Bolivia: The Imminent Coup

Antonio Peredo Leigue, September 9

Together with their conspiracy to “kill the Indian shit”, there are rumours of a coup, already prepared, and requiring only one or two pretexts to justify its execution. The insistence on an uncontrolled inflation could not be missing; the transnationals make use of this to declare, with a lot of sincerity, that they will invest when the signals of economic insecurity disappear in the country

If we look at reality, none of this is consistent. There are not the conditions for either of these things to occur; in reality, for all of these things to occur, because they want these events to occur one after the other. It is the domino theory, so liked by CIA “intelligence”: it’s enough to knock down one piece for the rest of them to come tumbling down.

But in their plans, there is one fact that we can [1] not ignore: they are attempting to repeat a lie, until it becomes true. It’s just that, after hearing a rumour enough times, we end up not giving any importance to it, which allows the rumour to continue spreading without it being denied. We get tired of denouncing it as false and it is allowed to continue propagating. Because there are groups, those that have economic power, who believe these rumours; even worse, they contribute to making them reality

Assassination plan

That a leaflet is circulating call on people to kill President Evo Morales, is something we registered more than a year ago. This could be a simple repeat, no more important that the previous ones. It has all the same elements found in the other ones: brazen proposal, inciting hate, shameless lies. But something different attracts our attention: simultaneously, thousands of printed copies have been circulated, they have reached a number of other emails and they were sent to the police and military commands. This seems to indicate that this time, the stakes are higher.

If their aim was to assassinate the president, they would not be spreading it so widely. What they are aiming at is for security measures to be increased; with this they are attempting to provoke strong reactions and, if possible, that there be a victim.

In these circumstances, the rest of the plot could begin to unravel. The consequences? It does not matter what they are. The most important thing for them is to recuperate their privileges.

Preparations for the coup

A coup, as Bolivian history has demonstrated, would only be just one more statistic. No one would be frightened of it happening in this country, with its history of so many bloody events.

At least that’s what the plotters believe, or at least try to believe. They don’t want to take into account the international reaction which would condemn them. Or, perhaps we are overly optimistic? Really, are we sure that there would be an indisputable repudiation by the whole world? At least in Latin America? Would some governments from neighbouring countries be content with a declaration?

Even if we maintain our conviction that there would be a reaction by all the countries, we do not rule out the possibility of a coup. If this occurs - eliminating undesirable elements - the coup plotters could show their repentance and ask for forgiveness, convoking immediate elections. That way everything remains in peace, democracy is “reinstalled”, the “Indian shit” disappears and the mega banzerista [1] returns to government

No one should rest on their laurels!

Inflation as cost

But the plan does not finish there. Given that the elites did not rob the national treasury during all this time, they could do it now, hand over fist. The justification is already being sung: the government of Evo Morales is responsible; they left the fiscal chests empty.

We would then see the elimination of the measures of change implemented up until now, one after another. The social organisations would be left decapitated. The simple formula of “terrorism by decree” would serve to condemn those who oppose this.

Should we continue? The story could be long, but those that are interested can go and read history.

Awake and vigilant

It is not a waste of time to do this recount. Nor is it due to fear or resignation. Its purpose is to alert those, such as the majority of the people, who are committed to this process of change.

The question of autonomy and the shifting of the seat of government are banners to agitate, but not with the aim of satisfying demands, reclaims or yearnings. They are trying to maintain a tense climate in order to create a cauldron in with they can continue to cook up their dark plan.

We can not allow them to carry this out. We should not fall into their trap. It is important to maintain calm. A vigilant calm.

Antonio Peredo Leigue is a senator for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) in the Bolivian congress. He was the MAS vice presidential candidate in 2002, when Evo Morales can a close second in the elections.

Translated from MAS website


[1] the spanish version spells we can in capitals, a play on the word podemos, a Spanish word which translates as “We Can”, and which also the acronym of the main opposition party, PODEMOS, Poder Democratico Social or Social Democratic Power in english

[2] Refers to General Hugo Banzer Suárez who lead a violent coup on August 22, 1971 against the progressive military government of J.J. Torres. Banzer was in power until 1978, and was subsequently elected president of Bolivia in 1997. His vice president was Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, current opposition leader of PODEMOS.

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