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by Tom Pauken    Sat, Dec 24, 2005, 01:00 AM

Evo Morales
Bolivia recently elected a left-wing coca farm organizer by the name of Evo Morales as its new President.

During his campaign for the Presidency, Morales pledged to legalize coca-growing and nationalize the energy industry. He is a protégé of the pro-Communist President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and no friend of the United States.

A conservative talk show host in Spain called Morales in Bolivia impersonating the socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, according to a story in the Financial Times. Here is a report of the exchange between the Spanish Prime Minister’s impersonator and Mr. Morales:

"A humorist on the morning show of Radio Cope, owned by the Spanish Roman Catholic Church, called Mr. Morales this week impersonating Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain’s socialist prime minister. The exchange, broadcast several times on Wednesday, had ‘Mr. Zapatero’ congratulating Mr. Morales for his resounding victory and urging him to join "our Cuban brothers, and our brother [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez, in the triumphal new order we want to establish in Spain and Latin America." The unsuspecting Mr. Morales "told ‘Mr. Zapatero’ he was looking forward to working with Fidel Castro, the Cuban Leader, and Mr. Chavez to achieve ‘the liberation of our peoples’ … ‘You have the unconditional support of the Spanish government. Down with imperialism,’ Mr. Zapatero’s impersonator replied."

While this is a funny hoax, the joke ultimately may be on us. It is likely that the President-elect of Bolivia was voicing his true beliefs when he told the man he thought was the Prime Minister of Spain that he looked forward to working with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez for "the liberation of our peoples".

That is just what the United States needs – another hostile regime in Latin America. Fidel Castro may be close to the end of his rule, but it appears that would-be Castroites are bubbling up in leadership positions throughout South and Central America. With all our attention focused on the Middle East, we had better start paying attention to what is happening to us south of the border.

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