By Joe Montero
Since the 10 November coup in Bolivia, which saw president Evo Morales go into exile in Mexico, thousands upon thousands have been on the streets across the nation, denouncing the coup and demanding that the self-proclaimed president Jeanine Anez quit. They are also calling on the army to stop killing civilians.
What is going on in Bolivia?
Video by Double Down News
The death toll stands at 32 so far and the coup-imposed administration has issued a decree, giving police and military immunity.
Thousands arrive for funeral procession in La Paz on 21 November
Video from AFP News Agency
Then the paramiliary police attack with teargas
Video from AFP News Agency
Ongoing marches and other activities organised by unions and a range of social movements, are challenging the coup and making life very difficult for its makers. The scale of the unrest was not expected. The economy is being seriously affected. Continuing blockades at major roads are causing a shortage of food and fuel, and there is no sign that the level of opposition is wavering.
Although Anez and her government deny that the army is responsible for the deaths and using live ammunition, the evidence suggests otherwise.
One of the victims shot by army gunfire
Video from Camila
November 19, 2019: Senkata, El Alto, Bolivia massacre. I and many others saw for ourselves. pic.twitter.com/1ksDGr6xI9
— Camila (@camilateleSUR) November 20, 2019
Anez who does not have the backing of the two parliaments, claims her administration is only an interim caretaker until there is a new presidential election. But she has not set a date, and says that Morales and others not considered of good character will not be allowed to stand.
Her administration is not behaving like a caretaker government. New laws are decreed. The nation’s foreign policy is remade, and ambassadors not to their liking are being sacked.
No measures are goinmg to change the fact that she is in a weak position.
There are behind the scenes talks with Morales’ party the Movement for Socialism (MAS). who initiated this is not known. but it could provide for for a possible way out of a difficult situation, if it comes to that.
Meanwhile, Bolivia continues to fall deeper and deeper into crisis. The longer this continues, the less chance there is of a compromise.
The logic of the coup was to pave the way for Carlos Mesa, the billionaire businessman and former president, who stood against Morales last year and lost.
Mesa has been a long time Washington ally. He was the president before he was defeated by Morales in a landslide vote in 2005. Mesa is tied to the US funded think tank Inter-American dialogue, which is linked to various oil giants and other multinational corporations operating in South America.
Documents disclosed by WikiLeaks reveal an ongoing communication between the former president and Washington, associated with political plans for his return.
A prominent backer of Mesa and key figure in the coup is Luis Fernando Camacho, a former paramilitary and another multi millionaire. His fortune is based on his share of the family gas cartel, which includes the gas manufacturer Socre, and gas distributors Sergas and Controgas.
Camacho was named in the Panama Papers as a prominent tax avoider.
He began his political life as a member of and then the leader of the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), which drew its inspiration from the older fascist Bolivian Socialist Falange, associated with escaped Nazi Gestapo war criminal Klaus Barbie. This party was behind the General Hugo Banzer Suarez coup in 1971. The Nixon administration warmly welcomed the general as a key ally in south America.
The UJC is understood to have ties with members of the paramilitary police and military.
Camacho later joined and eventually became the prominent figure in the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee, a separatist organisation in the Santa Cruz region, to which the UJC is affiliated and provides much of its street muscle. Camacho ensured that his movement backed Mesa in the presidential bid and continues to support him.
Putting forward social democratic pretensions, for his policies have no resemblance to this, Mesa provides a moderate image to the coup.
But getting rid of Morales and maintaining the initiative has proved to be rather more problematic than assumed.
The counter force coming from much of the population, is undoing everything. The plotters may well soon reach the point where they will have to put aside their pretensions and impose authority, or find a way to bow out gracefully.
Events in Bolivia has drawn a response thorough the region and other parts of the world.
Marches in support of the resistance in Bolivia have taken place in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama Argentina and other countries around the world. The biggest was in Venezuela on 18 November.
Meanwhile in Venezuela a rally on 17 November a rally in support of Bolivia.
Go my people! We’re forging ahead! To win a future, so that we are stronger together!