01 November 2005
The front runner in next month's Bolivian presidential election is Evo Morales, an Indian and former coca farmer. He finished runner in the last elections after his campaign was boosted by a mouthy American ambassador who said that a Morales win could lead the USA to reconsider its aid programme to the country.
He now has a narrow lead with a programme that includes the nationalisation of the country's natural gas fields. In foreign affairs Morales is influenced by the example of Venezuala's Hugo Chavez Frias. If elected Bolivia would join Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela in having leftists leaders who oppose Washington's policies in the region.
Now, is it too much to argue that none of these countries would have been able to make their own way in the world had it not been for the fact that the Americans are tied down in Iraq? Are the warmongers beginning to get the idea at last?
I have my doubts, but we can always hope.