Conspiring against democracy

Antonio Peredo Leigue, September 1

The less than 20 months of government presided over by Evo Morales have been ones of important advances in regards to the inclusion of marginalized sectors and the construction of economic bases. However this time, has also been more than enough for the elites to demonstrate their bitter resistance to any change, and even more so, the inclusion of the people.

As this week comes to an end, the most recalcitrant right pushed to the limit its attacks against the government, the popular sectors and democracy itself.

Open violence

With absolute self-confidence, the Pro Santa Cruz Civic Committee, which Branco Marinkovic presides over, absorbed similar civic committees in other departments and set in motion a stoppage that was particularly violent. Gangs from the Cruceñista Youth Union – shock troops armed with sticks, chains etc – destroyed vehicles and shops, as well as injuring various people. Marinkovic, protesting innocence for himself and his committee, offered to pay for the damage caused.

But these gangs, known in Santa Cruz for their brutality, used to enforce stoppages decreed by the committee, this time were taken to various zones. They were present in Sucre, they organized their kind in Cochabamba and provoked violence. Other cities were also not saved from their presence.

Of course, the seat of the Constituent Assembly, which is precisely the capital of the country, Sucre, was the scene of the worst spill over and also of secret meetings.

Futile arguments

Throughout all this time, since January 2006, the elites who were displaced by the popular shove, have resorted to the most varied measures to oppose the changes. It would be useless to refer to all of them, from when they began the electoral campaign against Evo Morales and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). It is enough to recall the last few: false rumours of uncontrolled inflation, the deafening accusations of authoritarianism for naming internal authorities, prepotent rudeness by the opposition prefects, abusive use of the claim over the capital.

All this, and more, in a constant form, have had repercussions over the Constituent Assembly, which they have not allowed to carry out work on its essential task: endowing the country with a new Political Constitution of the State

Real reasons

The backdrop to the actions of these personalities, grouped together in the so-called “civic” committees, is the defense of the privileges that have accumulated up to now. It is about the hoarding of fertile lands, the discretional management of public funds, the monopoly over the construction of infrastructure, the indiscriminate logging of forests, reserving natural resources for themselves or third parties, and other issues.

So much so were they owners of the country that, when production and prices were good, they kept the profits for themselves. If there was no demand, or when there were floods or droughts, the state indemnified them. Of course, they mocked taxes; the only one they paid was Value Added Tax, generally with a lot of delay.

Surely none of this is strange. It has occurred in various countries, and continues to occur, when popular governments carry out programs of change. They resort to speculation, conjecture, transport and services strikes, the spreading of rumours. Being owners of the mass media, they use them in their campaigns to discredit, distort, fool, and lie; anything goes in order to defend their personal interests.

Using these arms, they declare war against the government and the people, even if this means the destruction of the country. Didn’t they applaud the scoundrels who propose dividing Bolivia?

Weaknesses and errors

We are conscious of all this, and will continue to be so. We knew they would react like this and each day we can prove it more. It is clear that democracy is of no use to them; their natural terrain is a dictatorial, a tyrannical state. In 1978, the people overthrew the dictator, Banzer, and confirmed their vocation three years later, booting out Garcia Meza and his assassin, Arce Gomez. The right, almost immediately, conspired against Siles Zuazo, with the support of miristas and motetistas. That is how they gain control of democracy in order to enforce the model imposed by the empire.

Miristas and motetistas, together with adenistas, movimientistas and its disciples, are now digging trenches to divide us into regions, cities, neighbourhoods, races, and even religions. The strategy is: divide in order to rule.

But we also have to accept our share of the blame. In our efforts to be inclusive and peaceful, we have made concessions, too many concessions. In our political management of the country, we have recognized attributions which are outside their competencies, maintained structures that respond to their interests, given into the imposition of minorities. In the economic sphere funds were put at their service to satisfy their demands and exigencies, we permitted them to handle resources without establishing controls, we continue to maintain suspended the application of measures that cut down their privileges.

Meanwhile, the programs to improve standards of living are still modest, and we have not made concrete our plans for the construction of national infrastructure; strategic services that the state needs to recuperate remain in the hands of transnationals; and the generation of jobs still does not even satisfy the minimum requirements.

The people have confidence in this government, which is combating corruption, that has demonstrated transparency in its actions and that has given the country a prestigious image internationally. With this backing, we need to confront the right, which has overstepped the limits of democratic co-existence, and which believes it can recuperate its privileges. There is no reason to continue waiting.

Translated from MAS Bolivia website


Shaun Connell said...

Interestingly enough, I believe that democracy isn't justified to any extent. After all, democracy is based upon the idea that, statistically at least, "might makes right." To be honest, the people can't be trusted -- they just wave back and forth gobbling up what the media feeds them. Sad but true. ::shrug::

Anonymous said...

Here in North America, there was a saying that went around several years ago;"what I want is not just a bigger piece of the pie:it's a whole new pie!" It is a reference to the process of budgeting of the collective resources of the people, to decide how to invest them for the greatest good, for the greatest number of people, for the longest period of time. I am idealizing this idea, there is no government that operates this way on earth,unless, of course, you know something about the old way,called "AYLLUS". this was described briefly by Esperenza Huanca,one of the 255 assembly delegates. I happen to love words,and so when I see ayllus, it could be any language,and to my vision, I feel like it has a parallel in english, like "All of Us"

My personal interest in this very idea has been in my heart for over fourty years of my life, and I feel like we are talking about the same thing. Ayllus has a very important message for us now, and it is many thousands of years old.

I do so wish that some of you will take the time to explain, and share your experiences with Ayllus, and define it more as its working philosophies.

My own understanding, in parallel, perhaps, Is called "The Quarter System" It is composed of four separate ways of percieving and approaching the subject of Law. The four kinds of law all work together. The first is called The Laws of Power. The second is called the Laws of Labor. The third is called The Laws of Equitable Distribution, and the fourth is called The Laws of Administrative Love. I could say much more about this, but first I am asking you who know ayllus: does this sound like ayllus to you? Please post some comments here for me to see.
May the Blessings Be! .........E.