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The Nation: Bolivia's Next Steps

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-16-09 04:04 PM
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The Nation: Bolivia's Next Steps
from The Nation:



Bolivia's Next Steps
By Benjamin Dangl

December 16, 2009


A rainbow of campaign posters covered the stairways and tinted glass walls in the Bolivian Congress building. After arriving in the crowded office lobby of leftist Congressman Gustavo Torrico, I sat for hours next to union leaders and other rank-and-file constituents, waiting to speak with the politician.

Torrico was meeting with members of the Bolivian Workers Center, one of the largest unions in the country. When I finally sat down on the couch in his dimly lit office, the smiling Congressman explained one of the key reasons for the success of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), the party he and indigenous President Evo Morales helped construct.

"We choose political ideas from below and move those politics upward," he said. "Social organizations are important to us because they are our essence. Without social organizations, we would not exist."

It was largely this dynamic relationship with the country's powerful unions, social organizations and movements that led to the December 6 re-election of Morales with 63 percent of the vote, according to exit polls; his closest rival, conservative former governor Manfred Reyes Villa, won just 23 percent of the vote. Voters also gave MAS more than two-thirds control of both houses of Congress, a broad mandate to meet the needs and demands of the party's national base. The coming months will say a lot about the administration's goals and obstacles as it begins, in the words of Morales after his re-election, to "accelerate the process of change." ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091221/dangl



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