PERSON OF THE WEEK - June 18-24, 2005
It's official: Hugo Chavez is no longer the most entertaining despot in Latin America. Instead, his newly elected ally in Bolivia has proven to be just as crazy as Chavez, but far more comedic. I knew that Bolivia was in for a wild ride when former coca farmer Evo Morales was inaugurated as president in January, but I never expected some of the wild antics that he has engaged in since being installed. He has shown a steadfast devotion to the coca plant he once farmed, suggesting that the leaves should be included in all school breakfasts due to their high calcium content. Of course, he neglected to mention their high COCAINE content!
While Morales' antics have been making news for months, it was only this week that he proved that he was even farther out in left field then his Venezuelan counterpart. Hugo Chavez has insisted for years that the CIA is trying to assassinate him, so it is only natural that his Bolivian protege would make similar accusations. However, Morales did his mentor one better by actually laying out the details of how American intelligence agents are infiltrating his country. In what the Associated Press calls a "mostly incoherent" six-page letter, Morales' office accuses the US-based non-profit Alliance for Conflict Transformation of being an office of the State Department. Supposedly, two instructors in the Alliance's yearly conflict resolution seminar(which teaches prospective leaders how to conduct peace negotiations) were really disguised US soldiers conducting espionage operations. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think that the US Military would give their officers the extra burden of having to the vast majority of their time teaching a seminar on how to peacefully resolve political problems, especially if they're supposed to be planning a violent overthrow of the Morales regime!
So, for giving politicos around the world a good laugh, Bolivian President Evo Morales is ConservaGlobe's Person of the Week. Unfortunately, his subjects aren't sharing in the fun. Morales' radical socialist agenda is alienating the international community and his massive distribution of government lands to peasants are causing many honest land-owners to fear that their lands will be taken for redistribution as well. So, while this award goes to Morales for his comedy, the fact that such a wild and eccentric individual is in charge of Bolivia no cause for joy.
Photo Copyright Notice: The photo of Evo Morales used above was taken by Valter Campanato of Agencia Brasil. According to Wikipedia, Agencia Brasil (a public Brazilian news agency) allows its photos to be used for any purpose as long as the photographer and Agencia Brazil are credited.
Tags: Bolivia, evo morales, Politics, Current Affairs, News, Person of the Week