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Since we're seeing tweets about #sosbolivia I wanted to showcase some of the successes in Bolivia since Evo Morales was voted in as president in 2005.
Bolivia historically has been one of the poorest countries in South America due to decades of military dictatorships and neoliberal policies. Between 1983-1985, inflation was so bad that prices increased 23,000%.
Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada was Harvard educated, barely spoke Spanish, and owned mines in Bolivia. He decided to take out conditional loans from the World Bank that led to mass privatization of the country's rail, telephone system, airlines, and hydrocarbon industry.
Additional loans from the World Bank were given on the condition that the water systems of the cities of La Paz and Cochabamba be privatized. The state owned water system was auctioned off to US, British, and Spanish owned companies. This led to price hikes of 35% for water.
Water bills increased to $20 a month which was more than many Bolivians spend on food. Massive protests led by indigenous Aymara and Quechua activists broke out leading to 6 deaths and dozens of injuries.
Goni also tried to sell natural gas to the US through Chile. 82% of the profits would go to corporations. This lead to deadly protests where the police killed 60 activists. Goni ended up resigning in 2003 and had to flee to the US.
One of the protesters was trade union activist Evo Morales. He ran for president in 2005 as part of the Movement for Socialism party (MAS). He won three elections in a row by an average margin of victory of 33%. Voter turnout has consistently been 80-90%.
Evo Morales is the first indigenous president of Bolivia. In 2009 the Wiphala flag became an official flag alongside the existing tricolor flag of Bolivia. The flag represents the various indigenous peoples of the Andes.
Today, women account for 53% of Parliamentarians in Bolivia, the 3rd highest percentage globally. Additionally half of Morales' cabinet has been women since 2010 and a law was passed mandating equal pay for equal work for women.
GDP has tripled with an average growth of 5% annually while the minimum wage has increased 4x. The extreme poverty rate has been cut in half from 38% in 2006 to 17% in 2016 lifting 2 million Bolivians out of extreme poverty.
Income inequality has also been reduced: in 2005, the richest 10% of the population had 128 times the wealth of the poorest 10%. In 2015, this gap was reduced to 37 times. The Gini coefficient declined from 0.6 (one of the worst in the world) to 0.47. data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.P…
Bolivia has become completely free from the IMF and World Bank, reducing its debt to GDP ratio from 90% in 2004 down to 51% in 2017.

The nationalization of resources has allowed the gov to increase spending on health, education, and poverty programs by >45%. Illiteracy dropped from 13% to 3%. This year universal healthcare was launched that will be free for 70% of Bolivians. telesurtv.net/news/Bolivia-I…
“The results... can be seen in the reduction of infant mortality, child malnutrition, the number of professionally attended births, diseases being put under control, and population’s healthy life years," said WHO spokesperson Fernando Leanes.
There has also been some really great Aymara inspired architecture coming out of Bolivia recently.
It's important to note that Morales cannot be given sole credit for all the accomplishments in Bolivia the past 15 years. The success have also been the result of the hard work from the Aymara and Quechua activists and politicians, particularly women.
But the white upper class Bolivians, along with help from the US have been trying to remove Morales from office since he was elected. There even was a coup attempt in 2008.
We're now seeing tweets with the hash tag #SOSBolivia trying to blame Morales for the fires in the Amazon but the UN General Assembly's president has recognized Bolivia's efforts in fighting the fires.
This is an attempt by Bolivia's US trained right wing to promote regime change by shifting blame away from Brazil's fascist president Jair Bolsonaro who's anti indigenous policies are actually burning the Amazon.
This is all preludes the upcoming presidential elections where Morales is running four his fourth consecutive term. He is leading over Goni's VP, Carlos Mesa, who was briefly president from 2002-2003.
In 2016 there was a referendum to eliminate limits that a president can run for office. It narrowly lost 51% to 49%. Morales blamed a conspiracy of Bolivia's right wing with the US or the loss. theguardian.com/world/2016/feb…
This is a reasonable assumption considering the US history of intervening in foreign elections and the US influence in the 2008 coup attempt. As a result of the foreign influence, Morales has decided to run again.
This is being presented as authoritarian in the western press, but Evo Morales remains popular in Bolivia. If the people want him to be president again that would be the most democratic option.
If the US and Bolivia's white upper class gets their away, we would see a massive undoing of protections for women and indigenous people of Bolivia, defunding of social programs, and an increase in income inequality.
It's also important to note that Bolivia's right wing and the US don't actually care about democracy or human rights considering their support of previous military dictatorships.
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