“Resignation of Bolivia’s Evo Morales was no victory for democracy, but a US-sponsored coup” by Eva Bartlett (In Gaza and beyond)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Evo Morales, an indigenous leader who bucked the IMF and condemned US imperialism, has been pressured by the military to resign after winning an election. Yet Washington calls this blatant coup in Bolivia a victory for democracy?
Morales was re-elected as Bolivia’s president on October 20. The coup-backing Organization of American States (OAS) wasn’t pleased and went ahead interfering in a sovereign nation – as the US itself does so well – issuing a report that the vote result wasn’t satisfactory to their desires.The heavy funding from the US surely has no influence on OAS policies…
In any case, on November 10, President Morales first announced a new election. Later that day, he announced his resignation, naming as reason the recent brutality of Bolivia’s right-wing opposition, including “kidnapping and mistreating” families of indigenous leaders and burning down the homes of public officials.
I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) Mesa and (Luis Fernando) Camacho do not continue to persecute socialist leaders.
Morales was clear that his move was solely due to the violence incited opposition leaders. However, it soon became clear that this was a coup, not a resignation.
Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff tweeted her solidarity with the “legitimate president of Bolivia [Evo Morales] who was deposed by a military coup, had his house raided by the police and suffered an illegal arrest warrant. A very serious attack on democracy in Latin America and violence against the Bolivian people.”
Another Brazilian ex-president, Lula, likewise declared the “stepping down” a coup. And even before the events of November 10, Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner foresaw there would be pressure to force Morales out of office, as did Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.
This is familiar territory. I remember listening to Pepe Escobar’s very interesting conversation with Joe Lauria about his interview with Lula (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), the former president of Brazil and how, from what Pepe reports, Lula seemed relatively clueless about the coming coup against him and his government. (And the same thing can be said about Dilma Rousseff.) If you’re resisting absorption into the global dictatorship of the United States (even if you’re already a part of the world government that is an American-dominated Corporatocracy), then you automatically become a target of the US because the United States is a globe-straddling empire that seeks to rule the entire world, including every pocket of it.
“Morales’ resignation came hours after the head of the armed forces and the chief of Bolivia’s police “suggested” that he resign.
“The head of the army, General Williams Kalimán Romero, was Bolivia’s military attaché in Washington from 2013 to 2016. The chief of police, General Vladimir Calderón, was Bolivia’s police attaché in Washington until December 2018.
“As attachés they would have been in constant communication with the Pentagon and other agencies; it is no stretch of the imagination to wonder if they were still in contact with their U.S. counterparts as the overthrow of the Morales government unfolded.
“The coup was carried out over three weeks after the October 20 elections, but it was months, if not years in the making.
“The United States first began targeting Evo Morales in 2001 — five years before being elected president — when the US embassy in La Paz warned that his political base needed to be weakened.” – “US and OAS help overthrow another government: Behind the coup against Bolivia’s Evo Morales” by Leonardo Flores (Codepink via The Grayzone)
I created two excerpts from the video (linked to above) in which Pepe talks to Joe Lauria about his interviews of Lula and Dilma Rousseff. The first (not shown in this post) looked specifically at the Day Of Fire, the insane plot by some 70 rightwing, very wealthy, landowners in the Amazonian state of Para to burn down the Amazon in order make it easier to do mineral exploration and in order to show solidarity with Bolsonaro (exactly how, I don’t know) and, I thought I caught, in order to increase acreage for soya production, which is why the Brazilian port that ships that soya was expanded. (At the time of Pepe’s discussion with Joe, it had not been demonstrated that Jair Bolsonaro participated directly in that crime or even knew about it. But, as Pepe points out, Bolsonaro didn’t condemn it after the fact or allow help from various foreign firefighters to help with the fires. He also shut down the government organization charged with oversight of the Amazon. And the corporate media in Brazil never touched the story, of course.) The second excerpt deals with Escobar’s mention of Lula’s relative cluelessness about exactly how his government was undone. The following blurb is attached to my second excerpt which follows the blurb:
This is an excerpt of the very interesting discussion that Joe Lauria had with Pepe Escobar about Pepe’s interview of Lula (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil) when Lula was in the Federal Police building in Curitiba in southern Brazil. (Lula was president of Brazil from 2002 until 2010. He’s out now. That is very interesting. The corporate media is mentioning it but it is not talking about the circumstances surrounding Lula’s being framed, as Brian Mier points out in his FAIR article titled “As Lula Emerges From Prison, US Media Ignore How Washington Helped Put Him There.” I have issues with FAIR, and Consortium News, but will not go into that here.) It was quite a coup for Escobar to get this interview, which he talks about in the video. Escobar talks with Lula and with Dilma Rousseff, who was elected as President of Brazil in 2011 and was impeached in 2016. Lula (and Brazil’s labor leadership) doesn’t know what went wrong and how Lula could end up in prison. Really?!! And Escobar elicits the same sort of bewilderment from Dilma Rousseff about how she was impeached in 2016.
The US is anti-democratic. Anti-democratic rulers can’t allow the people to have a say in matters affecting them because the people don’t want their survival to be dependent on the whims and needs of uncaring investors and would, if allowed to, take steps to ensure that their country become and remain democratic and not just a source of natural resources and slave labor for powerful Transnationals and investors. People can have limited self-determination as long as their government is a Corporatocracy government that takes its marching orders from Washington, which in turn protects and entrenches corporate rule, aka fascism. Bertolt Brecht and others are completely correct when they identify fascism with capitalism. And fakers like Stephen Cohen who mumble incoherently about Ukrainian quasi fascists are obscurantists. What enables capitalism and it’s final, or ripe, form to thrive is the freedom to self-modify that we all possess and the willingness of so many to make that choice. (Why people play around with their names, I’ll never know. Bertholt’s proper name is: Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht. Wikipedia notes that Berthold was “known professionally as Bertolt Brecht.”)
“But how can anyone tell the truth about Fascism, unless he is willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth? What will be the practical results of such truth?
“The man who does not know the truth expresses himself in lofty, general, and imprecise terms. He shouts about “the” German, he complains about Evil in general, and whoever hears him cannot make out what to do. Shall he decide not to be a German? Will hell vanish if he himself is good? The silly talk about the barbarism that comes out of barbarism is also of this kind. The source of barbarism is barbarism, and it is combated by culture, which comes from education. All this is put in general terms; it is not meant to be a guide to action and is in reality addressed to no one.
“Such vague descriptions point to only a few links in the chain of causes. Their obscurantism conceals the real forces making for disaster. If light be thrown on the matter it promptly appears that disasters are caused by certain men. For we live in a time when the fate of man is determined by men. – Bertholt Brecht
And Christopher Black reminds us, essentially, of the same fact in his New Eastern Outlook article titled “The Whitewashing Of The Nazis”:
“And never are the people told that the Nazis were capitalists on a rampage, that they were and are the face of capitalism with the gloves off.” – Christopher Black
Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman say the thing, basically:
“Terror keeps the neo-colonial elites in power and the investment skies sunny.” – Edward Herman & Noam Chomsky, pg 67 of “The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism”
The US, which created the global capitalist system, post World War Two, that all countries are dependent on, is ultra violent and ultra lawless. It is precisely via strategic rule-breaking that the powerful in this dark world acquire, and keep, power. (Those who abide by rules, laws and agreements lose in a world in which they have to live with wolves in sheep’s clothing. The neocon/neolibs among us – a crowd of self-modified individuals – have absolutely no use for democracy.) As Finian Cunningham pointed out, Trump babbled about pulling the troops out of Syria as a ploy to win the 2020 election. Smart people, like Alexander Mercouris, believe Trump’s lies. Is it any wonder that the many who are not as knowledgeable as Mercouris are taken in? Just look at what Donald Trump is doing in Syria. He’s going to steal Syria’s oil and kill any, including Syrians, who try to stop him. Why? Trump is self-modified like the rest of the twisted American ruling class. He’s jettisoned the golden rule of ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’ and has become a happy player in the Satanic game of ‘riches for the strongest’, an operating principle that those who inhabit this dark anti-God world allow to animate them, which principle was openly expressed so well by the psychopaths Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi. Therefore, those self-modified people now possess twisted needs and desires. Stealing the means of survival from those who the thieves feel sure they can steal from is how the self-modified crows survives. They like that way of surviving because when they can get away with killing and stealing from others it makes them feel strong and feeling strong, and godlike, is a twisted desire that they now possess.
In geopolitical terms, stealing Syria’s oil also allows the US to weaken Syria and is one step closer to being in the strongest position that it can be in in order to terrorize Russia into auto-regime change. (That’s sort of a contradiction terms. The goal, any way you look at it, is regime change for absolutely every resistant State and, after that, maintenance of the American-led Corporatocracy, which would include regime change of already regime changed States that might be weakening in their resolve to betray their people.) And elements within the US ruling class – the Pentagon and defense contractor sector – wouldn’t mind war with Russia, because war is the business of the uncaring, twisted weapons makers who the US military is in bed with. That Russia could inflict incredible damage on the US and its allies if pushed into a corner doesn’t seem to bother the ruined minds who run and ruin the world.
From pages 53 & 54 of Noam Chomsky & Edward Herman’s book titled “The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism,” the following:
Military training and supply, the build-up and cultivation of the military and intelligence establishments, as well as CIA surveillance and destabilization, have been key elements of the “Washington connection,” employed to protect U.S. interests in its client states in the post World War II era. The United States trains client military personnel in some 150 bases and training schools, and sends mobile units and advisors to serve on an in-country basis. This training has placed great weight on ideological conditioning and has “steeped young Latin officers in the early 1950s anti-Communist dogma that subversive infiltrators could be anywhere.” In addition to the ideological cement of this world view, U.S. military training has purposely helped build a network of personal relationships between United States and Latin American military cadres. This tie has been further consolidated by military aid from the wealthier power as well as cooperative maneuvers and logistical planning. Over 200,000 Latin American military personnel have been trained in the U.S., and since 1949 over 35,000 Latin American officers have trained in the School for the Americas alone; a school identified in Latin America by its historic function as the “school of coups.”
In testimony before Congress, there has been a pretense by spokesmen for the military and foreign policy establishment that our training and contacts will have a “pro-democratic” impact and will serve to bring more “humane” methods to the Latin American police and military. Precisely the opposite effects have occurred. Our training and aid have enhanced the power of the military, and our ideological and moral support and training have encouraged them to assert themselves politically. They have become more “pro-American,” any spinoff of democratic values is as yet undetectable.
See the original of the above quote for details related to the authors’ quotes.
A few thoughts about that: It’s obviously going to easier for the US to get its hands on military and police personnel of client regimes than regimes that are holding out against the dictatorship of the United States. (This would constitute maintenance. We can’t win the regime change war and then leave the ruined country to go its own way. It could revert to a democracy.) This doesn’t mean that police and military of ‘unfriendly’ regimes aren’t targetted. Ben Norton’s and Max Blumenthal’s article for the Grayzone, titled “Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support,” and Jeb Sprague’s article for the Grayzone titled “Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military’s School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs” makes that clear.
“Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support” by Max Blunethal and Ben Norton
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
When Luis Fernando Camacho stormed into Bolivia’s abandoned presidential palace in the hours after President Evo Morales’s sudden November 10 resignation, he revealed to the world a side of the country that stood at stark odds with the plurinational spirit its deposed socialist and Indigenous leader had put forward…
With a Bible in one hand and a national flag in the other, Camacho bowed his head in prayer above the presidential seal, fulfilling his vow to purge his country’s Native heritage from government and “return God to the burned palace.”
Camacho hails from a family of corporate elites who have long profited from Bolivia’s plentiful natural gas reserves. And his family lost part of its wealth when Morales nationalized the country’s resources, in order to fund his vast social programs — which cut poverty by 42 percent and extreme poverty by 60 percent.
In the lead-up to the coup, Camacho met with leaders from right-wing governments in the region to discuss their plans to destabilize Morales…
The Organization of American States, a pro-US organization founded by Washington during the Cold War as an alliance of right-wing anti-communist countries in Latin America, helped rubber stamp the Bolivian coup…
It was not until after the election that Camacho was thrust into the limelight and transformed into a celebrity by corporate media conglomerates like the local right-wing network Unitel, Telemundo, and CNN en Español.
All of a sudden, Camacho’s tweets calling for Morales to resign were lighting up with thousands of retweets. The coup machinery had been activated.
Mainstream outlets like the New York Times and Reuters followed by anointing the unelected Camacho as the “leader” of Bolivia’s opposition. But even as he lapped up international attention, key portions of the far-right activist’s background were omitted.
Left unmentioned were Camacho’s deep and well-established connections to Christian extremist paramilitaries notorious for racist violence and local business cartels, as well as the right-wing governments across the region…
Luis Fernando Camacho was groomed by the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, or Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), a fascist paramilitary organization that has been linked to assassination plots against Morales. The group is notorious for assaulting leftists, Indigenous peasants, and journalists, all while espousing a deeply racist, homophobic ideology…
In August, Camacho tweeted a photo with his “great friend,” Marinkovic. This friendship was crucial to establishing the rightist activist’s credentials and forging the basis of the coup that would take form three months later…
Branko Marinkovic is a major landowner who ramped up his support for the right-wing opposition after some of his land was nationalized by the Evo Morales government. As chairman of the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee, he oversaw the operations of the main engine of separatism in Bolivia…
In 2013, journalist Matt Kennard reported that the US government was working closely with the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee to encourage the balkanization of Bolivia and to undermine Morales. “What they [the US] put across was how they could strengthen channels of communication,” the vice president of the committee told Kennard. “The embassy said that they would help us in our communication work and they have a series of publications where they were putting forward their ideas.”
“Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military’s School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs” by Jeb Sprague (The Grayzone)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The United States played a key role in the military coup in Bolivia, and in a direct way that has scarcely been acknowledged in accounts of the events that forced the country’s elected president, Evo Morales, to resign on November 10.
Just prior to Morales’ resignation, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces Williams Kaliman “suggested” that the president step down. A day earlier, sectors of the country’s police force had rebelled.
Though Kaliman appears to have feigned loyalty to Morales over the years, his true colors showed as soon as the moment of opportunity arrived. He was not only an actor in the coup, he had his own history in Washington, where he had briefly served as the military attaché of Bolivia’s embassy in the US capital.
Kaliman sat at the top of a military and police command structure that has been substantially cultivated by the US through WHINSEC, the military training school in Fort Benning, Georgia known in the past as the School of the Americas. Kaliman himself attended a course called “Comando y Estado Mayor” at the SOA in 2003.
At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington…
As I found from the more than 11,000 FOIA documents I obtained while writing my book on the paramilitary campaign waged in the lead up to the February 2004 ouster of Haiti’s elected government and the post-coup repression, U.S. officials worked for years to ingratiate themselves and establish connections with Haitian police, army, and ex-army officials. These connections as well as the recruitment and information gathering efforts eventually paid off.
In Bolivia, too, the role of military and police officials trained by the US was pivotal in forcing regime change. U.S. government agencies such as USAID have openly financed anti-Morales groups in the country for many years. But the way that the country’s security forces were used as a Trojan Horse by US intelligence services is less understood. With Morales’s forced departure, however, it became impossible to deny how critical a factor this was…
The November 10 coup d’état did not materialize out of thin air. Events that have transpired inside Bolivia are intimately connected to U.S. efforts to influence military and police forces abroad through programs like SOA and APALA.
While U.S. President Donald Trump cheers on a “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” Bolivians are suddenly under the control of a de facto military regime.
From pages 106 & 107 of Michael Klare’s “War Without End – American Planning for the Next Vietnams,” the following:
The United States has also attmpted on various occasions to obtain the cooperation of various minority groups in a target population which, for various historical, economic, or political reasons, are alienated from the majority group and thus vulnerable to U.S. psychological operations. In Vietnam, for instance, we have recruited montagnard tribesmen and other ethnic minority groups for CIA-financed mercenary armies…
Before the process of mercenarization can begin, the American foreign policy apparatus must have complete data on the history, religion, culture, and social composition of a given society in order to select the appropriate levers for cooptation. This work involves the production of anthropological and sociological studies of the social underpinnings of the target culture – the values, social relations, and communications institutions that lend themselves to external manipulation. In particular, the Pentagon seeks to know which subgroups in the population can most readily be made to serve U.S. interests. Such research, which usually falls under the headings of elite or minority studies, is routinely performed by academic social scientists in the normal course of their work; it has only been necessary for the Pentagon to channel this research in the desired direction by awarding substantial contracts for investigations of a target culture, and to maintain a clearinghouse – the Center for Research in Social Systems – for the collection, storage, and retrieval of such information.
Because of its pivotal role in U.S. counterinsurgency planning, the social grouping of greatest interest to Washington is the officer class of the native armed forces. The Pentagon must know if the indigenous military can be persuaded to engage in combat against guerilla movements, if they will accept the strategic leadership of the American “advisers,” and if they are capable of performing a “modernizing” role in their society by introducing new technological and managerial skills.
I’ve long said that South Americans are more politicized than North Americans – not that corporate media and it’s cousin, social media, there doesn’t try hard to counter that, as Pepe in the above linked-to CN show makes clear – for they have had the direct experience of being victims of uncle Sam’s aggression, repeatedly. Which is why I’m baffled by the failure of leaders like Lula, Rousseff and now Morales, to see the coups against them and their governments coming. That they know that the US is nasty and will do regime change at the drop of a hat only makes it all the more strange that they didn’t take steps, the way Hugo Chavez did, to prepare for the inevitable. But can anyone point me to an example of a targetted country having explicit rules that disallow their militaries’ soldiers and officers and their police forces’ personnel from serving ‘if they are getting training from foreign agents’? I didn’t think so. I also think that there needs to be good rules about NGOs. (Alexander Mercouris, in a mostly balanced and measured analysis of the Bolivian coup, linked to below, talks about the flood of money going to NGOs crawling all over Bolivia leading up to the coup. Also, he uses a phrase similar to one used by Chris Hedges [“radical Left”], namely ‘radical socialism’, that makes me scratch my head, but set that aside here.) And there’s no question in my mind, as it has now been amply demonstrated, that corporate media is a threat to national security (in a normal sense, in which the ‘entire’ nation is threatened and not just its capitalist parasites) and measures need to be taken to ensure that it shares air time, at most equally with pro State and/or State media, but never greater than State and/or pro State media.
The Critical Difference Between Venezuela And Bolivia:
See the link below for the entire Duran episode from which the above excerpt was taken: