The coup needed a reason to comply with external decency.
I should confess that distant and mysterious Bolivia is not my skate when it comes to geopolitics. Until recently, my awareness of this country was limited to knowledge from history, and general data that are available to everyone in open sources, and when the coup took place there, I did not know all its nuances. But then news began to arrive from Bolivia that indicated that the ultra-right, or, more simply, the neo-Nazis, were related to the situation. I can’t stand them, it doesn’t matter if they are Bolivian, Ukrainian or something else. In addition, I sympathized with the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales: a sort of good Indian from children’s books, who was a bit naive, but dreamed of making all Bolivians happy. So I decided to find out what led Bolivia to a coup d’etat. Moreover, when “satisfaction was heard from Washington that democracy had returned to Bolivia”, and our homegrown oppositionist Lesha Navalny literally began to jump from joy, talking about how “the people overthrew the tyrant”, I realized that the matter was not pure.
South America is no stranger for things like coup. Coups happen in Bolivia rather often, they have been taken place since the country gained independence in 1825, there have been as many as almost 190 of them, that is, an average of almost one per year. Moreover, of course, in South America there were frankly fascist regimes that came to power through these very coups. No need to go far: Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Jorge Saw in Argentina, Umberto Branco in Brazil, etc. There were such regimes in Bolivia. There, in general, from the mid-70s until the election of President Evo Morales, several generals and dictators were in power, and at the time Morales was elected President of Bolivia, the first President of the state on the South American continent, a representative of the indigenous population — Indians, Bolivians were already tired of the leapfrog in power. Morales gave Bolivia something that had not been there for many years — the stability of the political system. He had his luck and his mistakes, but he who does nothing is not mistaken. And suddenly, like a bolt from the blue — Morales resigned as President after a coup. He had wide support in the country, and so that democracy guardians did not talk about any kind of falsified elections and the notorious administrative resource, these are all the stories that distributed various grant-based NGOs to create the right information background for the future coup.
The coup needed a reason to keep up appearances: at first they tried to throw him officially. The Organization of American States, which includes all 35 countries of the continent, referring to facts established by it, allegedly proving that violations were committed during the vote count in the last presidential election in Bolivia, urged Morales to cancel their results. And here a surprise awaited the organizers of the coup, as Morales went to meet these demands and announced that new elections would be held. Now we follow hands. The fact is that the “facts” that the Organization of American States allegedly had are very doubtful — one. Two: the main rival of the left-wing socialist Morales in recent elections was the representative of the right-wing party, Carlos Mesa, a protege of the United States and big business, as itwas said in Soviet times. That is, in fact, when Morales agreed to a new election, he was sure of his victory again, and thereby pulled the trigger for a coup, as its organizers needed not fair elections, but the departure of Morales as such.
Now a few words about where the neo-Nazism came from in Bolivia. Historically, in this country a line of social tension was laid between the indigenous population — Indians and descendants of the Spanish colonialists. This conflict was invisibly present all the time. When Morales, a representative of just the indigenous population, came to power, the local right, the descendants of the Spanish colonialists, for whom the Indians, let’s speak frankly, are second-class people, did not like it very much. When Morales introduced the Viphalo Indians flag on an official level, along with the state one, and gave Bolivia a new name — “Plurinational State of Bolivia”, then I think that was when the right-wingers decided to take extreme measures and started preparing the coup. Naturally, besides this, there was an economic component, because after Morales came to power, his economic policy aimed at reducing dependence on international financial organizations, nationalizing the oil and gas industry, legalizing the cultivation of coca, which peasants are engaged in, and also reducing poverty, was like a bone in the throat of local oligarchs. But now we will not talk about this in detail. And who should you turn to in South America if you are preparing a coup of the right against the left? Of course to the USA. Moreover, the States also thought about this issue. In short, the puzzle took shape and work began on preparing the return of «democracy» to a single country in the «backyard of the United States,» as they call South America.
The driving force behind so many coups d’etat on the South American continent has always been the army and the police. Therefore, they went in a proven way: Morales began to be surrounded by the “necessary” people occupying the highest posts in the army hierarchy and in the hierarchy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
And then I will operate on the information that I gathered from one very knowledgeable person on this issue — Jeb Sprag, a researcher at the University of California who has published several works on the problems of the countries of South America. So he claims in one of his articles that the United States played a key role in preparing the coup in Bolivia, as the main conspirators in the Bolivian putsch were the graduates of the School of America, the so-called The Western Hemisphere Security Cooperation Institute, located in the United States, and some have served as an attachment to the FBI’s police programs. The key figure in this company was Williams Kaliman, Commander-in-Chief of the Bolivian Armed Forces. It was he who invited Morales, a few days before the coup, to leave the post of president of the country, and when Morales refused, he began a mutiny.
Although Kaliman seems to have been pretending to be faithful to Morales for many years, his true face showed up when it became necessary. He played not only the main role in the putsch, he was also noted for the fact that his activities had been supervised from the United States for a long time, where he served for some time as the military attache of the Bolivian embassy and where, apparently, he was recruited by special services.
Kaliman was responsible for the entire personnel policy in the leadership of the power departments of Bolivia — the army and the police. What is more, cadres were selected by him from among those who had finished the above-mentioned School of America. At least six conspirators were graduates of this institution. Thus, the issue with the security forces was closed. A group of senior officers ready to act on Kaliman’s command, gathered around Morales.
In addition, in the Bolivian police, some of the senior officials who helped to launch the coup, went through the American police exchange program called APALA (Latin American Police Attache Organization). This structure performs the functions of establishing relations between the US authorities and police from Latin America. Despite such a significant status, this organization is very closed. It is almost not represented in public space. It is only known that it is located in Washington (DC). The most interesting thing is that in 2018 the colonel and future head of the Bolivian police with an unusual semi-Russian name Vladimir Yuri Calderon Mariscal became the President of this office. It was he who subsequently persuaded the police to join the rebellion.
But this was not enough to guarantee success. In addition to the military, civilians were also needed, who were supposed to express the very “popular anger and protest” in relation to the hated Morales. And here other structures have already come into play that are familiar to us from their activities and in our country. The so-called NPOs. First of all, now banned in Russia, USAID is the United States Agency for International Development. By the way, in the coup d’etat in Ukraine, various color and orange revolutions around the world, this agency was also noted, having prepared the very protest electorate, which then went out onto the streets, where it depicted the majority opinion. Similarly, in Bolivia, for several years, USAID trained and nurtured future “protestors”. Here, let’s go back a bit. I already wrote above that in Bolivia there is a line of acute social tension. The secret confrontation of the indigenous population — Indians with descendants of the Spanish colonialists. And the organizers of the coup also decided to play on this, using the very right-wing nationalists who hate Morales and Indians in general, but are very fond of Western democracy and the United States. A great platform for creating a combat protest fist. Firstly, they are stupid, secondly, they are fanatics of their crazy ideas of racial superiority, thirdly, they are organized and subordinate to discipline under the guidance of their home-grown Fuhrer. Add USAID training manuals, money and street protest organization skills, and here is another effective lever for overthrowing the government.
Now it was necessary to combine all this into a single whole. The army. The police. Protestuvalov from among the Nazis. And this was done with the help of, among other things, political emigrants, again from among the descendants of those same Spanish colonialists who are in the United States and who left Bolivia at one time after Comrade Morales came to power (as he himself asked to be called). The leak of audio conversations, published on the Bolivian news site la época (and elperiodicocr.com) and in a number of national media, indicates that there has been hidden coordination between the current and former Bolivian police leaders, the armed forces and the opposition during the coup.
Having become public, the negotiations proved that the former mayor of one of Bolivia’s largest cities, Cochabamba, who was also former presidential candidate Manfred Reyes Villa, played a very important role as coordinator of the conspirators. Reyes is a graduate of the same School of America, and currently resides in the United States, since under Morales he fled from his country.
The other four, whose voices are recorded and presented by name, are the former military armies of Bolivia: General Remberto Siles Vazquez, Colonel Julio Cesar Maldonado Leoni, Colonel Oscar Pachello Aguirre and Colonel Theobaldo Cardozo Guevara. All of them are also graduates of the School of America. From the negotiations it becomes clear that the coordination of the coupists in Bolivia itself with representatives of emigrant circles from among the right was very tight. Cardozo Guevara, in particular, during communication boasted of his connections among the current officers of the armed forces of Bolivia. And one more nuance. It was in the former estate of ex-Mayor of Cochabamba Manfred Reyes Villa that the police first sided with the putschists.
In short, this is the whole story of the beginning of the coup d’etat in Bolivia, what happened next, we all already know. I don’t think I greatly surprised the reader with my story. About the same thing happened with our neighbor. Output? Simple. No need to be naive Chukchi youth. We need to tighten the screws with all these opposition games, real estate abroad with officials, cultural and business exchanges of civil servants for various programs with the USA and Western Europe, and liberal movements in our education system (this is a pebble in the HSE garden and similar institutions). Morales will confirm.