Evo Morales resigns as Bolivian coup emerges

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Unlike the failed coup in Venezuela, this time in Bolivia, the military has prevailed upon Evo Morales to resign.

Banana Republicans finally manage a military coup, this time in Bolivia, but there are cautionary tales.

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Evo Morales resigned as president of Bolivia amid an increasingly violent uprising that reached a tipping point on Sunday with the military pulling its support for him after an audit found “clear manipulation” of the vote last month in which the elder statesman of the Latin American left had claimed victory.
The resignation was an ignominious ending to a 13-year tenure in which Bolivia’s first indigenous president fought poverty and transformed cities with state investment even as criticism of his authoritarian tendencies rose. But, ultimately, the 60-year old socialist found himself isolated — the heads of the armed forces and national police both called on Morales to step down, and the country’s main labor union asked him to resign to help calm a nation rapidly plunging into mob rule.
Morales and his senior officials denounced the pressure as an effective coup orchestrated by his right-wing challenger, former president Carlos Mesa, and other opposition leaders, including Luis Fernando Camacho. Protesters ransacked and burned the homes of senior members of Morales’s Movement for Socialism party, and , in at least one instance, kidnapped a relative. The restive Sunday capped three weeks of violence that began with the torching of election centers by right-wing supporters infuriated by what they saw as a power grab by Morales.

For years now, opponents of socialism have pointed at collapsing Venezuela as Exhibit A in the argument against the political left. But here in the shadow of the Andes, Bolivians are living the mirror image: an upwardly mobile society where, at least on paper, socialism has worked.

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— Jon Lee Anderson (@jonleeanderson) November 10, 2019

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