Sunday, September 21, 2008
THOUGHTS BEFORE LEAVING
I come the issue of trying to understand what is at stake in the Bolivian crisis late in the game. My hope is to bring an outside observer’s truth, my long-time experience of thinking out to the future and not just today’s expedient summary– which for those who haven’t worked with me is capsule of my eternal professional battle in the corporate sector. The situation in Bolivia is already way past go, and what I am reading and hearing is of such divergent reality that I feel like I will need to stay centered and rational. My own understanding of this culture – the understanding that comes from being born into an ethnicity that you cannot dissemble away from is still a child’s filtered by living a lifetime here in the US. It is my best friend and I walking over the Queensboro Bridge from NYC, through deserted streets on a Sunday – every Sunday in a certain August -- in the heat of summer to eat Salteñas at a Bolivian Restaurant called El Illimani that we had heard about – walking I don’t know maybe an hour or two in the reminiscing of great friends towards the taste of something that would remind us of those children we had been in that city called La Paz. That may have been the extent of my ongoing link -- that certain summer walk -- to a city now divided within it’s own periphery and from half of the country it is battling.
What will I find different from the great learned pundits of the BBC who while commenting on one of the most historic moments in Bolivian history intersperse their analysis with talk about the colorful “indigenous chola” with the derby and how they cured their altitude sickness with – gasp and titter -- “COCA LEAVES, we know what they are used for don’t we?” What can I offer that is going to be different than what you will read in simplification? The simplifications that are being offered up everywhere everyday like the simplifications we see daily in our own papers where the past few daily headlines read ‘MC CAIN VOWS TO FIGHT WALL STREET CORRUPTION! Below the headline is a smiling McCain/Palin nicely airbrushed for posterity. I wonder where is my candidate Obama? Why is he buried below the fold and why do I have to read the whole article to find out that what the paper was really saying was that McCain can’t fight corruption because he has been part of the system all along. I hope to help get myself to read the entire article and below the fold.
What is driving this revolution? Who is leading the people who want to derive their livelihoods from natural gas fields to sabotage their own infrastructure developments? How did the people who have nothing, I mean nothing, appear suddenly armed with machine guns when yesterday they were fighting with rocks? How can you vote for a constitution that will divide up a country into 37 nations and expect good governance while you ignore a historical dialectic that has been moving for 500 years – say like taking back DC for the Powtomack Indians to rule? How did you have a forced vote for a new constitution when a huge majority can’t even read it, when it says that you will no longer have the right to leave a legacy behind will that be incentive to prosper freely? Was this constitutional Communism fully vetted or voted on by fraud ? Is this just the same old same old the right --old wealthy white elites trying to tamp down an Indian movement before it can really blossom? Is this movement completely pure because it supported by my favorite NGOs and some lucid world leaders? If you have read this far you know it goes deeper and wider than that. What I do know is that so so much is at stake and it about so much-- it is about struggle for resources, ethnic understanding, constitutional rights, economic parity, geopolitical hegemony and so much more that it dizzies the brain.
Stay tuned because I am now confirmed on Tuesday out of DC after the U.S. evacuated non-essential personnel flights were cancelled and I have been on a hold pattern ever since.