On the heels of socialist candidate Luis Arce’s decisive victory in Bolivia’s momentous presidential election, Progressive International on Tuesday praised the people of the South American nation for their courage, calling this week’s “triumph of democracy” after last year’s military coup that ousted then-president Evo Morales and installed a brutal right-wing regime a “source of inspiration for progressive forces everywhere.”
“Bolivia’s election not only showed the world how to defeat authoritarianism and its imperialist allies,” Progressive International (PI) said in a statement. “It also revealed the power of international solidarity to defend democracy around the world.”
READ NOW: The @ProgIntl final declaration from La Paz.
“Bolivia’s election not only showed the world how to defeat authoritarianism and its imperialist allies. It also revealed the power of international solidarity to defend democracy around the world.”https://t.co/QSNDYz7Xvi
— Progressive International (@ProgIntl) October 20, 2020
PI, a global coalition fighting for a more egalitarian, democratic, just, peaceful, and sustainable society, used donations from the organization’s worldwide membership to send a delegation to the cities of La Paz and El Alto “to ensure that the people of Bolivia exercise their democratic rights freely and fairly.”
According to the accounts of members of the delegation, “Officials from Bolivia’s de facto government attempted to derail the mission with escalating tactics of intimidation.” The statement continues:
Marcel Rivas Falon, director general of migration in Bolivia, threatened that the PI delegation would “suffer the consequences” at the hands of his agency. Bolivian Interior Minister Arturo Murillo accused the PI delegation of being “agitators” that would be “put on a plane or behind bars,” adding ominously: “We know who you are and where you are.”
Despite pressure from the de facto government, the delegation remained steadfast.
“I joined the PI observation mission out of concern over possible electoral fraud or another coup d’état,” said Maciej Konieczny of Poland. “The authorities tried to intimidate us, and launched a campaign of lies and deception.”
“But our worst fears did not materialize on Election Day,” Konieczny added. “Instead, we witnessed a true celebration of democracy.”
Tessy Schlosser, another member of the PI delegation, noted that “we are witnessing the mass expression of popular sovereignty, a fundamental element of the Bolivian constitution.”
“At every polling station on our route,” Schlosser added, “we observed thousands of voters peacefully exercise their democratic rights.”
PI described Arce’s democratic triumph as a “testament to the mobilization of a powerful popular movement—not only on Election Day.”
“Long before the polls opened on Sunday,” the statement reads, “a sustained campaign of strikes and roadblocks, orchestrated by trade unions across the country, were critical to securing the [right to] vote.”
Gerardo Pisarello, a member of PI’s delegation from Spain, stated that “Bolivia has sent a resounding message—to the region of Latin America, to the United States, to Europe—that it is possible to repair our democracy.”
“Following a year of repression, reprisals, and racist violence, the people of Bolivia have restored their democracy and returned the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) to the presidency,” PI said.
Writing in Jacobin on Monday, Shawn Gude articulated the same point:
Sunday’s election result is a rebuke to the coup-makers and right-wingers, to the Washington establishment and Western opponents of leftist governments, to the pundits and thinkers who equate democracy with liberal capitalism and excoriate deviations from that orthodoxy as populist hysteria.
Gude borrowed a phrase deployed last November by centrist commentator Yascha Mounk—who celebrated the violent overthrow of Morales’ government by far-right forces as a positive development—using Mounk’s own words against him in order to expose elite contempt for popular rule and redistributive policies.
“MAS’s crushing victory,” Gude wrote, “is ‘one of the few big victories democracy has won in recent years.'”
David Adler, general coordinator of PI and a member of the delegation, called the election in Bolivia a “watershed moment” that marks the end of “the era of authoritarian impunity.”
“A new wave of popular power is now rising to restore democracy and reclaim the institutions of the state,” Adler added, “taking inspiration from the people of Bolivia in their heroic struggle this year.”
Donald Trump vows he ‘will never concede’ in late night conspiracy-filled rant
Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential to President-elect Joe Biden, but is still refusing to concede.
White House aides reportedly convinced him to allow Biden to begin his transition by telling him he did not need to use the word "concede."
But that word appeared to be on his mind late Monday night.
"What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?" Trump asked while continuing to lie about the election being corrupt.
Trump supporters are slowly coming to grips with his miserable defeat
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President Donald Trump on Monday allowed President-elect Joe Biden's transition to proceed -- while vowing he would never concede.
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One Arizona Republican in Congress, Paul Gosar, drew upon the historical knowledge him learned on his way to becoming a dentist in a bizarre analogy he posted on Twitter.
Gosar suggested the Trump movement would be like an Imperial Japanese soldier in World War II who refused to surrender until 1974.