Friday, June 02, 2006

Evo's American Strategy

Los Tiempos report yet another paradox of Evo's government: The administration has accused the US of conspiring to assassinate Evo and at the same time have asked to renew the ATPDEA (Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act).

The government say they have evidence of the conspiracy, which is provided by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. So, they say that they have the obligation to denounce and not hide this information, although they have never, in 4 months of accusations against the US, provided a shred of evidence.

On the other hand, Evo defended his plea for the renewal of ATPDEA with his "0-cocaine policy". Please mind, this plea has nothing to do with trade: FTAs are wrong, you see, but the ATPDEA, that's the real deal. After all, there is no need in liberalizing all trade when just a couple of items will do.

Lots have been written about Evo's problem separating the union leader from the statesman. The problem is at its most evident here. The domestic strategy of Evo to gain the presidency has been simple and effective: denounce everything those oligarchs in power do, in order to rally the discontent masses behind him. Then, those oligarchs in power were forced to reach a compromise, in order to avoid further problems, thus giving Evo increasing amounts of power. Evo clearly thinks that he can work the US similarly. He probably believes that by accusing the US, he will affect their stability enough so that they jump in joy at the first sign of reconciliation from his part.


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Blogger Jonathan said...

Evo's "strategy", quite simply:

- One tier of comments are for internal consumption; to fill Bolivians with hate and resentment toward foreigners and towards other serctors of societe, thereby strengthening the base.

- The second tier, seeks to portray him as a moderate, playing with the Lula model, so as to keep some people happy, and as one of my friend would say "bring home some bacon"

Sad indeed.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

Completely agree.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Magbana said...

What is sad is the lack of historical perspective and overall analysis of the current situation in Bolivia:

-500 years of brutal exclusion of indios by europeanized elites

-Morales doesn't need to work the masses up to a negative frenzy about yanquis -- they were there a long time ago.

-God,I hope Morales acts like a union leader -- that's how he got elected.!

-Finally, of course Morales is on the US hit list -- resources + land reapportionment = golpe de estado. Do we have to go back and review Arbenz in Guatemala.?

6:18 AM  
Blogger Alvaro Ruiz-Navajas said...

I agree. The lack of historical perspective is atonishing. After all, all policies that Evo Morales is imposing on the country have already been tried and their consequences were disastrous.
Now, talking about 500 years of brutal exclusion... Maybe you should say 1000s of years. After all, the greatest misunderstanding you can have is believing that the Inka empire was all peace and love. It was one of the most absolutist regimes ever. The rulers even decided how the rest of the people had to dress. Perhaps this is something you look forward to? After all, you seem to support Castro and Chavez. Gee, what they have done is soooo great!

Now, talking about europeanized elites is just naive. Bolivia achieved its independece 176 years ago. Indigenous peoples were given all rights and land in the MNR revolution. The fact that Bolivia remained poor does not have anything to do with systematic exclusion of the great masses -Bolivia did not have apartheid-like policies before Evo, believe it or not. Bolivia remained poor because of the idiotic policies that were followed and which are, incidentally, similar to the ones that Evo is pursuing.

As for the anti-US feeling in Bolivia, you point that out as it was a good thing. Hatred and misunderstanding are policies I do not agree with. In case the Americans worked anti-Bolivian feelings, you would surely describe them as being racist. But since it is the other way round, you seem to be too happy. And the only reason these feelings are there in the first place is becasue people like Evo noticed he needed something like that to exploit the people's frustration in his favour.
As for Morales acting as a Union leader - no comments. If you are serious about this, chances are there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. Just do me a favour. See how much demagoguery has done for Bolivia. Read a book on Bolivian history, but one that has not been written by Galeano. Read something unbiased, for a change. The Herbert Klein books (1,2) are good choices.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous 070606 said...

Clearly, Magbana is one of the, "brutally excluded" anxiously awaiting a handout vis a vis land redistribution. And not to worry, Evo will always, "act like a union leader" what other way could he possibly be? A statesman? A diplomat? No, you are who you are. As the saying goes, Aunque la mona se vista de seda mona se queda. Are you Bolivian? Do you think you are a credit to your race? You are an embarrassment to all people and things Bolivian. Land redistribution is not the answer; sadly it will only translate into more murders such as the ones we have seen in Santa Cruz and Oruro. You dishonor and desecrate the memory of your slaughtered Bolivian brothers and those that loved them by applauding land redistribution. Your ignorance astounds me.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Alvaro, you are right, people tend to overlook the very inconvenient truth that the Kollasuyu had just been conquered by the Inka, when the Spanish arrived. That the Inka's imposed their will on the Aymara's by destroying the rulers and armies, a pattern the Spanish followed with the greater Tahuantisuyu. Most common Aymaras and Quechuas all that changed was that they had to pay tribute to a different divinity/king whether a Mallku, Inka, or Spanish King. Of course, the Spanish were much more impatient and kept on demanding more and more.

8:00 PM  

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