By Katu Arkonada – Jun 30, 2023
Luis Arce was faced with a difficult panorama, leaving behind the coup, without economic reserves, and in the middle of a pandemic. It can be said that his government, now that he is halfway through his term, is a government of light and dark. Although he recovered the country economically, governing a country is not the same as directing a Ministry of Economy, and so far he has not been able to carry out the great strategic projects of the country, biodiesel, pharmaceuticals, basic chemicals, which were aimed at the industrialization of Bolivia.
Suspicions and accusations
Furthermore, the government of Arce and Choquehuanca is being overshadowed by suspicions of corruption at intermediate levels, which has even led the former Ministers of the previous government, Carlos Romero (Government) and Teresa Morales (Productive Development and Financial Intelligence) to file a complaint against the President of the state oil company Armin Dorgathen, for economic damage to the State due to having bought overpriced diesel from the large storage companies Trafigura and Vitol, which due to all the allegations of corruption they have, are called the “Odebrecht of hydrocarbons.” In Mexico, these allegations even led to the suspension of Vitol’s operations.
Evo Morales has been working to maintain control and cohesion of the Movement Towards Socialism–Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP), which is the electoral acronym under which both Morales and Arce have been presidents. A part of the leadership has been co-opted by belief they have a right to government resources. For the rank and file the majority affirmation is: “we are not well, with Evo we were better off”.
With this objective, as well preparing for presidential elections in 2025, a Congress of MAS-IPSP has been called for October 3-4-5 in Lauca Ñ, Tropic of Cochabamba, the headquarters of the 6 Federations of the Tropic, a union confederation that has already proclaimed Evo Morales as its presidential candidate for 2025.
The three scenarios
Given this situation, Luis Arce, who has been invited to the Congress, has three scenarios: the first and most logical would be to announce that he is not going to run for reelection, since the process must continue under the indigenous leadership that marks history, and ask to be allowed to govern and finish as best as possible his mandate; the second scenario would be challenge Evo Morales for the political leadership of MAS-IPSP, and therefore the presidential candidacy, but this would be a political mistake similar to Alberto Fernandez trying to challenge the political leadership of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; the third scenario, besides being a political mistake, would imply political suicide. If Luis Arce listens to some voices whispering in his ear, to run with another party (such as the old party of Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz PS-1, of which Luis Arce is a militant). But this third scenario, with a divided vote, could even facilitate the return of the right wing.
Faced with this situation of division within the popular movement, the State is promoting an anti-evismo, with the aim of damaging Morales’ personal image, without realizing that in the face of a fratricidal war the right wing could return. Also they would be paving the way so that when Arce’s mandate ends in 2025, the right wing will return, even if the MAS-IPSP wins the election. There will also be political revenge against those who have not been lived up to the process of change with indigenous leadership and the Quechua principle of Ama Sua (do not steal) which will be applied to them, paying for the deviation in the principles of the Bolivian process of change.
The Bolivian sociologist, founder of FLACSO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences), René Zavaleta, spoke of dual power to refer to the rupture from below, which disrupts the natural unity of power of the modern State. Another sociologist, the Marxist Indianist Álvaro García Linera, spoke of a catastrophic standoff to refer to the period 2006-2008 where the government led by Evo had a part of the political power, but the right wing had another part of it, the economic and media power.
Today we have a catastrophic tie that is not allowing the recovery of the Bolivian process of change and transformation, and a dual power that is expressed through the government of Luis Arce and the political leader of the transformative process, Evo Morales. The tie-breaker today can only come through Evo Morales as the political instrument. Not to understand this is to go against the history of struggle with indigenous roots in Bolivia.
Katu Arkonada (Barakaldo, 1978) has a degree in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Public Policies. He has been an advisor to the Vice Ministry of Strategic Planning, the Legal Unit Specialized in Constitutional Development and the Foreign Ministry of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
Katu Arkonada#molongui-disabled-linkFebruary 1, 2023
Katu Arkonada#molongui-disabled-linkJanuary 24, 2023
Katu Arkonada#molongui-disabled-linkMarch 15, 2022
Katu Arkonada#molongui-disabled-linkMarch 31, 2021