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Calling for an 'End to Violence,' Bernie Sanders Becomes First 2020 Democratic Presidential Contender to Criticize Bolivian Coup

"I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales."

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the media after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the media after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday became the first 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to speak out against Sunday's military coup in Bolivia which saw that country's President Evo Morales forced to resign before going into hiding.

"I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales," Sanders tweeted. "The U.S. must call for an end to violence and support Bolivia's democratic institutions."

The Vermont senator's comments came after a day of mounting pressure to speak out from his left-wing grassroots movement. Earlier Monday, as Common Dreams reported, Sanders supporter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) condemned the coup in no uncertain terms.

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"The people of Bolivia deserve free, fair, and peaceful elections," said Ocasio-Cortez, "not violent seizures of power."

Sanders' expression of support for Morales was welcomed by supporters. 

"By far the biggest difference between Bernie and the rest of the Democratic candidates is how well versed he is in and how much he cares about the type of international left issues that, say, The Nation writes a lot about," said reporter Matthew Zeitlin.

Earlier Monday, Sanders released a new plan to help veterans; held a town hall with veterans in Des Moines, Iowa; and published at Jewish Currents an essay on combatting anti-Semitism.

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