Congress: Investigate the OAS!

Ask Congress to investigate the OAS for its actions in Bolivia and to press the UN to send election monitors.

A study by researchers at MIT, the results of which were published in the Washington Post on February 27, has confirmed “that the statistical evidence does not support the claim of fraud in Bolivia’s October election.” The implications of this are very serious, as the Organization of American States (OAS) was the source for the claim of fraud, which was then used by the media, the Trump administration and some members of Congress to justify the coup against former president Evo Morales, or to deny that a coup had even occurred. 

The day after the October 20 election, the OAS issued a press release alleging that there were irregularities in the vote count and implying that the results were fraudulent. This led to violent protests on the streets and a period of lawlessness as the police and military — believing fraud had taken place - refused to leave their barracks.  After being invited by President Morales to audit the results, the OAS published a preliminary report on November 10 that repeated these claims; this report was not due for at least another three days, but it was released early to coincide with one of the tensest moments in recent Bolivian history. That same day, Morales was forced to resign by the heads of the military and the police. 

It is therefore clear that the OAS played an important role in the Bolivian coup. Following this coup, the de facto government ordered the military to shoot live ammunition at peaceful protesters, resulting in at least 34 deaths and the massacre of indigenous anti-coup protesters in the towns of Senkata and Sacaba. The de facto government has suppressed the media, engaged in political persecution and sought to ban Evo Morales’ party from running in the elections. 

Given that approximately 60% of the funding for the OAS comes from American taxpayers like me, I am asking Congress to investigate the role played by the OAS in the coup to ensure that no more U.S. taxpayer money is spent on overthrowing democratically elected governments.

Finally, it is of the utmost concern that the OAS plans to monitor the upcoming Bolivian elections on May 3. The OAS has already proven that it lacks objectivity as well as the capacity or willingness to ensure free and fair elections. As such, I am asking Congress to insist that the OAS not monitor these elections and instead urge the United Nations to send an electoral monitoring mission, as it is the only impartial body with sufficient expertise and capacity to serve as a guarantor for free and fair elections. 

Thank you,

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