argument top image

Was Bolivian President Evo Morales ousted in a coup? Show more Show less
Back to question

Bolivia has been a site of political upheaval since Evo Morales, president of the country for 13 consecutive years, declared his victory in the October 20th election. The streets have been filled with both violent and peaceful protestors. Some argue against the legitimacy of the vote. Others defend the re-election of the left-wing, indigenous leader. On November 10th, Morales resigned and sought political asylum in Mexico.

Regime change is legitimate Show more Show less

It doesn't matter whether Morales was ousted legally or not, regime change is legitimate in Bolivia.
< (3 of 3)

Bolivians were asking for government change

Bolivians in all socioeconomic classes were frustrated with Morales and ready for a new leadership.
< (1 of 1)

Context

Popular protests took over the streets as soon as the possibility of electoral fraud became common knowledge. Over the following weeks, thousands of Bolivians took to the streets in protest, reclaiming their right to a free and fair election.

The Argument

Whether the ousting of Morales was a coup or not, it is still valid. Morales' regime faced lots of criticism from Bolivian citizens, not only from the right-wing groups that were highlighted in the media. The right-wing elites make up a large part of Bolivian society and disapproved of the socialist leader. However, even the people Morales claimed to support, such as farmers and indigenous Bolivians, largely disliked the president. [1] Morales, in attempts to make both sides content, ended up making both dissatisfied. The indigenous and low-class Bolivians were given state land with profitable agricultural potential in order to help solve the poverty rampant in these groups. Morales sought to appease the rich elite of the country by allowing increased utilization of the country's natural resources to bolster the upper-class economy.[2] However, neither group was happy with these solutions. Indigenous and peasant groups were outraged at the state allowing resource extraction (primarily natural gas deposits) on their land without permission (the necessity of this permission is even written into the Bolivian constitution). Upper-class elites were upset at the distribution of land they perceived as belonging to them (and critical to their economic success) to the poor. Groups of Bolivians on both sides of the political and economic spectrum were angry at Morales' policies. In addition, he violated the constitution by running for a fourth term even after a popular vote deemed he should not be able to. A wide array of Bolivians desired a new regime, and it is a democratic right for citizens to achieve governmental changes if they so please.

Counter arguments

Thousands have also taken to the streets in defense of Morales. To assume without further evidence that one popular protest simply trumps the other is to truly undermine democratic institutions. Just because the group that wanted Morales out happened to include the police force, does not make it a more valid side than those who support Morales.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Democracy puts the power in the hands of the people. [P2] The people wanted Morales out. [P3] Therefore, Morales should have been forced to leave the presidential position.

Rejecting the premises

Rejecting P2. Many people also wanted Morales to stay in office. One protest does not automatically trump another.

References

  1. https://towardfreedom.org/story/bolivia-the-extreme-right-takes-advantage-of-a-popular-uprising/
  2. https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/roots-coup-bolivia-morales-anez-camacho

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more ↑

Discuss

This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 19:55 UTC