HomeArticle“No No You Guys, THIS US-Backed Coup Is Perfectly Legitimate!”

“No No You Guys, THIS US-Backed Coup Is Perfectly Legitimate!”

I just keep tripping on how dumb this latest US-backed military coup is. It’s in Bolivia in case you’ve lost track, which would be perfectly understandable since US-backed coups have become kind of like US mass shootings–there’s so many of them they’re starting to blend into each other.

I mean, for starters the justifications for this one are so cartoonishly reachy and desperate it boggles the mind a bit. The main argument you’ll see in favor of the coup is that Evo Morales was elected after Bolivia’s high court ruled that he could run for a fourth term, but the (democratically elected) court ruled against a 2016 referendum on presidential term limits.

That’s it. That weird, pedantic appeal to a particular interpretation of bureaucratic technicalities is the whole entire argument in support of a literal military coup backed by the United States.

And make no mistake, that’s exactly what this was: the military ousting a government is precisely the thing that a coup is. The coup’s Christian fascist leader Luis Fernando Camacho openly tweeted that the military was actively pursuing Morales’ arrest prior to the ousted leader’s escape to Mexico, a tweet he later deleted presumably because the admission makes it much harder to call this military coup anything other than the thing that it is. The Grayzone has published an article documenting this coup’s many ties to Washington. Put it all together, and you’ve got a US-backed military coup.

As happens every single time the US tries to overthrow a government these days, social media is currently swarming with small, brand-new and suspicious-looking accounts, many of which are publishing the same words verbatim, all defending and supporting the coup. Some of them try to argue that Morales rigged last month’s election, but that’s totally bogus and evidence-free. Others try to claim that “the people” of Bolivia opposed Morales, strongly implying that he was universally loathed, but that claim is invalidated by the election results and the massive demonstrations against the coup.

So the only actual argument really boils down to “Well he ran for another term, and yeah he won, and yeah the democratically elected high court ruled he could run again, but a loud and violent minority of Bolivians don’t want him to be president. What choice do you have in such circumstances other than to support a literal military coup?”

Which is just so crazy. That’s how low the bar has sunk for supporting the toppling of a government today. They don’t have to claim he’s starving his own people. They don’t have to claim that he’s using chemical weapons. They don’t have to claim that he’s governing without the consent of the voting populace. Just “Yeah well some of us don’t like him and there’s some paperwork we disagree on.”

I mean really, how much lower can the bar get for when a US-backed military coup is justified? “Oh, that government needed to be toppled because the leader got a parking ticket once”? “Well the president wore white after Labor Day, and that’s a fashion atrocity”?

So the Morales-supporting line of succession has been ousted and many of his supporters in the government arrested by masked men, and now the US-approved interim president is an appalling racist and absolute dimwit who calls to mind a very low-budget Bolivian version of Sarah Palin.

It’s absolutely amazing how many people all across the political spectrum have been sucked in by this ridiculousness. How lost do you have to be to believe that this US-backed military coup is different from all the others? How many times is Charlie Brown going to run up and try to kick Lucy’s football?

That bitch is never gonna let you kick that goddamn football, Charlie Brown. And this US-backed military coup isn’t going to be any more moral, legal or beneficial than all the others.

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Latest comments

  • Well, the USA is too powerful to destroy itself so it needs to alienate the whole world in order to get the worlds help with its suicide, in the past our fortunate luck has been outweighing our self destroying ignorance and so we are acting to rectify that, just as Rome once did.
    When the barbarians defended Rome from Attila they Hun the Romans rewarded the barbarians with the execution of the barbarian general who had secured the victory for Rome. Rome wanted only impotent puppets for allies just as the modern USA tends to do.
    The execution of the victorious general was ordered due to Romes chronic bigotry which saw barbarians as inferiors and its incessantly paranoid assassination driven politics which saw healthy allies as threats, which obviously assured the fall of Rome to the angry barbarians, Rome did everything in its power to destroy itself by acting with perfect criminality on a national scale, just as the USA is doing today, bigotry and paranoia can bring down any empire.

    • As usual, the problem is how to get the bigots and paranoiacs out, and the intelligent, educated, decent people in.
      I mean, look at Rome today…
      Still looks pretty destroyed to me.

  • “Well the president wore white after Labor Day, and that’s a fashion atrocity”
    .
    Hahahaha! The United States has become Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner’s character) in John Waters’s Serial Mom. I love the analogy. Nicely done, Caitlin!

  • Nationless multinationals think the world is their oyster alone. Now lithium is the new oil. Remember when we thought switching to renewable energy would put a halt to resource wars? Silly humans.

  • “I mean really, how much lower can the bar get for when a US-backed military coup is justified? ”

    I would probably put the “Random-Guy” Venezuela coup attempt at the top of the list but this is strong competition for sure. The coups in Honduras and Brazil are similar to this one; both were based on bogus legal claims. The coup in Bolivia was aided and abetted by the OAS.

  • Not a U.S. run coup. Obama is not in office.

    • Sigh…. David. Please wake up. Obama was a mass murdering war criminal who bombed 7 countries, and who should be in jail for crimes against humanity. As should the evil corrupt Hillary Clinton. Yemen, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Honduras, etc.

  • per Caitlin:
    `
    ‘ ‘ those who control the narrative control the world ‘ ‘

    • Depends what you mean by “the world”.
      The intelligent, educated and decent people don’t just go away, and their influence is not negligible.
      If you watch the media all day, of course you see nothing but “the narrative”, but what if you DON’T watch the media all day, and study the aworld instead?
      Then you get a different narrative.

  • Sometime it seems the whole world is conspiring against the “little guy”. My Medium account is currently fried(frozen) so I can’t write. A moment ago the light bulb in my brain flashed: go to Caitlin’s site directly. Coups are a dime a dozen and odds are if there’s a coup the CIA’s nasty hands are in there somewhere. Bolivia must have a valuable resource the the US wants to steal so voila!, let’s do a coup CIA style. I don’t know what kind of gold Bolivia has but now the people of Bolivia will suffer under another tinpot despot of despicable character. We had another school shooting today and details are still sketchy, but a coup then shooting. If the US wants to curb violence at home maybe they should curb govt violence first. The US’s war of terror knows no limits these days, or ever. Peace, The Ol’ Hippy

  • So what exactly does Bolivia have that the US wants?

    • In a nutshell Lithium.

      • Not just the lithium. The ability for the American plutocracy to control its extraction and distribution – with government imposed friendly labor and pricing terms – to maximize the profits for those Americans, at the expense of Bolivians. Much like Spain took its silver and like American companies were doing with its cocaine, tin and natural gas leaving average Bolivians poor again after the resources have been stripped..

        • I forgot, what natural resource was it that justified trillions of dollars being spent across a score of years in Afghanistan? The only thing they have is lots of pretty poppy fields. Oh pee yum!

  • Good article…one of your commenters mentioned a coup against Trump. I don’t know, but I think right wing ideology is having a whack-a-mole moment, and doesn’t know what to do. The narrative is being enforced, but is constantly being interrupted by tellers of a different story and there are a lot of them. Like you say coups in Bolivia and Venezuela, but left governments in Argentina and Mexico, Chile has problems, then there are the upsets in England, France, the problem that is Hong Kong was made worse by American interference. I think the right wing narrative is being opposed and it’ll probably get scarier before it eventually falls. Did you see BoJo trying to mop a floor the other day? Just made a bigger mess before someone else took over—I think we’re in the mop mess right now, and someone else is going to clean things up.

    • Did you see BoJo trying to mop a floor the other day?
      No, was he holding the right end?

    • Actually there’s been several “soft coups” against Trump. The latest being the nonsensible “whistleblower” CIA style. I despise Trump but these attacks just shows how fragile the state of the Presidency can be. Assassinations being out of fashion since ’63.

  • What goes around comes around. I am no fan of Trump. Quite the contrary. That being said, the US is far down the road of their own coup right now. Our POS POTUS was legitimately elected, and is now being herded out, whether by impeachment, or being blamed for the coming economic catastrophe caused by the fiat monetary system created by the globalists 106 years ago. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s of to work in chains we go.

  • Sarah Palin? Nah, that’s Bolivia’s AOC.

    • That’s pretty stupid. You may not like AOC, but this Bolivian lunatic is right wing Christian Nazi.

      • Ahhh, so AOC, a left wing lunatic communist that is, as this ‘right wing Christian Nazi’ obviously is, propped up by invisible forces is okay. Gotcha. So stupid I am.

        • she’s not a left wing communist, she’s not a lunatic, and she’s not propped up by invisible forces.
          oh, and trump is as much of a warmongering idiot as clinton was, as he is proving. but at least he didn’t get us into a hot war with russia.

  • Caitlin, thank you for nixing trolls at this blog. i believe Roger Waters’ hope will be realized and Evo will be back to power in short order with the groundswell of support from around the world.

  • “a very low-budget Bolivian version of Sarah Palin”… a “coup with lipstick”?!?

  • On a variety of different sites, trolls have been popping up like mushrooms after rain. Even on this site.
    The most bizarre comment I’ve seen is someone claiming Evo Morales was: “a Racist Inca SUPREMACIST”!! Turns out the commenter is in the Spartacist League. Enough said.
    The truth is hardcore Christian Fascists have taken power in Bolivia, all espousing a European supremacist belief, and a hatred for the local indigenous population of Bolivia.
    All social progress made under Morales will be reversed. A full scale neoliberal economic programme will be implemented. Should I mention the word Lithium?
    I fear that lots of blood will be spilt. I fear that any open resistance to the coup will be ruthlessly crushed; as it already has been, with Whatever violence it takes.
    And Trump, Pompeo and Pence will all applaud the wonders of democracy at work.

  • Everyone has heard of Serial Killers.

    Well, the United States of America is a serial regime changer. Indeed, it is a serial war criminal nation.

    And to justify both these crimes, the United States must aggressively push increasingly contrived propaganda narratives to sell to the global public–many of who happily swallow these narratives in the same way they swallow equally ludicrous advertising campaigns.

    Serial coups. Serial wars of aggression. And serial lies to rationalize them all.

    As the very stable American genius, Donald Trump would put it: sad.

    And sociopathic.

  • I don’t see this Bolivian take-over ending well in the near term…I also fear that Venezuela will eventually fall prey to the Monroe Doctrine. The benevolent assistance offered to these left leaning Countries (by China/Russia) will be stolen/overrun by Corp. America, and there we go again…such a shame!

  • Sure, the Yanks do this all the time, but, who is ultimately pulling the strings? Those bloody Russians! Again!

  • All instigated by the National Endowment for Democracy an infamous outfit by the CIA that specialises in subverting and destroying democratically elected governments and which has admitted funding Hong Kong dissidents for more than two decades .Ned backs protest organiser Joshua Wong who floats around the world hobnobbing with far-right groups like Mike Rubio and was seeing posing with the White Helmut outfit Raed Al Saleh , both are linked to the National Endowment for Democracy.

  • At some point the ” resentment of the United States government ” all over this planet is going to boil over.

  • Thanks, Caitlin. Prior to Morales, Bolivia experienced a long, long history of coups and it’s so sad to see this happening again. And just to note, the Brazil coup was based on the President’s changing line items in the federal budget, so having succeeded with that “soft coup” was a precedent of sorts. One of the other common factors is the rise of the evangelical right (blasting away on social media); I also note that we had approximately a day to celebrate Lula getting out of jail before having the mourn this event.

  • So sad; isn’t it? I mean it’s not like God doesn’t know who’s been naughty and nice, but from every thing that I’ve been reading lately, except for those few mentioned above; all the white people are going to be going away for a very long time soon and we will never see them again.

  • As the nation that invented the BANANA REPUBLIC, one would think America would have perfected the genera after a century of actions, but after three years of ORANGE MAN BAD attempts by DINOs and RINOs, the results of the 2016 election are unchanged. This would be less of a problem if Orange Man lived up to his MAGA promise. Ending Syrian war (forced by Putin) while igniting Venezuela and Bolivia is a net loser for humanity. The consolation prize is that Reptillary would be worse. Sadly, the lesser of two evils, is still evil.

    • hey, at least we might have a reprise of greater evil vs lesser evil, if clinton gets her way. did you see her claim about the “immense pressure” she is under to run again? as if the whole shitshow wasn’t obvious enough already.

      • the coup is the responsibility of the people overthrowing the legitimate government, and the people perpetrating it have no concern with the niceties of bolivian law.

    • Caitlin, the institutional crisis in Bolivia was mainly created by Evo Morales. The new Bolivian constitution, which Morales helped promulgate, states in clear terms a 2 mandates limit (article 168). Morales, wanted to run a 3rd term and thus asked for a referendum on whether he should be allowed to run regardless of the constitution limit. He lost. No happy with the result, he petitioned to the friendly Supreme Court, which stated that article 168 of the Constitution should be ignored on the basis that the right to be elected is an inalienable human right that may not be limited by the constitution. The decision of the Supreme Court is quite absurd. Participating in an election as a candidate is not a right but a privilege subject to legal requirements (e.g you need to be at least 18 years old). The supreme court reinterpreted the constitution with the goal of perpetuating Morales in power. This created a dangerous precedent and also the conditions that gave rise to the crisis. Janine Añez assumed power as established by article 170 of the Constitution which establishes the succession chain in case of a crisis. She has a very limited mandate: her responsibility is to call for elections within 90 days. Nothing more than that. In my view Morales should accept the letter of the Constitution, work with the MAS party to establish a new candidate, and support this candidate in the new election. In other words, if he had respected the constitution from the beginning, none of this would have happened. Probably the MAS would have won the election with a new candidate. But no, Morales like a good Latinamerican with caudillo mentality, could not accept the end of his 14 year reign ( a good one by all accounts).

      • Finally, a good unbiased account of the situation. Let’s move on to another subject. These blogs are totally generalization fallacies. When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. (coup)

      • The Bolivian Supreme Electoral Court’s decision of 4 December 2018 was based on a Bolivian Plurinational Constitutional Court decision of 28 November 2017 holding that the Bolivian constitution’s term limits violated Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights. That article guarantees every citizen of a signatory country the right … “to be elected in genuine periodic elections … by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the people” and further provides that “the law may regulate” that right “only on the basis of age, nationality, residence, language, education, civil and mental capacity, or sentencing by a competent court in criminal proceedings.” Nothing about number of terms served or tenure in office is mentioned.

        In the United States, international treaties (like the Geneva Conventions — ha!) are just below the US Constitution on the legal totem pole, and there’s no question about which document takes precedence. But other countries may have different source-of-law hierarchies. In France, international treaties are on a par with the constitution, and which document prevails depends on timing and interpretation. In Bolivian law, the legal hierarchy may be different. I don’t know.

        So, the Bolivian courts’ decisions may have been nakedly political and partisan, like Bush v. Gore was in the United States, or it may have been based on defensible legal interpretation. Again, I just don’t know. Fellow signatory Mexico famously limits its president to a single term, but on the other hand, Mexico’s term limits predated the Convention and Mexico explicitly precluded any retroactivity in its ratification declaration. Bolivia’s term limits came after it ratified the treaty, and its ratification declaration was impenetrably vague. Besides, the two countries may well have different source-of-law hierarchies and traditions of interpretation.

        And by the way, I’m pretty sure that a 51% majority in a referendum on changing the constitution wouldn’t carry much weight in most constitutional democracies. Try floating that argument in the United States.

        In short, the Bolivian courts didn’t just pull Morales’s “human right” to run again out of their ass. It was explicitly guaranteed by international treaty and they had more solid grounds for asserting it than the US Supreme Court did for stopping the Florida recount in 2000.

        Finally:

        [I]f [Morales] had respected the constitution from the beginning, none of this would have happened.

        I doubt that very much, had the presidency been won by another bona fide MAS candidate (not a US-suborned, snake-in-the-grass turncoat like Lenin Moreno in Ecuador). Notwithstanding any legal quibbles, this bears all the hallmarks of a US-backed coup and I have no doubt that a different MAS president who couldn’t be bought would have been régime-changed in similar fashion.

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