Monday, August 11, 2008

No News is No News

The much anticipated referendum to revoke the mandates of Bolivian President and the departmental prefects went off yesterday with many fewer hitches than Florida or Ohio has been able to manage for the last 8 years. And nothing has changed in any way. Okay, a handful of the most corrupt prefects lost their jobs, but aside from that, the basic division of power is the same today that it was Saturday.

The highlands back Evo, and the East is against (to oversimplify drastically). There are a lot of reasons for that, but the most important may be that the government is presented, and in fact presents itself, as a government of the indigenous poor, which feeds right into the right's strategy of amplifying Santa Cruz's non-indigenous self-perception and feeding racism.

So the referendum confirms exactly what we already knew, that the country is in a stalemate, with two regional poles of power that still haven't figured out how to compromise on anything.

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