Sunday, July 26, 2009

What you missed in La Paz

The XXII Entrada Universitaria




Friday, July 24, 2009

Proyeccion - El famoso richy

Of sweet onions and destabalization

USAID Bolivia is trying to show its "lighter side", putting out a full press release on the their success assisting "500 poor families" produce and sell sweet onions for the US market. Bravo. Now about that $97 million possibly used for destabilization and violent separatist projects... Got anything to say?

UNHCR on "divisive" Morales

Excerpts from State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2009 - Bolivia:

...
Since attaining the presidency in 2005, Evo Morales who is of indigenous Aymara ancestry has focused on instituting a number of key reforms aimed at addressing the historical exclusion of the indigenous population. Central to this was the introduction of a new constitution that recognizes indigenous cultural, political and ownership systems, and includes clauses aimed at achieving more equitable distribution of land and natural resources, and at opening opportunities for indigenous people to gain more power.

The plan has faced stiff resistance from opposing landowning interests in the eastern departments, at every step. This included strikes, walk-outs and armed conflicts that have led to scores of injuries, human rights abuses and loss of life.
...
The non-indigenous landowning minority in the wealthy eastern departments of Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz and Tarija, who feared their farms would be broken up and handed over to the poor, have mostly opposed the government's efforts and, during 2008 increased their efforts to block reforms, including calling for departmental autonomy and fomenting civil strife.
...
In August 2008 the government held a national recall referendum to determine whether President Morales, the Vice President and eight out of nine departmental Prefects should remain in power. This received a 67 per cent national vote of confidence, and six of the eight prefects were returned. Although four of the six were pro-opposition prefects, significant for government supporters was that the plebiscite produced an almost 40 per cent approval vote in the autonomy-seeking eastern states. This demonstrated that the vocal and well-orchestrated anti-government regional opposition did not represent unanimous opinion.

When an ugly fuck comes to light

Cambio today has published a large special on the continuing investigation into the Santa Cruz fascist mercenary group charged with turning Bolivia into Bosnia, what businessmen financed it, who was this ugly fuck Eduardo Rosza, and more. I am still reading through it, suggested for Spanish readers.

Bolivia most stable country in Latin America

That is a headline you will never read even though Bolivia has set a new Latin American record for International Currency Reserves in relation to GDP, currently standing at 8,012 billion. Confused whitey? Pachakuti.

Defying Coup Regime, Zelaya Attempts Return to Honduras



Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is attempting a risky return home after last month’s military coup. The coup regime has threatened to arrest him if he sets foot in the country. We go to Honduras to speak with Latin America historian Greg Grandin.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Evo Morales, Animal lover

What evil terrorist organization is savage dictator Evo Morales now teaming up with to bring down Western civilization?

PETA!
.
According to these hippy animal lovers, thanks to Morales' government, animal circuses are now banned in Bolivia. So no more whipping girrafes for entertianment people.

And as if that weren't enough, PETA is now working closely with the Bolivian government on the country's first national animal protection framework law. If the measure is adopted, it would make Bolivia a global leader in animal welfare.

The Horror, the Horror! When will he stop making the rest of us look like dicks?

Obama’s Not so New Latin America Policy as seen from Bolivia

Sarah Hines

President Barack Obama declared at the Summit of the Americas meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in April that there would no longer be junior and senior partners in the Americas–but his actions are sending a different message
....
The [Obama ATPDEA Bolivia] report concedes that the Bolivian government has “maintained its support for interdiction efforts” and that “interdiction of drugs and precursor chemicals continues to rise,” and that “the Bolivian counter-narcotics police and other CN [counter-narcotics] units have improved coordination effectiveness.” Yet even Bolivia’s success in these efforts is seen as a problem–the U.S. report concludes that Bolivia’s increased drug interdiction is evidence of “increased cocaine production and transshipment.”

Bolivians really like their cocaine


...seized by the police.

Chart of the day from Inca Kola News. Funny how the western press never mentions this stuff, huh? If they can report on killer ants, you would think they could access this public information.

Bolivian press headline of the day: "Bolivia demonstrates the capacity to combat narcotics without help of foreign agents"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cutting through the nonsense

Two new short documentaries on Bolivian politics.

Bolivia in Transition


Continue for Part II


The Rise of Evo Morales - Al Jazeera


Continue for Parts II-IV

Ready or not, here comes the most boring election in Bolivian history

So the other day Evo's coca union kicked off Evo and Alvaro's reelection campaign and well it all seems so anticlimatic. Check out the lastest poll numbers for the December election, properly titled "Morales is Sole Leader for Bolivians" (granted polling in Bolivia is a crap shoot):

Jun. 2009

Apr. 2009

Evo Morales

44%

41%

Víctor Hugo Cárdenas

8%

7%

Samuel Doria Medina

7%

n.a.

Rubén Costas

6%

5%

Jorge Quiroga

5%

6%

Manfred Reyes Villa

5%

n.a.

Carlos Mesa

n.a.

7%

Other / Undecided

25%

34%


If it weren't for all the violence and racism which got the opposition to this point I would almost feel sorry for them. And this poll doesn't include half of the additional possible candidates as the opposition political parties continue to fracture. Let me save you the time reading the western press about the upcoming election and summarize their line right now: "Divisive authoritarian populist Evo Morales faces off against pro-democracy opposition seeking national reconciliation." Never mind it was the opposition who promoted violent division of the country.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Abiding reader makes good

This Achiever Award is way late, but the respected party had the nerve of publishing on my break when I might as well have been under a rock on Mars. But hey check out this awesomeness.

Dan Beeton of CEPR saw our wise-cracking at press coverage of Bolivia and then wrote an article "The Fun House Mirror: Distortions and Omissions in the News on Bolivia" (you be the judge), which summarizes why we hate the asshole press the way we do without all the profanity, fuckin' a man. Not yet satisfied, Beeton explained all the super shadiness and subversive activities of the US Embassy , NED and USAID for the Democracy Center, where such facts had been previously, unfortunately missing.

Now let's go bowling, man.

In South America, Israeli FM seeks to block antifascism

That's the proper translation of the AP article, "In South America, Isreali FM seeks to block Iran" on Avigdor Lieberman's South America tour in response to Bolivia and Venezuela's breaking of relations to protest Israel's genocidal war of aggression against Gaza, I mean (oops, forgot to translate that back into AP language) because Morales and Chavez "are strong supporters of Ahmadinejad".

Lieberman is a strong candidate to battle the forces of antifascism, being himself such an avid supporter of fascism. He advocates for mandatory loyalty oaths for Israeli citizenship, the forced removal of Palestinians, and the nuking of Gaza. Oh yeah, and don't forget that according to Lieberman's wiz Israeli intelligence sources Hezbollah is setting up camp in South America.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blog list updated

I've added a few new blogs to the list, which is officially now too big.

Lunatic Llama is a new gringa/o(?) in Bolivia (Cochabamba) blog with well thought news, what's life like in that weird country, and my favorite FOOD! section. Still waiting for my favorites Pique lo Macho and Mondongo.

Diana Barahona has been translating articles from Spanish, stuff you otherwise would not read in English and commentary.

Eva Golinger because, need more explanation?

Pan-African Newswire because the voice of the Mother Continent was missing.

Antifascist Calling
which is less of a blog and more of a one man online magazine letting you in on what the merchants of death are pushing for your dystopian future.

Opps: I also wanted to add The Daily Sketch.

Evo is watching Obama's back

In our second installment of Evo gives Obama good advice, Evo explains why the Obama administration should end all support (both overt and covert) for the rightwing military coup in Honduras (the same concerns this little corner of the blogosphere previously raised).
Evo affirmed there exist fascist and military groups in the United States that do not recongize Barak Obama's mandate. Morales also referred to the coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, speaking that there exist sectors, tied to the US Southern Command, who would encourgage actions against democracies in the region.
So even after Obama followed Bush in throwing Bolivia out of ATPDEA trade benefits based on a scurrilous and overtly political "anti-narcotics" report, Evo is still watching out for his brother. I don't think Obama could ask for a better friend. However based on the last time Evo gave Obama good advice (warning of the DEA's links to drug trafficking), I don't think we can expect Obama to listen.

...
Former Salvadoran ambassador in Washington, Ernesto Rivas Gallont, "It's hard to admit, but (Fidel) Castro and (Hugo) Chávez are right" to fear that if the coup-mongers consolidate their power, "a series of coups d'état could be unleashed against governments in the region."

Economics 101 for The Economist

You can tell The Economist's lastest article on Bolivia is a piece of true idiocy just by the title "Bolivia's Divisive President" (because only 67% support Evo!). It rehashes all of the usual 'stoopid' and debunked criticisms of Evo Morales and even one you would think a publication called "The Economist" would see through, that Evo promotes "bad economic policy". Inca Kola News lays the details of Evo's "bad economic policy" in terms even these dunces should understand (read the entirety of Otto's post for the full thrashing):
  • 2007 GDP up 4.6%
  • 2008 GDP up 6.15%
  • 2009 GDP expected to grow "at least 4%"
  • U$8Bn in international currency reserves, which is all-time record levels and represents U$816 per capita.
  • Inflation now under control. The last two months have seen negative inflation thanks mainly to the drop in imported foodstuffs.
  • Expansion of exports despite losing the ATPDEA advantages with the USA. New and very large investment programs in hydrocarbons and metals in exactly the way those economists say you should do these things (except it's China, Brazil and India invited to the parties, not the US...perhaps related?)
  • An old age pension given to every single senior citizen regardless of sex, status or history for the first time ever. Poverty rates dropping at record speed.
  • Programs that have rid the country of illiteracy by official UN world standards.
  • Free heathcare that is so popular visitors come from "the economic miracle" Peru to get their eyes fixed.
In other words, Bolivia is "the best performing economy in the whole of South America in 2009." Maybe it just annoyes all the technorats with fancy degrees that an uneducated coca farmer trumps them at their own game.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy 200

Everybody got together in La Paz, reflected on 200 years of postcolonial South America, sang, drank, danced, drank and had a good time.

And after 200 years, what do they want more than anything? For the United States to just leave them alone. The End.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The exotic spectacle of the San Pedro Prison

Looking through the amateur tourist photography rounded up at Prison Photography of San Pedro I can't help thinking what a race/class spectacle the prison had become, not all that different than most tourism I guess.

Bolivia 9/11: Bodies and Power on Feudal Frontier

Bret Gustafson

The farmer’s body lay on a slab in a damp morgue. A camera’s flash brightened for an instant what otherwise looked to be a dim and lonely place. The man’storso was exposed, his pants soiled, and a pale hand hung limply to one side. Blood pooled on the tile by his head. His anonymous face was out of view. The photo arrived incongruously, part of a PowerPoint file that detailed with forensic clarity an armed assault on poor farmers marching across the Amazonian backwater of Pando, northern Bolivia.


America’s mainstream press buried the event amid bigger news and familiar distortions of recent Bolivian history. Yet images from Bolivian sources were popping up on YouTube and Indymedia, and being disseminated by email...

Continue reading...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bolivia accuses USSOUTHCOM of supporting Pando "civic coup"

US Army South Emblem. It's called neocolonialism, people.

While you are unlikely to read about it in the western press, Bolivian Presidential Minister Juan Ramón Quintana today made the most serious accusation of US political subversion activity against the government of Evo Morales in the run up to the September "Media Luna" coup attempt. Previously accusations have focused on the indirect or obscure activities of ex-Ambassador Philip "douchebag" Goldberg and USAID.

Quintana accused the US Southern Military Command of directly supporting and assisting the political activities of Pando ex-Prefect Leopoldo Fernandez and the local landed oligarchy in fermenting a coup against Evo Morales, based on alleged documents.
Quintana spoke that there existis proof of the presence of Southern Command forces and of the United States Embassy in Porvenir, over towns in Pando, and neighborhoods of Cobija to support political work to the favor of Fernandez.
The coup attempt in Pando climaxed with the massacre in Porvenir of more than two-dozen Evo supporters by Fernandez's paramilitaries, for which the ex-Prefect is now incarcerated facing genocide charges.

Continuing, the Minister alleges a group of rightwing politicos (included PODEMOS senator Roger Pinto, a latifundista) illegally welcomed Southern Com without notification or approval of Congress. Vice President Alvaro Linera has previously insinuated that Fernandez wished to make Pando a Protectorate of the United States.

Quintana, "These men prefered that the United States Southern Command settle in the city of Cobija, prefered to mortgage our soveriegnty- that the [Bolivian] state protects the national terrority from external interference."

Cowardly assassins opt instead for Evo's aunt

In June, the 73 year old aunt of Bolivian President Evo Morales, Rufina Morales was kidnapped, murdered, and found by police dismembered. The family's lawyer has revealed based on the evolving investigation that the murder was an act of political vengeance by those connected with the Santa Cruz fascist mercenary group, busted in April. Story translation by Bina:
Marco Guía, attorney for the family of Rufina Morales, aunt of the President of Bolivia, who was found dismembered in June in Cochabamba, denounced on Wednesday that this crime was part of a plan to kill president Evo Morales, hatched by the Croatian-Bolivian mercenary Eduardo Rózsa Flores, who headed an irregular group dismantled by police in April.

"Upon reviewing the antecedents of this crime, I have found evidence of a flagrant attempt to assassinate President Evo Morales, a political vengeance on the part of separatists promoting terrorism," Guía said.

Among those responsible for the death of Rufina Morales, Guía named a Brazilian by the surname of Rodríguez, recruited in the El Abra jail in Cochabamba, and two Bolivian fugitives hailing from Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
Cowards.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The beaches in Uruguay are friendlier than Chile

Evo is flying to Uruguay today to enjoy the sights, coast, people, and discuss the possibility of gaining access for Bolivia to a Uruguayan shipping port. It turns out Uruguayans are way more open and flexible than Chileans when it comes to sharing their ports with Bolivia. They'll even let Bolivians pass through Uruguay in the light of day, above ground, rather than a sealed sterile tunnel. Of course Paraguay and Brazil are between the pair. Maybe they can work out a foursome?

Evo: "North American Empire" behind Honduras coup

Yesterday, Evo made clear who he thinks is responsible for the coup in Honduras. Referring to Honduras:
North American imperialism has decided to stop the growth [in Honduras], that is part of the peoples rebellion against imperialism, as a warning, as a threat.

These struggles are going to continue, the peoples of the world have always defeated the various empires, the European empire, the Spanish empire, the Roman empire, English and now the North American empire.

Update:
Story hits English language, "US accused of backing Honduras coup", "Honduras coup serves as a warning to all of Latin America"

US wants Zelaya to return but coup to stay in Honduras

The cynical opportunism behind the United States' position on the Honduras coup seems to be revealing itself following US "negotiation" efforts between Zelaya and the usurper Micheletti. It is what is being referred to as the "Haiti Option" (in reference to the terms of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return to Haiti following the 1994 coup). Zelaya can return to the Presidency solely as a figure head to finish out his term while the coup government effectively remains untouched, the possibility of convoking a National Constituent Assembly and rewriting of the constitution (which could possibily threaten US military and corporate interests in Honduras) taken clear off the table. Taken from Diana Barahona's blog via Machetera:
Associated Press:
Clinton would not discuss specifics of the mediation process, which she said would begin soon, but a senior U.S. official said one option being considered would be to forge a compromise under which Zelaya would be allowed to return and serve out his remaining six months in office with limited powers.

Zelaya, in return, would pledge to drop his aspirations for a constitutional change that might allow him to run for another term, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the diplomatic exchanges.
Elaboration of US position from Kevin Casas-Zamora of the Council on Foreign Relations:
My sense of what the international community is demanding, and what is correct, is first of all that Zelaya should return to the presidency, though not necessarily to power. The presidency and power are two different things. Number two, he has to end his plans to amend the constitution, which won't be much of a problem. Number three, he has to put some distance between himself and Chavez. That's essential. Number four, there has to be some kind of power-sharing agreement, whereby Zelaya remains at the helm of the government but some other people chip-in in the main decisions that are to be made between now and the next election in November. Number five, there has to be some kind of amnesty, for lack of a better word, where everybody turns a blind eye on the pervasive illegal behavior of all the parties involved, because all of them have acted with illegal behavior and have acted with total disregard for the rule of law. Sadly for Honduras, they will have to turn a blind eye to all of that. At this point, no party is in a position to demand accountability from anybody. There's no such thing as high moral ground in Honduras at this point.
However, we can hope, as some observe, that Zelaya has the balls to hold his ground and refuse such offensive compromises.

Why did the US suspend the ATPDEA for Bolivia?

Bolivia UN blog

This is the official explanation of the US administration (June 30, 2009)

The reasons for my decisions are summarized in this report and are also based on the information contained in the Office of the U.S Trade Representative’s (USTR) Fourth Report to the congress on the Operation of the Andean Trade Preference Act, as Amended, dated April 30, 2009. Below is a summary of the developments and concerns that remain to be addressed in Bolivia and Ecuador in four key areas reflecting the criteria set forth in the Act: investment policies, trade policies, counternarcotics cooperation, and workers’ rights. The United States remains committed to working with Bolivia and to address our concerns and to develop a stronger bilateral trade and investment relationship with each country.

Continue reading...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Evo: "Global recession. What recession?"

The financial savvy Inca Kola News played a fun game with its readers the other day asking, "Which South American country is forecast to have the highest GDP growth for 2009?" The answer:

Bolivia, pues

The Bolivian Central Bank anticipates 4% GDP growth in 2009. If you don't trust them, the IMF (critical of Evo's policies) forecasts 2.2%, while the Marxist Bolivian think tank CEDLA (critical of Evo's policies from the otherside) forecasts 2.8%.

So basically, in the mists of a global economic recession (depression?) and in a region almost entirely in the red, Bolivia's economy continues to grow. Please also note that Bolivia is managing this growth with minimal inflation. (Didn't the neoliberals claim only they could deliver such figures?)

Watch out people, or a coca-chewing socialist might do the same to your country!

Word to the Honduras coup mongers

Take a hard look at these photos of Luis Arce Gomez. On the right is the man in 1980, Interior Minister (i.e. "Minister of Cocaine") to the military coup government of Luis García Meza. Doesn't he look sharp and confident. On the left is Arce Gomez yesterday, a sad old man being wheeled into a cold cell in Bolivia's maximum security Chonchocoro prison where he will pass the rest of his days.

Think hard golpistas, because you are looking at your fate.

Extra: If you read Spanish, BoliviaSol has the links to good articles reflecting on the history of golpismo in Bolivia.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Selling out

Otto at Inca Kola News with his petty bourgeois capitalist ways has convinced me to experiment with Adsense, soiling my grand revolutionary diatribes with the Man. It's an experiment you can chose to support, or not (but don't spam click). If I can recoup the coffee and internet cafe costs behind the blog I'll consider it a success.

Wrap up: coups and massacres edition

Luis Arce Gomez (left), former interior minister to the bloody 1980 Cocaine Coup of Luis García Meza has been repatriated to a Bolivian prison from incarceration in Miami, Florida.

The New York Times will publish a supplement in the La Paz daily La Razon (with an equal dedication to good journalism as the NYT) so Bolivians can now read in Spanish the bullshit Simon Romero writes about them.

One of Leopold Fernandez's goons is requesting "political asylum" in the United States, claiming Evo's supporters shot themselves in the Pando massacre.

Survival International has put together a video interview with two western eyewitnesses of the Bagua massacre. Yes, it's in English.

The Bolivian investigation into the fascist mercenary group plotting to assassinate Evo has subpoenaed Costas, Marinkovic, and the "Media Luna" bunch. Have fun getting your story straight douchebags.

Tourists are bummed out that the famous San Pedro prison in La Paz is starting to operate like... a prison.

And if Obama has any self-respect he ought to send in the marines to arrest Honduran coup "foreign minister" Enrique Ortez for the dignity of all Black people.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Narco-commie Evo Morales busts another coke lab

It took the English language press a bit to get on this one, but Bolivia has made another massive bust of a "huge cocaine lab"- producing 100kg daily, 35 tons a year. That's the fourth seizure of a large plant this year, something the now expelled US DEA with all its fancy equipment seemed unable to accomplish. (Hint: because they traffic the stuff) But according to Bushama seizures like these qualify as "encouraging" cocaine production. Funny. If you read Spanish, check out the details here and here.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Colonial generosity

Japanese print of American Warship, c. Commodore Perry, 1854.

At GlobalPost is an article about "Okinawa, Bolivia", the Japanese colony established half a century ago in rural Santa Cruz and still thriving. The impotence for this group of immigrants to come to Bolivia (among many who came to Bolivia after WWII):
At the close of World War II, the U.S. Army constructed a military base on Japan’s Okinawa Island. In part as compensation for land confiscated to build the base, the U.S. offered some families attractive 124-acre parcels in Bolivia.
Now wasn't that nice of the United States to offer up "free land" in Bolivia as compensation for their annexation of Okinawa. Really, it was only fitting that the US offer up one its neocolonial possessions for one of Japan's colonial possessions; as the real reason post-war Japan offered up Okinawa to house the principle US military base in the defeated nation were the prejudices held by mainland Japanese towards the island (officially a colony until 1879) whose people to this day face the sentiment of not really being "Japanese".

The US base in Okinawa is best described by scholar Chalmers Johnson, "Okinawa is still essentially a military colony of the Pentagon’s, a huge safe house where Green Berets and the Defense Intelligence Agency, not to mention the air force and Marine Corps, can do things they would not dare do in the United States.” It covers 10 percent of the island. Locals hold the presence of the 30,000 military personel with contempt, regularly staging protests demanding their removal, fed up with more than half a century of sexual assualts and rapes by soldiers.

Japanese immigrants to Bolivia today are, as the article states, "among the super-rich in impoverished Bolivia", having had the good fortune of settling at the start of a US financed agricultural export-boom in eastern Bolivia. The foundations of the elite wealth behind the "Media Luna", the September coup attempt, and what Roger Burbach calls "Food Fascim".

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Tyler Bridges: White is Black

You may have heard about that awful military coup in Honduras and of Cristina Kirchner's recent electoral setback in Argentina, but do you know what it really means?

The downturn of Evo and Chavez's leftist politics in Latin America! (I knew those commie populists had it coming)

It's true because some "analysts" told McClatchy reporter Tyler Bridges whose wiz reporting last uncovered the brewing Iranian-Bolivian terrorists plot against America: dairy factories!

Confused? Well listen up. You know that coup in Honduras against the lefty President that every country and organization in the world has opposed? Well, the referendum the coup-deposed President Zelaya was trying to get through was really just a Chavez populism inspired attempt to stay in power to allow reelection. Ha! (No! Don't look at the actual referendum question. You'll ruin the whole story!)

Ok, yeah. And did you know that Correa and Evo both won passage of new constitutions, that Chavez won passage of a referendum allowing him to be reelected, that Evo looks to certianly win the next Presidental election in December, and that Correa won reelction in April. What losers!

And Kirchner. She seems like a pinko, so I am sure they are feeling those local election loses in La Paz and Caracas.

Next let's all plow our head into the sand! My analyst tells me it's best to do so before facts and common sense set in.

Zelaya to face down usurpers


Honduras' President Zelaya is flying back to the country right now! And will reclaim the Presidential Palace, after he first gets past the snipers.

Another shocker: The coup mongers are also racists and use Nazi slogans. Who wud a thunk it?

Not so fast: Looks like the coup mongers blocked his landing today and killed several protesters. Check out Inca Kola News and BoRev for details and updates.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Still think the "war on drugs" isn't political?

Then why does the Obama Administration report justifying the cancellation of trade benefits for Bolivia under the ATPDEA program cites as one of the US concerns Articles in Bolivia's New Constitution covering private property rights?

What specifically constitutional property rights have to do with cociane production and trade is beyond me. But hey, if you're the US government, I mean, fuck it, right? Why put up pretenses anyways? You're the Empire. Little countries like Bolivia ought to know their place and draft constitutions to the favor of US corporations.

It can happen here

A good post at Mex Files explains just why opposing the military coup in Honduras is important for those living in the United States and Mexico. Go read, seriously. It can happen here. Don't believe me, read what US Senator Jim Demint has to say about "democracy".

In other coup news, the coup government has preemptively withdrawn from the OAS, word is there are big anti-coup marches in the capital, and some dude named Barry Grey makes what I think is a smart observation of US backdoor dealing over the coup:
Since Sunday’s coup, Washington has been working for a negotiated settlement between Zelaya and the new government, possibly involving restoring Zelaya to power, but on terms more favorable to the US and under conditions where Zelaya’s government would be politically crippled.
Zelaya's wife and son are staying at the home of the US Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, just saying.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Shadow over Erris: Shell, IRMS and Bolivia

Sometimes monsters do exist

In any country with a half way critical media, the last few months would have been disastrous for Shell. In a http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92854 in Shell’s imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the people of Erris it emerges that Michael Dwyer, one of the security guards on this project, was part of an attempt to trigger a civil war in Bolivia. Soon after that it became clear that at least three others who had worked as security guards at the Shell compound had travelled to Bolivia with Dwyer and were wanted there for questioning. Some, it emerged, had links to fascist organizations in Eastern Europe.

continue reading...

Honduran coup updates

The new dictatorial government run by murders has officially suspended civil liberties, is arresting journalists, and the US has finally suspended military aid to the bastards. IKN has been publishing the accounts of a Hoduran eyewitness, go read.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Skirts and loose ends

From Miss Cholita 2009 in La Paz

Nick Buxton at Open Veins is wondering the halls of the UN coming up with good a understanding of why the UN Conference on the Global Economic Crisis was a non-event.

Shell Oil's mercenary thugs don't just specialize in assassinations of lefty Presidents, they also abduct children to use as soldiers in civil wars.

72 hours to showdown for the coup mongers in Honduras.

Meet the world's first Afrobolivian political candidate

Jorge Medina will be a candidate for Congress in La Paz under special electoral circumscription for indigenous peoples. (Yes, in Bolivia indigenous rights apply to black people because it's cool like that.) Medina hopes to run with Morales' MAS party. "I consider MAS the only party that opened to us some options, after continuous work." The would-be congressman is a fan of Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz, MLK, Bob Marley, Che, Malcolm X, and Mandela.

Follow the link if you read Spanish to get his description of racial discrimination in the university.

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.