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Forgotten Crisis: Bolivia Is In Chaos After 2019 Coup

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Forgotten Crisis: Bolivia Is In Chaos After 2019 Coup

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On March 6, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mariya Zakharova provided an official comment on the developing crisis in Bolivia (source):

The situation in Bolivia in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 3 remains uneasy. We are seeing that preparations for the elections are characterised by an open and in some cases behind-the-scenes struggle between different political forces, primarily related to the process of candidate registration.

Given this backdrop, several media outlets around the world have reported that, essentially, there were no legal grounds for the events that triggered the political instability in Bolivia, such as allegedly massive violations, forgery or tampering with the vote count during the [presidential] election on October 20, 2019. In other words, if we summarise the recent sensational reports, we can say that what happened last autumn was typical of a coup. I would also like to respond briefly: “Hello! Where were you in October 2019? Why did it take so much time to analyse or, at least, cite the facts that were obvious at the time?”

I would like to note that, probably, now we see positive dynamics in the sense that the truth always comes out, but this time we had to wait for a fairly long time to see this happen. I would like to draw your attention to all the comments made by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke about this, as well as the spokespersons for the ministry. Just read them again and draw your own conclusions.

Speaking of the news reports by the [world’s] leading media outlets, in particular, the American media, The Washington Post carried an article that caused quite a stir. We have ambiguous feelings after reading it. On the one hand, the material appears to be correct and conclusive. This was what observers from the EU and the Organisation of American States (OAS) reported earlier. But, on the other hand, as we have said many times, some activities [that took place during the election campaign] were based not on compliance with international law and Bolivian law but rather on the principles of political expediency that served the interests of certain political forces. As a result of these activities, the situation in the country was seriously destabilised. They had a negative impact on the country’s economic development and have led to a situation where the top priority now is to bring the country back to an effective lawful election process, so that leaders that have the trust of the majority of Bolivians could be elected.

I would like to note again that the situation has recurred. Unfortunately, in the heat of the events, the media are used as a mouthpiece and a tool for fighting or exerting external influence. It is only later that people realise what has really happened. I want to repeat that, as a rule, things get back on track roughly within six months because it is impossible not to see the obvious.

I would also like to note that the current Bolivian authorities have a very restricted mandate to prepare for the elections and form, based on the election results, a legitimate government. That is why we are greatly disappointed to read and see the groundless and sometimes false statements they promote about “Russian involvement” or some “Russian mafia” that is allegedly involved in the illegitimate processes taking place in Bolivia. In so doing, the Bolivian interim government cites no specific information, facts, evidence or proof of illegal actions committed by either Russian authorities or even Russian nationals, for that matter. The Russian Embassy has received no relevant requests or inquiries from the Bolivian authorities, nor have they been forwarded via any other channel.

If this is being done purposefully, I would like to tell everyone who is engaged in such activities that they will not succeed in making us quarrel with the Bolivians. If these are not willful actions but manifestation of stupidity, then everything is clear as it is.

Russia and the Russian people have kind and sincere feelings of friendship and respect for the Bolivians. We believe these feelings are mutual.

I want to draw your attention yet again to the huge amount of false information about Russia that, unfortunately, is currently being spread in Bolivia.

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