President Evo Morales and many members of his party have fled their home country of Bolivia after being forced to step down due to military pressure and public protest over an allegedly rigged election. Morales, Bolivia’s first ever indigenous president, said it was his duty to step down for the time being to restore peace in Bolivia. Many media outlets have painted this situation as a despot being ousted from power which is simply not the case. Evo Morales is a legitimately elected leader and has been completely cooperative with the investigation into the election results. The situation in Bolivia is an attempted facist military coup with racist motives backed by the U.S. — yet another effort to unseat a successful socialist leader in South America.
The first grievance brought against Morales is the accusation that he attempted to overstay his presidential term limit. This argument is fallacious, as the Supreme Court of Bolivia heard Morales’ case and struck term limits from the constitution in 2017. An official that consistently wins the popular vote could remain in office indefinitely as is the case with the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, as well as members of U.S. Congress. Regardless of his legal right to do so, Morales’ seeking of a fourth term set off political unrest in the right-wing of Bolivia.
The final trigger that initiated the coup was the allegation that Morales attempted to rig the election that occurred on Oct. 20, 2019. Due to certain claimed irregularities in the reporting process of the election results, an investigation was launched by the Organization of American States (OAS), an organization that has shown clear bias against the Morales administration in the past. This argument against Morales is also fallacious, as the election reporting wasn’t really against the Bolivian standard. Morales nonetheless submitted to the investigation which alleged that there was evidence of fraud in the election. Morales was open to running a second election, but the right-wing of Bolivia saw its opening and it took it.
On Sunday, Nov. 10, the head of Bolivia’s military called for Morales’ resignation and he complied, later stating that he was forced to for his own safety. The coup turned quickly turned violent, as Morales’ home was ransacked and his supporters were abused and humiliated by right-wing protestors.
As if the political violence and military involvement aren’t enough to prove that the coup is facist, the opposition to Morales continues to provide evidence of their racist motives. Bolivian security forces have been seen breaking into homes and rounding up supporters of Morales, many of which are indigenous people. The leader of the right-wing coup, Fernando Camachohas, has been outed as being part of a facist paramilitary group, and the police and militias have been seen cutting and burning the flag of the indigenous people of Bolivia — Bolivia’s second official flag.
The racist, anti-indigenous motives of the coup are also made clear through the actions of the individual taking over in Morales’ absence. As many members of Morales’ party and chain of succession were also forced to flee the country, a Bolivian senator from the opposition party, Jeanine Chavez, stepped up and declared herself interim president despite a lack of quorum in the senate that would allow her to do so. She is a known religious conservative, once tweeting, “I dream of a Bolivia free of indigenous satanic rites, the city is not for ‘Indians,’ they better go to the highlands or El Chaco.” On Wednesday, Nov. 13 she entered the capital building of Bolivia carrying an enormous Bible, declaring that “The Bible returns to the palace.” Her racism and religious bias couldn’t be more blatant as she assumes leadership over the facist coup.
President Trump has tweeted his support for the coup, but it appears tweeting isn’t the only way the United States has backed the opposition in Bolivia. Audio has been released showing that U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio were assisting in strategizing with the Bolivian opposition to overthrow Morales long before the contested election occurred. Twitter has been flooded with what appear to be bot accounts, many with U.S. IP addresses, that do nothing but tweet support for the opposition in response to pro-Morales tweets. The U.S. has a vested interest in the massive lithium mines in Bolivia and this wouldn’t be the first time they backed a coup to overthrow a socialist leader in South America.
Bolivia is in great danger of devolving into a facist military state, as has been the fate of many other Latin American countries. The racist motivations of the coup are obvious, and the United States is right there supporting the coup for its own interests.