22:37 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez gestures as she poses for a picture after she declared herself as Interim President of Bolivia, at the Presidential Palace, in La Paz, Bolivia November 12, 2019

    Post-Coup Bolivia Likely to Embrace 'Shock Therapy' Economics, Role as US Puppet - Experts

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Bolivia's post-coup government will likely implement the same neoliberal economic policies that devastated other countries throughout South America as it reverts to its status as a US puppet state, experts predict.

    On Wednesday, the United States recognised opposition lawmaker Jeanine Anez as interim president of Bolivia just days after the country's military forced President Evo Morales to step down and flee to Mexico.

    Morales resigned on Sunday after Bolivia's armed forces sided with demonstrators who had been protesting his 20 October electoral victory.

    Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Russia, however, have described the developments in Bolivia as a military coup.

    Alan Macleod of the Glasgow University Media Group, a historian specialising in Latin America, agreed with this assessment.

    "When military generals appear on television demanding the resignation of an elected civilian head of state, there is no other word for it but a coup d'etat, regardless of how mainstream Western media attempt to frame the situation", Macleod told Sputnik.

    And it is clear from White House statements, Macleod added, that the United States fully supports the ousting of the Bolivian government and anticipates more coups against leftist leaders in the future.

    Successive US administrations had worked hard over the past 14 years in their efforts to topple the always popular Morales, the first president of his country ever to come from its indigenous population, Macleod said.

    Morales had always given top priority to reducing poverty and combating US influence and the power of multinational corporations, Macleod argued, and in response the United States supported a secessionist movement inside the country.

    Telesur English and Znet analyst Joe Emersberger told Sputnik that Bolivia would now likely implement US-style anti-socialistic policies.

    "If successful, it [the coup] will return Bolivia to its traditional servility towards Washington as local elites plunder the country and trample human rights", Emersberger said.

    If the coup is consolidated the new government will thoroughly criminalise the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party that Morales leads, Emersberger warned.

    "How much blood will be spilled to do that is an open question", Emersberger said.

    Shortly after the election, a preliminary report of the Organisation of American States found what they called "grave" so-called irregularities. Emersberger pointed out, however, that the OAS had provided no evidence whatsoever to substantiate its charges.

    "The coup was carried out because the OAS electoral monitoring mission impugned the election without evidence that 'irregularities' - which all elections have - were significant enough to alter the result", Emersberger said. "The military seized on that pretext provided by the OAS bureaucracy, which is primarily funded by the US government, to coerce a resignation from Morales".

    Shock Therapy

    Morales had been president of Bolivia since January 2006, during which time he established himself as a beacon of the global left.

    During his early fourteen years in power, Morales has won acclaim for rolling back poverty and illiteracy in Bolivia and championing the rights of the country's impoverished native indigenous peoples while pursuing environmental goals and opposing global imperialism.

    His fall follows unsuccessful efforts by the Trump administration to topple the democratically-elected left-wing government of Venezuela and set up an unelected regime led by politician Juan Guaido who had made clear his willingness to impose harsh free market politics on the country.

    Juan Guaido, president of National Assembly, shows marks on his wrists, which he says are from handcuffs, to supporters at a rally in Caraballeda, Venezuela, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. The new head of Venezuela's increasingly defiant congress was pulled from his vehicle and briefly detained by police Sunday, a day after the U.S. backed him assuming the presidency as a way out of the country's deepening crisis. Guaido's wife Fabiana Rosales stands next to him, right. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
    © AP Photo / Fernando Llano
    Juan Guaido, president of National Assembly, shows marks on his wrists, which he says are from handcuffs, to supporters at a rally in Caraballeda, Venezuela, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. The new head of Venezuela's increasingly defiant congress was pulled from his vehicle and briefly detained by police Sunday, a day after the U.S. backed him assuming the presidency as a way out of the country's deepening crisis. Guaido's wife Fabiana Rosales stands next to him, right. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    Those policies associated with economist Milton Friedman, a revered figure among US neoconservatives and libertarians brought hardship and ruin to millions of people in Chile in the 1970s during the murderous dictatorship of President Augusto Pinochet.

    Macleod warned that the right-wing Bolivian opposition generally supports and advocates the neoliberal, free-market policies implemented when it controlled the country up until 2006.

    "I expect to see an attempt to reverse and destroy the social policies implemented by the Morales administration, and a return to the economic 'shock therapy' being implemented in Chile and Ecuador", Macleod said.

    However, the analyst added, the destructive economic policies the Bolivian opposition is likely to push caused protests to erupt in Chile and Ecuador.

    "It is precisely these policies which have led to enormous countrywide protests in those countries, so I doubt it will be plain sailing for them", Macleod concluded.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    Juan Guaido, opposition, Organization of American States, Latin America, Mexico, economics, shock therapy, puppet government, United States, coup, Jeanine Anez, Evo Morales, Bolivia
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