The coup d’état in Bolivia was consummated on November 11. Abandoned to his fate by the police who were supposed to protect him from the criminal hordes that have taken to the streets, Evo Morales has had to seek political asylum in Mexico to be safe from certain death.
The inaction and blackmail of Bolivian military and police commanders in the face of organized violence that burned houses and lynchered with impunity union leaders, members of MAS, the government and relatives of Evo himself, forced his resignation as president of the Republic. The self-proclamation as “president” of opposition senator Jeaníne Áñez, in the words of Evo Morales, … violates Bolivia’s Constitution and the internal rules of the Legislative Assembly. It is consumed on the blood of brothers murdered by police and military forces used for the coup. With the coup d’état, Bolivia is at the epicenter of the imperialist offensive in Latin America.
First it was Venezuela, and it was said that the problem was Nicolás Maduro; later it was Nicaragua, and it was said that the problem was Daniel Ortega; also of Lula, Cristina Fernández and Lugo, the media and the liberal governments said that they were the problem of Latin America. And now they are trying to make us believe that it is Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela who are behind and are responsible for the popular revolts in Chile and Ecuador, instead of their real culprits: the bloody economic policies of imperialism and its local oligarchies.
The civic-military coup in Bolivia does not affect or compete only with Bolivians. Bolivia is a central element of the Latin American defense against the recolonization set in motion by the empire. What happens in Bolivia has consequences for the entire anti-imperialist struggle in Latin America and the world.
Evo Morales, with the support of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), became President of Bolivia 13 years ago. He presented himself with a progressive program under his arm, focused on the recovery of sovereignty over the country’s resources, on the equitable distribution of its wealth – always prioritizing the most vulnerable sectors – and on the social and political inclusion of native peoples and peasants, historically marginalized.
This economic and social programme succeeded in transforming Bolivia into one of the most developed nations in the region: gross domestic product grew by 327% during its 13-year term – with a projected annual growth of 3.9% – and per capita income tripled. At the same time, external debt was reduced from 52% to 24% of GDP and its reserves increased in a similar proportion.
According to ECLAC, the IMF and the World Bank in 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Bolivia led the economic growth of Latin America, going from being integrated in the group of low-income countries to being integrated in the group of middle-income countries.
Extreme poverty fell by more than half in the last decade, from 38.2% to 15.2% between 2006 and 2019; unemployment fell from 8.1% to 4.2%, and the minimum wage increased by 482%, giving 62% of the population a middle income.
In 2018 unemployment was 4.4% and the GINI inequality coefficient was 44 points, i.e. an average level.
The stability of the Bolivian economy is reflected in the fixed, stable and reliable exchange rate against the dollar, which has devalued the US currency by 15%. Despite the fall in the price of hydrocarbons and raw materials, economic growth has not been affected.
All this has been reflected in the living conditions of the people, especially the poorest. Thus, the health budget increased by more than 173%. More than 34 second-level hospitals and more than 1,000 new health facilities were built. Life expectancy rose from 64 to 71 years.
It would be endless to describe in detail all the achievements of the 13 years of government of Evo Morales, both in terms of development and social equality, as well as political equity, forming the Plurinational State of Bolivia. To carry out this task, the government of Evo Morales and MAS nationalized the country’s companies and hydrocarbon and mining resources and did not limit themselves to rentier extractive activity, but established plans for the acquisition of technologies for their transformation and for the industrialization of the country.
The mineral and hydrocarbon riches of the country are immense: natural gas, oil, tin, antimony, lead, silver, zinc, gold and lithium, the latter strategic material of the fourth industrial revolution, with reserves that can reach 70% of the world total and whose exploitation is assigned by law to the state company Yacimientos de Litio de Bolivia.
Therefore, there were no conditions that could serve as an excuse to carry out a coup d’état: no social crisis, no political crisis, no economic crisis, no crisis of the constitutional order, no violation of citizens’ rights. That is why it was necessary to create a pretext to unleash a process that was previously designed and organized.
Neither the arrogant, racist and ignorant supremacist oligarchy of Bolivia – fundamentally based in Santa Cruz – nor the imperialist forces, both North American and European, could forgive the government of Evo Morales for having placed limits on the plundering of Bolivia, nor could they forgive the progressive example it has given to other countries. They longed to end their government by whatever means were necessary.
The events of the last few days in Bolivia have staged point by point the script of the coup. First, we saw how the undoubted electoral victory of Evo Morales was questioned; then the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal and its process of reviewing the results were questioned; and finally, the work done by international observers was questioned.
This shows that it was never a question of contesting the electoral result, but rather of destroying the Bolivian State and the constitutional order that does not suit the empire. In reality, it is a matter of continuing a process of recolonization that eliminates any vestige of independence and national sovereignty and of putting an end to any obstacle to the massive plundering of Bolivian resources and to any form of political-social organization that makes this task difficult for the empire.
The priority objective of imperialism is to prevent the continuity of those who oppose this recolonization and are demonstrating their willingness to use any form of violence to achieve it. We have verified that the imperial creed does not recognize electoral victories of those who are not related to it; that there is no other voice than that of the media under its control; that there is no other freedom than that of its mercenaries committing atrocities; that there is no other legitimacy than that which emanates from the power usurped by the coup plotters who had been defeated at the polls.
As in other cases of street violence, the armed gangs that imperialism has used as a shock force were perfectly organized in scope and deployment, and followed the paramilitary tactics previously seen in Venezuela and Nicaragua. These actions, with precise objectives, with the distribution of synchronized tasks, with the inaction of the police and the army, are not improvised acts. They require an organization and funding raised and developed several months before the elections, whose operational center in Bolivia was in business organizations. Regardless of the electoral result, the coup would be unleashed.
During these days, we have been able to observe how the action of these organized groups has been directed against precise objectives: headquarters of indigenous organizations, destroying their symbols (the Whipala flag), the homes of their leaders, the homes of members of the government (including that of the president of the National Assembly or of the sister of the president of the Republic himself) and the public media.
Coinciding with this process of open violence, sabotage and usurpation, the Bolivian police went on strike in the main cities, freeing the way for these violent groups to act in the face of a population that could only receive information through propaganda channels in the hands of the coup plotters and their international accomplices. The contempt of the police and the subsequent disrespect of the army occur in synchrony with the revolts.
But neither the supremacist minority of Santa Cruz, nor even less the violent groups that are protagonizing the riots and aggressions, have the necessary capacity to have articulated this coup. Without a doubt, we are facing a coup d’état directed and organized according to the script prefabricated by Gene Sharp for the usurpation of power, so many times applied in the world during the last decades. According to several reports, there are NGOs that are intervening in the development of this coup and although Bolivia expelled USAID some time ago – because of its interference in national sovereignty – the US is acting indirectly through these organizations. Also Germany, Spain and the Catholic, Mormon and Evangelical Churches have been working for months, especially with the middle class student groups in Santa Cruz.
Every coup d’état entails a high level of violence, often linked to fascism, not only in its actions, but also in its attitudes. The attack on the headquarters of indigenous organizations, their members and their symbols are racist and supremacist acts. The military praying kneeling before the bible and tearing the wiphala from the uniforms express a theocratic racial hatred. For the time being, fascism in Latin America does not involve differentiated organizational forms, but shows common traits with which it was born and now grows in Europe.
At each step of this process, while the coup was forging, Evo Morales has shown his willingness to dialogue and has made numerous calls to establish the means for the negotiated resolution of the conflict. His efforts to prevent clashes between different groups from unleashing a spiral of violence leading to civil confrontation are undoubtedly exemplary for all countries in the world. In an exercise of great dignity, it had even accepted the holding of new elections, the renewal of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and an audit by the OAS.
The OAS, an institution promoted by the United States to intervene in Latin America (its “Ministry of the Colonies”) has been instrumented once again, together with the most reactionary and submissive governments that compose it, to convey the pretext of electoral fraud.
The timely anticipation of a provisional OAS report before the conclusion of the audit, which revealed alleged irregularities in a negligible number of minutes, “recommended” the annulment of the elections -among a torrent of false news in the media related to the coup plotters, while public television stations remained closed for them. The government’s acceptance of repeated elections and renewal of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to try to pacify the situation was presented as an implicit acknowledgement of the fraud, which left the social movements supporting the government perplexed and momentarily paralyzed.
But, as was to be expected, after the announcement of the repetition of the elections, the coup plotters not only did not calm down, but also doubled the violence and explicitly demanded the resignation of Evo Morales and also of the vice-president and the senators, deputies and other leaders of the ruling party, even to the point of arresting the members of the Electoral Justice Tribunal. Even with this, nothing gave satisfaction to those who wanted nothing more than to obtain power immediately, through a climate of violence and against all constitutional legitimacy.
Ultimately, the coordinated action of the OAS, the Santa Cruz Civic Committees and the violent groups – formed by the lumpen, not only from Bolivia, but also from several Latin American countries – with their consensual excesses due to the immobilism of the police and the army, ended up forcing, through obvious blackmail, the resignation of Evo Morales and his team, who were thrown into the street without protection, leaving them with no other solution than to leave Bolivia, against their will, for Mexico.
As we have seen in recent days – at the cost of the barbarity unleashed in Bolivia – now that the US imperialist hegemony in the world is being questioned and in a phase of decadence, the United States has decided to regain all the ground lost in Latin America. This explains the intensification of the aforementioned siege processes, as well as the intensification of the ultra-liberal offensives in Chile, Haiti or Ecuador and the corresponding popular insurrections that are being developed in these countries.
In Bolivia, the legitimate President Evo Morales was forced to resign before the violence and bloodshed provoked a civil war or, rather, a new massacre of the population, of which there are many precedents in the region. But for now the acts of violence on the part of the coup right have not diminished, quite the opposite. The police, who have “finally” resumed their activities, do not hesitate to shoot with real fire at government defenders who have taken to the streets and are still courageously resisting in some of the country’s neighbourhoods and villages.
For its part, the OAS, along with the U.S., Germany, Spain and the Catholic Church, continue to fuel the conflict and choose to support a coup opposition led by white supremacists who simply are not willing to accept that the indigenous majorities lead the country.
We must understand that we are all under imperialist threat and that no one is safe from their violence. To win an election, form a government and build a state is to have a share of power, insufficient if you don’t have the capacity to defend it.
In conclusion and for all the above reasons, the Anti-imperialist Internationalist Front manifests, in the face of the coup d’état in Bolivia supported from outside by the interfering governments, its firmest support for the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, the members of his government, the legitimate representatives of the Bolivian people and popular movements and demands the broadest anti-imperialist unity as the only sure way to impede the advance of the empire.
Faced with the condemnation of rulers, intellectuals and progressive leaders of the world, the government of Spain remains silent. The Internationalist Anti-imperialist Front denounces this complicit silence and demands that the government of Spain cease all active or passive justification and, even more, all collaboration with the organization of the coup d’état in Bolivia.
We call on all the anti-imperialist forces of the state to carry out acts and mobilizations throughout the territory condemning the coup d’état in Bolivia and the return to constitutional legality.
ALL WITH THE BOLIVIAN PEOPLE!
ALL WITH THE ORIGINAL PEOPLES AND THEIR DIGNITY!
ALL WITH EVO MORALES!
THEY SHALL NOT PASS!
Anti-imperialist Internationalist Front
14 November 2019, 1 p.m.