Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 11 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/16/19

Bolivia Does Not Exist

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
(# of views)   6 comments
Author 59593
Message Vijay Prashad
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

From Information Clearing House

Evo Morales
Evo Morales
(Image by theglobalpanorama)
  Details   DMCA

On November 10, Bolivia's President Evo Morales Ayma was removed from office. Technically Morales resigned, but the conditions for his resignation had been set by the Bolivian oligarchy (egged on for 13 years by the United States government, as Noam Chomsky and I indicated in this statement the day before the coup). Having won re-election for the fourth time, Morales faced an open insurrection from his opponent, former president Carlos Mesa who lost the election conclusively. A team from the openly hostile Organization of American States (OAS) arrived and provided legitimacy for the coup with a report on the elections that was long on accusations and short on facts. Using this OAS report fully backed by the United States as justification, the police mutinied, and then the army (which had remained neutral) told Morales he had to resign. There was no choice.

A coup is a curious thing. Those who make the coup never admit that they have made the coup. They claim that they are restoring democracy or that they are taking extraordinary means to establish the conditions eventually for democracy. This is precisely why the definition of the events are so fraught. But all coups are not the same. There are at least two types of military coups the General's Coup and the Colonel's Coup.

It has been a long time since we have seen a classic Colonel's Coup, perhaps the last major successful one being in Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso) in 1983 when Captain Thomas Sankara took office. These coups, from that of Egypt in 1952 onwards, are driven by non-commissioned officers who have a close fealty to the working-class, the peasantry, and the urban poor; their coup is often against the oligarchy and in favor of some variety of socialism (the Bolivian National Revolution of 1952 falls into this category).

The General's Coup, on the other hand, is conducted by commissioned officers who come from the oligarchy or whose interests are closely associated with the oligarchy. These counter-revolutionary coups are the most commonplace (and have been very common in Bolivia 1964, 1970, 1980, and 2019). General Williams Kaliman, who called on Morales to resign and who was trained by the United States at its notorious Schools of the Americas, has effectively led a General's Coup against the government of the Movement for Socialism (MAS).

Such events as a coup are merely events of a longer-term structure, a long struggle between the forces of imperialism and of decolonization. In 1941, the US-based Council on Foreign Relations produced a key document for the US State Department -- Methods of Economic Collaboration: The Role of the Grand Area in American Economic Policy. The Council defined the "Grand Area" as encompassing the entire Western hemisphere, large parts of Europe, the British Empire, the Dutch East Indies, and the Pacific Rim (including China and Japan). The countries of the Western hemisphere, which included all of the Caribbean and Latin America, would be a "source of raw materials and a market for manufacturers"; this was the 20th century version of the 1823 Monroe Doctrine.

A few years later, the US State Department affirmed that "To seek less than preponderant power would be to opt for defeat. Preponderant power must be the object of US policy." But it was key that the US seek this kind of power without the appearance of colonialism. In 1962, the Kennedy administration underlined this problem. "It is important for the US to remain in the background, and where possible, to limit its support to training, advice, and material, lest it prejudice the local government effort and expose the US unnecessarily to charges of intervention and colonialism." The tactics used to fight against decolonization are what we call a "hybrid war." Better to let the Generals from Pinochet to Kaliman do the dirty work, while the US embassy remains unblemished, and as the aims of international capital are eventually met.

Since Morales was first elected in 2006, he has overseen an improvement of the livelihood of the Bolivian people. Two-thirds of Bolivians are like Evo Morales from an indigenous background. That he put the well-being of the indigenous majority first rankled the old oligarchy. At the United Nations this year, Evo Morales said that, since 2006, Bolivia has cut its poverty rate from 38.2% to 15.2%, increased its life expectancy rate by nine years, developed a Universal Health Care system, and ensured that over a million women received land tenure; today, the country is now 100% literate and has a parliament where more than 50% of the elected officials are women. How did Bolivia do this? "We nationalized our natural resources," Morales said, "and our strategic companies. We have taken control of our destiny."

"Bolivia," Morales said, "has a future." That future is now in doubt.

Morales and his closest associates had taken refuge in Mexico. As the coup regime began to consolidate power, MAS said that the people of Bolivia "begin the long road of resistance to defend the historical achievements of the first indigenous government." As they drafted this text, the coup regime tore the flag of the indigenous -- the Wiphala -- down from buildings, burned them, and replaced them with the Bolivian national flag. "Over the coming days," said the MAS, the "hunting down of our comrades will continue. Our responsibility is to safeguard one another like a family, to rebuild the social fabric, to care for and protect our persecuted leaders. Today is the moment of solidarity. Tomorrow will be the time for reorganization." Morales's great humanity came out in his statement not even a day after the coup that "as a human being" he implored health workers and teachers to tend to the population with "warmth and solidarity."


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

In 1868, Britain's ambassador insulted General Mariano Melgarejo, Bolivia's dictator. Melgarejo paraded the ambassador down the streets of La Paz on a donkey. Hearing of this, Britain's Queen Victoria demanded that the Royal Navy bomb the city. When she was told that La Paz was up in the Andes, she said, "Bolivia does not exist."

Bolivia might have been erased from the maps, but it remained a major source of silver and tin for trans-national firms from Europe and the United States of America. It continues to remain a major source of tin and today it is home to up to 70% of the world's lithium supply. The demand for lithium used for batteries for electric cars and electronic devices such as cell phones is expected to more than double by 2025. Morales's government set high standards for its mining partnerships: it demanded that at least half of the control of the mines remain with Bolivia's national mining firms, and that the profit from the mines be used for social development.

Transnational firms sued Bolivia for breaking its contracts and rejected the new standard set by the Morales government. The only firms that agreed to the Bolivian position came from China. As Morales's government cut deals with Chinese firms, this aggravated not only the transnational firms but also their governments (the United States, Canada, and the European Union). One aspect of the coup is for these companies to gain control of Bolivia's natural resources, notably lithium, which is essential to electric cars.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Vijay Prashad Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World, won the Muzaffar (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The South gathers in Tehran

The American Experiment Has Failed in Afghanistan

Why the Trump Administration Could Be America's Last

For All His Bluster, Trump is Powerless Against NATO Allies -- Here's Why

The World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis Is Basically Being Blacked Out by Western Media

Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

5 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments


Meryl Ann Butler

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter (Member since Jun 5, 2006), 83 fans, 626 articles, 1932 quicklinks, 5897 comments, 7 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Excellent article, thank you.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 5:09:49 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help

David William Pear

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Nov 29, 2014), 51 fans, 80 articles, 392 quicklinks, 3902 comments
Facebook Page Twitter Page Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

"The process of liberation is irresistable!"

The problem is that national liberation movements need organization around an ideology, the means of resistance, and a militarized wing. To field a national liberation movement of decolonization takes a lot of financial backing.

A neo-colonial dictator cannot be overthrow with people in the street banging on pots and pans. They will be met with overwhelming violence from the state. They need the ability to meet violence with violence.

Even to put a peasant army in the field takes a lot of military aid from somewhere. All of that died with the collapse of the Soviet Union and international communism. Where will the military aid for a national liberation movement come from now?

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 1:42:15 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help

Susan Lee Schwartz

Become a Fan
Author 40790
(Member since Oct 25, 2009), 23 fans, 18 articles, 4174 quicklinks, 7668 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

A Gangster for Capitalism: Next Up, Bolivia - LA Progressive by Kathleen Wallace November 15, 2019


interesting.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 4:17:49 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help

Stephen Fox

Become a Fan
Author 4578
(Member since Jan 21, 2007), 439 articles, 662 quicklinks, 3327 comments, 14 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content
What an amazing and excellent job compiling this history! Thanks to the author!



Evo Morales: Me siento expresidente de Bolivia. He cumplido con mi gestin A la pregunta expresa de Carmen Aristegui sobre cmo se considera en medio de la crisis, Evo Morales respondi que es el expresidente de Bolivia, aunque la ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: CNN en Espaol)
Details DMCA

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 5:26:53 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help

Walt Gelles

Become a Fan
Author 90594
(Member since Oct 30, 2013), 1 fan, 18 articles, 17 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Right-wing extremist Jeanine Anez Chavez declares herself Bolivia's president in front of a mostly empty parliament. Her 2013 racist tweet telling Bolivia's indigenous peoples to get lost and labeling them "satanic" shows where she's coming from.

This US-designated puppet/usurper has formally "recognized" her fellow puppet/usurper, thuggish Juan Guaido of Venezuela.

Tanks prowl the streets of La Paz, homes of Morales's allies have been burned down, hundreds injured amid reports of torture and disappearances. Coup leader Luis "Macho" Camacho, a religious fundamentalist and natural gas tycoon, reportedly met with Ivanka Trump during her September 5 visit to Argentina. Her father, Donald Trump, cheers on the Bolivian coup as he cheered on Guaido.


Still no word from progressive darling Tulsi Gabbard on the Bolivian coup which ousted Evo Morales. Judging from Gabbard's comments on the US's 'war on terror', if elected POTUS she would be Obama 2.0.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 6:57:17 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help

Walt Gelles

Become a Fan
Author 90594
(Member since Oct 30, 2013), 1 fan, 18 articles, 17 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Right-wing extremist Jeanine Anez Chavez declares herself Bolivia's president in front of a mostly empty parliament. Her 2013 racist tweet telling Bolivia's indigenous peoples to get lost and labeling them "satanic" shows where she's coming from.

This US-designated puppet/usurper has formally "recognized" her fellow puppet/usurper, thuggish Juan Guaido of Venezuela.

Tanks prowl the streets of La Paz, homes of Morales's allies have been burned down, hundreds injured amid reports of torture and disappearances. Coup leader Luis "Macho" Camacho, a religious fundamentalist and natural gas tycoon, reportedly met with Ivanka Trump during her September 5 visit to Argentina. Her father, Donald Trump, cheers on the Bolivian coup as he cheered on Guaido.


Still no word from progressive darling Tulsi Gabbard on the Bolivian coup which ousted Evo Morales. Judging from Gabbard's comments on the US's 'war on terror', if elected POTUS she would be Obama 2.0.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019 at 6:58:32 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment