Evo Morales’ election as president of Bolivia is an important event due the number of votes garnered by the new president since the first round, the situation of the country that is just coming out of the “second oil war” and the Amerindian origin of the winner. He was the spokesman for coca-leaf farmers and the leader of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), an anti-American and anti-capitalist party which had an important role in the oil wars, close to Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro. Morales is the first Amerindian president in Latin America and the ruler of the poorest country of the continent, in which social inequalities are very common.
His election is a sign of a regional change. There’s a strong anti-liberal dynamics that has been translated into the arrival in power of progressive movements and the determination in favour of the collective use of natural resources. This is what happened in Uruguay which, for the first time in its history, moved to the left and included water in its constitution as a collective good. The last Summit of the Americas showed how strong the opposition to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is in several countries. Evo Morales promised he would nationalize oil, Bolivia’s main resource, although he has been more prudent since his election.
His election is significant for the alterglobalist movement in which Americans play a significant role. Evo Morales is an important figure of the alterglobalism, and the revolt of year 2000 in the city of Cochabamba against the privatization of water is a relevant element, almost mythical, of the struggle against “neo-liberal globalization”. If the dominant tendency in France, represented by the NGOs and the ATTAC, refuses to admit the transformation of that trend into a political movement willing to take power, others among them or closer to them have not given up to power, revolution and socialism. After Hugo Chávez, the temptation to see Morales’ Bolivia as a model to be followed can be huge for a considerable part of the alterglobalists.

Libération (France)
Libération followed a long path since its creation by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre to its acquisition by financier Edouard de Rothschild. Circulation: 150,000 copies.

Un autre monde est possible avec Evo Morales”, by Eddy Fougier, Libération, January 3, 2006.