Jan 28, 2006

Viva La Revolucion? Another South American Nation Turns Socialist

Left: Newly elected Bolivian president Evo Morales; photo courtesy of lostiempos.com

(Bolivia) The surprising victory by Evo Morales in Bolivia's national elections is merely the latest in what has quietly become a continental shift away from the free-market ideology pushed by the United States and the IMF.

Morales joins the leftist ranks of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez Argentina's Nelson Kirchner, Brazil's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez. Another left-leaning candidate, Ollanta Humala, could win the election next month in Peru election.

And let us not forget Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista leader of Nicaragua in the 1980s, who is making noise about a comeback bid.

Morales took the reins of power this week after an election in which he not only took 54% of the vote, but also in which he became the first candidate in over 20 years to receive an electoral majority. He is also the first indigenous ruler in the region now known as Bolivia since the time of the Incas, a period of over five centuries.

This, of course, poses a dilemma for the Bush Administration. One one hand, the Bolivian elections were a democratic process, which President Bush has made a cornerstone of his foreign policy. On the other - the neo-conservatives and corporate lobbyists who advise the President must be beside themselves with horror at the prospect of yet another socialist rising to power in the hemisphere.

Morales, while not a diehard Marxist, nonethless represents a threat to US hegemony in the region. His opposition to the power of multinational corporations is apparent, particularly in his statement about basic human rights.

Will Bush embrace the ideal of democratically-elected governments, or will he cave in to the pressue of the neo-conservatives to vigorously oppose what appears to be a groundswell of hemispheric support for socialist governments?


M A F said...

If Bush wasn't up to his eyeballs in Iraq (the Middle East) he might have followed the lead of previous administrations and gotten more involved in the politics of South America. Or maybe after failing to unseat Chavez Bush's handlers decided he should give up.

historymike said...

Good point, Mac.

It's hard to be a credible force in South America if Bush commits such a large chunk of US assets to the Middle East, Mac.

Of course, we can't rule out Pat Robertson's wacky-but-ever-present theory that the CIA should "take out" rulers like Chavez who have the audacity to act like representatives of independent nations, instead of kowtowing to the US.

Don't get me wrong - I'm skeptical that the ideals of socialism will ever pan out into real world succeses, but if a nation elects socialists and chooses to go down that path, let 'em.

We never seemed to mind very much that the Swedes were dirty reds, but God forbid it should happen in a place with value in natural resources.

Anonymous said...

Dont worry about the commies - they will screw it up like they did in Russia.

Lloyd Davies, TimeLORD said...

Its too bad we dont have good men in South America like Gen. Augusto Pinochet anymore!

Hooda Thunkit said...

I'd be happy if President Bush tightened our borders and started taking care of business here at home.

Let our own success be an example for other nations to judge us by, not the stuff that we're into now...

Matt Drudge, Jr. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
historymike said...

Matt's comments were deleted because he chose obscenity over intelligent discourse.

I am not sure if Lloyd's comments about Pinochet are an attempt to be funny, or if he really supports amurdering thug like Pinochet.

Matt Drudge, Jr. said...

Mike, there was no profanity in my post.

Anyways, all you have to do is see how the economic system created by PinoCHET! has fostered the strongest economy in S. America, and how PinoCHET!'s Social Security system was adopted by Bush (although the SS reform is on the back burner for the moment) you can see how EVERYONE should have PinoCHET!'s portrait on their mantles.

And long live the memory of JUAN PERON!!!!!!!!!


historymike said...

Even most neo-cons have denounced the brutality of the Pinochet regime, Matt.

Personally, I would prefer freedom of speech and freedom of assembly over the economic growth that occurred during Pinochet's reign.

What good is economic growth if you are buried in an unmarked grave, or languishing in a cell as a political prisoner?

Of course, given your fondness for fascists, I shouldn't be surprised that you would idolize a thug like Pinochet.

Dariush said...

A salute to Morales and Chavez -- not to mention Kirchner and Ortega.

Men who care about the welfare of their own nations and peoples first and foremost and have therefore given the one-finger to salute to both Uncle Sam and the international loan sharks, moneylenders and plutocrats of the IMF and World Bank.

A few weeks ago on his site Wayne Madsen stated that the US was already prep-ing for some sort of "democratic coup" in Bolivia, Argentina and (yet again) Venezuela.

Madsen is an ex-NSA and Naval Intelligence guy with no shortage of contacts in the intel community and while, for obvious reasons, most of his sources are anonymous they are also, 9 times out of 10 proven to be right.

We'll see, I guess.