Is there any exit door? Bolivia in deadlock.
As someone reads the recent facts that took place in Bolivia, keeps wondering: "Can it be true that so many people in Bolivia demonstrated against Morales? Is it rational, that all those people wanted this succesful leader to leave power? Was there anything better on the political scenery of their country to replace him?"... And the questions can go on and on...
The political chasm in Bolivia is on the one hand denouncing a "coup" and on the other hand, some are welcoming the "return to democracy"...a hypothesis which sounds extremely intangible, taking into consideration the current crisis in the country.
Evo Morales who submitted his resignation last month, under pressure from escalating demonstrations taking place in La Paz, over the argument of fake election results, used to be Bolivia's most successful leader ever, during the 14 years he ruled the country! He managed to strengthen Bolivia's economy by developing it by 4,9% each year, and according to the World Bank, poverty has been reduced from 63% to 35%, and wealth has been distributed to people through many social programs.
He also used to be the leader of "Cocaleros", the people who cultivated coca plant and fought against the obligatory uprooting of coca plant, which was imposed externally. He believed and supported that coca plant is a natural product and its use is not for making cocaine, so there was no need to uproot a plant that symbolized Bolivia's natural wealth. Actually this plant became his emblem in his fight to protect the treasures and the natural legacy of his country, thus, becoming a hero leader in Bolivia.
What might have happened under such a successful leadership, to have a turnout like this? There must have been some deficit, that left space to this chaos...!
In the midtime, a rightwing christian who served as deputy president of the senate, named Jeanine Anez, took the power, as interim president until the new election can be hold. Within 90 days she has the responsibility to organize elections, but it looks like she has shown not a great enthusiasm for that.
Ofcourse it is not hard to believe that protests in the streets continue to take place, while supporters of Morales accuse the authorities for targeting them for their indigenous appearance. Indigenous people have been discriminated in Bolivia for a long time, and found support to the face of their leader Evo Morales, who used to be the first indigenous leader in Bolivia.
And now what??
Jeanine Anez's new cabinet formulation, shows no sign at all that she has any intention on reaching accross Bolivia's deep political and ethnic divide. Her senior ministers, are prominent members of the business elite from Santa Cruz.
And this is really frustrating, for a country with such a deep ethnical issue and a political situation ready to explode, a country when there is no visible way out or even the contigency of a dialogue process...
And the conclusion we can come down to, is only one. Morales was really a fantastic leader! But he individualized his policy, thus weakening the trust of people in institutions. Also, he lost trust by many people, when he decided to have a referendum back in 2016, that would allow him to be elected for another time, something that was not permitted by the constitution. All this, made him somehow appear like the "elite" he tried to fight.
The era when people are sick of self-centered and personalized politics, has reached in South American countries. The charisma-leader in Weber's classification for leaders' traits, seems to be doubted all-around the world. But the problem is, as it always happens, that when people are overwhelmed by a situation, they usually tend to ignore everything and destroy even the constructive basis that once led to a better future, which can further be the basis for even better days, instead of making changes upon the useful elements that became a country's legacies through long fights...And now about what is next in Bolivia.... i can only "borrow" my greatest friend's Khaled quote: "Wait and Watch"...!
written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science