Prominent leaders of the Bolivia coup d’etat against the legitimately elected Evo Morales have been revealed as having extensive far-right, Christian fundamentalist and white supremacist links and backing.
Luis Fernando Camacho, the leader of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and leader of the insurgency against Morales is a known Christian fundamentalist with extensive links to far-right paramilitaries, primarily in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia. Camacho is the son of a businessman from Santa Cruz and a millionaire, achieving a Master of Law from the University of Barcelona. His family has significant investment in insurance, gas and real estate.
Camacho, who is constantly seen “brandishing a Bible and a rosary as the only sources of his legitimacy” has seemingly come from nowhere total a leading role in the coup d’etat. He was not a candidate at the October 20 elections that were contested by the government, with new information revealing that the contest was vexatious and allegations of fraud disseminated in the international media likely to be the work of the United States and allied parties.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research has concluded that there was no fraud involved in the recent Bolivia elections, stating that the results of 500 simulations show that Morales’ first-round victory was not just possible, but probable, based on the results of the initial 83.85 percent of votes in the quick count.
“The OAS press statement of October 21 and its preliminary report on the Bolivian elections raise disturbing questions about the organization’s commitment to impartial, professional, electoral observation. The OAS should investigate to find out how such statements, which may have contributed to political conflict in Bolivia, were made without any evidence whatsoever.”Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of CEPR
A report by CEPR verifies that historic voting tendencies favoring Morales in later-reporting polling areas explain why the gap between Morales and Mesa widened as votes were counted, ending with an official result that put Morales ahead of Mesa by 10.57 points.
At the age of 23 Camacho joined the Cruceñista Civil Union, a group that is considered a far-right racist paramilitary organisation by the International Federation of Human Rights.
“[Comacho] legitimizes his authoritarian stance with Bolsonaro-style religious discourse… [It is] an expression of the Bolivian protofascist right”Julio Cordova, Bolivian sociologist
The far-right leader has been compared by many to a combination of Venezuela’s Juan Gaido and Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro and has been called a racist and misogynist by both social and feminist activists.
“In line with other representatives of the new regional right, such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Camacho handles a speech with a very strong religious anchor. [He has a method of] speech that, although it tries to associate it with ‘the peace and unity of the Bolivian people’, ends up fraught with racism, class hatred and provocation.”Mariela Franzosi, journalist
There have been several incidents of racist violence against indigenous communities since the coup, with increasing evidence of hit squads going from house to house and both beating and detaining minorities and left-wing activists alike.
The Wiphala flag, a symbol of Indigenous communities, has also been burned in the streets by far-right mobs.
In his resignation address, Evo Morales directly accused Luis Fernando Camacho and Carlos Mesa of organising and supporting the violence seen on the streets of Bolivia in recent weeks.
“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, I am resigning so [Carlos] Mesa and [Luis Fernando] Camacho would stop kicking my brothers and burning their houses. It hurts seeing this. This is why we decided to resign.”Evo Morales
The coup has been condemned by left-wing politicians, activists and journalist around the world, with British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn leading the protests alongside U.S. Senator and potential Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Noam Chomsky, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have all also added their voice to the condemnation.
The statements from politicians have been echoed on the streets, with protests in the streets of Caracas, Brunos Aires, New York and other cities around the world.
The far-right military coup has also been condemned by Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Non-Aligned Movement and Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez.
Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa highlighted the campaign of violence against left-wing politicians and activists before the coup, a campaign that included arson, kidnapping and death threats. He would add that Socialism in Latin America is a “danger to the system” and that internal and external forces will do anything to stop its growth.
The involvement of the far-right in the Bolivian coup has echoes of other incidents of CIA backed regime change in recent years including most prominently in Ukraine, the tactic being a familiar and well-used method of political destabilisation.
The following is an extract from out previous article entitled The Lithium Coup: Democratically Elected Bolivian President Victim of U.S.-Backed Right-Wing Military Coup.
Bolivia has seen a radical transformation under Morales and socialism which has seen them, alongside Venezuela, become a prime target for the U.S. empire.
Under Morales illiteracy has been lowered to a mere 2.4% from 13% in 2006, unemployment has been lowered to 4.1% from 9.2% in 2006, moderate poverty has been lowered to 34.6% from a huge 60.6% and extreme poverty has been lowered to 15.2% from 38.2%.
Morales, the first indigenous President of Brazil, made huge strides in tackling racism, sexism, inequality and poverty in Bolivia. His economic reforms that saw taxation on the oil and gas industry allowed for massive social spending and the transformation of the country. He successfully reduced Bolivia’s dependence on the World Bank, IMF and U.S. backing, making enemies amongst Bolivian capitalists and the far-right alongside international capital, neoliberals and of course the United States who have eyes on the country’s immense lithium reserves.
A Geological Survey of the Salar de Uyuni salt flats has shown that the area alone contains 9 million tons of lithium, over a quarter of the world’s known reserves.
As the green movement grows around the world and countries begin to outlaw diesel and gasoline-powered cars, prices for lithium have rocketed. This encouraged Bolivia to seek foreign investment, opening the country to capitalism and allowing the Devil in the front door.
Bolivia secured a $1.3bn investment from Germany’s ACI Systems and was scheduled to begin working on the lithium industry in Bolivia in order to generate $1bn per year in profits, demands for metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium soaring as the German auto industry looks to urgently take a commanding position in electric vehicles. The deal was considered essential to the future of the auto industry in Germany.
The deal provoked a string of protests in Bolivia over the number of benefits local communities would have received from the deal, protests that Morales believed were organised by the opposition and their U.S. backers. The U.S., of course, has little interest in seeing Germany take the lead in the future of auto manufacturing, nor the knock-on benefits that would be seen across the E.U.
The Bolivia/ACI Systems deal was cancelled just seven days ago and local Governor Carlos Cejas publicly blamed agitators from both inside and outside the state of undermining development in the Potosi region.
Morales wanted to utilise Bolivia’s lithium reserves in the same way Saudi Arabia has utilised oil, setting the global price for the mineral. The scenario would have brought unprecedented wealth into Bolivia, wealth that would undoubtedly have been distributed into the social projects that have become the norm under the socialist leadership.
The United States can never countenance the success of socialist states. To continue the illusion of capitalist success and socialist “failure” they have regularly attempted to suppress socialist movements throughout the world with unjustified sanctions to destroy the economy, violent insurrection and the imposition of far-right military dictatorships. The imperialist campaign of abuses allows the lie of “socialism doesn’t work” to continue as the United States hides their hand in affairs.