Personally, I think that they will work out a last minute deal. The cost of not holding elections is too high. I think the country would basically explode in protest. But, as always, todo es posible and we’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, there are a variety of important rumors floating around Bolivia these days, some of which have come to me from some pretty high-level sources. I present these for what they are at this point, rumors and nothing more. But perhaps some of our readers can shed light on which, if any, can be verified.
Medina Ready to Back Morales in the Congress Vote
A very high level source told me this week that Samuel Doria Medina, the almost certain third place finisher in the December vote, is ready to throw his support behind Evo Morales in the Congressional vote for President, if Morales and MAS come in first place in the popular vote. The latest poll shows the two of them together (Morales and Medina) winning about 45% of the vote. As the undecideds fall into one column or another by lections day, that total could easily pass the 51% needed.
A Morales/Medina alliance could take two forms. Medina and his UN party alliance could just vote to make Morales President and not join the government. This options doesn’t win them any political spoils in terms of jobs and power but it lets Medina and his allies say “it wasn’t us” if the MAS government goes up in political flames down the road. Alternatively, Medina and his backers could join a MAS government. A ver.
The US Government is Telling US Citizens to Get Ready to Leave Bolivia
I have been hearing this one for weeks, from a variety of sources. Supposedly parents at the American school in La Paz have been told to make alternative arrangements for their children at schools in the US. US citizens have supposedly been told to have their travel papers in order, etc. I have yet to hear any of this from any source that has been told this by the US Embassy directly. I have also spoken with US employees here who would surely have been among those told, and they claim they have never heard any such thing. Still, the rumors persist. The question, if it is true, is, as one reader put it here last week: What does the US Embassy know that we don’t?”
A Coup or US Intervention in the Works?
This has also been the subject of a good deal of Internet speculation. What is this US military base in Paraguay? What is he US doing there? What kind of forces does it have at its disposal there? Are plans under way t use the base as some sort of staging area for US intervention, for example, if a MAS government takes office? Another source of mine here claims that the US government has been carefully cultivating relationships with “anti-Evo” forces in the Bolivian military, presumably for some sort of US-backed coup down the road.
Again, I repeat, these are only rumors at this point. Not a single one of them is firmly documented. They may turn out to be totally false. However, surprising revelations usually do surface first as rumors. If anyone out there has real documentation that can shed light on any of these, please post away.