JOINT PRESS STATEMENT: Bolivia’s Evo Morales receives support from ANC, BDS SA, COSATU, SACP & Other South African Organizations

13 November 2019

BDS SA, COSATU, SACP, SSN, FOCUS-SA and others join South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, in pledging solidarity with the Nelson Mandela of Latin America, President Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Over the weekend, in a shock to all peace loving people, Morales was removed from his position following a coup supported by the local oligarchy with ties in US-interest. This sentiment has been expressed by several Latin American leaders including the president and presidents-elect of Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina and several others from across the globe.

We welcome the protection provided to Morales by the Government of Mexico and concur with their Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard who has explained that “Military coups never bring anything positive and that is why we are worried.”

We as South Africans are concerned by the interference by the USA and their allies as well as related structures in Latin America and other parts of the world.

We fondly recall Morales’ visit to our country in 2006 where he met our former President Thabo Mbeki, his successor President Kgalema Mothlante, our current President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as other senior South Africa leaders including the leadership of the ANC, SACP and COSATU.

Morales was one of the first indiengous people to be elected as President in Bolivia (where the indigenous people account for over 63% of the population. Having been born into a poor Aymarayan family from the township of El Alto (one of seven children, only three of whom survived beyond the age of one) Morales never betrayed his roots, having actively insured that racial discrimination against indigenous people and other injustices were confronted head on.

The leadership of Morales also saw greater economic prosperity for all people of Bolivia. According to the Washington Post: “it’s indisputable that Bolivians are healthier, wealthier, better educated, living longer and more equal than at any time in this South American nation’s history…under Morales, data shows, Bolivia’s economy is closing the gap with the rest of the continent, growing faster than most neighbors over the past 13 years.”

An internationalist, Morales has also come under pressure from the USA for his support of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid. In 2008 Evo Morales recalled Bolivia’s ambassador from Israel stating that “what is happening in Palestine is genocide”. In 2014 Morales, together with the late Cuban President Fidel Castro and others issued a statement in support of BDS. They wrote: “We encourage you to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against the terrorist state of Israel, as it is time for active and creative solidarity that goes beyond statements of condemnation.”

We will urgently be consulting with our partner organizations involved in international solidarity efforts to arrange urgent protests and others actions against the US-backed coup in Bolivia and to support the Bolivian people’s democratically elected president, Comrade Evo Morales. We call for an end to the hybrid wars waged on progressive states in Latin America which are undermining democracy and the will of the people.

Click here for the statement from South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC.

BDS South Africa (National Director, Muhammed Desai, 0842119988)
Congress of South African Trade Unions (International Relations Secretary, Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni, 0725351577)
Friends of Cuba Society – South Africa (Deputy General Secretary, Clever Banganayi, 07201426625)
South African Communist Party (2nd Deputy General Secretary, Chris Mathlako, 0733660112)

Swaziland Solidarity Network (Lucky Lukhele, 0814585658)