Bolivia's Evo Morales has been re-elected.
Some of you may be asking, "Weren't the country's elections in 2009?" Yes, they were. That's not at all what we're talking about.
It was reported Monday by several Hispanic news outlets - including Los Tiempos, La Razon and La Rioja (excuse the Google Translate pages, but you get the idea) - that the Bolivian president once again has been elected to helm the union for coca leaf producers in the nation.
Coca, as in the precursor plant for cocaine.
Those of you familiar with Morales are aware of his fondness for the crop. You might even remember the time he gave Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a charango, an Andean instrument similar to a ukelele, inlaid with leaves from the plant ... which must have made for spirited discussion when she came back through U.S. Customs.
Those of you familiar with Bolivia are aware that many indigenous folks there have been known to employ the plant for purposes unrelated to Scarface Delight. The plant has been used for thousands of years in the Andes, and not merely as a stimulant. It's also a medicine that can reportedly relieve altitude sickness and pain or suppress appetite if you chew the leaves, a custom known as "acullico."
Morales has long fought to decriminalize acullico, which the U.N. has banned for decades because the leaves contain the alkaloid necessary to make cocaine.
This may have been on Morales' mind when he ended Sunday's acceptance speech with a phrase in the native language of Quechua: "Causachun coca! Hua√Īuchun Yankees!" It means "Long live, coca! Death to the Yankees!"
It sounds pretty crazy coming from an elected head of state, but it's more a rallying cry than something to be taken literally. Coca growers, including Morales himself, have used the phrase for years.
Morales has been head of the union, known as the Coordinating Committee of the Six Federations of the Tropics of Cochabamba, since 1996. While he may at times seem hostile to Western efforts to clamp down on coca production, his acceptance speech seemed more sympathetic to global concerns.
He thanked the coca growers amassed in Cochabamba for re-electing him and urged them to strive for stronger regulation of the coca leaf. According to the BBC, he reminded them that individual cultivation was limited to a 40-by-40-meter garden per household and that growing coca in national parks or on protected land is prohibited, as is growing the plant outside the areas designated for cultivation.
"There cannot be zero coca, but nor can there be unregulated cultivation of coca. You know, brothers, that a portion is diverted into drug-trafficking," Morales said, according to the BBC.
With Bolivia ranking behind only Colombia and then Peru as the world's top cocaine producers, CNN would like to remind its readers that "a portion" could constitute anything between .01% and 99.9%.