They came from the grim cities and bleak farms of Tunisia’s interior to make their voices heard in the capital on the coast. But the hundreds who joined yesterday’s “freedom caravan” may as well have come from another world.

By the standards of its neighbors in North Africa and the Middle East, Tunisia is an economic success story. Its people are educated. It attracts substantial foreign investment, mainly from Europe. Most people are covered by state health care.

But protesters from the central province of Sidi Bouzid, where a vegetable-seller’s desperate suicide by burning sparked the nationwide revolt, say they have not shared in that success.

Better connected by road and rail, greener, boasting ports and sandy beaches, coastal areas have long fared better.