[Marxism] NY Times profile on Evo Morales

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Nov 20 08:38:17 MST 2005


This article should, at least for those who take the time to read it,
put Evo Morales's name on the minds of readers of the New York Times
Sunday magazine section. Thanks to Louis for posting the entire thing.

It is, furthermore, definitely NOT the hatchet job one might expect
from this publication, who yesterday ran a puff portrait of Sumate's
leader in Venezuela. This is clearly a nuanced portrait. It reflects,
in its own way, that Morales has been following an astute strategy in
politics. This paragraph, from the end of this long and valuable story,
give you the gist of the argument, which is clearly worth the time:

"Even without apparent resources, MAS is surging, and the most recent
polls put Morales ahead of his two principal rivals. Yet many
Bolivians, including some who are sympathetic to MAS, say privately
that Morales remains something of an unknown quantity. Shifter
suggested to me that Morales is "still a work in progress," and a
number of well-informed Bolivians I met agreed. The problem, of
course, is that given the severity of the Bolivian crisis, the
militancy of so much of the population and the impossibly high level
of expectations that a MAS government would engender among Bolivia's
poor and its long-marginalized indigenous populations, there is very
little time. It is quite accurate to speak of the rebirth of the left
in Latin America, but the sad truth is that the movement's return is
more a sign of despair than of hope. Almost 40 years ago, one
self-proclaimed revolutionary, Che Guevara, died alone and abandoned
in the Bolivian foothills. Today, another self-proclaimed
revolutionary, Evo Morales, could become the country's first
indigenous and first authentically leftist president. But as was true
of Che himself, it is by no means clear that Morales has any hope of
fulfilling the expectations of his followers."

It's always useful to keep in mind that famous headline which Truman
famously held aloft from the Chicago Tribune of 1948, which declared:
"Dewey Defeats Truman" when the opposite had in fact taken place and
so all of the hopeful reports coming out of Bolivia, from supporters
of Morales, and the troubled ones from his opponents need to keep in
mind that "It ain't over 'til it's over" in politics. Still, Che was
isolated and defeated 38 years ago. He didn't speak the indiginous
language. The world was a very different place then as well, and he
was not a Bolivian native, but was the leader of his armed effort in
that country. Those on the political left who have, knowing little of
Bolivia, been campaining against Evo Morales will be well-advised to
take the time to read through this article. There remain some who in
their impatience and ignorance of the realities of Bolivia (I admit
fully to the ignorance) think that Morales is some sort of terrible
betrayer because he doesn't fit some pre-conceived programmatic norm.

We've seen a great deal of this on the internet in recent months and
so if lessons are to be learned from the dogmatic prescriptivenesses
of the past, we need look at this profile of Morales and then keep
in mind that there were those who did the same thing with Cuba, not 
only before, but even after Cuba's revolution triumphed in 1959. 
The lessons of such programmatically-based postures and hostility 
remain to be fully learned. I've cited this example more than once
because the lesson clearly remains unlearned.

Check this simon-pure example of such.
http://www.walterlippmann.com/catc.html

What I think troubles Washington today is that Morales appears set to
come into office with a formal democratic mandate, perhaps like that
which Chavez has, and which Lula has, which will make efforts to both
destabilize and overthrow his government, should it come to power, a
much harder task for those who have that as their goal. I even get 
the impression from some that it's precisely because Morales might
win a democratic election that he should be suspected more than ever.
Such criticism motives those opposed to Chavez from the "left", for
example. Anyway, those who, at a distance, still think it's necessary 
to "guard against any illusions in Morales", there's plenty of evidence 
a powerful mass movement of the newly-awakened indiginous peoples of
the country is quite active, and will press firmly to have their long-
postponed demands met. 

Nice photos of Morales and his supporters as well:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/20/magazine/20bolivia.html?pagewanted=all

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews
http://www.walterlippmann.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews

NY Times Magazine, November 20, 2005
Che's Second Coming?
By DAVID RIEFF






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