Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Witness - President Evo" -- Evo Morales, President of Bolivia.

Bolivia is a land-locked country in South America. Since 2006, its President has been Evo Morales, the first indigeneous person ever to be President of Bolivia.

Historically, the Spanish invaded and took over Bolivia in 1500 and stayed until the early 1800s, when Bolivia became independent. In modern times, the country has been the scene of numerous coups, military dictatorships, and general instability in its government. The population is only 15% "white" (Spanish descendents), but the whites own or control most of the land and resources, and wealth of the nation. The ownership of the resources of Bolivia had been sold off to foreign investors by governments before Evo Morales was elected.

When Evo Morales was elected, the 15% of the population that was white, which lives mostly concentrated in certain parts of the country, decided they would secede from the nation so Morales could not try to take any of their land or assets away from them. Morales' platforms included agrarian reform by which he promised to take "non-productive" land from the rich and redistribute it to the poor. 60% of the population of Bolivia lives in extreme poverty. Morales' platform also included taking back control of the gas from international ownership, and having more of the income from the gas go to the nation instead of going to foreign investors.

Evo Morales comes from a union background, and his support was from the indigenous majority of the country, as well as from various union groups, including the miners. Bolivia, under Morales, is one of the countries in South America which has begun to emerge from its neo-colonial status and to develop a politics of citizens' rights. Hopefully this trend will continue and spread throughout South America.

Filmmaker Rodrigo Vazquez spent three years following Evo Morales, from his presidential campaign through the years of bitter struggle for constitutional and economic reform in Bolivia. This documentary was shown on Al Jazeera - English TV.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


  1. I read somewhere that many of the landowners are Croatian, and noted that 2 of the rich in this movie had Croatian names. Are these Utashe murderers moved through the ratline and given land in Bolivia?
    Eva Morales is awesome. I wish he was our President, instead of the smooth talking corporate stooge we had marketed to us.

  2. I did not know that about Croatians. I assumed the landowners were all Spanish descendents, "the" colonial power, but maybe they sent Croatians.

    Yes, I really like Evo Morales. What a story. Of course I'm worried now because of the phony coup today in (Honduras?) supposedly by a military guy that the U.S. trained at the School of Americas. Also, I just read that the U.S. had been pouring money into El Salvador to try to corrupt the elections in that country.

    I think South and Central America has an opportunity to break free of the U.S. dominance while the U.S. is busy waging wars against the Middle East. I hope they take advantage of that opportunity, work together, create their own markets, throw off the U.S. domination.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful to have an "Americas" in which all the nations worked together on behalf of the people? The U.S. influence in the region for decades has meant only torture, coups, military and police states, imprisonment, disappearances, murder, and turning every nation into a colony on behalf of U.S. corporations.

    It's a very exciting time in the countries to the south of us.