December 09, 2004

Between Soccer and Bolivia

MABB is a registered TM.

Yesterday, December 8, 2004, there were two very important events going on. The first one, was the creation of the South American Community during the summit of Latin American Presidents in Cusco, Peru. Bolivia, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Surinam, Uruguay y Venezuela, signed the new document. México y Panamá will be observers.

The second important event for Bolivians was the soccer game between Bolivar (Bolivia) and Boca Juniors (Argentina)for the South American Cup. Boliviar won 1:0. Now, Boliviar has the chance (a chance like this is not often in Bolivian soccer) to become South American champion, if it wins the second-leg game to be played at the famous "La Bombonera" stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

But, my post has nothing to do with these two events, rather it has to do with what is important to Bolivian politicians: Bolivian affairs or Soccer.

According to a report from El Diario, on the day of the soccer game, the Bolivian Congress declared a recess so legislators could attend the game. Now, I am trying to understand this. On the one side, yes, this is a once in a blue moon opportunity for Bolivian soccer. I am sure the game was one of the most important games in recent history. Bolivia does not get very often to finals and much less comes out wining.

On the other side, there are so many pieces of legislation pending in congress, one of which is the Hydrocarbons Law. This is a piece of legislation which is being anxiously waited by just about everybody. Every day that passes without this law being signed represents millions of dollars lost for Bolivia.

Among other issues to be considered is the Constituent Assembly; the appointment of officials to the Department of Justice, whose nominations are pending for more than a decade (not kidding, look here)(see my post on this issue). And finally, time is just running out. The end of year recess starts 17th December.

Is there really time for legislators to postpone Bolivian affairs to watch, perhaps, one of the most important soccer games in recent times?

Of course, one could argue, there are other things to consider, like continue negotiations among parties. And, negotiations are very well conducted in back offices of the Parliament as in the suites at the stadium, while watching the game.

But, what does that say about priorities of parliamentarians. Is their motto: "There is nothing that cannot wait"?