Caracas, May 3, 2008, (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government reaffirmed its support for the territorial integrity of Bolivia and the government of Evo Morales in the face of moves by rightwing oppositionists in the state of Santa Cruz, to hold an unconstitutional referendum on autonomy this Sunday, May 4.
The referendum in Bolivia’s wealthiest state has provoked fears that rightwing governors opposed to President Morales’s policies of wealth distribution, in the states of Tarija, Pando and Beni, - which possess large fields of crude oil, natural gas and other minerals and represent Bolivia’s most productive agricultural land – could convoke similar referendums, potentially leading to a civil war and the break up of Bolivia.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicholas Maduro said in a speech on Wednesday, “The Bolivian people should know that from here, from Bolivarian Venezuela, we are with President Evo Morales and the unity of
“This process is unconstitutional and illegal, it violates the political Constitution of the State, it violates many laws; neither does it have legitimacy because international organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Rio Group, and the European Union have manifested that they will not recognise the results of this consultation because it is anti-constitutional. Consequently… it can not be recognised by the [Bolivian] government.”
Rivas believes that the United Status is behind the illegal referendum: “What we rightly believe is that this is a policy to divide us, to weaken us – the movements that we are experiencing in Latin America – coming from the United States, which always aim to control our energy resources…these regions that are looking to separate themselves from Bolivia are the zones where the largest reserves of hydrocarbons exist.”
Key points of the proposed
• The governor would have the right to sign international accords.
• The governor, deputy governor, and leaders of the department's 15 provinces (similar to counties) would have immunity from prosecution.
• The immigration status of foreigners in
OAS political secretary, Dante Caputo, has been attempting to facilitate a dialogue between the
On Friday the OAS passed a resolution reaffirming the territorial integrity of
The text of the resolution did not specifically mention the autonomy referendum in
Journalist Eduardo Dimas questioned, “It is no secret that the
Research by US-Venezuelan lawyer Eva Golinger recently revealed that the
Venezuelan opposition figures such as student leader Jon Goicoechea, have also travelled to
Conversely, leftist student groups from the
José Poyo, President of the Indigenous Parliament of Latin America, declared, “From here we are giving full support and from the state of Amazonas, together with the state of Bolivar and the states in the east of the country, we will hold a great rally of indigenous peoples, a vigil from Saturday until Sunday. The Indigenous Parliament, the National Indigenous Council of Venezuela and all the indigenous organizations will gather to show our solidarity, to monitor the situation that is happening in our brother
Yul Jabour, a Venezuelan deputy to the Andean Parliament said, “Yesterday it was Kosovo, today it is
A recent poll by Equipos Mora showed that in
Another survey this week by private polling firm Apoyo indicated that Morales counts with 54% popular support nationwide, the same percentage with which he won the December 2005 presidential elections. However, the survey also showed the regional polarization, with support for Morales surging to 75% in
According to the poll only 15% of the population has actually read the autonomy statutes to be voted on in the referendum.