14 Nov, 2019
The political upheaval in Bolivia is a textbook coup that was carried out through violence and intimidation, Max Blumenthal told RT. The journalist marveled that some still deny the unconstitutional nature of the power grab.
Opposition politician Jeanine Añez declared herself interim leader of Bolivia on Wednesday, after President Evo Morales was urged by his country’s military chief to step down. But her legitimacy has already come into question. As the editor of the Grayzone Project pointed out, Añez is a fringe figure who garnered only 1.7 percent of the votes cast in Bolivia’s last elections.
This is what Bolivia's parliament looked like when Senator Jeanine Añez decided to swear herself in as head of state. No majority, no quorum, no vote on whether to accept @evoespueblo's resignation as required by law. No constitutional process. She just took power. That's a #Coup pic.twitter.com/cSJgOd9Jv5
— Eva Golinger (@evagolinger) November 13, 2019
Realizing that there was no popular support, threats of violence were used to ensure that senators who opposed Añez would not be able to vote on a motion declaring her Bolivia’s acting president. According to Blumenthal, politicians belonging to Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism Party, which has a majority in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, “had guns to their heads, their families were threatened, and if they showed up they could have been arrested and killed.”
There’s absolutely no way that Áñez would have obtained power without the help of the Bolivian military and the police… You essentially have a right-wing dictatorship, a military regime in power now in Bolivia, with no constitutional authority.
Commenting on possible US ties to the plot, Blumenthal noted that six key coup plotters from the military command of Bolivia were trained and educated at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia – an institution notorious for hatching regime change plots and training right-wing military dictators throughout the past decades. A top police official credited with launching the coup, Vladimir Yuri Calderón, even participated in a police training program overseen by the FBI, Blumenthal explained.
So what we’ve seen here is actually a classic military coup, and I’m shocked there’s still some debate over what it was.
Washington has hailed the developments in Bolivia as a “significant movement for democracy in the Western Hemisphere” – a statement that essentially endorses a “purge” of Evo Morales’ supporters, Blumenthal argued.