If You Liked Chavez, You’ll Love Morales

World news from The Times and the Sunday Times – Times Online

FIVE centuries of white rule in Bolivia have ended with the election of the country’s first indigenous head of state.

Evo Morales, of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS), won more than 50 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s election, far outstripping all predictions. In his unprecedented first-round victory he left his nearest rival for the presidency, the pro-US Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, more than 20 percentage points behind. Addressing Bolivia’s main indigenous groups during his acceptance speech, Se�or Morales, who is an Aymaran Indian, said: “I want to say to the Aymaras, Quechuas, Guaran�es and Chiriguanos that for the first time we are going to be President.” Thousands took to the streets to celebrate. Su pporters crammed into trucks and drove around La Paz chanting “Evo to the palace, Tuto to Washington”.

Libertarians may forgive Morales his nationalization of gas reserves when they note that he is going to turn the nation into a grand experiment in drug legalization:

Señor Morales, who used to lead a coca-growers’ union, has promised to legalise the cultivation of coca, the primary ingredient in cocaine — to the horror of the US, which has pursued a big coca eradication effort in Bolivia in recent years. Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine.

Oh, man, Washington is going to _*HATE*_ this dude. It makes me happy.

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