Morales and Obama at the 5th Summit of the Americas in April 2009 (Source: Radiomundial.com.ve)
Between Evo Morales’s election into office in December 2005 and the final months of the Bush administration, US-Bolivian relations – already fragile from a history of failed neoliberal policies, US support of dictators in the region, and a quagmire of fiscal and geopolitical turmoil – were embittered by a series of tit-for-tat policies, that reached a climax with the suspension of Bolivia from the Andean Trade Preferences and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) in November of 2008, which was estimated to cost $155 million and between 12,000-85,000 jobs (CEPB, 2008).
Given that the ideological, hemispheric warfare has by and large taken the limelight in the media, namely in the west and the right-wing outlets in Latin America, since the rise of the leftist, indigenous leader, it is essential to reflect upon the policies of the Morales administration, particularly as the 2009 presidential elections approach on the 6th of December. Polls continue to indicate that Morales will be re-elected, but he has also promised that this will be his last term. n. Morales has taken bold steps to fulfil the promises of his 2005 campaign – a new Constitution, regulations on land ownership, large-scale nationalizations – and if re-elected, the success of the next four years will lie in how effectively his administration can reckon with the goals of a socialist agenda and the realities of a capitalist world order.
BA Candidate, Environmental Studies, minor in Anthropology and Latin American Studies