Two days before Bolivian president Evo Morales was pushed out by the country’s military, Mark Weisbot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research penned a warning about what was happening, and what might unfold, in a Nation article titled, The Trump Administration Is Undercutting Democracy in Bolivia.
Multilateral organizations like the Organization of American States (OAS) have a certain perceived impartiality because they are, in theory, controlled by a diverse group of nations. But sometimes a great power can wield a disproportionate influence. It could theoretically be a coincidence that both the Trump administration and the OAS have tried—without offering any evidence—to discredit Bolivia’s national election in the past couple of weeks. But it’s more likely that this dangerous, ugly, and destabilizing operation is being pushed by Washington.
This “destabilizing operation” came to a head yesterday when Morales resigned under pressure from the military amidst a wave of protests and violence. The situation is Bolivia is complicated, but one thing you can be sure of is anything you hear or read in U.S. mass media will be a heaping pile of lies and propaganda. Fortunately, I came across a really helpful thread courtesy of Kevin Cashman.
THREAD: If you haven't been following the situation in Bolivia here's a rundown. Briefly, the OAS, an emboldened opposition (which clearly is not the most popular party in the country), the media, and the Trump admin ousted a successful leftist leader. For the longer story:— Kevin Cashman (@kevinmcashman) November 11, 2019
Morales was barred by the constitution from running for another term, but he attempted to override this with a referendum which he lost 51% to 49%. The Bolivian Supreme Court later ruled that term limits were unconstitutional, so he decided to run again. He then won this new election in the first round by the 10% spread required, but the Organization of American States (OAS) immediately called into question the validity of the result. This sparked weeks of protests and culminated in yesterday’s military coup. According to Mark Weisbot, the OAS has provided zero evidence of election fraud, and also notes that approximately 60% of the OAS budget comes from the U.S. government.
Personally, I think Morales should’ve accepted the referendum result and stepped aside, but the military deciding the situation (with likely assistance from the U.S. government/CIA) is not something anyone should cheer on.
Interesting to note that the military isn’t rising up to depose leaders in countries with big protests as long as the CIA likes the leaders in power.— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) November 11, 2019
See Chile and France. This couldn’t be more obvious. https://t.co/nIfUBPBQAi
There are massive, widespread protests happening all over the world. Wanting the military/national security state to intervene is a bad idea under almost all circumstances. It’s a bad idea in the U.S. , and it’s a bad idea abroad.— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) November 11, 2019
It seems likely what went down in Bolivia is part of the global proxy war the Trump administration is waging against countries like China and Russia in order to push back against the ongoing transition to a multi-polar geopolitical world. Natural resources always play a key role in such struggles, and Bolivia is no exception thanks to massive lithium reserves, some of which Morales agreed to develop with China earlier this year.
As Reuters reported back in February:
Bolivia has chosen a Chinese consortium to be its strategic partner on new $2.3 billion lithium projects, the government said on Wednesday, giving China a potential foothold in the country’s huge untapped reserves of the prized electric battery metal.
China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd will hold a 49 percent stake in a planned joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YLB, the Bolivian firm said…
Bolivia has some of the world’s largest reserves of lithium – a key component in batteries that power electric cars – but has yet to produce the metal at a commercial scale.
It’s going to be very interesting to watch how things unfold in Bolivia from here. Although Morales lost the referendum to run for another term, my guess is a lot of those who voted against him at the time aren’t pleased with the military coming in to handle the situation. Although it’s not often highlighted in U.S. mass media, Morales achieved a great deal of success economically and socially during his presidency.
For instance, poverty plummeted dramatically:
Then there’s this.
Whether you love him, hate him, or feel indifference, there’s no denying Morales did a lot for many Bolivians who probably won’t take too kindly to what’s being done to him and his supporters by the opposition and military. Let’s not forget he was also the first indigenous president of Bolivia, a country with the largest proportion of indigenous people in Latin America. This story is far from over.
Bigger picture, the escalation in Bolivia is further evidence of the ongoing trend of political chaos around the world, which is likely get worse and spread to ever more corners of the globe. I continue to believe this unrest is largely symptomatic of the death throes of a dying geopolitical and financial paradigm that’s dominated the world for decades. Keep your seatbelts fastened; things can change, and change very quickly irrespective of where you reside. Such are the times we live in.
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