August 09, 2005

The Garcia Linera Project

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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.


eduardo said...

I believe that Joaquino rejected Evo, and not the other way around. With the joining of Juan del Granado to the Frente Amplio, there still a part of the "left" that would not be with this leftish mega. I read that Abel Mamani has endorsed Joaquino..hmmm.

Fredrik Lindqvist said...

Great information!

Will these social movments be allowed to participate in the elections.

But I am not sure about the left-wing trend in Latin America. For example in Ecuador the people kicked out the left-wing Guiterez. In Colombia a right-winger rules, in Chile right-winger Lavin almost won the last presidential elections. Kirchners victory in Argentina was not mouch of a victory. Lula in Brazil has become more and more moderate and is ruling by an alliance with the centre-right. I would say that Latin America is in a "europeization-phase" where unpopular governments of borth left and right is loosing the elections.

Miguel A. Buitrago said...

Yes, there are many differences between the groups.

Any social movement with a certificate of recognition by the CNE will be able to participate in the elections.

As for the movement of Latin America towards the left, it is definitely widely accepted. You just have to look at the current governments in place. The latest event that really prompted this discussion and made it generally accepted was Tabare Vazquez's coming to power. Thereafter, you just have to name the leaders, Vazquez, Lula, Kirchner, Lagos (yes Lagos), Chavez (leading the pack), Mesa (a bit late but he was there). A solitary figure in the rith of the Lat Am landscape, as far as I've read, is Uribe.

I think the trend in Europe right now is towards the right. Judging by what has happened in the Benelux region and what might happen in Germany this September.

Javier said...

Surely most of the bloggers here know of what happen in Europe in the 80's. Most of the goverments were leftist goverments, could it be that it's happening the same in Latin America right now? This decade, the 80's, was one of the most important and fruitful times on the last 50 years and was a big leap forward to Europe, specially to "undevelopment" countries like Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece.

The situation right now on Europe is very fragmented, while the left has make some serious victories, Spain, Portugal and the probable victories in France and Italy. It has taken some serious loses like Greece and the more than likely lose in Germany. And the lose in Germany is going to hurt in all the left in Europe, altough they deserve it.

On the other hand, I don't think that the bolivian left can be united in a mega coalition. They have very differents projects; MAS project is totally different from the MIP or MSM project and bolivian left wing politics don't have a tradition of negotiation and finding points in common, but if they have some common sense they will know that is now or never.

Fredrik Lindqvist said...

Ok, I am not sure the left will win in Italy and they will NOT win the presidency in France. In Germany the left is on the rise. The left of SPD has never been so mighty.However in Eastern Europe the rise is rising rapidly. Poland, Hungary och Czech republic will soon be ruled by the centre.right.

In the 80s there were a right-wing wave througout Europe. There were conservative and christian-democratic primeministers in many countries: Thatcher in the UK, Kohl in Germany, Luubers in the Netherlands, Martens in Belgium, Schlüter in Denmark, Hokeri in Finland, Syse in Norway, Haughey in Ireland, Andreotti in Italy and Cavaco Silva in Portugal.

Miguel said...

Ok, here begins our European politics discussion. First I agree with Fredrik that the 80s was seen as the rise of the left in Europe. Again if we look at the government we find a fair amount of right governments in place.

I am also not sure that the left has an easy road in Italy. Typically, Italian politics are rather conservative overall, but one has to consider the weight of the north. France is in the firm grip of the left. We've seen it lately with the elevation of Villepin to the presidency. Over here in Germany, the left is not apparently on the rise. There is an uncertain factor. That factor is called former East Germany. It is not clear how these people will vote. Whether they will be convinced by a Merkel candidacy (of East German origins) or will they vote for the new leftist party headed by Lafontaine. East Germans are notoriously undecided in these after-unification political times.

Unfortunately, none of it matters for the next December 4th Bolivian elections.

For these elections what matters is that if the left unites behind an Evo/Garcia ticket, it has a very good chance to win. As noted though, the left is divided as it can be. Also, if the right gets its act together, they also stand a chance to win. However, the right is in total disarray and discredited as it has never been.

I woul tend to say this much. It will be an interesting four months. :-)

Javier said...

Check the interactive gif in this webpage, it's explains for itself...

Miguel said...

Yes, but that shows only a world prior to 1990. Since 1990, Europe has changed a lot. We can even speak about a world influenced by the Cold War before 1990. Post 1990, there are different dynamics. We can even make a case of a post 9/11 world in Europe.

But, that is a one hell of a site you found there. Very informative.

Fredrik Lindqvist said...

That map shows that Italy and Portugal were governed by the left in the 80s. However Italy was governed by the christiandemocrats (DC) and ohters (lai-parties) such as PSDI, PRI and PLI. But also the PSI, however DC was three times larger than PSI. In Portugal the Allenza Democratica off the conservative CDS and liberal PSD governed to 1983. The socialists PS from 1983-1985 and the liberal and later chritstiandemocratic PSD ruled frpm 1985-1995. And in Finland there were broad coaltions. First the socialdemocrats and the agrarians and then the conservatives and the socialdemocrats.

Miguel said...

Well then, which site do we believe? :-)

Javier said...

Let's try to make things clear...

The graph show a change of goverment in Italy in 1983, a left coalition to be more precise. Bettino Craxy became the first socialist primer minister in Italy, making a coalition with the DC and some minoritary groups until 1989, in that date, the graphic shows a change in goverment.

The information on Portugal is correct also, since the PS, as you say, governed from 83 to 85.

On Finland, the same thing.

I believe both sites are ok, one just complement the other. And yes, that site is great, too bad it hasn't been update in long time.

Fredrik said...

What about the Bolivian Socialist Falange?