Morales made unforced errors: Bolivia’s Foreseeable Coup

A plurality voted in last month’s election for Evo Morales in his controversial bid for a fourth term as president of Bolivia, but his failure to win a majority, and charges of fraud opened the door to a coup, now underway.

By Ron Ridenour

Did a coup d´état take place in Bolivia with the removal of President Evo Morales? Certainly, an internal coup was a major cause, along with a rebellion calling for Morales’ resignation. When the commander of the armed forces, backed by many generals, publically calls for the president to abdicate, that is an internal coup. Did the US orchestrate this coup? Well, it would be nothing new.

The 1823 “Monroe Doctrine” asserted that Latin America belonged in the US’s backyard. After World War II, and 9/11, Manifest Destiny extended that claim to the entire globe. Of the thousands of times that military forces have been deployed by the US, many countries have been subjected several times. Cuba was attacked 12 times since 1814; Nicaragua 12 times since 1853; Panama on 13 occasions since 1856.

The US stole half of Mexico in 1848. Between 1869 and 1897, the U.S. sent war ships to intervene in Latin America 5,980 times—one ship every two days over three decades. These landings resulted in the murders of striking local workers and insurgents opposing repressive local governments. William Blum (Anti-Empire Reports) showed us that just since WWII the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them Latin American—most recently in Honduras, Paraguay, and Venezuela

While there is evidence that President Donald Trump and major US senators wanted Morales regime-changed, their role may have been minimal and advisory. This I will address after I introduce an overall picture of Morales and his policies, and some of the conflicts within the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS). Some of these policy errors offered the US Military Empire the “human rights” trump card it likes to employ these days when invading or regime changing annoying leaders who do not heel when ordered.

COP 15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen

I immediately took to President Morales upon meeting him in December 2009. I was a PR worker for the Bolivian embassy in Denmark, and one of two press secretaries for Bolivia at the climate summit. I had planned a dozen individual interviews with media. Morales took the first three then walked away while journalists looked at me: what about our interview? I rushed after the president and reminded him of our agreement about the interviews. Morales looked at his ambassador to Denmark and indicated that they needed to talk outside my hearing. I assured journalists that he would return, and he did. He was unhappy with my brashness, but the ambassador and UN ambassador, Pablo Solon, told him I was only doing my job for the benefit of the nation.

Morales accepted this as he did also when I introduced indigenous leaders to a press conference the next day, because Morales and Hugo Chavez were late arriving…


For the rest of this article by RON RIDENOUR, who contributed it to ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:   Ron is an expat US journalist living in Denmark. His work can be found at


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