UPDATED – DISCUSS: Coup in Bolivia?

Despite winning an election only last month, it seems Bolivia’s President Evo Morales is being ousted.

Protestors have been on the streets for days now, but in a key move yesterday they were joined by the police and members of the armed forces.

Bolivia’s government, in an effort to further establish their legitimacy, submitted the election data to the Organisation of American States (OAS) for review.

This could be seen as inadvisable and naive, given the OAS’s penchant for doing whatever the USA wants them to do (see their disgraceful treatment of both Cuba and Venezuela).

Rather predictably, the OAS found “irregularities” in the voting numbers and “manipulations” in the computer programs. (That link is in Spanish, we are looking for a translated version.)

In response to the findings Morales called for new elections, an offer which the opposition refused.

But Bolivia’s opposition leaders say the call for a fresh vote comes too late. Luis Fernando Camacho, a civic leader from the opposition stronghold Santa Cruz, said the OAS audit shows fraud and that Morales should resign.

The opposition are insisting that Morales resign, and both he and the Vice President be barred from running. (Presumably this is because of their deep-seated desire for fairness, and not the nailed on certainty Morales would win a re-run election.)

The military then spoke up, announcing Morales should resign “for the sake of stability”.

General Williams Kaliman, commander of the country’s armed forces, released this statement:

After analysing the internal conflict situation, we ask the president of the state to renounce his presidential mandate, allowing for peace to be restored and the maintenance of stability for the good of Bolivia,”

Earlier today, perhaps sensing a certain Allende-ish quality to the situation, Morales resigned.

“I have resigned my post as President…[but] I want to tell you, brothers and sisters, that the fight does not end here. The poor, the social movements, will continue in this fight for equality and peace,”

As it stands right now, we have a popular, elected president being replaced by undemocratic means. There is, notionally, an election in the offing. But as of the time of writing, it seems the military are in charge.

Yesterday the military refused to “act against the people”, but today…

the military said it ordered air-and-land operations to “neutralise” armed groups that act outside the law, said a statement released on Sunday.

So:

  • Will there be an election?
  • Will Evo Morales be allowed to run?
  • If not, will his Vice President?
  • Will there be protests?
  • Will the military be “forced” to violently put them down, whilst declaring a “state of emergency”?
  • Are we witnessing the end of the last untouched Bolivarian Republic?
  • How many of the Bolivian opposition politicians just so happened to have been educated in the United States?

We leave you with this cartoon, first published in 2007:

UPDATE 11/11/19 – RT is reporting that, after Morales announced his resignation, some protesters attacked – and forced their way inside – the Venezuelan Embassy in La Paz. We haven’t seen any confirmation of this from other sources, as yet, but if true it’s another indicator that there is something more behind these events. Why would Bolivian protesters turn their fire on the Venezuelan embassy?