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Judy Rebick is one of Canada's most celebrated and well-known feminist thinkers, critics and writers. She is the founder of rabble.ca.

Bolivia re-invents democratic socialism with Indigenous people in the lead

| November 14, 2009
Bolivia re-invents democratic socialism with Indigenous people in the lead

On December 6, Bolivia will hold a general election where Evo Morales, the first Indigenous President in South America will no doubt be re-elected.  His party, the MAS,  has recently released an election programme that Susan Harvie has kindly summarized and translated.  Bolivia is reinventing democractic socialism.  They are in the process of creating a plurinational state with equal rights for all nations and people, redistributing land, providing free health and education for everyone, creating what they call a pluri-economy that includes public, private, co-operative and communitarian.  In four years of power they have eliminated illiteracy, reduced extreme poverty by 6%, insituted a senior's pension for the first time, nationalized hydrocarbons and achieved a 6.5% economic growth.  They are showing that a government that acts in the interests of the majority really can succeed and that an alternative is truly possible.  The full list of achievements and election platform for the next four years is below:

 PROGRAM OF THE MOVEMENT TOWARD SOCIALISM – POLITICAL INSTRUMENT FOR THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE (MAS – IPSP)

BOLIVIA, COUNTRY IN THE LEAD

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND OUR PRINCIPLES

In almost 4 years of government, el MAS has accomplished:

1.    Nationalized hydrocarbons:
•    In 3 years Bolivia earned 6.413 billion dollars.
•    The oil companies pay 73% of profits.
•    In 2005, the 9 Departmental Governments, the 327 Municipalities and the public Universities received 1.2 billion bolivianos from the Hydrocarbon Taxes.  In 2008, they received 4.476 billion bolivianos.  
•    59,665 residential natural gas connections.
•    Gas was sold at US$0.60 cents per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) to Argentina.  Today it is sold at US$ 5 per million BTUs.

2.    Five billion dollars in exports
•    Minerals:  US$ 5.139 billion in 3 years.
•    Mining royalties:  US$ 128 million.

3.    Widened the electrical coverage to more than 160,000 Bolivian homes.  Saved, with the Energy Efficiency Program, 63 megawatts of the forecast national consumption of 962 megawatts, with an annual rate of increase of 7 megawatts.  Distributed almost 8 million efficient light bulbs to 1,300,000 dwellings. With the Dignity Price, homes saved 25% of their bills which benefited 634,528 people.

4.    Gave title to 26 million hectares which benefited 98,454 families.

5.    Created 124,497 productive jobs with loans with an annual interest of 6% for a term of 12 years and a total of 454 million bolivianos.

6.    Built 276 kms. of highways per year.  Created the Bolivian Administrator of Roads (ABC) and built 2,951 meters of bridges.  Created the Bolivian Aviation (BOA) with 3 airplanes.

7.    Nationalized the National Telephone Company (ENTEL):  

•    Payment by the user for consumption in seconds, not rounded up to minutes.
•    National calls are charged as local calls.  
•    There are 5 million users.

8.    Operation Miracle, Juana Azurduy bonus, budget for health, hospitals and ambulances.  Reduced the infant mortality rate from 54 per 1,000 live births to 50.  Constructed 545 health establishments (391 of the first level and 154 of the second level).  Created 3,880 new budget items for health, 194% with respect to previous governments.  Performed free vision operations for 425,000 people.

9.    Eradicated Illiteracy
•    Yes, I Can:  824,000 literate people.
•    52,000 people in post literacy are continuing their studies from grade 1 to 5 of primary school.
•    Juancito Pinto bonus decreased the student drop out rate from 5.3% to 2.5% in grades 1 through 8.
•    Increased teachers’ salaries by 30%.
•    Professionalized more than 4,000 temporary teachers.
•    Constructed 269 school buildings and installed 356 telecentres in the education units.  

10.    Reduced extreme poverty by 6%.

11.    Water and Sewage for 821,000 people.

12.    Dignity Pension for 687,000 old people.

13.    Evo Acts Program:  2,387 projects.

14.    Economic Growth of Bolivia:  6.15%.

15.    International Reserves:  $US 8 billion.

16.    Public Investment:  $US 1.8 billion

17.    Reduced the Foreign Debt from $US 4.4 billion to $US 2.4 billion.

OUR 4 POLICY PILARS

1.    Implement the New Political Constitution of the State.
 •    Democratic, Plurinational and Autonomous Bolivia.
•    Consolidate the Plurinational State.
•    Consolidate the Autonomies.
•    Consolidate the social policies and the rights.

2.    Deepen the Productive Bolivia
•    Expand the National Economic Model
•    Plural Economy:  state, private, cooperative, Communitarian.

3.    Dignified Bolivia
•    Improve the redistribution of the wealth and the revenue.
•    Generate opportunities.
•    Improve the standard of living for everybody.

4.    Sovereign Bolivia
•    Construct a country with our own identity and sovereignty

Election Platform

1.    A Democratic Country with a New Constitution
•    Plurinational state with direct, representative and communitarian democracy
•    Citizen participation in decision making
•    Social control in public policies

2.    Autonomy for everybody:  complete and true solidarity
•    Departmental autonomies
•    Regional autonomies
•    Municipal autonomies
•    Indigenous, Original Nation and Peasant autonomies

3.    Industrial Leap and Plural Economy to eradicate poverty
•    Increase the Hydrocarbon reserves by 50% in areas of exploration and the exploitation of natural gas from 41 to 70 million cubic meters.
•    100,000 Natural Gas connections per year and conversion of 30,000 vehicles per year to Propane.
•    Store 214,152 cubic meters of diesel, 122,061 cubic meters of gasoline and 13,818 cubic meters of natural gas.
•    Refine 95,800 barrels per day of petroleum.
•    Industrialize the mining of iron, copper, tin and silver through the state owned Mining Corporation of Bolivia (COMIBOL)
•    Iron and Steel Complex in Mutún to produce steel and install plants for the refining of minerals.
•    Industrialize lithium (Uyuni Salt Flats) to produce light metals, batteries, glass and motors.
•    Ecological Diesel Plant (Tarija) to produce 15,000 barrels of diesel per day.
•    Urea and Ammonia Petrochemical Plant to produce agricultural fertilizers (Chapare).
•    Petrochemical Complex to produce plastics, containers, coatings and pipes.
•    Methanol Plant to produce biodiesel, additives, adhesives, ether and cellular batteries (Villamontes, Tarija).
•    Petrohouses Factory with PVC to produce 20 houses per day with 3 rooms:  large room, kitchen and bathroom.
•    Centre for Investigation and Technological Innovation in Hydrocarbons – Science and Technology.

4.    New Productive Model with National Companies
•    Corporation of State Companies
•    Paper Factory (Cochabamba) to produce 100 metric tons per day
•    Bolivia Cardboard (Oruro)
•    Cement Companies (Oruro and Potosi)
•    Sugar Refineries (Bermejo and San Buenaventura)
•    Milk Factories (Oruro, La Paz, Cochabamba)
•    Bolivian Almond Company in Pando
•    Consolidate the aviation company (BOA)

5.    Space Telecommunication:  “Tupac Katari” Satellite
•    Bolivia, the 5th country in Latin America with our own Satellite (with Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela).
•    Space Sovereignty:  Bolivian Space Agency.
•    Access to world wide telecommunications.
•    Fixed and cellular telephones and Internet in all of Bolivia.  Reduction in communication prices.
•    Citizen information, education and security.

6.    Road Revolution and a Country Integrated by Highways
•    Corridor I, East-West:  to join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (San Matías-Puerto Suarez-Oruro)
•    Corridor II, North-South:  to join Trinidad, Santa Cruz and Yacuiba with Paraguay and Argentina.
•    Corridor III, West-North:  to join Desaguadero, La Paz and Guayaramerín with 3 secondary roads:  1.  Yucumo-Trinidad; 2.  El Chorro-Porvenir-Cobija-Nereuda Extrema; 3.  La Paz-Huarina-Ixiamas-Porvenir.
•    Corridor IV, West-South:  to join Desaguadero, La Paz, Oruro, Potosi, Tarija and Bermejo with Argentina.
•    Corridor V, South Central:  to join Cañada, Oruro, Villamontes, Tarija, El Puente and Uyuni with Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.
•    Connection of the 9 departmental capitals with 4,076 kilometers of paved highways.

7.    Modern Railways and Airports
•    Railroad connection, Santa Cruz-Cochabamba.
•    Interocean Railway, Puerto Suárez-Arica-Antofagasta.  Short connection, Motacusito-Mutún.
•    Train, Bala-El Alto-Oruro.
•    Urban Trains, La Paz-El Alto; Cochabamba-Quillacollo; Santa Cruz-Plan 3000.
•    Bolivian Aviation (BOA).  Modernize TAM.
•    Modern Technology in Airport Terminals.
•    International Airports in 9 departments.
•    Radar Systems in Viru Viru, El Alto and Trinidad.
•    Dignity International Airport in Chimoré.
•    Airports in Copacabana (La Paz), Puerto Rico (Pando), Guayaramerín and Rurrenabaque (Beni), San Ignacio de Velasco and Camiri (Santa Cruz) and Uyuni (Potosi).

8.    Bolivia Connected by Waterway to the Atlantic
•    Waterway, Mutún-Puerto Busch, 120 kilometers.  El Puquio-Paraguay River between the Santa Fe and Santa Rosa Islands.
•    Our own exit and transportation to the Atlantic Ocean.

9.    Bolivia, Producer and Exporter of Electrical Energy
•    Dignity Price.  25% saving in each poor home.
•    Energy Efficiency Program:  8 million electric light bulbs and a saving of 63 megawatts.
•    Reconstruct the National Electricity Company (ENDE).
•    Recuperate the electrical generators at Guaracachi, Corani and Valle Hermoso.
•    Bolivia consumes 1,000 megawatts per year.
•    Cachuela Esperanza Hydroelectric Station (Beni):  800 megawatts.
•    Rositas Hydroelectric Station (Rio Grande):  400 megawatts
•    El Bala Hydroelectric Station (La Paz):  1,600 megawatts
•    Co-generation Project:  Guabirá SA (21 megawatts), Guaracachi SA (82 megawatts), Thermoelectric Station ENDE Andina SAM (100 megawatts).
•    Misicuni Hydroelectric Centre to supply water to Cochabamba:  80 megawatts.
•    San José Project (Chapare):  120 megawatts.
•    Miguillas Project:  250 megawatts.
•    Electrical Transmission Line:  Caranavi-Trinidad, Yucumo-San Borja-San Ignacio de Moxos.
•    Saving:  US$ 266 million.  Annual Profit:  $US 1.286 billion.  Shifts the energy matrix from diesel to electric energy.

10.    Made in Bolivia, for Bolivia and the World
•    Develop the internal market and exports.  
•    Develop technological, worker and management capacities and dignify work.
•    Provide inputs for the productive apparatus.

11.    Agroecological Bolivia:  Equilibrium with Mother Earth
•    No large landed estates and no serfdom.
•    Expropriate unproductive lands and donate to peasant and Indigenous Peoples’ communities.
•    Title to all lands by 2013.
•    Food Security and Sovereignty Law
•    Promote ecological, organic farming and forest production and organic fertilizers.
•    Food Health and Vaccination Law.
•    Fishing and Fish Farming Law
•    Revalue the Coca Leaf with social and productive investments to eliminate poverty.
•    Community Forestry and integral management of the forest.

12.    Universal Agricultural Insurance
•    Against losses to the farmers because of floods, droughts, hail and frost.
•    Will cover 650,000 productive units with an area of 2,046,335 cultivated hectares.  

13.    Food at Just Prices for Everybody
•    Support to Food Production Company (EMAPA):  Storage, transformation and distribution.
•    Oils and balanced foods factory.
•    Wheat milling industries.
•    Storage centres for wheat, rice, soy, beans and sunflower.
•    Donation of agricultural inputs to the producers.
•    280 Centres for the provision of food at just prices.
•    Food and Nutrition Plan for Childhood and Adolescence.

14.    Inclusive, Democratic, Intercultural and Productive Education
•    Free Education with sufficient budget and materials is a fundamental right.
•    Education Revolution sustained in our reality and for our life.
•    Intercultural Education and Education against violence against children and women.
•    Community Education Centres with computers and Internet.
•    System of scholarships and incentives to study.
•    Free and immediate Bachelor Degrees.
•    System of Technical, Technological, Productive and Community Education.
•    Specialized Technical Universities and Indigenous Universities.
•    Industrial Technological Centres, Technological Institutes and Alternative Education Centres attached to the strategic State companies.

15.    Productive and Social Economy
•    Redistribute national revenue in favour of the sectors with less revenue.
•    Increase the Juancito Pinto (bonus to each child in grades 1 through 8 who completes the school year), Dignity Income (pension for senior citizens) and Juana Azurduy (bonus to all pregnant women) bonuses.
•    Promote and improve revenues of citizens.

16.    Universal Health Insurance for Everybody
•    Free Universal Health Insurance for all ages and all illnesses.
•    Family, community and intercultural health.

17.    Legalize the Ownership Rights of Urban Properties

18.     One Hundred New Laws to Reorganize the Country.  

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Comments

Bolivia seems to have a good mix, aside from their expanded use of fossil fuels (though at least, unlike Harper, they're using that to support a useful domestic program and ultimately to transition to clean energy).

And I doubt Bolivia's more functional system was built by people spying on eachother, as is par for the course here.

 

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