I finally decided that, rather than loading on and on to yesterday's piece about Morales leaving, I would get square in the face of some lefties about who committed a coup or didn't, who committed one first if both sides did, etc.
Let's start from what ticked me off:
At The Nation, Mark Weisbrot calls it a coup, while listing Morales past history — but without any criticism. I've responded that I'll call the past few weeks' action a "countercoup" IF he'll use the C-word for Morales from three years ago up to a month ago.
— reallyDonaldTrump 🚩🌻 (@AFCC_Esq) November 11, 2019Ditto goes for you, Ken Silverstein, where I saw Weisbrot's piece. Also "interesting" is that both of them reference Benjamin Dangl without referring to any of his above work.
Ahh, yes the Dangl I did reference.
Let's go to Counterpunch, where, already back in 2016, Dangl was sounding the alarm about Morales apparent moves toward wanting to be the stereotypical president for life. Dangl (also at Truthout) discusses Morales' electoral corruption leading up to that referendum that failed, and even more notable for lefties who would put him on a platform, promises already either failing or broken.
If Weisbrot wants to say "rule of law," beyond my in-depth refudiation below? Even Putin had the constitutional decency, on paper, to serve a term as prime minister.Gotta love softheaded lefties justifying Evo Morales breaking the Bolivian constitution by saying "but the supreme court said" and so #RuleOfLaw. Putin's Russia also has a supreme court. At least Putin himself had decency to serve a term as prime minister. https://t.co/PPXkoNM9mv— reallyDonaldTrump 🚩🌻 (@AFCC_Esq) November 11, 2019
And, contra his handwaving about OAS claiming fraud then doing no more, Wikipedia would disagree.
And, it's not just Dangl among lefty journalists who's been skeptical of Morales.
Also unnoted by many leftist stenos, but written up at Truthout by Emily Achtenberg? The degree to which Morales had become a populist nationalist. That link also notes how Morales did some Mandela-like compromises to get elected to a third term. (Actually four, but his first term was before the two-term limit was enshrined in the constitution.) Achtenberg, like Dangl, knows Morales, has reported on his extensively, and is a left-liberal or leftist who doesn't buy the bipartisan foreign policy establishment line.
(Also, per that link just above from Achtenberg? The US forcing down Morales' plane in 2013 shows that the OAS isn't always a total US toady.)
So, again, Tom (and Ken) if I do grant your claims that coup-like behavior happened, I'm only calling it a counter-coup.
Meanwhile, to get this organized better than yesterday, here's why Morales was really running a slow-acting coup himself.
What's that? Constitution breaking? Aaron Maté, Glenn Greenwald, Silverstein, Weisbrot and others haven't told me that.
Bolivia has a term limit on presidents, instituted in 2009.
Morales, in 2015, pushed a referendum to overturn that part of the constitution. And lost.
So? The country's high court, the Bolivarian Tribunal, replacing the old Supreme Court at the same time, was approached by Morales and his political party. He got it to rule that term limits were unconstitutional because they violated his human rights. Background on Wiki. What's laughable indeed is that the American Convention on Human Rights not only says nothing about term limits being a violation of human rights, it limits its own commissioners to two terms. Given this fact, if Bolivia's Bolivarian Tribunal appealed to Article 23 of the ACHR, which is the only thing that comes within five parsecs of Evo's claims and its ruling, it's just barmy. (At the time of the ruling, the OAS rejected such interpretation.)
In addition, Bolivia's Tribunal of Supreme Justice is not only wrong, it's hypocritical. Its own members are elected and ...
Wait for it, wait for it ...
Cannot be re-elected. And, it was inaugurated in 2009, along with other constitutional changes, all designed to make Bolivia .... more democratic. Since it was a new agency, and members couldn't be re-elected, it was ripe for manipulation, even if their elections were allegedly non-partisan. (And, yeah, some right-winger would do the same.) Every judge on the tribunal had come into office since Morales' 2009 election.
In addition, most of Latin America has some sort of limits, if not on overall terms, at least on consecutive terms, per Wiki. The only exceptions? Suriname (set it aside), Nicaragua and .... wait for it ... Venezuela. And also, no recent previous president, whether leftist or rightist, has appealed to the ACHR to overthrow those limits.
So, right there, we're seeing Morales moving toward stereotypical Latin American tinpot dictator territory. (And, giving it an alleged "rule of law" veneer on "snowflake" grounds.)
Next step was then following through and running for a fourth term.
Next step after that was not stepping down, or at least accepting calls for a new election, after this one had charges of major fraud.
Weisbrot claims the OAS was misinterpreting, yes. And, yes, some "slowness" in late rural precincts might happen. But ... we never heard about this in 2009 or 2014.
It seems clear that more and more Bolivians had tired of Morales, constitution-breaking aside. His percentage totals (even accepting his 2019 claims as legitimate) of 47 percent were 15 percentage points or more below his 2009 and 2014 totals.