On October 23rd, Bolivian president Evo Morales gave a press-conference in which he stated that a right-wing coup d’etat was underway in the country. With victory practically assured in the first round of the presidential election, the returning incumbent claimed that widespread right-wing extremist violence was being used in an attempt to interfere with vote counting and certification of the election’s results.
“A coup is underway, carried out by the right-wing with foreign support…what are the methods of this coup attempt? They’re not recognizing or waiting for election results, they’re burning down electoral courts, they want to proclaim the second-place candidate as the winner.”
This bears many parallels with Bolivia’s regional geo-strategic partner, Venezuela. Following the clear victory of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in his 2018 bid for re-election, the US regime-change machine went into fifth gear, with the attempt to install the usurper Juan Guaidó as president through a combination of right-wing extremist violence and quasi-legal subterfuge. Both countries possess extremely valuable natural resource deposits which make them compelling targets for American neo-imperialism in what many American foreign policy thinkers (including, most famously, John Bolton) see as “our hemisphere.”
Morales also stated that one of the strategies of right-wing extremists attempting to disrupt the election was to find ways of rendering the votes of rural and indigenous communities uncountable or otherwise irrelevant. He has always received the overwhelming electoral support of rural and indigenous communities. This is entirely predictable, considering that rural and indigenous communities in Bolivia have been the principal economic beneficiaries of the revolution which has been undertaken since Morales was first elected president in 2006.
It is indisputable that Bolivia’s politico-economic spectrum has an ethnic dimension, just as Venezuela’s does. Both countries are highly multi-ethnic, but the overwhelming majority of right-wing extremists using violence in an attempt to unseat Maduro and Morales have been urban, middle-class and, broadly-speaking “white.” In Bolivia, some of these elements resent the effects of Morales’ revolution, which has been to redistribute wealth to rural and indigenous communities through land-reform, but also through the state-sponsored modernization of agriculture. Poverty has been cut in half since 2006.
The seed-capital for this modernization of agriculture was generated by the nationalization of certain strategic industries,