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Business as Usual: Evo Morales and the Coup Condition

There is an inherent bestiality in the politics of the Americas that signals coup, assassination and disruption. No state is ever allowed to go through what is weakly called a transition, except over corpses, tortures and morgues. When a social experiment is conducted, rulers must ensure their wills are well inked ahead of time. Opponents, often funded and sponsored by external powers with an umbilical chord to Washington, lie in wait, hoping for an unequal status quo.

Evo Morales is no winged angel and much can be said about him getting drunk with power over the course of 14 years. He lost a February 2016 referendum on the subject of indefinite presidential re-elections by a slight majority. It took the October 20 election result, dismissed by his opponents as fraudulent, to galvanise the movement against him. The Organization of American States (OAS) decided to weigh in on the subject, claiming in its audit that the result could not be deemed accurate.

During his time in office, he did a certain bit of enlightening that cannot go past the economists and demographers. Even Time magazine had to concede that, as the country’s first indigenous head-of-state, “he oversaw an economic boom, a massive reduction in poverty and strides in social equality, earning him high approval ratings and three consecutive election wins.” But the social changers are always bound for the chop, their heads placed upon some platform for removal by those with deep pockets, corporate sponsorship and the tutored thugs from the School of the Americas.

The Morales exit would be described as a coup in most languages. Generals appearing on television demanding the removal of a civilian head of state would suggest as much. On Sunday, the calls were becoming particularly loud. In a short time, Morales was on a plane to Cochabamba, adding his name to the chocked bibliography of coups that South America is renown for (The last was the military ousting in 2009 of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.)

But he who manufactures the press releases and opinion columns manufactures reality. As Alan Macleod in Jacobin points out, various US outlets had little interest, nor stomach, for the term. Morales had “resigned” according to the ABC. The New York Times drew attention to an “infuriated population” incensed by his efforts at “undermining democracy” while also noting the term resignation. Both Morales and his vice president, Álvaro García Linera “admitted no wrongdoing and instead insisted that they were victims of a coup.”

Any legitimacy on the part of Morales’s position in office was dismissed by the acceptance on the part of such networks as CNN that there were “accusations of election fraud.” CBS News accepted it as a point of record.  This particular tendency repeats instances of coverage in other elections – take the re-election of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro in 2018 as a case in point. Former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez expressed little doubt about the credibility of that result as did dozens of foreign electoral observers.  “It is an advanced automatic voting system.” But why bother about international observers when removing an irritating leftist leader is so much more fun?

Other states also showed various shades of enthusiasm for the removal. Brazil’s government, despite taking heart at the forced departure of the Bolivian leader, played the no coup card. Given that Brazil was to host the governments of Russia, India, China and South Africa, it paid to be a bit cautious. The foreign minister Ernesto Araújo wanted to get his opinions out of the way prior to the arrival of any Evo enthusiasts, suggesting that Morales had engaged in “massive electoral fraud.” It followed that, “There was no coup in Bolivia.”

Corporate America, soundly and boisterously perched at the Wall Street Journal, suggested a “democratic breakout in Bolivia”, a truly risible proposition given that corporations are distinctly anti-democratic by nature. But there was concern: “Eva Morales resigns but he’ll use the Cuba-Chávez playbook to return.” The key to ensure the country’s “immediate future” depended, in no small part, “on its ability to hold new elections and reinstate a legitimate government.”

US policy wonks and officials were merry. “These events,” went a statement from the White House, “send strong signals to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail.” Even, it would seem, at the end of a gun barrel sported by the officer class. As ever, the concept of “the people” lacks meaning in such pronouncements, given the innumerable attempts on the part of Washington to destroy that very will throughout Latin America.

A dark note is struck in the linking of both people and the military, with the uniformed gatekeepers praised for their calm in protecting that fetish long revered in US circles. “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.” All efforts at social reform, improving literacy and uplifting programs become the stuff of a deluded maniac who, for 14 years, ignored the “will of the people” and usurped legal strictures.

The Bolivian order was always going to be vulnerable. But as with other states strangled by the policies of austerity imposed by the International Monetary Fund, the savage dogma of privatisation, the mania with the balanced budget at the expense of poverty eradication, and a distinct lack of interest in social improvement, Bolivia found, for a time, efforts to improve its lot. Across the Americas, a trend of reversal is in evidence, and the departure of Morales is its testament.

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6 comments

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  1. Lambchop Simnel

    The history for two hundred years has been devastating and cruel. The best known paradigm would be the brutal and overt overthrow of Salvador Allende, but that would be an iceberg tip rather than the full cube, as the Haitians could tell us.

  2. Roswell

    So true, Lambchop.

  3. Susan Wilson

    Whilst we give our personal power from within away to any outside authority this is what happens and has resulted in the world we have had for centuries and all comes from one energy (not who we are) supremacist energy that we allow through us and use. The true divine energy that always lives within us and supplies us with true life can be lived when we take responsibility for the lies we tell ourselves i.e. we need suffering and pain, etc.Our divine energy heals and comes with truth and love (not emotional love) whilst the other energy if we indulge in it harms us and others. Until we understand that there are two energies we can move or express with then usually we are using supremacist/spiritual/pranic or astral energy that doesn’t give a damn about how our body or we suffer its consequences. This is easy to see in politicians who have no commonsense (truth) and no regard for its citizens except those that line their pockets. Eventually we will all realize this however how much pain and suffering are we willing to endure before we accept the truth of who we are as divine beings in a physical body and live that truth it will be business as usual.

  4. LambsFry Simplex.

    Susan is not wrong.

    The philosopher Socrates put it well when said people find it harder to do wrong than right, just following their inner voice.

    He was also humble and smart enough to avoid a trap set asking him how he was the “Smartest Man in Athens” by shrugging his shoulders and replying that the only thing he knew was that he knew nothing.

    You see a fair bit of answering parables in a later Roman era in these tales drawn from Plato Aristotle, who followed Socrates.

    Epicurus also understood humility.

  5. New England Cocky

    “The Bolivian order was always going to be vulnerable. But as with other states strangled by the policies of austerity imposed by the International Monetary Fund, the savage dogma of privatisation, the mania with the balanced budget at the expense of poverty eradication, and a distinct lack of interest in social improvement, Bolivia found, for a time, efforts to improve its lot. Across the Americas, a trend of reversal is in evidence, and the departure of Morales is its testament.”

    Uhm Binoy ….. is that the same economic policies underpinning the Scummo Plan for making Australia the worst third world export economy in the OECD?

    This is the departure of another popular Head if State likely at the hands of the CIA operating on behalf of commercial interests in the USA (United States of Apartheid) intent upon depriving the Bolivian people of their natural resources. This 1820s Munro Doctrine betrays the myths of America promulgated by the Hollywood dream machine.

    The list is long with many casualties who stood against the elitist USA. Argentina with “the Disappeared” under the generals backed by the CIA and demonstrably corrupt. Honduras where the CIA blew up the US owned oil refinery to destroy the Honduran economy. Australia in 1975 where the Whitlam ALP government was considered “too socialist” for the cringe-worthy paranoid US powerbrokers in Washington and the CIA coup installed Fraser with the assistance of GG John Curr, Antony Mason J, Garfield Barwick J and Buckingham Palace. There are too many more.

    The Standard Operating Procedure for these matters is seen in Chile where the democratically elected Allende government was deposed in a bloody CIA military coup funded by US corporations. A late colleague at that time worked as a senior executive at IT&T the corporation led by CEO Hal Geneen who “bought” President Richard Nixon for a $1 MILLION donation to the US Republican Party (see Anthony Sampson, “The Sovereign State of IT&T”).

    At one IT&T Board meeting, my friend signed the cheque for $6 MILLION as the IT&T contribution to funding the coup. Subsequently following the imposed austerity policies requiring privatisation of public assets and infrastructure, IT&T “purchased” the Chilean Telephone Company for a pittance and on sold it to Alan Bond for $28 MILLION. A nice little earner you might say.

    However, these tactics are not confined to the USA. Communist China, PRC, uses favourable loans to governments in under-developed countries to build modern infrastructure projects like Government House, ports and transport facilities, using imported Chinese labour working under Chinese conditions to the exclusion of local nationals. Then later, when the over-reaching local politicians find that their nation is unable to sustain the require repayments, the PRC forecloses on the infrastructure projects which become PRC assets.

    A similar strategy was used against Australia during the late 20th century when tourist developments boomed in Queensland under almost unlimited Japanese funding (remember Skase?). The proviso to local entrepreneurs was that those projects would at some time in the future, go bankrupt on demand and pass to the Japanese funders, thus avoiding the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board requirements.

  6. Lambchop Simnel

    Always get a boost from NEC.. good stuff, friend.

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