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The German media campaign against Bolivia

Less than eight months after the contested presidential election in Bolivia, from which the incumbent President Evo Morales emerged as the winner for the fourth time, a fourth scientific-meticulous investigation attests that the alleged electoral fraud of October 2019 did not take place in Bolivia.

In a nutshell, the investigation confirms the accuracy of a conjecture made more than half a year ago. That the Morales government and the Bolivian electoral court cannot be proven to be deliberately fraudulent, but on the contrary the organization of the American States (OEA/OAS) can be accused of wilful, politically motivated Manipulation of its election analysis. The hasty criticism and the subsequent publication of an admitted OAS partial analysis fuelled the police mutiny and the call for the coup against the democratically elected government of Evo Morales a few days after its publication. Without prejudice to its election victory, the mandate of this government should not end until 20 January 2020.

However, in the sense of this publication, two signals should be worth thinking about. On the one hand, the reference to the fact that all four investigations to date, which critically deal with the OAS accusation of alleged electoral fraud, originate from the pen of US scientists. This includes the first from the Washington Center for economic and political research (CEPR), the second from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the third from the University of Michigan and the fourth from professors from the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University. On the other hand, the reference to the fact that the criticism of the Washington-based and US-owned OAS is also presented by two dominant US media, so first The Washington Post of February 27 with its Reportage and last June 7 The New York Times (NYT) with the article in Bolivia, a Bitter Election is being Revisited, according to the online title, which, however, on the imprint page-“a Bitter Election. Accusations of Fraud. And now Second Thoughts” – thoughtfulness granted.

Deutsche Welle rehearsed a similar “devotional sinking” last February 28 with the message “Bolivia: perhaps not electoral fraud after all”. However, a superficial search of the title under the heading “Bolivia election” is enough to convince oneself that the so-called German leading media in concert with the US Mainstream have been following the electoral fraud litany of the OAS for months.

“And now Second Thoughts,” the NYT admits. Before that, bad words and suspicions against Evo Morales hailed on the pages of the Mainstream locomotive.

The New York Times, the Mainstream and its “Standards”

For many decades, the NYT in the USA has also been known by its nickname “The Gray Lady”, meaning an elderly lady to whom the vernacular dictates stiff conservatism, but naturedly-also a sense of proportion. However, the dominant US daily has long since abandoned this care and Balance in dozens of controversial media cases, most recently in the first days of June, and before that in October 2019 with its “editorials” on Bolivia.

On June 3, the editors had published an editorial by Republican politician Tom Cotton entitled “Send in the Troops”, in which the right-wing Donald Trump’s threat to use military force against the George Floyd protests to “drive apart, arrest and ultimately deter lawbreakers.” There was loud criticism of the editorial. The Times was accused of spreading false news, The New York News Guild accused the editors of promoting violence. Praise for freedom of the press: more than 800 Times staff signed a letter of protest against the Cotton editorial.

The result: James Bennet, editorial editor, who with Times heir and Senior Publisher Arthur Gregg Sulzberger had justified the publication of the Cotton pamphlet for alleged reasons of “balance”, resigned from his post and justified the bold move with a catastrophic admission: he had not read the article before its publication. Second episode: after an internal review, the article was accompanied by a 317 words short “editor’s note”, which stated that “our Standards were not met and the article should not have been published”. Sulzberger told his employees that"last week saw a significant collapse of our machining processes; not the first we have experienced in recent years.”

If Sulzberger’s self-criticism is now transferred to the Bolivia coverage, the threat: Evo, no más trucos will be published in the Spanish-language edition of the NYT on October 29, 2019, immediately after the election in Bolivia. Literally translated: “Evo, no more Tricks!”. On the following November 11, 2019, Bennet pushed another editorial titled: Evo Morales is Gone. Bolivia’s Problems Aren’t – “Evo Morales is gone. Bolivia’s problems are not.” *

It said: “when a leader brazenly abuses the power and institutions provided to him by the voters, as President Evo Morales has done in Bolivia, it is he who loses his legitimacy and often forces him to the only remaining Option. That’s what the Bolivians did…”. As the “only remaining Option” and, without prejudice to the threats of police, military and fascist militias, let alone the question of the role of the CIA and State Dept. in preparing the coup-the NYT meant Morales ' resignation.

In the meantime, the German ARD Tagesschau could be seen, heard and read: “Bolivia: was the election rigged?”. Die Hamburger Zeit wrote, “Evo Morales: Bolivia says no”, ZDF alerted,” Bolivia sinks into Chaos”, Deutsche Welle reported, “OAS:” targeted Manipulation"of the presidential election in Bolivia”. Then the Tagesschau took over a mendacious and scandalous insinuation of the coup government and wrote on 23 November: “Bolivia’s Ex-president: government accuses Morales of Terror”. But after the publication of the critical CEPR and MIT investigations into the OAS’s actions, the concerted reporting suddenly seemed to be suspicious of Deutsche Welle, which apparently asked itself the question on 28 February: “Bolivia: maybe not electoral fraud after all”.

Despite the course correction in the Washington Post and the NYT – “no evidence of electoral fraud in Bolivia” – radio silence has prevailed in Germany’s public institutions ever since.

The OAS Manipulation: what is new about the investigation of the Universities of Pennsylvania and Tulane?

In November last year, two international studies on the OAS election report were published. The investigation by the CEPR and a report by Walter Mebane, Professor of political science and statistics at the University of Michigan and an international expert in electoral fraud. With different methodological approaches, both reached similar results.

The OAS electoral commission justifies the election challenge on the basis that irregularities ranging from “very serious to indicative"have been found in the four sections examined (technology, due diligence chain, protocol integrity and statistical forecasts). Dies caused the technical Team to question the integrity of the election results. The interim report confirmed Evo Morales ‘election victory, but pointed to” serious computer security flaws”,” a clear manipulation of the system “by the Supreme Electoral Court (TREP), official calculations and Hand-made physical records with changes and"forged signatures”.

Although the audit team will continue to process the available information and the more than 250 complaints against the election “before making its recommendations in the final report”, the OAS die described preliminary results (as) “overwhelming”. The OAS mission described an interruption of the electronic vote counting as particularly disturbing … and"the drastic change in the preliminary results trend at the ballot boxes (which Evo Morales later assured a 10% lead), which is difficult to justify”.

The CEPR counter-report again revealed that the OAS mission in Bolivia has made contradictory statements from a technical point of view, which in no way prove electoral fraud. More precisely: that apparently work was being done to persuade the Bolivian population and the international public to believe that the re-election of Evo Morales had been manipulated. In its study, the Washington Institute referred to a crucial Detail disputed by the OAS, namely the late counting of the votes of some constituencies in the interior. According to this, such a delay is common in several countries of the world and is explained by the logistical and technological obstacles in the Hinterland. Peripheral and rural areas of Bolivia were hardest hit by the slow vote count, but were mostly part of the electorate of Evo Morales and his MAS party.

Die CEPR study further claims that Morales had already achieved a large lead over his opponent Carlos Mesa at the time of the interruption of the vote counting with 83.85 percent of the vote. A CEPR poll, based on a projection of the votes that had yet to be counted, found that the result was identical to the percentage of war that the president-elect had achieved when the votes were counted again. “The results of this statistical projection are consistent with the official results of the electoral census in Bolivia (which shows Morales’ victory by a margin of 10.5 percentage points), " says the counter-report to the OAS.

Using a different method four months later, the Pennsylvania and Tulane experts confirm the CEPR’s conclusions. “We have carefully examined the statistical data of the OAS and identified problems with its methods. Once we corrected these problems, however, the OAS results disappeared, leaving no statistical evidence of fraud, " Francisco Rodríguez, economist and professor of Latin American Studies at Tulane University, told the NYT. The other two authors of the study are political scientists Dorothy Kronick and Nicolás Idrobo from the University of Pennsylvania.

However, Rodríguez, Kronick and Idrobo emphasize that their analysis focuses solely on the statistical analysis of the voting results by the OAS and “does not prove that the election was free and fair”. In fact, numerous voting problems have been documented, the authors of the NYT report write, citing for the umpteenth time the 100-page OAS report with references to errors, irregularities and “a number of malicious actions” aimed at changing the results. These include hidden data servers, rigged voting results and fake signatures, which the organization claims made it impossible to validate the election results; however, limited to “at least 38,000 votes” in an entire universe of several million votes.

Idrobo, Kronick and Rodríguez noted in any case that the election results die credibility of the operation in itself “do not question”. It was not the integrity of the electoral process that was assessed, but only the quantitative evidence that “played an important role in the development of the political crisis in Bolivia.” In reviewing the elections, the OAS said it had detected a “highly unlikely Trend in the last 5 percent of the count” that allowed Morales to win the first round of voting.

Idrobo, Kronick and Rodríguez counter that the OAS “results” are not replicable with the techniques probably used. A sudden change in the trend occurred only through the exclusion of results from manually processed and late reporting polling booths, scientists say die. Was suggesting that the OAS used a false dataset to reach its conclusion. With a significant difference: the excluded, 1,500 late voting booths represent the majority of the final votes, which according to statistical analysis of the OAS were suspicious.

“The fall of Morales paved the way for a far-right provisional government led by Jeanine Áñez Chávez, which has not yet fulfilled its mandate to oversee new elections. The new government has persecuted supporters of the former President, silenced dissent and worked to consolidate its power control. Seven months after Morales ‘fall, Bolivia has neither an elected government nor an official election date,” NYT reporters Anatoli Kurmanaev and Maria Silvia Trigo regret. Complaining about spilled milk makes little sense, according to a Brazilian proverb. Just a few weeks ago, die NYT hit the same Anti-Morales score of Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and Marco Rubio.

The problem is the “standards”.