Tag Archives: Thomas Grisaffi

Thomas Grisaffi: After the Referendum: Evo Morales and the Movement Towards Socialism

This post is part of a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London).


In February 2016 Bolivian President Evo Morales, an indigenous Aymara and former coca grower, lost his bid to amend the Constitution to allow him to stand for a third consecutive term. This was a blow to Morales, who has won re-election twice (in 2009 and 2014), and has triumphed in two previous referendums. Commentators saw the defeat as evidence that the pink tide in Bolivia is receding. But such evaluations are premature; 49 percent of the population still voted in favor of the amendment, and while members of the “no” camp might want to see change at the top, they don’t necessarily want a return to neoliberal orthodoxy. The Morales administration has experienced its fair share of corruption, conflict, division, and poor planning, but on balance most Bolivians have done better under a left-leaning government.

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