,” Arce harangued, surrounded by peasants from Oruro.
Meanwhile, the Vice Minister of Communication, Gabriela Alcón, criticized the “intransigence” of the Interinstitutional Committee for the Census in Santa Cruz, who refused to attend the dialogue that the Government proposed on the census and who also did not attend the installation of the technical table on October 11.
The Minister of Public Works, Édgar Montaño, and the Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo, have warned for their part that if the strike finally begins, they will “clean” the roads that the demonstrators try to cut. “We are going to be with heavy machinery to clean the fundamental road network”, said Montaño.
Also from the ruling party Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS), specifically from its Eastern Block have warned of a siege to the city of Santa Cruz and that it will enforce the free movement of citizens.
In response, the president of the Pro Santa Cruz Committee, Romulo Calvo, has warned that the Government will have to bear the responsibility for the violence. “If there is confrontation, confrontation, death, there are two guilty parties: ministers Montaño and Del Castillo. They will have to assume responsibility for the mourning and pain of the Bolivian population,” he said.
“I regret the position of the ministers, the two most important, with greater resources of the country. They have them in Santa Cruz promoting persecution and terrorism,” Calvo accused.
For the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, the Government should “reflect”. “Let the Government stop its arrogance, let it stop being blinded by a political whim and listen to the will of a people that has gathered in a multitudinous assembly (…). Let us hope that at this time there is the will of the Government to listen to the mandate of the council and reverse the decree that sends the census to 2024,” he said. Camacho recalled that Santa Cruz is the “economic engine” of the country, so the indefinite unemployment is not a desirable scenario.
The Government had planned to carry out the National Population and Housing Census in November of this year, but after the appointment with the National Council of Autonomies (CNA) postponed the census until mid-2024.