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Rights Action
November 13, 2019
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Greed driven, U.S. & Canadian-supported military coup in Bolivia
Analysis and commentary by Grahame Russell, Rights Action
 
Racist, exploitative and very violent times have returned to Bolivia following the November 11, 2019 military coup that forced Bolivia’s entire democratically-elected government into hiding – President Evo Morales was flown by the Mexican government into exile and safety in Mexico.
 
"I dream of a Bolivia free of indigenous satanic rites.
The city is not for the indians.
They better go to the highlands or to El Chaco."
(Post-coup, military-appointed ‘president’ Jeanine Anez)
 
This illegal regime change is being directly ‘legitimized’ by the U.S. and Canadian governments.  Across Latin America, the U.S. - faithfully parroted by Canada - is supporting and enabling a growing list of military-backed, racist and corrupt ‘open-for-global-business’ regimes: Haiti, Honduras and Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil, … .
 
Illegal, violent regime change efforts continue to be led by the U.S. against Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba - efforts directly supported by Canada (with the complicated exception of Cuba) and its ‘Lima group’ of corrupt, military-backed governments in Latin America.
 
While the main resistance to Bolivia’s coup must and will come from the Bolivian people and supporters, U.S. and Canadian citizens should be very clear with ourselves, our media and governments – the explosion of racist violence happening now in Bolivia are, in part, due to U.S. and Canadian policies being implemented with a direct eye to benefitting U.S. and Canadian companies, investors and banks, principally in the mining, oil and gas sectors.
 
Please read this in depth article about which sectors of Bolivian society are behind the military coup regime change: “Bolivia Coup Led by Christian Fascist Paramilitary Leader and Millionaire – with Foreign Support”, 
November 12, 2019, by Max Blumenthal, https://orinocotribune.com/bolivia-coup-led-by-christian-fascist-paramilitary-leader-and-millionaire-with-foreign-support?fbclid=IwAR14mHbNc6HujNyi13zYiLGPbtKaqLKo-_NCHihQRpdahDFPmwXj9ePBt00
 
Self-declared ‘president’
Copying Venezuela’s recent self-proclaimed ‘president’ Guaido, pathetically accepted as ‘legitimate’ by the U.S. and Canada and much of our mainstream media, Jeanine Azez - a white, blond, christian senator - was immediately “sworn in” as president by the Bolivian military.
 
Here, Jeanine Añez carries a massive bible to go be ‘sworn in’ - as South America's newest fake president – by the military, without the presence of the legally needed Assembly, even as the (forced) resignation of ousted president Evo Morales has not been formally or legally accepted: https://twitter.com/i/status/1194641675454427137
 

"I dream of a Bolivia free of indigenous satanic rites.
The city is not for the indians.
They better go to the highlands or to El Chaco."
 
This is not funny, silly or absurd.  These are the views of the now self-proclaimed, military-backed ‘president’ of Bolivia.  This is the white, christian face of the already-happening wave of racist violence being carried out across the country by the military and police together with armed civilians.  This is the ‘leader’ of the U.S. and Canadian-backed government.
 
U.S. and Canadian media
 
“Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.”
(“A Sunday at the Pool in Kingali”, by Gil Courtemanche)
 
As is too often the case, when reporting on international economic and political matters, the North American mainstream media is again serving virtually as a public relations office for the U.S. and Canadian governments, simplistically and misleadingly parroting government policies and statements.
 
Bolivia, like most countries, has complex internal differences and problems, but the coup has nothing to do with so-called ‘electoral irregularities’ or challenging contested policies of the government. 
 
The coup is about the right-wing, mainly non-Indigenous sectors – spearheaded and supported by the military and ‘open-for-global-business’ economic elites – illegally and violently grabbing power back after close to 15 years of governments and policies that have directly improved the lives of Bolivia’s majority poor, mainly Indigenous population.
 
"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic.
It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.  What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.  If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.  If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.  And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future.  The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

(Howard Zinn, “You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A personal history of our times”)
 
This latest U.S. and Canadian-backed coup inspires Rights Action to continue with our long-term work: directly supporting Guatemalan and Honduran community groups resisting and working in defense of human rights, territory and the environmental being harmed invariably by international economic interests in the sectors of mining, dams, tourism and the ‘for export’ production of African palm, sugar cane, fruits, coffee and cattle; and, focusing critical attention on working to hold accountable the U.S. and Canadian governments, our companies, banks and investors that oft-times maintain mutually beneficial political and economic relation with these corrupt, racist, repressive regimes.
 
Lots of good work and activism to do.  Stay involved.  Stay tuned. 
 
(Grahame Russell is a non-practicing Canadian lawyer, adjunct professor at University of Northern British Columbia, and since 1995 director of Rights Action (www.rightsaction.org).)
 
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Rights Action
Since 1995, Rights Action funds human rights, environment and territory defense struggles and projects in Guatemala and Honduras; funds victims of repression and human rights violations, health harms and natural disasters; works to hold accountable the U.S. and Canadian governments, multi-national companies, investors and banks (World Bank, etc.) that help cause and profit from repression and human rights violations, environmental harms and forced evictions, corruption and impunity in Honduras and Guatemala.
 
Get Informed / Get Involved
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