Monday, November 30, 2009

Bolivia’s Elections Part III: The Issues



Readers:

As promised, we have just posted a new video featuring interviews with the National Senate candidates from Cochabamba from the two leading political parties in Sunday's vote, Evo Morales' MAS party and Manfred Reyes Villa's Plan Progreso para Bolivia-Concertación Nacional.

Subtitled in English, this offers you the chance to hear directly from those on Sunday's ballot. The video, which took great effort to arrange and produce, was put together by Aldo Orellana, Leny Olivera, Jessica Aguirre, and Anders Vang Nielsen of the Democracy Center team.

For those of you interested in seeing more images from the campaign here is
an excellent collection of photographs offered to us generously from photographer Eric Mehl.

Our original post continues below. And a reminder, we'll be blogging live from around the country all day Sunday so tune in.

Jim Shultz

Bolivia’s Elections: The Issues

Prepared with enormous research support from Aldo Orellana.

A few days ago I was meeting with a pair of European Union election observers who asked for my perspective on the December 6th elections. In trying to explain a political culture that is a lot more complicated than meets the eye, I figured out an important difference between how elections work in a place like the U.S. and in Bolivia.

Voting in the U.S. is like going to a restaurant. People see what’s on the menu, decide what they want, and order. Last year Democrats were serving ample helping of troops withdrawals from Iraq (their Afghanistan entree is about to change) and expansion of government involvement in health care. Republicans had a special on “staying the course” and cutting taxes.

Bolivia is different. “Issues” are secondary in Bolivian politics. What drives things are identity and alliances aimed at securing power. In the old days a tripod of political parties with indistinguishable differences on the issues rotated the presidency amongst one another. Today an old elite that has been pushed out of power (the wealthy and upper middle class) smashes elbows against a new set of political allies, MAS. A big part of what drives these different alliances is class, ethnicity and culture. But some of it is just old-fashioned political opportunism. The ranks of MAS today include ample activists from Bolivia’s old establishment and right wing. With victory comes access to political spoils, most notably public employment, and so political opportunists flock to whomever seems bound for victory, which these days is MAS.

That said, there actually are issues being debated in this 2009 campaign if you dig past the name-calling. So here is installment three of our series on Bolivia’s elections, The Issues. This follows our two prior election posts: The Bolivian Elections I: Five Things to Understand About the Process and Bolivia’s Election Part II: The Candidates for President.

While the candidates for the Bolivian presidency have had no formal debates (Evo Morales refused to participate in them), on the stump, on campaign Web sites, and in advertisements there are four main issues that all three leading candidates – Evo Morales, Manfred Reyes Villa, and Samuel Doria Medina – seem to focus on most:

1. The New Constitution, Autonomy and the Structure of Government

A key push in President Morales’ first term was to change the rules of the political game in Bolivia, so it is no surprise that these issues have been the most combative over the past four years and are at the center of the current campaign.

President Evo Morales champions the new national constitution that was written by his MAS party and approved by Bolivian voters last January. Now Morales and MAS are pledging, in a second term, to pass more than 100 new laws to implement that new constitution. On regional and indigenous community autonomy, a key issue in the constitutional reform battle, Morales and MAS loosely describe their agenda this way. Regional departments should have autonomy to elect their leaders including those lower down the political ladder than just the governors. But resources, in particular land, gas and oil, should remain under national control.

Manfred Reyes Villa, who was an opponent of the new constitution, declares that it must be reformed. Among his targets for change is the requirement that the nation's judges be elected directly by the voters (he thinks they should be selected by their legal peers) and an end to talking about 36 separate Bolivian nationalities. Reyes Villa has also championed the cause of greater regional autonomy, though without much in the way of specifics of what that means.

Samuel Doria Medina has focused his campaign on the generation of employment for Bolivians and has had less to say about what plans he would have for the new constitution and autonomy, though he says he supports the latter.

2. The Nation’s Natural Resources and Spending the Windfall

What is most interesting is the virtually universal political turnaround on what was once one of the most controversial demands by Bolivia’s social movements (and a foundation of the Morales presidency) – a much bigger role for the government in the development of the nation’s gas and oil.

Nationalization vs. privatization has been a political pendulum in Bolivia since the 1930s and it was not so long ago that a greater state role was considered a radical relic of the past. For years, the International Monetary Fund pressured Bolivian governments to keep the oil and gas in the hands of multinational corporations and to keep the taxes on these corporations low. It was President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada’s decision to follow just that recipe that sparked a 2003 shooting war between the army and the national police on the steps of the Presidential Palace.

Today, as a result of the new contracts and higher taxes implemented before Morales and after, combined with a spike in global petroleum prices, Bolivia has gone from having chronic deficits in its national budget to three years of surplus in a row. It also boasts $8 billion in cash reserves (much of it invested, ironically, in U.S. Treasury Bonds). Even the IMF seems to have gotten religion on the value of higher taxes on the multinationals. “Bolivia was prudent in saving part of the windfall during the expansion period,” said the IMF in a recent news release. “That has allowed the country to apply a counter-cyclical fiscal policy in 2009, including more public investment to support internal demand and the social protection network.”

So now the candidates really only argue about how to spend the money.

The Morales plan is straightforward – cash payments to the people and public works. Morales has established three new "bonus" programs. One gives cash payments to children in the country's public schools, an incentive for poor families to keep them there instead of pulling them out to work. Another is a revamped version of a bonus program for the nation's elderly. A third gives money to pregnant women. The government also claims to have distributed more than a thousand tractors to farmers, paved 840 miles of roads, constructed 545 clinics and health facilities, and financed water connections for 821,000 people.

What’s next? Morales now pledges that he will give a house to every new married couple in the country. The plan even comes with a catchy slogan, “El que se casa, casa quiere.” What will actually become of the sexy campaign promise remains to be seen. Morales has also committed himself to greater industrialization of the country’s gas and oil, and its newer buried treasure, lithium, with the aim of turning the resources into jobs not just royalties. But the road to forming an efficient state industry has been corruption-plagued and bumpy.

Manfred Reyes Villa’s stump speech (I just heard him at a rally in Tiquipaya last week) is a familiar song to those who have followed his career since his days dating back more than a decade ago as Cochabamba’s popular Mayor. The essence: He is a man who knows how to build stuff and he wants to do that all over the country – schools, clinics, paved roads, parks, sport facilities and more. And taking a strange page from George McGovern in 1972 he has also pledged to dig into some of those foreign reserves and give $1,000 to every family in the nation (he calculates this to be one million payments), to boost consumption and investment (and probably votes for him). On housing Reyes Villa pledges to expand government credit to homebuyers and on health to establish a national health insurance system.

Samuel Doria Medina, the only real businessman among the top three, has a mantra – jobs, jobs, jobs. He also boasts a serious program to try to generate new employment. He wants to create a $500 million fund to support the development, industrialization and exportation of organic food products from Bolivia, such as quinoa, coffee, rice, nuts, fruits and vegetables and llama meat. The fund would also provide Bolivians cultivating these products with technical support, new infrastructure, and help with finding export markets. In terms of social spending, his plans for a stronger safety net are much the same as his two competitors, but based on access to affordable credit rather than giveaways or cash payments. He would expand access to credit (which is wildly expensive in Bolivia) by offering $1,000 loans to one million families. Recently the owners of Bolivia’s Burger King franchise has bemoaned that Reyes Villa stole his idea and turned it into a handout instead of lending program.

3. Coca

The little green leaf that can alternatively be used to make herbal tea or cocaine has received some but not much attention in the campaign.

Morales, the former leader of the nation’s coca growers has a three part platform toward the leaf, captured by the slogan, “coca si, cocaina no.” First, he has allowed coca farmers to cultivate a limited acreage per family. Second he has pledged himself to the development of non-narcotic industrialized uses of the leaf (such as tea for export). Third, he declares he is dedicated, despite his ouster of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to stopping cocaine production in Bolivia. And while the news is occasionally spotted with announcements of some new shutdown of a cocaine lab and confiscation of drugs, the government also seems deliberately oblivious to the expansion of small cocaine labs turning up in the remote hillsides above Cochabamba.

Reyes Villa has pledged his commitment to fighting illegal drug production in Bolivia, but seems to have been improvising a little on the stump a week ago with a new proposal dealing with traditional coca use. He announced that he would establish a 50% government subsidy for the purchase of coca for traditional use (chewing). No one here seems to be sure what his point is or how his plan would be implemented. I was tempted, however, to take my 10 Boliviano green bag of leaves with me to his Tiquipaya rally and see if I could get him to give me 5 Bolivianos back, but decided against it.

Doria Medina has simply pledged his support to government efforts against “narcotrafficking” with little specifics.

4. Bolivia’s Foreign Relations

President Morales has emphasized Bolivia’s sovereignty in foreign relations, meaning that the nation has the right to have relations with any country it likes in the form it likes. This has led to ongoing battles with the U.S., under both Presidents Bush and Obama, and close ties to Venezuela, Cuba, and more recently Iran. Bolivia has also worked actively on new cooperation arrangements with its Latin American neighbors under two different regional umbrellas, the left-oriented ALBA and the more inclusive UNASUR. The government’s work with UNASUR includes developing alternative trade arrangements to those pushed by the U.S., including an alternative system for resolving trade disputes with foreign investors.

Reyes Villa has pledged much closer relations with the U.S. and had criticized Morales for ousting the U.S. Ambassador last year and blames Morales for the Bush and Obama administration decisions to end Bolivia’s participation in the APDEA trade preference program.

Doria Medina argues for a foreign policy based on pursuing the country’s national economic interests, regardless of who that means doing business with. “We have to make commercial agreements with every country in the world, with the U.S., with China, with Venezuela, with Cuba, with everyone.” He says the Bolivian government needs to have commercial and diplomatic relations with countries it likes and countries it does not.

63 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boliva's politics have always been about a caudillismo. Evo is no different and he still has not been able to accomplish anything that one can truly say will benefit Bolivians in the long run. Higher taxes were always possible, most bonos are the same as Goni's, corruption is still at the same stratospheric levels, being ignorant has become a virtue, and the region has never been so divided along races since 1492. On the other hand Manfred is a paragon of the very worst of Bolivian society and like Doria Medina made fortunes stealing from the county while in power. In my book they both deserve the electric chair and not the presidential one.

So the clear loser in this one will be Bolivians. Someone needs to step in there and do a few basic things: Re-write the CPE so it is less than a 1,000 words and does not do silly things like prohibit insulin or 90% of the Bolivians like Evo from being president; Stop the spending the money from natural resources like a drunken sailor and invest it in education, health and infrastructure; Legalize drugs; and once and for all be like Switzerland and become neutral.

Evo will win, there is no question, and the country will lose. The MAS will simply replace one corrupt elite for another. The only change will be that there will be more diversity among the poor and the more motivated (and those who do not want to cast their lot with narco-cocaleros) will leave the country.

The MAS will once again rise to the occasion and waste the opportunity to better the lot for Bolivians presented by lithium. Masistas like Santos Ramirez, Quintana, San Miguel will plunder most of the wealth. Evo will continue to waste it away to buy popularity in countless bags full of cash in random rallies and by creating more imbecile bonos that simply reward irresponsible behavior and laziness. All the while siding with the wrong side of history: Ahmadinejad, Castro, and Chavez. A total shame, a potential Mandela chose to become a Mugabe instead. Skywalker becomes Darth Vader.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny then that the government announced last week the creation of a state medicine company to produce cheap INSULIN and eventually anti-HIV retroviral drugs.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for all Bolivians who do NOT know how BAD communism is and will vote for an uneducated murderer, who calls himself as president in a country where INNOCENT people are killed and others kept in jail without any reason that could prove they are guilty!

Bolivia and the shameful "president" Morales, a homicidal killer assasin will feel soon the "hands of justice"! Muerte a asesinos! JUSTICIA!

Magyarosi Árpad was killed with a NATO-gun in Bolivia.
The bullets were cut out in perfect circles of his body- except for one.

In the Hungarian young man a bullet from a gun used regularly in the NATO size 556 was foung by experts. 'This is a gun of which's bullet can go through 5-6 different rooms' , explains the police expert, Péter Tarjányi.

Besides Magyarosi's, the Irish guy's report from the group of Rózsa -Flores is also at the disposal of the experts. Michael Martin Dwyer was shot down at close range while he was on his knees. 'He did not obey, he was in a surrender position', explains Tarjányi who thinks even today cannot be known who commited the execution, the Bolivian police or the special forces of the army.

According to the videos from the Internet, it seems the place was re-designed after the action by the armed forces. There is no sign of the so-called gun fight at all. No dead bodies, neither blood can be found on the internal recording of the police. There is only a bombing sign on the door of Rózsa-Flores.

'A scene like this cannot be useful for a court to prove anything. On account of these very poor evindences, Elod Tóásó should have been relased out of custody after 72 hours', says Tarjányi, who heard from journalists, the members of the group were caught alive and executed in another part of the town!!!

Please cry to me, and for me, and for my little and innocent boy - Fiúka! (Mother of Magyarosi Árpád Fiúka)

What if your son or brother was killed like this? What would you do? Would you just sit and do nothing about it? Wait for your country to do something about the case and see that nothing is done? To see the criminal stupid Bolivian president to be re-elected and telling you he is right without any proof? Would you just sit and do nothing? Tell me, you wouldn't! Please, do tell me you would fight till the end of your life for your family. Nothing more! Thanks!

HELP ME TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH!!!
HELP ME TO FIND THE JUSTICE!!!
HELP ME TO FIND THE CRIMINALS!!!

WE WOULD LIKE INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION!

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that Evo Morales eats small children. If somone has a citation for that can you please post it here. Thank you.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow talk about making ignorance a virtue.... How many children die each day in the third world from preventable causes of death? How many women die in childbirth without medical care? Even if Morales is responsible for 100 to 1000 deaths you wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface on the unjustified deaths of the poor. Being born wealthy is not in any way reflective of YOUR morale character, but dumb luck. What Morales represents to many is hope. Corruption is everywhere and although many in Morales administration may be corrupt Morales more likely than not isn't. Neoliberal economic reform (privitization, deregulation, and the lowering of taxes and tariffs) is a breeding ground for corruption and step by step Morales brings progess and a chance for a brighter future for the Bolivian people.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Funny then that the government announced last week the creation of a state medicine company to produce cheap INSULIN and eventually anti-HIV retroviral drugs."

I think you could be right on this one...art 407 went from outright prohibiting all genetically modified products to regulating them. art 105 has also been modified not requiring Evo to learn ayamara, but they still make the chapaco culture illegal.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Bolivia Libre said...

Ano 9:55 PM, Evo said, on public television, that when he retires he dreams on moving back to his coca plantation and a 15 year old girl for company. The 15 year old girl is, of course, to have sex with; in Bolivian popular terms, to have or eat the teenager. That is why you are confused.

This might be outrageous for some of you gringos of puritan hart, but where Evo comes, women are second class citizens ready to have sex as soon as they can pick up “una garrafa”; the GLP gas balloon used to cook. This is usually between 13 and 14 years old; pathetic, machist, but the true.

Now, less reveal another true’s hidden under Jim’s lies:
1) Reyes Villa clearly specifies that he only supports regional autonomies with similar characteristics than the one elected by popular vote in Santa Cruz, that is, making the country almost a Federal State. Is Evo’s indigenous autonomies proposal that no one understands, not even within the maSSist regime, so the mambo jambo about the 100 pieces of legislation needed to run their program.
2) The IMF didn’t pressured anybody to lower taxes to get international investments in the country, that is the only way you will convince anybody to invest in a country where the respect for the rule of law is only in the papers, like Bolivia. You said it didn’t work, well, where do you think the surplus money come from? The maSSist regime was not prudent at saving part of that money, they did it because they know that there will be no more large amounts of money coming in the next decades because they run foreign investments out of the country to Peru and Brazil. Just to show my point, all budgets for next year have being cut down, expect the ones designate to the military and the Ministry of Interior, since the regime knows it will need the army’s muscle in the short run.
3) Nice you mentioned, barely, the fact that cocaine production is rampant across the country, with cocaine labs in places never seen before, not even on the MIR days of golden chain strapped Chapare drug-lords. We all know that a lot of MAS money comes from narcotic trafficking, if you don’t want to see it, so be it.
4) What sovereignty are you talking about? Bolivian women are obligated to cover themselves the same way Muslim women do at Iranian donated infrastructure, like the new hospital opened last week in El Alto. And, is there any doubt whatsoever that the US cutting of the APDEA isn’t for Evo and his goons deeds?

There are my four small grains of truthfulness to irritate the maSSist agitators that pollute this web page, and the first statement is the “yapa”. Viva Bolivia, Republica Libre y Autonoma.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, here's teh link:

http://www.lostiempos.com/diario/actualidad/economia/20091126/el-gobierno-planea-construir-la-empresa-boliviana-de-medicamentos_47181_81845.html

I think the main issue are GMO's which have been introduced in the last 10 or 20 years, whose effects on people and the environment are not fully known. Many US and European scientists would agree with the stance that Evo took on the CPE and in the European Union trade negotiations concerning GMO's. Also companies such as Monsanto which patent seeds and then want to charge farmers for their own seeds obtained unknowingly or polluted from neighboring areas.

The CPE does incorporate the Inca don't lie, don't steal, don't be lazy somewhere I think, but that doesn't outright outlaw Chapaco culture xD Maybe you'll need a permit or something to be lazy.

En eso estamos de acuerdo, que Viva Bolivia!

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what the opposition is saying:
Evo is a dictator,a communist, a pedophile, an ignorant Indian, and framed Pando's prefect by killing his own supporters.
If there are anymore unsubstantiated personal attacks send to me, I'll be happy to post it on the paranoid list.

Here is what he has done:
A new Constitution that represents the people in Bolivia, not just the elite.
Juancito Pinto Bonus for school children
Juana Azurdoy Bonus for pregnant women
Renta Dignidad Bonus for the elderly
Poor children in Bolivia are saying to themselves, "There's hope. One day I can become the president of Bolivia."

Predictions:
Evo will win by 30 points. The country will continue to operate in a surplus and international corporations will continue to pay their fair share for exploiting the country's natural resources. The paranoid opposition will continue to be more vocal but with less listeners. Racist attitudes will end--Wait! That last prediction was a stretch and too much to ask. Well, here's the question:
Would these people in the opposition be so vociferous if Bolivia had elected an "white elite" president?
Bolivia hasn't gone through a period of gender equality, political correctness much less a serious discussion about race. My feeling is that many, not all, in the opposition including some the commentators are outright racists and "unbeknownst racists" like the California city mayor who circulated emails with an image of a watermelon patch in front of the White House. He genuinely stated he was not a racist but his actions spoke otherwise. When the discussion veers to personal attacks-not issues, these commentators(and you know who you are) have to be called for what they really are.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, our poor little delusional Bolivia Libre may have been smoking a little bit too much from his little pipe this weekend. He's stressed out about how badly his candidate will lose this weekend, so we will have to be merciful.

"The IMF didn’t pressured anybody to lower taxes to get international investments in the country, that is the only way you will convince anybody to invest in a country where the respect for the rule of law is only in the papers, like Bolivia. You said it didn’t work, well, where do you think the surplus money come from?"

Oh yes, the IMF NEVER encouraged Bolivia to privatize its oil and NEVER pushed to keep those taxes low. All those IMF reports saying otherwise are just mistaken. We know quite well where the surplus came from. It came from doing just what Goni and the IMF, and you, said was sacrilegious – raising the taxes on the companies. And wa-la, more money!

This must be very hard for you, we know. Perhaps if you keep fantasizing about Evo's sex life you will find some relief my little friend.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before being known as a wannabe pedophile, toppler of democratic presidents, cocaine nourisher, Venezuelan and Cuban lapdog, master extortionist and thief, VIP of Villa Tunari prostitutes, Morales gave us a taste of his true character as a deadbeat dad years ago when it took the Supreme Court to force him pay alimony to a son he initially refused to recognize.

His son is 15 years old now and was recently interviewed by the media. In the midst of tears and frustration, he describes the abject poverty he lives in with his mother. He bitterly doesn't understand why his father, the President, spends millions for his coca buddies in Chapare but doesn't have enough money to spare for a simple washing machine for him and his mother.

What does the classy president and model father do? Sue the medium that interviewed his son. Hey, even 15 year olds have to be silenced!

http://www.laprensa.com.bo/noticias/01-12-09/noticias.php?nota=01_12_09_poli3.php

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classy: using a politicians 15 year old kid for political propaganda.

Come on 10:18, is that the best you've got? Evo should by his ex and his son a washing machine?

For those outside Bolivia, Red UNO is the TV station which two weeks ago, claimed to bring us exclusive, live footage, of..... a RAPE!!!

Fortunately, for the young girl involved, for the son of a bitch cameraman who did nothing but 'roll tape' and for the certain Santa Cruz businessman who owns the TV channel, the four older 'friends' were just playing with the girl. Now, I think just the idea is enough to shut the fuckers down, but that would be anti-press freedom, huh? 10:18?

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so imagine you are at a wedding. Most all of the guests are having a great time, talking abut how happy the bride and groom look, how good the food is, happy about the open bar. In a dark corner a handful of the guests are brooding. “The bride looks like crap.” “The food sucks.” “Would someone please just shoot the DJ?”

This is Bolivia and the comments on this Blog. Sunday’s vote will demonstrate yet again that a strong majority of Bolivians are quite happy with their President and want him to continue being their president. The dark corner is this little group of a dozen or so whiners here who just can’t get over that their privileges aren’t as secure as they used to think and can’t get their heads around the fact that the majority actually gets to lead the country. They aren’t representative of Bolivia in any way, other than revealing the mentality of the pampered upper class that has time to play in the Internet.

And for them, vague charges of Evo having a son he doesn’t recognize are far more important than the way their little whining elite let foreign interests rape the land for its resources.

And that is why they aren’t going to be the nation’s leaders for a long, long time. And that makes Bolivia very smart and very lucky.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the article first, 10:18 and 11:20. If you know Spanish, that is.

Even Morales doesn't argue the kid is his son. The point is that after he was born, despite pleas from the mother for Morales to do so, he refused to provide financially for him.

After months of public pleas and legal notices, it took the Supreme Court to order Morales to man up to pay alimony. 15 years later, he's still abandoned, financially and emotionally, by his father the president. I mean, if it has to take the Supreme Court of the land for someone to be forced to feed and clothe one's own offspring, that's as low a human being can be.

How can Morales pretend to be "father of the country" if he can't even be a father to his own son? The shame!!!

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think about it: it took the Supreme Court of the land to force a deadbeat dad like Morales, with all the power and wealth he has, to man up and feed and clothe his son.
The shame!!!

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the idiot who posted below....Show me proof he is not a dictator, communist supporter and that he did not frame Leo....Of course he knew his supporters will get killed b/c of the riots he allowed and gave permission, same thing happened when alot of people died under Goni, he made his supporters riot against Goni knowing fully they may be harmed if not killed for idiotic riots. Where was he during all these riots, why was he not at the front of his supporters leading them to his so called just cause....why you ask b/c he is a coward and just wants power. Did you not know recently he passed a law that a MAS supporter have to be present during this Sundays election in the booth to make sure they vote for Evo...why is he doing this b/c he knows his own supporters would not vote for him if he gave them a real chance to vote, but he scares them pays them off to stay in power...

"....This is what the opposition is saying:
Evo is a dictator,a communist, a pedophile, an ignorant Indian, and framed Pando's prefect by killing his own supporters....."


Get off your high a$$ soclistic communist horse...

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's par for the course in Bolivia.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20...you can come to our wedding in a few weeks in Coroico....but you better be out dancing Cumbias (not sitting in the corner grumbling and making fun of my dancing :-)

JD

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i forgot to mention that i liked your post! it cracked me up

JD

and i'm serious about the wedding invite

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jim should organize a meeting where we can all debate these subjects personally that way all the people that aren't living here but out. Cause its pretty easy to praise Evo, his policies, and the lack of legality his govt brought to this country. Most people wont post their names here cause there afraid of the consequences it might bring to there everyday life, but when you know who youre debating with at least you'll know who is screwing you over.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jim should organize a meeting where we can all debate these subjects personally that way all the people that aren't living here but out. Cause its pretty easy to praise Evo, his policies, and the lack of legality his govt brought to this country when it doesnt affect you and your families well being. Most people wont post their names here cause there afraid of the consequences it might bring to there everyday life, but when you know who youre debating with at least you'll know who is screwing you over.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually you should be afraid of "bolivia libre" the psycho goon mercenary wanabe who sold his children to Evo. But because evo realized that they were so stupid he trade bolulibre sacrifical children for Leopoldo. That is why bolu libre blogs in this forum so often complaining about liberty when in fact there is more freedom in bolivia than in most latin american countries.
Just think about the represion in colombia, honduras, mejico, peru.

Long live evo.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of people answering with BullS(*&T why doesnt any one want to meet in person to serioudly talk about at least one of these subjects. I think any thing in person is much better. People who passionatly believe in what they stand for will be there and the cowards hidding behind a computer will chicken out. I think Jims democracy center should build democracy from the "ground" up and gather all these Opiniated Bloggers and sit them down so we can at least try to expose our points of view and really see what kind of real life experiences we can base the deabte on. People dont be afraid i really dont think any one who blogs here is any kind of real threat.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say I agree with anonymous.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Englishman who has seen Morales' Bolivia at close hand - not as some Wellsian, Communist Grand Tour but as someone who just lived in the barrios, I would have to put a lot of the accusations against Morales and the MAS, typified by some of the comments above, as coming directly from an insecure ruling class and, very importantly, their private media (although it still hasn't been disproven that he rapes virgin brides on their wedding nights, I'll admit).
As for the execution of an armed fascist gang who had actually made videos expressing their intention of violently toppling the Bolivian government and unleashing bloodshed throughout the country, well..most European governments would have had no compunction in sending in armed special forces on full alert to get them dead or alive.In London the police pumped 7 bullets into the head of an innocent Brazilian man they believed was an Islamic terrorist and noone was prosecuted for it.Whilst none of this is 'right', I'd make 2 points.The first is that this, for better or worse, is what even democratically minded governments do this when they are threatened.The killing in London came just over 2 weeks after bomb attacks which killed 56 and injured hundreds, so everyone was on edge.
The second and far more important point,however,is that these guys were an armed cell.That is beyond dispute, no matter what their mums say.They were the first drip in a flood of Nintendo trained adventure seekers employed by companies and benefactors with extreme rightwing agendas who think nothing of going into other peoples' countries to let them know the meaning of 'our' civilisation and 'our' importance through violence to access resources (in this case the repeal of what the large landowners believe are punishing land reform laws).
The reason their presence is very worrying is that the recent, massive scale of privatisation of US military infrastructure through companies with extreme rightwing ideologies like Blackwater (bear in mind these dead guys had been mercenaries - sorry, private contractors) will bear bitter fruit in Latin America over the next 10 or 20 years as the extreme right realise they have access to death squads with no US govt. papertrail.
I fear we may come to see events like Nissour Square as merely a test, a Guernica before their Barbarossa.
I shall be in Bolivia to witness the election victory.It should be a cracking night.Que Viva Bolivia! as they say.
Finally I'd also like to say I agree with anonymous.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Choose a subject. I'm in La Paz, I'm Bolivian, my life and my family are affected by what happens here and I support Evo. Wanna talk? Start typing I got all night.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of these posters know nothing about Bolivia. the real wealthy elite is in places like Eloy Salmon, la cancha, and siete calles. That's where the serious money is in Bolivia. They routinely bring tens of millions of dollars in merchandise illegally, pay no taxes, and do not move to the the "elite" neighborhoods.

The number of families who they like to group the rest of non-indigenous is less than a 100. The vast number of anti-Evo people are not Marinkovich/Manfred like, but middle class people who work hard, pay taxes, etc. They are not anti-evo due to race of privileges, but rather because they see the country is headed the wrong way. This is like saying all republicans have a private jet. This type of uninformed opinions do not contribute to the debate

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the colloquial saying that a bachelor might retire to farm with their "quinceanera", it is not a confession of pedophilia. It's just a saying.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to remind everybody he didn't get past the third grade. Who is really running bolivia?

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The commenter above is right (11:33). Man you should see all those wealthy women in the cancha selling imported sneakers for 14 hours a day. Damn if I didn't see one of them driving off in a BMW convertible the other day. And she wouldn't even stop to give a coin to a panhandling hacienda owner from Santa Cruz.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He didn't get past third grade?Is it the VP?He has a doctorate in philosophy?
Most of the graduates I met in Santa Cruz were staggeringly ignorant.
I'd trust Evo any day.
The level of insult and infantile tactic exhibited by opposition supporters with the accusation of ma$$istas intimidating people in voting booths sounding exactly like the kind of lies they (used to?) pump out on Unitel's Telepais news, my favourite being the one where they told the population of Santa Cruz the MAS was planning legislation to allow indigenous to hold gun licences but not whites.
That's the moral and intellectual level of the people Evo and the MAS are up against, people.Remember it.
I saw the story about the teenage rape being broadcast live.Having lived in Santa Cruz it didn't surprise me.
Remember how the journalists went on hunger strike when Morales called them corrupt? Keep remembering.It's all relevant.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the real wealthy elite is in places like Eloy Salmon, la cancha, and siete calles. That's where the serious money is in Bolivia."

There is some truth to this, you only have to watch the Fraternidad Eloy Salmon's well-guarded contingent at the Oruro Carnaval, or their own morenada dancing yearly celebration to see their is much wealth generated by these merchants.

But do they own TV stations, newspapers, factories, lands and industries? The 100 family phrase refers to land ownership, and these hundred families are mostly from Eastern Bolivia, traditional white/mestizo elites which were handed land titles for free by Banzer in the 1970's.

So, "the real wealthy elite"... or a more intricate situation where traditional groups of economic power are forced to share it with new groups, which also demand political power?

Wasn't it the MIR government in 1990-1993 which gave these merchants the "regimen simplificado" (tax haven for small businesses) as a populist measure?

Weren't the Customs operators who allowed the black market to thrive in the last 20 years from the MNR-ADN-MIR, and didn't care as long as they got the suitcase full of cash at the end of the month, to be shared by the party and the Ministro? Since 2006 Bolivian Customs has collected more taxes.. believe it or not and I'm not avoiding the known scandals just stating a fact.

Many of Evo's opponents are "middle class people who work hard, pay taxes, etc." I know many who have been discriminated in business or on the street for being white, for not belonging to MAS, but I have seen much more discrimination and hatred going the other way.

And while these "Aymara merchants" which you speak of, although you avoided the term this is how it is usually stated in conversations here, are wealthy, they have a right to be, and if they choose to live near Av. Buenos Aires or in the Zona Norte rather than move to elite neighborhoods which for so many years were prohibited in an apartheid-like system, what's wrong with that?

And still, they are a minority compared to the "real poor places" in rural areas, where the vast majority of indigena-originario-campesinos live, perhaps oblivious to the fact that in the cities some opportunists use their cause for personal gain.

The polls give Evo 58% not even counting the rural vote, I predict we will see at least 65% vote for Evo when those voices of poor rural Bolivians are counted, and I think it would contradict your statement of not being racist to claim that all these people are being forced to vote Evo, maybe their lives really did improve, maybe they just feel better, and after so many years of racism dating to the pre-1952 slave system, that means a lot.

Still, the point about middle classes getting stuck in the middle of a power fight is true... however many have seen the way to move forward is to support change, to engage in the process and not allow opportunists to take it over. Imagine if instead of an old Dictatorship supporter and a member of the 1989-1993 MIR government, there was one serious middle class candidate up against Evo? There isn't, so to me he is the better choice.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the real wealthy elite is in places like Eloy Salmon, la cancha, and siete calles. That's where the serious money is in Bolivia."

There is some truth to this, you only have to watch the Fraternidad Eloy Salmon's well-guarded contingent at the Oruro Carnaval, or their own morenada dancing yearly celebration to see their is much wealth generated by these merchants.

But do they own TV stations, newspapers, factories, lands and industries? The 100 family phrase refers to land ownership, and these hundred families are mostly from Eastern Bolivia, traditional white/mestizo elites which were handed land titles for free by Banzer in the 1970's.

So, "the real wealthy elite"... or a more intricate situation where traditional groups of economic power are forced to share it with new groups, which also demand political power?

Wasn't it the MIR government in 1990-1993 which gave these merchants the "regimen simplificado" (tax haven for small businesses) as a populist measure?

Weren't the Customs operators who allowed the black market to thrive in the last 20 years from the MNR-ADN-MIR, and didn't care as long as they got the suitcase full of cash at the end of the month, to be shared by the party and the Ministro? Since 2006 Bolivian Customs has collected more taxes.. believe it or not and I'm not avoiding the known scandals just stating a fact.

Many of Evo's opponents are "middle class people who work hard, pay taxes, etc." I know many who have been discriminated in business or on the street for being white, for not belonging to MAS, but I have seen much more discrimination and hatred going the other way.

And while these "Aymara merchants" which you speak of, although you avoided the term this is how it is usually stated in conversations here, are wealthy, they have a right to be, and if they choose to live near Av. Buenos Aires or in the Zona Norte rather than move to elite neighborhoods which for so many years were prohibited in an apartheid-like system, what's wrong with that?

And still, they are a minority compared to the "real poor places" in rural areas, where the vast majority of indigena-originario-campesinos live, perhaps oblivious to the fact that in the cities some opportunists use their cause for personal gain.

The polls give Evo 58% not even counting the rural vote, I predict we will see at least 65% vote for Evo when those voices of poor rural Bolivians are counted, and I think it would contradict your statement of not being racist to claim that all these people are being forced to vote Evo, maybe their lives really did improve, maybe they just feel better, and after so many years of racism dating to the pre-1952 slave system, that means a lot.

Still, the point about middle classes getting stuck in the middle of a power fight is true... however many have seen the way to move forward is to support change, to engage in the process and not allow opportunists to take it over. Imagine if instead of an old Dictatorship supporter and a member of the 1989-1993 MIR government, there was one serious middle class candidate up against Evo? There isn't, so to me he is the better choice.

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4.37pm - the reason I won't post my name now I don't want rightwing gangs coming for me when I am in Bolivia.I have already had anti-Evo types threaten me both in Bolivia and in the UK for expressing support and mentioning things like poverty and social justice to them.They go mental.At a recent latin festival in London I got chatting to a perfectly nice husband and wife from La Paz.We were both praising Bolivia (beautiful country) and it's government.It seems we were overheard.
Sitting down to eat my patasca I heard 'MARECON!MARECON! A little guy in the midst of a group of Santa Cruz albiverdes was standing yelling at me across the field.He was yelling at me for about 5 minutes.
When I went across to him to sort it out he, in typical camba fashion, as we say in London 'shit it' and pretended to be my friend, but this kind of cowardly intimidation and abuse are the norm amongst the activists of the political right in Santa Cruz and I am wary of them: the camba don't just hate indigenous, they are also pretty suspicious of all outsiders, which is why my family and I prefer to live in indigenous areas - the people are far friendlier.
I am not wary of the Bolivian government at all - they largely put most European governments (even the new US administration) to shame.Their level of idealism is second to none, their drive to implent their policies second to few.Can you image Obama standing opposite the Lincoln memorial and telling his supporters that his cause is far bigger than he and that if he's assassinated there are 10,000 Obamas waiting to take his place, as Morales did outside the Palacio Quemado?
No.Me neither.

That is why I have no fear of the MAS government, but plenty of fear of their ignorant, vicious enemies.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evo will win with a very healthy margin despite the vicious lies from the opposition. Very few democratic candidates in the history of the world have won by a landslide three times in a row. To the opposition: thanks for showing your true colors. They wear those lies well.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
-Abraham Lincoln

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:28 AM
I couldn't have described the political right better. Thanks.

3:38 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

the comments on this blog are absurd. every few months when i check back here i can't believe the same idiots are still yelling at each other.

bolivia is not included in the world values survey, but i imagine the same findings would hold:

http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/1106_politics_latin_america_cardenas.aspx

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2001, the mother of Morales first kid sued the prez in an Oruro family court to force him to recognize his kid and pay alimony. The chamber of deputies forced the then congresman to "man up" or risk being kicked out and having a DNA paternity test.

Having not learned his lesson, he refused to pay alimony for his other kid. This time in 2004, it took the Supreme Court to force Morales to show a shred of humanity and parental responsibility and pay alimony por his other kid. Look it up.

http://www.tribunalconstitucional.gob.bo/tcopen.html?name=ver_resolucion&registro=9719


And the offspring of the president still live in poverty. What a shameless, heartless and iresponsible person!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2001, the mother of Morales first kid sued the prez in an Oruro family court to force him to recognize his kid and pay alimony. The chamber of deputies forced the then congresman to "man up" or risk being kicked out and having a DNA paternity test.

Having not learned his lesson, he refused to pay alimony for his other kid. This time in 2004, it took the Supreme Court to force Morales to show a shred of humanity and parental responsibility and pay alimony por his other kid. Look it up.

http://www.tribunalconstitucional.gob.bo/tcopen.html?name=ver_resolucion&registro=9719

And the offspring of the president still live in poverty. What a shameless, heartless and iresponsible person!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like usual nobody wants to meet, nobody even tried to propose a place where we could meet. We could meet in Tiquipayas newly renovated plaza, Plaza Colon, some cafe if were not that many, naybe the democracy center can lend us a room in their offices.I'd love to responde to so many incoherent posts but i'd much rather do this in person. The informal business people who hardly ever pay taxes are the "comercializadores" or "mayoristas" the people who distribute almost everything like Electronics, Refreshments, Chicken Meat, cow meat, used Clothes.

The little stores are the ones who only make cents while these distributors are making millions and pay 10% of the taxes they should.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous AJ La Paz said...

Jim, well done on a balanced and informative blog. I have a question on an aspect of the campaign process that has bothered me that maybe you can answer? Two friends of mine here in La Paz, one working as a professional for the Alcaldia and the other as a financial auditor for a government department,have been asked on numerous occasions to attend Evo rallies by their bosses. They both attend the rallies without question despite not being Evo supporters because they are under the impression that if they don't they will be "removed". Clearly this is undemocratic behaviour at its most blatant. My question is whether this use of civil servants as part of the campaign machinery is something that is culturally accepted here in Bolivia and has been done historically by ruling parties or whether this is specific to MAS?

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the above: I have lived in Bolivia for years and is totally standard practice by politicians from all sides. I've seen Manfred do it in Cbba. during the battles here in 2007. It is corrupt, unfair and anti-democratic and done across the board. I'll bet others here have stories as well.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The little stores are the ones who only make cents while these distributors are making millions and pay 10% of the taxes they should.

Ok, that's true. Some of the mayoristas make millons and don't pay taxes. Most the the thousands of street vendors in the markets you mentioned, probably not that much. Anyway, what's your point? Would Manfred or Samuel fix this on their first day? No comment about the failed policies of the above and their ilk which led to this... to me it sounds more like you'd love to ram your point of view down everybody's throat.

If we don't agree with you, then we have to be wrong, we just don't get it, we're too idealist, we're uninformed, we've been tricked, or worse, we're "screwing you", right?

I agree with the UK poster above, it's scary what the right wing in Bolivia is capable, it was shown last year and they are still so certain they are right, who knows what they'll do whe Evo wins close to 70% on Sunday.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Frank_IBC said...

Wow, the third image brings back memories - National Geographic, February 1966 (passed on to me 12 years later by a neighbor). My first exposure to Bolivia. But as I look at the magazine, it's not the exact same photo, but it is the same family and the same location. Fascinating!

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually just post conservative right wing responses, even though I would vote for MAS if given the opportunity, only because of the dip-shit leftist rags I hear on this blog by those with the tourist mentality who know nothing about Bolivia. In fact, it's almost enough to really make me hate Morales and MAS. I highly doubt most of these people with their sob stories could even spend a week living like the Indigenous people in BOlivia. Chasqui described it best, it's a cult of personality to many who identify with Evo because many are rejects from American Society who post leftist rags on this blog. The way information moves these days, culture in Bolivia has been reduced to developing at a static pace thanks to the many who put their faith in Political leaders. maybe try worshiping the Almighty instead of humankind?

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous commentator's thoughts are as scattered as his idea of democratic values. Join the rejects of the American Society before you(previous commentator)become a reject of Bolivian Society when the elections are over and your hated leader will win again for the third time by an overwhelming majority. Join us comrade! By the way, I was born in Bolivia and in Bolivia political right wing is another name for racist. I may be stretching the truth--only 99.9 percent of them are.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bolivia "economic miracle?" Yeah, right?
The very respected CEDLA institute reported that unemployment zoomed to 11% while GDP sunk from 6.5 to 3.2% from last year. Oil and gas production has plummeted faster than A Morales gallstone in a Sopocachi toilet thanks to Morales policies spooking foreign investment.
As always the poor and ignorant suffer the most from people like him.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anom 7:06 PM

I am not saying that Manfred or Samuel could solve any of the problems in a Day, what bothers me is that Evo only attacks formal business and does nothing to deal with the informal businesses because he knows that it would backfire.

People who think that only right wing people react violently are either completly missinformed or liars cause the attacks go both ways with the same violence and prejudice.

I really dont care who wins the elections as long as they let legally established business work in peace and start working on getting rid of all these informal businesses. Its unfair for honest people to get hasseled more then people who cheat on their taxes, cheat their employees and etc. etc. What I dont like about the current govt. is that its not intrested in helping the industrial sector any kind of help he hands out is only to his party and people involved in it like past govts did (Misma chola otra pollera) How many of the Bloggers here who have business in Bolivia can honestly say they do everything by the Book? I have clean conscience, and thats why I PROPOSE A MEETING and see how many hipocrites show up and defende the socialst model when they dont even pay the basic taxes that uphold it. Unless all these people defending the socialst model want to/are working for the Govt. (chupar de la mamadera).

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:06

The point is that the vast amounts of wealth is held by these mayoristas, coca growers, transportistas, etc., than by the civicos. This FACT is lost by these hippie gringoes who insist that ALL indigenous/mestizos are dirt poor and every single opposition sympathizer is simply protection their mansion in Miami. Worst of all they add fuel to the fire of racism. Just look at 2:40's comments, believing in free markets makes you a racist? Put it another way, MAS <> poor, humanist, idealists and opposition <> rich, racist, elite

These people don't have the slightest idea of what Bolivia is like. They have no idea how a sindicato works, they have no idea just how poor even the rich people in the zona sur and other "elite" neighborhoods are. Take Jim for example, he sent his kid to the most elite school in Bolivia. Jim with his salary as an NGO leader earns enough to be in the top 0.1% of Bolivian society. In one month he probably paid more in tuition than what most of the people who showed up to the St Cruz cabildo earn in a year.

So not supporting Evo does not mean one is a racist, one has a mansion in Miami, one supports the thievery of previous years, or that one approves of Manfred, Medina's, et. al. corrupt ways. At least in my case it means, support of individual rights over Evo's mood swings, support of the rule of law over mob justice, belief that people should be free to choose what life they want for themselves and not be obligated by the state to live of narco-coca. It means that we believe that Bolivia should continue its tradition of being a peaceful and neutral country. It means that we don't support murderous regimes like Iran, Castro, and Chavez. Above all that we don't believe that Evo and MAS should concentrate all powers onto themselves and do away with due process, legislative deliberation, judicial review, and democratic institutions, etc.

It is not black and white, there are not even enough shades of grays to understand how Bolivia works, you also need to be able to see the different colors. These hippes should start by understanding what the Wiphala truly means.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"maybe try worshiping the Almighty instead of humankind?"
Yeah, that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 10:58

I've spoken to many Bolivians that share your view. I've also spoken to others who are more honest about the racism inflicted upon the indigenous population in the recent past. Nobody is saying that ALL indigenous people are poor but the great majority undeniably are. They have also historically lacked a political voice. Socialism is the natural response to years of corrupt behaviour and overt racism that has lead to great inequality.

Whilst I don't agree with everything MAS does, I can at least understand it in the wider context of correcting historical wrongs. The judiciary still represents the past imbalances, hence Evo's distrust of the rule of law. The support for Iran is uncomfortable but how does it differ from western support for Saudi Arabia?

Had Bolivian politics been fair in the past there would be no Evo. But it wasn't so you're going to have to live with him.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah, that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee."

exactly my point.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:06, "The point is that the vast amounts of wealth is held by these mayoristas, coca growers, transportistas, etc., than by the civicos."

That´s not true. Many opponents of the current government are middle class workers and businesspeople, sure, but the vast amount of wealth is divided between many more than you claim, including landowners (who largely financed last year´s violence and terrorism), old money, industrialists (though the irony of the term is not lost on me) and others. You say civico´s don´t hold all the wealth, they don´t, but many of them are extremely wealthy by our standards. Some of them whose names are well known, have way too much land in their hands, which they caused way too much violence to defend.

"just how poor even the rich people in the zona sur and other "elite" neighborhoods are"

Relative to Bill Gates? To the wealthy neighborhoods in Washingon D.C. or even in Lima, Peru? But what about relative to rural Bolivia?

Like I said, I admit many of your points, I´m not some hippie gringo who disliked the socioeconomic order of the North and blindly follows Evo, but really, to me he is the best candidate available. Samuel had a great idea with holding opposition primaries, but as we can see the far right would have none of that, and they came up with the ridiculous Dictator-Butcher formula.

The government has repeatedly claimed that the days of tension are over, the catastrophic tie is broken, and next five years will be about building alliances and progress for all Bolivians. To me, this implies that formal businesses and entrepreneurs should receive support, regardless of political colors. I may not fully trust Evo or Linera to hold to this when faced with syndicalist pressure, but thats why I support honest, middle class people who can help pressure in the other direction. Have you seen the poster in Calle 17 de Obrajes... "Fabian Ana Maria.. nuestra garantia" Sure its propaganda, but the opposition leaves us little choice but to support these well intentioneed people and hope for the best.

On another note, I think the political opposition makes a great mistake to be so against South American integration, against EVERYTHING Chavez says or does. Let´s not forget that to the US empire, Venezuela means one thing, and that is oil. And we know they are capable of invading countries for that nasty black stuff. The biggest economic market may be up North, but Brazil is up and coming and we need to look to our neighbors just as much... failure to do this 200 years ago is part of what brought about our situation.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the current candidates represent the bottom of the barrel of Bolivia's political muck. No wonder these elections are being called the worst and most boring in Bolivia's history.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that the ignorance in our country is thanks to our parents grandparents, for not getting involved in politics enough to stop all these corrupt people like Manfred, Sancez Verzain, Kieffer, Banzer Etc. and demand a little bit more justice and equality, but that doesnt mean that the people who where mistreated or forgotten by past Govt. have the right to get Revenge. Thats where the problem lies with all these sindicatos, OTB, etc. That they think that just because someone did well with their business they owe something to them becuase of some idiot who was president before. If you are a honest business man who did nothing wrong theres is nothing to fear, SUPOSEDLY, the problem is their is persecution for those legally established business, because they are legally establidshed so they have the power to screw them over, while you can't shut down a business that wasnt legally established in the fisrt place. You dont go after a Cocaine factories Licencia de funcionamiento, you dont audit a electronics dealer whos accounting is all in a notebook, and they are MAS suporters so who cares.

Talking about candidates i Honestly dont see what was so wrong with Samuel, i thought his organic food idea was genious. It helps everyone in the productive area, Campesinos get education and help to make organic crops, then they get paid 30% or 50% more for their products cause theyre organic. The industrials who buy the products have the same benefits becuase they can process these goods and export them to Europeans and Americans who love paying more for those productos so it means that EVERYONE is making more money and livving better. What does the current GOvt propose when it comes to production NOTHING, all they do is hand out tractors and forget about it.

Anon 10:10

I think exporting to countries like venezuela who produce nothing excpet oil is a good idea, but what in Bolivia would you ecport to Brazil who has eveything. Grain? Meat? Clothes? I cant see any of this happening.

I really hope what the Bloggers say and the next five years will be peacefull and the govt will stop trying to get their piece of the Pie and really help the industrial sector produce more and make more jobs instead of trying to compete with them to screw them over, it wouldnt surprise me if Salvador Ric brought McDanolds just to mess with Samuel. (JK) But seriously do the Masisastas here really think the govt will help the private sector?

Daniel

I still insist we should meet in the Democracy center and talk about these things in person.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grow more Coca is what MAS wants to do.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares what mayorista is making money or not...
there is a posibilbity that as much as 30 percent of the vote is fraudulent... according to Carlos Valverde who unfortunatley has been often correct on his accusations...

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is a possibility that as much as 30 percent on the vote is fraudulent, there is CERTAINTY that there was as much fraudulent voting BEFORE EVO WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT. These are the same right wing critics that like to point out the that the current government is a dictatorship trampling over human rights. It's laughable how ALL these supposedly "oppressed people" have access to more than half of all the editorial and news pages in Bolivian newspapers and television media. Where were they in the 1980's when the right wing military government banned political parties that did not support them, abducted and murdered thousands of people in the 1980's like Marcelo Quiroga.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

La madrugada del 17 de julio de 1980 -cuando los "ch´uqutas" aún no terminaban de recogerse a sus hogares después de cantar "Oh Linda La Paz" y clamar al protomártir de la independencia Pedro Domingo Murillo-, las radios transmitían el "flash¨ noticioso alertando acerca de un levantamiento militar en uno de los remotos cuarteles de Trinidad. A las 11 de la mañana, mientras se reunían los ejecutivos del Comité Nacional de Defensa de la Democracia (CONADE) en el local de la Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) para redactar un documento y organizar la resistencia popular, estas instalaciones fueron violentamente allanadas por paramilitares que descendieron de las ambulancias, metralleta en mano. En el asalto intervinieron los "Cuchillos largos" que respondían a las órdenes de Luis Arce Gómez y Luis García Meza, los llamados "Coroneles de la cocaína", quienes trataron de resolver por la vía reaccionaria el "empate histórico" entre las Fuerzas Armadas y la clase obrera durante el Estado del 52.

En la COB fueron asesinados Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, Gualberto Vega y Carlos Flores Bedregal, líder político el primero y dirigentes sindicales los últimos. Se acallaba así el Juicio de Responsabilidades al Gral. Hugo Banzer Suárez que gobernó durante siete años al país y al que Quiroga Santa Cruz hizo responsable de la recesión económica y la crisis del Estado del 52, de modo parecido al proceso iniciado con anterioridad al Gral. René Barrientos Ortuño por entregar al gobierno boliviano a una potencia extranjera. Estas eran, pues, las ordalías encendidas por Quiroga y que fueron apagadas con su asesinato.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all bolitas must die, for every indio/kola/chola we kill a tree must be planted, long live the white supremacy!!!!! we hate the white trash US people, too

8:29 PM  
Blogger Frank_IBC said...

Oh, I didn't realize that the picture shown over the YouTube video was Bernardo Gutierrez rather than Manfred Reyes Villa. I thought that Manfred had shaved off his mustache and eyebrows. Sign of the Apocalypse!

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Evo!

Manny

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad to have a white supremacists blogger, a bolivian white supremacist blogger??? who hates white trash US people too???

Regarding Evo's fraudulent votes it is not ok to be corrupt just because others have done it before...

Unfortunatley Evo's team lacks ideas and vision to lead a nation, their main goal is how to make money o steal money as fast as possible...and to that end they embrace the socialist flag or indian flag or whatever their little minds can make up...

9:19 PM  

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