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11 Nov, 2019 16:12

Media ‘whitewashing coup’ in Bolivia, & CIA surely celebrating Morales’ departure – pundits

Media ‘whitewashing coup’ in Bolivia, & CIA surely celebrating Morales’ departure – pundits

The way Bolivian President Evo Morales departed from power bears clear signs of a coup, but the media is unlikely to present it that way, pundits and politicians said, with some suggesting the event is pure joy for the CIA.

Morales stepped down as president of Bolivia on Sunday, after winning a fourth term in office on October 20. The results of this election were disputed, however, and the opposition launched massive protests. Following Morales’ own calls for an audit, a report by the Organization of American States (OAS) found “clear manipulations of the system” in his win. Amid rumors of his impending arrest, video footage shared on social media on Sunday evening showed the former leader’s home ransacked by vandals.

Also on rt.com ‘Morales’ resignation undermines claims he is dictator, US may be behind push to oust him’

The New York Times described the streets of the Bolivian capital, La Paz, as descending into “chaos,” with mobs of presumably pro-Morales protesters setting “politically motivated fires” and looting businesses. The paper said that “crowds cheered heavily armed police officers” who were deployed to “restore order.” The newspaper’s tone was similar to that of the opposition, who decried the lawlessness of “bands of delinquents” associated with Morales.

In contrast, the atmosphere in the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz was described as “festival-like,” with people “celebrating on the streets and waving flags.” 

“The word ‘coup’ will not appear in mainstream headlines about Bolivia,” pundit Rania Khalek tweeted. “They will go out of their way to whitewash what actually happened.”

Morales’ supporters have been quick to label his removal as such. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the “coup against the Bolivian people,” while US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted“there’s a word for the president of a country being pushed out by the military. It’s called a coup.”

Morales’s resignation came immediately after he lost the support of Bolivia’s police and military, with military commander-in-chief Williams Kaliman calling on him to step down “for the good of Bolivia,” even though Morales himself had called for a snap election to safeguard peace within the country.

Notably, there has been a steady flow of money from shady right-wing NGOs to the Bolivian opposition in recent years. One such organization, the supposedly CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy, channeled nearly $1 million into the country in 2018 alone.

“Congratulations on winning power in Bolivia, @CIA” tweeted former US senator and anti-war activist Mike Gravel.

Morales’ deposition whittles away at the last remaining leftist leaders in Latin America, a continent that has lurched – often violently – between socialist and neoliberal right-wing governments for decades. 

Morales counted among his allies Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel, and Argentinian President-elect Allberto Fernandez. Mexico’s left-wing government has also stood by Morales, with the country’s foreign affairs secretary saying he would offer him political asylum, in keeping with the country’s “tradition of asylum and non-intervention.”

Morales’ whereabouts are currently unknown, and nobody has yet stepped in to assume power in his stead.

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