“Any socialist government which helps its people out of poverty, provides good education and health care, nationalizes its industries and puts its resource use into its own hands must be crushed because it is a threat to the U.S.-centric capitalist system,” he told the Balkans Post, in an interview about Bolivia’s affairs.
The following is the full transcript of the interview:
BP: Evo Morales, Bolivia’s former president, was forced to resign on November 10 under pressure from the country’s armed forces, after the U.S.-backed opposition in the country challenged the outcome of a presidential election, in which Morales won re-election. What’s your take on this development?
William Hawes: This is a military coup, and a racist coup, plain and simple. It’s a huge setback for Bolivia and the region. Evo Morales and his opponent, Carlos Mesa, agreed to an OAS (Organization of American States) audit. Irregularities were found and Morales called for new elections. Morales did the honorable thing, even though the election was almost certainly legitimate, let’s face it, the OAS is not an impartial organization. Mesa, the opposition parties and the far-right began to demand his resignation and lo and behold the head of the military “asks” him to resign. What is left out of mainstream Western news is the violence on the streets against MAS supporters, indigenous protestors, and many top figures in Morales’ government.
It’s a typical example of U.S. imperialism in Central and South America: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” U.S. capitalists and their State, Defense, and intelligence flunkies schemed with the Bolivian economic elite and their military and a coup developed very fast. Opposition agitators and fascist protestors materialized in the streets of Bolivian cities with guns and started the killings. This is a classic CIA tactic: foment a fake protest movement of middle class petit bourgeoisie, use black ops and proxy forces to murder the resistance and terrorize the populace, use the client states’ media to smear socialists as somehow responsible for the initiation of the violence, and in many cases pay middle and lower-income right-wing protestors to maintain an appearance of popular legitimacy.
BP: Morales says there is evidence that the U.S. had orchestrated the “coup” against his administration. What was the United States’ role?
William Hawes: Well, the U.S. has wanted Morales out ever since he took office. Any leftist government in Latin America is demonized and posed as a threat which is inherently authoritarian and anti-democratic. It’s absolutely ridiculous but it yet again confirms what the great Noam Chomsky once said, that all leftist alternatives to capitalism must be ruthlessly destroyed because they represent “the threat of a good example.” Any socialist government which helps its people out of poverty, provides good education and health care, nationalizes its industries and puts its resource use into its own hands must be crushed because it is a threat to the U.S.-centric capitalist system.
The U.S. role is covert, as multinational oil, gas, and mining corporations have interests in the country and they like to keep the continued exploitation of South and Central America’s resources out of the public eye as much as possible. So, the U.S. will bribe, corrupt, and offer lucrative private contracts and promises to Bolivian capitalists to gain access to the immense natural resources of the nation.
BP: Morales has also said the main culprit for carrying out the coup is the “fascist right”. What’s your take on the new Bolivian government’s ties with the United States?
William Hawes: It’s the same sad old story, a bunch of Bolivian comprador class capitalist criminals in alliance with a hard-right military providing the muscle, who in turn are connected with U.S. corporate, political, diplomatic, military, and intelligence elites. It might be less brutal than the fascist juntas of the 70s and 80s in Latin America but it’s the same model. It’s the fascists in Washington DC, the Pentagon, and Langley who give the green light for these coups.
This is straight Monroe Doctrine, in your face, your sovereignty counts for nothing, any socialist government will be destroyed no matter how beneficial it is to its people, and if you don’t leave guess what, we’ll threaten to kill your leaders, crash your economy, and escalate violence across your whole nation. The “Global South,” as the euphemism goes, in the eyes of the U.S. are simply various enemy territories for the most ruthless exploitation of workers and the environment, sacrifice zones in which the most brutal killing fields are justified to fight “tyranny”, the most rapacious resource extraction is justified for consumer goods and technology because it’s “progress”.
BP: What’s your analysis of the current situation in Bolivia and the country’s future?
William Hawes: The new government espouses hard-right fundamentalist Christian ideology and uses fascist violence and political intimidation. The dictatorship figurehead leader Anez is a racist like many of her far-right political colleagues and supporters. Morales and his family have been threatened along with MAS leaders, roving paramilitary gangs in La Paz and other cities still intimidate and kill protestors, and this is all sanctioned by the interim government, and the Trump regime will only embolden these Christian fascist lunatics. Morales and other leftist analysts have remarked on Bolivia’s strategic lithium reserves having to do with the coup, and there are good reasons to believe this.
Despite all this Bolivia has real allies in Cuba and Venezuela. So, my feelings are a bit “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” when it comes to Bolivia, and also other movements in Latin America, such as the brave anti-capitalist protestors in Chile, also Lula recently got released from jail in Brazil. So, there are glimmers of hope here and there. Morales and MAS still have strong support among the large indigenous population in Bolivia, along with most poor and working-class citizens in Cochabamba and many rural areas. The short-term danger is that Luis Camacho, the fascistic capitalist opposition figure, or someone like him, could seize power. Camacho is essentially a Bolivian Bolsonaro, a clear threat. Yet social movements and indigenous resistance remains strong in Bolivia. Despite its small size and relative poverty, the nation has a big heart, as the Quechua, Aymara, and many other indigenous peoples and their allies are willing to fight for their beliefs and for Pachamama against the dark forces arrayed against them.
William Hawes is a writer specializing in politics and environmental issues. He is author of the ebook Planetary Vision: Essays on Freedom and Empire. His articles have appeared online at CounterPunch, Global Research, Countercurrents, Gods & Radicals, Dissident Voice, The Ecologist, and more. You can email him at [email protected] Visit his website williamhawes.wordpress.com.