<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
December 16, 2006 [LINK / comment]
Separatism spreads in Bolivia
The city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia was the scene of a virtual "million man march" on Friday, as protests against the plans of President Evo Morales to centralize government authority in La Paz are gaining momentum. Santa Cruz is the center of oil and gas production in Bolivia, and people living there don't want to have all their wealth sucked out, to be redistributed by politicians in a distant capital city. Morales, who is a former union boss who is used to getting his way, is having difficulty imposing his will on the general population. See CNN.com. The push for autonomy is now spreading from the eastern province to other regions such as Beni and Pando in the north and Tarija in the south. See bolivia.com (in Spanish). It all adds up to a titanic nationwide showdown, as Chavez either succeeds in forcing his rule upon a divided nation, or else backs down. There is also a third scenario: neither side gives up, and the confrontation escalates toward civil war. The violence associated with the downfall of two recent presidents (October 2003 and June 2005) shows what a strong possibility that is.
This wave of opposition has been gathering steam for the past few weeks, ever since Morales started to manipulate the proceedings of the constitutent assembly to pave the way for easier ratification of his revised state charter. He wants to allow changes to specific articles to be approved by a simple majority vote, rather than by the customary supermajority; ratifying the whole charter would still require approval by two-thirds of the 255 members of the constituent assembly. (The assembly convened in August, and protests began within a few weeks; see Sept. 11.) Ostensibly, the proposed constitutional changes are aimed at giving more power to the Indian population of Bolivia, but in essence they would serve to undermine constitutional limits on government power. Bolivia would be transformed into a unitary state, a "winner-take-all" system with a heavily populist flavor. Such an unchecked majoritarian democracy, as Immanuel Kant once wrote, is tantamount to despotism.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 16 Dec 2006, 10: 29 PM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)