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Tue Nov 19, 2019, 02:20 PM

Unpacking Media Propaganda About Bolivia's Election

NOVEMBER 18, 2019

Pro-coup editorials rely on—and misreport—questionable evidence from the dubious OAS

by Gregory Shupak

To endorse the coup in Bolivia, numerous editorials in major US media outlets paint President Evo Morales as undemocratic. Exhibit A in their case is the Organization of American States’ (OAS) claims that there was fraud in the October 20 Bolivian election in which Morales was elected for a fourth term. They also argue that he should not have been allowed to run again in the first place.

The New York Times’ editorial (11/11/19) accused Morales of “brazenly abusing the power and institutions put in his care by the electorate.” The Washington Post (11/11/19) alleged that “a majority of Bolivians wanted [Morales] to leave office”—a claim for which they provided no evidence—while claiming that he had “grown increasingly autocratic” and that “his downfall was his insatiable appetite for power.” The Wall Street Journal (11/11/19) argued that Morales “is a victim of his own efforts to steal another election,” saying that Morales “has rigged the rules time and again to stay in power.”

The first basis on which the papers call Morales’ democratic legitimacy into question is by suggesting that he had no right to run in the 2019 election because he lost a 2016 referendum on whether the country should abolish term limits. But the next year, Bolivia’s constitutional court lifted limits to re-election, and its Supreme Electoral Court subsequently approved Morales’ run. Even the head of the OAS, which would go on to play a crucial role in the coup, agreed that Morales had a right to run.

To support its assertion that Morales “had grown increasingly autocratic,” the Post linked to an AP report (Guardian, 12/17/16) that said Morales was going to run despite losing the referendum. That article was from before the two court rulings, and the Post doesn’t mention those decisions at any point. Thus readers were given the inaccurate message that the term limits story ended with the referendum.


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Reply Unpacking Media Propaganda About Bolivia's Election (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 19 OP
LessAspin Nov 19 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 03:51 PM

1. A lot like the GOP members on the impeachment inquiry...

Spinning for Trump. It's so blatantly obvious what's going on that it makes all these efforts to spin the story laughable.

Laughable that is if it weren't so tragic. Trump it seems has emboldened these right-wing fascist uprisings around the globe.

Speaking of laughable and blatant .. what's going on in Bolivia feels like a bad over-the-top comic villain .. or as Alan MacLeod puts it 'comically evil' ..

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