'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, December 19, 2005


Man, if there's one thing Bush is good at it's getting leftists elected in Latin America. Evo Morales claims victory in what Jim Schultz of the Cochabamba-based Democracy Center called a "stunning, historic win for Morales and MAS." Here's Reuters:

Evo Morales, who challenges U.S. anti-drug policies, was set to become Bolivia's first Indian president and join Latin America's shift to leftist leadership after winning an unexpectedly large majority in Sunday's elections.

Morales' rivals conceded defeat when results tabulated by local media showed him taking slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, much higher than predicted.

With 8 percent of the official ballot tallied, Morales led with 47 percent to 37 percent for Jorge Quiroga, a conservative former president. The official tabulation will take several days but based on exit polls the final result is expected to remain close to 50 percent.

Should Morales capture more than half of the votes he would avoid facing a congressional vote between the two top vote-getters as requried by Bolivian law.

"Beginning tomorrow Bolivia's new history really begins, a history where we will seek equality, justice, equity, peace and social justice," Morales told hundreds of supporters amid chants of "Evo President! Evo President!" at his campaign headquarters in the central city of Cochabamba on Sunday night.

Landlocked Bolivia, South America's poorest and most unstable country, has seen two presidents in three years toppled by large-scale demonstrations led by out-of-work miners, disenfranchised Indians and coca-leaf growers.

It will be interesting to see what happens. Hard leftists in Bolivia think that Morales is too moderate and are pushing for total nationalization of Bolivia's natural gas industry whereas Morales is in favor of some form of partial nationalization. Now that he has power from an election victory that can be honestly read as a mandate perhaps Morales will swing leftward... Anyway I wonder how long we will have to wait before FOX News spews out a news story titled "The Iron Fist of Evo Morales"?

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