Raul Penaranda writes in Pagina Siete:
Distance between what is said and done
Past Bolivian politicians were not a paragon of virtue, much less, and committed a series of contradictions between what they said and did. One offered a “moral revolution” and was involved in numerous scandals, another 500,000 jobs promised and fulfilled only 10% of it, another said it would increase the Bonosol, but, when in power, reduced it.
That is not, of course, a purely Bolivian situation, criticism of those in power are heard across the globe. Nor is it something only owned by politicians, all humans are, in one way or another, contradictory.
But the current government’s dissonance between what they preach and is done seems bigger. Maybe because their speech is louder and more insistent, and that distance looks like an abyss. Let’s see:
The government, which was presented as “humble” and “austere” is actually the opposite. First bought an airplane in $39 million dollars, then announced other aircraft purchases for high officials and finally continued with expensive Toyota armored cars. So the government “of the people” has features of higher opulence than any of its predecessors.
From the President on down seem to be enamored with the trappings of power. Where was the Evo who lived in a modest apartment in Miraflores and was traveling alone around the world?
The alleged defense of the State is an intrigue. Several examples can be put, but one is enough. The treatment that the government gives to the cooperative miners, representing a “more private” mining sector that can be found. Today, are temporarily apart, but the alliance between them and MAS transcends everything. the Government has increased tenfold the deposits delivered to the cooperatives, has granted concessions for life, has allowed them to stay with those mines obtained by violent take-overs, and so on. at the same time, has plunged the (small) state mining to almost marginal places.
The defense of Pachamama [mother nature] was forgotten. The President and Vice President have a developmental mindset, based on the idea that only the extraction of natural resources enables the development. For them and many others in their government (Chancellor David Choquehuanca is a healthy exception) the economy must be based on “drill, drill, drill” (as the Republicans like to yell at Barack Obama in his manifestations, “drill, drill, drill”) and that obviously has nature as its first victim.
The defense of indigeneity and social movements is not genuine. The government has co-opted, divided, pressed and harassed all sectors that have opposed to it. Not to mention Conamaq opposition, whose leaders were slashed [chicoteados]; of the TIPNIS, who have been persecuted, and all those who do not agree with the MAS. The President’s saying should not be “masismo or fascism” but “masismo or I will hit you.”
Rampant xenophobia. All senior members of the Executive fill their mouths with the supposed “Latinamericanism” , which is just over a hollow, empty phrase. This is the worst government that has relations with the neighborhood. With the exception of Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, with all the rest of the “Latin Americanist” scheme, has difficulties: with Peru and Colombia things are distant, with Paraguay relations go wrong, with Brazil not even mention it, with Uruguay there is almost no contact (to say nothing of Chile, with which have a historical distance).
And within that “Latin Americanism” xenophobia should not go, but how he does it! When there was a problem with coca growers in Apolo, recently, the President said that they were “Peruvian”, which was later proven false!; when it comes to finding responsible ones on drug trafficking, ministers speak “Brazilian” or “Colombians”; to fend off criticism of the ineffectiveness by insecurity, officials complain about “Peruvian.” When a reporter makes a critical book, as in my case, a passport is used like wielding as criminal evidence.
Raul Penaranda is a journalist.
In the current Government, this dissonance between what they preach and do, seems bigger. Maybe because their speech is more strident.