Bolivia unveils ‘anti-imperialist’ military school

Bolivian President Evo Morales on Aug. 17 dedicated a new international military academy, which will seek to counter the influence of the US and Pentagon in the developing world. The new academy is based in the city of Santa Cruz in Bolivia's east, and named after the country's former president Juan José Torres. Courses are to include "Theory of Imperialism," "Geopolitics of Natural Resources," and "Bolivian Social Structures."  Said Morales at the inauguration of the new base: "If the empire teaches domination of the world from its military schools, we will learn from this school to free ourselves from imperial oppression. We want to build anti-colonial and anti-capitalist thinking with this school that binds the armed forces to social movements, and counteracts the influence of the School of the Americas that always saw the indigenous as internal enemies."

Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira drew an explicit contrast with the Pentagon's School of the Americas: "The School of Anti-Imperialism is a school that seeks to preserve life, unlike the School of the Americas, which brainwashed military officers into believing that the enemy was our people. It became lawful, proper and normal to kill people." (CommonDreams, Aug. 19; BBC News, Aug. 18; TeleSur, Aug. 17)

  1. Misgivings on ‘anti-imperialist’ military school…

    Coverage of this on the "alternative" media has been overwhelmingly positive, but the problem with Latin America's alterntaive integration is that it is being led by governments that are either actual or aspiring one-party states. We fear that in real life, "binding the armed forces to social movements" will actually work out in precisely the opposite way: binding the social movements to the armed forces… That is traditionally how it has worked under Bolivia's left-populist governments. Juan José Torres wasn't in power long enough to consolidate this kind of pact (he was deposed by the ultra-right Hugo Banzer after less than a year), but it was definitely the model during the Bolivian Revolution of the 1950s and early '60s. And this kind of model of state control of social movements is what is actually meant by classical "corporatism."