FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2020
For Further Information:
Bolivian democracy and sovereignty are at stake in Sunday’s presidential election
(Syracuse, NY – October 17, 2020) This Sunday, October 18, Bolivia is holding a presidential election after eleven months of rule by a US-backed de facto regime that seized power in a coup. This extreme right-wing regime came to power by subverting a democratic election last year, forcing President Evo Morales to resign, and unleashing a wave of brutal repression across the country. Dozens of protesters have been killed by the security forces.
The Green Party’s position on the Bolivian election is informed by our approach to foreign policy. We reject the Monroe Doctrine in favor of a policy of mutual respect and sovereign equality among nations. This means we would end the embargo against Cuba and begin to forge relationships based on complementary trade. We will advance cooperative relations over the failed neoliberal model of political domination, militarization, privatization, and structural adjustment models that impose economic exploitation, the destruction of ecosystems, and the forced migrations of the victims of this system.
Today the large majority of Bolivians have mobilized to restore their democracy using democratic procedures. The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential ticket, Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca, have a commanding lead in the polls despite the ongoing political persecution of their candidates and supporters. International observers from around the world will bear witness as to whether Bolivia’s democratic institutions can be restored even when the de facto Interior Minister, Arturo Murillo, continues to use his authority over the security forces to threaten MAS supporters and advance an oligarchic partisan agenda.
Prior to the coup, Bolivia had been a shining example of economic growth from a socialist approach, with social justice and decolonization at the forefront. They recuperated control over their natural resources and insisted on implementing their own economic model. During more than a decade of a “process of change” this South American country hammered out a Constitution that recognizes 36 original peoples and elevates their political participation.
The election Sunday, then, will determine whether Bolivia can shake loose of Monroeism and oligarchy and resume a sovereign and democratic path forward. Just as we are presently on guard to ensure that there is no voter suppression or fraud committed in the US election, in Bolivia the popular sectors and social movements backing the Movement Towards Socialism stand vigilant not to suffer two aborted elections.