Leonardo Flores writes that all manner of reactionary forces were behind the coup that overthrew Bolivian president Evo Morales and they are now targeting the rights of the indigenous people of whom Morales was one as well as members of his party MAS (Movement Towards Socialism).
[Morales’] resignation has yet to take effect, as it must be approved by the legislature. This did not stop opposition party member Jeanine Añez, the senate’s second vice president, from declaring herself interim president, further proving that what’s happened is a coup.
MAS legislators, who have a majority in both chambers, have been unable to attend parliamentary sessions as security forces have not guaranteed their safety.
Currently, indigenous and labor movements are on the streets in several Bolivian cities, demanding that President Morales be reinstated.
Meanwhile, police forces are ripping the Wiphala flag, a symbol that represents the indigenous peoples of the Andes, from their uniforms and from government buildings.
Coup leader Luis Camacho entered the government palace with a Bolivian flag and a bible; upon leaving, one of his supporters, a Christian pastor, declared that “Pachamama will never return to the palace… Bolivia belongs to Christ.” (Pachamama is an Andean goddess representing Mother Earth.)
The coup and its aftermath are not just a rejection of President Morales, but of Bolivia’s indigenous majority and the social gains of the last 13 years.
Flores writes that the US’s fingerprints are all over this coup, following the standard model they use to destabilize countries that have the temerity to elect leftist leaders that threaten the capitalist classes. Their methods were exposed in the classic 1975 tell-all book Inside the Company: CIA Diary by former CIA covert operations agent Philip Agee who had become disgusted with all the suffering the CIA had caused in Latin America and in which he had taken part and thus had first hand knowledge. The full text of the book is available online and makes for gripping reading. Agee had to go into exile in Cuba because his book was not authorized by the US government and he faced a lifetime in prison and possibly torture because that is what the US government does to whistleblowers. He died in Havana in 20o8 at the age of 72.
This time the US had assistance from the Organization of American States (OAS) in its efforts.
The United States first began targeting Evo Morales in 2001 — five years before being elected president — when the US embassy in La Paz warned that his political base needed to be weakened.
Afterwards, USAID began funding right-wing political parties and “civil society” organizations that would feature heavily in attempts to overthrow President Morales.
The first such attempt came in 2008, two years after Morales was first elected president and days after he survived a recall referendum with 67.4% of the vote. On that occasion, coup plotters in eastern Bolivia, a region rich in minerals where the white minority population is concentrated, attempted to secede from the country.
The desire to overthrow Morales has existed for years, but more immediate plans were finalized in the weeks before the election.
Bolivian media outlet Erbol published leaked audio of conversations held from October 8 and 10 between civic leaders, former military officials and opposition politicians who discussed “a plan for social unrest, before and after the general elections, with the aim of preventing President Evo Morales from remaining” in office.
One opposition politician mentioned being in close contact with Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Bob Menendez.
What happened in Bolivia is a classic example of what Agee described. When you read Agee’s book, you realize that you have to take western media reporting of events in developing countries, especially those that elect leftist governments, with a great deal of skepticism.