THE overthrow of president Evo Morales in Bolivia represents a victory for the forces of domestic reaction and US-led Western imperialism.
While it has its own unique features, this anti-democratic coup is but the variation on a pattern seen since the destruction of Chilean president Salvador Allende’s elected government in 1973.
Exploited and oppressed populations welcome the accession to office of a left, progressive and anti-imperialist government committed to challenging grotesque levels of poverty, disease, illiteracy and discrimination. In doing so, such governments have no option but to confront powerful local elites who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and are backed by the US and other imperialist powers.
As in Bolivia and Venezuela, extensive reforms begin to transform the lives of millions of people, who endorse these changes at the ballot box. In many countries, these are the first elections in which they have ever been permitted to participate.
But the forces of reaction are not eradicated by radical governments, which fear a violent backlash from within the Western-linked and largely unreconstructed military and security forces. Most sections of the capitalist and landowning classes retain much of their wealth. They maintain, reorganise or rebuild their political structures and continue their self-serving mass media operations.
Reports begin to appear in the domestic and foreign media that the anti-imperialist government and its supporters are engaging in various types of undemocratic, authoritarian, corrupt or immoral behaviour. Wherever there may be some substance to any such allegations, it is distorted and exaggerated to an enormous degree.
Any context that might explain or justify controversial actions by left and progressive governments and movements is concealed or misrepresented.
The next step is for Western-dominated and financed international bodies to investigate and invariably discover abuses of human and democratic rights in the states concerned. Of course, these never match the scale of US, British and other Western crimes committed when their armed forces bomb, invade or occupy other countries, inflicting mass murder and migration on their native peoples.
Emboldened by different types of Western imperialist support, local reactionary politicians rejected by the majority of voters announce that they will no longer take part in elections “rigged” by the country’s allegedly authoritarian Marxist “dictatorship.” These and similar complaints may in some cases be upheld in courts that strive to protect threatened ruling-class interests.
Democratically elected presidents are forced to resign and are banned from future elections or otherwise derecognised by Western governments.
Internal opposition grows increasingly violent. Street protests originating in the wealthier areas spread outwards, onto the campuses of middle- and upper-class students, playing upon the genuine hardships and grievances of some small traders, the poor, the landless and the unemployed. Their privations will often have knowingly been aggravated by US, EU and other Western sanctions imposed in the name of freedom and democracy.
Military rebellion may then be threatened or initiated through private paramilitary armies, the established armed forces or emigre and mercenary groups trained, armed and funded by the US in co-operation with special forces and arms corporations in Britain, France or elsewhere.
Increasingly, pro-oppositionist propaganda is parroted in wide sections of the Western media. The advocates of violent chaos and subversion are hailed as champions of freedom and democracy.
Anybody familiar with the history of Latin America will see in this pattern the recent experiences of left and anti-imperialist governments in Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras, Paraguay, Venezuela and now Bolivia.
How much longer will Britain be complicit in the cause of counter-revolution in Latin America? Only the election of Jeremy Corbyn on December 12 offers the real possibility of a non-imperialist alternative.
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