Studies Say Morales Won Fairly, UN & Latin American Institutions Must Take Action – Ex-UN Official
The latest statistical analyses say that the Organisation of American States' conclusions about the alleged fraud in Bolivia’s October vote don't hold water. Ex-UN official Alfred de Zayas has explained what steps could be taken by international and regional bodies in the aftermath of the exposure and shed light on the US role in the Bolivian coup.
On 10 March, the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a major new study shedding light on flaws in the "final report" of the Organisation of American States (OAS) audit of Bolivia’s October elections. CEPR's research followed the publication by Jack Williams and John Curiel from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the same matter.
According to CEPR, its new analysis responded to the OAS's criticism over neglecting alleged "flawed ballot tally sheets" and the presence of "hidden servers" used in processing vote results in Bolivia. The researchers assert that they provided a "comprehensive rebuttal" to the OAS’s Final Report by finding no evidence that the aforementioned irregularities had "altered the outcome of the election, or were part of an actual attempt to do so".
The OAS's conclusions were that former President Evo Morales and his Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) defrauded Bolivian voters last October and triggered nationwide social turmoil and violence which resulted in the ouster of the head of the government in November 2019. One might ask as to how the situation will further unfold given the emerging outrage over the OAS's flawed record.
Retired UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order Alfred-Maurice de Zayas believes that the circumstances surrounding the "illegal coup" in Bolivia deserve special scrutiny and bemoans the relative silence on the part of the UN despite the latest revelations by MIT and CEPR.
Sputnik: What's your take on the CEPR and MIT studies revealing that OAS's analytical report on Bolivia's October elections was deeply flawed and Evo Morales won the polls fairly?
Alfred de Zayas: The Washington Post reported on the remarkable findings by the CEPR and MIT studies. Such revelations should have had political consequences, i.e. the recognition that Morales had won the election and that the coup entailed numerous violations of the OAS Charter by the United States with the complicity of some members of the so-called “Grupo de Lima”. Reparations under international law would require a return to the status quo ante – i.e. the reinstatement of Morales as the legitimate president of Bolivia.
But we live in a world not only of “fake news”, but in a world of “real news without consequences”. The so-called “international community” somehow accepts that there has been a gross violation of the OAS democratic Charter and that the OAS itself was involved in it. [This is] a scandal of the first order, a corruption of terminology, a revolt against international law.
This would have required, for instance, the resignation of OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro. But we do not read in the pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post that there should be consequences for the illegal coup. There is a certain complicity of the media and of many governments that essentially welcomed the coup, even if they do not go public on it. Qui tacet consentire videtur ("Silence implies consent"). The relative silence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, is also regrettable.
Sputnik: Could the CEPR/MIT statistical reports be used to initiate an international inquiry into the OAS's role in Bolivia's October turmoil that resulted in regime change? What international and/or Latin American bodies could hypothetically conduct such a probe?
Alfred de Zayas: This is the very minimum that should be expected. The UN Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Committee could call for such investigations and appoint an independent commission of inquiry. Regionally CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, could carry out such an investigation. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) should also get more involved.
Sputnik: Given that the OAS is partially funded by the US, what role did Washington play in the Bolivian coup in your opinion? Can we draw parallels between the regime change in Bolivia and the January 2019 coup attempt in Venezuela?
Alfred de Zayas: The OAS was never an independent organisation, nor was it interested in promoting democracy or “people power”. The purpose of the OAS was and is to advance the political and economic agenda of the United States. On occasion there has been a more or less neutral OAS Secretary-General, but most of them have been puppets, like the current SG Luis Almagro. Back in 2009, the then-Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, strongly condemned the right-wing coup d’état against the government of President José Manuel Zelaya.
At that time the US was directly involved in the coup but the OAS was not directly complicit. The situation is different today, as we know how the OAS contributed to make the coup against Bolivia “palatable” to the public by wrongly accusing Morales of fraudulent election practices. Former OAS SG Insulza has joined Mexico and Argentina in condemning the coup against Morales, but the mainstream press hardly gives such “news” any importance.
Sputnik: What was USAID's part in fomenting turmoil in Bolivia and Venezuela? Should American taxpayers be informed about what activities and to which agencies operating in Bolivia and Venezuela USAID funneled their money?
Alfred de Zayas: USAID is notorious for is activities as the CIA’s “prettier face”, an agency that aggressively promotes US interests by financing opposition movements, bribing officials and other undemocratic activities, so that the will of the peoples of Latin America is subordinated to US priorities and the interests of the so-called “elites” in countries like Colombia, Honduras, and now Bolivia. As Bolivia's former President Evo Morales stated, the enhanced US assistance to the coup's interim government of Jeanine Anez gives further evidence of Washington's involvement in the coup: "The US wants us to be their backyard again", Morales tweeted. Why? Bolivia is rich in natural resources, particularly lithium, and the hour of the great looting may be at hand.
It is amazing how little the US tries to hide its intentions. By issuing a memo determining that “the provision of United States assistance to Bolivia in the Fiscal Year 2020 is vital to the national interests of the United States”, President Trump is essentially saying, “vital” to the US economy, to the US extracting industry, to US transnationals and to US investors. USAID arrival in Bolivia to help “monitor” the May 2020 elections means nothing less than the US intends to manipulate them in favour of the impostor Jeanine Anez.
Global Research has uncovered so much hanky-panky that it is amazing that the media puts up with the farce that USAID actually provides aid and not political subversion: "For many years the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and its proto-fascist Youth Union received funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). According to analyst Eva Golinger some years ago, USAID provided $84 million to Bolivian opposition groups", [the report said]. Because of USAID’s interference in Bolivia’s internal affairs, Morales kicked them out in 2013. Now they are back.
As an American citizen I also demand that all US taxpayers be informed on CIA and USAID activities and about the misuse of our tax dollars for the purpose of subverting democratic governments abroad. But, of course, neither Donald Trump nor Joseph Biden will pay any attention to such demands.
U.S. Peace Council Statement
ALL OCCUPYING FOREIGN FORCES OUT OF SYRIA!
Respect Syria's National Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity
The U.S. Peace Council strongly condemns the illegal incursion of the Turkish forces into Syria with the approval of the Trump Administration and in direct violation of the United Nation’s Charter and international law.
Immediately after Turkish incursion, the US war establishment, Republican and Democrat alike, went on a broad attack on Trump’s decision to “withdraw” US forces from Syria, calling it a disaster for US foreign policy. According to the New York Times (October 14): “Mr. Trump says his decision to pull American troops out of the way of the Turkish advance was part of his effort to extricate the United States from ‘endless wars’ in the Middle East and elsewhere.” For the New York Times and many others in US foreign policy circles, the extrication of the US from its many foreign adventures represents a grave threat to the bipartisan commitment to US policy of global “Full Spectrum Dominance.”
Despite the public outcry and opposition from forces in both parties, it is quite clear to us that Trump’s plan to “withdraw” US forces from Syria has nothing to do with extricating the US from “endless wars” as the Turkish incursion demonstrated. On the contrary, the Trump Administration’s approval of the Turkish incursion is a clear sign of the failure of US policy of regime change in Syria and represents a last-ditch effort to partition the Syrian territory in the hope of securing a permanent military presence by the US and its NATO allies on Syrian soil. It appears that the Trump Administration’s real plan is to replace US occupying forces in Syria with the Turkish (NATO) forces, driven by Trump’s desire to quell the growing anti-war sentiment in the US before the 2020 elections.
The corporate media has even taken a step further by shedding crocodile tears for the Syrian Kurds. In the past several days, the corporate media outlets throughout the country have been bombarding the public with a barrage of moral condemnation of Trump’s decision to “betray the Kurds” without mentioning that the US and other imperialist powers have been directly responsible for the suffering of the Kurdish people not only in Syria but also in Iraq, Iran and Turkey for several decades.
As regards the Syrian Kurds, US decision-makers never had any regard for the plight of the Kurds. They were just seen as a convenient tool to advance U.S. efforts to partition Syria. The US attempts to block and undermine any reconciliation process between the Kurds and the Syrian government is a case in point.
However, this effort was also defeated this past Sunday when the Kurdish forces finally signed an agreement with the Syrian government to allow the Syrian Arab Army to enter the northern Kurdish areas of the country. According to the same article in New York Times, “The Kurdish-led militia said the Syrian government had a ‘duty to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty,’ and would deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border.”
Barring new sabotages by the US warmongers, this agreement might be the final nail in the coffin of US policy in Syria. It will allow, for the first time since 2011, for the Syrian people to unite in defense of their national sovereignty and their country’s territorial integrity.
Now everything depends on how persistent the Trump Administration and the Turkish government are in holding on to the occupied Syrian territory. The US and Turkey can either abide by international law and the UN Charter and leave Syria, or can cause severe casualties on the Syrian people, and especially on the Syrian Kurds, by continuing their imperialistic project in Syria.
It is our collective responsibility in the US peace movement to organize a united national campaign in support of the Syrian people and demand the total withdrawal of all occupying forces from Syria.
Leave Syria to the Syrian People!
Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council
October 14, 2019
THE RED ARMY - VICTORY OVER GERMAN FASCISM - MAY 9, 1945