Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Where Change meets Bushama

Look how the Bolivian anti-nacro police "accept" and "encourage" drug production.

Obama seems to have some strange standards for evaluating progress in the fight against narcotics. Bolivia has increased its seizures of cocaine and paste (used to make the stuff) by 148% which apparently qualifies as a "failure to cooperate in U.S. drug-fighting efforts". Due to Bolivia's "failure" Obama will not renew Bolivia's trade preferences under the ATPDEA program.

The White House report additionally claims that there exists an "explicit acceptance and encouragement of coca production at the highest levels of Bolivian government." Which is stange for an anti-drug report to talk about because coca is the leaf of a plant (used in tea), not cocaine, a drug and refined industrial product. But even still, not mentioned are the explicit limits to coca cultivation (its a plant, you grow it) and regulatory program which resulted in the erradication of 5,000 hectares of coca cultivation last year, and 17,000 between 2006 and 2008.

Evo has denounced the decision as "purely political", a "continuation of Bush and imperialist policy", a "betrayl", and the report "slander and lies". Accurate desciptive qualifiers I would say.

Continuing Evo: "The dignity of Bolivians does not cost 25 million dollars [referring to the trade benefits]... Now that I realize. Some leaders told me not to trust Obama, since the empire is empire."

Updates: Apparently I didn't translate Evo's money quote, "
President Obama lied to Latin America when he told us in Trinidad and Tobago that there are not senior and junior partners". Also Bolivia's UN mission authors a response.

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