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Author Topic: America's Dark Past Intrudes on Bolivian Elections
Cougyr
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posted 16 December 2005 03:04 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Only fools speak of establishing permanent relations, without the use of force, between the pure American race, such as exists in the United States, and the half-breed Hispano-Indian race, such as is found in Mexico and Central America."
Is this GW Bush's ancestor?

quote:
The quote by the North American pirate [William Walker] cited at the beginning of this article, anticipates the difference between countries that are oppressors and oppressed, established by classical Marxism since Lenin, and characterized by the draining of economic resources that more-or-less all colonies and semi-colonies have suffered from the imperialists, including during invasions and territorial mutilations. (Walker, with the support of Washington, was proclaimed president of Nicaragua in 1856 in order to spread slavery, which was at the point of being abolished in his own country).

Nice guy. American nastiness continues.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 16 December 2005 05:46 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bolivia's election is this Sunday, Dec. 18.

Bolivian Democracy and the US: a History Lesson

quote:
The prospect of socialist peasant leader Evo Morales as Bolivia's next president disturbed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Charles Shapiro. "It would not be welcome news in Washington to see the increasingly belligerent Cuban-Venezuelan combo become a trio," he emailed on October 21, 2005 to the Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer (Dec 4, 2005)....

These trite but coded phrases tell the next Bolivian government: do Washington's bidding, or get your butt kicked.


Bolivia's charge to the left

quote:
The Bush administration has watched Morales's rise to prominence with a sense of quiet hysteria. Morales has been slandered by conservatives who label him a drug trafficker, a charge that has never been substantiated. He and other coca farmers point out that although coca is used to produce cocaine, the natural plant leaves have ancestral importance for Bolivia's indigenous people. State Department officials regard him as a puppet of Mr. Chávez and Fidel Castro. If their regular stream of insults has been muted of late, it is only because the administration is aware that its past criticism has boosted Morales's popularity in a region where Washington's policies are viewed with skepticism.

Bolivia: Nightmare scenario for Bush

quote:
Should Morales win Sunday's election - and he is ahead in the polls - he will be the first Indian indigenous President of his country....
The candidates will need a 50% vote to win outright on Sunday. Should nobody receive it, the new President will be chosen in January by the Congress, also elected on Sunday. Morales currently leads the opinion polls by five to eight percentage points, his candidate for Vice President, the prestigious political analyst Alvaro Garcia Linera, bringing added value to his campaign.

[ 16 December 2005: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 16 December 2005 08:26 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Damn! Not enough time to install a puppet regime or drop Caribbean mercenaries in at the last minute because they're bogged-down in Iraq. And no Olly North's to swindle a deal with an Ayatollah. Surely the peasants will choose corporate rule, financial services and plastic widget economy to hospitals, schools and owning their own natural resources, Shirley.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 16 December 2005 09:14 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It looks more and more like we will see the whole world lined up against the US and a few countries stupid enough to align themselves with the Bushies, like England and Canada.
From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 16 December 2005 10:42 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Source:
quote:
However, even if Morales wins more votes than his adversaries, he may yet be denied the presidency. The Bolivian constitution specifies that where no candidate achieves a plurality (50% plus one) of votes, the newly elected congress chooses the president from the two front-runners. Morales’ main contender is a former president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga. Quiroga may be able to conjure up enough congressional support to block Morales from becoming president.

Were this to happen, Bolivia may well descend once again to the sort of street protest which prompted the resignation of two recent presidents: Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in October 2003 and Carlos Mesa in June 2005. Morales enjoys strong backing among the various social movements which have become key actors in Bolivian politics in recent years.


Nationalisation tops agenda in Bolivian elections
by Roger Cox, Val Medera and Marina Vargas in La Paz

The first round of Bolivia’s presidential election, set to take place this Sunday, comes at a crucial moment.

Evo Morales, leader of the Movement Towards Socialism, is likely to top the polls. He is the candidate most closely associated with the movement that six months ago toppled right wing president Carlos Mesa.

That movement demanded the nationalisation of the country’s gas and oil—the second largest reserves in Latin America. This huge potential wealth is seen as the means through which ordinary Bolivians, 60 percent of whom live on less than $1 a day, could be dragged out of poverty.

The movement also demanded a constitutional assembly to enshrine the rights of indigenous people, who make up two-thirds of the population of Bolivia. They have suffered racial discrimination for centuries.

The other two main candidates in the election stand for a continuation of the neo-liberal policies that have seen a growing gulf between rich and poor.

May and June this year saw hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants descend on the capital, La Paz, and the neighbouring city of El Alto.

Jorge Churac, a member of one of the groups that coordinated the action in El Alto, told Socialist Worker, “This is the first time that we have had an indigenous person, Evo Morales, standing for president. In the past everyone has stood for the rich and the military. We have expectations that an indigenous person can change the country.”

In order to win in the first round Morales would have to get over 50 percent of the vote. If none of the candidates reach this target it will be left to the country’s congress, which will meet in January, to decide who becomes president.

If Morales’s main rival, Jorge Quiroga, secures enough support in the congress to take the presidency it will spark rage from the population.

Many in Bolivia already have grave doubts about the whole political system. Maria Tironade Copa of the El Alto confederation of women said that if Morales is blocked, “we will mobilise, march, blockade and strike”.

Even if he does become president, Morales will face enormous pressure to deliver real change. Jorge Churac said, “If Morales does not carry through the programme of the movement he will not last six months. There will be a great uprising — hunger will talk.”

But he will also face another kind of pressure — from Bolivia’s powerful elite, the US, multinationals and the International Monetary Fund.

Jose Monesinos, a former miners’ leader who led a neighbourhood assembly in El Alto in 2003 said, “Morales’s advisors have been reassuring everyone — the businessmen and so on.”

Despite Morales’s pledges to be “responsible” if elected, the elite of the oil and gas rich region of Santa Cruz have threatened to declare autonomy. This has raised the prospect of civil war.

Whatever happens in the elections, new confrontations seem inevitable.

© Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ghost of the Navigator
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posted 17 December 2005 12:10 PM      Profile for Ghost of the Navigator        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If it must come to war, let us hope that the streets run red with the blood of fascist oil barons.

[ 17 December 2005: Message edited by: Ghost of the Navigator ]


From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 17 December 2005 12:48 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In June Paraguay’s legislature gave the green light to the U.S. military for a series of 13 joint exercises to run through December 2006.

Then the rumors began appearing in the Latin American press: The United States was moving to establish a military base at Mariscal Estigarribia, a town in Paraguay just 124 miles from Bolivia’s southeast frontier and within easy striking distance of Bolivian natural gas reserves, the largest in the Americas. Anywhere from 400 to 500 U.S. troops were said to be arriving.


Adam Saytanides

This story is running around South America. The US is quietly building up a base in Paraguay which is shrouded in mystery. It was thought that it was to be used as a terrorist prison/torture centre. But the base is located very close to the Bolivian gas fields.

Also: Two stories to check


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
a lonely worker
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posted 17 December 2005 01:16 PM      Profile for a lonely worker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for posting this Cougyr. Once again "democracy" American style.
From: Anywhere that annoys neo-lib tools | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 17 December 2005 05:36 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Che's Second Coming?
quote:
Morales has become almost as much of a bugbear to the Bush administration and many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle as Chávez or Castro. And for his part, Morales seems to revel in the role. At the summit meeting of the Organization of American States held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, earlier this month, he appeared with Chávez at a huge anti-American and anti-globalization rally just before the meetings began. The two men spoke in front of a huge image of Che Guevara. This is symbolic politics, but it is more than that too. The left is undergoing an extraordinary rebirth throughout the continent; Castro's survival, Chávez's rise, the prospect that the next president of Mexico will be Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist mayor of Mexico City, and the stunning trajectory of Morales himself all testify to that fact. Pardo-Maurer is right that Morales's success reflects both Bolivia's current dire economic conditions and the perception of the indigenous majority that it is finally their time to come to power. But it is also a product of the wider popular mood in Bolivia and, for that matter, in much of contemporary Latin America.

For most Bolivians, globalization, or what they commonly refer to as neoliberalism, has failed so utterly to deliver the promised prosperity that some Bolivian commentators I met insisted that what is astonishing is not the radicalization of the population but rather the fact that this radicalization took as long as it did. Bolivia often seems now like a country on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Every day, peasants or housewives or the unemployed erect hundreds of makeshift roadblocks to protest shortages of fuel (a particularly galling affront in a country with vast hydrocarbon resources) or to demand increased subsidies for education or to air any of the dozens of issues that have aroused popular anger. The language of these protests is insistently, defiantly leftist, with ritual denunciations of multinational corporations, of the United States and of the old Bolivian elite, who are white, mostly descendants of Spanish and German settlers. Two presidents were chased out of office in the last two years by popular protests made up largely of MAS supporters: first Gonazalo Sánchez de Losada, then Carlos Mesa. (Since Mesa's government fell in June, the country has been run by a caretaker government overseen by a former chief justice of the supreme court.)



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 17 December 2005 06:56 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Agrarian Reform that Wasn't

Interesting article that poses (but doesn't fully answer) the question, "how is it that after a peasant revolution in 1952 and more then fifty years of agrarian reform, today the average campesino from the west or center of the country has less land then they started with?"

quote:
According to the United Nations, as of October 2005, 100 families control over 25 million hectares of land in Bolivia while 2 million campesino (farmer/peasant) families have, combined, access to 5 million hectares of land. In other words, the wealthiest 100 landowners possess five times more land then 2 million small landowners.

The UN Development Report goes on to state that it is precisely this inequality that is the principal cause of Bolivia’s political and social instability, fuelling constant conflicts between a tiny elite and the general population.

According to the World Bank, in Latin America the average discrepancy between the wealth of the richest fifth of the population and the poorest fifth of the population is 30:1. In Bolivia it is 90:1. If cities are excluded from the measurement, it is 170:1.

But What About Agrarian Reform?

After 52 years of agrarian reform, Bolivian agriculture is divided into two distinct tendencies: enormous latifundios (estates), vast territories in which only a small part is used for productive agriculture, and hundreds of thousands of tiny, over cultivated properties owned by indigenous and/or campesino farmers. Despite the fact that campesino farmers occupy a much smaller portion of land, they have higher agricultural productivity and supply more food to the local economy then the latifundios, which overwhelmingly cultivate plantation-style agriculture – vast expanses of a single crop such as soya, sugar, rice or cotton destined for export and dependant on the usage of large quantities of pesticides and fertilizers.



From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
ceti
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posted 18 December 2005 01:52 AM      Profile for ceti     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think he is George W Bush's ancestor, at least not a direct ancestor, but here's some info on some nasty fellows from his lineage. (Walkers come from Dubya's paternal grandmother, i.e., Prescott Bush's wife)
From: various musings before the revolution | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 18 December 2005 01:51 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ceti:
I don't think he is George W Bush's ancestor, at least not a direct ancestor, . . .

Thanks, ceti. I think you are right. Still, William Walker could have been a role model for the President.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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