Former Bolivian president, Evo Morales returned to Bolivia this past week for the first time after a year-long exile. Morales was exiled from Bolivia in November 2019 after a coup d’état forcibly removed him from office and eventually the country.
Morales is beloved by the masses in Bolivia, especially working-class indigenous folks, as he is the first indigenous president in the country’s history. He became president in 2005 after his (and the people’s) party, Movement Toward Socialism, won the country’s elections and came to power. His and the party’s policies have succeeded in increasing the literacy rate in Bolivia, drastically reducing poverty, changing the material conditions of working people for the better, and working to counter North American capitalist imperialism.
He was able to return to his native country after the Movement Toward Socialism party had a landslide victory in this year’s Bolivian elections. Morales’ handpicked replacement, Luis Arce, was able to capture the win with a whopping 55% of the vote. The next place candidate only had 29%. This effectively ousted the right-wing leadership, that was installed after the coup.
During a speech to the people, Morales stated, “I always knew I was going to return, but not that fast. Something historical, thanks to the unity of the Bolivian people. My brothers and sisters, history repeats itself, a fight for life and dignity…peace and dignity.”
The Bolivian people have been non-stop fighting and protesting in the streets, against right-wing forces. These forces helped lead the coup, which was back by the U.S. due to the country’s large reserve of lithium fields. The mine fields are very valuable to large, billion-dollar corporations, namely Tesla.
The peoples of Bolivia denounced the coup and the U.S.’ aims to exploit the South American country’s resources.
Evo Morales’ return to the country is a relieving moment of solace for the Bolivian people, and for the international socialist movement. Even if the moment is brief, it’s to be greatly celebrated, nonetheless.