Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bolivia: expulsions and explosions

The crisis in Bolivia is still rumbling on despite the overwhelming support given to Morales in the recent referendum. There are two new developments both related to the so-called autonomy movement who, despite their name, are not free thinking anarchists but well heeled racist arseholes of the highest order.

But whilst Bolivia has plenty of home grown plutocrats and would be oppressors to deal with it also has pressure on it from the outside. You will not be surprised to learn that one major international headache comes from the United States and Bolivia has today been forced to expel the US ambassador (right) for "conspiring against democracy" (example).

The expulsion comes in the midsts of growing violent protests by those who oppose alleviating the poverty of the indigenous majority through a program of land reform, taxation on large corporations and various social democratic reforms like the institution of old age pensions and child benefit. You know, all that really evil stuff that makes right thinking people angry.

According to Jim Shultz rioters from the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, a neo-fascist organisation, have burnt down government and commercial buildings, stolen guns, and fought the army and police. Then right wing leaders have the cheek to describe this as a "peaceful takeover" of buildings, specifically those involved in redistributing land to the poor, whilst the Governor of Santa Cruz described this as a reaction to "government terrorism".

I find it difficult to engage with the argument that reversing social injustice is terrorism of any kind - but he's clearly worried by it. This man was described by one website I read today as "el extremo del cretinismo parlamentario" which I rather liked so I thought I'd pass that comment on.

I have to say that when it's these "peaceful" folks who are blowing up gas pipelines it does rather undermine their argument that they are the democratic activists committed to a fairer Bolivia.

The facts are there is serious trouble in Bolivia because the established order is threatened. The rich, white elites are scared that there day is done. The years gone by when they had the ear of the government are over and there is a new government - one that comes directly from the trade unions and social movements - who, whilst their programs have been surprisingly moderate, are committed to making society more equal.

Bolivia is a living lesson for us all - that when we are in a position to seriously enact a radical agenda the old order will not simply roll over and let us reform them away.


Joseph Dubonnet said...

Another example demonstrating that the US only believes in democracy when it serves it's own interest.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the US will be too distracted by internal politics, Iraq and Afganistan to seriously aid the power elites of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
Its tough enough for the left without renewed yankee imperialism!!

Anonymous said...

Fancy hearing a gossipy anecdote that may or may not be true? Go on... you know you're tempted...! I have no way of verifying it other than that a friend told me this morning that it was what today's explosions in La Paz are about*!

So the latest rumour on the streets of La Paz is that the Ambassador may have been expelled, but he hasn't been able to leave the country because of the fascist fuckwits destroying the airport in Santa Cruz on monday. All international flights out of Bolivia go from El Alto to Santa Cruz before they fly off to Miami, and so he's stuck here until they fix the airport in Santa Cruz. Which is why people were protesting this morning outside his embassy.

Anyway. That's the rumour. It may have only partial truth, but I thought it was ironically amusing anyway. Though, actually, less amusing when I consider that I may not be able to fly home either on Tuesday, and Bolivia is on the brink of civil war. Oh well.

*Yeah its a game we all play here on a daily basis - guess whether the loud booms all over the city at any time of day or night are happy booms or angry booms! And then for bonus points we try and work out what they are celebrating/protesting about. It adds a whole layer of extra fun to city life when people both celebrate and protest with sticks of dynamite!