After now ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales showed up in Mexico, where he's been granted asylum, chaos continues gripping the streets of the Latin American country, as Morales-supporters have taken to the streets en mass to condemn what they're calling a military coup.
Making matters worse Senator Jeanine Añez Chavez, the deputy senate speaker, on Tuesday declared herself interim president of Bolivia, yet without so much as a senatorial quorum or public vote on the matter, yet with the support of the army which says it's in line with the constitution. She vowed, however, that she hopes to see elections “as soon as possible.”
Regional reports noted that only Morales’ critics showed up to the Senate session where Anez unilaterally named herself interim president.
Morales, meanwhile, was quick to respond from his place of asylum in Mexico that she is a “coup-mongering right-wing senator” and said his supporters' attempts to access the Senate had been denied. Morales also called the series of events which led to his rapid ouster at the start of the week "the sneakiest, most nefarious coup in history."
Meanwhile security forces have vowed to take back the streets, deploying heavily in the administrative capital of La Paz, where throngs of angry Morales supporters squared off against police. The US embassy has evacuated all non-essential personnel according to reports, as pro-Evo socialist demonstrators have vowed to reject the "right-wing coup".
The AFP reports the death toll is rising fast amid fresh clashes:
Bolivia's attorney general, Juan Lanchipa, said Tuesday that seven people have died in unrest since the election, raising the previous toll of three.
The United States meanwhile warned its citizens against travel to Bolivia, ordered its diplomats' family members to leave and authorized non-emergency employees to depart due to the unrest.
Anti-Morales opposition activists have haled Sen. Anez's declaration as being in accord with the Bolivian constitution, while legislators from Morales' Movement for Socialism declared the assembly session "illegal".
Left-wing critics of the turnover in power are likening the crisis to a new imperialist takeover and "coup" hostile to indigenous communities.
“The Bible returns to the Palace,” says the new self-declared president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, in a shot against indigenous communities.pic.twitter.com/6uQxeIZXf4— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) November 13, 2019
And to be expected, Washington chimed in, with the White House issuing a statement on Morales' ouster, calling it a “significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere” and accused the former socialist president of attempting to "override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people" in seeking a fourth term, which triggered the opposition uprising in the streets against him.
The White House also stated" "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." And added provocatively, "We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere."