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The Week that Was – Bolivian Blogs

Categories: Latin America, Bolivia

While President Evo Morales is away participating in various international settings, developments back in Bolivia continue down the road of uncertainty and unpredictability. After attending the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana, Cuba, Morales took the podium at the United Nations General Assembly. Much of his content focused on the controversial policies related to the coca leaf. The speech was available online via a webcast on the UN website [1]. Miguel Buitrago (MABB) was one Bolivian blogger who followed along and observed that Morales “was much less eloquent than Mesa [2]” (his predecessor) and that at times it was difficult to follow his train of thought. Hugo Miranda of the Angel Caido (ES) blog saw it another way and came away impressed [3].

Evo Morales es Evo nomas en Estados Unidos o en el Chapare, y ayer lo demostro una vez mas que es un gran Lider que no le tiene miedo a nada, que dice lo que siente, que no necesita que le redacten los discursos, que no agacha la cabeza ante nadie, no se sere sincero nunca vi algun discurso de otro presidente boliviano en estas instancias, lo unico que me enteraba por la prensa es que solo intervinieron pidieron cosas, y mesuraron su discruso, y hablamos de Tipos preparados como Quiroga, Messa y Sanchez de Lozada.

Evo Morales is simply Evo, no matter in the United States or in the Chapare. Yesterday, he demonstrated that he is a great leader because he is not afraid of anyone, says what he feels, and does not need anyone to write his speeches. He doesn’t lower his head to anyone, even though I have not seen other (Bolivian) presidents’ speeches, but via the media I learned that they just asked for things and measured their words. I am referring to educated types such as Quiroga, Mesa and Sanchez de Lozada.

One of the biggest items in the news was the resignation of Andres Soliz Rada, the Minister of Hydrocarbons, who may be considered the father of Bolivia’s most recent nationalization. Officially, Soliz Rada resigned for personal/health reasons, but many, including some anonymous members of the MAS party indicated that he was acting on his own and may have acted a little too radical potentially chasing away potential investment. The acceptance of the resignation was made during a time when the Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera was acting President while Morales was abroad.

Jaime Humérez Seleme of Boliviscopio (ES) indicates that it was obvious the resignation was not due to any personal health reasons, but because he felt “deauthorized” by the Vice-President [4] after the Ministerial Resolution, which excluded Petrobras (Bolivia’s largest investor in the Hydrocarbons field) from refining and commercializing in Bolivia, was “frozen.” The anonymous blogger who writes at Morir Antes Que Esclavos Vivir (ES) does not believe that Garcia Linera acted on his own and attempted to override any of Morales’ decisions [5], but rather it was a case that Bolivia does not want to lose out on any potential markets.

However, Miguel Centellas, a political science professor and blogger at Ciao!, wonders whether there might be an impending split between Morales and Garcia Linera [6]. Some internal critics have blamed “blancoide mestizos” (individuals of whiter mixed-race) of obstructing the master plan. Some can speculate that this list includes Garcia Linera, who has a very short history with Morales. Centellas lists two scenarios that involve a radical split in the pair and could cause even more internal strife. Or as Centellas writes, “but, of course, I could be completely wrong.”