Post-coup Bolivia anarchy ‘resembles Libya’: Putin urges ‘common sense’ amid Latin American chaos
The power vacuum in Bolivia has brought the country to the edge of a Libya-style disaster, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned. As protests consume other Latin American countries, Putin urged leaders to use “common sense.”
President Evo Morales fled Bolivia to Mexico on Tuesday, after opposition leaders declared his October re-election fraudulent and the Bolivian police and military turned on him. Since then, opposition senator Jeanine Añez has declared herself “interim president,” without a vote or recognition by Morales’s Movement for Socialism majority party.
Pro-Morales protesters, outraged by the blatant coup, have since faced off with riot police on the streets of La Paz. Añez’ grip on power is anything but secure.
“There is a situation where there is no leadership in the country… Anarchy. It resembles Libya somewhat,” Putin told reporters on Thursday.
Although there is no direct armed invasion from the outside, the country is actually on the verge of chaos.
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Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was tortured and killed by western-backed rebels in 2011, following the NATO-led ‘humanitarian’ intervention and airstrike campaign. His death plunged what was once Africa’s richest country into ruin, with the country’s vast oil reserves now contested by various military factions, basic necessities in short supply, and open-air slave markets in operation.
Commenting on the turmoil in Bolivia and on anti-government riots in Chile, Putin noted that “in Latin America, things change fast.”
We should hope that common sense and understanding of the interests of the people of these countries – the responsibility for the citizens – would prevail over personal or partisan ambitions.
Putin has long been a critic of Washington’s meddling in Latin America under the so-called Monroe doctrine, that treats the entire Western hemisphere as the ‘US backyard’ rather than sovereign nations and partners. With Washington backing the opposition in Bolivia, he pointed out that in Latin America, “there’s some intrusion from outside that only happens when something goes wrong inside.”
Using the example of the failed US efforts to depose Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, Putin suggested that the West back off and let the citizens of Latin America resolve their problems “by themselves.”
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