Things That Matter

Latin America’s First Indigenous President Is Forced To Resign After Weeks Of Protests And Irregular Election Results

Protests are occurring throughout Latin America as calls for environmental and economic justice strengthen from Chile and Brazil to Venezuela and Ecuador. Now, Bolivia has become the latest flash point for the growing widespread movements across the region.

What started as a protest against President Evo Morales seeking an additional presidential term (he was constitutionally term-limited) has resulted in his abrupt resignation and in what many are calling a coup.

President Morales resigned the presidency after he lost support from the Bolivian police and military.

Bolivia’s political crisis deepened Sunday as President Evo Morales resigned amid allegations of “serious irregularities” during last month’s election and pressure from the country’s armed forces.

Morales faced mounting protests in the aftermath of the October 20 vote as demonstrators and the Bolivian opposition accused electoral authorities of manipulating the vote count in favor of the incumbent. He denied the allegations and declared himself the winner, but was eventually forced to resign

But what led to his resignation?

In the hours after polls closed, preliminary results showed Morales slightly ahead of his opponent, former President Carlos Mesa. But the opposition and international observers became suspicious after election officials stopped the count for about 24 hours without an explanation. When the count resumed, Morales’ lead had jumped significantly.

Electoral monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) published a report Sunday alleging irregularities that impacted the official vote count.

In the aftermath of the report, Morales initially promised new elections would be held and the country’s electoral council replaced. However just hours later the president had resigned after the head of the Bolivian Armed Forces, Cmdr. Williams Kaliman, asked Morales to step down in order to restore peace and stability.

The decision follows weeks of raucous anti-government protests across the country. 

Demonstrators have burned down the headquarters of local election offices, set up blockades, and paraded a mayor barefoot through the streets after cutting her hair and showering her in paint.

Many are calling this an outright coup committed by the military and US-backed politicians.

The international reaction has been swift and vocal.

On Monday, Mr Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, struck a defiant note on Twitter, saying that “the Bolivian people have never abandoned me and I will never abandon them”. He has also said that he was the victim of a “civic coup”.

International allies of Mr Morales echoed his characterisation of what had happened. The Russian foreign ministry said that “the wave of violence unleashed by the opposition didn’t allow the presidential mandate of Evo Morales to be completed”.

Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said that events in Bolivia constituted “a coup because the army requested the resignation of the president, and that violates the constitutional order of that country”.

Spain also expressed its concern over the role of Bolivia’s army, saying that “this intervention takes us back to moments in the past history of Latin America”.

But what do Bolivians actually think of all of this?

Mr. Morales, a former coca farmer, was first elected in 2006. He has earned praise for fighting poverty and improving Bolivia’s economy but drew controversy by defying constitutional term limits to run for a fourth term in October’s election, which is alleged to have been rife with irregularities.

The biggest criticism of Evo Morales was his lack of respect for Bolivia’s democracy – accused of overstaying his welcome and refusing to step down. 

But the fact that the military has called the shots on the president standing down does not do much for Bolivia’s democracy either. 

Now Evo Morales has gone, there is a power vacuum. Increasing numbers of his Mas party are resigning, and it feels like there is a need for retribution – for Evo Morales and his people to pay the price for the mistakes they made while in power.

His supporters have called this a coup – his detractors the end of tyranny. The priority now is to choose an interim leader, call new elections and bring a polarised Bolivia together or face yet more unrest and violence in the coming weeks.

Trump Tried To Bully Kamala Harris And She Clapped Back In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

Things That Matter

Trump Tried To Bully Kamala Harris And She Clapped Back In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

Kamala Harris / Instagram

P1: Kamala Harris may be out of the race, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to stay quiet. On Tuesday, the former Democratic Presidential Nominee clapped back on Instagram to a tweet Trump had aimed at her. The tough-as-nails former prosecutor has never been one to mince words when it comes to confronting bullies and haters. Who could forget that epic showdown she had with the snarky college student who asked her about gun control? But this time, Harris’s wrath is aimed at a more powerful for: the president. 

After announcing the suspension of her 2020 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Trump took to Twitter to lob a gloating comments Harris’s way. “Too bad,” he said. “We will miss you Kamala!”. Harris, for her part, wasted no time showing the president who’s boss. “Don’t worry, Mr. President,” she replied. “I’ll see you at your trial.”

Naturally, the internet exploded in glee over Harris’s quick-witted response.

As of Thursday, Harris’s viral tweet has racked up over 186,000 retweets, 44,000 comments and a whopping one million likes. Supporters and fans alike commented on her post with compliments like:”Best tweet ever” and “Omg the shade”. So, although many are disappointed that the once-front runner nominee of the Democratic primary will no longer be on the ballot, many are at least comforted by knowing that she has retained her trademark sense of humor

What’s not a laughing matter, however, is the trial that Harris was referring to. After Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the the House had “no choice” but to move forward with articles of impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee announced that its next impeachment hearing will be on December 9th. This comes after the The House Judiciary Committee released a 300-page report that detailed the relationship between Trump and Ukraine. So, as of now, Trump is on track to be the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached. 

The House has concluded that Trump, in the words of Pelosi, has “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival”. The political rival was Vice President Joe Biden, whom Trump viewed as a threat to his upcoming presidential campaign. 

Although Harris’s clap-back was funny, her withdrawal is still a loss for the presidential nominee pool that now falls woefully short on candidates of color. 

Harris, with her stellar resume, has long been a shining star in the Democratic Party. Not only was she both the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General, but she was also first South Asian-American and second African-American woman to serve in the Senate in US history. In other words: she is well-qualified to take on any job she tackles.

Both presidential candidates Cory Booker and Julian Castro blame the Democratic National Committee for not throwing their support behind candidates of color in the same way they do with white candidates. As of now, the DNC’s lineup of debate participants (and therefore more publicity), are all white: Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. “What message is that sending, that we heralded the most diverse field in our history, and now we’re seeing people like her dropping out of this campaign?” Booker told Politico. “Voters did not determine her destiny.” 

As for now, it’s nice to get some comfort from Harris’s unparalled talent at confronting bullies.

When Americans are forced to deal with realities as depressing as the 2020 campaign, you can’t blame them from grasping onto what little entertainment is presented to them.

This Twitter user thinks that Harris’s comeback was step above the usual “shade” throwing.

We’ll remember this description for later. 

This person believes that Harris should win an award for her clap-back.

We would love to be able to hand her a medal for this shade. 

This person kindly pointed out whose tweet had the more likes and retweets–despite Trump having 67 million followers compared to Harris’s 3 million followers.

You might even venture to think that Harris’s followers are more passionate than Trump’s. Hmm…

This man is a man of few words, but we concur with his sentiment

As always, we stan a queen. And Kamala Harris is definitely one of them. We’re pretty sure she’ll continue to serve the American people for a long time to come. 

World Leaders Mocked Trump On A Hot Mic And He Responded By Hurling Insults At Them

Things That Matter

World Leaders Mocked Trump On A Hot Mic And He Responded By Hurling Insults At Them

@CP24 / Twitter

There’s no need to deny that the United States government is in complete disarray. Aren’t you fascinated by the impeachment hearings? The discussion about whether or not President Donald Trump committed a crime has completely engulfed social media and pop culture. There’s no way anyone could ever lessen the seriousness that is going on right now in Washington D.C. Despite the impeachment hearings, President Trump made a trip to the U.K. for a NATO summit and things turned against Trump when a hot mic incident caught what most world leaders think about him.

While President Trump is dealing with NATO business in the U.K., his foreign colleagues couldn’t help but take a couple of jabs at him.

Credit: @keithboykin / Twitter

The moment came while the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were all gathered at the Buckingham Palace. It sounds like already an opening of a joke, but the cameras did, in fact, capture the world leaders discussing Trump. While they didn’t name the president by name, at least Trudeau acknowledged the moment later. 

The incomplete convo went something like this: 

Johnson asked Macron, “Is that why you were late?”

Trudeau jumps in to say, “…It was like a 40-minute press conference. Yeah, yeah, yeah! Forty minutes.” And then adds, “I just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

It doesn’t seem like the moment is all that scandalous but rather a “Real Housewives”-type of affair in which one group talks about someone else without their knowledge.

Credit: @emmavigeland / Twitter

As many on social media point out, this is not the first time Trump has had convo mishaps with foreign leaders. We know there’s already tension, and they don’t necessarily like Trump. So when Trump goes across the pond, you know some funny shit is about to go down. 

Trump was asked about the video footage in which the group discussed him. Trump called Trudeau “two-faced.” A term he has used to describe him in the past.

Credit: @iaddbubbles / Twitter

“I find him to be a very nice guy, but you know the truth is that I called him out over the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent and I can see he’s not very happy about it,” Trump said today at a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Reuters reports. He later said, “That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced.” Okay, Trump. Maybe he just wants to get in on the funny conversation. 

Trudeau also commented about his use of words and said his remarks were in reference to finding out the G7 Summit would take place at Camp David in the U.S. 

“Last night, I made a reference to the fact there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump, I was happy to take part in it but it was certainly notable,” Trudeau told reporters, according to Reuters. He added, “We were all surprised and I think pleased to learn that the next G7 will be at Camp David, I think that was an unscheduled announcement and… I think every different leader has teams who every now and then their jaws drop at unscheduled surprises, like that video itself for example.”

Whatever the comments were in reference too, we know Trump is feeling already a bit vulnerable about Trudeau’s presence, especially when you consider their history.

Credit: @middleageriot / Twitter

The moment in which Trudeau and First Lady Melania Trump embraced in a “hello” kiss went viral, and for good reason. Just look at Trump’s sad look. 

There was also another moment that evening in which Trump got some nasty shade, but this time it was by at least two members of the Royal family.

Credit: @avenaim / Twitter

CNBC reports all of these NATO leaders were on hand to “celebrate the 70th anniversary of the alliance and met the British queen and her family…But the celebrations come against a backdrop of division between members on its future direction.” 

At one moment, Trump greets some members of the Royal Family. They all lined up to shake hands with him and you can visibly see Prince Charles scratching his face using his middle finger. At another point, one of the other family members, Princess Anne noticeably does not get in line to shake Trump’s hand but instead shrugs at the thought. 

READ: Canada’s Former Prime Minister Says She Was Joking When She Wished For Hurricane Dorian To Hit Mar-A-Lago, But People Are Not Laughing