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I woke up this morning with my head full of the rumors about the Bolivian referendum of next Sunday. Thinking of that, I turned on the TV at 7 a.m., and then remembered the Obama inauguration. Many Bolivian TV channels had reports on about the “huge” challenges that the Obama presidency will face. All the reports were positive about Obama.
I got to my office (an international foundation related to democracy) and I read the newspapers. Despite the fact that Bolivia is in the last week of an attention-grabbing campaign over whether to approve or reject the new constitution — which would allow for the reelection of socialist President Evo Morales — all the major dailies had Obama's inauguration as a cover story.
Later, a couple of young volunteers asked permission to enter the room where the big TV is located to watch the inauguration. I noticed that they both had Coke cans. But soon, an unexpected debate began among the staff.
"It's only a show," said one lawyer in his 40s. “The U.S. is always going to be an empire that will crush every country in the world that opposes its policies."
Many agreed. A young woman said that she would prefer “watch anything instead of the empire's show.” In the end, about an hour before the inauguration itself, eight people (including me) went to the big TV room to watch the historic moment. The other six didn't.