THE ROLE EVO’S "INTELLECTUALS" PLAY (PART 2 OF 3)

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
06LAPAZ906 31 March 2006 Secreto Embassy La Paz

Buscar la fuente: [Wikileaks] [MRKVA] [Google]

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

VZCZCXRO8861
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLP #0906/01 0901326
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 311326Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8688
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5747
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3025
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6897
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4134
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1447
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1390
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 3701
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4087
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 8623
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 LA PAZ 000906

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2016
TAGS: ECON, PGOV, PREL, BL, PINR
SUBJECT: THE ROLE EVO’S "INTELLECTUALS" PLAY (PART 2 OF 3)

REF: A. LA PAZ 00691

B. LA PAZ 00600
C. LA PAZ 00406

Classified By: Amb. David N. Greenlee for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary: President Evo Morales’ circle of Bolivian
intellectual advisers occupies half of the President’s
Cabinet, including the top three positions: the Vice
President, the Minister of the Presidency, and the Minister
of Sustainable Development and Planning. While the
intellectuals have more influence over the President than his
domestic political advisers, they also compete with Cuban and
Venezuelan advisers for Morales’ confidence. The second tier
of intellectual advisers is critical for implementing the
government’s policies, including the Cuban-sponsored
education program, negotiating new contracts with
international hydrocarbons companies, and carrying out land
reform. This cable is part two in a three-part series on how
Morales has structured his advisory system. End summary.


First Tier of Bolivian Intellectual Advisers


2. (C) The first tier of President Evo Morales’ domestic
intellectual advisers is headed by Vice President Alvaro
Garcia Linera, followed by Minister of the Presidency Juan
Ramon Quintana and Minister of Planning Carlos Villegas. All
three were professors at the Greater University of San Andres
(UMSA) before joining the Morales administration. Morales’
intellectual advisers have more sway with the President than
do his domestic political advisers (SEPTEL), but they also
compete with Cuban and Venezuelan consultants for Morales’
confidence. They have pursued their own agenda at times,
which has angered the President in the past and could push
him to rely more on his foreign advisers if these practices
continue.


Alvaro Garcia Linera


3. (C) Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera is the gatekeeper
for Bolivian advisers and moderates and adds intellectual
spin to the President’s vision. Nonetheless, Garcia Linera
is a committed, even devout ideologue and in the past has
criticized Morales’ lack of discipline to leftist ideals
(NFI). At odds with Morales on several occasions, including
disagreeing over Cabinet picks, the Vice President has
struggled to find his niche in the Morales administration and
may have found it as the MAS go-to-person for the Constituent
Assembly.

4. (C) Garcia Linera, ambitious in his own right, was the
puivotal political orchestrator of the Constituent Assembly
(CA) process. Garcia Linera, who views the CA as the
ultimate forum for reforming the state, is working to build
his reputation as the expert on the issue. He was a gifted
negotiator during the congressional debate over the convoking
CA legislation. Embassy contacts say that he was key in
talking down radical proposals offered by the MAS and
opposition members, and in forging the final consensus. They
also note that he had impressive patience and focus during
the highly charged negotiations. (Comment: Some observers
say that Garcia Linera has presisdential aspirations; if so,
recent precedents suggest that the vice presidency is a good
place to be. It also suggests that he may be competing with
Morales for public support. End comment.)

5. (C) A sharp intellectual steeped in largely discredited
political, philosophical, and economic theory, Garcia Linera
appears to see Bolivia through the prism of the French
revolution. In a recent press interview, he said that he
sees himself as the last Jacobin and Evo as Robbespierre.
(Comment: The Jacobins and Robbespierre were notorious for
their reign of terror. They arrested and executed political

LA PAZ 00000906 002 OF 003

adversaries and allies alike and ultimately met their demise
from the same instrument used to execute the opposition: the
guillotine. To extend the analogy, many pundits have argued
that Morales may meet his own demise at the hands of
protestors, just as he was a force during protests to oust
Presidents Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and Carlos Mesa. End
comment.)


Juan Ramon Quintana


6. (C) Embassy contacts have said that Minister of the
Presidency Juan Ramon Quintana is responsible for
intelligence and military issues, and for coordinating
Venezuelan and Cuban support. Garcia Linera brought Quintana
into his position.

7. (S//NF) Quintana is a disgruntled former military officer
who was fired from his position in the Ministry of Defense in
2000 during the Banzer regime. He long suspected that the US
was behind his firing, a suspicion that has some merit, and
became stridently anti-U.S. as a result. Quintana, upon
assuming his current duties, was responsible for the recent
removal of 29 flag-rank members of the armed forces, most of
whom were cooperating with the United States. The Minister
also has been seeking out other officers who have had contact
with U.S. officials, probably with the intent to fire them.

8. (S//NF) Quintana’s disdain for the United States is so
deep that he withheld from Morales sensitive information
passed to him by U.S. intelligence agencies to prevent the
President from knowing that the Americans were helping him.
The already suspicious Morales is aware that Quintana
withheld information, and sensitive reporting indicates that
he is monitoring the Minister. Morales may choose to
sideline the Minister if the behavior continues. Sensitive
reporting also indicates that Quintana has had other problems
with Morales for paying more attention to getting jobs for
his friends than focusing on his substantive duties,
something that could further aggravate the relationship.


Carlos Villegas


9. (C) Minister of Planning Carlos Villegas oversees all
economic coordination and decisionmaking. The Minister of
Finance reports to Villegas, and not to Morales. Villegas,
an economics professor from UMSA, is steeped in out-dated
socialist economic theories and has yet to accept the
practical realities of a globalized economy. (REF C)

10. (C) While Villegas may be beginning to understand the
real impact of free trade on job creation, he appears to
believe that markets in Venezuela and China serve as
alternatives to U.S. markets. He has told Bolivian exporters
to seek markets outside the United States, unconvinced that
the U.S. is crucial to their trade (REF B). He recently
returned from Venezuela after negotiating an agreement for
Venezuela to buy Bolivian soy. Additionally, he has
regularly antagonized other businesses, telling them that the
President’s Dignity Tariff, a new lower price mean to provide
cheap electricity to Bolivians is a done deal, remarking that
the private sector should either get on board or suffer.
(REF A).


------------
Second Tier of Bolivian Intellectuals Implementing Policy


------------

11. (C) The second tier of intellectual advisers includes
Minister of Hydrocarbons Andres Soliz Rada, Minister of
Agriculture Hugo Salvatierra, Minister of Education Feliz
Patzi, Minister of Finance Luis Arce Catacora, and the palace
spokesman Alex Contreras. They appear to take instructions
from the top tier and from Morales himself. At times they

LA PAZ 00000906 003 OF 003

appear more like political "operators" (SEPTEL) doing the
President’s bidding. In contrast to the political operators,
however, the second tier of intellectuals does not tend to
engage in strong-arming or undermining the opposition. They
appear to focus almost exclusively on implementing
policy—including coordinating the Cuban doctors program and
pursuing land reform. (Comment: Soliz, Salvatierra, and
Patzi are all associated with UMSA.)


And then there’s FM Choquehuanca


12. (C) While Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca Cespedes is
considered one of Morales’ most prominent intellectuals after
Garcia Linera and Villegas, he is more of a figurehead who
represents the indigenous face of Bolivia. He appears to be
mostly hot air with no real substantive advisory role in
traditional foreign policy issues, except for possibly
maintaining contacts with European NGOs. An overly eccentric
official, who an Embassy adviser says has a sulfuric
relationship with most people, Choquehuanca’s curious
statements about his ancestors living for over 200 years and
replacing milk with coca in a school nutrition program have
drawn criticisms. Morales’ largely discredited arch-nemesis
Felipe Quispe Huanca has been a vocal supporter of the
Minister, which only adds to Choquehuanca’s trivial role.
Indeed, Choquehuanca appears to have been only marginally
involved in Bolivia’s key foreign policy issues to date.
GREENLEE