Grassroots Global Justice Alliance stands firmly with the Bolivian people to condemn the recent military and rightwing coup against the Indigenous leadership of President Evo Morales Ayma and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party. We support the call of President Morales for a national dialogue and peace, as well as, for new elections with fair, transparent, and independent oversight free of US intervention and involvement of the Organized American States (OAS). We demand the safety of MAS party members like Adriana Salvatierra, the chair of the senate who holds the Bolivian constitutional mandate to be interim president and was brutally beaten by the police when she tried to enter the senate chamber. We call for the safety of masses of supporters who have been attacked for mobilizing on the streets opposing the coup and call for an end to the violence in general.
On October 20th, Evo Morales Ayma was elected president of the plurinational state with 47% (600,000) of the popular vote and more than a 10% margin with a 90% participation rate during their recent elections. At the same time not all social movement sectors in Bolivia have agreed with President Morales and the MAS party leadership and have demonstrated their dissent. The right wing and military cooptation of this popular dissent is an affront to these social movements demanding the restoration of power back to the people not to any party, ideology, or institution. The opportunism of rightwing fascist leaders, like Jeanine Añez Chavez, the vice chair of the senate who declared herself as interim president in violation of the Bolivian constitution and Luis Fernando Camacho, a racist christian fundamentalist and far-right multi-millionaire who arose from fascist movements in the Santa Cruz region, where the US has encouraged separatism, must be exposed. No popular mandate nor vote have been given to these leaders. They promote violence and racist rhetoric against Indigenous people such as “I dream of Bolivia free of Satanic Indigenous rituals. The city is no place for Indians and they should go to highlands or the chaco” – Jeanine Añez Chavez.
We also demand no US intervention inside Bolivia and Latin America. The real intention of the Trump administration’s support of the coup in Bolivia is to ensure US neoliberal economic interests in the region including plundering of hydrocarbon and other mineral resources that President Morales had instead nationalized to fund social programs for poverty relief for Bolivians.
US intervention has long played a role in destabilizing Bolivia’s internal politics violating its sovereignty for decades through direct US embassy meddling in Bolivian internal affairs and through funding US interest aligned forces such as Camacho.
From Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela, and across the globe, the US role in overthrowing or attempting to overthrow democratically elected left governments is not new and has manifested as US supported right wing opposition take over against the will of the people. These forces are consistently violent, racist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-democratic, and marked by religious fundamentalism. We stand in solidarity with the millions of popular social movements- diverse as the Wiphala flag that symbolizes Bolivia’s plurinationalism- led by Indigenous, Black, women, gender non-conforming, poor, people around the globe that are rallying against the violence unleashed by the rise of the right globally and pushing for dignity, real democracy, and self determination.