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Bolivia: Border Military Bases and Internal Conflicts

The treaty between Bolivia and Venezuela to build military facilities on the borders with Paraguay, Chile, Perú, and Brasil is being discussed in political blogs from Perú and Chile.

Chilean conservative bloggers writing at El Rincón de Michelle [ES] agree that the treaty should be regarded as evidence of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez being “a latent threat to the Southern countries”.

On the contrary, participants in the discussion at El Morrocotudo- a citizen daily from Arica – disregard conservative reactions as exaggerations. Ignacio Lozano points out that the polemic may have the goal of weakening Venezuela’s aims of obtaining a seat at the UN Security Council (about such issue listen to the Reporte Duna / podcast [ES]). Emanuel González highlights that the amount of investment on weapons by Chile and Perú is higher than what Bolivia is planning to invest.

Chile a gastado en armamentos alrededor de 3,000 millones de dolares ultimamente, Peru se dispone a gastar 600 millones de Dolares y nos vamos a preocupar por que Bolivia va gastar 50 millones de dolares? (sic)

Recently, Chile has spent around 3,000 millions dollars on weapons. Peru is ready to spend 600 million dollars, and are we going to worry about Bolivia spending 50 millions dollars?

Certainly, Venezuela will fund $49 million to build two military bases in Bolivia: Puerto Quijaro (in Paraguay’s border) and El Prado (in Brazil’s border). Nonetheless, the treaty will be expanded to 24 border military facilities, although not all of them are exactly military bases but rather mere soldiers’ lodging units.

The Brujo Político from Perú guesses that the true goal of the military treaty between Venezuela and Bolivia may be “to repress popular struggles that, should they continue, could mean checkmate for Evo Morales’ government” [“reprimir las causas populares que de continuar creciendo pondrían en jaque al gobierno de Evo Morales”].

Brujo Político [ES] supports his guesses on the series of conflicts in Bolivia throughout October, among which the Huanuni clash is paramount. In that mining town at the region of Oruro, mining laborers and mining cooperative members clashed for the right to operate a tin mine. The clash resulted in 16 deaths and at least 78 persons injured. This Bolivian crisis has involved a civil strike demanding that the new constitution must be approved by two thirds of the Constitutional Assembly, demonstrations by the coca farmers, rumors about a conspiracy for a coup against Evo Morales and threats of civil war.

Bolivia-Eclipse (from Utopia island at the Bolivian sea) maintains that:

Ver a Bolivia como posible agresor es un despropósito total: Bolivia es el país más pobre de Sudamérica, tiene una población muy reducida en relación a todos sus vecinos (excepto Paraguay), y no tiene las condiciones económicas, políticas, militares ni sociales para representar una amenaza militar para países como Perú, Chile o Paraguay.

To see Bolivia as a potential aggressor is a total nonsense. Bolivia is the poorest South American country, and its population is very small compared to all its neighbors (except Paraguay). Also, Bolivia doesn't have the economic, political, military, and social conditions to be a military threat for countries such as Perú, Chile or Paraguay.

Nonetheless, Bolivia Eclipse asks what the benefits for the Bolivian people are and which are the concrete goals of this military treaty.

1 comment

  • […] writes the Miami Herald. The distrustfulness felt in the Chilean and Peruvian governments has been echoed online, according to GlobalVoices: Chilean conservative bloggers writing at El Rincón de Michelle [ES] agree that the treaty should be regarded as evidence of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez being “a latent threat to the Southern countries”. […]

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