Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB)

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Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB)

Founded in Santiago, Chile, in 1937 by Oscar Unzaga de la Vega, Hugo Arias, and Germán Aguilar Zenteño, the Bolivian Socialist Falange was once considered the second largest party in Bolivia. Inspired by the nationalist rhetoric of the Spanish Falange and right-wing Catholic movements in Spain, the FSB was once at the forefront of calls for the nationalization of the Bolivian tin mines. Following the 1952 revolution, however, the FSB led all opposition efforts against the ruling Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR). As a result, prominent members of the FSB were imprisoned and systematically persecuted.

In 1964, the FSB was one of the principal civilian forces that helped the military bring down the MNR. In an ironic twist, seven years later, the MNR and FSB leadership joined forces with then Colonel Hugo Banzer Suárez to overthrow a populist faction of the armed forces. The FSB did not survive the military period mainly because the space it once occupied was filled by the Nationalist Democratic Action (ADN), a party founded by General Banzer Suárez in 1979. By the mid-1980s the FSB had become just another of Bolivia's numerous minuscule political parties. Under David Añez Pedraza, who became the FSB's leader in 1982, the party attempted to move toward the left, precipitating an internal battle that led to the formation of the Socialist Movement (MAS).

See alsoBanzer, Suárez, Hugo .


Alberto Cornejo, Programas políticos de Bolivia (1949).

James Dunkerley, Rebellion in the Veins: Political Struggle in Bolivia, 1952–1982 (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Irurozqui, Marta. "A bala, piedra y palo": La construcción de la ciudadanía política en Bolívia, 1826–1952. Sevilla, Spain: Diputación de Sevilla, 2000.

Lavaud, Jean-Pierre. El embrollo boliviano: Turbulencias sociales y desplazamientos políticos, 1952–1982. Lima: IEFA, 1998.

Lorini, Irma. El nacionalismo en Bolivia de la pre y posguerra del Chaco (1910–1945). La Paz, Bolivia: Plural Editores, 2006.

                                       Eduardo A. Gamarra

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Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB)

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