Donald Trump’s coup d’état in Bolivia

This 12 November 2019 TV video from Ecuador says about itself:

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales who was deposed in a coup d’etat on Sunday is on his way to Mexico where he has been granted political asylum. And in a farewell message to his supporters, Morales promised to return to continue the fight for a better Bolivia. More on these and other stories now.

By Andrea Lobo in the USA:

Bolivia’s Evo Morales forced out by coup

12 November 2019

Bolivian president Evo Morales of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party was forced to resign Sunday evening by the Bolivian military in a coup backed by the United States. Last night, Morales tweeted that he is “leaving for Mexico” after that country agreed to grant him asylum.

After three weeks of protests following the disputed October 20 presidential elections, the imperialist powers and their Bolivian client elite have overthrown the government of Morales. …

Despite empty calls to “preserve democracy”, the US government is backing a takeover of the most racist and authoritarian Bolivian politicians and state officials to install a regime that will ruthlessly crackdown on opposition as global finance demands a full-blown exploitation of Bolivia’s vast and strategic oil and mining resources, including 70 percent of global lithium reserves.

Yesterday, US president Donald Trump released a statement celebrating the coup and applauding the Bolivian military for “abiding by its oath to protect not just a single person, but Bolivia’s Constitution.” He then threatened the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan governments with the same fate, ending: “We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous and free Western Hemisphere.”

Pitched fighting took place last night as thousands of peasants and workers from El Alto and other regions surrounding La Paz mobilized in the capital to protest the coup. … Several police buildings were occupied and then burned in El Alto.

The armed forces have responded by activating “Plan Sebastián Pagador” to restore “peace and stability”, which the police are enforcing by shooting protesters with volleys of live bullets and grenades.

The Mexican government agreed yesterday to Morales’s request for asylum after his house was burned down and an arrest warrant issued by the Bolivian police. The Mexican Foreign Ministry asked the same Bolivian authorities that overthrew Morales to provide a “safe passageway”. However, the governments of Argentina and Brazil said they would not allow Morales to use their airspace.

The head of the pro-Morales Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and several electoral officials were arrested Sunday, while about 20 MAS politicians have sought asylum in the Mexican embassy in La Paz.

Given the resignation of the presidents of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies along with Morales, the next in line will be the Senate vice president and opposition figure Jeanine Añez.

However, Luis Fernando Camacho, a far-right leader of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee —an organization led by business groups—who has become the de facto leader of the demonstrations, called for a “junta” including the military and police chiefs. The corporate media has gleefully branded Camacho “Bolivia’s Bolsonaro”, in reference to the Brazilian fascistic president.

Protests erupted across the country after the broadcast of electoral results stopped for 23 hours between Sunday and Monday evening October 20-21. During this period, Morales’s lead over Carlos Mesa in second place jumped from 7.87 percent to 9.36 percent. The TSE’s final result gave Morales 35,000 votes above the 10 percent lead needed to avoid a run-off.

Morales’s vote fell from 63 percent in the 2014 elections to 47 percent, while MAS lost 21 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and four seats in the Senate, keeping slight majorities.

Some sections of the working class participated in the initial protests amid widespread concerns over fraud; however, as the far-right character of the political parties and “civic committees” leading the protests became apparent, many workers dropped their support. For instance, medical professionals carried out a national strike, seeing the unrest as potential opportunity to rally popular support behind their demands against austerity, but the strike ended after only three days. …

On November 7, demonstrators captured Patricia Arce, a MAS mayor in the small town of Vinto … She was released after being drenched in red paint as protesters cut her hair. …

On Monday, November 4, Morales’s helicopter had to make an immediate and emergency landing due to suspicious mechanical issues. On Friday and Saturday, entire police departments, including in the capital of La Paz, rioted and joined the anti-Morales protests. Then, on Sunday morning, the OAS released its preliminary report, alleging that 78 of the 333 recount processes “showed irregularities and manipulation” and that “the manipulations of the computer systems are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian state.”

Without presenting the corresponding evidence, the OAS then called for new elections overseen by a new electoral commission. Shortly after, the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, released a statement backing the OAS report and adding a statement directed against MAS: “In order to restore the credibility of the electoral process, all government officials and officials of any political organizations implicated in the flawed October 20 elections should step aside from the electoral process.”

Morales initially responded in a press conference by agreeing to new elections under a new electoral commission …

Several ministers whose houses were set on fire and MAS deputies resigned. Then, Evo Morales and vice president Álvaro García Linera, announced their resignations from the Chapare region in central Bolivia, where Morales began his political career as a trade unionist.

During his announcement, Morales denounced that he was being subjected to a “civilian and police coup”, and said he was resigning to avoid further violence and persecutions against his supporters and himself. At the same time, he said the OAS report was based on political, not technical considerations.

11 thoughts on “Donald Trump’s coup d’état in Bolivia

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