Friday, September 23, 2005

Do Quiroga's blunders justify voting for Morales?

In the past weeks, since the parties have announced their candidates, I have heard of more and more middle class people growing disillusioned with Quiroga and Podemos and switching to the MAS ranks. The fact that Quiroga included so many debris from other political parties, as well as Duchen as vicepresidential candidate seemed to do the trick. For an article on Quiroga's blunders and subsequebt loss of credibility, go here (in Spanish).

However, these people are not leaning for MAS because they want Morales as president or think their policies are appropriate - no party has spoken about policies yet. The reasoning behind this surge for MAS is different: People think that if Morales is not elected president, he will be quick to take the streets and paralyze the country again. On the other hand, if he becomes president, he will soon find himself against a myriad of problems -unrealistically high expectations, excessive demands from social sectors and aid cutoffs, to name a few- and will be forced to resign. The next government, the argument follows, will be the one to bring peace to Bolivia.

There are, however, two elements missing from this reasoning -the constituent assembly and Chavez.

As we know, one of the bigger tasks for the next government is the constituent assembly. If Morales gets elected, he will try to model the Bolivian constitution on his image, much like Chavez did in Venezuela. That means that the chances of ousting Morales with mere street protests is as good as none. (I won't go into discussing other effects of a long-term Morales potential dictatorship now).

The second element, Chavez, will prove important in two respects: First, logistic support for drafting the new Bolivian constitution, and second, financial support. The first point should be clear from the above paragraph. With regard to the second point, if the WB/IMF cut off financial aid, I believe Chavez will be quick to fill the void, at least until the new Bolivian constitution is passed. He has virtually unlimited resources from PDVSA and has shown no repairs in using them for political means. Moreover, as the case of the "Energetic Ring" shows, Chavez is eager to gain energetic control of the region and being Bolivia the second largest powerhouse of South America, it would be a welcome addition to his sphere of influence.


Anonymous Miguel (MABB) said...

Estimado Alvaro,

pues bien venido al boliblogsphere o como quieras llamarlo. Muchas gracias por avisarme de tu blog. Me parece muy interesante el tener una perspectiva mas en este tan estrecho mundo de los blogs bolivianos en ingles.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous eduardo said...

Yes I agree, having the international lending organizations shut of funding plays right into the wishes of Chavez and Morales. Bolivia would have no other alternative than to to accept Venezuelan foreign aid (in the open).

I don't think the IMF or WB will pull out because I don't think Evo will pull anything radical, but that just means Chavez' money will still have to be on the downlow.

5:21 AM  

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