Humberto Vacaflor writes a pretty good comparison of two Bolivian political parties and their ‘contribution’ to Bolivian economy…
In between UDP and MAS
In 1982, the Government of President Hernán Siles Zuazo gave to the unionized miners of Comibol, the management of the company in an unprecedented exercise of workers self-management that occurred at an inopportune moment.
At that time, thirty years ago, metals prices were very low. I said then that the State was losing less money when the miners were on strike than when they worked, because the cost of production was higher than the price of Tin.
The last administration of Comibol closing companies and relocation, who came from the hand of the MNR and Víctor Paz Estenssoro, was previously in the hands of the leaders of the Federation of miners at the head of José Pimentel.
In this case it was not mismanagement of the self-governing which led to the closure of mines and to the massive dismissal of workers, but the laws of the market.
During those years it was incubating the very serious crisis of debt around the world.
Three decades later, another Government, which self-regards as revolutionary, although it seems that it was only for clothing fashion of the rulers and their marriage rituals, that are driving the resurrected Comibol with different criteria. It is also José Pimentel.
The jewel of the Corporation, the Huanuni company, has been subject to an experiment of bad management which, with international prices exceeding six times to those of the time of the UDP, is trembling. As mismanagement, it is a great achievement.
Add to the size of the company, which had 700 workers, another 4,000, that was not a wise decision. Indeed, the decision responded to the urgent need that had the Government for demagogue, to make it apologize of its ineptitude. It [the gov] wanted to look good with the cooperative affiliates and hired all those who were there, the survivors of a battle that left 18 dead.
Now, in view of the results obtained in Huanuni, which not only collapsed due to high prices, the Government wants to play the demagoguery on Colquiri also. The bad thing is that this time they do not accept the formula, neither the unionized nor the cooperativists.
When you’re magician and you run out of tricks, you’d have to think about retiring.