Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

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)

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)

'Historic Day': Jubilation as Evo Morales Returns to Bolivia One Year After Military Coup

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."

Kenny Stancil

Evo Morales was welcomed back to Bolivia on Monday morning, 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. 

Morales was not the only person who was ecstatic about his homecoming. Journalist Ollie Vargas shared a video on social media of Bolivians dancing in Villazón on Sunday night in anticipation of Morales' return. 

On Monday morning, 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."

Kawsachun News captured the scene as Morales crossed the border.

"I am very grateful to the Bolivian people for receiving me with such affection," Morales tweeted soon after his return. 

According to teleSUR English, Morales, accompanied by Fernández, will embark on a tour of Bolivia this week and is scheduled to arrive in the city of Cochabamba on Wednesday. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Scientists Revive ‘Zombie’ Virus After 50,000 Years Trapped in Siberian Permafrost

Researchers documented 13 never-before-seen viruses that have been lying dormant, frozen in thick ice, over tens of thousands of years.

Common Dreams staff ·


'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Amazing News': Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'The Nightmare Materializes': Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Jake Johnson ·


Raging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo