Evo I of Cocaland is not the 99%
On a place where reality is mythical
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"Here the snow is mythical" is a surprising line in a poem written by Franz Tamayo and graved on one of La Paz avenues facing the magnificent Mount Illimani. I am not sure Mr. Tamayo would appreciate thousands of people stepping on his words on a daily base, but his words are not less odd than his fellow citizens’ actions. After all, he defined "snow" as "mythical" in a city where snow is normal (though global warming is changing that rapidly). He is the result of certain culture and his words reflect the way that culture interprets reality. Open declarations here are never exact; especially if you may be sued for them. I know most of my readers are not especially interested in Bolivia, but I beg for a bit of endurance.
In Detaining Democracy from October 8, 2011, I commented on what still was in the near future: … there is no reason to despair. Every few hundred years a shiny light appears in the world and illuminates our minds. On October 16, history is about to be made. For the first time in the history of the world, citizens of a country are about to openly elect the judges of their judiciary system. Is Greece emerging again as a beacon of democracy to the nations? Did Churchill words convince the Brits to improve the “less bad system?” Is this about to be implemented by Zionist Libya? No, no, no, Evo Morales of Bolivia is the Beacon. Following the adoption of a new Constitution promoted by his party – MAS, the Movement Towards Socialism – the country is about to experience this new type of elections. In Bolivia against my will, I am witnessing this process from its very center, in La Paz. The national vote will elect magistrates to serve on the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunal, the Agro-environmental Tribunal, and members of the Council of the Judiciary. Proposed Supreme Tribunal magistrates must be approved as qualified by a two-thirds vote of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly. Candidates are forbidden from campaigning and from affiliating with political parties. Yesterday this remarkable event took place and left all witnesses with a lot of worries and no answers.
One of the reasons for the dramatic change in the Bolivian judicial system – to the extent of creating a worldwide precedent - is its disastrous shape. The average trial in Bolivia takes six years and as of now there are 25 thousand delayed trials in a country of roughly 10 million people. The data was published by Mr. Arce – the Bolivian Minister of Justice – just a few days before the historical event. Most readers from most countries self-defined as "Western-democracies" would find a similar situation in their respective countries. This type of countries is notorious for providing justice just for corporations and the rich; essentially the "Occupy Wall Street" and "We are the 99%" movements we see these days include implicit claims toward the condition of the judicial system in the USA and other countries around the world.
Until now, everything looks fine and democratic. But then, the sheet to be used for the voting is a meter long and demands five different steps. It can’t be properly understood by the vast majority of the voters, who are semi-literate. Similar tactics were adopted in previous referendums and elections. Technically, candidates were forbidden from campaigning and from affiliating with political parties, but proposed magistrates must be approved as qualified by a special legislative assembly. Here is where political deals were made. All candidates were approved by the MAS (Evo Morales’ party) and a complex system of quotas (almost a racial numerus clausus) was adopted and kept secret, since the political affiliation of the candidates wasn’t divulged to the public. Only on October 7, the candidates were widely disclosed when booklets with their names and biographies were given to passersby in La Paz. All this secrecy didn't allow an informed voting process to the average citizen. All this secrecy enabled the last stage of the taking over of Bolivia through a constitutional revolution by a leader specifically related to certain crop and not to his people. The USA – brave defender of Human Rights in Southern Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan but not at home or in countries with no strategic resources – is content knowing its "sugar" will keep flowing. Ole Obama!
We didn't see that on the CNN. We didn't see that on the Venezuelan teleSUR. (Venezuela is Bolivia main ally; the USA is Bolivia's main customer, see Evo Morales, TIPNIS and Illusions of Green.) In these networks and similar ones, extensive coverage was given to the international observers. Did they eat well? Did they have a supply of safe water? How did they cope with the extremes climates in the country? It took me some effort to get the real numbers. Only 60 observers were delivered to a country larger than Texas and California combined! The presence was varied – even the American Colony of Colombia sent an observer – but they were too few. They couldn't cover even a tiny fraction of the Bolivian territory. They saw what the local government wanted them to see and nothing else. The curfew imposed on civil life – to the extent that intra-city public transport was banned - wasn’t commented by any of these impartial observers, despite the place looking scarier than Southern Sudan. The closed shops, the lack of bread and water, sugar and coffee wasn't reported. We didn’t see the TIPNIS protests stopped in the way to La Paz by the police, but we saw the pro-government counterparts – hastily organized – making a triumphal entry just before the elections! They threw flowers on the great leader and looked happy. The "Nullify your Vote" campaign – which asked voters not to vote in the only legal way since voting is compulsory - was repressed, its signs brutally removed while large signs supporting the event were placed by the government on untouchable places. A Festival of Democracy. Viva Che Guevarra, the American dollar and the banks of Zurich!
"You made an unbalanced comment there," the editor of The Cross of Bethlehem shortly before the book’s publication. "You must present the Israeli Administration side as well," she added when my skepticism on her first comment became evident.
"Why? Does the American press present the Taliban’s positions?" I countered. And that's one of the most important things self-defined Western-democracies lack: a balanced report on their many fallacies. We don't want the niece of the prominent politician appearing as a leading anchor and reporting on her aunt’s adversity. We don't want the press of the Obamas and the Camerons, the Netanyahus and the Peres; not even the one belonging to Evo I of Cocaland. They are not the 99%, they are not the People.
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