The Revolutionary Left is Getting Bolivia Wrong
Articles Blog

The Revolutionary Left is Getting Bolivia Wrong

November 17, 2019

I wasn’t really planning to do a segment about
this, but there have been so many bad takes coming from [inaudible] I guess what we’re calling the revolutionary left. That’s the non pejorative term that we’ve,
I guess agreed on, uh, to describe them about the resignation of Bolivian president Evo
Morales that I feel compelled to discuss it because the right is just completely uninformed
about Latin American politics. So I really don’t have any message for them,
but there are a lot of people on the left that are either misunderstanding or just wrong
in their conclusions about what has taken place in Bolivia over the last, uh, close
to 15 years, calling it in completely black and white terms, a military coup. So my goal here is to go through the whole
story. Hopefully this will be enlightening. I know I’ll be called a shill and all of this
stuff, but who cares, right? I mean, we, we, uh, we get one shot at doing
things the way we actually see them. You only live once. And I’m going to do the stories with the nuance
that I think they deserve because that’s really what’s missing. The problem is there is too much black and
white thinking in general in politics, people are either good or bad. The military is either good or bad. Socialism is either good or bad. A politician is either a savior or a villain,
and I know lots of people who work in the field of mental health and they tell me, you
know, a lot of the people that come in that I see they have in their lives, all sorts
of different things going on that at their root are often caused by black and white thinking
about gray areas in life, about jobs, about relationships, about their childhood, whatever. And I believe that the same is happening in
politics and specifically with the Bolivia situation. So let’s try to put that aside. Let’s just all talk like reasonable people. No one’s shilling here. Some people may be missing some of the facts. Some people may be coming to conclusions that
are tanged by ideology. Let’s not make these umbrella black and white
declarations and let’s try to actually figure out what’s going on. So the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, was
first in office in 2006 a few days ago. He resigned at the request or demand of the
Bolivian military and request or demand we can argue about. But it’s not actually the most important thing. Why did this happen a few days ago? There has been rampant speculation about the
most recent election of being a bogus election. The organization of American States put out
a report saying that the election results were manipulated, including alterations, forced
signatures, and wide-scale data manipulation. Uh, now there is already a debate about this. Well, does that mean the election was bogus
or are these just reports of irregularities like you have in many elections, including
here in the United States. But for me, the real story is actually bigger
than this. And I want to ask you this hypothetical. If Donald Trump during his second term, imagine
he gets reelected in November and he gets a second term. Imagine that during that second term Donald
Trump change the constitution to allow a third term effective immediately, but then also
claimed that since the constitution was changed, his second term is sort of really his first
term under the new constitution, so he should actually get two more. And then during the third term, which is really
his fourth, he loses a referendum to allow unlimited terms and then his Supreme court
justices that he has selected, say, forget about the term limits. You can stay as long as you want. Wouldn’t we in that situation as Progressive’s
who are for the rule of law, wouldn’t we be begging someone to force Donald Trump out? Okay. Now let’s talk about what happened in Bolivia. Evo Morales was elected in 2006 and people
were excited because there were good things about his election. He is not, it’s not black and white. He was the first ethnically indigenous president
of Bolivia. That’s great. In a country that has such a large indigenous
population. Why did it take so long to have an indigenous
president? Fantastic, lovely. He reduced poverty during his first term. He offered a much more sensible and pragmatic
version of the socialism that has been espoused by Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. He invested in infrastructure and development
and grew the middle-class great, but like with many of these Latin American socialists
of the last many decades, he’s a an increasingly authoritarian. There’s corruption. He was elected to a five year term in 2006
he got a new constitution adopted while he was president, which allowed two terms. Then in 2009 he called for early elections
one and said, Hey, this is sort of really like my first term because I didn’t complete
the first term. Under the old constitution, we have a new
constitution, so I should really be able to run again in 2014 it’s not objective, really
bad to change a constitution, but one should not be allowed to stay in office longer than
they were originally supposed to because of changes made under their watch. That’s what authoritarians do, so this is
already bad. He wins that early 2009 election calls it
his first term. So now he’s allowed to run again in 2014 and
a court increasingly under his control says, yes, he is allowed to run again. This will count as his second term, not as
his third or his first term, not as a second. He wins in 2014 and then says, well, let’s
do a referendum to abolish term limits altogether so that I can just continue being reelected
and reelected indefinitely. Voters reject that referendum in Bolivia. So what does he do? He appeals once again to a constitutional
court filled with people, loyal to him who say, yep, you know what? Running for office is a human right. And Bolivia term limits violate the human
rights of everyone Monarrez so he can run again, which he does and wins in adult and
an election determined to have significant irregularities, some characterizing it as
completely bogus. So listen, do I want the military to take
control of the country now? Hell no. I’m from Argentina. I know what happens when the military takes
control. It’s bad. Is this a black, white military coup? No, that’s an extraordinarily myopic interpretation
that completely ignores history in Bolivia for the last 13 years, if an American president
did 25% of what [inaudible] did in the election system in Bolivia, we’d all be demanding their
removal. You’ll hear comments like, well, this all
happened because American banking and finance has ruined these countries, including Bolivia. How does that force the president to change
the constitution to remain in power longer and how does it excuse it? These things are not as cut and dry as the
revolutionary left is making them out to be. So my request to you is don’t fall for the
black and white thinking and of course the revolutionary left will say anyone who is
not loudly opposed to this is a pro military coup, pro-American interventionists, Yankee
shill. Let’s be adults. Guys, give me a break. The world is not black and white the way you
make it out. Everyone. I listed some good things early in his presidency. He also is corrupt. We are also seeing a lot of the same things
happened in Bolivia that we’ve seen happen in other places in Latin America like Venezuela
and others. When these authoritarian leaning socialists,
um, uh, remain in power for longer and longer periods of time. Now interestingly, the left and right share
the existence of these factions who suffer from black and white thinking on the right,
you have these libertarians and small government people who think they’re black and white principals
tell them everything they need to know. On the left you’ve got the revolutionary left
who suffers from, you know, a version of the same affliction where they see a situation
and they say, Oh yeah, the military is involved and it’s bad and a socialist is the president
and that’s good. And he’s an ethnic minority. So that’s, that’s it. That’s the analysis and anything else that’s
completely unacceptable. You’re pushed out if you don’t fall in line
with that ideology. Tell me all the ways I’m wrong on the facts. A, I’m ready for it, but let’s not play these
just completely toxic black and white games that unfortunately are happening among a contingent
of the left.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. You cannot talk about big irregularities so irresponsibly. He reduced poverty during his entire government. People approved the new constitution. No seas pelotudo

  2. You cannot talk about big irregularities so irresponsibly. He reduced poverty during his entire government. People approved the new constitution. No seas pelotudo

  3. I wasn’t planning to comment on this, but it’s such a fantastically ignorant bad take. Nice sell out to Dow Chemical and the South American Christian Fascists. Real smooth.

  4. To be honest here, if a leader does a great job at keeping the country healthy, stable and prosperous, he can stay as long as he can picking the responsibility to govern the nation. Because votes matters, and Evo won every elections, you should be asking why there is US representative in Latin America in the first place.

    David, keep talking about your experience with Argentina doesn't mean much for Latin America.

  5. A request backed up by arms is not merely a request… The right-wing people backing this burned and ransacked homes of people that are for Morales and kidnapped a mayor. That is pretty threatening. You can definitely say Morales was forced from office by a successful coup. It was an armed and violent uprising against an elected leader.

  6. I think David tries to distance himself from revolutionary leftist Latin American movements too much. He's being overly apologetic for clearly dishonest actors coming from the right.

  7. This is a pretty bad take man. You unwittingly spat rightwing talking points and that isn’t cool, especially now that Jeanine Añez has started threatening the Quechua and Aymara people.

  8. David, she's a religious zealot. She thinks indigenous people are satanic.
    Come on dude, you're losing your secular cred here.

  9. 1) The Supreme Tribunal of Justice is elected, so they weren't placed there by the president.
    2) When the military demands that the elected leader of a country step down, it's a coup
    3) You can argue that the coup was necessary in order to prevent Morales from becoming an increasingly authoritarian leader (you can even point to the times he's circumvented democratic norms, as you do in this video to make this point), but you have to balance that risk against the risk of the right wing illegitimately seizing power (as they've now done), undoing the advances that have been made for working people and indigenous people in Bolivia (which they're almost certainly going to do), and putting in place their own increasingly authoritarian regime with military and police backing.
    4) If after weighing those possibilities you come to the conclusion that Morales is more legitmate and less dangerous than what has replaced him, then the time to speak out against the coup is now and your call for nuance ends up being a call for complacency in the face of the right taking power.

  10. Thank you for saying it how it is David , God bless you. We had a dictator here in Bolivia , a King . And the people fought for 21 days in a country wide civic strike for democracy . NOBODY RULES FOREVER HERE IN BOLIVIA 🇧🇴

  11. we protested peacefully almost a month on a civic strike country wide . You couldn’t work here in Bolivia for 21 days . THAT IS how we , the people took out Evo Morales . Not the military

  12. David, you're a fucking hero. It's disgusting to see so many "leftists" defend yet another aspiring autocrat because he ticks the correct aesthetic boxes.

  13. ""why did it take so long to have an indigenous president?" Are you just too stupid/lazy to figure it out…. or are you just virtue signaling after calling for a (hypothetical) military coup in the U.S.?

  14. Just one of your many lies 5:33
    "He barely wins the 2014 election." You say.
    With 61% of the vote. A mere 35% more than the next candidate.,elected%20for%20a%20third%20term.

  15. David goes mask off and reveals his inner shit lib. This was an obvious christian fascist coup and independent media clearly showed this. Carrying water for the empire is a bad look David.

  16. When the military "asks" you to do anything, it's a demand. Unless you don't value your life or the life of your followers. When the military "asks" the head of government to step down, that's a coup.

  17. If you are going to be an armchair wanker, get some facts in your softck brain.

    Someone who knows what he is talking about on Bolivia at this link.

  18. I'm glad to see all the dislikes on this. David did not seem to do even the most rudimentary research on this and quotes from the OAS, a right wing organization funded by America and, of course, working for right wing interests. Morales has won stunning victories in Bolivia for many years and has done a lot to help his nation especially the downtrodden native population. It's easy to look this up. I fail to see how the military 'suggesting' you step down is not a coupe, violence is very much implied. Everything Morales did is very democratic. The judges that allowed him to run again were elected by the people. Now that he is gone, fascists are lining up to brutalize and plunder Bolivia. Jeanine Anez has already filled the government with elitist corporate scum. I swallowed the whole anti BDS thing with Israel because he was Jewish and maybe not impartial but this is too far.

  19. Would like to David's point by point response to this video…
    David Pakman Is Wrong About Bolivia: Let's Not Be Useful Idiots | BadEmpanada

  20. Very poor. I strongly recommend the video titled:
    David Pakman Is Wrong About Bolivia: Let's Not Be Useful Idiots | BadEmpanada

  21. Bad take. And bad analogy too, Trump can't "change the constitution" any more than Morales did, and no, I would not care if Trump tried to get that amendment repealed because he'd still have to win the election — GOP voter suppression is the real threat. Term limits for chief executive positions are undemocratic and the (elected by the National Congress not appointed by the president!!!) Bolivian Supreme Court agrees with that position. As long as elections are fair and democratic (and no actual evidence has yet been produced to support claims of fraud) then why this red herring about term limits? This is super shoddy of you David. Shame.

  22. History: Latin America is infamous for coups.
    Bolivia: the military "request" the president to leave and a crazy right wing strong person takes over.
    David: Hey, that doesn't count and what about Trump?
    I've only taken 3 Latin America studies courses, so I'm a noob, but David's take reeks to me.

  23. David, your integrity has been compromised. How are we supposed to believe anything you say henceforth after this incredibly bad take? You're doubling down on it too.

  24. This video is full of inaccuracies and bias. Badempanada made an actually fact based video about this. David Pakman will need to up his game and cut out the vague and unresearched comments that saturate this video

  25. Man, I really hate this feeling. I’ve looked to you, David, for insightful political takes. But unless you address some key mistakes in this video, I’ve lost a lot of trust in you. 😕

  26. Why do you always take the side of when the reactionary right violently takes power. Why is the burden on left wing leaders not to be the perfect ones so that a coup on them is unjustified.

  27. David is a right-wing apologist. These are all OAS/CIA right wing talking points, and they're simply untrue. You can't even get basic facts straight (the Supreme Court is elected not appointed).

  28. David, since you know the Bolivian Constitution so well can you point to us where in the Constitution does it says that the military can ask the president to resign?

    Where in the Constitution does it say that the 2nd vice president of the Senate can declare herself president?

  29. Pakman is such a fucking Argentine prick. It’s like he chooses to pick the side that favors the elites over the common people

  30. ⬅️⬅️REAL REPORTING HERE❗️❗️❗️ david Parkman is wrong and spreading a toxic inaccurate narrative. A white savior capitalist coating himself in trendy liberalism spreading around American exceptionalism ideology. He is continuously ignoring the truth and refusing to acknowledge badempanada’s video and others who call him out. Pansssyy goes and talks to a streamer with “views”

  31. Finally the dictator is gone. You all can think and say whatever you want. You don’t live here nor lived 14 years of dictatorship. Therefore, Shut the F up and let us build back our democracy.

  32. David Pakman, undermining and misinforming his audience about the Latin American Left? Who would have thought…. be better, David.

  33. can you really be so dumb? here you have bad empanada wiping the floor with pakmans ass:

  34. People who downvoted the video: "We support a left wing dictator because we only think on terms of black and white and think the only alternative is fascism, even though left-libertarian alternatives like Juan del Granado exist."

  35. David is right, even if I agree with the populist candidate because they help the poor people. It is not right to try to stay forever in power just like the Castro brother in Cuba or Chavez in Venesuela, I hate dictators on the right or on the left. And those who change the constitution to remain in power are despicable.
    I prefer a crazy president and a pathological lier like Donald Trump, because At leas I know he will leave office in 4 years. ( I hope so).
    In. Conclusion no dictator neither on the left nor on the right. Thanks David for being objective on this topics.

  36. Equivocating a fascist regime taking power through an illegal military coup with the questionable and potentially corrupt, but definitionally legal, maneuvers of an elected leader seems like a lot more "black and white thinking" than the prevailing nuanced leftist position: Evo was far from perfect but a coup is obviously worse. It's also intellectually lazy and ignores realities like the fact that Evo had already agreed to new elections. A legal and democratic path to resolving the irregularities was laid out but your trying to say that a coup was maybe not such a bad alternative. Asinine. I would unsubscribe if I hadn't already for other dumb takes where you want to prove your intellectual "integrity" by making vacuous both-sides arguments.

  37. "He (Morales) barely wins in 2014" . What was the vote in the 2014 Bolivian Presidential election? Morales 61.36%. His closest rival gets 24.23%.

  38. Has anyone watched BadEmpanada's response to this video? It is very important that you guys watch it because, as much I love David Pakman, David made some errors.
    BTW, Germany has no term limits for the Kanzler. If the people elect the party, then the party shall stay in power. This is democracy.

  39. David smugly lecturing the left about misunderstanding the situation in Bolivia, as he completely misunderstands the situation in Bolivia

  40. I don't I think you know what you're talkin about this time David. You're a flexiv quote on quote fairness has created a blind spot this time. I'm not sure why you're so ready to side with rytas and racist and Bolivia this time but I'm sure you're thinking will evolve

  41. Finally. A complete context. You can say it was a military coup but evo wasn't supposed to run again but the corrupt supreme court allowed him even when the people said no in a referendum

  42. Here's an actual pejorative for you Pakman. Your predilection for right wing talking points in regards to Latin America is in my opinion a pathetic attempt to garner right wing viewers to boost your channel, nothing more. You state several outright falsehoods during this video that are easily debunked.

    But please, do more of these to showcase your true colors!

  43. I like your stuff and I've watched many of your posts.

    I'd like to feel I could TRUST you to be reasonably fair and accurate.

    But this post shakes my confidence in you.
    I believe (not "feel") there are quite a few misrepresentations and inaccuracies here.
    Perhaps you'd like to see this:

  44. "There's been so many bad takes…" This is literally the worst one. You're a spineless rat repeating lies to seem balanced. Bolivia was a coup in the interests of foreign corporations looking to open the country's resources up and drain them. Shame on you, wimp.

  45. Sorry, David but you have several lies within this video. for clarity I don't trust David on international policy matters because he is not formally trained in the field

  46. What a dumb comparison Trump is a racist!! Morales was voted in with over 60% of the ppl from Bolivia. The supreme court in Amerikkka is hand-picked by the president. Bolivia supreme court judge is NOT. So please david don't be a USEFUL IDIOT. Do NOT misinform us about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *