Friday, August 29, 2008

Evo's giving you a reading assignment

Mark your calendars because Evo's set a new date for the constitutional referendum December 9th. So expect to be hearing a lot of nutty bullshit coming from the press about how this constitution will do everything from doing away with slavery individual liberty to resurrecting the Inca Empire. But if you happen to speak Mexican you can check out the proposed constitution yourself and realize that no one in the entire English language press corp has actually read the thing. 100 pages! Someone might have to get out of the hotel pool to wrap their head around all that wacky Indian voodoo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who's wearing the 'tin-foil hat' now?

At this point if you still don't think the US government in actively working to destabilize Bolivia and undermine Morales' democratic and constitutional government you're just plain ignorant. Let's demonstrate. Bina at News of the Restless and Otto at Inca Kola News give us the low down on how US ambassador Philip "Fulbright to Espionage" Goldberg was caught secretly meeting with opposition Prefect Rubin "Macaco" Costas in Santa Cruz.


What do you think they were talking about? Their choice of Santa Cruz whores? Well that's what our man in Bolivia, one US Lt. Commander and Iraqi war veteran Gregory Michel apparently had on his mind when he was arrested late Monday night waving a loaded .45mm handgun around drunk at Santa Cruz's whorehouse Curris Internacional. Here's Mister "diplomatic immunity" in his finest hour.


So just what do you think is a combat veteran doing for the US mission in Bolivia? For any bonafided journalists out there, trust me, this story is red hot and juicy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lamer by the day

Remember how those opposition Prefects were going to raise hell and overthrow Evo? How they were going to shut down the country with their "civic" strike that just ended up being a lame excuse for fascist youth to beat up on some brown people. Then, to show their enduring spite for grandmothers receiving pensions from natural gas revenue declared they would shut down the gas valves. Evo replied, "no, you and what army?".

So how is the western press going to make these lame, fascist, grandma haters look like the victims? Simple. Just make stuff up. According to AFP, "executive power" Morales is unfairly taxing "regional revenues from gas fields." Geez Evo, stealing from those hard done by regional governments. But wait. There is no such thing as "regional" gas revenue. It's national gas revenue and always has been. "Regional" governments get their share of revenue from the national government, not the other way around. Hence, why these losers actually have zero leverage on the question and should instead be thanking their lucky stars Evo is still giving these coup plotters cash to run their local government services.

But while the opposition Prefects demonstrated that they have completely douched out their remaining political legitimacy, a blockade not covered by the western press has effectively closed Sucre. Chuquisaca's campesino unions are showing the new opposition Prefect Sabina Cuellar that her handlers in the falangist loving Interinistutional Committee can't hand pick rural Subprefects without consulting the actual communities that live there first. And why might the press not be covering this road block? Maybe because it shows how Sabina Cuellar, the ex-MAS indigenous women for the racist opposition, is a total exploitive scam job.

So if you haven't already noticed, Morales has effectively positioned the conservative opposition to the margins of political influence. In my opinion these jackasses are finished. The "Media Luna" Prefects will be lucky to finish their terms of office out of a jail cell where they belong. The main opposition PODEMOS party is so demoralized by the backfire of the recall referendum they approved in the Senate that they weren't even able to muster the necessary signatures from supporters to remain an officially titled political party, and will instead have to organize under a new name if they plan on competing in the next elections. Ha Ha. Turns out that Indian wasn't so stupid after all. The joke was on you suckers all along.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bolivia "Divided"


Any questions?

hat tip: News of the Restless

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil

So the western press has been up on the Media Luna's 24 hour strike to protest Morales' unwillingness to drop funding for elderly pensions and give that money back to department coffers. It is amazing that no one in the English media has asked, "what exactly do these oppositions Prefects have against their grandmothers anyways?"

Well let's find out how the strike went, as AFP reports; "The 24-hour stoppage in the eastern states of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija and Chuquisaca -- effectively half the territory of South America's poorest nation -- took place mostly peacefully with only isolated incidents reported." Thank god everything went peace for our nonviolent autonomy buddies, oh wait, Morales' evil supporters were on the attack! "In the city of Santa Cruz, the main bastion of opposition, pro-Morales youths attacked journalists from a commercial Bolivian television station in a poor neighborhood." Geez, those damn commies!

Right, so lets get the leader of the Comite Pro Santa Cruz, Branco Marinkovic's word on this authoritarian dictator from Reuters. "Although Marinkovic said he wanted to avoid violence, young people were seen coming in and out of his office building carrying batons and baseball bats." Huh? What are our hard-done-by freedom fighters doing those baseball bats?

Later Tuesday
, "Hundreds of anti-government protesters battled supporters of President Evo Morales on Tuesday with rocks and sticks as a general strike against the Bolivian leader turned violent....Anti-government demonstrators carrying baseball bats and shields fought with Morales' backers in a poor neighbourhood that is a stronghold of support for the Bolivian leader." Oh no, say it ain't so! Violence? Who could have thunk it? Well, I am sure they are just fighting the good fight against tyranny. "Graffiti seen on the streets of Santa Cruz called Morales a 'fascist,' 'the Antichrist' and a 'minion' of Venezuela's Chavez."

Right, Morales is a fascist! Lets see some video our valiant pro-autonomy protesters resisting police oppression. Ah, heres a good one. But wait, those "pro autonomy youth" are beating the shit out of those cops and these officers are just trying to run away. I don't get it. Morales' gestapo are trying to avoid and disperse violent confrontation. Tell me how you characterize the action of these videos, here and here. (Cartoon- La Razon)

Could it be, that actual the pro-autonomy guys driving around with bats, swastikas, neonazi crosses, and calling themselves the "Santa Cruz Youth Union" are actually wanna be fascist youth? That the leaders of the autonomy movement are desperately trying to stoke violence confrontation in order to delegitimize Morales' hugely popular government and justify their wildest cumtastic fantasies in a golpe de estado? Hmm, so how are we going to explain ourselves out of this one now that we've been cheering these racists and fascists on for months in their struggle against Morales?

Ah, the New York Times editorial desk gives us a good one. Call for everyone to deescalate their fiery rhetoric. You know, all that divisiveness Morales has been sowing, forcing our good pro autonomy movement towards violence. Yeah. Morales needs to compromise. That's it.
Mr. Morales and his rivals must tone down their rhetoric and start looking for a solution. It is possible to empower and improve the lives of Bolivia’s long-neglected indigenous peoples while also incorporating legitimate demands for regional autonomy. An equitable division of the nation’s gas wealth can be negotiated.
Hey, actually I've got a suggestion for you asswipes at the NYT editorial desk. Get one of your interns who reads Spanish and have them pull up a copy of the proposed constitution and actually read it. Because you know what they will find. That it does exactly what you've just called for. That's right, the Media Luna gets their autonomy and fair share of gas wealth, along with the impoverished indigenous majority.

So why again is the Media Luna opposed? Oh right, because they are a bunch of corrupt, racist, crypto-fascists who think only they own Bolivia and ought to rule over all the little ignorant Indians. How dare those brown people think democracy actually means a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gee Willikers Batman!

Good God! Did you know that while we were all focused on those evil Ruskie aggressors advance on our tie eating ally in Georgia, Hugo Chavez invaded the Andes!

Good thing the Heritage Foundation is paying attention or we would have never noticed that Morales' landslide victory in the recall referendum was nothing less than the unholy advance of Hugo's anti-freedom authoritarianism across the continent! This shit is out of control. Congress better step in to stop these uppity haters or they are going to take away all of our slaves! This aggression will not stand!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ukamau y Ke - Tupak Katari

Hip Hop and Aymara nationalism is a match made in heaven.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Costas' version of "dialogue"

Following the recall referendum everyone thought dialogue between Bolivia's polarized political forces was a good idea. Even the US State Department was in on the idea.

So Morales was like cool. Let's meet up in La Paz and come to our senses.

Evo: "We have created a unique trust between our people, our armed forces, presidents and governors....My request is that now there is some trust, we jointly move to a second stage. This does not simply mean to talk about the sea (passage), about gas or commerce, but also that our peoples wish to see us united, and working together." (Otto translation)

So what has the Media Luna, and specifically Santa Cruz done since to show their good faith going forward towards a new era of national reconciliation? Let's see...

1) The UJC bombed the offices of CEJIS (an indigenous rights legal assistence ngo).

2) The opposition Prefects called for a "civil strike" after Morales said he would not cut off elderly pensions and fork over more cash to these greedy douches.

3) In a bizarre, this could only happen in Bolivia kind of twist, these same opposition Prefects have joined with the union of disabled persons' call for a "disabled pension" (just a little bit ironic and hypocritical, no?). Not that Morales or his government is opposed, but the UJC used the opportunity Friday to join with disabled protesters and turn their demonstration into a violent confrontation with police (check out the strange scene below). The UJC attempted to seize control of Santa Cruz' national police station and later with PODEMOS politicians raised a general ruckus.

The leadership of the disabled persons union is all like, 'what were you idiots in Santa Cruz thinking letting these assholes near your parade?' And Morales' government responds, 'hey if Rubin Costas and Branko Marinkovic want to play that way, we'll just throw them in court'. Let's hope they do. If you do read anything about this in the western press, expect it to be Morales' fault somehow.


Update
So it just so happens that August 19th, the date set for beginning the opposition's "civil strike" is the 37 anniversary of Hugo Banzer's 1971 golpe de estado. I guess the coup watch is still on...

Bolivia Gets the Change It Asked For

By Mark Weisbrot, The Nation

Evo Morales changed the history of Bolivia when he was elected in December 2005 as the country's first indigenous president, and the first to get a majority of 54 percent. On Sunday he expanded his mandate considerably in a referendum, with 68 percent of voters opting to keep him in office.

The conventional wisdom in Washington--where the foreign policy establishment is decidedly not sympathetic to Morales's populist agenda--has been that the referendum would settle nothing. Bolivia remains divided, say the pundits, along geographic (eastern lowland states versus the west), ethnic (indigenous versus non-indigenous) and class (rich versus poor) lines. Maybe so, but apparently it is less divided than when Morales was first elected, an event that was widely celebrated as a milestone akin to the end of apartheid in South Africa. Was that election also meaningless?

Continue reading...

Evo, Evo, Everywhere!

So if you haven't already seen it, head on over to Inca Kola News for the best by the numbers analysis of the recall referendum you'll read anywhere. And why won't you read that kind of stuff through the regular channels? Well, because it shows how Evo is the most sought after bachelor in Bolivian history. From west to east, north to south, Evo can't be beat.

Except in one place. Where a lot of rich white people live. Sorry to offend any crackers out there, but your (our) kind down in Santa Cruz de la Sierra need to recongize that not only do they not own Bolivia but they don't even represent their own "autonomous" department. I guess its hard to realize that when all you hear is your own bullshit from all the television stations and newspapers you own. I got a recommendation for all those Cruceños out there. Get in the car, drive down to where those Guarani live, those Indians you think are so ignorant and smelly, and start learning a thing or two about who you're sharing the country with, because you racist dinosaurs just aren't going to make it through the 21st century if you keep it up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sack Simon Romero!

Please New York Times just let this poor excuse for journalism go!

For a moment I thought Simon might be getting better, when he scooped the attempts by rightwing politicians to pull a military coup, but then I remembered hits from the New York Times central offices snooping around my blog (sitemeter is a good tool), which has been running a "coup watch" as of late. And just yesterday someone from the NYT linked through this blog to Otto's coverage of fascist voter intimidation in Santa Cruz. Why didn't you editors force Simon to include it in his referendum wrap up? and balance that bull he sends into your desk? As I've been egging you to cover for months with my "Note to Simon Romero" now in the top pages of google search for the guy. I'm sure you've seen it. You editors are more than welcome to steal stories from this blog, but for the love of god fire that fraudulent jerk Simon Romero!

Indulge me and lets go through his two Bolivia Referendum stories.

From the day prior:

In mentioning the coup plot, Simon gives us a halfass justification, "If Mr. Morales prevails in the referendum, his political opponents in relatively prosperous lowland provinces have vowed not to recognize the results, describing the president’s stifling of judicial criticism of the vote as illegal." and at the end of the article gives us another example of Morales' tyrannical hatred for the law, quoting Morales as saying, “When a jurist tells me, ‘Evo, you are making a legal mistake; what you are doing is illegal,’ I go ahead even if it’s illegal,” Mr. Morales said. “I later tell the lawyers, ‘If it’s illegal, you make it legal. Otherwise, what have you studied for?’ ” Continuing, "Bolivia’s fractious judicial system, with some pro-Morales judges supporting the referendum and others denouncing irregularities"

Except at no point is it mentioned that actually Morales has never strayed from constitutional authority, unlike the Media Luna Prefects who 1) passed unconstitutional autonomy statutes without international monitors after the vote had been declared illegal by the NATION ELECTORAL COURT!, 2) claimed they could ignore the results of the recall referendum passed by Congress and 3) through the corrupt Departmental Electoral Courts pressured the National Court to "reinterpret" the rules of the recall referendum clearly spelled out in legislation. Apparently, according to Simon doing what the law clearly states qualifies as "irregularities".

Next. Simon: "demonstrators in the gas-rich department of Tarija prevented Mr. Morales from meeting there on Tuesday with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, whose financial and military aid to Mr. Morales’s government is chafed at in parts of Bolivia."

Not mentioned is that Kirchner of Argentina was also suppose to have arrived and that these "demonstrators" prevented the meeting by threat of violence, storming the airport.

"That outcome [opposition Prefects losing] would allow Mr. Morales to pick the governors’ successors, which could aggravate tension in some areas over redistributing petroleum royalties to bolster social security payments for impoverished elderly citizens. Political leaders in eastern Santa Cruz began a hunger strike this week aimed at recovering a portion of the royalties."

First off Morales has explicitly stated that he would not pick new "governors" (the term is Prefect) and instead would call for new elections so the people can decide how to replace these losers. Then as we have mentioned several times following Otto's analysis, "controversy" over royalties shifted to pensions is total bullshit as Santa Cruz and the rest of the Media Luna are currently racking in more than double what they were before Evo came into office.

Now the good stuff from today:

In the days leading up the vote, protesters blockaded airport runways and prevented Mr. Morales from traveling to several regional capitals, reflecting the repudiation of his policies in petroleum-rich provinces, called departments, like Tarija and Santa Cruz. One opposition bastion, Sucre, has mounted a seemingly quixotic campaign to be named the country’s capital.

Thank you for fact checking Simon's previous wording on the Tarija incident, but why not on the Sucre capital campaign? The descriptive qualifier is not "quixotic" but "outrageously racist".

Heinz Dieterich, a political analyst in Mexico who writes widely on leftist movements in Latin America, summed up Mr. Morales’s situation as being “an exile in the majority of the provinces of his own land."

Also thanks for forcing Simon to cite someone respectable from the Left, like Heinz Dieterich but read Dieterich here and tell me Simon pulled the most informative quotes. How about this line not quoted, "Evo’s ethics and political formation reject the use of legitimate state repression in order to impose his political project."

Indeed, Mr. Morales seemed to show mixed interest in reconciliation while casting his vote Sunday morning near his small coca farm in the Chapare, a coca-growing area in central Bolivia.

What was 9pm past Simon's bed time to stay up and watch Evo call for renewed national unity, dialogue, and respect for the law?

The referendum originated in May in what now seems to be a self-defeating effort to remove Mr. Morales from office by Podemos, an opposition party whose influence has eroded.

Why do we find this out now, as opposed to when we were talking about how much disrespect Evo has for the law?

Mr. Morales, 48, appears ready to use the referendum to proceed with policies that have enraged his political opponents, like the acceptance of tens of millions of dollars from Venezuela.

Yup, it's those millions of dollars from Hugo that makes opponents mad. How about the BILLIONS from natural gas revenue? hmm, maybe that might be more important here?

Some opposition leaders also showed little desire for reconciliation. “No to the big foreign monkeys!” Rubén Costas, governor of eastern Santa Cruz, shouted in a televised speech Sunday night, revealing some the racist language used to refer to Venezuela.

Again as Otto pointed out, Costas was not referring to Hugo but Evo. Don't any of your fact checkers speak Spanish?

But this last piece of BULLSHIT by Simon takes the cake and should qualify him for automatic dismissal. NOW!

Perhaps the most contentious issue has been Mr. Morales’s land reform project in Santa Cruz, the economically vibrant eastern department. Rich landowning families in the area have clashed with government officials seeking to distribute their landholdings to Aymara and Quechua Indian migrants.

Funny thing. Simon reported on these clashes with those rich landowners. Don't you remember that Ron Larsen character and his native slaves? As Simon is fully aware, those government officials were not trying to redistribute land to Aymara and Quechua migrants but back to the Guarani, whose ancestral home is southern Santa Cruz. Meaning they were there before the Spanish or that slave driver Larsen ever showed up!

What kind of racist, slavering, fascist apologist is Simon? Aren't you ashamed to have him on your staff?

One can only conclude that if Simon is not let go in the near future, you editors at the NYT are, like Simon, total douchebags with zero respect for truthful reporting. If I am being too harsh please use the comment section and fire back, even under a fake name if you want.

Bolivian recall referendum yields expected results

Andean Information Network, 11 Aug 2008

Bolivia’s recall referendum concluded peacefully and has not yet provoked intense conflict or reshaped the political panorama. President Evo Morales and Vice-President Alvaro Linera Garcia won majority approval in Sunday’s vote. Also at stake were the prefecture seats. Prefects Manfred Reyes Villa (Opposition) of Cochabamba, Jose Luis Paredes (Opposition) of La Paz, and Alberto Luis Aguilar (MAS) of Oruro lost and will be replaced, while the other six prefects remain in office. These results are all currently partial and based on exit polls (which tend to over-emphasize urban areas), and will likely not be confirmed until Wednesday.

Continue reading...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quotes of the Week

Percy Fernández (Left) and Rubin Costas (Right)

"Out with foreign monkeys!," Rubin Costas, Prefect of Santa Cruz

“This government has not learned how to govern, and for that reason I ask the armed forces to overthrow the president of the republic,” Percy Fernández, the mayor of Santa Cruz.

...and this is the only solely Bolivia devoted English language blog with an anti-racism banner and running coup watch. What gives?

Quick Recall Update

The western press is reporting that Evo, as we all expected, has indeed secured victory in the recall, while the Bolivian press is currently reporting Evo winning 60+ percent. Well just have to wait and see how high it goes. Manfred "I don't recognize the referendum" Reyes, Prefect of Cochabamba, has been revoked and his political career is effectively ended- tough luck for a douchebag that almost became President in 2002. The opposition prefect of La Paz is also out, and it looks like so is the MAS prefect of Oruro. I've read differing counts on Pando, and the rest of the Media Luna- so we will find out later.

Fascists fail to impede referendum

Go to Inca Kola News and read about how these losers from the Santa Cruz Youth Union got caught trying to intimidate voters in the indigenous slum of Santa Cruz, Plan Tres Mil. What good are fascist thugs if they can't even stop an election? Mussolini is rolling in his tomb to make room for Ruben Costas.

Otherwise the referendum is fortunately moving along smoothly.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bolivia’s Recall Referendum: Setting the Stage for Resumed Political Conflict

Andean Information Network, 7 Aug 2008

On August 10, Bolivians will go to the polls in a referendum to decide whether the president, vice-president, and eight of the country’s nine departmental prefects (governors) will remain in office. Opponents of President Evo Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) coalition have sought to cancel the upcoming recall referendum by challenging its legality, but it is unlikely that they will succeed. The law authorizing the referendum was approved just months ago, in May, by the Bolivian Senate, where the opposition Poder Democrático y Social (PODEMOS) party enjoys a majority. To be sure, the referendum’s passage chagrined sectors of the opposition at the departmental level, both because some prefects will be hard-pressed to garner enough votes to remain in office, and because the referendum is viewed as a distraction from the regional autonomy agenda that opposition prefects have been pursuing, especially in the “media luna” lowlands departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija.

Continue and the full report here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Evo, can you handle this badass?

So the recall referendum is 48 hours away and Evo's critics can't handle the truth. That he is going to crush, repeat crush, his opponents.

Watch the English language press squirm.

Washington Times
: "Bolivians frustrated by 2½ years of socialist government under President Evo Morales have a chance to remove him from office next week, but even a strong opponent of his policies doubts he will lose the recall vote." Oh right, Bolivians actually like Evo! and we're just a bunch of delusional wingnuts.

Reuter's gives us a "Factbox" of possible scenarios could Evo lose. Except his is going to win.

Well we all know he is going to win, but the Christian Science Monitor's Sarah Miller Lana assures us that's just because bringing votes directly to the people weakens democracy by "bypassing checks and balances and centralizing power in [Morales'] own hands." Huh? Does she mean like when the Media Luna proceeeded with totally extra-constitutional Autonomy Statute Referendums? If only Bush were so undemocratic as Evo.

The opposition Prefects have taken a last ditch stance to gain attention and stave off being revoked by starting a hunger strike to demand the return of gas revenue back to Department coffers now being siphoned to finance elderly pension. Except even with the pension cut their gross income from gas revenue has actually more than doubled since Evo took office.

As Inca Kola News notes the annual August 7th military parade was a big demonstration in "you looking to pull a coup, think again losers!"

And VP Alvaro Linera finished off campaigning with a message close to my heart, "Let's go kick some oligarch and fascist ass."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Death at Tin Mountain

Glancing over Reuters or other western media coverage of troubling events in Bolivia yesterday, you'd think Evo canceled his trip to Tarija yesterday after police killed opposition protesters. Damn Evo! But wait, the deaths actually occurred halfway across the country in Huanuni, Oruro. Apparently, two miner were killed in clashes with police.

What's going on? Well, COB union miners are protesting officially over demands to push through pension reforms in their favor. But me thinks this has something to do with Evo's recent tilting in support of cooperative miners, at odds with COB. Throw in political tension of the recall referendum and some sticks of dynamite, and we get unpleasant results.

Mining conflict is very complicated in Bolivia and you shouldn't listen to anyone who tries to over simplify. Evo has the difficult position of trying to appease competing factions of this totally fragmented sector, all of whom have lots of explosives just laying around. At Huanuni, Bolivia's largest tin mine, these tensions exploded recently in 2006 leaving 17 people dead.

Go read Ben Dangl and April Howard's investigative reporting on the 2006 incident if you want to gain some appreciation for the complexity of the matter at hand. "Tin War in Bolivia: Conflict Between Miners Leaves 17 Dead"

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Too Cool for Evo

That trendy t-shirt, hip sun glasses, greased haircut, and propensity to beat up on "shitty Indians" just as brown as themselves -but not up on the latest fashion trends- can only denote one kind of person, our Pro Autonomy buddies. They will swear they aren't "fascists". No. They are fighting for "democracy", but still think Hitler was pretty cool and that swastikas make for nice decals on your decked out ride.

This photo comes courtesy of Tarija where a meeting between Evo, Chavez, and Kirchner had to be canceled after these freedom lovers attacked the airport.

Also Evo won't be going to Sucre tomorrow for traditional celebrations of Bolivia's independence day because they are a bunch of bigot scumbags that will only succeed in making Sucre the Capital of Racism.

Somehow this all makes Evo a dictator, fascist, and racist. Go figure.

For full disclosure: I stole everything, the photo and these stories from Inca Kola News who's been covering Bolivia better than this blog the last couple days.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Evo unilaterally changes Law! Intl. Press Condemnation!

....Oh wait, no, wrong headline.

That wasn't Evo unilaterally asserting the dictatorial privilege to change the law convoking and defining the terms of the Recall Referendum, but the Media Luna's corrupt Departmental Electoral Courts- the ones that previously asserted their nonexistent authority to simply ignore the superior National Electoral Courts ruling striking down the unconstitutional Autonomy Referendums and go through with them anyways. It is worth noting that the President of Santa Cruz's CDE is married to the president of the Santa Cruz Comite Civico Feminino. No conflict of interest there!

Well now they have decided that they aren't too hot on this Recall Referendum which might revoke several of their patrons in Prefect seats. So by threat of a repeat douchebag performance, they convinced the National Electoral Court to reinterpret with them the terms of recall for Prefects originally approved by the opposition controlled Senate. Now they get better 50% + terms rather than the task of defending their original mandate secured in 2006 plurality elections.

Now everyone is like what the fuck is going on? This was already complicated enough! The Comite Pro Santa Cruz is all like, "but we already had our cute 'hunger strike' planned for August 6th to boycott the 'unfair' recall election." And Evo is all like, "Well, we have the constitutional responsibility to respect the court's decision, but I've read the Recall Referendum and it says officials get revoked if they can't defend their original mandate." And Vice President Linera is like, "The law is the law."

The Western Press? "Whatever, just as long as our Autonomy dudes win. We don't care if they sacrifice babies to Moloch." Reuter's doesn't seemed miffed.

So now that the golpista opposition has chipped another dent in the democratic function of Bolivia's legal institutions, your bet on what comes next is as good as any.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bolivian Recall Referendum Riles Tensions

Andean Information Network, July 30th 2008

The Bolivian Senate, with a slight opposition majority, inexplicably resurrected and approved the law to convoke the recall referendum that it had initially blocked after the MAS-dominated lower house of congress approved it. President Morales opted to sign the bill into law, clearly beneficial to him, instead of vetoing the initiative and provoking harsh opposition criticism.

Within this convoluted context, it is not surprising that regional and other opposition forces continue to attempt to block the recall referendum. The Morales administration and its allies have continued to staunchly support the vote, scheduled for August 10. On July 22 the only remaining member of the Constitutional Tribunal emitted a legal criteria on a request submitted by UN congressman Arturo Murillo, stating that legal precedents exist to affirm that the referendum should be postponed until the Constitutional Tribunal (which has only one member, and as a result insufficient quorum to make rulings) rules on the constitutionality of the questions posed by the referendum.
Continue reading...

Land and Power in Bolivia

There's been a bit of a commenter's counter-rebellion over the facts of land inequality and existence of latifundios in the Media Luna. Not surprising, as any observer of Bolivia will quickly realize that land is thoroughly at the center of politics and power. Apologists for Bolivia's light-skinned elite will always dispute the existence of the vast tracts and peons just behind their coat tails. So here is some easily accessible, to the point reading on the matter:

"The Agrarian Reform That Wasn’t", Leila Lu
"
Land as a Center of Power in Bolivia", Ben Dangl
"Bolivia's Agrarian Reform Initiative", AIN
"The Rise of Food Fascism", Roger Burbach