January 03, 2007

Observations to Inconsistencies

MABB © ®

Over the last three days, I have been perplexed (once again) by reading about some latest governmental decisions. On this post, I just want to make some observations and point out to some things that I consider inconsistencies. For example:

On today's La Razón, I read more about the government's decision to start asking US tourists for a visa when entering Bolivia. I also wrote a post about it yesterday (just scroll down). But the details are slowly coming out. The requirements for this visa are, passport, yellow fever vaccination, a bank account, invitation or residence permit and it should be approved by Bolivian immigration. What is curious is that the principle of reciprocity, on which this decision is being applied, does not apply to Venezuela or the EU, for as Venezuela also asks Bolivians to obtain a visa when entering this country and the EU will start all too soon.

I also talked yesterday about the consular id for Bolivians living in the US. It turns out I correctly guessed that the document has not been discussed with the US government. So, it is not sure if the US government or any of the states or local governments will accept this consular id as a form of identification.

Now about the government itself. I just found out the president will travel outside the country without parlamentary permission this January. That is, Morales will not ask the Parliament if he can visit all those countries he is going to. On the 10 he will be visiting Venezuela (I hope he has his visa) and Nicaragua; on the 14 he'll be visiting Ecuador; and on the 16 he'll be in Brazil. The government argues that since the trips are not longer than 5 days, the President does not need to ask congress for permission.

On the issue of political advisors, last year I read in various news reports that Mr. Morales had a number of Venezuelan nationals as advisors around him in the government palace. Today I read about another foreign political advisor. Mr. Walter Chavez, official political advisor of Morales, is Peruvian and has been living in Bolivia in political asylum. The opposition has Mr. Chavez in the scope since the government is trying to deport cuban dissident Samartino.

The massive firing of non-MAS supporters is underway. Even though, the government assures this will not be a "white massacre", and under the banner of austerity, it will fire all individuals that did not support the government's policies and those who do not agree with MAS' principles. The government's speaker assured that the positions will not be filled with MAS' supporters. However, these have been publically calling for more jobs in the government aparatus. It seems to me, that from now on, he who is not MAS supporter will have to look for another job. So, nothing has changed in this respect.

Again, on today's La Razón, I read that Morales, in his speech opening the judicial cycle, blatantly criticized the members of the Supreme Court accusing them of being the product of political quotas. He asked them to take part of his government's policies and aims. I don't know about you but to me this feels as he is asking them to step down, so he can place MAS judges in their places. This comes on the back of criticism the government received by many after Morales appointed by decree four magistrates. Usually, they have to be appointed by Congress.