Two Christmases ago, I traveled south to Bolivia to visit my older brother who was working there. It’s a beautiful country—very diverse, both socially and geographically. I always find it interesting to hear news about Bolivia, and today I read an article on BBC about Evo Morales’ plans for his country. In case you don’t know, Bolivia is a poor (one of the poorest in Latin America) land-locked country in the center of South America. Two-thirds of its population consists of indigenous people who mostly live in the barren, rural altiplano and are farmers, miners, and artisans. There is a minority of elites who traditionally have controlled the political and economic sectors, causing a discrepancy between the native Indians and the Spanish elites. But in 2006, Evo Morales was elected as the first Aymara Indian president for Bolivia. Finally, the Indian majority had a chance to be heard in their own country.
Although the US (well, at least the Bush administration) doesn’t like Mr. Morales (this is probably because he is a socialist, opposes free trade, and often sides with Castro and Chavez) I think what he is trying to accomplish for his country is a good thing. For example, he is redistributing the land so that the elite minority doesn’t control all the best (most fertile and gas-rich) land. Right now, Bolivia is in the process of voting on a new referendum that will give more power and voice to the indigenous majority—the results for new constitution are still being processed, but I hope that Mr. Morales can succeed in creating equality in his country with the new constitution! To read more about this, check out the article on BBC.