Mexico Condemns Coup in Bolivia, Slams OAS Over Inaction

The Mexican foreign minister will demand an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States which he accused to remain silent after the "military pronouncement and police operations".

The Mexican government said Monday it recognizes Evo Morales as t5he "legitimate" president of Bolivia, denouncing that his resignation was due to a "coup" carried out by the army, which it described as a serious setback for the region.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard also said the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would not recognize a military government in the Andean country.

"What happened yesterday (in Bolivia) we consider a coup ... It is a coup because the army requested the resignation of the president and that violates the constitutional order of that country," said Ebrard at the morning press conference of Lopez Obrador.

"The position that Mexico has defined today is to claim, demand respect for constitutional order and democracy in Bolivia," added the foreign minister who will demand an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) he accused to remain silent after the "military pronouncement and police operations."

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Bolivian President Evo Morales Declares First Round Victory

With 98.42% of votes counted, Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales has announced his victory, without the need for a second round, as he has surpassed the 10% threshold needed to win. 

President Evo Morales announced Thursday morning that he has won the presidency for another term without a need for a second round in Bolivia’s general elections as a live official count by the electoral authorities showed him surpassing the 10 percent over the 10 percent threshold needed for a first-round victory, with 98.42 percent of the votes counted. 

RELATED: Evo Morales Warns Coup Attempt Underway in Bolivia

Though the President states that 1.58 percent of votes are left to be counted, he said that the margin of victory cannot be reversed because the only remaining votes are in rural areas that back him. Morales also invited international observers to audit the results. 

Morales railed against the right-wing opposition who have so far refused to recognize the results that point to there being no second round.

Morales’ victory became apparent late in the counting process due to the fact that votes from rural Indigenous areas tend to be the last to be counted and have traditionally been in favor of Evo Morales. 

"Disregarding the vote of the poorest, of the Indigenous, is a form of racism," said the president at a press conference Thursday morning, in which he declared victory. 

Morales went on to lament the tense opposition discourse during the campaign. "We must recognize that such a level of lies and hatred, created by the opposition and some other groups, is unheard of.”

Bolivia’s opposition has so far not responded to the victory. Up until last night, opposition candidate Carlos Mesa said he did not recognize results and distrusts the electoral authorities. Likewise, the U.S. state department warned of "serious consequences" against Bolivia, citing supposed "irregularities" in preliminary projections, which are different to the live vote count which no observers have raised issues with. 

Morales reiterated his invitation for international bodies, including the Organization of the American States (OAS) to audit the full results. “We have passed from a colonial state to a plurinational state thanks to the Bolivian people. We are in a moment of political liberation. We recovered democracy in 1983 and today we are living through Bolivia’s best moments.”

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Bolivia Gov't Invites OAS to Audit Final Electoral Count

The request came hours after The OAS raised concerns after an official preliminary count of votes gave Morales a 10-point lead over rival Carlos Mesa.

The government of Bolivia invited Tuesday the Organization of American States (OAS) to carry out an audit of the final count after the preliminary results of Sunday's election were showing a victory in the first round of President Evo Morales.

RELATED: International Observers Assert Legitimacy of Bolivia’s Election

Foreign Minister Diego Pary said his government would accept the final result of the elections and that he invited the OAS, who acted as an official observer in the elections, in the United States, among other countries, to "accompany" the final count that is currently in process and shows Morales winner, although with the possibility of having to face a runoff. 

The request came hours after The OAS raised concerns after an official preliminary count of votes gave Morales a 10-point lead over rival Carlos Mesa.

However, a number of international observers that are in La Paz monitoring Bolivia’s general elections praised the legitimacy and transparency of the process which comes in contrast to proclamations by opposition leaders who have already made declarations questioning the results. 

“The vote count is open to all who want to see it… we could see the noting down of each of the votes from each ballot paper,” Rixi Moncada who is the president of the electoral court in Honduras, said. 

Monday night saw right-wing protesters have launched numerous violent attacks across Bolivia as preliminary results indicated that leftist President Evo Morales is on course for a first-round victory.

Attacks included the burning down of vote counting centers and assaulting Indigenous supporters of Morales. In response, social movements have called for a state of emergency, and a mobilization of workers in the streets to defend the vote. 

In reaction to the protests and violence, CONALCAM, a coalition of Indigenous groups and workers unions that are affiliated to Morales’ ‘Movement Towards Socialism’ held a press conference where they declared a state of emergency, calling for mobilizations in the streets to defend democracy.

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International Observers Assert Legitimacy of Bolivia’s Election

“Everything has taken place with total normality and regularity.”

 A number of international observers that are in La Paz monitoring Bolivia’s general elections have praised the legitimacy and transparency of the process which comes in contrast to proclamations by U.S.-backed opposition leaders who have already made declarations questioning the results. 

RELATED: Bolivian Social Movements Mobilize To Defend Vote Against Opposition Violence

One of the leading observers, Rixi Moncada, who is the president of the electoral court in Honduras, praised the level of independent monitoring that took place. “The vote count is open to all who want to see it… we could see the noting down of each of the votes from each ballot paper.”

Another observer, Manu Pineda, a Spanish lawmaker in the European Parliament, also spoke to media praising the legitimacy of Bolivia’s electoral process. “In Spain ballots are counted and assigned very quickly, however in Bolivia, each ballot paper is held and shown to all, so there cannot be any manipulation, the vote is then recorded publicly on a board for all to see. The count takes a very long time, but we can see that it’s a positive thing because it stops any possibility of fraud.”

“Everything has taken place with total normality and regularity,” Sandra Perreira, another EU lawmaker, from Portugal, commented. However, many are concerned that the opposition will refuse to recognize the legal results if Evo Morales comes out on top.

Already opposition candidate Carlos Mesa has said he does not recognize the preliminary results published by the electoral authorities after they indicated that Morales was heading for a first-round victory. This is despite the fact that Mesa initially endorsed the results when they temporarily showed him having a slightly larger share of the vote, before being updated after votes from rural areas had arrived to be counted. 

Mesa called for street mobilizations that ended in violence at vote-counting stations, with some opposition protesters burning ballots and the buildings where counting was taking place. 

The Organization of the American States (OAS) and the U.S. government have already issued statements expressing "concerns" over the legitimacy of the result, citing a technical issue that led to preliminary results being frozen temporarily, despite the fact that the live vote monitor has not suffered any such issues. One of those making such declarations was infamous war hawk Senator Marco Rubio, who has been very vocal about intervention efforts in Venezuela and Cuba. 

In the face of attempts to delegitimize the election results, Indigenous groups and workers unions have called a "state of emergency" to defend the public vote from opposition violence.  

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The Empire is obsessed with Venezuela

U.S. spy aircrafts are constantly flying over Venezuela as the prelude of a military invasion that may unleash. This is not a strong possibility just yet as everything depends on the number of casualties foreseen by the invading forces, caused essentially by the local army defending its homeland soil. Simultaneously, local opposition —already weakened— is crying out for an open U.S. marines’ invasion, sheltered by the TIAR (Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance), which has no legal or moral reasons to be invoked.

The TIAR was created in 1947 in times of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Empire tried to use it as a mean to destroy the Cuban Revolution. But such goal was never achieved, especially after the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961.

Nonetheless, it remained in full force as one of the Empire resources to be invoked against any rebel nation in the continent under the guise of military assistance in case of foreign aggression; but Argentina invoked TIAR in 1982 to defend its country from British colonialists who were occupying the Malvinas. But the U.S., supported by Pinochet’s Chile back then, did not help Buenos Aires and served its European ally.

Hence, Peru, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela left TIAR one by one.

In the collusion against Venezuela, the OAS (Organization of American States) served as the official headquarters for the reemergence of TIAR, backed by 12 member states that echoed the U.S. and Colombia’s assertion on the alleged exodus of four million Venezuelans, but concealing that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had just confirmed that in 2018 the number of refugees increased in 341,800, including Venezuelans.

We should add the likely staging of an incident to justify a military intervention. In this regard, two members of the Colombian paramilitary group Los Rastrojos were arrested. This group has contacted Juan Guaido, fabricated president supported by Trump.

Besides, there have been recent developments in various threatening fronts. On one hand, there is a marked aggression against Venezuelans’ living standards by means of blockade and international sanctions. On the other hand, chances to find peaceful solutions to the conflict are hindered while every initiative intended to favor dialogue between the government and the political opposition is attacked by the media.

The Bolivarian Government is under a ferocious attack by an international media campaign of propaganda — kicked off in December 2018—, which is followed to the letter by all allied nations to the U.S. aiming at preparing destabilization operations against Venezuela, and recalls the connivance of the so-called objective-committed press covering the aggressions on Afghanistan and Iraq.

The target of such campaign was to convince Venezuelans of a hopeless future for them in their homeland. At the same time, it tried to convince the public opinion of the “illegitimacy” of President Nicolas Maduro.

The news article released by Russian media Sputnik entitled “El momento ha llegado: el plan Unitas Lis sería el golpe final contra Venezuela,” details the political and military conditions that the U.S. has foreseen as “the road map to topple Chavism.” All are operational. And TIAR is part of what they have called “the political front.”

The American political and military strategists know that, in January 2020, Guaido’s time in Venezuela’s National Assembly expires, although other opposition leaders will try to follow his steps.

Therefore, Venezuelans must expect a severe escalation of the U.S. pressure against them to the point of violence. In this context, the Chairman of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosado Cabello, predicts the invasion of U.S. marines in Venezuela, “but the problem lies —for them— on how are they going to leave.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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OAS seeks to increase pressure on Venezuela's Maduro at meeting

MEDELLIN (Reuters) - Latin American leaders will seek to increase pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and further isolate the embattled leader when the Organization of American States (OAS) begins two days of meetings on Thursday in Medellin, Colombia.

The organization will also debate eventual sanctions on the oil-producing country, OAS secretary Luis Almagro said late on Wednesday, without giving further details.

Most of the 35 OAS members back Maduro’s rival Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. Guaido in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival interim presidency after rejecting the 2018 election due to massive irregularities.

But some countries still back Maduro or regularly abstain from votes on Venezuela and may prevent the body from reaching a consensus resolution.

“We need to keep working on an incremental process of pressure and this meeting is part of that process,” Almagro told journalists. “But we also recognize that every country has a sovereign right they can use on any of the items on the agenda.”

Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, has remained in political limbo as its economic and humanitarian crises have worsened. Hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicines have led four million Venezuelans to flee.

Colombia has borne the brunt of the exodus, receiving an estimated 1.3 million migrants.

Although Venezuela announced its withdrawal from the OAS in April 2017, its political situation has dominated recent meetings.

The OAS accepted Guaido appointee Gustavo Tarre as a representative to the body from Venezuela’s National Assembly.

Almagro, a diplomat from Uruguay, said earlier on Wednesday that Maduro was destroying democratic institutions and the rule of law. He highlighted child malnutrition and the deaths of patients in hospitals due to lack of medical treatment.

Maduro has accused the OAS, which is based in Washington D.C., of being a pawn of the United States.

The assembly will also address the situation in Nicaragua, which is facing a political crisis amid protests against President Daniel Ortega.

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Russia: US Has Caused Billions of Damage to Venezuela

"The U.S... deliberately provokes a crisis around this country to change... for a US protege,” Russia Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of causing hundreds of billions of dollars of damage to Venezuela since 2013, adding that Washington was "picking the pockets" of the country, while “offering” humanitarian aid and "artificially provoking" a crisis to overthrow the legitimate government.

RELATED: Venezuela's Moncada Fires Back at Pence in Heated UNSC Exchange

“The U.S. is persistently shattering the situation in Venezuela. It deliberately provokes crisis around this country in order to change a legitimately elected leader for a U.S. protege,” said Nebenzia Wednesday during his speech before the U.N. Security Council meeting. Back in February, Nebenzia stated that the estimated damages are worth approximately US$345 billion.

The new remarks came as a response to U.S. Vice-president Mike Pence’s called to revoke the U.N. credentials of President Nicolas Maduro's government and to recognize lawmaker Juan Guaido, following Tuesday’s unprecedented and highly criticized decision from the Organization of American States (OAS) to recognize Guaido’s envoy.  

Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.N. Samuel Moncada exhorted that “in their eagerness to destabilize the country, they sacrificed the fundamental charter of the organization and distorted the law.”

Meanwhile, the Russian official reminded that as the Trump administration continues its rant on the “humanitarian crisis,” the U.S. “is not settled with providing humanitarian aid to itself,” as “the impact of 'Maria' hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico in fall 2017 has not been completely mitigated.” 

Finalizing with some sound advice for the U.S. government and President Donald Trump, by saying that “If you want to ‘make America great again,’ wherein all of us have a genuine interest, then stop interfering in the internal affairs of others. You will be respected for that. You do not like others to interfere in your affairs, do you? No one does.

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OAS and the fear of Cubans voting YES

Last Tuesday, the OAS (Organization of American States) organized in its headquarter in Washington another show aimed at discrediting the Constitutional referendum to be held in Cuba next February 24th.

Having the OAS a hissy fit is, to some extent, a very good sign because you do not make a scene for legit processes, as rotten processes discredit themselves. That is why I believe those who are pulling the strings of this organization from the White House are pretty sure that the Cuban people are going to vote a resounding YES to the new Constitution.

It is no secret that the Cuban Revolution has survived all these years to the perennial siege of the empire thanks to the support of the citizens to a socialist democracy that prefers the benefits of the vast majority and champions the sovereignty and independence of the nation.

The Cuban democracy is the polar opposite of coup d’états, invasions, massive repressions similar to the times of Operation Condor, interference in the internal affairs of other nations, neoliberalism or inequality and other democratic practices promoted by the OAS throughout history.

It is reasonable that such organization tries hard to undermine the democracy in Cuba especially if we take into account Cuba’s democracy has nothing to do with the bipartisan plutocracy prevailing in the U.S., which champions the 1% of the world population or the sort of democracy the U.S. likes to see in Latin American countries whose main precept is the unconditional loyalty.

The best example of the aforementioned fact is the constant attack of the OAS against Venezuela, being the latter the nation with the highest number of democratic elections in the last two decades. However, social progress, solidarity, and Latin American integration are not part of the OAS concept of democracy.

The OAS “democratic” fairy tale is a fancy story for innocent and misled citizens of the world narrated by a band of cynical people who have filled their coffers for centuries by expropriating the natural resources of South American nations. It would be totally anti-democratic for the OAS if the people in Latin American open their eyes and realize they have been robbed.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that those heading the OAS in Washington are terrified with the strong possibility of the Cuban people voting YES and supporting their Revolution on February 24th. Such election would show that a world without an imperial master is perfectly possible and people can build a democracy to their benefits and master their own destiny.

Despite the growing impact of the right in Latin America and other regions of the world, the liberating alternative of Cuba is and will continue to be utopia transformed into reality; the antidote against the venom of trickeries of the self-proclaimed masters of the world.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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