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FOrganisation of American States chief under investigation for role in Bolivian coup

AN INVESTIGATION will be launched into the role played by the Organisation of American States (OAS) in last year’s Washington-backed coup in Bolivia, which ousted leftist president Evo Morales.

The president of the South American parliament Parlasur, Oscar Laborde, announced on Sunday that OAS general secretary Luis Almagro’s efforts will be scrutinised after the group published a damning report citing electoral irregularities in the November 2019 poll.

The report has since been dismissed by subsequent reports and investigations that found no evidence of fraud in the vote, which was won by Mr Morales and the Movement Towards Socialism (Mas).

Opposition groups and the US used the OAS report to insist that the election was invalid. The furore led to his overthrow and replacement by the far-right Jeanine Anez, and a bloodbath in which hundreds of indigenous Bolivians, the community from which Mr Morales drew much of his support, were massacred.

Mr Laborde described the report, which was compiled following an OAS election observation mission as “a brazen thing without feet or head.”

He said: “If there had been a fraud, why do the same political representations get 55 per cent (Mas) and 29 per cent (Citizen Community) a year later? [This year’s October election resulted in a resounding victory for Mr Morales’s successor Luis Arce and Mas] The numbers are clear and concise.”

The Washington-based OAS has been accused of operating as a tool of imperialism over its support for measures against Venezuela and Nicaragua, both countries in which the US seeks regime change.

Earlier this month the group adopted a resolution condemning Bolivia’s recent parliamentary elections as fraudulent, despite presenting no evidence to back such assertions.

In contrast, the Puebla Group, a progressive alliance made up of 17 countries, said in a statement that “the elections were carried out within normality, in a peaceful manner and without incidents.” 

In 2018 Mr Almagro was expelled from his own party, the Broad Front of Uruguay, for his “interventionist attitude towards Venezuela at the services of the US,” which it said were “serious violations.”

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