Monday, February 20, 2006

Bolivian Weekend News: The Unbelievable and the Vendetta

The Unbelievable

In yesterday's edition of La Prensa, an interview with the chancellor reveals the shameful state of the current government. The interviewer notices that the Bolivian foreign policy supremo is just starting to find out why Bolivia and Chile have poor relations since 1879. The article notes that
David Choquehuanca is a diferent guy from his predecessors who lead Bolivia's international relations until January 22nd [sic]. He speaks aymara and not English, does not finish reading books and is just starting to find out why Bolivia and Chile have a conflict since 1879.(Emphasis added)

If the chancellor does not know the root of the conflict, what can we make of MAS politics so far? Take the gas war, for example, when a president was ousted because MAS staged massive protests in order avoid gas being exported through Chile, without having any clues as to why there was a conflict with Chile in the first place. One can only hope that the chancellor will soon start to find out that Fidel Castro is not that committed to democracy, as some in the administration believe.

But this is just the beginning. Other things one can realize by reading this interview alone is the lack of cohesion in the administration. When the interviewer asks him if it was a mistake to say that the most important task of the new ambassador to the USA would be to seek the extradition of Sanchez de Lozada, he replies that because of the whippala (the indigenous flag), there would not be priorities so that all tasks are equally important (what he meant by that is beyond my understanding). But then, when the reporter reminded him that Evo himself said that, the chancellor bluntly replied, "What did he say?". Perhaps events like this prompted the MAS administration to start curbing the access of periodists to the palace, effectively affecting the freedom of press.

And finally, in the midst of the Battle for the Constituent Assembly, the chancellor admitted that they are planning a 26-year government plan. In the same sentence, strangely, he added "Contrary to other plans and leftist thinking, we do not speak of living better; all development plans speak of living better, we don't".

If somebody can understand what he was trying to say, please take a minute and explain it to the rest of us.

The Vendetta

According to one editorial comment, Evo's comment on the banana exporters was just a vendetta against anybody in the Chapare who dared to follow the strategies of alternative development and stop growing coca. Manfredo Kempff also notes that it is difficult to expect something else if the president himself is the representant of the Coca Growers.

Cayetano Llobet, on the other hand, notes that this comment arose from the need of the president to create enemies against his administration and quoted J. Freund -there are no possibilities of doing politics without enemies. He also notes that it is unconstitutional for the president to be the leader of an interest group. One more reason for an Assembly with unlimited power.

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Blogger Jonathan said...

"just starting to find out"... wow, I've seen experienced diplomats with vast knowledge of the maritime issue like Jorge Escobari Cusicanqui fail where this amateur is trying to succeed.

I guess he'll eventually realize that you can't make enough bloqueos to change Chile's mind.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

Amazing, isn't it? When I first read it, I couldn't believe it.

What kind of government will this be? Be afraid. Be very afraid...

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now do you think that Evo is going to realize how dangerous Chavez is?

Do you believe Evo knows about Chavez? Is Chavez playing Evo?

Finally what do you think of Evo having their people in customs and roads now?

Did you hear about Aznar former spanish presidentdeclarations?

10:37 PM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

I don't know if Evo will realize how dangerous Chaves is - after all, he wants to follow his footsteps.

I will briefly talk about nepotism i a short post later today.

I did not know Aznar's comments. Would be glad if you could post a link or the comments themselves.

12:55 PM  

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