Monday, October 08, 2007

FBO: 'Two Heats Beat as One, and Other U2 Songs for the Bolivian Political Heart'

Lost in the news the past few weeks is that thousands of Bolivians are engaged in a tense fight over what city in their country is capital. Currently split, on paper, between La Paz (the world's highest capital; a city of a million in the mountains) and Sucre (the traditional capital, which lost the executive and legislative duties following a civil war in 1899) in the central plains.

Bolivia, one of two South American land-locked countries, also has a navy.

As tempting as it is to laugh at Bolivia's current woes, the situation is potentially serious. According to The New York Times, a million have protested vehemently in La Paz against Sucre's cause to shift everything gradually back from La Paz. And tens of thousands of protestors marched into Sucre, where thousands more engaged in hunger strikes to get the courts (still located in Sucre) to hear their plea. Embedded in the tension is race -- the newby Bolivian president is, famously, an Indian llama herder, and Sucre's mayor depicts him outside his office as a Nazi officer.

The FBO has an idea: follow the Netherlands.

While the Hague is home to the Dutch government, the nation refers to Amsterdam as its capital. It's confusing a bit, but so is Bolivia. Why not allow La Paz to keep the bulk of the government and president and embassies, but uniformly call Sucre the 'capital' (as a sign already reads in its airport 'Welcome to the Capital of Bolivia')? And who says capital = government anyway?

Sucre gets the lone star on the map, La Paz keeps the government function in a cash-poor nation without the means to move suit-and-ties half way across the plains anyway. No one gets hurt, and La Paz can soften the sting by knowing that Sucre will look a bit babyish to many outsiders.

Until the situation simmers down, the FBO cannot consider adopting Sucre, but privately very much wants to.

--> Meanwhile, go HERE to see the FBO-inspired column 'Loser of the Week.'

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY (the capital of New York City)

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