Saturday, May 3, 2008
Bolivia: Texas Attitude?
Hat tip to John Lott and his excellent blog shedding light on the situation in Bolivia. He linked to this Boliva blog by John and Kelly.
Due to family, I have a interest since childhood in Bolivia. In fact, I spent part of a summer down there after graduating High School -- big adventure for a 17 year old. My older brother has made it home for nearly 4 decades now (mission work).
He doesn't say much about the political situation in Bolivia. Figures he's there for the Lord's work and doesn't want to mix it up/mess it up with politics. The better part of wisdom, that. Besides, politics in Bolivia is like weather in Denver. If you don't like it, wait a minute. It'll change. I remember being told when visiting in the 70's that Bolivia had one stretch of 75 yrs with something like 83 different governments.
Here's e-mail commentary back from my brother (long):
That was well written and he covered it very well.
There are some other funny things happening here..... in the econony.
Everything is getting much more expensive. Cost of lots of foodstuffs has
gone up about 50% in the past 6 months. During the same period the exchange
rate for the dollar has gone down about 8%. I know the dollar is slipping
world-wide but that doesn't explain the whole picture. Some people suspect
that the Bolivian economy is strong due to increased coca production. That
is a logical assumption since our actual president was (I don't know if he
is presently) president of six different coca grower sindicates.
Besides that, there is the spiritual dimension which David and Kelly
Boldt didn't touch on. There was a whole lot of animism, blood sacrifices,
incantations, hooded and painted earth and sun worshipers concentrated
together for the inauguration. That, followed by a concentrated series of
attacks on Christianity, both Catholic and evangelical: proposals to
secularize all education which would automatically shut down all parroquial
schools, to introduce folk medicine as alternatives into all hospitals and
clinics in the country (institutionalize witchcraft) and a whole lot of
other proposals and actual moves in opposition to everything that falls
under the broad category of Colonialism. "Colonialism" is a big bad word
with this regime. Like they intend to turn the clock back 500+ years to the
"good old days". Lots of the government's moves engender immediate protests
so they aren't immediately put into effect. But they just keep pushing and
all in the same anti-Christian direction.
The blog didn't mention the number of decrees that have come from this
president: a whole plethora of things which trample constitutional rights
and annul internation agreements. Of course, there is no redress since the
high courts have been closed down by the government too. Of course the
constitution is kind of suspended since they're working on a new one. So,
no checks and balances are in place now.
They mentioned the Texas attitude. There is a serious "Don't mess with
Texas" feeling in the Chaco where the last big confrontations occured last
week. Centralist forces came to take over some haciendas claiming that it
was traditional tribal land. Local Guaranis were marshalled to stand in
front but behind them were agitators from high-land Indian groups. In one
place, Ron Larsen's ranch, there were believers in the front lines on both
sides. The government-supported forces had come to "liberate" the slaves of
the abusive plantation owner. But, who was defending Ron's property? His
Christian workers. It was a battle of sticks and stones until the army came
in to support the "liberators". They shot off a great quantity of tear gas
and just as it filled the air a huge gust of wind came out from between the
hills and cast it on the attackers so they disbanded. Like a divine answer
to their aggresion!
But all the land-owners from this area (Chaqueños) have banded together
and are ready to fight this one out.
I wonder if you sent this on to Sam or anyone else. It deserves some