25 January 2006

Evo Morales & his Simple Message – Please, Partners not Owners for Bolivia

I'm fascinated with what's going on politically in South America. It's not simply about politics - it's about a cultural movement. Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, has a population with 60% indigenous Indians. Their country doesn't even have en economic strategy because it's trying to cope with more basic human issues. They have just elected Evo Morales, the country's first indigenous leader.

Evo may not be polished, but he appears to be a genuine man on a real mission. Evo Morales, the new President of Bolivia, carries this message – that his country is looking for partners, not owners – to the world. During his campaign for President, he promised his people that he would help them bring their culture into their politics. He's seeking justice and equality for people.

As he carries this message from Bolivia to other South American countries, he’s waking the dead. Those countries, also once idealistic, have succumbed to the separation of political power and real socio-economic growth. All eyes are on Bolivia right now. This young man who has built his campaign and message on a strong value proposition – rather than economic or political greed – is carrying a torch of hope for many who live in uncomfortable circumstances and yet do not want to give up their culture for money.

Dressed in his modest sweater rather than a flashy suit, Evo will head to Europe shortly with hopes of enlisting partners to help pave Bolivia’s path to the future, valuable brick by brick. Much like Lula of Brazil, Evo Morales hopes to bring his people a social and culture wealth supported by sustainable economics without destroying it with the rampant greed in so many other countries. The issues at hand are the commerce and wealth that gets generated through the gas industry, but never reaches the people of Bolivia. I wonder what will transpire on this level - to see if there is an opportunity to evolve politics and commerce into a socio-economic development plan for the country.

Bolivia is a land and a mix of indigenous cultures and communities separated by treacherous and beautiful mountains. The 60% majority of the population is indigenous and only a percentage lives in cities like the capital, La Paz. It is a country that may not have much in the context of technology and media, but it is a country rich in community and creativity.

No comments: