Possible Civil War in Bolivia?

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryOne South American country that has not received much publicity in the way of U.S. news is Bolivia. It should. On October 20th, national elections for the Bolivian presidency were held. At first, the election between current Bolivian President Evo Morales and his challenger Carlos Mesa was close. Then, suddenly, the election was halted and then resumed with far more votes going to Morales. In the end, Morales was declared the “winner” and said that he will have a fourth term. Mesa and his followers cried foul and dispute the elections. Mesa has called for another national election, this time overseen by international observers who can certify the election as fair. Morales will not consent to this, and is accusing Mesa and his followers of “fomenting unrest.”

Throughout all of Bolivia there has been unrest as the Bolivian opposition has made it clear they will not accept the election results, and continually call for new elections and international observers to certify any new election. Morales will not let this happen. He has ruled Bolivia as a dictator for 13 years, and has no intention of stepping down. All of the Bolivian national government is controlled by Morales’ Movement for Socialism party, and they have no desire to give up power. As in Venezuela, the Bolivian government has used violence against the opposition, and the situation is likely to get worse. The Bolivian military has so far not taken sides, and no one sure if it will take sides or which side it will take.

But Bolivia COULD EXPLODE. We are seeing a recipe for disaster. Morales has stayed in power for too long, and he is willing like Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro and Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega to take his country down a path of destruction from which there may be no return. I should explain that Carlos Mesa became president of the country for one year from 2004 to 2005 when the previous president, Sanchez de Lozada, resigned. At the time, Mesa faced a country moving towards chaos with riots and demonstrations breaking out due to dramatic rise in gas prices. Rather than use brute force against the people, he resigned and called for elections. Those elections, ironically, brought Morales to power. Now, Mesa has stepped back into the political arena to rescue his country from a dictator. Either Mesa will triumph and bring democracy back to Bolivia, or Morales will remain in power and subject his country to even greater repression, or there will be anarchy and civil war.

Comments are closed.