Friday 22 November 2019


Back in February this year I published a blogpost 'Venezuela - the other side of the story'. I had been so shocked at the difference between the facts as I had come to understand them from sources I trusted and how the events in Venezuela were being presented in our mainstream media (MSM) that I felt compelled to create my own account of this media bias against the left-wing.

Here's the link to that blogpost:

 Most of our media tend to follow the bidding of our right-wing politicians in government who in turn follow the lead of their right-wing allies in the American establishment who have a visceral fear and loathing of socialism on or near 'their' continent of America, north or south.

Evo Morales - the legitimate socialist president of Bolivia, now ousted and living in exile in Mexico.

Plus ca change - capitalism rampant is still the same beast. Now it's Bolivia.

An international vision needs some grasp of where countries are on the map of the world

The Observer newspaper had a leader on the subject of Bolivia last Sunday (17.11.19) a couple of weeks after Evo Morales, Bolivia's president since 2005, was forced out of office and out of the country. The headline reads: Morales was a victim of his own refusal to hand over power.  What follows is in the best tradition of a certain type of English liberalism - an acknowledgement of the merits of a person or set of ideas, followed by the knife in the back. Let me give you the good stuff first:

'Broadly speaking, Evo Morales was a successful leader of Bolivia. A trade unionist with familial roots among the country's indigenous peoples [a long-winded way to say he was an ethnic Bolivian, without European settler ancestry] he was first elected president in 2005 and was twice returned to office with substantial majorities. Morales is credited by the International Monetary Fund [a staunch supporter of capitalism] with achieving a drastic reduction in poverty among farmers and coca growers and a societal revolution that transformed the standing of Bolivia's numerous ethnic groups.

A convinced socialist, Morales identified with the late Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and with other left-wing leaders such as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil's former president. He championed a 'plurinational' constitution that guaranteed equal rights for all citizens, effectively ending the monopoly on power previously enjoyed by Bolivians of European descent. His time in office also saw a big increase in women's political participation.'

Very good so far … but the tone changes.

Supporters of the opposition leader, Carlos Mesa, take to the streets in October 2019

Just think how many enemies were waiting their moment amongst the rich and formerly powerful in Bolivia. Fourteen years waiting for the slip, the moment off-guard. Come the sixth paragraph, The Observer's leader is following their script:

'But it was Morales's determination to grab a fourth consecutive term, and his alleged rigging of last month's elections for that purpose, which precipitated his downfall … By his latest actions, Morales has obscured the good he has done and created a personal tragedy. Here, again, is the familiar story of what happens when leaders outstay their welcome.'

Supporters of the President, Evo Morales, are confronted by security forces - October 2019

There you have it - a classic example of gutter journalism from the pages of a so-called quality broadsheet. 'Gutter journalism' - really? Consider these facts:

  •    The Comite Ciudadano (Citizens Committee), a right-wing coalition led by Bolivia's ex vice-president, Carlos Mesa, and Luis Fernando Camacho, a multimillionaire entrepreneur who leads the extreme right-wing pressure group Comite Civico (Civic Committee) of Santa Cruz, jointly launched a brutal wave of violence in many parts of Bolivia in order to oust Evo Morales.
  •    The violence was carried out by paid, armed thugs whose main targets have been public buildings, organisations associated with the government such as trade unions - and cooperatives and radio stations in poor areas. Individuals such as mayors and ministers have also been the victims. The main brunt of this violence has been borne by persons of indigenous ethnicity, especially women.  
  •  A similar strategy was followed unsuccessfully in 2008 when the US ambassador, Phillip Goldberg, played a central role. The US - as with the oil in Venezuela - wanted to get a share of the rich gas and oil deposits that lie in the ground in the eastern region of Bolivia. An additional incentive is that Bolivia has the largest deposits of lithium in the world. 
  •  The present violence in 2019 was prompted by the electoral defeat of Bolivia's right-wing yet again in the national election on October 20 2019. The result gave the victory to Morales's Movement for Socialism (MAS) with 47% of the vote. Carlos Mesa got 36.5%. MAS won absolute majorities in both the Congress and Senate.
  •  The right-wing alleged fraud, citing the delay in the vote. In fact this was unavoidable as it takes more time for the largely rural, indigenous vote to be counted. The world media were used to spread the fabrication of a fraudulent election. By October 22, the right-wing thugs were in action.
  • Important sections of the police force, in what seems a coordinated action, retreated to their barracks and left the civilian population at the mercy of the racist thugs. 
  • The worst outrages have not been covered by the world's corporate media who are presenting the crisis as a rebellion against Morales 's government for the defence of democracy - a far cry from the reality on the ground. 

Read the Morning Star, as I do each day, to get a better grasp of what's going on in the world. Don't be fooled by what you read and hear in the MSM. I've made time to produce this blogpost even as I canvass for a Labour government here in the UK because we all need a global vision. We need to understand just how threatening the idea of socialism is to the few who at present control the levers of power and rake in the wealth.    

As a final word - you won't have picked this up in the MSM either - here's an extract from a piece in the Morning Star (November 12, 2019):

'Jeremy Corbyn decried the forced resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales as a coup yesterday, condemning the army's demand for the socialist leader to step down as "appalling" -  "I condemn this coup against the Bolivian peoples and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence'."

There are a number of international leaders and governments who are fearful of a Jeremy Corbyn-led socialist government coming to power in the UK through a democratic General Election. His vision is the opposite to theirs.

1 comment:

  1. We are so lucky to have a future prime minister in Jeremy Corbyn! The right wing should fear the changes that will come here in UK