If one needs proof that socialism, or communism light, is an unworkable system, one need look no further than Bolivia. The newest Chavez client state and its leftist president, Evo Morales, is starting to get pretty shaky. It is not collapsing yet, but there are signs of increasing unrest with Morales' failure to deliver on his populist leftist promises.
BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 30 — Intensifying labor strife, political infighting and budgetary pressures are threatening to chip away at the domestic support of Bolivian President Evo Morales, who took office in January promising to nationalize the natural gas industry and to achieve social equality for the country's indigenous majority.
During his first months in office, Morales announced a series of sweeping reforms that have helped make him one of the most popular presidents in modern Bolivian history and heightened expectations in a country eager to shed its label as South America's poorest. In May, he donned a hard hat and announced that all foreign energy companies had to surrender operational control to the state's energy company. This month, he celebrated the creation of a newly elected assembly to rewrite the country's constitution, a key demand of indigenous supporters who view Morales, of Aymara Indian heritage, as an advocate.
But days after that celebration, the government quietly issued a statement announcing the temporary suspension of the "full effect" of the nationalization program because of a lack of funds. On Monday, the president of the state energy company resigned after being accused of violating the nationalization decree by exporting oil through a Brazilian firm. A day later, members of the Constituent Assembly suspended voting amid tense debate over charges that Morales and his supporters were trying to manipulate the assembly to circumvent Congress and the courts.
Before he was elected president, Morales was the leader of a coca growers' union and was known for leading public demonstrations, including some that helped topple two presidents between 2003 and 2005. But this week, Morales found himself on the receiving end of the same sort of social and labor protests that he used to organize.
The only way communism worked at all was under an authoritarian dictator (witness what countries are still communist). It is a disastrous system for a country like Bolivia, They are on a path that will either lead to Morales being thrown from office, or to Morales seizing absolute power and silencing those who once supported him.