In Latin America, Left-wing and anti-American leader Evo Morales was elected President of Bolivia by a substantial margin. According to the International Herald Tribune:
Morales, 46, an Aymara Indian and former coca farmer who also promises to roll back American-prescribed economic changes, had garnered up to 51 percent of the vote, according to televised quick-count polls, which tally a sample of votes at polling places and are considered highly accurate.
Publius Pundit, a blog that closely watches developments in Latin America says it wasn't even close. "There was nothing fraudulent about it, and voter turnout was an amazing 80%. Bolivians who are celebrating this are happy because Morales is the first-ever indigenous Aymara president the nation has ever had. For people who have been shut out from the existing system, for whatever reason, it’s a great step forward to see one of their own in the highest office in the land." In These Times has an interview with Evo Morales in which he claims that he is 'like Che' except that he doesn't believe in the armed struggle. Marc Cooper argues that Morales, as well as the ascent of left wing leaders in Brazil and Venezuela, portend the end of the Washington Consensus' in Latin America characterized by "free enterprise, free trade, a rollback of the state and social services, a sort of trickle-down economics for export". Cooper asks whether this is cause for jubilation -- or alarm. Indeed, Morales is likely to go down the same road as Hugo Chavez, who is rapidly ruining the very Venezuelan economy he promised to rescue from the oligarchs.
Politics in the Third World has long been principally a synonym for plunder. The sole variation from this boring theme lay in finding new and innovative alibis under which to commit the intended looting. Throughout the 1990s traditional elites operated under the banner of the free trade, economic liberalization and privatization -- while doing nothing like that. Each time, the local elites were at pains to emphasize their theft was at the behest; indeed the compulsion of international lending institutions. Though economics in the Third World very often consisted of banditry planned locally; it was always attributed internationally, preferably to Washington; and for decades no one was overly concerned at this sickening charade because these dens of corruption were distant from the centers of world power. Until September 11.
While radical Islam is the best known form of chaos from the Third World it was merely the worst -- but not the only -- form of dysfunction. There were many other countries where things simply didn't work, and where their overlords made a career of covering their crimes by claiming subservience to an 'international' program, as simple misdirection. The post-colonial world fell to pieces in a million ways; united only in a single, agreed-upon scapegoat: the USA. Chavez can be depended on to destroy his own country; as did Castro and as probably, will Evo Morales. Yet in the end, they too, will attribute their failings to America. What's needed is some way to make each nation consciously responsible for its own destiny. Whether in Iraq or elsewhere, that's the only way to go.