Thank you for sharing! That video brought tears to my eyes.
Unless they know someone inside the Bolivian government or in the electoral committee, they know no more or less than we do. I live in the middle east but you wouldn’t consider me more of an expert on the 2013 coup in Egypt just because of my proximity to the country, right? The notion that just because someone lives in SA they gain some sort of special insight, as opposed to the overwhelming evidence that shows this was a democratically elected presidency overthrown by a right wing US backed rogue military is in my eyes very misleading.
Before I say this, I want to be clear that this is not me staking out a position on this coup, nor really directed at anyone in this thread (honestly this has been the only place I really trust with this discussion right now). But it feels relevant, and I sure as hell ain’t putting it on Twitter.
Basically, I don’t think it’s ridiculous whatsoever to want to hear accounts from people who actually live within the system being commented on and discussed, with regard to how that particular country’s populace felt about Evo. Especially in something this prone to the kind of misinformation campaigns that are swirling around Twitter. I appreciate the people in this thread who’ve offered actual Bolivian perspectives on this, because yeah, I trust that a lot more than the primarily young white American leftists I follow on Twitter, and who have been firing off various opinions about everything involved for the past few days. I’m kinda doubtful that a lot of the people delivering perspectives on this even knew who Evo Morales was before this week. Maybe that’s from bias, but I have a deep-seated distrust of white leftists in general born from growing up in a working class, immigrant-heavy community and seeing just how detached especially white especially western leftist perspectives can be from the people they’re supposedly discussing. It’s not wild to want to listen to the people actually going through this right now. It should be the standard.
Listening to people who have first-hand experience with things is very important! There are all sorts of things we don’t and maybe can’t know fully because we don’t actually live inside of it. I’m not from the United States, so I should probably listen to some people from there when trying to figure out what’s up with the United States. I don’t think anyone here disagrees with this.
But voices are varied. People with similar lived experiences have different relationships to those experiences. For instance: there are various people from the United States who say that Trump is a great president! There are various people who say Trump’s no good, he’s very improper, but George W. Bush, now that was a guy. There are those who say Republicans are bad, but wasn’t Obama really incredible? There are those who say very different things from that. I might listen to every one of them, but I’m not going to agree with them all.
Everyone in this forum knows this, of course. Everyone takes it a step further, and tries to figure out which voices they should actually listen to in order to get perspective from outside their experience. But it seems to me that when Americans try to wrap their heads around stuff that is happening in other countries (and again, I speak this as a Brazilian, if this matters to you), this limitation of “listen to native voices” often gets forgotten. We’re talking about countries here. There are lots of people with lots of different understandings of the situation, and (perhaps this is the part that is not obvious to some) there are lots of factors that define which opinions you listen to.
Again, speaking as a Brazilian: a big reason why I’m in this forum, in an English-speaking gaming subcommunity that formed around an English-speaking site, is because I’m upper class. My parents had the money to pay for English lessons when I was a pre-teen. People who have that much disposable income skew right-wing. If a random person from the United States who only speaks English tries to go out into the internet and listen to Brazilian voices, they’ll listen to a mostly Bolsonaro-supporting population, because Bolsonaro supporters are overrepresented in the subgroup whose voices actually reaches people who can only listen in English.
I’m not trying to say Evo Morales is a saint, or that no one has a reasonable problem with him. But if I went into 4chan or Reddit trying to listen to American voices about Trump and came out thinking “oh Americans love Trump, he must be great”, I’d be laughed out of this thread, and yet I see people from the US who should know better doing the same shit with my country and with other countries from Latin America all the fucking time.
I linked a video on my previous post of two Bolivian women of indigenous descent protesting the coup. Those women probably don’t have an account on the Waypoint forums, and you’ll sure as shit not see them quoted in the New York Times, like Bolsonaro was, saying “this isn’t a coup, don’t worry about it”. If you want to listen to Bolivian voices: good. You should. But spend more time looking for them, and thinking about them, than you think you need to.
The democratic process continues to go great
Not gonna lie things are looking pretty grim folks
I’m so angry right now and I’ve been for the past few days so this will be a bit disorganized.
This is a textbook coup here in South America. First, undermine the democratic process with the media and some international organization, then make people angry with fascist rhetoric (classist, racist, etc.) and then use the military and police heavily align with the right and trained by or with the US military to force the government out.
A 60% of the OEA or OAS funding come from the US.
Almost all the action characterize as authoritarian here are simple exercises of sovereignty in the “developed” world.
The media usually has monopolyc positions (I may explain the media landscape in Argentina later for context). Is controlled by the right and any attempt by the governments to change that or fund alternatives is characterize as an attack to the free press. With some international organization denouncing it again. Research “Ley de Medios” in Argentina made by the former and future government.
The big newspapers here only mentioned the word coup in quotes or with interrogation signs … NYT style (fuck “Schrödinger’s coup” fuck it sooo hard).
What I see is almost the same as the stories I’ve heard from my father in 76 here in Argentina it’s really scary. Right now the military in Bolivia is rounding up natives and Morales supporters in trucks and taking them who knows were, plus the attacks on the opposition. Keep an eye in the coming elections there to catch who’s proscribed from participating.
It’s almost impossible not to see the hand of the US all over the place here. I don’t know the nuance details of Bolivia, but can provide some context from Argentina later about the media, the economy and the role of the IMF.
But right now I understand why extremist on the right gravitate so much towards grand strategy games. I just want to play HoI4 or EU4 with Bolivia or Argentina or a native nation and just fuck everything up.
Chiming in to say that while I agree that white leftists getting involved in foreign politics is rife with potential mishaps waiting to happen, it’s absolutely faulty logic to then use the non-Latine concept that Latines are a homogenous group to justify a presumed understanding that knowing the opinions of some Latine individuals means knowing all of our opinions. I wouldn’t trust someone living in Miami to give anyone an understanding of what Hialeah is like, and those places are in the same county. ‘Latino’ exists as a predominantly non-Latine concept to group us all together as a bloc in countries outside of Latin America and on an international scale. It’s a term of identity and one of convenience, but identity is much more complicated than that.
I don’t really have any further takes on Bolivia, because people far more informed than I am are already leading the charge.
But, damn, I sure do wish hand-wringing about “white leftists” would stop being used as a cudgel when I use my fucking eyes and see a coup as, y’know, a coup.
I’m honestly sorry that it came off that way because I did not intend it to, and looking back could have worded my comment in a more nuanced way.
I cannot say anything about what’s happening in Bolivia that hasn’t already been said better than I ever could. It’s horrific. It’s dystopic. It’s disgusting. It’s heartbreaking.
What I will say that this is a prime example as to why I continue to believe The United States (as a country, not as a society or people) is just pure evil.
I honestly apologize as well for sounding hostile, I’m just frustrated and I needed to get it off my chest. I might delete it later, don’t know yet
“Leader x good” or “leader x bad” is an age old leftist tradition. In the age of social-media, this s*it has only accelerated. Are we so desperate at our own, very real, powerlessness, that we reduce ourselves to unofficial media pundits who rave on and on about the moral virtues or lack thereof, of the “great men of history” instead of trying to get a grasp of the movement of the classes and forces on the ground?
It seems like things are collapsing quickly around this coup for the right wingers. There seems to be a huge outcry from the native population, which is good! My wonder now is if the right wing military coup allows this to spiral into civil war or do they hold new elections?
I have seen reports of indigenous people being rounded up in trucks, but the person who posted that link has seemingly deleted it so it may be wrong information. Has anyone else heard anything?
I only managed to find two sources bringing up people being rounded up, one from the guardian and one from Tribune Magazine. Neither Cite sources so take this with a grain of salt, but if it were found to be true I wouldn’t be surprised.
Two more things to ruminate on:
The military and police in Bolivia have historically been extremely corrupt as a result of the country’s past dictatorships and despite the attempts of the Morales government to decrease their influence over the country (for example, he allowed local unions to maintain lawful Coca production and enforce a cocaine ban rather than have the cops or military police these industries) but those efforts have been largely unsuccessful - when the government launched a widespread corruption investigation into the police force in 2012, cops launched a massive wave of strikes and protests, burned disciplinary case records and a government building was set fire to - which resulted in most of the investigation being sadly scaled back.
Bolivia’s largest opposition party has attempted to set up a bio-metric voter registry back in their first attempt to remove Evo from office in 2009, and there’s no reason to doubt they’ll attempt to implement that again. This and other voter suppression methods, especially ones that hurt voters in rural areas are to be expected, so if an election does take place expect a considerably lower voter turnout. Voter turnout under Morales has skyrocketed from around 60% to an average of 85%, in some elections reaching as high as 95%(!!!), but no doubt the low turnout will be blamed on the large protests.
EDIT: Found this video of right wing militias and cops breaking into people’s homes and rounding them up into trucks, seems legit and scary
So new findings have emerged suggesting U.S involvement in the coup was a lot more direct than was thought previously. I’d hope this will lead to greater (honest) coverage in mainstream media but I’d doubt it
So in a shocking, devastating move, Bolivia’s new authoritarian regime has allowed the military free reign to perform extrajudicial arrests AND KILLINGS of protesters. Truly monstrous:
I don’t have anything to add to what’s currently happening, except that I find what is happening in Bolivia sickening and depressing. I did want to point out that while Morales was in power for 13 years, Obama was in power for 8, Franklin D. Roosevelt for 12 years…Merkel has been in power for 14, and Berlusconi was in power for 17! Are Merkel and Berlusconi also dictators? Was FDR?
A lot of democracies do not have term limits, it’s just seen as a bad thing in “Developing” nations whose leadership “The West” doesn’t like. The President of Italy serves for life, as do its Senators. There is no term limit for Italian Prime Ministers. Plenty of US states do not have term limits for Governors, and members of congress do not either. US presidential term limits were only set in 1951. Not to mention that the US is one of the few democracies where vacancies in the Supreme Court are hand picked by the executive leader. Even in Bolivia the judicial was nominally elected. Hell, in the UK certain seats in the House of Lords are still inherited and not open to women. There is a huge racist element when talking about democracy in South America and the rest of the “developing” world.
I know I’m mostly preaching to the choir here, but lets not forget that the US and Europe have no problem with dictatorships, as long as they are on ‘their’ side (ie. monarchist/and or right-wing). There were never any sanctions against Franco in Spain, for example, who was literally put in to power BY HITLER, gave shelter to Italian and German military units during WWII, and then reinstated the Monarchy in Spain. Similarly, the US backed the military Junta in both Greece and Brazil, among others.
Many of y’all have made some incredible points that I think about a lot when learning about what’s unfolding, and I really thank you for providing your insight/perspectives! The one thing that I keep thinking about more than most things I’ve read, is this:
I’ve seen so many articles trying to jump through hoops to say “this wasn’t a coup! He just lost support of the military that’s all! This is part of a legitimate democratic process!” I’ve been trying to type something coherent for the past fifteen minutes but keep going back and deleting it, I’m just frustrated and heartbroken. Solidarity with all indigenous people living in Bolivia and the protesters fighting against Añez
Well if it had just been the president of the MAS majority party who became interim president then it’d be a coup.
but since it’s instead a fringe right wing zealot party that unconstitutionally took power, directed the military to shoot protesters with no repercussion and is currently in the process of arresting all the members of the MAS party in parliament then YOU KNOW it’s a democratic transition of power