10 December 2007

Dual Government In Bolivia

In Bolivia, there are two governments. One, legal, that of the indigenous President Evo Morales, has massive peasant support and control of the Altiplano (La Paz, Oruro and Potosi). The army and the police still respond to his command. The trade unions and the middle classes support him though without much enthusiasm. In the valley and plains of the west and the south of the country, the land-owning oligarchy and the financial-commercial bourgeois, in contrasts, carry more weight and can count on the militant support of the middle classes and the submission of the trade unions and civic organisations. There they conspire and want to split the army to defeat the “Indian President”.

Bolivia is divided in two. The oligarchy de facto governs six of the 10 largest Bolivian cities. There nobody respects Evo Morales and racism, separatism and fascist bands emerge forcefully. There, the indigenous Left has no discourse or slogans and is cornered and persecuted.

In open rebellion, the prefects (governors), civic leaders, businessmen and popular figures of the valleys, in the west and south of the country contemptuously started a hunger strike from December 3 together with an international campaign against Morales. The top leaders, as was expected, travelled to Washington. Also in the agenda was the taking of public offices, the control of the police and fracturing the Army. The prefects of Pando and Cochabamba went on to call for armed defiance.

For now, the Vice President, GarcĂ­a Linera’s intention that the old elites share power with the new and emerging Indian and farming elites has not crystallised despite the enormous concessions that the government has made. The oligarchy does not want to share power with Morales and moves towards constructing its own political power, wearing out the “Indian President”.

Till date, the tactics of confrontation has strengthened them, given them political power in six of the nine departments of Bolivia. Now the next steps are being worked out: the most reactionary want to declare secession and their independence; the more intelligent are accumulating strength, waiting for new mistakes by Morales in the calculation that it is going to mature the double power that exists today in Bolivia.
Abridged. Published
in Argenpress on December 5, 2007. Link:

“I think there are many parallels between Nelson Mandela and Evo Morales in terms of transformation of unjust societies or violators of human rights in a very unequal society because both were elected in the context of racism and social exclusion. In Bolivia, a very important process of change has been initiated with some laws that recognise those laws and propose a fundamental reform, not only of the State but also of the vision of the country.”
Rodolfo Stavenhagen, U.N. Rapporteur on the Rights of the Indigenous People Pagina/12 Link: http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/principal/index-2007-12-08.html
Related Article: Civil War in Bolivia? Not Yet

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for people to know.