Opinión

Cabildo, citizenship and civil society

October 4, 2022, 4:00 AM

October 4, 2022, 4:00 AM

The massive citizen participation in the Cabildo held on September 30, 2022 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, ratifies the commitment of the vast majority of civil society from Santa Cruz with its future and the destiny of Bolivia within the framework of peaceful and democratic deliberation.

This force of the Santa Cruz citizen demonstration must be properly read by the Government and by the country as a whole, since it cannot be intended to continue ignoring Santa Cruz or pretending to pit eight departments against one in the search to delay its development and deny the space that corresponds to it in national life.

In this, it is necessary to fully understand what Santa Cruz represents and will constitute in the Bolivia of the 21st century. In my opinion, it will be the space that will bring together and represent the desire for modernity and development of the majority of Bolivians, who are increasingly open to the world and integrated by modern digital communication technologies into networks of compatriots, family members and friends, who emigrated to developed countries and societies.

This dream of modernity combines the desire for personal and collective freedom, in a fully democratic nation, with that of prosperity, with a deep sense of private property, individual initiative, family entrepreneurship and a productive spirit, which inevitably is oriented towards exports, due to the smallness of our market, both due to its small population and limited purchasing power.
Inevitably, this new vision of the future of the country, which integrates Bolivians from the nine departments who seek opportunities for progress for their families in Santa Cruz, collides with the centralist, statist and extractivist vision that has prevailed in the nationalist narrative of the last 100 years. An isolationist narrative, marked by territorial losses, which led us to enclose Bolivia in itself, with its consequent delay, although benefiting hegemonist projects.

For this reason, it is so significant that so many people support the demand for the National Population and Housing Census to be carried out in 2023, which should actually be carried out in 2022. Many analysts and politicians in the country do not understand how this demand mobilizes both the Santa Cruz society, criticizing that it will only mean a few more deputies and additional resources, which will be administered mainly by the mayors, who have also not shown the best public management.

Indeed, this is the depth of the unity shown by the vast majority of the Santa Cruz community around the demand for the Census for 2023 and the application of its results as of 2024, both politically and economically. Although the common citizen does not aspire to be among these new deputies or is not part of the political organizations that compete to administer these municipalities, the people feel that they can no longer accept that Santa Cruz does not receive the treatment that corresponds to it, once again, in politically and economically, and that feeling of injustice, in the treatment received, and of justice, in the demands raised, will mark the relationship between Santa Cruz and the administrators of the national State for the next few years and perhaps decades, until accept and respect this new vision of what modernity means for Bolivia in the 21st century.

Another issue of fundamental importance, and a great qualitative leap, is that this new conception of the future, of the State and of society, is marked by a broad and integrating conception of what is from Santa Cruz and the people from Santa Cruz, thus in the plural, in which Hundreds of thousands of Cruceños born in other departments who share this vision of political and economic freedom, which they want for themselves, their families and their country, merge.

It must be recognized that in this process there are periods of greater progress and moments of setback, in which plurality and singularity are tense, but in the general line there is a firm and forceful commitment to the integration of all those who live in Santa Cruz around of the common yearning for freedom, modernity and prosperity. This is the path we must follow to transform the nation as a whole towards a new horizon of development based on the talent and initiative of the people.

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