It came as no surprise, the USG decision to undercut the assistance to countries deem as “unfriendly”. Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Argentina are among the countries that will no longer receive assistance from the USA. It is relevant to point out that the first three countries also appeared in the list as the poorer of South America. On top of that, the first four countries are members of ALBA, an invention from the president of Venezuela; and the Bolivian government said yesterday that the funding that came from Venezuela will no longer come for some of current handouts to municipalities (funding that came without being inserted in proper channels as foreign support). Venezuela, may be facing hard times, aside of having an ill president.
The Foreign Relations Committee from the US Congress, voted 23 against 16 to cut foreign aid to Bolivia. This is strong message that still needs to be approved by the whole Congress, to become a reality.
Nevertheless, and as expected, the Bolivian government minimized this loss, and presented a different, optimistic economic scenario.
Bolivian government may minimize this cut on foreign aid, as we also continue to receive more income from our natural resources. BUT, not because we are producing more or are more efficient. There is no growth in other exports or expansion of our existing natural gas plants, pipelines and no relevant mining investments. If China were to cut their demand for natural resources, Bolivia would face crude reality. So far, we live a mirage. Our economy is more dependent on illegal activities and has reduced its capacity to invest on the expansion of our supply of natural resources. No new jobs are created, no new markets are found, no value added is giving to our exports and inflation is rising.