Carlos Cordero writes for El Deber, an assessment of current government’s performance and expectations:
The country receives skeptically the presidential ads that argue to make adjustments in the economy and the role of the State to fight against public insecurity.
After two Government terms, the Government has few successes of which to pride themselves in the field of the economy. Rather, it has recognized difficulties in public investment, employment generation and operation of State-owned enterprises. Nor has it been efficient to address and resolve the proliferation of common crime or the climate of insecurity affecting the country.
It is not the first time the demands of different sectors of society do coincide with government commitments to reform State institutions, generate investment and employment, select and train qualified and honest human resources as well as bring about attitudinal changes in society and in public administration officials to achieve the longed as elusive social peace and the well-being of all Bolivians. Under the aegis of the policy called “fight against corruption”, the Government has tried to, with little success combating drug trafficking, crime, inefficiency and venality in the State, as well as the alleged economic injury caused by former authorities on to the State’s patrimony. The purposes of such laudable social policy is distorted and the results were so meagre and controversial as the achievements in the economy. Bolivian producers received few State stimuli and especially more charges to the production. On the other hand, proliferated smuggling, informal trade and the economy stimulated by the drug trade.
On the pretext of combating corruption, there were committed excesses which violated human and political rights of Bolivians who did not have nor have the opportunity of having a trial fair nor a proper defence. The Bolivian justice officials have made during this Sexennium, extraordinary efforts to discredit, prosecute or simply intimidate the Catholic Church, civic leaders, communicators and media, former ministers, former prefects and professionals which exercised public functions with the argument of determining responsibilities and punishing those persons who had committed acts of corruption.
Adding up, the alleged fight against corruption has led to hundreds of Bolivians in exile, elected authorities thrown out of office, in jail or house arrest. The illusory State fortress and the institutions of justice were placed at the service of the persecution of opponents to the alleged regime and the aforementioned process of change.
Government announcements always generate expectations and citizens tend to trust them, but also conduct evaluations of all the offers made and realize that the Government has not succeeded until now to overcome their own limitations and comply with all that has been promised to make in favour of the citizens.
On his part, Gonzalo Chavez writes for Pagina Siete:
The return of the tyrannosaurus rex [for full Spanish article, please use the link below]
The Government has decided to spend 1.2 billion dollars of international reserves of the Central Bank of Bolivia. At first I was enthused with the idea that these resources will be a genuine boost to the productive national, private and public apparatus. Even in a previous article in the same newspaper, I took the liberty to suggest some ideas of how to manage these funds and what activities to promote.
But the reading of the project that creates the Fund for productive Industrial Revolution (FINPRO) submitted by the Executive Branch to the plurinational Assembly ended my naive hope that we could do something really new and creative in financial engineering to foster a productive revolution.
Unfortunately, the Government – faithful to its tendency to ideological necrophilia – has once again a proposal for management of these resources infused to the core of an old statism. For just a sample button. Transcribe article 2 of that project: “Believe the Fund for productive Industrial Revolution, with the aim of financing the stages of pre-investment and investment of the central level of the State economic enterprises that generate surpluses.
The economic enterprises referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be carried out by public entities, public companies, companies with majority shareholding of the State and/or joint at the central level of the State enterprises and the autonomous territorial entities. “The economic enterprises to finance the FINPRO will be aimed at the transformation of the productive matrix and necessarily incorporated the stage of industrialization of raw materials, as well as food security and food sovereignty policy framework.”
Before commenting on the article in question, I must say… I am convinced that, during this economic times, the State has a central role in the economy and the implementation of industrial, coordinating and cooperating with the private sector policies and occasionally taking charge of the productive action.
But article 2 of the draft law shows that the pendulum of history has no intermediate steps. After the harsh neoliberalism of the early 1990s, the pendulum returns to the other end under the tutelage of the neo-revolutionaries, is the total return of State Tyrannosaurus Rex. According to the draft law FINPRO, the $ 1.2 billion will be spent only by entities or public enterprise or venture where the State has the majority and control.
Under this wording, all the stuff of the plural economy becomes the legal change poetry. Private, cooperative or community economies won’t see this mountain of funding. [the 1.2 billion dollars]