A WORRIED MORALES ATTEMPTS TO WOO THE MIDDLE CLASS

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
06LAPAZ2743 12 October 2006 Solo uso oficial Embassy La Paz

Buscar la fuente: [Wikileaks] [MRKVA] [Google]

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2743 2851937
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121937Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0852
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6178
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3492
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7353
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4615
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1869
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1912
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4078
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4505
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9081
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002743

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, ECON, BL
SUBJECT: A WORRIED MORALES ATTEMPTS TO WOO THE MIDDLE CLASS

1. (U) President Morales spoke October 12 at a rally
intended to "defend Bolivian democracy," as well as to close
the international indigenous meeting held in La Paz October
8-12. Speaking for forty minutes to a bussed in and largely
passive crowd we estimate at approximately 6,000 (but which
press reports put from less than 10,000 up to one estimate of
50,000), Morales highlighted his government’s achievements in
office and repeatedly thanked the middle class for its
support. He touted the success of hydrocarbons
nationalization, which he said had flooded the treasury with
additional funds, as well as his government’s increase in the
minimum wage, the first in five years. He also emphasized
the GOB’s anti-corruption campaign, promising that his
government will not defraud the Bolivian people.

2. (U) In addition to reviewing GOB progress, Morales warned
his audience that those opposed to Bolivia’s revolution
continue to make false accusations to prejudice the GOB. He
declared that "this revolution is going forward with or
without Evo Morales— nobody is going to stop it." In
response to speculation his government is stoking about
possible coup attempts, Morales disingenously said the rumors
were intended to intimidate the GOB. He again criticized the
media, stating that they used to call the MAS
narcotraffickers, but now call them "ignorant and incapable."
Finally, Morales defended his radical vision of the
Constituent Assembly. He said some people want to confuse
the Bolivian people by making them believe that the
Assembly’s "plenipotentiary" ("originaria" in Spanish) nature
means that the Assembly is "indigenous." Morales made clear
that instead, "originaria" means that the Assembly is
superior to all other state powers, which is necessary in
order to "refound" Bolivia.

3. (SBU) Comment: Morales’ speech had an unusually moderate
tone (for him), demonstrating a clear desire to reach out for
middle class support. Defending the GOB’s program, Morales
also admitted that his government should do more. He
promised to "organize better" in order to change Bolivia,
almost apologizing for GOB political failures at the
Constituent Assembly, and regarding the mining crisis and
recent blockades. Morales did not single out the United
States during his speech except to mention that the United
States and other countries "don’t want our migration" but
will have to accept our products via trade. The
disappointingly low attendance for the rally appears to be an
indicator of Morales’ sinking popularity. The mostly
indigenous crowd, in large part bused-in cocaleros who
distributed coca from trucks bearing "coca is not cocaine"
signs, probably means that Morales’ political instincts are
right— he needs to reach out to the middle class. End
comment.
GOLDBERG