The exiled former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is scheduled to have a triumphant return next week, leading a convoy of 800 vehicles to the wooded coca plantation where he begins his career. your political career.
The Bolivian Página Siete reported that Morales would cross from Argentina into the southern border town of Villazon on Monday morning before traveling 600 miles north to Chapare province.
Bolivia̵7;s first indigenous president, who was sent into exile last November in what his supporters call the US-backed coup, intends to arrive in the town of Chimoré on Tuesday, exactly once. years after fleeing from the same location on a Mexican Air Force jet.
The return of Bolivia’s first indigenous president comes after his Socialism Movement (Mas) regained the presidency last month when Morales’s former finance minister, Luis Arce, won the war. won the landslide election.
The former coca farmer, who led Bolivia from 2006 to 2019, has lived in Buenos Aires since the Argentine government gave him asylum last year.
Arce will take office on Sunday, 24 hours before Morales’s return, with a guest roster that includes left-wing leaders such as Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández and Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro.
For Morales, 61, his homecoming was an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable political revival of Mas and to make a strong statement about his own political involvement in a region. deeply symbolic.
Jim Shultz, a Bolivian expert, said: “It really is the equivalent of Trump going to Nebraska and Oklahoma to hold his campaigns.”
The Argentinian newspaper Página / 12 said Morales aides who had invoiced the “caravan” to Chapare as a “historic journey” would end with a “wonderful welcome and thank you ceremony.” for the citizen”.
Sen. Leonardo Loza of Mas told Argentina’s RadioCut that followers are preparing a “historic gathering” in Chimoré that he hopes will have as many as 1.5 million supporters from all over Bolivia.
Álvaro Ruiz, head of Bolivia’s Pro-Mas Federation of Municipal Associations, told reporters: “He will come back with the same strength and the same hope.”
Shultz sees an intense personal side of Morales’s journey home. “I’m sure he suffered from being outside Bolivia. I’m sure he misses the people, the attention, the food … on a personal level. I’m sure he’s happy to go home. ”
But many, even within Morales’s party, are said to be uneasy about the re-emergence of a charismatic but deeply divided figure, whose reluctance to give up power has contributed to the love. turmoil engulfed the South American country after last year’s controversial elections.
Shultz said it was not clear if Morales was satisfied with taking the back seat in politics or wanting to be “a behind-the-scenes king telling his subordinates how to run the country”.
“The question is whether all we are looking at is someone rebuilding their personal reputation and reconnecting with their support base, or are we considering opening a institution. Substitute power station inside Mas … No one knows the answer to that question.