DSA Statement on Coup in Bolivia

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) condemns in the strongest terms the military coup in Bolivia that forced President Evo Morales to resign on November 10, along with Vice President Álvaro García-Linera, the leaders of the Bolivia Senate and Chamber of Deputies, as well as a host of government ministers.

All were under personal threat of violence from right-wing opposition forces if they did not resign. Morales, who had already agreed to a new round of elections early on November 10 in an effort to defuse rising tension and political violence across the country, ultimately resigned later in the day after the head of Bolivia’s armed forces, General Williams Kaliman publicly called for him to do so. This was a blatant and unacceptable encroachment of the military into Bolivia’s democratic system.

We also condemn widespread reports of attacks against leaders and supporters of Morales’ political party, Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), including burnings of leaders’ homes, the physical assault of leaders such as Vinto mayor Patricia Arce by right-wing protestors, as well as the public burning of Wiphala (indigenous) flags, and a host of other racially motivated threats and attacks against indigenous and campesino leaders.

Finally, we are concerned that the Organization of American States (OAS), which receives the bulk of its funding from the U.S. government, helped pave the way for this coup by publishing unsubstantiated and misleading claims regarding the integrity of Bolivia’s presidential election on October 20th. Given the OAS’s biased and irresponsible behavior thus far, it is imperative that an independent review of its recent audit of the October 20th contest be carried out by international electoral experts.

DSA calls for the immediate reinstatement of Bolivia’s constitutional order, and cessation of all violence and threats of violence against Morales, MAS leaders, and other victims of right-wing violence in Bolivia. We also call on the US government and all other international actors to respect the sovereignty of the Bolivian people, and desist any and all further efforts to undermine Bolivia’s democracy.

DSA stands with the people of Bolivia! No to the coup in Bolivia!