Evo’s ascension

Yesterday Evo Morales was sworn in as Bolivia’s 66th president. We saw much of the ceremony on the TV of Alcides and Noemi from their house in Plan Tres Mil, a city close to Santa Cruz. Wow, Bolivian politicians can talk. The new vice president spoke forever, followed by Evo, then other dignitaries. Then they all spoke AGAIN. It dragged on for hours and hours, all covered by live TV.

In any case, this is a momentous event in Bolivia’s political history. I am bringing back some newspapers documenting the occasion.

Meanwhile, all the internet cafes we’ve used so far have AWFUL keyboards. I have to reype words 5 or 6 times because the keys don’t work. I hope we find a good one soon.

Jadzia is doing well… but everyone we meet says she should be wearing socks or pants and that she must be cold. In fact, she gets hot and her face flushes sometimes! 🙂

Election Eve

On Sunday, Bolivia will hold it’s long-awaited elections.

I’m not crazy about Evo Morales — that’s no secret. Despite my insignificant opposition, though, it appears he will win a plurality (not a majority) of the vote.

Whatever happens, it is highly likely the president will not be decided by the election but by the Congress, since none of the candidates is likely to get a majority of the popular vote, which Bolivia’s consitution requires.

Yoli got an email from a family member in Santa Cruz who mentioned they were planning to vote for Evo. Why? Not because they liked Evo. Quite the contrary.

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Crisis could end today

Reuters is reporting” that the Bolivian Congress will vote to reject President Carlos Mesa’s resignation offer.

I hope that turns out to be the case, and that the parties like MAS are forced to vote in support of Mesa. I also hope Mesa can win some of the concessions he is calling for from Evo Morales and the Santa Cruz elite.

It’s funny to me that Evo yesterday accused Mesa of using his resignation as a form of “blackmail.” What does Evo think all the blockades, protests, and strikes are that he orchestrates throughout the Andes? They are blackmail. He is guilty, too; far more guilty, in fact. I think it’s quite just that he’s gotten a taste of his own medicine.

Bolivia in crisis

You know things in Bolivia are bad when even my Nanny who lives in San Antonio, Texas, has heard the news.

Bolivia’s president, Carlos Mesa, has offered his resignation to the Bolivian congress. In a television address to the nation, he said that Bolivia could not go on “with this dynamic of madness, of the tribe, of the region. We cannot continue with this irrational logic.”

The “dynamic of madness” he is referring to is the unending cycle of protests and blockades sponsored by various political factions. These protests continually cripple the country economically. Mesa refuses to use force to stop them, though. His predecessor, Sanchez de Lozada, took the military tack, and 67 protestors ended up dead. The people rose against Lozada, forcing him to flee the country. Now Bolivians want Lozada tried for “genocide.”

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