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Latin American Movements reject coup d’état in Bolivia and express solidarity with Bolivian people

Workers, feminists, peasants, people affected by dams and environmental activists unite in opposition to coup

In the past hours, popular social movements and organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed their strong opposition to the coup d’état in Bolivia, perpetrated by civic business committees, primarily the one from Santa Cruz, the national oligarchy, the armed forces and the police.

On Sunday, shortly after president Evo Morales and his vice president Álvaro García Linera resigned, the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) issued a declaration in which they condemned the coup [1]. They also stressed that Morales and García Linera “made the decision to resign today to avoid further bloodshed, which was already occurring through kidnapping, threats and violence against relatives of ministers, parliamentarians and social leaders who supported the government.”

TUCA, which represents more than 55 million workers, also denounced the “complicit attitude of the Organization of American States (OAS) which, despite the conditions offered by the Bolivian government for its role in the elections, always acted in favor of the discourse of fraud of the opposition and did not present serious arguments.” “The OAS, together with several governments in the region, allowed the imposition of the international matrix of ignoring the electoral process and, together with the mainstream media, favored the climate for today´s coup d’état”, added TUCA.

Also on Sunday, La Vía Campesina, a network of over 200 million peasants from 182 organizations in 81 countries expressed [2] its “deepest solidarity with the people of Bolivia”, and condemned the “racist, class-based and misogynist coup d’état orchestrated by US imperialism and local conservative oligarchs.”

La Vía Campesina also called for “constant mobilisation and a democratic solution that guarantees the human rights of social leaders”. Just like TUCA, the global peasant movement denounced “the role played by the Bolivian Armed Forces and media who choose to reproduce violence, disinformation and destabilisation, in a clear alliance with local and international elites.”

Meanwhile, the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (CLOC-Vía Campesina), expressed on Monday: “The far-right orchestrated this coup with the support of imperialism and groups manipulated through social media with foreign economic resources, all united in a format already used in other progressive countries”.

CLOC gathers 75 million people in 84 organizations from 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries. They considered [3] that “the dark forces of the imperialist, racist and neofascist far-right wing” disrupted “the calm of the people” with a government that “brought development and freed its country from poverty”. “This coup d’état used the same format of hatred, crime and violence with the goal of handing over to transnational corporations and imperialism the natural wealth of Bolivia, which has been protected by the people for so many years.”

Also on Monday, the World March of Women Americas rejected the coup [4] and expressed solidarity with the Bolivian people: “We stand side by side with the women and men of the Bolivian people who took to the streets to protect their democratic process and we condemn the violent acts, strongly tinged with racism and misogyny. These actions are the most palpable proof of the intentions of the coup forces to reinstate racism and machismo as state policy in Bolivia.”

The feminist movement warned that this is a blow for the Bolivian people and their social organizations, a coup organized by the Bolivian landowning oligarchy that have always sought to destabilize the government of Evo Morales. “Those who today point out that they seek to “recover democracy” are responsible for the current violence and the organization of groups of civilians who attack the people in the street and commit crimes of racist and colonial humiliation. We denounce the seizure of social organizations and governmental institutions and the withdrawal of indigenous symbols such as the Wiphalas to be replaced by symbols of religious fundamentalism and the Bolivian colonial past.”

Meanwhile on Monday, the Brazilian Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) repudiated the coup d’état, stating that “once again, local oligarchs, with the support of US imperialism, have destroyed democracy and, through fear, have forced the resignation of the recently elected and legitimate president of Bolivia, Evo Morales”.

The MAB gathers 40,000 people in 20 Brazilian states. They added: “even after Evo announced a second presidential vote, the coup perpetrators in Santa Cruz were already spreading violence throughout the country, threatening and violating the rights of the government’s allies and even the President’s relatives.”

Yesterday in Cuba, students from different universities with representatives from Cuban social organizations and Latin American movements, marched in Havana [5], in rejection of the coup d’état in Bolivia.

During the march, on behalf of the Cuban Chapter of Social Movements for ALBA, activist Joel Suárez said: “we call on all movements and progressive forces of the government. This was not a resignation, because resignations are not pushed by threats. Evo, his Vice President and many members of his administration resigned as an act of peace to avoid the genocide of indigenous people and peasants in Bolivia. Even so, the right wing will not stop.”

In addition, Joel believes that the OAS, once again at the service of the US, betrayed Evo, and highlighted that the Bolivian right wing and its military institutions ignored the will of the people.

Finally, Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC), a network that gathers environmental organizations from 14 countries in the region, expressed on Monday [6] an “utter rejection against the coup perpetrators and their national and international accomplices who have attacked poor men and women, violating their physical and psychological integrity, persecuting the indigenous movement and the people in general who have mobilized in favor of a process of change, with torture practices against former representatives of Morales’ administration and with abhorrent racist expressions, burning of houses, threats and harassment against relatives of government officials.”

ATALC called “without any hesitation” on social and political movements and processes “to express themselves against the coup d’état, to firmly condemn this new atrocity against the self-determination right of Latin American and Caribbean people.” “The demagogy to try to justify the abomination of the coup and the actions against the sovereign decision of the people expressed at the polls must also be rejected and isolated”, concluded the network of environmental organizations.