The US Wanted a Coup in Bolivia: Like Magic, It Got One
The US wanted Leftist President Evo Morales gone.
Guess what? He's gone.
The Guardian reports Many Wanted Morales Out. But What Happened in Bolivia was a Military Coup.
On Sunday the head of Bolivia’s military called on Evo Morales to resign from the presidency. Minutes later Morales was on a plane to Cochabamba where he did just that. These facts leave little doubt that what happened in Bolivia this weekend was a military coup, the first such event in Latin America since the 2009 military coup against Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya. (The 2012 and 2016 impeachments of Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff are widely viewed as “parliamentary coups.”)
The mainstream press has bent over backwards, and tied itself in more than a few tangled knots, to avoid drawing this conclusion. The Wall Street Journal celebrates Morales’ ouster as a “democratic breakout.” The New York Times is characteristically more circumspect, hemming and hawing about how “the forced ouster of an elected leader is by definition a setback for democracy” but might also “help Bolivia restore its wounded democracy.” This head-spinning rhetoric does not prevent the Times from swiftly dismissing left-of-center politicians’ “predictable” claims that what happened was a coup.
It is hardly surprising that conservative governments and powerful media outlets applaud Morales’ ouster and dismiss the claim it constitutes a coup. More surprising is that leftist commentators, including Raquel Gutiérrez and Raul Zibechi, have taken a similar stance. Zibechi attributes Morales’ fall to a “popular uprising.”
Claims of illegitimacy stem from two points.
- Bolivia had term limit set at two. Morales failed in a referendum to have that overturned, but the courts sided with Morales on grounds that term limits violated his “human rights.”
- Morales won the election, but amid allegations of vote fraud. He was ahead, but with less than a 10% lead which would have triggered a runoff. Counting was paused and magically, the lead came in over 10%. The OAS refused to certify the election.
This is where it gets interesting. Morales in advance promised to honor an OAS audit. He did, and called for new elections.
But in the weeks after the October 20 election, the internal demands (not OAS demands) switched to a Morales resignation. Morales resigned only after he was pressured to do so by the military.
Back to the Guardian.
Since Morales resigned many MAS elected officials have also resigned their posts, claiming that they are doing so for fear of their own and their families’ safety. Video shows Morales’ house being ransacked on Sunday and chilling instances of police abuse of power in the last several days. On Tuesday night, the far right vice president of Bolivia’s Senate swore herself in as president, to a nearly empty legislative chamber. MAS senators boycotted the proceedings, with at least some saying they did so for fear of their safety.
Whatever the broad array of forces that contributed to Morales’ downfall, the fact that the military pushed him out has emboldened the worst elements of Bolivian society. It may also embolden popular movements to strike back, as has occurred so often in Bolivia’s history. Indeed, predominantly Indigenous protesters in El Alto, La Paz, and elsewhere are in the streets denouncing the burning of the Indigenous wiphala flag and growing military repression of the populace. Some protesters are now calling for civil war.
The debate over whether or not Morales’ ouster constitutes a coup is revealing. Those who deny that there has been a coup – Trump, Bolsonaro, and mainstream press – express the predictable and longstanding animosity of the powerful towards leftist governments that challenge the status quo and offer the powerless hope for an alternative.
We also need to recognize that, right now, it is not popular movements that have taken charge in Bolivia, but a Bible-thumping racist right that has burned the wiphala, promised that “Pachamama will never return to the [presidential] palace,” and chillingly called on the military and police to “pacify” Bolivia’s streets.
Blury Line Between Coup and Uprising
The New York Times calls it a Blury Line Between Coup and Uprising.
The political scientist Jay Ulfelder has referred to that as a “Schrödinger’s coup,” after the Austrian physicist, Erwin Schrödinger, writing that such cases “exist in a perpetual state of ambiguity, simultaneously coup and not-coup” with no hope of forcing the events into a “single, clear” category.
Scholars of the country argue that both Mr. Morales and the military are on the wrong side of democracy.
Rut Diamint, a political scientist at Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina, agreed with the criticisms of Mr. Morales but added, “None of that justifies a coup d’état.”
Not a Coup - Because!
The Salon explains Why the Bolivia Coup is Not a Coup.
Here's the reason: The U.S. foreign policy establishment wanted it.
Trump issued this Statement Regarding the Resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales.
The United States applauds the Bolivian people for demanding freedom and the Bolivian military for abiding by its oath to protect not just a single person, but Bolivia’s constitution. These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail. We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere.
Email from "Henruchito"
Here's an email I received from a friend close to the situation. He received an Email from "Henruchito".
In Spanish (Translation Follows)
El golpe contra Evo no solo estaba coordinado dentro de Bolivia, sino en todo Suramérica. Como Bolivia no tiene salida al mar, tenía que volar sobre espacio aéreo de otros países los cuales le negaron el permiso al avión mexicano.
Todo indica que la intención de EUA era capturar a Evo y asesinarlo, como a Kadafi en Libia culpando a "la chusma". Los sicarios de la CIA irrumpieron en la casa de Evo pensando que se escondía adentro, revolviendo y destruyendo todo el interior buscándolo pero no estaba en su casa.
El avión de la Fuerza Aérea Mexicana que se dirigía a Bolivia a rescatarlo le fue negado su paso por países hermanos como Ecuador, Perú y Brasil. Inclusive la CIA obligó a Perú a denegar el permiso al avión mexicano aún después de que ya le había otorgado el permiso. La CIA le hizo manita de puerco al Presidente Martín Vizcarra para obligarlo a retirar el permiso previamente otorgado.
The ouster against Evo was coordinated not only within Bolivia, but in the whole of South America. Since Bolivia has no access to the ocean, it was necessary to fly through the air-space of other countries which denied permission to the Mexican airplane.
All indications are that the intention of the USA was to capture Evo and assassinate him, as they did with Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, placing the blame on the "rioters". The CIA assassins broke into Evo's house thinking that he was hiding inside, and they wrecked everything inside in their attempt to find him, but he was not at home.
The airplane of the Mexican Air Force that was going to Bolivia to rescue Evo, was denied passage through border countries such as Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, The CIA even forced Peru to deny permission to the Mexican airplane, after it has already granted permission. The CIA forced the hand of President Martin Viscarra, forcing him to withdraw permission previously granted.
Little Henry Blames the CIA
My friend notes the Email was from "Henruchito".
Henruchito is a play on "Henry". I guess the author is actually "Enrique", which is Spanish for "Henry":
The last part, "ruchito" is a sort of lovable diminutive, meaning "Little Henry".
Mexico Grants Asylum
Little Henry believes the CIA is involved.
For obvious reasons none of these people want their identities disclosed.
Meanwhile, and despite air flight bans from numerous countries, almost certainly at the request of the US, Evo Morales eventually did make it to Mexico which has granted him asylum.
Utopian South America
Please note the bible is back in the Bolivian palace and Trump is happy that we are one step closer to some form of utopian South America.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock