This is an historic moment for Bolivia and all of South America. The continent has elected its first-ever indigenous president, Evo Morales: coca legalization proponent, self-proclaimed “nightmare” of Washington, and pal of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. And he won convincingly. Here’s a good article providing some context from the NYT.
My quick take: Evo’s election symbolizes:
1) an oppressed ethnic majority finally saying enough is enough and giving the boot to the traditional (white) elite minority ruling class;
2) the rejection of neo-liberal economic policies;
3) an example of the unintended consequences of the Bush adminstration’s hardline foreign policy. Morales might not have been elected if anti-US sentiment weren’t so high in South America these days — indeed, his campaign slogan was “‘Causachun coca, wanuchun Yanquis’ (‘Long live coca, death to the Yankees’).