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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/19/19

Morales made unforced errors: Bolivia's Foreseeable Coup

By Ron Ridenour  Posted by Dave Lindorff (about the submitter)       (Page 4 of 4 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   9 comments
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On Nov. 11 came a statement from President Donald J. Trump: "The resignation yesterday of Bolivian President Evo Morales is a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere"These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail. We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere."

On November 12, Jeanine Áñez, a right-wing senator, 2nd vice-president and 5th in line of succession under the constitution, offered herself and her bible as interim president. She got all opposition votes in parliament, which was only one-third the total members. The majority party, MAS, did not participate, nor did the chairman of the senate, Adriana Salvatierra, who was actually next in line for the presidency.

On November 13 journalist Jeb Sprague reported, "Commanders of Bolivia's military and police helped plot the coup and guaranteed its success. They were previously educated for insurrection in the US government's notorious School of the Americas and FBI training programs."

General Kaliman, Sprague wrote, sat at the top of the military and police command structure that had earlier been cultivated by the US through WHINSEC, previously named School of the Americas, a military training school in Georgia known for instructing torture methods and coup techniques. Kaliman had taken a course, "Comando y Estado Mayor" at SOA, in 2003.

Sprague obtained access to 16 audio recordings of coup plotters speaking about support for a coup within armed forces, the US embassy in Bolivia, and several US Spanish speaking US senators.

"The leaked audio recordings show that former Cochabamba mayor and former presidential candidate Manfred Reyes Villa played a central role in the plot. Reyes happens to be an alumnus of WHINSEC [now residing in the US]. The other four who are introduced or introduce themselves by name in the leaked audio are General Remberto Siles Vasquez (audio 12); Colonel Julio Ce'sar Maldonado Leoni (audio 8 and 9); Colonel Oscar Pacello Aguirre (audio 14), and Colonel Teobaldo Cardozo Guevara (audio 10). All four of these ex-military officials attended the SOA."

"In the recently leaked audio recordings, coup plotters discuss plans to set ablaze government buildings, get pro-business unions in the country to carry out strikes, as well as other tactics - all straight out of the CIA playbook."

Chilean Jose' Miguel Insulza, former secretary general of OAS said: "When you dismiss a government leader before the end of the current parliamentary term (Morales' current term would have ended on January 22, 2020), it is a coup d´e'tat." The Argentine senate, and the governments of Uruguay, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Mexico and many Caribbean island countries condemned the coup.

Also on Nov. 13, Áñez appointed her cabinet. There is no indigenous person included in it. Upon appointing a new military leadership and naming Army General Sergio Carlos Orellana commander of the Armed Forces to head it, she warned Morales' supporters to stop street protests. "From now on, we won't allow anyone to put obstacles before us."

On November 15, police opened fire at a march in Sacaba near Cochabamba killing nine and injuring dozens. Protestors at that event wanted Morales returned to power. As of November 16, 21 people had been killed.

RON RIDENOUR, a US expatriate journalist living in Denmark, contributed this article to Ron's latest book 'Winding Brook Stories' is available at Amazon and Lulu. His other work can be found at

(Article changed on November 19, 2019 at 19:42)

(Article changed on November 20, 2019 at 14:11)

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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