Brian Winter, policy vice president at AS/COA, spoke with Mary Harris of Slate’s What Next podcast about the situation in Bolivia after Evo Morales left the presidential office.
Winter explained that Evo Morales benefited from the commodities boom and had great timing. “He understood fiscal accounts. He understood that he needed to redistribute wealth and he needed to use this windfall that came from the commodities Bolivia exported and spend it in a way that would allow for poverty to decline," Winter said.
During his three terms in office, Morales "did very well," said Winter. "But this is a classic human story and a classic South American story, he just didn’t know when to leave,” said Winter.
After Morales stepped down, the Senate’s second vice president, Jeanine Añez, declared herself interim president. Winter said her role in a situation like this should be to call free, fair democratic elections as soon as possible.
Winter commented that Bolivia has a history of separatism. “There’s always that risk of crackup when Bolivia is involved,” Winter said. “A lot of us are watching very carefully in the hope that that doesn’t happen, but with eyes wide open in terms of the potential that it might.”