There are countries that combine the beauty of their places with certain curse. Bolivia is one of those countries. It was the scenario of multiple wars since it became independent and it still achieves the same GDP as 50 years ago.
During its 180 years of history, it has experienced almost 200 coup d’états, counterattacks and failed revolutions. It is a country with a territorial extension twice as large as Spain but barely populated with 9 million people. Some people live in areas located above 4 000 meters and with a huge diversification of ethnic groups and at extreme poverty level (64%), but with high literacy rate and great potential. It is divided between a small economic elite that intends to drive the country into modernity and a very poor indigenous majority.
Three presidents in the last two years, two of them overthrown by people’s pressure. The Movement to Socialism (MAS) of Evo Morales obtained a resounding victory during the elections held three weeks ago. In light of the divisions of his country, the new President will have to come up with an integration plan. It is an opportunity to reestablish confidence and put an end to nepotism. The period that is beginning is of major unrest but also a great opportunities. Changes in political culture will be necessary. It is crucial that the rules of the game be respected by the leadership and the citizens themselves. Bolivia will not become a modern state as long as it does not eliminate corporatism and divisions.
The new Bolivian leaders have to be an example of respect and compliance with the democratic law. It is necessary to ensure security and stability. Foreign investments should be facilitated and that is something that unfortunately raises uncertainty if we take into account the statements made by the new President, and autonomy of certain regions must also be allowed.
Spain should assist Bolivia and prevent it from falling into the banana direction of Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro whom Morales admires, unfortunately.

El Mundo (Spain)

Riesgos y oportunidades de la victoria de Evo Morales”, by Jesús López-Medel, El Mundo, January 2, 2006.