February 12, 2007

Echoes From My Two Homes

MABB © ®

The relationship between the Morales government and the US government has been making some waves in the most unsuspected (for most people) places. In a post on January 2, this year, I talked about the decision of the Bolivian government to start requiring entry visas to US citizens. This decision, according to the government, was taken in reciprocity to the US government's policy, which requires Bolivian citizens to apply for visas to enter the US.

In that post I showed my concern for Bolivia's decision because the most affected were going to be the thousands of Bolivian-Americans living in the US. This group makes yearly trips to Bolivia, either to visit family and friends or for business. The largest group is located in the Washington DC, metro region. According to an article just published by the Washington Post, there are officially 20,000 Bolivians living there. It also mentions that, unofficially, the number is three times larger. I come from the Virginia side of that region.

The Post's article shows a side of the Bolivian community not seen previously. It talks about the concerns Bolivian immigrants are starting to have about the Morales government. One of them is that his government is polarizing deeply the country and bringing it to the verge of civil war. On the other hand, every one, supporters and skeptics, agree on the fact that Morales brings much hope after replacing old worn out corrupt elites.

All in all, a good article to have an insight on the "small" Bolivian community living in the metro area.