(TMU) — The United States is currently backing a military coup against Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, who recently won re-election. Bolivia has enjoyed relative calm during the length of Morales’ presidency which began in January 2006. In 2008, Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador and counter-narcotics agents. The two countries have not had an ambassadorial relationship since 2009.
Despite what the mainstream media headlines would have you believe, a military coup is underway in Bolivia. Morales was forced to step down in an attempt to avert further violence and destruction at the ends of the violent right-wing opposition.
Sunday night’s headlines read:
Nowhere in these headlines do we see the word “coup” or any mention of the history or the violence at the hands of the opposition that includes the burning of a governor’s home, the dragging of a mayor through the streets after her hair was cut off and her body painted red, and most recently the destruction of Evo Morales’ home.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Evo Morales won re-election on October 20th
A Bolivian court gave Morales the “green light” to run for a fourth term as president after opponents said doing so would be unconstitutional. Bolivians went to the polls on October 20, only weeks ago, to select their president. When all was said and done, Morales walked away with 47.1 percent of the vote while his main opponent, who came in second place, had 36.5 percent of the vote. Because Morales secured more than 40 percent and had higher than a 10-point margin over the runner up, in accordance with the rules, a first-round win was declared with no need for a runoff.
2. Reports of election fraud are unfounded
Even before the election was concluded, Mesa declared that he would not accept the results if Morales were declared the winner.
— Carlos D. Mesa Gisbert (@carlosdmesag) October 21, 2019
The following day, after much outrage from the opposition, the Organization of American States (OAS) released a statement. While the statement did say that the elections took place in a “peaceful and orderly manner,” the OAS expressed “its deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results revealed after the closing of the polls.”
The statement failed to include any actual evidence or data.
Prior to that statement, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted the following false information:
In #Bolivia all credible indications are Evo Morales failed to secure necessary margin to avoid second round in Presidential election. However some concern he will tamper with the results or process to avoid this. Both @OAS_official & @EU_Commission have observers in the country.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 21, 2019
The main criticism of the OAS is the significant increase in votes for Morales that came in near the end of the count. While this can sometimes be a red flag, simply looking at the voting records shows that it is a result of the geography of Bolivia. Morales has more support in poor and rural areas, areas whose votes often come in later.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) said in a statement on Friday:
“Statistical analysis of election returns and tally sheets from Bolivia’s October 20 elections shows no evidence that irregularities or fraud affected the official result that gave President Evo Morales a first-round victory.”
It should be noted that the OAS was created by a U.S. official and anti-communist leaders from South America in 1948 with the sole purpose of disputing democratic elections in which a communist or socialist candidate wins. In effect, the OAS is an agent of regime change, often driven by US imperialism.
In 2000, the OAS flip-flopped on Haiti’s national election, first declaring it “a great success” before changing their position, paving the way for Washington’s regime change efforts of 2000-04 that resulted in the murder of thousands of people. The OAS then interfered in Haiti’s 2010 election by literally reversing the results.
Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, recognized the U.S.-backed opposition leader and self declared “interim president” of Venezuela in January, just prior to the failed coup attempt.
3. Carlos Mesa has a cozy relationship with the U.S.
Morales’ main opponent, Carlos Mesa, served as president of Bolivia from 2003-2005. U.S. hostilities against Bolivia have increased steadily since Mesa left office and he is Washington’s preferred candidate.
Government cables released by WikiLeaks reveal communications between Mesa and U.S. officials.
US government cables released by WikiLeaks show that Bolivia’s opposition presidential candidate Carlos Mesa, who lost to Evo Morales in the election, was regularly in correspondence with US officials
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) November 10, 2019
4. 50-70% of the world’s lithium reserve is found in Bolivia
Some have called Bolivia the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.” The global demand for the alkali metal has steadily increased as technology such as cell phones, laptops, and hybrid cars have become woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. And the demand for it isn’t expected to slow anytime soon.
Bolivia has invested significantly in lithium mining in the country with Morales having once said:
“With the exploitation of lithium in a 400 sq km area, we’ll have enough to maintain ourselves for a century.”
But those same salt flats are also a major nature reserve that includes flamingos, cacti, geysers, and hot springs. Thousands of tourists visit the area each year to enjoy the hot springs.
Foreign companies have repeatedly expressed interest in Bolivia’s mining operations, but Morales has been understandably wary of foreign intervention. Bolivia has been left one of the poorest countries in Latin America despite possessing large reserves of oil and gas as well as the world’s largest silver mine.
As the world attempts to transition to greener fuels, it should come as no surprise that eyes are on Bolivia and its massive lithium supply.
5. Evo Morales opposes U.S. imperialism in Latin America
And most importantly, Evo Morales has been in direct opposition of U.S. imperialism throughout his entire presidency. In 2016, Morales opened an “anti-imperialist” military academy in direct opposition to U.S. policies and military involvement throughout Latin America, to counter the influence of the School of the Americas. Morales said:
“If the empire teaches domination of the world from its military schools, we will learn from this school to free ourselves from imperial oppression.
We want to build anti-colonial and anti-capitalist thinking with this school that binds the armed forces to social movements and counteracts the influence of the School of the Americas that always saw the indigenous as internal enemies.”
At a United Nations Security Council meeting, he explained:
“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy. If such were the case it would not have financed coups d’etat and supported dictators. It would not have threatened with military intervention democratically elected governments as it has done with Venezuela. The United States could not care less about human rights or justice. If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights.It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.”
Morales went on to say, “Each time that the United States invades nations, launches missiles, or finances regime change, it does so behind a propaganda campaign which incessantly repeats the message that it is acting in the course of justice, freedom and democracy, in the cause of human rights or for humanitarian reasons.”
And in 2017, Morales declared that Bolivia had “total independence” from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Estos organismos dictaron el destino económico de Bolivia y del mundo. Hoy podemos decir que tenemos total independencia de ellos.
— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) July 22, 2017
Such a move automatically makes a country a potential target for regime change efforts.
Many leaders from around the world have described the situation in Bolivia as a military coup.
To see @evoespueblo who, along with a powerful movement, has brought so much social progress forced from office by the military is appalling.
I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence. #ElMundoConEvo
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 10, 2019
There's a word for the President of a country being pushed out by the military. It’s called a coup.
We must unequivocally oppose political violence in Bolivia. Bolivians deserve free and fair elections.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 11, 2019
En Bolivia se ha consumado un golpe de Estado producto del accionar conjunto de civiles violentos, el personal policial autoacuartelado y la pasividad del ejército. Es un golpe perpetrado contra el presidente @evoespueblo, que había convocado a un nuevo proceso electoral.
— Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) November 10, 2019
If it looks like a coup and it smells like a coup.. it’s probably a coup. So what can we do about it?
There are many ways to challenge the mainstream narrative and they’re all important. Be sure to share independent media articles like this one, read the news coming from both sides of the conflict and verify their sources, talk to your friends and family about what’s happening, and learn more about the history of U.S. imperialism in Latin America.
As news of the violent military coup spreads, supporters of Evo Morales, the people of Bolivia, and democracy are standing up to say #HandsOffBolivia. Attend an emergency protest planned in one of the following cities:
Washington DC | 11/11 at 12 PM – 1:30 PM
New York City | 11/11 at 4 PM
San Francisco | 11/11 at 5:30 PM – 6:30PM
Philadelphia | 11/11 at 4 PM – 6PM
Los Angeles | 11/11 at 4:30PM – 6:30PM
Baltimore | 11/11 at 5 PM – 6 PM
Miami | 11/11 at 4 PM – 6 PM
Albuquerque | 11/11 at 4 PM – 6 PM
London | 11/11 at 5 PM – 8 PM UTC
Toronto | 11/12 at 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Boston | 11/12 at 5:30 PM – 7 PM
St Paul | 11/13 at 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh | 11/13 at 6 PM – 7 PM
London | 11/13 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM
Denver | 11/13 at 6 PM – 7 PM
Athens, Georgia | 11/13 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Chicago | 11/13 at 4:30 PM – 6 PM
Salt Lake City | 11/14 at 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Minneapolis | 11/14 at 5 PM – 6 PM
Atlanta | 11/14 at 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
New York City | 11/14 7 PM – 9 PM (emergency forum on coup)
Newark | 11/15 at 5 PM – 7 PM
Sacramento | 11/15 at 11 AM
Las Vegas | 11/16 at 10 AM
Boston | 11/16 at 1 PM – 2 PM
Manchester | 11/16 at 12PM – 3PM UTC
Washington DC | 11/16 at 12 PM – 3PM
London | 11/16 2 PM – 4 PM UTC
Amsterdam | 11/16 at 2 PM– 3 PM
New York City | 11/16 at 1 PM – 4 PM
Los Angeles | 11/17 at 12 PM – 3 PM
Attending a protest and spreading the truth is one way to help resist the coup in Bolivia. If enough of us stand up to challenge the mainstream narrative, the damage can still be undone.
Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”
The rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Akon has been making significant progress on his development plans in Africa, which involve the creation of a futuristic city that runs on clean energy and cryptocurrency.
In January of last year, Akon revealed that his agreements with Senegal President Macky Sall were going forward, and a few months later it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International was awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city. The company previously said it had already received $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction, giving the project a price tag of at least $10 billion.
The project goes much further than just this one city and it has already begun to make an impact across the continent. In the short time since the deal was finalized last year, a large number of solar street lights, and solar home lighting units, have been installed across 14 African countries, according to Akon Lighting Africa.
The effort was made possible by a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC, and NARI.
Phase 1 of construction on the city is expected to be completed in 2023, and will include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant. The entire city is expected to be finished around 2029. The city’s economy will be facilitated by Akon’s cryptocurrency “Akoin,” which runs on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar is a crypto ecosystem that includes its own cryptocurrency XLM, and also allows for the development of other projects, such as decentralized exchanges and additional currencies like Akoin. Banks around the world have also been considering using the Stellar blockchain for stablecoin deployment.
Akon believes that cryptocurrency is the solution to the corruption problems that create widespread inequality in Africa because the blockchain provides a record that would make corruption extremely obvious if it were to take place. With an independent cryptocurrency, governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency, and the control of the money is decentralized.
In an interview with TMZ last year, Akon compared the vision that he has for the city with the fictional “Wakanda” from the movie Black Panther.
“This movie literally made an idea of what Africa could really be. It’s just ironic that I was already working on this before the movie came out, but it’s something that helped me a lot when I was trying to explain to explain to people what I was trying to do,” Akon said.
The city’s crypto-economic system will also solve many problems specific to the developing world, like instantly calculating conversation rates for currencies, which is often an obstacle because there are so many different regional currencies and methods of trade. In some cases, people even use prepaid cellphone minutes as a currency because it is easier to use and exchange than traditional currencies. Akon says that the Akoin wallet will allow users to trade between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and cellphone minutes instantly without having to go through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The app will also teach users to become more familiar with the technology in general.
Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community
When millions of people across the United States received their federal stimulus checks to help them cope with the devastating economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, most people spent their checks on basic necessities like food, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other basic necessities
However, one man from East Tampa, Florida, decided to use his funds to invest in a much more long-term project: building his own garden at home and using it to help provide food for himself. He’s now teaching his community about the massive benefits of food independence.
Michael Chaney, who goes by the nickname “Spirit Mike,” has long been interested in gardening. It wasn’t until the pandemic struck and local supermarkets were struck by the crisis that he was able to muster the self-motivation and time to fully pursue what began as a hobby and now has turned into his passion.
When he received his first stimulus check, he immediately used the funds to purchase some pots and start growing his first tomato plant. He also spoke to seasoned gardeners at the nearby A Land of Delight Natural Farm to pick up some materials and advice that would enable him to begin growing his own food, he told local radio station WMNF.
Now, Chaney is growing not only tomatoes but also collard greens, ghost peppers, mustard greens, strawberry guava, eggplants, onions, papaya, cashew apples, sugar cane, lemon, yucca, and lettuce, among other plants on his .3 acres of land.
“I do biointensive gardening, which means planting as much as you can in a small space,” Chaney told Atlanta Black Star. “I specifically picked these types of fruits [dwarf plants] because they grow fruit fast.”
Chaney derives the most pride from his moringa trees, which he values for its high viamin C content and celebrated medicinal properties as well as its antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant qualities.
“That is the Michael Jordan and the Kobe Bryant together,” Chaney told WMNF with pride.
“If you were stranded somewhere and all you have his this and water you would not only survive, you would thrive,” Chaney added. “I don’t work out. All I did was add this to my diet and add flax seed fiber and I lost 65 lbs.”
Chaney also has nine chickens that he purchased for only $3 per chick.
“My aim is to make my food cost zero,” he explained. “So, my food scraps go into the soldier fly larvae bin, they eat that and produce more larvae. Those larvae get fed to the chickens. The chicken produces eggs, I sell the eggs and eat the eggs; life is good.”
Chaney made sure to meticulously plan his garden so that actually managing it and ensuring its success would be much easier.
“It’s very important that you plan your garden. Do your research before you put a dollar down because you want your dollar to go as far as it can,” Chaney said.
He is now upholding the garden – which he has named New World Growers – as an example of community self-determination and food independence at a time when food insecurity is sharply on the rise.
Edward Snowden Applies For Russian Citizenship As He Announces He’s About To Be A Dad
U.S. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has announced that he is going to be a dad and that he has applied for Russian citizenship due to the coming change in his life. Snowden said the move is to prevent separation from his unborn son.
Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son in an era of pandemics and closed borders, he said on Monday. Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December, the RIA news agency said, citing his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Reuters reported.
Snowden fled the U.S. and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret NSA files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor. Snowden exposed various capabilities by the NSA by revealing various extensive privacy violations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found one such program was unlawful and that the U.S. intelligence directors who publicly defended it had lied to the public. The court determined that the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden to return to the U.S. to face criminal charges on espionage brought against him in 2013.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” Snowden wrote on Twitter. “Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love, including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”
Russia has already granted Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said last month, a requisite step towards Russian citizenship.
Snowden’s wife recently publicly announced her pregnancy last week in a photograph posted to Instagram. “A long time in the making,” she wrote. “Our greatest collaboration coming soon.” Snowden said; despite applying for Russian citizenship, he hopes to one day return to the U.S. to reunite his family.