Thursday, December 01, 2005

Evo Morales' MAS might be planning a coup

The fact that Evo Morales is a threat to democracy is neither new nor open up to discussion: it is simply a fact. What is more worrying and what pushes me to write this last blog are some thoughts on how Evo may be preparing a coup d'etat as you read this. He doesn't care about democracy, geddit?

First, a couple of days ago I read Jim Schultz's blog on Morales strategy. Jim Schultz, for those of you who don't know, is a sandalista activist who, according to some bloggers, is deeply involved in destabilizing Bolivia. He has, according to these accounts, provided the funds (via his NGO) to set up popular protests and throw up two presidents and get rid foreign investment (we should remember that several newspapers have reported that protests are paid by foreign NGOs). Read these perspectives on the "Democracy Center" activities here and here.

In any case, the point I want to make is that there should be few doubts in that he has probably frequent contact with MAS' directives. According to him, if Morales does not win the election with a clear majority, he will withdraw from the race and mount unsurpassable opposition to whomever gets elected (Tuto Quiroga). To be clear, this opposition would come from both the parliament and the streets (it would not matter that he withdrew from the race, he would rally his forces under the pretense that the presidency was "stolen" from him). As we have seen during this year, these protests would probably cause the resignation of Quiroga or an open conflict. Read Jim Schultz' post here.

Now, in today's paper, MAS' senator Roman Loayza stated bluntly that
el jefe de su partido, Evo Morales, será "presidente de a buenas o de a malas" y adelantó que si el candidato de Podemos, Jorge Quiroga, llega a Palacio Quemado en enero próximo "no va a aguantar ni seis meses".

Loayza, quien ofreció una conferencia de Prensa en el Congreso, precisó que las "organizaciones vivas" alistan una movilización "no pacífica" contra los neoliberales y contra los partidos tradicionales si Morales no llega a la Presidencia de la República por efecto de las elecciones del 18 de diciembre.

"Ya tenemos conversado con algunos militares y con algunos de la policía, posiblemente sin echar sangre vamos a entrar al Palacio (...) en este momento no puedo aclarar sus nombres, hemos hablado con generales, con coroneles y como también con los policías, ellos están incluso haciendo campaña para el MAS", afirmó Loayza.

SO, according to him, Evo Morales will reach the presidency through whatever means ar necessary, so that in case Quiroga gets elected president, he "won't last six months". He adds that a "non-pacific" (i.e. violent) movilization is being prepared against neo-liberals and traditional parties, in case Morales does not become president. Finally, he adds that Morales will enter the palace "probably without spilling blood", as they already have police and army officials under their wing.

If I am reading both parts correctly, Morales is going for the coup. According to Jim Schultz, Morales does not want to compromise, he wants unconstrained power. Since he will not win 50% of the vote, if we are to listen to that blog, Quiroga is already the next president. That means that, if we are to listen to the MAS senator, violent struggle will start soon after and end with MAS taking office by force.

One thing missing from this is Quiroga's stand, though. First of all, if Quiroga was to be the next president, he is not as bland as Mesa was. So, expect violent protesters to be treated with their own medicine. At least I hope so. And second, if he perceives that his term would be too weak, he could force Morales to be next president. He could do so by stalling the first two parliamentary votes so that Evo Morales automatically becomes president without UN support. This would mean that almost all congress would be opposition (with more than half of the senate), ready to block his every move and force him out of office.

In any case, I hope everybody starts noticing the danger Morales is for democracy.

Update: Garcia Linera has said that the the position of the abovementioned senator is not the official position of MAS. He tried to explain the statement with the lamest excuse: "maybe what he wanted to say was that if things get stuck, there could be a violent solution" (read it here). How is this any better?!? Also, remember that on November 14, however, he called the MAS constituency in the Altiplano to be "on alert", ready to defend the triumph of Evo, if the oil companes or embassies try to rob them. Read "non-pacific movilizations".

Update 2: Senator Loayza has said that the media took him out of context. When presented to the recorded speech, he admitted saying what he said but attributed it to confusion between Quechua (his mother tongue) and Spanish. If anything, I don't believe that his statements had particularly bad grammar, structure or pronunciation. It were the ideas that were dangerous, so I guess that this is just another excuse. More here.

Update 3: Quiroga has asked for the sacking of senator Loayza. Morales stresses that he does not represent MAS, which he sees a democratic party, and expressed his anguish towards the comments. Nonetheless, Morales explained that he himself has not heard the recordings and that Loayza told him, twice, that he was taken out of context. He responded Quiroga's pleas for sacking the senator by saying that Loayza's future in MAS depends on the social movements, not on him.


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