Humberto Vacaflor wonderfully describes current Bolivian economic and political reality, El Diario:
The government has had both signals this week: the Minister of Economy revealed that GDP growth in the first quarter was only 3.3%, the lowest in the last seven years. And then, in Urkupiña and La Clacso, or in the streets, the president and the vice president heard people’s booing, whistling and shouts of “out,” or “corrupt.”
Statistics say that this year’s growth could be less than 4%, far from the goal of 4.7%, which was preparing a celebration of the “second Christmas bonus”, which should be the launch of the election campaign for 2019.
If there is a lack of figures, this week it was known that construction iron consumption during the first half of the year fell by 53% compared to the same period last year. If that is the measure of the sector crisis that has been driving the average GDP growth rate, the situation is dramatic.
The whistles did not come only from Urkupiña’s public, but also, a little disguised, translated in press statements, from the private entrepreneurs, annoyed by the sudden increase in the price of industrial natural gas. They did not say so, but they suggested that a government with some criteria should not have to hurt the productive sector when there is a crisis of production. Elementary.
Gas prices for the industry did not rise as oil surged above $140 a barrel. However, now that the price has fallen to US $50 a barrel, a 50% increase is applied. The justification that industries have very high profits suggests that the strengthening of the industrial sector, which generates employment and pays taxes, is not a priority of Bolivian economic policy.
According to José Luis Parada, from the Governor of Santa Cruz, the government is applying policies that are contrary to the private sector. Yes, that the government is against private enterprise and calls into question, with specific measures, ownership of land for agricultural use.
Oil policy has been very bad, says Parada. In 2006, gas export income was US $8 billion and then, as a result of the high price, in 2014 it rose to US $24 billion, although now, due to the fall in prices, it has returned to US $8 billion. “There was no nationalization, only higher prices that have now passed,” said the expert.
So, if you [evo] boast that the increase in income was your work, now you have to admit that the fall in income is because of … you do not know what. Running away, you can not.
Bolivian Thoughts opinion: Thanks to courageous journalists like the author of the above article, Humberto Vacaflor, the world and most importantly those naive Bolivian voters, should finally realize what evo has done to our country!