It has been more than a year since US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaido, attempted to illegitimately assume the executive presidency. With the backing of the United States, European Union, and their puppet states, Guaido attempted to lead protests, initiate military coups and send ‘humanitarian aid’ from the Colombian border. As these attempts have failed to oust the democratically-elected Nicolas Maduro, it proves the resilience of the Bolivarian Armed Forces. The national army consists of anti-imperialist soldiers, who are cognizant of Guaido’s malicious intentions and maintaining their principled stance behind Maduro.
Unfortunately, this can’t be said for the Bolivian Armed Forces. This is the fifth month since the Bolivian Army abandoned and aided the illegitimate rise of a white supremacist into the executive presidency, despite 47% of the Bolivian people’s supporting Evo Morales remaining in power through the 2019 elections. In line with the foreign meddling of the United States in Latin America, allegations of fraud began to arise to justify the events that followed. The resignations of Morales and his constitutional successor Salvatierra paved the way for Bolivian senator Jeanine Anez’s illegitimate assumption of the presidency.
Given the anti-indigenous racism of the Anez dictatorship and right-wing protestors, Morales fled to Mexico and then Argentina, where he was granted asylum. Upon his departure, his ministers and allies either fled or were served with fake charges. Civil society followed with acts of nonviolent resistance, which were met with the violent repression of the Bolivian Army. Democratic institutions began to disintegrate as the closure of independent media outlets and the persecution of journalists ensued.
From what I’ve read, sedition and terrorism make up a significant amount of the charges. Ironically, these are the same crimes that aided this puppet dictatorship’s rise to power. When right-wing protestors are instigating violence in response to Morales getting democratically re-elected to his fourth term, is that not sedition? The immunity that Anez gave to the Army to repress any resistance to her dictatorship, is a perfect recipe for ongoing human rights violations. Is that not the definition of terrorism?
Bolivia being governed by an opposition, known for its racism against the brown majority, its fascistic sympathies, and its Christian fundamentalist views, is history repeating itself right before our eyes. Not only are these traits of this opposition worrisome, but its links to violent paramilitaries are downright terrifying. Infamous for their racially-motivated acts of terrorism and previous attempts to secede from the country, its reputation is so bad that it was even acknowledged by the US Embassy!
Under the guise of ‘supporting democracy,’ the United States and its Ministry of Colonies (known as the OAS) has only served to impose this reality upon Bolivians. Infuriatingly, four months after Morales was forced to flee into exile, the Washington Post eventually acknowledged that 47% of Bolivians were robbed of their democracy.
This democracy that left with Morales’ resignation isn’t likely going to be restored in the May election. Anez’s participation and supposed justifications reveal the illegitimacy of her leadership over this supposedly transitional administration. As Morales’ potential successor, Luis Arce, maintains the Bolivian people’s support which raises the probability of a rigged or suspended election. Especially with the involvement of the US government, history teaches us how tyrannical puppets like Anez approach democracy.
Five months after the American Empire achieved in Bolivia what it failed to do in Venezuela, it’s never been more important for us to stand in solidarity with its people. As they’ve been repressed for the so-called crime of peaceful resistance, it is incumbent upon us to ignore the whitewashing by our corporate media, and find reliable sources of truth. I urge you follow @OVargas52 to keep up with events on the ground. Ollie Vargas is a British-Bolivian journalist who’s been one of the few reporters in Bolivia for English-speaking media. His exposure of the authoritarian nature of this current administration is both fascinating and alarming.