Tag Archives: conflict

Bolivia Confronts New Violence And Unrest

Bolivian President Evo Morales defied right wing opponents by vowing to introduce reforms that are opposed by many in the nation even though there were signs of a possible compromise emerging in the wake of violence that resulted in the death of 26 people. Morales accused his opponents of being against the rights and needs of the Indian majority in the nation. “They are conspiring against us with a fascist, racist coup…Their plan is to topple the Indian. They may topple the Indian but they will never topple the Bolivian people.”

The incident which led to the death of innocent people arose when the opposition regional governor of Pando, Leopoldo Fernandez, had his troops clash with pro-government peasants and the result was the death of many people. Many Indian groups are engaged in protests as part of their demands for a better life and to show support for the Morales government. There was hope earlier in the day, Morales might be willing to compromise and offering to review and discuss the proposed constitutional changes with his opponents, but his fiery speech most probably made that possibility and impossibility. The proposed dialogue for peace has been transformed into a dialogue over death.

Evo Morales might benefit by inviting former South African president, Nelson Mandela, to serve as a consultant on how native people confront a hierarchy in order to avoid violence and destruction. Unfortunately, he leans toward the flamboyant Hugo Chavez rather than the calm analytical thinking Mandela. It is a poor choice for Bolivia.

Immigrant Issues In Hungary Symbolize New World

Among the most critical issues confronting industrial and post industrial societies is their need for immigrants to handle the dirty jobs of life, but the ongoing prejudice of populations against foreigners. Several days ago, refugees at the Bicske integration center in Hungary, held a demonstration before the UN’s refugee office in Budapest to protest against conditions in the camp. Most of the refugees are asylum seekers and those seeking a new life in Europe. Part of the problem of refugee centers is bringing together people from diverse backgrounds who share nothing in common other than desiring a job in a European country. Last week fighting broke out over, ironically, the issue of access to Internet. Over a dozen people were injured in the fighting.

As refugees enter European nations, the cost of their maintenance is not always welcomed. Social workers and psychologists have to be hired in addition to medical staff so when government feel the need to reduce costs, a refugee center invariably is among their initial targets. UN officials believe the Hungarian situation is all too common– asylum seekers lack access to quality medical care, they are unable to work to provide for some necessities of life or even have enough money to travel around seeking work. Food may be nutritional, but it usually is not the food they are accustomed to back in their homelands. The UN also believes language issues and communication invariably become problems between refugees and host nations.

Perhaps, it is time to examine the issue of the 200,000,000 refugees who currently are working in nations other than their own on a much broader scale and identify key issues that must be addressed by host nations.