Thursday, April 17, 2008

To oppose or not to oppose in Bolivia

A quick look at the Oxford dictionary offers several definitions for the word 'opposition' as well as varied uses in different areas of universal knowledge. One of all of the possibilities which, our beloved opposition leaders would chose for themselves, says that 'opposition is a party that opposed to the party or parties in government' or 'belonging to a party opposed to the government,' which is in some extend true. Granted. However, a deeper look into the behavioral attitudes of our beloved ones will clear more the vision and draw an even more far fetched definition of this word -not only politically- which is very loyal to its most primary implication: to oppose for the sake of plainly opposing.

The current office -Evo Morales' office, not somebody else's as the opposition tend to think- has tried several times to implement several measures during the past two years, notwithstanding Morales' intention to fulfill electoral promises (let's say 'to try to fulfill' in order not to induce the opposition to tear their vestments). Numerous examples of laws and projects of law -boycotted by the opposition- has been seen passing by Evo Morales and his cabinet, some of them with dubious modifications, and others plainly turned down for the simple fact of being 'totalitarian projects,' copied from 'communist countries' such as Cuba or Venezuela and similar but varied excuses and invented reasons. Hilarious! They oppose because they oppose, full stop. They oppose because they weren't the ones who thought about it. They oppose because they don't have the power they need, as an evident and hindering stereotype of the word itself.

The opposition opposes everything that comes from the 'Burned Palace' in La Paz, maybe wishing this should naturally come from the Oval Office far overseas, or, in the best of cases, from Santa Cruz (not even Sucre, considering the opposition has no interest to defend Sucre as 'Bolivia's Capital City,' just a plot thought to distract public opinion). Let's not forget that the leaders of the opposition were part of previous offices in Bolivia, i.e. Jorge Quiroga, Manfred Reyes, Mario Cossío (just to tell some of them) and powerful businessmen from the eastern parts of the country who were also bound to earlier military regimes as well as some 'democratic' ones. Many of them -civilians-, are playing a determinant role in the Bolivia's present economy movements; they are not only responsible of the price rising but also the main authors of ecological damage by introducing non-native species of animals and plants but also to the introduction of GMO's to Bolivia (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism). Being soy bean the 'king product' they plan to use to launch their investments (campaigns) farther than all their dreams, considering that the prices of food and oil to make fuel is on the rise. Clever, but unethical. But worst of all, they want to keep the status quo per secula seculorum (the blessing coming from the Bolivian bishops' words.)

The opposition is now the plutocrats of Santa Cruz (plus some mimetic politicians from Cochambamba, Tarija, Beni, Pando, and, recently, Chuquisaca). The opposition are the civilians that believe they have the right to disobey whatever legal regulation there is in Bolivia to carry out a illegal -though maybe legitimate- consult regarding a document produced overnight by the elite, and used to lure the people of the eastern sides of the country in order to received their support, which is already happening -and as always had happened in Bolivia- to remain on top of the golden chair which sadly resembles more and more the colonial Spain and they feel closer day by day.

As a simple citizen, the most I can do is to generate discussion on this regard, hoping that the rest of citizens, and myself, will consider the best way to help the country our politicians seem to have forgotten. Because it happened that Morales' opposition turned to be Bolivia's opposition as well and all of this just because our brainless opposition's only job seems to be to oppose, as a ridiculous stereotype of the word itself.

Janus, the mythological character able to change in opposite directions at once, like our politicians, great masters of disguise!

Photo: PublicDomain


Miguel Centellas said...

It's interesting that you criticize the opposition for its knee-jerk, sweeping reactionism against the government. But you do so using knee-jerk, sweeping language. Just as you condemn the opposition for opposing anything merely because it comes from the government, you condemn anything the opposition says merely because it says so. The government is totalitarian, the opposition is plutocratic. In my opinion, the real danger lies in just that kind of polarization. If we are unable to criticize the government without becoming pawns of the opposition (and vice versa), then we don't have discussion, but rather polarization.

Rebelde said...

Thanks for the comments. But, unfortunately I must differ with some of your remarks. Firstly, the opposition we have is a civil one (with some still-scattered political parties that are growing bigger day by day thanks to thier support) and this, you may know it well, had a genesis after Morales' election, with the traditional political parties still feeling the aftershock of such an unexpected -for them- outcome.
There was not a solid opposition leadership nor party to 'oppose' for the word's sake alone; something had to be done. As a result, 'plutocrats' were appointed as the new boiling seeds of the political pressure cooker by the traditional godfathers you hear always -I's sure you know them too. It is not my intention to talk about these godfathers now, but only to point out the natural origin of the current opposition, illegal (because they are civilians and also because they are disobeying, stereotypically, any known legal resolution, betraying their most primary ethical behavior as authorities).
Secondly, this is not a reaction to what the opposition is doing, since is not my first post about them. I don't pretend to have the last word in this discussion because that is something I don't consider entitled to do. I do consider, however, that I have the right to criticize extremists behaviors [from them] in a moment in which Bolivia's democratic stability is being undermined by their actions, now more than before. You just have to read all reports on wary Prefectos (strongly related to powerful land-'owners' and 'enterpreneurs').
Finally, I would not be so lame as to qualify govern and opposition in the terms you mention because is not quite accurate; and, if we want to be serious in the analysis we ought to be accurate. The govern is not totalitarian because, as far as I know, no possible totalitarian regulation (if such a thing really exist) has been approved, not by the president himself not by the parliament. Opposition leaders are awaiting for that to happen, so they can called totalitarian and compare it to other similar ones, namely Cuba and Venezuela (although they don't need to wait to do so, they do it using their mass media!), which are the only referent our useless opposition can think of. And, in the other hand, the opposition is not full of billionaires and similar, but also by failed candidates, candidates-to -be and people that has been for so long in the power that now are afraid to let it go.
So, as you can see, my 'knee-jerk' reaction is not such. Unfortunately you are reading a criticism to the Bolivian Opposition (the original aim of this post), maybe some time -very soon indeed- you will read a criticism to the president and his policies as well because I, like many others, am convinced that Evo Morales is not the best president we had o we'll have; he only represent the inflection point of the political history in Bolivia and that is something that you, as an expert, could have considered more carefully.

Have a good day,


Miguel Centellas said...

I think you misunderstood my comment. I DONT think the government is totalitarian. And I DONT think the opposition is entirely plutocratic, either. My point was that using those kinds of labels hurts political discourse. I was criticizing the use of a simplistic charge of "totalitarian" against the government by the opposition ... and the equally simplistic charge of "plutocratic" against the opposition by the government. Bolivia, as we both know, is much more complicated than that.

Rebelde said...

I totally agree with you. A more profound analysis of this situation may shed some light to the current situation of Bolivian politics. Polarization is, certainly, the most determinant factor in this crisis. How to avoid it? How to control it? Personally, I do not believe opposition -nor Morales' office- are trying hardly enough to make improvements for the moment (the infamous 'diálogo' was never put into effective action, for instance), and the consequences may be disastrous for the country if they are keeping the same trend. Maybe public opinion (Mesa's "silent majority") could make the necessary corrections? Just a thought.


Anonymous said...

Interesting conversation. Being on the outside, it's fascinating to hear about Bolivia from those living there. Thanks for sharing and getting me thinking.

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Antigonum Cajan said...

Considering that:
1. These are ugly indians.

2. They have been exploited for 500 hundred years, stupid, illiterate or not, they have a right to enjoy
what mother nature offers them. They are the original aboriginals.

3. What ever is established in the Bolivian Constitution regarding natural resources vs. private property should be enforced.

4 Any political movement or initiative created just to protect personal income/interests
and social unrest, should be scrutinized carefully.

5. If the Australian Parliament apologized to their Aboriginals, for the exploitation and ostracism to the original inhabitants, the white pigs and their testaferros from Santa Cruz, should be shot to death without a trial.

6. Give back some of what was/is stolen from the indians!