Moving to the left

Eva Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, explains why his country will continue to cultivate coca:

“You have to realise that, for us, the coca leaf is not cocaine and as such growing coca is not narco-trafficking. Neither is chewing coca nor making products from it that are separate from narcotics. The coca leaf has had an important role to play in our culture for thousands of years. It is used in many rituals. If, for example, you want to ask someone to marry you, you carry a coca leaf to them. It plays an important role in many aspects of life.”

Read a fascinating interview with the new leader about British imperialism, US attempts to smear him and plans for his impoverished nation. It’s worth remembering that, “in the 182 years since it was granted independence from Spain, this chaotic and crippled country has welcomed and waved goodbye to more than 190 failed governments.”

In related news, Costa Rica is also turning away from the US orbit.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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