Bolivia: Not a Bird, Not a Plane But Barrientos

The Quemado Palace, Bolivia's presidential seat, has one entrance marked "RB" for Republica de Bolivia. Nowadays wits in La Paz insist that the initials actually stand for Rene Barrientos, the present occupant. The onetime air force commander was elected three years ago, following the coup that toppled Victor Paz Estenssoro. At the time, Bolivians predicted that he was politically too naive to survive longer than six months. With only a year to go before Barrientos completes a full term, even critics now admit that the handsome, mercurial chief executive has put his...

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