LA PAZ, Nov. 26 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Bolivian town of La Paz has begun to resupply this Monday after the arrival of a gas cylinder truck, which has entered the San Francisco square triumphantly after the agreement reached by the Government of the self-proclaimed interim president, Jeanine Áñez, and the Movement to Socialism (MAS).
Dozens of neighbors have lined up, for days, to get a full bottle of the precious fuel, which was in short supply due to road blockades led by the followers of former president Evo Morales.
“We have been waiting for the gas to cook for four days. We cannot do anything without these bottles. In this country there has to be a consensus. Now there is no authority to claim. We are a little helpless,” Hernán Salazar complained while playing cards with Two friends on the empty cylinders before the supplies arrived.
The national dialogue advanced by the Government of Áñez, the Movement to Socialism (MAS) of Morales, and other sectors related to the indigenous leader, exiled in Mexico, is gradually allowing the unblocking of roads and the refueling of the cities of La Paz and its neighbor, El Alto, surrounded after the ex-president's departure.
“We need pacification. We are all Bolivians. We have to understand that we cannot fight each other. We cannot restrict ourselves the right we have to eat. If you do not eat, you do not live. And the constitutional right to life is the most important. So, let's not take our lives, little by little, among Bolivians, “said Rafael Castello, who has also lined up to replace his empty gas bottle with a new one.
La Paz has suffered a severe shortage of gasoline and gas due to the blockade of the Senkata hydrocarbons plant by Morales' supporters, who are demanding the resignation Áñez.
Senkata was unlocked last Friday as the dialogue progressed, which has culminated in an agreement between the provisional Government and the MAS for the call for new elections without the participation of Morales.
Three days earlier, on Tuesday, nine people died during a military and police operation that unlocked the plant for a few hours.
The interim government announced Monday that an agreement has reached with the neighbors that besieged the place. The new leaders of the country have pledged to compensate the families of the victims, to retract the Armed Forces, not to persecute the neighborhood union leaders and “to help” with the release of the citizens detained there during the mobilizations of the last weeks.
“In two days we have distributed two million liters of gasoline in El Alto and the La Paz hole,” said Victor Hugo Zamora, Minister of Hydrocarbons.
“The lack of gas was very damaging to me. I had to leave the car stationary for two days,” said Víctor Capia, a capitalist taxi driver.
“We won a day. Liquid. I had losses. I had savings a week before and I was able to keep myself, managing a month's budget well,” the carrier added.
The interim government has proposed reprogramming bank debts of drivers without interest or fines due to the large losses of the sector during the strikes initiated after the failed elections of October 20.
The National Chamber of Commerce (CNC) estimates that the national economy stopped moving at least 2 billion dollars during the weeks of conflict. The businessmen of La Paz denounce, on the other hand, daily losses of about 3.4 million dollars.
In the capital there was not only a shortage of fuels. Some foods such as eggs, meat, vegetables or bread, products that are reappearing, albeit slowly, in the markets were also in short supply.
“The issue of food shortages has been very ugly,” said Spanish Salvador Biones, owner of a restaurant in the capital. “We had to change the dishes for vegetables and others, because there was an egg, chicken, pork and beef,” said the businessman.
“Now it is not 100 percent recovered yet. The eggs are super expensive, almost at triple the price. Meat is still not found all. The chicken is the same, at triple its price, and we are still waiting to buy it. Vegetables are coming, some things, but very expensive, little, and ugly, “Biones lamented.
The Government has moved some 2,200 tons of food from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to La Paz, El Alto, Oruro and Sucre, the main cities affected by the blockades. The operation has been called 'airlift'.
The eastern city continues to send about 330 tons of groceries daily to underserved cities, while the interim government says it is in negotiations to increase shipments to 600 tons per day.
Road blocks have been lifted in most of the country, but they persist in Cochabamba. The coca growers of the tropics demand the resignation of the police commander, Jaime Zurita, the Interior Minister, Arturo Murillo, and the interim president as a condition to lift the barricades.