January 17, 2008

One Side of a Complicated Situation

MABB © ®

The dilemma in which many altenos (citizens of El Alto) find themselves is the following:

"EL ALTO, Bolivia (Reuters) - Damiana Katari, who knits clothes for a living and wears long black braids, a bowler hat and layers of colored skirts, proudly voted to elect fellow Aymara Indian Evo Morales to the presidency of Bolivia.

But when the subject turns to Morales' trade policies, she tenses up, worried that her workshop for knitting wool in the Andean highlands will be hurt by his trade policies."
Currently, there is a growing small textile industry in El Alto, the city where Morales enjoys the highest support (upwards of 80%). This industry supplies many markets with its products, including the very important US market.

All the people who work in this industry are torn between supporting Morales all the way or supporting his rise to power only.

More in the article. Enjoy!


Frank_IBC said...

Very interesting article, Miguel, thanks for posting.

I recall a while back that there was a movement to ban the sale of second-hand clothing, did anything come of that?

galloglass said...

Well, they can always sell woolen goods to Cuba and Nicaragua when APTDEA runs out. I'm sure there's a huge market for them. Hopefully, Evo will make a change in course.

miguel (mabb) said...

The second-hand clothing market is not yet banned. The gremialistas (the group representing this sector of the shadow economy) won't let their source of livelihood be banned.

My take, instead of banning them, they should legalize them. Make them start paying taxes.

But, what I am wondering is for how long will the US Congress take the verbal attacks of Evo and his government.

If they are trying not to further isolate Bolivia and push it more to the Chavez camp, they have to be asking themselves this question at this point in time: is it working?