Politics 101: Can Bolivia afford and continue to EVOlve around this egocentric state??!!

This article exposes the type of governement we have been enduring over the last seven years and prior years filled with road blockades, coca expansion and blooming anarchy…

Raquel Otalora writes for El Deber:

Million dollars to cover the orders of President Evo Morales

2012-12-23 07.52.20 amExpensive tastes, which the President has. From an exclusive aircraft equipped with 103 safety devices, to a Museum of three buildings that will be built in the village where he was born. Necessity or vanity?

The Bolivian State has made millionaire spending to meet personal requirements of President Evo Morales. Those who criticize him see that there is excess and attribute it to the vanity of the president; those who follow him ensure that the highest authority of Bolivia has only covered indispensable needs of his position.

A new Palace of Government, an exclusive designed aircraft, a Museum in his birthplace are just some of the demands of the President giving Government and opponents something to talk [argue] about.

The presidential plane cost about $38.7 million dollars; then they were two helicopters to travel to the interior of the country by the head of State, each with an approximate cost of $5.5 million. Currently builds a presidential air terminal which cost approximately Bs10.5 million [exchange rate about Bs6.96 per one dollar]. Also underway is the construction of the large House of the People, who will be the new Palace of Government, because the current one is too small for Evo Morales and his Government. Still do not know what will be the cost of the work, though initially has been paid $500,000 for the purchase of the land adjacent to the building that today occupies. He has also approved the construction of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution Museum, located in Orinoca, the hometown of Morales, where Bs47 million will be invested.

Although most of these goods remain a legacy for future rulers, the discussion focused on the question if those expenses are necessary.

“That clearly are a necessity,” assures the head of the MAS at the Lower Chamber [deputies], Roberto Rojas. He believes that “the President is the first President who has won with more than 60 percent of votes and is entitled, for his safety, physical integrity” to acquire transport and spaces that guarantee his life. On the contrary, the opposition congresswoman Norma Pierola (CN) points out that the President “loves power and spends money he doesn’t have”.

The expenses of the Government in the President prompts more statements, Deputy Galo Bonifaz (MAS) justifies that “we cannot deny that the architect of this process of change is President Evo, is the architect, mentor, is the leader and all what is being done is in coordination with him”. He adds that those millionaire purchases “are a working tool”.

According to the Congresswoman Marcela Revollo (MSM) “All of the megalomania of the President and his Government that unfolds from his second term. The two-thirds [of votes he has in congress] have the ‘masistas’ [members of the MAS] and the President gone mad and have removed from the reality principle.”

One of the expenses that attract most attention is what will be at the Museum of Orinoca in the same place where Evo Morales was born.

That investment is questioned by the official Deputy Javier Zabaleta who considers that “in all actions taken by (President) there has been right and justified actions, but there have also been measures which are not neither justifiable nor well thought out, such as the Museum, there are things that money can be better invested”.

The Minister of culture, Pablo Groux, ensures that the construction of this museum aims to “install a cultural and tourist infrastructure in the context of the main attraction of the country, which is the Salar de Uyuni [salt plains located in another department…]”. He says that the Museum “will address the events of indigenous people, since before the conquest, passing the colony, the Republic to the present day.”

The Museum joins the construction of a stadium for 5,000 spectators in a village with less than 200 inhabitants, who also became a road on the circuit of lake Poopó.

El Deber consulted with the Minister of communication, Amanda Dávila, on this count, but she said that next week it would respond to the topic because she was busy with the acts of the Solstice on December 21st in the island of the Sun


Presidential aircraft. It was purchased in July 2010, is the former 900 Dassault Falcon of French fabrication which cost $38.7 million. The aircraft was designed for the soccer team Manchester United, which declined to buy it at the last minute. It was refurbished for Evo Morales with 103 safety devices.

Presidential helicopter. It is a twin-engined. The President uses it to travel within the country. According to some websites, the unit cost is $5.5 million. On Thursday came another one to Bolivia with the same characteristics. It will be for rescue efforts and for the relocation of executives or the President if it is so required.

Air Terminal. A hangar and presidential terminal are built in the Air Brigade of El Alto, with an investment of Bs10.5 million. It will have private rooms, press room and safety areas. Morales said that it is a necessity to receive Presidents and guests arriving from other countries on official missions.

Large village house. It will have a heliport and about 12 floors to accommodate three ministries. Yet is does not have a final cost of the work. A law has stated that the work is national priority. It will have Andean and Incan motifs. The current Palace will remain as a memory of the Republic past.

Museum of the Revolution. It will be built in the town of Orinoca, where Morales was born. For this project the Government allocated Bs47 million. They will be three buildings: one in the form of a head of a puma, another as an armadillo body and another in the form of a llama. One of the sites would welcome the gifts that the president received and receives.

Stadium and Coliseum in Orinoca. The stadium is called “Dionisio Morales”, the name of the father of the President. It has natural grass, bleachers for 5,000 people. The Coliseum is a modern sports field. There is a paved road. According to the 2001 Census of population and housing, Orinoca has 163 inhabitants.



At various times during the mandate of the President were presented objects and facts that do worship to his personality.

Computers with the face of the ruler. In October, the Government began to deliver laptops to teachers country wide. The peculiarity is that these were engraved with the face of the President and that caught the attention of the beneficiaries who should use them in the classroom to teach children.

A coin with the face of the President. August 5, 2010, the Central Bank of Bolivia presented a commemorative coin with the face of Evo Morales, in allusion to the principles of the new Constitution

They presented a paper on the knee of the first representative. The Cuban neurosurgeon Orestes López Piloto presented a book called Evo knee or the dignity of a people, which recounts the moment in which the President had a partial tear in the patella tendon and refused to follow the doctors recommendation to rest. [sorry, but I thought it referred to the knee blow the president gave to a soccer opponent, after the president “felt” was fouled, when the other person was down, after receiving such blow in his crotch, current president asked the referee to expel that person from the game…]

“There is no vision of State Government”


How the president acts might be called patrimonial behavior, which consists in not differentiating public goods from the private, the public sphere from the private and easily pass from one to the other.

It has the image of a patriarchal model of Government, where he is the father of the family and the Bolivians his children. He decides all about the assets as a head of the family does with their children, i.e. very freely. In this heritage behavior is missing the statesman’s vision, who understands that he must differentiate between public space and private, there should be an idea of State that is not in[side] the president.

In that there was no innovation, continues an old Bolivian tradition. This makes all his speeches say “I’ve ordered”, “I have asked”. The self is something that takes precedence over the institutional. They are characteristic features of a deeply rooted heritage power that is playing in the country.

He uses the State property as if they were his.

There is no control on the costs of power. Available resources are used as if they were their president’s personal funds.

It is clear that the country’s needs are covered, the problem is not that, but how he attends them. [I beg to differ, there are no real employment nor investment financing to fight poverty, nor reach sustainable development.]

It reinforces a patrimonial vision of power that does much damage to the State, because there is the origin of the misuse of resources for private benefit and as there is no control many of the expenses may be counterproductive. [of course!!]

That is an old legacy of the past that is reproduced in the present.


It is almost a ritual that all sports’ infrastructure that delivers Evo Morales is accompanied by a football [soccer] match. The President likes to play with the 1994 national team and that their matches are broadcast by television and recounted by specialized sporting professionals.

In October, the Minister of communication, Amanda Dávila, reported that 483 transmissions of acts of delivery of different infrastructure by the President, between January and October 2012, which spent more than Bs 23.4 million were incurred. The cost of each transmission was not detailed.

Famous players visited several places in Bolivia in soccer duels with the presidential team comprised by his security, i.e. “lieutenants, captains and sergeants” group. The matches were transmitted live by Bolivia TV and the story was in charge of the Cobo brothers, who run sports programs.

The Deputy Minister of sports, Miguel Angel Rimba, explained that when there is any delivery of sports fields “the President asks me if I can summon these companions (member of the selection of 94), they are predisposed to the invitation and the President is very happy to share with us, have affection and respect for each one of the boys”.

According to Rimba, the former selection players accepted because “not everyone has the opportunity to share a football [soccer] match with the President”, therefore no payment is given to them. The only thing that they are paid are travel and hotel when they stay for more than one day. “The objective of the president is the unification of the country through football.

Then we have gone with the boys to Gundonovia, the Tipnis and various departments and municipalities where a [professional] soccer player never arrived, justified the former player.

For the payment of the rapporteurs of soccer, Rimba indicated that the State not defrays those costs, is the Bolivian national Brewery (CBN) thanks to an agreement with the Vice-Ministry. He told that on one occasion the CBN hired for the opening of a court to the “Cobo brothers” and “the President was very happy with the transmission of these brothers”, since then continued with the contract.

After reading all of the above, you make your own decision, whereas to continue to live in the oblivion or vote consciously in 2014.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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