FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Interviews with Voters in the Bolivian Streets and at the Polls

by

On October 12, Bolivia went to the polls for a general election which is expected to grant victories to President Evo Morales and many other politicians in his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) political party. (Update: Evo Morales has declared victory for a third term in office.) Below is a collection of interviews conducted today with voters from middle and working class neighborhoods in La Paz, Bolivia on how they voted and what they think of the MAS government. For more information on the election, its implications, and the successes and pitfalls of the MAS, see this article: Why Evo Morales Will Likely Win Upcoming Elections in Bolivia.

“I hope that Evo stays in power for many years because he’s done so much for the people. I support the way Evo governs. He’s done a lot for our country.  No other president has accomplished what Evo has accomplished. I am very happy that he’s our president because now there are more highways, we have our aerial cable car in La Paz and the indigenous universities. The majority of the poor people support him. He’s the only president that has remembered the poor people in Bolivia.” – Yolanda Wachari, street vendor

“The government of Evo Morales, which is a government that has done positive things, has also done negative things. For example, one of the positive things is the funds they have reserved in the government. Some other positive aspects are the public works the MAS has constructed, for example here in La Paz the aerial cable car, and a new two-lane highway to the city of Oruro. And in regards to the negative aspects, nationally and generally, is the level of political persecution against the opposition to the government. The other negative thing is the MAS’s focus on the rural social movements in the country, without focusing sufficiently on the middle class in the cities; this government has not helped the middle class at all.” – Ivan Villafuerte, lawyer

“President Evo does good work. He has created good public projects, and provided computers for school children. Evo does good work, and he’s not robbing everything like other presidents we’ve had in the past. This government provides support for children, pregnant women and the elderly. And for these reasons I voted for him this morning.” – Angelica Calle, street vendor

“I voted for President Evo because I am convinced that he is an excellent president. I’ve read through the history of my country many times, and I’ve seen that he is the best president in terms of the economy, education, development and other issues. With the previous governments the only thing they ever did was loot the country, and only look after their own personal interests. This isn’t the case with this government. This government is in function of the people, it is dedicated to creating an inclusive country, one without discrimination. Because here racism was very strong, and this racism is a legacy of colonialism, but now things have changed.” – Maria Isabel Viscarra, language teacher

“I don’t particularly support the MAS government. I don’t share many of the ideas of the current government because of many things they’ve done in the past, but lamentably they continue in power. For example, before the government eradicated more coca, but since the cocaleros are supporters of Evo, he’s valued them more, with more benefits to this sector than to others.” – Fernando, worker

“I believe that we need to continue with this government, because this process, this change, needs time for there to be real results. I support the continuation of this government to truly see, in five or ten years, the results that this government wants to achieve.” – Jorge Quispe Bustillos, music teacher

“I’ve made the decision to vote for the current government, for President Evo Morales, because I’ve seen that things are changing in the country. In the past, with other governments, there was a lot of corruption, and I’m not seeing a lot of that now. So I’m voting for Evo, and I hope to see even more changes in the country.” – Henrique Apu, construction worker

“I support the MAS government because this government has helped to create jobs. Also, here in Bolivia there are many single mothers, and I support the fact that the government helps single mothers. And this is why I am going to vote for the MAS.”  – Yola Carona Quispe Alejo, street vendor, mother of two children

Benjamin Dangl has worked as a journalist throughout Latin America, covering social movements and politics in the region for over a decade. He is the author of the books Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America, and The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia. Dangl is currently a doctoral candidate in Latin American History at McGill University, and edits UpsideDownWorld.org, a website on activism and politics in Latin America, and TowardFreedom.com, a progressive perspective on world events. Twitter: https://twitter.com/bendangl 

More articles by:

Benjamin Dangl has worked as a journalist throughout Latin America, covering social movements and politics in the region for over a decade. He is the author of the books Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America, and The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia. Dangl is currently a doctoral candidate in Latin American History at McGill University, and edits UpsideDownWorld.org, a website on activism and politics in Latin America, and TowardFreedom.com, a progressive perspective on world events. Twitter: https://twitter.com/bendangl Email: BenDangl(at)gmail(dot)com

February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail