On October 15 and 16, days ahead of Bolivia’s general elections today, Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Jim McGovern demanded fair elections free from outside interference, in particular by the coup government, OAS, and the United States. Their statements come after the elections have been postponed multiple times by the coup government, and after multiple massacres and months of persecution and violence towards indigenous people, political leaders and activists, and supporters of the MAS Party at the hands of the self-appointed administration of Jeanine Áñez after the ousting of President Evo Morales last November.
In the wake of these – and other – actions of repression and intimidation, Senator Markey took to his Twitter account on Friday morning, writing to say that “The Áñez administration must respect the electoral process, freedom of the press, and ensure no one interferes with or attempts to intimidate voters. International elections observers and human rights organizations must be able to participate unimpeded, and the Bolivian government should make all efforts to ensure a transparent electoral process. The OAS, too, must be transparent in any conclusions it makes.”
On Sunday, Bolivia will vote to determine its future. These elections must be free and fair and reflect the will of the people. The Áñez administration must respect the electoral process, freedom of the press, and ensure no one interferes with or attempts to intimidate voters. https://t.co/IoFX4bPruK
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) October 16, 2020
Congress McGovern similarly wrote that “@Presidencia_Bol must guarantee free & fair elections & pledge to respect the results. Must welcome media & observers, say NO to violence & police or military intervention. … Sunday’s elections offer an opportunity to resist autocratic temptations, allow everyone to participate freely, and restore #democracy in #Bolivia. We’ll be watching.” The Congressman has a long history of standing in solidarity with Latin America and was among the first to denounce the coup in November 2019 under public pressure.
1/ As #Bolivia goes to the polls this Sunday, what’s most important is that people’s votes count. @Presidencia_Bol must guarantee free & fair elections & pledge to respect the results. Must welcome media & observers, say NO to violence & police or military intervention.
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) October 16, 2020
Markey and McGovern’s responses come after weeks of correspondence with activists from the Bolivia Solidarity Committee, the Latin America Solidarity Committee, The Resistance Center, Massachusetts Peace Action, Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation, Code Pink of Western Massachusetts, and dozens of constituents across the state. We urge Sen. Warren to make similar comments.