In many ways, perceptions of Bolivia in the United States resemble a Rorschach test on which to project one’s fears, dogmas or utopian visions. In reality, Bolivian political and social dynamics are complex, constantly shifting, and impossible to force into preconceived external formulas. Neither an Andean socialist paradise nor an extension of the “Venezuelan-Iran-Cuba axis of the Bolivarian Revolution,” recent reports perpetuate stale stereotypes and misconceptions and prevent a balanced evaluation of the challenges faced in Bolivia. This briefing will deconstruct one such recent publication Into the Abyss: Bolivia Under Evo Morales and the MAS as a typical case study and offer a deeper, more nuanced analysis of recent developments.
Since 1999, Kathryn Ledebur has directed the Andean Information Network (AIN), which promotes human rights and socioeconomic justice in Bolivia and more humane and effective illicit drug control policies. AIN provides information and analysis to NGO colleagues, the media and international policymakers on developments in Bolivia and the impact of U.S. government and European policies.
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