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Latin Lefty Meltdown
Bolivians Reject Evo Morales’s Bid to Lift Term Limits

Across Latin America, the winds that propelled Leftist regimes have died down. In Argentina, we saw the end of the Kirchner reign and the election of the centrist Mauricio Macri. Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff is fighting to stave off her own impeachment. And Venezuelans have been struggling to escape the grip of Marxism. Now, even Bolivia’s Evo Morales, long a favorite of leftists around the world, is finding that his popularity has limits. The Telegraph reports:

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has lost his bid to seek a fourth term, his first direct election defeat since taking office in 2006, according to official results released Tuesday.

Morales, 56, has been in power for a decade, thanks largely to support from indigenous groups and grassroots organizations in one of the Americas’ poorest countries.

While refusing to concede until the very end, Morales has promised to respect the official results of Sunday’s vote on a constitutional reform that would let him run for re-election to extend his time in office to 19 years. His current term ends in 2020.

If there’s one place where President Obama’s restrained foreign policy might be said to have borne fruit, it’s Latin America. In the Obama era, it’s become more difficult for Latin American populists to blame Washington for their countries’ problems. But even if staying uninvolved in Latin America might have worked thus far, that’s already starting to change. President Obama himself plans to visit Argentina next month. And with political turmoil in Brazil and looming civil conflict in Venezuela, Obama’s successor will likely have to spend even more time looking south.

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  • Pait

    Much to the contrary, the next president of Brazil, whoever it may be, will try to be as close as possible to the US, if for no other reason to make distance from the present one. Now if only the US doesn’t pick an explicitly anti-South American president, Obama’s policy will turn out to have been just perfect, including the friendly benign neglect of a large country that can or at least should be able to take care of its own problems, and removing outdated nuisances like the Cold War era policy towards Cuba.

    • Fat_Man

      By removing the Castros and re -asserting the Monroe Doctrine.

      • Pait

        Th older brother has been removed. The others will go soon enough, without dropping blood.

        • Fat_Man

          Don’t hold your breath.

          • Pait

            In some cases, not much would be lost.

        • Dale Fayda

          No, the older brother stepped down in favor of his younger brother because of infirmity and senility. He wasn’t “removed”. Raul is just as much a committed Leninist as is Fidel.

          “The others will go soon enough, without dropping blood.” On what do you base that assertion?

          • Pait

            I’m talking about their older brother, who just died. I’m basing my prediction that the other to will go on… well, human mortality. Is that perhaps not convincing enough?

          • Dale Fayda

            Not even a little. The Cuban regime shows no signs of relinquishing its grip on all facets of life on the island – political and economic. In fact, Obama has just given it a new infusion of badly needed of cash through its total control of the flow of all future foreign investment in Cuba. “Investing” in Cuba means investing in the Cuban Communism.

          • Pait

            Well, that’s an argument about something other than the shape of the president’s ears. Progress, I guess.

            Because the statements concern events in the future, we will have to wait and see. My prediction is that the Castro regime will not last long and will be replaced without major violence.

          • Dale Fayda

            No need to patronize me, enlightened one.

            I’ve extended Obama the same level of courtesy and respect liberals like you did to Bush. Acceptable?

          • Pait

            As I wrote, we’ll have to wait and see how the regime in Cuba develops. My prediction is that it will go in relative peace, and will not be missed.

            But I prefer to wait doing something else than reading your pleasantries.

        • AnneG

          “Been removed?” Fidel is still in the picture. Raúl is still a murderer and dangerous. Ask the Damas de Blanco.

  • Andrew Allison

    It seems that President Obama is determined to match the “most traveled (at taxpayer expense) in history” record of his former Secretary of State. Who knew that the US Administration was a travel club?

    • Pait

      I do not think you are aware of the positive impact for the US and its citizens of visits abroad by a well regarded and well spoken president. Visits abroad are probably some of the most useful things a president can do, even more so when faced with a do-nothing Congress. You might benefit from a wider range of media sources.

      • Dale Fayda

        Have you thrown up on your key board yet from “spinning” so much?

        Like all of Obama’s presidency, this trip is just a PR stunt, a friendly get-together with a President elected to clean up the detritus of his leftist predecessor. It’s not Nixon visiting China. The population of Argentina will forget it a few weeks (nay, days) after it happens.

        Obama has been a galactic failure in foreign policy, with everything where he stuck his rat-eared head into turning into dung. A few photo-ops on his way out won’t make the slightest bit of difference in that regard.

        Face it, Obama has been rolled, snookered, caught flat-footed, bamboozled, out-played, out-thought, out-bluffed, out-generalled and out-lasted by every one of America’s old enemies and by a bunch of new ones. The truly sad part of that is that he seems to be OK with it, as he’s here to manage our decline.

        • Pait

          Your vituperative hyperbolic style is moderately amusing, though completely uninformative.

          • Dale Fayda

            How am I inaccurate? Be specific.

          • Pait

            I said your style is vituperative, hyperbolic, amusing, and uninformative. Your belief that I said you were inaccurate is, well, inaccurate.

          • Dale Fayda

            If you can’t point out any inaccuracies in what I wrote, then I’m by and large correct, am I not? Yes or no, in your opinion? Don’t parse words and hide behind semantics – you’re as transparent as Obama’s smug b.s.

            As far as my style goes – “don’t hate the playa, hate the game”. Obama and his ilk deserve every bit of opprobrium I could possibly heap on them and then some. Fact.

          • Pait

            You didn’t have to make it so easy. “If you can’t point out any inaccuracies in what I wrote, then I’m by and large correct, am I not?” is a fallacy. Actually more than one – it is both an ad hominem attack and and argument by ignorance. The fact that I didn’t point out any inaccuracies – except for the self referential one, that you insinuated that I claimed you were inaccurate while I did not of that – doesn’t prove that your argument is correct.

            Perhaps I’m a fool. Perhaps I’m lazy. Perhaps I think it is useless to discuss anything with you. Even if all of the above were assumed to be correct, it still could be the case that your arguments are false.

            Done. I pointed out an error of logic in your arguments. As for facts, I didn’t find any in your rant. You may continue to spew sulfur if you so wish.

          • Dale Fayda

            I’m as entitled to state my opinion as you are. I have done so emphatically, without equivocation and stylistic gyrations, which to you appear to be sine qua non of this entire exercise. If what I have to say gives you the vapors, have a Coke and a smile and lay down for a bit.

            It was you who initially postulated that: “Visits abroad are probably some of the most useful things a president can do, even more so when faced with a do-nothing Congress.” I disagreed with that statement and have listed reasons why I did. You, on the other hand, whined about my writing style and nothing else.

            See the difference?

          • Pait

            Dale, your rationale for stating that President Obama’s foreign policy was a failure includes a reference to the shape of his ears, and not much more. Of course it is an opinion you are entitled to, but it based on equivocation and gyrations, to use your terms, not on facts or reason.

          • Dale Fayda

            The shape of his rat-like ears is just an aside, as you are well aware.

            What I postulated is very much more obvious to even a casual observer of foreign affairs and much easier to prove with current empirical evidence than what you did. There is not much need for me to recap all of Obama’s foreign policy failures – my fingers will get writers’ cramp by the time I’m done.

            Obama’s planned visit to Argentina will be no more than a minor news story in this country and perhaps only a slightly bigger one over there. Either way, his visit will be forgotten by all in a few short weeks.

            Like many other liberals I know, all you have left at this point to defend the “smartest man to ever hold the Presidency” is the pabulum about: “Visits abroad are probably some of the most useful things a president can do, even more so when faced with a do-nothing Congress”. As I suggested to another liberal commenter on this site, perhaps if you sit in a lotus position and repeat that to yourself as a mantra, you’ll be able to take you mind off the comprehensive debacle this man’s foreign policy now is.

          • Pait

            More ad hominem arguments. This is tiresome. Goodbye.

          • Pait

            I’ll quote the crucial part of your statement more extensively: “…rolled, snookered, caught flat-footed, bamboozled, out-played, out-thought, out-bluffed, out-generalled and out-lasted by every one…” Try to reflect on how profoundly convincing this is.

      • AnneG

        Key words: “well regarded and well-spoken.” President Obama has squandered the high regard he had abroad. He is only well-spoken with a TelePrompTer. He is not respected or even feared abroad and his reputation in Latin America is definitely negative.
        At least do nothing Congress does not burden us with more bureaucratic crap like the executive agencies do.
        Perhaps reading a little from Der Spiegel, The Guardian and some information from Univision may help out.

        • Pait

          Perhaps. Perhaps not. Any US president is bound to be controversial, abroad as domestically, among allies as among enemies. Do not confuse reputation with the amount of venom spewed by the disgruntled.

          President Obama remains a lot more popular and effective that his predecessor – the less said about the international reputation of the likely opposition candidates, the better.

  • Fifty Ville

    Now Morales is going to have to go back to work in the coca fields.

  • John Tyler

    Just wait; the political enemies of Evo Morales will soon start winding up dead or in jail; a la the Venezuelan model. Evo has most likely already called in the Cuban Intelligence Directorate to help him out.
    As for Argentina, the new president there will find that the socialist/peronista/communist parliament will allow him to do nothing. He will be forced to go back to the “old ways;” – political or illegal bribes – to get anything done.

  • bittman

    We need a movie about a poor peasant in Venezuela now so all of our young Americans can see how rich the Socialist politicians are living compared to how the average people are shopping a grocery stores with empty shelves, cannot buy toilet paper, have random electricity coverage, as well as how all of the current dictator’s opponents are dead or in prison.

    Our schools have been teaching too much about the importance of diversity and not enough history about the 100-150 million people who have been killed by Marxists in their attempt to establish a “utopian government.” They need especially to be taught about how the Weather Underground under the leadership of Bill Ayers in the 1960’s told an undercover FBI agent they would be willing to kill 25 million Americans who could not be “retrained” in their retraining camps.

  • Fat_Man

    Over the Christmas Holidays we went to Peru. Our goal was to visit the remnants of Inca Civilization. To see Cusco and other sites like Machu Picchu. We spent a lot of time with our guide, a local Peruvian Indian, We learned a great deal about the Inca, the Conquistadors, and Peru.

    The Inca civilization did not have writing, iron, or money. But, it ruled an area that encompasses all of modern Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and the northern half of Chile. The empire was run in a manner that could only be described as a communism along the lines of Plato’s Republic. The Inca empire was not much more than 100 years old when the Conquistadors arrived. Whether or not it could have survived in the long run without them is unclear. it should be noted that the empire was embroiled in a dynastic struggle at the time of the conquest. Their political institutions left a lot to be desired.

    The Conquistadors could be best described as a gang of thugs whose goal was to loot Peru, and set themselves up as feudal lords with the Indians as their serfs. The priests the Spanish brought spread the narrow intolerant religion taught
    in Spain by the Inquisition. A few of them saw the Indians as God’s children deserving of protection by the civil authorities from abuse by the Conquistadors, but not enough to make difference. It is not surprising that most of the Conquistadors died violently, mostly at the hands of other Conquistadors. The only one of the Pizarro brothers to die in bed was Hernando who had the good fortune to be imprisoned back in Spain for some of the crimes he had committed against other Conquistadors.

    Given this background, it cannot be surprising that any evolution towards a liberal democratic state has been slow and
    marked by outbursts of violence. If Tocqueville was correct about the United States, and I believe that he was, it will be a very long slow evolution in Latin America.

    The Morales defeat is heartening, but they have a long way to go before they are out of the woods.

    • Fat_Man

      Here is more information than you really wanted about books on the Incas:

      The classic history of the Incas and the Conquistadors is: “The History of the Conquest of Peru” by William Hickling Prescott
      http://www.amazon.com/History-Conquest-Peru-Modern-Library-ebook/dp/B000QCSA0E/

      It was written in the 1840s. It is in a 19th century style, which can seem a bit slow for 21st Century readers, but it is very thorough. The first set of chapters describes Inca Society in great detail. The linked edition is the $2.99 Kindle edition.

      There is dividing line between the 19th Century writers and the 20th Century. It is, first, the great expansion of archeology in the 20th Century, and, second, the rediscovery of the 1189 page illustrated manuscript of “El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno” written by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, an Indian, in 1615 & 16. A work, which lay unnoticed in the Royal Library of Denmark for 300 years. You can look at its pages, and read its Spanish transcription (if, you read Spanish, I don’t) at:
      http://www.kb.dk/permalink/2006/poma/info/en/frontpage.htm

      There are two modern histories of the Conquest:

      “The Conquest of the Incas” by John Hemming (1973)
      http://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Incas-John-Hemming/dp/0156028263/

      “The Last Days of the Incas” by Kim MacQuarrie (2007)
      http://www.amazon.com/Last-Days-Incas-Kim-MacQuarrie-ebook/dp/B000QGES8I/
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743260503/

      I read the MacQuarrie book, not the Hemming book. Hemming seems to be more focused on the events of the 16th Century. MacQuarrie has some more recent information about archeology in Peru.

      The following is more oriented to being a textbook in a college anthropology course, but it has lots of neat information:

      “The Incas: New Perspectives” (2008) by Gordon F. McEwan
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Incas-Perpectives-Gordon-McEwan/dp/0393333019

      “The Inka Empire: A Multidisciplinary Approach” by Izumi Shimada (Editor) June 1, 2015
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Inka-Empire-Multidisciplinary-Approach/dp/0292760795/

      There is a new exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution on the Mall in Washington DC June 2015–April 2018: “The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire”

      The website has a lot of interesting maps and pictures: http://www.nmai.si.edu/inkaroad/index.html

      And there is a companion book: “The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire” (2015) by Ramiro Matos Mendieta (Editor), Jose Barreiro (Editor), David Penney (Foreword), John Oschendorf (Contributor)
      http://www.amazon.com/Great-Inka-Road-Engineering-Empire/dp/1588344959/

      Ec 12:12 “of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

      Video:

      On PBS in December: “Time Scanners: Machu Picchu” http://www.pbs.org/program/time-scanners/
      Engineers study Macchu Picchu to learn how it was built. I think you can watch it at a number of TV sites, like Amazon prime.

      Movies: “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” (German: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes), a 1972 West German epic film written and directed by Werner Herzog.

      “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” is a 1969 British-US film based on the play of the same name by Peter Shaffer. It stars Robert Shaw as Francisco Pizarro and Christopher Plummer as the Inca Emperor Atahualpa.

    • John Tyler

      You cannot be serious.
      Are you suggesting that events that occurred 500 !!! years ago still a reason that Latin America has great difficulty in installing true representative democracies there.

      By that line of reasoning England should still have a waiting list for “customers” at the Tower of London, the Catholics and Protestants should still be at odds (and killing each other) , etc. And Germany, having started two wars within the last 100 years should still be a neo -Nazi hotbed governed by some dictator. And the Europeans, in general, should still have their weekly extermination as catholics and protestants go on killing rampages.

      Almost nobody at all is affected in the slightest by what their own great grand parents achieved or not; and you only need go back about 75 to 100 years for that.

      The fact is that some cultures are simply incompatible with representative democracy. Just check out EVERY nation in the middle east, many African nations, Russia, and of course, many Latin American nations. etc.

      Representative democracy has been around, historically speaking, for about 1 minute of human history and is uniquely a product of Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture.

      You will note that very few tribal cultures (Arab, indigenous Indian, African) have actually succeeded in maintaining a true representative form of government. It simply does NOT FIT with their culture.

      The great lie, the myth, is that all cultures are equal and that they share the same system of values and norms.

      Really? They don’t and they most likely never will. People are different. What a novel thought.

      • Fat_Man

        I cannot tell which way you are arguing. Is the past irrelevant? Or is culture, which is our inheritance of the past, everything?

        “By that line of reasoning … the Catholics and Protestants should still be at odds (and killing each other).”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles. They are not shooting each other right now. But, it has been peaceful for only a few years.

        “Almost nobody at all is affected in the slightest by what their own great grand parents achieved or not”

        That is not what the African-American community believes.

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