19 December 2007

Bolivia's Ruling Elites Show True Colors, Unfurl New Flag

While you wouldn't know it from the overwhelming passage in Bolivia of a new draft constitution that acknowledges indigenous rights and legislates for greater national control over oil and gas resources, many of the wealthiest members of the Andean nation have launched a violent campaign to denounce the effort and secede from the country.

Unlike the 1825 constitution being replaced, at which time the indigenous comprised roughly 90% of the population, the 2007 version solicited their input. Such a radical philosophical shift has greatly upset the largest beneficiaries of the nation's historical and material legacy of slavery, colonialism, and racism. Agence France Presse reports:
Four of Bolivia's richest departments Monday said they will put their autonomy hopes to referendum votes...

The energy-rich eastern departments of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando announced signature drives to... to approve their quest for greater autonomy.
Once their effort to sabotage the constituent assembly failed, one could easily predict the oligarchs' effort to take their ball and go home, setting themselves against the producers of Bolivia's wealth. The AFP continues:
Morales, the country's first indigenous president, has alienated the country's rich lowland regions, whose populations are largely ethnically European and mixed, by pushing his plan to redistribute the country's wealth to the poor natives in the mountains.
In 1860, Uncle Sam's all-white, all-male electorate selected as President a reformist who promised to alter the economic foundation of the country with his insistence that the institution of chattel slavery would extend no further. Henceforth, Lincoln argued, Uncle Sam's economy would run on wage slavery.

And just as Lincoln's proposed reform triggered a violent outcry among those most adversely effected - slave-owners - the Bolivian constitution, which also promises to alter the economic and social relations, has drawn similar ire from the former slave-holders and oligarchs.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they have taken as their flag a piece of cloth that accurately represents the interests for which they stand.

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