By Arnold August
As a follow-up to the report by the Director of International Relations Mohamad Alsadi regarding his fact-finding meeting with Evo in Mexico on November 17, the President of the union on behalf of its 300,000 members, issued an unusual and original challenge. In his November 25th letter to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Fançois-Philippe Champagne, the president of the union Jerry Dias writes:
“In an effort to understand the current and evolving situation, Unifor dispatched its Director of International Department, Mohamad Alsadi, to Mexico City in order to meet with President Morales directly. This meeting helped to solidify our support and solidarity with the people of Bolivia. …
We also encourage you to visit and dialogue with Evo Morales directly, as we have done, to receive a firsthand account on what has transpired in Bolivia and areas in which Canada can provide support. Canada cannot proclaim to support democracy while also enabling a repressive military dictatorship to unfold and go unchallenged. We trust you and your government will reverse course and stand by the people of Bolivia.”
In the letter, with a copy to Prime Mister Justin Trudeau, the union president reiterates its stand:
“We are dismayed that the Canadian Federal government has chosen to support the interim leadership of Jeanine Áñez Chávez – a representative from a party that received only 4% of the vote in the latest October elections, and whose support is derived largely from the backing of the Bolivian police and military. We are also troubled given Áñez’s hostile and discriminatory anti-Indigenous remarks, especially in a country where more than half the population is Indigenous.
“Unifor urges the Federal government to publicly condemn the coup and reject Áñez’s illegitimate interim position. We demand the safe passage and return of Evo Morales to his home country, and to let Bolivians exercise their own democratic right in choosing a government through a new round of elections – elections Morales himself initially agreed to before being forced into exile…”
The union not only represents the Canadian workers, but the vast majority of the strongly anti-imperialist Canadian people, when it writes:
“We have seen how actions of independent states with socialist policies often provoke the ire of corporate interests and Western countries such as the United States, which has a long history of Latin and South American government intervention and ousting democratically elected leaders by way of violent military coups.”
This is the 3rd major union to take a stand, the first two being the CUPE (680,000 workers) and CUPW (54,000 workers).
However, as to be expected in Canada, this anti-imperialist movement so far has not been reported upon the by the Canadian monopoly press. Yet, it does not miss the opportunity to the repeat U.S. media narrative on Bolivia and the person of Evo Morales.
This in itself further contributes to the anti-imperialist sentiment building up over the last few years. Nothing is more frustrating to witness the Canadian press being but an image of their American counterparts.
Original in Spanish, CTC Cuba Trabajadores