Bolivia Descends into Chaos, as May 3 Elections Loom
March 8, 2020 (EIRNS)—Predictably, the Bolivian government of “president” Jeanine Añez, which illegally seized power Nov. 11, 2019, following the coup d’état against President Evo Morales, is in a state of disarray, just two months from the scheduled May 3 general elections. At least three of Añez’s cabinet ministers face censure by the Senate, controlled by Morales’s MAS party, and may have to resign.
Añez has “governed” with the blessings of the U.S. State Department and its toady Luis Almagro, the corrupt Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, and the State Department USAID, among others; but her fascist repression of political opponents—hundreds of MAS members have been jailed on charges of “state terrorism” and “corruption”—and dismantling of Morales’s dirigist economic policies in favor of Wall Street and City of London’s murderous free-market policies, have sparked a rebellion among sectors of the population.
Reflecting this, on March 5, when Añez showed up in El Alto, Bolivia’s second most populous city (1 million), and a base of Morales’s indigenous support, to celebrate the city’s founding, she was run off by an angry crowd screaming “assassin!” and had to be whisked away by her security detail, while police lobbed tear gas bombs at protesters, RT reported. Following the November coup, the Senkata district of El Alto was the site of a police massacre of Morales supporters, in which 10 people were killed and 30 wounded. The government has never taken any action against the perpetrators of that massacre, or one in Sacaba, Cochabama in which police also killed 10 peasants.
On March 4, COB, Bolivia’s largest trade union federation declared a state of emergency, warning that the government plans to privatize state sector companies and fire their workers, La Razón reported March 5. The state-sector utility ENTEL, the state-run YPFB oil firm, and the flagship Boliviana de Aviación airline, are all in danger the COB stated, as the government claims these companies all have large deficits and are “inefficient.” Privatization won’t be tolerated, the COB warned.
Infighting within the right-wing parties backing Añez is meanwhile reaching fever pitch. Her erstwhile ally, Luis Fernando Camacho, the fascist religious fanatic who was instrumental in Morales’s overthrow, has now abandoned his own presidential candidacy and is attacking Añez for mismanaging the government. There are at least six other right-wing candidates running, all fighting each other, while polls show that MAS candidate, former Finance Minister Luis Arce, has a potential 49% of the vote.