Bolivia becomes first Latin American country to cut ties with Israel since October 7
The split in Bolivia’s ruling political party has become official. President Luis Arce and vice-president David Choquehuanca are no longer part of the MAS (Movement towards Socialism) party, which ratified the decision, informally announced on the 24, to present former president Evo Morales (2006-2019) as its candidate in the 2025 elections. The MAS held its tenth congress from October 3-4 in the town of Lauca Ñ, a coca growing region in the center of the country. On that occasion, the party decreed the “self-expulsion” of Arce and Choquehuanca, for not attending the meeting, and of 20 other deputies aligned with the Arce government.
Those who only read the title of this article may find it overstated or exaggerated. However, remembering 10 years ago an episode that put the whole planet on alert, you will realize that the title is appropriate. Evo Morales was in Moscow, attending the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries. On July 2, 2013, he boarded the FAB 001 presidential plane to return to Bolivia. While he was flying through European skies, in a flight that seemed routine, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France set up an impassable siege, abruptly canceling the flight permits they had previously granted.
Evo Morales, former President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and President of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, was a special guest of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) during festivities marking the 212th anniversary of Mexico’s independence. The other international guests included John and Gabriel Shipton, father and brother of journalist Julian Assange; family of the late farmworker and activist César Chávez; Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara; and former Uruguayan President “Pepe” Mujica. On September 15 Morales witnessed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador calling out the cry for independence. In addition to the traditional “¡Viva México!” of the heroes of independence, AMLO yelled, “Death to corruption! Death to racism! Death to classism!”
After warnings from the Biden Administration to Russia against the use of nuclear weapons, Evo Morales recalled that the US is the only one that has used such weapons against civilians. In the event that Russian President Vladimir Putin resorts to a nuclear arsenal, his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in an interview with the local network CBS, promised on Friday that Russia “will become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been.” Through a message published this Sunday, September 18, on Twitter, the former president of Bolivia Evo Morales criticized the aggressive policy of the US and its role in the conflict in Ukraine. Referring to the nuclear attacks by the United States on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Morales stressed that the North American country is the only one that has used atomic weapons against civilians.
In an interview with British journalist Matt Kennard at his home in El Trópico, a small town four hours from Cochabamba in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, former Bolivian president Evo Morales (2006-2019) called for an international campaign to eliminate NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization]. According to Morales, this campaign should explain to people worldwide that “NATO is—ultimately—the United States. It is not a guarantee for humanity or for life. I do not accept—in fact, I condemn—how they can exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. When the U.S. has intervened in Iraq, in Libya, in so many countries in recent years, why have they not been expelled from the Human Rights Council? Why was that never questioned?”
When Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, was overthrown in a British-backed coup in November 2019, many believed his life was in danger. Latin America’s history is littered with liberation leaders cut down by vengeful imperial powers. Legendary resistance leader Túpac Katari, like Morales from the Aymara indigenous group, had his limbs tied to four horses by the Spanish before they bolted and he was ripped apart in 1781. Some 238 years later, Bolivia’s self-declared “interim president,” Jeanine Áñez, appeared in Congress days after the coup against Morales brandishing a huge leatherbound Bible. “The Bible has returned to the government palace,” she announced. Her new regime immediately forced through Decree 4078 which gave immunity to the military for any actions taken in “the defence of society and maintenance of public order.” It was a green-light.
On June 23 of this year, 184 countries of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of an end to the US embargo on Cuba. It was the 29th consecutive year where virtually all countries, except the US and Israel made this demand. In recent years the Cuban media has denounced millions of dollars of US funding, through organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to create and fund opposition media and the organization of youth. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez on July 11 rejected the smear campaigns of the US media hegemony in the midst of the Covid pandemic with the intensification of the illegal economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States.
Bolivia has descended into a nightmare of political repression and racist state violence since the democratically elected government of Evo Morales was overthrown by the military on November 10. That month was “the second-deadliest month, in terms of civilian deaths committed by state forces, since Bolivia became a democracy nearly 40 years ago,” according to a study by Harvard Law School’s (HLS) International Human Rights Clinic and the University Network for Human Rights (UNHR) released a month ago.
Three political scientists from the United States closely studied allegations of fraud in the Bolivian election of 2019 and found that there was no fraud. These scholars—from the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University—looked at raw evidence from the Bolivian election authorities that had been handed over to the New York Times. They suggest late-counted votes came from rural regions where the candidacy of incumbent President Evo Morales Ayma was popular; the character of these votes, and not fraud, accounts for the margin of victory announced by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on October 21, 2019. Allegations of fraud were made most sharply by the Organization of American States (OAS). It is the OAS report that is closely scrutinized by Professors Nicolás Idrobo, Dorothy Kronick, and Francisco Rodríguez, and it is found wanting on statistical and analytical grounds. If what the professors say is correct and if the OAS allegations were incorrect, then Evo Morales should have been serving his fourth term as president of Bolivia rather than be exiled to Argentina.
A little more than six months after the coup d’état (10-11 November 2019) against President Evo Morales in Bolivia, now exiled in Argentina, he warned of the serious situation his country is facing under a de facto government headed by the self-proclaimed President Jeanine Añez, who in addition to repression involving massacres against the population and persecution and imprisonment of political leaders and militants, is systematically destroying the social and economic model and achievements of the overthrown government of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). Now that country is confronting the COVD-19 pandemic in the absence of state presence, while military threats are growing and war tanks continue to arrive from the interior of the country for military garrisons in the city of La Paz, the former president denounced in an interview in Buenos Aires.
Washington, D.C. — The OAS statement yesterday on Bolivia’s election should be retracted, said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. On Monday, October 21, the OAS issued a statement expressing “its deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results after the closing of the polls.” “The OAS statement implies that there is something wrong with the vote count in Bolivia because later-reporting voting centers showed a different margin than earlier ones,” Weisbrot said. “But it provides absolutely no evidence — no statistics, numbers, or facts of any kind — to support this idea. “And in fact, a preliminary analysis of the voting data at all of the more than 34,000 voting tables — which is all publicly available and can be downloaded by anyone — shows no evidence of irregularity.”
Member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for America- Peoples' Trading Treaty (ALBA-TCP), denounced this Saturday the disqualification of former President Evo Morales as a candidate for the Bolivian Senate for the May 3 elections. According to the statement issued by the regional body, the measure taken by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) is further evidence of the continuing coup against Morales...
Tensions are rising over the upcoming Bolivian general vote as Evo Morales' Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) is gaining momentum in the country despite the de facto government's pressure. Alberto Echazu, a journalist from the media platform La Resistencia Bolivia, sheds light on the most recent developments in La Paz. Bolivia saw the ouster of former President Evo Morales in November 2019 amid protracted social turmoil over alleged election fraud.
As anthropologist Nicole Fabricant has argued, to defeat Bolivia’s ascendant right-wing forces—which will continue to be nourished and fortified by the Añez regime during the run-up to the election—will require a broad united front of left-Indigenous groups across the historic pro- and anti-Morales divide. For the MAS, choosing a presidential slate that is more independent of Morales could help to appeal to popular opposition sectors. For the anti-Morales left, which has been disturbingly silent regarding the Añez regime’s abuses, taking a stand against political persecution, racist discourse, and the erosion of democracy occurring under the de facto government could go a long way towards reconciliation.