Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Constitution, To Be (1) or Not To Be (1)

The last couple of months in Bolivia have passed rapidly, and for me, in many instances, dangerously; we are still living one of the worst dictatorships with political persecutions in the last half century; at all, there were, and are, 3 of these darkest times.

The period after the Agrarian Revolution, were a civilian dictatorship arouse from the MNR party, winner of the revolution and very similar to the present maSSist regime, were civilian militias responding more or less to their party line, persecuted other political factions, specially the ones closely associated to them, like the also nationalistic and leftist FSB.

Then it comes the dark period of the military coups and regimes, with their total disregard for human rights or respect of any civilian laws; regimes that I resisted in my youth and that obligated for my first voluntarily exile of the country. They were finally defeated by many who today are situated in different sides of the political spectrum.

Today we have perhaps the worst type of dictatorship; lead by another socialist and nationalist party born under democracy but with the same disregard for the rule of law or the human rights of those that don’t think like them, and adding to the later a very dangerous racially motivated rhetoric.

The resistance, were once again I am involved, obligated the present regime to negotiate an exit; not because they wanted it, but because they couldn’t obtain what they wanted trough their violence. And that exit is named the Proposal for New Constitution. I could safely say that the great majority of the country don’t like the way the later was born but are thankful that we were given the opportunity to decide if we want it.

The fact that both, the maSSist regime and a large portion of their opposition favors the implementation of this new proposal makes it almost a sure thing; and many have suggested that debating it has little sense. Now, once again, I will resist that idea and after reading the whole document and able to digest their rhetoric, I am ready to evaluate it, chapter after chapter, and this is the purpose of the following blog. I will first mention those areas I believe the new proposal is favorable for my nation, they will be the TO BE points; and then I will state those that are not favorable and those will be the NOT TO BE points, we will see what this departs to us.

Article 1st to 20th.

TO BE (1)

Article 1 says that the country is composed by various things, among them “autonomies”. This was not in our previous Constitution and was one of the reasons we could not develop ourselves within our differences.

Article 5 mentions the Yuki as a language of the so called original peasant nations; something that if the proposal is approved is going to help them to fight off the Cocalero Colonies that invaded their original territory in El Chapare and that segregated them to the point of not letting the Yuki nationals, according to the proposal, to even enter the towns controlled by maSSist mayors.

Article 9. 6. Incorporates into the Constitution the very important concept of alternative development; a plus to have in any such documents.

Article 10.III. Prohibits the installation of foreign military bases in Bolivian territory; I wander what Hugo Chavez thinks about this.

Article 14.II says that discrimination in base of origin, culture, among other is prohibit. This is great, but it goes against Article 2 and 3; the incongruence’s begun.

Article 15 says that all persons have rights for their respect over their physical integrity, that no one will be tortures, suffer cruel or degrading or humiliating treatment. The death penalty doesn’t exist; this is great but goes against article 2 where the original peasant nations are entitled to their free determination; which includes communal justice where a raped woman is obligated to married her rapist, flagellation for several types of issues and even if is not accepted, the death penalty; where those imposing it are never brought to trial.; once again, more incongruence’s.


Article 2 and 3 talk about Bolivians being a separate composition of several “types, groups or nations”; which will occasion several incongruence’s within the document.

Article 6.II. Adds the wiphala as a symbol of the state; this absurdity is something like proposing that the green and white flag of Santa Cruz also becoming a symbol of the state.

Article 11.II.3. Says that there will be a communal democracy; which could be based on appointing representatives of the community by designation or nomination, not by democratic election. This is a common thing in some peasant communities with tyrannical, medieval style, ruling; but this is no reason to validate it in the Constitution.

Article 13. IV, says that the new “plurinational legislative assembly” will have to once again endorse the current international treaties related to human rights to validate them after the proposal is accepted. Why? There is no reason not to validate them in the Constitution. There is an evident desire to manipulate which Human Rights the new government; which is going to be the same than the actual regime if the proposal is approved, wants to obey, or apply. This is by no means a good thing for anybody in Bolivia.

Article 18. III says that the health system while be “unique”, controlled by the state. This world, unique, could be easily interpreted as “only”; and we all know how bad the health system is in the hands of the Bolivian government.

So fare, there are 6 identified positive issues and 5 negative; but taking in account that 2 of the positive articles are associated to negative articles I will give to this match an score of 1 to 1. So fare I am still open to vote for or against the proposal for new constitution.


Locojhon said...

Occasionally I read this blog for your semi-humorous view of the world, a very small part shown here where you comment (ironically I hope) "Article 10.III. Prohibits the installation of foreign military bases in Bolivian territory; I wander what Hugo Chavez thinks about this,"
WOW...I almost fell on the floor laughing....thanks so much!
(It was clever of you not to mention the growing empire with over 700 military bases around the world--the EEUU (and the real reason for the inclusion of that article) while at the same time promoting fear of Chavez, whose nation has (I believe) ZERO foreign military bases.)
Honestly, you should write for Jay Leno! If the blog weren't so ironically funny, I would have thought it written by the EEUU embassy staff after a rip-snortin (through a rolled-up $100 bill) party! Nice job!
(end of irony)
P.S. Bolivia is changing for the betterment of ALL Bolivians, despite the best efforts of the EEUU-directed neoliberals and Bolivian oligarchic elite--get used to it--or better yet, use your education and talent to help unify Bolivia and help Bolivia aim for long-term sustainability, an end to the plundering or polluting of Bolivia's natural resources for the betterment of others, and for the first time in Bolivian history, insure that the people of Bolivia direct Bolivia's course, not some outside force.
BL,,,you should be a leading force for this type of change, as to being opposed to it, that is unless you are part of the Bolivian elite who fears that your time to rule is over, or as suggested above, a propagandist paid by them (or the EEUU) by the word?
Come on my friend--tell us--which is it?
Or are you really trying to be ironically funny?


Dear Jhon, pardon me for not being naïve enough not to question the “betterment” the ruling maSSist regime wants to implement in my Country. Or not to want to believe Chavez intentions have nothing to do in relation to creating a “Boliviarian” empire where he would be king.

Never the less, as you can see by my comments, the new proposal of constitution, which I already read once, is good enough to make me doubt to which direction will be better for Bolivians to head; that is why I am spending the time to analyze it instead of going to play cacho and drink with my friends.

Opposition is always good, as long as you are open minded to hear or read what the other side propones; I resisted military dictatorship and gained my more or less fluid English in the process and I now resist a foreign power trying to dictate the future of my country; if that makes me an elite, so be it, doesn’t sound bad at all.

P.S. read the proposal for new constitution, if you happen to know Spanish, it is not written by the Bolivian “people”, it is not our language nor it uses the words we the common Bolivians use; is not even the language the Venezuelan paid zealots that represented Evo’s regime in the Constituent Assembly use. So there it goes your theory that “the people of Bolivia direct Bolivia’s course”.

One last thing, the people on the EEUU embassy confessed to me they used the US$1 dollar bill to snort whatever there is they snort; I guess partying so much with Hugito’s friends have give you away; keep snorting Evo’s best; dictatorship always backfires unless you are sitting in a small island in the Caribbean.

Anonymous said...

Boludo libre:
You were exiled by Banzer? Amazing, a Nazi expelling a neo nazi to an English speaking country. Who is paying you now? Tuto? Costas? AID?
You must be a MIRista who left the country using the excuse of being persecuted and then returned to empty the coffers of the bolivian banks along with the crooks like Paz Zamora, Oscar Eid and the others who now are enjoying their illed adquired fortunes.
Libre? Bolivia is free now, thanks god after 500 years.


Ano 3:30 AM, If you must really want to know, at the present time we are being paid by the same boss, Hugo Chavez, thanks to our common connection, George Soros. I assume this will amaze you more than my previous “necessity” to leave the country.

The difference among you and me is that I am using my position not only to bring the bread and butter to the table but to also obtain information and resources to continue keeping the freedom Bolivia gained 183 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Chavez must be an idiot, or Soros works for the cia.