Bolivia has a new president, the country’s third in two years. Bolivia is wracked with protests, strikes and blockades by the impoverished masses and left wing workers rising up against the rich elite and their transnational corporation allies. The current crisis revolved around demands by the left to nationalize the country’s natural gas supplies. A good source of background information on the situation in Bolivia is this article from ZNet, which is reprinted from the Socialist Worker. So it is a bit over the top with the struggle of the workers, but it does lay out the facts that have gotten so little press in the United States.
While the U.S. slips further and further under the control of the conservative right, a significant portion of Latin America is becoming a bastion of the liberal left. The U.S. is most concerned about Venezuela and Hugo Chavez (or at least Venezuela’s massive oil reserves), but other Latin American leftist leaders include Brazil’s Lula, Argentina’s Kirchner, Ecuador’s Palacios, Chile’s Lagos, Uraguay’s Vazquez and of course Cuba’s Castro. The situation in Bolivia is quite volatile and the country could go either way. The interim government of Eduardo Rodriguez has to walk a careful tightrope between the powerful, rich elite and the protesting masses of the poor and defuse the situation.