For the first time since the colonization of South America, an indigenous man has been elected head of state -- in Bolivia, where massive social movements have deposed one government after another over the last few years. Evo Morales of the Movement Towards Socialism is reported to have won the election outright, with 51% of the vote. Jennifer Whitney reported earlier this year on Bolivia's Laboratory of Dual Power. Upside Down World, a blog covering the Latin American left has some quick coverage and links.

The US government is not happy at all. They demonized the relatively centrist Morales and have alleged all kinds of Cuban and Venezuelan "interference" in the election. This seemed to help the candidate.

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In Palestine's local elections just concluded, Hamas carried the West Bank, winning over 70% in Nablus. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine did well in Ramallah, the commercial center of the area, which has a large Christian population none too interested in the fundamentalist of Hamas.

What was clear was that the masses of people are rejecting the corrupt Palestinian Authority and castingĀ  their support to the those who fight, and will not sell out the Palestinian Right of Return. Fatah has split between an old-guard faction led by the (quisling) Abbas and a more militant, and less corrupt grouping fronted by Marwan Bargouti, currrently held in an Israeli prison for his role in the second Intifada. Both factions are pro-negotiations with Israel and ostensibly seek a two-state solution. Meanwhile, the Apartheid Wall continues to encircle the West Bank.