Victory in Bolivia, but Will it Hold?

Published at 16:18 on 20 October 2020

So, the coup that the Right used to seize power in the wake of the popular rebellion against a caudillo-in-the-making has failed. As expected, once the right-wing caretaker government was compelled to hold a free and fair election, MAS-IPSP won it handily.

This is really about the most optimistic thing that could have happened: popular rebellions against first a left-wing leader who got addicted to power, then against the right-wing usurper who tried to take advantage of the first rebellion.

Now we shall see if the new order holds. I have long had a measure of optimism about the revolutionary process in Bolivia that is rare for me, and that Bolivia just managed the rare feat of repudiating left-wing authoritarianism without reverting to right-wing rule shows this optimism is not entirely misplaced.

The biggest peril now is what happens when Morales returns to Bolivia, as he almost certainly will. Will he settle into a role as an elder statesman, or will he try and continue to conflate the social revolution there with his person, and attempt to regain personal political power?

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