The tension is still high and Morales’ supporters were claiming that Evo Morales was a victim of a coup drawn by the military and political enemies (right-wing politicians). The possibility of an increase of human rights abuses is inevitable at the moment due to the Bolivian government’s instability.
Are we witnessing the rebirth of democracy in Bolivia? Or should we embrace for a more chaotic political crisis? In a report from the streets of La Paz, Bolivia, supporters of exiled former Bolivian President Evo Morales marched to oppose the current interim President Jeanine Añez Chavez, who then asked the citizens of Bolivia to return to their normal lives and promised to return democracy back to its people. The mass protest escalated to violence, which resulted to the deaths of 8 civilians when Bolivian security forces and supporters of Evo Morales clashed. The tension is still high and Morales’ supporters were claiming that Evo Morales was a victim of a coup drawn by the military and political enemies (right-wing politicians). The possibility of an increase of human rights abuses is inevitable at the moment due to the Bolivian government’s instability. It is possible that the lack of investigation about the alleged “rigged” election that resulted to Evo Morales’ victory last October, instigated the discontent and confusion of the public, causing disorder.
The amount of patronage and dedication Evo Morales’ supporters are providing is astounding. He captured the hearts and trust of different indigenous groups across Bolivia, which comprises almost two-thirds of the country’s population. In addition to that, he is also part of an indigenous group himself. He made way for indigenous groups to have a representation in the government. Morales also made sure that the culture of these groups are well preserved and least discriminated in the society. It is hard to deny that his charisma and popularity to the general public is well perceived for he represented the indigenous people very well. Known to be a left-wing and socialist leader, he distributed his own salary and his cabinet’s a few months after his assumption in office. He also decreased the rate of poverty in the country. Like any other presidents, Evo Morales had his highs and lows. Known to be distant against the United States of America, some of his critics were from the major power. One of the criticisms that was brought up by United States was the increased number of drug trafficking in the country. Bolivia’s agricultural production and trade of “coca” that is used for religious and cultural purposes, can also be converted to an illegal substance called “cocaine”. Evo Morales’ term in office had been also filled with controversies when he ran for his fourth consecutive term after the country’s highest court oddly supported him. “The president’s attempt to stay in power revealed his “autocratic temptations”: a desire to speak and act on behalf of the entire “people” and to do so forever. That threatens the integrity of the country’s constitutional order (Anria and Cyr 2019)”.
Being a socialist and anti-imperialist leader, was United States intervention present in the current situation of Bolivia? Obviously and there might be a direct intervention. The parties that were greatly affected by Evo Morales’ anti-imperialist policies were foreign companies and the United States. These policies are somewhat successful but the national interest of the United States might be neglected and there is an assumption that a move from the major power was needed. As it was also reported, US threw its support behind Anez new interim government.In addition, Morales even stated “This coup d’etat that has triggered the death of my Bolivian brothers is a political and economic plot that came from the US”.
Evo Morales’ recent controversies and his inability to give up the presidency have caused street protest and violence between his supporters and the government security forces and the army. Right now, the country is divided and the supporters of both parties have no intentions to give up their claims. Also, Morales’ supporters refuse to acknowledge the interim government lead by Senator Jeanine Añez Chavez. The sense of nationalism is being disregarded by Evo Morales’ supporters and his failure to respect the country’s constitution urged them to do the same. With Evo Morale’s resignation and proclamation that he will not be running for the next election, there is possibility that the protest being conducted by Morales’ supporters might ease off. Right now, Bolivia is still in a critical position and what Interim President Chaves did require guts. The pressure is now with the interim government, their promises need to be fulfilled and bestow the people a chance to choose their new leader, a leader that can guide the country back to democratic assertion.
Angee, G., & Berlinger, J. (2019). Retrieved from CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/20/americas/bolivia-unrest-intl-hnk/index.html
Anria, S., & Cyr, J. (2019). Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/30/is-bolivias-democracy-danger-heres-whats-behind-disputed-presidential-election/
Anria, S., & Roberts, K. M. (2019). Politics+Society. Retrieved from The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/the-latin-american-left-isnt-dead-yet-124385
Graham-Harrison, E., & Collyns, D. (2019). The Observer. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/17/bolivia-more-volatile-than-ever-as-president-flees-and-leaders-denounce-a-coup
Holcombe, M., & Berlinger, J. (2019). Edition. Retrieved from CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/16/americas/bolivia-evo-morales-not-running/index.html
Krauss, C. (2019). Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/13/world/americas/bolivia-morales-news.html
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