The Week that Was – Bolivian Blogs

Este artículo también está disponible en español en el sitio Blogs de Bolivia

Whispers of a possible civil war worried some Bolivian bloggers. A report completed by the government of Argentina estimated a 56% chance that Bolivia might fall into a civil war, with an estimated one million refugees crossing the border into Argentina. Miguel Centellas of Ciao! says it is not unheard of in this modern age to see a civil war. Miguel Buitrago of MABB didn’t think we should even be talking about such a conflict, but the recent declarations of the Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera may put that probability into an unfortunate reality. Garcia Linera made references to his time in the guerrilla army and called for the defense of this government through arms. He did apologize for his statement and said it was misinterpreted. The anonymous blogger from the blog Morir Antes Que Esclavos Vivir (ES) touches on both of these topics.

However, Garcia Linera did manage to negotiate with some members of that region that threatened to blockade the city of Santa Cruz and prohibit the opening of the international fair EXPOCRUZ. This gathering of stands from national and international companies attracts visitors from all across the country. However, for some the fair may only be for those that can afford it. Andrea, one of the youngest Bolivian bloggers, writes in her blog Lo Digo Yo (ES) that the relatively high price of admission may keep large parts of the population unable to attend this grand attraction.

Cuando llegamos, dimos con la sorpresa de que la entrada era de 30 Bs. Me parece un precio excluyente. La Feria es un evento que muchos esperan con ansias para ir con familia o amigos, pero al parecer sólo está destinada a la gente con grandes ingresos, y el resto que mire también…pero de afuerita. Una familia de 5 personas que quiera ir a pasear un ratito y a comerse “alguito” (lo cual no viene incluido en el precio) termina pagando 150 Bs. Solamente entre mi grupito gastamos como 300 Bs. en total. Muy fuera del alcance de la mayoría, sobre todo jóvenes.

When we arrived, we were surprised that the admission fee was 30 Bs. (approximately 4 USD). It seems to be a very exclusionary price. Many anxious await the arrival of the Fair and want to attend with family or friends, however, it seems it is only for those with large incomes and rest watch…from the outside. A family of 5 that wants to spend some time and eat something (which is not included in the price of admission) ends up paying 150 Bs. My group spent approximately 300 Bs. in all, which is out of reach from most, especially young people.

The opening of this fair coincides with the celebrations of the independence of Santa Cruz from Spanish rule. Many Cruceño (a person from Santa Cruz) bloggers wrote odes to their home region. Willy Andres wrote a piece titled “Why Do I Love Santa Cruz?” proclaiming his pride of being from the Department of Santa Cruz and a resident of its capital for the last twelve years.

One attraction of this fair is the presence of attractive azafatas (hostesses) that receive large salaries to act as spokespersons for the particular company. However, the television stations are going too far, in the opinion of some. Olivia Casso swore off local television because of the images that only seem to concentrate on the rear ends of these models. Gabriel Iriarte Rico of Gabriel al Centro de Sudamérica (ES) also criticizes local television, but not for its obsession over women, but for the constant negativity from the commentary. He finds it unfortunate to have to resort to the international canal CNN for news on Bolivia.

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