Donald Trump, who has a schoolboy’s view of Native Americans as having been “savages” who besieged wagon trains of “peaceful” European settlers, has chalked up on his record of seedy deeds the military overthrow of Bolivia’s first Native American president, Evo Morales, an ethnic Aymara. Trump has been eyeing Morales, the leader of Bolivia’s Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party, for some form of retribution ever since Morales scolded Trump in person during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on September 26, 2018.
Morales, as president of the Security Council, lectured Trump on America’s past abuses. The Bolivian president cited the United States as having “financed coups d’état and supported dictators,” and having instituted a border policy that “separated migrant children from their families and put them in cages.” Trump kept his head down during the tongue-lashing, only raising it periodically to glower at Morales, who was wearing the formal garb of his native Aymara people.
On November 10, Morales received his belated response from Trump in the form of an old-style military coup. After having already fallen prey to the U.S.-owned and operated Organization of American States (OAS), which deemed Bolivia’s October 20 first-round presidential election fraudulent, Morales was faced with nationwide street protests, some extremely violent in nature. Morales had a 10-point plurality over his U.S.- and Brazilian-backed right-wing challenger, former President Carlos Mesa, a margin that the OAS and Washington called contrived.
Even though Morales agreed to a new election, he and his entire MAS government, including Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, Chamber of Deputies President Victor Borda, and Senate President Adriana Salvatierra—all in the line of succession to the president—were forced to resign by the Bolivian military and national police. Without a constitutional successor to Morales, the military and national police commanders took over in a classic Central Intelligence Agency textbook coup from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The new de facto head of state appeared to be Bolivian armed forces commander, General Williams Kaliman. However, Jeanine Añez Chavez, the Senate’s second vice-president, someone akin to the U.S. Senate’s minority minority leader, stated that she would assume the role of acting president.
Añez, a member of the right-wing opposition Democratic Union alliance, bears all the markings of a CIA asset. She is married to Colombian Conservative Party politician Héctor Hernando Hincapié Carvajal, an ally of the far-right Colombian president, Ivan Duque. The rise of Añez as the post-coup interim president of Bolivia appears to have been agreed upon in advance by the cabal of right-wing Latin American interlocutors who surround such Republican Cuban-American politicos as Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX). It is more than likely that the Bolivian coup operation had heavy input from anti-socialist Latin American millionaires and billionaires who make their home in south Florida. The fact that the Bolivian National Police was among the first to mobilize against Morales is also suspicious. The Bolivian coup was very similar to the CIA-backed Ecuadorian National Police failed coup against Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa in 2010.
Morales and his MAS colleagues saw their homes attacked by mobs. Morales’s home was reported to have been ransacked and burned. A few days earlier, mobs kidnapped Patricia Arce, the MAS mayor of the town of Vinto, and cut her hair and doused her in red paint, forced her to sign a resignation letter, and marched her barefoot through the streets. This and other forms of right-wing street actions against Morales and the Venezuelan embassy in La Paz was led by domestic and foreign elements employed by the CIA and Brazilian neo-fascist President Jair Bolsonaro’s intelligence service—“Agência Brasileira de Inteligência”—ABIN.
The governments of Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba denounced the coup against Morales. Argentina’s president-elect Alberto Fernández also condemned the coup, as did former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was recently released from prison after he was convicted by right-wing judicial authorities on cooked up bribery charges. Lula said, “it’s unfortunate that Latin America has a financial elite that does not know how to abide by democracy and the social inclusion of the poorest people.” Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, who has been fighting off CIA attempts to overthrow him, expressed his full support for Morales, declaring, “We have to take care of our brother Evo Morales.” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said from Havana, “The world must be mobilized for the life and freedom of Evo.” Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard condemned the coup and said that Mexico was offering Morales political asylum. From London, the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party, tweeted, “I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence.” The Spanish government expressed displeasure with the role of the Bolivian military in Morales’s ouster. From the United States, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) condemned the coup in Bolivia. Omar was one of very few U.S. political leaders who called the removal of Morales a coup.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the right-wing governments of Brazil, Peru, and Colombia welcomed the putsch. Brazil’s neo-Nazi President Bolsonaro expressed personal pleasure in Morales’s ouster.
If the Bolivian coup continues along the typical template seen in other countries, the first to feel the effects of right-wing rule will be Bolivia’s poor, the Aymara, and mestizo population. Morales provided the poor with quality-of-life improvements as basic as longer life spans; modern housing; new schools; mass transit systems, including a cable car network in La Paz; paved roads in the rural regions; and even toilets.
Other developments will be the re-opening of an Israeli embassy in La Paz, a souring of relations with Cuba and Venezuela, the reintroduction of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) paramilitary units in the country, and joint U.S.-Bolivian military exercises. Bolivian military officers will, once again, be among the student classes in such U.S. military indoctrination schools as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in Fort Benning, Georgia, the former “School of the Americas” that trained some of Latin America’s worst dictators and “death squad” commanders.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).