TRNN interviews NYU history professor Sinclair Thompson on Bolivia’s new constitution.
The Real News Network – “Historic Referendum Passes in Bolivia” – 30/31 Jan 09:
Sinclair Thomson discusses the passing of a historic referendum in Bolivia that saw an over 60% support from the population. The referendum is precedent setting as, he says, “this is the first time Bolivia ever had a popular democratic vote on a constitution.” He explains that the referendum was an “intensely fought over campaign, and yet at the end it is a very solid victory. This Constitution came about as a result of a wave of uprisings against neo-liberal governments and the presence of transnational firms who exploit natural gas.” He continued to explain the referendum “is going to reconsolidate State control over strategic natural resources in the country,” and that “though it compromised a lot of [indigenous peoples’] demands, it recognizes their rights, and for the first time, their autonomy.”
Sinclair Thomson is an Associate Professor at New York University’s Department of History. He is the author of We Alone Will Rule: Native Andean Politics in the Age of Insurgency (2003) and co-author of Revolutionary Horizons: Past and Present in Bolivian Politics (2007).
Part One (12:42):
Part Two (11:02):
(The last two parts of this interview can be seen in Pt. II.)