What I learned from living inside the Bolivian revolution.

A great, superb lecture, that captures Bolivian society, shows Bolivian character:

As an American, I found myself in a unique position these past 24 days: Within the heart of Bolivia´s revolution for democracy.

I´ve lived in the historic capitol of Sucre with my (now) husband for almost 2 years and I consider it a privilage to have witnessed a new chapter of this country´s history unfold. It´s been a teachable moment and a glimpse into the twisted lens through which we view other nations.

So let me tell you what I learned from watching a country fight to reclaim their government from a president whose administration was caught committing election fraud.

I learned that politicians and mainstream media in other countries will always twist the truth in an attempt to push their own agendas.

I´ve seen how past prejudices and old grudges between different regions and ethnic groups have been put aside in favor of working together to create a future that all Bolivians can be proud of.

I learned that when it comes to the subject of their freedom, no one fights harder and is willing to sacrifice more than these humble, determined people.

Without a single gun among them, I´ve watched Bolivians arm themselves with homemade weapons and shields made of sheet metal to defend their homes from vicious armed attacks by Masista gang members who support the president.

I´ve seen miners from Potosi running along side caravans of busses bound for La Paz (where the revolution has been most intense), in an attempt to shield themselves from hired snipers in the surrounding hills, who have murdered more than a few people, in an attempt to stop the revolutionary tide flooding into La Paz.

Yet they persisted in spite of the danger.

I learned that Bolivians are never more generous than during times of war. Sharing resources, information and helping each other in any way possible.

Each and every time a peaceful protester was killed, the entire country wept for them as though it were a member of their own family.

I´ve witnessed entire communities stand together, blockading trade routes and the cities even in the rain and cold nights of the Altiplano.

I learned that there´s never a bad time to share funny stories, laugh or sing as bands of people huddle around fires in the streets.

I´ve seen how people outside the country make judgements about Bolivians while resting comfortably in their own nations, which were built upon war and the bloody over turning of their own governments.

I´ve learned that everyone denounces revolution, but has no problem enjoying the benefits of it in their daily lives.

I learned there´s nothing more beautiful than the tearful smile of an old woman waving her country´s flag as she learns their de facto president has resigned.

I´ve discovered the most beautiful sound is that of a million voices singing and celebrating a hard won victory.

I learned that Intenet trolls try to turn everything into a conspiracy.

I learned that politicians incite racism and fear to control people.

I learned to cling to hope, even in the darkness.

I learned patience I never knew I had.

I learned that love will always be stronger than hate.

And what I’m doing now is inviting you to learn something from Bolivia’s revolution. These notions of freedom we hold so dear are not just social media memes and bumper sticker slogans.

They are ways of life.

Freedom from government corruption is a sacrifice that no one is going to make for you.

As Gandhi once said, you have to “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

And Bolivians have definitely done that.


Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

2 thoughts on “What I learned from living inside the Bolivian revolution.

  1. I understand that there are two sides to every story and that one person’s perspective is heavily influences by the people they interact with, their own experiences and the social media echo chambers that they are involved in, but sorry I’ve got to provide an alternative perspective:

    Also as a foreigner, I am wary of jumping in with my own opinions and commentating on a situation I don’t fully understand and find very difficult to pick out the truth in. But when some of my friends have been arrested for filming protests, are terrified to criticise for fear of being prosecuted for treason/terrorism, have called me in tears because their family and friends have disappeared I see it in a very different light.

    In 2005 I was working with children who lived on the street due to the burden on poverty on their families and lives. I was not allowed into a bar in Santa Cruz because I was with a dark skinned friend. Bolivia was the poorest country in the region and that poverty was shattering lives. In subsequent trips to Bolivia (2007, 2010,2018) I learnt that there were no longer any children in the street that my project once worked with. I witnessed the positive impact 5% annual economic growth, the huge reductions in extreme poverty and prosperity for Bolivia’s Aymara communities was having. This is undeniable.

    Yes, Evo should not have tried to run for a 4th term. Yet, the social media vitriol some of my facebook friends are flinging against each other is heart-breaking: portraying “masistas” as “the enemy” when they are 46-48% of the voters in the last election (i.e “compatriots”). I’ve seen this very phenomenon on the doorsteps in communities during the UK general election: treating family and friends as enemies when the real forces that control our lives escape scrutiny.

    And to all those supporting this coup (of sorts) in the name of democracy…. is this situation really what you want? Añez should simply be paving the way to new elections. Her and her far right supporters have no democratic mandate to deconstruct and reverse the progress achieved since 2005, and to obliterate any political opposition. They too have murdered protestors, and have obliterated the civil service and are fomenting the racism and hatred that has long existed.

    1. First of all, I have to thank you for the aid you provided to our children, people like you, doers, are what poor countries like me do welcome with open arms.

      With regard to the autocrat who seized and controlled ALL State powers, I have to say, please read more about the reality in Bolivia, this egomaniac not only raped teenage girls but denigrated women every time he could with his obscene sense oh humor. Please take a look at the innumerable cases of wrongdoings, and corruption he caused: https://bolivianthoughts.com/sociopolitical/

      Over 700 Bolivians fled the country due to his political persecution. During his government, almost 100 people died violently as a result of turmoil generated due to his intolerance. He made all Bolivians fought against each other, rural vs urban; poor vs rich; west vs east; Aymara vs the rest … back in 2016, at a Referendum that he called, we voted NO more him, and he laughed at that, this October he was loosing the election and made electoral fraud, the worst in our history … and he fled like a truly coward he is.

      He inherited the loan forgiveness that the overall donor community started processing on mid 90’s, the international prices of all our exports were the highest ever in history, he did not bring any sustainable investment nor did he create productive and competitive jobs, he made informal economy blossom as well as narcotrafficking: https://bolivianthoughts.com/economics/

      In sum, he was the worst that happened to us, he is nothing more than a delusional egocentric racist.

      If you see some sense of bonanza in the streets, it comes from money laundering: cocaine trading and revenues from the smuggling of goods, nothing more.

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