By Luis Leonel León
From the beginning author Carlos Sánchez Berzaín makes it clear: his homeland is captive. And he means this literally: it’s a fact. And it is terrible, although still some do not understand what this situation means for Bolivians, nor perceive its very serious extraterritorial effects. However, losing sight of both of these issues, is dangerous.
Precisely for this reason the political scientist and lawyer Carlos Sánchez Berzaín has published Bolivia: The country is captive (InterAmerican Institute for Democracy, IID, 2018). It includes a series of brief essays detailing the reality of the South American country during the past decade and a half, marching under the dictatorship of Socialism of the XXI Century (SSXXI), a label that serves as a pretext for contemporary interventionism and imperialism, we should say of a neo-Castro nature, in Latin America. Or what is essentially the same: the export of the Cuban model.
Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia are still trapped in its web. Before they fell Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina were as well. Although fewer nations remain captive, it has been 20 long and damaging years for the region. And their disasters do not stop. Hence, Berzaín gives us a book on Bolivia and at the same time on the SSXXI.
With master’s degrees in political science and sociology, this author, several times Minister of State and founding member of the Legal Ateneo, is one of the most astute analysts of these Cuban puppet states, and one of their most fierce opponents. Precisely because he became an exile when Evo Morales took his nation hostage and persecuted him and other dissidents. From the United States, he has continued to demonstrate the ineffectiveness and illegitimacy of Morales.
Dictators, we know, feel threatened by those who show that instead of legitimate rulers, they are criminals disguised as democrats, Robin Hoods of the 21st century. Not for nothing, the corrupt cocalero unionist fears the words of Berzaín, his dismantling of the SSXXI: the worst narco-terrorist organization in the history of the Americas, whose head is still in Havana, and which, let’s not forget, after the fall of the Communist bloc of Eastern Europe, emerged in the now-wounded Forum of Sao Paulo, with the Workers Party (of sentenced Lula da Silva), recently defeated by Jair Bolsonaro (Social Liberal Party). The most recent defeat of the SSXXI.
With hopeful eyes and geopolitical insight, Berzaín sees in Bolsonaro the possibility of “a vital contribution to democracy in Brazil and in the Americas.” For his part, Morales looks at Bolsonaro with the same eyes – and the same fears – as the Bolivian professor, for whom law and democracy are sacred.
In Bolivia, after 15 years of demagoguery and abuses, there are few indigenous people, not only from Bolivia, but throughout Latin America, who believe that Morales is their staunch defender. His actions have shown that he is their worst enemy. In this book, all this is explained and denounced with careful analysis.
This is an essential read for every Bolivian, and its title clearly defines the reality of his people, living within the captivity of the SSXXI. A lethal cocktail of crude populism, corruption, terrorism, drug trafficking, ideological manipulation, assault on public institutions, destruction of civil society, and loss of freedom of conscience.
The Cuban writer Armando Valladares, former ambassador of the United States before the UN Human Rights Commission, affirms that the book is “the documented history of resistance and fight from exile against the dictatorship of Evo Morales.” Valladares, political prisoner for 22 years and who knows very well the maneuvers of communism, praises the book’s proposals to free Bolivia from the dictatorships of the SSXXI, and foresees that its author will be a vital actor in the construction of the future Bolivia. I also believe it.
Sánchez Berzaín not only denounces and analyzes the fundamental problems of his country, but also exposes the threats of the implanted model and, something that is vital, proposes very clear plans for national reconstruction.
In addition, we must praise the analytical, academic, and historiographical work of this expert in Latin American affairs, who has published other books, equally driven by the current regrettable continental reality, including: The Dictatorship of organized crime in the Americas (2018), The two Americas: democracy and dictatorship (2017), The dictatorship of the XXI century in Bolivia (2013), and The presidentialism of Bolivia prior to the socialism of the XXI century (2013).
One of Berzaín’s project that Morales and other heads of narco-states perceive as their greatest threat, is his weekly column, which appears in several newspapers in the United States and Latin America, in which he insists on the need to overthrow the dictatorships of the SSXXI,
Another of the activities that we must thank Berzaín is the executive direction of the IID, of which he is its most active member. Based in Miami, it has published more than fifty titles in Spanish and English. This think tank is a must for those interested in monitoring and studying sociopolitical phenomena, freedoms, democracy and human rights in the Americas, including the geopolitical effects and threats of the SSXXI for the democratic stability of the United States, to which it is not immune.
Berzaín reveals all this and much more in his book: a manual that dissects the evils of the supplanting of the Republic of Bolivia by a narco-state, based on the Castro-chavista model, which has held back its citizens in all major social and economic indexes, and has chained and eliminated its opponents, just as they have done in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. It is something that the democratic world will have to condemn with effective actions.
This book is essential to understanding the present and future of Latin America, and the grave threats posed by the SSXXI and the Sao Paulo Forum.
Luis Leonel León is a Cuban journalist based in Miami. He is a writer, producer, and filmmaker, as well as a columnist in newspapers in the United States, Latin America, and Spain. Follow him at @LuisLeonelLeon.