22 Nov, 2019
Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has finally provided her take on the violent unrest that toppled the sitting president Evo Morales, telling her followers that it was a coup which shouldn’t involve US interference.
“What happened in Bolivia is a coup. Period,” Gabbard wrote on Twitter, warning against what may lie in store for Washington’s interventionists.
“The United States and other countries should not be interfering in the Bolivian people’s pursuit of self-determination and right to choose their own government,” she argued.
What happened in Bolivia is a coup. Period. The United States and other countries should not be interfering in the Bolivian people's pursuit of self-determination and right to choose their own government.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) November 22, 2019
Gabbard’s words come days after another top-tier Democrat, Bernie Sanders, used the same vocabulary when commenting on Bolivia’s turmoil. “When the military intervened and asked President Evo Morales to leave, in my view, that’s called a coup,” he tweeted.
Morales, an indigenous president and a veteran of the Latin American left, sought a fourth presidential term earlier in October but faced resistance from the opposition that claimed the election was fraudulent.
I oppose the intervention of Bolivia's security forces in the democratic process and their repression of Indigenous protesters. When the military intervened and asked President Evo Morales to leave, in my view, that’s called a coup. pic.twitter.com/TPFGxw1wWP
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 18, 2019
He was forced to resign earlier this month under pressure from the Bolivian military and rightwing forces. As cities across Bolivia descended into violent chaos, Morales left the country and sought political asylum in Mexico. He promised supporters he would bounce back into Bolivian politics.
Meanwhile, opposition senator Jeanine Anez has since declared herself Bolivia’s “interim president” – a dubious act resembling that of Venezuela’s Juan Guaido – and was quickly recognized by Washington.
While in exile, Morales rejected allegations of election fraud and speculated that the coup was actually about seizing control of natural resources, such as lithium. The US-backed coup had ended a rare period of calm in Bolivia, he told Ecuador’s former president, Rafael Correa, on his show aired on RT Spanish.
The ousted president described the opposition’s tactics as “fascist”; it included attacks, blackmail, and intimidation. “They burn the homes of officials down. The police do nothing and then join the protesters,” he revealed.