Sunday, November 24, 2019

Democratic Lawmakers Criticize US Stance Towards Bolivia's Coup
People place the coffin of a person killed by security forces on top of an armored vehicle in La Paz, Bolivia Nov. 21, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

23 November 2019

U.S. actions "could well contribute to a further breakdown in the rule of law in Bolivia and a full-blown humanitarian emergency," Democratic legislators foresee.

James McGovern, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other Democratic lawmakers on Friday criticized President Donald Trump administration for its stance regarding what is happening in Bolivia.

"We are troubled by statements from administration officials, including President Trump, that welcome these developments in Bolivia that bear the hallmarks of a military coup d'état," lawmakers pointed out through a letter sent to the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

They also stressed that U.S. senior officials' statements and actions "could well contribute to a further breakdown in the rule of law in Bolivia and a full-blown humanitarian emergency."

Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues recalled that President Evo Morales, who was democratically elected, announced his resignation to prevent the destruction of the rule of law in this Andean country.

Nevertheless, the Bolivian constitution was ​​​​​​​bluntly violated later when opposition Senator Jeanine Añez self-proclaimed as interim president on Nov. 12.​​​​​​​

Democratic lawmakers also denounced that indiscriminate repression against ​​​​​​​the civilian population has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries, which has not been condemned by the U.S. government.

"Over the last week, Morales allies have faced attacks, and threats and protests have been violently repressed by security forces, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries... Senior Trump administration officials have failed to denounce violent attacks by security forces, even as demonstrations made up largely of Indigenous Bolivians have been fired at with live ammunition."​​​​​​​

Democratic congressmen mentioned that the legitimacy of Morales's decision to run for a fourth presidential term could be debated. However, such a debate does not make it acceptable for Washington to welcome the forced removal of an elected President before the end of his term.​​​​​​​

According to Omal and the other legislators, the next government's legitimacy will depend on whether the current coup-born regime allows the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) to participate in the upcoming elections, for Morales’ party is supported by millions of Bolivians.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The U.S. Democratic lawmakers also criticized the Organization of American States (OAS) officials who participated in the audit of the Bolivian presidential elections.

"Unsubstantiated and misleading statements made by the OAS electoral mission in Bolivia on Oct. 21, which subsequently were echoed by the State Department, contributed to further polarization at a moment in which violent politically-motivated incidents were taking place throughout the country."​​​​​​​

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