Damn, how this man has a thing for getting it right. Get a load of Evo’s latest big move:
Bolivian President Evo Morales and regional governors have agreed to draw up a pact of national unity to prevent the country from splitting apart.
Mr Morales and the governors said they want to settle their differences over a new draft constitution and revenues from natural gas exports.
Four of Bolivia’s governors declared autonomy last month after Mr Morales’s allies adopted the draft constitution.
Mr Morales’s reform plans still need to be put to a popular vote.
…which they will win. He still has enormous popular support, and no wonder–he’s done several things that were supposed to be impossible. He nationalized Bolivia’s natural gas (and renegotiated all foreign contracts in Bolivia’s favor) without a shot being fired; he’s now seeing record levels of foreign investment; he made sure that the elderly got enough of a pension to live on; he also got a new constitution written after delays (the result of fascist and foreign interference) which caused widespread speculation that the project would founder and put a quick end to his presidency. By now, Evo’s pulled so many rabbits out of his hat that he might just want to become a magician, if he’s not too busy.
Now, get set for something totally hilarious as the Beeb veers off into the realm of comedy:
Provincial governors in the lowland eastern provinces are concerned about how gas revenues are shared with the central government.
They also want to see a revised version of the draft constitution.
The governors of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija declared autonomy for their provinces in December after a constitutional assembly which did not include opposition delegates.
Translation: The oligarchy wants things put back the way they were, and to show they mean business, they’re stomping their feet and holding their breath until they turn blue. “Concerned about how gas revenues are shared with the central government” means they don’t WANT to “share”, they want to OWN the gas, as they were in effect doing before Evo happened along. They hate like hell to see the revenues from that being diverted away from their own overstuffed pockets and toward all those impoverished Indians, whom they have stereotyped, in true racist fashion, as lazy good-for-nothings. (Never mind that it’s those same Indians who do all the dirty, dangerous jobs that these white rich folks wouldn’t touch no matter what you paid them.) And if Evo doesn’t cave and give them back that gas, they’re going to claim an “autonomy” to which they are not lawfully entitled. And now they’re trying to get a revocation of the constitution they didn’t want to help write, because that would have meant compromising with that horrible brown guy (and getting their butts righteously kicked by his popular compadres).
Of course, this offensive on the oligarchy’s part will come to nothing. The fact that it is the Bolivian government, not that of the four oligarchy-run provinces, that does the international bargaining over all gas sales, puts kind of a crimp in their little scheme. So does the fact that Evo convened the constitutional assembly precisely because the wealth distribution was so unfair, and a great many voters wanted it rectified. The hydrocarbon sector is non-negotiable now. This constitution is all about putting the country’s wealth at the service of its people, not the other way around.
So, when I read things like this…
Ruben Costas, the governor of Santa Cruz who has been spearheading the autonomy drive, said: “We all want peace and unity. What’s important is that there’s a willingness to dialogue.”
…I just laugh and laugh and laugh. Evo’s a nice guy, sure–but he’s got them as good as whipped. They just don’t want to concede it yet.
And it doesn’t hurt that he’s got support from the widow of a former French president, either.