Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter 3 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
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 1 of 4 pages) (# of views)   9 comments
Author 63
Message Dave Lindorff


Bolivia: Pro-Morales indigenous people march against interim president Anez in La Paz Subscribe to our channel! rupt.ly/subscribe Thousands of indigenous supporters of former Bolivian President Evo Morales marched in La Paz on Wednesday, ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Ruptly)
  Details   DMCA

By Ron Ridenour


Did a coup d´e'tat take place in Bolivia with the removal of President Evo Morales? Certainly, an internal coup was a major cause, along with a rebellion calling for Morales' resignation. When the commander of the armed forces, backed by many generals, publically calls for the president to abdicate, that is an internal coup. Did the US orchestrate this coup? Well, it would be nothing new.

The 1823 "Monroe Doctrine" asserted that Latin America belonged in the US's backyard. After World War II, and 9/11, Manifest Destiny extended that claim to the entire globe. Of the thousands of times that military forces have been deployed by the US, many countries have been subjected several times. Cuba was attacked 12 times since 1814; Nicaragua 12 times since 1853; Panama on 13 occasions since 1856.

The US stole half of Mexico in 1848. Between 1869 and 1897, the U.S. sent war ships to intervene in Latin America 5,980 times-one ship every two days over three decades. These landings resulted in the murders of striking local workers and insurgents opposing repressive local governments. William Blum (Anti-Empire Reports) showed us that just since WWII the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them Latin American-most recently in Honduras, Paraguay, and Venezuela

While there is evidence that President Donald Trump and major US senators wanted Morales regime-changed, their role may have been minimal and advisory. This I will address after I introduce an overall picture of Morales and his policies, and some of the conflicts within the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS). Some of these policy errors offered the US Military Empire the "human rights" trump card it likes to employ these days when invading or regime changing annoying leaders who do not heel when ordered.

COP 15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen

I immediately took to President Morales upon meeting him in December 2009. I was a PR worker for the Bolivian embassy in Denmark, and one of two press secretaries for Bolivia at the climate summit. I had planned a dozen individual interviews with media. Morales took the first three then walked away while journalists looked at me: what about our interview? I rushed after the president and reminded him of our agreement about the interviews. Morales looked at his ambassador to Denmark and indicated that they needed to talk outside my hearing. I assured journalists that he would return, and he did. He was unhappy with my brashness, but the ambassador and UN ambassador, Pablo Solon, told him I was only doing my job for the benefit of the nation.

Morales accepted this as he did when I introduced indigenous leaders to a press conference the next day, because Morales and Hugo Chavez were late arriving. Use the "dead" time, my experience told me. I translated for two leaders of social movements. They said this very act of taking the podium before their president's arrival illustrated how democratic the new Plurinational State of Bolivia actually is. Social movements work hand in glove with the government and their president, they said. Then in walked presidents Morales and Chavez followed by the Cuban, Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan leaders. The activists and I calmly walked off the stage and the state leaders took our seats as we nodded to one another.

In those hectic days, I viewed President Morales as a man of his people, and his people at the summit clearly viewed him as their president and one who listens to them. I, too, continue to listen to and follow him regarding his "live-well-not-better" thesis: "Ten Commandments Against Capitalism, For Life and Humanity" https://climateandcapitalism.com/2013/01/15/evo-morales-ten-commandments-against-capitalism-for-life-and-humanity/

Following Evo Morales initial election victory in October 2005, he initiated a new constitution (2009), which granted important rights to the indigenous and also equal gender rights. It also limited consecutive terms of political office, including the presidency, to two consecutive five-year terms. This opens the way for fresh faces, greater public participation in decision-making, less reliance on personal power. Yet power hangs heavy on the shoulders of leaders of all stripes.

Living Standards Improved

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Dave Lindorff Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       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

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

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Looming climate catastrophe?: A Rapidly Warming Arctic Could Loose a Methane Climate Bomb Causing Extinction in 9 Years

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0

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.

6 people are discussing this page, with 9 comments


B. Ross Ashley

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Aug 29, 2008), 5 fans, 3 articles, 211 quicklinks, 307 comments, 3 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Facebook Page Twitter Page Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

He failed to purge the officer corps. He failed to arm the population. Those are his biggest unforced errors: emulating Allende rather than Chavez.

Submitted on Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019 at 7:50:15 PM

  Recommend  (5+)
Help
Indent

Dave Lindorff

Become a Fan
Author 63
(Member since Nov 18, 2005), 88 fans, 1213 articles, 120 quicklinks, 1100 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Not paid member although Facebook page url on login Profile is filled in Not paid member although Twitter page url on login Profile is filled in Not paid member although Linkedin page url on login Profile is filled in Not paid member although Instagram page url on login Profile is filled in

Reply to B. Ross Ashley:   New Content

Allende didn't seek a third term. He was overthrown during his third year in office in a military coup encouraged by the US, and either committed suicide or was murdered by the army. He almost certainly would have won a second term had he not been overthrown. Evidence was solid for this as his Socialist Party won solidly in off-year municipal elections across Chile -- probably why the US and Chile's fascist elite acted when they did (on 9/11 in 1973).

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 12:23:47 AM

  Recommend  (3+)
Help
IndentIndent

John Lawrence Ré

Become a Fan
Author 78374
(Member since Apr 17, 2012), 21 fans, 3 articles, 1408 comments (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

First of all, Dave, thanks for posting the Ridenour article. As I wrote in my recent response to you in another article, I almost always find your posts on point, as in this case, where I agree that Allende would have won a second term. I remember the alarm I felt when the NYT and the nightly news ran stories showcasing the pot and pan street protests in the days before his assassination. They were presented by US media as evidence that Chilean citizens were disatisfied with socialist rule and would welcome intervention. But in reality the protests were specifically directed toward ending the trucker holdout (US financed) that caused food shortages in Santiago. In the ensuing weeks I worked at the Chile Solidarity Committee attempting to publicize the falsity of that media campaign and bring attention to the fact that it was a US hatched coup.

Since then and especially after the Powell Memorandum, the media's role in laying the groundwork for imperialist interventions has steadily increased. Like the misrepresntation of the food protests in Chile 46 year ago, the media has characterized Morales as an irredeemingly corrupt and unpopular ruler. A case in point - an old and close director friend of mine from Rome made a documentary that was released in the US criticizing aspects of Evo's governance. He saw his film as constructive criticism that would be seen as such in a vacuum, despite my cautioning him that it would be used, not for constructive purposes, but instead to create a spectacle of corruption to justify a coup. He asked me naively what could the US possibly want from a poor naiton like Boivia? Up until now, Bolivia and the deep state both benefited - as they always have - fom the drug trade. Nothing new there, but when I mentioned lithium, he didn't believe me until I brought up the recent NatGeo article on Bolivia's vast lithium deposits.

The scenario underscoring Bolivia's value was actually laid out in the film Quantum of Solace for those looking for deeper meaning. Strangely, the Bond franchise has always been spot on: it's not the Russians or the Yanks, it's the dark forces of capitalism gone berserk.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 5:15:30 AM

  Recommend  (2+)
Help
Indent

John Lawrence Ré

Become a Fan
Author 78374
(Member since Apr 17, 2012), 21 fans, 3 articles, 1408 comments (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to B. Ross Ashley:   New Content

Agree. Allende refused repeatedly to heed the warnings of the MIR to arm militias and weed out fascisitc elements among the staff grade officers. Castro also advised him to be more proactive. Shortly after the Cuban revolution, Castro distributed guns to households, warning them the Yanquis are coming. Chavez, who spent considerable time in Cuba, learned that lesson well. As a result, the Veneuelan militry has not broken rank under US pressure. But as some say, Morales was too distracted with the maintenance of Boivia's long standing drug trade to see the end coming and heed those necessary precautions.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 5:30:35 AM

  Recommend  (3+)
Help

David William Pear

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Nov 29, 2014), 51 fans, 80 articles, 394 quicklinks, 3927 comments (View Extended Stats)
Facebook Page Twitter Page Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

I am beginning to develop the notion that Western-style democracy (like capitalism) is not the best system for all nations. It has its origin in white supremacy and elitism. Therefore it is a mistake for all nations to try and emulate the West.

The US foreign policy establishment agrees with my notion in an upside down manner. The Western empires have no qualms about supporting undemocratic right-wing dictators. Actually the West prefers fascistic dictatorships because they make for a stable business environment, which Western capitalists can easily exploit.

When leftist governments play by the West's rules it leaves them open for subversion by the West. Besides, for the West leftist governments are never "democratic enough". Venezuela is a recent example. Time an again democratically elected leftist government are overthrown by the West and usually replaced with right-wing dictatorships. A recent example is Honduras, which is not an exception.

US-style democracy is not a good example for others to aspire to. It is actually very undemocratic, and we all know it. The elites have used every means at their disposal to pervert democracy everywhere. The elites back democratic values as long as they are in control. This was true in ancient Greece and was the basis for the Magna Carta, which was for only the nobles benefit.

The left should judge nations by their accomplishments in serving the best interests of people, especially the masses of the downtrodden.

P.S. Like John I too have a great deal of respect for Dave Lindorff.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 2:57:58 PM

  Recommend  (2+)
Help

Dave Lindorff

Become a Fan
Author 63
(Member since Nov 18, 2005), 88 fans, 1213 articles, 120 quicklinks, 1100 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Not paid member although Facebook page url on login Profile is filled in Not paid member although Twitter page url on login Profile is filled in Not paid member although Linkedin page url on login Profile is filled in Not paid member although Instagram page url on login Profile is filled in

  New Content

This comment here was written by the article's author Ron Ridenour, who is having trouble logging in for comments and asked me to post it. Ron writes:

"Sure, when we leftists criticize left governments for abuses or policies that are not for the peoples' benefits we run the risk of our mutual enemies (CIA et. al.) using those criticisms against our allies. Not criticizing only sanctions the abuses and wrong policies, and leads to delusion. True comradeship is to share our constructive criticisms with the goal of learning and bettering ourselves.

"The lithium matter was a no-issue in the regime change. In fact, the people who did most of the protests against plans to build a factory for lithium batteries in Potosi were indigenous. They thought that the deal would not benefit them. The company was a small German one (ACI) with only 20 workers and had no experience mining lihtium, which in Bolivia is more difficult and expensive to mine than lithium in Chile, Argentina and Australia. Morales made another deal with an experienced Chinese mining company (TBEA) back in February 2019, long before the October election and many political upheavals from left and right.

"Yes, Allende was a good guy, a mild socialist, and made the big mistake, as stated here, of not arming the workers. Well, Castro did and that was good and right to do. But then he took the militia guns away in 1965 and many communists/Fidelistas thought that was the beginning of the end of a peoples revolution. Today, the vast majority of Cubans, and especially the youth, actually want a return to capitalism hoping to keep education and health care reforms. That can be done in capitalism as we know in much of Europe and Japan.

"Real socialism, a real revolution must be run by and for the working class and other workers/farmers NOT for the good leaders no matter their names.

"I am glad there are many who applaud my friend and colleague Dave. I hope it is not necessary to state that it was me who wrote the commentary."

Ron Ridenour

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 4:33:28 PM

  Recommend  (2+)
Help
Indent

John Lawrence Ré

Become a Fan
Author 78374
(Member since Apr 17, 2012), 21 fans, 3 articles, 1408 comments (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

Ron, I'm aware of all that regading the matter of lithium. But because the prospect of China's potential involvement with lithium extraction, it cannot be ruled out as one of the underlying motivations for US interference. The regime changes in the Mddle East may be designed to feed the neocon head of the US Orthrus, but as I'm sure you know regime changes in Latin America are almost always designed to feed the neooliberal head. Perhpas it wasn't the only reason, but I believe eventually it will manifest as a reason why we can add Bolivia's lithium to that notorious list which includes United Fruit (Guatamala), Anaconda (Chile), Monsanto (Paraguay), palm oil (Honduras), oil (Veneuela), et al.

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 5:32:54 PM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help
IndentIndent

nelswight

Become a Fan
Author 2581
(Member since Sep 3, 2006), 2 fans, 845 comments (View Extended Stats)
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

Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Ah, yes, it sounds so incontrovertibly so, does it not?

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 9:51:51 PM

  Recommend  (1+)
Help

Joe Giambrone

Become a Fan
Author 43658
Follow Me on Twitter (Member since Jan 13, 2010), 27 fans, 118 articles, 45 quicklinks, 1015 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
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

Thank you, Mr. Mockingbird. Can we quote the CIA on this one?

"He had it coming."

Submitted on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 at 10:05:52 PM

  Recommend  (0+)
Help