Enough with Evo Morales, he is the past and it was fraud

Enough with Evo Morales, he is the past and it was fraud

They don’t really care about Bolivia, it’s just an exercise to flex their muscles. Behind Evo comes Maduro, Havana’s own protective belt, and the endless dispute to lift US sanctions, necessary to appreciate Venezuelan debt paper and for the corrupt to access their ill-gotten assets. Along the way, they also go against the OAS, whose Secretary General was reelected last March with the support of the Trump Administration. I insist, there is a reason why they do not say that the alleged coup of the OAS has had the European Union as an accomplice. The problem is that defeating Trump next November—a legitimate aspiration in any democracy as long as it complies with the letter and calendar of the constitution—seems to be pursued at any price, at any cost. This includes sharing the microphone and the agenda with the worst of Latin America, the most authoritarian, corrupt and criminal. And that already looks less illegitimate, it has all the appearance of a true Faustian bargain.

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Enough with Evo Morales, he is the past and it was fraud

Hector Schamis

The modus operandi is identical. A newspaper with a reliable name, a prestigious university, a “think tank” on the scene, a couple of alleged experts with an “unbeatable” statistical model to “prove” that the October 20 election in Bolivia was “legitimate”. Along the way, the choir of Bolivarian repeaters launches a furious attack against the OAS and Luis Almagro.

The strategy is all too obvious. First, it was The Washington Post with researchers associated with MIT but hired by the “Center for Economic and Policy Research,” a well-known propagandist for Chavismo. Ebrard, Zapatero, Fernández, among others, and of course Evo Morales, were quick to denounce the “OAS coup” based on “the MIT study;” study from which the university promptly dissociated itself.

Now it was the turn of The New York Times with individuals associated with the Universities of Pennsylvania and Tulane. In this case, with the “Harvard of the South” it could not go wrong. The Puebla Group hastily came to support the new statistical model with Ernesto Samper and Evo Morales as spokesmen lashing out at the OAS, as expected, and publishing paid-for opinion pieces in Bolivian newspapers asking for Morales’ return to the presidency.

Interestingly, one of Tulane’s “statisticians” was Francisco Rodríguez, PDVSA debt bond trader and economic adviser to then-candidate Henri Falcón, who had accepted Maduro’s victory in the May 2018 election in an attempt to legitimize the regime. In other words, the Tulane expert already recognized in 2018 a fraud denounced by 60 democracies around the planet. Thus, he may not be the most competent, nor the most independent, for the purpose of objectively assessing the conditions necessary for electoral transparency.

Too many coincidences to believe in them. Rarely do they happen in politics, much less when Chavismo is part of the operation. Some choirs are spontaneous but good ones require rehearsals. The unfortunate thing is that both newspapers and their experts avoid telling the full story of Evo Morales—that cannot be accidental either. In addition to statistical models, historical reconstruction is always recommended to understand the context and its meaning. Here I help them with that.

Evo Morales became president in 2006 for one period without reelection. In February 2009, he managed to get a new constitution passed. It included an immediate reelection clause for a second term. A transitory provision in the new text specified that the first term—under the previous constitution—would count.

He was thus re-elected in December of that year to serve one last term. Nonetheless, in 2013 he presented his candidacy for a third term, being allowed by the Constitutional Court. The justification was that he had previously been president of “another” state. It is that the new constitution establishes the Bolivian “Plurinational” State. An alchemy that was also a fraud, a constitutional one. That’s how he was reelected in 2014.

Which was not enough for his despotic ambitions. At the end of the first year of his third government, he thus opened a process to reform article 168 of the constitution, which sets limits on the reelection. This attempt included a referendum on February 21, 2016 regarding a new reelection. The “no” was the winner in the plebiscite, being binding and of immediate validity according to the law.

Not for Evo Morales, though, who now ignored the popular will. Soon thereafter, the Constitutional Court officially approved a government motion for the unconstitutionality of four articles of the constitution, including the one invoked to carry out the referendum. This based on the argument that limiting reelection violates Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights in relation to the rights to vote and to be elected. Another alchemy, perpetuation in power as a human right.

Slippery slope of the Washington Post and the New York Times, propping up the follies of Morales and his Chavista allies. Inconsistent, to say the least, with this logic they should initiate a proposal for the annulment of Amendment 22 of the United States Constitution, which limits the presidential terms to two. Everyone knows why that is not an idea that appeals to them today, aside from the fact that it would be indefensible from a constitutional point of view.

This excursus to understand how we arrived at the fraud of October 20, which should not surprise anyone, nor should it be supported by anyone, as it rides on a previous flagrant disregard for the Constitution and the sovereignty of the ballot. The statisticians cited by the New York Times should, instead, know a premise of the discipline: a statistical model is as good as the reliability of its input data.

They ignore that the early evaluation of the OAS was based not on one, not on two, but on three independent quick counts—a fundamental instrument of electoral observation—that all agreed on a second-round scenario. Then 6% of the results were deliberately hidden by an inexplicable, and unexplained, suspension of the count and a presumed malfunction of the official server.

The “experts” of Tulane and Penn, however, relied on the data of the ruling Electoral Court and deemed them good for their calculations. In other words, they also acted as certifiers of the Electoral Tribunal, an instrument at the service of Evo Morales. With this they ignore another maxim of statistics: with flawed data it is not possible to reach valid conclusions.

The OAS audit report, in contrast, took into account the existence of falsified tally sheets, a power outage that interrupted the count for 23 hours, hidden servers that entered votes into the system without backup, vote fraud of Bolivians residing in Argentina, districts that reported 100% participation with 90% of the votes for the ruling party, failures in the chain of custody, complaints, pressure and resignations among the members of the Electoral Tribunal, among other irregularities.

Let’s say this, and see if they finally put an end to the Bolivian story. Results are coming in and they indicate a second round. Suddenly, the server stops working. Once the “malfunction” is repaired—23 hours later!—there is no more second round. And in the wake of these anomalies, the vice president of the Electoral Tribunal resigns. In any democracy in the world, and for any serious, competent and honest electoral expert, this election is no longer valid. It must be repeated, period.

Given the malicious handling of information and a complete lack of integrity of the electoral process, the OAS concluded that it was impossible to know the final result and, therefore, that the election should be held again under different conditions.

The European Union, also with observers in Bolivia, made similar recommendations in its report. It supported the evaluation of the OAS at the time, which they ratified on the occasion of the recent Times article, according to the Bolivian newspaper El Deber. The Bolivarian chorus of repeaters did not accuse the European Union of being a coup plotter at that time or now. In this there are no coincidences either.

The evidence of fraud precipitated the political crisis then. There was no coup or pressure. There was only a popular mobilization that included peasant organizations, the indigenous movement, and the historically combative Central Obrera Boliviana. The mining workers union, no less, implored in the wake of the fraud: “la renuncia es inevitable, compañero Presidente.”

Having dropped the so-often-recited code of honor on the road, Evo Morales lost his natural constituencies: “Ama Sua, Ama Llulla, Ama Quella;” don’t be a thief, don’t be a liar, don’t be lazy. He lied about the result and was stealing an election; he resigned on November 10 and left Bolivia the next day on a Mexican government plane.

On the 14th, the High Representative Federica Mogherini addressed the European Parliament in a special session on the Bolivian crisis: “The Bolivian government invited the Organisation of American States to carry out an electoral audit. The government agreed that the results of the audit would be binding. The audit was supported by some EU Member States with experts and also with some funding. The audit identified a number of irregularities, and concluded that the election results should be annulled and fresh elections should be held as soon as possible.”

To continue, “According to the Constitution, and based on the absence and resignation of the President [Evo Morales], and the first Vice-President of the Chamber [Alvaro García Linera], the second Vice-President of the Senate [Jeanine Áñez] would be the next in line to assume the presidency in a caretaking role until new elections.” In other words, should we infer that Federica Mogherini has also been part of the “coup”?

Subsequently, European involvement was essential in the design of the transitional government and the call for new elections. The EU Ambassador to Bolivia, León de la Torre, came to recognize that he “slept in Congress” helping to bring positions closer. This paid off with the unanimously voted elections law—which included the MAS bench, Evo Morales’s own party—and enacted on November 24.

That law annuls the election of October 20, removes fraudulent members, establishes the procedure for appointing new members in the Electoral Court and sanctions the validity of the referendum of February 21, 2016. In other words, it legislates on the unconstitutional nature of Evo Morales candidacy for the October 20 poll. The real fraud had been prior to 2019. By voting on this law, MAS itself reaffirms that and puts an end to the political career of Evo Morales.

It remains to be explained, then, the persistence of prestigious US media with a lost and finished cause, risking their reputation by lending their names to Bolivarians, Castro-Chavistas and the Puebla Group, and giving the podium to those with no credibility to comment on political issues. Ernesto Samper, who is not the only one, illustrates the point in detail.

But actually they don’t really care about Bolivia, it’s just an exercise to flex their muscles. Behind Evo comes Maduro, Havana’s own protective belt, and the endless dispute to lift US sanctions, necessary to appreciate Venezuelan debt paper and for the corrupt to access their ill-gotten assets. Along the way, they also go against the OAS, whose Secretary General was reelected last March with the support of the Trump Administration. I insist, there is a reason why they do not say that the alleged coup of the OAS has had the European Union as an accomplice.

The problem is that defeating Trump next November—a legitimate aspiration in any democracy as long as it complies with the letter and calendar of the constitution—seems to be pursued at any price, at any cost. This includes sharing the microphone and the agenda with the worst of Latin America, the most authoritarian, corrupt and criminal. And that already looks less legitimate, it has all the appearance of a true Faustian bargain.

Published by infobae.com June 20, 2020

“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”

@hectorschamis

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