The US wins in Bolivia: Morales will not run for re-election in 2019

Source:  TeleSUR
February 24 2016

bolivia votes.jpg

The smear campaign against Bolivian President Evo Morales has borne fruit as  the US funded “No” side in the national referendum has won a narrow victory over the “Yes” of 51.3 percent versus 48.7 percent with 99.5 percent of votes counted, according to reports from Bolivia’s electoral authorities Bolivian President Evo Morales will not run for re-election in 2019 .

Morales’ impressive achievements

evo morales 10.jpgMorales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, has adopted policies which have lifted millions out of poverty and has implemented a variety of state-funded social programs which have reduced  extreme poverty from 38.2 percent in 2005 to 21.6 percent in 2012.

Over the past nine years, Morales’ macro-economic policies increased state revenue from the country’s natural resources which enabled increased investment in public spending by over 750 percent.

Under the Bolivia Changes, Evo Comes Through initiative, Morales’ government provided small-scale infrastructure projects to many underprivileged communities, allocating over US$1 billion for over 5,000 projects throughout the country including the construction of medical clinics, schools and gymnasiums.

The US neoliberal agenda

However, as is happening throughout Latin America where progressive governments have opposed the neoliberal agenda of the US empire and have developed policies to benefit the poor, destabilization attempts aimed at regime change have become a normal part of daily life.

In Bolivia, the right wing opposition launched a smear campaign against President Morales as part of their strategy to win the “No” vote.  Social media users and opposition groups in Bolivia unleashed a coordinated campaign on social media to undermine the Bolivian president leading up to the country’s national referendum.   According to the president of the Bolivian parliament, Gabriel Montaño, right-wing opposition groups tried to discredit the president using memes, videos and blogs, as Bolivians consider increasing presidential consecutive term limits to three.

According to  Professor of Political Science at the Latin American Social Sciences Institute and at the University of Buenos Aires  the U.S. Embassy provided $200,000 for the “No” campaign in Bolivia. He revealed this information via an opinion piece published in Mexican newspaper La Jornada.

ANALYSIS: How the US Funds Dissent against Latin American Governments

Boron also said this is not the first time that the U.S. has intervened financially in Bolivian affairs. Between 2003 and 2014, the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, spent over US$7.7 million to fund nearly 20 institutions in Bolivia, all of which contained political objectives, said Boron.

The Argentine analyst added that the referendum “will be the Bolivian people against the US empire. That is going to be a struggle.”

Morales’ past victories

Until Sunday’s ballot, Morales had won nationwide elections, including a 2009 rewrite of the constitution, with an average 61.5 percent of the vote.

Bolivia President Says Opposition Celebrating Too Early, Let’s Wait for the Results

Source:  TeleSUR
22 February 2016

evo morales during press conference.jpgBolivia’s President Evo Morales during a press conference in La Paz, Bolivia. | Photo: teleSUR

The outcome of the referendum will decide if presidential term limits will be extended for President Morales.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales said Monday that the right-wing opposition is celebrating too early by saying he was defeated in the Sunday’s referendum vote that will decide whether he can run for re-election one last time in 2019.

The leader called on his supporters to be patient and wait for the final results. He also praised the participation of people in rural areas, since they are committed to defend the revolutionary process in Bolivia.

Votes from remote and isolated communities not in yet

Late Monday Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Liñera warned that the preliminary results of the country’s national referendum, showing a narrow lead for the “No” vote, are likely to change as the remote and isolated communities where the ruling party enjoys the most support are taken into the consideration in the official vote count.

“We believe that these results will likely change in the coming hours as the official count is made,” Garcia said at a press conference Sunday after polls closed.

The vice president said the exit polls showed a technical tie between the Yes and No camps with a difference of just 2 percent and recalled that in previous elections polling often failed to fully take into consideration votes from rural communities.

Bolivia, one of the most democratic countries in the world

“The best, healthiest is to wait for the official results,” said Garcia, thanking Bolivians for their participation and calling on the population to be patient in waiting for the results.

“We are one of the most democratic countries in the world, and that has been shown again today with the large turnout,” said the vice president.

With nearly 40 percent of ballots counted, the “No” side in Bolivia’s national referendum to determine whether presidential term limits will be extended has taken a narrow lead over the “Yes” vote that would see President Evo Morales be able to seek another term in office in 2019.

According to reports from Bolivia’s electoral authorities, the ‘No’ side is leading with 58 percent in 12,891 of the 29,224 electoral tables that have reported.

IN DEPTH: Bolivia Referendum

Over six million registered voters participated in over 29,000 polling stations

However exit polls by Ipsos and other sources have the race as much closer, with the “No” vote ahead by just 2 percent with 51 percent versus 49 percent for the “Yes” side. Final results are expected within 48 hours of polls closing.

Over six million registered voters participated in over 29,000 polling stations across the country on Sunday after a referendum campaign that pitted “Yes” campaign supporters of the Morales government against the opposition-backed “No” campaign, including what the president claimed was a coordinated smear campaign against his name.

The “No” to modifying the 2009 constitution to allow for a third consecutive presidential term means that Morales will not be allowed to represent his MAS or Movement Toward Socialism party in the 2019 elections. MAS will now face the task of selecting new leadership in the lead-up to the next election.

Bolivia’s constitution allows for one consecutive re-election. While the referendum held the potential to modify the limits to allow for three consecutive terms for president and vice president, the two-term limit will remain unchanged.

First elected in 2005, Evo Morales is Bolivia’s longest-serving president.

Bolivia Interior Minister Slams ‘Dirty War’ Against Evo Morales

Source:  TeleSUR
February 1 2016

evo y carlos romero.jpg
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales (R) consults with Interior Minister Carlos Romero in this file photo, Aug. 15, 2015. | Photo: EFE

The war is marked by misinformation campaign intended to prevent the re-election of President Evo Morales.

Dirty war

Bolivia’s Interior Minister, Carlos Romero, said the country’s right-wing opposition plans to intensify its “dirty war” before the Feb. 21 referendum that will determine whether President Evo Morales can seek a third consecutive term in 2019.

“For sure they will multiply the dirty war in these two weeks, especially because all the polls are clear and trends are favorable for us,” Romero said in a phone interview with local media on Monday.

ANALYSIS: The New Contours of Latin America’s Right

A series of lies

According to Romero, the war is marked by a series of lies intended to prevent Morales’s re-election.

“The opposition politicians do not have electoral proposals or alternatives, that’s why they just use insults and do not respect Bolivians,” he said.

The referendum, approved by the senate in early November, will ask Bolivians whether a two-term limit for presidents and vice presidents should be amended. The outcome will decide if Morales will be permitted to run for office again.

President Morales, who is also the leader of the Movement Towards Socialism party, known as MAS, has been in power since 2006. He won an astounding 60 percent of the vote in 2015. His campaign to convince Bolivians to vote “Yes” has been launched and promoted across the Andean nation.

ANALYSIS: 5 Things to Know About Bolivia’s Upcoming Referendum

Last week, “No” campaigners raised doubts about the accuracy of the electoral poll for the referendum and called for an audit of the entire process. However, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which oversees elections, rejected the accusations and expressed confidence in the system.

The “Yes” campaign launched an international Twitter campaign Monday called “tweet for Evo,” which seeks to get more support for the Yes to the re-election of Morales.

Colombia: FARC and State Differ on How to Implement Peace Deal

Source:  TeleSUR
October 31 2015

The FARC leaders argued it (a constituent assembly) would assure the participation of groups historically excluded from the Colombian political process, such as peasants, Afro-Colombians, Indigenous peoples, and women.

peace in colombia cartoonDeclarations from both parties on Friday showed that disagreements persist on how to resolve the matter of legally formalizing a peace deal, despite Colombian lawmakers recently traveling to Havana, where peace talks have been ongoing since 2012, in a bid to convince the representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“We hope that … the FARC peace delegation understands that a referendum is one of the most legitimate, democratic and popular mechanisms,” said Roy Barreras, head of the legislative Peace Commission to the press in Havana, where he traveled to along with the presidents of the lower and upper houses.

“We have anticipated the debate with a bill introduced by the executive,” added the lawmaker, referring to a bill the executive introduced in Congress in September as a “constitutional reform for peace” – a unilateral move then harshly criticized by the FARC.

Nevertheless, the discussion did not seem to convince the FARC delegation, which maintained its position. “Since the beginning of the talks, we have made clear that we preferred a constituent assembly, or the combination of a referendum – constituent assembly,” said Ivan Marquez, head of the FARC delegation, to the lawmakers.

RELATED: 5 Key Points: Colombia’s Justice Deal Between FARC, Government

Since January at least, the guerrilla group has urged the government to set up a constituent assembly, yet with a possibility to find a compromise over a referendum. The FARC leaders argued it would assure the participation of groups historically excluded from the Colombian political process, such as peasants, Afro-Colombians, Indigenous peoples, and women.

On Sept. 23, both parts of the peace talks agreed on signing the peace agreement before the deadline of March 23, 2016. An agreement about the complicated issue of victims reparation will be “signed very soon,” recently stated the FARC.

raul the peace-maker for colombia 3Since November 2012, the FARC is seeking a peace accord with the government not only to end the 50-year armed conflict, but also as a means to “refound” the country and increase the political participation of those who have been historically excluded from the country’s political process.

For this reason, the guerrilla group is seeking a “National Constituent Assembly” that would write a new national constitution, as part of the broader peace process.

Source:  Colombia: FARC and State Differ on How to Implement Peace Deal  TeleSUR

Latin American Leaders Congratulate Greece on Referendum Win

Source:  TeleSUR

6 July 2015

Leaders from across the region issued their congratulations to the Greek people following the historic referendum.

latam leaders congratulate tsiprasLatin American leaders have congratulated the Greek government and its people, following Sunday’s historic referendum, in which voters elected to reject debt austerity proposals by their European lenders.

A victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the IMF

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, describing the result tweeted, “The ‘no’ vote in Greece is a victory against the financial terrorism carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

The beginning of the liberation of the European people

Bolivia’s left-wing president, Evo Morales, said, “I congratulate the great Greek people for the victory of “no” … which is a defeat of European imperialism. It is the beginning of the liberation of the European people. My respect and admiration for the historic Greek people, the birthplace of democracy. The Greek people have defeated the harshest capitalism”

Majority support of the Greek people for the courageous policy of your government

Cuba’s Raul Castro also sent a message to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying “I extend sincere congratulations on the victory of the No vote in the referendum …that result shows the majority support of the Greek people for the courageous policy of your government. I reiterate my highest consideration and esteem.”

Solidarity with the brave Greek people and their Government

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner also lent her support to the Greek people.  She tweeted:  “On behalf of our People and Government, our solidarity with the brave Greek people and their Government.”

Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, tweeted the overwhelming vote against the proposed austerity measures by European creditors represented “solid backing” for Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras: “In Greece, the vote against the policies of cuts the creditors asked for won 61%, giving solid backing to Prime Minister Tsipras.”

A debt audit that found the country’s debt illegal and illegitimate

Ecuador, like Greece, held a debt audit that found the country’s debt illegal and illegitimate and that later led to the South American nation substantially reducing its repayments to creditors. Ahead of the vote, Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, said Greece should ignore the advice of the IMF and international financial bureaucracies

Source:  Latin American Leaders Congratulate Greece on Referendum Win TeleSUR

Message from Raúl to Prime Minister of Greece on referendum victory

Source:  Granma
Havana

raul 65July 5, 2015

Compañero Alexis Tsipras
Prime Minister
Hellenic Republic

Esteemed Prime Minister:

I extend to you my most sincere congratulations on the ‘NO’ victory achieved in the referendum held in Greece, July 5, 2015

This result demonstrates the majority support of the Greek people for the courageous policy of the government over which you preside.

I reiterate the assurance of my highest consideration.

Raúl Castro Ruz
President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba

Source:  Message from Raúl to Prime Minister of Greece  Granma

Fidel’s letter of congratulation to Greek PM on referendum result

Source:  enikos.gr

fidel votes in local elections 2015Hon. Mr. Alexis Tsipras
Prime Minister of Greece:

I congratulate you warmly on your brilliant political victory, details (of which) were followed closely on the Telesur channel.

Greece is very familiar among Cubans. It taught philosophy, art and science of antiquity when we studied in school, and with them, the most complex of all human activities: the art and science of politics.

Your country, especially its courage at this juncture, arouses admiration among Latin American and Caribbean peoples of this hemisphere to see how Greeks, against external aggression, defend their identity and culture. Nor (should we) forget that a year after Hitler’s attack on Poland, Mussolini ordered his troops to invade Greece, and that brave country repelled the attack and drove back the invaders, forcing the deployment of German armored units towards Greece, deviating from the initial target.

Cuba knows the value and the fighting capacity of the Russian troops, which, together with the strength of their powerful ally the People’s Republic of China, and other nations of the Middle East and Asia, always try to avoid war, but never allow any military aggression without overwhelming and devastating response.

In the current political situation in the world, where peace and the survival of our species hang in the balance, every decision, more than ever, must be carefully developed and implemented, so that no one can doubt the honesty and seriousness of many of the most responsible and serious leaderships’ struggle today to face the calamities that threaten the world.

We wish you, esteemed colleague Alexis Tsipras, the greatest success.

Sincerely,

Fidel Castro Ruz

Source:  Fidel Castro’s letter to Tsipras  enikos.gr

Thousands Rally in Greece Ahead of Historic Referendum

Source:  TeleSUR
July 4 2015

Tens of thousands rallied in Greece Friday, in rival rallies for and against a bailout that comes with more austerity measures. Close to 25,000 rallied in Athens’ Syntagma Square in opposition to austerity and support of the Syriza government.

Solidarity protests have also swept across Europe as other cities rally in support of Greece ahead the national referendum on accepting or rejecting further austerity. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote “no” in the referendum to reject a bailout deal that includes more austerity measures.

Demonstrators hold up letters spelling the word 'No' in Greek during an anti-austerity rally in Syntagma Square in Athens, July 3, 2015. Photo:Reuters

Demonstrators hold up letters spelling the word ‘No’ in Greek during an anti-austerity rally in Syntagma Square in Athens, July 3, 2015. Photo:Reuters

Demonstrators gather in front of the Greek parliament building in Syntagma Square in Athens to attend an anti-Austerity rally, Greece, July 3, 2015.  Photo:Reuters

Demonstrators gather in front of the Greek parliament building in Syntagma Square in Athens to attend an anti-Austerity rally, Greece, July 3, 2015. Photo:Reuters

Protestors wave Greek flags in front of the parliament building during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Greece, July 3, 2015. Tsipras, elected in January on a promise to end six years of austerity, extolled a packed Syntagma square in central Athens to spurn the tough terms of an aid deal offered by international creditors to keep the country afloat.  Photo:Reuters

Protestors wave Greek flags in front of the parliament building during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Greece, July 3, 2015. Tsipras, elected in January on a promise to end six years of austerity, extolled a packed Syntagma square in central Athens to spurn the tough terms of an aid deal offered by international creditors to keep the country afloat. Photo:Reuters

People hold signs supporting Greece during a pro-Greece protest in front of European Union office in Barcelona, Spain, July 3, 2015. The sign reads "No. No to troika".  Photo:Reuters

People hold signs supporting Greece during a pro-Greece protest in front of European Union office in Barcelona, Spain, July 3, 2015. The sign reads “No. No to troika”. Photo:Reuters

See more at:  Thousands Rally in Greece Ahead of Historic Referendum  

Source:  Thousands Rally in Greece Ahead of Historic Referendum   TeleSUR

Greece: PM Tsipras announces Referendum on Creditors’ Proposal

Source: keeptalkinggreece.com
June 26 2015

Greek citizens,

For the last six months, the Greek government has been waging a battle under conditions of unprecedented economic asphyxiation, in order to implement your mandate, that of January 25th.

The mandate to negotiate with our partners to bring about an end austerity, and for prosperity and social justice to return to our country once more.

For a sustainable agreement that will respect democracy, as well as European rules, and which will lead to a definitive exit from the crisis.

During the negotiations, we were repeatedly asked to implement memoranda policies agreed to by the previous governments, despite the fact that the memoranda were unequivocally condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

We never considered giving in—not even for a moment. Of betraying your trust.

Following five months of tough negotiations, our partners submitted a proposal-ultimatum at the Eurogroup meeting, taking aim at Greek democracy and the Greek people.

An ultimatum that contravenes Europe’s founding principles and values. The values of our common European project.

The Greek government was asked to accept a proposal that will add new unbearable weight to the shoulders of the Greek people, and that will undermine the recovery of the Greek economy and society–not only by fueling uncertainty, but also by further exacerbating social inequalities.

The institutions’ proposal includes measures that will further deregulate the labor market, pension cuts, and further reductions in public sector wages–as well as an increase in VAT on food, restaurants and tourism, while eliminating the tax breaks of the Greek islands.

These proposals–which directly violate the European social acquis and the fundamental rights to work, equality and dignity–prove that certain partners and members of the institutions are not interested in reaching a viable and beneficial agreement for all parties, but rather the humiliation of the Greek people.

These proposals mainly illustrate the IMF’s insistence on harsh and punitive austerity measures. Now is the time for the leading European powers to rise to the occasion and take initiative to definitively end the Greek debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries as well, by threatening the very future of European integration.

Greek citizens,

We are facing a historic responsibility to not let the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people be in vain, and to strengthen democracy and our national sovereignty—and this responsibility weighs upon us.

Our responsibility for our country’s future.

This responsibility obliges us to respond to the ultimatum based on the sovereign will of the Greek people.

Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.

My proposal was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow, the Parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting to ratify the Cabinet’s proposal for a referendum to take place next Sunday, on July 5th. The question on the ballot will be whether the institutions’ proposal should be accepted or rejected.

I have already informed the French President, the German Chancellor, and the ECB’s president of my decision, while tomorrow I will ask for a short extension of the program -in writing- from the leaders of the EU and the institutions, so that the Greek people can decide free of pressure and blackmail, as stipulated by our country’s Constitution and Europe’s democratic tradition.

Greek citizens,

I call on you to decide –with sovereignty and dignity as Greek history demands–whether we should accept the extortionate ultimatum that calls for strict and humiliating austerity without end, and without the prospect of ever standing on our own two feet, socially and financially.

We should respond to authoritarianism and harsh austerity with democracy–calmly and decisively.

Greece, the birthplace of democracy, should send a resounding democratic message to the European and global community.

And I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.

I am absolutely confident that your choice will honor our country’s history and will send a message of dignity worldwide.

In these critical times, we all have to remember that Europe is the common home of all of its peoples.

That in Europe there are no owners and guests.

Greece is, and will remain, an integral part of Europe, and Europe an integral part of Greece.

But a Europe without democracy will be a Europe without an identity and without a compass.

I call on all of you to act with national unity and composure, and to make a worthy decision.

For us, for our future generations, for Greek history.

For our country’s sovereignty and dignity.

Sources: