Skip to comments.Bolivia's first Indian president sworn in (Evo Morales watch)
Posted on 01/22/2006 12:44:12 PM PST by ChicagoHebrew
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Leftist coca grower Evo Morales, a fierce critic of U.S. policies who helped topple two of his predecessors in deadly street uprisings against Bolivia's ruling elite, was inaugurated Sunday as the nation's first Indian president. The former llama herder and leader of Bolivia's coca growers union raised his fist in a leftist salute just before he swore to uphold the constitution during the ceremony in the ornate Legislative Palace Morales wept and bowed after he was presented with the yellow, red and green presidential sash -- the colors of the Bolivian flag. Outside, tens of thousands of people, led by brightly dressed Indians, cheered and blew on cow horns as fireworks crackled overhead. They then sang the national anthem amid shouts of "Evo! Evo!" in support of Morales, a farmer's son who has promised to lift one of Latin America's poorest countries out of the misery it has endured since the 16th-century Spanish conquest. Morales said his election marks the beginning of the end to hundreds of years of discrimination and repression of Bolivia's Indian majority. "I wish to tell you, my Indian brothers, that the 500-year indigenous and popular campaign of resistance has not been in vain," Morales declared. He also said he would "change history" but "without vengeance," and his government would serve all sectors of Bolivian society. Tieless in character with his informal style, the former opposition leader vowed that his leftist Movement Toward Socialism would be stubbornly independent, avoiding any outside influences. While he has said his government would welcome warm relations with the United States and other governments, he vowed he would not "submit" to any outside powers.
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That being said, Bolivia is one of the few countries on earth where some of the typical crazy leftist rants actually have some truth in them. The Spanish conquered and basically enslaved the entire country for hundreds of years, working the indigenous peoples to death in mines. Even after independance, all the land and wealth of the country went to the 1% of the population descended from those conquerors. Successive military governments were charged with ensuring that the conqueros kept that wealth, and that the indigenous remained impovershed llama growers cut off from power, education, and opportunity (a far cry from the democratic capitalism that allowed the US to prosper and -- eventually -- give opportunity to all). So it's not suprising that Bolivia turned commie.
It's a gorgeous country. I only hope Morales doesn't ruin it. I also hope that the insane US policy of drug eradication doesn't lead to something even worse. Coca, which is used to make cocaine for gringos, is also a staple crop of the region used by 80% of the population for legal, non-narcotic purposes such as coca chewing, tea brewing, and pain relieving ointments.
Predictably, the economy under this guy will get worse, he will completely alienate the US, and the left in this country will think he is a genius.
Just saving everyone the time of following the story as it unfolds.
This guy will join the ranks of Fidel Castro and Chavez. I wish we had gotten to Castro when we had the chance.
Ah, the way of the Shining Path. With Chairman Mao to advise them from the Great Beyond, they cannot do wrong.
The great glory that was the Mayan Empire shall be restored. Begin the construction of the pyramids and the celebration of the human sacrifices once more.
This time, they got the wheel.
Is this guy a true blue Commie? I know it didn't take Brazil's Lula very long to cozy up with the entrenched big business cartel.
This guy knows it is his nation's fate to be subservient, and he will rob it blind. Look for him to move to a multi-floor condo in Miami Beach.
It didn't work.
He should be "sworn at" not "sworn in".
Doesn't it all seem like a prelude to martyrdom for Morales?
You have the wrong foods though. He would have carne and some mandioca on the side. Yummmy.
Ah... ignorant ethnic stereotypes. He's Bolivian, not Mexican, for starters. That ain't Bolivian food.
Stupid does not always mean equal funny.
I'm curious. What are some typical Bolivian foods? I read one mention of `mandioca'.
Very interesting. There are at least two important ethnic groups in Bolivia who do not see Evo Morales as an icon: the Guaranis and the Europeans. Also, Morales is Aymara and the Quechua, although "Indios," speak a separate and distinct language and have their own traditions, held together with the Aymara only by shared resentments. Evo has had his party; now comes the hangover.
Simple grain meals, from corn and quinoa. Chicken, pork, guinea pig. Chorros. Cakes of fried dough. It's actually all pretty disgusting stuff. There's a reason you don't see Bolivian restaurants around.
Bolivia has many coups, like 300 of them. There was a revolution in 1952 by the MNR Party, led by Victor Estenerro Paz. The MNR party had Nazis sympathizers, which would explain why some Nazis went to Bolivia, like Klaus Barbie. The fact is, it is the rich and wealthy elites who conrol every aspect of the economy in many Latin American nations, like Mexico or Peru.
More like Tex-Mex, a mix of Texan and Northern Mexico cusine.
Another name for mandioca is yuca. That is a staple in a lot of South American countries. I would say its in the potato family.