Evo´s errors

Andres Soliz Rada

Perhaps the biggest error by President Evo Morales resides in his belief that all criticism of his government is aimed at damaging and weakening his management and not, as it is in my case, at fixing errors with the aim of strengthening it. It is true that the native oligarchy and foreign capitalism hope to destroy this process of deepening of democracy, opened up on December 18, 2005, and that it does not tolerate the presence of a president that represents, in large part, those excluded by centuries of internal colonialism.

To confuse both positions implies a lamentable political myopia.

We believe that, for the popular movement, the defeat of Evo would signify repeating the tragedy of the oppressed country which could not defend the spaces of national liberation already conquered.

In this way, after the first nationalisation of petroleum in 1936, the anti-national governments of Quintanilla and Penaranda captured power. After the patriotic regime of Villarroel, came the six period of the rosquero. The revolution of 1952 was betrayed from within by the MNR, which opened the path to the pro US Barriento regime
The Banzerista coup of 1971 was the foreign response to the Ovando-Torres process, that nationalised petroleum and installed tin smelters. The timid nationalism of the Democratic and Popular Unity (UDP) was wiped out by the neoliberalism of Paz Estensoro, Banzer and Paz Zamora

This real life rerun of “The myth of Sisyphus” should not be repeated.

The current government needs to rectify its incoherencies in order to impede the return of the popular resistance back to point zero.

Due to this, we say that it is inconsistant that, 15 months after reaching Palacio Quemado, a regime that says it is anti-imperialist continues to send troops to the Congo and Haiti, within the military programs of the United Nations, which as we know, are the extensions of the geopolitical strategy of North America. Let’s recall that soldiers from this country participated in the massacre of civilians in a poor neighbourhood of Puerto Prinicipe last December 22.

It is intolerable that, in this same timeframe, the proposed Law of Investigations of Fortunes has not been approved, which I presented in its basic form in 1990. Meanwhile, corruption remains in the Bolivian Administration of Highways, Service of Roadways, Service of National Taxes, Customs and other entities, vital for society. The corruption which is tolerated in these official spheres is intolerable.

It is incompatible to defend the Great Bolivarian Homeland whilst holding some of the positions that MAS has inside the Constituent Assembly which attempt to splinter the republic, such as the reconstruction of 39 indigenous nations and the reterritorialisation of Bolivia within a new pluri-national state. This is heavenly music for the agents of eastern separatism, who last September founded in Guayaquil – with delegates from this Ecuadorian region and the Venezuelan state of Zulia – the “International Confederation for Freedom and Regional Autonomy” of Latin America, financed by petroleum companies who yearn to control important gas and petroleum fields in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.

What I have written does not imply not recognizing the enormous value of our millenary cultures, whose best traditions should form part of the united country that we aspire to build.

Evo needs to comprehend that he cannot govern surrounded by a closed circle which does not respect the dignitaries of state. The fact that a “technical” advisor has handled all the negotiations with the petroleum companies, over the heads of the Ministers of Hydrocarbons and Presidents of YPFB demonstrates what I have affirmed. The president has the capacity to remove his close collaborators, but he should explain the causes of such decisions, with the aim of not damaging the image of people who deserve respect, such as the ex minister for mining, Guillermo Dalence or the ex consul general in Chile, Jose Enrique Pinelo. It is inconsistent to ask the “Red Ponchos” to take up arms (as Alvaro Garcia Linera did) and celebrate nostalgic homages to guerilla focos, and then ask for the backing of the armed force, which, in theory, are recognised for the fundamental role they play in national life.

In the area of petroleum, the errors of MAS have reached an uncontrollable level. The right wing “PODEMOS”, despite the links between a number of its parliamentarians and transnationals, has mitigated, whether for opportunist or demagogic reasons, some of the excesses in the petroleum contracts, such as the lack of transparent information on “recoverable costs”, presented by the petroleum companies. In this confrontation, Evo has threaten to go on hunger strike, as well as convoking the social movements in defense of the contracts, which due to strange devices, determines that the benefits to YPFB decrease as production increases.

The average income for the country, with the new contracts, fluctuates between 51% and 74% (Mauricio Medinacelli), maintaining with a few variants the level established by Law 3058, on May 17, 2005, which implies a step backwards in regards to the frustrated Nationalisation Decree of May 1, 2006, and is far from the 96% of rent from petroleum which, according to Manuel Morales Olivera and Garcia Linera, had been achieved with the aforementioned agreements, which they classified as “the harshest in the world”. What is certain is that the government would advance more if its higher up leaders lied less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Soliz Rada writes:

It is incompatible to defend the Great Bolivarian Homeland whilst holding some of the positions that MAS has inside the Constituent Assembly which attempt to splinter the republic, such as the reconstruction of 39 indigenous nations and the reterritorialisation of Bolivia within a new pluri-national state. This is heavenly music for the agents of eastern separatism, who last September founded in Guayaquil - with delegates from this Ecuadorian region and the Venezuelan state of Zulia - the "International Confederation for Freedom and Regional Autonomy" of Latin America, financed by petroleum companies who yearn to control important gas and petroleum fields in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. What I have written does not imply not recognizing the enormous value of our millenary cultures, whose best traditions should form part of the united country that we aspire to build.... It is inconsistent to ask the "Red Ponchos" to take up arms (as Alvaro Garcia Linera did) and celebrate nostalgic homages to guerilla focos, and then ask for the backing of the armed force, which, in theory, are recognised for the fundamental role they play in national life.


Fred Feldman´s comments:

Some or many criticisms of the Morales government here may be sound, but these generalizations just about have to be at least somewhat off, in my opinion.

It is incompatible to defend the Great Bolivarian Homeland whilst holding some of the positions that MAS has inside the Constituent Assembly which attempt to splinter the republic, such as the reconstruction of 39 indigenous nations and the reterritorialisation of Bolivia within a new pluri-national state. This is heavenly music for the agents of eastern separatism.

There may be contradictions in the concrete circumstances, but a "Great Bolivarian Homeland" in Bolivia must be built in part on a distinction between the nationalism of the oppressed and that of the oppressor, and that must include a radically different attitude even toward the separatism of the oppresse and the separatism of the oppressor. If the Bolivian project does not yet have the political strength to make this distinction and base policy on it, THAT IS A PROBLEM. The various indigenous projects, some of which may be positive and some not, have to be distinguished from the Eastern elite operation on this basis and dealt with on the basis of this distinction. If the Bolivian regime cannot operate on the basis of this fundamental democratic distinction, rather than getting tangled in bourgeois-democratic abstractions that place the drive for autonomy among the land and oil barons in the East and the long-suppressed aspirations of the indigenous people on the same level of rights, THAT IS A PROBLEM.

(2) Soliz Rada states: It is inconsistent to ask the "Red Ponchos" to take up arms (as Alvaro Garcia Linera did) and celebrate nostalgic homages to guerilla focos, and then ask for the backing of the armed force, which, in theory, are recognised for the fundamental role they play in national life.

This sounds 100 percent wrong to me. The Bolivarian process in Venezuela has made great advances in arming the people without ever denying recognition to the military, which is still part of the process today even though it has been selected out at many stages, including with the departure of many officers right now on the basis of their attitude toward socialism.

This statement has the ring of leftist opposition to collaboration with the army, which has been a big problem in reading Bolivia in the past for outsiders (which Soliz Rada is not, of course), particularly back in the Torres period in 1971.

Many of the other points I cannot judge at all from the outside.

Clearly the Bolivian process has hit something of a logjam, but I tend to think that Joaquin's critique of the critiques has a core of legitimacy. We should remember that the Bolivarian process in Venezuela hit a similar logjam in the 2001-2002 period. The decisive element proved to be the patient work that had gone on at the base, the modest reforms of all kinds, the organizational measures which were near-invisible to the external eye.

Thus when the oligarcby and imperialism concluded that they were strong enough to break the logjam in their favor with the coup, they ran into an overwhelming reaction which had been well prepared but could not be predicted in its full depth and power even by the revolutionary leaders. And that broke the logjam. So I think the decisive factor is what is going on right now village by village and barrio by barrio, and factory and mine by factory and mine in the process.

Further, Latin America continues to swing more in this direction. Ecuador seems to be joining the revolutionary process. Others are moving more firmly into the nationalist camp.

We have cause to be optimistic, although Soliz Rada has every right and duty to sound the alarm and could turn out to be more right than wrong in his criticisms.

But it seems to me that we continue to approach the situation once predicted by Fidel: Latin America is heading for a revolution that will be harder to prevent than the labor of a pregnant whale.
Fred Feldman