La crisis en Bolivia, un fracaso de América Latina

Por donde se lo mire, Bolivia no es un típico país latinoamericano. Después de Haití, es la segunda nación más pobre del hemisferio occidental, y es incluso menos estable, con una historia marcada por más de doscientos golpes de estado desde su independencia.

En una región con un fuerte pasado indígena, pero con un presente desarticulado y aislado, Bolivia es, junto con Guatemala, tal vez el único país de América Latina donde los pueblos indígenas constituyen la mayoría de la población. Su topografía y distribución étnica son por lo general autonomistas, e incluso actúan como fuerzas separatistas que amenazan la unidad nacional de maneras más temibles que en cualquier otro país. Y, por supuesto, es junto con Paraguay la única nación sin acceso al mar en el subcontinente.

De modo que sería altamente imprudente extrapolar la actual crisis boliviana al resto de América Latina. Es demasiado simplista generalizar: las instituciones en todos los demás países son mucho más sólidas, la pobreza (particularmente la extrema pobreza) está disminuyendo y, en gran medida, la batalla por los recursos naturales ha sido resuelta. Incluso en países como Venezuela, con enormes reservas de petróleo y un gobierno de mentalidad tradicionalmente nacionalista, el status quo que permite la inversión extranjera en los recursos energéticos ha sobrevivido a casi ocho años de gobierno del Presidente Hugo Chávez.

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