21 de diciembre de 2007

"Evo Morales y su Apuesta - Referendum"

Hoy un interesante artículo de The Economist sobre la apuesta a doble o nada que Evo Morales ha hecho al plantear el referendum revocatorio sobre la reforma constitucional.

ON TAKING office as president last year, Evo Morales, a radical socialist of Andean Indian descent, promised to “refound” Bolivia on more democratic lines by means of a new constitution. But far from offering Bolivia a new start, the constitutional rewrite threatens to prolong a political confrontation that has seen two presidents overthrown since 2003.

At a marathon 16-hour session held at a university in the highland city of Oruro on December 9th, a rump of the constituent assembly (164 of its 255 members, most supporters of Mr Morales) rubberstamped all of the 411 clauses of the new charter (bar one on landholding). But the opposition boycotted the session; it claims the document is illegal, since it was not approved by the required two-thirds majority of the assembly. Legal or not, the government's plan is to submit the document to a referendum next year.

Mr Morales's followers say the new constitution will give more rights to indigenous Bolivians. It recognises no fewer than 37 official languages and grants autonomy to indigenous communities. They call the opposition a racist “oligarchy”.

Only a score of articles are controversial (though others may prove to be expensive). Opponents worry in particular about the weakening of property rights and a greater role for the state in the economy; about giving traditional, community justice equal status to the formal courts; and about judges being popularly elected rather than being appointed by a two-thirds majority of Congress as at present. They also want more explicit guarantees of regional autonomy.

Narrow though the differences seem, the constitution is only part of a broader political battle between two Bolivias: the poorer, mainly Indian western highlands still revere Mr Morales, while the opposition is led by the regional prefects of the more prosperous eastern departments. They accuse the president of stirring up racial conflict in a country where many people have been happy enough to define themselves as mestizo (of mixed race).

The opposition has had the upper hand for much of the past few months. Through political miscalculation, Mr Morales has driven the departments of Cochabamba and Chuquisaca into the opposition camp; even the prefect of La Paz was critical of the way the constitution was approved. Five regional governments plan unilaterally to declare autonomy on December 15th.

The opposition also objects to the government's efforts to remove three of the five judges on the Constitutional Tribunal, and to Mr Morales's reliance on Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, who has provided the government with cash and advisers. On December 6th a mob stoned a Venezuelan aircraft which landed at Riberalta, in the northern jungle.

But some of the prefects, too, seem to be overplaying their hand, by threatening separatism. “The government has to choose between autonomous departments within the nation, or new countries for neighbours,” says Mario Cossío, the prefect of Tarija. Along with his colleagues from Santa Cruz, Beni and Cochabamba, Mr Cossío went to Washington, DC, earlier this month to press the Organisation of American States to intervene. This has annoyed the armed forces.

Mr Morales has responded by challenging the opposition to a sort of duel. He is proposing recall referendums for himself and the prefects. One way or another, Bolivians may have a lot of voting to do in 2008. That may be an effort to distract attention from everyday problems, such as fuel shortages (caused by mismanagement by the state oil company), rising inflation and a lack of jobs. Mr Morales enjoyed widespread sympathy at home and abroad when he took office. He risks squandering much of that by seeking confrontation rather than the political consensus he needs to improve the lot of poorer Bolivians.

4 comentarios:

Compai panita dijo...

Estos líderes populistas se enriquecen y mantienen al país en la pobreza. Desgraciadamente no aportan soluciones reales y eficaces a los problemas que afronta el país.
Y como encima se independice la zona más rica...
Feliz Navidad.
Un saludo,

J. F. Sebastian dijo...

Dios los cría y ellos se juntan: Morales, Chávez and company. Luego la culpa es del malvado de Bush, del facista de Aznar, bla, bla, bla...

Lole dijo...

La culpa de que haya gente como Morales, Chávez, etc, la tienen sus predecesores, que se corrompieron reiterada e impunemente, y permitieron que los recursos naturales de sus respectivos países fueran explotados sin que sus plusvalías favorecieran el desarrollo de sus respectivos países.

Con tales sinvergüenzas, ¿por qué nos escandalizamos al ver que la gente vota a los de ahora?

Adamantio dijo...

Sin duda sus predecesores influyeron en su triunfo, pero deberían seguir más el ejemplo chileno, en lugar del cubano: la realidad ya ha dictado cuál de los dos funciona.

Ideas Libérrimas - 2008 -