Things That Matter

Bolivia’s Ousted President Won’t Run Again As Indigenous People March In Guatemala In Solidarity With Him

South America’s poorest country, Bolivia, is in the midst of a political crisis, and Guatemala’s indigenous people are marching in solidarity with ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales. After the Guatemalan government joined the United States in recognizing extreme right self-appointed Jeanine Anez as the interim president of Bolivia, Guatemala’s indigenous people expressed their outrage in an organized protest. Hundreds of indigenous people marched in Guatemala’s capital Thursday to protest the change of government, which they view as a coup d’etat of Bolivia’s first indigenous president. With a “Brother Evo, Guatemala is with you” banner in hand, the protesters marched toward a heavily guarded US embassy. The next day, Morales announced that he won’t be “taking part in new elections.”

Before Morales rose to the presidency, he was a campesino activist, representing indigenous traditions and customs under attack by the US government. “We are repudiating the discriminatory and racist coup d’etat that took place in Bolivia,” said Mauro Vay, march organizer and head of Guatemala’s Rural Development Committee. 

Protesters proudly waved the wiphala flags, an indigenous symbol of solidarity.

CREDIT: @UKREDREVOLUTION / TWITTER

This man held an image that told the story of a thousand words. As a child, Evo Morales’ family were subsistence farmers, which allowed him to enjoy a basic education. He later moved to grow coca, the raw plant used to make cocaine. During the U.S.’ “War on Drugs,” coca farmers were under attack. Morales rose to defend the campesinos from what he called an imperialist violation of indigenous culture. His protests may have led to several arrests, but his notoriety grew to elect him to Congress as the leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party. 

In Paraguay, Bolivian ex-patriates went up against the police to rehang the wiphala flag at the Bolivian embassy.

CREDIT: @WILL_J_COSTA / TWITTER

Several indigenous residents of Paraguay arrived at the Bolivian embassy to hang the Wiphala flag, which was reportedly taken down. They faced police resistance but eventually succeeded. The next day, the flag was removed. 

In 2005, Morales ran against former President Carlos Mesa and won, becoming the first indigenous president of Bolivia. 

CREDIT: @BRETGUSTAFSON / TWITTER

Then, it gets murky. By the time his first term was over, MAS rewrote their constitution to lift the one-term limit on presidents. Morales ran for a second term and won. Even though he claimed he wouldn’t run for a third term, Morales claimed the first term didn’t count because it was completed under the old constitution.  So he ran again and won for the third time. In October 2019, Morales ran for his fourth term, and won by a small margin, prompting a recount.

Just 24 hours into the recount, Morales ordered the recount to an end and declared himself president over his opponent, former president Mesa. the Organization of American States (OAS) conducted an audit that flagged the election as possibly fraudulent.

The OAS is not in the service of the people of Latin America, less so the social movements. The OAS is at the service of the North American empire,” Morales later said. Still, protests erupted across the country.

In a quickly developing government coup, military chiefs removed Morales.

CREDIT: @FAFASCHMITT / TWITTER

On Nov. 10, General Williams Kaliman, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces, decided, along with other military chiefs, that Morales should step down. Morales tweeted, “I denounce to the world and the Bolivian people that a police officer publicly announced that he is instructed to execute an illegal arrest warrant against me; likewise, violent groups assaulted my home. A coup destroys the rule of law.” He added, “After looting and trying to set fire to my house in Villa Victoria, vandalism groups of the Mesa and Camacho coup docked my home in the Magisterio neighborhood of Cochabamba. I am very grateful to my neighbors, who stopped those raids. A coup destroys peace.”

Mexico offered him asylum and sent a plane to escort Morales to Mexico City.

CREDIT: @EVOESPUEBLO / TWITTER

“This was my first night after leaving the presidency, forced by the coup of Mesa and Camacho with the help of the Police. There I remembered my times as a leader. Very grateful to my brothers from the federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for providing security and care,” Morales tweeted. Right-wing Christian opponent, Luis Fernando Camacho, also called “Bolivia’s Bolsonaro,” led violent protests against Morales and his Indigenous supporters, burning Bolivia’s Indigenous Wiphala flag. 

Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Argentina have maintained that his removal from office was a coup. The United States, led by a right-wing president, has recognized Bolivia’s interim right-wing president as valid.

Morales announced Friday that he won’t run for president in the reelection “for the sake of democracy.”

CREDIT: @VERSOBOOKS / TWITTER

Morales resigned Sunday after protests left four people dead. “For the sake of democracy, if they don’t want me to take part, I have no problem not taking part in new elections,” Morales told Reuters while remaining in asylum. “I just wonder why there is so much fear of Evo,” he offered.

READ: A US-Backed Opposition Leader Has Declared Herself President Of Bolivia Amid Outrage At Her Comments About Indigenous Bolivians

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To GOP House Candidate’s ‘Dumb Blonde’ Joke Will Leave You Breathless

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Response To GOP House Candidate’s ‘Dumb Blonde’ Joke Will Leave You Breathless

BRITTANY GREESON / GETTY

Dumb blonde jokes. They’re overwrought, trite, and pretty outdated. So it’s no surprise that one that came straight from the mouth of a GOP House candidate and directed at Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t go over so well.

GOP House candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene attempted a joke at Ocasio-Cortez’s expense on Twitter Monday and it failed miserably.

Greene, whose Georgia campaign is being supported by Donald Trump, attempted to hit at AOC’s intelligence on Monday in a tweet.

“As a blonde woman, I would like to take a moment to thank Congresswoman @AOC. She has single handily [sic] put an end to all ‘dumb blonde’ jokes. Blondes everywhere appreciate your service and your sacrifice!” Greene tweeted.

In response, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Greene, writing, “Don’t worry Mrs. Greene, I completely understand why you need to swing + miss at my intellect to make yourself feel better. You seem to have some trouble spelling your own insults correctly. Next time try ‘single-handedly,’ it’ll work better.”

She signed off her tweet writing “Good luck writing legislation!”

It’s not the first time Greene has come for AOC and failed.

Greene attempted and failed to get under AOC’s skin earlier this month.

Facebook.com

In September, the candidate shared a photo of herself holding a rifle next to images of AOC and other Democratic lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to her Facebook page.

She captioned the post “Squad’s worst nightmare.” It was soon removed by Facebook who cited violations of its policies.

It didn’t take long for AOC’s supporters to strike back at Green to defend the congresswoman.

“Those who are jealous and envious of others typical attack those whom they envy because they need to feel important and try to gain some attention for themselves,” one user commented in the thread. “You are where you are @AOC because of your work and dedication. Mrs Greene knows she can’t compete so she attacks.”

According to People, “Greene has a track record of embracing false stories publicized by QAnon, a conspiracy theory-fueled group which alleges there’s a group of Democratic pedophiles operating around the country.”

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Why They Didn’t Vote In 2016 And The Answers Will Make Your Stomach Turn

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Why They Didn’t Vote In 2016 And The Answers Will Make Your Stomach Turn

Joe Raedle / Getty

In 2016, estimates from the U.S. Elections Project showed that nearly 43 percent of eligible voters failed to fill out a ballot for the presidential election. According to Pew Research, tens of millions of registered voters did so because of a “dislike of the candidates or campaign issues.” Shockingly, this means that in 2016, the number of people who were eligible to vote and chose not to greatly outnumbered who voted for Clinton, Trump, or a third-party candidate.

Curious about this, we turned to Reddit to find out WHY people were so quick to willfully toss out their voting power.

Check out the answers we found below.

“I wasn’t scared my brown or LBGTQ country folk would actually be fucked over. I assumed it was all his [Trump’s] ploy to get the people who voted Bush and Reagan in, to vote him in… Make the white people scared and make sure they don’t trust the Dems. or people of colour or alternative life choice. I’m from L.A.; we grow up mixed and if your a decent human you respect everyone or move back to whatever hate hole you come from.” – Sgrociopath

“I moved from a strong blue state to a strong blue state on November 7, 2016, which was too late to register to vote in this year’s election(and I re-checked multiple times to make sure that was the case).” –lovethenewname

“Didn’t pay enough attention when they first started running and by the time I was looking, everyon was so polarized biased I didn’t wanna dig through the bullshit to make an educated opinion.” –AndeeRin1031

“Didn’t find a candidate I could support. The only good thing anyone else had going for them was “eh at least it’s not Hillary” and when that’s your only good trait you’re not worth my support.” – egnards

“Because I didn’t want to pledge my allegiance to a candidate and then have to defend them for their choices. I want to complain about the president because a group of yes men ultimately get you sent to a psych ward.” –buk_ow_ski

“I didn’t have a permanent address and wasn’t sure how to even anything.” –weinerpug

“I live in a completely red state and didn’t give myself enough time. I left an hour and a half early for work, sat in line for 45 minutes, realized I wasn’t going to make it and said “fuck it” and left.” –Eensquatch

“I refused to vote (my first election that I did not) simply because both candidates were disgusting and there was simply no choice I could make.”-ultimatemayerfan

“I didn’t vote despite voting in the primaries. The reason why was aside from the fake propaganda essentially the democratic party really did know who they wanted and had enacted things to make primarying difficult in order to support Clinton. Dropping people from registries, cutting down primary locations, making it so you had to be registered so many months in advance Clinton was the only option. If your party deliberately makes it hard to vote you can’t turn around a few months later and tell everyone “Okay now get out and vote!”

Also the narrative against Sanders had been “1 man can’t change things that much”. But then when it was Clinton against Trump the narrative was “1 man will ruin everything”. You don’t get to have it both ways.

I was going to be a first-time voter but then I was basically told “we don’t want you to vote unless it’s who we tell you”

I don’t regret it. Especially since my state is so red (Utah) even had I voted for Clinton I would have just been another vote that didn’t win her the election.” –collin3000

“My ballot didn’t come in the mail.” –NutellaGood

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