Bolivia: The Situation After the Referendum

The campaign for the Constitutional Referendum has ended across Bolivia and Sunday's vote is eagerly awaited. After months of a tension-filled campaign from both supporters and opponents of the draft Constitution, many are left wondering what will happen after the vote. Some other bloggers reflect on some of the problems that will still remain regardless of the vote's outcome and who is to blame for the country's predicament.

La Cholita of Sembrando Palabras [es] writes about some people's sentiments that it doesn't matter which Constitution governs Bolivia, that is people will find a way to continue its problems. She hopes that little by little the new Constitution will change that and that people will say “The best thing Bolivia has….is its people!”

The choices and actions made by the Bolivians under the Constitution will be what determines the country's fate. However, the country will still be facing real challenges, especially in the economic sector.

Roberto Laserna, a social-sciences professor, writes on his blog about the paradox of President Evo Morales’ hold on power [es]. While his popularity is maintaining as proven by his victories in recent referendums and elections, his capacity to govern is diminishing. The gas industry and one of the major revenue sources of the country is at a standstill, and confidence in the country's hydrocarbons industry is at an all-time low.

Evo, más popular pero con menos poder. Esa es la paradoja. Por supuesto, me refiero a poder no en términos de la autoridad que puede ejercer sobre su círculo de amigos o sobre las masas que lo aman, sino al poder de hacer cosas, de transformar la realidad, de cumplir promesas. Ese poder es cada vez menor y, en gran medida, como consecuencia de sus propios actos.

Evo is more popular, but with less power. That is the paradox. Of course, I refer to power, not in terms of authority over his circle of friends of the masses that love him, but to power to do things, to transform reality, to fulfill promises. That power is less and less, and in large part, due to his own actions.

Many opponents of President Morales point to the rhetoric used and criticizes his way of blaming outside parties for the country's problems. Andrés Pucci lists some of the claims over the past three years [es], such as the claim that the U.S. sent terrorists, that the Drug Enforcement Agency was spying, and that there are plans to topple his government.

Pucci also points to the recent inaugural address by President Barack Obama, who directed some words to foreign leaders:

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

and Pucci adds:

Es facil acusar a Estados Unidos para tratar de justificar nuestras incapacidades como sociedad para elegir un buen candidato, esto desde que Bolivia es Bolivia, fácil es culpar a 500 años y a gobernantes pasados de lo que sucede ahora, fácil es guardar resentimiento.

It's easy to accuse the United States in order to try and justify our incapacity as a society to elect a good candidate, which is what has happened since Bolivia became Bolivia, easy to blame 500 years and post governments for what is happening now, easy to hold onto resentment.

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