Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
november 21, 2017
(Interamerican Institute for Democracy) To indefinitely remain in power, while simulating democracy, the Castroist-Chavist regimes pursue multiple and illegal constitutional, judicial, and electoral maneuvers in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador. The common denominator of all of these manipulations is the violation of human rights. Now in Bolivia, the regime’s Constitutional Tribunal has a ruling ready stating “as a human right for Evo Morales to seek his indefinite reelection”, thus violating the human rights of all Bolivians because Article 32,2 of the Interamerican Human Rights Agreement or the Covenant of San Jose mandates that “in a democratic society, the human rights of each person are bound by the rights of the rest, for the security of all and by the rightful demands of the common good.”
The universal principle recognizing that “one’s own rights have, as a boundary, the rights of the rest” is the foundation of the “Rule of Law” aimed at ensuring that in cases such as Evo Morales’, there are no individual rights when dealing with the freedom and the political rights of a whole nation. This is how it is precisely mandated by Article 23 of the Covenant of San Jose (which the Bolivian dictatorial regime now invokes) when it consecrates political rights “as the rights of all citizens” that must be complied with under “equality of conditions”.
The breach of the “correlation between duties and rights” is a feature of dictatorships. In a democracy with the Rule of Law as a basic component the concept of equality under the law for all, prevails and the equilibrium between duties and rights is essential. When one citizen has more rights than duties, it is abuse and it is illegal, but when a citizen who is in a position of authority has more rights, or solely rights, we are now facing a dictator who has placed himself above the law. If an individual and his group who comprise the regime has more rights, the people are forced into a condition of servitude and subjugation that is all against democracy’s freedom and equality.
The Bolivian case is sinister. Evo Morales got to power through elections in 2006 with a mandate for only one term of five years and without the possibility of continuous reelection, but using the Castroist-Chavist scheme, similarly to Venezuela and Ecuador, hatched a “Constituent Assembly” -forbidden by Bolivia’s constitution- and after fraud, multiple crimes, bloody massacres, political prisoners and exiles, approved his constitution in 2009 through which he replaced the Republic of Bolivia with the Plurinational State of Bolivia, changing the name of all branches of government, purging them of people and replacing them with his own puppet judges, electoral magistrates, senators, representatives, prosecutors and others, so he can control them. In his constitution he included the one-time, consecutive reelection to the Presidency.
With the Plurinational State’s Constitution in place -a statute for dictatorship- Evo Morales promptly called for elections in 2009 and was reelected for a second continuous term. Elections rolled in again for the term that started in 2014, for which Morales could NO longer run -because his constitution established only a one-time consecutive reelection which he had already used to get reelected in 2009- but a “despicable ruling” of his Constitutional Tribunal made him eligible as a candidate for the third consecutive time, with the argument that “since the Republic of Bolivia had disappeared, Evo Morales had only been elected once in the existing Plurinational State of Bolivia, so his candidacy in 2014 would be considered his first reelection”. Thus a “despicable tribunal” changed the second reelection into a first and Evo Morales once again got himself fraudulently elected in 2014 until 2019.
As soon as he assumed his third term after his second continuous reelection, Evo Morales started to maneuver seeking his indefinite reelection and took this matter to a referendum election through which “Yes” meant he could perpetuate himself in power and “NO” meant a rejection of his continuance. The referendum election was held on 21 February of 2016 and in-spite of the fraud, manipulation, the campaign of fear, and threats, BOLIVIA SAID NO. This was a resounding “NO” that brought with it the possibility of regaining democracy with the institutional departure of Bolivia’s Castroist-Chavist dictatorship, but Morales described it as “the people’s mistake”, something that could be corrected, or just as the “first half” of the game that seeks his perpetual impunity.
It is within this context that Evo Morale’s regime has exposed itself seeking the unconstitutionality of the rule allowing the only one-time consecutive reelection of the President -after having already been reelected two consecutive times- arguing that as stated in Article 23 of the Covenant of San Jose, the dictator Morales has “the human right to be indefinitely reelected”. A shameful legal and political argument because Article 23 protects all Bolivians and not Morales and Article 32,2 of this same Covenant of San Jose determines the “correlation between rights and duties” and establishes that “in a democratic society, the human rights of each person are bound by the rights of the rest, for the security of all and by the rightful demands of the common good.”
Human Rights is what Hugo Chavez violated when, after having lost referendums and elections, he imposed his will and put his crimes above the law in order to subjugate Venezuelans; these same human rights that were and are violated by Nicolas Maduro wrongfully ascribing himself, through a criminal constituent, the rights of the people; Rafael Correa did the same things to keep himself in power for 10 years; Daniel Ortega wrongfully holds on to power with “despicable ruling” from his regime’s judges. All of them orchestrated by Cuba in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia, similarly, with the same methodology, with governments of organized crime, with corruption, with more poverty, with narcotics trafficking, with their economies in crisis, with political prisoners and exiles.
Published in Spanish by Diario las Americas on Sunday November 19th, 2017