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Bolivia and Venezuela: Two Countries, But Same Hybrid War

Photograph Source: Canal 7 de Jujuy – CC BY 2.5

A coup took place in Bolivia on November 10. The fact that the president of the country, Evo Morales, resigned does not contradict the fact that a coup has taken place. Morales was forced by the military to resign. The perpetrators of the Hybrid War were envisioning this same scenario for Venezuela but failed while they succeed in Bolivia. What made the difference?

Bolivia and Venezuela are similar in their independent approach to following a socialist path to break away from the hegemonic interference and economic exploitation from the US and its allies. Both countries have been successful in reducing poverty and achieving economic growth by the social use of their resources. And both countries have been subjected to a US promoted Hybrid War for regime change from a socialist government to a more neoliberal pro-US government.

The Hybrid War script involves at its minimum the following basic elements: accusing the government of some false wrongdoing, “mobilising destructive mobs” if other less violent means have not succeeded, creating “moderate groups” that penetrate as a wedge into the established institutions of the society in order to create divisions, and finally the coup de grâce: convincing the armed forces to betray their allegiance to the country’s constitution and turning them against the government and the people. All these basic elements may be often operating simultaneously. At any time complementary actions can be introduced to force the success of the Hybrid War script. For instance, sanctions can be imposed to create shortages and economic restrictions that will further create hardship among the population; or parallel entities can be created in order to undermine the legitimate ones.

In the case of Bolivia the sequence of events followed to the letter the approach to regime change by the US-backed Hybrid War script. The basic elements of the Hybrid War were accomplished in Bolivia in the short span of time after Evo Morales was elected for his fourth term as the country’s president last October 20 until his resignation on November 10.

When it became clear that Morales was winning the election, the losing opposition candidate, Carlos Mesa, claimed that electoral fraud had been committed and that he would not recognise the elections results. The misguided intervention of the OAS publishing “preliminary observations” before a final ballot count was done, and suggesting a second round of elections was an endorsing factor to the opposition’s claim. Neither was helpful the uncalled for interference from the government of Canada calling the presidency of Morales “illegitimate”. Taking into account the pro-US position of both the OAS and Ottawa, their involvement may have been part (or not) of the Hybrid War approach. The end result accomplished the delegitimisation of the Morales government.

Riots and street violence immediately broke out with protests that the government had not been elected by legitimate means and therefore another election was called for. Morales made several attempts to defuse the crisis by calling to dialogue and inviting the OAS to audit the election ballots. The latter may have been a political mistake considering the organisation previous blunder. In fact, the OAS concluded the audit suggesting to have another election. Morales backtracking and accepting the OAS suggestion was not enough to restore the social order.

At this point it is important to note that the Hybrid War must achieve the total annihilation of the people and progressive parties involved one way or another to the very end, and that is until regime change is achieved

In the meantime another opposition figure came to the forefront with his mission to create enough political division, but the division may also be along the race line in the Bolivian society. After all Evo Morales has been the first indigenous president in Bolivia. This is a very significant factor in a region where the indigenous population has been decimated and oppressed for the last 500 years. Luis Fernando Camacho is a white wealthy lawyer from Santa Cruz who has accused Morales of being a “tyrant” and a “dictator”, not unlike Juan Guaidó in Venezuela, with whom he has associated himself publicly. He has been involved with an organisation that has been criticised for being “paramilitary” and “racist”.

The final stroke happened on November 10 when Morales announced his resignation after 14 years as president of Bolivia apparently in response to a communiqué of the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, William Kaiman who declared: “We suggest to the president that he resign his mandate allowing the pacification and maintenance of the stability of Bolivia”.

This was the final act of this short play of a military coup in Bolivia masterminded by a US designed Hybrid War. At least for the time being.

In the case of Venezuela a coup attempted to remove democratically elected president Hugo Chavez in 2002 after he became president in 1999. That was the first strike that the US-backed Hybrid War gave to “undo” the Bolivarian Revolution but failed. Chavez remained a reelected president until his death in 2013. He was followed by president Nicolas Maduro.

Similar events to Bolivia’s had occurred after Maduro was re-elected in May 2018. Soon a vocal and violent Venezuelan opposition, supported by a group of Western countries and some rightwing Latin American governments declared Maduro’s presidency illegitimate.

What we have described in the case of Bolivia did not quite work as smoothly in Venezuela. The Hybrid War script has been basically the same including the creation of violent groups with a “moderate” façade, but the circumstances in Venezuela have been different and harder to succeed in regime change. Despite the numerous sanctions and US financial blockade, and despite the foreign recognition of a self-appointed “interim president” attempting to create a parallel entity, Nicolas Maduro remains the legitimate president democratically elected and recognised by the United Nations and about 120 nations.

Venezuela has developed a strong civic-military union supported my thousands of voluntary militias that has been the bastion against which the Hybrid War has failed despite the numerous attempts to break that union.

The National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana – FANB) have a strict abidance to the Venezuelan constitution and have not betrayed the Bolivarian Revolution in the 20 years of its existence making it impossible for the last act of the Hybrid War to take place.

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