Can Bolivians Survive the Coup Regime?

Lawfare in Bolivia: Añez wants to Jail the Favored Candidate in the Coming Elections’, resumen-english.org, Ernesto Reyes, June 30, 2020

“Bolivia’s de facto president, Jeanine Añez, is losing more and more of her mask obscuring democracy that, with the complicity of the United States and the European Union, she had to put on to justify the violent overthrow of Evo Morales in November of last year.

Now, in a flagrant demonstration that in Bolivia there are no constitutional guarantees and that persecution is the rule of order, a coup is being prepared against the presidential candidate of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), Luis Arce Catacora.

In a confirmation of the validity of the lawfare method (judicial war) against popular leaders, the legal form of this anti-democratic political decision is the criminal complaint filed this Tuesday before the Public Prosecutor’s Office against Arce for the alleged economic damage he caused to the State by setting up the Gestora Publica for the administration of workers’ social contributions. […]

This Tuesday the action is more convoluted at a time when Morales’ former economy minister is leading the entire field of candidates for president in the upcoming elections scheduled for September 6.”

On July 7 Telesur reported  these polling numbers from the Latin America Strategic Center for Geopolitics:

Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential candidate Luis Arce would get 41.9 percent of the votes in the upcoming elections in September.  This percentage of popular support would allow him to win the elections in the first round, far exceeding the Bolivian right-wing candidate, Carlos Mesa, who would barely get 26.8 percent of the vote.

The coup-born regime leader Jeanine Añez, who self-proclaimed herself as interim president and also wants to participate as a candidate, has half the vote intention as Mesa (or 13%).

“The CELAG study also reports that only 8.5 percent of those interviewed consider that the pandemic and its economic effects have not affected them.”

July 10, 2020, ‘Bolivia: Morales Denounces De Facto Gov’t Hospitals Misuse’, telesur english

“According to local news media, 20 out of 34 Bolivian hospitals ceased admissions due to COVID-19 overcrowding.”

You’ll likely remember other versions of Lawfare used against deposed Bolivian leader Evo Morales, including being barred from running as a MAS candidate for a Senate seat as he was in Argentina:

Bolivia’s Struggle to Restore Democracy after OAS Instigated Coup’, July 9, 2020, coha.org

“The manufactured electoral fraud was quickly debunked by experts in the field. Detailed analyses of the election results were conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)[2] and Walter R. Mebane, Jr., professor of Political Science and Statistics at the University of Michigan in early November 2019.

The OAS electoral mission, however, had already poisoned the well. The false narrative of electoral fraud gave ammunition to anti-Bolivarian forces in the OAS and the right wing opposition inside Bolivia to contest the outcome of the election and go on the offensive against Morales and his party, the Movement Towards Socialism (Movimiento al Socialismo, MAS). During a three-week period, a right wing coalition led protests over the alleged electoral fraud, while pro-government counter protesters defended the constitutional government. The military and police cracked down on the pro-Morales protesters, while showing sympathy for right wing demonstrators. Then, on November 10, 2019, in its “Electoral integrity analysis,” the OAS doubled down on its dubious claims, impugning “the integrity of the results of the election on October 20, 2019.”

From fair.org July 8, 2020: ‘NYT Acknowledges Coup in Bolivia—While Shirking Blame for Its Supporting Role’, Camila Escalante

Also from reumen-english, July 14:

“The Bolivian dictatorship will begin to negotiate the intervention of private hospitals and cemeteries in view of the risk of the collapse of public health services and mortuaries due to the magnitude of the pandemic, the Minister of the Interior of the regime, Arturo Murillo. Announced  “We are going to start two processes today, one of expropriation or intervention of the Udabol hospital in Santa Cruz (east), which has a capacity of 400 beds and around 100 intensive care units, and in Cochabamba (center) Univalle, which has a capacity of more than 120 beds and around 20 in intensive care units, said Murillo in a press conference.” Both hospitals belong to private universities. […]

“With 11 million inhabitants, Bolivia has more than 48,000 people infected with 1,807 deaths due to the pandemic.

The Covid-19 hospitals receive patients from all walks of life, including those affiliated with private insurance, which according to the minister is leaving “the humblest, poorest people who cannot afford insurance” without care.

According to official estimates, Bolivia could have some 130,000 infected people by September, when elections are scheduled for the renewal of the president and vice president and the bicameral parliament.”

Jeanine Añez has mumbled about needing to postpone the elections for a month or two would be no big deal.

More ‘lawfare’ in Bolivia: ‘Bolivia: They try to Stop Evo and Ban the M.A.S. Before Imminent Electoral Victory’, July 1,2020, pressenza.com

“On Monday, June 6, the Bolivian prosecution charged and asked for the arrest of former President Evo Morales for “Terrorism and sedition.” The case based on a home audio attributed to the former president was reactivated in this way, who supposedly from Mexico where he was a refugee, instructed the coca grower leader Faustino Yutra to block roads and prevent food from entering different cities in the context of the conflicts. Unleashed in November 2019, the outcome of which was a coup  d’état.


“The investigation had begun on November 20, 2019 after the de facto government filed the charges against the former president for “terrorism, sedition and terrorist financing.”. On December 20, prosecutors requested the arrest of Morales, who was in Argentina with “refugee status,” for which the Argentine authorities refused to extradite him.

Interpol has South American regional headquarters in Buenos Aires, a red alert request is expected to be sent to create a diplomatic conflict with Argentina, whose president Alberto Fernández does not recognize Jeanine Áñez as constitutional and legitimate president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.”

You may remember this lament from Jacob Levich at Counterpunch: Ocasio-Cortez to Constituents on Bolivian Coup: Drop Dead’

“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez symbolically embraced the coup by posing for a photo with this group as they brandished the tricolor Bolivian flag, which during that period had become a signal of support for the golpistas (as opposed to the Wiphala flag, which symbolized popular resistance to the takeover). She told them that she supports their “democratic grassroots movement” and offered them “direct lines of communication.”

(Levich had said on Twitter that Counterpunch had later removed the photo, but that Telesur English had it.)

 

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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