Monday, March 02, 2009

U.S. Bolivia Relations in a Nutshell

Dear Readers:

Back from the book tour. Back from the snows of Minnesota and Chicago to the sunshine of Cochabamba. Back from planes, trains, and subways to simple morning walks to greet the neighborhood cows. Back to work.

Across the U.S. for the past month one of the questions we were asked the most was: What does the future hold for new relations between Bolivia and the U.S., under President Barak Obama?

I want to tackle that question in two posts this week. This first one is an overview, a look at the recent trajectory of relations between the two nations. Later this week I'll be back with a post: Three Things that the U.S. and Bolivian Governments Should Do.

The photo for today's post, appropriate to the subject at hand, was taken by the partner of one of our Democracy Center staff in Oruro at Carnaval a week ago. He took just before he sprayed foam on Evo from behind. Bolivians, Presidents included, like to have a good time.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to see us on the tour!

Jim Shultz


U.S. Bolivia Relations in a Nutshell

The Way it Was

For many years Bolivian governments and governments in Washington had a splendid relationship. But it was one based on Bolivian governments being quite happy to do pretty much anything Washington asked.

In the War on Drugs, Bolivian governments willingly allowed local drug prosecutors to receive special salary bonuses directly from the U.S. embassy. To keep those bonuses coming the prosecutors on Washington's payroll put thousands of innocent people in jail, giving the U.S. Embassy the escalating arrest statistics it happily reported onward to the State Department as evidence of its success. President Morales suspended the bonuses after taking office.

In reform of the nation's economy, the U.S. government and the international financial institutions associated with it (the World Bank, the IMF, and others) found happy allies in Bolivia's governing elite. Together they made the country a test lab for the policies of the Washington Consensus. While these moves made U.S. energy firms like Enron happy (the Texas company took control of Bolivia's oil pipelines), Bolivians were made worse off.

That convivial relationship changed in 2006, when President Evo Morales took office. A fierce U.S. critic, he told a stadium rally in Cochabamba that if the U.S. intended to continue using Bolivia as an economic test lab that he would "become the U.S.'s worst nightmare." On election night he ended his victory speech with an old cocalero chant, "Grow coca, death to the Yankees." But he said it in Quechua and none of the U.S. correspondents caught it.

Given that, it is actually surprising how well the Bush/Morales relationship began.

Shortly before the Morales inaugural I had conversations with both Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and the Bolivian government's designee for U.S. Ambassador. Both told me they hoped for good relations with the U.S., an intent that was clearly signaled to Washington as well. By happenstance I ended up flying the next day, from La Paz to Washington, on the same flights as the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Latin America, Thomas Shannon. Shannon had been the Bush administration's official representative at the Bolivian inaugural. He told me that was genuinely impressed by the new government's desire for cordial relations.

That message snaked its way up the diplomatic chain of command and resulted, some weeks later, in an official congratulatory call from President Bush to President Morales. Someone I know who listened in says that all went well on the call until Evo mentioned his political party, Movement Toward Socialism. Bush, I was told, could be heard turning to his aids and saying with some surprise, "He's a socialist?"

From afar it seemed like the Bush administration was suffering a bout of internal schizophrenia about what to do with Evo. One day Bush called Evo to congratulate him, then a few days later then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stood before a Washington press club, lumping Morales with Hugo Chavez and warning about the dangers of the continent's new "populist" leaders.

But on substantive policy matters the non-hawks in the administration seemed to carry the day. Bolivia's anti-drug efforts were certified as meeting U.S. standards and Bolivia continued to be included in the Andean Trade Pact (ATPDEA) that allowed its textiles tariff-free access to U.S. markets. Morales also stuck to his more dovish post-inaugural tendencies toward Washington. When asked by a U.S. journalist if he joined in Chavez's famous declaration at the United Nations calling Bush the devil, Morales demurred, saying he found no benefit to attacking people personally.

Goldberg Wars

It was probably inevitable that the Washington/La Paz honeymoon wouldn't last. President Morales distrusts the U.S. government viscerally, having been personally on the blunt end of the U.S. War on Coca. And the Bush administration was never comfortable with a cocalero socialist who counted Hugo Chavez as a close friend.

Diplomacy is the business of seeing how such conflicts can be kept in check, allowing for the mutual benefit of both sides. But skillful diplomacy takes a skillful diplomat. And the man who Mr. Bush sent to La Paz as his new Ambassador in August 2006, Phillip Goldberg, was not, by a stretch, a skillful diplomat.

It didn’t take much more than 5 minutes in the room with Goldberg to witness his condescension toward Bolivia and his cluelessness at diplomacy. In a roomful of U.S. citizens here in Cochabamba I watched jaws drop as Washington's chief diplomat in Bolivia made a joke about a woman being lynched in El Alto.

And time after time Goldberg displayed an innate ability to make international incidents out of diplomatic molehills.

First there was 'Ammogate'. In June 2007 Mr. Goldberg's military attaché, a U.S. Army Colonel, arranged for his son's fiancé to bring 500 rounds of ammunition into Bolivia in her suitcase. When the bullets were discovered at the La Paz airport the story was major front-page news. Ambassador Goldberg downplayed the incident publicly and paid an apology visit to the Bolivian Vice President. Even members of Goldberg's staff told me later that the Embassy had blown it by not making the Colonel apologize on television or sending him packing altogether. Imagine how U.S. Homeland Security might react if the niece of the Bolivian ambassador to Washington was stopped in Miami with 500 rounds in her suitcase.

Here's a Latin American joke: Why has there never been a coup in the United States? There isn't a U.S. Embassy.

Further evidence Mr. Goldberg's inability to run the Embassy came in February 2008, when news broke that one of his security aides was asking Fulbright Scholars and Peace Corps volunteers to spy on behalf of the U.S. government by passing along information about Cubans and Venezuelans in the country. The Embassy's antics put hundreds of U.S. young people at risk and were a direct violation of U.S. rules. Yet again, in public, Goldberg tried to treat the incident as minor, failing to understand totally the reactions of the Bolivian people.

To be clear, in the breakdown of U.S./Bolivia relations Goldberg has had a good deal of help from President Morales. Time and time again his anti-U.S. instincts took over. Sometimes it came as declarations, including a public repeat of his "Death to the Yankees" slogan when foreign reporters were watching. But words were not the only thing Morales tossed into the mix. When incoming U.S. Senate leader Henry Reid paid a visit to La Paz over New Years 2007, Evo took that moment to announce that U.S. citizens would be newly required to carry visas. Last year when Senator Christopher Dodd – one of the most important progressive voices on Latin America in the Senate – boarded a plane for Bolivia, he was told that Evo wouldn’t see him. Not even frenzied phone calls to the Bolivian Embassy in Washington could change Evo's mind (Dodd met only with the Vice President).

Finally, in July of last year, Assistant Secretary Shannon made a return trip to Bolivia in the hope of resolving some of the tensions that Goldberg and Morales could not. Happy statements of continued friendship came out of those meetings, but the mistrust sewn in both directions for two years were, in the end, insurmountable.

The September Meltdown

Whatever diplomatic civility remained between Bolivia and the U.S., if there was any, melted entirely in September as Bolivia was in the midst of its own domestic political meltdown.

In August President Morales survived an election showdown with his regional adversaries, winning the backing of 67% of voters in a national referendum. That same vote also ousted two of his fiercest opponents among the governors, both by wide margins. When Evo announced that he would use his fresh mandate to push forward with a national vote on a MAS-drafted constitution, the remaining regional governors opposed to Morales decided to go to war. In Santa Cruz the governor egged on mobs of youth who torched public buildings. In the Pando the Governor there was charged with involvement in a massacre of more than a dozen campesinos.

A wiser diplomat would have remained carefully neutral, issuing calls for peace from the bunker-like U.S. Embassy in La Paz. But on the eve of the violence, when it was clear that the nation's divisions were headed for a violent precipice, Mr. Goldberg went on tour, to visit two governors who were Morales' harshest critics – Sabina Cuellar of Chuqisaca and Ruben Costas of Santa Cruz.

What was said in these meetings is known only to those present. But shortly afterwards Cuellar called for Morales' resignation and Costas launched the street attacks in Santa Cruz. Here is a link to the September declaration by a group of MAS Congress Members which outlines the specific actions charged by the Bolivian government against Mr. Goldberg.

Those visits set off the string of events that leads us to where we are today. In short order Morales declared that Goldberg was encouraging the governors' efforts to undermine democratic rule in Bolivia and ordered him out of the country. With that move, whatever dovish instincts may have still been alive within the Bush administration were quickly overtaken by the move into retaliation mode. Bolivia's ambassador to the U.S., Gustavo Guzman, was ordered out of the U.S. Bush then suddenly 'decertified Bolivia's anti-coca efforts and removed it from the Andean Trade Preference Program.

The administration also pulled more than 100 Peace Corps volunteers out of Bolivia, citing "security concerns". The Embassy here apparently had no such security concerns when it asked some of those volunteers to spy on its behalf. I have spoken to many of these volunteers in the months since. Most felt totally safe where they were, they were not told they were being pulled from Bolivia when they left their villages, and they are bitter at the possibility that they were used as political pawns.

This was the Bolivia/U.S. relationship inherited by the Obama administration.

What Would Obama Do?

The election of Barak Obama inspired great hope here in Bolivia as well as in the U.S. Taxi drivers in El Alto asked me about him. President Morales seemed to feel a personal sense of connection. "What is happening in the world?" he asked. "An indigenous man is president in Bolivia and a black man is president in the United States." But how does that translate into changes in diplomatic relations?

When asked about this on our book tour I made two points.

The first is that U.S. relations toward Bolivia are operating at the moment on Bush holdover autopilot. As a source in Washington, close to the administration, explained to me, Obama will focus all of his attention and his political capital on three things – the economic crisis, the War in Iraq, and the War in Afghanistan. Latin America, and Bolivia less so, is not even on the radar screen. What decisions are being made are mostly likely being made at a level far below President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The administration hasn't even gotten around to naming a successor to Assistant Secretary Shannon, the person that will lead administration policy development toward the region.

The second is that in the absence of a strong vision for U.S./Latin American policy, it is possible that some of the basics will be driven by politics. As I said in the U.S., I think the new administration will have a naughty list and a nice list, with Hugo Chavez heading the former and people like Lula of Brazil heading the latter. Where Evo ends up is up for grabs.

Oil Corruption, the CIA, and Human Rights

All of which brings us to the stories currently grabbing a few column inches in the U.S. and headlines in Bolivia.

For the last month the Morales administration has been hit with a major corruption scandal involving its newly reconstituted state oil company (YPFB). The scandal broke when an oilman by the name of Jorge O'Connor was killed in late January in La Paz. He was carrying $450,000 in cash, apparently on its way to be handed over to the head of the state company, Santos Ramírez. Stung badly, Morales ordered Ramírez to jail and fired many of those who worked with him.

As I was quoted in yesterday's Washington Post, "I don't think it's any secret to anybody that corruption in the Bolivian government did not end when Evo Morales became president."

Then last week Morales came up with a new theory of why the state oil company has suffered such a string of corruption and mismanagement charges under his administration. The C.I.A., he charged, has infiltrated the company to create problems for his government. The Embassy in La Paz angrily denied the accusation and Morales opponents declared that the President was just trying to shift attention away from the corruption scandal.

This is not the first accusation by the Morales government that the U.S. has been meddling in internal affairs in Bolivia. In addition to the charges leveled against Goldberg, his government has accused USAID of providing backing to his opponents and also accused the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of meddling and ordered it to leave.

Finally, this week the Obama administration tossed its own grenade into the mix, with the State Department's annual issuance of human right reports on 191 nations across the globe (not including the U.S.) – from Albania to Zimbabwe. These reports are always received with skepticism, coming as they do from a country that makes rendition flights to sweep people away to U.S. operated torture camps. It is worth noting, for example, that the Cuba report makes no mention of the surest source of human rights abuses on the island, the U.S. prison at Guantanamo.

The report on Bolivia -- which was surely written long before Mr. Obama took the presidential oath -- included warnings similar to those under prior governments. These include unjust detentions, abuses by police and soldiers, and infringements on press freedom. Yesterday Morales declared, "The State Department does not have the moral right to speak of human rights, those who have most punished the whole world…who went to Iraq to kill."

I think it is a very good thing to have a global review of human right situations around the world. But it also seems clear that the U.S. has shot itself in the foot for a long while to come as a credible messenger.

And Now…

This is how we got here, to a place in U.S./Bolivia relations where neither nation has an ambassador to the other, where 20,000 Bolivian workers remain at risk due to President Bush's political moves on trade, where the Peace Corps is gone and not coming back, and where the relationships between two peoples that ought to have good relations are now deeply soured because of the actions of their governments.

How can we get to a better place? Tune into our next Blog post later this week.

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53 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! As an American expat working at an NGO in La Paz, I found this blog extremely useful in making sense of the current state of relations between the two countries.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go, Jim! Another US bashing article from a gringo lefty whose ungrateful scrawny patooty would be among the first lucky ones rescued and saved by US Marines should Bolivia spiral into civil war thanks to Cuchi Cuchi's racist rants.

"I think it is a very good thing to have a global review of human right situations around the world. But it also seems clear that the U.S. has shot itself in the foot for a long while to come as a credible messenger."

Riiiight. Compare how many people attempt to immigrate to the US to, say, "social justice" (gag!) paradises such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. OK, Jim? That's the real statistic to look at. You see, all these countries squeal about "interference" and "sovereignty" because the US State Dept report is often the only honest and critical report about them, and they're not used to that.

By the way, it sure hasn't been a good month for Cuchi Cuchi worshipper. The YPFB scandal has exploded to such a dimension it might threaten his reelection, now it's known that YPFB pays $18,200/day for a giant drill instead of $12,500 stipulated in the contract, Morales' buddy Santos Ramirez tried to buy a company that supplies jet fuel at a ridiculously inflated price, Morales being embarrassingly late to admit that there is a dengue crisis, the main antidrug agency (FELCN) doesn't have helicopters, radar intelligence, and ohter hardware to effectively combat the narcos...and the list goes on and on. Oh, but there's no "wholesale corruption." Perish the thought!

bowsie, I suggest you don't read the next part. You'll toss your cookies.

Remember all the ranting and raving by Cuchi Cuchi worshipper and his band of monolito lovers demanding the extradition of Goni? Well, Goni has been hailed as an "extraordinary leader" compared to Nelson Mandela. Yep, the "genocidal" Goni is having a great time with a bunch of other prominent lefties such as Nancy Pelosi. Why am I not surprised? Da Bama's closest aide was Goni's defense lawyer. The best part of all is that Goni has the chance to describe (correctly) Cuchi Cuchi worshipper as a hell bent, rabble rousing toppler of democratically elected governments. For a great picture of Goni smiling with Pelosi:

http://www.la-razon.com/versiones/20090301_006653/nota_262_770522.htm

"RAHM EMANUEL makes a don-like sweep through a party at Ristorante Tosca to celebrate Stanley B. Greenberg’s “Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders” (Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Ehud Barak and former Bolivian president Gonzalo “Goni” Sánchez de Lozada). Hosted by the speaker, Rahm, James Carville, Mary Matalin and George Stephanopoulos. Attendees include Sen. Dodd, Michael Feldman, Mandy Grunwald, Walter Isaacson, Joel Johnson, Eileen McMenamin, John Podesta, Hilary Rosen, Rick Stengel, Jessica Yellin, senior administration official Jill Zuckman."

http://dyn.politico.com/printplaybook.cfm?uuid=B7BB9708-18FE-70B2-A842759877937562

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:59, I think your post caused a severe seizure in some of the liberal/lefty/hypocrit loonies that regularly rant in this blog..lol

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a thought for the comment posters above.

Blog comments are like sex. They come in varieties. Some actually try to engage in a meaningful debate with people who may not think like themselves. This is like healthy consensual sex between two people. But other people, like most who still comment here, have no intentions whatsoever to engage in a reasonable debate with others. Ther aim is simply to pleasure themselves with their own ranting, which the regular readers ignore. This is the commentary equivilant of masterbation.

So while you may continue to post such silly rants -- big surprise, political consultant Greenberg lauded his paid clients in a book, wow! --don't fool youself into thinkng that you are engaging anyone or influencing anyone's thoughts.

This comment section has long since passed into being the public masterbation zone for just one person. Those of us who used to actually use this spot for meaningful debate moved on. Watching someone else masterbate with his own prejudices (sometimes a half dozen times per post) just isn't that pretty. Really.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:59, I think your post caused a severe seizure in some of the liberal/lefty/hypocrit loonies that regularly rant in this blog..lol

Do you really think that this a post by someone else? It is lazy eye answering himself. It is called self... We who read and seriously respond to this blog are here for intellectual reparte. WOW gold makes more sense than the Croat. On a more somber note, it was sad to see that Alfonso Canelas passed on. He was a beacon for the news of Bolivia. RIP Don Alfonso.
Buffy

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-----

Ahhh, the deafening sounds of silence. Is it because Cuchi Cuchi worhsipper's credibility and morality (not that he ever really had any) is cracking and crumbling before our eyes just as the original monolito Benet in front of the Hernando Siles stadium? Nah, I think it's the megawatt smile of the "genocidal" Goni with Pelosi. Incontrovertible proof that lefties simply...CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Well, Buffy, at least you were kind enough not to accuse me of "masterbating." [sic]

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-----

Ahhh, the deafening sounds of silence. Is it because Cuchi Cuchi worhsipper's credibility and morality (not that he ever really had any) is cracking and crumbling before our eyes just as the original monolito Benet in front of the Hernando Siles stadium? Nah, I think it's the megawatt smile of the "genocidal" Goni with Pelosi. Incontrovertible proof that lefties simply...CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Well, Buffy, at least you were kind enough not to accuse me of "masterbating." [sic]

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now he is masterbating two posts at a time. Sad pathetic little fellow.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugh....Morales is an absolute idiot....and that Linares fella (whom I've met) is a repulsive human being.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its pathetic how no one can answer or debate with croat. I guess its's because no one can really defend evo and his crew and still have a clean conscience. Really people, what the hell is going on with the government?!?!?! I dont care if your leftist rightis you are all wrongists if you think either side is right. most of our politicians are corrupt. All most masistas want is to get rich so they can be the new "elite" they dont want equality, they want revenge. Jim i work in tiquipaya and everytime go to work i wonder if i might meet up with you to see all the wonderfull things you do here.

Daniel

4:44 PM  
Anonymous El Grindio said...

Daniel,
Apparently you suffer from myopic vision. Your failed to see how some like Bowsie and myself tried to engage in debate "Croat Girly-Guy" but to know avail since his rants are limited to ad hominems, argumentum ad absurdium and almost textbook examples of all the logical fallacies. His comments and responses can only be defined as time-sucks.

In contrast to your observations regarding this blog's comments, let's hope you open your eyes on that road toward Tiquipaya otherwise you'll stub your toe on a rock, trip or step in feces, which is not unlike how you smeared your credibility by claiming there was anything substantive to debate in Croat Girly-Guy's rants.

As to defending Evo, that's not our job. We've only taken on the work that is involved in discussing how best to build a democracy-from the bottom up-in Bolivia. If Evo is tainted by corruption, the people should and will vote him out of office.

So far, all we've seen is garden variety political corruption (which is being rooted out and prosecuted). It pales compared to the odorous Bush government and its CIA lackeys like the in the case "one of the most sordid and sprawling congressional scandals in American history Thursday when" a federal judge "sentenced Kyle "Dusty" Dustin Foggo, formerly the No. 3 official at the CIA, to just over three years in federal prison for defrauding the government."

If top CIA leaders corrupt their own government, just imagine how the vile corrupt acts they commit, encourage, fund or direct against Bolivia's valiant efforts to succeed. The remaining Bush appointees in the CIA will stop at nothing to topple Evo's government. Corrupting the Bolivian government's efforts to build a democracy is but one of the tricks in their black bag.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous el grindio said...

Sorry about all the typos above. Dropped my Iphone and it has not been the same trying to use it to post a comment here.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Croat! You're entertaining as hell. Jim, how come all of Bolivia's problems are Bush's fault? Didn't Bush inherit the War on Drugs along with 95% of State Dept. employees from Clinton, same as Obama has done from Bush?

My favorite nugget out of Bolivia last month was Evo's carrot-and-stick strategy of asking potential lithium miners to install lithium battery and electric car production in Bolivia. Astoundingly high capital costs, relatively low labor requirements, highly sensitive industrial and military secrets... what better place than Bolivia to put an integrated electric car facility set up in a special 40-60 JV with Evo and MAS-YPFB cronies controlling? Boy, I'm in. Any predictions on how much lithium will be mined out of Uyuni before technology moves on to something else? (not including the desperate campesinos with pick and shovel that will carry it on burro to sell contraband in Argentina & Chile.)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29445248/

9:20 PM  
Anonymous El Grindio said...

1) Jim: “President Morales distrusts the U.S. government viscerally ... Bush administration was never comfortable with a cocalero socialist”

2) Croat Girly-Guy: “...all these countries squeal about "interference" and "sovereignty" because the US State Dept report is often the only honest and critical report about them...”

3) Another-Anon: “...how come all of Bolivia's problems are Bush's fault?“

The distrust Jim speaks of is understandable. Bolivians long knew the US government and Bush-Cheney, particularly, were not trustworthy, if not evil.

This Blog's “most-likely-to-contract-a newly discovered SSD/Aids” commentator, Croat Girly-Guy, is misleading readers with BS about the US State Dept's right wing propaganda that is disguised as a report. That leftover Bush propaganda lacks credibility. It's like one complaining about a splinter in Bolivia's finger while ignoring the log in their eye. For example, said hypocritical report covered up the following egregious acts by the Bush-Cheney police state-in-the-making, as set forth in today's NY Times:
“In an Oct. 23, 2001, memo, John C. Yoo, then a Justice Department lawyer, explained how Mr. Bush could ignore the Fourth Amendment and the Posse Comitatus Act and deploy the military within the United States in “anti-terrorist operations.” In the same memo, Mr. Yoo argued that Mr. Bush could also suspend First Amendment rights to free speech and a free press.
• On March 13, 2002, Jay Bybee, the head of the office at the time, wrote that Mr. Bush could ignore the Geneva Conventions and the anti-torture treaty. Mr. Bybee, who now has a lifetime seat as a judge on a federal court, said Mr. Bush was free to send prisoners to countries known to employ torture...”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/opinion/04wed1.html

To keep all the ignoramuses like “Another-Anon” ignorant about the above abuses, the Bush-Cheney regime caused problems for Bolivia. Yes, in the way that a lamb is sacrificed through no fault of its own, by making false charges about Evo's government that scapegoat Bolivia as a threat to the US when Bush was the real threat to US interests. Thus, Bush is at fault for Bolivia's problems.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's unfair for croat to attack Evo for "being late to admit there is a dengue crisis". Dengue is a local Santa Cruz health issue. It is the result of mayor Percy Fernandez's racist negligence of an infestation afflicting poor Altiplano immigrants in Santa Cruz. Like Bush, Percy ignored the crisis until it was too late and then lashed out at the press when it asked him about it. In other words:
Dengue is Percy's Katrina

http://www.eldeber.com.bo/2009/2009-03-04/vernotaahora.php?id=090304103614

1:25 AM  
Blogger BOLIVIA LIBRE said...

Ano 1.25, Percy is just senile, and incompetent, but the Dengue crisis is not a City of Santa Cruz crisis; or is Percy also responsible for the sick and death Cocaleros en El Chapare?.

You want the true, here it goes, the maSSist government spends over 50% of their budget on their Defense Minister, their Presidency Minister and their Legal Defense Minister which so fare have only managed taking political prisoners from their homes at the middle of the night braking their human rights at desire. In the mean time hundreds of Bolivians get sick with Denge in an epidemic never seen before, not even during military ruling, and many are already death while the maSSist rulers are planning the best way they will deliver medical equipment donated by the Europeans; the problem is, the band they planned to use is sick in the hospital with Denge and Malaria. You want to know how much the maSSist administration allocates for health, 4%; and that is not for Dengue fighting only.
What can we say; it is just, the time of MAS

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, now this joint is rocking! I knew that the phrase "lefties CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" about Morales' gigacorrupt government combined with Goni's and prominent leftie Pelosi's megawatt smiles together would produce a barrage of grunts about totally unrelated issues:

"Corrupt CIA!" "Bad Bush!" "Cheney Evil!" "2+2 equals...equals...Arrrgh! Bush and Cheney are the spawns of Satan!" "Bottom up! Up the bottom!"

That's what all the ultraleft kooks (who naturally happen to be Taliban and Hussein admirers) are able to fixate on. You know what? Bush is so yesterday. Even the loony "Truth Commission" to punish Bush proposed by that socialist Vermont senator (hilariously manhandled in the latest "Batman") has no supporters!

Take a clue from da Bama, who has decided to "look forward, not backward." That's why he has kept FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), retained "extraordinaty renditions," not quite closed Guantanamo, and the Patriot Act.

Are we having fun yet?

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

9:19 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

I'm just not seeing anything new. Something goes awry in Bolivia, morales blames the US then ignores the problem. This soap opera is getting boring.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the "genocidal" Goni going next? Why, to Harvard, of course!

He'll participate in a Latin American conference and make a presentation titled "Recovering Stability in times of Crisis: Leaders’ Perspective.”
March 7, 2009.
Burden Auditorium
General Admission: $35 (he won't charge for his autograph)

http://latamconferencehbs.com/registration.html

Goni...living la vida loca.

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim you are right, Bolivia is the last concern for the U.S. The U.S. government has its own financial crisis and the first tour of Hillary shows that. She went to East Asia. You said that corruption was always there in Bolivia, true, but this government won by claiming to be different and honest. Evo said in rallies: Viva Coca, Death to Yankees, causachun coca, wanuchun yankis. I do not believe that the majority of Bolivians grow coca, but now all Bolivians will have to pay for Evo's personal issues. Please stop blaming the US for the ATPDEA, it was all Bolivia's fault. The ATPDEA was part of the erradication plan, to provide economic alternatives. Bolivia kicked out the DEA and there is no way to believe that the erradication figures of the Bolivian government are reliable anymore. And for the Croat you are a Troll: the internet user who just starts arguments using insults. I wouldn't be surprised that Jim's or one of his workers is the croat to bring action to the blog.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croat is not merely a Troll, but a racist bigoted one at best. While I'm sure he's got plenty of company in both the "Civicos" and MAS camps. He akin to Ann Coulter and the war against muslim radicals: he's the best recuiting tool for radicals. Closer to the blog, he's ying to Grindio's obtuse yang.

Regarding Alvaro Garcia Linera: I have met the man, I have talked to the man, I have looked at the man square in the eye and I can tell you one thing: He's the Joker. Not "a" joker, but "the" joker. I don't mean a Cesar Romero Joker, or a even a Jack Nickholson crook, but a Heath Ledger "I just want to see the world burn" type of psychopath. Part of me believes that is because of the fact that his sexual orientation issues, but his lack of remorse, the fact that he is not able to empathize with people that do not share his views, make me believe that there is a much darker answers to his twisted nature.

Now about Jim's post. There are so many half-truths and outright lies, that it is challenging to start somewhere. We can't expect much from a ludite like Jim. There's nothing nice or clean about progress and for that matter getting people out of poverty and providing them with basic necessities: there is no free lunch.

You want Bolivians to have universal access to water? Sure, fine so do I, but who's going to pay for it. Jim says the evil transnationals, I say each beneficiary pays their own fair share, heck I'll even support high income earners to pay higher fees to subsidize access. And so on and so forth.

I'm not going to go on the Goldberg deal. Anyone who has followed the topic knows just how ridiculous, even pathetic, Jim sounds trying to call the episode "Golberg wars." More than anything, the episode shows that anti-semetism and ignorance are on very solid footing in Bolivia. I mean, for MAS supporters and Jim types, Yugoslasvia was a paradise and Goldberg was the evil mind who started racial and nationalistic tension in the balkans...after all before the US, the balkans were reknown for their stability and fraternal love.



Finally, I cannot believe the gall, chutzpah, sinverguenzura from Jim's behalf to ask for ATPDEA trade preferences. Let's see, you have been arrested for drunk driving, the law says you have to go jail, judge gives you a break, let's you drive to work and stay out of jail. You get caught again and you are sent to jail. In jail you then cry how it is the judges fault that you are in jail and can no longer drive, further you have the gall to say that driving was always an unalianable right rather than a priviledge. Better yet, you are out on parole, the terms of your parole say forebid you from socializing with shady people. You then get arrested getting high at your drug dealer's flat. You then say that parole was your right, that you have a right to associate with whomever, and that what you do with your own body is your own problem...fine, but you still violated the terms of your parole.

ATPDEA was a priviledge Bolivia was granted in exchange for fighting drugs. APTDEA costs thousands of jobs in poor rural areas of the US, asia, and other LatAm countries so that Bolivia could benefit. It is has been clear for sometime now that Evo does not want ANYTHING but COCAINE to be cultivated in the chapare region. So why should these jobs stay in a country that 1) does not want to honor the terms of the deal 2) is using you a political ragdoll? These jobs should go to countries like Colombia or Peru who are really trying to do something to better the lot of their countrymen. I find it repulsive that Jim goes around campuses and asks students to sign a petition without full disclosure. How many of these students would support the petition if they knew that Evo starts and ends all his speeches wishing them death? How many would support the petition knowing how much freedom drug manufacturers enjoy in Bolivia? How many would support the petition knowing the fate of the Andrade family and all others who dared give chaparenhos some dignity? How many would support this efforts knowing the racists remarks Evo has made against europeans, jews, and bolivians?

Bolivians should realize that elections have consequences. Electing a populist leader, who never gave up his leadership of the drug-cartel unions, who promised nationalization, who promised to fight investors, and whose speech was full of hate, does have its consequences. It is too late for crying foul. One can only expect misery and violence to follow someone like Evo. It is not one is against social justice or a better future for Bolivians, but the reality is that Evo is not the leader that will guide Bolivians to the promise land, he's the guys that will take them back to Egypt

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croat is not merely a Troll, but a racist bigoted one at best. While I'm sure he's got plenty of company in both the "Civicos" and MAS camps. He akin to Ann Coulter and the war against muslim radicals: he's the best recuiting tool for radicals. Closer to the blog, he's ying to Grindio's obtuse yang.

Regarding Alvaro Garcia Linera: I have met the man, I have talked to the man, I have looked at the man square in the eye and I can tell you one thing: He's the Joker. Not "a" joker, but "the" joker. I don't mean a Cesar Romero Joker, or a even a Jack Nickholson crook, but a Heath Ledger "I just want to see the world burn" type of psychopath. Part of me believes that is because of the fact that his sexual orientation issues, but his lack of remorse, the fact that he is not able to empathize with people that do not share his views, make me believe that there is a much darker answers to his twisted nature.

Now about Jim's post. There are so many half-truths and outright lies, that it is challenging to start somewhere. We can't expect much from a ludite like Jim. There's nothing nice or clean about progress and for that matter getting people out of poverty and providing them with basic necessities: there is no free lunch.

You want Bolivians to have universal access to water? Sure, fine so do I, but who's going to pay for it. Jim says the evil transnationals, I say each beneficiary pays their own fair share, heck I'll even support high income earners to pay higher fees to subsidize access. And so on and so forth.

I'm not going to go on the Goldberg deal. Anyone who has followed the topic knows just how ridiculous, even pathetic, Jim sounds trying to call the episode "Golberg wars." More than anything, the episode shows that anti-semetism and ignorance are on very solid footing in Bolivia. I mean, for MAS supporters and Jim types, Yugoslasvia was a paradise and Goldberg was the evil mind who started racial and nationalistic tension in the balkans...after all before the US, the balkans were reknown for their stability and fraternal love.



Finally, I cannot believe the gall, chutzpah, sinverguenzura from Jim's behalf to ask for ATPDEA trade preferences. Let's see, you have been arrested for drunk driving, the law says you have to go jail, judge gives you a break, let's you drive to work and stay out of jail. You get caught again and you are sent to jail. In jail you then cry how it is the judges fault that you are in jail and can no longer drive, further you have the gall to say that driving was always an unalianable right rather than a priviledge. Better yet, you are out on parole, the terms of your parole say forebid you from socializing with shady people. You then get arrested getting high at your drug dealer's flat. You then say that parole was your right, that you have a right to associate with whomever, and that what you do with your own body is your own problem...fine, but you still violated the terms of your parole.

ATPDEA was a priviledge Bolivia was granted in exchange for fighting drugs. APTDEA costs thousands of jobs in poor rural areas of the US, asia, and other LatAm countries so that Bolivia could benefit. It is has been clear for sometime now that Evo does not want ANYTHING but COCAINE to be cultivated in the chapare region. So why should these jobs stay in a country that 1) does not want to honor the terms of the deal 2) is using you a political ragdoll? These jobs should go to countries like Colombia or Peru who are really trying to do something to better the lot of their countrymen. I find it repulsive that Jim goes around campuses and asks students to sign a petition without full disclosure. How many of these students would support the petition if they knew that Evo starts and ends all his speeches wishing them death? How many would support the petition knowing how much freedom drug manufacturers enjoy in Bolivia? How many would support the petition knowing the fate of the Andrade family and all others who dared give chaparenhos some dignity? How many would support this efforts knowing the racists remarks Evo has made against europeans, jews, and bolivians?

Bolivians should realize that elections have consequences. Electing a populist leader, who never gave up his leadership of the drug-cartel unions, who promised nationalization, who promised to fight investors, and whose speech was full of hate, does have its consequences. It is too late for crying foul. One can only expect misery and violence to follow someone like Evo. It is not one is against social justice or a better future for Bolivians, but the reality is that Evo is not the leader that will guide Bolivians to the promise land, he's the guys that will take them back to Egypt

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:14, just because I agreed with almost everything you said, I'll be nice and disregard the usual "RAAAAAAAACIST!" rant against me that is so typical from the intellectually lazy in this blog.

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post 12:14. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts about Bolivia. And no, this is NOT 12:14 blowing his own horn!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not going to go on the Goldberg deal. Anyone who has followed the topic knows just how ridiculous, even pathetic, Jim sounds trying to call the episode "Golberg wars." More than anything, the episode shows that anti-semetism and ignorance are on very solid footing in Bolivia."

There is such a clean pattern to some of the comments here. Just deny that somethig in the post is true and assume that your statement is evidence enough, as in the above. No refutation whatsoever on the facts.

But the facts in the post are detailed and verified. Goldberg did play down the bullets episode at the airport. His staff did ask a Fulbright student and Peace Corps volunteers to spy. These may not be happy facts for some to hear, but they are facts and documented ones. And as a missionary in Cochabamba at the time I also witnessed Mr. Goldberg's lynching joke.

Anti-semetism? Calling Mr. Goldberg on the facts is no more anti-semetic than calling Goni or Evo on theirs is anti-Bolivian.

Thinking people have long ago left this coments section precisely because those who do comment don't understand the essential difference between substantiated facts as opposed to ranted bias.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 3:40

Thank you.

4:47 PM  
Blogger bowsie said...

Jim says:It is worth noting, for example, that the Cuba report makes no mention of the surest source of human rights abuses on the island, the U.S. prison at Guantanamo.

Guantanamo is part of the United States, why would it appear on a human rights report on the state of Cuba?

Right, next up is "the Croat guys" lose use of logic.

Riiiight. Compare how many people attempt to immigrate to the US to, say, "social justice" (gag!) paradises such as Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. OK, Jim?

This has nothing to do with human rights. They go to the United States because it has a better economy. Indians (from India) move in their tens of thousands to Dubai, but that is hardly a bastion of societal bliss.

bowsie, I suggest you don't read the next part. You'll toss your cookies.

Remember all the ranting and raving by Cuchi Cuchi worshipper and his band of monolito lovers demanding the extradition of Goni? Well, Goni has been hailed as an "extraordinary leader" compared to Nelson Mandela.


Who compared him to the Nelson Mandela, the Harvard Business School? This is about as shocking as Wednesday following Tuesday. Funny too, as I don't remember Nelson Mandela buying his colourful shirts with gastos reservados...

I think your post caused a severe seizure in some of the liberal/lefty/hypocrit loonies that regularly rant in this blog..lol

Only if you believe the world to be made up of "left" & "right".

As for the Croat guy, in the last post I clearly stated that the corruption in YPFB is unacceptable, that it is also unacceptable that Evo blames it on the "CIA", a tactic straight from the despot's handbook.

You are obsessed with taking sides, there's a middle ground here for some of us who are becoming dissatisfied with Evo, and yet consider themselves ideological enemies of, for instance, Ruben Costas and Branko Marinkovic.

The eloquent poster above put it best, this is like masturbation. Try and look at the points where we agree (for instance that Morales' role and reaction to the YBFB as being unacceptable). However, it is clear to me at least that in the days of Goni the equivalent of Ramirez would be, at worst, sitting on a water-fed lawn in Maryland, as opposed to facing justice.

At least the justice system is processing this corruption. A welcome break from the prosecution of innocent fall-guys under Goni.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The eloquent poster above put it best, this is like masturbation..."

Just when you thought you heard it all! First we have some crazy Cuchi Cuchi worshipping cats who talk about igneous and/or sedimentary rock sex. Now there are some dawdling dawgs who talk about experiencing the same pleasure with microchips, mice, and other peripherals.

Ewwwww.

I don't know about y'all, but I prefer doing natural things the natural way.

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

8:54 AM  
Blogger bowsie said...

Just when you thought you heard it all! First we have some crazy Cuchi Cuchi worshipping cats who talk about igneous and/or sedimentary rock sex. Now there are some dawdling dawgs who talk about experiencing the same pleasure with microchips, mice, and other peripherals.

Ewwwww.


So what, you've never looked at internet porn?

9:00 AM  
Anonymous El Grindio said...

The differences we hold are not set in stone along ideological lines ala exclusively "leftys" v. "ultra-right".

For the record, I have concerns regarding:
1) claims that Evo's family are cutting deals under the table; and
2) allegations that Linares' brother (a doctor who is said to formerly drive a "peta" now is held out to be an owner of large medical clinic).

In the interests of transparency the above issues should be addressed at some point. For this is all about building a democracy from the bottom up. Further, for democracy work, there must exist the rule of law. And the law should apply to all fairly in the service of justice.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croats and his kind:
Goni, Tuto are alike. Hypocrits, racist and ignorant, BUT with lots of money stolen from Bolivia which allows them to be "invited" to mingle with gringas like Pelosi and other fools.

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Croats and his kind? Do you mean Croat and his kind? or Croats and their kind?....
The ignorant is yuz, i thinks.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tour, huh? So the lad now thinks he´s a bloddy rock star!!!
Keep up the good work, you punk!

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No comments yet on VH Cardenas? Is that democracy from the bottom up Jim? Burning down the opposition's homes and flogging their families for thoughtcrimes, for being a "traitor" to their race, to Evo, or la Patria?

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duringn prior regimes VHI Cardenas would be in the basement of the Ministry of Interior being tortured, and his women raped, tortured. Why are you complaining about now Goni lover.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:14:
VH Cardenas was tortured during previous regimes. Are you justifying what happened? You're an idiot, sinverguenza, resentido social.

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bunch of drunk savages, purportedly MAS militants, forced former Bolivian VP Victor Hugo Cardenas' family (who are aymara) out of his house, beat them to a pulp, and then ransacked his house. The local authorities were conspicuously absent.

Cuchi Cuchi worshipper, always so quick to rant and rave against "500 years of oppression and racism" against indigenous people, has miraculously (and thankfully if it were any other case) become a hermit and a mute.

Morales should immediately go in front of the national and world press to denounce the CIA for being able to plan, promote, develop, and finance such a dastardly act; should call for representatives of the HRW, HRF, Amnesty International, ANSWER, Derechos Humanos de Bolivia, OAS, UN, UNESCO, Red Cross, and the National Museum of the American Indian to assist with the teaching of sensitivity training, anger management, and a 10-step plan to quit drinking for MAS chichaholic savages; and should personally apologize to Cardenas for being a mestizo and therefore a 50% 500-year oppressor to Cardenas, who is aymara.

;-)

The Croats are Morales' Jews
Beni is Morales' Katrina
The Israelis are the good guys

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its only fair that jim inform all his fans in the states and others about what happened this staurday. I'd like to see what he has to say about all of this and the fact that the government is trying to justify what happened, and protest why the media gives this more importance.

Daniel

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim tends to never post about anything that might make the natives look like savages. Thus no reporting on the dogs being tied up in achacachi, the people being burned alive in achacachi, no law body being able to enter achacachi...and what makes you think that he'll report on achacachenos beating a woman and child??

I'll go aheas a save the MASISTAS precious time and money and post all they had to say so far about it:

1) Cardenas is a traitor to his race for having the capacity of formulating an independent thought.
2) Cardenas deserved it because he was a theif. No evidence put forth and these fellows also justify MAS' plan to plunder over a billion dollars by saying, it's ok, k'aras did it.


We shall not be shocked that moral outrage in Bolivia is in short supply. It always has been this way, from colonial times, the 52 revolution, dictatorships, neoliberal democracy, etc. Those in power have stolen and have abuse the others. May be that is why Jim doesn't say a word about it.

11:23 AM  
Blogger bowsie said...

Cardenas is a traitor to his race for having the capacity of formulating an independent thought.

Is that the white or the indigenous part?

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bowsie:
Cardenas is 100% Aymara.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lies, lies, lies... "You can't handle the truth".

All that happened was a peaceful demonstration was planned to protest certain bad things Cardenas (a non-Aymara last name) did including holding a wild noisy party that some party-crashers later attended.
Some citizens of Achacachi, apparently returning from some festivities, became caught up in the civic mood. Since Achacachi "boys will be boys", their festive spirit was re-directed to a public policy propostion before the cabildo gathered in front of Cardenas compound. Voters proposed (in accord with civic forfiture laws) that Cardenas' ill-gotten assets (ie, his mansion purchased with bribes taken during the graft-fest that was Goni's administration) be put to better use as a home for the elderly.

As to the lie that Cardenas "was beaten to a pulp", where is that evidence? If it were true, youtube and the news would be overflowing with the video and photographic evidence. There is none since Don Hugo Cardenas ( a non-Aymara name if ever there was one) was not at the mansion purchased with his "salary" as Goni's vp ( a salary of a few dollars a month when exchanged from pesos that somehow was able to afford Hugo a mansion).
However, Hugo's hysterical wife had another of her episodes of "nervous breakdowns" for which she went to her customary rehab... err, local respite shelter/medical clinic.

The Croats are Branko's gestapo
Benny (Jack) was a radio/tv comedian
The Israelis are gays

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Achacachi Boys (will be boys) said...

The above is an eyewitness' honest-to-"Croat Guy"-truth.

See, grindio dude, no need to cut and paste evidence when you can just do what Croat Guy does.

The Croats are gay Jews
Benny was radio's Will Farrel
Israelis are "Croat Guy" gays

1:30 PM  
Anonymous memoria historica said...

awww shit, blogger deleted my beautiful post again. fear not colegas, I got my gratification out of it anyway.

by the way, does anybody else think "croat guy" sounds like some of the ex-Banzer Ministros who don their "journalist" hats to post opinion pieces in La Razon? Its the same kind of despective attitude and lightness towards misery which characterized many out of touch right-wingers who grew up in the apartheid eras previous to and following 1952.

The Cardenas affair is quite sordid indeed, although it is repudiable a more dignified and investigative comment section might conduct a discussion the the true causes of this incident and what are the probable responsibilities.

For starters, the government must immediately restore order and return the property to its rightful owners, the ex Vice President Victor Hugo Cardenas.

Communal justice is respected and indigenous autonomies in the mostly Aymara province of Omasuyos (where it went down, en route to Lake Titicaca from La Paz) will need to come into effect, but that is a far cry and a loud fart away from some "assembly" deciding to take away someone's legitimate Private Property, as is explicitly recognized in our awesome new Constitution.

But next, lets look at the accusation that this was orchestrated by MAS or government figures (read the bogeymen Quintana and Rada). On January 25th, YES won with 61%, with a smashing 70-90% in Provincia Omasuyos and the rest of the altiplano.

What possible political benefit would MAS gain by having goons attack the property of the main leader of the NO vote, given his Aymara background, in that region? NONE.

What possible benefit does MAS gain by showing the middle class and upper middle classes (of which Cardenas, who lives of course in La Paz, is a bright representative, given his history whether you approve or not of his neoliberal participation in Capitalization as President of Congress 1993-1997)....what benefit does MAS gain by showing them that private property within one or two hours of La Paz is at risk, 9 months away from a new national election?

This seems more like regional agents, members of MAS and not, getting their heads inflated, and the government needs to fix that problem.

Yet another issue which the opposition prefects could address if they took the time to attend the Autonomy Council meetings this week, supporting the implementation of our new Constitution with clear rules, instead of trying to raise a media shitstorm.

i hope the pleasure has not been all mine, jajaja!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cry Cardenas, while your Master Goni enjoys the good american way of life.
Sold out, traitor to your race and people. You were part of the regime that killed indians.
Gringo y Tonto what a pair.
Cossio, Cardenas are one of a kind, Sold outs and thieves.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put Cardenas in jail next to his master Gonzalo Sanches Lozada.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous El Grindio said...

Anon 2:12:
Not a bad post. I look forward to more of what you have to say.

Achacachi Boys: Was that comedic relief?

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Dead Left said...

" (gibberish...) where 20,000 Bolivian workers remain at risk due to President Bush's political moves on trade (more gibberish...)"

How about:

"where 20,000 Bolivian workers remain at risk due to President MORALES political moves on trade"

Give credit were credit is due, or in Bolivian near-Sharia terms: Give a preste were a preste is due.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Dead Left said...

jaja no answers to this one huh?

Go read Cato tear a new one this bullshit doctrine:

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9384

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta love Cato!

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey!What happened to our democratic space?

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Global warming was Bush's fault too, I guess. Listen people. It should not fall too far from our eyes that Venezuelan and Cuban personnel are now showing up in Bolivia. Anyone who speaks out against the President is jailed. The indigenous population is taking land (or squatting on it until their financial extortion demands are met), with resorting to violence as a ready option. This country's direction has now nationalized every virtually every foreign-owned company, making laws by degree and uses Bush/US as the excuse for anything and everything they decide to do. Bolivia is now (based upon reports of people who are actually in the country now, not USAID workers who were pulled out a few months ago) a much more dangerous place to live for US citizens. It has become, under Morales, a "convenient" democracy - that is, if it agrees with Morales' views, it democratic, if it doesn't, it's CIA. Pull you head out of the sand!

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between the Cuban and chavez tyes, I would say that the Executive President of the US is not going to tolerate a whole lot of "Bold as Love" crap from third world which aren't feeling the economic global CRUNCH to it's fullest decree, Kind of like in America, "when the cats on welfare are getting even for the stuff they did to the working class to begin with", I just hope in their pre-teen struggle that they don't do anything that will cause Municipal action, we are already in up to our asses in Mexico which, by the way is long overdue Man 7000 in two years on a direct confrontation The Mid-east has a better score. I guess it goes with out saying.

4:20 PM  

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