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Peace campaigners gather in London to say No to the coup in Bolivia

PEACE campaigners and supporters of Bolivia’s ousted president Evo Morales have gathered in London to say No to the coup in the Latin American country.

Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German told last night’s rally, organised by Friends of Bolivia, that the idea the events were anything other than a coup “is just simply plain words.”

She said: “It is a coup. Morales was forced to resign and what’s going on in Bolivia — the attacks on the indigenous people, the attacks on the elected representatives — is hideous stuff.”

Ms German compared the attacks on those loyal to Mr Morales as “the sort of things Mussolini’s fascists did in Italy.”

She said: “These are obviously fascist and far-right elements. We need to be absolutely clear that this is what is going on.

“In Britain, we have some responsibility for this when you look at the role of our government.

“When [Foreign Secretary] Dominic Raab said: ‘We hope the current crisis in Bolivia can now be resolved swiftly, peacefully and in a democratic way,’ I don’t think what he’s got in mind is Morales being back by Monday.

“I think what he has in mind is the right-wing sworn-in president, who is going to run elections — and they will be fake elections — which will ensure the right-wing win.”

Ms German criticised the British government’s support for US President Donald Trump, who she said is involved in all the coups in Latin America, and called on the left in Britain to unite and make foreign policy central to the current general election campaign.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon sent a message of solidarity to the rally and condemned the coup against the indigenous leader.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) general secretary Kate Hudson said her organisation stands against the “totally false narrative” that the events in Bolivia represented a democratic upsurge.

Ms Hudson said: “Trump described Morales’s resignation as ‘a significant moment for democracy’ in the Western hemisphere, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“The reality is that Morales won that election fair and square. The right-wing opposition lost and, in an increasing pattern in many places, they immediately claimed electoral fraud.”

She said the far right and the economic elite were “intertwined in this coup” as they wanted to recapture control of the wealth and ownership of the country’s resources.

Mr Morales nationalised such resources in order to fund social programmes.

Both Ms Hudson and Ms German called on people to join the anti-Trump demonstration during his visit to Britain for a Nato summit on December 3.

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