[Marxism] Bolivia: An Election in the Midst of an Ongoing Coup (Vijay Prashad)
chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 14 12:50:21 MST 2020
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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1999 ... February 14, 2020
Bolivia: An Election in the Midst of an Ongoing Coup<https://socialistproject.ca/?p=2699>
On May 3, 2020, the Bolivian people will go to the polls once more. They return there because President Evo Morales had been overthrown in a coup in November 2019. Morales had just won a presidential election in October for a term that would have begun in January 2020. Based on a preliminary investigation by the Organization of American States (OAS) that claimed that there was fraud in the election, Morales was prematurely removed from office; the term for his 2014 presidential election victory did not end until January. Yet, he was told by the military to leave office. An interim president -- Jeanine Áñez -- appointed herself. She said she was taking this office only on an interim basis and would not run for election when Bolivia held another election. She is a candidate for the May 3 election.
Meanwhile, Morales has been in exile in Argentina. His party -- the Movement for Socialism (MAS) -- has candidates for the presidency and the vice presidency, but their party cadres and followers are facing a difficult time making their case to the people. Their radio stations have been blocked, their leaders arrested or exiled (or sitting in foreign embassies waiting for asylum), their cadre beaten up and intimidated.
The United Nations secretary-general’s personal envoy Jean Arnault released a statement on February 3 that expressed caution about the elections. The situation in Bolivia, Arnault said, is "characterized by an exacerbated polarization and mixed feelings of hope, but also of uncertainty, restlessness and resentment after the serious political and social crisis of last year." This careful language of the UN needs to be looked at closely. When Arnault says there is "exacerbated polarization," he means that the situation is extremely tense. When he asks that the interim government "outlaw hate speech and direct or indirect incitement to violence or discrimination," he means that the government and its far-right followers need to be very careful about what they say and how much violence they use in this election.
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