Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Bolivia : If we want to survive

Bolivia : If we want to survive

by Andrés Soliz Rada, Rebelión, 25-05-2008

If the autonomists and indigenists could agree on the responsibilities the national State should not renounce in order to carry on existing as such, the risk of Bolivia falling apart would largely disappear. Those responsibilities are foreign policy, the national police and armed forces, the currency, economic planning for natural resources, social economic land use (subject to agreement), the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal and the design of overall education policies.

The basic requirement for that framework lies in the viability of a National Development Strategy which reflects the aspirations of autonomous regions and the original peoples, for which reason it has to be worked out with their direct participation. All of this would make possible coordinated management of natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, in whose implementation both the departments and original peoples would be participants and supervisors.

In this way, the absurd confrontation in Tarija, for example, between Yacimientos Petroliferas de Bolivia, the Tarija prefecture and people of the the Tarija Chaco area would give way to the setting up of a development pole driven by common agreement, including installations for liquidising gas, fertilizer plants, refineries, gas pipelines and thermo-electric generating stations. The aggravated conflict over the Direct Hydrocarbons Tax (IDH) would give way to the construction of public works for the common good.

If State capitalism has control of strategic resources via participative planning, plenty of space remains for developing community and private initiatives. A common interest in strengthening the country would likewise promote planning of railways and waterways, national highways and airports.

The presence of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Constitutional Tribunal are no obstacle to the viability of community customs and usages in the municipalities or the commonwealth of indigenous municipalities where the application of community justice practices would be subject to national appeal procedures.

It is self-evident that for State administration, indigenous citizens should have the right to use their mother tongue such that, via a time-limited system of positive discrimination, the original peoples would have a participatory quota in the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Armed Forces and the National Police so as to achieve equal balance in a multilingual and multicultural country like ours.

Respect for regions and cultures ought not to interfere with the use of national symbols (the national shield, flag and national anthem) showing the strength of a variegated country like ours seeking day by day to structure its national viability, rooted in what is most accesible in its history, something that no single regional or indigenous group interest can impose on the others.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has vetoed attempts to demand community property rights in oil areas by indigenous fundamentalists encouraged from the outside by the International Labour Organziation, and the United Nations, that is, imperialism in its latest guise, the New World Order.

He has preferred instead to seek an intercultural construction of the national State, defending society from multinational corporations and NGOs, from narcotics and arms traffickers, all avid for ripping off what they can from our countries. We need to defeat those enemies so as to build our own national and Latin American project.


Andreés Solis Rada is a former Minister of Hydrocarbons in the Evo Morales government -

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Any Questions: Scoop Launches New Q&A Website

It’s an easy way to find out party positions and allows you to view candidates’ answers side by side. It’s also a way for you to make your voice heard this election, and get the parties talking about the things that are important to you. More>>


Scoop HiveMind Project: Universal Basic Income - Are We Up For It?

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million potential funders and recipients of a Universal Basic Income to collectively consider the issue:
1. Is UBI is a desirable policy for New Zealand; and
2. How should a UBI system work in practice. More>>


Lyndon Hood: National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets

The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet. More>>


Lyndon Hood: This ->

It's been brought to my attention that Labour's new campaign slogan is "Let's do this". A collective call to action. A mission. I myself was halfway out of the couch before I realised I wasn't sure what it was I was supposed to do. More>>


Scoop Hivemind Report: What New Zealanders Think About Affordable Housing

Ordinary citizens have had very few venues where they can debate and discuss as to what they believe has led to the crisis in affordable housing and how we might begin to address this. The HiveMind on affordable housing was about redressing the balance. More>>


New Hivemind Exploration: Opening The Election - Freshwater Quality

This is an opportunity for you as one of the 4 million guardians of our common water resources to help us find mutually agreeable solutions to the critical task of collectively managing these resources for health and sustainability. More>>