The situation in Bolivia is not unusual (the winds of change seem to be blowing swift across the globe), but for the White House, it is disturbing.
Tension has once again grown after a brief respite in past months thanks to promises of concessions made by the government of President Carlos Mesa,
in response to the demands by Indigenous rights groups. The methods used by the natives proved effective enough to topple one President and force
Mesa into promising to step down after just 18 months in office. The Indigenous Rebels control most of the roads leading in and out of the country,
and nearly all the access roads leading to the facilities of foreign energy concerns (the government's traditional supporters), which often lie in
remote locations that can only be reached by truck. The revolutionaries use roadblocks and sabotage to prevent the foreign energy workers from being
able to get through, and to frustrate the military's ability to respond to the sabotage. The people have announced their position, and it stands in
such dramatic opposition to the plan Washington has for the region, it's unclear what sort of compromise can be reached. Just some of the policy
disagreements are over drug interdiction and crop spraying, land ownership, foreign investment, and the preservation of natural resources for the
benefit of Indigenous Bolivians.
Pascual Condori steeled himself with a cheekful of coca leaves and poured drops of beer as an offering to Pachamama, Mother Earth. As citizens
gathered in the central square of this dusty Andean town, he raised a voice that had been muzzled for five centuries.
"As indigenous people, we will not be discriminated against!" he told his fellow Aymara Indians at the rally last fall. "We all have rights, my
Across Latin America, many of the region's 40 million indigenous citizens are raising similar voices of discontent, angry that greater political
freedom and free-market economic policies fostered by the spread of democracy have not lifted them out of poverty. And in Bolivia, they have brought
President Carlos Mesa's government to the brink of collapse.
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The winds of change most certainly are blowing. Add Bolivia to a long and growing list of countries that have put their foot down and demanded
justice from their public officials. Bolivia was added to a list of unstable countries on a State Department list; a veritable rouges gallery
including such countries as Iraq, Haiti, and Sudan, among many others.
The common thread of course, in all these revolutions, is the people. Whether or not they are being manipulated is a matter up for debate. The sheer
number of revolutions just since Jan would seem to indicate something out of the ordinary is happening. Whether it is a sea change in huamn
consciousness, or the insidious grip of some ruthless global domination scheme, is what we don't yet know.
One thing is for sure, with so many countries caught up in the change just south of Americas border, it will prove to be a very unstable security
situation. A short list of unstable countries in the region: Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama. The list grows daily, as
according to this article, there are perhaps 40 million natives involved all across the continent, all sharing one common goal, Natives Rights. One
can imagine that trend spreading northwards, and even affecting North America if the tribal council would convene and put aside its differences.