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What will the response be if Evo Morales becomes the democratically elected president of Bolivia, as recent polls (here's one example) suggest is the likely outcome of the December 18 election? Morales' prominence at Mar del Plata, marching along side Maradona and Chavez, has surely improved his chances. His plan to evict the U.S. from Bolivia and legalize coca across the country are ready made issues for D.C. demagoguery; if you listen you can already hear the strategic positioning of certain Democratic senators, preparing to overthrow yet another legitimate democratic head of state.

Fortunately for Bolivia, Bush and his administration are at their weakest. The idea of open military intervention is, because of our misadventures in Iraq, clearly off the table for once. And it seems unlikely that Condi could rally much support for intervention among the international community, with American credibility now a joke. For these reasons, there couldn't be a better time for people power to claim another victory in South America.

By their nature, we can't know what clandestine operations are prepared against such an eventuality. We can only hope that scrutiny and skepticism here, in South America, and around the world will be heightened this time around.

That leaves the old standby, a "home-grown" coup. The excuse will be, if Morales wins, that the election was not quite right. The on-again, off-again nature of the election, and the byzantine manoeuvring that  finally resulted in a December 18 date, if that indeed is final, are chronicled at Of course, if he loses, the elections will be seen to have been legitimate.

During the June crisis, the military clearly signaled their willingness to intervene in case of political chaos. But some observers think a clear mandate for Morales and his party, MAS (Movement Toward Socialism), would leave the army little choice but to comply.

Perhaps someone here could offer more insight into the current attitude of the army. We know about its glorious past.

One thing is certain: the continued rise of the Aymara means we will be seeing more of the worlds most colorful flag, the Wiphala:

Morales primers:

NewDirection's recent diary pointed us to Wiki links on Bolivian Gas Wars One and Two.

Morales' role in the Cochabamba Water War Morales' home page.

Originally posted to melvin on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 06:47 PM PST.

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