This article was written by Susana Seleme and published in many newspapers nationwide:
Nothing new under the Sun in Bolivia: ‘Vice’ Álvaro García Linera has defined himself as “Jacobin, Bolshevik, of Spartan hard line” statement which, however, is at odds with the frivolous publicity about his upcoming wedding, distractive effect in lieu to climatic and social anxieties that the country experiences.
Long ago, the President Evo Morales defined himself as “Marxist-Leninist – Communist-Socialist”. In the Antipodes of these confessions, it shows that they were never: Democrats. For the “mouth dies the fish”, says the proverb.
Both ideological self-definitions implemented, refer without excuses to authoritarian, riddled with ‘judicial Guillotines’ actions if not to cut heads to ‘crush’ opponents and put them prisoners, prosecute them or forcing them into exile, in the heat of the totalitarian impulses of the autocrat. For this reason they repudiate political diversity, the different conceptions of the world and the criticism that fights only thinking which seek to impose in Bolivia.
The jacobino-bolchevique character, add you Stalinist to bolster the repressive nature of communism which admits Morales. This practice makes Bolivia to be hard against human rights, the rule of law and civil rights. I quote the most severe and cruel:
(i) 3 killed in La Calancha, Sucre, to adopt a Constitution that the Government itself violates when it suits their particular political interests;
(ii) the confrontation in Porvenir, Pando, ridden by the ruling party between peasants of the site and others taken from La Paz, with a toll of 12 dead, whose purpose was to ‘crush’ an autonomist prefect from the opposition, that remains 42 months in prison without a trial but accused of ‘killing’;
(iii) the extrajudicial execution of three foreigners’ mercenaries – one son of a Bolivian mother and hence its easy link – hired by the Government to infiltrate the autonomy movement from Santa Cruz. The photos of that macabre fact, issued by the opposition [congressmen] reveal torture and premeditated murder.
(iv) the brutal police repression ordered from the Executive to the natives of lowlands in defense of the already known TIPNIS cause, while they rested to replenish forces in their long protest march to the seat of Government, which took them 66 days. These people are opposed to a road that will split its territory in two, depleting the forest and their wealth, and will leave the indigenous yuracaré, mojeños and chi manes in front of a genocide caused by the invasion of coca growers, eager for that territory virgin lands. The Government approved a consultation at this stage ‘posthumous’ to the road [design and] construction, which only lacks a 66 kilometre stretch, precisely those who hurt the core of the TIPNIS, when such consultation should [have been] prior to the signing of the contract.
(v) also brutal and disproportionate repression against people with different diminished capacities and in wheelchairs, after 100 days of walk to La Paz in search of the fulfillment of a campaign promise: a unique [yearly] bonus of Bs 3,000, almost us $ 400.
As Jean Jacob Rousseau thought, “if there would be no different interests, common interest would be hardly noticed… and politics would cease to be an art”. I.e., the art of the possible which enables to combine various and conflicting interests through dialogues, pacts and agreements with democracy as a guarantee to find the common interest above any other private or collective interests.
The same Rousseau points in the discourse on the origin and the foundations of inequality among men, that “the fundamental maxim of all political science is that people have been given heads to defend their freedom and not to enslave them”.
Away from Rousseau, they are trapped by anomie
After six years of exercise of power, we can say without any doubt, that the Government of Evo Morales never was democratic and not proposed as task to defend the freedom of Bolivian and Bolivian, as Rousseau left in writing. I remember Jose Mirtenbaum claiming political pain: [we] already were not citizens, but ‘subjects’.
Although Morales was anointed President of Bolivia by the popular vote in 2005, these were the only clean elections because the Electoral Court at that time had no political interference. From then on, we have voted six times and results remain subject to suspicion of fraud and multiple irregularities, but they have given to Morales and his successive political victories, with regional setbacks as the autonomy elections, which have little in the balance sheet. As of today we live in what are called ‘democratic electioneer’, with electoral bodies subordinate to the political powers, here as in other countries of the geopolitics of the caudillo Hugo Chávez. Bolivia is part of these ‘democratic electioneer’ that use democracy as a procedural method to reproduce the power of autocrats regardless of citizen vote rigging. Democracy as a social condition, insofar as equality for political freedom while respecting differences, does not have in the Government of Morales, García Linera and others, and reflects that never were: Democrats. And because they have not been, or are, there is independence of powers.
Evo Morales is President, not of the Republic of Bolivia, but of the six federations of coca growers of the tropics of Cochabamba, whose leaf production coca feeds the political economy of the cocaine, and also President of a Pluri-Nacional State, in which the State, the nation and the Government become into a single entity, copy faithful of the ‘integral State’ of ‘Vice’ García Linera.
The Jacobins were focused on ‘terror’ and forgot Rousseau. In the absence of the democratic imperative of a political project based on the rule of law, the art of in search of the common good politics does not exist: not to dialogue, not to negotiate, not to make pacts and leave that problems or rot or acquire dramatic hues. As the country, spared the fate of State and social anomie that stifle citizenship, subjected to sectoral cannibalism, Trade Union and corporate ‘informal’ and excluded from the feast Bolshevik-Stalinist. Nothing Spartan looking succulent expenditure on aircraft, museums and satellites, in the heat of coplas [music popular songs] sexist and chauvinistic written by praisers, addicted to power.
Unlike these songs, there are others who sing a couple of truths people-flavored: “prior consultation they want it later, oh, this Government of sucker’s is!”, “Joyful Carnival say that you’re going, why don’t you get Linera as well;” “The Evo defends mother earth, bad thing is that it does with his chainsaw”; “The Tipnis is respected, the Tipnis is not touched, because this Government wants to step on coca”. That is the people, nor Bolshevik, Jacobin, Marxist-Leninist or Communist, yes Spartan as it supports the rigor of coca growers and adventurers charming in power.