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Elections in the Bolivian Blogs

Editor's note: I was so impressed with Miguel Esquirol's summary of blog commentary on Evo Morales’ presidential victory in Bolivia that I asked our ever-growing army of translators to offer up an english version. Juliana Rincón Parra was kind enough to volunteer. What follows below is her excellent translation, which I have edited for clarity and brevity. If you are interested in supporting Global Voices as a translator, please leave a comment below.

Finally the elections have passed by and we have in our hands the results that for many was expected and even well received, while for others it was a surprise. We are not here to judge what happened in Bolivia, we are not analysts and anything we'd say would suffer the lack of depth or interest compared to what more interesting bloggers could give. What we can do is make a small overview of the Bolivian blogs to see how these elections have been observed and how the new Bolivian president is seen by the blogosphere.

Here at blogsbolivia we support the freedom of expression over any other aspect so we shall publish brief extracts without including our opinions or modifying what others have written.

“It is 02:03 a.m. in Bolivia, 07:30 here in France and the internet media announce what some of us perceived as necessary and others as unavoidable. Evo Morales will be the President of Bolivia and I hope that there is enough responsibility between him and his collaborators to realize what they are accomplishing, how they are arriving into power and all those who fought for it.” http://almadadenoche.blogspot.com/

“Responsibility. It is the only thing I’d ask of everyone this Sunday. Think. Figure it out. Remember. Two out of the three votes we will cast will decide who will conform the parliament, who at its turn will elect our next government. Podemos or the MAS. Two distinct and very different views of the country, the first a perfect representative of the neoliberal model in which we have been almost since the return of democracy and the second a new project, emerging from the unions struggle and the possibility to bring the first indigenous representative to the presidency of our country for the first time in history.” Grillovillegas

“Evo Morales has won the Bolivian elections with 50.9% of the vote, preliminary results show. Tuto Quiroga comes in second with 31,9% of the vote and a majority in the Senate. The great losers in this election have been UN, which only managed 8% of the vote and NFR, which got less than 1% of the votes after coming third (with just 0.3% less than MAS) just three years ago. MNR, on the hand, is the great survivor, with 6,7% of the vote, a Senator and 8 MPs (members of parliament). This is a great result for them considering that their last elected official (Gonzalo Sanchez) is an extremely hated figure.” http://aruiznavajas.blogspot.com/

“No matter who is elected, that he may govern for the established time, and in addition, let the people do it, because if not, when will we be able to get out of this morass in which we find ourselves.” http://sergioasturizaga.blogspot.com/

Results, Results, Results. Every single channel has forecasts, voter intent polls (from yesterday), exit polls and now partial counts. Often confusion reigns as those gathered around a television outside the campaign headquarters take those numbers at face value. Right now there are about 150 supporters who have gathered to watch the results, although I am remaining cautious and waiting the final tally. Some results, so far, are going according to plan and others are surprising and disappointing to many.” http://www.barrioflores.net/weblog/

“Now to give a hand to our country and support our government, to be patient, to let them govern, to be coherent, to oversee and be an active part of change.” http://ganjartek70.blogspot.com/

Morales wrapped up his speech noting, to Bolivia’s indigenous majority, “For the first time, we are the president.” He said as well, “We hope that this action by Bolivia will be an example, not just for Bolivia but for all of Latin America.” http://www.democracyctr.org/blog/

“If so, he'd be the first directly elected president since Bolivia became a democracy. But none of his candidates won a single prefecture, and I still can't get a complete read on number of legislative seats. Still, a historic & interesting election, all around.” http://www.centellas.org/miguel/
“The next government that starts their work on January 2006 will have undoubtedly a ver important economic, political and social agenda to face. Many social conflicts are stalled waiting for the government to answer, and others will be born if short term solutions are not established. Structural problems such as the country’s image and the conditions that should be generated to attract foreign capital once again, the strengthening of institutions that results in raising the credibility and trust that the people have in authority; and a vision of a country that contemplates the ethno-cultural diversity should be the foremost tasks for whomever succeeds Rodriguez in the president’s chair.” http://crisisenbolivia.blogspot.com/

“How things look: a writ of good government and no-good people. The weekend starts and it seems there is no difference with other weekends. See the results on the TV, step by step, the vote count. The uncertainty!! By 9pm we know that the evo has 50% plus uno. He is the new president of the country. We change to fox sports, the final (the decisive game) of the south american cup. Boca vs. pumas in the bombonera!!…Well, in short: evo president, boca champion. What a weekend.” http://flacazul.blogspot.com/

“Being bolivian is making Bolivia, and today, with my flag half mast I declare myself an orphan. See you in five years, because I hope that it is only five and not a day more.” http://ergoth-fenix.blogspot.com/

“What if Evo wins? The big prediction is that Evo Morales will emerge as first in the Presidential race this Sunday (18 December). The thought unnerves the US and various economic interests in Bolivia, but will an Evo government be as radical as its rhetoric suggests?” http://funsolon.civiblog.org/blog

”The undecided quietly voted for MAS, seems that those elitists and oligarchs of the middle class were not convinced by the PODEMOS campaign. http://b2bolivia.blogspot.com/

”If the roads are closed to almost all traffic and the sale of alcohol illegal, it must be election day in Bolivia.” http://billdana.blogspot.com/

“In any case, we have to respect the laws of democracy and accept that Evo will be president, although I’ll never feel glad about it.” http://la-casa-verde.blogspot.com/
“If the MAS reaches the government will it become a new UDP?
Will the sadist components of the National Liberation Army return?
Will the farmers and mines of the MAS subdue Santa Cruz again and assassinate the karas cambas as their elders did in 1958?
Will they fly the emblem of the scythe and hammer denying the redempting sign of the cross?
Will they turn Bolivia into a Quechua-Aymara Socialist state?
Will they close the Paliament to substitute it with the People’s assembly?
Will the decriminalizing of the coca leaf end with drug trafficking?
Will they dismiss the FF.AA. and the National Police to replace them with the Community Police?
Will the fearsome political control, the reopening of the people’s jails and the concentration camps return?
Will they apply communal justice to the karas and mestizos [racially mixed] of the MAS if they disobey their godfather Evo?” por-una-Bolivia-mejor

“Finally, all we need to point out is that we won, we did it in the ballot boxes, that means, we did it still within the logic of the democracy, meaning in the liberal or euro-north-american centric logic and not following our own logic which would be the communal system. cfr. Felix Patzi, Sistema Comunal, 2004), therefore we are still under that relationship of domination, it is imperative for this generation to promote this change, to build bridges towards the communal system.” http://luctor.blogspot.com/

“And many ask themselves for how many years, and others already began shaking for the “massacre of the burgoise”. For certain is that everyone has been amazed by the vote of more than 50% obtained by Eggvo. And it is the only logic result after twenty something years of shameless plunder by the whiteys’.” http://ceckis.blogspot.com/

“Personally I was very happy with the result: Bolivia has followed US and IMF policies for 20 years with little benefit to the majority of the population, in fact poverty has got worse and therefore I think that a radical change in policy may provide an opportunity to try something else that may improve the lot for the majority. There are however a large minority, mainly from the middle classes, who genuinely fear what Evo´s victory will mean for the country. It was very revealing watching events unfold with my girlfriend´s family as they all voted for his main rival and are very worried. The truth is no one knows what will happen… we'll wait and see.” http://julianjacobs.blogspot.com/

”The election of Evo Morales definitely signals a new chapter in the country and its development. Hopefully, this new, indigenous president, will learn quickly how to navigate the muddy political waters inside and outside Bolivia that have saddled so many of his predecessors.” http://www.livejournal.com/users/eoinjournal/

”Absolutely no-one (including the campaign manager for MAS who I interviewed) predicted that he could do it, but last night Evo Morales managed to surprise commentators once again when his party, MAS, swept to power with more than 51.1% of the vote. This has never happened.” http://www.nickbuxton.info
“The farmer who became a coca planter? The coca planter who became rural politician? The rural politician who became president?” http://rocko.blogia.com/

“They say that before he died, Catari said: “I’ll return and be millions?. For many, the return has begun. They are millions; Evo is just the spearhead. Good reason to not have voted for Evo. Or to have voted for him.” http://riofugitivo.blogspot.com/

“Evo has to be very clear that now that he will govern he won’t be able to feed of social discontent as he has been doing all these years, but that quite the contrary, all the social discontent, specially being Evo, will reflect on his government. Will he be able to weather the tempest? Will he be able to create what he has promised? If the answer is yes, it is obvious that Evo, or the MAS in this case, may win the elections again. If he is not able to withstand the storm the country may fall into absolute anarchy or lift Tuto up to power. Mi personal reflection is that I have to tell Evo the same thing that many told Zapatero when he reached the presidency: ‘Do not fail us’.”http://tomorrow123.blogspot.com/

“I'm not crazy about Evo Morales ? that's no secret. Despite my insignificant opposition, though, it appears he will win a plurality (not a majority) of the vote. Whoever wins, it is highly likely the president will not be decided by the election but by the Congress, since none of the candidates is likely to get a majority of the popular vote, which Bolivia's consitution requires.” http://www.joshrenaud.com/bolivia/
“As you see there are opinions on everything and for everyone. Now, almost finishing this post it is worth pointing out an article by Edmundo Paz Soldán as written in his blog” http://riofugitivo.blogspot.com/

“They say that before he died, Catari said: “I’ll return and be millions?. For many, the return has begun. They are millions; Evo is just the spearhead. Good reason to not have voted for Evo. Or to have voted for him.” http://riofugitivo.blogspot.com/

Finally, our friends at Mundoalrevés have created http://bolivia.mundoalreves.com/ a website about the elections where articles on the subject are being posted. I hope we get to read reactions on the first steps of this new government.

Here we end with the overview of the electoral thermometer in the world of the weblogs. For more information you may follow the technorati tags which have been on fire today: Bolivia and Evo Morales.

8 comments

  • Congratulations and thanks for the translation.

    I can help but to translatng to spanish

  • Andres Riveros

    Soy de Chile y puedo traducir al ingles.

    Happy to help

  • […] Medea was the first to volunteer to translate a post from Spanish to English for Global Voices. She did an exceptional job. I was especially entertained by her translation of “blanquitos” as “whiteys.” (Personally, I would have been too tempted to write “little crackers.”) […]

  • Thank you very much for the translation! It´s offering a very interesting perspective on something that occupied my mind very much recently.

    Translations: My mother tongue is german and I would be glad to support Global Voices anytime.

  • […] David Sasaki and Juliana Rincon Parra at Global Voices have something very special in their Bolivian blog roundup – a slew of translations from the original Spanish. If you had always wanted to be able to read the Spanish blogs but couldn’t do it, they’ve opened that window and have a long, beautifully done roundup from the Spanish-language Bolivian bloggers. Well worth a click here. A.M. Mora y Leon @ 6:39 pm | […]

  • Peter S. Lopez

    Feliz Navidad Gente! Merry Christmas People!

  • Feliz Navidad Otra Vez La Raza Cosmica!Christmas Day, Diciembre 25, 2005On behalf of all freedom-loving progressive people of the USA we wish Great Blessings and Congratulations to Our Companero Evo ~Presidente Morales~ who shall continue to be a genuine inspiration for many masses of people upon Mother Earth, inside the United States and in all of Latin America!There are over 40 Million people of ‘La Raza Cosmica’ inside the United States: those of us who are Mexican-Americans, Mexicans, Latinos, Hispanics, Native-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubanos and others with various ethnic labels yet whose bloodlines can be considered as indigenous to these lands called the Americas.Evo has showed us the power of the people, the potential of true democracy and re-newed the faith of many in different ways!We must utilize the Power of the Internet to build bridges, not borders, between all of us on a global scale upon Mother Earth!We will contnue to pray for the safety and continued success of the Bolivian People and our Che Evo!Let our live ‘hot’ links help forge solid chains of humane love, reason and wisdom amongst us to help create bonds of power, unity and harmony.Venceremos!Peter S. Lopez {aka Peta}Sacramento, California ~USA
    Links:Humane-Rights-Agenda Yahoo Grouphttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/Humane-Rights-Agenda/Humane-Rights-Agenda Blog
    http://humane-rights-agenda.blogspot.com/

  • Linda Evarts

    I’m a native English speaker from the East Coast, and I’d be happy to help with translation. Merry Xmas, and thanks for the posting on Morales’ victory.

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