World, Americas

Brazil's Lula blames elites for 'coup' in Bolivia

Russia, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico also stand in solidarity with Morales

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 11.11.2019
Brazil's Lula blames elites for 'coup' in Bolivia FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

Former Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has blamed the elites of Bolivia for the resignation of its president Evo Morales.

"I just heard that there was a coup d'état in Bolivia and that fellow @evoespueblo [Evo Morales] was forced to resign. It is unfortunate that Latin America has an economic elite that does not know how to live with democracy and the social inclusion of the poorest," he said on Twitter late Sunday.

The iconic leader of Worker's Party, who ruled Brazil from 2003 to 2010, was released from prison on Friday after Brazilian Supreme Court decided to end mandatory imprisonment for convicted criminals after they lose their first appeal, which led to the release of dozens of high-profile convicts, including Lula.

The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega also issued a statement in support of Morales, who stepped down on Sunday on the call of the country’s army chief Williams Kaliman amid protests over a disputed election on Oct. 20.

“The Government of Nicaragua denounces and strongly condemns the coup d’etat that was realized today,” the socialist government said.

“We express our rejection and repudiation of fascist practices that ignore the constitution, laws and institutionalism that govern the democratic life of nations,” the statement added.

Russia, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico have also stood in solidarity with Morales, calling the circumstances in which he resigned a "coup".

Mexico on Sunday said it was offering asylum to Morales after 20 government officials and lawmakers had sought refuge at its embassy in La Paz.

In a statement Sunday, Morales said he resigned to prevent possible harm to the opposition and Bolivian people and underlined that he did not have any reason to flee the country.

Stressing that he would continue fighting for peace and equality, he said: "This doesn't end here."

Morales, a former cocalero [coca leaf grower] activist, said he ruled the country for over 13 years and those who lost against him in elections accused him of dictatorship.

Born to an indigenous Aymara family of farmers in Isallawi, Orinoca Canton, Morales undertook a basic education and spent most of his life defending the rights of campesinos (farmers) against imperialism.

Bolivia has been mired in political unrest following alleged irregularities in presidential elections held Oct. 20 in which international monitoring organizations claimed to have found the manipulation of the voting system.

Morales, who has been at the helm since 2006, received 47.8% of the vote and secured victory in the first round of the polls.

Carlos Mesa, leader of the main opposition Revolutionary Left Front party, said he would not recognize Morales' victory, claiming there was "fraud" in the vote count.

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