Sunday, November 20, 2005

My annual bi-monthly political moment of the week.

"Democracy isn't the best system for everybody but it's the most fun to watch".

A Bolivian told me that. It's kind of interesting when you consider that Bolivia gained it's independence in 1825. One hundred and eighty years ago. To date Bolivia has seen more than 200 Presidents. Sometimes the right side of my brain tells me that Bolivia needs a strongman who's slogan is "block the roads and we'll bury you along the side". Then there's the left side of my brain that says......come to think of it the left side doesn't have a clue.

Bolivia has been in a serious economic crisis since the 80's and the outlook is bleak even though they discovered the second richest natural gas reserves under the eastern part of Bolivia. You see, that eastern part wants autonomy. It wants to be seperate from the rest of Bolivia. It's mostly lighter skinned while the rest of Bolivia is mostly dark skinned. The east is right wing while the west is left wing.

Bolivia holds Presidential elections next month and there are two major candidates, One is seen as the U.S. backed candidate and the other is seen as the Chavez/Castro backed candidate. One wants to ship natural gas through Chile (Bolivia's mortal enemy) and the other wants to legalize all cultivation of coca (which is made into cocaine).

Neither will last very long before chaos ensues again.

The only thing that has prevented total chaos in Bolivia is brute force. Brute force means people die. Brute force is usually associated with the right wingers. They're the "block the roads" slogan guys.

The Socialist candidate (Evo Morales) has used brute force as well. His supporters have blocked the major roads and shut down the country more than once sending Bolivians scrambling to find food as the markets shut down and prices soar.

Neither side has the answer because Bolivia has been the "hurricane devastated New Orleans" of South America for twenty tears and like New Orleans residents they need help right fucking now only it aint showing up.

People are so desperate in Bolivia that a savior with gold in his hand could show up in Bolivia and a mob would quickly kill him, steal his gold, and toss his body in a ditch without realizing he knew where gold mine was.

Strap on the seat belts again Bolivia. I'm praying for you.

I once saw a long documentary in my anthropology class, about tin-mining in Bolivia. Disturbing--the poverty of it all
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