Bolivia: Evo Morales takes a mass bath with his eyes on 2025 and in support of Arce: “They are not going to give you a coup” | International

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The current president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, and the previous one, Evo Morales, marching this Monday in La Paz, BoliviaCLAUDIA MORALES (Reuters)

“Here is your town, Lucho. You are not alone, we are not going to abandon you, ”Evo Morales exclaimed before tens of thousands of people in support of the Bolivian president, Luis Arce. This was one of the most emotional moments of the speech with which the former president and maximum leader of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) closed the march for the homeland which led for seven days and along 180 kilometers until reaching La Paz. Morales again takes center stage and incidentally supports Arce, in a situation of weakness after an indefinite strike forced him to repeal a law.

The walkers who came from the south of the city got together with others from the north and peasants from the outskirts of the administrative capital of Bolivia and, together with the urban militants of the ruling party, they concentrated in the Plaza San Francisco, where it is traditionally performed. this type of demonstration. “United we are invincible. Mobilized we are unreachable. They gave me a coup in 2019. With these people, they are not going to give you a coup, ”Morales told Arce. The strong man of the MAS made an effort to show the unity of his party and its secondary role with respect to those who in the past were his ministers, but now they lead the country: Arce and Vice President David Choquehuanca, who is considered his main rival within his political movement.

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“We are not going to abandon the people either,” the Bolivian president responded to Morales. “The right trembles; frets because we are successful in health and economic recovery. They know that if we are successful, they will have no place in the country, “he said. The march wanted to send a message to the opposition, in particular to the civic movement that claims the ouster of Morales in 2019 and that recently organized a successful strike against Arce. His catchphrase was A million for democracy. In addition to supporting Arce, Morales once again stars in Bolivian politics with his sights set on 2025, when he could run again for president.

Several speeches and posters from the different groups that participated in the mobilization showed the polarization between the indigenous people of the west of the country, the backbone of the MAS, and the elite of Santa Cruz, the prosperous region located in the east of the country. Santa Cruz is the opposition stronghold and the place where the strike against Arce was most followed by the population.

“If you don’t like Bolivia, let them go,” said one of the speakers at the rally that closed the mobilization, alluding to the proposal of the governor of that region, Luis Fernando Camacho, to convene a Constituent Assembly to approve a regime federal for the Bolivian State. Eber Rojas, the maximum peasant leader, warned that if the opposition continues attacking the Government, they would march “to Santa Cruz, where the q’aras (whites).” And Juan Carlos Guarachi, the main leader of the Central Obrera Boliviana, affirmed that the workers support the president and that, although they do not seek violence, if they are provoked, “all the companies” in that region are nationalized.

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Concentration in Peace of the march led by Evo Morales, this Monday.AIZAR RALDES (AFP)

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Neither Morales nor Arce referred to Santa Cruz, but the first one blurted out: “Better not provoke the original indigenous peasant people.” Before he had declared to the press that “if they continue to bother, this march will be the warm-up for a real revolution.” The speakers demanded “justice against those who massacred” in reference to the members of the previous Government, led by Jeanine Áñez. This is in prison without sentence, accused of having conspired to achieve the overthrow of Evo Morales in 2019. Although many analysts believe that the MAS controls justice at will, the militants of this party think that prosecutors and judges do not do what enough to accuse Áñez for the massacres that took place during his government and to imprison other opposition leaders.

Several anti-MAS spokespersons doubted the spontaneity of joining the march, which, instead, was underlined by Morales. For the opponents, the marchers received a pay and many of those who attended the final demonstration were public officials who had to attend so as not to lose their jobs. Other speeches crashed into the media for allegedly not covering the mobilization or saying that it was small. The MAS and the main private media have collided with each other for a long time. At this time, journalists’ criticism of the Government and the ruling party is intense and they contribute to creating the feeling that the Executive is isolated and weak, a feeling that the march was trying to refute.

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So far, Arce has managed to buy covid vaccines for the majority of the population and the economy is growing, although at a lower rate than other South American countries, so unemployment caused by the health crisis continues to be high. At the same time, the president had to withdraw a law and repeal another against money laundering. The reason was the annoyance these regulations caused to informal businessmen, whose protests were joined by the civic movement and the political opposition.

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