Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Evo's Victory

As expected, Evo Morales won his referendum on Sunday. However, I was surprised by the margin of victory. In 2006, he won the presidency with 53% of the vote. Sunday, he got 63.5%. That is a significant victory. One might legitimately say it is a mandate.

But this doesn't affect the hatred of Morales in the eastern provinces. They still hate him and still see his rule as illegitimate. Three governors were recalled in the referendum, two of which were with the opposition. At least one of these has refused to step down. On one level, the complaints about the referendum being unconstitutional are not without merit, given that Morales gets to pick their replacements rather than having elections. That is probably not a good thing.

Meanwhile, eastern racism continues. The governor of Santa Cruz, the richest province in the country, said this about Venezuela:

“No to the big foreign monkeys!” Rubén Costas, governor of eastern Santa Cruz, shouted in a televised speech Sunday night, revealing some the racist language used to refer to Venezuela.


Ultimately, I still don't see how this situation gets resolved without the military. I'm not sure what room there is for reconciliation given that Morales is not much for compromise and the eastern provinces demand complete authority. I feel like this is akin to the political situation in the United States in 1860.

Meanwhile, we can now expect Morales to further his revolution, nationalizing more resources and attacking his enemies more bluntly. It's going to get real interesting.