Wilfredo Ramirez writes in El Diario:
From producer to importer of food
As it continues, without honest and responsible forecasting the multinational Government wasteful policy, without observing behavior of austerity in the management of the moneys of the Bolivian people (expenses and investments), national majorities will continue suffering from the scourge of hunger, misery and extreme poverty due to lack of sources of employment, better living conditions, insufficient agricultural production, etc. Bolivia in the recent past was producer of most of the foods the population consumed, for example produced more than 230 varieties of potatoes in all regions of the country, today potato is bought and consumed imported food and as irony of ‘change’ increased the cultivation of coca, the “cato” of coca [less than a hectare], to the extreme that now is planting coca even in lands where food was formerly grown for the family consumption.
In this regard, the magazine “Datos” when referring to coca production expresses: “coca further than its relevance in terms of medicinal and traditional use became an essential factor in the policy of the Government for two reasons: the first by the duality of functions that the President of the Republic exercises also [leadership over] six federations of coca growers of the tropics of Cochabamba and secondly as President [of Bolivia]”, because the drug has taken in recent years unusual growth, resulting from the increased production of coca; coca is used to make cocaine beyond of their respectable traditional uses and that is an irrefutable truth.”
The researcher Franklin Alcaraz says: “illegal coca is the industry that has grown in the Chapare, in the Yungas of La Paz and in traditional areas where coca cultivation has soared, 95% of the coca that occurs in the tropics of Cochabamba is derived to drug trafficking” (Datos, December 2013).
The Bolivian Institute for Foreign Trade (IBCE) based on data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) says: Bolivia is deficient in food production, spent millions of dollars on the importation of more than 300 products to cover the family shopping basket (flour, wheat, corn, potato, rice, cassava, evaporated milk, apple, tomato, lentil, onion, carrot, etc.), from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, USA, etc.
It is worth saying that Bolivia has become a potential importer of food and the most paradoxical of this sad reality is that the multinational Government has given the luxury of giving away thousands of tons of rice to Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti, when Bolivia is deficient in rice production and imports for domestic consumption.
Thanks to the national press information, we know that 3,585,617 people live in extreme poverty; 850,000 children from 5 to 17 years of age are working and forced to enter the labor market due to poverty and family crisis; 49% of the poor is of children and adolescents deprived of spiritual and material resources in order to survive (UDAPE-UNICEF). Then, how can we expect collective satisfaction when misery reigns, when physical and moral health of the family depends primarily on food?
To conclude, the Government with wisdom and intelligence should seize the transient economic boom of the country for the solution of structural problems that afflict the nation (health, education, housing, food crisis, etc.), stripped of the mania for investing billions of dollars in goods and services that are not essential for the nation.
Crystal clear description of what this ruling ochlocracy is doing with our beloved country!