Oh, yeah, did you know the US is trying to start a civil war in Bolivia?
Since we don't have enough wars going on already to satisfy the Dick Cheneys and John McCains of this world.
President Evo Morales - democratically elected, as though that means a damn to Cheney or Bush - is expelling US Ambassador. Morales just won a popular vote on a referendum aimed at removing him from office, a referendum pushed by US-backed separatists.
Would it surprise you to hear that a gas pipeline is involved?
I've posted some links on the news at the end of this post.
Reuters reports in English:
"The ambassador of the United States is conspiring against democracy and wants Bolivia to break apart," Morales, a former coca farmer, said in a speech at the presidential palace in the Andean city of La Paz.
Morales said he had asked his foreign minister to send a letter to the U.S. embassy asking Goldberg to "urgently return to his country" -- a decision applauded by Chavez, who accuses Washington of backing a failed 2002 coup against him.
"The same thing is happening in Bolivia, it's the imperial aggressor, the genocidal U.S. empire," Chavez said in a speech.
Chávez may be an international brat. But he's right about that 2002 coup. The Cheney-Bush government was pushing it, with help from the then-government of Spain under the conservative prime minister José María Aznar.
This business in Bolivia has been an open secret for a while. Though that doesn't mean the Establishment press can be bothered to pursue the story very far. Or that the Democratic-run Congress can be bothered to hold hearings to find out what kind of dirty dealings Cheney's flunkies are up to down there, and what kind of problems it will inevitably cause for us.
Morales said that US Ambassador Phlip Goldberg was conspiring with the separatist opposition to promote protests aimed at bringing down the democratic government. (Did you guess that the separatists are in the area that has the natural gas?)
He said, "Sin miedo a nadie, sin miedo al imperio. Hoy día delante de ustedes, delante del pueblo boliviano, declaro al señor Goldberg, embajador de EE.UU., persona no grata". Without fear of anyone, without fear of the empire. This day I declore before you, the people of Bolivia, that Señor Goldberg, Embassador of the US, is persona non grata.)
Separatist protesters in the city of Tarija, Bolivia
The anti-government protesters in recent weeks have been blockading highways into Paraguay, Argentina and Brasil and have been occupying and attempting to sabotage the petroleum infranstructure. Brasil is preparing contingency plans for the case that Bolivian gas supplies are blocked by sabotage or blockade.
Current disturbances are centered around the city of Santa Cruz, where antigovernment protesters have looted several government offices. Less violent protests have also been occuring in the provincial capitals Sucre, Cobija y Trinidad. Dozens have been reported injured in the violence on Wednesday. Tarija has also been the scene of violence; at least one report said that the city of Tarija was under the control of separatist rebels.
The internal hostility on the part of a minority in the eastern provinces against Morales' government is based on politics - Morales is a reformist social democrat - and on racism: Morales is the first president of Bolivia who is of primarily indiginous descent.
El Mundo (Spain) reports:
El gobernante anunció que llegó "la hora de defender la democracia" y convocó a las organizaciones sociales a movilizarse con ese propósito, frente a los sectores sociales opositores que están presionado al Ejecutivo.
(The government announced that "the hour to defend democracy" has arrived and invited social organizations to mobilize with this goal, against the opposition social sector that are pressuring the Executive.)
We Americans like to think that the whole world is jealous of our system of government and wants to be more-or-less like us. Bolivia's democratically elected government, whose popular support was just reaffirmed in a democratic referendum, is mobilizing to defend democracy in their country ... against the United States.
Morales said, "El que conspira (contra) la democracia y sobre todo busca la división de Bolivia es el embajador de EEUU". (He that conspires [against] democracy and above all seeks the division of Bolivia is the Ambassador of the US." He noted that Goldberg is an "expert in encouraging separtist conflicts", citing his experience in 1994-96 as "chief of the office of the State Department for Bosnia during the separatist war in the Balkans" and as chief of the US mission in Kosovo where, said Morales, Goldberg "consolidated the separation and independence of this region, leaving thousands of dead."
If we in the United States had a healthy democracy ourselves, fomenting this kind of trouble in Bolivia would be a big scandal and would be seen as a likely impeachable offensive. Is it a joke to even talk about what the US would do if we were a "healthy democracy"? It wasn't so long ago that the Democratic-controlled Congress confronted the Reagan administration over the support of the brutal, reactionary Nicaraguan Contras.
On the other hand, it seems like eons ago.
Why do "they" hate us? Why? What could be a reason?
Which reminds me. No one could be much bothered to notice in the weeks after 9/11. But with the unprecedented outpouring of sympathy worldwide, most Latin American nations were notable in containing their enthusiasm in expressing solidarity for America. I can't imagine why that might have been. Because they're a bunch of Muslims, I guess. No, wait, they're mostly Christians ...