Viva Evo, Viva Bolivia

Evo Morales is the first native person to ascend to the presidency of Bolivia. Evo, as leader of Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement Torwards Socialism), won the presidency with the largest margin and with the largest voter turnout in recent Bolivian history. Before being sworn in as president in La Paz, Evo participated in a Aymara ritual in the ancient ruins of Tiwanaku near Lake Titicaca. He thanked Pachamama (Mother Earth) and was given the staff of command by indigenous leaders known as mallkus (condors). Near the Sun Gate at Tiwanaku, Evo is reported as saying “We are not alone. The world is with us. We are in a time of triumph, a time of change.”

Evo has a difficult task at hand. Bolivia is one of poorest countries in South America landlocked in the high Andean plateau. In addition to being one of the poorest countries in South American, Bolivia has the largest percentage of indigenous population in the region. Over sixty percent of the population is of indigenous decent while thirty percent are Mestizo. About sixty-three percent of the population, almost the same percent of the population that is indigenous, lives below the poverty line. It is a sad fact that the poorest countries in the region have the largest percentage of indigenous peoples. From these statistics one can make the simple observation that the poor are the indigenous. Evo’s inauguration promises justice for all. A new sun is arising over Bolivia, a new hope is emerging.

As Bolivia celebrates, I am cautious to see Washington’s reactions to Evo’s leftist policies. Evo will surely capture the attention of Washington who has never supported indigenous lead movements and has gone out of its way to suppress them in such places as in Central America. It is after all in Bolivia that Che was killed by the CIA operatives. I’m actually afraid that Evo will capture the attention of that would-be political-assassin right-wing evangelical-crackpot Pat Robertson.

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