Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon BOLIVAR, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825; much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of coups and countercoups, with the last coup occurring in 1978. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982, but leaders have faced difficult problems of deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and illegal drug production.
In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president – by the widest margin of any leader since the restoration of civilian rule in 1982 – after he ran on a promise to change the country’s traditional political class and empower the nation’s poor, indigenous majority. In December 2009 and October 2014, President MORALES easily won reelection. His party maintained control of the legislative branch of the government, which has allowed him to continue his process of change. In February 2016, MORALES narrowly lost a referendum to approve a constitutional amendment that would have allowed him to compete in the 2019 presidential election. However, a 2017 Supreme Court ruling stating that term limits violate human rights provided the justification for MORALES to be chosen by his party to run again in 2019. MORALES attempted to claim victory in the 20 October 2019 election, but widespread allegations of electoral fraud, rising violence, and pressure from the military ultimately forced him to flee the country. An interim government is preparing new elections for 2020.
It is always interesting to watch the US justify the interference in the government and the state operation of countries that some do not agree with….
After the ousting of the Morales government the promised elections have taken place and once again the people of Bolivia have spoken……..
Evo Morales’ party has claimed victory in a presidential election that appears to sharply shift Bolivia away from the conservative policies of the US-backed interim government that took power after the leftist leader resigned and fled the country a year ago. The leading rival of Morales’s handpicked successor, Luis Arce, conceded defeat on Monday, as did interim President Jeanine Áñez, a bitter foe of Morales. Officials released no formal, comprehensive quick count of results from Sunday’s vote, but two independent surveys of selected polling places showed Arce with a lead of roughly 20 percentage points over his closest rival—far more than needed to avoid a runoff. Officials said final results could take days. Áñez asked Arce “to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind,” the AP reports. Arce, meanwhile, appealed for calm in the bitterly divided nation, saying he would seek to form a government of national unity under his Movement Toward Socialism party.
“I think the Bolivian people want to retake the path we were on,” Arce declared. He oversaw a surge in growth and a sharp reduction in poverty as Morales’ economy minister for more than a decade but will struggle to reignite that growth. The boom in prices for Bolivia’s mineral exports that helped feed that progress has faded, and the coronavirus has hit the impoverished nation harder than almost any other country on a per capita basis. Nearly 8,400 of its 11.6 million people have died of COVID-19. Arce, 57, also faces the challenge of emerging from the shadow of his polarizing former boss, whose support helped the low-key, UK-educated economist. Áñez’s government tried to overturn many Morales policies and pull the country from its leftist alliances, and Morales faces prosecution on what are seen as trumped-up terrorism charges if he returns home. He said Monday in Buenos Aires that he plans to return to Bolivia. Calling for “a great meeting of reconciliation for reconstruction,” Morales said, “we are not vengeful.”
I try to be fair in my postings….so will this win by Morales be bad for the region?
Roger Cortez, a socio-economics expert, predicts problems ahead. “MAS propagates an outdated economic model based on state capitalism and the exploitation of natural resources.” In addition, he says, “the pandemic has pushed between one and two million Bolivians back into poverty.” Cortez does not think slash-and-burn farming and gene modified crops in Bolivia’s plain are sustainable either.
Mesa has promised a new economic approach, yet remained vague on details. In any case, it will prove hard to generate majorities in such a fragmented parliament. Many ordinary Bolivians, therefore, are quite pessimistic about the future. An online survey conducted by Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation found that 78% of respondents see Bolivia’s situation worsening, while 57% said they expect an upshot in violence during and after the election. Meanwhile, a staggering 80% said they are concerned about the state of the economy and growing poverty.
On the other hand…..a look into the legacy of Morales…..the legacy of Evo Morales — who won power in South America’s poorest country, tripled its GDP, and lifted millions out of extreme poverty.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”