Interview With Ollie Vargas On Bolivians’ Victory Over Coup Leaders
Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola talk with Ollie Vargas, a reporter for Radio Kawsachun Coca who was in Bolivia to report on the election.
On October 18, Luis Arce of the Movement Toward Socialism Party won 55 percent of the vote against six candidates, avoided a runoff, and claimed victory over leaders of a coup that was backed by the United States.
This means Bolivians can begin to reclaim their country from right-wing extremists. They can end the violence that has run rampant against activists opposed to the regime, and eventually President Evo Morales will be able to return to the country.
In our interview, Ollie describes how the US-backed regime tried to shut down his outlet in Bolivia. He offers his reaction the election outcome and what lies ahead for Bolivians.
Ollie also addresses the neoliberal constraints that could still be imposed via an IMF loan that the coup government took out in April. He recounts how state projects aimed at ensuring Bolivia controlled its own resources (e.g. lithium) were suspended and contracts dissolved, which helped create conditions for a recession.
It was uncertain whether the regime would allow an election to take place, since they were going to lose. As Ollie makes clear, only by mobilizing the people were Bolivians able to take back their country.