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A nation must think before it acts.
The struggle to build stable democracies in weak Latin American countries mirrors the Herculean task faced by fragile states in many other parts of the globe. Within Latin America, the fault lines between competing visions of the state, the economy, and national identity are particularly stark in Bolivia, which is divided along ethnic, geographical, and socioeconomic lines. That country’s new president, Evo Morales, has the mandate that would permit him and his government to transform Bolivia in a way that would set a powerful example for countries throughout the region. The United States can and should support his efforts as long as they are designed to deepen and broaden the roles of democracy and a free-market economy in Bolivia.