Bolivian president Evo Morales, whose government has overseen improving living standards and a dramatic reduction in poverty while in power, has been re-elected, yet another blow for the ongoing US campaign to get rid of left-of-centre governments in Latin America and boost their austerity-supporting opponents.
Published on The Canary, Oct 24, 2019
Bolivian president Evo Morales, whose government has overseen improving living standards and a dramatic reduction in poverty while in power, has been re-elected. This is yet another blow for the ongoing US campaign to get rid of left-of-centre governments in Latin America and boost their austerity-supporting opponents.
Right-wing hits out despite “no evidence” of irregularities
With around 99% of the final vote counted in the presidential election, Morales had secured almost 47%, defeating his nearest rival Carlos Mesa by over 10% and thus delivering a first-round victory. Mesa is a neoliberal former president with close links with the US. Both Mesa and the US have declared they will not recognise the result.
The US wasted no time in attempting to delegitimise the election, and the mainstream Western media has joined in. The Washington-based Organisation of America States (OAS) issued a statement as the count was still happening, expressing “concern” at the “hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results after the closing of the polls”. This is actually easily explained by the fact that rural areas, where there are greater levels of support for Morales, take longer to report their results. Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center For Economic and Policy Research, condemned the OAS statement for having “absolutely no evidence – no statistics, numbers, or facts of any kind”.
Meanwhile, US-backed right-wing opposition groups in Bolivia have staged violent protests, including burning down electoral offices, in a coordinated attempt to derail the democratic process. Morales denounced this destabilisation campaign as an internationally-supported coup plot. The US had previously backed the ‘media luna’ coup attempt of 2008-09 and provided funding to opposition groups involved.