Regions / Bolivia
The White House has to be concerned about the potential election of another Latin American government allied to the likes of Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales, overtly challenging the flagging war on drugs, and highly critical of neoliberal, free market economic policies. Eying the runoff against Alan García Pérez, Ollanta Humala Tasso has softened his rhetoric in recent days; but to be successful in the May round of elections, he must retain the support of the core constituency that propelled him to victory in April.
The election of Bolivia's new president is a powerful symbol of the growing resistance throughout Latin America to U.S.-led economic programs.
Morales faces the daunting challenge of governing a troubled and bitter nation, where expectations are high and short-term change is difficult to achieve.
Demonizing Morales will not advance our true national interests of promoting freedom and human development. But cheering an independent and democratic Bolivia just might.
Bolivia is in the grips of its worst political crisis and social upheaval since the end of the dictatorships in 1983, while U.S.-imposed economic and antidrug policies are principal reasons for the current conflicts.
President Carlos Mesa won a stunning political victory last month when Bolivian voters overwhelmingly approved a five-point referendum, endorsing his plans to develop Bolivia’s gas reserves.