Twelve months after being driven into exile by right-wing forces, socialist former president Evo Morales was “received by the very social movements who defeated the coup and restored democracy.”
By Kenny Stancil
Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales waves in Villazón, Bolivia on November 9, 2020 upon returning to his country from exile in Argentina, where he had sought refuge after a right-wing coup one year ago. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)
Evo Morales was welcomed back to Bolivia on Monday morning (November 9), surrounded by the thunderous cheers of thousands of supporters who took part in a joyous celebration filled with music.
Morales’ return comes one year after the former president of the Latin American country was forced into exile by a violent far-right regime that was installed via a military coup, which was facilitated by unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud made by the U.S.-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) and condoned by corporate media outlets.
It also comes one day after Bolivian President Luis Arce, Morales’ ally in the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, was inaugurated following his election last month, considered a repudiation of authoritarianism and imperialism.
Massive crowds gathered in Villazón, a southern town that borders La Quiaca, Argentina, to greet Morales upon his return to Bolivia from the neighboring country, where the popular leftist leader had spent most of the past twelve months as a political refugee.
“Today is an important day in my life. Returning to my homeland, which I love so much, fills me with joy,” Morales tweeted early Monday morning, prior to crossing the border with Argentinian President Alberto Fernández.
Thousands of Bolivians gathered to welcome Morales back to the country.
Moments before Morales’ return, Camila Escalante, a reporter with teleSUR English, called it a “historic day for the people of Bolivia and our continent.” Morales, she noted, will “be received by the very social movements who defeated the coup and restored democracy.”
“I am very grateful to the Bolivian people for receiving me with such affection,” Morales tweeted soon after his return.
Morales, accompanied by Fernández, [embarked] on a tour of Bolivia [last week] and [was] scheduled to arrive in the city of Cochabamba on Wednesday.
Kenny Stancil is a staff writer for Common Dreams.
This article was published on November 9 at Common Dreams.