Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.
|Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:36 pm Post subject: Bolivia: fascist coup, with US aid, ousts Evo Morales
|Fourth reich wannabe in Bolivia, Luis Fernando Camacho calling himself a Christian! https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/11/bolivia-coup-fascist-foreign-suppor t-fernando-camacho/
Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and multi-millionaire – with foreign support
Bolivian coup leader Luis Fernando Camacho is a far-right multi-millionaire who arose from fascist movements in the Santa Cruz region, where the US has encouraged separatism. He has courted support from Colombia, Brazil, and the Venezuela coup regime.
By Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton
When Luis Fernando Camacho stormed into Bolivia’s abandoned presidential palace in the hours after President Evo Morales’s sudden November 10 resignation, he revealed to the world a side of the country that stood at stark odds with the plurinational spirit its deposed socialist and Indigenous leader had put forward.
With a Bible in one hand and a national flag in the other, Camacho bowed his head in prayer above the presidential seal, fulfilling his vow to purge his country’s Native heritage from government and “return God to the burned palace.”
“Pachamama will never return to the palace,” he said, referring to the Andean Mother Earth spirit. “Bolivia belongs to Christ.”
Luis Fernando Camacho Bolivia palacio dios
Far-right Bolivian opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho in Bolivia’s presidential palace with a Bible, after the coup
Bolivia’s extreme right-wing opposition had overthrown leftist President Evo Morales that day, following demands by the country’s military leadership that he step down.
Virtually unknown outside his country, where he had never won a democratic election, Camacho stepped into the void. He is a rich and powerful multi-millionaire named in the Panama Papers, and an ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist groomed by a fascist paramilitary notorious for its racist violence, with a base in Bolivia’s wealthy separatist region of Santa Cruz.
Camacho also hails from a family of corporate elites who have long profited from Bolivia’s plentiful natural gas reserves. And his family lost part of its wealth when Morales nationalized the nation’s resources, in order to fund his vast social programs — which cut poverty by 42 percent and extreme poverty by 60 percent.
In the lead-up to the coup, Camacho met with leaders from right-wing governments in the region to discuss their plans to destabilize Morales. Two months before the putsch, he tweeted gratitude: “Thank you Colombia! Thank you Venezuela!” he exclaimed, tipping his hat to Juan Guaido’s coup operation. He also recognized the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, declaring, “Thank you Brazil!”
Camacho had spent years leading an overtly fascist separatist organization. The Grayzone edited the following clips from a promotional historical documentary that the group posted on its own social media accounts:
While Camacho and his far-right forces served as the muscle behind the coup, their political allies waited to reap the benefits.
The presidential candidate Bolivia’s opposition had fielded in the October election, Carlos Mesa, is a “pro-business” privatizer with extensive ties to Washington. US government cables published by WikiLeaks reveal that he regularly corresponded with American officials in their efforts to destabilize Morales.
Mesa is currently listed as an expert at a DC-based think tank funded by the US government’s soft-power arm USAID, various oil giants, and a host of multi-national corporations active in Latin America.
Evo Morales, a former farmer who rose to prominence in social movements before becoming the leader of the powerful grassroots political party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), was Bolivia’s first Indigenous leader. Wildly popular in the country’s substantial Native and peasant communities, he won numerous elections and democratic referenda over a 13-year period, often in landslides.
On October 20, Morales won re-election by more than 600,000 votes, giving him just above the 10 percent margin needed to defeat opposition presidential candidate Mesa in the first round.
Experts who did a statistical analysis of Bolivia’s publicly available voting data found no evidence of irregularities or fraud. But the opposition claimed otherwise, and took to the streets in weeks of protests and riots.
The events that precipitated the resignation of Morales were indisputably violent. Right-wing opposition gangs attacked numerous elected politicians from the ruling leftist MAS party. They then ransacked the home of President Morales, while burning down the houses of several other top officials. The family members of some politicians were kidnapped and held hostage until they resigned. A female socialist mayor was publicly tortured by a mob.
Following the forced departure of Morales, coup leaders arrested the president and vice president of the government’s electoral body, and forced the organization’s other officials to resign. Camacho’s followers proceeded to burn Wiphala flags that symbolized the country’s Indigenous population and the plurinational vision of Morales.
The Organization of American States, a pro-US organization founded by Washington during the Cold War as an alliance of right-wing anti-communist countries in Latin America, helped rubber stamp the Bolivian coup. It called for new elections, claiming there were numerous irregularities in the October 20 vote, without citing any evidence. Then the OAS remained silent as Morales was overthrown by his military and his party’s officials were attacked and violently forced to resign.
The day after, the Donald Trump White House enthusiastically praised the coup, trumpeting it as a “significant moment for democracy,” and a “strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua.”
Emerging from the shadows to lead a violent far-right putsch
While Carlos Mesa timidly condemned the opposition’s violence, Camacho egged it on, ignoring calls for an international audit of the election and emphasizing his maximalist demand to purge all supporters of Morales from government. He was the true face of the opposition, concealed for months behind the moderate figure of Mesa.
A 40-year-old multi-millionaire businessman from the separatist stronghold of Santa Cruz, Camacho has never run for office. Like Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó, whom more than 80 percent of Venezuelans had never heard of until the US government anointed him as supposed “president,” Camacho was an obscure figure until the coup attempt in Bolivia hit its stride.
He first created his Twitter account on May 27, 2019. For months, his tweets went ignored, generating no more than three or four retweets and likes. Before the election, Camacho did not have a Wikipedia article, and there were few media profiles on him in Spanish- or English-language media.
Camacho issued a call for a strike on July 9, posting videos on Twitter that got just over 20 views. The goal of the strike was to try to force the resignation of Bolivian government’s electoral organ the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). In other words, Camacho was pressuring the government’s electoral authorities to step down more than three months before the presidential election.
It was not until after the election that Camacho was thrust into the limelight and transformed into a celebrity by corporate media conglomerates like the local right-wing network Unitel, Telemundo, and CNN en Español.
All of a sudden, Camacho’s tweets calling for Morales to resign were lighting up with thousands of retweets. The coup machinery had been activated.
Mainstream outlets like the New York Times and Reuters followed by anointing the unelected Camacho as the “leader” of Bolivia’s opposition. But even as he lapped up international attention, key portions of the far-right activist’s background were omitted.
Left unmentioned were Camacho’s deep and well-established connections to Christian extremist paramilitaries notorious for racist violence and local business cartels, as well as the right-wing governments across the region.
It was in the fascist paramilitaries and separatist atmosphere of Santa Cruz where Camacho’s politics were formed, and where the ideological contours of the coup had been defined.
UJC Union Juvenil Cruceñista Bolivia
Cadres from the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista (UJC), the Bolivian fascist youth group that Luis Fernando Camacho got his start in
Cadre of a Francoist-style fascist paramilitary
Luis Fernando Camacho was groomed by the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, or Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), a fascist paramilitary organization that has been linked to assassination plots against Morales. The group is notorious for assaulting leftists, Indigenous peasants, and journalists, all while espousing a deeply racist, homophobic ideology.
Since Morales entered office in 2006, the UJC has campaigned to separate from a country its members believed had been overtaken by a Satanic Indigenous mass.
The UJC is the Bolivian equivalent of Spain’s Falange, India’s Hindu supremacist RSS, and Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Its symbol is a green cross that bears strong similarities to logos of fascist movements across the West.
And its members are known to launch into Nazi-style sieg heil salutes.
Even the US embassy in Bolivia has described UJC members as “racist” and “militant,” noting that they “have frequently attacked pro-MAS/government people and installations.”
After journalist Benjamin Dangl visited with UJC members in 2007, he described them as the “brass knuckles” of the Santa Cruz separatist movement. “The Unión Juvenil has been known to beat and whip campesinos marching for gas nationalization, throw rocks at students organizing against autonomy, toss molotov cocktails at the state television station, and brutally assault members of the landless movement struggling against land monopolies,” Dangl wrote.
“When we have to defend our culture by force, we will,” a UJC leader told Dangl. “The defense of liberty is more important than life.”
Armed members of the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista
Armed members of the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista
Camacho was elected as vice president of the UJC in 2002, when he was just 23 years old. He left the organization two years later to build his family’s business empire and rise through the ranks of the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee. It was in that organization that he was taken under the wing of one of the separatist movement’s most powerful figures, a Bolivian-Croatian oligarch named Branko Marinkovic.
In August, Camacho tweeted a photo with his “great friend,” Marinkovic. This friendship was crucial to establishing the rightist activist’s credentials and forging the basis of the coup that would take form three months later.
Camacho’s Croatian godfather and separatist powerbroker
Branko Marinkovic is a major landowner who ramped up his support for the right-wing opposition after some of his land was nationalized by the Evo Morales government. As chairman of the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee, he oversaw the operations of the main engine of separatism in Bolivia.
In a 2008 letter to Marinkovic, the International Federation for Human Rights denounced the committee as an “actor and promoter of racism and violence in Bolivia.”
The human rights group added that it “condemn[ed] the attitude and secessionist, unionist and racist discourses as well as the calls for military disobedience of which the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee for is one of the main promoters.”
In 2013, journalist Matt Kennard reported that the US government was working closely with the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee to encourage the balkanization of Bolivia and to undermine Morales. “What they [the US] put across was how they could strengthen channels of communication,” the vice president of the committee told Kennard. “The embassy said that they would help us in our communication work and they have a series of publications where they were putting forward their ideas.”
In a 2008 profile on Marinkovic, the New York Times acknowledged the extremist undercurrents of the Santa Cruz separatist movement the oligarch presided over. It described the area as “a bastion of openly xenophobic groups like the Bolivian Socialist Falange, whose hand-in-air salute draws inspiration from the fascist Falange of the former Spanish dictator Franco.”
The Bolivian Socialist Falange was a fascist group that provided safe haven to Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie during the Cold War. A former Gestapo torture expert, Barbie was repurposed by the CIA through its Operation Condor program to help exterminate communism across the continent. (Despite its antiquated name, like the German National Socialists, this far-right extremist group was violently anti-leftist, committed to killing socialists.)
The Bolivian Falange came into power in 1971 when its leader, Gen. Hugo Banzer Suarez, ousted the leftist government of Gen. Juan Jose Torres Gonzales. The government of Gonzales had infuriated business leaders by nationalizing industries and antagonized Washington by ousting the Peace Corps, which it viewed as an instrument of CIA penetration. The Nixon administration immediately welcomed Banzer with open arms and courted him as a key bulwark against the spread of socialism in the region. (An especially ironic 1973 dispatch appears on Wikileaks showing Secretary of State Henry Kissinger thanking Banzer for congratulating him on his Nobel Peace Prize).
The movement’s putschist legacy persevered during the Morales era through organizations like the UJC and figures such as Marinkovic and Camacho.
The Times noted that Marinkovic also supported the activities of the UJC, describing the fascist group as “a quasi-independent arm of the committee led by Mr. Marinkovic.” A member of the UJC board told the US newspaper of record in an interview, “We will protect Branko with our own lives.”
Marinkovic has espoused the kind of Christian nationalist rhetoric familiar to the far-right organizations of Santa Cruz, calling, for instance, for a “crusade for the truth” and insisting that God is on his side.
The oligarch’s family hails from Croatia, where he has dual citizenship. Marinkovic has long been dogged by rumors that his family members were involved in the country’s powerful fascist Ustashe movement.
The Ustashe collaborated openly with Nazi German occupiers during World War Two. Their successors returned to power after Croatia declared independence from the former Yugoslavia – a former socialist country that was intentionally balkanized in a NATO war, much in the same way that Marinkovic hoped Bolivia would be.
German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler meets Ustashe founder Ante Pavelić in 1941
Marinkovic denies that his family was part of the Ustashe. He claimed in an interview with the New York Times that his father fought against the Nazis.
But even some of his sympathizers are skeptical. A Balkan analyst from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, which works closely with the US government and is popularly known as the “shadow CIA,” produced a rough background profile on Marinkovic, speculating, “Still don’t know his full story, but I would bet a lot of $$$ that this dude’s parents are 1st gen (his name is too Slavic) and that they were Ustashe (read: Nazi) sympathizers fleeing Tito’s Communists after WWI.”
The Stratfor analyst excerpted a 2006 article by journalist Christian Parenti, who had visited Marinkovic at his ranch in Santa Cruz. Evo Morales’ “land reform could lead to civil war,” Marinkovic warned Parenti in the Texas-accented English he picked up while studying at the University of Texas, Houston.
Today, Marinkovic is an ardent supporter of Brazil’s far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro, whose only complaint about Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was that he “didn’t kill enough.”
Marinkovic is also a public admirer of Venezuela’s far-right opposition. “Todos somos Leopoldo” — “we are all Leopoldo,” he tweeted in support of Leopoldo López, who has been involved in numerous coup attempts against Venezuela’s elected leftist government.
While Marinkovic denied any role in armed militant activity in his interview with Parenti, he was accused in 2008 of playing a central role in an attempt to assassinate Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism party allies.
He told the New York Times less than two years before the plot developed, “If there is no legitimate international mediation in our crisis, there is going to be confrontation. And unfortunately, it is going to be bloody and painful for all Bolivians.”
An assassination plot links Bolivia’s right to international fascists
In April 2009, a special unit of the Bolivian security services barged into a luxury hotel room and cut down three men who were said to be involved in a plot to kill Evo Morales. Two others remained on the loose. Four of the alleged conspirators had Hungarian or Croatian roots and ties to rightist politics in eastern Europe, while another was a right-wing Irishman, Michael Dwyer, who had only arrived in Santa Cruz six months before.
Alleged assassination plotter Michael Dwyer with his weapons
The ringleader of the group was said to be a former leftist journalist named Eduardo Rosza-Flores who had turned to fascism and belonged to Opus Dei, the traditionalist Catholic cult that emerged under the dictatorship of Spain’s Francisco Franco. In fact, the codename Rosza-Flores assumed in the assassination plot was “Franco,” after the late Generalissimo.
During the 1990s, Rosza fought on behalf of the Croatian First International Platoon, or the PIV, in the war to separate from Yugoslavia. A Croatian journalist told Time that the “PIV was a notorious group: 95% of them had criminal histories, many were part of Nazi and fascist groups, from Germany to Ireland.”
By 2009, Rosza returned home to Bolivia to crusade on behalf of another separatist movement in Santa Cruz. And it was there that he was killed in a luxury hotel with no apparent source of income and a massive stockpile of guns.
The government later released photos of Rosza and a co-conspirator posing with their weapons. Publication of emails between the ringleader and Istvan Belovai, a former Hungarian military intelligence officer who served as a double agent for the CIA, cemented the perception that Washington had a hand in the operation.
Rosza and Dwyer with their arms cache in Bolivia
Marinkovic was subsequently charged with providing $200,000 to the plotters. The Bolivian-Croatian oligarch initially fled to the United States, where he was given asylum, then relocated to Brazil, where he lives today. He denied any involvement in the plan to kill Morales.
As journalist Matt Kennard reported, there was another thread that tied the plot to the US: the alleged participation of an NGO leader named Hugo Achá Melgar.
“Rozsa didn’t come here by himself, they brought him,” the Bolivian government’s lead investigator told Kennard. “Hugo Achá Melgar brought him.”
The Human Rights Foundation destabilizes Bolivia
Achá was not just the head of any run-of-the-mill NGO. He had founded the Bolivian subsidiary of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), an international right-wing outfit that is known for hosting a “school for revolution” for activists seeking regime change in states targeted by the US government.
HRF is run by Thor Halvorssen Jr., the son of the late Venezuelan oligarch and CIA asset Thor Halvorssen Hellum. The first cousin of the veteran Venezuelan coup plotter Leopoldo Lopez, Halvorssen was a former college Republican activist who crusaded against political correctness and other familiar right-wing hobgoblins.
After a brief career as a firebrand right-wing film producer, in which he oversaw a scandalous “anti-environmentalist” documentary financed by a mining corporation, Halvorssen rebranded as a promoter of liberalism and the enemy of global authoritarianism. He launched the HRF with grants from right-wing billionaires like Peter Thiel, conservative foundations, and NGOs including Amnesty International. The group has since been at the forefront of training activists for insurrectionary activity from Hong Kong to the Middle East to Latin America.
Though Achá was granted asylum in the US, the HRF has continued pushing regime change in Bolivia. As Wyatt Reed reported for The Grayzone, HRF “freedom fellow” Jhanisse Vaca Daza helped trigger the initial stage of the coup by blaming Morales for the Amazon fires that consumed parts of Bolivia in August, mobilizing international protests against him.
At the time, Daza posed as an “environmental activist” and student of non-violence who articulated her concerns in moderate-seeming calls for more international aid to Bolivia. Through her NGO, Rios de Pie, she helped launch the #SOSBolivia hashtag, which signaled the imminent foreign-backed regime-change operation.
Courting the regional right, prepping the coup
While HRF’s Daza rallied protests outside Bolivian embassies in Europe and the US, Fernando Camacho remained behind the scenes, lobbying right-wing governments in the region to bless the coming coup.
In May, Camacho met with Colombia’s far-right President Ivan Duque. Camacho was helping to spearhead regional efforts at undermining the legitimacy of Evo Morales’ presidency at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, seeking to block his candidacy in the October election.
Camacho with Colombian President Ivan Duque in May
That same month, the rightist Bolivian agitator also met with Ernesto Araújo, the chancellor of Jair Bolsonaro’s ultra-conservative administration in Brazil. Through the meeting, Camacho successfully secured Bolsonaro’s backing for regime change in Bolivia.
This November 10, Araújo enthusiastically endorsed the ouster of Morales, declaring that “Brazil will support the democratic and constitutional transition” in the country.
Then in August, two months before Bolivia’s presidential election, Camacho held court with officials from Venezuela’s US-appointed coup regime. These included Gustavo Tarre, Guaido’s faux Venezuelan OAS ambassador, who formerly worked at the right-wing Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington.
After the meeting, Camacho tweeted gratitude to the Venezuelan coup-mongers, as well as to Colombia and Brazil.
Mesa and Camacho: a marriage of capitalist convenience
Back in Bolivia, Carlos Mesa occupied the spotlight as the opposition’s presidential candidate.
His erudite image and centrist policy proposals put him in a seemingly alternate political universe from fire-breathing rightists like Camacho and Marinkovic. For them, he was a convenient front man and acceptable candidate who promised to defend their economic interests.
“It might be that he is not my favorite, but I’m going to vote for him, because I don’t want Evo,” Marinkovic told a right-wing Argentine newspaper five days before the election.
Indeed, it was Camacho’s practical financial interests that appeared to have necessitated his support for Mesa.
The Camacho family has formed a natural gas cartel in Santa Cruz. As the Bolivian outlet Primera Linea reported, Luis Fernando Camacho’s father, Jose Luis, was the owner of a company called Sergas that distributed gas in the city; his uncle, Enrique, controlled Socre, the company that ran the local gas production facilities; and his cousin, Cristian, controls another local gas distributor called Controgas.
According to Primera Linea, the Camacho family was using the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee as a political weapon to install Carlos Mesa into power and ensure the restoration of their business empire.
Mesa has a well-documented history of advancing the goals of transnational companies at the expense of his own country’s population. The neoliberal politician and media personality served as vice president when the US-backed President Gonzalo “Goni” Sanchez de Lozada provoked mass protests with his 2003 plan to allow a consortium of multinational corporations to export the country’s natural gas to the US through a Chilean port.
Bolivia’s US-trained security forces met the ferocious protests with brutal repression. After presiding over the killing of 70 unarmed protesters, Sanchez de Lozada fled to Miami and was succeeded by Mesa.
By 2005, Mesa was also ousted by huge demonstrations spurred by his protection of privatized natural gas companies. With his demise, the election of Morales and the rise of the socialist and rural Indigenous movements behind him were just beyond the horizon.
US government cables released by WikiLeaks show that, after his ouster, Mesa continued regular correspondence with American officials. A 2008 memo from the US embassy in Bolivia revealed that Washington was conspiring with opposition politicians in the lead-up to the 2009 presidential election, hoping to undermine and ultimately unseat Morales.
The memo noted that Mesa had met with the chargé d’affaires of the US embassy, and had privately told them he planned to run for president. The cable recalled: “Mesa told us his party will be ideologically similar to a social democratic party and that he hoped to strengthen ties with the Democratic party. ‘We have nothing against the Republican party, and have in fact gotten support from IRI (International Republican Institute) in the past, but we think we share more ideology with the Democrats,’ he added.”
wikileaks bolivia carlos mesa
Today, Mesa serves as an in-house “expert” at the Inter-American Dialogue, a neoliberal Washington-based think tank focused on Latin America. One of the Dialogue’s top donors is the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department subsidiary that was exposed in classified diplomatic cables published on Wikileaks for strategically directing millions of dollars to opposition groups including those “opposed to Evo Morales’ vision for indigenous communities.”
Other top funders of the Dialogue include oil titans like Chevron and ExxonMobil; Bechtel, which inspired the initial protests against the administration in which Mesa served; the Inter-American Development Bank, which has forcefully opposed Morales’ socialist-oriented policies; and the Organization of American States (OAS), which helped delegitimize the Morales’s re-election victory with dubious claims of irregular vote counts.
Finishing the job
When Carlos Mesa touched off nationwide protests in October by accusing the Evo Morales government of committing electoral fraud, the right-wing firebrand hailed by his followers as “Macho Camacho” emerged from the shadows. Behind him was the hardcore separatist shock force that he led in Santa Cruz.
Mesa faded into the distance as Camacho emerged as the authentic face of the coup, rallying his forces with the uncompromising rhetoric and fascist symbology that defined the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista paramilitary.
As he declared victory over Morales, Camacho exhorted his followers to “finish the job, let’s get the elections going, let’s start judging the government criminals, let’s put them in jail.”
Back in Washington, meanwhile, the Trump administration released an official statement celebrating Bolivia’s coup, declaring that “Morales’s departure preserves democracy.”
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and author, and the founder and editor of The Grayzone.
Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker, and the assistant editor of The Grayzone.
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books, including best-selling Republican Gomorrah, Goliath, The Fifty One Day War, and The Management of Savagery. He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Location: East London
|Posted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:50 am Post subject:
|'Evidence Talks: US Government Propelled Coup in Bolivia':
'A coup on November 10 removed the socialist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The U.S. government made preparations and orchestrated the final stages of the coup. It was in charge. In power for almost 14 years, Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera had won elections taking place on October 20. The two leaders would each have been serving a fourth term in office.
Evidence of the U.S. crime appears below. It’s about money, U.S. influence within the Bolivian military, and U.S. control of the Organization of American States (OAS):
1. For many years the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and its proto-fascist Youth Union received funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy. According to analyst Eva Golinger some years ago, the USAID provided $84 million to Bolivian opposition groups.
U.S. Embassy officials conspired with and paid the “civic committees” of Bolivia’s four eastern departments. Representing the European- descended elite of Bolivia’s wealthiest region, these groups promoted racist assaults. They concocted a separatist movement and tried to assassinate Morales. In response, the Bolivian government expelled the U.S. ambassador, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U. S. Agency for International Development.
2. Bolivian armed forces commander in chief Williams Kaliman Romero on November 10 “suggested” that Morales resign. That was the coup de grace. Within three days, Kaliman himself resigned and moved to the United States. Sullkata M. Quilla of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis explains that Kaliman and other military chiefs each had received $1 million and that top police officers received $500,000 apiece. U.S. Chargee d’affaires Bruce Williamson allegedly arranged for monetary transactions that took place in Argentina’s Jujuy Province under the auspices of Governor Geraldo Morales. The story first appeared on the website www.Tvmundus.com.ar.
3. Money flowed freely prior to Morales’s departure. Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti – a Morales supporter – reported that, “loyal members of [Morales’s] security team showed him messages in which people were offering them $50,000 if they would hand him over.”
4. According to the respected Argentinean journalist Stella Cattaloni, Ivanka Trump arrived in Jujuy on September 4-5 ostensibly to honor a small group of women entrepreneurs. Some “2,500 federal agents” and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan accompanied her. At the same time, Governor Gerardo Morales was informed that the United States would be delivering $400 million supposedly to pay for improvements to a big highway in Argentina. Cattaloni suggests that a freight train running through Jujuy en route to Santa Cruz, the center of anti- Morales plotting in Bolivia, was transporting military equipment to opposition groups.
Bolivia: The OAS and US Help Overthrow Another Latin American Government
There’s media speculation as to how Governor Morales may have facilitated the transfer of U.S. money to Luis Camacho, leader of the coup and head of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. He may have done so in Santa Cruz, where he visited on September 4, or in Jujuy Province where Camacho may have showed up later that day or the next.
5. According to analyst Jeb Sprague:
“At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while [General] Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.”
For decades, Latin American military personnel have received training and indoctrination at that U.S. Army school now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
Sprague notes also that the top commanders of police that mutinied had received training at the Washington-based Latin American police exchange program known by its initials in Spanish as APALA.
6. The OAS played a crucial role in the coup. Votes were being tallied on October 20 when the OAS, having audited preliminary results, announced that they showed irregularities. The U.S. government echoed the findings and street protests intensified. On October 24 the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared first-round victories for Morales and García Linare. Protests mounted. The government, under stress, requested another OAS audit.
The OAS made its conclusions public on November 10, earlier than expected:
The OAS couldn’t “validate the results of this election [and called for] “another electoral process [and] new electoral authorities.”
This was the tipping point. Morales convoked another election but shortly thereafter General Kaliman forced him to resign.
The OAS findings were false. Walter Mebane and colleagues at the University of Michigan, having examined voting statistics, indicated that fraudulent votes in the election were not decisive for the result. The Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research performed its own detailed study and reached the same conclusion.
The OAS served as U.S. handmaiden. Headquartered in Washington, the organization took shape under U.S. auspices in 1948 with the assigned task of protecting Latin America and the Caribbean from Communism. More recently the OAS, under Secretary General Luis Almagro’s guidance, has spearheaded U.S. efforts to expel President Nicolas Maduro’s progressive Venezuelan government.
Paradoxically, Almagro in May 2019 gave Morales the go-ahead for a fourth presidential term. That was despite a referendum having been defeated that would have allowed the extra term. Almago’s intention may have been to lull Morales into cooperating with OAS overview of the election results.
7. Other signs of U.S. coup preparations are these:
Prior to the October 20 elections President Morales charged that U.S. Embassy officials bribed rural residents to reject him at the polls. They traveled, for example, to the Yungas region on October 16 with pay-offs to disaffected coca farmers.
According to Bolpress.com, the National Military Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional Militar), an organization of reserve military officers, received and distributed money sent from the United States to create social crisis prior to October 20. The United States also used embassies in Bolivia and the evangelical church as facades to hide its activities. Mariane Scott and Rolf A. Olson, U.S. Embassy officials in La Paz, met with counterparts in the embassies of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to coordinate destabilization efforts and to deliver U.S. financing to opposition forces inside Bolivia.
Weapons shipments from the United States arrived at the Chilean port of Iquique on their way to the National Military Coordinator group inside Bolivia.
The State Department allocated $100,000 to enable a company called “CLS Strategies” to mount a disinformation campaign through social media.
The CIA station in La Paz assumed control of Bolivia’s Whatsapp network in order to leak false information. More than 68,000 fake anti-Morales tweets were released.
In mid-October “political consultant” George Eli Birnbaun arrived in Santa Cruz from Washington with a team of military and civilian personnel. Their job was to support the U.S. – preferred presidential candidacy of Oscar Ortiz and to destabilize the country politically after the elections. They provided support for Santa Cruz Civic Committee’s youth organization – specialists in violence – and supervised the U.S. – financed “Standing Rivers” NGO, engaged in spreading disinformation.
Sixteen audio recordings of the plotters’ pre-election conversations were leaked and showed up on the internet. Several of the voices mentioned contacts with the U.S. Embassy and with U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Robert Menendez, and Marco Rubio. Sprague reports that four of the ex-military plotters on the calls had attended the School of the Americas.
This presentation focuses entirely on the evidence. In a criminal investigation, evidence is central to determining guilt or innocence. Considerations of motive and context are of lesser importance, and we don’t deal with them here. But when and where they are attended to, they would logically fall into categories that include the following:
1. A socialist experiment was showing signs of success and capitalists of the world were facing the threat of a good example.
2. A people once held hostage by colonial powers was able to claim sovereign independence and in that regard had endeavored to retain much of the wealth provided through natural resources, lithium in particular.
3. Throughout its existence the Morales government, headed by an indigenous president, was up against anti-indigenous prejudice, racist in origin, and social-class divisions.
4. All the while, that government was the target of hostility, plotting, and episodic violence at the hands of the entitled classes.
So the evidence is clear. It points to a controlling U.S. hand in this coup d’état. The U.S. government bears heavy responsibility. There were Bolivian instigators, of course, but the U.S. plotters fall within the range of our own political processes. That’s why our accusing finger points at them.
In this instance, the U.S. government, as is its custom, disregarded international law, morality, respect for human life, and common decency. To stifle popular resistance the U.S. government evidently will stop at nothing, other than force in the hands of the people. What kind of force remains to be seen.'
W.T. Whitney Jr. is a political journalist with a focus on Latin America and health care issues. He is a Cuba solidarity activist who formerly worked as a pediatrician.
Featured image is from Peoples Dispatch
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © W.T. Whitney Jr., Global Research, 2019
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.