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11 Nov, 2019 19:40

One step closer to democratic, prosperous, free Western Hemisphere? Trump hails ouster of Bolivia's Evo Morales

One step closer to democratic, prosperous, free Western Hemisphere? Trump hails ouster of Bolivia's Evo Morales

US President Donald Trump praised the Bolivian military pushing President Evo Morales out of power as a “significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” openly endorsing what critics have called a coup in La Paz.

“After nearly 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Morales’s departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard,” Trump said in a statement on Monday, 

He also praised Bolivia’s military, which pressured Morales into resigning on Sunday, for “abiding by its oath to protect not just a single person, but Bolivia’s constitution.”

We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere.

While Trump framed the events in La Paz as a warning to the “illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail,” his may seem tone-deaf coming from someone who has accused his political opponents of an attempted coup – and been repeatedly denounced by them as illegitimate, tyrannical and a threat to democracy. Not to mention the infamous Washington's Monroe Doctrine and treating the countries of Latin America as its backyard.

Also on rt.com Media ‘whitewashing coup’ in Bolivia, & CIA surely celebrating Morales’ departure – pundits

Trump, of course, did not mention the US’ hand in influencing Bolivian affairs. Right-wing causes in the country benefited from around one million dollars in grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) last year alone. Suspected by some to be an arm of the CIA, the NED was established by Ronald Reagan in 1983 to promote American-style neoliberalism abroad.

Whether through public statements or NED funding, support for the opposition in Bolivia fits perfectly into the US’ ‘Monroe Doctrine’ – Washington’s century-and-a-half old policy of forbidding any rival worldview from taking root in the Western Hemisphere. Though infrequently acknowledged, President Trump spoke openly about his support for President Monroe’s vision of an American hemisphere before the UN last year.

While Trump denounced Morales, the US State Department stepped in to sanitize Washington’s position, with a senior official telling Reuters that the US has “no preference” among opposition candidates. The spokesperson did say, however, that anyone who tried to “distort” last month’s vote should not be allowed to participate.

Also on rt.com Ex-Ecuador leader Correa says Bolivia’s Morales was forced out in ‘coup’ and OAS is ‘an instrument of US domination’

Morales has indeed ruled Bolivia for 14 years, but his bid for re-election was ruled legal by the country’s supreme court, and the quick results count that showed him over 10 points ahead of the opposition candidate in the first round was in line with previous Bolivian elections.

The incongruity of praising violent opposition activists and the military for overruling the results of a democratic election – and then calling that outcome democracy – was apparently lost on the US president.