OMG, now we know one more publication that’s either staffed entirely by CIA plants, or else it’s too fucking cheap to hire even one teeny tiny factchecker. Yes, folks, it’s the Christian Science Monitor, and look how they’ve butchered Bolivia!
Right away we can see that the author, one Seth Kaplan, who styles himself “a business consultant to companies in developing countries and a foreign-policy analyst”, is teetering on the brink of Teh Stoopid. Bolivia just stepped back from the brink of conflict, actually, with support from all of South America. Evo is now in talks with the Media Luna-tics, even though they are people you really can’t talk to or reason with–they’re like tantruming toddlers, only with gangs of hired thugs to do their stomping for them. And how a tiny country like Bolivia, which the US is doing its damnedest to penalize economically for its independence, could be “threatening to…further damage our troubled economy” (in the US, that is), really makes no sense at all.But wait! It gets dumber…
Bolivia is teetering on the brink of conflict, threatening to destabilize a region much closer to home and further damage our troubled economy.
Yeek. This oversimplification is so gross, it gives one to vomit.Someone please clue Mr. Kaplan in: Bolivia is not “synonymous with political and social strife” (WTF is that supposed to mean?), not all the mestizos are capitalists, and the Quechua and Aymara peoples are NOT “anti-American”, they ARE Americans–SOUTH Americans. In fact, someone please send Mr. Kaplan a copy of Cocalero, so he can see how the white and mestizo people in “capitalist” Santa Cruz department turned out by the hundreds at a fancy hotel to support Evo during his election campaign. Middle-class businesspeople, goshdarnit! Telling a socialist they like his ideology! No shit, it’s really in there!But wait…it gets dumber still:
Bolivia is synonymous with political and social strife. Long known for its deep social inequities and political turmoil, this country of 9 million people has increasingly been divided geographically, economically, and even culturally. Two groups now fight for control of the state: those in the lowlands, mostly capitalist mestizos (people of mixed European ancestry) who support globalization and benefit from Brazil’s booming economy, versus the indigenous groups in the Andes, the anti-American Aymara and Quechua, who prefer state control of the economy.
Bitch, please. Evo didn’t alienate his opponents, unless you consider having the effrontery to be a brown-skinned indigenous guy to be some form of intentional provocation. Oh wait, my mistake–make that having the effrontery to be a brown-skinned indigenous guy who just happens to be the first Bolivian president in history to be of that persuasion.As for “centralizing authority”, “confiscating property” and “illegal ramming” (Oooooo! Kinky!), try and find those anywhere. The opposition had their chance to show that they could handle decentralized government, vast tracts of land, AND a piece in the writing of their country’s constitution, and they eated it. All of it.But wait! Believe it or not, it gets even dumber than this:
President Evo Morales has exacerbated these divisions since coming to power in 2005. Although rightly concerned that his indigenous supporters would not benefit from the state’s growing gas revenue, he’s alienated his opponents by trying to centralize authority, confiscate property, and illegally ram through a new constitution.
Okay, I’ll give Kaplan credit for at least getting the part about the anti-Evo protesters and their sabotage attempts right. But that’s about it. “Fighting” didn’t kill 30 people; they were indigenous Evo supporters, and they were ambushed and shot in a river. They did not “fight”–they FLED, and they were shot in mid-water by anti-Evo snipers! This, I would say, was ample justification for sending in the army, imprisoning the prefect who ordered the massacre, and securing the gas installations against the fascists so they can’t fuck with Brazil’s gas supply anymore.And yeah, so Evo blames the US. He doesn’t merely “try” at that, though; he succeeds. When an enemy prefect met with a US ambassador in the dead of night and barred the media from the meeting, the government news agency posted the photos of the two skulking around outside. If that’s not incriminating evidence of a US conspiracy against Evo, I don’t know what is. And yeah, so Evo’s acting like Chavecito. In other words, like a man in charge of his own heart, mind and gonads. The US no longer has Latin America OR all its leaders by the short-and-curlies; get used to it!But wait, we haven’t yet plumbed the full depth of the dumbth:
The risk of civil war has markedly increased in recent weeks. The Army has occupied an opposition province, declaring martial law there and imprisoning the governor on charges of “genocide.” Fighting has killed some 30 people. Anti-Morales protesters have occupied central government offices in Santa Cruz, the country’s business capital, and interrupted natural-gas deliveries to Brazil.Morales has attempted to blame Washington for Bolivia’s troubles, expelling the US ambassador on the spurious grounds of fomenting rebellion. He behaves like his close ally, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, who also expelled his country’s US ambassador to distract attention from his own problems.
Wrong, wrong, wrongity-wrong, WRONG. Washington should do NOTHING, especially when it comes to using Brazil to hit Bolivia. Lula is a leftist, too, and he’s frankly sick of being Washington’s cat’s-paw. He’s with Evo, just as he’s with Chavecito; he’s just too polite to say so directly. Brazil and Bolivia can work out their own gas deals; in fact, Brazil will ONLY deal with the federal governme
The US government should support the initiative launched last month by the nascent Union of South American States. Just four months old and untested, UNASUR agreed to organize commissions to investigate killings and seek a compromise between the Bolivian government and its opponents.Washington should also persuade Brazil to play a greater role in the conflict, and use its foreign aid or trade policies to support reconciliation efforts. Brazil is easily Bolivia’s most important foreign investor, and its president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is the only prominent international leader trusted by both of the country’s warring parties. Brazil has the most at risk in continued turmoil.If either UNASUR or Lula can get Morales to back off from his hard-line positions, a workable agreement should be possible. Both sides could claim victory if a new constitution gives more authority to individual provinces and transfers more of the hydrocarbon revenue to poorer areas.
nt of Bolivia, not the skunky little Media Luna prefects, when it comes to natural gas. Yes, that means EVO. Who, by the way, IS trying to get more of that hydrocarbon revenue to the poorer areas, and especially pensions for seniors. The Media Luna-tics are trying to stop that, and Evo is right to take a hard line against them; imagine if half the state governors in the US suddenly revolted against Dubya (oh, devoutly to be wished!)Also, UNASUR doesn’t seem untested to me. It came together rather nicely on Evo’s behalf, and sent the Media Luna-tics limping off with their tails between their legs. Those guys, talk about chutzpah, wanted to attend the meeting as a nation, and no one in UNASUR would recognize them as such. That’s gotta hurt! But hey, give UNASUR credit–they’re tested enough to be 100% clear as to what’s a nation and what’s not.Believe it or not, though, that’s not the end of the stoopid. Here it comes, folks…big breath:
Oh yeah, replacing one interfering ambassador with another one–same old shit, fresh new asshole. Great idea! And how about that–“overturn democracy”. Hello? Evo was democratically elected, so was the Constituent Assembly that wrote the new constitution, and now Evo wants to put that constitution to a popular referendum. Meaning, everybody in Bolivia gets to vote on it, just as they got to vote on whether Evo stays or goes. If that’s “overturning democracy”, I’d hate to see what Kaplan calls “upholding” it.BTW, the people of Bolivia voted overwhelmingly for Evo. The only duty Washington has now is to ACCEPT THE WILL OF THE BOLIVIAN PEOPLE AND LEAVE EVO ALONE.
Washington needs to carefully calibrate its policies to encourage this result. While actively persuading Lula to mediate the crisis, it should link the accord with the $100 million in annual foreign assistance that Washington gives Bolivia, as well as continued participation in the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act. (Tens of thousands of Bolivian manufacturing jobs depend on access to US markets, which this act provides.) At the same time, Millennium Challenge Account money could be offered as an incentive. Bolivia is eligible for $598 million, which could be disbursed after an agreement is fully implemented. Offering to replace the US ambassador could be a sign of goodwill.Washington has a delicate role to play in a country where past grievances – whether real or imaginary – color any act today. But at the least it should not be giving a blank check to a regime that has both repeatedly insulted the US and has worked assiduously to overturn democracy.