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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Opinion: Disenchantment. 14 years of Evo Morales' government

By Hugo José Suárez

Last Saturday morning [early September], my new book began to circulate Disenchantment. 14 years of Evo Morales' government (Editorial 3600, available on the Internet) in which I critically analyze the political actions of the former president and particularly my involvement in the "process of change", which went from hope to deep disappointment. Many people reacted, I am grateful that it is being read and circulated.

The most curious thing was that, before twenty-four hours had passed, someone called my house in Bolivia -I don't know how he acquired the number- and hidden on the other side of the receiver left a question that was actually an accusation: "How much did Doria Medina pay you for El Desencanto?".

I don't know the origin of the call, although I sense its source, let's start with the obvious. Nobody paid me to write the book. Or rather, Doria Medina did not, whom I do not know personally and from whom I have never received a fifth (and of course I do not support his candidacy). The institution responsible for my monthly salary is the National Autonomous University of Mexico; I have been a tenured researcher at that university for more than a decade and I write freely and responsibly.

But that is not what is important. What the call reveals is the desire to control thought, the impossibility of accepting other ideas, the need to homogenize a discourse that polarizes and flattens differences. For this reason, I believe it is convenient to bring up two reflections that are in the introduction of my book: why I wrote it and from where I do it in political terms: ?I wanted to publish this book because this is the story of a bet, perhaps not wrong, perhaps naïve, but surely deviated and decomposed.

It is a small example of how people and projects can change, how politics has multiple faces and how power can distort the best intentions.

The critical tone of these pages is not to forget the mistakes. Complacency is a bad advisor, especially with politicians. The experience of the Morales government, successful, contradictory and complex, should have been the perfect occasion for a deep and critical assessment of the limits and successes of a progressive agenda, but what we heard was an overwhelming wave of applause and visceral defense of the indefensible. As a critical collectivity, we missed the opportunity to move forward based on the transparent self-evaluation of mistakes, many preferred the trench and encourage the mutual praise brigade. This book is a dissonant note in that melody....

Regarding my political position, I maintain: ?I write from a critical, ecumenical left-wing position, which does not obey bosses, which does not promote monopolies of truth and interpretation, with its own voice, undisciplined, passionate about diversity, irreverence, autonomy. A left that does not bow to statues, nor dogmas, nor learned; that does not bow to the intellectual or political guidelines of a central committee or of the "historical leaders". A libertarian left that, in the face of the rottenness it sees in front of it, bets that another left is possible?

There is little more to say. Hopefully the book will help us to move forward, avoiding stumbling twice over the same stone.

Hugo José Suárez is Bolivian, PhD in Sociology, professor and researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This column was published in El Deber and shared by the author for P360P.

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