The paradoxical coexistence between anti-imperialism and national division

Eduardo Paz Rada

When the political and economic decisions of Bolivia are, directly or indirectly, in the hands of the authorities of other countries, it is impossible to not put on the table a discussion over the forms and mechanisms of dependence, an issue that marks the characteristic features for defining the level of sovereignty of a republic that prides itself for being emancipated.

Spanish colonialism was replaced by the new colonialism of imperialist capitalism, firstly the English and later by the United States. The US has maintained control and hegemony in Latin America, and of course in Bolivia, under the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 “America for Americans”, which has been systematically carried out during the last two centuries. There have been innumerable examples of military, diplomatic, political and economic interventions.

Today, in Latin American and Carribean, the debate over how will the United States impede the process of emancipation in various countries of the subcontinent has returned. In the case of Bolivia, the issue has acquired a high level of importance because relations between the government of La Paz and Washington have been broken like never before. Declarations and actions by President Evo Morales against “Yankee imperialism”, and the following expulsion of Ambassador Philip Goldberg in the last few weeks, are testimony to this new situation.

This can not be totally understood without taking into consideration the context of a multipolar world and the regional context of strategic reaccomodation. The strengthening of UNASUR and the weakening of the OAS, the drive towards a South American military pact and the almost disappearance of TIAR, the advance of a regional bank and the regression of the IMF and World Bank are, amongst other things, what define the state of the current geopolitical situation.

But, in the case of Bolivia, and particularly in the context of the political crisis generated by the autonomist conspiracy of the oligarchs of the east, allied with the oil transnationals, the situation deserves some reflection. UNASUR and particularly the governments of Chile and Brazil have assumed an extremely dangerous role in regards to internal decisions; they have converted themselves into the “godfathers” of the government of Evo Morales and the seditious prefects, in the open dialogue in Cochabamba.

Never before has an ex Foreign Minister of Chile, in this case Gabriel Valdez, carried out the task of advising and leading the Bolivian political scene, taking into consideration the geopolitical and economic interests of the Chilean oligarchy that has a historic debt with Bolivia. On the other hand, the oil transnational have made of Petrobras and the Lula government of Brazil their principal pawns in order to maintain the policies of gas exploration in the country. The Brazilian government has even converted itself into a middle man for the conspiring prefects and civic committees.

We have to warn that new forms of dependency are emerging over Bolivia, above all when neighbouring countries consider it solely as a cheap source of gas energy, which is vital for the powerful industries in Sao Paulo, for domestic consumption in Argentina and from the Chilean mining sector, while breaks are put on projects for the construction of internal gas ducts and the diversification of the consumption of cheap energy for the majority of the population.

This situation occurs at a time when the civil radicals of the east are demanding to convert Beni, Santa Cruz, Pando or Tarija into “Protectorates”, that is, into regions under the control of other sovereign powers, and where sectors financed by some NGOs are asking for the creation of 36 nations within the current Bolivian territory, with no reference to the Bolivian nation, the Republic of Bolivian and the national state.

Here lies the contradiction of the Evo Morales government that at the same time as carrying out important reforms to strengthen the national economy and the national state and raising the patriotic tricolour flag against the conservative reaction, nevertheless, pontificates about a plurinational project that is both a threat to disintegration and foments the fragmentation of Bolivia into unviable nations.

The position of important popular sectors, of national institutions and of the Armed Forces, who made known their criticisms in front of the Constituent Assembly regarding the possibility of dividing Bolivia, seems very frightening in the face of the certain risk of national disintegration, in the sense that there will no longer be a homeland to defend. We are not talking about an immediate process, of four or five years, but rather of a process, like that in Yugoslavia, of 15 or 20 years.

Paradoxically, in the present anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic process, some elements are unfolding of a future national disintegration, beyond the criteria of more or less dependency.

Translated from Bolpress

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