Andrew Clem home
Andrew Clem banner

Blog post

Monthly archives
(all categories)

May 5, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Autonomy for eastern Bolivia?

By a vote of over 60 percent, the people of the state of Santa Cruz in Eastern Bolivia have approved a referendum that asserts more rights. It is a step toward a looser federation, but it may not have much practical effect, as the populist President Evo Morales has declared the vote "illegal." Santa Cruz is the wealthiest part of Bolivia and is a vital part of the nation's economy, because that is where most of the petroleum reserves are located, and the controversy over exporting hydrocarbons was one of the main issues that brought Morales to power. Morales is pushing for a vote to approve a major revision of the Bolivian constitution this month, aiming to centralize power in executive hands, supposedly for the sake of enhancing the rights of Indians in Bolivia. See Washington Post.

Since taking office two years ago, the young and energetic Morales has sharply polarized the nation of Bolivia by assuming despotic powers and using force against his opponents. He had urged his "grassroots" (mostly Indian) supporters to boycott the referendum, but even so an estimated 60 percent of eligible voters turned out. It is always ironic when demagogic leaders who pander to the masses get defeated in a free and open election.

Sexual rights for women?

They are also in the process of rewriting the constitution in Ecuador, and Maria Soledad Vela has proposed to include a provision giving women equal rights in sexual matters. That would be a major step forward in this culturally conservative society. "Opposition assembly member, Leonardo Viteri, accused her of trying to decree orgasm by law." See BBC. smile

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 06 May 2008, 12: 09 AM

(unformatted URL)

This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.

© Andrew G. Clem. All rights reserved. Your use of this material signifies your acceptance of the Terms of use.

Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:

Category archives:
(all years)

This (or that) year's
blog highlights

Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)