Statement Condemning the US backed Military Coup in Bolivia

Declaración en español aquí

The Veterans of About Face vehemently and unequivocally condemn the U.S. role in facilitating and supporting the coup d’état of the democratically elected Bolivian Socialist President Evo Morales. President Morales was ousted on November 11 by the Bolivian military and its right-wing mob of reactionaries and Christian fascist paramilitaries who terrorized supporters, government ministers, and elected officials.  We support the self-determination of the Bolivian people who are filling the streets to demand the restoration of the constitutional order and to return democratically elected President Evo Morales to office. 

As of this statement, Morales’ supporters — who are coming from the rural areas to the cities to protest and show their support — are being met with military and police repression, as well as with right-wing violence.  Long considered the poorest country in South America, Bolivia is an indigenous majority country with a minority European descendant population who control most of the country’s wealth. Evo Morales is the country’s first Indigenous president in 480 years.  While in the past, Bolivia’s government has marginalized poor and Indigenous peoples and ruled on behalf of the wealthier white elites and foreign corporate interests, Morales’ strong support base lies with the Indigenous communities who for the first time have a leader who looks like them and truly represents their concerns. Under Morales’s leadership, the country recovered its sovereignty from corporate entities, experienced an upsurge in economic growth and equity, and saw social and ecological advances. As a result, Bolivians have seen a higher standard of living- lifting 40 percent out of poverty, and 60 percent out of extreme poverty. We have no doubt that it is for exactly these reasons that the United States government, heavily influenced by corporate influence, is comfortable with, if not supportive of, this gross violation of democratic values.

We call on the global community to reject this affront to democracy and the farcical “interim presidency” of Jeanine Añez who proclaimed herself president.  It is shameful that the White House so quickly legitimized the coup and recognized the coup government. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to give their consent by remaining silent. This is completely unacceptable.

Furthermore, we demand that U.S. elected officials, particularly Senator  Marco Rubio (R- FL), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Congressman Robert “Bob” Menendez (D- NJ), come clean about any participation in the removal of Morales. Coup plotters themselves claim in leaked audio to have had conversations with these three U.S. officials and to have gotten their support.  

This is not the first time that Sen. Marco Rubio has involved himself in the destabilization of a Latin American country. The Senator has made several attempts to help push forward the overthrow of the government in Caracas, and at each failure, he continues to push for harsher US sanctions intended to cause economic collapse. He also pushes for crushing sanctions against Cuba and Nicaragua, which cause undue harm to everyday people rather than those in power. We urge the constituents of these three elected officials to demand answers and hold them accountable. 

As Veterans who have witnessed the fallouts of U.S. policies abroad personally, we know that this support for violent coups comes with no regard for the consequences — often leading to wars, atrocities, unnecessary deaths, and mass migrations. Despite what Trump and other politicians may claim, we understand that they have no true concern for the people or for any of the people’s grievances against the leaders the US targets — instead, this moment fits into a long US history of overthrowing democracies in favor of right-wing regimes willing to align themselves to the US government and corporate interests. We believe in the self-determination of the people, free from US interference that will serve only to make violence and tensions worse.

Call to action

Call, write or visit Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, and Representative Menendez.
  • Demand that they actively work to stop US interventionism 
  • Demand their vocal condemnation of this coup and support for reinstating Evo Morales 
  • Respect international law and the self-determination of the people of Bolivia to choose their own government. 

Contact your Congressperson now!
  • Demand an investigation into the role that the US played in the Bolivian coup, specifically Senator  Marco Rubio (R- FL), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Congressman Robert “Bob” Menendez (D- NJ)  
  • Demand that the constitutional order be restored.  
  • Demand that the Democratic candidates denounce the coup and call out President Trump’s overreach in international affairs and the affairs of Bolivia.

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