Potatoes and coca: the end to Bolivia’s financial worries?
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Potatoes and coca: the end to Bolivia’s financial worries?

While U.S. politicians are searching for ways to pay for campaigns, the latest Bolivian tactic is rather unusual.

Supporters of President Evo Morales say they’re boosting their finances with donations of potatoes and coca, the crop that’s a traditional stimulant in Bolivia but is banned abroad as the raw material of cocaine.

The president’s partisans are seeking a constitutional amendment eliminating a ban on Morales seeking another term in 2019.

Coca growers’ vice president Leonardo Loza says his members are pledging 20 tons of coca to be sold to raise money for the effort. They hope to raise $120,000 and say none of the crop will go toward cocaine. Morales is honorary president of the growers’ union.

Morales, a former coca producer, led Bolivia’s withdrawal from the UN Single Convention on Narcotic drugs in 2011. Two years later, the country rejoined the convention under the agreement that it could legally farm coca.

Six Federations of Coca growers recently pledged their support for Morales if he runs for re-election.

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