Juan Jose Toro Montoya writes for Los Tiempos:
The Inca culture is part of our nationality, and thus we need to take it. The great detail is that the same goes for Spanish culture. Bolivia is the result of a fusion of cultures, and to understand that truth, it is necessary to de-colonize our minds first.
If we take the dictionary and start from the premise that decolonization is “Suppression of the condition of a colonial territory”, it would appear that there isn’t much to do in our continent, with the exception of certain territories under the jurisdiction of other countries, since the majority of the American Nations are free and independent and are governed by the principles of the self-determination of their Peoples.
However, the decolonization not simply refers to the physical presence of foreign Governments or the direct influence exerted on societies.
Javier Andrés González Vega, Professor of public international law and international relations of the University of Oviedo, points out that “in a broad sense, the concept of decolonization refers to access to independence of Peoples and territories subjected to political, social and economic domination by foreign powers”.
This concept allows you to extend the analysis of decolonization to major areas and to formulate a required question: is Bolivia already de-colonized?
The Government of Evo Morales was quick to create a Vice-Ministry of decolonization, which, according to its blog, “seeks to generate discussion, theoretical, practical, academic and political spaces to overcome Western educational supremacy”. From there, it is easy to understand that the current administration only considered as colonization the Spanish domination, since it came from the West, and concentrates its efforts on this. The problem is that in doing so, it confuses elementary historical process of decolonization with a little concealed resentment against Spanish colonization so their actions more seem to be guided by hatred than the intention to speed up the process.
Spain no longer has any domain in the territory that today is Bolivia. After the split, which dates from 1825, withdrew its administrative institutions and devoted itself to its own problems, including their own decolonization.
What was left is a genetic and cultural heritage which is not possible nor coherent to break away. Spain has left us with a number of cultural traits that are reflected not only in us but also in our cities and our language. There are, for example, the temples and civil constructions that are part of our tourist offer.
But the Government understands that still lacks to clear more remains and acts accordingly. In doing so, forgets two important details: first, that, like it or not, Spain has become part of our nationalities by the indelible and clear process of miscegenation and, second, that our territory suffered other settlers processes.
The Government takes as a model of society, the Inca Empire which, according to several historians, confirm it was class-conscious and despotic. Taking as reference only a face of history, ignores the fact that the Incas were also conquerors. The west region of what today is Bolivia, for example, was inhabited by Peoples such as the kollas, charkas, chuis, lipez, karankas, omasuyus and others who, in turn, were subdued militarily by the Incas, who imposed on them not only their language, quechua, but also its culture and crippling taxes. As they came from a region different from ours, with the center in Cusco, they were a foreign power that invaded and conquered us. Do we, then, renege on that culture?
The Inca culture is part of our nationality, and thus we need to take it. Great detail is that the same goes for Spanish culture. Bolivia is the result of a fusion of cultures – Chaco, Andean, Amazonian and Spanish – and to understand this truth, it is necessary to decolonize our minds first.
The author is a national award in journalism history
Great analysis which reflect a majority of mestizo population, western cultured and Christian, mostly Catholic; this is what we are and NO ephemeral government like the MAS will take it away! Regardless if, in paper they “erased” our Republic and gave us a new flag which has not even created in this continent, as their weaving tech prevented them to have a checkered design and only produced vertical, parallel interaction of colors and shapes…
In sum, what current coca grower union leader and his acolytes offer is just smoking mirrors, so they can perpetuate in power. They do not even care to improve themselves, to have more education, to learn skills and trades, they only mastered on strikes and blockades, so I say enough! Lets vote them out in 2014!