The next Bolivian presidential elections were scheduled for May 3. The scenario in the country remains troubled, marked by the unrest and tensions created by the coup that led to the overthrow of Evo Morales. On the one hand, candidates from the right stand up enthusiastically with the intention of neutralizing any possible resurrection of the left. On the other hand, Morales, although with undeniable popular support, currently does not seem to have enough strength to face the right forces.
Bolivia is currently going through one of the worst phases in its history. A real drop, if we take into account the situation of economic stability that the country lived recently, with the policies of an indigenous and socialist nature of Evo Morales. The coup d’état carried out by pro-Washington groups last year is one of the most advanced activities on the United States’ agenda in Latin America. The failure of the planned coup d’état in Venezuela was not repeated in Bolivia, which fell into the hands of external enemies.
The illegality of the political maneuver that brought down Morales is undeniable. The aggressiveness with which the Bolivian opposition acted makes clear the intentions and modus operandi of groups interested in putting an end to the socialist government. Now, however, with the new elections, the right has its chance to mask the coup with the varnish of legality, thus perpetuating a Bolivian zombie state, totally hostage to the actions of groups outside the national interests.
The popular preference for Morales is undeniable and absolutely noticeable. The 60% majority that declared a preference for the former president makes clear the real popular interest. Never before has Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, experienced such economic growth and such autonomy and freedom for the traditional communities of indigenous peoples. Now, however, the coup perpetrators intend to go back on all the points on which Morales has made progress, subordinating the national economy to the international market and intensifying the policies of repression against native peoples.
MAS – Movimiento Al Socialismo, party of Evo Morales – will have as candidate the former minister of the economy, Luiz Arce. In contrast, reactionary options abound, including, notably, Jeanina Añez, the “self-proclaimed” president of the country, and Luis Fernando Camacho, the businessman who led the protests against Morales at the head of the powerful Santa Cruz Civic Committee, in addition to Carlos Mesa, former president with a more moderate behavior.
It is speculated that Añez and Camacho will unite on a single front in a possible second round in the elections, harming both the MAS popular left and Mesa’s moderate reactionarism. However, it is not just the popular will and full confidence in the legality of the conduct of the elections that should be used to analyze this case.
In fact, South America is going through a terrible time in political, economic and geopolitical terms. With the exception of Venezuela, which survives under a serious economic crisis, all other countries are taken over by governments strongly committed to Washington’s agenda. This means that their direct support for the election of a socialist candidate will be minimal and, in return, the pressure for a coup victory will be exaggerated and cruel, with emphasis on the role played by Brazil, currently governed by Jair Bolsonaro, a neoliberal who has already made clear several times his intentions to use all of Brazil’s regional power to guarantee the full functioning of the interests of the USA – having even, on several occasions, threatened to intervene militarily in neighboring countries, such as Venezuela.
Furthermore, Bolivia’s legal situation is catastrophic. The country has recently undergone a coup d’état and finds itself hostage to the articulations and clashes of different groups. This means that it is possible and likely that there will be fraud and sabotage in the elections if the expectations of the coup perpetrators are not met at the polls. In any case, the coup makers will do their best to win, because they know that the victory would guarantee them a mask of legality, guarantee their international recognition, since for the West the only thing that matters is the democratic appearance.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.