Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rosza and the Hungarian connection

Eduardo Rosza Flores in the Croatian paramilitary during the 1990s Balkans Wars

The Bolivian public prosecutor Marcelo Soza investigating the neo-nazi mercenary group in Santa Cruz claims the group's leader Eduardo Rosza Flores had a CIA handler. Rosza was in close communications with known CIA Hungarian asset Istvan Belovai (a.k.a. Scorpion B) planning the Bolivian civil war and Santa Cruz secession that Bolivian police ensured would never come to pass. (And people wonder how Bolivia could find common cause with Iran?) The Achacachi Post has translated the Cambio article on the matter into English.

Istvan Belovai, who died in November of 2009 in the US at age 71, was a Hungarian intelligence officer turned CIA double agent during the Cold War. According to Belovai, he was "Hungary's first Nato soldier". He led a bizarre spy novel style life that Rosza surely would have empathized with. The two right-wing activists apparently became friends in the 1990s during the Balkans Wars (Belovai's exact involvement with US efforts in the Balkans is not yet clear). According to the Bolivian prosecutor Soza, Rosza was in detailed consultation with Belovai over the mercenary groups operation's in preparation for a civil war in Santa Cruz.

This certainly also goes towards explaining the presence of Hungarian fascists in the mercenary group. Just one more layer of a spy thiller that will never be film produced by Hollywood.

Monday, February 08, 2010

"Balanced" news from the AP and WaPo

Update: Wonder what happens when you ignore the blog and your email? Well I get a way too nice email from someone much wiser explaining correctly that I was overly critical and picky of the AP and Carlos Valdez this time round, pulling out one sentence that is not necessarily wrong but I just felt was dickish. Quite right, I am hypercritical of the AP on occasion. I hope you understand why.

To the surprise of many(me), the Washington Post and the AP got around to publishing a decent article on Bolivia's attempts to take on gender inequality, specifically Evo Morales' appointment of a new cabinet, half of whom are women. The AP Carlos Valdez's piece even talks about weird foreign concepts like "'Chacha Warmi,' a Quechua-language reference to the indigenous principle of two complementing sexes as the basis of equilibrium in the cosmos."

But being the AP and Washington Post they couldn't help themselves from throwing in one dickish comment about Morales, you know, for "balance". 
And none of Bolivia's female ministers yet belongs to the president's inner circle of most trusted and influential advisers. 
...yeah, trust Carlos Valdez, he knows who Morales really trusts and gets advice from, as if it would be his cabinet ministers... how naive.

And an otherwise decent article is tainted by nonsense. The End. 

Friday, February 05, 2010

Stormtroopers and Jedis

US Westpoint cadets left, Bolivian indigenous cadets right

Obama in December at Westpoint anouncing 30,000 troop "surge" in Afghanistan:
America -- we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes.
Evo Morales in February at the Bolivian military academy announcing  the decolonization of military instruction and practices: 
Nations in the path of development are in danger because "the empire raises its arms of war against the peoples [of the world] to irrationally exploit natural resources", warned president Evo Morales Wednesday.

"The installation of military bases by the United States in Latin America is capitalist aggression", he said referring to the presence of thousands of soldiers in Colombia with the argument of "cooperation" in the war on drugs and terrorism.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Does Morales’s “socialist” agenda pose a threat to American values?

Andean Information Network

This should quell some fears about how closed to capitalist and American initiatives the new Bolivian pluri-national government could be:

During his campaign, Evo Morales promised that he would reach out to the lowland upper and middle classes and lobby to have the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant held in Santa Cruz.  The lowland city has the stereotype of being preoccupied with beauty queens and contests.
Evo Morales, Culture Minister Zulma Yugar and local pageant organizer, Gloria Limpias, met with representatives from the Miss Universe Pageant on February 1. Representatives will be in the country for a month, visiting landmarks and evaluating whether or not Santa Cruz is an appropriate venue. They plan to submit a full report to pageant owner, Donald Trump.

continue reading...

Debunking Myths Part II: Bolivia’s Autonomy Initiatives

Doug Hertzler, Andean Information Network

In September 2008 lowland elites led sustained protests against the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, demanding autonomy for their departments.  Yet, Morales’ MAS government never opposed grassroots autonomy initiatives. In fact, the administration held a 2006 referendum allowing lowland departments to opt for autonomy to be defined in the new Constitution. Ironically, opposition efforts to block the approval of the new constitution postponed efforts to legally implement autonomy. In retrospect, it became clear that this elite manipulation of the autonomy issue was more a tool for lowland elites to oppose Morales than a broad-based popular demand. The new Bolivian constitution, approved in January 2009 has since established different levels of autonomy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Bolivia cinema takes Sundance

Zona Sur, cast (white) and director (black)

Last week at Sundance, the 2009 Bolivian film "Zona Sur" (Southern District) won the festival's World Cinema awards in both writing and directing. The film is also Bolivia's submission to the Academy Awards. I have yet to see the film but understand that it is about the psychosis of sureños (residents of the wealthy southern suburb of La Paz). It at least convinced this one US reporter to even use the taboo word "bourgeois society" (commie!), so it is probably good. I did hear that like the director Juan Carlos Valdivia's other film "American Visa" there is quite a bit of explicit sex (get your attention?). So, in case you weren't aware, Bolivia has good cinema.

La Mala Palabra put together the English subtitled trailer below.