There is a perfect word in the English language for when army generals appear on television demanding the resignation of an elected head of state while their allies detain and torture government officials.
Bolivian President Evo Morales “resigned” at gunpoint Sunday, after army generals publicly demanded his resignation, despite convincingly winning re-election just three weeks ago.
The preceding 21 days were filled with fractious demonstrations and counter-protests from Morales’ supporters and opponents. On October 20, Morales had secured enough votes to win the election outright in the first round without the need for a run-off against his closest challenger, Carlos Mesa. However, Mesa cried fraud, citing supposed irregularities in the vote-counting procedure, claiming Morales did not receive the requisite vote share to ensure his victory. The Organization of American States (OAS) and the U.S. government repeated this claim, although neither group provided evidence of fraud. Morales invited the OAS to audit the election as he was confident of its veracity. Indeed, a report by the Washington-based Center for Economic Policy Research found that the vote totals were “consistent” with those announced, finding no irregularities whatsoever. Despite this, the local U.S.-backed opposition went on the attack.
On Saturday, veteran political scientists Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad warned that “a coup is brewing against the elected government” of Bolivia, expressing their concern at the “fascistic” violence percolating throughout the country. In Santa Cruz, a stronghold of the wealthy white elite who oppose Morales, the office of the electoral authority was burned down. Meanwhile, in Vinto, opposition groups kidnapped local mayor Patricia Arce, cut her hair off and painted her body red, publicly dragging her through the streets and abusing her, forcing her to commit to leaving office.
Victor Borda, President of Bolivia’s Chamber of Deputies, was also forced to resign after coup forces attacked his house and kidnapped his brother.
As soon as Morales stepped down, the police, who had refused to serve his government, ordered his arrest and vandals ransacked his house. Meanwhile, the conservative opposition joyously burned the flag of Bolivia’s indigenous people (a majority of the country’s population), in the clear hopes that the coup would mark a return to rule by the white elite who had been in power since the time of the Conquistadors.
The United States Applauds the Coup
The Trump administration released an official communication Monday, not just endorsing the coup, but all but stating “we did it.” “The resignation yesterday of Bolivian President Evo Morales is a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” it read, claiming the events constituted the “preservation of democracy.” It also sent a clear threat that more regime change operations were to come, and they already knew who the targets were:
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.”…
I wonder at Trump’s naivete sometimes. Or is he even in control of this well-oiled coup machinery? Will he be joining Morales in exile when he’s forced from office by this plague of intelligence operatives posing as liberals and journalists?