Since a week ago or so, one of the major preoccupations among the Bolivian people that believe in, “living good”, trough democracy, has being the speculation by the maSSist regime that the private sector was responsible for the rising of the prices of basic food items within the nation and their brainless decree prohibiting the private sector to export edible oil, no matter the consequences.
This policy, which consist in prohibiting the oil producers to export oil, mostly from the Soya fields of Santa Cruz, stronghold of the opposition; supposedly had the brilliant idea of ensuring that there will be so much cooking oil, since we only consume around 20% of what we produce, that it will become really cheap. Off course, cooking oil isn’t the only item that has become scarce in the Country.
The private industry could talk to the government and say that they will subvention the oil within the country and loose money, but not the international contracts; where the real bucks are. But, why should they subvention our lives when the government says they have collected so much money with their hydrocarbon policy that their economy is the healthiest ever in the nation. Something I seriously doubt since it cannot even increase the pitiable salaries it pays to our police force.
In reality, very few people supports the regime’s measurement, most of them are anti capitalist and globalization radicals that will support any maSSist decision. Or the lazy people that all societies have that believe they should get all the benefits for living well from the government, no matter they work for it or not. And, the most pathetic, the ones that truly believe the private industry is provoking alimentary speculation in the country, and all do they accept is not a smart economic move, they think is a dam good political move.
Some of the pro Evo people that know at least a little about economy, like Jim Shulthz, a public supporter of the regime’s policies who almost never writes in critical fashion of the Morales administration wrote the following in his most recent blog: http://www.democracyctr.org/blog/. “Morales government is becoming more and more paranoid and authoritarian in its manner, a subject of genuine concern here by both right and left. It is also a really stupid move politically. Is there really a sane politician anywhere in the world who believes that his or her political standing will improve by completely pissing off every media outlet in the nation? Another article reports on a government decree banning the export of cooking oil, again ostensibly an anti-inflation measure, but again, a really stupid one”.
Mario Duran. A resident from El Alto, the city where the maSSist have their most virulent and sectarian partisans in the highlands of the country also question this political intransigency in his blog, http://bolivianueva.blogspot.com/. Bolivia, Destruccion de la industria aceitera.
The Bolivian newspapers are full of articles from capable people denouncing this foolish and arbitrary decree, the largest cooking oil fabric in Cochabamba already communicated they are not buying more soy beans to produce their products and will likely close their doors and fire their workers. The heavy transport association of the Country is preparing to blockage the international commerce, since they will also be seriously affected by this; and so on reported every industry that uses the byproducts of the cooking oil product for their on production, like the aviculture.
The private industry sector in Santa Cruz is meeting next Tuesday to study what to do, including the possibility to continue producing and exporting against the will of the regime, which said it will use the army to stop any such intention.
All this reminds me an e-mail that a Venezuelan friend sent me recently, telling me how in his last trip to Africa, I thing Congo or Liberia, he bought 3 cans of powder milk to take to his Country; since the totalitarian regime of Hugo Chavez has spend years destroying a private industry that compete with the government for the love of the people, which resides in our pockets.
In addition to this very possible populist thinking by the Morales’ administration, I also believe that there is a specific provocation to the opposition by the regime, which it is based heavily in the productive private sector; trying to affect their pockets hoping for them to organize violent mobilizations in Santa Cruz, so to have an excuse to use the army against them. Thus, instead of fighting freedom fighters from the autonomic movement, they will be fighting money sucking oligarchs.
We will see what happens after next Tuesday, in the mean time, and according to the regime’s common rule of thumb and desire, people in the nation is becoming more and more socially alike; poor and jobless. Just what a nationalistic populist administration needs if it wants to survive.