By Marco Teruggi – November 24th, 2019
Today the agreement for general elections was signed in Bolivia. In the photo are the self-proclaimed Añez and the president of the senators chamber, Eva Copa, “compa” from El Alto. The agreement, among other things, prolongs the usurpation of Añez for longer than they had initially announced, prohibits Evo Morales and García Linera from running, and allows the MAS to do so.
I understand those who criticize the agreement. My question is: were there real conditions to achieve something better?
That means not only analyzing the national and international forces of the coup block, but also the internal situation of the MAS and the process of change. The latter is key and explains both how they fell into the trap of the coup d’etat – the little reaction of Evo and the leadership, for example – as the composition of the remaining leadership, the lack of a strategy, an articulated plan for the street, the legislative, and the articulation between them. The coup exposed shortcomings and limitations of the “proceso de cambio”, gestated previously.
The combination of their own limitations, betrayals and persecution explains part of the situation in which the agreement is reached. When I speak of persecution I speak, for example, that 68 governors, mayors and councilors were forced to resign, not to mention ministers and Evo and Linera. Many questions can be added. For example: at any point was ousting Añez using street protests raised in the ranks of the MAS and the movements? Everything indicates that no, that there were no conditions to raise it, and that the bet was for the electoral resolution – even with the gigantic and obvious limitations they will face – Another question: how many movement leaders support Evo and the MAS bench? Less than usually thought.
What happened with the agreement is not surprising then. The coup’s plan was always the electoral exit in a very clear scheme: overthrow, de facto government, militarization, persecutions, massacres and elections. We have to read this sequence very carefully, the actors involved, the speeches, financing: Bolivia has just been a successful experiment for the North American strategy in the continent, a strategy that in these two months has deployed military in the streets to face protests under the right-wing and consequently aligned governments of Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia.
Translated by JRE/EF