HAVANA TIMES – Longtime Bolivian President Evo Morales has departed Bolivia for Mexico, after stepping down Sunday in what he calls a military coup. Late Monday, Morales departed La Paz on a Mexican government plane. He has been granted asylum in Mexico.
Morales announced his resignation Sunday shortly after the Bolivian military took to the airwaves to call for his departure.
Last month, Morales was re-elected for a fourth term in a race his opponents claimed was marred by fraud.
[Earlier on Sunday he called for new elections on the heels of an OAS preliminary report indicating serious irregularities in the vote tabulation of the October 20th election that supposedly gave him a fourth consecutive term.]
Morales’s departure has sparked outrage and protests across Latin America, with many saying he was the victim of a military coup. This is Daniel Menéndez in Argentina.
Daniel Menéndez: “There have been enormous advances in all social indicators in Bolivia in the past 14 years. That bothered the privileged sectors, that hydrocarbons have been nationalized, that basic income has been increased for the entire population. Despite all this, a minority, together with the armed forces, are carrying out this outrage, this barbarity that has to do with a coup, with policies that we had thought had been eradicated from the region. And that is why it is so important that popular movements throughout Latin America come out to repudiate this coup in Bolivia.”
Evo Morales was Bolivia’s first indigenous president. On Monday, videos circulated of Morales’s opponents burning Wiphala indigenous flags. Morales’s departure came a week after Bolivia’s government canceled a massive multinational lithium mining project slated for the country’s southern highlands.