The former president and candidate for the Presidency of Bolivia Carlos Mesa said Saturday in an interview with the EFE Agency that the dialogue path has already been exhausted, that the country is at a historical moment due to the nature of the demonstrations and that it falls to the president Evo Morales the peaceful exit to the crisis.
Question (Q): Why is a dialogue with President Evo Morales not valid?
Answer (R): First it is very suggestive, very surprising that whoever is going to propose a dialogue begins by accusing those whom he wants to call a dialogue of carrying out a coup d'etat. Logic would be a space for reflection and a positive proposal.
Second, such a coup d'etat is neither in progress nor exists. What we are living is a popular, democratic mobilization in the whole of the Bolivian territory that raises the defense of the vote and the recovery of democracy.
We cannot accept a responsibility that we do not have, the dialogue does not make sense, the president has to make a decision, it is a government decision that must be assumed by him.
Q: Maybe this is a strategy to sow division within these political and citizen movements, considering that Luis Fernando Camacho said yesterday that he marked distance from politicians?
A: We are persuaded that the opposition has a unitary line of democratic recovery. In this context, of course there are positions in one direction or another, but the ultimate goal is to recover democracy and defend the vote that was mocked on February 21, 2016 and today.
What concerns us is the approach and the president's call again, although he makes reference to peaceful mobilizations, which is already something at least significant, that his social movements are confronted with society as a whole.
Q: What is perceived outside is that in the opposition there is no union, for example, because of what Camacho said.
A: I do not see it that way, I see that there are different nuances and it is legitimate and logical that it be so. This is a popular mobilization that is moving with a conviction that has to do with two things: the defense of the vote attempted to mock a second time for Morales and the recovery of a democracy against an authoritarian and almost dictatorial government.
The fact that there are differences in hue (…) may be the approach to the way out of the Government, but we are all absolutely aware and we are all pushing the car in a specific direction, popular, peaceful and democratic mobilization.
Q: Does the opposition have a plan B?
A: Plan B is in the hands of the president, the window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller (…) Probably tomorrow he will not have any margin of play. We are defending a popular vote with a new election and with a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
The limit is also being shortened for us, but that is not a matter of plan A or plan B of us, it is the president who has to enter into reason.
The president no longer has popular support, does not realize that his fraud has been very bungling, is not defensible in any context. The OAS audit has been displaced not because one agrees or against the audit, but because the events are going at a dizzying speed and in that context plan A or plan B is not in our hands.
Q: The president insists on the issue of the coup d'etat, taking into account that many police have mutinied in various regions, here in La Paz they have retreated. Can you talk about a coup d'etat?
A: Of course not, there is no ongoing coup d'etat nor is there any action on that line and in that direction.
The situation and the context in which Bolivia is living have characteristics that, for us, who have been on this issue for many years and have experienced very complex crises, is a novelty. The police have not mutinied in the traditional sense of the mutiny because they ask for a wage claim (…) If the police were in a coup d'etat, they would try to physically take the center of power. The Police have said two things: we are not going to repress the people and we are with the people in the democratic demand.
Another very important element to discuss is the role of the Armed Forces. We get the impression, and we celebrate it in that context, that the Armed Forces are not willing to go out and repress and this is very important.
Bolivia has had a traumatic experience in 2003, the Armed Forces took to the streets and the result was 67 dead in two weeks. This is an experience that has taken several military leaders to jail.
The political power did not assume its responsibility, it is outside Bolivia and those who are paying that action are the military chiefs themselves who obeyed the orders of the Presidency.
In that context, we believe it is a lesson learned.
Q: What political difference is there from the 2003 crisis the country is experiencing?
A: We are two weeks away from an electoral process, in 2003 a crisis of another nature had taken place, in another context of a crisis of political parties and leaders, here we are faced with the need to define the moment of democratic transition logical and that must be carried out in the context of any democracy in the world, which is that when a democratic period ends elections are made and the winner enters the Government democratically.
This crisis is generated as a result of a government fraud that does not accept the evidence that there should have been a second round (…) It has also done fraud by changing the results of the election of deputies and senators, which has modified and has denatured majorities and minorities in Congress.
Q: Speaking a little about these similarities or differences, there is some fear that we can reach the level where Venezuela is at which civil groups face each other, how close or how far we are from something like this happening in Bolivia ?
A: The question is pertinent. I would say that the dilemma, the dilemma that Evo Morales has to solve is which path he wants to follow. Try to remain in power indefinitely, breaking the link with democratic legitimacy, accept that your time has run out and that you have to leave as you should leave on January 22, 2020.
The second point, the nature and construction of the social force in Bolivia has differences with Venezuela. I am not aware or know that there are organized paramilitary groups in the case of Bolivia, what the Government tries especially with a very hard sector, which is that of the coca growers in Chapare, is that their violent mobilizations but not in the nature equivalent to Venezuela or Nicaragua, can generate violent confrontation.
The president does not understand that the defense of democracy is in mobilized citizenship and has to understand that a call of that nature has already had an immediate history, 10,000 coca growers entering the city of Cochabamba with unusual violence, with the balance of a dead , and we already have three in the rest of the country, we do not want this to be generated.
Q: Have you made any specific call to the international community about the crisis?
A: The international community has made a clear statement after the observation mission of the OAS (Organization of American States) and the European Union (EU) has stated that the irregularities of October 20 are such that what should be take place is a second round, a position to which countries such as Brazil, USA have joined. and Colombia.
The problem we are facing is that the Government has not heard that demand. Also, unfortunately, a very serious mistake by the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, who backed Evo Morales's human right to be reelected by contradicting his own words, when he asked Morales to acknowledge his defeat on February 21, 2016 (date in which the referendum was held that allowed the president to re-appear in the elections) has generated great susceptibility, a great discredit and skepticism in the Bolivian community about what the OAS can say, this has complicated the legitimacy of the audit of the OAS and the second round.
The additional problem is that the days we are living are vertiginous, this is a movement that has no history in our history and has placed the Government against the wall and will reformulate what the international community has to do.
Hopefully we do not have to ask for mediation to pacify the country, we are still on time and Evo Morales is on time.
. (tagsToTranslate) Table (t) dialogue (t) Morales (t) exit (t) pacifica