By Hedelberto López Blanch
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Who would have thought, 13 years ago, that with the arrival of indigenous president Evo Morales Ayma to the presidency of Bolivia, that this country, for the first time in its history, would begin a straight line period of political stability, economic impulse and social development that has benefited the vast majority of its inhabitants.
Skeptics and right-wing forces in Latin America still don’t want to understand, but as Evo recently stated, his country’s economic stability is an example for the world to follow.
During 2018, Bolivia consolidated its position as one of the countries in Latin America with the most advances in the economic-social sphere, after reaching a growth of 4.7 percent and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 40 billion dollars.
It is extremely important that when aggressive neoliberal and privatization policies are imposed in Latin America, promoted from the United States with the backing of several international financial organizations, Bolivia’s Minister of Economy and Public Finances, Mario Guillén, says that the nationalization of natural resources has been the fundamental pillar to understand the success of his country’s economic model.
Guillén added that this model allowed the State to appropriate the economic surplus, whose resources are invested in the construction of a productive-based economy and redistributed through population bonuses, public investment, wage increases and cross-subsidies to eradicate poverty and reduce the gaps between rich and poor.
In this way, domestic demand was boosted, which in a context of international economic crisis of high volatility and uncertainty has become the main engine of economic growth.
And notice the relevance of the system adopted, since in 2005, four out of every ten people lived in extreme poverty, without satisfying their basic food needs, but today this index has reduced by half, that is, only two out of every ten people still live in these conditions.
When Evo took began of the first term in 2006, the characteristics in Bolivia were citizen political insecurity, with great poverty, lack of education and attention to the health of the people, while the economy suffered indiscriminate looting.
From that year on, a series of measures were taken to nationalize productive, mining and service companies and wealth, and a stage began to leave behind more than two centuries of exploitation by foreign governments and transnational companies with the consent of the Creole oligarchies.
Previously, its main energy products and public companies created by the 1952 revolution had been privatized or sold at auction prices. This process increased between 1985 and 2005 during the neoliberal governments. During that period, the State ceased to control 70 percent of the productive activity and its main industry, Yacimientos Petrolíficos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), received royalties of only 18 percent from the transnationals.
By May 1, 2006, the hydrocarbon industry was nationalized and a retention policy was established for the sector, divided into 50 percent royalties, seven percent in recoverable profits from operating companies, YPFB, and payment of taxes and patents. In this way it was ensured that the State and the people obtained an income in the first six years of $12,424 million dollars, an average of 2,000 million dollars annually.
In addition, in these 13 years, the recovery of wealth and resources was promoted as an act of social, economic and political justice. This allowed poverty to be reduced and the family economy to be revitalized; a modernization of transportation was carried out with the launch of the longest cable car in the world. It has seven lines, 20 kilometers of travel and 125 million passengers transported since its inauguration, contributing additionally to the development of tourism.
One of the first tasks undertaken by the Plurinational State was to implement a program to eliminate the extreme ignorance of millions of Bolivians, with the help of Cuban and Venezuelan specialists. In 2010, UNESCO declared the country free of illiteracy.
There are many benefits and one of the main ones is that at the regional level Bolivia is no longer one of the poorest countries. The urban open unemployment rate fell substantially, from 8.1 percent in 2005 to 4.5 percent in 2017. GDP grew since 2006 at an average rate of 4.3 per cent, while social programmes were broad and varied.
The progress made by the Plurinational State in just 13 years is instructive. It would be prudent for other poor countries in Latin America to stop looking north and begin to adopt economic and social policies that help their citizens, as Bolivia has done.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
War Against the Weak is a well-documented book of more than half a thousand pages, written by Edwin Black. It describes a criminal operation planned by the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century and put into practice between the 1930’s and 1960s with the purpose of creating a dominant superior race.
That U.S. campaign, virtually ignored in the world today because of the media cover up to which it has been subjected, served as a model for the Holocaust of the Jewish population carried out by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
Characters and institutions in politics and the economy that today are presented as respectable champions of democracy and respect for human rights, were involved in this genocide.
The book tells us that, in the first six decades of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of Americans labeled as feeble minded –because they did not conform to Teutonic patterns– were deprived of their right to reproduce.
Selected in prisons, asylums and orphanages because of who their ancestorswere, their national origin, ethnicity, race or religion, they were sterilized without their consent, and prevented from procreating and getting married. They were separated from their partners by governmental bureaucratic means.
This pernicious white collar war was conducted by philanthropic organizations, prestigious professors in elite universities, wealthy businessmen, and senior government officials who formed a pseudoscientific movement called Eugenics Its purpose, beyond racism, was to create a superior Nordic race that would impose itself at global level.
The eugenics movement gradually built up a national legal and bureaucratic infrastructure to cleanse the United States of the “unfit.” Intelligence tests colloquially known as “IQ measurements” were invented to justify the exclusion of the “weak-minded”, who were often nothing more than shy people or persons who spoke another language, or who had a different skin color.
Forced sterilization laws were enacted in some 27 US states to prevent the persons so detected from reproducing. Marriage bans proliferated to prevent race mixing. Numerous lawsuits, whose real purpose was to impose eugenics and its tactics in everyday life, reached the Supreme Court of the United States.
The plan was to immediately sterilize 14 million people in the United States and several million more in other parts of the world so that, at a later stage, they could continue eradicating the rest of the “weak” and leave only the purebred Nordics on the planet.
In the 1930’s, some 60,000 people were coercively sterilized. and an incalculable number of marriages were banned by state laws stemming from racism, ethnic hatred and academic elitism, covered with a mantle of respectable science.
Eugenics, whose objectives were global, was spread by U.S. evangelists to Europe, Asia and Latin America forming a well-woven network of movements with similar practices. By means of lectures, publications and other means, they kept its advocates on the lookout for opportunities for the expansion of their ideas and purposes.
Thus it arrived in Germany, where it fascinated Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement. German National Socialism transformed the U.S. search for a “superior Nordic race” into what was Hitler’s struggle for a “dominant Aryan race.”
Nazi eugenics quickly displaced American eugenics because of its fierceness and speed, as well as by the scientific rationality applied by the murderous doctors of Auschwitz. The process had been previously rehearsed at the Cold Spring Harbor Eugenic Labs on Long Island, New York, with the financial support of the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Harriman foundations in whose laboratories the eugenics experiments, that culminated in Auschwitz, began.
When the extermination of Jews was described as genocide in the Nuremberg Trial, the U.S. institutions linked to the practice of eugenics, it was renamed “genetics” and continued its sinister projects for more than a decade.
Edwin Black’s book, a jewel of investigative journalism, provides the reader with the possibility of seeing the common kinship and features of this tragic history with the circumstances the U.S. population faces today.
For electoral purposes, from the beginning of his election campaign, Donald Trump raised the “America First” slogan, backed up with many of his own manifestations of xenophobia, rejection of immigrants and proven identification with white supremacists. He did this within the scenario of deep political fragmentation of a country whose ruling elite has been able to keep the population focused on the naïve alternative between Democrats or Republicans.
Any similarity is pure coincidencidental!
December 31, 2019.
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