Bolivian Vote Reflects Nation’s Divisions

The presidency of Evo Morales in Bolivia received another shock when voters in the sparsely populated areas of Beni and Pando gave a resounding vote of over 80% who desire greater local autonomy and less control from the central government. Morales was the first president in Bolivian history who came from the indigenous population of poorer people. Fears by many middle and upper class Bolivians have resulted in referendums in which sections of the nation are expressing their disapproval of the leftist policies of Morales. Governor Ernesto Suzrez expressed the view of these factions by saying “to the country and the world we request respect for our desire for autonomy.”

Evo Morales is an important figure in the history of his nation and he reflects the aspirations of poorer people. However, his close alliance with President Huga Chavez may have provided his nation financial support, but it has accentuated fears of many middle class people their nation may be going in the direction of the dictatorial leader of Venezuela. Perhaps, it is time for Morales to gain the support of the middle and upper classes of his nation. There is no doubt, the wealthy do not wish to surrender their wealth, but forming an alliance with Chavez who has damaged democracy in Venezuela is not an advertisement that will gain Bolivian middle class support.