May 04, 2005

May 9, Paro Indefinido Begins

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As expected, once the religious holidays and first of May is over, the social forces are starting to gather again. This time they want nothing less than the nationalization of the natural resources (mainly natural gas). This time, the CSUTCB (an umbrella organization workers union), which comprises hundreds of smaller organizations, has called for a national strike until their demands are satisfied.

Their demands are to charge 50% royalties for natural gas exploitation and production and the immediate approval of the law convening the Constituent Assembly planned for the end of this year.

In addition to the national strike for an undefined time, the activists plan to (what else) block roads and to close Parliament.

The pattern is already known. It starts with a national strike, it follows with road blockades, the government tries to "communicate", Congress stands and watches how the president manages, until pressure builds and then comes the radicalization of the conflict.

Will Mesa stay for the next elections?