The Bolivarian Presidents: Conversations and Correspondence with Presidents of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela

The Bolivarian Presidents: Conversations and Correspondence with Presidents of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela

The Bolivarian Presidents: Conversations and Correspondence with Presidents of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela

The Bolivarian Presidents: Conversations and Correspondence with Presidents of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela

Synopsis

Alexander is among the most experienced observers of Latin American politics and has been an active correspondent with major figures of the region for decades. In this volume, he provides interview transcripts and letters from most of the recent presidents of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. With some of the correspondence and interviews extending over a considerable period of time, the shifting views and attitudes as well as the comments on other key players makes for fascinating insights into the politics of Latin America.

Excerpt

The people dealt with in this section are the men and one woman who presided over Bolivia for twenty-eight and a half of the more than forty years since the Bolivian National Revolution of April 9, 1952. That upheaval was one of the three or four most fundamental transformations to take place in Latin America in the twentieth century. It quite literally gave the land back to the Indians, nationalized the Big Three mining companies, which had dominated Bolivian politics since the turn of the century, extended education to much of the peasant population, and took important steps to foster the country's economic development.

The Bolivian National Revolution was carried out by the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR-Nationalist Revolutionary Movement). All but two of the people dealt with in these pages were associated with the MNR. One exception is Luis Adolfo Siles who, although a half-brother of the MNR's President Herán Siles, was consistently an opponent of the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario. The other is President Jaime Paz Zamora.

The MNR remained in power from April 1952 until November 1964,, through the administrations of Víctor Paz Estenssoro (1952-1956), Hernán Siles (1956-1960), and the second period of Paz Estenssoro (1960-1964), who had barely been in office a few months of what was supposed to be his third term when he was overthrown by a military coup led by General René Barrientos and Alfredo Ovando in November 1964, and Paz Estenssoro went into exile.

One of the principal characteristics of the second half . . .

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