TO CORRECT THE CRITICAL STATE OF THE TRANSITION TOWARDS DEMOCRACY IN BOLIVIA
Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
Ever since Evo Morales’ resignation the past 10th of November, the process to transition to democracy in Bolivia is underway under extremely dangerous and fragile conditions because “the dictator fell but not the dictatorship”. The Interim President Jeanine Añez has the mandate to conduct free and fair elections as soon as possible but is faced with the dictatorship’s intact forces, the unclear functional opposition, narcotics’ trafficking, foreign intervention and violence. A critical situation that urges an analysis and correction.
The post-dictator political scenario shows Bolivia in three separate groups: 1. The dictatorship’s; with the coca-leaf harvesters’ political instrument that is the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) political party, the coca-leaf harvesters’ unions and other irregular groups to generate violence. 2. The traditional system of political parties and leaders identified as functional to the regime’s almost 14 years, with the option to clarify their role and conduct an effective defense of the transition. 3. That of the civic leaderships triumphant by the massive protests and civil resistance movements that led to the dictator’s resignation.
The interim government’s make-up was made between the functional opposition parties and the civic leaders, as shown by the ministerial cabinet’s composition and the appointments for the management of foreign policy. What was supposed to have been a “government of national unity for free and fair elections” in a few days became a government dominated by Ruben Costas’ Democrat Social Movement operated by Oscar Ortiz with Jorge Quiroga’s influence. The civic leaders’ inexperience made them lose -up to now- any saying regarding the transition, although they sustain four ministers with a growing political irrelevance.
The interim government’s objective is solely to conduct free and fair elections. For these new elections the interim government incorrectly chose the path to revitalize the Legislative Assembly controlled by two-thirds of the votes by the MAS, the political party of the resigning dictator, when it could have done this instead through Executive Branch dispositions and use as a precedent the interim government of Eduardo Rodriguez and with the eventual confirmation of the Constitutional Tribunal (also under dictatorial control). This brought about Añez government’s agreements with the MAS and Evo Morales, that hint to the drafting of amnesty/impunity covenants. Instead of weakening the dictatorial system, the transition has been placed in their hands and the current power is wielded by the dictatorship and/or the functional opposition.
Identifying the opponents of freedom and democracy in Bolivia was always clear. They are; the criminal organization installed by Evo Morales under the guise of a political party (MAS), the dictatorial structure that controls all branches of government, Cuba and Venezuela’s foreign intervention that through the imposition of “Castrochavism” made Bolivia one of its satellites, narcotics’ trafficking on which Evo Morales’ bases his power for political and economic mobilization that turned the country into a “narco-state”, and the violence that all of these components can deploy to produce havoc and death and blame these on the government using the ploy to attribute its crimes on the victims, just as they did in October of 2003, in the massacres at the Las Americas Hotel, the town of Porvenir, and elsewhere.
The indispensable measures of President Añez’s government to get to free and fair elections are very clear and unavoidable: 1. Aim her political alliances to the axis of the opposition with civic leaders and not with members of the dictatorship, as is now the case. 2. Move forward, as much as possible, in the dismantling of the dictatorship, starting with the filing of charges for crimes committed by the dictator and his accomplices in the electoral process and other crime including narcotics’ trafficking and with the extinction and ensuing loss of legal standing for the MAS political party. 3. Start the dismantling of the “Cocaine Republic” that Evo Morales has intact in the tropical area of Cochabamba with international cooperation that includes the immediate return of the DEA, restoring international agreements the dictator breached in order to build his narco-state. 4. Redress the relationship with Cuba and Venezuela by treating them as aggressor states and expelling the fake diplomatic personnel directed by Rafael (The Rooster) Zamora who serves as ambassador. 5. Fine tune its foreign policy to the specific task of getting recognition of her government on the basis of proof of Evo Morales’ crimes.
The simultaneous and effective application of these measures can -at the least- stop the conspiracy that, along with Transnational Organized Crime, Evo Morales conducts right now from Argentina to regain his control over his narco-state.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Published by infobae.com Sunday December 15, 2019
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators’ Association, ATA # 234680.