There was not a coup in Bolivia last month but you wouldn’t know it if you only listened to far left elected officials and media outlets in this country:
What’s happening right now in Bolivia isn’t democracy, it’s a coup.
The people of Bolivia deserve free, fair, and peaceful elections – not violent seizures of power.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 11, 2019
There's a word for the President of a country being pushed out by the military. It’s called a coup.
We must unequivocally oppose political violence in Bolivia. Bolivians deserve free and fair elections.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 11, 2019
I oppose the intervention of Bolivia's security forces in the democratic process and their repression of Indigenous protesters. When the military intervened and asked President Evo Morales to leave, in my view, that’s called a coup. pic.twitter.com/TPFGxw1wWP
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 18, 2019
As Ed pointed out when this happened, the American left was merely repeating what Morales himself was saying, i.e. that this was an American-backed coup. The claim that America was involved was aimed at the Organization of American States which questioned the legitimacy of the October election. Last week the OAS issued a final report on the Bolivian election which concluded the process was intentionally manipulated and the outcome not reliable. Simply put, Morales attempted to steal the election:
Bolivia’s general elections on Oct. 20 were marred by “a series of malicious operations aimed at altering the will expressed at the polls,” auditors from the Organization of American States said in a 100-page final report released Thursday. Deliberate wrongdoing by election officials, combined with a series of errors and irregularities in the vote count, made it impossible to validate the results, the auditors added…
The report by the O.A.S.’s 36 auditors accused Bolivia’s election officials of setting up a “parallel technological scheme” of hidden servers, which permitted the alteration of results and forging of signatures of electoral observers.
The protests were triggered by the electoral board’s decision to stop counting votes when it appeared that Mr. Morales didn’t have a large enough margin of victory to avoid a runoff. When the final count resumed a day later, the remaining votes overwhelmingly went to Mr. Morales, allowing him to clinch the victory.
The O.A.S. auditors said the sudden halt in the transmission of results was “intentional, arbitrary and without technical basis.”
All of this is on top of the fact that Morales should never have been running for a fourth term in the first place. After Morales was elected the first time he helped put in place a new constitution in 2009 which set a 2-term limit for president. However, Morales argued that because the constitution was new his first term didn’t count. During his third term in 2016 he created a referendum which would allow him to run for office again for a fourth term in the 2019 election. That referendum was voted down, which should have been the end of it. Instead, the country’s Supreme Court, which was full of Morales loyalists, determined that it violated Morales’ human rights not to be able to run for office indefinitely. So much for the new constitution.
On election night, Morales was in danger of losing so his government stopped transmitting results and, unknown to the electorate, switched over to a parallel server system which was not authorized as part of the election computer system. As the NY Times points out, critics who maintain the election was legitimate “have not addressed the accusations of hidden data servers.”
Granted, having the military suggest that Morales should step down after his “victory” sounds a lot like a coup, but in this case it was Morales who tried to retain power through illegal means. His removal was absolutely justified and the only way to maintain some semblance of democracy.
Not to put too fine a point on this but I suspect if President Trump rigged an election and proclaimed himself the winner of a third term in office, no one on the left would consider it a coup to have him pushed out and forbidden from running again. But because Morales is a socialist, American socialists like AOC and Sanders don’t want to admit he was corrupt.
And that’s the thing that should really worry Americans who aren’t socialists. Because the far left is giving the rest of us a preview of how willing they are to wink at the rules when one of their own cheats in an election. Keep that in mind as you hear various Democrats suggest packing the Supreme Court and doing away with the Electoral College.