Bolivia’s Morales Thanks Supporters for ‘Rejecting Coup’

[Despite winning the election with 60% of the vote, Bolivian President Evo Morales is being accused of fraud by the right-wing opposition who have called for ongoing protests against the sitting government. Although Morales has invited foreign governments to perform an audit of the vote, the opposition refuses to call off the protests which have continued now for more than two weeks. Morales has characterized the actions of the opposition as a coup attempt and says he refuses to step down. While Morales has strong support among the country’s rural poor, including miners, farmers, and campesinos, the opposition enjoys significant support among the country’s urban population, as well as the support of the United States which seeks to destabilize Bolivia and oust Morales in order to enact neoliberal economic reforms favorable to US business interests. It is critical at this time to support the Bolivian government and the country’s lower classes against the despicable schemes of the opposition and their US sponsors. —Medved]

 

Bolivian President Evo Morales addresses his supporters in the capital, La Paz, on November 5, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
Bolivian President Evo Morales addresses his supporters in the capital, La Paz, on November 5, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

 

Wed Nov 6, 2019

Bolivian President Evo Morales has thanked his supporters for having thwarted a “coup d’état” against his government, as protests against his re-election enter the third week, with demonstrators calling for his resignation.

Both the supporters and opponents of President Morales took to the streets in rival rallies in the capital, La Paz, on Tuesday.

Thousands of government supporters marched through the streets to a stage near the new presidential residence from where Morales addressed the crowd.

Morales won the election on October 20 with a lead of just over 10 points over the opposition candidate, Carlos Mesa. His opponents rejected the election results, accusing him of fraud and engaging in violent protests.

PressTV-Bolivia’s opp. refuses to concede defeat, protests erupt

Protests erupt in Bolivia after the main opposition candidate in the presidential election refuses to concede victory to incumbent President Evo Morales.

 

On Tuesday, Morales said his opponents were seeking to stage a coup after having lost the election.

“Now they are trying to come together and to regain the political power. And when they can’t win the elections, they fabricate the term fraud. Now we realize it is not a fraud, but a coup d’état. And that’s what we’re dealing with,” he said.

“For that reason,” Morales told the crowd, “I greet you in the name of the vice-president who accompanies us, all of us, in this will, in this spontaneity to confront and reject the coup d’état of the racists who are trying to regain political power.”

The Bolivian president said that if the opposition was “sure that this was a case of fraud, then I would be happy to take all the evidence to those international organizations. Since they don’t have any proof, now they [go] from the fraud to a coup.”

The Organization of American States (OAS) is doing a count audit, expected to be completed before the middle of the month. It has previously recommended a second-round vote.

A protester throws a rock during clashes between the supporters and opponents of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, in La Paz, Bolivia, on November 5, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

 

Meanwhile, tensions erupted across the capital as protesters were marching and demanding Morales’ resignation.

Riot police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, who threw tear gas canisters back at police.

Opposition figure flown back to home city

On the other side of the city, people blocked the La Paz airport and prevented opposition figure Luis Fernando Camacho from arriving at the capital on Tuesday.

Camacho was flown back on an air force plane to his hometown Santa Cruz “to protect his safety,” said Interior Minister Carlos Romero.

Camacho, who was leading the protesters in Santa Cruz, the country’s most populous city, said he would lead a protest march in the capital on Wednesday and push for Morales’ resignation.

“Tomorrow, at half past two in the afternoon, I will return to La Paz, and will do so every day until I can enter the government palace,” Camacho told reporters after returning to Santa Cruz.

Bolivia’s opposition figure Luis Fernando Camacho (C-R) is received by his supporters in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on November 5, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

 

Mesa, the defeated presidential candidate, also repeated his call on Morales to resign.

Meanwhile, Senate leader Adriana Salvatierra said the government would not bow to the demands to step down.

“We will not fall under pressure, but we will wait for the end of the audit,” he said.

The president came to power in 2006 as Bolivia’s first indigenous leader. He has won his previous three terms with solid majorities. Bolivia has been experiencing years of political and economic stability and growth under his rule.

The economy has grown by an annual average of about 4.5 percent, well above the regional average, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts it will grow at four percent this year.

 

Original Source: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/06/610503/Bolivia-Morales-supporters-reject-coup (Press TV)

 

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