ShareThis Page
News

Bolivia & Morales: Cocaine games

| Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005

Evo Morales, first "indigenous" president-elect of Bolivia, is aligned with Venezuela's Marxist president Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro.

Mr. Morales is a populist. That designation assures us that he has the economic savvy of a coca leaf. His dedication to populism (collectivism by another name) showcases his distaste for democratic principles.

Exuberant in a victory based on anti-Americanism, Morales' told Middle Eastern Al Jazeera television that President Bush is "a terrorist" and the war in Iraq is "state terrorism."

Not true, but wealthy and powerful America is a sturdy whipping-boy for demagogues who covet wealth and power for themselves while attempting to divert attention from their true objectives.

In his campaign, Morales promised to the indigenous Indian population protection of coca production, which is a cornerstone of the black market in cocaine.

The $150 million U.S.-funded coca eradication program will be discontinued.

Indeed, coca is used for cultural ceremonies and medicinal purposes. That should be protected, Morales says, pledging (did we see him cross his fingers and wink) that he will fight the drug trade.

A referendum will decide how much coca will be grown in a nation that is a major world supplier of cocaine and where the rule of law has broken down.

Who is he kidding• Cocaine is where the money is.

The official American position is wait-and-see. The unofficial one is, and should be, deep worry.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me