Riddle me this: Who’s got approval ratings that either one of the US presidential candidates would kill for?
Give up yet?
It’s this guy:
The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, has a 64.2% approval rating, according to a poll published by several media outlets in that country on the 30th anniversary of the interruption of democracy in Bolivia.
The results of the Study on Political Culture and Democracy in Bolivia, Americas Barometer 2012 of the Latin America Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) reflect the fact that the Bolivian head of state has the support of the majority, which considers his leadership very good since he arrived at Palacio Quemado in early 2006.
The study, which was conducted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, found that 52.4 percent of the population believes that the government protects and promotes the rights of indigenous peoples.
The same study also reports that 47.8 percent consider that Morales succeeds in the politics of the protection of Pachamama, or Mother Earth. Also, 45% of respondents view the president’s economic leadership favorably.
48 percent of Bolivians support the work of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and the Electoral Commission of Bolivia.
In the anti-drug fight, only 37.5 percent consider the government’s leadership effective, despite its battle against illegal coca plantations throughout the country.
Ever since Morales took power, and following the country’s exit from co-operation with the US DEA, the government has logged record figures in the destruction of illegal coca plantations, and in the confiscation of narcotics. In the first months of 2012, the Bolivian Special Forces against narcotrafficking have confiscated more than 460 tonnes of drugs. Eight percent of this was cocaine in various forms, including hydrochloride and base paste. The rest was marijuana.
Thanks to the launching of the state-run Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos, re-founded as part of the nationalization of hydrocarbon resources, controlled single-digit inflation is one of the successes of Morales’s monetary policy.
The finest political moment for Morales, including the time he led the coca-growers’ unions in the Chaparé during the 1980s, is the strong growth of the GDP, from $9 billion US in 2005, to nearly $26 billion US in 2011.
Heavens. If I were His Barackness — or Mittens, for that matter — I’d be putting out feelers toward Evo, and finding out how he does all that. Just 30 years ago, Bolivia was a miserable dictatorship, and just 10 years ago, it was a weak, poor, and unstable democracy, riddled with corruption, drugs and debt. Now it’s well on its way to showing the US a thing or two on how to reconcile regional differences, fight drugs and corruption, and kick up the economy. Not to mention rewriting its constitution to better serve the people and the planet, instead of permitting it to go on being abused by big capitalist interests.
It’s still very much a work in progress, but at least Bolivia is moving forward. I’m not at all sure about the direction of the United States of Amnesia, though.