Bolivia and Nicaragua are not democracies in crisis, they are dictatorships.

Neither in Bolivia, nor in Nicaragua, there is “respect for human rights and basic individual freedoms”. Nicaragua has over 130 and Bolivia over 45 political prisoners. The most recent political prisoners in Nicaragua are all the presidential candidates, just as Mrs. Cristiana Chamorro and others, who should participate in the upcoming 7 November elections. In Bolivia, former president Jeanine Añez, former ministers, military, policemen, young people and citizens who were a part, or victims of, the failed effort to end the dictatorship between October 2019 and October 2020, are now political prisoners.
Carlos Sánchez Berzaín.
Most democratic governments, organizations of the international system, and some of the news media, continue treating Bolivia and Nicaragua as democracies in crisis, highlighting the “electoral crisis” in Nicaragua and the “judiciary crisis” in Bolivia to disguise as symptoms what in reality is the existence of Cuba and Venezuela’s dictatorial system. None of the “fundamental components of democracy” remain in Bolivia and Nicaragua, these are countries with dozens of political prisoners, thousands of exiles and hold totalitarian power. They are not democracies in crisis, they are dictatorships and is time for them to be identified and treated as such.
With the ascendance of Evo Morales to the presidency, the Bolivian nation, since January of 2006, has been forced to tread a path towards the establishment of a dictatorship that with falsifications, massacres, and political persecution has supplanted the Republic of Bolivia and its Constitution, which is nothing more than a copy of the Cuban and Venezuelan dictatorial statutes that Castrochavism labels as constitutions, to impose what is today known as the “Plurinational State”.
Since January of 2007, with the return of Daniel Ortega to the presidency, through the passing of successive constitutional amendments and laws, adding to the governmental structure and impunity that “Sandinism” always had since 1990, the Nicaraguan nation has been forced towards the establishment of a Sandinista dictatorship within the parameters of 21st Century Socialism to turn it -just as in Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia- into a “vote-catching dictatorship” under which “people vote, but do not elect”.
In both cases, the “Iter Criminis” or path of the crime for the imposition of dictatorships had, as main actors, members of the opposition who negotiating their fear, crimes, and power spaces, delivered the institutionalism of their countries in exchange for pardon, amnesty, perks, and participation. Great betrayers of the homeland who remain as “functional opposition members” giving the dictatorships the appearance of democracy, while democratic leaders are tried, jailed, exiled, and are victims of the “assassination of their reputation”.
Neither in Bolivia, nor in Nicaragua, there is “respect for human rights and basic individual freedoms”. Nicaragua has over 130 and Bolivia over 45 political prisoners. The most recent political prisoners in Nicaragua are all the presidential candidates, just as Mrs. Cristiana Chamorro and others, who should participate in the upcoming 7 November elections. In Bolivia, former president Jeanine Añez, former ministers, military, policemen, young people and citizens who were a part, or victims of, the failed effort to end the dictatorship between October 2019 and October 2020, are now political prisoners.
The “rule of law” does not exist neither in Nicaragua, nor in Bolivia, because through despicable constitutional texts and laws, “rights” are what the dictator and the regime’s will is, just as in Cuba and Venezuela. There are laws, like the “gag” laws, “retroactive” laws, those for “the fight against corruption” or laws for the “protection of the sovereignty”, or just simply “antiimperialist laws”.
Just as in Bolivia as in Nicaragua, they have turned the judicial system into an instrument for political persecution and for the imposition of terror in the population. The “prosecutors and judges are executioners and legal proceedings are lynchings. The “judicialization of political persecution and repression” has been institutionalized as a Castrochavist method and is further clear proof of the inexistence of the “separation and independence of the branches of government”.
Without respect for human rights and basic individual freedoms, the rule of law, and the separation and independence of the branches of government, but with the existence of the total opposite, Bolivia and Nicaragua cannot have, did not have these last 15 years, and will not have “free and fair elections based on universal suffrage concepts and secrecy as an expression of the people’s sovereignty” and neither can they have “free political organization”. What transpired in Bolivia in the elections of October of 2019 was a criminal fraud certified by the OAS and the European Union, amongst others, a fraud that was repeated in October of 2020 with the complicity of those who now are the regime’s prisoners. What happened in Nicaragua is the same thing and it will be repeated -with opposition candidates imprisoned- this upcoming 7th of November.
The difference between democracy and dictatorship is not semantics, but the abysmal clash that structures two totally different and antagonistic ways of life and government. Dictatorial regimes, as violators of human rights, must be banned from the multilateral economic system but in order not to endure these and other consequences they continue simulating that Nicaragua and Bolivia are democracies in crisis, when in truth they are consolidated, pure, and hard dictatorships since many years ago.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.

Published in Spanish by Diariolasamericas.com Monday August 23, 2021.

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