Russia beclowns itself on Bolivia — alongside Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua...

It wasn't a big surprise to see Latin America's lefty states whining and licking their wounds after the ignominious exit of Evo Morales after a long near-dictatorship in Bolivia.  The Bolivian tradition is to boot them out when they do something egregious, and this guy committed naked electoral fraud in the October 20 election for his fourth term.  The protests were huge and fierce, the United Nations and the Organization of American States certified it all as fraud, and then the cops and the military joined the protesters.  That left Morales with no power and, as of yesterday, out on his ear.  It was cut and dried.  Good riddance.

But Russia also joined the denouncers, pushing a stupid lefty narrative with a positively Pelosian disregard for the facts everyone can see:

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia on Monday accused Bolivia's opposition of unleashing a wave of violence in the South American nation and said it looked like a government push for dialogue had been swept aside by an orchestrated coup.

You don't expect Russia to make such a stupid move to join with such losers and denounce the outcome, and get...what?  Genie's out of the bottle, and there's not a thing they can do to turn it around.

We all know that the Latin lefty states are mad for obvious reasons, with many fearing the same outcome Morales got themselves for their own election frauds.  Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua — all big-time electoral fraud practitioners themselves, so of course they are yelling.  Argentina — a lousy democracy with a lefty leader, and also a neighbor of Bolivia's, so probably stupid there, too, given that they are going to have to live with these guys.  Mexico?  Also a democracy, but mainly interested in offering Morales asylum in its own tradition of taking in gamy ex-dictators.  But Russia?  Why the heck are the Russians saying anything? 

All they gained from this stupidity was to reveal their hand.  Thanks for the information.

Three things stand out:

One, they reveal that they had a stake in Bolivia, perhaps more than what's previously been known, and now they've lost it.  They lost some sort of foothold they had — military sales, mining interests, spy satellite stations, something — because whoever succeeds Morales either is going to want the Russians the hell out or else is going to extract a much higher price for whatever it is that's meaningful to the Russkis. The Russians have lost something of value, and thanks for letting us know.

Two, the fraud election is repellent to people in any democratic state, and people in all democracies find it natural to cheer the Bolivians' gumption for throwing this cheat out.  For states such as Nicaragua and Cuba and Venezuela with their rich histories of socialist rigging and cheating at election time, about par, they do the same stuff themselves, so naturally, they see nothing wrong with Bolivia.  But Russia?  Dissidents there have complained loudly about rigging and cheating.  But knowing that Vladimir Putin does have at least some popular support (think about what they had before Putin and Boris Yeltsin), plenty of people have taken it with a grain of salt. 

Russia's support of electoral fraud in Bolivia now casts some unpleasant shadows on just how fair Russia's elections have been.  If they could defend electoral fraud as naked as Bolivia's without a red face, what the heck is going on in their own elections?  They draw attention to potential fraud in their own elections if they defend a fiasco like Bolivia's.

Three, we like to think Russia tends to be smart, pragmatic and realist in its foreign dealings.  This hollering about the done deal in Bolivia is just plain stupid.  There aren't even any U.S. interests to reflexively oppose here as a complicating factor; this was all local talent.  Suddenly, the perceptions of invincibility that surround their diplomatic show are looking a little tattered.  Thanks again for the information.

All they're doing by yelling about Bolivia is revealing their hand to the West and alienating whoever it is who gets power in Bolivia now.  What they have to gain from this is zero.  Pretty stupid to join the losers instead of the winners.

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