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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bolivia: Morales ratified. Conservatives build racism trenches.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has been ratified by popular suffrage in referendum, getting a support that seems (still awaiting overall official results) higher than 63% nationwide and as high as 78% in some of the most populous departments, while getting also very good results in the restive provinces controlled by the opposition. Most other governors have been too but a handful have seen the people demanding their resignation, these include to opposition politicians and one guvernamental one.

The destituted governors include two from the opposition and one from the guvernamental Movement towards Socialism (MAS). The governor of Cochabamba, conservative, rejected the poll as "illegal" and challenged the government to replace him.

While President Morales made a call to dialogue and collaboration in the aftermath of the referendum, Rubén Costas, governor of Santa Cruz and most vocal opposition leader, insulted the President calling him "dictator" and "macaque" and denounced the constitutional reform project that is being debated as a product of "Aymara fundamentalism", vowing to continue with his project of autonomy for his white and mestizo dominated gas-rich province.

Bolivia is one of the few countries of America that still has an indigenous majority(55%), nevertheless Morales is the first Native American President of the republic and one of the very few of his kind in the history of Latin America, dominated by white and (secondarily) mestizo politicians and businessmen.

The anti-indigenous discourse of the opposition leaders is clearly becoming more and more racist, as their backers are mostly white Bolivians (est. 15% of the total population) who fear that their economical and political hegemony, inheritance of Spanish colonial rule and US neocolonialism, is going to be removed forever under the policies that are nationalizing the strategical sectors like oil and gas to protect them from multinationals' voracity and private mismanagement.

This is the actual context of eastern provinces' claims for autonomy, a claim that never existed before when the whole country was under creole control.

Source articles (in Spanish):
- Gara: Morales ofrece negociación a los opositores tras su triunfo
- Rebelión: Evo Morales alcanza récord histórico y el mandato de ir por la Constitución
- Rebelión: Las tres salidas de la derecha

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