Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mary O'Grady gets served

Look what showed up in the comments section of Wall Street Journal columnist O'Grady's bat shit crazy article on Evo Morales yesterday? Damn nerds and their "facts"!
Mary Anastasia O'Grady's Nov 22 column about Bolivias upcoming elections is full of inaccuracies and invective. Rather than respond point by point, we would like to point out three facts. In 2002 Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada received 22% of the vote and assumed the presidency at the head of an unstable coalition. His inability to respond to the crisis his policies brought about led to political unrest that culminated after 67 died when he authorized the use of lethal force on civilians. He resigned and fled the country and faces extradition charges. The US District Court of Southern Florida recently ruled that a case against Sanchez de Lozada for crimes against humanity and extrajudicial killings could move forward.

In December 2005, following constitutional procedures, Morales was elected with 54% of the vote, beating his closest rival by over 20 points, the most decisive election victory since the 1982 return to democracy. Since that time, over 100 international observers have monitored a recall election (Morales won 67% of the vote) and a constitutional referendum (which passed with 61%). There were few complaints of irregularities.

O'Grady should recognize Morales is an extremely popular president in the process of consolidating a weak state in a peaceful manner. The Morales administration has expressed interest in improving relations with the United States, which would serve long term goals of economic and democratic stability in Latin America.

Dr. Ben Kohl, Associate Professor, Temple University

Kathyrn Ledebur, Director, Andean Information Network

Dr. Daniel Goldstein, Anthropology, Rutgers University

Dr. Juan Arbona, Associate Professor, Bryn Mawr

Linda Farthing, writer

Franoise Martinez, Universit Paris Ouest France

Dr. Miriam Shakow, Assistant Professor Vanderbilt University

Emma Banks, Cornell University

Dr. Meredith Dudley, Tulane University

Dr. Susanne Jonas, University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Guillermo Delgado, University of California, Santa Cruz

Marion Oveson, La Paz, Bolivia

Dr. Pascale Absi, anthropologist, University of Paris

Dr. Jonathan Fox, University of California, Santa Cruz

Ms. Sarah Motola

Dr. Estelle Tarica, University of California, Berkeley

David Kane, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Dr. Leonardo Garcia-Pabon, University of Oregon

Elizabeth Weimer, Carleton College


Bina said...

They don't like the facts, it seems...else why would they continue publishing this crap in the hopes of influencing unwary readers who can't understand Spanish?

Anonymous said...

Morales may enjoy a very wide popular support and be an elected President. But that does not deny the fact hat he has utilized the coca growers to move upward in the political realm, that he is protecting coca cultivation without providing his peasant fellows with any kind of legal protection (so that they still depend on his personal power), and that drug trafficking is expanding at extremely fast rate. Morales not only has popular support but also billions of petrodollars, and yet, poverty is growing and the only money reaching the poor flows thanks to the policy of bonus created by Sanchez de Lozada.

El Duderino said...

First, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the new constitution if you want to get an idea of the legal protections provided campesinos and cocaleros.

Second, if you measure cociane seizures versus production you will find trafficking is relatively decreasing, especially if we compare Bolivia to the Peruvian and Colombian disasters.

Third, recent demographic measures show poverty is decreasing in Bolivia. Please cite a study for your assertion. I have seen none that supports your claim.

Utpal said...

Are we getting visits from the State Dept., or just the usual trolls?

Bina said...

I'm getting them from Hungary. What's Interpol's e-mail address?

Bina said...

(Bolivian federal police will also do, as this spammer writes in Spanish and claims to be Hungarian...)

Anonymous said...

El Duderino trusts an illegal Constitution that can be changed any time. Good for him. But still coca growers depend for his property to be respect from the union leaders who, in turn, depend on Morales himself. So much for protection.
Regarding seizures, go to the INE webpage and see what happens: cocaine seizures doubled each year since 2005, signaling growth in drug production, with coca leafs coming even from Peru. Bolivia is clearly becoming a free land for drug traffickers.
As for poverty... why don´t you ask why the Bolivian government keeps an embargo on the last Household Surveys called Mecovi? I will tell you why: because they show poverty increasing. If you haven´t seen studies, now you know why.
If you still believe in Evo, fine. But it is a matter of faith, and you can pray him if you want. Caudillos are not and will never be democrats.

Utpal said...

The economy has grown substantially the last few years. It is virtually impossible that poverty would have grown.

Anonymous said...

Q. Why is Anonymous anonymous?

A. Because everything it says is WRONG!

Utpal Lahiri said...

Dude: if that last "anonymous" is really you, you just did a self-referential paradox :)

El Duderino said...

I know Anon. Why can't they just have a coup like Honduras and ignore that annoying Constitution?

I don't have time to explain rectify your ignorance in a comment section. Please search through this site on the subjects on cocaine, coca and poverty and I am sure you will find the information and links you need. However, I suspect you will not do such a thing because it is not the truth you are looking for but reasons to hate Evo damn reality.

Anonymous said...

Utpal... the Bolivian economy has not grown substantially, just a bit over the average and mostly due to better international prices for gas and minerals. Those are concentrated activities that hardly reach the poor. In the meantime, the windfall changed relative prices, increasing the cost of food. That reaches the poor. The Goni´s legacy (Bonosol turned Renta Dignidad) has softened the impact of income concentration these years, but was not enough.
Besides... if you haven´t seen studies on poverty, how could you say that the people´s situation improved? Just faith...
Anonymous means another fact: fear. Unlike you, writing from the comfort of your houses in the US or the power seats in Bolivia, I am in the field and know that caudillos are abusive. See what happen with that motehr in Pando? 3 days in jail with her child because she expressed her opinion loudly in front of Quintana, the right arm of Evo.
Yes... in this "democracy", I have fear, something you should consider when writing about Evo in Bolivia.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha... that is great. If I do not hide behind a pseudonym, like El Duderino or Utpal, means I am wrong? It is better to be transparently Anonymous than simulate to be someone I am not.
And, pal, do not worry... I am look for data in your blog, since you are so self-referenced. But, even if is not fully trustable, I will rather go to www.ine.gov.bo for data on Bolivia. It is hard to believe in religious believers...

El Duderino said...

No Anon, but considering you are commenting from an IP of the US Office of Labor of Statistics in Washington DC the objectivity and authority of your statements are a bit suspect.

Utpal said...

Woowoo a Murrkin hasbarista! (I was about to type a rebuttal to that last thingie, but there's no point engaging someone who is not sincere)

Anonymous said...

As you write, El Duderino, all is a matter of faith. If you don´t like some data, you don´t trust the source. I understand you have doubts about data from the US Office of Labor of Statistics, because you assume it works for Washington, so you probably cook your own data so as to fit your beliefs. But I was referring data from INE, the governmental institution run by Evo´s government!
Now, Utpal, if I am not sincere because I do not hide behind a Nickname like you do... well. I imagine you freely laugh at your mirror... funny, isn´t it? I wish I would do the same... post your picture!

Utpal said...

Yeah, of course. I see you cowering in fear of the caudillo of Bolivia in DC.

(Btw, "Utpal"'s my real name)

Anonymous said...

Don't waste your time with these gringo hippies. They know nothing about Bolivia or for that matter about the world. One day they are blogging about social injustice, the next they are worried about their new Mac book not working or having their precious digital cameras stolen.

Do you expect Bina or Duderino to grow old in Bolivia? do you think at anytime they would everything and everyone they have for Bolivia? No, Bina is probably somewhere in Canada enjoying a lifestyle that not even people like Goni or Marinkovichs can afford. Duderino is just another mochilero thinking he is Jesus Christ (or a modern Viracocha) who is doing us poor natives a great favor by coming down an teaching us how to live.

Leave them alone in their little bubble. Leave driving their Prius, eating organic, while they type away in some computer thinking they are supporting a noble cause.

We that live and plan to die in Bolivia don't need them. We that have invested our life, careers and all material possessions in our native land know what's up. We know that there are no angels in our land. The Tio is all of us, and Gabriel never had a chance. We know that the coca leaf is sacred and what the cocaleros do is an insult to our milenary culture. We know that Evo is a llokalla who does not respect women or even traditions like universal consensus, duality, and rotation of power. We know that the MAS is infested with recycled criminals from the 70s and 80s. We know that alumni from the School of the Americas advice Evo. We know that basic tenets of our Andean Culture are continually pimped out and violated by Evo.

Above all we know that the poor are poorer, the rich and educated have fled, and that the MAS elite that is supplanting them is far worse. Crime has never been so violent. Kidnappings were rare and mob lynchings never occurred.

Let these fools be. Let them believe that Castro, Chavez, Morales, Ahmadinejad, et. al. really are the leaders of a "humanist" movement. Let these fools be. I would rather sit on a bench in DC and talk to a Birther, a tea bagger, or a Palin supporter, those lunatics at least have some sense that the world and life is not fair. These fools live in a utopia and trust me, you can get a more reasonable and edifying discussion with rock.

Anonymous said...

That is a strong but sound advice... besides, it is clear that they write only for themselves, and feel uncomfortable when some strange Anon comes to their bubble... let them be.

Bina said...

Chasqui the Racist, is that you? STILL on about how all the uppity injuns are out to steal your qara camera, your computer and your genitals? No wonder you're anonymous. You're totally discredited, unmasked as a hater on three different blogs and counting! I think I'll take up blushing on your behalf.

"It is hard to believe in religious believers"--Oh, you mean like creepy Hungarian-speaking fuckheads who spoof e-mail addresses just so they can spread disinformation, threaten a legitimate government, and curse--three-times, to the DEATH--the children I don't have?

BTW, I don't drive--a Prius, or anything else. I do, however, grow my own food, living as I do in a very fertile part of a very large country, and consequently I don't need yours. So you can keep your long wind and your stupid assertions to yourself in future. You don't know me, so don't make ASSumptions.

PS: That other Anon was me...I accidentally hit enter while reaching for the Shift.

Anonymous said...

PS: It figures that our resident anonymous coward racist prefers the company of the Birthers. Their attitudes mesh to perfection with his. He writes from Washington, BTW. Just so you don't mistake him for a real Bolivian.

jaaron said...

I agree with the anonymous poster from 9:24. If you truly want to understand what's going on in Bolivia, I suggest you speak to people that do not support Evo but live in impoverished communities throughout Bolivia. I may not agree with everything that Mary says in her article, but she is right about voters being escorted into poll booths. Community leaders, influenced by Evo's government, force voters to vote for Evo. Otherwise their crops are burned to the ground. I didn't get this information from a study or from government run agencies, but rather from talking to several individuals that have lived through this catastrophe.

I am not a big fan of blogging in general I was inspired by this blog to sign up.

El Duderino said...


It is a common myth among conservative and middle class Bolivians that rural populations votes are coerced. There were a record number of election observers present during this year's election. It would be nice if you could back up your assertion of voter intimidation with actual evidence. Maybe you could find something in their reports?