Why Did Evo Win?

Published on ZNet (first on TeleSUR english), by Atilio Boron, October 18, 2014.

The landslide victory of Evo Morales has a very simple explanation: he won because his government has been, without a doubt, the best in the troubled history of Bolivia. “The best” means, of course, that he came through on the great promise, so many times unfulfilled, of all democracies: to guarantee the material and spiritual well being of the large national majorities, from that heterogeneous mass of oppressed plebeians, exploited and humiliated for centuries. It is no exaggeration whatsoever to say that Evo represents a watershed moment for Bolivian history: there is a Bolivia before his government and one after, a distinct and better one that came after his arrival to thePalacio Quemado.  

This new Bolivia, crystallized in the Plurinational State, has definitively buried the other one: colonial, racist, elitist, that nothing nor anyone will be able to resuscitate. A frequently made error is to attribute this real historic feat to some good economic luck that has supposedly spread all over Bolivia thanks to the tailwinds of the global economy, ignoring that not long after Evo’s arrival, the global economy went into a recession, which it still has not overcome. Without a doubt, his government has smartly managed the economy, but in our opinion what explains his extraordinary leadership is the fact that with Evo a true political and social revolution has been unleashed, whose most outstanding symbol is the establishment, for the first time in Bolivian history, a government comprised of social movements.

MAS [Movement Toward Socialism] is not a party in the strict sense of the term, instead it is a grand coalition of the popular organizations of a diverse type that grew until it was able to incorporate into its hegemony the “middle class” sectors, who in the past had been fervently opposed to the cocalero leader. That is why it is no surprise that in the Bolivian revolutionary process (remember that a revolution is always a process, never a single act) numerous contradictions have emerged that Alvaro Garcia Linera, Evo’s running mate, interprets as creative tensions that emerge in every revolution. No revolution is free of contradictions, just like every living thing; but what distinguishes Evo’s administration is the fact that it went about solving them correctly, strengthening the popular bloc and reaffirming its dominance in the realm of the State … //

… (full text).


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