Bernie Sanders Cheers Bolivia on “Year-Long Fight to Restore Democracy”

By Jake Johnson – Oct 20, 2020

Following socialist candidate Luis Arce’s resounding victory in Bolivia’s high-stakes and closely watched presidential election, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday applauded the people of the South American nation for persisting in their “difficult, year-long fight to restore democracy” in the wake of last year’s military coup that ousted Evo Morales and installed a vicious right-wing regime.

“The Bolivian people made their voices heard in yesterday’s election,” tweeted Sanders, who was among the first members of Congress to condemn the military coup, which was openly applauded by President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers and abetted by the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS).

“As minister of economy, Mr. Arce helped slash poverty and inequality,” the Vermont senator added, referring to Arce’s role in Morales’ government. “I congratulate him on his victory and wish him well.”

RELATED CONTENT: Sanders Leads 30 Democrats in Call for OAS to Avoid Prolonging “Crisis of Democracy and Human Rights” in Bolivia

“The results from the quick count are overwhelming and very clear,” saidMesa, who served as president of Bolivia from 2003 to 2005. “It’s a result that we accept and it’s a result that we believe, because of the difference between the first and second [finishers], will not be modified when we know the final results.”

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.) joined Sanders on Monday in celebrating “the triumph of true democracy” in Bolivia and demanded “justice for those persecuted and killed under the Áñez regime,” which seized power following the ouster of Morales and promptly unleashed violent military repression against anti-coup demonstrators.

RELATED CONTENT: Media Malfunction as Sanders Notes Positive Aspects of Latin American Socialism


As The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald wrote Monday afternoon, “It looks as though the margin of victory delivered to [the Movement Toward Socialism party] by the Bolivian people was so stunning, so decisive, that there are few options left for the retrograde forces — in Bolivia, Washington, and Brussels — which tried to destroy the country’s democracy.”

“Anyone who believes in the fundamentals of democracy, regardless of ideology, should be cheering the Bolivians who sacrificed so much to restore their right of self-rule and hoping that the stability and prosperity they enjoyed under Morales expands even further under his first democratically elected successor,” Greenwald added.


Featured image: Luis Arce, presidential candidate of the Movement for Socialism party, greets a supporter after a final rally in El Alto, Bolivia, on October 14, 2020. NESTOR ALEXIS GOMEZ / PICTURE ALLIANCE VIA GETTY IMAGES


Jake Johnson
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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.