The Week That Was – Bolivian Blogs

Now the dust has settled following the historic elections of December 18, the Bolivian blogsophere continues with reactions, concerns and hope. Bolivian bloggers are being asked to add thoughts and commentary to a subject rapidly gaining a worldwide following. Miguel Centellas of Ciao! and Jim Shultz of Blog from Bolivia recently joined Economist Jeffrey Sachs on Radio Open Source regarding the topic: Latin America's New Socialism.

The election of Evo Morales has attracted many eyes on the country of Bolivia. Even though he does not formally take office until January 22, the three weeks in January will involve a lot of movement that will have a lot of effect on his administration. Many are looking ahead at inauguration plans. Miguel Buitrago of MABB summarizes the three different ceremonies, one official and the other two symbolic, that Morales has planned for January 21-22. Many regional heads of states, international football stars and well-known singers have confirmed their attendance.

Last Friday marked the beginning of a worldwide tour, starting with a visit to the island nation of Cuba. President Fidel Castro sent a plane to pick up Morales and approximately 75 members of a delegation to visit. Jaime Humérez Seleme wrote in his blog Boliviscopio that he hoped that the visit to Cuba woud only “contribute to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation between Bolivia and Cuba, leaving out offensive allusions towards others” and that “the cordiality in the meeting between Evo and Fidel not be dominated by inneccesary and inopportune declarations”, referring to frequent statements made by Castro and Morales in open defiance of the United States. Morales has plans to visit Venezuela, Spain, South Africa and Brazil, among other countries over the next 10 days.

As a result of the meeting with Castro, an agreement has been reached for the complete literacy of Bolivia within 30 months. Jaime C. Rubin de Celis who writes at JCR’s Place thinks that education in Bolivia needs much more than this ambitious plan. Morales’ MAS has pledged to eliminate the Education Reform Law. De Celis would rather see a reform of that law, rather than starting from zero.

Others have looked back at the election and their results. Oswaldo returns from a two month hiatus to reflect on his blog Pensamiento Indio about the role of the Bolivian media during the elections. In his entry, “The Racist Journalism in Bolivia“, he states that all of the journalists in print and on the radio were racist towards el Indio, and were surprised by the election of the indigenous Morales. Joaquin Cuevas, who publishes his cartoons in La Vida de Chico Larva, posted several politics-realted drawings. This entry demonstrates how newly elected Prefect, Manfred Reyes Villa, finally got rid of his old political party. The second entry shows 2nd-place finisher Tuto Quiroga and the bitter taste of defeat.

Finally a couple of new blogs, including the anonymous Paisano de Elite who makes frequent appearances in the comments section of another Bolivian blog. He started a blog of the same name, which serves to publish rebuttals to many of the entries written by Shultz’ Blog from Bolivia.

Edgar's Musicantos blog gives an excellent and personal account of how his election day went. He ran into MAS’ Vice-Presidential candidate Alvaro Garcia Linera, who voted in the same location in the neighborhood of Sopocachi in La Paz.

Upon exiting, I approached Alvaro, firmly squeezed his hand and with a serious look from someone who changed his consistently invalid vote for a valid one, said with a hopeful threat, “Alvaro, don't let us down.”

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