Look what showed up in the comments section of Wall Street Journal columnist O'Grady's bat shit crazy article on Evo Morales yesterday? Damn nerds and their "facts"!
Mary Anastasia O'Grady's Nov 22 column about Bolivias upcoming elections is full of inaccuracies and invective. Rather than respond point by point, we would like to point out three facts. In 2002 Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada received 22% of the vote and assumed the presidency at the head of an unstable coalition. His inability to respond to the crisis his policies brought about led to political unrest that culminated after 67 died when he authorized the use of lethal force on civilians. He resigned and fled the country and faces extradition charges. The US District Court of Southern Florida recently ruled that a case against Sanchez de Lozada for crimes against humanity and extrajudicial killings could move forward.
In December 2005, following constitutional procedures, Morales was elected with 54% of the vote, beating his closest rival by over 20 points, the most decisive election victory since the 1982 return to democracy. Since that time, over 100 international observers have monitored a recall election (Morales won 67% of the vote) and a constitutional referendum (which passed with 61%). There were few complaints of irregularities.
O'Grady should recognize Morales is an extremely popular president in the process of consolidating a weak state in a peaceful manner. The Morales administration has expressed interest in improving relations with the United States, which would serve long term goals of economic and democratic stability in Latin America.
Dr. Ben Kohl, Associate Professor, Temple University
Kathyrn Ledebur, Director, Andean Information Network
Dr. Daniel Goldstein, Anthropology, Rutgers University
Dr. Juan Arbona, Associate Professor, Bryn Mawr
Linda Farthing, writer
Franoise Martinez, Universit Paris Ouest France
Dr. Miriam Shakow, Assistant Professor Vanderbilt University
Emma Banks, Cornell University
Dr. Meredith Dudley, Tulane University
Dr. Susanne Jonas, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Guillermo Delgado, University of California, Santa Cruz
Marion Oveson, La Paz, Bolivia
Dr. Pascale Absi, anthropologist, University of Paris
Dr. Jonathan Fox, University of California, Santa Cruz
Ms. Sarah Motola
Dr. Estelle Tarica, University of California, Berkeley
David Kane, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Dr. Leonardo Garcia-Pabon, University of Oregon
Elizabeth Weimer, Carleton College