November 10, 2019 is a great day for the people of Latin America. In righteous indignation, the people of Bolivia took to the streets to express their outrage at Evo Morales’ flagrant and blatant attempts to steal an election, and ensure himself a fourth term in office. Morales would have been willing to go to any lengths to stay in power. The people, with the support of the police and military, ensured that Morales would not turn the country into a socialist dictatorship.
One slogan, heard frequently on the streets of LaPaz and Santa Cruz, resounded above the chaos: “Bolivia is not Cuba. Bolivia is not Venezuela.” It was abundantly clear that Evo’s grand plan was to remain in office for the rest of his life…like his greatest friend and mentor Fidel Castro.
Howls were quickly forthcoming from the usual suspects: Evo’s steadfast and loyal supporters in other dictatorships around the region. The Cuban Communist dictatorship was outraged at the “assault on democracy” in Bolivia. Ironic that a nation that hasn’t held an election in 60 years would be concerned about lack of democracy in Bolivia. There also seemed to be no apparent mention of Morales’ attempt to steal a fourth term by shutting down the nation’s electoral system, and fabricating results to “magically” give himself just enough margin of victory (10.5%) to prevent a second round election which Morales was extremely likely to lose to Carlos Mesa.
The outrage here, however, isn’t even that Morales would try to steal an election a la Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The real outrage is that he was allowed to run at all.
Evo decalared his candidacy for a fourth term, in clear and flagrant violation of the Bolivian Constitution. Then, he held a referendum, in which the Bolivian people voted against his candidacy. Then he went to his hand-picked thugs on the Bolivian Supreme Court, who declared that it was his “human right” to violate the Constitution and run for a fourth term.
When it became clear that he was going to face a second round election, which he was very likely to lose…he had his thugs at the National Electoral Council shut down the vote counting system for 24 hours. Strangely, when the system came back online, he was “winning” by just enough to spare him the second round election. This was blatant and obvious electoral fraud…and a clear attack on the will of the Bolivian people.
Morales today…tomorrow the other murderous Communist dictatorships of the region: Castro in Cuba, Ortega in Nicaragua, and Maduro in Venezuela.
Evo Morales would never have resigned of his own will. He did so because the military obligated him to do so.
For now, the situation remains highly fluid and unpredictable. Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linare would normally take over the presidency, but he resigned minutes after Morales. Next in line would be Senate President Adriana Salvatierra, but she announced her resignation as well.
La democracia boliviana agradece el respaldo del Presidente @jguaido. Hoy liberamos a #Bolivia, mañana a #Venezuela. La democracia vuelve a la tierra del Libertador y a su hija predilecta. pic.twitter.com/RWtlpxzbSP
— Tuto Quiroga (@tutoquiroga) November 10, 2019
Now, it appears likely that new elections will be held within a 90 day time frame. Opposition candidate Carlos Mesa appears to be the big winner here. Although he is a self-described leftist, he has been a vocal critic of Evo Morales’ slide towards dictatorship and authoritarianism for some time.
While reports emerged that Morales was leaving the country for Argentina, those reports have yet to be confirmed, and Morales has said today that he is pledging to remain in Bolivia.
The most recent development in the highly volatile situation is that the Attorney General’s office has issued arrest warrants for high-ranking officials at the nation’s electoral authority, including Maria Eugenia Choque, the head of the body.
Bolivia has a long history of instability and political volatility. Morales remained popular for more than a decade, and presided over numerous years of economic growth, but Bolivian voters were clearly suffering from Evo fatigue after 14 years in power, and were eager for a change.
Having lost the support of the military, police, numerous political allies, and the nation’s largest workers’ union, Morales had no choice but to resign, in an attempt to salvage whatever credibility he had left amid accusations of a massive electoral fraud.
Whether Evo will ultimately remain in the country…as well as the possibility of facing criminal charges and/or arrest himself, remain pertinent questions that will likely be resolved in the next 24 hours.
El ejército boliviano confirma que tiene orden de aprensión para Evo Morales.pic.twitter.com/RSHPBLLtKQ
— Christian Camacho (@ccamacho88) November 11, 2019
Currently, there are conflicting reports over whether or not authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Morales. It appears that he used his presidential plane to escape from La Paz and reach his traditional political stronghold of Chimore. His plane was subsequently seized by the authorities.
Evo has denounced an arrest warrant against him, but it remains unclear as to who is currently running the country, and what authority may have issued such a warrant.
There are also further reports that numerous executive and legislative officials are seeking asylum at the Mexican embassy, while the Cuban and Venezuelan embassies are under occupation from anti-Morales protesters.
It is safe to say that no one expected this swift turn of events, in what has been one of the most momentous days in the entire history of Bolivia. The reign of Morales comes to an end, and we will now see how new elections will shape up, and what role opposition leaders such as Mesa, Medina, and Camacho will play in the new Bolivian government.
There are now emerging reports that Jeanine Anez, an anti-Morales Senator from Beni, and the Second Vice President of the Senate, will be the interim president of Bolivia tomorrow, once the Senate has accepted today’s resignations. Beni is a sprawling lowland state in northeastern Bolivia, along the Brazilian border. Senator Anez was unable to arrive in the capital tonight, as there were no flights available, but is expected to arrive in La Paz tomorrow.