May 03, 2005

The New Bolivian Literary Genre

MABB © ®

The folks at Znet have a section on their web page dedicated to watch the ongoing Bolivian crisis.

Znet is a website advocating radical politics and closely collaborating with well known maverick activist Noam Chomsky.

In their section Bolivian watch, they publish articles in English of Bolivian activists and intellectuals who share Znet's political view.

Here, I would like to share one article with you. I would hope you read it and if you like, criticize it, tear it apart, praise it, poke holes on it, print it out and frame it, print it out and burn it, etc. Do as you please, but be sure to leave a comment to share what you think about it.

Better yet, one question that I have, is: is this a good way to try to change the minds of Americans? (at least, that is what I think he is trying to do)

Bolivia for Americans
A morality play to explain the Bolivian conflict
by Saul J. Escalera
November 19, 2003

John Doe is a young and determined Texan who has established himself in the Panhandle region of his state. His dream to have land for agriculture has been fulfilled and he and his family (wife and two children) are owners of 500 acres of good arable land, but there is not enough water because the region has no rivers with permanent flow of water. State geologists tell him that there exist large underground aquifers in the region that only need some work to dig wells, develop them and thus to solve his problem. With a great deal of sacrifice and sweat John manages to dig a deep well that allows him to extract enough water of excellent quality for domestic use and irrigation, with a good yield to even think of supplying the excess water to his neighbors.

John’ efforts are crowned with success, because the water in the well has been certified to be in such great volume that he can now think about doing intensive agriculture, horse and cattle breeding, forestry and explore other types of production, as sustainable source for work and a better quality of life for him and its family. Perhaps, thinks John, further down the road he will need to hire people from the county to produce more and better added-value products for the state markets and, with a little more effort, for export to other countries.

One day an individual shows up and claims to be an official of the State Government and communicates to John that Mr. Smith, Governor of the State of Texas, has signed a contract with “Pools & Fountains” Company of California, by which all the water resources of the region are now the property of the company and all owners of water wells will have to turn the management of the wells onto the company. The Company’s plan is to build a pipeline to export water to California to satisfy the huge demand of the rich condominiums that need it for their pools and feed it to the fountains of the parks in Hollywood. The price will be 70 cents dollar per thousand cubic feet (TCF) of water at the mouth of the well, and the Company “Pools & Fountains” will sell it at 5 dollars per TCF in California, thus making huge profits and getting richer. The state government will receive 18% of the annual profits the Company will declare, and a good quantity of dollars will benefit under the table the government bureaucrat. In compensation, John and his neighbors will receive a mere 11% as royalties dues for the exploitation of their water resources.

John and their neighbors are enraged, since their water wells cost them a lot of work to develop. They call for an urgent meeting of the people, including the representatives of other counties, and, following a good Texan tradition, attend the meeting with their guns at their belts. The meeting has several days of heated discussions, where a cowboy says: “the business to export water is not simply a commercial transaction between the State Government and the Californian Company, it is a business with political, social, and economic ramifications for the region, because we need water to prosper, it is matter of life or death for us”. A valiant woman rancher showing her guns shouts: “to ignore the long-term social and economic advantages that the regional exploitation of our water will give us in the long term, is to betray Texas and to steal a better future from our children and grandchildren, we should think about them foremost!.

Finally, the Texans come to an agreement and decide against the export of their water resources and ask the Governor to terminate the contract signed with the Company “Pools & Fountains” because it affects their interests and well being, but the Government does not yield.

Then, the Texans initiate a process of impeachment of the Governor, because the Texan Constitution gives them the right to do so, and such is the pressure of the Texans (showing their guns in their belts) that they finally achieve their purpose and the Governor resigns. A new Governor, Mr. Tex Terminator swears in, with the pledge: “to terminate the contract with the Californian Company and clean the house of politicians that accept bribery”, and everything returns to its normality and John can now take up again his plans to become a successful farmer and rancher who will have enough work for other Texans and prosper the region further.


NOTE: The described fiction story truly depicts the actual situation Bolivians face in regards to their natural gas resources wanted by multinational companies from the US and Europe.

NOTE. Any similarity between Texas water and Bolivian natural gas in this story is sheer coincidence.

I tried looking up info on Mr. Escalera and I found this site, which shows part of his curriculum. However, my search on the UMSS website, where he is supposed to work has tuned up only this record. This shows he is an academic director in the faculty of Law and Political Science. Here is one more link for information.