Resistance mounts against ‘coup’ in Bolivia
Resistance mounts against ‘coup’ in Bolivia

Mexico and Venezuela have joined Honduras in backing the government in La Paz

Bolivia’s trade unions have declared a general strike in support of the government after an army general attempted to seize power by force. Several Latin American governments have denounced the coup.

Military police and armored vehicles surrounded the government building at Plaza Murillo in the center of La Paz on Wednesday, using an armored vehicle to break down the door. President Luis Arce has condemned their actions as an attempted coup d’etat.

“We denounce to the international community that in Bolivia there has been a coup d’état against our democratically elected government,” Vice President David Choquehuanca said on X (formerly Twitter).

Responding to calls by former President Evo Morales, Bolivia’s confederation of trade unions has announced an indefinite general strike. The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) has called for all members to rally in La Paz to defend the government from the coup.

General Juan Jose Zuniga, who appears to be in charge of the mutinous units around the palace, has announced the release of leaders from the 2019 coup, whom he called “political prisoners.” Among those to be released are Luis Fernando Camacho, Jeanine Anez and several imprisoned military officers, according to Kawsachun News.

In the 2019 coup, military and the police joined opposition lawmakers to oust Morales, who then sought asylum in Mexico. His party returned to power the following year, when Arce was elected.

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Anez, however, tweeted out her “total repudiation” of the military’s actions at Plaza Murillo, accusing Zuniga of “attempting to destroy the constitutional order.”

“The [Movement for Socialism] with Arce and Evo must leave through the vote in 2025,” added Anez, who served as interim president in 2019. “We Bolivians will defend democracy.”

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the outgoing president of Mexico, condemned the coup attempt, voicing his “total support” for Arce and the “authentic democratic authority of that brotherly country.”

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has also denounced the coup in Bolivia and declared that Venezuela was “in emergency and in permanent action, in support of the people of Bolivia” and Arce’s government. 

President Xiomara Castro of Honduras was among the first to denounce the coup and call on the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to “condemn the fascism that today attacks democracy in Bolivia.”

Morales has claimed that the 2019 coup was carried out with the backing of the US and the Organization of American States (OAS), speculating that it may have been motivated by greed for Bolivia’s reserves of lithium. 

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