Monday, August 06, 2007

Bolivia's Independence Day
August 6,1825

The Republic of Bolivia, favorite daughter of "Libertador Simon Bolivar" is located in the center of South America, is land-locked and surrounded by 5 countries: Paraguay, Argentina, in the south, Chile in the West; Brazil in the east and North; and Peru in the West and North. La Paz is the government capital of Bolivia, but Sucre is the legal capital and the seat of the judiciary power of the country. Bolivia's capital is Sucre, not La Paz as most people may think.

The geographic, political, and economic factors of Bolivia and its demography have long been an impediment to easy progress and development. The country covers 1,098,581 square kilometers (about 425,000 square miles) and, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE) it has an average of about 7.5 inhabitants per square kilometer. The estimates of population range from 8,000,000 to 8,328,700 inhabitants in 2000, depending on the sources and the number of Bolivian immigrants to Europe, Argentina or USA visiting the country. By any estimate, Bolivia has one of the lowest demographic densities in the western hemisphere and a yearly population growth of only about 2.3 percent. Its living conditions are reflected in the percentages of land types: 20 percent desert, 11 percent land with negligible irrigation, 40 percent rain forest, approximately 25 percent pasture and meadows, 2 percent inland water, and 2 percent Andean range, including an supposely uninhabited area called the "Altiplano" with arctic weather at more than 5,500 meters high. Where cities like La Paz, Oruro and Potosi are located for centuries as part of the Altiplano; at this region, the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on earth outside of Tibet. Unlike the Tibetan plateau , however, the Altiplano is dominated by the massive peaks of active volcanoes to the west, in contrast, to the east lies the humid Amazon rainforest.

Bolivia has been a kind of laboratory for government. Since it gained independence from Spain 182 years ago, Bolivia has had 190 different governments with "Companero Evo Morales" merely the most recent in this long line of experiments and failed attempts to do "something" for the country. What has been learned from all this experimentation is hard to say. You’d think the country would have tried everything by now. But when humans are as hardheaded as the people in Bolivia, perhaps another 182 years may be necessary to change their old habits.

An impartial observer might venture a guess: another government is not going to cure whatever it is that ails the country. A cynic might even leap to a conclusion: government itself is probably the real problem. But there are some things people never cease trying to make a go of – central banking, marriage, corruption, alcohol consumption, high party spirit and bossing other people around. Now, with Evo Morales pulling the strings and greasing the palms, Bolivia is about to try a new government for the 191st time.

National Holiday Independence Day celebrations started last week and will continue all the way until Tuesday or Wednesday, depending of the hangover of our politicians and people working at the State's companies and agencies. Being the Post Office and EMS, companies controlled by the government.... "Expect A Few Delays In Your Last Week Orders and This week ALSO!!!" We will complete and ship all the pending orders as soon as we receive the shipments from Bolivia to Myrtle Beach or Charlotte. In order to keep the freshest products available for our customers and as part of our quality and industrial control policy, we do not over-stock our stores and the products arrive from the Bolivian factories in a weekly bases.

Happy Birthday Bolivia, days like today, remind me the time of Gral. Luis Garcia Meza Tejada, Nilo Soruco and La Caraqueña "Nunca el mal duró 100 años ni hubo cuerpo que resista. Ya la pagarán. No llores prenda, pronto volveré"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well written and thought out article. IMHO Evo may be different if he can maintain solidarity of the altiplano people as one. They do look a tad fractious though and that may be Evo's achilles heel.