A Voice on the Left

TIME talks with Bolivia's Evo Morales

Since his landslide election win in December, Bolivian President Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian, has turned South America's poorest nation into a hemispheric player. His recent nationalization of Bolivia's oil and natural-gas reserves has made him, along with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, a leader of a leftist surge in Latin American politics. It has also put Morales at odds with the U.S., which he is scheduled to visit in June. Morales, 46, talked with TIME's Tim Padgett and Jean Friedman-Rudovsky last week at the presidential palace in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.

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