Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 3-Resignation of Morales, last of 'pink tide,' polarizes Latin America

Reuters | La Paz | Updated: 11-11-2019 07:09 IST | Created: 11-11-2019 07:04 IST
UPDATE 3-Resignation of Morales, last of 'pink tide,' polarizes Latin America
Image Credit: Flickr

The resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales, the last serving member of the 'pink tide' of leftist leaders that swept Latin America two decades ago, polarized governments across the region on Sunday, with presidents from Venezuela to Argentina denouncing a "coup" and others cheering his exit. Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous leader, ended his 14-year rule after allies deserted him following weeks of protests over a disputed Oct. 20 election that has roiled the Andean nation. On Sunday, the Bolivian military and key political backers called on him to step down.

Right-leaning governments in Latin America, among them Colombia and Peru, called on the Bolivian state to ensure new elections would be lawful. Brazil, under far-right nationalist Jair Bolsonaro, went further and welcomed Morales' fall. Meanwhile, embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose socialist predecessor Hugo Chavez served as a sometime mentor to Morales, told allies to mobilize in support of Morales.

"We have to take care of our brother Evo Morales," Maduro said in a recording broadcast on Venezuelan state television. "We must declare a vigil in solidarity to protect him." Maduro's position has been bolstered by the return of left-leaning leaders in Mexico and Argentina. But Morales' resignation could unnerve the Venezuelan leader, who has clung to power this year despite an opposition campaign to convince the armed forces to rebel.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, another longtime Morales ally, tweeted his "solidarity" and said: "The world must be mobilized for the life and freedom of Evo." Mexico's government rejected what it called a military operation under way in Bolivia, adding that there must be "no coup." Mexico could offer asylum to Morales if he sought it, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter, though there was no immediate claim.

And Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez, who won a landslide election victory last month in Latin America's third-largest economy, said "the institutional breakdown in Bolivia is unacceptable." Morales agreed on Sunday to hold new elections after a report from the Organization of American States (OAS), which conducted an audit of the Oct. 20 vote, revealed serious irregularities in the ballot.

The OAS report said the October vote should be annulled after it had found "clear manipulations" of the voting system that called into question Morales' win, with a lead of just over 10 points over main rival Carlos Mesa. Brazil's government said it would back a democratic transition in neighboring Bolivia and dismissed leftists' argument that a coup had occurred.

"The massive electoral fraud attempt delegitimized Evo Morales, who had the right attitude and resigned in the face of popular outcry. Brazil will support a democratic and constitutional transition," Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said in a tweet. The Colombian Foreign Ministry also called on Bolivian state institutions and political parties to work together to "ensure that Bolivian citizens can express themselves freely at the polls." It requested a meeting of the OAS' permanent council to discuss the situation.

Morales became president in 2006, joining Chavez, Argentina's Nestor Kirchner and Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a left-wing surge across the continent that refashioned state institutions and polarized domestic politics. The end of a long commodities boom in Latin America saw some left-leaning governments replaced by conservative administrations.

However, since last year, anger at corruption, inequality and poverty has pushed conservatives out in Mexico and Argentina, while fueling protests in recent weeks that forced governments in Ecuador and Chile to water down liberal economic policies.



Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...


Latest News

Odisha govt restricts movement near Puri temple for deities' rituals

The district administration of Puri on Thursday imposed restrictions on movement of people in and around the Shree Jagannath Temple here when the deities adorn the Nagarjuna Besa warrior attire, after a gap of nearly 26 years. Prohibitory o...

INTERVIEW-Widow of murdered LGBT+ politician in Brazil vows to combat hate with election win

Two years after the murder of popular Brazilian councilwoman Marielle Franco, her partner Monica Benicio has also won a council seat and vowed to fight for justice and LGBT rights.Franco, a Black openly gay Rio de Janeiro politician, and he...

No place for outsiders who come during polls and incite violence: WB CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that there is no place for outsiders who come to the state during elections and incite violence. There is no place for outsiders in Bengal who come only during elections to incite ...

EU considering stopgap measure for UK financial services post Brexit, says EU diplomat

European Union assessments of whether to grant market access for banks and other financial firms from Britain will not be completed in time for January and stop-gap measures are being considered, an EU diplomat said on Thursday. Britains un...

Give Feedback