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New Left Review I/73, May-June 1972

New Left Review

Introduction to Zavaleta

The following article is an analysis of the political forces and strategies at work in Bolivia in the period prior to the overthrow of the nationalist General Torres by the rightist General Banzer in August of last year. A remarkable feature of the Torres period was the emergence of a Popular Assembly representing the workers and peasants. At one point this pretended it could develop into a Bolivian soviet—the springboard for a socialist revolution. General Torres won power in October of 1970 because he had enlisted the support of the workers in defeating an attempted rightist coup and this was one reason why it was possible for the Popular Assembly to be established. But beyond this immediate context its roots lay in the bitter class struggles that have marked the last decades of Bolivian history.

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