October 10, 2006

Bolivia Celebrates 24 Years of Democracy on the Back of Rumors of a Coup d'Etat

MABB © ®
Almost every newspaper in Bolivia has at least one article, opinion or editorial celebrating the 24 years that Bolivia has enjoyed the privileges, rights and responsibilities of living in democracy. Not an easy feat in a country like Bolivia. On October 10th in 1982, Hernan Siles Suazo was sworn into office two years after being deposed by a coup d'etat perpetrated by Genral Garcia Meza. The nice picture you are looking at on the left (although in no apparent order) is how the online newspaper from Santa Cruz, El Mundo, celebrates this day. This graph comes together with an article (es) which takes us back in history to remember some important events and some important people. At the bottom of the article there is a chronological listing of important facts.

Other newspapers with articles about this important date are Los Tiempos (es), La Razon (es), El Diario (es), El Deber, which says that Democracy matures slowly (es), and Correo del Sur (Sucre) (es). La Razon, in his editorial, gives Bolivians a stern reminder of the tumultous road to democracy, and compells all Bolivians not to forget this and to work for a better and more democratic Bolivia. From the side of the government, the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI) (es), highlights the current government's leadership in bringing the "neoliberal system" down, put in place by earlier governments, and its efforts to bring about change.

However, and in an ironic note, this celebration comes on the back of rumors that on Wednesday, October 11 (tomorrow), there will be a coup d'etat in Bolivia. This rumor was started by (according to my research) German Sociologist and professor in the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana de Mexico City, Heinz Dieterich (here is all the info I found in the university's website). Aside from teaching in Mexico, he is a contributor of online publications, rebelion and axis of logic. He is also advisor to Hugo Chavez. On October 7, he wrote this article and published it in rebelion.com. The article was picked up and published in El Mundo, along with what seems to be a photo of Dieterich. It was then picked up by none other than the International Herald Tribune which quoted the article in an article of its own. So, I would probably not have made much from it, but I heard at least one prominent MAS Senator, Gaston Cornejo, mention a message sent by Dieterich himself, warning of the coup and citing various sources, which were just re-prints of his own article. Cornejo sounded alarmed and here is the message he sent to all the members of a list-serv.

GASTÓN CORNEJO BASCOPÉ
Cochabamba, octubre de 2006

GOLPE MILITAR AL GOBIERNO (?).
El día de hoy lunes, recibimos un mensaje urgente del amigo
sociólogo, escritor y político alemán de renombre mundial Heins
Dieterich fechado el 7 de octubre sobre un posible golpe de Estado
el día miércoles, pasado mañana.
Si se tratara de otro autor, nos reiríamos pero se trata de Heins
Dieterich y su voz no puede ser desoída. Invitamos a todos quienes
reciban este informe ingresar a su correo:
Heinz Dieterich
To: gaston@comunica.gov.bo
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2006 3:45 AM
Salió hoy en las páginas www.aporrea.org , argenpress.info, hoy en
la noche en www.rebelion.org, mañana en el diario venezolano VEA y
en múltiples otros medios. Indicar estos medios como fuente.
Heinz
Dieterich
7.10.2006
El primer golpe de Estado contra Evo Morales
está previsto para este miércoles, 11 de octubre
"Fuentes confiables del alto gobierno boliviano, que
pidieron el anonimato, revelaron que el primer intento de golpe de
Estado contra Evo Morales está planeado para este miércoles, 11 de
octubre. El uso de francotiradores en la matanza de Huanuni, que
causaron siete muertos, indica la participación de los golpistas en
los disturbios mineros. Militares chilenos estarían involucrados en
la conspiración"

¡ATENCIÓN! ¡ATENCIÓN!... DESPUÉS DE LO SUCEDIDO EN CHILE CON
SALVADOR ALLENDE TODO ES POSIBLE CON LA CONSPIRACIÓN QUE PERCIBIMOS
EN TODOS LOS MEDIOS OLIGÁRQUICOS DE PREFECTURAS, PETROLERAS, COMITÉ
CÍVICOS, PODEMOS.
Hasta la Iglesia Católica, esta mañana por boca del Cardenal
Terrazas, culpa de todos los males al gobierno de Evo Morales. Qué
decir de quienes concentraron el día jueves parando en asueto ilegal
a colegios, universidades, sistema bancario, SENASIR, cooperativismo
y otros.
NO SEAMOS INGENUOS ANTE LOS INTERESADOS QUE QUIEREN MANTENER
PRIVILEGIOS NEOLIBERALES.
GASTÓN CORNEJO BASCOPÉ

As you can see, Cornejo sees his (and the government's) "fears" confirmed by reports such as these. We know that Chavez often cites "confidential sources", secret reports and who knows what else to substantiate his allegations that the US government is supporting and/or planning, not just a coup aginst his regime, but also one against Morales' government.

So, will there be a coup d'etat tomorrow? I would venture to say NOT! These are just malign rumors, which do nothing more than to add to the already poisoned enviornment in Bolivia. In this so special day, I wish Bolivia 100 more years in democracy.

3 comments:

mcentellas said...

What's funny is that there are ALWAYS "rumors" of a potential coup. It's part of Latin American political culture, sadly.

Happy birthday to Bolivia's qualified democracy ... I hope it sees better (much better!) days ahead.

Bolivia Rising said...

An english translation of Dieterich's article is available at http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2006/10/first-coup-against-evo-morales-is.html
See also a translation of his follow up article Evo recovers the political initiative; the coup plotters regroup.
http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2006/10/evo-recovers-political-initiative-coup.html

miguel said...

Thanks Boliviarising, for pointing these articles out. Also, cool blog, I'll put you in my blogroll.