With Evo, but...

Andrés Soliz Rada, ex-minister of Hydrocarbons in Bolivia

La Paz, 19/07/08.- If Evo Morales announces the modification of the Movement Towards Socialism’ (MAS) Constitutional project, in regards to the recognition of the 36 indigenous nations, he will have recovered an important percentage of the middle classes, with which he will win without problems the upcoming recall referendum on August 10. The previous facts won't diminish the importance of this government in its struggle against intolerable social exclusion and the recovery of spaces of national sovereignty with regards to natural resources.

The governmental team is split between defenders of indo-mestizos, who back national unity, and the indigenists whom, financed by NGOs, have handed over to the separatists of Santa Cruz the arms that they need in order to carry out the atomisation of the country. As a consequence, they find themselves facing historical definitions. It will never be sufficient to insist that through and through separatists and indigenists have the same master: The New World Order, that is to say, imperialism.

Evo says that he loves the homeland, which is in contradiction with fundamentalist indigenism and separatism, which are impeding the consolidation of the national state and that have torn the social fabric, which have exacerbated ethnic and regional antagonisms, which have liquidated the republican institutions, instead of improving them, which have weakened national sovereignty and have undermined the basis of the democratic process, instead of deepening it.

The essential task of a president, in a country like ours, is to strengthen that which unites us and marginalise that which divides us. Something has been achieved in respect to granting, for example, a percentage of places in the Military College to well qualified indigenous high school graduates. What is needed now is to apply this policy to the Diplomatic Academy, teacher training colleges and public and private universities and all types of education centres.

Textbooks should combine the love of Bolivia, with the respect and affection of the indigenous peoples, as well as of the legitimate regional autonomy, identified with a Bolivian identity. This requires the new Constitution to take into account, in a balance way, the diversity of religious beliefs, medicinal knowledge and communitarian justice that exists in our territory. In this way, indigenous peoples and autonomous regions, united in an indo-mestizo alliance, will contribute to the development of our national state, from the perspective of Bolivarian Unity.

While avoid the fragmentation of Bolivia it is the crucial problem, it isn't the only one. The president should put an end to the madness that means that our international monetary reserves are lent at 2% to the banks from the United States and Europe, while the country loans to itself at 8%, which results in delaying national industrialisation. The waste has reached rock bottom knowing that, due to the depreciation of the US dollar, the country has lost, between January and May 2008, around $300 million by loaning money to banks in whose vaults our reserves are devaluated.

Evo’s campaign would strengthen if he dismissed those responsible for the notorious incidents of corruption, as have occurred, for example, with the Bolivian Administrator of Highways (ABC). Finally, Evo can't speak of "anti-imperialism" if he continues sending troops to Haiti, where Brazilian, Argentine, Chilean, Peruvian, Uruguayan and Bolivian soldiers, among others, do the dirty work of imperialism against the Haitian people, who continue to face reprisals for having been, in 1804, the first nation of slaves to conquer its freedom.

Translated by Sean Seymour Jones from Bolpress

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