CUPW is appalled to see international actors including Canada, the UK and the U.S.A. condoning a coup d’état in Bolivia, enacted by a group of military, police, and right-wing politicians.
Socialist Evo Morales was Bolivia’s first indigenous president. His social policies pulled many people out of poverty, and leave a legacy of indigenous empowerment and improvements for the Bolivian working class. Bolivia adopted a new secular constitution in 2009 under his administration.
Right-wing forces and the military refused to acknowledge Morales’ October 2019 re-election – by a resounding majority on the first-round ballot – and forced his resignation. He has been in exile since.
Though election ‘irregularities’ were alleged, there’s been no evidence of election fraud put forward.
Leading the coup is ultra-right-wing millionaire Christian fundamentalist Luis Fernando Camacho, who was known to meet previously with right-wing governments to discuss overthrowing Morales. He used to lead a young fundamentalist fascist paramilitary group. Camacho apparently wants to reunite the state and the Catholic Church.
Jeanine Áñez has declared herself interim president, and named a new cabinet with no indigenous representation – which is alarming for the country’s indigenous and peasant majority.
The aftermath has been full of violence along racial and class lines. Their tactics are alarming: the military is intimidating the people with Air Force fly-overs; gangs working with the coup ransacked Morales’ home and burned down the homes of other elected officials; and some of their family members have been kidnapped.
In popular uprising, people are marching from all parts of Bolivia to La Paz to try to regain control of their country. Unions and social movements are calling for nationwide strikes and demanding the restoration of a democratic government. We stand with them, and not with those who seize power by force.
CUPW holds very dear the right to peoples’ self-determination and will never accept an undemocratic, violent coup against the clear and overwhelming democratic will of the people.