Bolivia Re-invents Democratic Socialism
By Judy Rebick
November 16, 2009 "Rabble" -- 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)
OUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND OUR PRINCIPLES
In almost 4 years of government, el MAS has accomplished:
1. Nationalized hydrocarbons:
2. Five billion dollars in exports
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.
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
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.
2. Deepen the Productive Bolivia
3. Dignified Bolivia
4. Sovereign Bolivia
1. A Democratic Country with a New Constitution
2. Autonomy for everybody: complete and true solidarity
3. Industrial Leap and Plural Economy to eradicate poverty
4. New Productive Model with National Companies
5. Space Telecommunication: “Tupac Katari” Satellite
6. Road Revolution and a Country Integrated by Highways
7. Modern Railways and Airports
8. Bolivia Connected by Waterway to the Atlantic
9. Bolivia, Producer and Exporter of Electrical Energy
10. Made in Bolivia, for Bolivia and the World
11. Agroecological Bolivia: Equilibrium with Mother Earth
12. Universal Agricultural Insurance
13. Food at Just Prices for Everybody
14. Inclusive, Democratic, Intercultural and Productive Education
15. Productive and Social Economy
16. Universal Health Insurance for Everybody
17. Legalize the Ownership Rights of Urban Properties
18. One Hundred New Laws to Reorganize the Country.