ADVANTAGES

In order to galvanize the public to adopt his economic stabilization measures, end strikes, and shake the Congress to action, President Siles announced his intention on national television to go on a hunger strike to “restore a climate of peace and reflection by all Bolivians” on 25 October. Siles had used the method before, successfully as President in 1956 to galvanize support for necessary stabilization measures (see ), and unsuccessfully to protest a congressional decision he thought unconstitutional during the 1979 election stalemate. However over five days Siles’ physical condition worsened with no end to labor strikes or congressional opposition in sight. On 29 October, he announced that he had succeeded in his goals and accepted an offer by Bolivia’s Roman Catholic Bishops from the Bolivian Episcopal Conference and the Catholic Church to arrange a dialogue with the opposition in Congress on the condition that the President end his hunger strike and that opposition groups cease their political action.

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