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In November 2019, Bolivia’s three-term left-wing president, Evo Morales, was affected by the country’s aggressive and badge armament to abscond to Mexico afterwards Morales, the above-mentioned month, had been clearly certified as the champ of his fourth afterwards presidential election. It was unsurprising that Morales won. As the Associated Columnist acclaimed in 2014, his governance was accustomed by about every key metric, and he was thus “widely accepted at home for a businesslike bread-and-butter administration that advance Bolivia’s accustomed gas and mineral abundance amidst the masses.”
While Morales’s acceptance had hardly waned aback his 2014 barrage victory, he was still the best accepted baby-kisser in the country. On the night of the October 21, 2019, vote, Bolivia’s acclamation board certified that Morales’s allowance of achievement adjoin the second-place candidate exceeded the ten percent beginning appropriate beneath Bolivian law to abstain a runoff, appropriately earning him a fourth term. But allegations of acclamation artifice were bound accurate by Morales’s bourgeois opponents, arch to his banishment from the country on November 11.
Once he fled, Bolivia’s first-ever admiral from the country’s Indigenous citizenry was replaced by a little-known, white, far-right senator, Jeanine Áñez, from the country’s minority European-descendent, Christian, affluent region. Her new, unelected government promptly massacred dozens of Indigenous protesters and afresh vested the responsible soldiers with immunity. Seven months later, Áñez predictably continues to rule Bolivia as “interim president” admitting never accepting run for president, let abandoned accepting been democratically elected.
The axial apparatus acclimated by both the Bolivian appropriate and their U.S. government allies to absolve the abolishment of Morales’s 10-point acclamation achievement were two acclamation audits by the bounded accumulation Alignment of American States — one a basic address issued on November 10, the day afore Morales was affected from the country, and afresh its final address issued the abutting ages — which asserted widespread, advised acclamation fraud.
“Given all the irregularities observed, it is absurd to agreement the candor of the abstracts and accredit the accurateness of the results,” the OAS arise on November 10 as the country was in agitation over the election. The abutting day, Morales, beneath the blackmail of force to him and his family, boarded a alike to Mexico, area he was accepted asylum. The final OAS address in December claimed that “the assay aggregation has detected adamant manipulation” of the after-effects based on “incontrovertible affirmation of an balloter action bedridden by grave irregularities.”
But on Sunday, the New York Times arise an commodity acerb suggesting that it was the OAS audit, not the Bolivian election, that was “marred by grave irregularities,” accurate it “impossible to agreement the candor of the abstracts and accredit the accurateness of the” OAS claims. The cardboard of almanac abbreviated its advertisement this way: “A abutting attending at Bolivian acclamation abstracts suggests an antecedent assay by the OAS that aloft questions of vote-rigging — and helped force out a admiral — was flawed.”
To casting austere agnosticism on the candor of these analytical OAS reports, the Times relies aloft a new absolute abstraction from three advisers at U.S. universities which — in the words of the NYT — advised “data acquired by the New York Times from the Bolivian balloter authorities.” That study, said the NYT, “has begin that the Alignment of American States’ statistical assay was itself flawed.”
That abstraction accurate that the key “irregularity” cited by OAS “was absolutely an antiquity of the analysts’ error.” It added explained that with absorption to “the patterns that the assemblage accounted ‘inexplicable,’” the new abstracts assay shows that “we can explain them afterwards invoking fraud.”
While this new abstraction focuses abandoned on the OAS’s abstracts claims and does not acceptation to decree the Bolivian acclamation absolutely chargeless of artifice — about no election, including in the U.S., is absolutely chargeless of irregularities — the NYT explains that “the authors of the new abstraction said they were clumsy to carbon the OAS’s allegation application its acceptable techniques” and that “the aberration is significant” in assessing the all-embracing authority of the OAS’s claims.
”In sum,” the new address concludes, “we action a adapted estimation of the quantitative affirmation that led the OAS and added advisers to catechism the candor of the Bolivian election.“ Specifically, “we acquisition that we do not crave artifice in adjustment to explain the quantitative patterns acclimated to advice arraign Evo Morales.” The scholars’ basal line: “we cannot carbon the OAS results.”
It is about absurd to enlarge the accent of the OAS accusations in active Morales from his own country and, with no autonomous mandate, alive ability in lithium-rich Bolivia to the white, Christian, U.S.-subservient right. While critics had also accused Morales of break gluttonous a fourth appellation admitting built-in appellation limits, Bolivia’s appropriately constituted cloister had invalidated those appellation limits (much the way that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg induced the City Council to annul a appellation absolute acclamation so he could seek a third term), abrogation anti-Morales alfresco agitators, such as the OAS and U.S. officials, to await instead on claims of acclamation fraud.
On the day the basic OAS address was released, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited it both on Twitter and on the official State Department website to appeal new elections:
Pompeo, in January of this year, visited OAS’s Washington appointment and aggregate acclaim on the alignment for the role its assay played in banishment Morales from the country — a move which Pompeo heralded by invoking the connected Orwellian U.S. attitude of depicting pro-U.S. aggressive coups as “pro-democracy”:
More recently, the OAS accustomed the above Bolivian government’s appeal to conduct an assay of the accustomed acclamation results. The delving conducted baldheaded affidavit of massive and systemic fraud. It helped end the abandon that had burst out over the acclamation dispute. It helped the Bolivian Congress absolutely authorize a date and altitude for a new election. And it accustomed – importantly, it accustomed the Bolivian people’s adventuresome appeal for a chargeless and fair election, and for democracy.
U.S. media outlets and adopted action commentators accurately echoed the U.S. State Department’s line, as they about do, by depicting the agitated aggressive accomplishment as an advance of abandon and capitalism for the Bolivian bodies (the same Bolivian bodies who had aloof voted for Morales to be their president). As a Washington Post op-ed in February by two MIT advisers noted: “The media has abundantly arise the allegations of fraud [from the OAS] as fact.”
Two canicule afore Morales was affected to abscond Bolivia, Johns Hopkins assistant Yascha Mounk, who additionally covers adopted action for The Atlantic, accepted the accomplishment leaders as “bravely continuing up for capitalism adjoin a wannabe dictator,” and then, the afterward day, cited the basic OAS abstraction as affidavit that the acclamation was fraudulent:
On November 11, the day afterwards Morales was affected to flee, Mounk wrote in The Atlantic that Morales got what he deserved, claiming, amidst added things, that he chic the election: “The able amplified affirmation of vote analytical succeeded in alarming what years of added attenuate attacks on autonomous institutions had bootless to do: Millions of Bolivians went out into the streets to appeal a fair election.” One point Mounk got right: The OAS address was decisive. “When an absolute eyewitness mission from the Alignment of American States arise its assay of the acclamation yesterday, the bold was assuredly up,” he wrote.
(Mounk, alive that there are never after-effects for confined as a boob for U.S adopted policy, has said not a chat about the new abstraction debunking the OAS claims).
Former Obama adopted action official and accepted Stanford assistant Michael McFaul additionally cited the OAS address to acclamation Morales’s beat as some array of “excellent” draft for abandon and democracy, abandoned afterwards to delete his cheep aback it prompted criticism, acknowledging that he lacked the all-important advice to anatomy judgments:
The editor-in-chief of the evidently accelerating account Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery, had never ahead apparent the aboriginal absorption in or ability about Bolivia, yet somehow absitively she was able to credibly breeze into band abaft the State Department by claiming that it was Morales — rather than the coup-plotters — who had “taken several end runs about a autonomous process”:
It acceptable goes afterwards adage that the anxiously pro-western-coup magazine, The Economist, was additionally amidst those arch the way in alveolate the U.S. State Department and auspicious the accomplishment as a achievement for democracy. “The armed armament batten up for capitalism and the architecture adjoin an attack at dictatorship,” arise the annual during the anniversary Morales was affected into exile. The Economist additionally acquaint added than a dozen tweets during that anniversary claiming it was Morales who airish the blackmail to Bolivian capitalism by advantage of the OAS allegation of fraud:
But as usual, the two account outlets best influential in disseminating and acknowledging apocryphal anti-democratic claims from the U.S. government were the Washington Post and — admitting they abandoned to acknowledgment it in their commodity bygone on the debunked OAS allegation — the New York Times itself. The Post, in its article the day afterwards Morales was affected to leave, ratified the acclamation artifice allegation in its headline: “Bolivia’s Morales resigns amidst belittling acclamation report, ascent protests.” The commodity heralded the allegation of what it alleged “the multilateral organization,” acquainted that the OAS begin Morales’s achievement “was bedridden by abstruse irregularities.”
A Post beat from the aforementioned day proclaimed in its headline: “Bolivia is in crisis of bottomward into anarchy. It’s Evo Morales’s fault.”
The Post beat decreed: “there could be little agnosticism who was ultimately amenable for the chaos: anew accommodated admiral Evo Morales.” How could the victim of a accomplishment — who had aloof been adopted Admiral — be at accountability for the consistent chaos? Because, explained the Post’s editors, “an assay arise by the Alignment of American States reported massive irregularities in the vote calculation and called for a beginning election.”
The New York Times analogously and afresh absorbed the OAS address as affidavit that Morales’s achievement was adulterine and the accomplishment accordingly democratic. “An independent international audit of Bolivia’s accustomed acclamation assured that above Admiral Evo Morales’s admiral resorted to lies, abetment and artificial to ensure his victory,” its account commodity claimed, afterwards a affricate of analytical pushback until the penultimate paragraph, area it acclaimed that “some economists and statisticians in the United States” had acicular to flaws in the OAS’s abstracts analysis.
But the paper’s editorial contained no such reservations, pronouncing Morales’s achievement the byproduct of “a awry election,” acquainted that “early suspicions of artifice by the Alignment of American States helped ammunition the protests and provided awning for the aggressive to ‘suggest’ that Mr. Morales leave office.” The Times’s editorial then cited the final OAS address — which the cardboard bygone alleged into catechism — as “substantiating those suspicions” by proving “‘a alternation of awful operations aimed at altering the will bidding at the polls’ on Oct. 20.”
In sum, aback it came to the 2019 Bolivian coup, the U.S. media played its decades-old, accepted role whenever the U.S. wants to characterize a aggressive accomplishment adjoin a government it dislikes as a achievement for democracy: Namely, it blindly and accurately adopted the State Department’s appearance and uncritically coiled the flag.
As accurate in his great, new book on the CIA’s Cold War tactics, “The Jakarta Method,” announcer Vincent Bevins — whom I afresh interviewed for SYSTEM UPDATE — recounts how, throughout the Cold War, the U.S. media served as a key advertising arm of the U.S. government by anxiously depicting overthrows of adverse regimes as a blissful advance for democracy. As but one example, Bevins declared how the CIA prevailed on the New York Times to abolish advertisement about the abomination of the agency-supported coup-plotters in Guatemala and instead acclaim them as “rebels” who were amply angry for democracy:
Exactly the aforementioned blueprint was acclimated by the New York Times and the aggregate of the U.S. media aback a U.S.-supported accomplishment attack in Venezuela bootless in 2002 to depose the democratically adopted Admiral Hugo Chávez. In an amazing paragraph, the Times heralded the U.S.-favored coup-leaders in Caracas as the guardians and saviors of democracy, while the democratically adopted admiral was somehow the “dictator”:
With yesterday’s abandonment of Admiral Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan capitalism is no best threatened by a ambitious dictator. Mr. Chávez, a annihilative demagogue, stepped bottomward afterwards the aggressive intervened and handed ability to a admired business leader, Pedro Carmona.
The Times analogously lamented the dangers airish to Bolivian capitalism aback in 2014 as the aftereffect of Morales’s barrage achievement at the polls. To the Times and the U.S. media at large, capitalism is imperiled aback a applicant awful by the U.S. wins at the polls; conversely, capitalism can be adored abandoned aback such adopted leaders are baffled and replaced by force with a U.S.-backed puppet.
The NYT editors, while conceding in 2014 that “it is accessible to see why abounding Bolivians would appetite to see Mr. Morales, the country’s aboriginal admiral with Indigenous roots, abide at the helm” — namely, “during his tenure, the abridgement of the country, one of the atomic developed in the hemisphere, grew at a advantageous rate, the akin of asperity shrank and the cardinal of bodies active in abjection abandoned significantly” — nonetheless insisted that Morales should be admired as an adversary of capitalism because “the arrangement of abiding agreement in ability is ailing for the region” [notably, the NYT would never advance that Angela Merkel’s “prolonged appellation in power” as German adjudicator (15 years and counting) or Benjamin Netanyahu’s 4-terms-and-counting-in-power as Israeli prime abbot affectation a agnate blackmail to democracy. This is a “concern” aloof by the U.S. media abandoned for Latin American leaders awful by the U.S. State Department].
At the end of its 2014 beat on Bolivia and Latin America, the Times aback arise the absolute acumen it awful these adopted leaders. Concern for capitalism is the pretext. The absolute acumen it wants those adopted leaders gone was arise by this aboveboard sentence: “This bounded activating has been afflictive for Washington’s access in the region.”
As U.S. media advantage of last year’s accomplishment in Bolivia demonstrates, little has changed since the Cold War aback it comes to media adherence to the State Department and the CIA. Because the U.S. government adopted the bourgeois coup-plotters to the left-wing Morales, the U.S. media deliberately inverted the absolute anecdotal to call the adopted baton (Morales) as the tyrant and the agitated aggressive accomplishment leaders as the saviors of democracy. And they peddled this apocryphal anecdotal abandoned by relying heavily on an OAS address that alike the NYT is now affected to accept was, at best, acutely flawed.
That the OAS address was dubious is not, adverse to the subtext of the NYT’s new article, article that was abandoned afresh discovered. That has been clear from ample affirmation from the alpha — affirmation that the angry U.S. media rarely saw fit to mention.
In March, the CEPR issued an alike added absolute analysis, an 82-page address that concluded: “the OAS’s ascertainment activities in Bolivia’s 2019 accepted elections are the latest archetype of a acutely ambiguous ascertainment mission whose dishonest, biased, and amateurish conduct has acquired austere accident to the country’s democracy.” It added that “while the artifice anecdotal that the OAS helped advance contributed to Evo Morales, the country’s democratically adopted president, beat the country,” the OAS Address “does not accommodate any affirmation that those irregularities adapted the aftereffect of the election, or were allotment of an absolute attack to do so.”
In February — with Morales now in banishment in Argentina — the Washington Post arise an op-ed by two advisers from MIT. They abbreviated their altercation this way:
The media has abundantly arise the [OAS’s] allegations of fraud as fact. And many commentators have justified the accomplishment as a acknowledgment to balloter artifice by MAS-IPSP. However, as specialists in acclamation integrity, we acquisition that the statistical affirmation does not abutment the affirmation of fraud in Bolivia’s October election.
In sum, the authors concluded, afterwards ambience alternating their statistical allegation in detail: “there is not any statistical affirmation of artifice that we can acquisition — the trends in the basic count, the abridgement of any big jump in abutment for Morales afterwards the halt, and the admeasurement of Morales’s allowance all arise legitimate. All in all, the OAS’s statistical assay and abstracts would arise acutely flawed.”
That the OAS is a abject apparatus of the U.S. State Department is article that is broadly accepted in Latin America. Yet it is a affirmation that about never appears in boilerplate accounts from U.S. account outlets, which — as they did actuality — treat the accumulation as some array of neutral, accurate adjudicator of political disputes.
Shortly after Morales was adopted from Bolivia and accustomed awning in Mexico, I catholic to Mexico City to account him. I asked Morales about the OAS, and this is what he said:
All along, there was abounding acumen to actively doubt, if not absolute reject, the OAS accusations of acclamation irregularities and aborigine fraud. As CEPR’s Jake Johnston said today in acknowledgment to the New York Times article:
For those advantageous abutting absorption to the 2019 election, there was never any agnosticism that the OAS’ claims of artifice were bogus. Aloof canicule afterwards the election, a high-level official central the OAS abreast accustomed to me that there had been no “inexplicable” change in the trend, yet the alignment connected to echo its apocryphal assertions for abounding months with little to no pushback or accountability.
Yet those affidavit for carper the OAS accusations were almost anytime alike mentioned, let abandoned vested with credibility, by the U.S. media or its arch adopted action commentators. Instead, as the MIT advisers wrote in the Washington Post, “the media largely arise the allegations of fraud as fact.” That’s because whenever it comes to changing a adopted country’s government that is awful by the U.S., the U.S. media reflexively abandon with the U.S. State Department and ceases to address and instead engages in pro-government propaganda.
In this case, Bolivia absent its best accustomed admiral in its avant-garde history, and is appropriately now disqualified by an unelected aggressive junta, all animated on by the U.S. and its media, relying on an OAS address which alike the New York Times is now affected to accede is, at best, acutely flawed. Appropriately did the U.S. government and its media, yet again, advice abort a advancing Latin American democracy.
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