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They pledged to do it, and they did - Bolivian feudal lords, mass media magnates and other treasonous "elites" - they overthrew the government, broke hope and interrupted an extremely successful socialist process in what was once one of the poorest countries in South America.
One day, they will be cursed by their own nation. One day they will stand trial for sedition. One day, they will have to reveal who trained them, who employed them, who turned them into spineless beasts. One day! Hopefully soon.
But now, Evo Morales, legitimate President of Bolivia, elected again and again by his people, is leaving his beloved country. He is crossing the Andes, flying far, to fraternal Mexico, which extended her beautiful hand, and offered him political asylum.
This is now. The striking streets of La Paz are covered by smoke, full of soldiers, stained with blood. People are disappearing. They are being detained, beaten, and tortured. Photos of indigenous men and women, kneeling, facing walls, hands tied behind their backs, are beginning to circulate on social media.
El Alto, until recently a place of hope, with its playgrounds for children and elegant cable cars connecting the once dirt-poor communities, is now beginning to lose its native sons and daughters. Battles are raging. People are charging against the oppressors, carrying flags, dying.
A civil war, or more precisely, a war for the survival of socialism, a war against imperialism, for social justice, for indigenous people. A war against racism. A war for Bolivia, for its tremendous pre-colonial culture, for life; lifeas it is being perceived in the Andes, or deep in the South American rainforest, not as it is seen in Paris, Washington or Madrid.
The legacy of Evo Morales is tangible, and simple to understand.
During almost 14 years in power, all the social indicators of Bolivia went sky-high. Millions were pulled out of poverty. Millions have been benefiting from free medical care, free education, subsidized housing, improved infrastructure, a relatively high minimum wage, but also, from pride that was given back to the indigenous population, which forms the majority in this historically feudal country governed by corrupt, ruthless 'elites' - descendants of Spanish conquistadors and European 'gold-diggers'.
Evo Morales made the Aymara and Quechua languages official, on par with Spanish. He made people who communicate in these languages, equal to those who use the tongue of the conquerors. He elevated the great indigenous culture high, to where it belongs - making it the symbol of Bolivia, and of the entire region.
Gone was the Christian cross-kissing (look at the crosses reappearing again, all around the oh so European-looking Jeanine Añez who has grabbed power, 'temporarily' but still thoroughly illegally). Instead, Evo used to travel, at least once a year, to Tiwanaku, "thecapital of the powerful pre-Hispanic empire that dominated a large area of the southern Andes and beyond, reached its apogee between 500 and 900 AD", according to UNESCO. That is where he used to search for spiritual peace. That is where his identity came from.
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