After a violent coup in Bolivia, Twitter bots tried to nudge Americans to the side of the Bolivian far-right
NOVEMBER 20, 2019 12:52AM (UTC)
After Bolivian left-populist leader Evo Morales won what would have been a fourth-term, trumped-up accusations of manipulation trumpeted by the right-wing opposition led to violent protests in the streets of Bolivia. Shortly thereafter, Morales’s right-wing opposition and their paramilitary bands began setting fire to the homes of members of Morales’ party, Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), which eventually led to Morales resigning in fear, hoping it would stop the violence. President Donald Trump called the resignation “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere”; many in Latin America called it, more accurately, a right-wing coup.
“We resign because I don’t want to see any more families attacked by instruction of Mesa and [opposition leader Luis Fernando] Camacho,” Morales said. “This is not a betrayal to social movements. The fight continues. We are the people, and thanks to this political union, we have freed Bolivia. We leave this homeland freed.”
Many of the right-wing rioters directed their fury at the indigenous peoples of Bolivia, and the police mutinized against the counter-protesters. Despite having all the clear signs of a right-wing coup, much of the Western press has been avoiding using that term.
Morales was, by all accounts, a good president. Poverty was halved in Bolivia during his reign; health care spending went up, as did literacy; and the minimum wage more than doubled. Sadly, what happened to Morales was not a surprise. Historically, effective, democratically-elected leftist presidents in Latin American countries have been undermined and forced out by American-led coups organized by the CIA, including previously in Bolivia in the 1960s. [And also, notably in the early 1970s, when the CIA, in cahoots with the local oligarchy and a military traitor, Hugo Banzer, succeeded in toppling leftwing general Juan Jose Torres (1970-71), a forerunner to Evo, in uniform. Torres had to take refuge in Argentina, where he was eventually kidnapped and assassinated by death squads sponsored by both the Bolivian and Argentina’s military regimes, as part of US-endorsed Operation Condor.)
The American hand in this coup is quite clear. Earlier in November, the Bolivian media outlet Erbol published leaked audio that showed Bolivian opposition leaders discussing “a plan for social unrest, before and after the general elections, with the aim of preventing President Evo Morales from remaining.” In the audio, one opposition leader mentioned being in contact with US senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Ted Cruz, R-Tex. [The resident “gusano” brigade in Congress.—Eds.]
The new leader of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, who was the second vice president of the Bolivian senate, declared herself interim president on Nov. 12 after Morales resigned.. Within her first week, Añez issued a presidential decree giving security forces immunity from prosecution for being complicit in murdering or assaulting counter-protestors; at least 18 have been killed so far, reportedly all indigenous.
As news of the right-wing coup reached American shores last week, a curious confluence of social media users — purportedly Bolivian — all wrote messages on social media that were suspiciously phrased similarly. The common thread was the phrase “Friends from everywhere, in Bolivia there was no coup.” The intent of the coordinated social media campaign seems to be to build support for the right-wing coup in the Anglophone world. Yet nobody seems to know where these tweets came from, or who started the social media campaign.
Experts speaking to The Verge assured their reporter that it was the work of a bot, since many of the automated tweets were being tweeted to or in response to verified users, to give them maximum visibility. Twitter has removed some of the tweets, but many still remain. According to The Verge, the first message was posted on Facebook; variations have been seen on Reddit and 4Chan, too.
Michael Schmidt, who studies inauthentic activity on social media, who helped The Verge track down the beginning of the movement said many factors suggest it is an automated movement.
“My guess is that they used the polarizing events of the election to cause hysteria by pumping this post via a bot network. That is 100% true. This is a bot network. No doubt,” Schmidt said. “The real question is who is behind it.”
Speculation online ran rampant as to who was behind the messaging. Some tweets had location stamps that indicated Virginia, the home of the CIA, which many users found suspicious.
“The culprit could be Russia, the USA, or even a kid in his bedroom that just wants to stir the pot,” Schmidt said.
While, as noted in our intro we found the inclusion of Russia among the suspects capricious at best, we appreciate the forthrightness of the editors in affirming the leadership quality of Evo Morales, and the long history of US intel agencies meddling in Latin America and elsewhere to “build American consent for supporting dictatorships.”
• READ THE ORIGINAL HERE
Good people do exist. They will change this world
When your heart fills with desperation, frustration, and despair, contemplating the state of the world and what humans have done, think of Leonardo’s example.
Known for his great generosity, Leonardo was in the habit of purchasing and releasing little birds. He was also one of the earliest known ethical vegetarians. According to Melzi, his longtime friend, principal heir and executor, he viewed the oppression of humans and the enslavement of animals for human profit and benefit as a form of gross primitive injustice. And although many potentates sought his friendship and company, he remained until the end an unwavering egalitarian.
^5000The mainstream imperialist media lie CONSTANTLY. Literally 24/7. And it's getting worse.
All of them do it: radio, tv, the newspapers, the movies. The internet. No exceptions.
The corporate Big Lie is pervasive and totalitarian. CBS does it. NBC does it. ABC does it.
CNN does it. FOX does it. NPR does it. And of course the NYTimes and WaPo do it.
Thousands of "diverse" voices telling you the same lies. Enough to convince anyone.
Read it in your language • Lealo en su idioma • Lisez-le dans votre langue • Lies es in Deiner Sprache • Прочитайте это на вашем языке • 用你的语言阅读
THE DEEP STATE IS CLOSING IN
THIS WORK IS LICENSED UNDER A Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License