November 21, 2019
Veterans For Peace Condemns Racist Coup in Bolivia
Military Veterans Demand an End to U.S. Intervention in Latin America
Veterans For Peace strongly condemns the violent U.S.-backed right-wing coup in Bolivia. Evo Morales was the first Indigenous president in Bolivia, which is 65% Indigenous. The openly racist Bolivarian oligarchy, descendants of European colonizers, could not stand to see a government that was led by Indigenous people and whose policies were lifting millions of people out of poverty.
The U.S. government tries to hide its involvement in Latin American coups, but we know that the U.S. and the CIA have a long history of interfering in Latin America , and USAID has "invested more than $97 million in "decentralization" and "regional autonomy" projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002". Several of the coup generals were trained at the infamous School of the Americas (aka School of Assassins) at Fort Benning, Georgia, where Veterans For Peace members have gathered every year - for 30 years – calling SHUT IT DOWN!
For over two centuries, the United States has been dominating and exploiting Latin America, which the powers-that-be considered to be "our backyard." This has included many direct military interventions as well as support for military dictatorships. The U.S. is now intervening all around the globe, but it has been hyperactive in Latin America over the last few years. The Trump Administration is openly attempting to overthrow the socialist government of Venezuela, and is busy undermining progressive forces in the region. The U.S. government was the first to recognize the illegal coup government in Bolivia. Donald Trump immediately called out the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, suggesting they could be next. The U.S. has doubled down on its economic blockade of Cuba. The powers-that-be will not tolerate any Latin American government that puts the needs of its people above the greed of foreign corporations.
Evo Morales incurred the wrath of North American corporations when he nationalized the gas industry in Bolivia and was moving to do the same with the mining of lithium, a vital element for electric cars and smart phones. U.S. and Canadian mining companies are now cheering, but the Indigenous majority of Bolivia are not. They are crying foul and they have filed the streets, where many have been killed and wounded by repressive police action.
Veterans For Peace stands in solidarity with the Indigenous majority in Bolivia who are resisting the racist, right-wing takeover of their democracy. We demand that the coup be stopped and democracy restored in Bolivia. As military veterans who have been used and abused in too many unjust wars, we demand an end to 200 years of U.S. intervention in Latin America.
Be sure to check out About Face-Veterans Against War's statement for action items!