Oppose the Right-Wing Coup in Bolivia

November 20, 2019

Earlier this month a right-wing coup backed by the military unseated Bolivian President Evo Morales. Heinous violence against anti-coup demonstrators, including Indigenous and trade union activists has followed. Meanwhile Canada, shamefully, has supported the coup. 

We support the people of Bolivia in their struggle against the racist, anti-Indigenous and anti-democratic coup that has been unleashed upon their country. The government of Canada must end all support for the coup regime and all recognition of its illegitimate government and instead press for the restoration of democracy and the safe return of President Evo Morales. 

Recommendation adopted at the November 2019 regular meeting

Subject: Oppose the Right-Wing Coup in Bolivia

BECAUSE Evo Morales, the first Indigenous President in the history of majority-Indigenous Bolivia, was forced to resign by the head of the country’s armed forces in a military coup. His resignation comes as his supporters, including many trade union activists, have been the target of violent attacks, with some having their homes ransacked and burned down and some even being shot and killed; and

BECAUSE the military coup has been widely condemned, including by the governments of Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, and the president-elect of Argentina, international political figures such as the head of the Labor Party in the United Kingdom Jeremy Corbyn, U.S. Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, U.S. congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the President of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, labour organizations including the International Trade Union Confederation, and Canadian MP’s such as Matthew Green, Jenny Kwan, Don Davies and Niki Ashton; and

BECAUSE the coup in Bolivia is an attack on democratic, Indigenous and workers’ rights everywhere. Morales, who won the election by a wide margin, is being painted as undemocratic by governments that support the coup such as Canada and the United States. Despite a lack of evidence that the elections were fraudulent, Morales offered to rerun the elections, but the opposition and the military refused. Trade unionists have a responsibility to oppose our government’s support for the military removal of Morales and the crushing of democratic rights in Bolivia; and

BECAUSE strengthening the global labour movement and building relationships with workers around the world is essential to our collective fight for human and labour rights, decent work, strong public services, justice and peace; and

BECAUSE this motion will provide support in solidarity with the working people of Bolivia and the respect for Bolivia’s democratic institutions,


THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER condemn that violent repression of trade unionists and Indigenous activists in Bolivia by the coup supporters and armed forces; and

THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER publicly oppose the Canadian government’s support for this coup, demand our government withdraw all support for a coup in Bolivia, and support the restoration of democracy and the safe return of Evo Morales.

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