Evo Morales’ discursive radicalism – 08/25/2021 – Latinoamérica21

Evo Morales is a politician who suffers from verbal incontinence. His messages, whether via traditional means of communication such as radio, where he broadcasts his political speeches, or via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, leave no one indifferent.

From this discursive radicalism – endogenous factors – Morales maintains its validity in the national public sphere, while in the international sphere, its ties and the recognition of some of its policies – exogenous factors – allow it to ideologically establish its discourse and to maintain its political position. affecting.

Exogenous factors

Let’s start with the latter. The recognition of the economic significance and constitutional changes during Morales’ tenure as president are like vitamins to his speech, as they nourish his international public image.

The election of Pedro Castillo in Peru reinforced the progressive tendency in South America represented by former presidents Rafael Correa and Evo Morales. Indeed, according to Pedro Francke, economic spokesperson for Castillo, “the country which most resembles the economic system that the new government intends to build is Bolivia”. It is no coincidence that Evo participated as a special guest of his investiture and participated in the ceremonial acts, occupying places reserved for local authorities or heads of state.

On the other hand, the image of Morales was also strengthened by the new Constitutional Convention in Chile. Bolivia is an excellent example of the construction of a Plurinational State, an issue that Chile, whose constitution does not recognize the existence of the original peoples, has on hold and which has not been addressed by any of the three previous constitutions. “Every day it becomes clearer that Chile will define itself as a plurinational state, as Bolivia did in its time,” explains academic Javier Couso, of the Universidad Diego Portales in Chile.

endogenous factors

Evo, as a politician, must stay strong in politics and feel alive after more than a decade in government. He is an actor who knows how to be and how to do in the political field and, in this context, his discursive radicalism is a way of going back to his origins to claim validity and presence on the margins of the State. In this way, he manages to influence the political decision-making process of the government of Luis Arce, where he is seen as the symbolic and perpetual leader of the so-called process of change.

However, from the point of view of antagonism, the heightened discursive virulence that he embodies is symptomatic of his permanent political malaise since he resigned his post as president after the citizen uprising of 2019 born of the political disaffection accumulated in the during three years of authoritarianism and denial of alternation in power.

In other words, the discursive polarization he produces manifests his political enmity with those he describes as right-wing agents, imperialists, members of secret power groups, separatists, racists and oligarchs. This speech is amplified and stylized by his faithful scribes, nationals and foreigners, to preserve his national-popular-indigenous political identity through the constant construction of a public enemy.

Judicial power determined by political power

The coup theory is used to justify the political actions of the national government against its opponents, and the main trophy of the war is the arrest of former president Jeanine Áñez. A new chapter was the sending of arms by the government of Mauricio Macri to the “Alacrán” group of the Bolivian National Gendarmerie to suppress social protests against the interim government of Añez in November 2019.

Thus, the coup d’etat has become a political argument which determines the action of the Bolivian justice against the opponents, by criminalizing them. This has been incorporated into Morales’ discourse, who also designates foreign actors as collaborators of his internal political enemies, which reinforces his discursive strategy.

Polarization, however, has been spurred recently by a historically unresolved problem: the unfair distribution of land. Taking advantage of the public interest fueling the case, Morales once again accused the Santa Cruz Department of separatism, but with a sharper connotation: coup.

On July 3, he published a tweet in which he pointed out that “the ill-named dome of the country, organized by irregular groups linked to the separatist and coup sectors of secret groups in Santa Cruz, seeks confrontation and bloodshed between Bolivian brothers “and, in this context, justice” should sanction its financiers and operators “.

Evo Morales’ politico-ideological discourse, supported by the aforementioned factors, which fall under the political criterion of dividing the board of directors between friends and enemies, seeks to impose a single thought and weaken political pluralism. “There will be no reconciliation with the fascists, the racists, unless they understand that our ideology and our program are good for Bolivia,” he said recently with the clear aim of positioning himself as presidential candidate for the next term.

Although its discursive radicalism is not new, it arrives where others do not, such as popular sectors, indigenous groups and peasants, while the political center remains weakened. Most worrying about Morales’ strategy, however, is that it exacerbates social polarization in order to win a new national election motivated by revanchism.

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