December 11, 2007

A Closer Look at the New Constitution

MABB © ®

Miguel from Pronto* takes a closer look at the Constitution approved by MAS. He says: "Even w/o an opposition present (whether through boycott or intimidation), assembly delegates couldn’t agree on 8 articles (out of 408), which are still on the table. Thus, it’s still unclear what the final draft will look like."

Take a look!


Anonymous said...

I just talked to some Bolivians I know and they told that some people in La Paz are expecting an auto-golpe this weekend. The rationale is that on Saturday, while Evo is officially presenting his constitution, the media lune presents its autonomy. also, they point out that Evo has sent police and military (i only heard about police, is the military thing true?) to Santa Cruz.
This is an interesting rumour, and from a short perspective, it would make sense for Evo, as he seems to beinterested only in grabbing power. On the long run, however, this would be the worst possible move Evo can make, as the country seems to be proud of its longest democratic period (24 years I think?) and it would alienate sectors that so far have been supportive of morales. In case there is some truth here, Evo wouldn't last for more than Garcia Meza did.
what would your reading of this rumour be?

miguel (mabb) said...

More than an autogolpe, I read it was going to be a state of emergency and curfew. The military has said it is behind Morales and ready to 'defend' democracy.

Morales, has denied it of course.

We'll see what happens in the next days.

Gringo said...

Miguel, are you are aware about this recent meeting in support of autonomy in Santa Cruz?

BTW, an addition follows with respect to my having previously recounted what a Chapaco co-worker had said a year before the election of Mortales about the possibility of Bolivia separating. You were skeptical of separation occurring.

My Chapaco co-worker said that one factor working against secession was that the Army, especially in the officer corps, was dominated by the Altiplano. (Better opportunities in the private sector in the lowlands than in the Altiplano might explain that.)

miguel (mabb) said...

What Santa Cruz is seeking is autonomy, and not secession. At least that is what they say.

Besides, I don't think ( haven't seen evidence) that the departamentos have the capacity to replace the central government. They are getting ready now, but to what extent? I ask myself.

So, to answer your question, I am still skeptical of secession.

Gringo said...

More fat for the fire. Mortales called the autonomy resolution “illegal and unconstitutional.” As Mr. M. Python was once quoted: say no more.

Gringo said...

Gateway Pundit has a good English-language summary of the recent events regarding autonomy. The pot keeps simmering.

It is interesting that a week after the Venezuelan Air Force plane w $$$ aboard got stoned in Beni, the arrests in Miami over the Antonini Wilson $800,000 suitcase in Buenos Aires occurred. (Yes, I realize the arrests were about non-registration of foreign agents, not about the BA suitcase per se.)
When something that occurs in a backwater such as Beni is connected to a previous event in Buenos Aires, and a subsequent event in Miami, one can see that the world is VERY connected these days.

I only wish that Hugo would push some of that money MY way. I DO have a price. Unfortunately for Hugo, my price is for more than Gucci shoes or Vuitton ties. While this last is somewhat off-topic for a Bolivia blog, given the ties between Hugo and Evo, this example of Socialist Luxury may be additional fuel for the opposition.

Regarding secession, Miguel, you certainly know more about the subject than I. I simply added the previous comment from the Chapaco to show that even those who might support secession also realize its impracticality( de dicho al hecho...). From your point of view: creating a government bureaucracy from scratch. From his point of view: the guns. The US certainly had a previous issue with secession, and we paid a bloody price to resolve it. I had family members on both sides who lost their lives in the conflict.

A further point about the unity of Bolivia has to do with the many Collas who have moved to Camba territory. These migrants to Santa Cruz may be a means of communication/dialogue with the Altiplano. Regarding the masses leaving the Altiplano for economic opportunity in the lowlands, one is reminded of the following: "Will the last person leaving Amarillo please turn out the lights?"

mcentellas said...

MABB is correct to point out that it's troubling that we don't yet know what the "final" draft of the constitution will look like -- even though it's already been approved (!!). I also agree w/ him that secession isn't likely. But the struggle for autonomy is not a recent phenom.

For some quick background: In 1825 Santa Cruz declared its independence and didn't want to join the new "Republica de Bolivar" (as it was then called). A military expedition sent by Sucre (the man) nipped that in the bud. In 1876, Andrés Ibañez led a "federalist" revolt against the central government for autonomy (not quite secession). It was also crushed. Santa Cruz (like the Indians under Zarrate Willka) joined La Paz elites in their Federal War of 1898-1899; the war failed to create a federal state, but simply moved the capital to La Paz. Throughout the early 20th century, Santa Cruz had some sporadic autonomista movements. It was Santa Cruz that was the headquarters of the 1949 MNR revolt (the "dress rehearsal" for the 1952 uprising); the city held out for nearly three months against the army. So there is a long history of Santa Cruz desire for autonomy. This is not me trying to give historicist support for the current movement. But it's important to realize that Comite Civico leaders can mobilize people on these powerful historical myths. After all, the heroes of those movements are immortalized in monuments throughout the city.

miguel (mabb) said...

Yes, the struggle for 'independence' (whatever that means for Santa Cruz) has certainly been long. So much, that a big part of its history revolves around it.

On Gringo's point about the colla-cambas, as they are known. It is said in La Paz that these people, once they get to Santa Cruz, they become even more cambas as cambas themselves. :-) Of course, this is based on hearsay and on my own experience. But, it is an interesting phenomenon.

Likewise, I have seen some some latinos living in the US who become more Americans than Americans themselves. This might be a migratory phenomenon. :-)