Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas wrap up

Mexican beauty queen and "Miss Hispanamerica", Laura Zuniga (seen left in desperate need of some tamales), was arrested on her way to Bolivia trafficking arms and cocaine. Who might she be visiting in Bolivia? The Mex Files has some ideas.

A fascist plot to assassinate Evo is uncovered. Wouldn't be the first time. So the real question is how many plots were/are there?

Unfazed Brother Evo gives Obama some good advice.

As well as being the only Latin American leader to suggest that it is actually possible to do something towards ending the US Cuban embargo we all complain about.

A month after Evo's US tour, the AP finally gets around to telling us he had a positive meeting with Senator Dick Lugar.

After three years of Cuban and Venezuelan "interference" Bolivia manages to accomplish what fifty plus years of US "assistence" seemed unable, finally end illiteracy in Bolivia.

And last but far from least, Otto at Inca Kola News uses these things called "facts" to explain how Evo is beating the capitalists at their own game.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Léo Ferré - Les Anarchistes



Not directly Bolivia related, but I've always felt that if you have ever lived in Bolivia for any length of time without becoming a little bit of an anarchist there is something wrong with you. Also, luck and safety for our Greek and European friends.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Reading

Finding Common Ground in Crisis: Social Movements in South America and US
Ben Dangl

People in the US seeking ways to confront the economic crisis could follow the lead of South American social movements. From Argentina to Venezuela, many movements have won victories against the same systems of corporate greed and political corruption that produce economic strife across the hemisphere. These movements also have experience holding politicians' feet to the flames once they are elected, a tactic that will be essential once Barack Obama takes office.

A connection between activist strategies in the north and south emerged earlier this month when over 200 laid-off workers from Chicago's Republic Windows and Doors factory occupied their plant, demanding the severance and vacation pay owed to them.

continue reading...


Morales Remakes Bolivia
Alexander van Schaick

LA PAZ, Bolivia — On Oct. 21, Bolivian President Evo Morales approved a law convoking a national vote on a new constitution in front of thousands of supporters in the capital La Paz. Seconds later, Morales seemed close to tears as he addressed the crowd and celebrated the passage of the document designed to empower Bolivia’s indigenous majority.

The proposed constitution, which analysts expect to be ratified by a wide margin on Jan. 25, 2009, will be one of Morales’ most important achievements since he became president in 2005. After 10 months of political wrangling — that culminated in 18 hours of nonstop congressional negotiations — the four major parties in Bolivia’s Congress finally agreed on the proposed constitution that morning.

continue reading...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Zapatazoista

Za-pa-ta-zo-is-ta 1) Of, or related to the actions of one Muntazer al-Zaidi, a journalist who told George W. Bush on 14 December 2008 what everybody in the world thought, but hadn’t said… that Bush deserved the boot!

2) One who appropriately responds to bullshit.

(Thanks Mex Files!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Greenberg Quinlan & Rosner sucker found

In October BoRev unearthed a wanted ad for political consultants firm Greenberg Quinlan & Rosner (of Our Brand is Crisis fame, when in 2002 they got El Gringo elected to a gloriously bloody Presidency) for a "part [in an unspecified] a political campaign in Bolivia". Unfortunately BoRev didn't get the position, but we can now be almost certain for whom these ignorant "liberal" Democrats will be working for in the Dec. 2009 Bolivian Presidential elections.

Who other than Goni's former VP Carlos Mesa! (above with Bush) His recent campaign announcement shows the pathetic futility of the opposition, being their likely last best hope. What this overrated historian turned corporate tool politician seems to have forgotten is that he was already President, from 2003 to 2005, and resigned in disgrace in the face of mass protests. That's a great resume to build on!

Let's watch as these idiots fail hilariously!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bolivia Apocolypse!

The BBC hasn't yet gotten the memo on the demise of the Media Luna.

With the new constitution headed for sure passage in the January referendum, Branko Marinkovic on the run, members of the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC) begging the Catholic Church for sanctuary "asylum", and Evo firmly in his strongest political position yet, the BBC runs this story "Bolivia's divisions herald more turmoil" which ridiculously claims, "as the day of the vote [constitutional referedum] approaches, tension is increasing."

"Tension" if you mean the sweat on the rightwing brows as they realize their irrelevance. Down South is absolutely correct to praise the article as a huge improvement over BBC's past performances, delivering a nicely balanced piece, but... (the editors are probably more at fault), in my opinion, at this point to give these loser Hitler lovers equal air time and respect only massages the delusional fantasy world of the Bolivian Right and their racist, violent, doomed opposition. For instance, the UJC vice-president is interviewed as opposed to the president, David Sejas, because their members are currently fractionalized and literally fighting among themselves over the group's leadership.

Sad thing is, this would have been a good article three months ago. I'm sure the BBC will eventually catch up...?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pando was a massacre. Period.

UNASUR's commission on the violent events of last September 11th in Pando, Bolivia presented their finding to Evo yesterday. The report is unequivical in its characterization of the campesino massacre and those responsible, the rightwing Prefectura of Leopoldo Fernandez. Eduardo Garcia of Reuters gives you the straight story, or if you feel like sifting through the ugly details go read the report yourself (Spanish only).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why didn't this make it in the US press?

Bolivia to acquire or expropriate land to give to Indians
Latin American Herald Tribune

LA PAZ -- The Bolivian government will buy land to give to Guarani Indians in the country's Chaco region and free them from the "serfdom" under which many of them live, the director of the National Institute for Agrarian Reform said Tuesday.

Juan Carlos Rojas told a press conference that the measure was backed up by an executive order and will benefit indigenous communities in the eastern and southern provinces of Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija.

continue reading...

It's time for a new good neighbor policy

Mark Weisbrot

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama's historic triumph was welcomed in Latin America by left-of-center governments who saw it as a continuation of their own electoral victories.

Even before the election President Lula da Silva of Brazil said: "Just as Brazil elected a metal worker, Bolivia elected an Indian, Venezuela elected Chavez and Paraguay a bishop, I think that it would be an extraordinary thing if, in the largest economy in the world, a black man were elected president of the United States."

Obama has an opportunity to forge a new relationship with the region after his predecessor drove U.S.-Latin American relations into a ditch. But it will require a major change in Washington's attitude toward our southern neighbors.

continue reading...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tough times for Bolivian fascists

Bush's Bolivia "pro-democracy" activists are on hard times, poor guys. Their September coup plot collapsed as soon as it was launched. Their rightwing opposition political coalition is hopelessly fragmented. One of their four "Media Luna" Prefects is incarcerated facing genocide charges, and now the national police are coming after the elite "civic" leaders behind the September "civil coup".

Six members of Tarija's comite civico have been arrested on terrorism charges for the destruction of a gas pipeline, members of the Santa Cruz Youth Union are being rounded up for their brown shirt head busting, and now government ministers have told Branko Marinkovic, leader of the Comite Pro Santa Cruz and one of NYTimes' Simon Romero's favorite quote sources, he is next. They told him not to be a coward, flee to the US, but instead prepare his defense and own up to his acts.

Santa Cruz Prefect Ruben Costas has screamed that "thousands" of people will rise up to protect Marinkovic, which might have sounded serious a couple of months ago but now is more like a big joke... because the Santa Cruz police whose stations were attacked by Maronkovic's goons are going to side with whom?

Branko, you are fucked. Own up to your sedition and maybe you can write a your own Mein Kampf in prison.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blogging Note

The Dude has gone and hurt himself. This last week I got in a bicycle accident and broke my right arm, writing arm. Otherwise I am fine. I intend to continue blogging but considering the added difficulty of typing with one hand, I expect things to be slower here for two months or so until I fully recuperate. Thanks for reading my antifa rants.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Suck it Larsen!

Bolivia´s Minister of Land Alejandro Almaraz has kept his word, finally entering the ranch of US ex-pat dirt bag Ron Larsen in southern Santa Cruz, carrying out constitutional Land Reform responsiblities. Ron Larsen and his son "Mr. Bolivia", Dustin Larsen hold illegally extensive properties in Alto Parapeti where the OAS Human Rights Commission concluded indigenous Guarani communities are exploited by local ranchers through practices analgous to slavery, but Dustin Larsen insists is just regular ol´"poverty". Last Feburary, government Land Reform agencies working with Guarani indigenous organizations were violentely halted from carrying out retitling by the Larsens leading a gang of Santa Cruz paramilitaries, even kidnapping Almaraz and others.
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Yesterday, Bolivian officials arrived at the ranch, made several arrests (the Larsens have apparently fled... back to Montana?) and seized a cache of arms. (pictured right with Almaraz) They can now go about the business of giving proper legal title of the property back to the land´s rightful owners under Bolivian law, the indigenous Guarani people historically dispossessed and enslaved by dirt bags such as the Larsens. A proud day for Bolivia.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Racists picket OAS

The Washington Post´s coverage of Evo´s US tour featured interviews with a hand full of "activists" protesting Evo at the OAS.
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"We are here to denounce what Evo is doing to our democracy, to our freedom of the press, to our constitution, to our human rights,"
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But WaPo reporter Pamela Constable didn´t tell you that the quoted "activist" Elena Abolnik is a fascist. She also forgot to tell you that these protesters engaged in racist verbal assualts of indigenous Bolivian dancers attending the OAS meeting.
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Note to the US press: stop protecting these fascist coup plotters. They´ve lost. Game over, give it up.
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Updates
-Carlos in DC gives a blog/press reaction summary of Evo´s tour.
-Down South points out racist commentary on the DC anti-Evo Facebook group.
-Pamela Constable of WaPo gives the Evo tour story another try but still refuses to tell readers that anti-Evo protesters are racists.
-And Amy Goodman, as usual, gives us the most accurate title, "Bolivia´s Morales offers his hand in peace"

Brother Evo

(After visiting the Linclon Memorial in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Linclon.)
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Come on, do not tell me you don´t feel the love. Don´t break your brother´s heart Obama!
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P.S. Also check out BoRev´s must read summary of Evo´s US tour.

Evo in DC



Update
Down South found a DC blogger´s personal account of Evo´s visit to American Univ.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Evo in New York



Evo for the hour on Democracy Now! Listen Up.

Reuters: "Bolivia's Morales seeks better ties with Obama"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Massive dick gets Obama post

Obama's Bolivia adviser Greg Craig (who also happens to represent fugative ex-Pres "Goni" wanted for genocide) just got a promotion. He is now to be tapped for White House counsel, making the likelihood of an Evo-Obama pow-wow ever so slim. As Down South previously noted, Goni's other lawyer Howard Gutman, who called Bolivia's extradition request "part of a political offensive orchestrated by Evo Morales against democracy and those he considers his political enemies", is also an original member of Obama's Financial Committee. With this many WASP jackasses around it would be wise not to call Obama a brother.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kalamarka - Tupac Katari


227 years after Tupac Katari was quartered by the Spanish for leading an indigenous anti-colonial revolution Evo attests his struggle is carried on today by the Bolivian people.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Turning the world upside down

Hey whitey! I imagine no one bothered to tell you, but it´s Pachakuti. Huh?
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Well, for instance. There used to be a time when big "developed" countries in the north would pass up their noses at the domestic handeling of "backward" economies in small countries of the south, like Bolivia. They´d send their best and brighest "Chicago Boys" to help these poor wretches into shape with an "austerity" diet. But now somethings different. The "developed" countries are... shrinking, and Latin America... has cash to spare. Little ol´ Bolivia is running a surplus and massively expanding its budget and infrastructure spending (a must link!) on a flying wiphala to the future. Uncle Sam... not so much. Basically best start learning Aymara and pack up the old Okie truck because its an upside down world!
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Update

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Get Goni

Hey Democratic Staffers and other notables! Awesome job on winning the Presidency for Obama. A lot of work ahead cleaning up that mess Bush left, no? You all want to know a SUPER easy way to instanly improve US relations with Bolivia and the entire South American continent at practically no cost to youselves! Fulfill Bolivia´s extradition resquest for their fugitive ex-President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.
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BoRev can fill you in on the backstory. Basically, "Goni" is a bad man, killed a lot of people, and is surrounded by huge jackasses. You might already be familiar with one of them, Greg Craig. We all think you should ditch his advice on Bolivia and instead listen to this other fellow, who talks about how things have "changed" in Latin America and how the US has to be "realistic". I know, crazy talk! but it could work, so please try.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The War on Stupid

The Christian Science Monitor continues its sad journalistic decline with it´s Bolivia coverage perhaps leading the way, rivaling the Economist.
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CSM´s dunce LatAm reporter Sarah Miller Llana again proves why she shouldn´t be allowed near a keyboard with her confused and difficult to read piece on Bolivia and the Drug War, "In Latin America, leftist leaders evict US drug warriors". It is a marked improvement from her earlier work, in that she actually interviews someone with an alternative perspective to US crapoganda, Kathryn Ledebur of the Andean Information Network. But because Sarah either doesn´t like or doesn´t understand what Ledebur really has to say about US drug policy towards Bolivia, the piece devolves into a ´he said, she said` mess with the opposing pro-US side being none other than bonified hack Eduardo Gamarra. This is just sad, no wonder CSM no longer prints in hard copy.
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If you want to know what a well written and balance article on the same subject looks like just go read Jean Freidman-Rudovsky at Time.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Evo tells Obama what´s up

We may not be to certain Obama will be down with Evo, but Evo is already treating Obama like a brother. Today Evo directed his explanation for kicking the "counter" drugtraffiker DEA out of Bolivia straight to Obama.
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"The DEA were the protectors of the largest narcotrafficers",..."One hopes that the new president elect will come to know these documents."
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As Otto noted, isn´t it funny how wherever the DEA shows up, narcotrafficking seems to explode, no?
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Update
The documents Evo is refering to were those presented by his Minister Juan Ramon Quintana acusing the DEA of drugtrafficking, bribery, and murder.

Immortal Technique - Peruvian Cocaine

Note of Caution

Are you over your hangover from partying up Obama tuesday night? Good, because here are some sober thoughts on Obama from Bolivia.
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What could President Obama mean for improving US - Bolivian relations after Bush sent Goldberg to support a bunch of fascist coup plotters? Well if Obama´s current advisors signify anything, not much. A while back Gringo Tambo dug up this video of Obama´s Bolivia advisor, Greg Craig speaking about the possible extradition of Bolivia´s ex-Pres "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada for his role in the 2003 El Alto Gas War in which more than 60 civilian protesters were shot dead by the national military. Summerized:
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“we do not accept your characaterization of those events as a massacre.” He says there were no crimes against humanity, genocide, disappearances, or torture, but rather, “tragically, civil disturbances which cost lives.”
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Oh, did I forget to tell you?, that in addition to advising Obama on Bolivia, Craig is also Goni´s legal representive. Conflict of interst. What conflict of interest?
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But hey, Bolivia is a small poor country anyways. Who cares? Obama is awesome, smart, unifying, and "transhistorical"- MLK´s dream fulfilled. Except Bolivians, like Americans, also elected in 2005 their first President from a group historically enslaved, racially segregation, and widely discriminated against. So Bolivia has been living a "postracial" politics ever since, right?
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I am sorry to say this folks, but if Bolivia and Morales are any gauge, what we saw during the McCain-Palin rallies ain´t nothing compared to what is down the road in an Obama Presidency. Dig in, beacuse now is the time when the real work of progressives starts.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Amauris Samartino threatens Bolivian journalists

Wilson Garcia Merida
October 29, 2008
Translated by Scott Campbell

(Datos & Analisis) - From his new refuge in the United States, the Cuban dissident who, in November 2006, together with a horde from the fascist Santa Cruz Youth Union, tried to assault Vice President Garcia Linera while demanding "independence" for Santa Cruz, is now devoting himself to harassing and bullying the Facts & Analysis News Service (Datos & Analisis). The CIA agent's attacks and threats against autonomous journalism in Bolivia, which has taken a stand by denouncing the corrupt and separatist large landowner system, got worse after the recent popular victory when Congressional agreed to hold a referendum on the new Bolivian Constitution next January.

continue reading...

Decertifying Bolivia: Bush Administration “Fails Demonstrably” to Make its Case

Kathryn Ledebur, Andean Information Network

On September 16, 2008, the Bush administration announced its determination that Bolivia had “failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months” to adhere to its “obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.”Ten days later, the Administration announced its intent to make Bolivia ineligible for benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), asserting that “Bolivia’s demonstrable failure to cooperate in counternarcotics efforts over the past 12 months indicates that Bolivia is not meeting important criteria” to qualify for the tariff preferences.

continue reading...

Make up date

Despite the emails hitting my inbox, this Dude flaked on informing you about an event last month held at the SEIU in Washington DC on the Bolivian economy. Featuring Luis Arce, the Bolivian Minister of Finance and Carlos Villegas, Minister of Development and Planning as well as Mark Weisbrot of CEPR, this event would have been awesome to go to if you lived in the area, no? Well fret not, Bolivia Rising has posted a video, so head on over and pretend like you were there.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday Wrap Up

Turns out that Bolivia can also diplomatically retaliate against the US, and with more consequence, telling the DEA cut it.

But don´t expect this to mean your yuppie friends will soon have a surplus of Bolivian cociane anytime soon.

Also turns out that democracy in Bolivia starts where US "democracy promotion" ends.

Especially when "democracy promotion" involves demolishing poor peoples homes.

And Evo gets a nose job.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky is cute

...and a good journalist covering Bolivia, so it is time for another "Achiever Award".


One of the founding editors of Ukhampacha Bolivia, she is Time´s Bolivia coorespondant and tends to break little stories like "Peace Corps, Fulbright Scholar Asked to Spy on Cubans, Venezuelans".

She also writes for retiree news, hippy and uppity womyn publications. It´s enough to make a boy blush. The Dude most definitely tips his drink to this hip lady.





P.S., MGrace had a crush on her first.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rapping in Aymara

My posting of Ukamau y Ke´s Tupak Katari recieved an blogosphere buzz awhile back so here is an article Ben Dangl wrote on the El Alto hip hop scene, for some added context.

Ben Dangl

At 13,000 feet, the hip hop movement in El Alto, Bolivia is probably the highest in the world. The music blends ancient Andean folk styles and new hip hop beats with lyrics about revolution and social change.

As the sun set over the nearby snow capped mountains, I sat down with Abraham Bojorquez, a well known El Alto hip hop artist. We opened up a bag of coca leaves and began to talk about what he calls a new "instrument of struggle."

continue reading...

Ain´t all Indians

When they talk about promoting diversity in Bolivia it is not just about indigenous peoples. Annie Murphy gives us a glimpse (SFChronicle) of the struggle for recongition Afrobolivians are simultenously fighting, equally included in the proposed constitution. After you are done reading about the Afro-Bolivian Cultural Movement go visit their website and listen to some good music.

Monday, October 27, 2008

AP again passes blind eye to US meddling

In this anonymous piece, "Bolivia alledges US role in violent jungle clash" the AP misrepresents the presentation of Presidential Minister Juan Ramon Quintana and ignores the facts of US meddling in Bolivia.
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AP claims Quintana "did not provide any evidence for the charge or elaborate on what he meant by the word ´participate,` [in "participated in the massacare"]...Quintana also accused the U.S. Agency for International Development of unspecified ´direct involvement` in the province."
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Actually Quintana was very specific and careful in his language, stating (paraphrase) "that the US, through USAID, helped to create an unconstitutional and criminal government in Pando, making them complicit in the crimes of its Prefect". Quintana does not need to say anymore than that because, as 90 western acadamics already noted, USAID (OTI) admits on their Bolivia website to having directed funding towards departmental governments for the purpose of supporting their [autonomous] governing capacity. So yes, USAID carries complicity in the Pando massacre, unless of course their internal documents, which they refuse to release publicily, show otherwise.
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Quintana was also very specific as to what he ment by USAID "direct involvement", stating that its "purpose was to promote disunity and conflict between MAS [Morales´ political party] and indigenous organizations." Again, that is exactly the activity internal USAID documents aquired by Jerry Bigwood show. But of course only the Mexican La Jornada picked up on the story.
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This anonymous AP stringer could have also mentioned that Quintana made these statements at an internaional solidarity summit in support of Evo´s democratic and constitutional government in Santa Cruz. Or that the 18 international organizations participating in this meeting officially called for Evo to be named the international voice advocate for indigenous peoples and be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Little stuff like that.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ronaldo Alacrán - Si Somos Americanos

In response to Bush cancelling of Bolivia trade preferences.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

¡Presente!

It has been noted far and wide, Evo is a badass. And I have some pictures to prove it. This Dude made sure he was present for one of the most historic days in Bolivian history, when the Bolivian people finally got their constitution past the last oligarchic roadblock. It´s on bitches! Ain´t no one going to stop this train now! January 25th people.

The day of the ninteenth began with the ponchos rojos (here CSUTCB) entering La Paz from the march and later in the afternoon the Plaza Murrillo with Evo and everyone else following. For any idiots out there who think the ponchos rojos are vicious racists, please explain why they were more than happy to have me (one of the whitest gringos around) hang out with them all day and shoot the shit. Although, I guess I need to confess that I don´t think joking about what jackass former US ambassador Goldberg is as "anti-american" or "racist".
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Evo enters surrounded by everyone and their granma.

some of the 300,000! who filled into Plaza Murrillo and the surrounding streets


more fools telling the douchebag opposition in Congress what is up.

There where literally Bolivians from every part of this supposed "divided" country. Here representing the Santa Cruz Plan 3000, fresh from defending their homes against fascist thugs. The marchers turned the Plaza into one giant party, going for 20 hours! Music, dancing, revolution. I stopped taking pictures when it got dark which is too bad because I got within ten feet of Evo´s tent and he waived(!) at me when I did a little dancing. You have to give respect to Evo and his supporters who stayed through the night, I crapped out about 2am. Even though it´s spring, La Paz still gets very cold in the night. No easy feat.

Next day, waiting for Congress (above) to finish approval.
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Evo right before announcing passage of the referendum.
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¡Venceremos!
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You guys seriously have no idea how popular Evo is right now. That was honestly one of the most exhilerating and beautiful experiences of my life. Not only does this march and demonstration mark the truimph of the new constitution after two years of struggle but it is also marks the demise of the contemporary opposition and "Media Luna". The fascists lost, suck it haters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Special note on spooks

Otto at Inca Kola News caused a bit of commotion when he exposed a CIA spook monitoring the blog of an uppity Peace Corps volunteer. Then Down South stepped up and noted that he has had special visitors as well. So I guess I need to say that this blog has also had interesting visitors, but it is nothing new and has been going on for some time now. I don't even get excited finding certain IP addresses on Sitemeter anymore.

As with the editorial desks of news outlets, the whole range of US government employee websurfers are welcome to use this crappy blog as a resource, especially if you are some disguised peacenik working to take the Man down from the inside. All I ask from bored US bureaucrats wasting their timeclocks away steaming at Evo's "communism" is that they conduct themselves with a certain amount of dignity, because I will expose those who post incediary and disinformation comments- as this jackass did on the Ron Larsen post. I will not let this blog's comment sections devolve through harassment from "anonymous" commentators as Jim Schultz let his go.

Last thing. One of the more humorous past visits was the Pentagon's apparent interest in Bolivia's female wrestlers. (I shit you not!) Do you ever wonder why the US government seems so interested in Bolivia's internal politics? Seriously, what could these people possibly do to harm the US? As Otto said, "Threaten to destabilize democracy by halting supplies of alpaca knitwear?" Just knock it off, would ya'. Truly, all Bolivians want from the US is to be treated with some basic respect. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, October 13, 2008

70 Peace Corps volunteers quit in defiance of pullout

That's right. As many as 70 volunteers (of the 113 total stationed in Bolivia!) have left the Peace Corps in order to return to Bolivia. Amazingly AP broke this one, "Ex-volunteers angry at Peace Corps Bolivia pullout". As previously demonstrated in the letter published by AIN, these decent hearted gringos have no delusions as to what really motived the pull out, the State Department's posturing so ridiculous that the AP is willing to effectively call Thomas Shannon a liar. The AP!:
The hasty pullout came directly on the heels of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ Sept. 10 expulsion of the U. S. ambassador for allegedly inciting opposition protests. Arnstein was among disappointed volunteers who believe their government overreacted, hurting U. S. interests with the blanket withdrawal. True, some parts of Bolivia were dangerously unstable, but most volunteers felt no security threat, several of them told the Associated Press.

“Peace Corps, unfortunately, has become another weapon in the U. S. diplomatic arsenal,” said Sarah Nourse, 27, of Mechanicsville, Md., another volunteer who opted out.

The top U. S. diplomat for Latin America, Thomas Shannon, told the Associated Press that security was the only reason behind the “saddening” pullout.

“We don’t politicize the Peace Corps,” he said

“Remember, the Bolivians on at least two occasions that I’m aware of said that they thought the Peace Corps was part of a larger intelligence network that they thought we had constructed in Bolivia. Those kind of statements we find very worrisome,” Shannon said.

In fact, a U. S. Embassy security officer suggested to a group of Peace Corps volunteers during a briefing last year that they report any sightings of Venezuelan or Cuban activists. After the incident was publicized, the embassy said the officer had not been authorized to make such a request and he left the country.
Interestingly, noted at Democratic Underground, the Houston Chronicle decided not to publish the last two paragraphs (above) of the story. I wonder why?

The hard truth is that if/when the Peace Corps return to Bolivia they will have these 70 volunteers to thank for standing up for the integrity of their projects above politics by staying in Bolivia. Remember that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Indigenous Resistance Day!



What the "March of Progress" looks like to the rest of us.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jeremy Bigwood on US subversion

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: JEREMY BIGWOOD

October 11, 2008 - This morning at a press conference in La Paz, American photo and investigative journalist, Jeremy Bigwood, revealed new documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other sources that show clear US government interference in Bolivia´s internal affairs.

Of the seven original documents shown during the press conference, and available online at the reporters blog as of 11am this morning: http://boliviamatters.wordpress.com / Mr. Bigwood made reference to two documents that showed clear intent on the part of the US government and its international development agencies to weaken Bolivia's President Evo Morales' MAS political party and foster opposition to the current government.

At the Radisson Hotel in La Paz, where the press conference was held, the American journalist presented a leaked internal email between USAID employees working in Bolivia. According to Bigwood, the email showed that "former Ambassador Philip Goldberg worked through various US government entities, including United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in an attempt to cultivate opposition and in at least one case to attempt to provide support to create indigenous organizations to confront the MAS party and Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales."

Journalists who attended the press conference received copies of the original documents uncovered by Mr. Bigwood and had the opportunity to ask questions following his presentation. As this is an ongoing investigation, Mr. Bigwood also provided information on where soon to be revealed information could be found over the coming months and cited his blog on Bolivia.

hat tip: Democratic Underground

Corrupt press. What corruption?

Still wondering why press coverage of the Pando Massacre was/is so varied, contradictory, and difficult to sift through? As it turns out, a large portion of Pando's "journalists" on which Bolivia and the world relied to gain news as to what was go on only happen to have been payed off by Pando's former Prefect Leopoldo Fernández, now in prison for the massacre.

Government Minister Juan Ramón Quintana explains in this damning presentation who is who and payed what. Then watch as Bolivia's corporate press corps tries to ignore the allegations against their integrity during the Q&A, retorting with their own disgusting delusion that the widely distributed video showing campesinos being slaughtered in a river by Fernandez's goons was somehow doctored.

If I were running a western news outlet, I'd watch Quintana's presentation carefully and run the names cited past my list of stringers to see if there are any match ups. It would be really embarrassing for a news organization to be found having any connections with a man currently facing genocide charges.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reuter's gives us the otherside of Santa Cruz

Remember how the fascist Santa Cruz Youth Union made its first English language press appearance in a Patrick McDonnell LATimes' article on the death of a unionista from an alleged "ambush" by Morales supporters in Tiquipaya, Santa Cruz. Well, Reuters has published the honest account of one US journalist with the town's residents during the "Battle of Tiquipaya", giving us what it looked like on the other side. Kudos again Reuters!

Hat Tip: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Patrick Henry was a violent hate monger

In the valiant defense of human rights (sticking it to despicable faux rights organizations "undermining capitalism" such as Human Rights Watch) the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has finally issued a scathing report exposing the "appalling" rabble rousing oratory "defending racial hatred" against the British Empire of a man "literally calling on the people of his nation to choose between his political agenda and death." "In direct violation of article 13 of the American Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits any propaganda for war or racial hatred", Patrick Henry spoke before his fellow countrymen during a time of great political confrontation, saying "Give me Liberty or give me Death!". A call HRF deplores as "threatening freedom of the press and inciting conflict", rightly insinuating Henry's discourse in the spread of political conflict resulting in 5 deaths during an incident known as the "Boston Massacre".

The young HRF has shown great courage in advocating for human rights in the 13 British colonies, also reminding the public and international community that these include the sacred individual right to own 350,000 acres of land while exploiting slave labor. Surely, contemporary advocates of human freedom would be lost without the Human Rights Foundation's sober and reassuring voice.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Democracy back to the USA

I've been on a blogging break and was going to do several make up posts on Bolivia today but instead came across this Naomi Wolf interview and decided it was to important to sit on. This blog has been one of many working to expose coup plotters against democracy in Bolivia, its time to bring that back to the USA. If Naomi Wolf's concerns are ultimately proven false, we will all be happy to forgive her later, but now is not the time to sit on your ass!



Update
She is not crazy:

Leahy Concerned about NorthCom’s New Army Unit
Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bush still President

Predictably, the US Asshole in Chief, unable to effectively retaliate against that uppity Indian Evo who had the audacity to tell the US ambassador that Bolivia was not a gringo colony and ought to fuck off, has lashed out against those with the least recourse to defend themselves, moving to suspend trade benefits for Bolivian artisan and textile goods. If anyone seriously thinks this move will weaken Evo, they ought to look at that picture of Bush because that is what most Bolivians will think of the development, the only real losers being those textile workers laid off until new foreign markets are found. If recent events are any gauge, also expect this move to only further diplomatically isolate the US from the region.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Bolivia Crisis for Beginners



Katherine Lebedur of the Andean Information Network dispels myths and explains Bolivia.

Hat Tip: Culturetrek

Evacuation of Peace Corps from Bolivia: Dispelling Myths

Andean Information Network, Sept. 25 2008

AIN wanted to share with you a letter from a Peace Corps volunteer who was evacuated from Bolivia. The official message of the U.S. about the safety of Americans in Bolivia at this time would have the world believe that there is a real threat. The most recent Department of State Travel Warning asserts, “The Department of State has authorized the departure of non-emergency personnel and all family members of U.S. Embassy personnel in Bolivia and suggests all U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Bolivia. U.S. citizens currently in Bolivia should remain vigilant, monitor local media, review their security posture on a regular basis, and consider departing if the situation allows.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our empire in decline

Remember that boy genius of the American establishment who told em' they were the champions of history- game over, except not. Well apparently right in the middle of his hypotheses spectacularly imploding, some people are still listening to Francis Fukuyama and he still thinks he's someone to tell other people what they ought to be doing. Chile's El Mercurio interviewed Fukuyama and he gave us this gem of fool proof insight into Bolivia.

Question: "In the book you speak of the necessity to make a sustained effort to improve the distribution of incomes in Latin America, and that this deficiency has perpetuated social problems and inequality in the region. Is the level of violence currently seen in Bolivia part of this context?"

Fukuyama: "Unfortunately, in Bolivia conditions do not exist for a better system of redistribution. Evo Morales' attempt to remake the constitution is an attempt to more radically distribution power inside Bolivia, and that is only going to create a redistribution of wealth among them."

Good one Fukuyama. Can't beat that logic. Newsflash: you're irrelevant.


(apologies to BoRev for the massive plagiarism)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Banana. Der Banana? Banana!

You know how people in wacky corners of the blogsphere have been talking about there being fascists, actual fascists, behind the veil of the "democratic" autonomy movement in eastern Bolivia. But that is all just crazy talk from some paranoid lefty stoners. Well you decide if it is best to put on or take off your tin-foil hat for this one, because Down South just posted a video of some autonomy supporters recently marching down the streets of Santa Cruz with peculiar arm bands and open palm hands stretched out as if they are trying to hail something. I don't get it. Am I suppose to laugh, cry, or what? Seriously, go check out the video.

If you pay attention to the beginning of the parade column you'll see they have blue banner flags which identify them as the Bolivian Socialist Falange (FSB), recently sprung anew in Santa Cruz. If you don't know who the falange are, type Francisco Franco or Spanish Civil War into Google.

Patrick McDonnell picks up Simon Romero's slack


Patrick McDonnell of the Los Angeles Times has done what Simon Romero and nearly every other western journalist covering the Santa Cruz autonomy movement have so far been unwilling to do, name and discuss the role of the militant pro-autonomy group, the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC, their banner above). Not only that, but McDonnell wrote an entire piece just about them, "Young Bolivians fight for their regions". I gave McDonnell a hard time for his wanting article on Chuquisaca's new Prefect Sabina Cuellar, but he and the LATimes certainly deserve high praise for running the first story in major US daily on the UJC! (naturally, the piece has faults but that can wait)

Additionally, the story does not cower from the fierce and violent politics surrounding the UJC, stating "detractors label the union a neo-fascist gang of modern-day brownshirts whose adherents crack heads in the service of the eastern landlord elite." It is a big deal for the "F" word to be used by the US press, even if only from the mouths of "detractors". (There is this strange myth in the US that since we 'defeated' fascism in WWII it is impossible for anyone to be a fascist since, unless of course they have a swastika tattooed on their forehead, but at that point one is too idiotic to even be a fascist and is instead simply a "white supremacist"). So kudos LATimes editors for dealing with reality and letting the "F" word pass through the presses.

The article focuses on the sad story of UJC member Edson Abad Ruiz, a young man who did not listen to his mother, joining the militants in a raid on a roadblock at a pro-government town near the city of Santa Cruz, Tiquipaya, in which he suffered injuries latter resulting in his death.


So now his fellow unionistas have made him a "martyr". For what? Seriously. A martyr to what? Marinkovic's land estates? Ron Larsen's slavering? Ruben Costas' racism? "Santa Cruz"? Whose Santa Cruz? Is Tiquipaya and its residents not also apart of Santa Cruz? What a travesty.

Now, if I can move to some criticisms of the article.

The strangest part of the piece is its translation of UJC's name, the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista as "Juvenile Union of Santa Cruz". Why is "Juvenil" the only word not properly translated, as "Youth"? Is the actual name too close in resemblance to other "youth" groups in history? Honestly it is just weird.

While giving readers an honest look at the face of the UJC, the piece skirts directly addressing the question of their backers, that "oligarchy" detractors so speak of. Might readers not have found it informative that the UJC is formally connected to the elite Comite Pro Santa Cruz, old links going back to its establishment which have not just recently "sprung up". Also that the Comite Pro Santa Cruz is an unelected council of prominent regional business and political leaders, who claim to speak on behalf of Santa Cruz. Eventually, the press might find it necessary to drop the quotes on "oligarchy".

Finally, reading the article we are constantly reminded, beginning with the title, that the UJC is only one side of a violent conflict seemingly polarized between dueling political forces and local militias. But where is the other side? We heard of them, about them, but not from them. I imagine Tiquipaya residents have a different take on the UJC and this "ambush" they apparently pulled. No? But I guess all these loose ends are for tying up later.(?)

So now that the cat is out of the box, where is everyone else? Where are their takes on the UJC? Huh? Come on Simon Romero. Where you at New York Times, "paper of record"? Are you just going to let some jerks in the cultural wasteland of Los Angeles simply beat you to the scoop? What are you, the SFChronicle? I guess you're just a bunch of pussies. You heard me. What ya' got?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Camba" nutters march in Santa Cruz

Down South gives us some photos of the "Nacion Camba" marching in Santa Cruz, rallying to oppose the return of government offices back to... the government. As he notes just by the way they present themselves, the "Nacion Camba" is a super nutty fascist group (making sure the UJC isn't the only game in town) which openly advocates the break up of Bolivia (and Brazil, Paraguay?). The map comes from their own website.

Eduardo Gamarra is a hack

Eduardo Gamarra, the director of Florida International University's Latin American and Caribbean Center, frequent Maimi Herald columnist, and described "expert on Bolivia" by the Washington Post does not know shit about Bolivia. As it turns out, he simply makes up out of whole cloth "facts" to fit he prescribed prejudices, then later to be quoted in US newspapers as "expert" analysis. In layman's terms: bullshit.

In most spectacular fashion, Gamarra demonstrates his affinity to bullshit in his latest editorial on Bolivia, "Morales fosters more poverty, despair, unrest". Contrary to the title, the piece does not discuss poverty or despair but a whole lot of unrest... something about a fascist coup plot and lots of racist opposition violence. Whatever, it is certainly all Morales' fault somehow ...because... current supporters of Morales got uppity in El Alto in 2003. I guess it was the fault of these protesters that more than 60 of them were gunned down in the 2003 'Gas War'. Maybe those wacky Indians shot themselves? just like CNN told us happen at the Pando massacre.

But we haven't even gotten to the steaming pile yet, before which I'd like to remind everyone of Gamarra's last editorial on Bolivia, "Washington Silent on attack at US Embassy". In it he claimed that the protest by El Alto residents rightly pissed over US granting of "political asylum" to the butchers of the 2003 'Gas War' was actually a mob, encouraged by Morales, trying to "burn down" the US Embassy. This fictional account was later picked up by Simon Romero at the NYTimes to villianize Morales in an article on the "Drug War" in Bolivia.

Because the 2003 El Alto protests do not quite explain what is happening today, 2008, in Santa Cruz and elsewhere in the Media Luna, Gamarra further explains that opponents to Morales are fighting "efforts to unilaterally impose a constitution that was approved irregularly and only by members of the official party." First, actual approval of the proposed constitution will ultimately be up to the Bolivian people to decide in referendum. However, it is not the will and desires of the Bolivian people Gamarra concerns himself with in this editorial but rather perceived "irregulaties" in final drafting of the document by the Constituent Assembly which he falsely claims was approved by only members of Morales' MAS party. Don't trust me? Ask Dorian Medina, the owner of Burger King Bolivia and head of the center-right UN party, who participated in final drafting (maybe he's a secret communist?) or any member of the 10 political parties who voted on the proposed constitution during the Constituent Assembly's closure in Oruro.

Now, why is this falsehood so serious and damaging to Gamarra's reputation? Because it is a fact that is in no way open to dispute or interpretation (we're talking about counting numbers here) and a very old one at that. It's been nearly a year for Gamarra, sitting in Maimi, to read through all the various reports and accounts of the Constituent Assembly and acquire such a basic fact. But oddly, this "expert on Bolivia" has managed to loaf the last ten months, not even able to do a basic fact check on a point absolutely central to his argument railing against Evo's supposed tyranny, to the defense of professed racists and fascists. Gamarra, you're a joke. Please. Take a break.

U.S. reaps what it sows in Bolivia

The near breakdown of relations between the United States and Bolivia is a perfect example of the baleful consequences of the inherent disrespect the U.S. historically has exhibited toward the region.

Despite La Paz's and Washington's ideological differences, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon might have made one more effort to indicate a clear U.S. commitment to the territorial integrity of Bolivia. Vigorous support of President Evo Morales in the face of the opposition's reckless strategy on the part of Santa Cruz and the eastern region pro-autonomy leaders might have provided a compelling pressure on the secessionists, who were more interested in getting their hands on the region's hydrocarbon windfall revenues than in avoiding the violence that tragically has claimed many lives.

continue reading...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

90 experts on Bolivia and Latin America ask State Dept. to reveal Bolivia funding

Don't take my word on the shadiness of US funding for political opposition groups in Bolivia and their racist, violent tactics. Take the word of these 90 Bolivia and Latin America experts! woot! Their letter to the US State Department in full:
To Dr. Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State


Cc: Phillip Goldberg, U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia
Henrietta Fore, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
Representative Eliot Engel, Chair, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Committee of Foreign Affairs
Senator John McCain
Senator Barack Obama

Dear Dr. Rice,

We are writing out of deep concern over recent events in Bolivia that have left dozens dead and cost millions of dollars in lost revenue to the Bolivian government and the Bolivian people. We are especially concerned that the United States government, by its own admission, is supporting opposition groups and individuals in Bolivia that have been involved in the recent whole-scale destruction, violence, and killings, above all in the departments of Santa Cruz, Pando, and Chuquisaca.

Since the United States government refuses to disclose many of the recipients of its funding and support, there is currently no way to determine the degree to which this support is helping people involved in violence, sabotage, and other extra-legal means to destabilize the government of Bolivia.

Yet since the democratic election of Evo Morales in December 2005, the U.S. government has sent millions of dollars in aid to departmental prefects and municipal governments in Bolivia. In 2004, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) opened an "Office of Transition Initiatives" (OTI) in Bolivia, which provided some $11 million in funds to "build on its activities designed to enhance the capacity of departmental governments."[1]

The OTI in Bolivia sought to "[build] the capacity of prefect-led departmental governments to help them better respond to the constituencies they govern," and even brought departmental governors to the U.S. to meet with state governors.[2] Some of these same departmental governments later launched organized campaigns to push for "autonomy" and to oppose through violent and undemocratic means the Morales government and its popular reforms.

According to the OTI, it ceased operations in Bolivia about a year ago; however some of its activities were then taken up by USAID, which refuses to disclose some of its recipients and programs. USAID spent $89 million in Bolivia last year. This is a significant sum relative to the size of Bolivia's economy; proportionally in the U.S. economy it would be equivalent to about $100 billion, or close to what the United States is currently spending on military operations in Iraq.

U.S. taxpayers, as well as the Bolivian government and people, have a right to know what U.S. funds are supporting in Bolivia.

On August 10, a national recall referendum was held in which Bolivian voters had the opportunity to vote on whether the President, the Vice-President, and eight of nine departmental prefects should continue in office. President Evo Morales and Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera won with more than 67 percent of the vote, much more than President Morales' original electoral victory in 2005, which had the largest margin in the country's electoral history.

The recent opposition violence appears to be an organized response to this mandate, attempting to use extra-legal means to win what the opposition could not gain at the ballot box. This includes the National Democratic Council (CONALDE), composed of "five provincial governors, business associations, conservative civic groups, and legislators of the rightwing Podemos party led by former president Jorge Quiroga."[3]

Perhaps most alarming is the recent evidence of close collusion and cooperation between the departmental governments and violent groups such as the UJC (Unión Juventud Cruceña, or Union of Santa Cruz Youth) and the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. As a new campaign of violence began following the August 10 recall referendum, a Reuters journalist interviewing Santa Cruz opposition leader and prominent businessman Branko Marinkovic witnessed UJC members going into Marinkovic's office and coming out with baseball bats.[4] Even more startling is evidence that the events of the past two weeks are the result of a deliberate decision by the opposition coalition CONALDE to pursue a campaign of violence. Media reports describe how opposition Podemos legislators were ejected from an early September CONALDE meeting after voicing opposition to the violent methods under discussion.[5]

News articles in the past week further noted the support from some departmental prefects and other regional government officials' for the violence. "The conservative governors are … encouraging the protesters in their actions," Agence France Presse reported, adding that, "The opposition coalition, which also includes town mayors, have focused their attention on the main source of Bolivia's income: the natural gas fields that lie in their eastern half of the country," and "Militants linked to the opposition group set up road blocks to add pressure to the governors' demands for more control over gas revenues." [6]

The racist nature of the UJC and other hate groups is well known and documented. These groups have focused their attacks mostly on indigenous MAS (governing party) supporters. In May, for example, members of the "Interinstitutional Committee," composed of civic and local leaders, and other youth militants forcibly marched indigenous and peasant supporters of President Morales to the city center of Sucre (Chuquisaca), beat them, stripped them of clothing, and forced them to chant anti-Morales slogans while berating them with racist taunts.[7]

As you know, at least 15 people have been killed in the past several days in Pando alone - the great majority of them Bolivian peasants and farmers - in what eyewitnesses describe as a massacre by assassins with machine guns. The Bolivian government has arrested Pando prefect Leopoldo Fernández in connection with the killings.

This violence, which has been accompanied by sabotage that has caused extensive economic damage, is utterly deplorable, and should be condemned from every quarter. Yet the U.S. government response has been weak. Before the extent of the massacre was known, and before the Bolivian government had declared U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg to be persona non grata, many had already been killed and economic damage done. Yet as of September 12, according to its website, the U.S. State Department had said only that it regrets the expulsion of Ambassador Goldberg and that this "reflects the weakness and desperation [by President Evo Morales]" and "an inability to communicate effectively internationally in order to build international support," and suggested that the Bolivian government is not improving the well-being of its citizens.[8]

The State Department website shows no statement between May 5, 2008 and September 11, 2008,[9] indicating that the State Department failed to condemn the violence in recent months, and also failed to congratulate President Evo Morales on his overwhelming victory in the August 10 referendum.

We call on the U.S. government to turn a new page in its relations with Latin America by clearly and unequivocally condemning the violent, destructive and anti-democratic means employed by members of Bolivia's pro-"autonomy" opposition. Most importantly, Washington must also disclose its funding for groups inside Bolivia - through USAID and other agencies - and reveal the names of the recipients of these funds. The U.S. government must cease any and all support - financial or otherwise - to any group or person in Bolivia and other Latin American countries that engages in violent, destructive, terrorist, or anti-democratic activities such as we have witnessed with great shock and sadness in the past weeks in Bolivia.

Sincerely,

Ben Achtenberg, Refuge Media Project, Boston, MA

Emily Achtenberg, Housing Policy & Development Consultant, Boston MA

Robert Albro, Assistant Professor of Antrhpology, School of International Service, American University

Juan Manuel Arbona, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Bryn Mawr College

Byrna Aronson, Boston, MA

Teo Ballvé, Journalist, former editor of North American Congress on Latin America Report on the Americas

Ericka Beckman, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Charles Bergquist, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Washington

John Beverley, Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh

Michelle Bigenho, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hampshire College

Lina Britto, Ph. D. Candidate, Department of History, New York University

Beverlee Bruce, Ph.D., Program Associate, Planning Alternatives for Change, New York City

Marisol de la Cadena, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California-Davis

Joaquín Chavez, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, New York University

Mike Davis, Distinguished Professor of Non-Fiction, University of California-Riverside

Nicole Dettmann-Quisbert, Sudbury, MA

Luis Duno-Gottberg, Associate Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Rice University

Arturo Escobar, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Duke University

Nicole Fabricant, Ph. D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University

Samuel Farber, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Brooklyn College

Sujatha Fernandes, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Queens College

Lesley Gill, Professor of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University

Marcial Godoy-Anativia, Associate Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, New York University

Daniel Goldstein, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University

Manu Goswami, Associate Professor of History, New York University

Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University

Bret Gustafson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University

Charles R. Hale, Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas-Austin, former president of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

Jack Hammond, Professor of Sociology, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center

Daniel Hellinger, Professor of Political Science, Webster University

Eric Hershberg, President, Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

Doug Hertzler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Eastern Mennonite University

Kathryn Hicks, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Memphis

Connie Hogarth, Center for Social Action, Manhattanville College

Forrest Hylton, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, New York University

Rachel Kahn-Hunt, Professor Emerita of Sociology, San Francisco State University

Caren Kaplan, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, University of California-Davis

Laura Kaplan, Bronx Community College

Steven Karakashian, Milwaukie, OR

Marie Kennedy, Visiting Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA, Professor Emerita of Urban Planning, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Eben Kirksey, Ph.D., National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Santa Clara University

Naomi Klein, Journalist

Benjamin Kohl, Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University

James Krippner, Associate Professor of History, Haverford College

Richard Krushnic, City of Boston, Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston, MA

Maria Lagos, Associate Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Lehman College, CUNY

Amy S. Lang, Professor of English and Humanities, Syracuse University

Daniel Lang/Levitsky, New York, NY

Brooke Larson, Professor of History, State University of New York-Stony Brook

Catherine LeGrand, Associate Professor of History, McGill University

Florencia E. Mallon, Julieta Kirkwood Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Angela Marino Segura, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, New York University

Francine Masiello, Acker Professor of Humanities, University of California-Berkeley

Marie-Josée Massicotte, Director, International Studies and Modern Languages, University of Ottawa

Richard Monks, Vice-President, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 877

Elizabeth Monasterios, Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh

Pablo Morales, Editor, NACLA Report on the Americas, New York, NY

Mary Nolan, Professor of History, New York University

Lisette Olivares, Ph.D. Candidate, History of Consciousness, University of California-Santa Cruz

Almerindo E. Ojeda, Professor of Linguistics, Director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, University of California-Davis

Andrew Orta, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Deborah Poole, Professor of Anthropology, Director, Program in Latin American Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Nancy Postero, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California-San Diego

Seemin Qayum, Independent Scholar and Development Consultant, New York, NY

Peter Ranis, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, City University of New York Graduate Center

David C. Ranney, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois-Chicago

Gerardo Renique, Associate Professor of History, City College-CUNY

Marcus Rediker, Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh

Christina Rojas, Director, Program for International Studies, Carleton University, Montreal, CA

Nancy Romer, Brooklyn College & Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, AFT #2334

Fred Rosen, Senior Analyst, North American Congress on Latin America

Karen B. Rosen, Cambridge, MA

Karin Rosemblatt, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park

Frances Rothstein, Professor of Anthropology, Montclair State University

Ethel S. Ruymaker, Oakland, CA

Tamara Lea Spira, Ph.D. Candidate, History of Consciousness, University of California-Santa Cruz

Kent Spriggs, Spriggs Law Firm, Tallahassee, FL

Diana Steinberg, Boston, MA

Marcia Stephenson, Associate Professor of Spanish, Purdue University

Steve Striffler, Zemurray Chair in Latin American Studies, University of New Orleans

Estelle Tarica, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California-Berkeley

Sinclair Thomson, Associate Professor of History, New York University

Marilyn Young, Professor of History, New York University

George Yudice, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, American Studies, and Latin American Studies, University of Miami

Jeffrey R. Webber, Ph. D. Candidate, Political Science, University of Toronto

Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC

John Womack, Robert Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Harvard University

Patricia A. Wright, Retired Urban Scholar, University of Illinois-Chicago

Carol Zuckerman, MD, Boston, MA

Rosanna Zuckerman, Boston, MA


[1] USAID/OTI Bolivia Field Report, July - September 2006.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Franz Chávez, "BOLIVIA: Divisions Emerge in Opposition Strategy." Inter Press Service. September 4, 2008.
[4] Eduardo Garcia, "Foes of Morales stage general strike in Bolivia." Reuters. August 19, 2008. Found at
http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKN1925747220080819
[5] Franz Chávez, "BOLIVIA: Divisions Emerge in Opposition Strategy." Inter Press Service. September 4, 2008.
[6] Agence France Presse, "Bolivia orders US ambassador out, warns of civil war." September 11, 2008.
[7] Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Press Release, "IACHR Deplores Violence In Bolivia And Urges Punishment Of Those Responsible." N° 22/08. May 29, 2008. Accessed at
http://www.cidh.org/Comunicados/English/2008/22.08eng.htm on September 16, 2008, 5:52pm EST.
[8] U.S. Department of State Press Statement, "Expulsion of U.S. Ambassadors to Venezuela and Bolivia." September 12, 2008. Accessed at
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2008/sept/109534.htm on September 16, 2008, 4:46pm EST.
[9] U.S. Department of State website: Bolivia - Releases. Accessed at
http://www.state.gov/p/wha/ci/bl/c7579.htm on September 16, 2008,4:35pm EST.