Evo es Pueblo: Indigeneity and Socialism in the Foreign Policy of Bolivian President Evo Morales
Evo Morales, an Aymara man, was the first Indigenous President of Bolivia, a majority-Indigenous country, from 2005-2019. He and his political party, Movimento al Socialismo (MAS), promised to center Indigenous concerns in Bolivia’s foreign policy by championing pro-environmental policies, nationalizing natural resources, and breaking ties with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank. This essay examines the role of socialism and indigeneity in Morales’ foreign policy using his speeches at international venues such as the United Nations, tweets (@evoespueblo), op-eds in American news outlets, and interviews. Morales foregrounded his foreign policy in critiques of US imperialism and neoliberalism. The Indigenous leader constantly faced trade-offs between benefitting his Indigenous and peasant constituency and breaking promises of his anti-interventionist and pro-environment agenda. While it served Morales to cut ties with the US, he faced an uphill battle when developing transnational and international agreements with Brazil and China. Morales balanced protecting Indigenous and peasant concerns and developing the nation’s economy to pull Bolivia’s people out of extreme poverty. This essay attempts to paint an image of what it means to have Indigenous representation at the national and international levels. Trying to implement progressive policies in a market economy, Morales redefined Bolivian foreign policy.
Flores, Joseph A. (2023) "Evo es Pueblo: Indigeneity and Socialism in the Foreign Policy of Bolivian President Evo Morales," Swarthmore Undergraduate History Journal: 4 (1), 65-91. https://works.swarthmore.edu/suhj/vol4/iss1/4