Morales Wins Bolivia Poll in Landslide Victory (Financial Times)
The people of Bolivia became the enemy of the United States government yesterday by committing the heinous crime of democracy, voting in an indigenous leader who promises to nationalize the country's gas industry -- long eyed as low-hanging fruit by Bush cronies in the energy bidness.
Excerpt: Evo Morales on Sunday won a landslide victory in Bolivia’s presidential elections to become the country’s first indigenous leader. The scale of the triumph, which was not anticipated by opinion polls, will cause consternation both in Washington and among foreign investors such as British Gas and Total. The left-wing Mr Morales has pledged to decriminalise the cultivation of coca, the raw material for cocaine, and nationalise the country’s gas industry.
Mr Morales told supporters gathering at a rally in Cochabamba, the city from where he used to lead the coca growers union, that the election marked the beginning of a “new history for Bolivia”. He reiterated campaign promises to change the “neo-liberal economic model that has blocked Bolivia’s development” and end discrimination and racism suffered by Bolivia’s Aymara and Quechua indigenous peoples. [End excerpt]
So yet another American nation says no to conquistador capitalism, to rule by cronies and corrupt elites. When will that great big place between Mexico and Canada find the guts to do the same?
POSTSCRIPT: Of course, the Bushists will not let the Bolivians go unpunished for getting above their raising like this. So look for an explosion of "unrest" in Bolivia in the coming months, with Morales' government beset by extremist groups from both right and left suddenly flush with mysterious influxes of money and arms. Yes, from the left, too; Washington's covert warlords will always use any group that best serves to destabilize a target government. And Morales, who is attempting to build a genuinely broad-based movement that includes moderate establishment figures willing to join, already faces harsh criticism and suspicion from his left. And while Bush's covertniks will doubtless give most of their attention to their usual allies -- hard-right militarists, bloated plutocrats and the CIA's long-time partners, the drug lords -- they will surely find a few violent cranks on the extreme left to co-opt into useful mischief.
We will see many deaths and much suffering in the days ahead as the Bushists and their elitist cronies fight to "roll back" the tide of democracy and equality in South America, and preserve the power and privilege of their exploitation of other people's wealth..