Saturday, October 26, 2019

Morales Isn’t A “Dictator,” He’s Bolivia’s Indigenous Savior

The U.S./NATO regime change machine is following the exact playbook as it has in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ukraine, and the dozens of other countries which have been politically interfered with by the CIA. Those who’ve studied this playbook assuredly know how to see through the lies the American media is telling about Bolivia, because the U.S.’ underhanded tactics are extremely obvious. To help less knowledgeable people recognize the deceptions on Bolivia, it’s necessary to provide an overview of how current events in the country match up with what the U.S. has done so many times in countries like it.

Firstly, Bolivia’s indigenous socialist president Evo Morales has from the start been a target of a U.S.-led campaign to paint him as an aspiring dictator. In Orwellian fashion, the default online information source Wikipedia states in a version of its page on Morales that Morales is a “dictator illegally participating in 2019 presidential elections.” (This statement doesn’t appear when you click on the article, but it shows up when you see how it’s presented in a Google search engine.) This falsehood about Morales, practically enshrined into the capitalist world’s free encyclopedia, provides the rationale for stoking violent unrest within Bolivia and trying to overthrow a leader who’s in the process of being freely and fairly re-elected.

Whenever a pundit or official claims Morales is harming democracy, they’re arguing in bad faith. The mischaracterization of a democratically elected leftist leader as a “dictator” is always what precedes the operations to aid right-wing groups within a regime change target country, to carry out economic warfare against the country’s people for the purpose of weakening the state, or to prepare for invasion against the country. As is documented in Steve Kangas essay “A Timeline of CIA Atrocities,” America’s efforts to violently strong-arm disobedient countries into submission has caused a staggering amount of death and destruction throughout the last century:

This scenario [of regime change] has been repeated so many times that the CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious "School of the Americas." (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the "School of the Dictators" and "School of the Assassins." Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder. The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (2) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an "American Holocaust."

The idea that political meddling between could cause the same amount of deaths that came from Hitler’s campaign to exterminate the Jews seems almost too stunning to believe. But you get a sense of how Blum came to his estimation when you look at the staggering losses of human life that have been brought about by the U.S. empire’s most recent acts of geopolitical warfare. A report from this year found that around 40,000 Venezuelans have been killed by the U.S.’ efforts to deprive the country of resources, an atrocity that the Trump administration is in the process of replicating in Iran by imposing sanctions on the country that are designed to kill. Economic warfare, which is even more destructive than direct warfare, is the less visible accessory to the political violence that the U.S. is manufacturing within these and other countries.

I iterate these facts because while they’re fairly common knowledge among my typical readers, they provide a context for the enormity of what anti-imperialists like Morales are resisting. The lower-class and indigenous people who support Morales and Maduro, the people in decolonized socialist countries like the DPRK and Cuba, and the people protesting neoliberalism in countries like Chile are all survivors of the fascist genocidal war that the empire has long waged against exploited and colonized people. Morales isn’t “undermining” Bolivia’s democracy or otherwise harming his country’s people; he’s saving them from becoming more victims of America’s campaign of destruction and plunder.

This reality demonstrates how disingenuous all of the attempts to vilify Morales are. The absurd narrative that he’s to blame for the Amazon fires, the claim that he’s making Bolivia a “dictatorship” by running for a new term when he has continued popular support from voters, and the baseless accusations of electoral fraud that have rationalized the recent violent right-wing protests are diversions from the fact that Morales is saving his people from poverty and subjugation. Bolivia's socialist development under Morales has made the country thrive economically, with Morales’ competent management largely saving Bolivians both from capitalist exploitation and from the destructive effects of U.S. economic warfare. Morales has also made Bolivia into a climate action leader by giving the environment the equivalent of human rights, putting Bolivia on the same path towards ecosocialist revolution that Venezuela is on.

Both of these nations are experiencing the solidification of indigenous and proletarian power that the protesters in Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, and Honduras are working to bring about in their countries. Bolivia and Venezuela are where the struggle against empire has triumphed. The protests throughout Latin America are efforts from the rest of the Third World indigenous proletariat to attain the same victory that their Bolivian and Venezuelan comrades have. 

As indigenous people in the global south rebel, the colonizers are naturally trying to paint them as savages who deserve to be suppressed. The vilifications of Maduro and Morales parallel the Western media’s efforts to whitewash the violent repression of the U.S.-backed neoliberal regimes in Ecuador and Chile against indigenous protesters, to minimize media coverage of the anti-neoliberal protests, to claim the demonstrations in Chile are masterminded by Venezuela or Russia, and to denounce the protesters for being violent.

But Maduro, Morales, and the Chilean revolutionaries don’t need the support of the West, anymore than they need the approval of rich whites for the tactics they use to win. The imperialists don’t have the moral high ground when it comes to engaging in violence, and Maduro and Morales have so far been very peaceful in their efforts to combat the imperialists. So Latin America’s indigenous revolutionaries, both the ones who are national leaders and the ones who are fighting for freedom in the streets, deserve our utmost respect.

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