Carlos Mesa replaces Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada as president of Bolivia

Another democratic step forward in Bolivia:
Gringo Gony Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada has gone

Nipawin - Tuesday - October 21, 2003 - by: Mario deSantis

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."

Arundhati Roy, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 27, 2003

flees to

vice-president Carlos Mesa has become the new president. The free marketeer ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, popularly known as Gringo Gony, has fled to the United States as the killing of some 90 people by the police were unable to repress the widespread peaceful demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of poor people across the country.

elites &

Bolivia, as most of Latin America, has been always exploited by the local elites on behalf of American and European powers. So whenever we think of banana republics we must all realise that such banana republics were tailor-made to the liking of the local elites and their foreign masters. But the latest demonstrations which brought the resignation of president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada are not an expression of the local elites, rather an expression of democracy by the indigenous people after many many of years of exploitation.




The latest form of economic exploitation Bolivians were supposed to endure, after their winning struggle against the multinational privatisation of their own water, was the privatisation of their own gas to be delivered via pipeline to Chile and then on to the United States and Mexico.




The Free Market is a complex economic international setting arranged by the coordinated behaviour of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the World Trade Organization. I remember that some years ago I was supportive of the free market because I was ignorant of its working, and in fact I was referring to the free market as the freer opportunity to exchange ideas, goods, services and money. But now I know better, the Free Market is not a fair market, it is just the hegemonic fictional brand of international economics, it includes duplicity and it is a power game based on the administrative Roman principle of divide and conquer, that is the fragmentation of our lives and the compartmentalization of our thinking.




While we don't have the free movement of people we have the exchange of ideas in the form of copyrights, while developing countries don't have an enriching domestic market we have their economies programmed for exporting their natural resources, while developing countries should have their own currency to protect and develop their domestic economy, we have the dollarisation of local currencies and the dollarisation of international commodities.




The Free Market is a confusing nightmare to the minds of common people who are continually lied to by ideological politicians. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada was the architect of the Free Market's Structural Adjustment Programs which have sapped Bolivia. In 1985, de Lozada described his winning economic polices in this way:
"Once we implemented the measures, we had a general strike, the country was paralyzed for ten days in September 1985... So we captured the union leaders and deported them to the interior of the country... We closed down COMIBOL, the state mining consortium and fired 24,000 workers in addition to the 50,000 public employees fired at the national level. We eliminated job security."







On the other hand an indigenous Aymara woman naturally rebutted these economic policies:

"Like animals they kill us. They come to surround us with planes and helicopters and tanks; not even animals are killed like this, there are children here yet they're entering people's houses, to look for leaders. Here's the proof--the bullets."

New president Carlos Mesa has subjected the construction of the gas pipeline to a referendum and has created the new ministry of Ethnic Affairs to address the grievances and poverty of the majority indigenous population. While the US State Department has paid tribute to Sanchez de Lozada as he arrived in Miami, we all hope that what has happened in Bolivia is the continuation of a natural democratic movement to free Latin America from the stranglehold of the branded fiction of the Free Market.




Today is a quieter day in Bolivia and we can all breath fresher air.



Mario deSantis


  Pertinent articles published in Ensign
  Vanessa Arrington Tens of thousands of Indians march on Bolivia's capital October 20, 2003 Associated Press,
  Hylton, Forrest War And Peace In Bolivia October 16, 2003 Znet
  Kruse, Tom The IMF and the Bolivian Crisis October 15, 2003 Znet
  Public Citizen Water Privatization Case Study: Cochabamba, Bolivia
  Michel Chossudovsky The Globalization of Poverty 2nd Edition, 2003, Chapter 15, Bolivia's New Economic Policy, page 229-230
  Agence France Presse-AFP Carlos Mesa new leader in troubled Bolivia as former president quits October 18, 2003


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