RECOMENDAMOS
- Real Instituto Elcano
- LATN
- Portal Estado Peruano

ARCHIVO EDITORIALES

POLITICA
Países
Organismos
Regiones
Situación General
Política Bilateral
Política Multilateral
Política Exterior
Otros temas

ECONOMIA
Inversiones y Comercio
Integración
Desarrollo
Negociaciones Económicas Multilaterales
Situación General
Otros temas

SEGURIDAD
Defensa
Seguridad Colectiva
Amenazas Globales
Situación General
Otros temas
DESARROLLO Y OTROS ASUNTOS
LINKS DE INTERES
Links del Perú
Links Internacionales

 


POLITICA

LEARNING FROM AN OUSTED PRESIDENT

Artículo publicado con autorización del autor.

Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada's recent ouster, following weeks of deadly protests in which up to 80 Bolivians died, offers the Bush administration a welcome opportunity to revamp U.S. policy in Latin America.

Outrage against this U.S.-educated millionaire, who speaks Spanish with an American accent, was sparked by a controversial plan to export natural gas to Mexico and the United States through neighboring Chile, when Peru offered better terms. Opponents objected because it benefited Chile, a perennial rival after Bolivia lost its coastline to Chile in the 1879 War of the Pacific.

Matters came to a head when Bolivians learned the multinational engineering firm Sánchez de Lozada hired to complete an "impartial" study of the gas project, had close ties to the Bechtel Group and to three foreign companies involved in the gas venture.

A Bechtel subsidiary generated a storm of protest in Bolivia three years ago when it raised local water rates in the city of Cochabamba. Bolivian peasants, believing access to clean water was a human right, eventually defeated the effort. They charged that no one has the right to lease the rain.

But there's much more than natural gas behind Bolivia's riots. They quickly developed into a popular referendum on globalization, U.S. meddling in Bolivian affairs, and the use of force to suppress the demonstrators.

The gas proposal tapped deep discontent with a decade-old free market experiment that increased the huge gap between rich and poor. A free-market advocate, Sánchez de Lozada privatized state-run businesses and ushered in other "reforms" during his first term, from 1993 to 1997. The president defended his gas export plan, calling it a "gift from God," but few Bolivians, nearly half of whom earn less than $2 daily, believed the average citizen would benefit.

Popular unrest also underlined discord with U.S.-backed anti-coca growing policies, which deprived thousands of peasants of their livelihood. Highlighting the cost of the coca war, Sánchez de Lozada complained in a private interview just before his fall, "the United States asks a lot but offers little." President George W. Bush had just rejected a $150 million loan request to plug a gap in the Bolivian budget.

Unable to force change in the legislature, indigenous leaders opted for street mobilization. This political empowerment of native peoples in Bolivia is part of a regional trend, also evident in Ecuador and Peru.

Bolivia's Andean neighbors share its problems. Economic and political stability has become increasingly fragile, even in countries like Peru where the economy is performing relatively well. In response, Washington has beefed up its military presence, recently announcing new bases in Ecuador and Peru.

In the increasingly futile war on drugs, the Bush administration has pushed Bolivia and Peru to adopt zero tolerance, ignoring the centuries-old socioeconomic role of coca production. In both states, the plant is used legally and doesn't just serve as the main raw ingredient for cocaine.

Events in Bolivia simply highlight many concerns of most Latin American states. For example, the recent Free Trade Area of the Americas talks in Miami exposed widespread disagreement on both globalization and U.S. trade policies.

President Carlos Mesa Gisbert, vice president under Sánchez de Lozada, in mid-November hosted a two-day Ibero-American summit in Santa Cruz. When the protestors who had forced Sánchez de Lozada from office only a month earlier held an "alternative summit" at a nearby university, Mesa dropped in to talk with the disaffected, something his predecessor would never have done.

At the summit, President Mesa's colleagues strengthened his hand, issuing a statement in support of democracy in Bolivia and promising financial aid. The summit also approved a plan, championed by Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, to allow debtor nations, like Bolivia, to reduce debt payments, investing the money instead in infrastructure projects.

After ignoring Latin America up to now, the Bush administration recently promised a fresh start. Bolivia is a good place to begin a fundamental reevaluation of U.S. policies, as part of a wider effort to rebuild confidence and stability in the region.

(Ronald Bruce St John)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ronald Bruce St John, a Foreign Policy in Focus analyst, has published extensively on Latin American issues, including "La Política Exterior del Perú" (1999). He wrote this for the Institute of Policy Studies. The Institute for Policy Studies is the only multi-issue progressive think tank in Washington, D.C. Through books, articles, films, conferences, and activist education, IPS offers resources for progressive social change locally, nationally, and globally. http://www.ips-dc.org

.:. subir
 


MARCO DE LA POLITICA EXTERIOR

   

ARCHIVO DOCUMENTOS 2013 -2012 -2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003

Acuerdo Nacional Política Sexta

DISCURSOS

Intervención del Canciller Roncagliolo en la Asamblea general de la OEA
22 de marzo de 2013

COMUNICADOS Y DECLARACIONES

Comunicado oficial sobre incidente de Embajador de Ecuador en el Perú
29 de abril de 2013

Declaración Conjunta de los ministros de Relaciones Exteriores y de Defensa de Perú y Chile (4a reunión)
3 de mayo de 2013

ARTICULOS

NOTAS DE PRENSA

Canciller de Bolivia visita el Perú
11 de abril de 2013

Delegación del gobierno de Baviera visita el Perú
12 de abril de 2013

Cancillería gestiona recuperación de patrimonio cultural
15 de abril de 2013

Presidente de Portugal realizará visita oficial al Perú
15 de abril de 2013

Reunión extraordinaria de Jefes de Estado de UNASUR
17 de abril de 2013

Conferencia de Alto Nivel de miembros UNASUR sobre desastres naturales
19 de abril de 2013

Gobierno saluda elecciones en Paraguay y felicita al nuevo Presidente
22 de abril de 2013

El Presidente de México vista el Perú
23 de abril de 2013

Pronunciamiento de UNASUR sobre elecciones en Paraguay
23 de abril de 2013

Cancillería realiza seminario sobre la Organización del Tratado de Cooperación Amazónica
24 de abril de 2013

Perú condena atentado terrorista en Trípoli
23 de abril de 2013

6a reunión de comité técnico peruano-ecuatoriano sobre asuntos productivos y ambientales
26 de abril de 2013

Perú y España acuerdan fortalecer cooperación para el desarrollo
26 de abril de 2013

Perú presenta candidatura de Javier de Belaunde a Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
26 de abril de 2013

Presidente de Panamá visitó el Perú
26 de abril de 2013

Canciller de Japón visitará al Perú
26 de abril de 2013

Grupo de Parlamento Europeo para relaciones con la CAN realiza visita oficial al Perú
30 de abril de 2013

Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores y de Defensa de Perú y Chile (2+2) se reúnen el 2 de mayo
30 de abril de 2013

Cancilleres de Perú y Japón se reúnen
30 de abril de 2013

Venezuela aprueba proceso de regulación migratoria de peruanos
2 de mayo de 2013

    CONTEXTO.org® 2003 - Derechos reservados    
Host & Design: