Susana Seleme writes in El Deber:
Are we a rich country?
Who was the one who said to the head of the regime that we are no longer a poor country and that, therefore, the non governmental organizations (NGOs) have no place in Bolivia? Whoever he was, deserves a resounding reprieve because economic growth of 6.5% is not equivalent to having banished neither extreme poverty nor vulnerable poverty.
The difference between them is that extreme poverty has a daily income of $1 to $4 dollars and the vulnerable poverty goes from $4 to $10, according to economic mobility and the growth of the middle class in Latin America, prepared by the World Bank. The bonuses of the regime of Evo Morales, such as the dignity, an improved version of the neoliberal Sanchez de Lozada’s Bonosol; Juancito Pinto for schoolchildren from primary – when more than one-third is not going to the school – and Juana Azurduy for pregnant women, they are responsible for the social mobility of one poverty to the other, but not its elimination.
The poor receive those bonuses as distribution of wealth accumulated by the increase in prices of commodities such as gas and minerals, thanks to an extractive exporting primary economy, including the cultivation of coca for cocaine production. On an economic basis so volatile, does it make any sense to speculate that Bolivia can become the second country with greater growth in South and Central America in 2014? None, a growth of 6.5%, thanks to a boom in prices that may be transitory in the short-term, is not sustainable without creating added value, without investment in productive enterprises with legal certainty, to generate stable productive employment, well-paid and full social coverage, to stop being informal. In the 70s and 80s, NGOs played in the fight against the military dictatorships to reconquer democracy. We must have Morales remember that thanks to many of them, he is today President. They supported when he was a coca grower leader; he was promoted when he ran for Congress; they sheltered him when he opposed the reduction of surplus coca, always illegal; they opted for his candidacy for the Presidency and financed the mobilizations for the constituent Assembly in his image and likeness. But know that this “is not a Government of workers and the poor”, according to true anti-imperialist James Petras, and not an indigenous Government, which and how many of them [NGOs] mourn about the widespread corruption and not say ‘this mouth is mine’ [they don’t even speak about] repeated violations to human rights? Although we are not a rich country by far, will it fit here the adage “raise crows and they will poke your eyes out…”?