August 09, 2005

The Garcia Linera Project

MABB © ®

If the left has a chance to get together and "do something" next December 4th, this could be the chance. Primary reports from La Razon state that there might be the possibility that a mega coalition among the social movements and indigenous movements could get together behind an Evo Morales/Alvaro Garcia Linera ticket.

The report says that various social movements, among them the FEJUVE-El Alto, COR-El Alto and indigenous movements like El Mallku's MIP, are thinking about forming a mega coalition to support in the next elections a ticket with Evo Morales as president and Alvaro Garcia Linera as vice-president. This idea, according to the report, was a suggestion (more like a demand) steming from Garcia Linera when he was asked by Evo if he would consider joining his candidacy.

It is worth mentioning that Garcia Linera is a self described academic and intelectual; a widely quoted analyst, expert in social movements and a former member of the EGTK (Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army). This las group, which came to life some time in 1988 following the steps of El Mallku's original terrorist group "Ayllus Rojos", was also a terrorist group. This is worth mentioning because it is most likely coming back to hunt candidate Garcia Linera in the elections.

However, as mentioned earlier, these are just preliminary reports. Evo's MAS, along with Garcia Linera, is also considering other light-skinned intelectuals such as Roberto Fernández, Juan Armando Antelo, Ana María Romero de Campero, José Alberto y "Gringo" Gonzáles. The MAS' strategy is to, at the same time, secure the indigenous vote and to appeal to the middle class. That is why they are looking for a, what they call, blancoide or k'ara (in Aymara) intelectual candidates.

Will this strategy win? Evo and his MAS seem to think so. MAS even rejected a potentially rewarding alliance with the newcomer candidate of Frente Amplio (Ample Front), Rene Joaquino. FA, which is an alliance itself between six city Mayors, picked popular Potosi Mayor, Joaquino to be its presidential candidate.

But, in the words of Garcia Linera, this would be very, very difficult. The fragmentation of the social movements can prove to be insurmountable. As an example, one day prior to the La Razon's article, the same newspaper reported that Felipe Quispe (MIP) harshly rejected Garcia Linera's demands. Divisions among the different organizations like FEJUVE, COR, COB, MIP, M17 are evident.

If this would happen, I think there wouldn't be a better time for the left. The current crisis of the traditional parties makes the right as weak as it's ever been in recent history. There is practically no candidate with enough credibility and support to win a solid government. Most of the candidates on the right are discredited with their association with despised policies and discredited parties, with the exception of course of newcomer, Rene Joaquino. But, then again, Rene Joaquino is virtually unknown outside his Potosi.

I am greatly interested in what will happen the next few weeks in Bolivia. If there is a unification of the left, it will only confirm that wave going through Latin America which is increasingly moving to the left.