What’s Happening in Bolivia? Was It a Coup?

November 12th, 2019 - by CaitlinJohnstone.com & CODEPINK & The ANSWER Coalition

MSM Adamantly Avoids The Word “Coup” In Bolivia Reporting

Caitlin Johnstone / CaitlinJohnstone.com

 (November 11, 2019) — There has been a military coup in Bolivia backed by violent right-wing  rioters and the US government, but you’d hardly know this from any of the mainstream media headlines.

• “Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud” proclaims CNN.

• “Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests” reports The Washington Post.

• “Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down” says The New York Times.

• “Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns amid fraud poll protests” declares the BBC.

• “President of Bolivia steps down amid allegations of election rigging” we are informedby Telegraph.

• “Bolivia’s President Morales resigns after backlash to disputed election” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

So there you have it. The indigenous leader of a socialist South American government which has successfully lifted masses of people out of crushing poverty, which happens to control the world’s largest reserves of lithium (which may one day replace oil as a crucial energy resource due to its use in powering smartphones, laptops, hybrid and electric cars), which has an extensive and well-documented history of being targeted for regime change by the US government, simply stepped down due to some sort of scandal involving a “disputed election”.

Nothing to do with the fact that right-wing mobs had been terrorizing this leader’s family, or the fact that the nation’s military literally commanded him to step down and are now currently searching for him to arrest him, leading to ousted government officials being rounded up and held captive by soldiers wearing masks.

All perfectly normal and not suspicious at all.

Fully support the findings of the @OAS_official report recommending new elections in #Bolivia to ensure a truly democratic process representative of the people’s will. The credibility of the electoral system must be restored.

— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 10, 2019

As is usual, mass media’s reporting on this story is in full alignment with the US State Department, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also advancing the “disputed election” line in a tweet shortly before the forced resignation of Morales. Pompeo cited the evidence-free and discredited allegation of suspicious vote tallies during Morales’ re-election last month from the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS).

As Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic & Policy Research explains in a recent article for The Nation, the OAS receives 60 percent of its funding from Washington, which gives the US tremendous leverage over the supposedly neutral and international body. This ties in interestingly with what we discussed the other dayabout Washington’s known history of using its disproportionate financial support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as leverage to force that supposedly neutral and international body to comply with US agendas.

The field of narrative management keeps making more and more advances.

They never did find any evidence of fraud in the October 20th election, but the media repeated the allegation so many times that it became “true,” in this post-truth world. Thread: https://t.co/8oWFNKNebT

— Mark Weisbrot (@MarkWeisbrot) November 10, 2019

The US-centralized empire just keeps throwing coup attempts at unabsorbed governments until they stick. The coup in Venezuela failed in 2002 and again in 2019, but they’ll just keep attempting them until one takes hold. A kickboxer throws strikes in combinations with the understanding that most attacks will miss or do minimal damage against a trained opponent, but eventually one will get through and score the knockout blow. Imperialist regime change agendas employ the same punches-in-bunches philosophy: just keep attacking and undermining at every possible turn, and eventually something will stick.

And the empire can afford to do this. When you have all the power and resources, you can bide your time, knowing that if the current attempt at toppling the government in a sovereign nation fails, there’s always tomorrow.

At a United Nations Security Council meeting last year, President Morales summed up the true nature of America’s role in the world very accurately, and, it turns out, very presciently.

“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy,” Morales said. “If such were the case it would not have financed coups d’etat and supported dictators. It would not have threatened with military intervention democratically elected governments as it has done with Venezuela.

“The United States could not care less about human rights or justice. If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights.It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.”

“The United States is not interested in multilateralism,” Morales continued. “If it were interested in multilateralism it would not have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement or given the cold shoulder to the global compact on migration, it would not have launched unilateral attacks, nor have taken decisions such as illegally declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. This contempt for multilateralism is motivated by the thirst of the United States for political control and for the seizing of natural resources.”

“Each time that the United States invades nations, launches missiles, or finances regime change, it does so behind a propaganda campaign which incessantly repeats the message that it is acting in the course of justice, freedom and democracy, in the cause of human rights or for humanitarian reasons,” Morales also said.

“The responsibility of our generation is to hand over a fairer and more secure world to the following generation,” Morales concluded. “We will only achieve this dream if we work together to consolidate a multipolar world, a world with common rules that are respected by and defended from all the threats ranged against the United Nations.”

Indeed, the only reason the US is able to wage its endless campaign of regime change agendas against unabsorbed governments is because the unipolar world order it rules has allowed it the power, resources and leisure to do so.

A multipolar world would enable the citizenry of this planet to have a say in what happens to them in a way that is not dictated by a few sociopaths in and around Washington, DC. A multipolar world is to democracy as a unipolar world is to monarchy. The citizens of the world should oppose this unipolarity.

Caitlin Johnstone writes: The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported.

This Is a Coup


(November 11, 2019) —Yesterday, elected Bolivian President Evo Morales, the only indigenous president ever in Latin America, resigned under duress due to a coup d’état orchestrated by a right-wing opposition and the Organization of American States, and supported by the US.* 

We don’t know the full role the US played, but USAID has been financing groups opposed to Evo Morales’ social and political movements since 2001 and US senators have been working directly with the opposition. 

Bolivia has been rocked by violence for the past three weeks, as opposition protests raged under the pretext of alleged election irregularities, but in hindsight, we know it was an attempt to overthrow an elected government.

On Sunday, November 10, in response to the protests and impending coup, and in an effort to stem the violence and ensure peace in the country, Morales offered to replace the members of the electoral body and hold new elections. But the gesture was immediately rebuffed by the opposition leaders, who were clearly more interested in imposing an unelected government of their own, in defiance of the will of Bolivian voters. 

During the coup, protestors burned the houses of government ministers and elected officials and trashed Morales’s home. The brother of Victor Borda, the president of Bolivia’s lower house of parliament, was taken hostage — resulting in Borda’s resignation. 

The US Cannot Be Ignored

The State Department has been actively opposing Evo Morales since 2001, when it sought to weaken his political base. This was five years before he was elected president. Since that time, the United States has funded President Morales’ political adversaries, including civic groups in eastern Bolivia that attempted a coup in 2008.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights, the opposition in eastern Bolivia “promoted separatism and ethnically and socially based hatred [in 2008] through the Civic Committees (Comités Civicos), in particular the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee.” The current president of the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee is Luis Camacho, the leading coup figure.

ACTION: Contact Congress now to demand that they launch an investigation into the role the US played in the coup in Bolivia and to ask for a United Nations electoral mission to monitor a future presidential election in the country.

Against coups, 
Jodie, Leonardo, Medea, Michelle, and Teri

P.S. Watch and share our video about the situation in Bolivia. You can also listen to weekly episodes of CODEPINK Radio, where our Latin America team discussed Bolivia, Chile and more on Apple Podcasts.
*The Organization of American States was created in 1948 at a US-led summit to increase regional security, commercial cooperation, and serve as a bulwark against the spread of communism in the region.

Bolivian Indigenous leader Evo Morales claims he was the victim of a coup d’etat (Photo: Houston Chronicle)

CODEPINK Condemns the Coup in Bolivia

(November 10, 2019) — CODEPINK denounces the coup d’état in Bolivia that resulted in the resignation under duress of President Evo Morales. Bolivia has been rocked by violence over the past three weeks, as opposition protests raged under the pretext of alleged election irregularities, but which in hindsight look like a planned overthrow of the Bolivian government.

Early on Sunday, November 10, President Morales offered to replace the members of the electoral body and hold new elections in an effort to stem the violence and ensure peace in the country. This gesture was immediately rebuffed by opposition leaders, who are clearly more interested in imposing a government of their own rather than respecting the will of Bolivian voters. 

Throughout the weekend, protestors burned houses of government ministers and elected officials. Victor Borda, the president of Bolivia’s lower house of parliament, resigned after his brother was taken hostage. Rather than stop the opposition violence, Bolivian police mutinied and the head of the armed forces suggested that President Morales resign. The threats and lack of security have led to the resignations of several members of President Morales’ MAS party, including his cabinet and the president and vice president of the senate.

Emergency Protests: No to the US-backed Coup in Bolivia!

The ANSWER Coalition

 (November 11, 2019) — The ANSWER Coalition is joining with many other organizations across the country and around the world to mobilize against the military coup against democratically-elected Bolivian president Evo Morales.

 We are outraged at this US-orchestrated attack on a progressive leader who has stood up for Bolivia’s Indigenous majority and became an international symbol of resistance to US domination. 

Demonstrations are taking place across the country in solidarity with the people of Bolivia who are facing the prospect of a military dictatorship.

Check back on the website of the ANSWER Coalition for updates, and e-mail info@answercoalition.org to have your demonstration listed!