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(en) Britain, AFED, organise magazine: Bolivia: A Very Latin American Coup | International
Wed, 20 Nov 2019 09:33:29 +0200
FACT. What just happened in Bolivia is a coup d'etat if we consider the dictionary
definiton which is "the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small
group. The chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the armed forces,
the police, and other military elements." ---- It is being said the former president Evo
Morales resigned so he was not overthrown. It is also said he committed fraud and that is
why he left. It is also said it is not a coup because Evo himself called it ‘civic and
police coup' as oppose to military cup. Wait. ---- This view is quite simplistic and does
not go deep into the history of Bolivia, how the elections were held, and votes counted,
and what was achieved in 13 years 9 months and who benefited and who did not, and who took
power, how and what has happened I Bolivian streets since then.
During what his opponents call ‘dictatorship', Evo Morales Ayma, the first Indigenous
president ever in Bolivia, and South America, reduced poverty from 35% to 15%, increased
the minimum wage 127%, and very importanly, nationalised natural resources including
natural gas and lithium, redistributed the lands among indigenous peasants, and made
healthcare universal and free. Also, Bolivia was named by the UN as free of illiteracy,
and unemployment levels fell.
Bolivia held elections on the 20th of October. After the count of the overall votes he was
declared victor with 47% against Carlos Mesa, right wing, with 36%. The latter immediately
challenged this supported by the Church, and the governments of the USA, Brazil, and
Argentina's soon to be ex president, Neo-liberal, Macri, with the complicity of the
American States Organisation (OEA) whose General Secretary, Luis Almeguer said in press
conference on 12th of November that what was happening in Bolivia was not a coup and the
military was not involved. All of this should should ring bells.
Evo Morales agreed to have international observers after his opponents accused him of
stealing the election. On 2th of October he called for a second election. In the streets,
there were clashes between supporters and police and opponents. Evo Morales was forced to
resign to avoid bloodshed and was offered political asylum by Mexico who sent a plane to
Paraguay for him which he boarded on the early hours 12th of November.
But that is not all that happened. During all this time, right-wing opposition gangs
kidnapped family members of cabinet ministers and forced them to resign, burnt Evo
Morales' sister's house, looted his own home, and burned the homes of some politicians
loyal to the regime, and Patricia Arce, mayor of Vinto, was attacked, asasulted and
publicly humiliated by an angry right wing mob. Ordinary people, mostly indigenous
supporters, were also attacked, and graffiti appeared saying ‘Indios out" and "Bolivia
free of "Indios" and the Wiphala flag, a symbol of unity of Original Nations has been
burned and taken from police officers uniforms.
The perpetrators of this coup, some alleged quite simplistically is the USA. The European
left forgetting that Latin American is a continent still colonised mentally and in all
aspects of life. We do have agency and reactionary and fascist powers of our own that do
not really need US support, even f they do look for it and they do get it.
That the CIA has backed every single coup in our continent since the 50's is a given,
however it is a fact that the plots come first from within. The USA usually provides
money, weapons and a blessing.
The perpetrators of this very Latin American Coup D'Etat, which started being arranged as
early as July 2019 , according to audio and documents seen by the new progressive elected
government of Argentina to be made public soon, are many.
Carlos Mesa, the neo- liberal candidate to presidency, a privateer of course, but he is
not leading this. The real brain behind this is Luis Camacho, a multi millionare religious
fundamentalist which much to lose in a plurinational nation led by a socialist president.
His family profited from the sale of Bolivia's natural resources and health insurance. He
is also a fascist leader of the separatist Union Juvenil Crucenista,(UJC) whose young
members seems to have taken a leaf from the SS and Hitler Youth book. There are pictures
of them sieg heiling, in fact.
The role of the evangelical churches in this coup and the far right in the whole continent
must be mentioned too. The UJC are fanatics and there is now also an army of Christian
youth in Argentina with fascist leanings, too. The Catholic church, as they have done
historically in Latin America, are either keeping quiet or actively preaching to keep the
oligarchy in power.
Important to mention the fact that the coup happened just a week after Evo Morales stopped
a multimillion deal to exploit the country's lithium resources.
Camacho entered the Palace of Government as soon as Evo had resigned waving a flag, and
donning a bible. A sign of things to come. He has made speeches quoting the bible and has
vowed to bring it back to governmental circles.
In terms of the army involvement, the Chief of the Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman
called for Evo to resign and after he did, the general gave a speech consecrating the army
to Jesus Christ. They have also attempted to bribe Evo Morales' security with 50 000
dollars to hand him in before he had to flee.
The army, too, have being asked by the police force to assist them in the streets to
control the thousands of people who support Evo and who have pledged to revolt if he is
not reinstated. I am talking about Indigenous organisations, Community leaders, Farmers
Contacts in Bolivia now have reported to me that their friends have been arrested or
attacked by young fascists or the police, with video evidence, and, oddly, they say a
large number of indigenous people out in the streets last night seem to have vanished.
There is also the fear of not knowing what side the neighbours are in or if they can leave
The resistence is huge and grassroots and Indigenous, and community organisations are
leading it. EveN doctors have taken to the streets. A the time of writing this, the
Bolivian Workers Central (COB),who reject the coup, has pledged to call for a general
strike and deploy all its affiliated workers to La Paz if consitunional order is not
restored in 24 hours (13th of November 23.00 GMT) . 20 provinces are, I am told, going to
La Paz to resist.
Unfortunately, today after midnight GMT, Jeanine Anez, a right wing senator proclaimed
herself president of Bolivia, clutching a bible, with NO elections but standing by her
side were Luis Camacho, and a leader of the UJC and was approved by the army, police and
the elite. No indigenous people around despite them being 62% of the population. It must
be stressed that this goes against articles 161, 169 and 420 that forbid this categorically.
Make no mistake. In words of Adriana Guzman, leader of Feminists of Abya Yala (The pre
colonial name for what is now South America in Guna language) "The coup d'etat in Bolivia
is racist, patriarchal, ecclesiastic and oligarch" A very Latin American coup, then.
Tais is a Mexican Native and activist based in London. She has been part of the student
and Indigenous movements in Mexico and has been involved in animal rights, Antifascism and
solidarity work in Ireland and the UK for many years.
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