Evo Morales’ Fall Will Reignite Anti-Maduro Campaign in Venezuela

Evo Morales recently turned ‘former’ president of Bolivia. Of indigenous descent and in charge of the South American country since 2006, he voluntarily quit last Sunday and fled into exile in Mexico. Who would have thought? He was doing so well until he developed an authoritarian tinge and started going against all the principles that helped him stand apart from the other corrupt left-wing leaders of the region. It’s not just a tragedy for Bolivia, it’s a personal catastrophe, too.

Instead of wanting to grab a fourth consecutive term by allegedly rigging last month’s election, he could have quit on a high. But power breeds insanity and he snapped. He now risks being compared to the likes of Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, leaders who have since the beginning of their terms employed unconstitutional means to remain in power. Morales didn’t deserve being bracketed in the same category, but he asked for it.

If a left-wing leader with a mostly democratic history can be forced to relinquish, what chance do the Ortegas and the Maduros have? That will most likely be the theme that triggers a fresh campaign to oust Maduro. Morales’ removal will provide the impetus to reignite a second wave after the first one ended in vain.

Venezuela’s young opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, and his hundreds of thousands of supporters took to streets in April this year to topple the Maduro Government. However, Venezuela’s Bolivarian armed forces stamped down the uprising within hours of it starting. The mutiny lingered on for some time but faded away due to an aggressive crackdown.

In the following days and months, the movement’s momentum dissolved and the international attention lost its prominence in the news cycle.

Now with the removal of Bolivia’s Morales, an ally of Maduro, the Guaidó-led opposition will feel their campaign can be revived. It is endorsed by Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, Colombia’s Iván Duque Márquez, as well as the US and European powers, such as the UK and Germany.

Guaido is not wasting any time and is already out on the streets of Caracas with thousands of supporters to demand Nicolas Maduro’s departure. It might prove to be very difficult, though. In Bolivia, along with uprising, the military also wanted Morales to go.

In Venezuela, Maduro enjoys the backing of the armed forces that could prove to be the difference.

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